A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples by Fred Singleton

By Fred Singleton

There are few nations in Europe which include inside a space as small because the British Isles this sort of number of usual environments and cultures as Yugoslavia. This e-book presents a survey of the heritage of the South Slav peoples who got here jointly on the finish of the 1st international conflict to shape the 1st Yugoslav country, and who emerged from the chaos of the second one international battle to develop into electorate of a socialist federal republic, led through the Communist celebration less than the management of Marshal Tito. starting in Roman instances, the ebook strains the increase and fall of the medieval Slav principalities, the dominance of the Ottoman and Habsburg empires, the proclamation of the dominion of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918, the disastrous results of the German profession and the production of a brand new socialist order below President Tito.

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Perhaps the harshest imposition was the forcible enlistment of young Christian boys into the corps of janissaries (yeni geri = new troops). This system, known as dev§irme, began in the fifteenth century and died out in the late seventeenth century. It was an extension of the old Ottoman practice of enslaving prisoners of war. In the Balkans the burden fell most heavily on the Slavs of the Orthodox community. The conversion of the Albanians was achieved during the seventeenth century largely through a discriminatory taxation system, the djize, which imposed severe burdens upon those who remained Christians.

Many of those who stayed behind, especially the adherents of the Bogomil faith, accepted Islam, and their descendants form the nucleus of the Islamic community which embraced 37 per cent of the population of the republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina at the time of the 1981 census. Macedonia Macedonia, lying across the southern end of the Vardar-Morava corridor which connects the central Danubian lowlands to the Aegean coasts, has always been fought over by rival powers. In the classical world of ancient Hellas, the strategic importance of this area which controlled the neck of The early Slav kingdoms 33 the Greek peninsula was turned to advantage by Alexander the Great in his bid to conquer the known world.

The Hungarians acquired the mastery of Bosnia when they acceded to the Croatian crown in the early twelfth century. The first distinctly Bosnian state emerged in the late twelfth century under the legendary Ban Kulin (1180-1204). Kulin's adherence to the Bogomil heresy provoked the papacy to interfere. During the half-century after Kulin's death his successors, who either sympathised with or were unable to control the heretic Bosnian Church, were the object of crusades led by the Hungarian kings with the blessing of the pope.

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