Czech people

Czech people

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Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic
West Slavs
The West Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking West Slavic languages. They include Poles , Czechs, Slovaks, Lusatian Sorbs and the historical Polabians. The northern or Lechitic group includes, along with Polish, the extinct Polabian and Pomeranian languages...

 people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries. They speak the Czech language
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

, which is closely related to the Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

 and Upper Sorbian language.

Among the ancestors of the Czechs are ancient Slavic tribes who inhabited the regions of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

, and Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

 from the 6th century onwards.

History



The Czechs are descended from the early Slavs
Early Slavs
The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies in Migration period and early medieval Europe whose tribal organizations indirectly created the foundations for today’s Slavic nations .The first mention of the name Slavs dates to the 6th century, by which time the Slavic tribes inhabited a...

, with Celtic and Germanic admixtures.
West Slavic
West Slavs
The West Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking West Slavic languages. They include Poles , Czechs, Slovaks, Lusatian Sorbs and the historical Polabians. The northern or Lechitic group includes, along with Polish, the extinct Polabian and Pomeranian languages...

 tribes have inhabited the regions of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia since the 6th century. Within the West Slavs,
the Czechs form part of the Czech-Slovak group (together with the Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

), alongside the Lechites
Lechites
Lechites – an ethnic and linguistic group of West Slavs, the ancestors of modern Poles and the historical Pomeranians and Polabians.-History:...

 and the Sorbs
Sorbs
Sorbs are a Western Slavic people of Central Europe living predominantly in Lusatia, a region on the territory of Germany and Poland. In Germany they live in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak the Sorbian languages - closely related to Polish and Czech - officially recognized and...

.

According to a popular myth
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

, the Czechs come from a certain Forefather Čech who settled at Říp Mountain
Ríp Mountain
Říp mountain is a 459 m solitary hill rising up from the central Bohemian flatland where, according to legend, the first Czechs settled. Říp is located 25 km south-east of Litoměřice, Czech Republic....

. In 880, Prague Castle
Prague Castle
Prague Castle is a castle in Prague where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The Czech Crown Jewels are kept here...

 was constructed by Prince Bořivoj and the city of Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 was established. Vratislav II
Vratislaus II of Bohemia
-Literature:*Vratislav Vaníček: Vratislav II. . První český král. Vyšehrad 2004, ISBN 80-7021-655-7*Hans Patze: Die Pegauer Annalen, die Königserhebung Wratislaws v. Böhmen und die Anfänge der Stadt Pegau. JGMODtl 12, 1963, 1-62...

 was the first Czech king in 1085.
The second half of the 13th century was a period of large-scale German immigration into Czech lands
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

. The number of Czechs who have at least partly German ancestry probably runs into hundreds of thousands. The Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 Monarchy focused much of its power on religious wars against the Protestants. While these religious wars were taking place, the Czech estates revolted against Habsburg from 1546 to 1547 but were ultimately defeated by the Duke of Saxony. The wars between the Catholics and the Protestants finally ended in 1555 with the legalization of the Protestant faith which exists to this day in small numbers.

Czech patriotic authors tend to call the following period, from 1620 to 1648 until the late 18th century, the "Dark Age". It is characterized by devastation by foreign troops; Germanization; and economic and political decline. It is estimated that the population of the Czech lands
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

 declined by a third due to the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 and the expulsion of Protestants.

At the turn of the 20th century, Chicago was the city with the third largest Czech population, after Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 and Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

In 1918, independent Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 was proclaimed, and Czechs formed the leading class in the new state from the remnants of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. In 1938 the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 severed the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

, with a considerable Czech minority, from Czechoslovakia, and in 1939 the German Nazi regime
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

 for the so-calling "remaining Czechia" (Resttschechei
Resttschechei
Resttschechei or Rest-Tschechei was the quasi-nonchalant Nazist designation used for the remaining parts of Czechoslovakia that were de facto annexed by Nazi Germany on 15/16 March 1939 as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia with its military occupation...

). Emil Hácha
Emil Hácha
Emil Hácha was a Czech lawyer, the third President of Czecho-Slovakia from 1938 to 1939. From March 1939, he presided under the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.-Judicial career:...

 became president of the protectorate under Nazi domination, which only allowed pro-Nazi Czech associations and tended to stress ties of the Czechs with the Bohemian Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 and other parts of the German people, in order to facilitate assimilation by Germanization. In Lidice
Lidice
Lidice is a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague. It is built on the site of a previous village of the same name which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal...

, Ležáky
Ležáky
Ležáky was a village in Czechoslovakia. In 1942 it was razed to the ground by Nazis during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.Ležáky was a settlement inhabited by poor stone-cutters and little cottagers...

 and Javoříčko
Luká
Luká is a village and municipality in Olomouc District in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of , and has a population of 793 ....

 the Nazi authorities committed war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s against the local Czech population. On May 2, 1945 the Prague Uprising
Prague uprising
The Prague uprising was an attempt by the Czech resistance to liberate the city of Prague from German occupation during World War II. Events began on May 5, 1945, in the last moments of the war in Europe...

 reached its peak, supported by the Russian Liberation Army
Russian Liberation Army
Russian Liberation Army was a group of predominantly Russian forces subordinated to the Nazi German high command during World War II....

. The post-war expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia
Expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia
The expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II was part of a series of evacuations and expulsions of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe during and after World War II....

 and the immediate reprisals against Germans and Nazi collaborators by Czech resistance and the Czechoslovak state authorities, made Czechs – especially in the early 1950s – settle alongside Slovaks and Roma people in the former lands of the Sudeten Germans
Sudeten Germans
- Importance of Sudeten Germans :Czechoslovakia was inhabited by over 3 million ethnic Germans, comprising about 23 percent of the population of the republic and about 29.5% of Bohemia and Moravia....

, who had been deported to West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 according to the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 and Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

.

Tens of thousands of Czechs had repatriated from Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

 and Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

 after World War II. Since the 1990s, the Czech Republic has been working to repatriate Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

's ethnic Czechs.

The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and her main satellite states in the Warsaw Pact – Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic , Hungary and Poland – invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalization...

 in 1968 was followed by a wave of emigration, unseen before and stopped shortly after (estimate: 70,000 immediately, 300,000 in total), typically of highly qualified people.

Following the Czech Republic's entry into the European Union in May 2004, Czechs gained the right to work in some other EU countries.

Genetics


Indications suggest that modern Czechs are a genetic mixture of the Slavic, Celtic, and Germanic people that have inhabited the Czech territory throughout its history.

Czechs show the characteristic R1a genes of the paternal ancestorship at 34.2%. Such large frequencies of R1a have been found in Eastern Europe among Slavs and in India.

According to a 2000 study by Semino, 35.6% of Czech and Slovak males have y-chromosome haplogroup R1b[57], which is very common among Celts but also quite rare among Slavs. Additionally, a high frequency of mutation of the G551D gene CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), causing Cystic fibrosis is found in the Czech Republic, Austria, and among the Celtic Nations: Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Ireland and Brittany.

Historical figures


The most successful and influential of all Czech kings was Charles IV
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV , born Wenceslaus , was the second king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg, and the first king of Bohemia to also become Holy Roman Emperor....

, who also became the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

. The Luxembourg dynasty represents the heights of Czech (Bohemian) statehood territorial and influence as well as advancement in many areas of human endeavors.

Many people are considered national heroes and cultural icons, many national stories concern their lives. Jan Hus
Jan Hus
Jan Hus , often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss, was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague...

 was a religious reformist from the 15th century and spiritual father of the Hussite Movement. The teacher of nations Jan Amos Komenský is also considered a notable figure in Czech history. Josef Jungmann
Josef Jungmann
Josef Jungmann was a Bohemian poet and linguist, and a leading figure of the Czech National Revival. Together with Josef Dobrovský, he is considered to be a creator of the modern Czech language.-Life:Jungmann was the sixth child of a cobbler. In his youth, he wanted to become a priest...

 is often credited for expanding the modern Czech language, and preventing its extinction.

Mythology


There are also ancient folk stories about the Czech people, such as the Forefather Čech, who according to legend brought the tribe of Czechs into its land, or Přemysl, the Ploughman
Premysl, the Ploughman
The Czechs name Přemysl, the Ploughman, as the mythical ancestor of the Přemyslid dynasty, containing the line of princes and kings which ruled in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown from 873 or earlier until the murder of Wenceslaus III in 1306.-Story:According to a legend, Přemysl was a peasant of...

, who started the dynasty that ruled for 400 years until 1306.

Modern politicians


One of the most notable Velvet Revolution
Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 – December 29, 1989...

 figures is Václav Havel
Václav Havel
Václav Havel is a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic . He has written over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally...

, who became the first president of the independent Czech Republic. The current president (2nd) is Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus is the second President of the Czech Republic and a former Prime Minister .An economist, he is co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, the Czech Republic's largest center-right political party. Klaus is a eurosceptic, but he reluctantly endorsed the Lisbon treaty as president of...

.

The Czech Republic has had multiple prime ministers the first of which was latter president Klaus, the second under Havel was Josef Tošovský
Josef Tošovský
Josef Tošovský is a Czech economist and was governor of Czech National Bank from 1993 to 2000. From 16 December 1997 to 17 July 1998 he was the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic in a caretaker government.Tošovský graduated from the University of Economics, Prague...

 and the last prime minister under Havel was prominent ČSSD
Czech Social Democratic Party
The Czech Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in the Czech Republic.-History:The Social Democratic Czechoslavonic party in Austria was founded on 7 April 1878 in Austria-Hungary representing the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Austrian parliament...

 member Miloš Zeman
Miloš Zeman
Miloš Zeman is a well-known Czech politician. He was a member and leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party, former speaker of the chamber of deputies from 1996 until 1998, and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 1998 until 2002. He was a frequent rival of Václav Klaus...

. So far Klaus has had five prime ministers, the current one being Petr Nečas
Petr Necas
Petr Nečas is the current Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and Leader of the Civic Democratic Party. He was sworn into office on 28 June 2010....

.

Sports


Sports have also been a contributor to famous Czechs especially tennis, soccer, hockey
Hockey
Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.-Etymology:...

 and athletics:
  • Tennis – Ivan Lendl
    Ivan Lendl
    Ivan Lendl is a former world no. 1 professional tennis player. Originally from Czechoslovakia, Lendl became a United States citizen. He was one of the game's most dominant players in the 1980s and remained a top competitor into the early 1990s. He is considered to be one of the greatest tennis...

    , Martina Navrátilová, Petra Kvitová
    Petra Kvitová
    Petra Kvitová is a Czech professional tennis player. She has won seven WTA singles titles. As of 31 October 2011, she is ranked World No. 2. Kvitová won the 2011 Wimbledon Championships and the 2011 WTA Tour Championships singles titles...

    , Tomáš Berdych
    Tomáš Berdych
    Tomáš Berdych is a professional tennis player from the Czech Republic. His most notable achievements are reaching the final of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, and the semifinals of the 2010 French Open. He defeated the Croatian player Ivan Ljubičić in five sets to win the Paris Masters in 2005...

  • Football – Pavel Nedvěd
    Pavel Nedved
    Pavel Nedvěd is a retired Czech football midfielder. He is one of the most successful Czech players to emerge from the newly formed Czech Republic, winning numerous accolades with Lazio and Juventus, including the last ever Cup Winners' Cup...

    , Antonín Panenka
    Antonín Panenka
    Antonín Panenka is a Czech former footballer.- Club career :An attacking midfielder known for the quality of his passing and his free kicks, Panenka played for Bohemians Prague for most of his career, joining the club as a youth in 1959. In 1981 Panenka left Bohemians for Austrian club Rapid...

    , Tomáš Rosický
    Tomáš Rosický
    Tomáš Rosický is a Czech footballer who plays for Arsenal and captains the Czech national team. He has a brother named Jiří who is also a footballer...

    , Karel Poborský
    Karel Poborský
    Karel Poborský is a former Czech footballer. A right winger, Poborský is the all-time leader in appearances for the Czech national team, and was most noted for his technical ability.-Club career:...

    , Patrik Berger
    Patrik Berger
    Patrik Berger is a retired Czech footballer. He has played in Czech Republic, Germany, and England. He is best remembered for his time at Liverpool....

    , Petr Čech
    Petr Cech
    Petr Čech is a Czech footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Czech Republic as a goalkeeper. Čech previously played for Viktoria Plzeň, Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague, and Rennes. He was voted into the all-star team of Euro 2004 after helping his country reach the semi-finals...

  • Hockey – Jaromír Jágr
    Jaromir Jagr
    Jaromír Jágr is a Czech professional ice hockey right winger who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League . Jágr formerly played with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers, serving as captain of the Penguins and the Rangers...

    , Dominik Hašek
    Dominik Hašek
    Dominik Hašek is a Czech ice hockey goaltender who is currently with HC Spartak Moscow of the KHL.In his 16-season National Hockey League career, he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, and the Ottawa Senators. During his years in Buffalo, he became one of the...

    , Roman Červenka
    Roman Červenka
    Roman Červenka is a Czech professional ice hockey player who plays for Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League ....

    , Tomáš Plekanec
    Tomas Plekanec
    Tomas Plekanec is a Czech professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League . After beginning his career for HC Kladno of the Czech Extraliga, he was selected 71st overall by the Canadiens in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft...

    , Ondřej Pavelec
    Ondrej Pavelec
    Ondřej Pavelec is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender, who plays for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League .-Playing career:...

    , Tomáš Vokoun
    Tomas Vokoun
    Tomáš Vokoun is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League .-Playing career:...

    , Patrik Eliáš
    Patrik Elias
    Patrik Eliáš is a Czech professional hockey left winger and alternate captain for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League . A long-time Devil and currently the team's longest-tenured skater, Eliáš is the franchise's all-time leading scorer, while also holding franchise records for most...

    , Jiří Šlégr
    Jiri Slegr
    Jiří Šlégr is a Czech professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for HC Litvínov of the Czech Extraliga. He is also the estranged son of former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Jiří Bubla...

  • Athletics – Emil Zátopek
    Emil Zátopek
    Emil Zátopek was a Czech long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He won gold in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the first marathon of his life...

    , Roman Šebrle
    Roman Šebrle
    Roman Šebrle is an athlete from the Czech Republic. He is considered to be one of the best decathlon athletes of all time. Originally a high jumper, he competes in decathlon and heptathlon for team TJ Dukla Praha and is a world record holder in the decathlon...

    , Jan Železný
    Jan Železný
    Jan Železný is a Czech javelin thrower, world and Olympic champion and world record holder in javelin throw...

    , Barbora Špotáková
    Barbora Špotáková
    Barbora Špotáková is a Czech javelin thrower. She is the current Olympic champion, as well as the world record holder....


The arts


The Czechs are accomplished in the field of music, painting, film and literature.

Music

Czech music started develop by first signifiant pieces, created in 11th century. The great progress of Czech artificial music has begun in the end of Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and early Baroque era, concretely in works of Adam Václav Michna z Otradovic, where the specific character of Czech music was rising up by using the influence of genuine folk music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

. This tradition determined the development of Czech music and has remained the main sign in the works of great Czech composers of almost all eras – Jan Dismas Zelenka
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Jan Dismas Zelenka , baptised Jan Lukáš Zelenka and previously also known as Johann Dismas Zelenka, was the most important Czech Baroque composer, whose music was notably daring with outstanding harmonic invention and mastery of counterpoint.- Life :Zelenka was born in Louňovice pod Blaníkem, a small...

 and Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský
Bohuslav Matej Cernohorský
Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský was a Czech composer, organist and teacher of the baroque era...

 in Baroque, Bedřich Smetana
Bedrich Smetana
Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music...

 and Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Dvorák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...

 in Romanticism, Leoš Janáček
Leoš Janácek
Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and all Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style. Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research and his early musical output was influenced by...

 and Bohuslav Martinů
Bohuslav Martinu
Bohuslav Martinů was a prolific Czech composer of modern classical music. He was of Czech and Rumanian ancestry. Martinů wrote six symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. Martinů became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic...

 in modern classical or Miloslav Kabeláč
Miloslav Kabelác
Miloslav Kabeláč was a prominent Czech composer and conductor. Miloslav Kabeláč belongs to the foremost Czech symphonists, whose work can be compared with Antonín Dvořák or Bohuslav Martinů...

 in contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s with the retreat of modernism. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 modern musical forms.-Categorization:...

.

Czech musicians played also important role in the development of European music . Jan Václav Antonín Stamic
Johann Stamitz
Jan Václav Antonín Stamic was a Czech composer and violinist. Johann was the father of Carl Stamitz and Anton Stamitz, also composers...

 in 18th century contributed to the creation of Classicism
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 in music by innovations of compositional forms and founding of Mannheim school
Mannheim school
Mannheim school refers to both the orchestral techniques pioneered by the court orchestra of Mannheim in the latter half of the 18th century as well as the group of composers who wrote such music for the orchestra of Mannheim and others.-History:...

, similarly Antonín Rejcha
Anton Reicha
Anton Reicha was a Czech-born, later naturalized French composer. A contemporary and lifelong friend of Beethoven, Reicha is now best remembered for his substantial early contribution to the wind quintet literature and his role as a teacher – his pupils included Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz...

's experiments prefigured new compositional techniques in 19th century. The influence of Czech musicians has been gone later beyond the borders of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an continent, when Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Dvorák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...

 brought into life new America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

n classical music style, using the potential of the richness of ethnic music of that country during his mission in USA. The contribution of Alois Hába
Alois Hába
Alois Hába was a Czech composer, musical theorist and teacher. He is primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones and twelfth-tones....

 to microtonal music
Microtonal music
Microtonal music is music using microtones—intervals of less than an equally spaced semitone. Microtonal music can also refer to music which uses intervals not found in the Western system of 12 equal intervals to the octave.-Terminology:...

 in 20th century must be also mentioned.

Literature

Poet Jaroslav Seifert
Jaroslav Seifert
Jaroslav Seifert was a Nobel Prize winning Czech writer, poet and journalist.Born in Žižkov, a suburb of Prague in what was then part of Austria-Hungary, his first collection of poems was published in 1921...

 was awarded the Nobel Literature Prize. Božena Němcová
Božena Nemcová
Božena Němcová was a Czech writer of the final phase of the Czech National Revival movement.-Biography:...

 has become a cultural icon and gained much fame for her book Babička
The Grandmother
The Grandmother is a novel written by Czech writer Božena Němcová in 1855. It is her most popular work and is regarded as a classic piece of Czech literature. This most frequently read book of the Czech nation was published more than 300 times in the Czech language alone and translated into 21...

. Writer Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was a culturally influential German-language author of short stories and novels. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century...

 (born in Prague) wrote most of his works in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 (although in German).

Painting

Mikoláš Aleš
Mikoláš Aleš
Mikoláš Aleš , was a Czech painter.-Biography:Aleš was born in Mirotice near Písek, into a relatively rich family that was in debt at the time. He was taught history by his brother František until the latter's death in 1865; he expressed interest in painting at an early age...

 was a painter, known for redesigning the Prague National Theatre./

Alphonse Mucha

Film

Film director Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
Jan Tomáš Forman , better known as Miloš Forman , is a Czech-American director, screenwriter, professor, and an emigrant from Czechoslovakia. Two of his films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, are among the most celebrated in the history of film, both gaining him the Academy Award for...

, known best for his movie, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (film)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey....

is of Czech origin and started his career in Czechoslovakia.

National performers such as Karel Kryl
Karel Kryl
Karel Kryl was a popular Czech singer-songwriter and performer of many protest songs in which he strongly criticized and identified the shortcomings and inhumanity of the Communist and later post-communist regime in his home country.-Biography:Kryl was born on April 12, 1944, in Kroměříž, in...

, Helena Vondráčková
Helena Vondrácková
Helena Vondráčková is a Czech singer whose career has spanned five decades.- Early life/career :Vondráčková spent her childhood years in the town of Slatinany. She took piano lessons from an early age...

, Karel Gott
Karel Gott
Karel Gott is a Czech Schlager singer, and an amateur painter. He is considered as the most successful male singer in former Czechoslovakia and currently in the Czech Republic; he has being voted the Most Favorite Male Singer in the annual national pool Český slavík in total thirty-six times...

 (singers), Zdeněk Svěrák
Zdenek Sverák
Zdeněk Svěrák is a Czech actor, humorist and scriptwriter. He is one of the most popular Czech cultural personalities. In 1989, he was a member of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival....

 (director and actor), Vlastimil Brodský
Vlastimil Brodský
Vlastimil Brodský was a respected Czech actor. He appeared in over 90 films, and is considered a key figure in the postwar development of Czech cinema....

, Vladimír Menšík
Vladimír Menšík
Vladimír Menšík was a popular Czech actor and entertainer, born in Ivančice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia. Both comedian and serious actor, he created a wide range of lively characters...

 (actors) or Ivan Mládek
Ivan Mládek
Ivan Mládek is a Czech songwriter, composer, and comedian.-Biography:Ivan Mládek was born in Prague, where he spent most of his childhood. His father, a lawyer and painter, taught him to paint, but he preferred music and started his now-famous Banjo Band.The Banjo Band first performed in 1966...

 (comedian), have also made a mark in modern Czech history.

Saints


Czech culture boasts many saints, most notably St. Wenceslaus (Václav)
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
Wenceslaus I , or Wenceslas I, was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, purportedly in a plot by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel....

, patron of the Czech nation, St. John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký)
John of Nepomuk
John of Nepomuk is a national saint of the Czech Republic, who was drowned in the Vltava river at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of the queen of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional...

, St. Adalbert (Vojtěch)
Adalbert of Prague
This article is about St Adalbert of Prague. For other uses, see Adalbert .Saint Adalbert, Czech: ; , , Czech Roman Catholic saint, a Bishop of Prague and a missionary, was martyred in his efforts to convert the Baltic Prussians. He evangelized Poles and Hungarians. St...

, Saint Procopius
Procopius of Sázava
Saint Procopius of Sázava was a Czech saint. He studied at Prague where he was also ordained. He was a canon and a hermit and then became the founding abbot of Sázava near Prague. He is an alleged author of the Reims Gospel....

 or St. Agnes of Bohemia (Anežka Česká)
Agnes of Bohemia
Saint Agnes of Bohemia , or Agnes of Prague , was a medieval Bohemian princess who opted for a life of charity and piety over a life of luxury and comfort...

.

Geography


The Czech Republic is compound from 3 historical lands: Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 and Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

; today the country is divided into 14 regions. There is a slightly varying culture in each of the lands. Each part speaks Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

 but there are certain local dialects.

Czech language


The Czech language is spoken by approximately 12 million people around the world including most of the people in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. It developed from the Proto-Slavic language
Proto-Slavic language
Proto-Slavic is the proto-language from which Slavic languages later emerged. It was spoken before the seventh century AD. As with most other proto-languages, no attested writings have been found; the language has been reconstructed by applying the comparative method to all the attested Slavic...

 in the 10th century and is mutually intelligible with the Slovak language
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

.

See also

  • List of Czechs
  • Demographics of the Czech Republic
    Demographics of the Czech Republic
    This article is about the demographic features of the population of the Czech Republic, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.-Population:...

  • The Greatest Czech
    Nejvetší Cech
    Největší Čech is the Czech spin-off of the BBC Greatest Britons show; a television poll of the populace to name the greatest Czech in history. The series was broadcast by the national public-service broadcaster, Česká televize...

  • Czech American
    Czech American
    Czech Americans are citizens of the United States who were born in, or who descended from, the territory of the historic Czech lands, , or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic...

  • Czech Argentinean
    Czechs in Argentina
    Most Czech immigrants to Argentina came in the first half of the 20th century. Today, there are around 389,000 people of Czech descent living in Argentina, mostly in Buenos Aires and Mendoza.-External links:**...

  • Czech Australian
  • Czech Brazilian
    Czech Brazilian
    Czech Brazilians refer to Brazilians of Czech descent who were born in or who trace their ancestry to the territory of the historic Czech lands or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic, and are residents and/or citizens of Brazil....

  • Czech British
  • Czech Canadian
    Czech Canadian
    According to the 2006 Canadian census, there are 98,090 Canadians of full or partial Czech descent.-History:Czech immigration to Canada can be divided into four phases: 1880–1914, 1919–39, 1945–89, and 1990-2008. The first two phases were dominated by strong economic incentives for immigration...


Further reading

  • Berka, Petr and Palan, Ales and Stastny, Petr: Xenophobe's Guide to the Czechs, Oval Books, London, 2008
  • Holý, Ladislav
    Ladislav Holý
    Ladislav Holý was a Czech anthropologist and Africanist of the British school of social anthropology.- Early life :Holý studied anthropology and archaeology at the Charles' University in Prague, Czechoslovakia. There he met his future wife and research partner, Alice Sučíková, who accompanied him...

    : The Little and the Great Czech Nation, Cambridge University, 1996

External links