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However, a national awakening in the nineteenth century, culminating in the political protest movement of 1848, reestablished a sense of Czech identity.
After the Austrian declaration of war on Serbia and Russia in 1914, the Czechs and Slovaks, in a struggle to establish a common republic, joined the side of the Allies.
Prior to the nineteenth century, few Czechs had immigrated to the United States, and evidence of their presence during the colonial and revolutionary periods is sketchy.
Divided between the followers of Hus—the Hussites—and the Catholics, the country was attacked by crusaders and plunged into turmoil.
Through a dynastic union with the Jagiello family in Poland, the kings of Bohemia eventually became linked to the House of the Austrian Habsburgs, which ruled there from 1526 to 1918.
Favoring monarchical control over the Protestant Reformation, the Habsburgs opposed the Bohemian estates, a struggle that resulted in the defeat of the Bohemian Protestant insurgents at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620.
Many thousands of noblemen were expelled from the country, and Bohemia was completely absorbed into the Habsburg empire, with German becoming the primary language of instruction in the schools.
After the decline of the Přemsylides, Bohemia was ruled for a time by the House of Luxembourg.
The union of King John of Luxembourg with the Czech princess Elizabeth produced a son, Charles IV (1346-1378), who, as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, established Bohemia as the center of the empire and made Prague its cultural center. In the fifteenth century the university became the center of a church reform movement led by Jan Hus (1369-1415), who was burned as a heretic in 1415.
Although for a time assimilated into the neighboring Moravian Empire, Bohemia emerged as the stronger power and absorbed Moravia in the eleventh century.
Under its ruling dynasty, the Přemsylides, Bohemia became Christian in the ninth century and a member of the Holy Roman Empire in the eleventh century, led by the German kings but retaining its own monarchy.
In the aftermath of World War II, the Soviet Union began to tighten its control over central Europe, and in February 1948 it staged a governmental crisis in Czechoslovakia that solidified Communist control over the Czech government.
A trend toward democratic liberalization in the 1960s culminated in the events of the Prague Spring in 1968, when a cultural revolution headed by the reformer Alexander Dubček was suppressed by the military intervention of the Soviet Union.