History in Slovenia

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In the 6th century Slovenians move into this area. The first independent state was formed then, called Karantania. In 745 independence was traded to Franks for defense against Huns. A little later another independent Slovenian state was formed in Panonian region, called Lower Pannoni This state did not last long. The third independent state of Slovenians was formed more than thousand years later in 1991.

From as early as the ninth century Slovenia had fallen under foreign rulers including partial control by Bavarian dukes and the Republic of Venice. With the exception of Napoleon's 4-year tutelage of parts of Slovenia and Croatia -- the "Illyrian Provinces" -- Slovenia was part of the Hapsburg empire from the 14th century until 1918. Nevertheless Slovenia resisted Germanizing influences and retained its unique Slavic language and culture.

In 1918 Slovenia joined with other southern Slav states in forming the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenians as part of the peace plan at the end of World War I. Renamed in 1929 under a Serbian monarch the Kingdom of Yugoslavia fell to the Axis powers during World War II. Following communist partisan resistance to German, Hungarian and Italian occupation socialist Yugoslavia was born under the helm of Josip Broz Tito. During the communist era Slovenia became Yugoslavia's most prosperous republic at the forefront of Yugoslavia's unique mixed economic system. Within a few years of Tito's death in 1980 Belgrade initiated plans to further concentrate political and economic power in its hands. Defying the politicians in Belgrade Slovenia underwent a flowering of democracy and an opening of its society in cultural civic and economic realms to a degree almost unprecedented in the communist world. In September 1989 the General Assembly of the Yugoslav Republic of Slovenia adopted an amendment to its constitution asserting Slovenia's right to secede from Yugoslavia. On December 23 1990 88% of Slovenia's population voted for independence in a referendum and on June 25 1991 the Republic of Slovenia declared its independence. A relatively bloodless 10-day war with Yugoslavia followed; Yugoslav forces withdrew after Slovenia demonstrated stiff resistance to Belgrade.

As a young independent republic Slovenia pursued economic stabilization and further political openness while emphasizing its Western outlook and central European heritage. Today with a growing regional profile as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, a participant in the SFOR deployment in Bosnia, a member of the EU and NATO and a charter WTO member Slovenia plays a role on the world stage quite out of proportion to its small size (population 2 million).

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