Czechoslovakia

Article

December 8, 2021

Czechoslovakia (Czech and formerly Slovak Československo; since 1990 the Slovak script was Česko-Slovensko) was a state in Central Europe from 1918 to 1992. Czechoslovakia gained independence from Austria-Hungary, whose dual monarchy disintegrated during the First World War. Between the wars, Czechoslovakia was one of the richest and most democratic countries in Europe, but it also had a large German population, whose position Hitler's Germany in particular sought to take advantage of. In the 1938 Munich Agreement, the German or Sudeten Territories of Czechoslovakia were ceded to National Socialist Germany without consulting themselves. In 1939, Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia and the country was divided between Germany, Hungary and Poland. The Czech territories became the protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, which belonged to Germany, and the puppet state of Slovakia, which belonged to the Axis powers. At the end of the war, in 1944–1945, Soviet forces occupied the territory of Czechoslovakia, whose independence was restored, albeit without the Carpathian Ukraine, which was pressured by the Soviet Union to hand over to the Ukrainian SNT on 29 June 1945. The Communists seized power in 1948 and annexed the country to a socialist camp. Communist power collapsed in 1989, and at the turn of the year 1992-1993, Czechoslovakia was peacefully divided into Czech and Slovak states.

History

Czechoslovakia 1918–1938

When the Czechoslovak Republic was founded in 1918 (including Czechoslovakia in 1918–1920), two regions with very different histories were annexed: the countries historically part of the Kingdom of Bohemia (which included Moravia and parts of Silesia in addition to Bohemia) and Slovakia and the Carpathian Mountains. The Kingdom of Bohemia had been a central part of the Holy German-Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, while the territory of present-day Slovakia and the Carpathians had belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary. In the 16th century, both kingdoms became part of the Habsburg Empire. When Hungary gained autonomous status within this kingdom in 1867, Slovakia and the Carpathians remained on the Hungarian side of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, while the affairs of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia were decided in Vienna. Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia were the most economically developed regions in Austria-Hungary in the early 20th century. However, relations between nationalities were tense. The majority of the inhabitants of the area were Czechs, demanding greater self-government or even independence, but Bohemia in particular also had a large German population, both in the mountainous periphery and in Prague and other large cities. The settlements of the Slovaks and Ruthenians, on the other hand, were much poorer and less developed. In 1918, the Czechoslovak Republic became independent from the break-up of Austria-Hungary in the aftermath of World War I. The Czech and Slovaks, close linguists, sought protection from the common state against larger neighbors of Germans and Hungarians (both Austria and Hungary vehemently opposed the loss of territory to the new Slavic state). The official languages ​​of the state were Czech and Slovak. However, very large German and Hungarian minorities remained in the state, causing serious controversy between different nationalities. In the interwar period, when a large number of European states came under the rule of totalitarian governments of varying degrees, Czechoslovakia was a functioning parliamentary democracy. Tomáš Masaryk, President of the country since its inception, resigned at the age of 85 in 1935 and was succeeded by Eduard Beneš. Czechoslovakia prospered due to the rapid development of industry, but in practice the country was run from Bohemia and the main decisions were made in Prague. At the same time, Slovakia remained an agricultural area, in many places downstream, and the Slovaks

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