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Slovakia in days of olde was known as Upper Hungary. Starting in the fourteenth century, closer cultural contacts between Slovakia and Bohemia were formed. During the turbulent Hussite period of the 15th century, many Hussite followers found refuge and support in the Slovak lands, and some of the Slovak nobility fought on the side of the Hussites.
After the Wicked King Sigismund of Luxembourg was forced to concede to the Hussites' demands, the position of the nobility and of towns (known as the "Estates") was strengthened, and centralized royal power was weakened. For some time after Sigismund's death in 1437, anarchy reigned in Bohemia.
Then, after the very brief rule of Ladislav Posthumous (1453-7), the Bohemian throne was occupied by the "heretic" King George of Podebrady (1458-71). George, also known as the "Hussite" King, was the first freely-elected Czech ruler. He was chosen as Czech King without regard to any previous agreements, family connections or dynastic origin. George of Podebrady won recognition throughout the Lands of the Czech Crown through his skillful diplomacy, and gained the respect of all of Central Europe. He also, in the 15th century, authored an ambitious "Peace Plan" for Europe.
But few people then, as now, were interested in peace. The Hungarian monarch Matthias Corvinus, with the support of the disgruntled Czech Catholic opposition, declared war against George of Podebrady. The Hungarian campaigns against Bohemia ceased only after the death of the beloved Hussite King, George of Podebrady, and the ascent of Vladislav Jagellon to the throne.
Slovakia at this time was a part of Hungary, and Czech-Slovak relations were strengthened with the forming of the Czech-Hungarian union under the Jagellons after the death of Matthias Corvinus in 1490; and after the Kralice Bible began to be used by the Slovak Evangelical Church.
In spite of conflicts both foreign and domestic, and even under the rule of the Jagellon dynasty's two Catholic kings, Vladislav and Ludwig, religious pluralism and freedom of religion were maintained in the Czech lands. At the same time, the power of the nobility (the Estates) continued to increase - to the detriment of the central, or royal authority.
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