Czech Republic- History
In 1310 Jan Lucemburský inherited the Czech country after his father, The Emperor Jindřich VII. But Jan had conflicts with the Czech nobility and therefore lived in France. He got the nickname “King Foreigner”. At the end of his life he fought with France against England in 100 years war. He died in a battle near Kresčak. His son Karel was educated in France. He was responsible for the advancement of the Prague bishopric to archbishopric. Under his supervision the basilica of Saint Vitus was rebuilt to a gothic cathedral. He also became a Czech king. In 1355 he became an Emperor. He was the fourth Emperor of this name so he was called Karel IV. He introduced Prague as a cultural and political centre of Western Europe. He founded the Prague University in 1348, build a new stone bridge over the river Vltava named after him Charles bridge, and the castle Karlštejn. He also gave the order for new coronation jewels to be made. Under the rule of Václav IV. the Czech country was not admired and he was rejected the title of Emperor. He edited the document called Dekret kutnohorský in 1409. This patent changed the rate of votes at Charles University; the Czechs had three votes and the others only one. On the 6th July 1415 master Jan Hus was burned to death. Then the action of the Hussite movement called defenestration followed. The Hussites went to the town hall and threw all councillors down from a window. When the king Václav heard the report about the Hussites, he had a heart attack and died. Zikmund Lucemburský should have become king after Václav, but the Hussites did not want him to. And so the war between Zikmund and the Hussites began. The Hussites were led by a very good general called Jan Žižka and were not defeated until battle near Lipany in 1434. After the war, Zikmund Lucemburský became king. He died the following year. Then there were 14 years without any ruler in the Czech country. The next famous ruler was Jiří z Poděbrad. He was fighting for the Czech throne against his son-in-law Matyáš Korvín, who was supported by the Pope. The war finished when Jiří z Poděbrad died. The next famous king was Ludvík Jagellonský. He was crowned to be the Czech king when he was three years old. He united the Czech state with Hungary. He died in the battle near Moháč where he fought against the Turks. He had no heir, and so the next Czech king had to be elected.
The Czech parliament elected Ferdinand Habsburský. This act meant the beginning of the rule of the Habsburg dynasty on the Czech throne, which continued for 400 years. The next king, Rudolf II., liked astrology, alchemy, magic and arts. During his rule there were outstanding personalities in Prague e.g. E. Kelley, J. Dee, Tycho de Brahe, and J. Kepler. The legend about Golem made by rabbi Löw comes from this time. Rudolf II. had big collections of art and inventions. In 1618 the second Prague defenestration began the Thirty-Year War. Catholics and non-Catholics fought against themselves at the battle on the White Mountain in 1620. The Catholics won, and so Ferdinand II. became king. He announced Catholicism as the only religion and executed 27 Czech lords who fought against him back in 1620. In 1627 non-Catholics had to leave the Czech state or convert to Catholicism. It meant that a majority of properties in the Czech country was owned by foreign nobility. During and after his reign the absolutism triumphed. Charles VI. was the last man in the Habsburg dynasty and so his main problem was his heir. He had a child but it was a woman. So he issued a document which said that if there was no man in the Habsburg dynasty, a woman could become heir to the throne.
Marie Terezie became Empress. She was very well educated. She reformed the state administration, judiciary and education systems. She introduced compulsory school attendance. She ruled together with her first-born son Josef II. After her death, Josef II. became Emperor. He liked to travel incognito, under the name of Falkenstein. He was very popular. The next ruler František was not so liberal as his father or grand father was. He had to fight against the French Emperor Napoleon. František I. defeated him together with Russia. He again introduced absolutism. During the revolution in 1848, František Josef I. became Emperor. He defeated the revolution. That started the World War I.