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Between 18, the Slovenian-born scholar, missionary, and bishop, Frederic Baraga, labored on a vast 80,000 square mile piece of virgin territory, including parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada, where he and his followers built some of the first churches and schools.Father Andreas Skopec (Skopez) reached Fryburg, Pennsylvania, in 1846 and was joined by several of his Slovenian compatriots.
In the 1730s Slovenians and Croatians established small agricultural settlements in Georgia.
A number of Slovenian soldiers fought in George Washington's revolutionary forces.
In addition to constant Germanization pressures, which began with the Christianization process, the Slovenians suffered almost two centuries of sporadic Turkish raids, especially from 1408 to 1578.
An estimated 100,000 Slovenians perished and an equal number of young boys and girls were taken to Turkey where boys were trained as Turkish soldiers ( janizaries ) and the girls were put into harems.
Correspondingly, the climate of tiny Slovenia is Mediterranean along the Adriatic Sea, alpine in the mountains, and continental (Central European) in the plains.
Bordering on Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, and Croatia to the south, Slovenia has a population of just a little over two million. Slovenians, the westernmost Slavic people, have always been geographically and culturally a part of Central Europe rather than of the Balkans.
The most famous missionaries were the Irish bishop St.
Modestus in the mid-eighth century who labored in Karantania, and the brothers St. Methodius from Salonica who spread the Christian faith in Slovenian Pannonia in the late 860s and 870s and established a seminary to educate Slovenian boys for the priesthood.
Slovenians learned to read and write as early as the 860s.
The Slovenians established the Jesuit College in Ljubljana in 1595, Academia operosorum —the first Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences—in 1673, and Academia philhamionicorum in 1701.
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