When Did Slovakia Become A Country?

An old historic Slovak village in Slovakia.
An old historic Slovak village in Slovakia.

Slovakia was established following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993. Czechoslovakia was a state that existed in Central Europe from 1918 until its dissolution in 1993. The dissolution led to the formation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia as independent countries. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia is formally known as the Velvet Divorce and was as a result of bloodless internal disputes.

Background of Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia was established after the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1917. After the First World War came to an end, the Pittsburgh Agreement signed in the United States advocated for the formation of two equal nations to be occupied by Czechs and Slovaks. However, the two states choose to unite and create the state of Czechoslovakia. Some Slovaks opposed the unification and in 1939 Adolf Hitler pressured the formation of the First Slovak Republic that would exist as a satellite German state. After the Second World War, the Soviet Union occupied the state and reunified the Slovaks and the Czechs into the third Czechoslovak republic.

Separation of Czechoslovakia

Although both states existed as a single country, by 1991 the Czech Republic had GDP 20% larger than Slovakia. In the same year, the transfer of payment to Slovakia from the Czech was stopped. The citizenry desired the continued existence of Czechoslovakia although Slovak parties advocated for a loose co-existence. In the next few years, Slovak political parties limited their activities to Slovakia while Czech parties limited their activities to the Czech. The government of Czechoslovakia continued to exert control from the capital city, Prague. In 1992 Czech prime minister Václav Klaus and leaders demanded either a more unified Czechoslovakia or the total separation of the two states while Slovak prime minister Vladimír Mečiar and Slovak politicians sought to establish a loose confederation with a degree of autonomy. Several meetings by the two parties failed to agree on a compromise and on 17th July 1992 the Slovaks adopted the declaration of independence of the Slovak nation. A week later both leaders agreed to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. In November 1992, the Federal Parliament of Czechoslovakia enacted the Constitution Act 541 that settled the division of wealth between the two countries and Constitution Act 542 that formally dissolved the union as of December 31, 1992.

Why Did Czechoslovakia Dissolve Into Two Countries?

The dissolution of Czechoslovakia was due to political and social differences between the two states that can be traced back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Communism had succeeded in Czech but failed in Slovakia, but the philosophy had been adopted because Czechs had more influence over Slovaks. Other factors include the breakaway of other Soviet nations and the lack of a common interest between the leaders of the two countries.


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