The country of Yugoslavia was, at one time, the largest state in south-eastern Europe, the region known as the Balkans. The country was home to many peoples including Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Montenegrins, Albanians, and Macedonians. Yugoslavia was also home to different religions such as Roman Catholic, Christian Orthodox and Islam.
The kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was first know as The Kingdom of Serbs, Slovenes and Croats, was formed after World War 1 when the Austro-Hungarian empire signed the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty broke apart the empire and provinces of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia wanted to create their own independent kingdom. Yugoslavia (name changed in 1929, meaning “land of the south Slavs”) was created with the king of Serbia, Alexander I at head. Many non-Serbs felt they had little say in the running of the kingdom and the king ruled as a dictator until being assassinate in 1934.
In 1941, Yugoslavia fell to Germany and was divided among Germany, Italy and Hungary. Yugoslavia emerged from World War 2 as an independent communist federation of Yugoslav republic lead by Josip (Tito) Broz. World War II had left scars of ethnic identities. Following Tito’s death in 1980, nationalism became a powerful tool for politicians to use to win over their respective peoples. The growing interest in Serb nationalism helped a Serb nationalist, Slobodan Milosevic rise to power. Milosevic intended to make the Serbs dominant in Yugoslavia and create a “Greater Serbia”. In 1990, communism collapsed entirely following the elections held in the republics of Yugoslavia and nationalism was the most powerful force in country’s politics.
In 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence followed by Macedonia later in the year and Bosnia-Herzegovina in early 1992. Milosevic argued that their declarations of independence were illegal and at the Serbs’ instructions, the Yugoslav army was sent into Slovenia in, June 1991, to try and stop the republic from declaring independence but quickly withdrew. Milosevic was willing to let Slovenia go, but now he had set his eyes on Croatia and sent his army into Croatia. In 1992, Croatia agreed to a cease-fire leaving 30 percent of Croatia occupied by the Serbian Yugoslav army. In 1992, the European Community (EC) recognized Slovenia and Croatia as independent countries. In 1992, the Yugoslav army went into Bosnia- Herzegovina to “cleanse” the republic of Muslims and other non-Serbs. The fighting would continue in Croatia and Bosnia until a cease-fire is arranged in 1994 in Bosnia and Croatia but the cease-fire would end in 1995. The final cease-fire would be called on October in 1995 in both Croatia and Bosnia, ending years of slaughter and “ethnic cleansing” the likes of which had not been seen since the Jewish killings during World War II.
The country of Yugoslavia, which at one time had a population of 45 million, was now divided into 5 different countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia Almost overnight, the world’s perception of Yugoslavia went from being a peaceful, serene and stable country, into a land of murder and refugees and the world was left wondering, what went wrong.
Yugoslavia was once a peaceful country, then when Tito died, it all went to shit.
Prices shown in USD.
Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!
Emails are sent from email@example.com. We'll never spam you.