Slovenian nationalism first emerged in 1848 when the region was part of the Austrian Empire. The United Slovenia movement demanded a unified Slovenian kingdom and the use of Slovene in offices and schools. After World War I, a State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was formed, which would eventually merge with Serbia to become Yugoslavia in 1929. Slovenia declared its independence on June 25, 1991, and became a member of the European Union and NATO in 2004.Continue Reading
The region of Slovenia has a very long history prior to its development as a modern nation. Stone tools date back over 250,000 years, and the world's oldest musical instrument, a bone flute, was found in the cave of Divje Babe. Celtic tribes in the 3rd century B.C. established the Kingdom of Regnum Noricum, and the Romans arrived a century later, bringing roads with them. Towns sprang up along these roads which remain important Slovenian cities to this day, such as Emona (Ljubljana), Celeia (Celje), Poetovio (Ptuj) and Castra (Ajdovš?ina).
Migrating Slavic tribes from the Carpathian Mountains began settling the area in the late 6th century, forming the principality of Carantania in the late 7th century. The Slavs converted to Christianity under the rule of the Carolingian Empire, and the country came under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs as the Duchy of Carinthia in later centuries. Slovenia became a major battlefield between the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 17th centuries, suffering great destruction and numerous peasant uprisings. Protestantism spurred the printing of books in Slovenian beginning in 1550, and Empress Maria Theresa introduced compulsory schooling in the 18th century, further strengthening the sense of nationalism in the years leading up to the birth of the United Slovenia movement.Learn more about Ancient History