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History[edit | edit source]
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, which was later conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who also settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area, especially in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia.
After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia 1918 – 1939. A separate and first Slovak Republic 1939 - 1945 existed during World War II as a totalitarian, a fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country.
A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a high-income advanced income with a very high Human Development Index, a very high standard of living and performs favorably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and has one of the longest paid parental leave.
[Historical Slovak counties with their Hungarian equivalent:
Timeline[edit | edit source]
10th Century - Following the disintegration of the Great Moravian Empire, the Hungarians annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia, they abandoned their nomadic ways and settled in the centre of the Carpathian valley, adopted Christianity and began to build a new state – the Hungarian kingdom
11th century - 1918 The territory inhabited by the Slavic-speaking population of Danubian Basin was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, until the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed, the territory of modern Slovakia was an integral part of the Hungarian state
1848 - 1849 The Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor, hoping for independence from the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy, but they failed to achieve their aim. Thereafter relations between the nationalities deteriorated, culminating in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I
1918 - Slovakia and the regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia and Carpathian Ruthenia formed a common state, Czechoslovakia, with the borders confirmed by the Treaty of Saint Germain and Treaty of Trianon
1939 - Slovakia seceded from Czecho-Slovakia and allied itself, as demanded by Germany, with Hitler's coalition
1944 - 1945 A bloody German occupation and a guerilla war followed. Germans and their local collaborators completely destroyed 93 villages and massacred thousands of civilians, often hundreds at a time. The territory of Slovakia was liberated by Soviet and Romanian forces
1993 - The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce. Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic. Both countries co-operate with Hungary and Poland in the Visegrád Group that is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia
Wiki articles desctibing online collections are found at:
- Slovakia, Census, 1869 - FamilySearch Historical Records
- Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books - FamilySearch Historical Records