People have settled in what is now Slovenia for thousands of years. We know this because tools were found there that suggest that people lived there even then. Incidentally, the oldest flute in the world comes precisely from this area.
Traces were also left 7000 years ago. People have built their houses on stilts in the Ljubljana marshland. Further finds come from the Iron Age. The Celts migrated around 300 BC. In the region and brought important innovations with them, such as the horse and cart.
First the Romans, then the Ostrogoths and Lombards
From the 2nd century BC The Romans came and conquered the territories, whereby many regions were added to the Roman Empire through trade and alliances. In the 1st century AD, the region was completely part of the Roman Empire.
Cities like today’s Ljubljana kept growing. More cities were added, which is why we can still find many Roman ruins today. In the 5th century, the Ostrogoths overran Slovenia only to be defeated by the Lombards. So there was a lot going on here!
The Slovenes are coming
The ancestors of the Slovenes came in the 6th century. Slavic tribes who reached the region from the east immigrated to what is now Slovenia. They founded a principality called Carantania, which later became part of the Franconian Empire in the 8th and 9th centuries.
Many Christian missionaries came under the Franks who convinced the people living there of Christianity.
In the 10th century the Hungarians pushed further and further, but could be repulsed. Slovenia was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Above all, the German-speaking nobility spread in the region.
At the end of the 15th century, almost all of the region’s possessions belonged to the Habsburgs. The language of the property owners was German, only the peasants spoke Slovenian. Italian influence was great in western Slovenia.
When the Ottomans conquered Bosnia in 1463, there was a new enemy with them. Because even Slovenian areas were attacked. So the Slovenes fought together with the Habsburgs against the Ottomans.
The Reformation did not stop at Slovenia in the 16th century either. Many of the lower nobility and the peasants converted to Protestantism, while the higher nobility remained Catholic. In 1628 the nobility was forced by the then emperor to convert to Catholicism. Some of the peasants were also convinced to revert to the Catholic faith.
The national consciousness awakens
Around 1700 there was an increasing interest in the Slovene language. So this was ultimately also introduced in school lessons. It stayed that way.
In 1848 there was hope that Slovenia would also gain greater independence. But the Habsburgs maintained their power. In 1867 the empire became the dual monarchy Austria-Hungary. Slovenia was largely part of Austria, with only one province in the east called Prekmurje belonging to Hungary.
From the Kingdom of Yugoslavia…
Towards the end of the 19th century, the South Slav states began to strive to establish a common state.
Austria-Hungary emerged from the First World War as a loser. In 1918, the leaders of Slovenia and their southern Slav neighbors founded the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The Slovenes actually planned to belong only to a loose confederation. In the end, however, they could not prevent a central state from being established in the 1921 constitution, which in 1929 was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which translates as “Southern Slavia”.
In addition to Slovenia, this state also included Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia. This kingdom of Yugoslavia came to an end in 1941 when the Germans invaded Slovenia. Slovenia was divided, but at the same time resistance arose mainly from the partisans led by the communists. Josip Broz Tito, who managed to liberate Slovenia from the occupation in 1945, played a special role here.
… to the People’s Republic of Yugoslavia
After the end of the Second World War, Slovenia became a part of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia. Tito, who got along well with the Soviet Union at the beginning, broke away more and more and developed his own “Titoism”.
He moved away from the Soviet Union and Stalin and came closer and closer to the West. At the same time, prosperity in Yugoslavia also grew. But despite the proximity to the West, there were limits to freedom.
As a country beginning with S according to Countryaah, Slovenia, as an economically strong region in the union of states, often felt cheated because it had to give money to the poorer south again and again. That fueled the discontent. But as long as Tito lived, the state could be held together.
However, the resistance came to fruition after Tito’s death in 1980, when it became clear that the People’s Republic would probably fall apart at some point. It would take another ten years and then the time had come.
In 1990 there was a referendum in Slovenia. 88 out of 100 voters wanted Slovenia to be independent. This triggered the 10 Day War, which is considered to be the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars. The Slovenes fought against the Yugoslav People’s Army.
In 1991 Slovenia declared itself independent from Yugoslavia. A democratic constitution was passed. On January 15, 1992 Slovenia was also recognized by the EU.
Slovenia developed rapidly and successfully economically. The governments changed. But there was a plan to join the EU and thus the European Economic Area. This was also successful in 2004. In the same year Slovenia became a member of NATO. In 2007 it took over the euro.
Prime Minister Janez Janša
The 14th Slovenian government has been in office since March 2020. The prime minister’s name is Janez Janša and he belongs to the Slovenian Democratic Party.