Slovakia History from Middle Ages to World War II

Slovakia History from Middle Ages to World War II

Middle Ages

Since the end of the 5th century, according to agooddir, Western Slavs came to the low mountain range of what would later become Slovakia in several waves of migration. After 567 they came under Avar rule, temporarily belonged to the Samo Empire (around 625–660) and were then again part of the Avar Empire. After its defeat by Charlemagne, an independent (Christian) principality with the center of Nitra (Neutra) was formed around 800 in the middle and west of the country. This was attached to the Great Moravian Empire by Mojmír I (830–846). It was the first significant Slavic state and under Swatopluk I. (870–894) its greatest extent. Even before the missionary work by the Slav apostles Kyrillos and Methodios, who came from the Greek city of Thessaloniki (from 863), the first Christian church was consecrated in Nitra in 828. Family quarrels, punitive actions by the East Franconian Empire and attacks by the Magyars contributed to the collapse of the Great Moravian Empire in 906/07. Until 1918 Slovakia stood as Upper Hungary integral part of the Empire of St. Stephen’s Crown, under the rule of Hungary. The province became the scene of frequent battles with neighboring Bohemia and Poland. The natural resources (gold, silver, copper) were ruthlessly exploited. The immigration that began with the German settlement in the east around 1200, especially in the Spiš, was decisive for the establishment of cities and mining.

The turmoil after the extinction of the first Hungarian ruling family, the Arpads, in 1301 was used by the magnate Matuš Čák (* around 1260, † 1321) to build up his personal rule. After the Hussite Wars, Ján Jiskra (* around 1420, † around 1466)ruled over western and central Slovakia. The Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus founded the Academia Istropolitana in 1465 in the most important city of Bratislava (its name since 1919; before that it was Slovakian Prešporok), which became part of the University of Budapest after 1490. Under the Polish Jagiellonian dynasty, Hungary, Poland and Bohemia were politically united.

From the Habsburg rule to the end of the Second World War

After the transfer of the Hungarian crown to the House of Habsburg in 1526 and the advance of the Ottomans, Slovakia, which had been spared from the Turkish occupation, gained military importance. Bratislava rose to the capital in 1536 (until 1784) and later to the coronation city (until 1830).

The Principality of Transylvania, which was under Turkish sovereignty, made repeated attempts to occupy parts of Slovakia: I. Bocskay and G. Bethlen von Iktár were able to submit to eastern Slovakia, benefiting from the Habsburgs’ religious intolerance towards the majority Lutheran residents. Archbishop P. Pázmány initiated the violent Counter-Reformation and founded a university in Trnava (formerly Tyrnau) in 1635, which later got his name. The uprisings of the Hungarian nobility against the Habsburgs (Wesselény conspiracy 1664–71, Kuruc uprising 1678–82, freedom struggle under Franz II Rákóczi 1703–11) also affected Slovakia. The Emperor’s tolerance patent Joseph II. 1781 and the abolition of serfdom eased the situation of the population, who then saw themselves threatened by Hungary’s Magyarization policy.

Although a vernacular could be preserved, historical awareness and independent intellectual and cultural traditions only emerged in rudimentary form before the middle of the 19th century. Only the creation of a written language by L. Štúr around 1840 (codified in 1843) favored the emergence of a Slovak national consciousness. After the tentative attempt to achieve greater political independence in the Hungarian War of Independence in 1848/49 failed, the initiatives undertaken in 1860/61 to elevate Slovakia to an autonomous crown land also failed. In the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the country was again placed under unrestricted Hungarian rule, which pursued a rigorous Magyarization policy. In view of the national political oppression of their country, over 600,000 Slovaks felt compelled to emigrate to America by 1914.

The small Slovak elite increasingly took the view that joining forces with the Czechs alone could put a stop to denationalization, backwardness and poverty. On May 30th, 1918 the later first President of Czechoslovakia T. G. Masaryk signed the Pittsburgh Agreement agreed with Slovak organizations in the USA .

In it the Slovaks declared their willingness to join a common state of Czechs and Slovaks if they were granted autonomy. The founding of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918 was approved by the Slovak National Council on October 30. of the same year in its declaration by Turčiansky Svätý Martin (now Martin). The union was sanctioned in the peace treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) and Trianon (1920).

However, when the guaranteed autonomy was not realized, resistance developed early on against the centralized administration originating from Prague, whereby v. a. the Catholic-conservative “Slovak People’s Party” under A. Hlinka (HSL’S), which was supported by 30% of the electorate, demanded the granting of political autonomy. The Sudeten crisis (from summer 1938) and the Munich Agreement (09/29/1938) knew how to use the HSL’S, to force a federalization of Czechoslovakia in Žilina agreement (06.10.1938). Despite heavy territorial losses to Hungary in the 1st Vienna arbitration (November 2nd, 1938), parts of the party strived for full sovereignty with German support. In the course of the liquidation of Czechoslovakia, Hitler stepped upon March 14, 1939 the declaration of state independence of Slovakia. As a model for the National Socialist “new order in Europe”, Slovakia became a “protective state” closely linked to Germany – in a satellite relationship. was recognized by the Soviet Union and received an authoritarian system of government (President J. Tiso, 1939–45). With the aim of reestablishing Czechoslovakia, the Slovak National Uprising broke out on August 29, 1944 in central Slovakia in the area of ​​Banská Bystrica (formerly Neusohl), which ended on October 28, 1944 with its suppression by German troops.

Slovakia History from Middle Ages to World War II