|It would be correct to say that for at least 1000 years, Slovene history was essentially Austrian history. It Catholicism was Roman (not Eastern) and priests played an important political role in this country without an established aristocracy or merchant class. During the period of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Slovenia was part of the Austrian side of the dual monarchy and when it collapsed as a consequence of World War I, Slovenia, together with Serbs and Croats, came together as "The National Council" out of which Yugoslavia would later be born. Within Yugoslavia, Slovenia held something of an anomalous position since its language was different and the population was, on the whole, better educated and more advanced industrially than other parts of the country. After the brief break-up of Yugoslavia perpetrated by the Nazis, Tito reconstituted the country with Slovenia as a constituent `republic.' In 1990, a decade after Tito's death, Communism fell and Slovenia wasted little time in proclaiming its first true independence in 1991. With strong economic links to Austria, Italy, and Hungary, Slovenia has remained prosperous and secure, with little involvement in the troubles to the south.