one of the Slavic population groups, the Slovenes, settled
in the 6th century possibly in the area that is today
Slovenia. It was subjugated to Bavaria from the year 743,
but later incorporated into the Frankish Empire of Karl D.
Store. With the division of the empire in the 9th century,
the area was taken over by the Germans. The Slovenes were
reduced to aliens and the region north of the Drava River
was totally "Germanized".
However, the Slovenian people retained their cultural
distinctiveness, thanks to the efforts of their leaders, who
for the most part were monks. Austria expanded its sphere of
interest in the area from the end of the 13th century. In
the period from the 15th to the 16th year. made the Slovenes
revolt numerous times; together with the Croats, in 1573,
they succeeded in forcing the Austrian king to improve the
conditions of the peasants.
Much of Slovenia was, after 1809, incorporated into the
ilyric provinces of Napoleonic Empire. After his defeat in
1814, the dominance of the Habsburgs in the region was
restored. After the revolution of 1848, the Slovenes
demanded the creation of a united Slovenian province under
the Austrian royal house; the first initiatives to implement
this were taken in the 1870s.
In the 1890s, the political parties "The Slovenian
People", which were Catholic, were formed; the Liberal
Progress Party and the Socialist Party. Members of the
Catholic priesthood participated in the collective
organization of peasants and craftsmen. In 1917, the
Austrian Parliament, as well as representatives of the
Slovenes and other Slavic peoples, defended the unification
of the territories into a political, autonomous unit under
the leadership of the Habsburgs.
At the end of World War I in 1918, and under the
influence of popular enthusiasm over the defeat of
Austria-Hungary, the Slovenian leaders supported the
creation of a Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian kingdom. The
new nation was christened in 1919 Yugoslavia, meaning the
land of the South Slavs.
With the Treaty of Saint Germain signed between the
victors and Austria, only a small part of southern Carintia
was allocated to Yugoslavia. Two referendums were cast to
decide the remainder of Carintia's fate, but when the people
of the South in 1920 voted in favor of an affiliation with
Austria, the referendum in the north was canceled and both
regions came under Austrian leadership.
The Serbs' dominant position in Yugoslavia led to some
dissatisfaction among the Slovenes, although not as extreme
as the Croats, where strong anti-Serbian organizations
emerged. During World War II, Slovenia was divided between
Italy, Germany and Hungary. Among the Slovenian freedom
fighters in particular stood out the Liberation Front, which
was led by the Communists.
The communist resistance movement was fought
simultaneously on two fronts: against the occupying powers
and against the internal opponents, especially against the
Slovenian People's Party. The occupiers, in turn, formed
anti-communist militias with the participation of the
locals. After the defeat of the Axis powers, most of
Slovenia was again incorporated into Yugoslavia.
In founding the People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945,
Slovenia became one of the six republics of the federation
with its own legislative assembly and government. The
Legislative Assembly was composed of the Republic Council,
elected by the people, and a Council of Producers, elected
by workers and officials of the Slovenian industry.
Although these bodies did not constitute an independent
government in a self-governing system led by the Yugoslav
Communist League, Slovenia largely maintained its economic
and cultural independence. When the new constitution was
introduced in 1974, the name Socialist Republic was added.