Yugoslav Committee
Yugoslav Committee was a political interest group formed by South Slavs
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

 from Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 aimed at joining the existing south Slavic nations in an independent state.

Founding members included:
  • Frano Supilo
    Frano Supilo
    Frano Supilo was a Croatian politician and journalist. He was a major political figure in the twenty years preceding World War I....

  • Ante Trumbić
    Ante Trumbic
    Ante Trumbić was a Croatian politician in the early 20th century. He was one of the key politicians in the creation of a Yugoslav state....

  • Ivan Meštrović
    Ivan Meštrovic
    Ivan Meštrović was a Croatian and Yugoslav sculptor and architect born in Vrpolje, Croatia...

  • Hinko Hinković
  • Franko Potočnjak
  • Nikola Stojanović
  • Dušan Vasiljević

Most of the above members were from Croatia, while the last two were from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their initial gathering happened in 1914 while the committee was officially formed on 30 April 1915 in the Parisian Hotel Madisson. As Britain was the leader of the Entente
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

, the city of London was chosen as the headquarters of the Committee. The president was Ante Trumbić.

In 1915, there were 17 members in the Committee, of which 11 from the Croatian littoral regions. During that year, the Committee formed branches in Paris, Geneva, St. Peterburg, Cleveland, Valparaiso and Washington. Their liaisons in the homeland were the United Yugoslav Youth, an illegal youth organization formed in 1914 in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, and on the other hand the Government of Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. Their relationship with the Serbian official politics was seen by the Committee members as necessary, but strained because of their occasionally conflicting political stances.

The Committee reacted negatively to Nikola Pašić
Nikola Pašic
Nikola P. Pašić was a Serbian and Yugoslav politician and diplomat, the most important Serbian political figure for almost 40 years, leader of the People's Radical Party who, among other posts, was twice a mayor of Belgrade...

's government open courting of Italy in 1916, which had said that Serbia recognized the Italian hegemony over the Adriatic and particularly the naval bases. Later the same year, they learned of a memorandum by the Serbian government to the British where they explicitly staked a claim on various territories of Austria-Hungary where there were Serb Orthodox monasteries. However, they could not come to an agreement on that issue, and Frano Supilo left the Yugoslav Committee on June 5, 1916. He died the following year.

The committee signed the Corfu Declaration
Corfu Declaration
The Corfu Declaration is the agreement that made the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia possible. In 1916, the Serbian Parliament in exile decided the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at a meeting inside the Municipal Theatre of Corfu, Greece...

 with the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

 in 1917. It was a compromise declaration, advocating a parliamentary monarchy, with three nations and two alphabets equal before the law, religious freedom and universal suffrage. It received political sponsorship of Great Britain and France.

In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed and the Committee's task as such was accomplished.

Ante Trumbić later became an opponent of the June 1921 Vidovdan Constitution
Vidovdan Constitution
The Vidovdan Constitution was the first constitution of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was approved by the Constitutional Assembly on June 28, 1921 despite the opposition boycotting the vote. The Constitution is named after the feast of St. Vitus , a Serbian holiday. The Constitution...

 and the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 (January 1929). Ivan Meštrović refused to participate in state politics and committed himself to his art, and would later permanently leave the country in 1942.

See also

  • History of Yugoslavia
  • Croatia in the first Yugoslavia
    Croatia in the first Yugoslavia
    -The Yugoslav Committee:The basis of Croatia and Serbia forming a union in 1918 is to be found in the complex history of the Yugoslav Committee. The Yugoslav Committee was formed by exiles living outside the Croatian homeland during World War I. The Committee was led by Frano Supilo and Ante...

  • Croatian Committee
    Croatian Committee
    The Croatian Committee was a Croatian emigrant organization formed in 1919 in opposition to the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the Yugoslav Committee. It was formed by former Austro-Hungarian general and administrator of Bosnia and Herzegovina Stjepan Sarkotić and was led...

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