The independent Republic of Slovakia was established relatively recently in 1993, however the Slovak people have been around for longer, as their existence can be traced back as far as 5,000 years.
Four thousand years ago, the land currently known and recognized as Slovak territory was populated by the likes of Celts, Avars, Germanic tribes and Romans, functioning as a border of the latter’s empire. In the 6th century Slavic Slovaks arrived and subsequently settled in this region, coming together to form a Slavic tribal union of Samo’s Empire, also known as the first Slavic state.
In the 9th century, this population along with others was united under the Moravian Empire by the Slavic leader Mojmir.
In the 10th century, it fell under Hungarian control of the Hapsburg Empire.
From 1918 to 1939, it was joined with the Czech lands of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia into Czechoslovakia.
From 1939 to 1945 the state of Slovakia was under German occupation as it had become a protectorate and then a puppet state.
The Soviet Army liberated Slovakia in 1945, where it then re-joined Czechoslovakia.
In 1948, the Communist Party took over.
In 1969, Slovakia became a Slovak Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia, as Soviet troops occupied Czechoslovakia for 20 years.
In 1989, the Communist rule was over.
In 1993 ultimately the Republic of Slovakia was established on January 1st through a peaceful division from what is now known as the Czech Republic. Yet again, although the independence was only finalized a bit over two decades ago, the Slovaks have existed as a separate entity for approximately 5000 years.
By: Kate Rykova