The Velvet Revolution, unlike other similar revolutionary movements, was not bloody. It was a peaceful movement that resulted in the liberation of Czechoslovakia, a country that does not exist anymore. Czech Republic and Slovakia are the two countries that exist in its place. There is an eventful history for what had once been a country, of unification and separation.
Czechoslovakia was formed after the First World War in 1918, combining the Czech speaking regions Bohemia and Moravia, and Slovakia, all of which had been parts of Austro-Hungarian Empire. But soon after the formation, unrest grew among the Slovaks against the administration dominated by Czechs. In Germany, Hitler was getting powerful and he encouraged the ethnic conflicts in Czechoslovakia. According to the Munich agreement in 1938, Hitler annexed the Sudetenland region of the country to Germany. But Hitler was more ambitious and invaded the country. A few parts of Czechoslovakia were occupied by Hungary and Poland as well. Hitler divided the nation into three regions in 1939 as before. He made Bohemia and Moravia German provinces while Slovak region was declared a separate republic under the control of Germany. Many Slovaks were inclined to this move.
During the Second World War, Czechs raised a mutiny against the Nazi rule but it was suppressed by the German government. However, Soviet Union came to the aid of Czechs and Nazis had to withdraw. Under the supervision of Soviet Union, a new government was formed under former President Edward Benes. The country came partially under the control of USSR. After conflict with Communists, Benes resigned and the country came under absolute Communist regime much to the dissent of people. In 1968, Alexander Dubcek became the Prime Minister. He implemented policies of liberalization and improved relations with non-Communist nations. This period is known as the Prague Spring. Threatened by this, the Soviet Union invaded the country and re-established the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia.
The anti-Communism sentiments intensified gradually among the people. Those who opposed the Soviet regime formed a movement named Charter-77 in 1977. On 16th November 1989, a huge march of students took place in Bratislava. The following days witnessed an overwhelming involvement of students in peaceful demonstrations in Prague against the government. The movement without any bloodshed is known as Velvet Revolution. The movement acquired strength gradually and the government exited the office. A new election took place and Vaclav Havel, famous playwright and the leader of anti-Communists was sworn in as the President of Czechoslovakia.
Gradually, the demand for a new Slovak country became too strong to ignore. In 1992, Havel resigned from office saying he was unable to witness the separation. On 1st January 1993, Slovakia became a sovereign nation. The parent country assumed the name Czech Republic. This separation was also peaceful like the Velvet revolution and is known as Velvet Divorce. In 2004, both countries acquired membership in European Union.