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The road to the independent Czechoslovak state was long, thorny and flanked by the endless efforts of patriots working at home and around the world. The Washington Declaration, a key document crowning their efforts 100 years ago is presented by a half-ounce commemorative medal of pure gold which is the part of the free cycle of the most beautiful unrealized proposals that entered into competitions of the Czech National Bank.
Charles I, the emperor of Austria-Hungary tried to prevent the Habsburg empire from extinction in October 1918. He therefore offered his many nations autonomy within the federation. However, it was clear to the representatives of Czechoslovak Foreign Resistance that this was the last desperate attempt before the end of the First World War, and so the Emperor's proposal responded with the so-called "Washington Declaration" proclaiming the sovereign and independent Czechoslovak Republic. T.G. Masaryk was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights, as well as by the spiritual reference of the Hussite wars. He referred to the historical rights of Czechs and the right to self-determination for the Slovaks, he summed up the causes of Slavic dissatisfaction with the current establishment and outlined the form and principles of the future new state. Then he passed the statement to Washington, DC, to the government of the United States of America and President Woodrow Wilson, who wished to speak with the Austro-Hungarian Empire with a strong voice from the national movements. The response of the collapsing monarchy was not long to wait. Its leaders came to peace conditions, and the Czechs soon became aware of the freedom..
The design of the academic sculptor Zbynek Fojtu became the pattern of the commemorative medal. The obverse side presents a faithfully processed portraits of charismatic founders of Czechoslovakia - Edvard Benes, M. R. Stefanik and T.G. Masaryk - from the profile. The composition of the obverse side is complemented by a inscription DECLARATION OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK NATION. The reverse side carries an excerpt from the text of the declaration with the names and signatures of the founders of Czechoslovakia and the inscription WASHINGTON DECLARATION 1918-2018.
The issue load of a half-ounce gold medal counts only 99 pieces. Each of them is manually numbered on the edge and accompanied by an illustrated certificate of authenticity, which commemorates the origin and meaning of a key document of Czechoslovak history.
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