Their presence is largely the result, firstly of a colonization which was favoured by the Bohemian kings and princes of the 12th and 13th centuries, and secondly of a policy of Germanization pursued by the Habsburg rulers from the date of the battle of the White Mountain in 1620 (when the Czechs lost their independence) up till the very close of the World War.
This movement, extending in time from about the middle of the 11th to the middle of the 13th century and carrying a stream of settlers and traders from the Northwest, resulted not only in the Germanization of a wide territory but in the extension of German influence along the sea-coast far to the east of actual territorial settlement.
Less happy were the efforts of the Prussian government at the Germanization of Prussian Poland and Schleswig.
The efforts of the government were not confined to the forcible Germanization of the children.
Meanwhile, the attempt to complete the Germanization of the frontier provinces of the Empire by conciliation or repression continued.
Bukovina, the chief abode of the Austrian Rumanians, which they shared with the Ruthenians, offered the spectacle of a German adminstration in which without any compulsion German was the official language and also that of society, and neither efforts at Germanization nor language controversies were to be found.
To combat this the Prussian government entered on a policy of the compulsory Germanization of the Polish population.
The Roman party recovered its power; Aurelian was again praetorian prefect in 402; and the Germanization which was to befall the western world was averted from the east.