Slovenians’ Slavic ancestors arrived from eastern Europe in the sixth century AD and settled in area north of present-day Slovenia. They created Caranthania (Karantanija in Slovene), an early model of parliamentary democracy in Europe. In Slovene, the ruler (knez) is chosen by public vote. The Caranthanians were eventually conquered and subdued by the Bavarians and Franks. They were Christianized, yet they kept many rites from their pagan faith, and most importantly, they kept their original language. The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria under the Habsburg dynasty until 1918, when they joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new south-Slavic state called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians (“Kraljevina Srbov, Hrvatov in Slovencev” in Slovene), which was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. During WWII, Germans, Italians, and Hungarians invaded and occupied Slovenia, sparking a parallel civil war between pro-communist liberation forces (Partizani) and axis-backed anti-communist reactionary groups (“Belogardisti” and Domobranci). The Allies’ and Partizans’ triumph led in a violent mass flight of individuals who had fought with the occupying troops, including the majority of the native German and Italian minority. Slovenia became a republic in the reconstituted Yugoslavia after WWII, which, although Communist, distanced itself from the Soviet bloc and achieved minor territory gains from Italy. Dissatisfied with the way power was being exercised in Belgrade, the Slovenes achieved independence in 1991 with little violence. Slovenia joined the European Union and NATO in 2004. Slovenia most recently accepted the euro in 2007, completing a swift and effective entrance to Europe and the EU.