The Czech Republic is made up of the two historical-geographical regions of Bohemia and Moravia, the first, to the W, more extensive and populated, in which the capital rises, surrounded by hills and crossed by the Elbe; the second, to the E, mainly hilly and crossed by the Morava. Originally inhabited by a population of Celtic origin (but the evidence of the first settlements dates back to Bohemia even to the Paleolithic), the two regions found themselves united for the first time in the 9th century. d. C., in the reign of the great Moravia, ruled by the Mojmirovci dynasty, while two centuries later, in 1029, it was Bohemia, led by the premyslida sovereign Bretislao I to subdue the neighbor. Despite an attempt to Frederick Barbarossa Iagelloni to separate them (1182), Bohemia and Moravia nevertheless remained united under Bohemian control, and always united under the dominion of the Habsburgs and then the Luxembourgs, under which Bohemia and Prague experienced the period of greatest splendor of their entire history during the reign of the sovereign Charles IV (1347-78). In 1468 Moravia became a possession of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, while in Bohemia the dynasty ofit replaced the extinct stock of Luxembourg; but in 1490 the election of Ladislao II Iagellone as king of Hungary involved the umpteenth reunification of the regions, which from that moment on were always united. They then underwent the passage to the Habsburg domination (1526), and the downgrading to provinces of the empire (Bohemia in 1620 and Moravia in 1749) of which they were part until its dissolution in 1918, the year that saw the constitution of the state independent of Czechoslovakia.
Since then, and until the split between the Czech and Slovak Republics (1992), the two regions were always part of the Czechoslovak state, except for the interlude of the German occupation between 1939 and 1945 (during which Hitler had established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia). In 1992 the consensual separation between the Czechs and the Slovaks took place, by virtue of which the regions of Bohemia and Moravia formed the Czech Republic. The institutional life of the new state began maintaining the previous structures: the 200 parliamentarians of the old National Council and Prime Minister Václav Klaus, leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). According to computerminus, President of the Republic was elected (January 26, 1993) Václav Havel, former president of Czechoslovakia from December 1989 to July 1992. The national history of the new state was immediately complicated by the problems of a political and economic transition capable of bringing the country to the level of Western democracies. First of all, that of the reconversion of the productive apparatus, which in the first years of independence gave rise to various scandals that put the government in great embarrassment (1994-95). In this climate we reached the political elections of May 1996, in which the center-right lost the absolute majority, while the Social Democrats (CSSD) advanced and the xenophobic extreme right of the Republicans emerged threateningly. The political upheaval, however, was not such as to indicate an alternative government, so that Klaus returned to the helm of a new coalition executive, together with the Christian Democrats (KDU) and the Democratic Civic Alliance (ODA). At the end of 1996 the Czech government resolved with Germany, also by virtue of the new and profitable economic relations that have developed in the meantime between the two states, the long dispute between the two countries relating to forced expatriation from Czechoslovakia, after the Second World War, two and a half million Germans from Bohemia-Moravia and Sudetenland. The successes in foreign policy, however, were matched by a certain political instability, which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Klaus and the formation of a government of technicians, chaired by Josef Tosovsky, Prime Minister also by virtue of the new and profitable economic relations that have developed in the meantime between the two states, the long dispute between the two countries concerning the forced expatriation from Czechoslovakia, after the Second World War, of two and a half million Germans from Bohemia-Moravia and of the Sudetenland. The successes in foreign policy, however, were matched by a certain political instability, which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Klaus and the formation of a government of technicians, chaired by Josef Tosovsky, Prime Minister interim.
Re-elected president of the Republic in 1998, Havel called new political elections, which saw the rise of the Social Democratic Party and the appointment of its leader Miloš Zeman as prime minister (June 1998), which completed the privatization process of the country’s economy. The political elections of June 2002 confirmed the success of the Social Democratic Party, albeit to a very narrow extent (with only 101 seats out of the 200 available). Its leader, Vladimir Spidla, was therefore appointed prime minister. On the international level, in March 1999, the Czech Republic made its official entry into NATO and, in December 2002, at the Copenhagen summit, concluded the negotiations for accession to the EU.. In the presidential elections of 2003, Vaclav Klaus, leader of the opposition, succeeded Vaclav Havel. In the same year, with a referendum, the population approved the entry into the EU, which took place in May 2004. The disastrous results of the ruling party in the European elections in June of the same year led to the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. The task of forming the new government was entrusted to Stanislav Gross, vice president of the Social Democratic Party. In April 2005, Gross resigned due to a financial scandal he was involved in. The Social Democrat Jiri Paroubek was appointed in his place. In June 2006 the legislative elections were held, won by the opposition leader Mirek Topolanek, from the party of the Civic Democrats (ODS) with 35.38%, while the Social Democrats (CSSD) took 32.32%. Subsequently, President Klaus entrusted Topolanek with the task of forming the new government. In February 2008 V. Klaus was re-elected to the presidency for another five years with a majority of 141 votes, thus beating the Social Democratic opponent Jan Svejnar. In July a treaty was signed with the USA for the installation of a radar system in Czech territory. In October 2008 the CSSD won the senatorial elections, defeating the liberals (ODS). In March 2009, Prime Minister Topolanek resigned following a vote of no confidence in parliament, the following month the CSSD and the Civic Democratic Party reached an agreement for the appointment of Jan Fisher as premier. In November, after the green light from the Supreme Court, the president signed the Lisbon Treaty. In February 2010, the far-right Labor Party (DS) was outlawed by the Supreme Administrative Court due to its leaders’ racist utterances; while in May the elections for the renewal of Parliament saw the defeat of the two major parties in the country, ODS and CSSD, which despite being the most voted, lost many votes in favor of the conservatives of TOP 09 and of the political group “Public Affairs” founded by journalist John Radek. In June, President Klaus appointed Petr Necas (ODS) as Prime Minister. In January 2013, former premier Miloš Zeman won the presidential elections, while in October the legislative elections saw the victory of the Social Democrats, but with a clear advance of the populist parties Ano 2011 and Top 09.