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Czechoslovakia


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A former state of central Europe comprising the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which separated and became independent republics in 1993. Czechoslovakia was created out of the northern part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire after the latter's collapse at the end of World War I. It incorporated the Czechs (who had enjoyed freedom within their own state of Bohemia until the rise of Habsburg power in the 16th and 17th centuries) of Bohemia and Moravia with the Slovaks of Slovakia. Czech history between the two World Wars represents a brave and enlightened attempt at integration, undermined by economic trouble and eventually crushed by the Nazi takeover of first the Sudetenland (1938) and then the rest of Bohemia and Moravia (1939). After World War II power was seized by the Communists and Czechoslovakia remained under Soviet domination, an attempt at liberalization being crushed by Soviet military intervention in 1968, until Communist supremacy was overthrown in a peaceful revolution in December 1989, followed by the introduction of democratic reforms and the eventual separation of Slovakia and the Czech Republic into independent states in 1993.

Subjects: History.


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