Czechoslovakia (Czech: Československo, Slovak: Česko-Slovensko/before 1990 Československo, German: Tschechoslowakei) was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1992 (except for the World War II period). On January 1, 1993, it peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in what was known as the Velvet Divorce, by analogy with the Velvet Revolution.
<tr><td align="center" colspan=2 style="border-bottom:3px solid gray;">National motto: (1918–1989) Pravda vítězí
(Czech: Truth prevails)
Form of state:
Topography: Generally irregular terrain. Western area is part of north-central European uplands. Eastern region is composed of northern reaches of Carpathian Mountains and Danube Basin lands.
Climate: Predominantly continental but varied from moderate temperatures of Western Europe in the west to more severe weather systems affecting Eastern Europe and the western Soviet Union in the east.
Coat of arms
Main article: History of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia arose in October 1918 as one of the succession states of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I. It consisted of the present-day territories of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and (until 1939/29 June 1945) the Carpathian Ruthenia (Carpatho-Ukraine). Its territory included some of the most industrialized regions of the former Austria-Hungary, it was a democratic republic throughout the pre-World War II period, but was characterized by ethnic problems. The ethnic problems were due to the fact that the second and third largest ethnic groups (Germans and Slovaks, respectively) were not satisfied with the political and economic dominance of the Czechs, and that most Germans and Hungarians of Czechoslovakia never really accepted the creation of the new state.
Many Germans, Hungarians and Poles, but also some Slovaks, felt disadvantaged in Czechoslovakia, because the political elite of the country introduced a centralised state and most of the time did not allow political autonomy for the ethnic groups. This policy, combined with increasing Nazi propaganda especially in the industrialised German speaking Sudetenland, led to increasing unrest among the Non-Czech population.
Before WWII, Czechoslovakia became Hitler's target. After the Munich Agreement of 1938, Hitler's troops occupied the ethnic-German border regions of Bohemia and Moravia (the Sudetenland), Hungary received territory in southern Slovakia, and the Slovak and Ruthene regions received an autonomous status for a while. Finally Czechoslovakia ceased to exist in March 1939, when Hitler occupied the remainder of the Bohemian lands and (the remaining) Slovakia was forced to declare independence. During the Second World War the Bohemian lands were designated the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and were ruled directly by the German state. The newly independent Slovak state became an ally of Nazi Germany. Slovakia's troops fought on the Russian front until the summer of 1944, when the Slovak armed forces staged an uprising against their government. German forces crushed this uprising after several months of fighting.
After World War II, pre-war Czechoslovakia was reestablished, all Germans were expelled from the country and Ruthenia was occupied by (and ultimately ceded to) the Soviet Union. Three years later the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized power (1948–1989) following a parliamentary election in which the Communists emerged as the winner and the country came under the influence of the Soviet Union. Except for a short period in the late 1960s (the Prague Spring) the country was characterized by the absence of democracy and relative economic backwardness compared to Western Europe, although its economy remained more advanced than those of its neighbors in Eastern Europe. In the religious sphere, atheism was officially promoted and taught. In 1969, Czechoslovakia was turned into a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic. Under the federation, social and economic inequities between the Czech and Slovak halves of the state were largely eliminated.
In 1989, the country became a democratic country again through the Velvet revolution. In 1992, the federal parliament decided to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as of January 1, 1993.
From creation to dissolution – Overview
Heads of State and Government
International agreements and membership
After WWII, active participant in Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon), Warsaw Pact, United Nations and its specialized agencies, and Movement of Nonaligned Nations; signatory of conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Main article: Administrative divisions of Czechoslovakia
Population and ethnic groups
Main article: Population and Ethnic Groups of Czechoslovakia
Main article: Religion in Communist Czechoslovakia
Main article: Health and Social Welfare in Communist Czechoslovakia
After WWII, free health care available to all citizens. National health planning emphasized preventive medicine; factory and local health-care centers supplement hospitals and other inpatient institutions. Substantial improvement in rural health care in 1960s and 1970s.
After WWII, monopoly on politics held by Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Gustáv Husák elected first secretary of KSC in 1969 (changed to general secretary in 1971) and president of Czechoslovakia in 1975. Other parties and organizations existed but functioned in subordinate roles to KSC. All political parties, as well as numerous mass organizations, grouped under umbrella of National Front of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Human rights activists and religious activists severely repressed
Main article: Government structure of Communist Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia had the following constitutions throughout its history (1918 – 1992):
Main article: Society of Communist Czechoslovakia
Main article: Education in Czechoslovakia
Education free at all levels and compulsory from age six to sixteen. Vast majority of population literate. Highly developed system of apprenticeship training and vocational schools supplemented general secondary schools and institutions of higher education
Main article: Resource base of Communist Czechoslovakia
After WWII, country energy short, relying on imported crude oil and natural gas from Soviet Union, domestic brown coal, and nuclear and hydroelectric energy. Energy constraints a major factor in 1980s.
Economy, foreign trade and financial system
After WWII, economy centrally planned with command links controlled by communist party, similar to Soviet Union. Large metallurgical industry but dependent on imports for iron and nonferrous ores.
Transportation and communications
Main article: Transportation in Czechoslovakia
Main article: Mass media in Communist Czechoslovakia
The Czechoslovakia national football team was a consistent performer in the international scene, with 8 appearances in the FIFA World Cup Finals, finishing in second-place in 1934 and 1962. The team also won the European Football Championship in 1976.
The Czechoslovakian national ice hockey team has won many medals from the world championships and olympic games.
Czechoslovakia's first issue 
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