|c. 10-12 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Czech Republic 6,732,104[note 1]|
(including German Bohemians)
|Mainly non-religious (Atheism, Agnosticism, Deism) or Roman Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|West Slavs (Poles, Slovaks), Germans, Austrians, Celts|
Czechs, or Czech people (Czech: Češi, Czech pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛʃɪ], archaic Czech: Čechové [ˈtʃɛxɔvɛː]) are a nation and an ethnic group native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who speak the Czech language. Historically, the Czech population known as Bohemians until the end of 19th century after the late Iron Age tribe of Boii and their land Bohemia, descended from peoples of Celtic origin, later mixing with West Slavic and Germanic settlers.
The Czech people are the descendants of Celts and the Gallic tribe Boii mixed with West Slavs who settled in Bohemia, Moravia and Austria in the 6th century and Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi in 1st century and later also Germans in the 13th century.
According to a popular myth, the Slavic settlers come from Forefather Čech who settled at Říp Mountain. In 880, Prague Castle was constructed by Prince Bořivoj and the city of Prague was established. Vratislav II was the first Czech king in 1085.
The second half of the 13th century was a period of large-scale German immigration into Czech lands. The number of Czechs who have at least partly German ancestry probably runs into hundreds of thousands. The Habsburg Monarchy focused much of its power on religious wars against the Protestants. While these religious wars were taking place, the Czech estates revolted against Habsburg from 1546 to 1547 but were ultimately defeated.
Czech patriotic authors tend to call the following period, from 1620 to 1648 until the late 18th century, the "Dark Age". It is characterized by devastation by foreign troops; Germanization; and economic and political decline. It is estimated that the population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to the Thirty Years' War and the expulsion of Protestants.
In 1918, independent Czechoslovakia was proclaimed, and Czechs formed the leading class in the new state from the remnants of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. In 1938 the Munich Agreement severed the Sudetenland, with a considerable Czech minority, from Czechoslovakia, and in 1939 the German Nazi regime established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia for the so-calling "remaining Czechia" (Resttschechei). Emil Hácha became president of the protectorate under Nazi domination, which only allowed pro-Nazi Czech associations and tended to stress ties of the Czechs with the Bohemian Germans and other parts of the German people, in order to facilitate assimilation by Germanization. In Lidice, Ležáky and Javoříčko the Nazi authorities committed war crimes against the local Czech population. On May 2, 1945 the Prague Uprising reached its peak, supported by the Russian Liberation Army. The post-war expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia and the immediate reprisals against Germans and Nazi collaborators by Czech resistance and the Czechoslovak state authorities, made Czechs – especially in the early 1950s – settle alongside Slovaks and Romani people in the former lands of the Sudeten Germans, who had been deported to East Germany, West Germany and Austria according to the Potsdam Conference and Yalta Conference.
Tens of thousands of Czechs had repatriated from Volhynia and Banat after World War II. Since the 1990s, the Czech Republic has been working to repatriate Romania and Kazakhstan's ethnic Czechs.
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 was followed by a wave of emigration, unseen before and stopped shortly after (estimate: 70,000 immediately, 300,000 in total), typically of highly qualified people.
Following the Czech Republic's entry into the European Union in May 2004, Czechs gained the right to work in some other EU countries.
The population of the Czech lands has been influenced by different human migrations that wide-crossed Europe over time. In their Y-DNA haplogroups, which are inherited along the male line, Czechs have shown a mix of Eastern and Western European traits. 34.2% of Czech males belong to R1a, which is particularly common in a large region extending from South Asia and Southern Siberia to Central Europe and Scandinavia. According to a 2000 study, 35.6% of Czech males have haplogroup R1b, which is very common in Western Europe among Germanic and Celtic nations, but rare among Slavic nations.
A high frequency of mutation of the G551D gene CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), causing cystic fibrosis is found in the Czech Republic, Austria, and among the Celtic nations: Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Ireland and Brittany.
About 3% of inhabitants of Moravia have also intermixed with Central Asian nomadic tribes, who migrated into Central and Eastern Europe in the early Middle Ages.
There are also ancient folk stories about the Czech people, such as the Forefather Čech, who according to legend brought the tribe of Czechs into its land, or Přemysl, the Ploughman, who started the dynasty that ruled for 400 years until 1306.
The most successful and influential of all Czech kings was Charles IV, who also became the Holy Roman Emperor. The Luxembourg dynasty represents the heights of Czech (Bohemian) statehood territorial and influence as well as advancement in many areas of human endeavors.
Many people are considered national heroes and cultural icons, many national stories concern their lives. Jan Hus was a religious reformist from the 15th century and spiritual father of the Hussite Movement. The teacher of nations Jan Amos Komenský is also considered a notable figure in Czech history. Josef Jungmann is often credited for expanding the modern Czech language, and preventing its extinction.
The Czech Republic has had multiple prime ministers the first of which was latter president Klaus, the second under Havel was Josef Tošovský and the last prime minister under Havel was prominent ČSSD member Miloš Zeman.
- Tennis – Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Petra Kvitová, Tomáš Berdych, Lukáš Rosol, Radek Štěpánek
- Football – Pavel Nedvěd, Antonín Panenka, Tomáš Rosický, Karel Poborský, Patrik Berger, Petr Čech
- Hockey – Jaromír Jágr, Dominik Hašek, Petr Nedvěd, Patrik Eliáš, Tomáš Plekanec
- Athletics – Emil Zátopek, Roman Šebrle, Jan Železný, Barbora Špotáková
Czech music started develop by first significant pieces, created in the 11th century. The great progress of Czech artificial music has begun in the end of Renaissance and early Baroque era, concretely in works of Adam Václav Michna z Otradovic, where the specific character of Czech music was rising up by using the influence of genuine folk music. This tradition determined the development of Czech music and has remained the main sign in the works of great Czech composers of almost all eras – Jan Dismas Zelenka and Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský in Baroque, Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák in Romanticism, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů in modern classical or Miloslav Kabeláč in contemporary classical music.
Czech musicians played also important role in the development of European music. Jan Václav Antonín Stamic in 18th-century contributed to the creation of Classicism in music by innovations of compositional forms and founding of Mannheim school, similarly Antonín Rejcha's experiments prefigured new compositional techniques in 19th-century. The influence of Czech musicians has been gone later beyond the borders of European continent, when Antonín Dvořák brought into life new American classical music style, using the potential of the richness of ethnic music of that country during his mission in USA. The contribution of Alois Hába to microtonal music in 20th-century must be also mentioned.
Czech music reached as far as Qing China. Karel Slavíček (Chinese: 严嘉乐, December 12, 1678 - September 24, 1735) was a Jesuit missionary, scientist and sinologist who was introduced to the Kangxi Emperor on February 3, 1717 in Beijing. The emperor favored him and employed him as court musician. (Slavíček was a Spinet player).
Some notable Czech musicians who came down in modern history are US-based composer and guitarist Ivan Král or rock band The Plastic People of the Universe which played an important part in the underground movement during the communist regime.
Film director Miloš Forman, known best for his movie, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is of Czech origin and started his career in Czechoslovakia. The influential surrealist filmmaker and animator Jan Švankmajer was born in Prague and has been resident in the Czech Republic throughout his life.
National performers such as Karel Kryl, Helena Vondráčková, Karel Gott (singers), Zdeněk Svěrák (director and actor), Vlastimil Brodský, Vladimír Menšík (actors) or Ivan Mládek (comedian), have also made a mark in modern Czech history.
Czech culture involves many saints, most notably St. Wenceslaus (Václav), patron of the Czech nation, St. John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký), St. Adalbert (Vojtěch), Saint Procopius or St. Agnes of Bohemia (Anežka Česká).
The Czech Republic is compound from 3 historical lands: Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia; today the country is divided into 14 regions. There is a slightly varying culture in each of the lands. Each part speaks Czech but there are certain local dialects (like Central Bohemian, Moravian, Těšínian, etc.).
The Czech language is spoken by approximately 12 million people around the world including most of the people in the Czech Republic. It developed from the Proto-Slavic language in the 10th century and is mutually intelligible with the Slovak language.
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- This number is a lower estimate, as 2,742,669 people opted out declaring ethnicity in 2011.
- Obyvatelstvo podle národnosti podle krajů
- 2004 survey
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- Doc. Dr. Milan Macek, CSc., Dr. Milan Macek ml., Dr. Alice Krebsová, Doc. Dr. V. Vávrová, DrSc. ,Centrum pro diagnostiku a léčbu cystické fibrosy, RELATIVNĚ VYSOKÝ VÝSKYT MUTACÍ G551D A CFTRDEL21KB CFTR GENU V ČESKÉ REPUBLICE U PACIENTŮ S CYSTICKOU FIBROSOU OBJEKTIVNĚ PROKAZUJE, ŽE NAŠE POPULACE JE SLOVANSKÉHO A KELTSKÉHO PŮVODU. Dostupné on-line
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