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History of Serbia

Prehistoric Serbia

Starčevo culture · Vinča culture
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Travunia · Serbian Empire
Moravian Serbia · Battle of Kosovo
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The origins of the history of today's Serbia lie in the Slavic settlement on the Balkans, on the territories ruled by the Byzantine Empire, between 11th and 12th centuries. One of the first so called Serbian settlements, Raška, was founded in the first half of the 12th century by the House of Vlastimirović; it evolved into Serbian Kingdom and later into the Serbian Empire under the House of Nemanjić. The Serbian settlements disappeared by the mid-16th century, torn by domestic feuds, and Ottoman conquest. The success of the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the birth of the Principality of Serbia, which gained territories from albanians and achieve formal independence in 1878. As a victor in Balkan Wars in 1913, Serbia expanded to Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo and Raška (Sandžak). In 1918, the region of Republic of Vojvodina proclaimed their secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. West of Kingdom of Serbia formed a new country named State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs . Because this country wasn't internationally confessed, it connected with Kingdom of Serbia on 1st of December 1918, and the country was named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes . In 1918, Serbia was recognized as a state by the world for the first time.

Serbia settled its current borders after World War II, when it became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After its dissolution in a series of wars in the 1990s, Serbia once again became an independent state on June 5, 2006, following the breakup of a short-lived union with Montenegro.

In February 2008, the parliament of Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia after turmoil of 1990s, ten years of UN administration and unsettled negotiations on its final status. The response from the international community has been mixed. Serbia still regards Kosovo as its United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo governed by the UN.

Contents

History

Early history

Felix Romuliana, 4th century, UNESCO

Much of Serbia during the Neolithic period was occupied by the Vinča culture.

Serbia's strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples. Greeks colonized its south in the 11th century B.C., the northernmost point of the empire of Alexander the Great being the town of Kale-Krsevica.[1] Belgrade is believed to have been torn by 140 wars since Roman times.[2]

The northern city of Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica) was among the top 4 cities of the late Roman Empire, serving as its capital during the Tetrarchy.[3] Contemporary Serbia comprises the classical regions of Moesia, Pannonia, parts of Dalmatia, Dacia and Macedonia.[4]

Around the 7th century, Slavs appeared on the Byzantine borders in great numbers.[5] Slavic people have been under nominal Serbian rule since the 7th century. They were allowed to settle in the Byzantine Empire by its emperor Heraclius after their victory over the Avars.[6]

Throughout its early history, various parts of the territory of modern Serbia have been colonized, claimed or ruled by:

No fewer than 17 Roman Emperors were born in the land that is now Serbia.[7]

Medieval Serbia, 7th – 14th century

According to legend, the Serbs were ruled by the descendants of the Unknown Archont who led them to the Balkans from White Serbia; its three related medieval dynasties follow a continuous bloodline all the way to the 1500s A.D.

The earliest rudimentary Serb state arose in the mid eleventh century, although it was mostly a vassal principality to the Byzantine Empire and Bulgarian Empires alternatively. Official adoption of Christianity soon followed (under Prince Mutimir Vlastimirović).[8] The First dynasty died out in 960 A.D. with the death of Prince Časlav, who managed to unify all the Serb populated lands, centered between contemporary South Serbia and Montenegro and the coastal south of Croatia.[9] Following this, Serb lands were soon incorporated under direct Byzantine rule after their defeat of the First Bulgarian Empire in 1018 AD.

Around 1040 AD a Byzantine army sent by Constantine Monomachus was destroyed by the Serbian army led by Vojislav, which resulted in liberation of Duklja (Overthrowing of Byzantine Supremacy).

Duklja then assumed domination over the Serbian lands between 11–12th centuries under the dynasty of Vojislavljević (who, according to legend were descendants of the 1st Serbian dynasty). In 1077 A.D. Duklja became the first Serb Kingdom (under Michael I- ruler of Tribals and Serbs),[10] following the establishment of the catholic Bisphoric of Bar. From late 12th century onwards, a new state called Raska, centred in present-day southern Serbia, rose to become the paramount Serb state. Over the 13th and 14th century, it ruled over the other Serb lands (the Hum, Travunia and Duklja/Zeta. During this time, Serbia began to expand eastward (toward Nis), southward into Kosovo and northern Macedonia and northward toward Srem and Macva for the first time. This shift away from the Adriatic coast brought Serbia increasingly under the influence of the Eastern Orthodox, although a substantial proportion of Catholics were found in the coastal regions. Although Europe had already experience the East-West Schism by this time, such a split was far less concrete than it is today, and Catholic Slavs in Bosnia and the Dalmatian coast practiced Christianity in a similar way to Orthodox Slavs – priests married, wore beards and gave liturgy in Slavic rather than Latin. By the beginning of the 14th century Serbs lived in three distinctly independent kingdoms- Dioclea, Rascia and Syrmia.[11][12][13]

The House of Nemanjić, descendants of the kings of Duklja, moved from Duklja to Raška, signaling a shift towards continental Serbia in the late 12th century. A direct result of this was the establishment of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1217, which rivaled the Catholic Bishopric of Bar. Under the Nemanyaden, Medieval Serbia reached itsn economic, legal, miiltary and religious apogee. The Serbian Kingdom of Raška was proclaimed in 1219, joined later by the Kingdom of Syrmia and the Banovina of Mačva. Finally, the Serbian Empire under Stefan Dušan was formed in 1346. Under Dušan's rule, Serbia reached its territorial peak, becoming one of the larger states in Europe, portraying itself as the heir of the run-down Byzantine Empire, and indeed was the most powerful Balkan state of the period. The renowned Dušan's Code, a universal system of laws, was enforced. The Serbian identity has been profoundly shaped by the rule of this dynasty and its accomplishments, with Serbian Orthodox Church assuming the role of the national spiritual guardian.

Nemanjic's Serbia, 1150–1220, during the rules of Stefan Nemanja and Stefan Prvovenčani
Medieval Serbia
Serbian realms 1373-1395.


Before his sudden death, Stefan Dušan tried to organize a Crusade with the Pope against the threatening Turks. He died in December 1355 at the age 47. Modern necropsy of the emperor's body revealed that he was poisoned.[citation needed] He was succeeded by his son Uroš, called the Weak, a term that might also apply to the state of the kingdom slowly sliding into feudal anarchy. This was a period marked by the rise of a new threat: the Ottoman Turk sultanate which, gradually spread from Asia to Europe conquering Byzantium first and then the remaining Balkans states.

Ottoman Empire (14th – 20th Century)

Two Barons in the Serbian region, Mrnjavčević brothers, gathered a large army to repel the Ottomans. They marched into Ottoman territory in 1371 to attack but they were too confident in themselves. They built an overnight camp near the river Maritsa at Chermen in today's Bulgaria, and started celebrating and getting drunk. During the night, a detachment of Ottoman forces attacked the drunken Serbian knights and drove them back to the river. Most of the rebels were either drowned or killed, thereby annihilating the Serbs gathered from southern region. The event eventually became known as the Battle of Chernomen/ Battle of Maritsa.[citation needed]

"A Portrait of the Evangelist", a miniature from the Radoslav Gospel (1429).

In Battle of Plocnik Serbian forces defeated the Ottoman army, in 1386.The Serbian knight Milos Obilic was wounded by arrow in battle. The Battle of Kosovo was a turning point in the war. Vassal troops commanded by Prince Lazar, the strongest regional nobleman in serbia at the time, killed Ottoman Sultan in the Obilic battlefield with sword Murad I but suffered a defeat, due to the legendary "sudden departure" of Vuk Branković's troops.[citation needed] The Battle of Kosovo (1389) defined the fate of Medieval Serbia, because after it no force capable of standing up to the Ottomans existed. Kosovo as a whole was taken by the Ottomans in the coming years whereby the Serbian realm was moved northwards. That unstable period was marked by the rule of Prince Lazar's son, despot Stefan Lazarević, a true European-style knight as well as poet, and his cousin Đurađ Branković, who moved the capital north to the newly built fortified town of Smederevo. The Ottomans continued their conquest until they finally seized the entire northern Medieval Serbia in 1459 when Smederevo fell into their hands. Medieval Bosnia and Zeta lasted until 1496. A Serbian principality was restored a few years after the fall of the Serbian despotate by the Brankovics and existed as a Hungarian dependency situated in what is now Vojvodina and northern Hungary/Romania. It was ruled by exiled Serbian nobles and existed until 1540 when it fell to the Ottomans.

From the 14th century onward an increasing number of Serbs began migrating to the north to the region today known as Vojvodina, which was under the rule of the Kingdom of Hungary in that time. The Hungarian kings encouraged the immigration of Serbs to the kingdom, and hired many of them as soldiers and border guards. During the struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Hungary, this Serb population performed an attempt of the restoration of the Serbian state. In the Battle of Mohács on August 29, 1526, Ottoman Empire destroyed the army of Hungarian-Czech king Louis Jagellion, who was killed on the battlefield. After this battle Hungary ceased to be independent state and much of its former territory became part of the Ottoman Empire. Soon after the Battle of Mohács, leader of Serbian mercenaries in Hungary, Jovan Nenad established his rule in Bačka, northern Banat and a small part of Srem (These three regions are now parts of Vojvodina). He created an ephemeral independent state, with city of Subotica as its capital. At the peak of his career, Jovan Nenad crowned himself in Subotica for Serb emperor. King John of Hungary forces defeated his rebellion in the summer of 1527. Jovan Nenad was killed and his 'state' collapsed.

European powers, and Austria in particular, fought many wars against the Ottoman Empire, sometimes with assistance from Serbs. During the Austrian–Ottoman War (1593–1606), in 1594, some Serbs participated an uprising in Banat—the Pannonian part of the Ottoman Empire, and Sultan Murad III retaliated by burning the relics of St. Sava.[citation needed] Austria established troops in Herzegovina but when peace was signed by Ottoman Empire and Austria, Austria abandoned to Ottoman vengeance. This sequence of events became customary for the centuries that followed.

During the Great War (1683–90) between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League—created with the sponsorship of the Pope and including Austria, Poland and Venice—these three powers as means of divide and conquer strategy, incited including Serbs to rebel against the Ottoman authorities and soon uprisings and terrorism spread throughout the western Balkans: from Montenegro and the Dalmatian Coast to the Danube basin and Old Serbia (Macedonia, Raška, Kosovo and Metohija). However, when the Austrians started to pull out of the Ottoman region, they invited Austrian-loyal people to come north with them into Hungarian territories. Having to choose between Ottoman reprisal or living in Hungary, some Serbs abandoned their homesteads and headed north lead by patriarch Arsenije Čarnojević.

Another important episode in the history of the region took place in 1716–18, when the territories ranging from Dalmatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Belgrade and the Danube basin became the battleground for a new Austria-Ottoman war launched by Prince Eugene of Savoy. Some Serbs sided once again with Austria. After a peace treaty was signed in Požarevac, the Ottomans lost all its possessions in the Danube basin, as well as today's northern Serbia and northern Bosnia, parts of Dalmatia and the Peloponnesus.

The last Austrian-Ottoman war was the so-called Dubica War (1788–91), when the Austrians urged the Christians in Bosnia to rebel. No wars were fought afterwards until the 20th century that marked the fall of both Austrain and Ottoman empires, staged together by the European powers/ imperialism just after World War I.

Modern Serbia

Leader of First Serbian uprising, Karadjordje Petrović circa 1810

Serbia gained its autonomy from the Ottoman Empire in two uprisings in 1804 (led by Đorđe Petrović – Karađorđe) and 1815 (led by Miloš Obrenović), although Turkish troops continued to garrison the capital, Belgrade, until 1867. The Turkish Empire was already faced with a deep internal crisis without any hope of recuperating. This had a particularly hard effect on the orthodox nations living under its rule. The Serbs launched not only a national revolution but a social one as well and gradually Serbia started to catch up with the European states with the introduction of the bourgeois society values.[citation needed] Resulting from the uprisings and subsequent wars against the Ottoman Empire, the independent Principality of Serbia was formed and granted international recognition in 1878. Serbia was a principality or kneževina (knjaževina), between 1817 and 1882, and a kingdom between 1882 and 1918, during which time the internal politics revolved largely around dynastic rivalry between the Obrenović and Karađorđević families.

This period was marked by the alternation of two dynasties descending from Đorđe Petrović—Karađorđe, leader of the First Serbian Uprising and Miloš Obrenović, leader of the Second Serbian Uprising. Further development of Serbia was characterized by general progress in economy, culture and arts, primarily due to a wise state policy of sending young people to European capitals to get an education. They all brought back a new spirit and a new system of values.[citation needed] One of the external manifestations of the transformation that the former Turkish province was going through was the proclamation of the Province of Serbia in 1882.

Southern and Northern Serbia (Vojvodina) in 1848
Southern and Northern Serbia (Vojvodina) in 1849

During the Revolutions of 1848, the Serbs in the Austrian Empire proclaimed Serbian autonomous province known as Serbian Vojvodina. By a decision of the Austrian emperor, in November 1849, this province was transformed into the Austrian crown land known as the Vojvodina of Serbia and Tamiš Banat (Dukedom of Serbia and Tamiš Banat). Against the will of the Serbs, the province was abolished in 1860, but the Serbs from the region gained another opportunity to achieve their political demands in 1918. Today, this region is known as Vojvodina.

In 1885 Serbia is against the unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia and attacks Bulgaria. This is also known as Serbo-Bulgarian war. Despite the better weapons and commanders Serbia loses this war.

In the second half of 19th century, Serbia gained statehood as the Kingdom of Serbia. It thus became part of the constellation of European states and the first political parties were founded, thus giving new momentum to political life. The coup d'état in 1903, bringing Karađorđe's grandson to the throne with the title of King Petar I opened the way for parliamentary democracy in Serbia. Having received a European education, this liberal king translated "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill and gave his country a democratic constitution. It initiated a period of parliamentary government and political freedom interrupted by the outbreak of the liberation wars. The Balkan wars 1912–13, terminated the Turkish domination in the Balkans. Turkey was pushed back towards the Bosporus, and national Balkan states were created in the territories it withdrew from. Even though, war was meant to free region from Ottoman Empire serbs at the time were fighting all nations living in Balkans.

Serbia in World War I

Kingdom of Sebia in 1913

The June 28, 1914 assassination of Austrian Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia and one of several (seven) assassins organized by terrorist group The Black Hand (Crna Ruka), served as a pretext for the Austrian declaration of war on Serbia, marking the beginning of World War I, despite Serbia's acceptance (on July 25) of nearly all of Austria-Hungary's demands . The Serbian Army defended the country and won several victories, but it was finally overpowered by the forces of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, and had to withdraw from the national territory marching across the Albanian mountain ranges to the Adriatic Sea. On 16 August Serbia was promised by the Entente the territories of Srem, Bačka, Baranja, eastern Slavonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and eastern Dalmatia as a reward after the war. Having recuperated on Corfu the Serbian Army returned to combat on the Thessaloniki front together with other Entente forces comprising France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy and the United States. In World War I, Serbia had 1,264,000 casualties—28% of its population of 4,5 million , which also represented 58% of its male population—a loss from which it never fully recovered.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia

A successful Allied offensive in September 1918 secured first Bulgaria's surrender and then the liberation of the occupied Serbian territories (November 1918). On November 25, the Assembly of Serbs, Bunjevci, and other nations of Vojvodina in Novi Sad voted to join the region to Serbia. Also, on November 29 the National Assembly of Montenegro voted for union with Serbia, and two days later an assembly of leaders of Austria–Hungary's southern Slav regions voted to join the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.

Short-lived borders of Serbia on November 30, 1918

With the end of World War I and the collapse of both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires the conditions were met for proclaiming the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in December 1918. The Yugoslav ideal had long been cultivated by the intellectual circles of the three nations that gave the name to the country, but the international constellation of political forces and interests did not permit its implementation until then. However, after the war, idealist intellectuals gave way to politicians, and the most influential Croatian politicians opposed the new state right from the start.

In the early 1920s, the Yugoslav government of Serbian prime minister Nikola Pasic used police pressure over voters and ethnic minorities, confiscation of opposition pamphlets[14] and other measures of election rigging to keep the opposition, and mainly the Croatian Peasant Party and its allies in minority in Yugoslav parliament.[15] Pasic believed that Yugoslavia should be as centralized as possible, creating in place of distinct regional governments and identities a Greater Serbian national concept of concentrated power in the hands of Belgrade.[16]

However, what pushed the Kingdom into crisis was when a Serb representative opened fire on the opposition benches in the Parliament, killing two outright and mortally wounding the leader of the Croatian Peasants Party , Stjepan Radić in 1928.

Taking advantage of the resulting crisis, King Alexander I banned national political parties in 1929, assumed executive power, and renamed the country Yugoslavia. He hoped to curb separatist tendencies and mitigate nationalist passions. However, the balance of power changed in international relations: in Italy and Germany, Fascists and Nazis rose to power, and Stalin became the absolute ruler in the Soviet Union. None of these three states favored the policy pursued by Alexander I. The first two wanted to revise the international treaties signed after World War I, and the Soviets were determined to regain their positions in Europe and pursue a more active international policy. Yugoslavia was an obstacle for these plans, and King Aleksandar I was the pillar of the Yugoslav policy.

During an official visit to France in 1934, the king was assassinated in Marseille by a member of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization—an extreme nationalist organization in Bulgaria that had plans to annex territories along the eastern and southern Yugoslav border—with the cooperation of the Ustaše—a Croatian fascist separatist organization. The international political scene in the late 1930s was marked by growing intolerance between the principal figures, by the aggressive attitude of the totalitarian regimes, and by the certainty that the order set up after World War I was losing its strongholds and its sponsors were losing their strength.[citation needed] Croatian leader Vlatko Maček and his party managed to extort the creation of the Croatian banovina (administrative province) in 1939.[citation needed] The agreement specified that Croatia was to remain part of Yugoslavia, but it was hurriedly building an independent political identity in international relations.

Serbia in World War II

Serbia and Banat, 1941–1944

In the run up to World War II, Prince Regent Paul signed a treaty with Hitler (as did Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary). However, a popular uprising amongst the people rejected this agreement and Prince Regent Paul was sent to exile. King Peter II assumed full royal duty.

Thus the beginning of the 1940s, Yugoslavia found itself surrounded by hostile countries. Except for Greece, all other neighboring countries had signed agreements with either Germany or Italy. Hitler was strongly pressuring Yugoslavia to join the Axis powers. The government was even prepared to reach a compromise with him, but the spirit in the country was completely different. Public demonstrations against Nazism prompted a brutal reaction.

In April 1941, the Luftwaffe bombed Belgrade and other major cities. Ground forces from Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria invaded Yugoslavia. After a brief war, Yugoslavia surrendered unconditionally. Acting upon advice and with a heavy heart,[citation needed] King Peter II left the country to seek Allied support. He was greeted as the hero who dared oppose Hitler.[citation needed] The Royal Yugoslav Government, the only legal body of Yugoslavia, continued to work in London. The occupying Axis powers then divided Yugoslavia up. The western parts of the country together with Bosnia and Herzegovina were turned into a Nazi puppet state called the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and ruled by the Ustashe. Serbia was set up as another puppet state under Serbian army general Milan Nedić, which was known as the Government of National Salvation. The northern territories were annexed by Hungary, and eastern and southern territories by Bulgaria. Kosovo and Metohia were mostly annexed by Albania which was under the sponsorship of fascist Italy. Montenegro also lost territories to Albania and was then occupied by Italian troops. Slovenia was divided between Germany and Italy, which also seized the islands in the Adriatic.

In Serbia, the German occupation authorities organized several concentration camps for Jews and members of the communist Partisan resistance movement as well as the royalist Chetniks who remained loyal to the King and who started a resistance movement of their own.

The biggest concentration camps were Banjica and Sajmište near Belgrade, where, according to the most conservative estimates, around 40,000 Jews were killed.In the concentration camp of Jasenovac 1.200.000 people were killed by Ustase mostly Serbians.In all those camps, some 90 percent of the Serbian Jewish population perished. In the Bačka region annexed by Hungary, numerous Serbs and Jews were killed in 1942 raid by the Hungarian authorities. The persecutions against ethnic Serb population also occurred in the region of Syrmia, which was controlled by the Independent State of Croatia and in the region of Banat, which was under direct German control.

The ruthless attitude of the German occupation forces and the genocidal policy of the Croatian Ustaša regime, aimed at Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-Ustaša Croats, created a strong anti-fascist resistance in the NDH. Many Serbs and other nationalities stood up against the genocide and the Nazis.[citation needed] Many joined the Partisan forces created by the Communist Party (National Liberation Army headed by Josip Broz Tito) in the liberation and the revolutionary war against Nazis and all the others who were against communism. There was another resistance movement, namely that of royalist General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic, which was mostly active in Serbia, and among the Serbian people in Montenegro, Bosnia, Hercegovina. The Royalists fought the Ustashe and the Communists, as well as the Germans. Thanks to the shifts of the big powers,[citation needed] in the end, the Communists illegally seized power in all of Yugoslavia.

During this war and after it, the Partisans killed many civilians who did not support their Communist ideals. The Communists shot people without trials, or following politically and ideologically motivated courts. It is believed that tens of thousands of people, mostly Serbs, were killed by the Communists in the first few years after the war.[citation needed] The Agricultural Reform conducted after the war meant that peasants had to give away most of their wheat, grain, and cattle to the state, or face serious imprisonment. Land and property were confiscated on a massive scale. Many people also lost civil rights and their names were smeared. Also, a censorship was enforced on all levels of the society and media, and a cult of Tito was created in the media.

By the end of 1944, the Red Army liberated Serbia, and by May 1945, the remaining republics were meeting up with the Allied forces in Hungary, Austria and Italy. Yugoslavia was among the countries that had the greatest losses in the war: 1,700,000 (10.8% of the population) people were killed and national damages were estimated at 9.1 billion dollars according to the prices of that period.

Serbia in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

After the war, Josip Broz Tito became the first president of the new—socialist—Yugoslavia, which he ruled with an iron hand. Once a predominantly agricultural country, Yugoslavia was transformed into a mid-range industrial country, and acquired an international political reputation by supporting the decolonization process and by assuming a leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement. Socialist Yugoslavia was established as a federal state comprising of six republics, from north to south: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia and two autonomous regions within Serbia—Vojvodina and Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo. Even though, for ethnic and historical reasons, autonomous regions could have been formed in almost all other republics of Yugoslavia, they were only formed in Serbia. Many saw this as the deliberate attempt of non-Serb Tito to weaken Serbia.[citation needed]

The basic motto of Tito's Yugoslavia was "brotherhood and unity", workers' self-management, state-owned property with minimal privately owned property. In the beginning, the country copied the Soviet model, but after the 1948 split with the Soviet Union, it turned more towards the West. Eventually, it created its own brand of socialism, with a hint of a market economy, and milked both the East and the West for significant financial loans.

The 1974 constitution produced a significantly less centralized federation, increasing the autonomy of Yugoslavia's republics as well as the autonomous provinces of Serbia. Many today see this as the actual point when things in Yugoslavia started to go downhill and when cracks began to eat the system, which would become visible some time later.[citation needed]

When Tito died in 1980, he was succeeded by a rotating presidency that led to a further weakening of ties between the republics. During the 1980s the republics pursued significantly different economic policies, with Western-oriented Slovenia and Croatia allowing significant market-based reforms, while Serbia kept to its existing program of state ownership. This, too, was a cause of tension between north and south, as Slovenia in particular experienced a period of strong growth. Prior to the war, inflation skyrocketed. Then, under Prime Minister Ante Markovic, things began to improve. Many say 1989 was the best year of the former Yugoslavia.[citation needed] Economic reforms had opened up the country, the living standard was at its peak, capitalism seemed to have entered the country and nobody thought that just a year later the first gunshots would be fired.

The break-up of Yugoslavia

Territories controlled by Army of Republika Srpska and Army of Serb Krajina

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia broke up in 1991/1992 in a series of wars following the independence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the Macedonia left the federation peacefully. The two remaining republics of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, formed in 1992 a new federation named Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2003 this state was transformed into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro). After a peaceful separation, Montenegro became a sovereign state in 2006, and so did Serbia. The international rights and obligations passed to Serbia as the successor state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Serbia Montenegro.

All the countries of the former Yugoslavia are now believed to be democratic and in transition towards market economy, respect of human rights and potential membership in the European Union. Only the status of Kosovo remains unsolved, and presents a potential region of instability not only for Serbia, but for the wider Balkan region as well. So far, of all the countries that have emerged from Yugoslavia, only Slovenia has become a member of the European Union.

Serbian Independence

Following Montenegro's vote for full independence in the referendum of May 21, 2006 (55.4% YES 44.6% NO),[17] Montenegro declared independence on June 3, 2006.[18] This was followed on June 5, 2006 by Serbia's declaration of independence, marking the final dissolution of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and the re-emergence of Serbia as an independent state, under its own name, for the first time since 1918.

Kosovo Dispute

On February 17, 2008, the Kosovo parliament unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia to mixed international reactions. The declaration was officially recognized by the U.S., Austria, Great Britain, Germany, France, Turkey and dozen other countries. Serbia, Russia, China, Spain, India, Brazil, Greece, Romania and other countries oppose this declaration and consider it illegal. The United Nations do not recognize Kosovo's independence and consider it a part of Serbian sovereign territory, the International Court of Justice is currently deliberating the status of Kosovo and the decision is likely to affect United Nations recognition status.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Blic Online Kultura | Najseverniji grad Aleksandrovog carstva
  2. ^ Serbia shines for the EXIT festival
  3. ^ Hrčak - Scrinia Slavonica, Vol.2 No.1 Listopad 2002
  4. ^ Macedonia (region)
  5. ^ Cyril Mango. Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome. Scribner's, 1980.
  6. ^ Vladimir Corovic. "Istorija srpskog naroda: Sloveni naseljavaju Balkan" (in Serbian). Projekat Rastko: Biblioteka srpske kulture. http://www.rastko.org.rs/rastko-bl/istorija/corovic/istorija/1_3_l.html. 
  7. ^ Aleksandra Krsmanović. "Ave, Srbijo!" (in Serbian). Brendovi Srbije. http://brendovisrbije.com/vesti/ave-srbijo.html. 
  8. ^ Srpsko Nasledje
  9. ^ http://www.snaga.org.yu/Ilustrovana_istorija_srba/tekst/engleski/01/01-06-doseljavanje-slovena.html
  10. ^ Fresco of King Mihailo
  11. ^ "Fresco of King Mihailo". Serb Land of Montenegro. http://www.njegos.org/medieval/mihailo.htm. 
  12. ^ "Serbian Medieval History". Serbian Unity Congress. 2006. http://www.serbianunity.net/culture/history/Serb_History/nemanjici.html. 
  13. ^ Nenad Šerović. "Stefan Tvrtko I Kotromanić" (in Serbian). Projekat Rastko: Biblioteka srpske kulture. http://www.rastko.org.rs/rastko-bo/istorija/srednjivek/nserovic-tvrtko_l.html. 
  14. ^ Balkan Politics, TIME Magazine, March 31, 1923
  15. ^ Elections, TIME Magazine, February 23, 1925
  16. ^ The Opposition, TIME Magazine, April 06, 1925
  17. ^ Charles Recknagel (2006/May). "Montenegro: Independence Referendum Turns Into Cliffhanger". globalsecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2006/05/mil-060522-rferl03.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-04. ""For independence of Montenegro, 55.4 percent of citizens have voted. 44.6 percent of citizens have voted for the union state," Frantisek Lipka, a Slovak diplomat heading the referendum commission, announced at a news conference in Podgorica today." 
  18. ^ "Timeline: Montenegro". BBC News. 26 September 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/5075632.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-04. "2006 June - Montenegro declares independence, Serbia responds by declaring itself the independent sovereign successor state to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro." 

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