21/10/2017, Elections in the Czech
Republic produced gains for the Populist Right.
26/9/2000, Anti-globalisation protests in Prague. Some 15,000
protestors turned violent during the IMF and World Bank Summits.
Separation of Slovakia from the Czech Republic
26/1/1993. Vaclav Havel became the first president of the new Czech
Republic. He was a centre-right candidate, opposed by Communists and the
extreme-right Republican Party.
1/1/1993. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics, in a ‘velvet divorce’.
Czechoslovak National Assembly voted for the country to split into the Czech
Republic and Slovakia, on 1 January 1993.
20/7/1992, Vaclav Havel resigned as President of Czechoslovakia.
This was after a proclamation of sovereignty by Slovakia, which was to split
the country in two.
Communism in Czechoslovakia 1989-91
Gustav Husak, former
President of Czechoslovakia and Communist Party leader, who crushed the Prague
Spring in 1968, died in Prague aged 78.
Visegrad Agreement was signed; the leaders of Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, and Poland agreed to move
towards free-market systems.
Havel’s Civic Forum Party and its Slovak allies won 170 out of the
300 seats. Tough economic reforms lay ahead.
29/12/1989, (1) The Czechs elect playwright Vaclav
Havel as President.
(2) Alexander Dubcek, the reformist leader sacked in 1968 was elected
leader of Czechoslovakia’s federal assembly.
convened a ‘Government of National Understanding; Gustav Husak was removed from
the office of President.
opened its border with the West.
General Secretary Gustav Husak resigned.
anti-government demonstrations in Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovakia, students protesting peacefully in Prague were severely beaten
by riot police. This sparked a revolution which toppled the Communist
government on 29/12/1989. Protestors grew from 200,000 on 19/11/1989 to an
estimated 500,000 on 20/11/1989.
14/11/1989. Czechoslovakia lifted travel restrictions.
27/9/1969, Purge of reformers in Czechoslovak
17/5/1989, The Communist Government of Czechoslovakia
freed playwright Vaclav Havel after
he served just three months of a nine month sentence.
Havel was jailed for anti-government demonstrations.
19/1/1989, Police in
Prague used tear gas and water cannon to break up a large demonstration
commemorating te 20th anniversary of the death of Jan Palach,
a student who burnt himself to death in protest at the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia in 1968. The 1989 protests were led by Vaclav Havel, a dissident writer
who led the Charter 77 human rights movement.
17/12/1987, Gustav Husak resigned as General Secretary of
the Czechoslovak Communist Party; succeeded by Milos Jakes.
23/12/1979. In Czechoslovakia, playwright Vaclav Havel
was convicted of subversion.
13/3/1977, Czech secret
police tortured to death the leader of the Charter
77 Movement, Jan Potocka.
7/1/1977, Civil Rights
campaigners in Czechoslovakia published their Charter 77, following the signing by the Czechoslovak Government of
the International Convention on Human Rights in 1976. In practice, many civil
rights such as freedom of expression had been suppressed following the
‘normalisation’ that followed the Soviet
invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Charter’s signatories included Jiri Hajek,
who was Czechoslovak Foreign Minister in 1968, and the writer Vaclav Havel.
The signatories were greatly harassed by the Communist administration, but the
Charter contributed to the downfall of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, when Havel
Novotkny, Czechoslovak politician, died aged 70.
Dubcek era – failed
attempt at liberalisation
26/6/1970, Dubcek was expelled from the Czech Communist Party.
15/12/1969. Dubcek was made Czechoslovak Ambassador to Turkey. He was
expelled from the Czech Communist party on 26/6/1970.
17/4/1969, Alexander Dubcek was replaced as First Secretary of the Czech
21-year-old student, Jan Palach, set himself on fire in Wenceslas
Square, Prague, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
16/10/1968, The Czechoslovak Government signed, under duress, an
agreement that Warsaw Pact troops would remain in the country indefinitely.
13/9/1968, Press censorship was reimposed in Czechoslovakia.
patrols watched the streets of Prague after a failed anti – Communist uprising.
Tanks had first entered Czechoslovakia on 20/8/1968. The Soviets overthrow President
Dubcek, and 175,000 troops, mostly Russian, occupied the major
cities of Czechoslovakia. Prague was put under curfew. 20 people were reported
dead and at least 200 injured, many of them students, after the anti-Soviet
tanks entered Prague.
21/8/1968, President Dubcek was arrested and taken to Moscow. He returned to Czechoslovakia on
27/8/1968, having agreed to Soviet demands.
Russia sent tanks into Czechoslovakia. Dubcek had said on 18/7/1968 he would not go back on his
progressive policies, see 5/4/1968.
29/7/1968, President Dubcek met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the village of Cierna nad Tisou
(on the Czech-USSR border). Brezhnev agreed that Czechoslovakia could
follow ‘its own road to Socialism’ and Dubcek promised ‘Socialist solidarity’.
The meeting closed on 1/8/1968.
18/7/1968, Dubcek said he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 20/8/1968.
16/7/1968, Other Warsaw Pact leaders, from East Germany,
Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, declared the Czechoslovak reforms unacceptable.
14/7/1968, Soviet troops failed to leave Czechoslovakia after
Warsaw Pact exercises.
9/7/1968, Czechoslovakia rejected a demand by Russia for a
meeting of Communist Party leaders.
27/6/1968, The Czechoslovak National Assembly passed laws
abolishing censorship and rehabilitating political prisoners.
19/4/1968, Josef Smirnovsky, chairman of the Czechoslovak National Assembly, promised freedom of
press, assembly and religion.
8/4/1968, New Czechoslovak government took office, under Oldrich Cernik.
began a programme of reform which was to lead to a measure of political
democracy and restoration of personal freedoms, see 5/1/1968 and 20/8/1968.
23/3/1968, President Dubcek was summoned to an emergency Warsaw Pact meeting to
try and stop his liberal policies in Czechoslovakia.
abolished press censorship in Czechoslovakia.
5/1/1968. Alexander Dubcek became the Czech leader, replacing Novotkny. Czech
discontent at oppressive government from Prague and economic exploitation by
the USSR led to criticism of the Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Novotny
(see 25/2/1948), at a Workers Union Congress in June 1967, and to student
demonstrations in October 1967. See
21/9/1963, Vilian Siroky, Czechoslovak Prime Minister,
was dismissed. Jozef
Lenart became Prime Minister. Lenart was a pragmatic reformer who succeeded
in boosting the Czechoslovak economy. However he became less in favour of
political reform and was dismissed when the 1968 Prague Spring began.
control of Czeckoslovakia established 1946-54
29/11/1954, General Elections in Czechoslovakia. All
candidates were Communist-controlled.
28/5/1953, In Soviet Czechoslovakia, a law was passed
introducing short term conscription of labour. Citizens were required to work
‘voluntarily’ for 12 days a year, at weekends or during holidays. ‘Volunteers’
who declined could be imprisoned.
3/9/1948, Eduard Benes, Czech President until the Communist take-over,
died. See 6/6/1948.
6/6/1948, In Prague, President Benes
resigned. He had been attempted to
maintain a neutral government in Czechoslovakia but the Communist, Klement
Gottwald succeeded in introducing a Russian-oriented political
system. Benes died three months later
(3/9/1948), a broken man.
10/3/1948, Ian Masaryk, Czech politician, died in Prague under suspicious
circumstances after the Communists gained control.
25/2/1948. Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia. In Czech
elections in May 1946 the Communists, under Gottwald, had secured 114 of the
300 seats and became leader of a coalition government. However
by 1948 the Communists were losing popularity in
Czechoslovakia, because Gottwald had
declined Marshall Aid and because he was appointing his own supporters to senior
positions in the police force. A new
Czech election was due in May 1948; before this could take place Gottwald
organised what was effectively a Communist Revolution, backed by the workers
militia and the police; there were no Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia at this
time. Gottwald died in March 1953 and
was succeeded as Communist dictator by Novotny, who ruled until early 1968. This was a humiliation for the USA, who was exposed as
unable to support a pro-Western democracy in Czeckoslovalkia, or by extension
elsewhere in eastern Europe. See 5/1/1968.
18/4/1947, Tiso was executed, see 22/5/1945.
Communists gained power in Czechoslovakia. They gained a 38% share of the vote
in the first general election since the War.
1/12/1945, Soviet and US
troops, which had jointly occupied Czechoslovakia since the War, now pulled
out. However the USSR kept divisions close to its border with Czeckoslovakia.
22/5/1945, Tiso, President of ‘Slovakia’, was arrested whilst in hiding in
Austria. He was tried for wartime
collaboration in a Czechoslovak court and sentenced to death in April
1947. Some Czechoslovaks pressed for a
reprieve but the national government wanted the death sentence and he was
executed, see 26/10/1939 and 18/4/1947.
European events of World War One see France-Germany
Slovakia becomes pro-German
29/8/1939, Jozef Tiso
declared martial law in Slovakia. Articles were posted ordering Slovaks to
accept German currency and furnish food to the German soldiers "here to
protect our young state against the threatening Polish danger.
became a German
14/3/1939, Josef Tiso proclaimed the independent people’s
republic of Slovakia, see 26/10/1939.
8/10/1938. Ruthenia granted autonomy.
6/10/1938. Slovakia granted autonomy. In Britain 30
Tory MPs protested at Chamberlain’s appeasement, uneasy that one
country had been allowed to win by force against another.
14/9/1937, Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia when that country
was formed in 1918, died aged 87.
Czech playwright, human rights campaigner, and President, was born.
14/12/1935, Thomas Masaryk, first President of Czechoslovakia, resigned aged 85.
He was succeeded by Edward Benes.
5/11/1935, In Czechoslovakia, Milan Hodza,
Agrarian Party, formed a government.
16/2/1933, Fearing German aggression, Czechoslovakia, Romania
and Yugoslavia formed the Little Entente, with a Permanent Council.
29/10/1932, Jan Malypetr became Prime Minister of
27/10/1929, Elections in Czechoslovakia were won by the
Republican Party of Agricultural and Smallholder Peoples.
27/5/1927, Tomas Masaryk was re-elected President of
of Czechoslovakian independence and nationhood 1916-26
became the official language of Czechoslovakia.
27/11/1921, Alexander Dubcek, Czechoslovak politician, was born in Uhrovek.
23/4/1921, Czechoslovakia and Romania formed an
22/1/1919, Czechoslovakia occupied Teschen (Tesin), a
region also claimed by Poland.
14/11/1918. Tomas Masaryk was elected first President of
30/10/1918. The Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed. It was led by Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes.
28/10/1918, Czechoslovakia declared its independence.
Czechoslovak National Council, meeting in Paris, organised a provisional
Government headed by Thomas Masaryk as President.
30/9/1918. Slovak Nationalist parties in Hungary voted to join
with Czechoslovakia. However the Slovaks soon found the Czech
government more centralist than they
expected, or desired, and pressure grew for Slovak separation from Czechoslovakia.
provisional ‘government of Czechoslovakia’
was recognised by Britain
European events of World War One see France-Germany
28/5/1884, Eduard Benes, Czech politician and founder of modern
Czechoslovakia, was born in Kozlany, Bohemia.
7/3/1850, Thomas Masaryk, the first
President of Czechoslovakia in 1918, was born in Hodonin, Moravia.
15/3/1867. Austria and Hungary
buried their differences and agreed to joint rule, sharing defence, foreign,
and financial matters but with separate parliaments. However the Czechs,
annoyed by the minor role they were given in this arrangement, walked out of
the Parliament on 22/8/1868.
14/3/1647, The Treaty of Ulm. Elector Maximillian I of Bavaria
made an agreement with France to end his alliance with Ferdinand III,
Holy Roman Emperor.
6/3/1645, Battle of
9/6/1642, Battle of Schweidnitz, Moravia.
30/5/1635, The Peace
of Prague was signed, ending Saxony’s role in the Thirty
1632, Catholicism was now
completely dominant in Bohemia, and the presecution of Protestants had
8/11/1620, Protestant Bohemian
forces were defeated by the Catholics (Hapsburgs and Bavaria) under Maximillian
at the Battle of the White Mountain (Thirty
Years War). The Protestant Kingdom of Bohemia had revolted against
its rulers, the Hapsburgs, and Bohemia had invited Frederick, Elector of the Palatinate
of the Rhine, to become its new monarch. Frederick’s advisors counselled against this
move, as rebel Protestant Bohemia was likely to lose against the Hapsburgs, but
took up the monarchy of Bohemia nevertheless. Frederick was forced to flee to
Bavaria, and stripped of his title as Elector of the Rhineland Palatinate by
the Holy Roman Emperor. Spain’s Catholic Army occupied his lands. Frederick
died in 1632 during a clandestine visit to the Palatinate, leaving his widow Elizabeth
to bring up their 20 children, produced in some 20 years of marriage.
5/8/1619, In the Thirty Years War, Bohemian forces defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Vestonice.
10/6/1619, In the Thirty Years War, Protestant forces were defeated
at the Battle of Zablati.
23/5/1618, The defenestration of Prague. Rebel nobles hurled the Holy Roman
Emperor’s advisers from the windows of
Hradcany Castle (they survived due to landing in a refuse heap), triggering the Thirty
Years War (Reformation). Rebel Protestant Bohemian nobles were in protest
against their Catholic King, who had been elected as Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.
The conflict this started spread to
involve other European powers, who were eager to cash in on the weakened state
of a severely-split Germany.
19/7/1617, Ferdinand was crowned King of Bohemia.
17/1/1411, Jobst, Margrave of Moravia, died.
26/8/1346. John the Blind, King of Bohemia, was killed at Crecy whilst assisting
Born on 10/8/1296, son of Count Henry III of Luxembourg (later Emperor Henry
III), he married (1310) the heiress of the Kingdom of Bohemia,
thereby becoming its King in 1311. He acquired Silesia from Poland. In 1334 he
of the House of Bourbon, thereby allying with France. He had been blind from
1253, King Wenceslaus I died, after a 23-year reign.
He had encouraged German immigration, which had antagnoised the indigenous
nobility. He was succeeded by his 23-year-old son, the Duke of Babenberg, who ruled
until 1278 as Ottokar
II. Under his rule Bohemia became wealthy from its silver mines.
1230, King Ottokar I died after a 33-year reign. He
was succeeded by his son who ruled until 1253 as Wenceslaus I.
10/8/1296, John the Blind, King of Bohemia,
was born, see 26/8/1346.
1140, Bohemia’s King Sobeslav I died after a 15-year reign. He
was succeeded by King Ladislas II, who reigned until 1173.
1095, Bohemia’s King Vratislav II died after a 33-year reign.
His successor Bretislav
II ruled until 1110.
28/9/990. King Wenceslas of Bohemia, the Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol,
died in Stara Boleslav.
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