The Czechs or the Czech people are a West Slavic ethnic group native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share a common ancestry, culture, history and are native speakers of the Czech language. Ethnic Czechs were called Bohemians in English until the early 20th century, referring to the original late Iron Age tribe of Celtic Boii and the land Bohemia. During the Migration Period, West Slavic tribes of Bohemians settled in the area, “assimilated the remaining Celtic and Germanic populations”, and formed a principality in the 9th century, which was part of Great Moravia, in form of Duchy of Bohemia and later Kingdom of Bohemia, the predecessors of the modern republic.
The Czech diaspora is found in notable numbers in the United States, Canada, Israel, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina and Brazil among others.
The Czech language is spoken by approximately 12 million people around the world, but the vast majorities are in the Czech Republic. It developed from the Proto-Slavic language in the 10th century and is mutually intelligible with the Slovak language.
After the Bohemian Reformation, most Czechs (about 85%) became followers of Jan Hus, Petr Chelcicky, and other regional Protestant Reformers. Bohemian Estates’ defeat in the Battle of White Mountain brought radical religious changes and started a series of intense actions taken by the Habsburgs in order to bring the Czech population back to the Roman Catholic Church. After the Habsburgs regained control of Bohemia, Czech people were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism.
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.
Czech Canadians are Canadian citizens of Czech ancestry or Czech Republic-born people who reside in Canada. It also includes people descended from, the territory of the historic Czech lands, constituting the Kingdom of Bohemia, or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic the domicile country of the Czechs.
Famous People from the Czech Republic
List of famous people from the Czech Republic is available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in the Czech Republic, while others are simply notable locals.
- Petra Němcová: Petra Němcová is a Czech model, television host, and philanthropist. Němcová founded and chairs the Happy Hearts Fund.
- Ivana Trump: Ivana Trump is a Czech-American former athlete, socialite, and fashion model noted for her marriage to American business magnate Donald Trump.
- Miloš Forman: Jan Tomáš Forman, known as Miloš Forman, is a Czech film director, screenwriter, actor, and professor, who until 1968 lived and worked primarily in the former Czechoslovakia. Forman was one of the most important directors of the Czechoslovak New Wave.
- Antonín Dvořák: Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia.
- Gustav Mahler: Gustav Mahler was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer, he acted as a bridge between the 19th-century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century.
- Madeleine Albright: Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright is a Czechoslovakian-born American politician and diplomat. She is the first woman to have become the United States Secretary of State.
- Václav Havel: Václav Havel was a Czech writer, philosopher, dissident, and statesman. From 1989 to 1992, he served as the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia in 41 years.
- Anton Cermak: Anton “Tony” Joseph Cermak was an American politician of Czech origin who served as the mayor of Chicago, Illinois from 1931 until his assassination in 1933.
- Jan Hammer: Jan Hammer is a composer, pianist, and keyboardist. He first gained his most visible audience while playing keyboards with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s, as well as his film scores for television and film including “Miami Vice Theme” and “Crockett’s Theme”, from the popular 1980s program, Miami Vice.
- Albrecht von Wallenstein: Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein, also von Waldstein, was a Bohemian military leader and politician, who offered his services, and an army of 30,000 to 100,000 men during the Thirty Years’ War, to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.
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