According to Countryaah, The Czech population density is 134 residents per km 2. The most important population concentrations are the Prague area and the coal mining district around Ostrava in the eastern Czech Republic.
About 74 percent of the population lives in cities, of which Prague (1.2 million residents, 2014) is the largest. Other major cities are Brno (377,500) and Ostrava (295,600).
For information on life expectancy and other demographic statistics, see Country facts.
The official language is Czech, which is spoken as a native language by 95% of the population. In the Czech parts of Silesia, dialects are spoken by some scholars as Polish rather than Czech. More than 190,000 people speak Slovak, which is also used by the Romanian population alongside Romani. Of the large German minority before the end of the Second World War (1/3 of the Bohemian-Moravian residents), a maximum of 39,000 remain today.
In November 1989, the state’s restrictions on the churches ceased. Religious statistics from the communist era are not reliable. In a 1991 survey, 43.9% declared themselves believers, 39.9% atheists. 39% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church (with its archbishop’s seat in Prague), 2.5% to the Protestant churches, 1.7% to the Hittite church. There is ecumenical cooperation between the churches.
In the first parliamentary elections – in 1920 – the Social Democrats gained over 40% of the vote. Still, they partnered with the bourgeois parties, which split the party. In 1921, the Communist Party was formed. Initially it was the largest party in the country, but later – after the Comintern forced a “Bolshevik” of it – it lost its strong position. After all, the Communist Party was always represented in Parliament – unlike the other countries in Central Europe.
The new state was a capitalist country with a bourgeois-democratic political system based on French example. The two Liberal Democratic presidents, Tomás Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Benes, had a great influence and enjoyed great confidence. Party political affiliation was weak, and in elections more than 30 parties often competed for the votes. The government constellations most often consisted of various bourgeois parties and social democrats. Despite all contradictions, the independent bourgeois-democratic republic represented an important step forward for both Czechs and Slovakians.
The world crisis in the 1930s particularly affected the Sudets because it was the most industrialized region and strengthened German nationalism, which, following Hitler’s takeover of power in 1933, received separatist overtones. In foreign policy, Czechoslovakia was allied with France and Britain during the interwar period. When Hitler-Germany’s aggressiveness began to threaten the country, in 1935 a defense alliance was created between France, Czechoslovakia and the United Kingdom. But already in 1938, France and Britain succumbed to the pressure of Hitler. With the so-called Munich dictate, Czechoslovakia was forced to relinquish its border areas to Germany, Hungary and Poland. The defenseless republic stayed alive for another six months, but in March 1939 Nazi Germany invaded. Bohemia-Moravia and Slovakia were transformed into a noisy under Nazi Germany.
During World War II, Czechs and Slovaks fought for their emancipation. President Edvard Benes formed an exile government in London while the leading communists worked from Moscow. Both in the west and east of the Soviet Union a Czechoslovak army corps emerged. Domestic resistance peaked in 1944 with a widespread uprising in Slovakia. In the spring of 1945, the uprising reached Bohemia-Moravia and 300,000 Czechs and Slovaks sacrificed their lives in the anti-fascist struggle.
In 1943, the Czechoslovak exile government entered into a friendship, cooperation and assistance agreement with the Soviet Union. At the same time, the parties in Benes’ exile government negotiated with the leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party – above all with Klement Gottwald. They spoke, among other things. on the inner conditions of a future free Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party presented a program of a “national and democratic revolution” to the other parties and they accepted it.
Between October 1944 and May 1945, the Soviet army fought the last battles on Czechoslovak soil. They were welcomed as liberators. With the so-called Yalta agreement, the great powers accepted that Czechoslovakia was the Soviet Union’s area of interest. In Potsdam in 1945, they approved that Czechoslovakia forced the displacement of most of the three million Germans into defeated Germany. Transcarpathian Ukraine was entrusted to the Soviet Union. Slovakia gained a form of autonomy in free Czechoslovakia, with its own national bodies. Still, this was not the federative solution the Slovakians would prefer.
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The Czechoslovak government had representatives from six Democratic parties in the National Front. This government was formed in Moscow and began its work on Czechoslovak soil in April 1945. The Communist Party quickly became the largest of these parties. In the spring of 1946 it had over a million members. The party was clearly the best organized and therefore secured important items within the newly formed state apparatus. In the 1946 parliamentary elections, it received 38% of the vote. The Socialist majority in Parliament then reached 51% – including the Social Democrats. The “People’s Democratic” government implemented a fairly comprehensive nationalization of the big industry. Major agricultural reforms and a number of important social and cultural reforms were initiated.