The Republic of Slovenia in south-central Europe has long had its own separate identity but only became independent in 1991. It had been a relatively prosperous agricultural area during the medieval period and was taken over by the Habsburgs in the 14th century. However, there were many raids by the Ottoman Turks in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, with major peasant revolts in 1515 and from 1572 to 1573, which left the region devastated.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was much migration from Slovenia because of rural poverty and the lack of opportunities. In World War I, large numbers of Slovenes died while serving in the Austro-Hungarian army, and this led many farming families to move to towns ...

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