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The majority of Czechs (39.2 percent) are Roman Catholic, with a smaller number (4.1 percent) adhering to Protestant denominations. The capital city, Prague, preserves one of the oldest and richest architectural traditions in Europe, with many buildings, such as the Romanesque Church of St. Masaryk, consists of a blue triangle on a rectilinear background of white and red.The Czechs are a Slavic people, closely related to the Slovaks in speech and custom, but with a distinct history and national identity.Chicago, tied to the West by rail and more readily accessible to the immigrants, became the most populous Czech settlement.By 1870, other cities with Czech concentrations included St. At the turn of the century, Czech immigrants were more likely to make the journey to the United States with their families. Moreover, it was not uncommon in large families for the head of the household to make more than one trip to the United States, bringing along one or more children each time.By the turn of the century, a widening gap between the first and second generations was already in evidence.

One important characteristic of this group was their staunch adherence to the Catholic faith at a time when membership among Czech Americans was declining and a distinct anti-Catholic spirit prevailed.After the decline of the Přemsylides, Bohemia was ruled for a time by the House of Luxembourg.The union of King John of Luxembourg with the Czech princess Elizabeth produced a son, Charles IV (1346-1378), who, as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, established Bohemia as the center of the empire and made Prague its cultural center. In the fifteenth century the university became the center of a church reform movement led by Jan Hus (1369-1415), who was burned as a heretic in 1415.Under the leadership of Masaryk, Edvard Beneš (1884-1948), and Milan Rastislav Štefanik, they were able to persuade the Allied governments to dissolve the Habsburg Empire.With the surrender of Austria on October 28, 1918, a revolutionary committee in Prague declared the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic.

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