The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806; the Kingdom of Hungary – as Regnum Independens – was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary; the power of nationalism to create new states was irresistible in the 19th century, the process could lead to collapse in the absence of a strong nationalism.
The Austrian Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities and languages that served as the bases for separatist nationalism, it had a large army with good forts. Its naval resources were so minimal, it typified by Metternich. They employed a grand strategy for survival that balanced out different forces, set up buffer zones, kept the Habsburg empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War; the Empire overnight disintegrated into multiple states based on nationalism. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt and Regensburg. On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6; this measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire.
Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors. In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years, he did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status, affirmed by Article X, added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions, thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm; the French victory resulted in the capture of many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805; the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December; each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg, which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in
The Bohemian Reformation, preceding the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, was a Christian movement in the late medieval and early modern Kingdom and Crown of Bohemia striving for a reform of the Roman Catholic Church. Lasting for more than 200 years, it had a significant impact on the historical development of Central Europe and is considered one of the most important religious, social and political movements of the early modern period; the Bohemian Reformation produced the first national church separate from Roman authority, the first apocalyptic religious movement of the early modern period, the first pacifist Protestant church. The Bohemian Reformation was not an internally unified movement and did not remain immutable. Although it split into many groups, some characteristics were shared by all of them – communion under both kinds, distaste for the wealth and power of the church, emphasis on the Bible preached in a vernacular language and on an immediate relationship between man and God.
The Bohemian Reformation included the efforts to reform the church before Hus, the Hussite movement, the Unity of the Brethren and Utraquists or Calixtines. Together with the Waldensians and the Lollards, the Bohemian Reformation's Hussite movement is considered to be the precursor to the Protestant Reformation; these movements are sometimes referred to as the First Reformation in the Czech historiography. Despite the influence of the German and Swiss Reformations, the Bohemian Reformation did not bleed into them, although many Czech Utraquists grew closer and closer to the Lutherans; the Bohemian Reformation kept its own development until the suppression of the Bohemian Revolt in 1620. The victorious restored King Ferdinand II decided to force every inhabitant of Bohemia and Moravia to become Roman Catholic in accordance with the principle cuius regio, eius religio of the Peace of Augsburg; the Bohemian Reformation ended up being diffused in the Protestant world and lost its distinctiveness.
The Patent of Toleration issued in 1781 by Emperor Joseph II did not lead to a restoration of the Bohemian Reformation. Joseph II did not respect the Bohemian religious tradition and therefore only Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox faiths were made legal in the Crown of Bohemia and other parts of his realm. In spite of the extinction of the Bohemian Reformation as a distinctive Christian movement, its tradition did not disappear. Many churches do not forget their legacy, refer to the Bohemian Reformation and try to continue its tradition, e. g. the Moravian Church, Protestant Church of Czech Brethren, Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Church of Brethren, Unity of Brethren Baptists and other denominations. The Bohemian Reformation started in Prague in the second half of the 14th century. In that time Prague was not only the seat of the King of Bohemia but that of the Holy Roman Emperor. Prague was one of Europe's largest cities and after Avignon and Paris was the city with the highest concentration of clergy in Western Christendom.
The beginnings of the Bohemian Reformation were related to the criticism of the lavish lifestyle of many priests. In the late 1370s and early 1380s the Prague university theologians and intellectuals called for the reform of the decadent priesthood in the spirit of emerging conciliarism, for education of unsatisfactorily educated priests, for more frequent accepting of the Eucharist in the spirit of Devotio Moderna; the most significant representatives of the university reform movement were Henry of Bitterfeld and Matthew of Cracow. Apart from the university theologians there were reform preachers, such as Conrad Waldhauser, an Austrian Augustinian from a monastery in Waldhausen who preached in the Old Town of Prague in German and Latin against simony and low morals. Another influential preacher was Milíč of Kroměříž who preached in Latin and German, he helped many prostitutes to begin a new life. He served the Eucharist daily, uncommon because the laymen took communion only once a year; this practice of frequent communion became popular.
Although it was unique elsewhere in Europe, it became usual in Bohemia until the end of the 14th century. The matter of the Eucharist became crucial for the nascent Bohemian Reformation and in the 1410s communion under both kinds and infant communion were introduced into Bohemian liturgical practice. Matthias of Janov who studied at the University of Prague and at the University of Paris wrote Regulae Veteris et Novi Testamenti, an essential book of the early Bohemian Reformation movement; the Bible was the only reliable authority in all matters of faith for him and only sincere followers of Christ were true Christians in his opinion. The complete translation of the Bible into Czech in the mid-14th century contributed to the origin of the Bohemian Reformation. After French and Italian the Czech language became the third modern European language in which the whole Bible was translated; the best-known representative of the Bohemian Reformation is Jan Hus. He was an influential university teacher and a popular preacher in Bethlehem Chapel in the Old Town of Prague.
The chapel was founded in 1391 in the spirit of the nascent Bohemian Reformation. It was intended for sermons
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature; some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies – a federal monarchy. In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh wielded absolute power over the country and was considered a living god by his people. In ancient Mesopotamia, many rulers of Assyria and Sumer were absolute monarchs as well. In ancient and medieval India, rulers of the Maurya, Gupta and Chalukya Empires, as well as other major and minor empires, were considered absolute monarchs.
In the Khmer Empire, the kings were called "Devaraja" and "Chakravartin", exercised absolute power over the empire and people. Throughout Imperial China, many emperors and one empress wielded absolute power through the Mandate of Heaven. In pre-Columbian America, the Inca Empire was ruled by a Sapa Inca, considered the son of Inti, the sun god and absolute ruler over the people and nation. Korea under the Joseon dynasty and short-lived empire was an absolute monarchy. In the Ottoman Empire, many sultans wielded absolute power through heavenly mandates reflected in their title, the "Shadow of God on Earth". Throughout much of European history, the divine right of kings was the theological justification for absolute monarchy. Many European monarchs, such as those of Russia, claimed supreme autocratic power by divine right, that their subjects had no rights to limit their power. James VI of Scotland and his son Charles I of Scotland and England tried to import this principle. Charles I's attempt to enforce episcopal polity on the Church of Scotland led to rebellion by the Covenanters and the Bishops' Wars fears that Charles I was attempting to establish absolutist government along European lines was a major cause of the English Civil War, despite the fact that he did rule this way for 11 years starting in 1629, after dissolving the Parliament of England for a time.
By the 19th century, the Divine Right was regarded as an obsolete theory in most countries in the Western world, except in Russia where it was still given credence as the official justification for the Tsar's power until February Revolution in 1917. There is a considerable variety of opinion by historians on the extent of absolutism among European monarchs. Some, such as Perry Anderson, argue that quite a few monarchs achieved levels of absolutist control over their states, while historians such as Roger Mettam dispute the concept of absolutism. In general, historians who disagree with the appellation of absolutism argue that most monarchs labeled as absolutist exerted no greater power over their subjects than any other non-absolutist rulers, these historians tend to emphasize the differences between the absolutist rhetoric of monarchs and the realities of the effective use of power by these absolute monarchs. Renaissance historian William Bouwsma summed up this contradiction: Nothing so indicates the limits of royal power as the fact that governments were perennially in financial trouble, unable to tap the wealth of those ablest to pay, to stir up a costly revolt whenever they attempted to develop an adequate income.
Though some historians doubt if he had, Louis XIV of France is said to have proclaimed "L'état, c'est moi". Although criticized for his extravagances, such as the Palace of Versailles, he reigned over France for a long period, some historians consider him a successful absolute monarch. More revisionist historians have questioned whether Louis' reign should be considered'absolute', given the reality of the balance of power between the monarch and the nobility; the King of France concentrated in his person legislative and judicial powers. He was the supreme judicial authority, he could condemn people to death without the right of appeal. It was both his duty to stop them from being committed. From his judicial authority followed his power both to annul them. One of his steps in creating an absolute monarchy in France was to build the Palace of Versailles, where he lived with many of his nobles and other important people, in order to control and watch over them. Absolutism was underpinned by a written constitution for the first time in Europe in 1665 Kongeloven of Denmark-Norway, which ordered that the Monarch "shall from this day forth be revered and considered the most perfect and supreme person on the Earth by all his subjects, standing above all human laws and having no judge above his person, neither in spiritual nor temporal matters, except God alone".
This law authorized the king to abolish all other centers of power. Most important was the abolition of the Council of the Realm. In Brandenburg-Prussia, the concept of absolute monarch took a notable turn from the above with its emphasis on the monarch as the "first servant of the state", but it echoed many of the important characteristics of Absolutism. Frederick William, known as the Great Elector, used the uncertainties of the final stages of the Thirty Years' War to consolidate his territories into the dominant kingdom in northern Germany, whilst increasing his power over his subjects
Coat of arms of the Czech Republic
The coat of arms of the Czech Republic displays the three historical regions—the Czech lands—which make up the nation. The current coat of arms, adopted in 1992, was designed by Czech heraldist Jiří Louda; the arms of Bohemia show a silver double-tailed lion on a red background. This Bohemian Lion makes up the first and the fourth quarters of the greater coat of arms, so it is repeated in the shield; the Moravian red-and-silver chequered. Between 1915 and 1918 the Moravian Eagle was chequered in the red-and-gold colors; the arms of Silesia are a black eagle with the so-called "clover stalk" in her breast on a golden background, although only a small south-eastern part of the historical region belongs to the Czech Republic. The rulers of Bohemia bore for arms a so-called St. Wenceslas flaming eagle. In the 12th century, Emperor Frederick granted new arms to King Vladislaus II consisting of a silver lion on a red field, to symbolise his valor; the lion was at first represented with one tail. A second tail was added, for the help provided by the King Přemysl Otakar I fighting the Saxons.
During the first half of the 13th century the kings of Bohemia used a coat of arms bearing a black eagel in a silver shield. Red gonfanons had appeared earlier. From 1253 a two-tailed silver lion in a red field had been the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia; this lion was a sign of the Moravian margraves. The oldest surviving full color depiction of the arms of Bohemia appears in the Passional of Abbes Cunegund from the 1310s; the Moravian Eagle was first documented on the seal of Margrave Přemysl. The Silesian Eagle stems from the ruling dynasty of the Piasts and was first applied by Duke Henry II the Pious; the shields appeared on the emblems of the Crown of Bohemia established by Emperor Charles IV. Today the greater shield is used as the badge for the Czech national ice hockey team; the Czech national football team featured it in their shirts, until being replaced with a newer, more streamlined badge featuring only the Bohemian lion, since the UEFA Euro 2012. The greater coat of arms is blazoned in Czech law as follows: A shield quartered: first and fourth gules, a lion rampant queue forchée argent armed and crowned Or.
The lesser coat of arms is blazoned in Czech law. Coat of arms of Czechoslovakia Coat of arms of Moravia
The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul, their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages. The Gauls emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps. By the 4th century BC, they spread over much of what is now France, Spain, Switzerland, Southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by virtue of controlling the trade routes along the river systems of the Rhône, Seine and Danube, they expanded into Northern Italy, the Balkans and Galatia. Gaul was never united under a single ruler or government, but the Gallic tribes were capable of uniting their forces in large-scale military operations, they reached the peak of their power in the early 3rd century BC. The rising Roman Republic after the end of the First Punic War put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence. After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, the Gauls culturally adapted to the Roman world, bringing about the formation of the hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.
The Gauls of Gallia Celtica according to the testimony of Caesar called themselves Celtae in their own language, Galli in Latin. As is not unusual with ancient ethnonyms, these names came to be applied more than their original sense, Celtae being the origin of the term Celts itself while Galli is the origin of the adjective Gallic, now referring to all of Gaul; the name Gaul itself is not from the Germanic word * Walhaz. Gaulish culture developed out of the Celtic cultures over the first millennia BC; the Urnfield culture represents the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European-speaking people. The spread of iron working led to the Hallstatt culture in the 8th century BC; the Hallstatt culture evolved into the La Tène culture in around the 5th century BC. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations and colonies began to influence the Gauls in the Mediterranean area. Gauls under Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 BC. By the 5th century BC, the tribes called Gauls had migrated from Central France to the Mediterranean coast.
Gallic invaders settled the Po Valley in the 4th century BC, defeated Roman forces in a battle under Brennus in 390 BC and raided Italy as far as Sicily. In the 3rd century BC, the Gauls attempted an eastward expansion in 281-279 BC, towards the Balkan peninsula, which at that time was a Greek province, with the ultimate goal to reach and loot the rich Greek city-states of the Greek mainland, but the majority of the Gaul army was exterminated by the Greeks and the few Gauls that survived were forced to flee. A large number of Gauls served in the armies of Carthage during the Punic Wars, one of the leading rebel leaders of the Mercenary War, was of Gallic origin. During the Balkan expedition, led by Cerethrios and Bolgios, the Gauls raided twice the Greek mainland. At the end of the second expedition the Gallic raiders had been repelled by the coalition armies of the various Greek city-states and were forced to retreat to Illyria and Thrace, but the Greeks were forced to grant safe-passage to the Gauls who made their way to Asia Minor and settled in Central Anatolia.
The Gallic area of settlement in Asia Minor was called Galatia. But they were checked through the use of war elephants and skirmishers by the Greek Seleucid king Antiochus I in 275 BC, after which they served as mercenaries across the whole Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, including Ptolemaic Egypt, where they, under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, attempted to seize control of the kingdom. In the first Gallic invasion of Greece, they achieved victory over the Macedonians and killed the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos, they focused on looting the rich Macedonian countryside, but avoided the fortified cities. The Macedonian general Sosthenes assembled an army, defeated Bolgius and repelled the invading Gauls. In the second Gaulish invasion of Greece, the Gauls, led by Brennos, suffered heavy losses while facing the Greek coalition army at Thermopylae, but helped by the Heracleans they followed the mountain path around Thermopylae to encircle the Greek army in the same way that the Persian army had done at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, but this time deafeating the whole of the Greek army.
After passing Thermopylae the Gauls headed for the rich treasury at Delphi, where they were defeated by the re-assembled Greek army. This led to a series of retreats of the Gauls, with devastating losses, all the way up to Macedonia and out of the Greek mainland; the major part of the Gaul army was defeated in the process, those Gauls survived were forced to flee from Greece. The Gallic leader Brennos was injured at Delphi and committed suicide there. (He is not to be confused with another Gaulish leader bearing the same name who had sacked Rome a century earlier. In 278 BC Gaulish settlers in the Balkans were invited by Nicomedes I of Bithynia to help him in a dynastic struggle against his brother, they numbered about 10,000 fighting men and about the same number of
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Samo's Empire is the historiographical name for the West Slavic tribal union established by King Samo, which existed between 631 and 658 in Central Europe. The centre of the union was most in Moravia and Nitravia, additionally the union included Czech tribes, Sorbian tribes and other West Slavic tribes along the river Danube; the polity has been called the first Slavic state. It is believed that the tribal union included the regions of Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia. According to Julius Bartl, the centre of the polity lay "somewhere in the area of southern Moravia, Lower Austria, western Slovakia". According to J. B. Bury, "the assumption that his kingdom embraced Carantania, the country of the Alpine Slavs, rests only upon the Anonymus de conversione Bagariorum et Carantanorum". Archaeological findings indicate that the empire was situated in present-day Moravia, Lower Austria and Slovakia. According to Slovak historian Richard Marsina, it is unlikely that the center of Samo's tribal union was in the whole territory of present-day Slovakia.
The settlements of the Moravian and Nitrian principalities are identical with those from the time of Samo's Empire. According to the findings of some German archaeologists, the core of Samo's state was located north of the Danube, in the upper Main region. In some historical sources of the early IX century, this region is described as "regio Sclavorum" or "terra Slavorum". Large amounts of early medieval Slavic ceramics are found here. Many Slavic toponyms have been found in this area, such as Winideheim, Knetzburg. According to Fredegar, Samo, a Frankish merchant, went to the Slavs in c. 623–624. The dating has been questioned on the basis that the Wends would have most rebelled after the defeat of the Avars at the First Siege of Constantinople in 626; the Avars first subdued the local Slavs in the 560s. Samo may have been one of the merchants. Whether he became king during a revolt of 623–24 or during the one which followed the Avar defeat in 626, he took advantage of the latter to solidify his position.
A string of victories over the Avars proved his ability to his subjects and secured his election as rex. Samo went on to secure his throne by marriage into the major Wendish families, wedding at least twelve women and fathering twenty-two sons and fifteen daughters. In 630–631, the "duke of the Wends" was mentioned; these Wends referred to the Slavs of the Windic March, which according to some historians was the March of Carinthia in present Slovenia and Austria. According to Jan Steinhubel, Valuk allowed Longobards to pass through his territory and attack Samo from south-west. Longobards were allies of Franks against Samo. If Valuk allowed Longobards to go through his territory, his principality could have not been part of Samo´s empire; the most famous event of Samo's career was his victory over the Frankish royal army under Dagobert I in 631 or 632. Provoked to action by a "violent quarrel in the Pannonian kingdom of the Avars or Huns", Dagobert led three armies against the Wends, the largest being his own Austrasian army.
The Franks were routed near Wogastisburg. In the aftermath of the Wendish victory, Samo invaded Frankish Thuringia several times and undertook looting raids there. Dervan, the "duke of the Sorbs" subordinate to the Franks, joined the Slavic tribal union after Samo defeated Dagobert I; the Sorbs lived to the east of the Saxon Saale. Dervan participated in the subsequent wars against the Franks fighting against Frankish Thuringia, until he was defeated by Radulf of Thuringia in 636. In 641, the rebellious Radulf sought an alliance with Samo against his sovereign, Sigebert III. Samo maintained long-distance trade relationships. On his death, his title was not inherited by his sons. Samo can be credited with forging a Wendish identity by speaking on behalf of the community which recognised his authority; the history of the tribal union after Samo's death in 658 or 659 is unclear, though it is assumed that it ended. Archaeological findings show that the Avars returned to their previous territories and entered into a symbiosis with the Slavs, whereas territories to the north of the Avar Khaganate were purely Slav territories.
The first specific thing, known about the fate of these Slavs and Avars is the existence of Moravian and Nitravian principalities in the late 8th century, which attacked the Avars, the defeat of the Avars by the Franks under Charlemagne in 799 or 802–03, after which the Avars soon ceased to exist. Great Moravia is viewed of as a successor state to Samo's Empire; the polity has been called the first Slavic state. Chronicle of Fredegar Curta, Florin; the Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500–700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Marsina, Richard. "Ethnogenesis of Slovaks". Human Affairs. Bratislava, SLO: Slovak Academy of Sciences, Department of Social & Biological Communication. 7: 15–23. Retrieved 2013-08-31