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When the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in 1918, Slovaks joined with Czechs to create an independent Czechoslovakia.Except for a short period of independence during World War II (1939-1945), Slovakia remained part of that multi-national state until 1993.By the early twentieth century, the Magyarization policy had enjoyed significant success in Upper Hungary.In general, Slovaks living in the region did not view themselves as a separate people.During the fifteenth century, the Protestant Reformation spread into Upper Hungary, and most Slovaks converted to the Lutheran faith.In 1526, after the Ottoman Turks conquered the southern section of its kingdom, Hungary became part of the Hapsburg Empire.
In this central region the Tatras, which cap the Carpathian system, reach altitudes as high as 8,711 feet.World War I opened the way for dismembering the Austro-Hungarian Empire and letting its subject nationalities create independent countries.As a result the Czech and Slovak lands were united, and Czechoslovakia was created on October 28, 1918.Other faiths include Judaism, Greek Catholic, and Orthodox.The religion of an estimated 27.2 percent of the population is either unidentifiable (17.5 percent) or atheist (9.7 percent).
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Many Slovak supporters of an independent Czechoslovakia had envisioned the new state as a federation of two independent people.