The "Velvet Divorce" - ten years on
May 30, 1918: The Pittsburgh Agreement signed in the USA by representatives of Czech and Slovak organizations headed by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, approving the unification of Czechs and Slovaks in a common state, in which Slovakia would have its own assembly.
September 3, 1918: As the total defeat of Germany and Austria draws near, the US Government recognizes the Czechoslovak National Council as the Czechoslovak government de facto. Up to that time Czechs and Slovaks had lived under Austro-Hungarian rule.
October 28, 1918: Independence of Czechoslovakia declared. Details are discussed in Geneva.
November 14, 1918: The National Assembly (parliament) holds its first session. The Czechoslovak Republic is proclaimed and Tomas Garrigue Masaryk is elected president. There is initial strong opposition from the German and Hungarian-speaking minorities. The territory of Czechoslovakia is eventually to include not just the Czech Lands and Slovakia, but also Subcarpathian Ruthenia to the east (a region which after WWII becomes part of the Soviet Union).
February 29, 1920: The National Assembly approves the Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic, which defines the country as a democratic republic, headed by a president, and with a central rather than federal administration.
September 29, 1938: Munich Agreement signed by Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Deladier, ceding mainly German-speaking border areas of Czechoslovakia to Germany.
September 30, 1938: The Czechoslovak government reluctantly accepts the Munich Agreement.
October 6, 1938: Slovak autonomous government established, Jozef Tiso becomes its chairman.
March 14, 1939: The Slovak Assembly declares the independent Slovak Republic, de facto a Nazi puppet state.
March 15, 1939-May 8, 1945: German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.
April 4, 1945: With most of Czechoslovakia liberated the first government of the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks headed by Zdenek Feierlinger is appointed.
April 5, 1945: The Kosice government programme of the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks declared after talks in Moscow in March. The programme lays many of the foundations for post-war Communist Czechoslovakia.
May 16, 1945: Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes returns to Prague from exile in Britain eight days after the city's liberation.
October 24, 1945: Czechoslovakia becomes a founding UN member.
February 20-25, 1948: "Victorious February" - the Communist Party secures itself the leading role on the Czechoslovak political landscape. This marks a definitive end to plural, democratic rule.
June 24-26, 1968: At the time of the "Prague Spring" when many reforms are introduced, the National Assembly approves a constitutional bill on creating a federal political arrangement for Czechoslovakia.
August 21, 1968: Warsaw Pact troops enter Czechoslovakia uninvited and the suppression of the political and social reforms of the Prague Spring begins. This process continues until 1989.
October 27, 1968: The National Assembly passes a constitutional bill redefining Czechoslovakia as a federation of two equal national republics - the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. This takes effect on January 1, 1969.
November 17, 1989: Eight days after the breaching of the Berlin Wall in Germany, police in Prague use force to suppress a peaceful student demonstration calling for political reform. In a wave of solidarity, similar demonstrations take place in towns throughout Czechoslovakia, and within days the Communist regime collapses.
December 28, 1989: The Slovak Alexander Dubcek, the father of the Prague Spring of 1968, is elected chairman of the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly.
December 29, 1989: Vaclav Havel is elected President of Czechoslovakia.
June 8-9, 1990: First democratic parliamentary elections for over 40 years. The biggest number of votes goes to Civic Forum in the Czech Republic and Public against Violence in Slovakia - the umbrella organizations for the process of democratic change in Czechoslovakia prior to the emergence of a full spectrum of clearly defined political parties.
June 5-6, 1992: Elections to the Federal Assembly and the Czech and Slovak National Assemblies. The Civic Democratic Party of Vaclav Klaus wins in the Czech Republic, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia of Vladimir Meciar in Slovakia.
June 8, 1992: Coalition talks begin between the two parties. Almost from the start it becomes clear that they will not be able to agree on a federal government. Further talks over the subsequent four months focus on how to divide the federation and smooth the process for the creation of two separate states.
July 20, 1992: President Havel, who is strongly opposed to the split of Czechoslovakia, resigns.
November 25, 1992: The Czechoslovak Federal Assembly passes a constitutional act bringing Czechoslovakia to a formal end at midnight on December 31, 1992.
January 1, 1993: Two separate states: The Czech Republic and Slovakia come into being.
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