Title in original language: Tomáš Baťa a národohospodářské otázky nového Československa 1918–1923 ve vzájemné korespondenci s Františkem X. Hodáčem
Author: Jan Herman - Milan Balaban
Title in English: Tomáš Baťa and questions pertaining to the national economy of the new Czechoslovak state between 1918 and 1923 in his correspondence with František X. Hodáč
Journal: Česko-slovenská historická ročenka 23, 2, 2021, pp. 57-82
Abstract: A leading Czechoslovak entrepreneur, Tomáš Baťa has been the subject of constant attention and his business activities have been examined in many ways. Less attention, however, has been paid to Baťa’s thoughts and opinions. This is undoubtedly because he rarely spoke out openly on questions of national economy in his public appearances. Based on seven letters exchanged with his friend František X. Hodáč from 1918 to 1923, this article reconstructs Baťa’s views on the political, social and economic situation of the newly created Czechoslovak state. At this time, the Bata Corporation had to cope with post-war economic disruptions and uncertainty in international relations. In the daily struggle for the economic survival of the corporation, he also ventured into the sphere of economic theory, taking a stance on issues such as devaluation, profit and loss, prices and wages, and the foreign interests of the state. Baťa would meet the leading figures of the state and, in discussions with finance ministers Alois Rašín and Karel Engliš, his views matured and exerted a considerable influence on people involved in economic theory and policymaking in Czechoslovakia.
Keywords: Baťa, Tomáš, 1876–1932; Bata Corporation; economic policy; Czechoslovakia 1918–1938; Hodáč, František Xaver, 1883–1943