Czech Republic - Country history and economic development

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1914-17. World War I. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, which includes Czechoslovakia, disintegrates.

1918. The Czechoslovak state is founded.

1938-45. Hitler takes over Czechoslovakia during World War II.

1945. Czechoslovakia is freed from the Nazis by the Soviets in the east, and by the Allies in the west.

1948. The Communist Party takes over the Czechoslovak parliament.

1968. Attempted reforms by the Czechoslovak state are met with an invasion of tanks from Czechoslovakia's Soviet bloc neighbors.

1970s. Some political dissidents begin to visibly resist the communist leadership.

1980s. Worsening economic conditions facilitate protests against communism.

1989. The communist government is forced to step down.

1990. The first post-communist parliamentary elections are held, and Václav Havel is confirmed as Czechoslovakia's new president. The government embarks on a series of reforms to replace the communist economic system with a capitalist system.

1992. The second post-communist elections result in a disagreement between the Czech and Slovak republics. The leaders plan the country's divorce.

1993. The Czech Republic is officially founded on 1 January 1993. It establishes a separate Czech currency in February.

1997. An economic crisis and political instability cause difficulties.

1998. The Czech Republic begins accession talks with the European Union.

1999. The Czech Republic joins NATO.

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