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  1. In the 20th century Moravia became part of the modern state of Czechoslovakia and subsequently of the Czech Republic. The region is bounded by Bohemia on the west and northwest, by Silesia on the northeast, by Slovakia on the east, and by Lower Austria on the south. Moravia was inhabited from the 4th century bc by Celtic and then Germanic tribes.

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    The monarchy of Great Moravia ruled over other contiguous principalities, most notably Nitra, which were granted great autonomy in their internal affairs. A central European empire that lasted for only seventy-six years during the Middle Ages, Great Moravia provided a historical precedent for the idea of a Slovak homeland, which did not exist indep...

    In 830 the first of Great Moravia’s kings, Mojmír (ninth century), united Slovak territories north of the Danube River with others in present-day Slovakia and Moravia and established the empire of Great Moravia. He sought to live in peace with the neighboring Germans and allowed the missionary work of the German priests in his empire to continue. T...

    Two Slavic principalities formed the original empire of Great Moravia: Moravia, which encompassed territories in western Slovakia and the present region of Moravia in the Czech Republic, and the principality of Nitra, which covered western and central Slovakia. The royal court of Great Moravia maintained its capital in the fortressed city of Devin,...

    Throughout Great Moravia’s history, the nation found itself in conflict with its German neighbor, East Francia. German clergy within Great Moravia spread propaganda pressing East Francia’s claims, which lent urgency to the Great Moravian crown’s attempts to establish an independent Slavic clergy to battle the German influence.

    In an attempt to thwart German ambitions, in 860 King Rastislav (d. 869) appealed to Pope Nicholas I (c. 819–867) for Christian missionaries who could speak the Slovak language. Rome was unable to comply, so Rastislav appealed to the Byzantine emperor Michael III (838–867) in 862. The following year Michael sent Constantine (c. 827–869), a scholar ...

    In 906 a combined force of Magyars, the ancestors of Hungarians, invaded Great Moravia and toppled its government, putting an end to the first independent Slovak state. Great Moravia was divided into two new states, Bohemia in the west and Hungary in the east. Both were considered heirs to Great Moravia. The Slovak people never lost their sense of ...

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  3. Moravia The earliest known inhabitants of Moravia, situated to the east of Bohemia, were the Boii and the Cotini, another Celtic tribe. These were succeeded about 15–10 bce by the Germanic Quadi. The Germanic peoples were pushed back from the middle Danube by the coming of the Avars in 567 ce.

    • Industrialization and Modernization
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    The German-populated mountainous border regions of the Bohemian Lands had long been the site of proto-industrial activity, including glass, spinning, and mining. The modernizing and centralizing bureaucratic, economic, and educational reforms undertaken by Empress Maria Theresa and her son Emperor Joseph II in the second half of the eighteenth cent...

    The so-called Czech national revival (národni obrozeni) in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was initially a linguistic-cultural movement that affected mainly the nascent Czech intellectual elite. The reform of secondary schools in the 1770s and the establishment of a Czech-language chair at the university in Prague in 1791 helped st...

    The French defeat of Austria in 1859 forced Emperor Francis Joseph I (r. 1846–1916) to abandon the neo-absolutist policies he had followed in the decade since the defeat of the revolutions of 1848. The February Patent of 1861 standardized the structure and rights of all the lands of the Monarchy, and representatives to unicameral Diets were elected...

    Agnew, Hugh LeCaine. The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. Stanford, Calif., 2004. A comprehensive introduction to the major themes—cultural, intellectual, political, and social—of Czech history. Kieval, Hillel J. Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands. Berkeley, Calif., 2000. This exhaustive study traces two hun...

  4. This partition and the great Western Schism, which evoked two ecclesiastical parties in Moravia as elsewhere, gave rise to much discord and disturbances between 1380 and 1405. On the death of the childless Jobst, Moravia, as a vacant fief, reverted to the Bohemian Crown, and its administration was entrusted to certain district governors by ...

  5. The Moravian Church, or Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren), as it has been officially known since 1457, arose as followers of Hus gathered in the village of Kunvald, about 100 miles east of Prague, in eastern Bohemia, and organized the church. This was 60 years before Martin Luther began his reformation and 100 years before the establishment of ...

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