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is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the north, Germany to the west, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague.
After the Munich Agreement, Polish annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the majority in the 1946 elections. In the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under the dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Přemyslids. In 1212 the duchy was raised to a kingdom and during the rule of Přemyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs,
the country reached its greatest territorial extent (13th–14th century). During the Hussite wars the kingdom faced economic embargoes and crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts, alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) led to the further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization and Germanization. During radical reforms in the 18th century the Bohemian Crown was even de facto abolished (1749). In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.
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