National identities and nationalism especially in the European context have aroused lots of current interest among scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines, and the topic most certainly will continue to attract further attention also in the future. A great number of the studies dealing with national identities have emphasised the long time span and the role of the national intelligentsia in the evolution of a national identity. This study uses another approach by underlining the short time span and a number of practical issues that contributed to the strenghtening of the national identity of the Slovaks during the first two years following the independence of Czechoslovakia. Furthermore, the conflicting interests of the states of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland and the ethnic groups in Slovakia at that time have been given special attention. The study also aims to help us understand why it was initially so difficult for the Slovaks to agree with the idea of the one and united Czechoslovak nation.