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Moravia(mərā`vēə, mō–), Czech Morava, Ger. Mähren, region in the E Czech RepublicCzech Republic,
Czech Česká Republika, or Czechia
, Czech Česko, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,241,000), 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. . The region is bordered on the W by Bohemia, on the E by the Little and White Carpathian Mts., which divide it from Slovakia, and on the N by the Sudetes Mts., which separate it from Silesia and which include the Moravian Gate, a historically strategic north-south route. Central Moravia is a valley, opening in the S on Austria and drained by the Morava River and its tributaries. A fertile agricultural area that encompasses the Haná region (noted both for farming and horse breeding), Moravia has important iron and steel industries as well as diverse light industries. Diverse mineral resources, such as lignite, coal, oil, iron, copper, silver, and lead, spurred industrialization in the 20th cent. South Moravia is the Czech Republic's main wine producing region. Major cities include BrnoBrno
, Ger. Brünn, city (1991 pop. 388,296), SE Czech Republic, at the confluence of the Svratka and Svitava rivers. It is the second largest city of the Czech Republic and the chief city of Moravia.
..... Click the link for more information. , the former Moravian capital and a leading textile center; ZlínZlín
, city (1991 pop. 84,522), E central Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Dřevnice River. From 1949 to 1993 it was called Gottwaldov in honor of Klement Gottwald, Czechoslovakia's first Communist president.
..... Click the link for more information. , famous for its shoe industry; OstravaOstrava
, formerly Moravská Ostrava
, Ger. Mährisch Ostrau, city (1991 pop. 327,371), NE Czech Republic, in Moravia, near the junction of the Oder and Ostravice rivers.
..... Click the link for more information. , a coal-mining center with a large iron and steel industry; and OlomoucOlomouc
, Ger. Olmütz, city (1991 pop. 105,537), E central Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Morava River. Olomouc is an industrial city, with factories producing machinery, appliances, and food products, especially candy and chocolate.
..... Click the link for more information. .
With Bohemia and Czech Silesia, Moravia makes up the Czech Lands, which have been the homeland of the Czechs, a branch of the Western Slavs, since they displaced the Germanic tribes that occupied the region from the 1st to the 5th cent. A.D. Before then, Moravia had been inhabited by the Celtic Boii and Cotini. Subjugated by the Avars, the Czechs freed themselves under the leadership of Samo (627–c.660), who established the first state of the Western Slavs. The state disintegrated after his death, but by the 9th cent. the Moravians, again united, formed a great empire, including Bohemia, Silesia, Slovakia, S Poland, and N Hungary. In 863 the missionaries Cyril and MethodiusCyril and Methodius, Saints
, d. 869 and 884, respectively, Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature. Their history and influence are obscured by conflicting legends.
..... Click the link for more information. were sent to Moravia on the appeal of Duke Rotislav, and the Moravians accepted Christianity, placing themselves under the Roman Catholic Church. The Moravian empire reached its height under Svatopluk (d. 894), but after his death it broke apart and (early 10th cent.) fell to the Magyars.
When Emperor Otto I defeated (955) the Magyars, Moravia became a march of the Holy Roman Empire. From the early 11th cent. it was in effect a crownland of the kingdom of BohemiaBohemia,
Czech Čechy, historic region (20,368 sq mi/52,753 sq km) and former kingdom, in W and central Czech Republic. Bohemia is bounded by Austria in the southeast, by Germany in the west and northwest, by Poland in the north and northeast, and by Moravia in the
..... Click the link for more information. , with which it passed (1526) under Austrian rule. However, Moravia retained its separate diet and was at times separated from the Bohemian crown (e.g., at periods during the Hussite Wars of the 15th cent. and from 1608 to 1611, when Bohemia was ruled by Emperor Rudolf II and Moravia by his brother Matthias). Moravia, generally more tolerant of Hapsburg authority than Bohemia, suffered less in the religious and civil strife of the 16th cent. and even experienced a flowering of Protestantism during a period of religious toleration. In 1618, however, the Czechs of Bohemia revolted and were crushed at the battle of the White MountainWhite Mountain
or White Hill,
Czech Bílá Hora, hill near Prague, Czech Republic. There, in Nov., 1620, the Czech Protestants under Christian of Anhalt were routed by the combined armies of the empire and of the Catholic League, under Tilly.
..... Click the link for more information. by the Hapsburgs, who thereafter took reprisals against the Moravian Czechs as well. Moravia's diet was reduced to total ineffectiveness. The Moravian towns underwent thorough Germanization from the 13th cent. Under Hapsburg rule nearly the entire upper and middle classes were German; cities such as Brno, predominantly German-speaking, were surrounded by a countryside of Czech-speaking people. In 1849, following an abortive revolution during which the Czechs of Bohemia and Moravia demanded unification of their historic lands and creation of a common diet, Moravia was made an Austrian crownland.
Hapsburg rule was finally overthrown in 1918, and Moravia was incorporated into Czechoslovakia. In 1927, Moravia, with Czechoslovak SilesiaSilesia
, Czech Slezsko, Ger. Schlesien, Pol. Śląsk, region of E central Europe, extending along both banks of the Oder River and bounded in the south by the mountain ranges of the Sudetes—particularly the Krkonoše (Ger.
..... Click the link for more information. , was constituted into the province of Moravia and Silesia. The German element, however, continued to play an important part in Moravian life. The Munich PactMunich Pact,
1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see Sudetes) of Czechoslovakia for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1938 resulted in the annexation by Germany of Czechoslovak Silesia, of NW and S Moravia, and of N and W Bohemia (the Sudetenland). In 1939 Moravia and Bohemia became a German "protectorate."
After World War II the pre-1938 boundaries were restored, and the larger part of the German-speaking population was expelled. In 1949 the province of Moravia and Silesia was replaced by four administrative regions, and in 1960, in a new administrative reorganization, Moravia was divided into the South Moravian region (5,795 sq mi/15,009 sq km) and the North Moravian region (4,271 sq mi/11,062 sq km). On Jan. 1, 1969, the Moravian region, along with Bohemia and Czech Silesia, was incorporated into the Czech Socialist Republic, renamed the Czech Republic in 1990. The Czech Republic became an independent state when Czechoslvakia was dissolved on Jan. 1, 1993.
(Morava), a historical region in Czechoslovakia.
The first settlements on the territory of Moravia date to the early Paleolithic era. In about 400 B. C., Moravia was settled by Celts, who were forced out by the German Marcomanni and Quadi tribes early in the Common Era. In the mid-first millennium, the territory was settled by Slavs (including the Moravians), who became the predominant inhabitants in the sixth and seventh centuries. From 623 to 658, Moravia was part of the Slavic principality of Samo, and in the ninth and early tenth centuries it was part of the Great Moravian State (its main centers were in southern Moravia). In 1029 it became part of the holdings of the Bohemian Pfemyslids; during the period of feudal fragmentation it was divided into appanage principalities. In 1063 the Olomouc bishopric was established.
Moravia became an imperial margravate (part of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1182 and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Bohemian prince (king) in 1197. Intensive German colonization took place. The development of trade and cities and the formation of the Moravian diet and other state institutions, which took on their final form in the 14th to 16th centuries, date to the 13th century. Moravian peasants and townspeople took part in the Hussite revolutionary movement (first half of the 15th century). In the early 16th century, Reformation doctrines (Lutheranism and Anabaptism) were disseminated in Moravia. In 1526, together with Bohemia, it was placed under Hapsburg rule.
After the defeat of the anti-Hapsburg Bohemian Uprising of 1618–20, national oppression from German and germanized feudal lords increased, and a severe Catholic reaction began. In 1628 the rights of the state institutions in Moravia were curtailed, and the diet lost its significance; Moravia was virtually transformed into a province of the Hapsburg monarchy. In 1782 it was united with Austrian Silesia into one administrative unit, with its center in Brno; in 1849 it was made into a special crown land. By the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the most economically developed regions of Austria-Hungary. The cities of Brno, Ostrava, and Zlin (now Gottwaldov) were the largest centers of the workers’ movement. After the creation of the Czechoslovak republic (1918), Moravia became part of the republic. In 1938 much of Moravia was seized by fascist Germany. In March 1939, the rest of Moravia was occupied, and it became part of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In April and May 1945, Moravia was liberated from the fascist German aggressors by the Soviet Army. In 1949 it was divided into administrative provinces (mainly the North Moravian and South Moravian provinces). According to a constitutional law that went into effect Jan. 1, 1969, the territory of Moravia was made part of the Czech Socialist Republic of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.