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The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people; kinsman", thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk (a person).The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia (Čechy) in the west, Moravia (Morava) in the east, and Czech Silesia (Slezsko; the smaller, south-eastern part of historical Silesia, most of which is located within modern Poland) in the northeast.

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In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century.

Besides Bohemia itself, the king of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, he had a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor, and Prague was the imperial seat in periods between the 14th and 17th century.

Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown, Czechia and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas.

When the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country.

The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.

The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii".

The current name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which ultimately comes from the Czech word Čech.

) and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.

The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire.

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