Historie parlamentarismu a české ústavnosti

The tradition of having a representative body dates well into the past when it comes to the territory of what is today the Czech Republic. As of the 13th century, political representatives of the Czech Kingdom – i.e. the nobility, clergy and, to a limited extent, cities – gathered in a provintial diet (land assembly). Similarly, diets were also formed in Moravia and in Silesia. After the incorporation of the Czech lands into the Hapsburg monarchy, the powers of the provintial diet gradually weakened. At a symbolic level, however, the provintial diet continued to represent one of the few institutions which reflected Czech statehood..

The Old Session Hall at Prague Castle – the place of the deliberations of the Land Diet and Land Court.

Stará sněmovna - Pražský hrad

8th April 1848

The government in Vienna accommodated the Czech political representation and issued a Cabinet Paper, which assumed that land diets would be called soon whose traditional composition was to be expanded by elected representatives.

25th April 1848

The issuance of the first imposed onstitution (the Pillersdorf Constitution), which also anticipated the convocation of the parliament.

22nd July 1848

The Imperial Diet began its deliberations in Vienna. Besides the representatives of the other parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, also 138 representatives from the Czech lands were seated there.

22nd November 1848

The interrupted deliberations of the Imperial Diet were renewed in Kroměříž.

The Hall of the Kroměříž Chateau, where the main meetings of the Imperial Diet took place from October 1848 until its dispersion in March 1849.


7th March 1849

Emperor Franz Joseph I dissolved the Imperial Diet and  issued an imposed constitution (the so-called Stadion Constitution).

31st December 1851

The constitution was repealed by the so-called Silvester Patents.

26th February 1861

Franz Joseph I issued a new, third imposed constitution (the so-called Schmerling Constitution). Representative bodies became permanent parts of the political system of the Hapsburg monarchy. The central representative organ – the Imperial Council comprised two chambers – the House of Lords and the House of Representatives. In addition, the Land Diets were established on the level of lands. Although the right to vote was not equal and was denied to many members of society, this period is considered to be a time when modern political culture was born.

The session hall of the House of Representatives of Imperial Council in Vienna

Poslanecká sněmovna - interiér


6th April 1861

On the basis of elections, the Bohemian Land Diet convened in Prague. 

The passage of the February Constitution of 1861 dedicated to the land ordinance and the activities of the Land Diets.

Volební řád do Zemského sněmu

Session hall of Bohemian Land Diet in Prague.

Zemský sněm - interiér


26th January 1907

The general and equal voting rights implemented for elections to the Imperial Diet.

26th July 1913

The Bohemian Land Diet was dissolved by the so-called Anne Patents. Dramatic nationalist conflicts, which afflicted the entire Habsburg Monarchy, transferred from the streets also to parliamentary ground. The deliberations of the Land diet were paralysed by frequent obstructions.

Parliamentary obstruction.



28th October 1918

An independent Czechoslovak state was proclaimed in Prague with the National Committee at its head.

13th November 1918

The National Committee ratified the Interim Constitution, which anchored the republican foundation of the new state. The unicameral National Assembly was composed of 256 deputies.

The atmosphere in front of the parliament building in Prague on 14th November, before the first meeting of the revolutionary National Assembly.

14. listopadu 1918

29th February 1920

The Constitutional Charter of the Czechoslovak Republic was ratified by the National Assembly. Unlike the constitutions in force on our territory in the era of the Habsburg Monarchy, the constitutional charter of the Czechoslovak state proceeded from a concept of the sovereignty of the people. The Parliament consisted of a 300-member Chamber of Deputies and a 150-seat Senate. Elections to both chambers were conducted based on a proportional election system. Citizens over 21 years of age voted for the Chamber of Deputies; a person over 30 years of age could be a candidate. The active voting right to the Senate was held by citizens over 26; candidates for the Senate had to be over 45 years of age.

The Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Ústava 1920 - titul Ústava 1920

The Rudolfinum – seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the National Assembly during the First Czechoslovak Republic.



19th November 1938

Shortly after the signing of the so-called Munich Agreement the National Assembly adopted constitutional acts on the autonomy of the Slovak Land and Subcarpathian Ruthenia.

30th November 1938

At a joint session of both chambers, the National Assembly elected E. Hácha as President.

15th December 1938

The National Assembly adopted an enabling act which fundamentally increased the legislative powers of the President and Government.

21st March 1939

A few days after the occupation of the country by German armies and the declaration of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, President Hácha dissolved the National Assembly.

28th October 1945

On the basis of a decree of the President of the Republic, the unicameral InterimNational Assembly was convoked.

26th May 1946

Based on the Act on the Constituent National Assembly, the first post-war parliamentary elections were conducted.

Seat of the National Assembly after World War 2.

Federální shromáždění - Burza


11th March 1948

The National Assembly approved the programme of the cabinet of Klement Gottwald, which was reconstrued in the course of February 1948. The Communist had definitively seized power in the state.

9th May 1948

A new constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic was ratified.

11th July 1960

The National Assembly ratified a new constitution that legally anchored the leading role of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the whole society.

27th October 1968

The Constitutional Act of the Czechoslovak Federation was adopted. The constitutional act of October 1968 fundamentally altered also the structure of the representative bodies. At the federal level, legislative power was executed by the bicameral Federal Assembly. The Chamber of the People had 200 representatives; in the Chamber of Nations, 150 representatives were seated, of whom one-half were elected on the territory of the Czech Socialist Republic and the other half in the Slovak Socialist Republic. At the national level, legislative power was represented by the 200-member Czech National Council and the Slovak National Council with 150 members.

Building of the Federal Assembly

Federální shromáždění Federální shromáždění - interiér

29th November 1989

In the course of the so-called Velvet Revolution, the article of the constitution on the leading role of the Communist Party was revoked, by which the prerequisite for the emergence of a pluralistic political system was created.

23rd April 1990

The Federal Assembly adopted the constitutional act which changed the name of the state to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.

8th – 9th June 1990

The first free elections after the fall of the Communist regime were held.

25th November 1992

The Constitutional Act on the Dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic was adopted by the Federal Assembly. According to this act, the two new states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, became equal succession states.

16th December 1992

Shortly before the dissolution of the federation, the Czech National Council ratified the Constitution of the Czech Republic, which took effect on 1st January. According to the constitution, parliament consists of two Chambers – Chamber of Deputies and Senate.

The Constitution of the Czech Republic .

Ústava 1992

1st January 1993

The creation of the Czech Republic. The Chamber of Deputies emerged from the existing Czech National Council.

15th November 1996

Citizens voted for the first time for the Senate – the second parliamentary chamber.

The Parliament of the Czech republic - Session Halls of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Poslanecká sněmovna Jednání Senátu

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