The czech republic

The Czech Republic is a state in Central Europe. It occupies an area of  78 864 sq km and has about 10.33 million inhabitants. The head of the Czech Republic is the President (Václav Klaus). He’s elected for a 5-year period by the Parliament. The state flag consists of 2 horizontal stripes (pruh)- white on the top, red on the bottom, and a blue wedge.
The Czech Republic has four neighbours. In the north it borders with Poland, in the south with Austria, in the east with Slovakia and with Germany in the west. 
Our state has a varied landscape. Bohemia is surrounded by a ring of mountains – the Šumava range, the Czech Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Giant Mountains ( with the highest Czech mountain Sněžka), and the Eagle Mountains. The Moravan Plain is protected on the West by the Bohemian-Moravian Highland, and on the North by the wooded mountainous ranges of Jeseníky and Beskydy. Fertile lowlands can be found in the valleys of big rivers – the Vltava, the Elbe (flowing into the North Sea),           the Oder (flowing into the Baltic Sea), and the Morava (flowing into the Danube and thence into the Black Sea). The climate is mostly continental, the warmest area is in South Moravia.
Our country is rich in minerals. Black coal (Ostrava Coal Basin, area of Kladno) and brown coal and lignite (North Bohemia Coal Basin), sand for glass-making, iron ore, uranium, kaolin, etc., are mined in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is traditionallly an industry country. The most important part of our economy is engineering (machine tools, locomotives, tractors, agricultural machines). Other important branches are metalurgical and chemical industries and tourism. Textile and glass industries have a long tradition as doing cut glass. In animal production , cattle-breeding and pig-breeding are most important. Fish-breeding, especially carp-breeding has a long tradition in South Bohemia ponds.

Now I’d like to speak about the most important events in our history.
- our territory has been inhabited by Slavonic tribes since the 5th cent. A.D.
- in 623 bas founded the first Slavonic state – Samo’s Empire.
- then Slavonic tribes were united  and Great Moravian Empire was formed in the 9th cent.
- in the 9th cent. power bas taken over by the Přemyslid family
- the first historicaly documented Czech prince Bořivoj I. ruled over the territory of the Czech
  Lands and over big part of Great Moravia
- when the Přemyslid dynasty died out by the sword in 1306 the Czech throne went by way of dynastic wedding to the Luxemburgs, and the Czech Kingdom became also the centre of the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charles IV. and his son Wenceslas IV.
- Charles IV. was the most important person of the 7 electors of the emperors
- during his reign Prague grew into one of the largest European metropolis, was important centre of education, architecture and the arts
- in 1348 Charles IV. founded Ch. University – the oldest one in Europe
- the first part of the 15th cent. is marked by the Hussite Movement
- it’s named after Jan Hus, professor, dean, and later rector of Charles University
- he was preacher in Bethlehem Chapel and he was in 1415 in Constance burnt at the stake as a heretic
- the big leaders of Hussite Movement were Jan Žižka and Prokop Holý
- J. Žižka was never defeated and P. Holý was a prominent Hussite diplomat
- after the reign of King Jiří of Poděbrady – who is knowned for hi appeal to other European kings to make a Treaty Securing Peace, and after the period of the rule of Jagiellonian dynasty, on the Czech throne came the period of the Habsburg dynasty
- these rulers tried to oppress the Czech nation in favour of the Germans and the Romans Catholic Church, but unsuccesfuly until the Battle on the White Mountain in 1620
- followed by 300 years of Germanization and many non-catholic artists and scientists had to leave the country, and the Czech literature was liquidated
- the 19th cent. was a time of national revival
- at the end of  World War I. in October 1918 was established Czechoslovak Republic
- though this was destroyed by the German occupation (1939-1945), it appeared again after World War II.
- in 1948 the power was taken over by communists directed by the Soviet Union
- the „Prague Spring“ in 1968 was oppressed by the invasion of the Soviet army and the „normalization“ lasted about another 20 years till the „velvet revolution“ in 1989
- the following development led to the splitting of the republic, and in 1993 two new states appeared – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic

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