Owing to the counter-reformation the German element was driven out during the 18th century, and its place taken by the actual Slovak population.
Meanwhile the Roman congress was deliberately imitated by an imposing congress at Prague (May 16), at which Czech, Polish, Italian, Rumanian, Slovak and Yugoslav delegates attended.
Even after the conquest of Slovakia by the Hungarians, which resulted in Slovak territory being separated from Czech territory till they were reunited in 1918, an intellectual connexion between the two branches of the one family was always maintained, and some of the foremost names in Czech literature are those of writers who were Slovaks by birth.
It is not without interest to note that the three principal leaders of the movement for independence were a Moravian of Slovak descent (i?'Iasaryk), a Slovak (Gen.
Whenever opinions did happen to be expressed which could be construed as criticism of Austria or Germany the offenders were speedily punished, and it was not long before the political leaders of the Czechs and Slovaks found themselves in confinement, some of them under sentence of death, while the Czech and Slovak press was subjected to a rigorous censorship and many of its organs prohibited from appearing.
Two days after the declaration of the independence of the Czechoslovak State, which had been signed also by the representatives of Slovakia, the Slovak National Council issued a "Declaration of the Slovak nation," wherein it was solemnly set forth that the Slovaks in blood, in language and civilization form part of the Czechoslovak nation.
The Slovaks under the Hungarian regime were kept in a backward state - they did not possess a single Slovak school - while still worse conditions prevailed in Russinia, some 75% of the population being unable to read or write.
In the entire republic there are four universities, three Czech and Slovak - the Charles University of Prague, the Masaryk University of Brno and the Comenius University of Bratislava - and one German (at Prague).