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The Julian March (Croatian and Slovene: Julijska krajina; Italian: Venezia Giulia; German: Julisch Venetien; Venetian: Venesia Jułia; Friulian: Vignesie Julie; Latin: Carsia Julia) is a former political region of Southeastern Europe on what are now the borders between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.[1] The Italian name for the Region, "Venezia Giulia" (or "Venetia Iulia", meaning "Julian Venice"), was invented as late as 1863 by the linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli from Gorizia, who sought to bring together under one name all of the territories of the Habsburg Empire claimed by Italy.[2]

Contents

History

The Austrian Littoral in 1897
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Etymology

Graziadio Isaia Ascoli considered the territory of the Roman Italia province of Venetia et Histria ("Venetia and Istria" to be a geographical-cultural unit, subdivided into three parts:

The name 'Julian March' comes from the Julian Alps, which would in this view form the natural north-eastern border of Italy. The term was coined to denote the region limited by the Soča river and the Gulf of Trieste in the west, the Julian Alps in the north and north-east, and Carniola and Liburnia to the east, thus including all of the Kras Plateau and most of the Istrian peninsula. After 1866, when the Veneto and most of Friuli were unified with the Kingdom of Italy, Ascoli's term Julian March began to assume a political connotation. Many Italian irredentists started using it as an alternative name for the Austrian Littoral region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, thus highlighting its supposed geographical and cultural affinity to the other two 'Venetias'.

From 1918 to 1945

After World War I, the treaties of Saint-Germain and Rapallo, large portions of the dissolved Austro-Hungarian Empire were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. In the eastern Adriatic region, they included all of the Austrian Littoral (Trieste, Istria and the County of Gorizia and Gradisca) - except the island of Krk and the municipality of Kastav which were given to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes [3]- some western districts of the Duchy of Carniola (Idrija, Ajdovščina, Vipava, Postojna, Pivka, and Ilirska Bistrica), and the Canale Valley of the Duchy of Carinthia (with the current municipalities of Tarvisio, Pontebba and Malborghetto Valbruna). Rijeka became a city state, called the Free State of Fiume, but was abolished in 1924 and divided between Italy and Yugoslavia. For all these territories, the name Julian March ("Venezia Giulia") was officially adopted.

The new provinces of Gorizia (which was merged with the Province of Udine between 1924 and 1927), Trieste, Pula and Rijeka (after 1924), were created. Italians lived mostly in urban areas and along the coast, while Slavs, who formed the majority population, inhabited the hinterland. Fascist persecution, characterised as "centralising, oppressive and dedicated to the forcible Italianisation of the minorities" [4] caused the emigration of nearly 100,000 Slovenes and Croats from the Julian March, mostly to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (around 70,000), but also to Argentina (some 30,000). On the other hand, several thousand Dalmatian Italians moved from Yugoslavia to Italy after 1918, many of them to Istria and Trieste. The policy of violent Italianization caused the creation of the militant antifascist organization TIGR [5] which fought for the annexation of the region to Yugoslavia. During World War II, the Yugoslav partisans penetrated into the region, and in 1945 most of the territory was liberated by Yugoslav Allied troops (the Partisans).

The contested region (1945-1954)

Between 1945 and 1947, the Julian March was a contested region between Italy and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was during that time that the English term 'Julian March' was adopted as the official name for the whole of the contested territories. The term is a translation from the Slovene and Croatian 'Julijska krajina', a word coined in the 1920s as an alternative name for the Italian "Venezia Giulia", and adopted by the Western allies as the most politically neutral name for the region. In June 1945, the Morgan Line was drawn, dividing the region into two militarily administered zones. Zone B, much of the Julian March, was under Yugoslav administration, excluding the cities of Pula, Gorizia, Trieste, the Soča valley and most of the Kras plateau, which were under joint British-American administration. During this period, many Italians left the area under Yugoslav occupation, a phenomenon known as the Istrian exodus.

In 1946 U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered the augmentation of US troops within their occupation zone (Zone A) and the reinforcement of air forces in northern Italy after Yugoslav forces had shot down two US Army transport planes flying over the Julian March [6].

In 1947, from four proposed solutions [7], an agreement on the border was reached at the Paris Peace Conference. Yugoslavia got all the northern portion of the region east of Gorizia, as well as most of Istria and the city of Rijeka. A Free Territory of Trieste was created, divided into two zones, one under Allied, and the other under Yugoslav military administration. Tensions however continued and in 1954 the Territory was abolished and divided between Italy (which got the city of Trieste and its surroundings) and Yugoslavia [8].

After 1954

After the division of 1947 and 1954, the term 'Julian March' survived in the name of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. This is however only a formal designation, since no official borders between Friuli and the Julian March exist within the region.

In the part that became part of Yugoslavia, the name 'Julian March' fell into disuse. In Slovenia, the region is referred to as Slovenian Littoral, which is a common denomination for the two traditional regions of Goriška and Slovenian Istria. The name Slovenian Littoral is sometimes extended to comprise the Slovene-speaking territories in the Provinces of Gorizia and Trieste. In Croatia, only the traditional name of Istria is used.

See also

References

External links


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