American participation in World War I had far-reaching consequences for the U.S. foreign policy. After the war the United States came off victorious and considerably enriched, as from an indebted country it changed into a creditor of several states and became an unquestionable economic and financial world superpower. The United Sates was interested in the reconstruction as well as economic and political stabilization of Central and East-European countries, where it was actively involved. Czechoslovakia was also subject to American policy, especially in the field of economics. Activities of American Relief Administration, YMCA, YWCA, the Red Cross and various other charity and educational organizations became an important element of the U.S. post-war policy towards Central-European countries. Despite different aims and various interpretations ascribed to it, the United States also played an important role in the reconstruction of these countries - including Czechoslovakia. It should be stressed that Washington paid special attention to the work of U.S. legation in Prague, especially in the years 1919-1920, when the State Department treated it as an important center of information not only about Czechoslovakia. Lack of stability in this area, and especially the events in Russia, revolution in Hungary as well as the Polish-Soviet war automatically changed Prague into an important source providing information about these events. Diplomatic and consulate agencies of both countries and their representatives, American Czechs and Slovaks as well as various societies played an important role in the development of bilateral relations of the two countries. Economic connections, such as war debts, investments and American loans as well as commercial exchange, marked not only American presence but also considerable post-war activity both in Czechoslovakia and in the whole region. Fascination with America and Americanization of Czechoslovakia were also not to be neglected in bilateral relations of the two countries in those years.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.