A History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival
St. Martin's Griffin
, 1996 - History
- 350 pages
Slovakia's declaration of independence in January 1993 marked the reemergence of a state about which remarkably little is known. Slovakia has struggled throughout most of its history to establish a separate identity, from the time of the Great Moravian Empire in which St. Cyril and St. Methodius initiated the Christianization of the Slavs, to its rule first by the Hungarians and then by the Czechs. When the first Slovak Republic emerged in 1939, Europe was on the brink of war, a fact that has colored the world's attitude to her aspirations for statehood thereafter. Professor Kirschbaum describes the history of the Slovak nation from its arrival on the Danubian Plain and the valleys of the Tatra Mountains to its declaration of independence in 1993. The topics he examines include: the Slovak nation's contributions to European civilization in the Middle Ages; the development of a specifically Slovak consciousness in the nineteenth century in response to Budapest's policy of Magyarization; its struggle for autonomy in the Czech-dominated Czechoslovakia created by the Treaty of Versailles; its efforts, as the Slovak Republic, to face the problems of a Nazi-controlled Europe; and its reaction to the Communist regime in the second half of the twentieth century. The final chapter examines the debate about the future of Slovakia and the events that led to its independence after the fall of Communism in Central Europe.