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|History of the Czech lands|
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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 (in Czech: "Království české", the word "Bohemia" is a Latin term for Čechy).
Prior to the Battle of Mohács in 1526, 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 (historically, other two core lands of the Bohemian Crown). These three integral Czech lands (Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia) now form the boundaries of the Czech Republic.
Humans had settled in the region by the (Lower Paleolithic) (2.5mil – 300,000 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.The figurines (Venus of Dolní Věstonice) found here are the oldest known ceramic articles in the world.
The area was settled by the Celts (called Boii, who gave the name to the region: Bohemia, which means more or less "the home of the Boii") from 5th century BCE until 2nd century CE 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 migrated to the West in 5th century and then came Slavs.
The first Slavic people (Czech tribes in Bohemia and Moravians in Moravia) arrived in the 6th century. According to historian Dušan Třeštík, they advanced through the Moravian Gate (Moravská brána) valley and in the year 530 moved into Eastern Bohemia, along the rivers Labe (Elbe) and Vltava (Moldau) further into Central Bohemia. Many historians support the theory of a further wave of Slavs coming from the south during the first half of the 7th century. They fought with neighboring Avars until the rise of the empire of Samo (see below).
According to the Chronicle of Fredegar, some of the Slavs living on what is now Czech territory, mainly in southern Moravia, were exposed for a number of years to violence and marauding raids from the Avars, whose empire stretched across the territory of present-day Hungary. In 623, the Slavic tribes revolted against the oppression of the Avars. During this time, the Frankish merchant Samo allegedly came to the Czech lands with his entourage and joined with the Slavs to defeat the Avars. Thus the Slavs adopted Samo as their ruler. "So it happened that he self-founded the first Slavic empire. He married the then twelve Slavic women had with them twenty-two sons and fifteen daughters and happily ruled for 35 years. All other fights, which under his leadership Slavs fought with the Avars, were victorious," the Frankish chronicler Reich (called Fredegar) wrote about Samo in the oldest extant written report by the Slavs in the Czech lands.
Later Samo and the Slavs came into conflict with the Frankish empire whose ruler Dagobert I wanted to extend his rule to the east, but Dagobert was defeated in the memorable battle of Wogastisburg in 631. To this day, historians are searching in vain for this stronghold's actual location. Over the next five years Samo and the Slavs undertook raids on Frankish territory, but no one knows exactly how far to the northeast Samo's power eventually reached, probably beyond the boundaries of today's Czech Republic. After Samo's death, his empire seems to have disappeared; in fact, however, there never was a real state structure with solid organization. The empire was created to unite Slavs to defend against Avars and Franks and to facilitate Slavic plundering expeditions against their neighbors. Once the Avar and Frankish danger had passed, the united empire disintegrated and the fragmented territories were ruled by Samo's various followers. These remnants continued their further development and became the core foundation for the future Great Moravian Empire.
A Slavic state Great Moravia was created by the ancestors of the Czechs, Slovaks and Poles and its core area lay on both sides of the Morava river.
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.
Ferdinand II, who ruled 1619–1637, sharply curtailed 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 employed.
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.
The large German population of the Czech lands was expelled after fall of Nazi Germany and of its occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovaks were now almost homogenous in their composition, dominated by ethnic Czechs and Slovaks.
On 1 January 1993, the Velvet Divorce occurred, whereby two separate states were created out of the former Czechoslovakia: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. The Czech Republic became a member of NATO in 1999, and the European Union in May 2004.
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, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.
A Bohemian is a resident of Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic or the former Kingdom of Bohemia, a region of the former Crown of Bohemia. In English, the word "Bohemian" was used to denote the Czech people as well as the Czech language before the word "Czech" became prevalent in the early 20th century.
Moravia is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia.
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.
The Czechs, or the Czech people, are a West Slavic ethnic group and a nation native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and Czech language.
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 Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and perhaps 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 Slavic tribes that became later known as Czechs and Slovaks and that later formed Czechoslovakia.
Moravians are a West Slavic ethnographic group from the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, who speak the Moravian dialects of the Czech language or Common Czech or a mixed form of both and European nation. Along with the Silesians of the Czech Republic, a part of the population to identify ethnically as Moravian has registered in Czech censuses since 1991. The figure has fluctuated and in the 2011 census, 6.28% of the Czech population declared Moravian as their ethnicity. Smaller pockets of persons declaring Moravian ethnicity are also native to neighboring Slovakia.
The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Archbishop Rastislav of Prešov was elected by the Extraordinary Synod held on January 11, 2014, as the new primate. On December 9, 2013, the Synod removed Archbishop Simeon (Jakovlevic) of Brno and Olomouc from his position as Locum Tenens, and appointed Archbishop Rastislav in his place, an action against which Archbishop Simeon protested and which was deplored by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
Samo founded the first recorded political union of Slavic tribes, known as Samo's Empire, stretching from Silesia to present-day Slovenia, ruling from 623 until his death in 658. According to Fredegarius, the only contemporary source, Samo was a Frankish merchant who unified several Slavic tribes against robber raids and violence by nearby settled Avars, showing such bravery and command skills in battle that he was elected as the "Slavic king". In 631, Samo successfully defended his realm against the Frankish Kingdom in the three-day Battle of Wogastisburg.
The creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 was the culmination of the long struggle of the Czechs against their Austrian rulers and of the Slovaks against Hungarisation and their Hungarian rulers.
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.
The Czech Republic's official formal and short names at the United Nations are Česká republika and Česko in Czech, and the Czech Republic and Czechia in English. All these names derive from the name of the Czechs, the West Slavic ethnic group native to the Czech lands. Czechia, the official English short name specified by the Czech government, is used by many international organisations and attested as early as 1841. However, most English speakers use [the] Czech Republic in all contexts. Other languages generally have greater official use of a short form analogous to Česko or Czechia although forms equivalent to "Czech Republic" are not uncommon.
Mojmir I, Moimir I or Moymir I was the first known ruler of the Moravian Slavs (820s/830s–846) and eponym of the House of Mojmir. In modern scholarship, the creation of the early medieval state known as Great Moravia is attributed either to his or to his successors' expansionist policy. He was deposed in 846 by Louis the German, king of East Francia.
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.
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.
Samo's Empire is the historiographical name for the West Slavic tribal union established by King ("Rex") Samo, which existed between 631 and 658 in Central Europe. The centre of the union was most likely in Moravia and Nitravia (Nitra), additionally the union included Czech tribes, Sorbian tribes and other West Slavic tribes along the river Danube. The polity has been called the first Slavic state.
The Bohemians or Bohemian Slavs, were an early Slavic tribe in Bohemia. Their land became recognized as the Duchy of Bohemia around 870.
Alternative theories of the location of Great Moravia propose that the core territory of "Great Moravia", a 9th-century Slavic polity, was not located in the region of the northern Morava River. Moravia emerged after the fall of the Avar Khaganate in the early 9th century. It flourished during the reign of Svatopluk I in the second half of the century, but collapsed in the first decade of the 10th century. "Great Moravia" was regarded as an archetype of Czechoslovakia, the common state of the Czechs and Slovaks, in the 20th century, and its legacy is mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution of Slovakia.
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|Austrian Empire||First Republic a||Sudetenland b||Third Republic||Czechoslovak Republice|
| Czechoslovak Socialist Republic f|
| Czech and Slovak Federative Republic |
| Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia |
|Slovakia||Kingdom of Hungary|| Slovak Republic |
|Southern Slovakia and Carpathian Ukraine d|
|Subcarpathian Ruthenia|| Zakarpattia Oblast g|
1944 /1946 –1991
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a ČSR; boundaries and government established by the 1920 constitution.
e ČSR; declared a "people's democracy" (without a formal name change) under the Ninth-of-May Constitution following the 1948 coup.