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From 623 to 624 or possibly 626 onwards, King Samo united the Alpine and Western Slavs against the Avars and Germanic peoples and established what is referred to as Samo's Kingdom.After its disintegration following Samo's death in 658 or 659, the ancestors of the Slovenes located in present-day Carinthia formed the independent duchy of Carantania, The Carantanians, one of the ancestral groups of the modern Slovenes, particularly the Carinthian Slovenes, were the first Slavic people to accept Christianity.
A part of the inner state was protected with a defensive line of towers and walls called Claustra Alpium Iuliarum.
In a parallel process, an intensive German colonization significantly diminished the extent of Slovene-speaking areas.
By the 15th century, the Slovene ethnic territory was reduced to its present size.
Historically, the current territory of Slovenia has formed part of many different states, including the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Carolingian Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Republic of Venice, the French-administered Illyrian Provinces of First French Empire of Napoleon I, the Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In October 1918 the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.
During the same period Carniola, too, came under the Franks, and was Christianised from Aquileia.