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Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian Silesia - 1892, then part of Austria-Hungary
Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia within Czechoslovakia in 1928

The "Czech lands" (Czech: České země) is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts until the turn of the Era, later by Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th century and then by Slavic people. Germans re-settled the ares after the Mongol invasions during the 13th century (and in some areas from the 12th century)and lived alongside the Slavs.

The term "Czech lands" has been used to describe different things by different people. Some sources use the term to mean any territory under the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. This would include territories like Lusatia (now in Germany) and the balance of Silesia, all of which were ruled from Prague at one time.

Most Czech historical texts use the term in this manner when discussing the Middle Ages. Other sources use the term to refer only to the core Czech areas of Bohemia, Moravia and the former Austrian Silesia. For many topics, a distinction between the two definitions is not necessary, as the Czech lands have been more-or-less co-extensive with the modern-day Czech Republic since the eighteenth century.[citation needed]

Alternate names

The non-auxiliary term (i.e. the term used in official Czech geographical terminology lists) for the "Czech" part of the Czech lands (i.e. Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia) is Česko. Today, it is also the official short form for the "Czech Republic". The term Česko is documented as early as in 1777. Česko and its foreign equivalents (such as the German Tschechien) are also the terms officially preferred by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1993. However, the term Czechia has not caught on among English speakers. The term Česko had likewise run into temporary resistance from Czech speakers but has more recently caught on with many natives.

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References

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