Vladislav's son, King
, was decisively defeated by the
(Turks) at the
Battle of Mohács
and subsequently died. As a result, the Turks conquered part of the
Kingdom of Hungary; the rest (mainly Slovakia) came under Habsburg rule under the terms of King
Louis' marriage contract. The Bohemian estates elected Archduke
, younger brother of
, to succeed Louis as king of Bohemia. Thus began almost four centuries of
Habsburg rule for both Bohemia and Slovakia.
Czech Nobles rebelled against the Habsburg Crown.
On November 8, 1620, the
decisive battle for the uprising took place at White Mountain (Bílá Hora) near Prague. It lasted two
hours and the poorly paid and demoralized estates’ army lost the battle. The Battle of White Mountain
went down in Czech national history as the beginning of a “dark period” involving the decline of the
300 Years of Darkness.
Day of Blood.
Many Czechs were publicly executed, expelled, fled, or forcibly converted.
Native Czech elite disappeared and assimilated in Germanic Culture.
The Paris revolution of February 1848 precipitated a succession of liberal and
national revolts against autocratic governments. Revolutionary disturbances pervaded the territories of
the Austrian Empire, and Emperor
(1835-48) promised to reorganize the empire on a
constitutional, parliamentary basis.
In the Bohemian Kingdom, a national committee was formed that included
Germans and Czechs. But Bohemian Germans favored creating a Greater Germany out of various
German-speaking territories. The Bohemian Germans soon withdrew from the committee, signaling
the Czech-German conflict that would characterize subsequent history. Palacky proposed Austro-
Slavism as the creed of the Czech national movement. He advocated the preservation of the Austrian
Empire as a buffer against both German and Russian expansionism. He also proposed the
federalization of the empire on an ethnographic basis to unite the Bohemian Germans with Austria in
one province and Czechs and Slovaks in another. Palacky further suggested that the various Slavic
peoples of the empire, together constituting a majority, should form a political unit to defend their
common interests. In June 1848 the Czechs convened the first
to discuss the
possibility of political consolidation of Austrian Slavs, including Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Ruthenians
(Ukrainians), Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs.