The Balkan Peninsula and “Balkanization.” 1912 2006
The Ottoman Turks invaded Europe and fought with the Serbs in 1389. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 was the catalyst that led to World War I. This brought Islam to the region which was in constant conflict with the Orthodox and Catholic Christians.
After World War I the country of “Yugoslavia” (land of the Slavs) was cobbled together to include six groups: the Serbs, Croatians, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montenegrans, and Slovenians. During World War II, the Croatians allied with the Germans and attacked Serbs and Muslims.
How can you force groups that have been in conflict for hundreds of years to live together? Although they fought on different sides in WWII, Marshal Tito formed the communist country of Yugoslavia after World War II.
Balkanization – breaking down of a country into mutually hostile smaller countries
With the death of Marshall Tito and the fall of communism, Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia. What role would “ethnicity” play in the future?