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A brief history of the Czech Republic

The area of today's Czech was already inhabited by people in prehistoric times, with the oldest archaeological findings dating back to the Palaeolithic era (2.5 million - 750 thousand BC). The Celts lived here from the 3rd century BC and then around the 1st century BC, Germanic tribes came. By the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, the Slavs had settled in this area. In the 7th century Samo's Empire existed in the area that is today called the Czech Republic. It was a super-tribal union joining Slavic tribes.

Czech history from the 9th century till 1918

9th century
The so-called Great Moravian Empire was established (833-906/907) with its centre in the South Moravia.
Prince Rastislav invited two brothers from Thessaloniki (Greece) - Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius (Metoděj) to come to Moravia. They spread the Christian faith and created the oldest Slavic script called Glagolitsa. They also translated the basic religious texts into Old Slavonic, which was the first Slavic literary language. Old Slavonic became a liturgical and literary language.
9th/10th century
The formation of the first Czech state
9th century - 1306
Přemyslovci - the first of Czech Kings, the founding of important towns, coin reform (Přemysl Otakar II, Václav II).
The Luxembourgs - economical, political and cultural development of the Czech society culminated during the reign of Charles IV (1346-1378), when Prague became the center of the Holy Roman Empire.
6. 7. 1415
Scholar and religious reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake for his teachings.
Hussitism, Hussite wars - reform movement in the Catholic Church, an attempt of extensive reforms (Jan Zizka). The radical wing of the Hussite movement was defeated in 1434 in the Battle of Lipan.
George of Poděbrady ("Hussite king") - tried to create a medieval "Commonwealth" so that Europe would unite to fight against the Turks. This idea eventually failed.
Jagiellonian period.
The reign of the Habsburgs.
Rudolf II Habsburg - during his reign Prague again became the seat of the Emperor and the centre of European art and science. He also supported astrology and alchemy and brought important astronomers from all over Europe to Prague.
1620 Battle of White Mountain
Battle of White Mountain ended the Czech uprising of lords (1618-1620) against the Habsburg rule.
The Czech army of the lords was defeated; the following period was called exile and it was a period of forced recatholicisation in the Czech lands and a decline of the Czech language and social life. It was followed by a period of emigration - around 200,000 Czechs went abroad. One of them was Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670), one of the greatest Czech thinkers.
The reign of Maria Theresa - the so-called Teresian reforms. One of the most significant reform was the introduction of compulsory education for children aged 6 to 12 (1774).
The reign of Joseph II - Son of Maria Theresa, an enlightened monarch. He promoted a wide range of enlightened reforms: the abolition of serfdom, the Edict of Tolerance - in an effort to modernise the Habsburg monarchy.
The process of national revival, during which the modern Czech nation was formed. The spearhead of the national revival process was the progressive Czech intellectuals (eg. Josef Dobrovský, Josef Jungmann, Alois Jirásek, Josef Kajetán Tyl, Karel Hynek Mácha, František Palacký, etc.). The development of modern Czech literature was shaped by the creation of the standard Czech language.
The formation of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire - a multi-ethnic state in Central and Eastern Europe, which resulted from the Austrian-Prussian War. It ceased to exist in 1918.
Laying the foundation stone of the National Theatre.
Inauguration of the National Theatre.
The First World War - it resulted in the break-up of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Czech history in the years 1918-2014

28. 10. 1918
The independent Czechoslovak Republic (Czechoslovakia); Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937) and his closest associates Edvard Beneš (1884-1948) and Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1918) contributed to the formation of the independent Czechoslovak state. T.G. Masaryk was elected the first president (he was elected four times in total).
The global economic crisis.
Adolf Hitler installed a fascist dictatorship.
Abdication of President Masaryk; the second elected president was E. Beneš.
The Munich Agreement between Hitler and the representatives of England (Chamberlain), France (Daladier) and Italy (Mussolini) - Czechoslovakia was forced to cede the Sudetenland to Germany.
15. 3. 1939
Occupation of Czechoslovakia by the German army began (1939- 1945), the occupied territory was declared the autonomous Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
September 1939-1945
World War II; foreign and domestic resistance.
May 1942
Assassination of the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in Prague - followed by a period of terror, the so-called Heydrichiade. Lidice and Ležáky were razed to the ground, many people were executed.
5.–9. 5. 1945
The Prague Uprising broke out.
8. 5. 1945
Signature of Germany's unconditional surrender in Berlin.
9. 5. 1945
Prague is liberated by the Red Army.
Czechoslovakia lost 360 thousand people during the war, roughly 25 citizens out of 1,000. The size of the loss, based on the population, was the fifth highest among war-torn countries in Europe.
August 1945
The Potsdam Conference - the decision of the three powers (Russia, USA and Great Britain) concerning the removal of the German population from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary back to Germany.
February 1948
The so-called Victorious February - governmental crisis occurred and a Communist coup d'etat took place: President E. Beneš appointed a new government led by the Communist Klement Gottwald, then the president refused to sign an undemocratic constitution and he resigned. Klement Gottwald was elected the new president.
Political Processes (General Heliodor Píka, Milada Horáková and others).
Alexander Dubcek was elected the new secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party - he became the symbol of the so-called Prague Spring.
21. 8. 1968
The occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries in response to the democratic reforms of the Prague Spring - the reforms were halted. Alexander Dubček was replaced by Gustáv Husák and a period called normalization followed (pro-Soviet regime was restored).
Declaration of Charter 77, the civic opposition movement.
17. 11. 1989
Protest demonstration against the regime, the so-called Velvet Revolution.
December 1989
Václav Havel was elected President of the Czech Republic.
The occupying troops withdrew from Czechoslovakia in May; ČSFR was accepted into the Council of Europe.
1. 1. 1993
The formation of the independent Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia split). Václav Havel was elected the president and he was re-elected in 1997.
January 19, 1993
The Czech Republic was accepted into the United Nations.
12. 3. 1999
The Czech Republic was admitted into NATO. The Army has taken part in NATO operations, for example in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Václav Klaus was elected President of the Czech Republic and he was elected in 2008 for a second term.
1. 5. 2004
The Czech Republic's entrance into the European Union.
Miloš Zeman was elected President of the Czech Republic.

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