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perjantai 17. maaliskuuta 2017

Slovakia, Cool Facts #171

<= 170. Slovenia                                                                                              172. Czech Republic => 





1. Geography of Slovakia 

Coat-of-arms
In the coat-of-arms of the Slovak flag, there are three hills representing three mountain mountain ranges: 

Tatra
Matra (is located in Hungary actually) 
Fatra 

Center of Europe
Slovakia is in the geographical midpoint of Europe according to one measurement. Note that there are many ways to calculate this and this is way many countries in Europe have claimed having the midpoint of Europe. 


Red dots are the claimants to the title Center of Europe
National parks 


Tatra National Park 
Pieniny National Park
Mála Fatra National Park

Lakes 



Štrbské pleso
Zbojnícke Ľadové pleso
Zelené pleso Kežmarské
Caves 

Domica cave


2. Czechs and Slovaks 

- Slavic tribes arrived in Slovakia's territory in the 400s- Czechs, Slovaks and Poles are all West Slavs
- Kashubians, Silesians and Sorbs are also West Slavs 
- West Slavs separated from the common Slavic group in the 600s 
- Between 900-1300s West Slavic languages diversified into their historically attested forms
- Czechs and Slovaks separated from each others as the Slovaks became under Hungarian influence and the Czechs under German cultural influence sphere


The map shows which language is the national language of the country, 1. light green = West Slavic 2. dark green = South Slavic 3. green = East Slavic 

Establishment in 833
Great Moravia was established in 833 by Mojmir I, who had unified the Slavic tribes settled north of Danube.

Treacherous nephews
In 846 Mojmir I was deposed by his nephew Rastislav, who acquired the throne with the help of East Francia's first king Louis the German.
In 870 Rastislav himself was deposed by his nephew Svatopluk, who had allied himself with the Franks.

Greatest territorial extent
The Great Moravian Empire reached its greatest territorial extent during Svatopluk's reign between 871-894.

End of the Empire
Around 896 semi-nomadic Magyar tribes invaded the Carpathian Basin and started occupying the territory gradually. Around 902-907 the Great Moravian Empire was dissolved.


Great Moravia during Svatopluk's reign


4. Kingdom of Hungary rule in Slovakia 1000-1918

Annexation in 1000
The Kingdom of Hungary annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia in the year 1000. The Hungarian rule lasted until 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after the First World War and Slovakia joined Czechoslovakia.

Mongols and famine
In 1241 the Mongols invaded the territory and there was a subsequent famine, which both resulted in a significant decline in the population.

Bratislava the capital of Royal Hungary 1536-1845 
In 1536 Pressburg (Bratislava's German name) became the capital city of Royal Hungary. This was done, because of the Ottoman threat and already in 1541 the previous capital, Buda (current Budapest), was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman rule in Buda ended in 1686, but Pressburg was still the capital of Hungary. In 1848 Hungary's capital was moved to Pest (current Budapest) from Pressburg, which got its current name Bratislava in 1919.

Austria and Hungary
Slovakia was part of Hungary between 1000-1918, but Hungary itself was a few times controlled by Austrians.

1526-1804 Kingdom of Hungary (crown land of the Habsburg Monarchy)
1804-1867 Austrian Empire 
1867-1918 Austro-Hungarian Empire (dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary)

Slovakia and Hungary split 
The relationship between Slovaks and Hungarians got worse after the revolution of 1848-1849. Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor during the revolution hoping for independence from the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy, but they failed in their aim. During the dual monarchy, that was established in 1867, Hungarians prohibited the usage of Slovak language and the local intellectuals persecuted. A lot of Slovaks emigrated out of the country, especially to USA. These "Magyarization" acts against the Slovaks culminated in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I.

Coronation of Maria Theresa in Pressburg 1741
Central Europe in 1683



5. Prague Spring 1968 

In 1968 the Slovak Alexander Dubček was chosen as the leader of the Communist Party. 

Dubček's reform attempts:
- strong attempt to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia
- partial decentralization of the economy
- democratization
- loosening restrictions on the media, speech and travel
- decision to split Czechoslovakia into a federation of Czechia and Slovakia

The Soviets didn't receive well the reforms carried out by Dubček and after failed negotiations Soviet Union sent half a million Warsaw Pact troops to occupy Czechoslovakia. All the reforms were cancelled except the split into a federation of Czechia and Slovakia.

A large wave of emigration swept the country after the Prague Spring and also spirited non-violent resistance throughout the country. In 1989 the pro-Soviet rule was ended in the Velvet Revolution, which drew upon the successes of the non-violent resistance twenty years earlier.


You can crush the flowers, but you can't stop the spring
Czechs confronting Soviet troops in Prague 1968

Timeline

Roman rule - Slovakia was a border region against the barbaric Germanic tribes
377 Huns occupied Pannonia after having left the Central Asian steppes in the 2nd and 3rd centuries
453 Attila died and after that the Hun tribe disappeared
568 The Avars, a Turko-Mongol tribal confederacy, conducted its invasion into the Middle Danube region occupying the lowlands of the Pannonian Plain
626 Avar power started a gradual decline, but its reign continued until 804
833 Great Moravia was established after Mojmir I unified Slavic tribes settled north of Danube
846 Mojmir's nephew Rastislav acquired the throne with the help East Francia's first king Louis the German, who deposed Mojmir
870 Rastislav was overthrown by his nephew Svatopluk, who had allied himself with the Franks
871-894 During Svatopluk's reign, the Great Moravian Empire reached its greatest territorial extent
896 Around these times the semi-nomadic Magyar tribes invaded the Carpathian Basin and started occupying the territory gradually
902-907 Around these years the Great Moravian Empire broke-up
1000 The Kingdom of Hungary annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia and their rule lasted until 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed
1241 Decline in the population after the Mongol invasions and the subsequent famine
1536 Pressburg (current Bratislava) became the capital city of Royal Hungary
1541 Buda, the previous capital of Royal Hungary was conquered by the Ottoman Empire
1686 Ottoman rule in Buda ended
1848 The capital city of Hungary was moved from Bratislava to Buda 
1848-1849 Slovaks supported  the Austrian Emperor during the revolution, hoping for independence from the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy, but they failed in their aim
1861 Slovak National Congress demanded autonomy
1867 Dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary was established, Hungarians got full power in Slovakia where the usage of Slovak language was prohibited and the local intellectuals persecuted, resulting in Slovak emigration to especially USA
1918 Czechoslovakia was formed from Slovakia and the Czech regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia and Carpathian Ruthenia
1938 Munich Agreement led to the Nazi Germany occupation of Sudetenland
1938 Southern and eastern Slovakia was reclaimed by Hungary
1939 Slovakia seceded from Czechoslovakia and allied itself with Hitler's coalition
1944 Slovak National Uprising, an anti-Nazi resistance movement launched a fierce armed insurrection, which was followed by bloody German occupation and guerrilla war
1945 Soviet and Romanian forces liberated the territory of Slovakia in the end of April
1947 Josef Tiso, the president of the First Slovak between 1939-1945, was executed for collaboration with the Nazis
1948 After a coup Czechoslovakia came under communist rule
1968 Czechoslovakia was invaded by Warsaw pact forces, ending a period of liberalization under the leadership of Alexander Dubček 
1969 Czechoslovakia became a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic
1989 The end of communist rule after the peaceful Velvet Revolution
1992 December 31, Czechoslovakia was dissolved and Slovakia and Czech Republic became independent countries
2004 Slovakia became a Nato and European Union member
2009 Slovakia adopted euro as its national currency

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