The ‘Habsburg Bogey’ and Austro-Czech Rivalry
In 1920, a new centre of British influence in the heart of Europe was Prague. The Foreign Office did not intend to drop the Austrians, but a more active policy in Czechoslovakia, as advocated by the High Commissioner in Prague, seemed to have its merits. In pursuit of this end, Curzon set out to link Austria to the anti-Hungarian ‘bloc’ of the Successor States. British politicians opposed both Habsburg restoration attempts in Budapest in 1921. The Foreign Office backed the action by the Little Entente to obstruct the return of the Habsburg King to the Hungarian throne. Despite the eventual collapse of the Bank of England’s Central European project, the tough negotiations between London, Vienna, and Prague at least demonstrated an ephemeral British interest in the region.
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