Czech Republic is a country in central Europe that became independent on Jan.
1, 1993. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east, Austria to
the south, and Germany to the west.
Prague is the capital and largest city. From 1918 until Dec. 31, 1992, the
area that is now the Czech Republic was united with Slovakia in a larger nation
A Short Background
After World War II, Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence.
In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's
leaders to liberalize party rule and create "socialism with a human face.
Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh
repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia
regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993,
the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the
Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Now a member of NATO, the Czech Republic has moved toward integration in world
markets, a development that poses both opportunities and risks.
||10,264,212 (July 2001 est.)
||Czech 81.2%, Moravian 13.2%,
Slovak 3.1%, Polish 0.6%, German 0.5%, Silesian 0.4%, Roma 0.3%,
0.2%, other 0.5% (1991)
||atheist 39.8%, Roman Catholic
39.2%, Protestant 4.6%, Orthodox 3%, other 13.4%
||Czech koruna (CZK)
||CZK; 1 EURO to Czech Koruna: 32,683
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