Bohemia and Moravia are among the first
populated areas of Europe. The Grand Moorish empire that
was formed in the 8th century also included parts of
Bohemia. Extensive German immigration took place in the
12th and 13th centuries. From the 16th century until the
end of the First World War, the area was part of the
Habsburg Empire. In 1918, the independent state of
Czechoslovakia was proclaimed, including the present
Slovakia. During World War II, Bohemia and the Moravia
were occupied by Germany.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Czech Republic, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Bohemia and Moravia are among the oldest settlements
in Europe. At the beginning of our era, Bohemia was
populated by Celtic tribes. Then came the Germans, who
in turn were succeeded by Slavic people. The Slavs,
among them the Czechs, are believed to have immigrated
between 500 and 700 AD.
During the 800s, the Moravia formed the core of a
large West Slavic kingdom, the Stormähriska kingdom,
which also included Bohemia and parts of present-day
Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. At the same time, Bohemia
and Moravia began to become Christians. At the beginning
of the 9th century, the kingdom fell apart when the
Magyars (Hungarians) streamed in and conquered Slovakia.
From this time until 1918, Czechs and Slovaks lived
politically and culturally separate.
The Czech prince dynasty, the Přemyslides, formed a
duchy in the 9th century with Prague as the center. The
Premyslides recognized the German emperor as head. In
the 11th century, the Moravians were incorporated into
the Bohemian Empire, after which the two territories
largely had a common history. Many Germans immigrated in
the 12th and 13th centuries. During the German-Roman
emperor Charles IV (1346–1378), Prague became the center
of a great empire and experienced a cultural
In the 15th century, the Hussites (see Religion)
fought for increased national and religious independence
vis-ŕ-vis the German emperor and the papal church. The
Hushitic peasant armies were successful for a long time,
but were eventually weakened by internal divisions.
After the Hittite wars (1420–1433), the forces of the
imperial power no longer met any resistance.
In 1526, Bohemia and the Moravia together with
Silesia came under the rule of the Habsburg House. This
Central European multinational monarchy, which had its
base in Austria, existed for almost four centuries.
In 1618, contradictions between Bohemian Protestants
and the Catholic Kingdom led to an uprising that became
the beginning of the Thirty Years War. In the battle of
the White Mountain outside Prague in 1620, the
Bohemian-Moorish army was defeated and the country
became Catholic with violence.
At the end of the war, Swedish forces entered the
bourgeoisie in Prague, but they never entered the old
city. The Swedish war was rich, among other things, the
statues were taken from Wallenstein's palace, which
today stands in Drottningholm Palace Park outside
Stockholm and the Silver Bible, which is located in the
University Library in Uppsala. After the destruction of
the Thirty Years War, the Czechs, with the exception of
an uprising in Prague in 1848, lived largely peacefully
under the rule of the Habsburgs until 1918.
The Bohemian countries (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia)
eventually became the most industrialized part of the
Habsburg Empire. During the 18th and 19th centuries,
Austria sought to further explore these areas. The
counter-reaction came in the form of a growing national
movement. But despite the social, economic and cultural
upswing of the 19th century, the Czechs remained
In connection with the outbreak of the First World
War, the nationalist movement was radicalized, and after
the collapse of Austria-Hungary in the autumn of 1918,
Czechoslovakia was proclaimed October 28 as an
independent state. Slovakia joined two days later and
the following year, the so-called Carpathian Rutenia in
the east was also incorporated. Tomáš Masaryk became the
first president of Czechoslovakia.
The interwar period was stable and successful for the
new state. Most of the old Habsburg industry was in
Czechoslovakian territory. The country had a democratic
constitution and a parliamentary system of government.
But the Slovaks were dissatisfied with the dominance of
the Czechs and the centralized regime. The new state
leader had not dared to give autonomy to the Slovaks,
because it was feared that the German people of Bohemia
would also demand self-government and that the country
would then be divided.
After the Nazis seized power in Berlin in 1933, the
contradictions to Germany intensified. Several in the
German population (Sudanese) collaborated with the Nazis
in Germany. In 1938 Hitler demanded that the Sudanese
territories be incorporated with Germany. Under pressure
from the Germans, Britain and France signed in September
1938 under the Munich Agreement, agreeing to the
Czechoslovakia cut. Areas where more than half of the
population were Germans came to Germany. Later Poland
also took a small land area in the northern Moravia,
while Hungary after the same pattern received large
parts of southern Slovakia where the majority of the
population was of Hungarian origin.
The Germans did not settle for the Sudanese
territories: on March 15, 1939 Hitler allowed the rest
of Bohemia and the Moravia to be converted into a German
protectorate, the Bohemian Moravia. The day before, with
Hitler's support, Slovakia had declared itself an
independent state. The leader of the new Slovak state
became the priest Jozef Tiso, whose strong nationalist
party with fascist-Catholic overtones as early as
November 1938 had become the only one allowed in
Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, protests
against the occupation power followed by German terror
in Bohemia-Moravia occurred. An organized resistance
movement arose and in London an exile government was led
by Edvard Beneš. He had taken office as president in
1935, but left the country in the fall of 1938. Beneš
collaborated with the Czechoslovak Communist leadership
located in Moscow. Following an attack on the German
national protector in 1942, the Nazis' reprisals
culminated, among other things with the annihilation of
the village of Lidice near Prague.
Soviet troops invaded Slovakia in October 1944 and US
forces in western Bohemia in April 1945.