By the turn of the century, a widening gap between the first and second generations was already in evidence.
In 1900 there were 199,939 American-born Czechs as opposed to 156,640 Czechs who had been born in Europe.
However, a national awakening in the nineteenth century, culminating in the political protest movement of 1848, reestablished a sense of Czech identity.
After the Austrian declaration of war on Serbia and Russia in 1914, the Czechs and Slovaks, in a struggle to establish a common republic, joined the side of the Allies.
In 1638 Czech Protestant exiles, who had set sail for America in the service of the Swedish army, assisted in the building of Fort Christina on a tributary of the Delaware River.
The first major immigration wave occurred in 1848 when the Czech "Forty Eighters" fled to the United States to escape political persecution by the Habsburgs.
Under the leadership of Masaryk, Edvard Beneš (1884-1948), and Milan Rastislav Štefanik, they were able to persuade the Allied governments to dissolve the Habsburg Empire.
The next major immigration to the United States occurred during the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, when approximately 20,000 fled to escape Nazi persecution.Chicago, tied to the West by rail and more readily accessible to the immigrants, became the most populous Czech settlement.By 1870, other cities with Czech concentrations included St. At the turn of the century, Czech immigrants were more likely to make the journey to the United States with their families. Moreover, it was not uncommon in large families for the head of the household to make more than one trip to the United States, bringing along one or more children each time.After the decline of the Přemsylides, Bohemia was ruled for a time by the House of Luxembourg.The union of King John of Luxembourg with the Czech princess Elizabeth produced a son, Charles IV (1346-1378), who, as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, established Bohemia as the center of the empire and made Prague its cultural center. In the fifteenth century the university became the center of a church reform movement led by Jan Hus (1369-1415), who was burned as a heretic in 1415.