Czechoslovakia Key Dates

4th C. AD    Moravia settled by Germans and Celts.
6th C.    Slavs (ancestors of the present occupants) settle in Bohemia.
late 8th C.    Slavs arrive in Moravia.
mid 9th C.    Great Moravian Empire established, including Bohemia and parts of Poland and Hungary. Broken up in 906.
10th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia expands to include Moravia and part of Poland.
11th C.    Slovakia falls under Hungarian domination.
1200-1400    Many German miners and artisans settle in Sudeten region of Bohemia and Moravia.
14th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia incorporated into Holy Roman Empire.
1355    Prague becomes imperial capital under Charles IV (Charles I of Bohemia).
15th C.    Religious wars between Roman Catholics and Hussites.
1526    Bohemia and Moravia fall under the control of the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy.
1620    Czech revolt against Austria harshly put down. Defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain results in Bohemia and Moravia becoming provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1742    Industrialisation of Bohemia and Slovakia accelerated.
1848    European revolutions inspire Czechoslovak nationalists.
19th C.    Bohemia and Moravia become the arsenal of the Hapsburg Empire.
Jan 1916    Czechoslovak National Council (CNC) formed for the creation of an independent nation from the provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
28 Oct 1918    CNC declares itself the government of Czech lands, with the imminent defeat of Austro-Hungary in WW1 looming.
14 Nov 1918    Union with Slovakia formed.
1919    National assembly established.
1919-1920    Military dispute with Poland.
29 Feb 1920    New constitution adopted.
June 1920    Ruthenia added to Czechoslovakia from Hungary (Treaty of Trianon).
Sept 1920    Treaty of St Germain – Allied powers and Austria recognise Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1929-32    Severe recession sparks Sudeten German separatist movement and Slovak resentment of Czech-dominated government.
1935    Edvard Benes becomes President.
30 Sept 1938    Munich Agreement – Sudetenland ceded to Nazi Germany.
5 Oct 1938    Benes resigns as President.
Oct 1938    Teschen (Cesky Tesin) ceded to Poland.
Nov 1938    Autonomy given to Slovakia – Czechoslovakia reorganised as Federated Republic of Czecho-Slovakia.
Mar 1939    Germany invades Czechoslovakia without resistance. Bohemia & Moravia becomes a German Protectorate, while Slovakia becomes an independent fascist state.
Mar 1939    Part of Slovakia (Ruthenia, renamed Carpatho-Ukraine) ceded to Hungary.
1940    Benes establishes government in exile in London.
May 1942    Savage reprisals follow assassination of ‘Protector’ Heydrich.
1944    Soviet troops liberate Slovakia.
5 May 1945    National uprising against German occupation starts in Prague.
9 May 1945    Soviet troops enter Prague, while US forces liberate much of Bohemia.
May 1945    Czechoslovakia reconstituted from liberated lands.
May 1945    Anti-fascist ‘Popular Front’ government appointed by Edvard Benes.
July 1945    Carpathian Ruthenia (Zakarpatska) incorporated into the Soviet Union.
Oct 1945    Benes restored as President. Orders the expulsion of more than 2.5 million Sudeten Germans and over 500,000 ethnic Hungarians.
1945-46    Two thirds of industry, banking and public utilities pass into state ownership, through the expropriation of ‘collaborators’, ‘profiteers’ and expelled Germans and Hungarians.
early 1946    Soviet and US troops withdraw from Czechoslovakia.
May 1946    National elections result in communist-socialist coalition government. A communist becomes Prime Minister.
Feb 1948    Communist party seizes power in advance of scheduled elections.
March 1948    Fraudulent elections see communists secured in power. Harsh Stalinist regime imposed.
7 June 1948    Benes resigns as President. Replaced by a communist.
9 May 1948    New constitution establishes People’s Democratic Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1952    Leading communists executed after show trials.
1953    Repression of workers protests in Plzen and Ostrava.
1955    Czechoslovakia joins the Warsaw Pact.
1960    Czechoslovakia becomes Czechoslovak Socialist Republic under new constitution.
Jan 1968    Alexander Dubcek becomes communist party leader, and launches a programme of reforms known as the Prague Spring.
20 August 1968    Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechoslovakia. Dubcek taken to Moscow and forced to end reforms. Censorship imposed. Liberal leaders ousted.
1968    Federal constitution introduces Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic.
17 April 1969    Dubcek replaced as communist party leader. One third of communist party members expelled.
1977    Charter 77 human rights group founded, including playwright Vaclav Havel.
April 1987    Mikhail Gorbachev visits Czechoslovakia, raising hopes of imminent reforms.
Aug 1988    Mass demonstrations mark 20th anniversary of 1968 invasion.
early 1989    Police disperse numerous mass protests against human and civil rights violations. Police brutality sparks further protests.
Oct 1989    Fall of East German communist regime.
17 Nov 1989    Peaceful student protest in Prague violently put down by Police. Widespread mass protests and strikes in favour of free elections follow.
19 Nov 1989    Civil Forum anti-government coalition formed, calling for resignation of communist party leader and introduction of democracy.
24 Nov 1989    New government includes some non-communists.
25-27 Nov 1989    Mass demonstrations and general strike.
29 Nov 1989    Communist constitutional hold on political power abolished.
10 Dec 1989    ‘Government of National Unity’ takes power. Interim government without a communist majority.
29 Dec 1989    Vaclav Havel elected interim President. ‘Velvet Revolution’ completed.
April 1990    Country renamed Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR).
June 1990    First free parliamentary elections since 1946, won by Civic Forum and its allies.
July 1990    Vaclav Havel publicly elected President.
Feb 1991    Civic Forum disbanded. Privatisation of state-owned enterprises begun.
June 1991    Soviet forces (present since 1968) complete their withdrawal.
June 1992    Slovak separatists gain strong support in elections.
23 July 1992    Agreement reached on separating Czech and Slovak lands.
Nov 1992    Legislation adopted to allow federation to be disbanded.
1 Jan 1993    Czechoslovakia splits into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. ‘Velvet Divorce’

Leave a Comment