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Some key dates and periods

5th century AD: Settlement of today’s Slovak territory by Slavs.

6-7th century: 567-595: Avar conquest; as a defence against the Avars, Samo’s Empire was established – the first tribal union of the Western Slavs, most probably in the Upper-Danube space (623-658). A reference to the battle between Samo’s Empire and Avars and Franks (Samo’s Empire victory at Wogastisburg in 631) has been preserved in the Chronicle of Fredegard.

Beginning of the 9th century: Pribina’s Princedom in Nitra (828 – the first Christian church), since 833 part of the Great Moravia – the first state unit of the western Slavs.

863: Arrival of Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius from Byzantium. Constantine and Methodius are referred to as the Apostles of the Slovaks. They translated the Bible into Old Slavic, introduced Slavic liturgy and compiled the first Slavic alphabet, Glagolitic script. After Constantine’s death, Methodius continued to propagate Christianity, and later became the first archbishop of Great Moravia. Pope Hadrian II issued a bull confirming the use of Slavic language for liturgy. Eventually, Archbishop Methodius had serious disputes with Frankish priests active on the territory of Great Moravia. Svätopluk, the last Great-Moravian ruler with influence, did not support him. After the death of Methodius, the Frankish priests gained dominant power for the propagation of Christianity in Great Moravia.

End of the 9th century: raid of the ancient Hungarian tribes and subjugation of the territory.

1000: Coronation of Stephan I, Hungarian King, establishment of the Kingdom of Hungary. The territory of today’s Slovakia also became part of it (as a border dukedom in the 11th century). Slovak territory was later ruled by the Archbishop of Esztergom and Bishop of Eger. After the Great Schism of 1054, which brought the split between Eastern (Orthodox) and Western Christianity, most of the Slovak territory remained part of theWestern Christianity while keeping features of Slavic liturgy.

13th-14th century: Tartar invasion in 1241.The Tartars killed the majority of Slovak inhabitants on today’s territory. After the Tartars’ retreat, Hungarian rulers invited to colonize the territory from the West, used particularly by the Germans and Italians. Germans founded mining towns, so there emerged several enclaves of the Germans on the territory. There was also a Vlach diaspora from the East in the same period. Vlachs came from Transylvania. Ruthenians, who colonized thee North-Eastern part of the Hungary (and contemporary Slovakia), above all rural areas, brought the Orthodox religion to the territory.

1423-1433: During the so-called “beautiful rides” (outside the Kingdom of Bohemia), Hussites raided into Slovakia in two waves. The first invasions were carried out as early as 1423. In 1428, Hussites raided again into Hungary and occupied towns in west Slovakia. In 1429, they reached Bratislava. After the Battle of Lipany in 1434, in which the Hussites were defeated, the Hussite movement fell apart. Brethrens (bratríci) were still active for several years in current Central and East Slovakia.

End of 15th century: Economical and cultural progress, influence of the Western culture with Latin as formal language (1467 – establishment of Academia Istropolitana in Bratislava).

1517-1523: First displays of the teaching by the reformer Martin Luther, and Wittenberg Reformation in northern Hungary (current Slovakia) in 1517, the first mention in Bardejov. Preaching by Tomáš Preissener in Ľubica, publishings in Banská Bystrica.

1526: After the Battle of Mohacs and after the Turkish occupation of Buda (today’s Budapest), Kingdom of Hungary was divided into three parts. The Kingdom of Hungary (to the north and west from the Danube) became part of the Habsburg monarchy. The second part was Transylvania (current Romania) and the third part, including the southern territory of today’s Slovakia, came under Turkish occupation. The Archbishop of Esztergom moved to Trnava and almost all significant state institutes concentrated in Bratislava and Trnava. Slovakia became the centre of the Kingdom of Hungary, with Bratislava as the capital of the Kingdom from 1526 to 1784. The coronation of Hungarian kings took place there from 1563 to 1830. Since 1530, the Reformation began to spread very fast through all Hungary (in free royal and mine towns as well as among nobility in the northern Hungarian territories).

1548: The Diet of Hungary passed a law forbidding religious novelties including an article on expelling Anabaptists and Sacramentarians (adherents of Helvetic reformation movement) from the Kingdom, which many Catholics interpreted as a ban on Lutheran activities.

1567: A Reformed Constitutional Synod was held in 1567 in Debrecen, the main hub of Hungarian Calvinism, spread mainly among Hungarian-speaking inhabitants and on the territory of today’s southern Slovakia. Here the Second Helvetic Confession was adopted as the official confession of Hungarian Calvinists. The second strong section of Hungarian Protestantism emerged.

1646: Foundation of the Union of Orthodox Parishes of the Byzantine Rite in Eastern Slovakia (and in the entire Hungary) with Catholic Church in Uzhgorod – the origination of the Greek Catholic Church.

1683: The army of the Catholic League, supported by Polish king John Sobieski, beat Turks near Vienna and then by 1711 freed all Hungarian territories taken by the Turks.

1781: It was only with the Edict of Toleration by Joseph II that a restricted freedom of confession was guaranteed for the adherents of Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reformed Helvetic (Calvinists) and Orthodox (not united) Church. This edict ended counter-reformation in the Habsburg Monarchy. However, this was just the first step towards religious freedom within the monarchy. Adherents of these confessions could own a property, pursue a craft, become citizens of towns, gain academic degrees and hold official positions. Various restrictions such as a ban on entrance from the main street or square applied on their temples and churches, but these were also soon abolished.

End of the 18th century: National Revival period, codification of literary Slovak, constitution of the principles of the modern Slovak nation. In 1787, a Catholic priest, Anton Bernolák, codified the first standard Slovak, which was based on literate West Slovak with features of Central Slovak dialect and phonologic spelling.

The first half of the 19th Century: Second generation of the national movement – the Štúrovci. In 1843 a professor at the Lutheran Lycée in Bratislava, Ludovít Štúr, came up with an idea of joining the Catholic and Lutheran streams of Slovak through a mutual standard Slovak.

1848: During the revolution of 1948-1849, the Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor against Hungarian national and revolutionary movement. Slovak Lutheran intellectuals - Štúr, Hurban and Hodža - established the First Slovak National Council and called for independence from the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Slovak National Council stopped its activity after the failure of the revolution, and Slovakia remained part of the Hungarian monarchy.

1861: Memorandum of the Slovak Nation as the basic programme document of the Slovak national movement. Common declaration of the Lutheran and Catholic intelligentsia demanding the recognition of the Slovaks as a political nation with its own government, the establishment of Slovak cultural and educational institutes and the guarantee of language rights. This memorandum was denied by the Diet of Hungary. They were only able to win a temporary opening of Matica Slovenská and three Slovak grammar schools (shut down in 1874).

1867: Austro-Hungarian settlement – transformation of the Habsburg Monarchy into the dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The autonomous status of Hungary did not accomplish the claims of non-Hungarian nations.

1868: Final equalization of Protestants and Catholics in Hungary, which legalized confessional dualism.

1879: Hungarian was introduced at all types of schools by the Act No 18/1879 so that everybody could master written and spoken Hungarian. Church schools were the only ones with minor exceptions.

1907: Adoption of school legislation of Albert Apponyi – total magyarization of schools including the religious schools.

1914-1918: Creation of Czechoslovak national and political representation. After the outbreak of World War I: Foreign Resistance appears against the Habsburg monarchy, calling for the cooperation of Czech and Slovaks (1915 – Treaty of Cleveland, 1918 – Treaty of Pittsburgh). 1916: Czechoslovak National Council was established (Masaryk, Beneš, Štefánik).

October 28, 1918: Declaration of independence of the Czecho-Slovak Republic. Slovakia entered it with the Martin Declaration on October 30, 1918.

1928: Modus-vivendi between Czechoslovakia and the Holy See regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations (interrupted in 1925), about appointing bishops and adjusting borders of church provinces, orders, and monastic congregations to correspond the state borders.

1938: September 30: An agreement was signed in Munich, Germany, which allowed Nazi Germany to partially dismember the country by occupying what was called the Sudetenland (a mainly German-speaking region bordering Germany and Austria). The remainder of "rump" Czechoslovakia was renamed Czecho-Slovakia and included a greater degree of Slovak political autonomy. Southern and eastern Slovakia, however, were reclaimed by Hungary at the First Vienna Award in 2 November, 1938. On 18 November, the autonomy of the Slovak country in Czecho-Slovakia was declared. German-speaking Lutherans required an independent church organization within the Lutheran Church in Slovakia.

March 14, 1939: On the basis of the protection agreement with Germany, establishment of the independent Slovak Republic (end of the Czecho-Slovak Republic). Close collaboration of the Slovak Government and Nazi Germany.

1944: Slovak National Uprising – armed antifascist revolt that rounded off the gradual disintegration of the wartime Slovak republic.

1945: The Slovak Republic came to an end, its territory becoming part of the renewed Czechoslovak Republic.

1947-1948: Land reforms. Nationalization or forced purchase of agricultural property and church real estate meant for non-religious purposes.

1948: Beginning of the communist rule in Czechoslovakia (after the elections in 1946, the Communist party became the strongest party in the Czech lands. In Slovakia, the Communist party was the second, the Democratic Party having won the elections).

1949: Adoption of church laws, which introduced state supervision over churches, and after its property was nationalized introduction of priests renumeration and church leaders from state budget.

1954: Trials of the “bourgeois nationalists”, who were prominent members of the Communist Party and members of the committee, and had prepared the Slovak National Uprising in 1944.

1960: Approval of the Constitution of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

1968: From January, democratisation of the communist regime. Slovak Alexander Dubček as the leader of the Communist Party started the reforms for establishing “the socialism with a human face“. The invasion of five armies of the Warsaw Pact, on August 21st 1968, stopped the processes of reforms.

1977: Foundation of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. Very low response in Slovakia. Stronger appearance of the Catholic, the so-called underground church. Slovakia became an independent church province of the Catholic Church, the diocese borders were adjusted to the state borders.

1985-1989: Perestroika period: Christians tried to organize various pilgrimages (such as pilgrimage to Velehrad in 1985). On 25 March 1988, a gathering of Christians at the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava was organized at the occasion of the Annunciation. Originally, it was allowed, later prohibited. Gathered believers prayed for the appointment of bishops in Slovakia and freedom of religion. The police violently dispersed the Christians.

17 November 1989: The “Velvet Revolution” put an end to the communist rule. Formation of civic democratic movements. Abolition of the leading role of the Communist Party in the Czechoslovak society in the Constitution.

23 April 1990: Changing the name of the state to the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.

17 July 1992: The "Declaration of the Slovak National Council on the Sovereignty of the Slovak Republic" was approved. On 1 September 1992, the Constitution of the Slovak Republic was approved.

1 January 1993: Establishment of two independent states, i.e. the Slovak and the Czech Republic. February 1993: Michal Kovác was elected the first President of the independent Slovak Republic.

1995: Foundation of the archdiocese of Košice.

2000: Basic agreement between the Slovak Republic and the Holy See (Catholic Church). Later, similar agreements with the other recognised churches in Slovakia were signed.

2004: Slovakia became a member of NATO. From 1 May, also a member of the European Union.

2008: Reorganization of the Catholic Church in Slovakia: independent archdiocese of Bratislava and Žiline were established.

2009: Slovakia became a member of the European Monetary Union, and adopted the Euro currency.

D 13 October 2020    AMiroslav Tížik

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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