An Overview of the Major Events in Slovak History

5th Century Slavic tribes settle in present day Slovakia and are eventually united under the Slavic kingdom of Greater Moravia.

10th Century Magyar tribes invade present day Slovakia and form Greater Hungary under King Stephen. A thousand years of foreign domination begins.

1526 Hungarys defeat by the Ottoman Turks allows the Hapsburgs to seize Upper Hungary (Slovakia). Pozony (present day Bratislava) becomes the Hungarian capital as Buda falls to the Turks.

1867 The dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary is formally established after the Hapsburg emperor Franz Josef compromises with the constantly rebelling Hungarian nobles. Slovakia is incorporated into the Hungarian part of this kingdom.

1918 Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, after defeat in WWI, sprouts numerous new states including Czechoslovakia. Although nominally a parliamentary democracy, Slovaks have a weak voice in the republics affairs.

1939 - The First Slovak Republic is in reality a Nazi puppet state run by fascist cleric Josef Tiso, who collaborates with German policies that include the deportation of Jews.

1945 As a member of the defeated Axis powers Slovakias fate is again determined by foreign powers. Czechoslovakia is re-established, without the province of Ruthenia, and an unstable democratic government dominated by Czech Communists teeters onward.

1948 The Soviet Union tightens control over Czechoslovakia under the guise of restoring political stability, and thereby reduces Eastern Europes last fledgling democracy to a satellite state.

1968 Alexander Dubcek, a Slovak and leader of Czechoslovakia, introduces a new governing philosophy dubbed socialism with a human face. Threatened by his reforms the Soviets invade, depose Dubcek, and install another Slovak, Gustav Husak, as the head of Czechoslovakia. Progressive reforms are no more.

1989 Following similar movements across Eastern Europe, mass protests and demonstrations bring down the Communist regime and the resignation of Husak. The Velvet Revolution brings democracy and formerly jailed dissident Vaclav Havel assumes the Czechoslovak presidency.

1992 After coming in second in the summer elections, Vladimir Meciar becomes Prime Minister of the Slovak part of the newly reworked Czech and Slovak Federal Republics. However, he soon starts a dialogue with Prague that will lead to the disbanding of the confederation.

1993 January - The first day of the year marks the birth of the Second Slovak Republic and Europes youngest state. The peaceful split of the former Czechoslovakia into the Czech and Slovak Republics is dubbed the Velvet Divorce while Meciar proclaims himself Father of Slovakia.

1993 March Meciar resigns as Prime Minister after receiving a vote of no confidence from parliament. A caretaker government lead by Josef Moravcik starts privatization and other economic reforms in earnest.

1994 Meciars new political party manages to win the elections and he resumes his position as Prime Minister. For the next four years Meciar is often criticized for his demagoguery, corruption and hostility toward the Hungarian minority. Labeled a black hole in Europe by the US, Slovakia becomes increasingly isolated from its neighbors and the West.

1998 March - A constitutional crisis materializes after the end of the Presidents term and the parliaments failure to agree on a successor.

1998 September - The defeat of Vladimir Meciar by a motley coalition in parliamentary elections brings hope of a more democratic era. Fears in the Western media that Meciar will hold on to power by force do not materialize. The new Prime Minister, Mikulas Dzurinda, embarks on clearing Slovakia of its pariah state status.

1999 Rudolf Schuster, a member of the coalition government, defeats Vladimir Meciar to become Slovakias second president after a constitutional amendment changes the presidency to an directly elected position.

2000- Slovakia is invited to join the OECD and is formally invited by the European Union to begin the lengthy accession process.