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Slovakia Old History

 

During much of the country's older history, Slovakia was ruled by Hungarian rulers. Since the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918, Slovaks and Czechs formed a common state: Czechoslovakia, which became a leading industry. After Nazi Germany annexed the Czech Republic in 1939, Slovakia formally became an independent state that was fought on the Germans' side in World War II. After the war, Czechoslovakia resurfaced.

Slavic groups migrated into the area that today constitutes Slovakia during the 500 or 600 century AD. A few centuries later, they became part of the Stormähriska empire, one of the earliest Slavic state formations, with the center around Nitra.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Slovakia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

When the Hungarians in 907 defeated the Grand Moors, the Slovaks came under Hungarian supremacy. This would be in various forms until 1918. In connection with the conquest of large parts of southeastern Europe by the Ottomans (Turks), the Hungarian Empire was divided in the 1520s. The northern and western parts of Hungary, to which Slovakia belonged, fell under the aegis of the Austrian Habsburgs.

Since the Ottomans had taken Budapest in 1529, the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Empire came to have its center in Slovak territories. From 1526 to 1786, Bratislava served as Hungarian capital under the names Pozsony or Pressburg. The Slovakian cities were dominated by German or Hungarian-speaking bourgeoisie, while the Slovak culture lived in the countryside.

A national Slovak movement first emerged during the 19th century. As a Slovak written language developed, the Slovaks began to demand political influence.

Old History of Slovakia

When the double-monarchy of Austria-Hungary was established in 1867, Hungary gained control of the Slovak territories. The Hungarian rulers ran a campaign to make Slovakia more Hungarian. Schools with teaching in Slovak were closed and Slovak politicians were persecuted. Many intellectual Slovaks emigrated.

During the First World War, many Slovaks joined the Czechs' struggle for an independent state. After the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, Czechoslovakia was formed in October 1918. Slovakia formally joined and in 1919, Carpathian-Rutiania (today located in western Ukraine) was also incorporated. Czech Tomáš Masaryk was named the country's first president.

During the interwar period Czechoslovakia became one of Europe's leading industrial nations, but the social divisions within the country were large. Slovakia's income per inhabitant was less than half that of the Czechs. The Czechs dominated industry and management. Over time, the Slovaks became radicalized. The Slovak National People's Party, which demanded autonomy, became the leading Slovak party with a program that can almost be described as a mixture of nationalism, Catholicism and fascism.

In 1938, the German leader Adolf Hitler demanded that certain areas in western Czechoslovakia where many ethnic Germans lived should be incorporated with Germany. Under strong pressure from Germany, France and the United Kingdom signed in September 1938 under the so-called Munich Agreement, in which they agreed that Czechoslovakia was cut up and forced to relinquish areas along the border. In March 1939 Hitler also occupied Bohemia and the Moravia, that is most of today's Czech Republic. Hungary and Poland soon annexed parts of Slovakia. The Slovak National People's Party leader, Catholic priest Jozef Tiso, then began negotiations with Germany. Hitler agreed that a separate Slovak state should be founded, led by Tiso. Slovakia became thus for the first time formally independent in 1939, but in practice the country was a fascist sound state to Germany.

Slovakia entered World War II on Germany's side. Tens of thousands of Slovak Jews and Roma were deported to German concentration camps. Gradually, however, resistance to Tiso's regime grew. In August 1944, an uprising broke out after two months of German troops. In October 1944, Soviet troops invaded Slovakia and expelled the Germans.

After the end of the war, Czechoslovakia was restored and the country regained the territories occupied by Hungary. Czechoslovakia, on the other hand, was forced to relinquish Carpathian Route to the Soviet Union.

 
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