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The settlement of Slavs in present-day Slovakia dates back to the early 6th century. In the middle of the 7th century, the Slavs established a state with the name Samo Kingdom. In the ninth century, the first Christianization started in the regions where Slovaks lived by the Carolingian Emperor. After the 16th century, these regions where Slovaks lived came under the domination of the Habsburg Empire. This domination of the Habsburgs lasted until 1918. After the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire, the Slovaks together with the Czechs established the Czechoslovakian state. With the democratization movements that started in the Eastern Bloc countries in 1990, these two peoples peacefully separated in 1993 and became two independent countries. Slovaks’placing within the borders of present-day Austria dates back to the 13th century. At that time, the regions where they mostly settled in Austria were Vienna and the Province of Lower Austria. Due to the wars with the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century and the industrialization in Vienna and its surroundings in the 19th century, there were two major migration waves from the Slovakian regions to Austria. In those centuries Slovaks were seen as an unknown ethnic group overshadowed by the Czechs living in Austria. Due to this, there is no exact number for the population of Slovaks living in Austria. But, political developments in Eastern Europe since the 1990s have also changed the situation of Slovaks in Austria. In 1992, Slovaks were recognized as a separate autochthonous ethnic group in Austria. The aim of the article is to summarize this process of Slovaks living in Austria towards recognition as an independent ethnic group.

Slovaks, Austria, Minority Rights


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