Czech and Slovak Federal Republic
|Czech and Slovak Federative Republic|
|Česká a Slovenská Federativní / Federatívna Republika|
"Pravda vítězí / Pravda víťazí" (Czech/Slovak)
"Veritas Vincit" (Latin)
Kde domov můj • Nad Tatrou sa blýska
"Where is my home? Lightning over the Tatras"
|Languages||Czech · Slovak|
|-||1992||Jan Stráský (acting)|
|-||Post-Velvet Revolution constitutional change||23 April 1990|
|-||Dissolution of Czechoslovakia||31 December 1992|
|-||1992||127,900 km² (49,382 sq mi)|
|Density||122 /km² (315.9 /sq mi)|
Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (Czech/Slovak: Česká a Slovenská Federativní/Federatívna Republika, ČSFR) was the official name of Czechoslovakia from April 1990 until 31 December 1992, when the country was dissolved into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
Adoption of the name
Since 1960, Czechoslovakia's official name had been the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (Československá socialistická republika, ČSSR). In the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution, newly elected President Václav Havel announced that "Socialist" would be dropped from the country's official name.
While a return to the pre-1960 form Československá republika (Czechoslovak Republic) seemed obvious, Slovak politicians objected that the traditional name subsumed Slovakia's equal stature too much. The first compromise was Constitutional Law 81/1990, which changed the country's name to Czechoslovak Federative Republic (Czech: ''Československá federativní republika, Slovak: Česko-slovenská federatívna republika), explicitly acknowledging the federal nature of the state. It was passed on 29 March 1990 (coming into force on the same day) only after an informal agreement on the Slovak form which would be explicitly codified by a future law on state symbols. This was met with general disapproval and another round of haggling, dubbed "the hyphen war" (pomlčková válka / vojna) after Slovaks' wish to insert a hyphen into the name (Česko-Slovensko). However, aggrieved Czechs vehemently opposed it as too reminiscent of such practice during the "Second Republic" mutilated by the Munich Agreement and slipping toward fascism and final dismemberment. The resultant compromise after much behind-the-scenes negotiation was the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (Constitutional Law 101/1990, passed on 20 April and in force since its declaration on 23 April; unlike the previous one, it also explicitly listed both Czech and Slovak version and stated they were equal).
The name breaks the rules of Czech and Slovak orthography which do not use capitalization for proper names' second and further words (see above), nor adjectives derived from them. Thus the correct form would be "Česká a slovenská federat... republika" but "Česká a Slovenská F. R." was adopted to imply a conjunction of two national republics, each having "federal" in its name. While few people were happy with the name, it came into use quickly. Czech and Slovak tensions, of which this was an early sign, soon became manifest in matters of greater immediate importance which made the country's name a comparatively minor issue and at the same time even more impossible to change, so the name remained.
The 1960 Constitution remained in force on an interim basis. However, it was heavily amended to prune out its Communist character. Work on a permanent constitution was still underway at the time of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
- (Czech) (Slovak) Transcription of Federal Assembly proceedings when adopting 81/1990.