Czech Republic

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Czechia (as nobody calls it[1]), formally known as the Czech Republic, previously part of the Czechoslovak Republic, and before that known as Bohemia, is a country in Central Europe, and a member of the European Union. Its capital is Prague, and the country is historically and ethnically split into Moravia (the eastern third), Bohemia (the western two-thirds, sometimes used to refer to Czechia as a whole instead), and Czech Silesia, a tiny piece of Silesia the Austrians kept after Prussia took over the rest (it increased in area slightly following the First World War). Czechia has had a tortuous history:

800-915: Consisted of the Duchies of Bohemia and Moravia (the latter controlled what present-day eastern Hungary, but lost it to the Hungarians during the tenth century), both of which maintained power by building forts all over the place. Things got a little nervous after Duke Mieszko (died 992)[2] united Poland. Although Moravia was initially the senior Czech state, it declined and was eventually conquered by Bohemia, which explains why Prague (rather than Mikulčice) became the capital of Czechia .

915-938: Ruled by Duke Vaclav I of Bohemia, immortalized in the song "Good King Wenceslas". He allied himself with Henry the Fowler,[3] possibly in order to get a free turkey[note 1] every Christmas.

1419 and 1618: The defenestrations of Prague.Wikipedia's W.svg

1918-93: See Czechoslovakia.

1992-3 Slovak politician Vladimír Mečiar wants to be Prime Minister, but his Slovak party is too small to form a government. He craftily (and successfully) agitates for Slovakian independence, and gets to be PM after all. The Czech Republic is born.

2004 The Czech Republic decides that it's far too interesting, so it joins the European Union.

2016 The Czech Republic decides that its English name is too long so it chooses Czechia as its new shorthand.

Czech mates[edit]

  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Franz Kafka (German-speaking)
  • Karel Čapek, who gave us the word "robot"
  • Václav Havel
  • Milan Kundera
  • A shitload of tennis players
  • A shitload of gymnasts
  • Petr Čech! You get it!
  • Bedřich Smetana, composer of Ma Vlast
  • Antonín Dvořák, a composer who had to go to America and tell them how good their own music was and to stop listening to European composers all the time.
  • Miloš Forman, director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • Eva Herzigova
  • Ivana Trump
  • Sigmund Freud, great psychologist even if he wasn't really Czech even if he was born there (culturally German)
  • Gustav Mahler, a great composer or the worst who ever put music onto a score, depending upon one's view… largely honored in the Czech Republic even if culturally German.

Other things[edit]

  • Robots!Wikipedia's W.svg
  • The Golem of Prague (a Jewish[4] robot made of clay. Or something...)
  • Budweiser and Pilsner beer — the proper one[citation NOT needed], not the shitty American stuff.
  • Škoda — the car that became the butt of a thousand jokes — Now bought up by VW and basically the same car as the equivalent VW for half the price.
  • The White Shorthair and Brown Shorthair goats
  • The Gypsy wall
  • SemtexWikipedia's W.svg — the 2nd word Czech(oslovakia) gave to the world.

Notes[edit]

  1. which would be difficult, turkeys being unknown in Europe at that time and all…

References[edit]

  1. Robert Tait, "'Nobody calls it Czechia': Czech Republic's new name fails to catch on", The Guardian, 25 October 2016. "'The one-word name Czechia isn't for official use by state organs,' explained Jan Urban, a professor and political analyst at New York University in Prague. 'It's for unofficial use, just as British journalists say Britain rather than Great Britain, or as the French Republic is called France.'"
  2. See the Wikipedia article on Mieszko I of Poland.
  3. See the Wikipedia article on Henry the Fowler.
  4. Edward rothstein, "'A Legendary Protector Formed From a Lump of Clay and a Mound of Terror", The New York Times, 10 June 2018