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History of the Czech Republic

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Title: History of the Czech Republic  
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History of the Czech Republic

Template:History of the Czech Republic The history of what are now known as the Czech lands (Czech: České země) is very diverse. These lands have changed hands many times, and have been known by a variety of different names. Up until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy after the First World War, the lands were known as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and formed a constituent state of that empire: the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Prior to the Battle of Mohács, the Kingdom was an independent state within the Holy Roman Empire. After that battle the Lands of the Bohemian Crown were incorporated into the Austrian Empire, and later into the aforementioned Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

They came to be known as the Czech lands after the fall of the Empire, and the rise of the First Czechoslovak Republic, when the term Bohemia (Czech: Čechy), which also refers to the core region of the former kingdom, was no longer deemed acceptable by those in Moravia and Czech Silesia. The integral Czech lands now form the boundaries of the Czech Republic.

Periods through history


Early modern humans had settled in the region by the (Lower Paleolithic) (2.5mil – 750,000 BP). Several Paleolithic cultures settled here, including Acheulean, Micoquien, Mousterian, and Aurignacian. The Předmostí archaeological site near Brno is dated to between 24,000 and 27,000 years old.[1][2] The figurines (Venus of Dolní Věstonice) found here are the oldest known ceramic articles in the world.

Early tribes

The area was settled by the Celts (Boii) from 5th BC until 2nd AC and from 1st century by various Germanic tribes (Marcomanni, Quadi, Lombards). Germanic towns are described on the Map of Ptolemaios in the 2nd Century, e.g. Coridorgis for Jihlava. Those tribes moved on to the west during Migration in 5th century and in came Slavs.

Arrival of the Slavs

The first Slavic people (Czech tribes in Bohemia and Moravians in Moravia) arrived in the 6th century. According to historian Dušan Třeštík, they came through Moravian Gate (Moravská brána) valley and in 530 moved into the eastern Bohemia and along rivers Labe and Vltava further into central Bohemia. Many historians support theory of further wave of Slavs coming from the south during the first half of the 7th century. They fought with neighbouring Avars until rise of the Samo's empire.[3]

Samo's realm

Further information: Samo

Samo's realm was the first Slavic realm established in the area. King Samo defeated the Avars and later the Frankish Kingdom army in the Battle of Wogastisburg.

Great Moravia

Further information: Great Moravia

A Slavic state Great Moravia was created by the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks and its core area lay on both sides of the Morava river.

Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia to 1526

Main article: History of the Czech lands in the High Middle Ages

The Duchy of Bohemia established in the 9th century raised to a Kingdom in 1198. The country reached its greatest territorial extent and is considered as the Golden Age.

Bohemian Estates against Habsburg absolutism

Ferdinand II, who ruled 1619–1637, sharply curtained the power of the largely Protestant representative assembly known as the "Bohemian Estates". He confiscated lands of Protestant nobles and gave them to his Catholic friends and to the generals who led the foreign mercenaries he empoyed.[4]

The Dark Age and National Revival

Austria–Hungary, the Dual Monarchy


Further information: History of Czechoslovakia and History of Czechoslovakia (1918–1938)

The Kingdom of Bohemia officially ceased to exist in 1918 when the Czecho-Slovak Republic was declared, a merger of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Slovakia, and Carpathian Ruthenia. Czechoslovakia before WW2 remained the only democracy in central and eastern Europe.

2nd Republic / Occupation

The large German population of the Czech lands was expelled after fall of Nazi Germany, and its occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakia were now almost homogenous in their composition, dominated by ethnic Czechs and Slovaks.

Third Republic / Communist era

Further information: History of Czechoslovakia (1945–1948), Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and History of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992)

The Czech Republic

Further information: Czech Republic

On the 1st of January in 1993, the Velvet Divorce occurred, whereby two separate states were created out of the former Czechoslovakia: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. It became a member of NATO in 1999, and the European Union in 2004.


Further reading

  • Hochman, Jiří. Historical dictionary of the Czech State (1998)
  • Heimann, Mary. 'Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed' 2009 ISBN 0-300-14147-5
  • Lukes, Igor. 'Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler', Oxford University Press 1996, ISBN 0-19-510267-3
  • Skilling Gordon. 'Czechoslovakia's Interrupted Revolution', Princeton University Press 1976, ISBN 0-691-05234-4
  • Höfer Verlag: Zweisprachige Landkarten mit separatem Ortsnamenverzeichnis. Maps in both languages. ISBN 978-3-931103-02-0.

See also




External links

  • Czech description read Radio Prague online history - short text
  • History of Bohemia until 1914 – from Catholic and German point of view
  • History of Moravia until 1914 – from Catholic and German point of view
  • History and archaeology of Czech Republic and central Europe – Czech published academic journal (in English)

Template:Czech lands

Template:Czech Republic topics

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