Czech and Slovak Federal Republic
Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

: Česká a Slovenská Federativní/Federatívna Republika, ČSFR) was the official name of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 from April
April is the fourth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and one of four months with a length of 30 days. April was originally the second month of the Roman calendar, before January and February were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC...

 1990 until 31 December 1992, when the country was dissolved into the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and the Slovak Republic
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...


Adoption of the name

Since 1960, Czechoslovakia's official name had been Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was the official name of Czechoslovakia from 1960 until end of 1989 , a Soviet satellite state of the Eastern Bloc....

 (Československá socialistická republika, ČSSR). In the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution
Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 – December 29, 1989...

, newly-elected President Vaclav Havel
Václav Havel
Václav Havel is a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic . He has written over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally...

 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 acknowledged the state's nature explicitly as Československá federativní republika (Czechoslovak Federal Republic) in Czech and was passed on 29 March 1990 (coming into force on the same day) only after an agreement on the Slovak form as Česko-slovenská federatívna republika, to 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
Hyphen War
The Hyphen War was the tongue-in-cheek name given to the conflict over what to call Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Communist government.-Background:...

" (pomlčková válka / vojna) after Slovaks' wish to insert a hyphen
The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. The hyphen should not be confused with dashes , which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign which is also longer...

 into the name à la Czecho-Slovakia, refused by aggrieved Czechs as too reminiscent of such practice during the "Second Republic" mutilated by the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 and slipping toward fascism and final dismemberment. The resultant compromise after much behind-the-scenes negotiation was the Czech and Slovak Federal 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
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

 which do not use capitalization
Capitalization is writing a word with its first letter as a majuscule and the remaining letters in minuscules . This of course only applies to those writing systems which have a case distinction...

 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.

Few people were happy with the name, however it came into use quickly. Czecho-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 it stayed until the final dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became...


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