Otázka: The Czech Republic
- Political system
The Czech Republic is a country with a very rich history. The territory of Bohemia was inhabited about 750000 years ago. Since the 3rd century this area was settled by Celtic tribes, one of them, the Boii tribe, gave the land its name: Bohemia. Later Germanic tribes and Slavic people came to the country. In the 7th century A.D. the Frankish merchant Samo became the ruler of the first known Slavic state in Central Europe, which was partly situated in present-day Moravia. The importance of Moravia grew further and in 833 Great Moravia was created. It included Bohemia, Moravia, Slovenia, Hungary, the west part of the Carpathians, Silesia, Lesser Poland and Lusatia. Bohemia became separated in 894 from the Great Moravian Empire. The origins of the Czech state can be traced back to the second half of the 9th century. Moravia was attached to the Czech state during the 10th and the 11th centuries. In the 13th century the Czech state became a kingdom. The kingdom expanded and was the most prosperous and powerful during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II (13th century) and Charles IV (14th century). In the 15th century the Czech state was weakened by the Hussite wars.
The Habsburg dynasty gained the control over the Czech throne in 1526. During the reign of the Habsburgs the rebellion of the Czech Protestants began. The defenestration in 1618 started the Thirty Years´ War which was followed by the strong recatholisation of the country. Under the reign of the Habsburgs the country became a part of the Empire of Austria-Hungary.
The religious tolerance and the cancellation of the serfdom were introduced by the reforms of Joseph II. In 18th and the 19th centuries there were efforts to stop germanization and restore the Czech language and culture.
The Empire of Austria-Hungary collapsed after the WWI in 1918 and Czechoslovakia, a democratic state, which included Bohemia, Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia was established. Since then Prague has been the capital of the country.
In 1938 Nazi Germany represented by Adolf Hitler gained the largely German speaking Sudetenland through the Munich Agreement. After that Czechoslovakia was called the Second Republic. In 1939 Slovakia declared independence and after the occupation by German troops the rest of the Czech state was proclaimed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
In May 1945 the Allies liberated Czechoslovakia and it was formally re-established as a democratic state. In February 1948 the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized the power and the country became a totalitarian state and a part of the Soviet bloc. The year 1968 was a period of liberalization but the process was interrupted by the invasion of the troops from the Soviet Union and other countries of the Soviet bloc. Czechoslovakia remained a communist state until the peaceful revolution (Velvet Revolution) in 1989 when the democracy was restored again. In 1993 the Czech Republic and Slovakia became two independent states because of the different ideology and internal problems.
The Czech Republic is a democratic parliamentary republic. The head of state is the President who is elected by the Parliament for 5 years. The Parliament of the Czech Republic consists of two chambers, the Chamber of Deputies (200 members) and the Senate (81 members). The President and the Government have executive power. The President appoints the Constitutional Judge. He also appoints the Prime Minister and other members of the Government. Currently the most powerful parties in the Czech Republic are ODS (liberal conservatism) and CSSD (social democracy).
The territory of the Czech Republic is divided into 14 autonomous regions and 76 districts. These regions are e.g. Capital Prague, Central Region, South Bohemian Region, Highland, South Moravian Region, Moravian-Silesian Region.
The base of the Czech Republic’s economy is industry. The second most important branch are services and the last one is agriculture.
The main mineral raw materials that are mined in the Czech Republic are black and brown coal, kaolin, building materials, uranium and in minor extent there is extraction of oil and natural gas.
Agriculture does not play a big role in CR’s economy. However, there is animal production, for example cattle, pigs and poultry production, beekeeping or freshwater fish breeding. Important industries include mechanical engineering (especially the production of transport equipment and vehicles), electrotechnics, construction engineering, metallurgy, chemical industry, food industry and energy industry. There are two nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic, Temelin and Dukovany.
 Great Moravian Empire – Velkomoravská říše
 serfdom – nevolnictví
 proclaim – prohlásit
 liberate – osvobodit
 Chamber of Deputies – Poslanecká sněmovna
 mineral raw materials – nerostné suroviny
 extent – rozsah
 cattle – chov skotu
 poultry – drůbež
 beekeeping – včelařství
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