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E ASTERN E UROPE : L ESSONS TO L EARN. N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS The Balkan peninsula is a mountainous region whose difficult terrain has created isolated.

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Presentation on theme: "E ASTERN E UROPE : L ESSONS TO L EARN. N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS The Balkan peninsula is a mountainous region whose difficult terrain has created isolated."— Presentation transcript:


2 N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS The Balkan peninsula is a mountainous region whose difficult terrain has created isolated ethnic groups, and discouraged cultural unity. At the turn of the 20th century, European competition between Austria-Hungary and Russia focused on the Balkan peninsula.

3 N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS Before 1900, much of the Balkans was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Muslim rule was resented by the Slavic, Christian people of the Balkans, and both Austria and Russia planned to take the Balkan territories from the Turks.

4 N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS An intense rivalry between Austria and Russia began. Austria had taken Slovenia and Croatia by 1800’s, and in 1878 they occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina Many Balkan ethnicities desired to become independent. In time, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania became independent nations. History was violent. Two Balkan wars were fought by these countries in 1912 and 1913, and boundary disputes kept tensions high amongst them all. 1908: Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Ottoman Empire.

5 N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS Serbia, Austria’s tiny neighbor to the east resented Austrian control of Bosnia, and desired to blend the Slavic Bosnians with its own nation. On June 28, 1914, the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was in Sarajevo (the Bosnian capital). A secret Serbian nationalistic society (Black Hand) planned to assassinate the Archduke and hired seven young Serbs to carry out the plot. Enter WWI

6 N ATIONALISM IN THE B ALKANS After WWI, the Treaty of Versailles and treaties similar were signed with other Central Powers Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia lost territory Many countries experienced a change in their borders, and new countries were created

7 T HE F ORMER Y UGOSLAVIA A result of the Treaty of Versailles Following WWI, the provinces of: Croatia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovenia, Voyvodina, Montenegro, (an independent state) and Serbia (established as a separate kingdom in 1878) joined together to form Yugoslavia. Many ethnic groups: Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians


9 T HE F ORMER Y UGOSLAVIA The end of the Cold War meant the end of Yugoslavia as it was known. Croatia and Slovenia declared independence in June 1991; Macedonia did the same months later. 1992: Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence

10 T HE F ORMER Y UGOSLAVIA Following the breakup of the republics, Serbia and Montenegro joined together to declare a new republic of Yugoslavia in 1992. Kosovo, a province of Serbia with an Albanian majority, declared its independence, which Serbia has refused to recognize.

11 DIFFERENCES: Language and Religion Albanians speak an Indo- European language as old as Latin and as different in vocabulary and grammar from Serbian as Italian is from Russian. Serbs speak a Slavic language that resembles Bulgarian and Russian. Ethnic AlbaniansSerbs Ethnic AlbaniansSerbs Most ethnic Albanians are Muslims, descendants of Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians who converted to Islam during 500 years of Ottoman Turkish rule. Serbs are staunchly Orthodox Christian, following traditions similar to the Russians, Greeks and Bulgarians.

12 D IFFERENCES : H ISTORY AND P EOPLE The mostly-Muslim ethnic Albanians believe they are descendants of the Illyrians, the Balkan tribe which inhabited the region in ancient times. Serbs regard Kosovo as the cradle of civilization. Once the seat of the Serb Orthodox church, the province still has Orthodox monasteries. The 1389 defeat of the Serb army by the Turks is a part of Serb history. Serbs regained Kosovo during First Balkan War (1912) when Serbia and others defeated the Ottoman Turks. Ethnic AlbaniansSerbs Ethnic AlbaniansSerbs Ethnic Albanians accounted for an estimated 90 percent of Kosovo's 2 million people. Before World War II, the Serbs made up about half of Kosovo's population. High birth rate among ethnic Albanians and a steady Serb exodus from rural province to urban areas of Serbia caused a decline in the Serb population.

13 T HE Y UGOSLAV W ARS 1974: Yugoslav leader Josip Tito granted Kosovo autonomy and its own vote in the Yugoslav federal council, essentially allowing it to function as a republic in all but name. 1980: Tito dies, and ethnic tensions grew in Yugoslavia Constitutional crisis that followed resulted in a rise of nationalism in all republics: Slovenia and Croatia demanded loose ties within the Federation, Albanian majority in Kosovo demanded status of a republic, and Serbia sought absolute control over Yugoslavia

14 T HE Y UGOSLAV W ARS In 1989, Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic became Yugoslav president, revoking Kosovo's autonomous status and instituting military rule: Took land from the other republics Called on Serbs that lived in other republics to vote to give Serbia more influence in the country Used army to prevent non-Serbs from breaking away. Sent troops against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo who wanted self-rule Serbs went against Muslims Enter the Yugoslav Wars

15 T HE A FTERMATH IN Y UGOSLAVIA 1990s: leadership of the Kosovo Albanian population pursued independence with a non- violent resistance. 1995: War in western parts of former Yugoslavia ends with U.S.-sponsored peace talks 1999: NATO bombarded Serbia and Montenegro for over two months, until an agreement was brokered between NATO and Milošević's government. First time violence ever used. Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, but is not yet a member of the United Nations and is only recognized by 60 governments.

16 B OSNIA AND H ERZEGOVINA The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a consequence of the instability in former Yugoslavia, and the involvement of neighboring countries Croatia and Serbia (with Montenegro) raises the question: civil war or war of aggression? One thing was certain, the Serbs were “to inflict the greatest possible suffering on civilians in order to force Bosnian authorities to accept the Serb demands.” Serb ( Christian ) forces attacked Bosnian ( Muslim ) civilian populations in eastern Bosnia. Once towns and villages were secured, Serb forces (military, police, paramilitary, even Serb villagers) applied this pattern: Houses/apartments systematically ransacked or burnt down, civilians rounded up or captured, and sometimes beaten or killed in the process. Men and women were separated, with many of the men detained in camps.

17 T HE T OLL IN B OSNIA Number of deaths: as low as 100,000 and as high as 250,000 Refugees: Close to 1 million refugees fled throughout Europe and the United States ( Idaho is 19 th in refugees) The massacre in Srebrenica is widely considered a major fiasco in UN peacekeeping efforts: “ In 1995, Ignorance, slow action, and errors in political calculations gave Bosnian Serb paramilitary forces the opportunity to slay over 7,000 Muslim men and boys after taking over the town designated by the UN Security Council as a "safe area.”” Milošević was brought to trial for war crimes, but died before decisions were made. Radovan Karadzic is currently on trial in the Hague for war crimes

18 F ORMER Y UGOSLAVIA Lessons learned? National borders are not permanent Rebellion/civil war results from neglecting people’s needs And as Rezak Hukanovic explains in his book The Tenth Circle of Hell: “The great powers kept their distance. They did not understand that it is not about armed might but a capacity and will to act in the name of ethical principles without which a society cannot be civilized. Charged with the protection of the weak, the U.N. demonstrates its own weakness, its lack of initiative, as soon as it is called upon to oppose aggressors of any kind.” Serbian flag Croatian flag Bosnian flag Macedonian flag Slovenian flag

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