that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy
until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars
. It was a socialist state
and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and Slovenia
. Serbia, in addition, included two autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohia.
Initially siding with the Eastern bloc
under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito
at the beginning of the Cold War
, Yugoslavia pursued a policy of neutrality
after the Tito-Stalin split
of 1948, and became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement
1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip "Tito" Broz signs an agreement with the Soviet Union to allow "temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory".
1946 Yugoslavia's new constitution, modeling the Soviet Union, establishes six constituent republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).
1947 Italy cedes most of Venezia Giulia to Yugoslavia.
1953 Marshal Josip Broz Tito is chosen as President of Yugoslavia.
1955 The USSR and Yugoslavia sign the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations between both countries, discontinued since 1948.
1963 Yugoslavia is proclaimed to be a Socialist republic and Josip Broz Tito is named President for life.
1974 Josip Broz Tito is re-elected president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This time he is elected for life.
1976 A British Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident and an Inex-Adria DC-9 collide near Zagreb, Yugoslavia, killing 176.
1981 A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.
1991 Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia.
that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy
until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars
. It was a socialist state
and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and Slovenia
. Serbia, in addition, included two autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohia.
Initially siding with the Eastern bloc
under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito
at the beginning of the Cold War
, Yugoslavia pursued a policy of neutrality
after the Tito-Stalin split
of 1948, and became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement
. Rising ethnic nationalism
in the late 1980s led to dissidence among the multiple ethnicities within the constituent republics, followed by collapse of inter-republic talks on transformation of the country and recognition of their independence by some European states in 1991. This led to the country collapsing on ethnic lines, followed by wars fraught with ethnic discrimination and human rights violations.
NameThe name "Yugoslavia", an Anglicised transcription of "Jugoslavija", is a composite word made-up of "jug" (with the "J" pronounced like an English "y") and "slavija". The translation of the Serbo-Croatian word "jug" is "south", while "slavija" ("slavia") keeps its meaning ("land of the Slavs"). Thus a translation of "Jugoslavija would be "South Slavia" or "Land of the South Slavs
". The term unifies the six South Slavic nations of Yugoslavia, Serbs
, Slovenes, Bosniaks
, Montenegrins and Macedonians
. The full official name of the country varied significantly between 1943 and 1992.
Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 under the name Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In January 1929, King Alexander I
assumed dictatorship of the country and renamed it into Kingdom of Yugoslavia
, for the first time making the term "Yugoslavia", which was used coloquially for decades (even before the country was formed), the official name of the state. After the Kingdom was occupied during World War II, AVNOJ
announced in 1943 their intention to rebuild the country as Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (DF Yugoslavia, DFY), leaving the question of republic or kingdom open.
In 1945, it became the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FPR Yugoslavia, FPRY), with the constitution coming into force in 1946 and in 1963 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia, SFRY). The state is most commonly referred to by this last full name (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), which it held for the longest period of all. Of the three Yugoslav languages, the Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian language name for the state was identical, while Slovene slightly differed in capitalization and the spelling of the adjective "Socialist". The names are as follows:
- Serbo-CroatianSerbo-Croatian languageSerbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...
and Macedonian languageMacedonian languageMacedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...
- Latin alphabet: Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija.
- Cyrillic alphabetCyrillic alphabetThe Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...
: Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија.
- Slovene language
- Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija.
Due to the length of the name, abbreviations were often used to refer to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, though the state was most commonly known simply as "Yugoslavia". The most common abbreviation is "SFRY" ("SFRJ"), though "SFR Yugoslavia" was also used in official capacity, particularly by the media.
World War IIOn 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers
led by Nazi Germany
; by 17 April 1941, the country was fully occupied and was soon carved up by the Axis. Yugoslav resistance was soon established in two forms, the royalist Yugoslav Army in Homeland
and the People's Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia, known simply as the Partisans. The Partisan supreme commander was Josip Broz Tito
(head of the KPJ), and under his command the movement soon began establishing "liberated territories" which attracted the attentions of the occupying forces.
Unlike the various nationalist militias operating in occupied Yugoslavia, the Partisans were a pan-Yugoslav movement promoting the "brotherhood and unity
" of Yugoslav nations, and representing the republican, left-wing, and socialist elements of the Yugoslav political spectrum. The coalition of political parties, factions, and prominent individuals behind the movement was the People's Liberation Front
(Jedinstveni narodnooslobodilački front, JNOF), led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ).
The Front formed a representative political body, the Anti-Fascist Council for the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ, Antifašističko Vijeće Narodnog Oslobođenja Jugoslavije). The AVNOJ, which met for the first time in Partisan-liberated Bihać
on 26 November 1942 (First Session of the AVNOJ), claimed the status of Yugoslavia's deliberative assembly
During 1943, the Yugoslav Partisans began attracting serious attention from the Germans. In two major operations of Fall Weiss (January to April 1943) and Fall Schwartz (15 May to 16 June 1943), the Axis attempted to stamp-out the Yugoslav resistance once and for all. The battles, which were soon to be known as the Battle of the Neretva and the Battle of the Sutjeska respectively, saw the 20,000-strong Partisan Main Operational Group engaged by a force of around 150,000 combined Axis troops. On both occasions, despite heavy casualties the Partisan commander Josip Broz Tito succeeded in evading the trap and retreating to safety.
Following the withdrawal of the main Axis forces, the Partisans emerged stronger than before and occupied a more significant portion of Yugoslavia. The events greatly increased the standing of the Partisans, and granted them a favorable reputation among the Yugoslav populace – leading to increased recruitment. On 8 September 1943, Fascist Italy capitulated to the Allied powers
, leaving their occupation zone in Yugoslavia open to the Partisans. Tito took advantage of the events by briefly liberating the Dalmatian shore and its cities. This granted the Partisans Italian weaponry and supplies, volunteers from the cities previously annexed by Italy
, and Italian recruits crossing over to the Allies (the Garibaldi Division).
. The Second Session of the AVNOJ lasted from 21 to 29 November 1943 (right before and during the Tehran Conference
), and came to a number of significant conclusions. The most significant of these was the establishment of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, a state that would be a federation of six equal South Slavic
republics (as opposed to the Serbian
predominance in pre-war Yugoslavia
). The council decided on a "neutral" name and deliberately left the question of "monarchy vs. republic" open, ruling that Peter II
would only be allowed to return from exile in London upon a favorable result of a pan-Yugoslav referendum on the question.
Among other decisions, the AVNOJ decided on forming a provisional executive body, the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ, Nacionalni komitet oslobođenja Jugoslavije), appointing Josip Broz Tito the Prime Minister. Having achieved success in the 1943 engagements, Tito was also granted the rank of Marshal of Yugoslavia
. Favorable news also came from the Tehran Conference taking place at almost the same time in Iran, the Allied powers concluded that the Partisans would be recognized as the Allied Yugoslav resistance movement and granted supplies and wartime support against the Axis occupation.
As the war turned decisively against the Axis in 1944, the Partisans continued to hold significant chunks of Yugoslav territory. With the Allies in Italy, the Yugoslav islands of the Adriatic Sea
were a haven for the resistance. On 17 June 1944, the Partisan base on the island of Vis
housed a conference between Josip Broz Tito, Prime Minister of the NKOJ
(representing the AVNOJ), and Ivan Šubašić
, Prime Minister of the royalist Yugoslav government-in-exile in London. The conclusions, known as the Tito-Šubašić Agreement
, granted the King's recognition to the AVNOJ and the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia and provided for the establishment of a joint Yugoslav coalition government headed by Tito with Šubašić as the foreign minister, with the AVNOJ confirmed as the provisional Yugoslav parliament.
, the capital of Yugoslavia, was liberated
with the help of the Soviet Red Army
in October 1944, and the formation of a new Yugoslav government was postponed until 2 November 1944, when the Belgrade Agreement was signed and the provisional government formed. The agreements also provided for the eventual post-war elections that would determine the state's future system of government and economy.
By 1945, the Partisans were mopping up Axis forces and liberating the remaining parts of occupied territory. On 20 March 1945, the Partisans launched their General Offensive in a drive to completely oust the Germans and the remaining collaborating forces. By the end of April 1945 the remaining northern parts of Yugoslavia were liberated, and chunks of southern German (Austrian) territory, and Italian territory around Trieste were occupied by Yugoslav troops.
Yugoslavia was now once more a fully intact state, and was envisioned by the Partisans as a "Democratic Federation", including six federal states: the Federal State of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FS Bosnia and Herzegovina), Federal State of Croatia (FS Croatia), Federal State of Macedonia (FS Macedonia), Federal State of Montenegro (FS Montenegro), Federal State of Serbia (FS Serbia), and Federal State of Slovenia (FS Slovenia). The nature of its government, however, remained unclear, and Tito was highly reluctant to include the exiled King Peter II in post-war Yugoslavia as demanded by Winston Churchill. In February 1945, Tito acknowledged the existence of a regency
council representing the King : the first and only act of the council, however, was to proclaim on March 7 a new government under Tito's premiership. The nature of the state was not cleared immediately after the war, and on 26 June 1945, the country signed the United Nations Charter
using only Yugoslavia as an official name, with no reference to either a Kingdom or a Republic,.
Post-war periodThe first Yugoslav post-war elections were set for 11 November 1945. By this time the coalition of parties backing the Partisans, the People's Liberation Front
(Jedinstveni narodnooslobodilački front, JNOF), had been renamed into the People's Front (Narodni front, NOF). The People's Front was primarily led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), and represented by Josip Broz Tito. The reputation of both benefited greatly from their wartime exploits and decisive success, and they enjoyed genuine support among the populace. However, the old pre-war political parties were reestablished as well. As early as January 1945, while the enemy was still occupying the northwest, Josip Broz Tito commented:
However, while the elections themselves were fairly conducted by secret ballot, the campaign that preceded them was highly irregular; Opposition newspapers were banned on more than one occasion, and in Serbia the opposition leaders such as Milan Grol
received threats via the press. The opposition withdrew from the election in protest to the hostile atmosphere and this situation caused the three royalist representatives, Grol-Subasic-Juraj Sutej, to secede from the provisional government indeed voting was on a single list of People's Front candidates with provision for opposition votes to be cast in separate voting boxes but this procedure made electors identifiable by OZNA
agents. The election results of 11 November 1945 were decisively in favor of the latter, with an average of 85% of voters of each federal state casting their ballot for the People's Front. On 29 November 1945, second anniversary of the Second Session of the AVNOJ, the Constituent Assembly of Yugoslavia formally abolished the monarchy and declared the state a republic. The country's official name became the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FPR Yugoslavia, FPRY), and the six "Federal States" became "People's Republic".,. Yugoslavia became a single-party state
and was considered in its earliest years a model of communist orthodoxy.
The Yugoslav government allied with the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin
and early on in the Cold War
shot down two American airplanes flying over Yugoslav airspace on 9 and 19 August 1946. These were the first aerial shoot downs of western aircraft during the Cold War and caused deep distrust of Tito in the United States and even calls for military intervention against Yugoslavia. The new Yugoslavia also closely followed the Soviet Stalinist model of economic development in this early period, some aspects of which achieved considerable success. In particular the public works of that period organized by the government managed to rebuild and even improve the Yugoslav infrastructure (in particular the road system), with little cost to the state. Tensions with the West were high as Yugoslavia joined the Cominform, and the early phase of the Cold War began with Yugoslavia pursuing an aggressive foreign policy. Having liberated most of the Julian March
, and with historic claims to both those regions, the Yugoslav government began diplomatic maneuvering to include them in Yugoslavia. Both these demands were opposed by the West. The greatest point of contention was the port-city of Trieste
. The city and its hinterland were liberated mostly by the Partisans in 1945, but pressure from the western Allies forced them to withdraw to the so-called "Morgan Line
". The Free Territory of Trieste
was established, and separated into Zone A and Zone B, administered by the western Allies and Yugoslavia respectively. Initially, Yugoslavia was backed by Stalin, but by 1947 the latter had begun to cool towards the new state's ambitions. The crisis eventually dissolved as the Tito–Stalin split started, with Zone A being granted to Italy, and Zone B to Yugoslavia.
Meanwhile, civil war
raged in Greece – Yugoslavia's southern neighbor – and the Yugoslav government was determined to bring about a communist victory. Yugoslavia dispatched significant assistance, in terms of arms and ammunition, supplies, military experts on partisan warfare
(such as General Vladimir Dapčević
), and even allowed the Greek forces to use Yugoslav territory as a safe-haven. Although the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and (Yugoslav-dominated) Albania had granted military support as well, Yugoslav assistance was far more substantial. However, this Yugoslav foreign adventure also came to an end with the Tito–Stalin split, as the Greek communists, expecting an overthrow of Tito, refused any assistance from his government. Without it, however, they were greatly disadvantaged and were defeated in 1949.
The only communist neighbor of the People's Republic of Albania was Yugoslavia, and in the immediate post-war period the country was effectively a Yugoslav satellite. Neighboring Bulgaria was under increasing Yugoslav influence as well, and talks began to negotiate the inclusion of Albania and Bulgaria into Yugoslavia. The major point of contention was that Yugoslavia wanted to absorb the two as federal republics. Albania was in no position to object, but the Bulgarian view was that the new federation would see Bulgaria and Yugoslavia as a whole uniting on equal terms. As these negotiations began, Yugoslav representatives Edvard Kardelj
and Milovan Đilas were summoned to Moscow alongside a Bulgarian delegation, where Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov
attempted to brow-beat them both into accepting Soviet control over the merge between the countries, and generally tried to force them into subordination. The Soviets did not express a specific view on the issue of Yugoslav-Bulgarian unification, but wanted to ensure both parties first approved every decision with Moscow. The Bulgarians did not object, but the Yugoslav delegation withdrew from the Moscow meeting. Recognizing the level of Bulgarian subordination to Moscow, Yugoslavia withdrew from the unification talks, and shelved plans for the annexation of Albania in anticipation of a confrontation with the Soviet Union.
Next came an exchange of letters directly between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
(CPSU), and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). In the first CPSU letter of 27 March 1948, the Soviets accused the Yugoslavs of denigrating Soviet socialism via statements such as "socialism in the Soviet Union has ceased to be revolutionary". It also claimed that the KPJ was not "democratic enough", and that it was not acting as a vanguard that would lead the country to socialism. The Soviets said that they "could not consider such a Communist party organization to be Marxist-Leninist, Bolshevik". The letter also named a number of high-ranking officials as "dubious Marxists" (Milovan Đilas, Aleksandar Ranković
, Boris Kidrič
, and Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo
) inviting Tito to purge them, and thus cause a rift in his own party. Communist officials Andrija Hebrang
and Sreten Žujović
supported the Soviet view.
Tito, however, saw through it, refused to compromise his own party, and soon responded with his own letter. The KPJ response on 13 April 1948 was a strong denial of the Soviet accusations, both defending the revolutionary nature of the party, and re-asserting its high opinion of the Soviet Union. However, the KPJ noted also that "no matter how much each of us loves the land of socialism, the Soviet Union, he can in no case love his own country less". In a speech, the Yugoslav Prime Minister stated
The 31 page-long Soviet answer of 4 May 1948 admonished the KPJ for failing to admit and correct its mistakes, and went on to accuse it of being too proud of their successes against the Germans, maintaining that the Red Army had "saved them from destruction" (an unlikely statement, as Tito's partisans had successfully campaigned against Axis forces for four years before the appearance of the Red Army there). This time, the Soviets named Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj
as the principal "heretics", while defending Hebrang and Žujović. The letter suggested that the Yugoslavs bring their "case" before the Cominform
. The KPJ responded by expelling Hebrang and Žujović from the party, and by answering the Soviets with 17 May 1948 letter which sharply criticized to Soviet attempts to devalue the successes of the Yugoslav resistance movement.
On 19 May 1948, a correspondence by Mikhail A. Suslov
informed Josip Broz Tito that the Communist Information Bureau, or Cominform (Informbiro in Serbo-Croatian
), would be holding a session on 28 June 1948 in Bucharest
almost completely dedicated to the "Yugoslav issue". The Cominform was an association of communist parties that was the primary Soviet tool for controlling the political developments in the Eastern Bloc. The date of the meeting, 28 June, was carefully chosen by the Soviets as the triple anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Field (1389), the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo
(1914), and the adoption of the Vidovdan Constitution
Tito, personally invited, refused to attend under a dubious excuse of illness. When an official invitation arrived on 19 June 1948, Tito again refused. On the first day of the meeting, 28 June, the Cominform adopted the prepared text of a resolution, known in Yugoslavia as the "Resolution of the Informbiro" (Rezolucija Informbiroa). In it, the other Cominform (Informbiro) members expelled Yugoslavia, citing "nationalist elements" that had "managed in the course of the past five or six months to reach a dominant position in the leadership" of the KPJ. The resolution warned Yugoslavia that it was on the path back to bourgeois capitalism due to its nationalist, independence-minded positions, and accused the party itself of "Trotskyism
". This was followed by the severing of relations between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, beginning the period of Soviet–Yugoslav conflict between 1948 and 1955 known as the Informbiro Period.
After the break with the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia found itself economically and politically isolated as the country's Eastern Bloc-oriented economy began to falter. At the same time, Stalinist Yugoslavs, known in Yugoslavia as "cominformists", began fomenting civil and military unrest. A number of cominformist rebellions and military insurrections took place, along with acts of sabotage. However, the Yugoslav security service led by Aleksandar Ranković
, the UDBA
, was quick and efficient in cracking down on insurgent activity. Invasion appeared imminent, as Soviet military units massed along the border with the People's Republic of Hungary
, while the Hungarian People's Army was quickly increased in size from 2 to 15 divisions. The UDBA began arresting alleged Cominformists even under suspicion of being pro-Soviet.
However, from the start of the crisis, Tito began making overtures to the United States and the West. Consequently, Stalin's plans were thwarted as Yugoslavia began shifting its alignment. Welcoming the Yugoslav–Soviet rift, the West commenced a flow of economic aid in 1949, assisted in averting famine in 1950, and covered much of Yugoslavia's trade deficit for the next decade. The United States began shipping weapons to Yugoslavia in 1951. Tito, however, was wary of becoming too dependent on the West as well, and military security arrangements concluded in 1953 as Yugoslavia refused to join NATO and began developing a significant military industry of its own. With the American response in the Korean War
serving as an example of the West's commitment, Stalin began backing down from war with Yugoslavia.
ReformDuring the 1950s Yugoslavia began a number of fundamental reforms, bringing about change in three major directions: rapid liberalization
of the country's political system, the institution of a new, unique economic system, and a diplomatic policy of non-alignment. Yugoslavia refused to take part in the communist Warsaw Pact
and instead took a neutral stance in the Cold War
and became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement
along with countries like India, Egypt and Indonesia, and pursued one of its center-left influences that promoted a non-confrontational policy towards the U.S.
After the breakaway from the Soviet sphere, Yugoslavia formed its own variant of socialism, sometimes informally called "Titoism
". A significant degree of free market
enterprise was allowed internally as the state instituted a market socialist system. The economic reforms began on 26 June 1950 when the introduction of workers' self-management
was announced. Economic control was delegated to the individual republics, with government departments in Belgrade becoming coordination councils for cooperation. With the new system, workers' councils controlled production and the vast majority of the profits, which were in turn distributed among the workers themselves (as opposed to the state or owners/stockholders). Industrial and infrastructure development programs were implemented as well, as the country finally began to develop a strong industrial sector.
This and other significant economic reforms of the period, helped along by western aid, revived Yugoslavia and created an economic boom. Employment doubled between 1950 and 1964, with unemployment falling to 6% in 1961. Despite the new mass of industrial laborers, the annual increase in wages was 6.2% per year, while industrial productivity increased by 12.7% annually. Exports of industrial products, led by heavy machinery, transportation machines (esp. shipbuilding industry), and military technology and equipment, rose dramatically by a yearly increase of 11%. All in all, the annual growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) all through to the early 1980s averaged 6.1%. Literacy was increased dramatically and reached 91%, medical care was free on all levels, and life expectancy was 72 years.
Economic reform was followed closely by political liberalization. The massive state (and party) bureaucratic apparatus was being rapidly reduced, a process described as the "whittling down of the state" by Boris Kidrič
, President of the Yugoslav Economic Council (economics minister). The Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, held on 2 November 1952 in Zagreb
, was conducted in the spirit of social liberalism, and the new mood led to the introduction of the 1953 "Basic Law" (in effect the new, second constitution), which emphasized the freedom of the "free associations of working people" and the "personal freedom and rights of man". The Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), which was composed of six individual republic communist parties, changed its name at this time to the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(SKJ), composed of six leagues of communists – one for each of the federal republics. Dissent from a radical faction within the party led by Milovan Đilas, advocating the near-complete annihilation of the state apparatus, was at this time put down by Tito's intervention.
In the early 1960s concern over problems such as the building of economically irrational "political" factories and inflation led a group within the communist leadership to advocate greater decentralization. These liberals were opposed by a group around Aleksandar Ranković
. In 1966 the liberals (the most important being Edvard Kardelj
, Vladimir Bakarić
of Croatia and Petar Stambolić
of Serbia) gained the support of Tito. At party meeting in Brijuni
, Ranković faced a fully prepared dossier of accusations and a denunciation from Tito that he had formed a clique with the intention of taking power. Ranković was forced to resign all party posts and some of his supporters were expelled from the party.
The economic development and liberalization went unhindered throughout the 1950s and '60s, continuing their rapid pace. The introduction of further reforms introduced a variant of market socialism
, which now entailed a policy of open borders. With heavy federal investment, tourism in SR Croatia was revived, expanded, and transformed into a major source of income. With these successful measures, the Yugoslav economy achieved relative self-sufficiency and traded extensively with both the West and the East. By the early 1960s, foreign observers noted that the country was "booming", and that all the while the Yugoslav citizens enjoyed far greater liberties than the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc states.
and Savka Dabčević-Kučar, allied with nationalist non party groups, began a movement to increase the powers of the individual federal republics. The movement was known as the Mass Movement (MASPOK) and led to the Croatian Spring
. Tito, whose home constituent republic was Croatia, responded with a dual action approach, Yugoslav authorities arrested large numbers of the Croatian protesters who were accused of evoking ethnic nationalism, while at the same time Tito began an agenda to initiate some of those reforms in order to avert a similar crisis from happening again. At this time, Ustaše
-sympathizers outside Yugoslavia tried through terrorism and guerrilla actions create a separatist momentum, but they were unsuccessful, sometimes even gaining the animosity of fellow Roman Catholic Yugoslavs. From 1971 on, the republics had control over their economic plans. This led to a wave of investment, which in turn was accompanied by a growing level of debt and a growing trend of imports not covered by exports.
In 1974, a new federal constitution was ratified that gave more autonomy to the individual republics, thereby basically fulfilling the main goals of the 1971 Croatian Spring
movement. The most controversial issue in the new federal constitution was the internal division of Serbia, by awarding a similar status to two autonomous provinces within it, Kosovo
, a largely ethnic Albanian
populated region of Serbia, and Vojvodina
, a region with large numbers of ethnic minorities behind the majority Serbs, such as Hungarians
. These reforms satisfied most of the republics, especially Croatia as well as the Albanians of Kosovo and the minorities of Vojvodina. But the 1974 constitution deeply aggravated Serbian communist officials and Serbs themselves who distrusted the motives of the proponents of the reforms. Many Serbs saw the reforms as concessions to Croatian and Albanian nationalists, as no similar autonomous provinces were made to represent the large numbers of Serbs of Croatia
or Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Serb nationalists were frustrated over Tito's support of the recognition of Montenegrins and Macedonians
as independent nationalities, as Serbian nationalists had claimed that there was no ethnic or cultural difference separating these two nations from the Serbs that could verify that such nationalities truly existed.
Post-Tito periodOn 4 May 1980, Tito died and his death was announced through state broadcasts across Yugoslavia. While it had been known for some time that Tito had been increasingly ill, his death came as a shock to the country. This was because Tito was looked upon as the country's hero in World War II and had been the country's dominant figure and identity for years. His loss marked a significant alteration, and it was reported that many Yugoslavs openly mourned his death. In the Split soccer stadium, where Serb and Croat teams playing against each other in a match, both stopped upon hearing of Tito's passing and tearfully sung the hymn "Comrade Tito We Swear to You, from Your Path We Will not Depart"
Josip Broz Tito's coffin was symbolically carried across Yugoslavia by train before being laid down in Belgrade; thousands of people went to see the traveling of the coffin throughout Yugoslavia until it reached Belgrade." Some of the attendance for the traveling of the coffin and funeral was state organized by the League of Communists but much was true spontaneous outpouring of grief.
After Tito's death in 1980, a new collective presidency
of the communist leadership from each republic was adopted.
Post-Tito Yugoslavia faced significant fiscal debt in the 1980s, but its good relations with the United States led to an American-led group of organizations called the "Friends of Yugoslavia" to endorse and achieve significant debt relief for Yugoslavia in 1983 and 1984, though economic problems would continue until the state's dissolution in the 1990s.
Yugoslavia was the host nation of the 1984 Winter Olympics
. For Yugoslavia, the games demonstrated the continued Tito's vision of Brotherhood and unity
as the multiple nationalities of Yugoslavia remained united in one team, and Yugoslavia became the second communist state to hold the Olympic Games (the Soviet Union held them in 1980
). However Yugoslavia's games were participated in by western countries while the Soviet Union's Olympics were boycotted by some western countries.
In the late 1980s, the Yugoslav government began to make a course away from communism as it attempted to transform to a market economy
under the leadership of Prime Minister Ante Marković
who advocated "shock therapy" tactics to privatize sections of the Yugoslav economy. Marković was popular as he was seen as the most capable politician to be able to transform the country to a liberalized democratic federation, later on he lost his popularity mainly due to rising unemployment. His work was left incomplete as Yugoslavia broke apart in the 1990s.
Breakup and warTensions between the republics and nations of Yugoslavia intensified from the 1970s to the 1980s. The causes for the collapse of the country have been associated with nationalism, ethnic conflict, economic difficulty, frustration with government bureaucracy, the influence of important figures in the country, and international politics.
Nationalism has been seen by many as the primary source of the breakup of Yugoslavia. From 1967 to 1972 in Croatia and 1968 to 1981 involving the protests in Kosovo, nationalist doctrines and actions caused ethnic tensions that destabilized the country. The suppression by the Communist regime of nationalists is believed to have had the effect of identifying nationalism as the primary alternative to communism itself and made it a strong underground movement. In the late 1980s, Belgrade elite was faced with a strong opposition force of massive protests by Kosovo Serbs and Montenegrins as well as public demands for political reforms by the critical intelligentsia of Serbia and Slovenia.
In economics, since the late 1970s a widening gap of economic resources between the developed and underdeveloped regions of Yugoslavia severely deteriorated the federation's unity. The most developed republics, Croatia and Slovenia rejected attempts to limit their autonomy as provided in the 1974 Constitution. Public opinion in Slovenia in 1987 saw better economic opportunity in independence from Yugoslavia than within it. On the other extreme, the autonomous province of Kosovo was poorly developed and saw no economic benefit in being in Yugoslavia as per capita GDP had fallen from 47 percent of the Yugoslav average in the immediate post-war period to 27 percent by the 1980s. However economic issues have not been demonstrated to be the sole determining factor in the breakup of Yugoslavia, as Yugoslavia in this period was the most prosperous Communist state in Eastern Europe at this time period and the country in fact disintegrated during a period of economic recovery after the implementation of the economic reforms of Ante Marković's government. Furthermore, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, the leaders of Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, all declined an unofficial offer by the European Community to provide substantial economic support to them in exchange for a political compromise. However the issue of economic inequality between the republics, autonomous provinces, and nations of Yugoslavia resulted in tensions with claims of disadvantage and accusations of privileges against others by these groups.
Political protests in Serbia and Slovenia which later developed into ethnic-driven conflict began in the late 1980s as protests against the alleged injustice and bureaucratization of the political elite. Members of the political elite managed to redirect these protests against "others". Serb demonstrators were worried about the disintegration of the country and alleged that "the others" (Croats, Slovenes, and international institutions) were deemed responsible. The Slovene intellectual elite argued that "the others" (Serbs) were responsible for Greater Serbian expansionist designs, for economic exploitation of Slovenia, and for the suppression of Slovene national identity. These redirection actions of the popular protests allowed the regimes in Serbia and Slovenia to survive at the cost of undermining the unity of Yugoslavia. Other republics such as Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia refused to follow these tactics taken by Serbia and Slovenia, later resulting in the defeat of these Communist regimes to nationalist political forces.
From the point of view of international politics, it has been argued that the end of the Cold War contributed to the breakup of Yugoslavia because Yugoslavia lost its strategic international political importance as an intermediary between the Eastern and Western blocs. As a consequence, Yugoslavia lost the economic and political support provided by the West, and increased pressure from the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) to reform its institutions made it impossible for the Yugoslav reformist elite to respond to rising social disorder. The collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union undermined the country's ideological basis and encouraged anti-communist and nationalist forces in the Western-oriented republics of Croatia and Slovenia to increase their demands.
Since the 1974 Constitution reduced the powers of SR Serbia over its autonomous provinces of SAP Kosovo and SAP Vojvodina, nationalist sentiment in Serbia was on the rise, primarily centered on Kosovo. In Kosovo (administered mostly by ethnic-Albanian communists) the Serbian minority increasingly put forth complaints of mistreatment and abuse by the Albanian majority. In Serbia, already agitated by the reduction of its powers, this provoked increasing anti-Albanian sentiments as ethnic hatred returned to Yugoslavia. In 1986 the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
(SANU), published a controversial document known as the SANU Memorandum. In it, Serbian academics supported Serbian nationalist grievances inflaming ethnic tensions even among moderate Serbs. The League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(SKJ) was at the time united in condemning the memorandum, and resumed following its anti-nationalist policy.
(SKS) (Serbian branch of the SKJ), Slobodan Milošević
, was dispatched to Kosovo to quell the latest demonstration by the Kosovar Serbs. Up to this point, all branches of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, including Milošević, unanimously condemned all nationalist outcries. However, at this rally, Milošević abandoned party policy: he supported the claims of the gathered crowd – instantly casting himself as the "defender of the Serbs". This image was further promoted by his increasing personal control over the Serbian media, which he was establishing at this time. With his new-found popularity, Milošević managed to wrest control of the League of Communists of Serbia from his one-time political ally Ivan Stambolić
, effectively becoming the most powerful politician in SR Serbia.
Having secured his position in Serbia, Milošević proceeded to take control of the governments of Vojvodina, Kosovo, and the neighboring Socialist Republic of Montenegro
in what was dubbed the "Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution
" by the Serbian media. Both the SAPs possessed a vote on the Yugoslav Presidency in accordance to the 1974 constitution, and together with Montenegro and his own Serbia, Milošević now directly controlled four out of eight votes in the collective head-of-state by 10 January 1989. This situation severely aggravated the governments of Croatia and Slovenia, along with the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, all of whom soon found themselves in conflict with Milošević (SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and SR Macedonia remained relatively neutral).
, led by Ivica Račan
, and the League of Communists of Slovenia
both walked-out of the congress frustrated by Milošević's stranglehold on the assembly. Thus the unitary League of Communists of Yugoslavia was dissolved, leading to the establishment of a multi-party system in the individual republics. The separate Leagues of Communists (most under new names) failed to win in the majority of republics. In Croatia, the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union
(HDZ) won the election promising to "defend Croatia from Milošević", and quickly reduced the status of the republic's large Serbian minority from "constituent nation" to "national minority" on 22 December 1990, causing great alarm among the Croatian Serbs
Both Croatia and Slovenia under new nationalist governments declared publicly their intention to secede from Yugoslavia. After referendums (boycotted by Serbs), the two countries declared their secession on 25 June 1991, but were stalled for three months by international efforts (the Brijuni Agreement). Immediately after the Slovene declaration, the Yugoslav Presidency ordered the Yugoslav People's Army
(JNA) to take control over the international border crossings in Slovenia. Thus began the half-hearted JNA effort to prevent the Slovene secession known as the Ten-Day War
. Frustrated by the Slovene Territorial Defence (TO), the federal army was denied permission to occupy the Republic fully, and soon withdrew.
In Croatia the Croatian War of Independence
soon began, with Croatian Serb rebels (assisted by the JNA) consolidating their hold on chunks of Croatian territory, and declaring that their entities would not secede from Yugoslavia if Croatia followed through with independence (after the Brijuni Agreement three-month moratorium passed). In October 1991 Croatia and Slovenia finally declared independence, leading to full-scale war in Croatia. Serbian rebels and Serb-controlled JNA units succeeded in occupying large chunks of Croatia. A temporary armistice took hold in January 1992, with attention quickly shifting to SR Bosnia and Herzegovina. In September 1991, Macedonia also declared its independence. Five hundred US soldiers were then deployed under the UN banner to monitor Macedonia's northern borders.
The federal institutions of Yugoslavia by this time all but ceased to function. The state was still formally in existence, comprising Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It housed a vast majority of ethnic Serbs, and was completely controlled by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. After Croatia's secession, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims no longer desired to remain in a completely Serb-dominated federation ("Serboslavia"), Bosnian Serbs on the other hand, were firmly against separation from Serbia (and the other Serb populations). This led to mutually boycotted referendums by the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government and the newly formed Serbian entity, the Republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the soon-to-be Republic of Srpska). Soon after its referendum, the Bosnian government declared its secession from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, triggering the Bosnian War
between the mutually hostile ethnic groups.
After the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia was officially dissolved by its two remaining members, Serbia and Montenegro. The two states then formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FR Yugoslavia, FRY), and claimed succession to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This move, however, was not granted legitimacy by the international community, and Yugoslavia was considered completely dissolved into five successor states: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and FR Yugoslavia (later renamed into "Serbia and Montenegro
ConstitutionThe Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
was amended in 1963 and 1974.
The League of Communists of Yugoslavia
won the first elections, and remained in power throughout the state's existence. It was composed of individual communist parties from each constituent republic. The party would reform its political positions through party congresses in which delegates from each republic were represented and voted on changes to party policy, the last of which was held in 1990.
Yugoslavia's parliament was known as the Federal Assembly
which was housed in the building which currently houses Serbia's parliament. The Federal Assembly was completely composed of Communist members.
The primary political leader of the state was Josip Broz Tito
, but there were several other important politicians, particularly after Tito's death: see the list of leaders of communist Yugoslavia. In 1974, Tito was proclaimed President-for-life of Yugoslavia. After Tito's death in 1980, the single position of president was divided into a collective Presidency
, where representatives of each republic would essentially form a committee where the concerns of each republic would be addressed and from it, collective federal policy goals and objectives would be implemented. The head of the collective presidency was rotated between representatives of the different republics. The head of the collective presidency was considered the head of state of Yugoslavia. The collective presidency was ended in 1991, as Yugoslavia fell apart.
In 1974, major reforms to Yugoslavia's constitution occurred. Among the changes was the controversial internal division of Serbia, which created two autonomous provinces within it, Vojvodina
. Each of these autonomous provinces had voting power equal to that of the republics, but retroactively they participated in Serbian decision-making as constituent parts of SR Serbia.
Federal subjectsInternally, the Yugoslav federation was divided into six constituent
socialist republics established in 1944 and two Socialist Autonomous Provinces
(Kosovo and Vojvodina) within the Socialist Republic of Serbia. The federal capital was Belgrade
. In alphabetical order, the republics and provinces were:
| || || |
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...
|Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina , known until 1963 under the name of People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....
|Socialist Republic of Croatia
Socialist Republic of Croatia
Socialist Republic of Croatia was a sovereign constituent country of the second Yugoslavia. It came to existence during World War II, becoming a socialist state after the war, and was also renamed four times in its existence . It was the second largest republic in Yugoslavia by territory and...
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...
|Socialist Republic of Macedonia
Socialist Republic of Macedonia
The Socialist Republic of Macedonia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...
|Socialist Republic of Montenegro
Socialist Republic of Montenegro
Socialist Republic of Montenegro or SR Montenegro in shortened form, was a socialist state that was a constituent country in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a predecessor of the modern day Montenegro...
|Titograd, now Podgorica
Podgorica , is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement...
|Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia
Socialist Republic of Serbia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a predecessor of modern day Serbia, which served as the biggest republic in the Yugoslav federation and held the largest population of all the Yugoslav...
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...
Pristina, also spelled Prishtina and Priština is the capital and largest city of Kosovo. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous municipality and district....
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....
|Socialist Republic of Slovenia
Socialist Republic of Slovenia
The Socialist Republic of Slovenia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 until 1990...
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...
Foreign policyUnder Tito
, Yugoslavia adopted a policy of neutrality in the Cold War. It developed close relations with developing countries (see Non-Aligned Movement
) as well as maintaining cordial relations with the United States and Western European countries. Stalin considered Tito a traitor and openly offered condemnation towards him. In 1968, following the occupation of Czechoslovakia
by the Soviet Union, Tito added an additional defense line to Yugoslavia's borders with the Warsaw Pact countries.
On 1 January 1967, Yugoslavia was the first communist country to open its borders to all foreign visitors and abolish visa requirements.
In the same year Tito became active in promoting a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. His plan called for Arab countries to recognize the State of Israel in exchange for Israel returning territories it had gained. The Arab countries rejected his land for peace concept. However that same year, Yugoslavia no longer recognized Israel.
In 1968, Tito offered Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubček
that he would fly to Prague
on three hours notice if Dubček needed help in facing down the Soviet Union which was occupying Czechoslovakia at the time.
Yugoslavia had mixed relations with the communist regime of Enver Hoxha
of Albania. Initially Yugoslav-Albanian relations were forthcoming, as Albania adopted a common market with Yugoslavia and required the teaching of Serbo-Croatian to students in high schools. At this time, the concept of creating a Balkan Federation was being discussed between Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria. Albania at this time was heavily dependent on economic support of Yugoslavia to fund its initially weak infrastructure. Trouble between Yugoslavia and Albania began when Albanians began to complain that Yugoslavia was paying too little for Albania's natural resources. Afterward, relations between Yugoslavia and Albania worsened. From 1948 onward, the Soviet Union backed Albania in opposition to Yugoslavia. On the issue of Albanian-dominated Kosovo, Yugoslavia and Albania both attempted to neutralize the threat of nationalist conflict, Hoxha opposed nationalist sentiment in Albania as he officially believed in the communist ideal of international brotherhood of all people, though on a few occasions in the 1980s, Hoxha did make inflammatory speeches in support of Albanians in Kosovo against the Yugoslav government, when public sentiment in Albania was firmly in support of Kosovo Albanians.
of 1948. Rather than being owned by the state, Yugoslav companies were socially owned
and managed with workers' self-management much like the Israeli kibbutz
and the anarchist communes of Spanish Catalonia
. The occupation and liberation struggle in World War II left Yugoslavia's infrastructure devastated. Even the most developed parts of the country were largely rural, and the little industry the country had was largely damaged or destroyed.
With the exception of a recession in the mid-1960s, the country's economy prospered formidably. Unemployment was low and the education level of the work force steadily increased. Due to Yugoslavia's neutrality and its leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement
, Yugoslav companies exported to both Western and Eastern markets. Yugoslav companies carried out construction of numerous major infrastructural and industrial projects in Africa, Europe and Asia.
The fact that Yugoslavs were allowed to emigrate freely from the 1960s on prompted many to find work in Western Europe, notably West Germany
. This contributed to keeping unemployment in check, and also acted as a source of capital and foreign currency.
In the 1970s, the economy was reorganized according to Edvard Kardelj
's theory of associated labour, in which the right to decision-making and a share in profits of socially owned companies is based on the investment of labour. All companies were transformed into organizations of associated labour. The smallest, basic organizations of associated labour, roughly corresponded to a small company or a department in a large company. These were organized into enterprises which in turn associated into composite organizations of associated labour, which could be large companies or even whole industry branches in a certain area. Most executive decision-making was based in enterprises
, so that these continued to compete to an extent, even when they were part of a same composite organization. In practice, the appointment of managers and the strategic policies of composite organizations were, depending on their size and importance, often subject to political and personal influence-peddling.
In order to give all employees the same access to decision-making, the basic organisations of associated labour were also applied to public services, including health and education. The basic organizations were usually made up of no more than a few dozen people and had their own workers' councils, whose assent was needed for strategic decisions and appointment of managers in enterprises or public institutions.
The Yugoslav wars
and consequent loss of market, as well as mismanagement and/or non-transparent privatization, brought further economic trouble for all the former republics of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Only Slovenia's economy grew steadily after the initial shock and slump. Croatia reached its 1990 GDP in 2003, a feat yet to be accomplished by other former Yugoslav republics.
The Yugoslavian currency was the yugoslav dinar.
Yugoslav economy in numbers – 1990
Unemployment rate: 15% (1989)
GDP: $129.5 billion, per capita $5,464; real growth rate – 1.0% (1989 est.)
Budget: revenues $6.4 billion; expenditures $6.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990)
Exports: $13.1 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—raw materials and semimanufactures 50%, consumer goods 31%, capital goods and equipment 19%; partners—EC 30%, CEMA 45%, less developed countries 14%, US 5%, other 6%
Imports: $13.8 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—raw materials and semimanufactures 79%, capital goods and equipment 15%, consumer goods 6%; partners—EC 30%, CEMA 45%, less developed countries 14%, US 5%, other 6%
External debt: $17.0 billion, medium and long term (1989)
Electricity: 21,000,000 kW capacity; 87,100 million kWh produced, 3,650 kWh per capita (1989)
GeographyLike the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
that preceded it, the SFRY bordered Italy and Austria to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Romania and Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, Albania to the southwest, and the Adriatic Sea
to the west.
The most significant change to the borders of the SFRY occurred in 1954, when the adjacent Free Territory of Trieste
was dissolved by the Treaty of Osimo
. The Yugoslav Zone B, which covered 515.5 km², became part of the SFRY. Zone B was already occupied by the Yugoslav National Army.
In 1992, the SFRY's territory disintegrated as the independent states of Slovenia
, Republic of Macedonia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina
separated from it, though the Yugoslav military controlled parts of Croatia and Bosnia prior to the state's dissolution. By 1992, only the republics of Serbia
remained committed to union, and formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in 1992.
DemographicsThe SFRY recognised "nations" (narodi) and "nationalities" (narodnosti) separately; the former included the constituent Slavic peoples, while the latter included other Slavic and non-Slavic ethnic groups such as Bulgarians
(Slavic); and Hungarians and Albanians
(non-Slavic). About a total of 26 known ethnic groups were known to live in Yugoslavia, including non-European originated Roma People or Gypsies.
There was also a Yugoslav
ethnic designation, for the people who wanted to identify with the entire country, including people who were born to parents in mixed marriages.
LanguagesThe population of Yugoslavia spoke mainly three languages: Serbo-Croatian
, Slovene and Macedonian
. The Serbo-Croatian language was spoken by the populations in the federal republics of SR Serbia, SR Croatia, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, and SR Montenegro – a total of 12,390,000 people by the late 1980s. Slovene was spoken by approximately 1,400,000 inhabitants of SR Slovenia, while Macedonian was spoken by 1,210,000 inhabitants of SR Macedonia. National minorities used their own languages as well, with 506,000 speaking Hungarian
(primarily in a part of SAP Vojvodina), and 2,000,000 persons speaking Albanian
in SR Serbia and SR Macedonia. Turkish
, and Italian were also spoken to a lesser extent.
Three main languages all belong to the South Slavic
language group and are thus similar, allowing most people from different areas to understand each other. Intellectuals were mostly acquainted with all three languages, while people of more modest means from SR Slovenia and SR Macedonia were provided an opportunity to learn the Serbo-Croatian language during the compulsory service in the federal military. Serbo-Croatian itself is made-up of three dialects, Shtokavian, Kajkavian, and Chakavian, with Shtokavian used as the standard official dialect of the language. Official Serbo-Croatian (Shtokavian), was divided into two similar variants, the Croatian (Western) variant and Serbian (Eastern) variant, with minor differences telling the two apart.
Two alphabets used in Yugoslavia were: the Latin alphabet
and the Cyrillic alphabet
. Both alphabets were modified for use by the Serbo-Croatian language in the 19th century, thus the Serbo-Croatian Latin alphabet is more closely known as Gaj's Latin alphabet, while Cyrillic is referred to as the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet
. Serbo-Croatian uses both alphabets, Slovene uses only the Latin alphabet, and Macedonian uses only the Cyrillic alphabet. It should be noted that the Croatian variant of the language used exclusively Latin, while the Serbian variant used both Latin and Cyrillic.
MilitaryThe armed forces of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia consists of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), Territorial Defense (TO), Civil Defense (CZ) and Milicija
(police) in war time. Much like the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
that preceded it, the socialist Yugoslavia maintained a strong military force. Soon after the end of world war two, the Yugoslav Peoples Army was considered to be the 3rd strongest in Europe.
The Yugoslav People's Army
or JNA/JLA was the main organization of the military forces. It was composed of the ground army, navy and aviation. Most of its military equipment and pieces were domestically produced.
The regular army mostly originated from the Yugoslav Partisans
and the People's Liberation Army of the Yugoslav People's Liberation War in the Second World War. Yugoslavia also had a thriving arms industry
and sold to such nations as Kuwait, Iraq, and Burma, amongst many others (including a number of staunchly anti-Communist regimes like Guatemala). Yugoslavian companies like Zastava Arms
produced Soviet-designed weaponry under license as well as creating weaponry from scratch. SOKO
was an example of a successful design by Yugoslavia before the Yugoslav wars
As Yugoslavia splintered, the army factionalized along cultural lines, by 1991 and 1992, Serbs
made up almost the entire army as the separating states formed their own.
Beside the federal army, each of the six republics had their own respective Territorial Defense Forces. They were a national guard of sorts, established in the frame of a new military doctrine
called "General Popular Defense" as an answer to the brutal end of the Prague Spring
by the Warsaw Pact
in 1968. It was organized on republic, autonomous province, municipality and local community levels.
UniversitiesThe University of Belgrade
(founded 1808) and University of Zagreb
(founded 1669) already existed before the creation of Yugoslavia.
Between 1918 and 1992, these universities were established:
- University of LjubljanaUniversity of LjubljanaThe University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest university in Slovenia. With 64,000 enrolled graduate and postgraduate students, it is among the largest universities in Europe.-Beginnings:...
- University of SarajevoUniversity of SarajevoThe University of Sarajevo is the first university in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was originally established in 1531 as a Madrasah or Islamic Law college, with a modern university being established and expanded on top of that in 1949. Today, with 23 faculties and around 55,000 enrolled students, it...
- University of Skopje (1949)
- University of Novi SadUniversity of Novi SadThe University of Novi Sad is a university located in Novi Sad, the capital of Serbian province of Vojvodina and the second largest city in Serbia....
- University of NisUniversity of NišThe University of Niš is a university located in Niš, Serbia. It was founded in 1965 and it consists of 13 faculties with 1500 teachers, 630 staff and extracurricular staff, and around 30,000 students...
- University of Pristina (1970)
- University of Arts in BelgradeUniversity of Arts in BelgradeThe University of Arts in Belgrade is a public university in Belgrade, founded in 1957 as the Academy of Arts to unite four academies...
- University of RijekaUniversity of RijekaThe University of Rijeka is situated in the city of Rijeka with faculties also located in cities throughout the regions of Primorje, Istria and Lika....
- University of SplitUniversity of SplitThe University of Split is a university located in Split, Croatia. It was founded in 1974. and is organized in 13 faculties and 124 faculty programmes...
- University of TitogradUniversity of MontenegroThe University of Montenegro is a university located in Podgorica, Montenegro. It was founded in 1974 and is organized in 20 Faculties.-History:...
- University of Banja LukaUniversity of Banja LukaThe University of Banja Luka is a public university located in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina...
- University of MariborUniversity of MariborThe University of Maribor is the second university in Slovenia, established in 1975. It currently has 17 faculties.-History:The university's roots reach back to 1859, when a theological seminary was established with the encouragement of Maribor bishop and patriot Anton Martin Slomšek...
- University of OsijekUniversity of OsijekThe Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek is a university located in Osijek, Croatia. It was founded in 1975 and is organized in 11 faculties.-History:...
- University of KragujevacUniversity of KragujevacThe University of Kragujevac is a university located in Kragujevac, Serbia. It was founded in 1976 and is organized in 11 Faculties.-History:...
- University of TuzlaUniversity of TuzlaUniversity of Tuzla is a public university located in the city of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The university was founded in 1958. It became a proper university in 1976, and today is one of the major institutions of higher learning in Bosnia.-History:...
- University of MostarUniversity of MostarThe University of Mostar is the only Croatian language university in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Roots of University of Mostar date back to 1895 when the Franciscan theological school was established. In 1950 Higher teacher-training school started with its work in Mostar...
- University of Bitola (1979)
, Miroslav Krleža
, Meša Selimović
, Branko Ćopić
, Mak Dizdar
and others. Notable painters included: Đorđe Andrejević Kun, Petar Lubarda
, Mersad Berber
, Milić od Mačve
and others. Prominent sculptor was Antun Augustinčić
who made a monument standing in front of the United Nations Headquarters
in New York City. The pianist Ivo Pogorelić
and the violinist Stefan Milenković
were internationally acclaimed classical music performers, while Jakov Gotovac
was a prominent composer and a conductor. The Yugoslav cinema featured the notable theatre and film actors Danilo Bata Stojković
, Ljuba Tadić
, Fabijan Šovagović
, Mustafa Nadarević
, Bata Živojinović
, Boris Dvornik
, Ljubiša Samardžić
, Dragan Nikolić, Milena Dravić
, Bekim Fehmiu, Neda Arnerić
, Rade Šerbedžija
, Mira Furlan
, Ena Begović
and others. Film directors included: Emir Kusturica
, Dušan Makavejev
, Goran Marković, Lordan Zafranović
, Goran Paskaljević
, Živojin Pavlović
and Hajrudin Krvavac. Many Yugoslav films featured eminent foreign actors such as Orson Welles
, Franco Nero
and Yul Brynner
in the Academy Award
nominated The Battle of Neretva
, and Richard Burton
. Also, many foreign films were shot on locations in Yugoslavia including domestic crews, such as Force 10 from Navarone, Armour of God, as well as Escape from Sobibor
Cultural events across the former Yugoslavia included Dubrovačke ljetne igre, Pula Film Festival
, the Struga Poetry Evenings
and many others. The Yugoslav pop and rock music was also a very important part of the culture. The Yugoslav New Wave
was an esspecially productive musical scene, as well as the authentic subcultural movement called New Primitives
. The former SFR Yugoslavia was the only communist state
that was taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest
and it was one of its oldest participants starting in 1961
even before some Western
nations, winning the contest in 1989. Notable domestic popular music festival was the Split Festival
. Prominent traditional music
artists were the award winning Tanec
ensemble, the Romani music performer Esma Redžepova
Prior to the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Yugoslavia had a multicultural society based on the concept of brotherhood and unity and the memory of the communist Yugoslav Partisans' victory against fascists and nationalists as the rebirth of the Yugoslav people. In the SFRY the history of Yugoslavia during World War II was portrayed as a struggle not only between Yugoslavia and the Axis Powers, but as a struggle between good and evil within Yugoslavia with the multiethnic Yugoslav Partisans were represented as the "good" Yugoslavs fighting against manipulated "evil" Yugoslavs – the Croatian Ustaše
and Serbian Chetniks
. The SFRY was presented to its people as the leader of the non-aligned movement and that the SFRY was dedicated to creating a just, harmonious, Marxist world.
Artists from different ethnicities in the country were popular amongst other ethnicities such as Bosniak Yugoslav pop-folk
singer Lepa Brena
from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who was popular in Serbia, and the film industry in Yugoslavia avoided nationalist overtones until the 1990s.
SportsThe SFRY enjoyed a strong athletic sports community, such as in association football and basketball
. They won 5 FIBA World Championships (3 as SFRY and 2 as Serbia and Montenegro), more than any other country. Notable players include Vlade Divac, Dražen Petrović, Peja Stojaković, Dino Radja, Žarko Paspalj, Dejan Bodiroga, Marko Jarić, etc. Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) football team won the 1990–91 European Cup, beating Olympic de Marseille in the final
to win the country's first UEFA Champions League
trophy. Later that year, they would become World Champions by beating Colo-Colo
3-0 in the Intercontinental Cup
. Yugoslavia competed in 12 Fifa World Cups finishing with the best performance, 4th place. (not including Croatia's 3rd place finish in 1998). They competed in two European Championship
finals, losing both times. SFRY also produced some of the world's best football players; such as Dragan Džajić
, Bora Kostić
, Dejan Savićević
, Darko Pančev
, Zvonimir Boban
, Robert Prosinečki
, Branko Oblak
, Safet Sušić
, Davor Šuker
, Dejan Stanković
, Dragan Stojković
, Velibor Vasović, etc. Footballers, Siniša Mihajlović
and Dejan Petković
are known for terrific set pieces. Mihajlović being regarded as the best free-kick taker, having scored the most and Dejan Petković scoring a record 9 Olympic
goals in his career. Currently, famous footballers include Serbians
, Branislav Ivanović
, Miloš Krasić
, Dejan Stanković
, Neven Subotić
and Aleksandar Kolarov
, Bosnian/Croatian Swede Zlatan Ibrahimović, Kosovan Lorik Cana
and Macedonian Goran Pandev
etc. Yugoslavia had success in handball winning both the men's and women's World Championships. Veselin Vujović and Svetlana Kitić were voted best the handball players in the history of the sport. Yugoslavia was also dominate in volleyball and water polo. Currently, the Serbian National Water Polo Team holds the most FINA Water Polo World Championships, with 5. Tennis
was another dominating sport by the Yugoslavs. Monica Seles was a dominating women's competitor, winning numerous Grand Slams
and that at the youngest age. While on the men's side, Novak Đoković is currently the No.1 men's player in the world. He has won 2 Australian Open
s, 1 Wimbledon and 1 US Opens. Đoković led the Serbian national team
to its first Davis Cup
Championship in 2010. There was great enthusiasm in Yugoslavia when Sarajevo
was selected as the site of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
- Tito famously said of Yugoslavia, "I am the leader of one country which has two alphabets, three languages, four religions, five nationalities, six republics, surrounded by seven neighbours, a country in which live eight ethnic minorities."
- Yugoslavia was also said to be surrounded "with worries" ("brigama" in Croatian and Serbian). That word could be constructed using the first letters of the names of the surrounding countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Greece, Albania, Hungary (Mađarska in Croatian and Serbian) and Austria.
- Yugoslavia shared the melody of its national anthem with Poland. Its first lyrics were written in 1834 under the title "Hey, Slovaks" (Hej, Slováci)Hey, SlavsHey, Slavs is an anthemic song dedicated to Slavic peoples. Its first lyrics were written in 1834 under the title Hey, Slovaks by Samuel Tomášik and it has since served as the anthem of the Pan-Slavic movement, the anthem of the Sokol physical education and political movement, the anthem of the...
and it has since served as the anthem of the Pan-Slavic movementPan-SlavismPan-Slavism was a movement in the mid-19th century aimed at unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires, Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice...
, the anthem of the SokolSokolThe Sokol movement is a youth sport movement and gymnastics organization first founded in Czech region of Austria-Hungary, Prague, in 1862 by Miroslav Tyrš and Jindřich Fügner...
physical education and political movement, and the anthem of the World War II Slovak Republic, Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro. The song is also considered to be the second, unofficial anthem of the Slovaks. Its melody is based on Mazurek Dąbrowskiego, which has been also the anthem of Poland since 1926, but it is much slower and more accentuated.
- Brotherhood and unityBrotherhood and unityBrotherhood and Unity was a popular slogan of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia that was coined during the Yugoslav People's Liberation War , and which evolved into a guiding principle of Yugoslavia's post-war inter-ethnic policy....
- Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaConstitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaThe Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the supreme law of S.F.R. Yugoslavia and its predecessor, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia .-Federal constitutions:...
- History of the BalkansHistory of the BalkansThe Balkans is an area of southeastern Europe situated at a major crossroads between mainland Europe and the Near East. The distinct identity and fragmentation of the Balkans owes much to its common and often violent history and to its very mountainous geography.-Neolithic:Archaeologists have...
- History of computer hardware in the SFRYHistory of computer hardware in the SFRYThe Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a socialist country that existed in the second half of the 20th century. Being communist meant that strict technology import rules and regulations shaped the development of computer history in the country, unlike in the Western world. However, since...
- Music of YugoslaviaMusic of Yugoslavia-Meaning:Music of Yugoslavia can mean:#Music of Kingdom of Yugoslavia .#Music of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which includes the music of its constituent republics: Socialist Republic of Slovenia, Socialist Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,...
- SFR Yugoslav pop and rock scene
- Timeline of Croatian historyTimeline of Croatian historyThis is a timeline of Croatian history. To read about the background to these events, see History of Croatia. See also the list of rulers of Croatia and years in Croatia.This timeline is incomplete; some important events may be missing...
- Breakup of Yugoslavia
- Timeline of Yugoslavian breakupTimeline of Yugoslavian breakupThe Breakup of Yugoslavia was a process in which the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was broken up into constituent republics, and over the course of which the Yugoslav wars started....
- Unique Master Citizen NumberUnique Master Citizen NumberUnique Master Citizen Number was a unique identification number that was assigned to every citizen of former Yugoslav republics of the SFR Yugoslavia. Today it continues to be used in all of the countries that were created after the dissolution of Yugoslavia – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Former Yugoslavia
- YugoslaviaYugoslaviaYugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....
- Orders and Decorations of the SFRY
- List of leaders of SFRY
- Sources of the Democratic Deficit in the Yugoslav System of "Self-Government" by Dan Jakopovich
- "Yugoslavia: the outworn structure" (CIA) Report from November 1970
- CWIHP at the Wilson Center for Scholars: Primary Document Collection on Yugoslavia in the Cold War