Bohemia

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Coordinates: 50°N15°E / 50°N 15°E / 50; 15

Bohemia

Čechy
Karlstejn castle Czech Republic.JPG
CZ-cleneni-Cechy-wl.png
Bohemia (green) in relation to the current regions of the Czech Republic
EU-Bohemia.png
Location of Bohemia in the European Union
Country Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Capital Prague
Area
  Total52,065 km2 (20,102 sq mi)
Population
  Total6,900,000
  Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Bohemian
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)

Bohemia ( /bˈhmiə/ boh-HEE-mee-ə; [1] Czech : Čechy; [2] German : Loudspeaker.svg Böhmen  ; Polish : Czechy; Latin : Bohemia) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, [3] especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.

Czech language West Slavic language spoken in the Czech Republic

Czech, historically also Bohemian, is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group. Spoken by over 10 million people, it serves as the official language of the Czech Republic. Czech is closely related to Slovak, to the point of mutual intelligibility to a very high degree. Like other Slavic languages, Czech is a fusional language with a rich system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Contents

Bohemia was a duchy of Great Moravia, later an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Empire. [4] After World War I and the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state, the total of Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia, defying claims of the German inhabitants that regions with German speaking majority should be included in the Republic of German-Austria. Between 1938 and 1945, these border regions were joined to Nazi Germany as the Sudetenland. [5]

Duchy of Bohemia

The Duchy of Bohemia, also later referred to in english as the Czech Duchy, was a monarchy and a principality of the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe during the Early and High Middle Ages. It was formed around 870 by Czechs as part of the Great Moravian realm. The Bohemian lands separated from disintegrating Moravia after Duke Spytihněv swore fidelity to the East Frankish king Arnulf in 895.

Great Moravia 9th century Slavic state

Great Moravia, the Great Moravian Empire, or simply Moravia, was the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, chiefly on what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia (Vojvodina). The only formation preceding it in these territories was Samo's Empire known from between 631 and 658 AD. Great Moravia was thus the first joint state of the Slavonic tribes that became later known as Czechs and Slovaks and that later formed Czechoslovakia.

Kingdom of Bohemia Monarchy in Central Europe, predecessor of modern Czech Republic

The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes later in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.

The remainder of Czech territory became the Second Czechoslovak Republic and was subsequently occupied as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In 1969, the Czech lands (including Bohemia) were given autonomy within Czechoslovakia as the Czech Socialist Republic. In 1990, the name was changed to the Czech Republic, which became a separate state in 1993 with the split of Czechoslovakia. [5]

Second Czechoslovak Republic 1938-1939 republic in Central/Eastern Europe

The Second Czechoslovak Republic, sometimes also called the Czecho-Slovak Republic, existed for 169 days, between 30 September 1938 and 15 March 1939. It was composed of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and the autonomous regions of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus', the latter being renamed on 30 December 1938 to Carpathian Ukraine.

Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia former country

The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was a protectorate of Nazi Germany established on 16 March 1939 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939. Earlier, following the Munich Agreement of September 1938, Nazi Germany had incorporated the Czech Sudetenland territory as a Reichsgau.

Czech Socialist Republic part of Czechoslovakia between 1969 and 1990

The Czech Socialist Republic was a republic within the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic that is now the independent Czech Republic. The name was used from 1 January 1969 to March 1990.

Until 1948, Bohemia was an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia as one of its "lands" ("země"). [6] Since then, administrative reforms have replaced self-governing lands with a modified system of "regions" ("kraje") which do not follow the borders of the historical Czech lands (or the regions from the 1960 and 2000 reforms). [6] However, the three lands are mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution of the Czech Republic: "We, citizens of the Czech Republic in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia…" [7]

Constitution of the Czech Republic

The Constitution of the Czech Republic is the supreme law of the Czech Republic. The current constitution was adopted by the Czech National Council on 16 December 1992. It entered into force on 1 January 1993, replacing the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia and the constitutional act No. 143/1968 Col., when Czechoslovakia gave way to the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic in a peaceful dissolution.

Bohemia had an area of 52,065 km2 (20,102 sq mi) and today is home to approximately 6.5 million of the Czech Republic's 10.5 million inhabitants. Bohemia was bordered in the south by Upper and Lower Austria (both in Austria), in the west by Bavaria and in the north by Saxony and Lusatia (all in Germany), in the northeast by Silesia (in Poland), and in the east by Moravia (also part of the Czech Republic). Bohemia's borders were mostly marked by mountain ranges such as the Bohemian Forest, the Ore Mountains, and the Krkonoše, a part of the Sudetes range; the Bohemian-Moravian border roughly follows the Elbe-Danube watershed.

Upper Austria State of Austria

Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg. With an area of 11,982 km2 (4,626 sq mi) and 1.437 million inhabitants, Upper Austria is the fourth-largest Austrian state by land area and the third-largest by population.

Lower Austria State of Austria

Lower Austria is the northeasternmost of the nine states of Austria. Since 1986, the capital of Lower Austria has been St. Polten, the most recently designated capital in Austria. Previously, Lower Austria's capital was Vienna, even though Vienna has not officially been part of Lower Austria since 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.612 million people, Lower Austria is the country's largest state; it is the second most populous after the federal state of Vienna. Other main cities are Amstetten, Krems an der Donau and Wiener Neustadt.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Etymology

In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy with various peoples including the Gauls-Celtic tribe Boii. The Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Placentia (194 BC) and the Battle of Mutina (193 BC). After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps. [8] Much later Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied (the "desert of the Boii" as Pliny and Strabo called it [9] ) as Boiohaemum. The earliest mention [8] was by Tacitus' Germania 28 (written at the end of the 1st century AD), [10] and later mentions of the same name are in Strabo and Velleius Paterculus. [11] The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz "home" (whence Gothic haims, German Heimat, English home). This Boiohaemum was apparently isolated to the area where King Marobod's kingdom was centred, within the Hercynian forest. Emperor Constantine VII in 10th century De Administrando Imperio also mentioned the region as Boïki (see White Serbia).

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Northern Italy Place in Italy

Northern Italy is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of Italy. Non-administrative, it consists of eight administrative Regions in northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. As of 2014, its population was 27,801,460. Rhaeto-Romance and Gallo-Italic languages are spoken in the region, as opposed to the Italo-Dalmatian languages spoken in the rest of Italy.

Gauls Celtic inhabitants of a large part of Europe called Gaul, before the Roman domination

The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.

The Czech name "Čechy" is derived from the name of the Slavic ethnic group, the Czechs, who settled in the area during the 6th or 7th century AD.

History

An 1892 map showing Bohemia proper outlined in pink, Moravia in yellow, and Austrian Silesia in orange. Bohmen Mahren Osterreich Schlesien.jpg
An 1892 map showing Bohemia proper outlined in pink, Moravia in yellow, and Austrian Silesia in orange.

Ancient Bohemia

Bohemia, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, which was one of the events leading to the interventions of Julius Caesar's Gaulish campaign of 58 BC. The emigration of the Helvetii and Boii left southern Germany and Bohemia a lightly inhabited "desert" into which Suebic peoples arrived, speaking Germanic languages, and became dominant over remaining Celtic groups. To the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, and to the southeast in present-day Hungary, were Dacian peoples.

In the area of modern Bohemia the Marcomanni and other Suebic groups were led by their king Marobodus, after suffering defeat to Roman forces in Germany. He took advantage of the natural defenses provided by its mountains and forests. They were able to maintain a strong alliance with neighbouring tribes including (at different times) the Lugii, Quadi, Hermunduri, Semnones, and Buri, which was sometimes partly controlled by the Roman Empire, and sometimes in conflict with it, for example in the second century when they fought Marcus Aurelius.

In late classical times and the early Middle Ages, two new Suebic groupings appeared to the west of Bohemia in southern Germany, the Alemanni (in the Helvetian desert), and the Bavarians (Baiuvarii). Many Suebic tribes from the Bohemian region took part in such movements westwards, even settling as far away as Spain and Portugal. With them were also tribes who had pushed from the east, such as the Vandals, and Alans.

Other groups pushed southwards towards Pannonia. The last known mention of the kingdom of the Marcomanni, concerning a queen named Fritigil is in the 4th century, and she was thought to have lived in or near Pannonia. The Suebian Langobardi, who moved over many generations from the Baltic Sea, via the Elbe and Pannonia to Italy, recorded in a tribal history a time spent in "Bainaib".

After this migration period, Bohemia was partially repopulated around the 6th century, and eventually Slavic tribes arrived from the east, and their language began to replace the older Germanic, Celtic and Sarmatian ones. These are precursors of today's Czechs, though the exact amount of Slavic immigration is a subject of debate. The Slavic influx was divided into two or three waves. The first wave came from the southeast and east, when the Germanic Lombards left Bohemia (c. 568 AD). Soon after, from the 630s to 660s, the territory was taken by Samo's tribal confederation. His death marked the end of the old "Slavonic" confederation, the second attempt to establish such a Slavonic union after Carantania in Carinthia.

Other sources ( Descriptio civitatum et regionum ad septentrionalem plagam Danubii , Bavaria, 800–850) divide the population of Bohemia at this time into the Merehani, Marharaii, Beheimare (Bohemani) and Fraganeo. (The suffix -ani or -ni means "people of-"). Christianity first appeared in the early 9th century, but only became dominant much later, in the 10th or 11th century.

The 9th century was crucial for the future of Bohemia. The manorial system sharply declined, as it did in Bavaria. The influence of the central Fraganeo-Czechs grew, as a result of the important cultic centre in their territory. They were Slavic-speaking and thus contributed to the transformation of diverse neighbouring populations into a new nation named and led by them with a united slavic ethnic consciousness. [12]

Přemysl dynasty

The coat of arms of the Premyslid dynasty (until 1253-62). Premyslovci erb.svg
The coat of arms of the Přemyslid dynasty (until 1253-62).

Bohemia was made a part of the early Slavic state of Great Moravia, under the rule of Svatopluk I (r. 870–894). After Svatopluk's death Great Moravia was weakened by years of internal conflict and constant warfare, ultimately collapsing and fragmenting due to the continual incursions of the invading nomadic Magyars. Bohemia's initial incorporation into the Moravian Empire resulted in the extensive Christianization of the population. A native monarchy arose to the throne, and Bohemia came under the rule of the Přemyslid dynasty, which would rule the Czech lands for the next several hundred years.

The Přemyslids secured their frontiers from the remnant Asian interlocurs, after the collapse of the Moravian state, by entering into a state of semi-vassalage to the Frankish rulers. This alliance was facilitated by Bohemia's conversion to Christianity, in the 9th century. Continuing close relations were developed with the East Frankish kingdom, which devolved from the Carolingian Empire, into East Francia, eventually becoming the Holy Roman Empire.

After a decisive victory of the Holy Roman Empire and Bohemia over invading Magyars in the 955 Battle of Lechfeld, Boleslaus I of Bohemia was granted the March of Moravia by German emperor Otto the Great. Bohemia would remain a largely autonomous state under the Holy Roman Empire for several decades. The jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire was definitively reasserted when Jaromír of Bohemia was granted fief of the Kingdom of Bohemia by Emperor King Henry II of the Holy Roman Empire, with the promise that he hold it as a vassal once he re-occupied Prague with a German army in 1004, ending the rule of Boleslaw I of Poland.

The first to use the title of "King of Bohemia" were the Přemyslid dukes Vratislav II (1085) and Vladislav II (1158), but their heirs would return to the title of duke. The title of king became hereditary under Ottokar I (1198). His grandson Ottokar II (king from 1253–1278) conquered a short-lived empire which contained modern Austria and Slovenia. The mid-13th century saw the beginning of substantial German immigration as the court sought to replace losses from the brief Mongol invasion of Europe in 1241. Germans settled primarily along the northern, western, and southern borders of Bohemia, although many lived in towns throughout the kingdom.

Luxembourg dynasty

The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Wappen Konigreich Bohmen.png
The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The House of Luxembourg accepted the invitation to the Bohemian throne with the marriage to the Premyslid heiress, Elizabeth and the crowning subsequent of John I of Bohemia in 1310. His son, Charles IV became King of Bohemia in 1346. He founded Charles University in Prague, central Europe's first university, two years later.

His reign brought Bohemia to its peak both politically and in total area, resulting in his being the first King of Bohemia to also be elected as Holy Roman Emperor. Under his rule the Bohemian crown controlled such diverse lands as Moravia, Silesia, Upper Lusatia and Lower Lusatia, Brandenburg, an area around Nuremberg called New Bohemia, Luxembourg, and several small towns scattered around Germany.

From the 13. century on, settlements of Germans developed throughout Bohemia, making Bohemia a bilingual country. The German settlers particularly brought mining technology to the mountaineous regions of the Sudetes. In the mining town of Sankt Joachimsthal (present-day Jáchymov) famous coins called Joachimsthalers were coined, which gave their name to the Thaler and the dollar.

During this time, Prague German intermediated between Upper German and East Central German, influencing the foundations of modern standard German. At the same time and place, the teachings of Jan Hus, the rector of Charles University and a prominent reformer and religious thinker, influenced the rise of modern Czech.

Hussite Bohemia

The more extreme Hussites became known as Taborites, after the city of Tabor that became their center. Tabor CZ aerial old town from north B1.jpg
The more extreme Hussites became known as Taborites, after the city of Tábor that became their center.

During the ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415, Jan Hus was sentenced to be burnt at the stake as a heretic. The verdict was passed despite the fact that Hus was granted formal protection by Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg prior to the journey. Hus was invited to attend the council to defend himself and the Czech positions in the religious court, but with the emperor's approval, he was executed on 6 July 1415. The execution of Hus, as well as five consecutive papal crusades against followers of Hus, forced the Bohemians to defend themselves in the Hussite Wars.

The uprising against imperial forces was led by a former mercenary, Jan Žižka of Trocnov. As the leader of the Hussite armies, he used innovative tactics and weapons, such as howitzers, pistols, and fortified wagons, which were revolutionary for the time, and established Žižka as a great general who never lost a battle.

After Žižka's death, Prokop the Great took over the command for the army, and under his lead the Hussites were victorious for another ten years, to the sheer terror of Europe. The Hussite cause gradually splintered into two main factions, the moderate Utraquists and the more fanatic Taborites. The Utraquists began to lay the groundwork for an agreement with the Catholic Church and found the more radical views of the Taborites distasteful. Additionally, with general war-weariness and yearning for order, the Utraquists were able to eventually defeat the Taborites in the Battle of Lipany in 1434. Sigismund said after the battle that "only the Bohemians could defeat the Bohemians."

Despite an apparent victory for the Catholics, the Bohemian Utraquists were still strong enough to negotiate freedom of religion in 1436. This happened in the so-called Basel Compacts, declaring peace and freedom between Catholics and Utraquists. It would only last for a short period of time, as Pope Pius II declared the Basel Compacts to be invalid in 1462.

In 1458, George of Podebrady was elected to ascend to the Bohemian throne. He is remembered for his attempt to set up a pan-European "Christian League", which would form all the states of Europe into a community based on religion. In the process of negotiating, he appointed Leo of Rozmital to tour the European courts and to conduct the talks. However, the negotiations were not completed, because George's position was substantially damaged over time by his deteriorating relationship with the Pope.

Habsburg Monarchy

Bohemia as the heart of Europa regina, 1570. Europe As A Queen Sebastian Munster 1570.jpg
Bohemia as the heart of Europa regina , 1570.

After the death of King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria became the new King of Bohemia and the country became a constituent state of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Bohemia enjoyed religious freedom between 1436 and 1620, and became one of the most liberal countries of the Christian world during that period. In 1609, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, who made Prague again the capital of the Empire at the time, himself a Roman Catholic, was moved by the Bohemian nobility to publish Maiestas Rudolphina, which confirmed the older Confessio Bohemica of 1575.

After Emperor Matthias II and then King of Bohemia Ferdinand II (later Holy Roman Emperor) began oppressing the rights of Protestants in Bohemia, the resulting Bohemian Revolt led to outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618. Elector Frederick V of the Electorate of the Palatinate, a Calvinist Protestant, was elected by the Bohemian nobility to replace Ferdinand on the Bohemian throne, and was known as the Winter King. Frederick's wife, the popular Elizabeth Stuart and subsequently Elizabeth of Bohemia, known as the Winter Queen or Queen of Hearts, was the daughter of King James VI of Scotland.

After Frederick's defeat in the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, 27 Bohemian estates leaders together with Jan Jesenius, rector of the Charles University of Prague were executed on the Prague's Old Town Square on 21 June 1621 and the rest were exiled from the country; their lands were then given to Catholic loyalists (mostly of Bavarian and Saxon origin), this ended the pro-reformation movement in Bohemia and also ended the role of Prague as ruling city of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the so-called "renewed constitution" of 1627, the German language was established as a second official language in the Czech lands. The Czech language formally remained the first language in the kingdom, however, both German and Latin were widely spoken among the ruling classes, although German became increasingly dominant, while Czech was spoken in much of the countryside.

The formal independence of Bohemia was further jeopardized when the Bohemian Diet approved administrative reform in 1749. It included the indivisibility of the Habsburg Empire and the centralization of rule; this essentially meant the merging of the Royal Bohemian Chancellery with the Austrian Chancellery.

At the end of the 18th century, the Czech National Revival movement, in cooperation with part of the Bohemian aristocracy, started a campaign for restoration of the kingdom's historic rights, whereby the Czech language was to regain its historical role and replace German as the language of administration. The enlightened absolutism of Joseph II and Leopold II, who introduced minor language concessions, showed promise for the Czech movement, but many of these reforms were later rescinded. During the Revolution of 1848, many Czech nationalists called for autonomy for Bohemia from Habsburg Austria, but the revolutionaries were defeated. The old Bohemian Diet, one of the last remnants of the independence, was dissolved, although the Czech language experienced a rebirth as romantic nationalism developed among the Czechs, so that in particular Prague ceased to have the German speaking majority it had for centuries.

In 1861, a new elected Bohemian Diet was established. The renewal of the old Bohemian Crown (Kingdom of Bohemia, Margraviate of Moravia, and Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia) became the official political program of both Czech liberal politicians and the majority of Bohemian aristocracy ("state rights program"), while parties representing the German minority and small part of the aristocracy proclaimed their loyalty to the centralistic Constitution (so-called "Verfassungstreue").

After the defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, Hungarian politicians achieved the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, ostensibly creating equality between the Austrian and Hungarian halves of the empire. An attempt by the Czechs to create a tripartite monarchy (Austria-Hungary-Bohemia) failed in 1871. The "state rights program" remained the official platform of all Czech political parties (except for social democrats) until 1918.

20th century

Bohemia (westernmost area) in Czechoslovakia 1918-1938. Czechoslovakia01.png
Bohemia (westernmost area) in Czechoslovakia 1918–1938.
Linguistic map of interwar Czechoslovakia (c. 1930). Czechoslovakia1930linguistic.jpg
Linguistic map of interwar Czechoslovakia (c. 1930).

After World War I, Bohemia (as the largest and most populous land) became the core of the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia, which combined Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia, Upper Hungary (present-day Slovakia) and Carpathian Ruthenia into one state. Under its first president, Tomáš Masaryk, Czechoslovakia became a liberal democratic republic but serious issues emerged regarding the Czech majority's relationship with the native German and Hungarian minorities. The German had demanded that the regions with German speaking majority be included in a German state.

Following the Munich Agreement in 1938, the border regions of Bohemia historically inhabited predominantly by ethnic Germans (the Sudetenland) were annexed to Nazi Germany. This was the only time in Bohemian history that its territory was politically divided. The remnants of Bohemia and Moravia were then annexed by Germany in 1939, while the Slovak lands became the separate Slovak Republic, a puppet state of Nazi Germany. From 1939 to 1945 Bohemia, (without the Sudetenland), together with Moravia formed the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren).

Any open opposition to German occupation was brutally suppressed by the Nazi authorities and many Czech patriots were executed as a result. After World War II ended in 1945, the vast majority of remaining Germans were expelled by force by the order of the re-established Czechoslovak central government, based on the Potsdam Agreement, and their property was confiscated by the Czech authorities. This severely depopulated the area and from this moment on locales were only referred to in their Czech equivalents regardless of their previous demographic makeup.

The Communist Party won the most votes in free elections but not a simple majority. Klement Gottwald, the communist leader, became Prime Minister of a coalition government.

Bohemian town Carlsbad. Karlovy Vary Czech Rep.jpg
Bohemian town Carlsbad.

In February 1948 the non-communist members of the government resigned in protest against arbitrary measures by the communists and their Soviet protectors in many of the state's institutions. Gottwald and the communists responded with a coup d'état and installed a pro-Soviet authoritarian state. In 1949, Bohemia ceased to be an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia, as the country was divided into administrative regions that did not follow the historical borders.

In 1989, Agnes of Bohemia became the first saint from a Central European country to be canonized by Pope John Paul II before the "Velvet Revolution" later that year.

After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the territory of Bohemia remained in the Czech Republic. The new Constitution of the Czech Republic provided for higher administrative units to be established, providing for the possibility of Bohemia as an administrative unit, but did not specify the form they would take. A constitutional act in 1997 rejected the restoration of self-governing historical Czech lands and decided for the regional system that has been in use since 2000. [13] Petr Pithart, former Czech prime minister and president of the Senate at the time, remained one of the main advocates of the land system, [14] claiming that the primary reason for its refusal was the fear of possible Moravian separatism. [14]

Bohemia thus remains a historical region, and its administration is divided between the Prague, Central Bohemia, Plzeň, Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, and Hradec Králové Regions, as well as parts of the Pardubice, Vysočina, South Bohemian and South Moravian Regions. [6] In addition to their use in the names of the regions, the historical land names remain in use in names of municipalities, cadastral areas, railway stations [15] or geographical names. [16] The distinction and border between the Czech lands is also preserved in local dialects.

Kladsko

The area around Kłodzko (Czech : Kladsko; German : Glatz; Latin : Glacio) in south-western Poland was culturally and traditionally a part of Bohemia, and was settled by German speakers like neighboring Sudentenland. Kłodzko Land has now been a part of Lower Silesia since its conquest by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1763. Referred to as "Little Prague" (German : Klein-Prag), the Kłodzko Valley region on the Nysa Kłodzka river was the focus of several attempts to reincorporate the area into Czechoslovakia, one of several Polish–Czechoslovak border conflicts.

The last attempt occurred in May 1945 when Czechoslovakia tried to annex the area, whose German speaking majority was being expelled by Polish authorities. The Czech argued that because of the small Czech minority present in the western part of the Kłodzko Valley, which was called the region's "Czech Corner" by the German majority, the area should go over to Czechosolvakia instead of being assigned to Poland, as no relevant Polish minority lived in the area. Pressure brought on by the Soviet Union led to a ceasing of military operations, with the Czech minority being expelled to Germany and Czechoslovakia. According to canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, the area remained part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Prague until 1972.

Capitalizing on interest regarding the Kladsko area in the Czech national psyche, a special tourist area in the Náchod District has been designated as the Kladsko Borderland Tourist Area [17] (tourism district; Czech : turistická oblast Kladské pomezí). This area, entirely within the Czech Republic, was formerly known as the Jirásek's Region (Czech : Jiráskův kraj), Adršpach rocks (Czech : Adršpašské skály).

A panorama of Klodzko, the capital city of Klodzko Land which is referred to as "Little Prague". 2014 Stare miasto w Klodzku, panorama, 02.jpg
A panorama of Kłodzko, the capital city of Kłodzko Land which is referred to as "Little Prague".

Traditional administrative divisions

Lands of the Bohemian Crown (until 1635), map by Josef Pekar, 1921. Zeme Koruny ceske.jpg
Lands of the Bohemian Crown (until 1635), map by Josef Pekař, 1921.

Kraje of Bohemia during the Kingdom of Bohemia

See also

Related Research Articles

Czech Republic Country in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.

Hussites religious and military movement

The Hussites were a pre-Protestant Christian movement that followed the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best known representative of the Bohemian Reformation.

Moravia Historical land in Czech Republic

Moravia is a historical region in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieval and early modern Margraviate of Moravia was a crown land of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire, later a crown land of the Austrian Empire and briefly also one of 17 former crown lands of the Cisleithanian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. During the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the five lands of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1928; it was then merged with Czech Silesia, and eventually dissolved by abolition of the land system in 1949.

Sudetenland historical German name for areas of Czechoslovakia which were inhabited by Sudeten Germans

The Sudetenland is the historical German name for the northern, southern, and western areas of former Czechoslovakia which were inhabited primarily by Sudeten Germans. These German speakers had predominated in the border districts of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia from the time of the Austrian Empire.

History of the Czech lands Aspect of history

The history of what are now known as the Czech lands 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.

Czech lands

The Czech lands or the Bohemian lands are the three historical regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. Together the three have formed the Czech part of Czechoslovakia since 1918 and the Czech Republic since 1 January 1969, which became independent on 1 January 1993.

West Slavic languages language family

The West Slavic languages are a subdivision of the Slavic language group. They include Polish, Czech, Slovak, Silesian, Kashubian, Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. The languages are spoken across a continuous region encompassing the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland as well as the former East Germany and the westernmost regions of Ukraine and Belarus. West Slavic is usually divided into three subgroups based on similarity and degree of mutual intelligibility, Czecho-Slovak, Lechitic and Sorbian, as follows:

Lands of the Bohemian Crown Monarchy in Central Europe, predecessor of modern Czech Republic

The Lands of the Bohemian Crown, sometimes called Czech lands in modern times, were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe during the medieval and early modern periods connected by feudal relations under the Bohemian kings. The crown lands primarily consisted of the Kingdom of Bohemia, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire according to the Golden Bull of 1356, the Margraviate of Moravia, the Duchies of Silesia, and the two Lusatias, known as the Margraviate of Upper Lusatia and the Margraviate of Lower Lusatia, as well as other territories throughout its history.

Czech Silesia Historical land in Czech Republic

Czech Silesia is the name given to the part of the historical region of Silesia located in present-day the Czech Republic. While not today an administrative entity in itself, Czech Silesia is, together with Bohemia and Moravia, one of the three historical Czech lands. In this context, it is often mentioned as "Silesia" even though it is only around one tenth of the area of the historic land of Silesia.

Sudeten Germans ethnic Germans living in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown

German Bohemians, later known as the Sudeten Germans, were ethnic Germans living in the lands of the Bohemian Crown, which later became an integral part of the state of Czechoslovakia. Before 1945, Czechoslovakia was inhabited by over three million such German Bohemians, comprising about 23 percent of the population of the whole republic and about 29.5 percent of the population of Bohemia and Moravia. Ethnic Germans migrated into the Kingdom of Bohemia, an electoral territory of the Holy Roman Empire, from the 11th century, mostly in the border regions of what would later be called the "Sudetenland", named after the Sudeten Mountains. This process of German expansion was known as Ostsiedlung. The name "Sudeten Germans" was adopted amidst rising nationalism in the aftermath of the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which was a consequence of the First World War. After 1945, most ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia to Germany and Austria.

History of Prague history of the capital city of the Czech Republic

The history of Prague covers more than a thousand years, during which time the city grew from the Vyšehrad Castle to the capital of a modern European state, the Czech Republic.

The Province of German Bohemia was a province in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, established for a short period of time after the First World War, as part of the Republic of German-Austria.

The history of Moravia, one of the Czech lands, is diverse and characterized by many periods of foreign governance.

Bohemian Revolt A revolt of Bohemian Estates against the Habsburgs (1618–1620)

The Bohemian Revolt was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty that began the Thirty Years' War. It was caused by both religious and power disputes. The estates were almost entirely Protestant, mostly Utraquist Hussite but there was also a substantial German population that endorsed Lutheranism. The dispute culminated after several battles in the final Battle of White Mountain, where the estates suffered a decisive defeat. This started re-Catholisation of the Czech lands, but also expanded the scope of the Thirty Years' War by drawing Denmark and Sweden into it. The conflict spread to the rest of Europe and devastated vast areas of central Europe, including the Czech lands, which were particularly stricken by its violent atrocities.

Kłodzko Land

Kłodzko Land is a historical region in southwestern Poland. A Bohemian domain since the 12th century and raised to the County of Kladsko in 1459, it was conquered by Prussia in the First Silesian War of 1740-42 and incorporated into the Province of Silesia by 1818. After World War II it fell to the Republic of Poland according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement.

National symbols of the Czech Republic

The national symbols of the Czech Republic are flags, heraldry, cultural expressions and other symbols that represent the Czech Republic, Czech people and their history, culture and nationhood. There are six official symbols which are declared in the Constitution of the Czech Republic. However many other historical, cultural and geographical symbols of the Czech republic and Czech people do exist.

Bohemian Reformation

The Bohemian Reformation, preceding the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, was a Christian movement in the late medieval and early modern Kingdom and Crown of Bohemia striving for a reform of the Roman Catholic Church. Lasting for more than 200 years, it had a significant impact on the historical development of Central Europe and is considered one of the most important religious, social, intellectual and political movements of the early modern period. The Bohemian Reformation produced the first national church separate from Roman authority, the first apocalyptic religious movement of the early modern period, and the first pacifist Protestant church.

The Czech Corner is a territory found in the western end of Klodzko land, close to the current Czech-Polish border. This area consisted of eleven villages which were inhabited by Bohemian Czechs.

References

  1. "Bohemia". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary .
  2. There is no distinction in the Czech language between adjectives referring to Bohemia and to the Czech Republic; i.e. český means both Bohemian and Czech.
  3. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05
  4. Jiří Pehe: Co vlastně slavíme 28. října?
  5. 1 2 "Bohemia" . Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 Petr Jeřábek: Krajské uspořádání? Vadí i po čtrnácti letech, Deník.cz, 2 January 2014, compare maps and texts
  7. Ústava České republiky, 1/1993 Sb. (Constitution of the Czech Republic)
  8. 1 2 Collis, John. The Celts: Origins, Myth and Inventions. Tempus Publishing, 2003. ISBN   0-7524-2913-2
  9. Pliny 3.146 and Strabo 7.1 290 and 292, but also see 7.2 293
  10. "Tacitus: Germania". Thelatinlibrary.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. Green, Dennis (2014), "The Boii, Bavaria and Bohemia", The Baiuvarii and Thuringi: An Ethnographic Perspective, p. 18, ISBN   9781843839156
  12. Petr Charvát: "Zrod Českého státu" [Origin of the Bohemian State], March 2007, ISBN   80-7021-845-2, in Czech
  13. "Portál veřejné správy". portal.gov.cz.
  14. 1 2 Petr Zídek: Dnešním politikům chybí odvaha, tvrdí Petr Pithart. Z uprchlíků strach nemá, Lidovky.cz, 17 October 2015, interview with Petr Pithart
  15. Seznam železničních stanic, List of railway stations, České dráhy (Czech railways) – seek for "v Čechách" (17×), "na Moravě" (15×), "Český", "České", "Moravský", "Moravské" etc.
  16. Geomorfologické celky ČR (Geomorphologic areas of the Czech Republic), KČT Tábor
  17. interactive, inCUBE. "Story Landscape - Kladsko Borderland, Glatz Borderlan". www.kladskepomezi.cz.

Further reading