Note: Communists seized complete control of the government in 1948. During the 1960s, a movement toward liberalization effected many democratizing reforms. An alarmed Soviet Union, along with its Warsaw Pact allies, put an abrupt end to the movement by invading Prague in 1968.
Note: Czechoslovakia was created by the union of the Czech lands and Slovakia, which took place in 1918, as the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart.
Note: The Munich Pact partitioned Czechoslovakia in 1938, giving one of its regions, the Sudetenland, to Germany in an attempt to avoid war.
Note: The country surrendered to German control in 1939 and was liberated by American and Soviet forces at the end of World War II.
Note: The communist government, confronted by mass pro-democracy demonstrations, resigned in 1989. In 1991, the last Soviet troops left the country. The end of communist rule resulted in the split of the republic into two independent states, The Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993.