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Slavic ancestors of Slovenians came from eastern parts of Europe and inhabitated territory a bit northern from present Slovenian territory in 6. century AD. They established a state called Caranthania (Karantanija in Slovene), which was an early example of parliamentary democracy in Europe. The ruler (knez in Slovene) was elected by popular vote.

The Caranthanians were later defeated by Bavarians and Franks who subordinated them. They were christianized, but they preserved many rituals of their pagan religion, and above all they preserved their native language.

 The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria under Habsburg dinasty until 1918 when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new south-Slavic state ruled by Serbian Karadjordjević dynasty called Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians ("Kraljevina Srbov, Hrvatov in Slovencev" in Slovene), renamed Yugoslavia in 1929.

In WWII Slovenia was occupied by Germans, Italians and Hungarians. Parallel civil war between pro-communist liberation formation (Partizani) and catholic anticommunist formations (Belogardisti, Domobranci) which collaborated with occupation forces was taking place. The victory of allies and consequentlly the Partizans resulted in massive exodus and massacre of members of anticommunist formations.

After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 with minimal bloodshed.

 In 2004, Slovenia joined the European Union and NATO. As the first of the ten new members that joined the EU in the year 2004, Slovenia adopt the euro as its official currency as of 1.1.2007.