|Czech Republic :: Brief History|
Capital City: Prague
National Holiday: Czech Founding Day, 28 October (1918)
National Anthem: Click here for anthem.Brief History: The Czech lands emerged in the late 9th century when it was unified by the Premyslids. The kingdom of Bohemia was a significant local power, but religious conflicts such as the 15th century Hussite Wars and the 17th century Thirty Years War were devastating. It later came under the Habsburg influence and became part of Austria-Hungary.
Following the collapse of this state after World War I, the Czechs and neighbouring Slovaks joined together and formed the independent republic of Czechoslovakia in 1918. This new country contained a large German minority, which would lead to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia when Nazi Germany successfully annexed the minority through the Munich Agreement in 1938, and Slovakia split off as well. The remaining Czech state was occupied by the Nazis in 1939.
After World War II, Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalise party rule and create "socialism with a human face" during the Prague Spring. In 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution". On January 1, 1993, the country peacefully split in two, creating independent Czech and Slovak republics.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and is hoping to join the European Union in 2004.
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