Slovenia is one of the youngest European countries, becoming an independent state in 1991, after the collapse of the Yugoslav federation.
However, the first record of human habitants dates back some 250,000 years ago when Neanderthals roamed the area.
By the 1st century BC Illyrian and Celtic tribes dominated the land, until Romans took over, and established trade and military routes that ran through Slovene territory.
These routes greatly exposed the region to invasions, and after the Slavs from the East warded off the last Germanic tribe, they took over control of the area.
During the 6th and 7th centuries the Slavs successfully resisted invasions by the Asian Avars, and united with King Samo, whose kingdom included present-day Moravia, Slovakia and lower Austria.
The alliance dissolved in 658, and the Slavs created their own independent region known as the duchy of Carantania.
Carantania fell under Bavarian rule by the mid 8th century, and later (along with the Bavarians) was absorbed into the Carolingian Empire.
Through the next couple centuries, the Slavic people found themselves in between a power struggle with the Franks, Magyars, as well as the Holy Roman Empire.
Finally, by the 14th century, much of Slovenia was overpowered by the House of Habsburg, who maintained control until the beginning of the 20th century.
The aftermath of World War I in the early 1900's destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established - this was later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Industrialization thrived in Slovenia over the coming years, and the country found itself the center of focus in Yugoslavia.
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