Special Sub-Topic: Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Curious
|In Ancient times the territory of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of which Roman province?|
Illiricum. Roman province of Illiricum encircled all the territory of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pannonia is today's Hungary and Slavonia in Croatia, Moesia is mostly in today's Serbia, and Thracia is mainly modern Bulgaria, eastern Greece and Turkey in Europe. Roman province of Dalmatia (c. III A.D.) encircled parts of the territory of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.
|What powerful Slavic tribes settled in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during 6th and 7th centuries AD?|
Serbs and Croats. Serbs advanced into the Drina River valley and modern Herzegovina, while Croats covered mostly western Bosnia. The first recorded mention of Bosnia was written by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Flavius Porphyrogenitus (Byzantine Emperor from 913 to 959), who described "Bosona" as a district in "baptized Serbia." His writings ("De administrando imperio" in this case) are one of the best sources of information on the Byzantine Empire and neighbouring areas.
|Who ruled the parts of territory of present-day Bosnia in the 8-13 centuries AD (and in what order)? |
Franks, Serbs, Croats, Byzantines, Hungary. During the late 8th and early 9th centuries, part of northwest Bosnia was conquered by Charlemagne's Franks; this area later became part of Croatia under King Tomislav. After Tomislav's death in 928, much of Bosnia was taken over by a Serb princedom that acknowledged the sovereignty of the Byzantine Empire. During the 11th and 12th centuries Bosnia experienced rule by Byzantium, incorporation into a Serb kingdom that had expanded northward from the territory of modern Montenegro and Herzegovina, rule by Hungary, and a brief period of renewed Byzantine rule. After the death of the Emperor Manuel I Comnenus in 1180, Byzantine rule collapsed and Bosnian territory (excluding much of modern Bosnia and all of Herzegovina) became, for the first time, an independent entity.
|What is the name of the longest-lasting Bosnian medieval dynasty?|
Kotromanic. The Kotromanic dynasty was founded by Stephen Kotroman. It ruled Bosnia from the late 13th to the mid-15th century. Stephen Kotromanic (1322-53), became the first independent lord of all Bosnia in 1322. He incorporated Herzegovina and the Adriatic coastline between Split and the Neretva River. Nemanjic is a Serbian dynasty, the Hrvatinic were Croatian landlords, while Kulenovic is just made up.
|The greatest Bosnian king, Tvrtko I, ruled what other countries besides Bosnia?|
Serbia, Croatia, Dalmatia. Tvrtko I (1353-91) recovered Bosnia's lost territory, extended his lands along the Adriatic coast and into Serbia, and in 1377 crowned himself "king of the Serbs, of Bosnia, and of the Coast." In 1390 he had also claimed the titles "King of Dalmatia and Croatia". For a brief period, Tvrtko had made Bosnia the dominant power among the South Slavs.
|A strong religious movement blossomed in medieval Bosnia, characterized as "dualistic [Manichean] heretics" by Pope. What were its adherents called?|
Bogomils. Bosnian Bogomils adopted the dualist (that is, Manichean) heresy of the Bulgarian Bogomils, a religious sect that flourished in the Balkans between the 10th and 15th centuries. Bogomils came to Bosnia from Serbia during reign of the Great Zupan Stefan Nemanja (1169). The Bogomils were so called after their founder, priest Bogomil. The Bogomils' teaching was that the visible world was created by the devil. They rejected Baptism, the Eucharist, and the whole organization of the Orthodox Church.
Paulicians were a dualistic sect of Armenia and Asia Minor. Patarin and Cathar were Italian names for similar contemporary sects in Italy and Dalmatia.
|When did Bosnia fall to Ottoman Turks?|
1463. King Tvrtko I sent a smaller force to fight against Turks alongside the larger Serbian army at the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389. After the Kosovo defeat, Serbia became an Ottoman vassal, and the Turks continued their attacks on Bosnia. Turkish forces captured important part of central Bosnia, called Vrhbosna, in 1448, where they founded Sarajevo. In 1463 they conquered most of the rest of Bosnia.
|The elite corps of Ottoman army, composed of Christian youths, forcibly converted to Islam, often taken by force as young boys from the Balkan provinces, were called what? |
Janissaries. A 'janizary' was a member of an elite corps in the standing army of the Ottoman Empire from the late 14th century to 1826. Highly respected for their military prowess in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Janissaries became a powerful political force within the Ottoman state. The Imperial Corps of Janissaries corps was originally staffed by Christian youths from the Balkan Turkish provinces and who were converted to Islam, after being taken away from their families often by force. The Janissaries frequently engineered palace coups in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in the early 19th century they resisted the adoption of European reforms by the army. Their end came in June 1826 in the so-called Auspicious Incident, when Sultan Mahmud II killed most of the Janissaries.
Askers were all non-Turkic state workers, bureaucratic or religious, and though not military specialists, that were a part of the army. Seraskers were regular soldiers. Bashi-Bazouks were irregular mercenaries, notorious for their indiscipline, plundering and brutality.
|What Bosnian 'kapetan' (local hereditary official) rose local Bosnian army against Sultan Mahmud II in 1831?|
Husein. When Sultan Mahmud II reformed Ottoman military and abolished the hated Janissary corps, the reform was fiercely resisted by local Janissaries in Bosnia. The Ottoman authorities mounted punitive campaigns against the Janissaries' stronghold, Sarajevo in 1827 and 1828. In 1831 a charismatic young "kapetan" called Husein-kapetan Gradascevic ('Dragon of Bosnia') seized power in Bosnia, imprisoning the vizier in Travnik. With an army of 25,000 men, Husein then marched into Kosovo to negotiate with the Ottoman Grand Vizier, demanding local autonomy for Bosnia and an end to the reform process there. But Husein's support melted away when a large Ottoman army entered Bosnia.
|Who crushed a major Christian, mostly Serb, rebellion in 1850-51 against Ottoman rule?|
Omer-Pasha Latas. Omer-Pasha Latas (born Mihailo Latas, a Serb officer serving in Austrian army, who later converted to Islam) crushed a major rebellion in 1850-51 and revoked the separate status of Herzegovina. Christians rose against the much-hated and oppressive system of tax-farming.
|Under Ottoman occupation system, non-Muslims were deprived of many rights, such as owning land, bearing arms, trading or being elected to official posts. What were these deprived people called?|
Rajas. The ruling Muslim Ottomans forbade religious practice to all but Christians and Jews (besides themselves). These, however, were treated as 'lower' people, having no rights of their own. Rajas mostly worked as feudal workers on Muslim landowners land, having to pay high tributes in agricultural products, which they often couldn't do. This led to increased oppression by landowners, which led to mutinies, uprisings and guerilla wars. Thus, the land-reform became a central question for non-Muslims, and the basis for their liberation wars.
|The beginning of new uprising of Bosnian non-Muslim population in 1875 against Ottoman rule, which lead to liberation of almost all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, except major cities, broke out where?|
Nevesinje. An uprising, 'Nevesinjska puska' ('Rifle from Nevesinje') broke out in eastern Herzegovina against state tax collectors, but it soon generalized and spread throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina as all-out guerilla warfare against Ottoman rule, mostly among Serbs. Some Croats also joined in smaller numbers in the beginning, but later pulled out under Austrian pressure. Soon only major towns were left under Ottoman control. At the height of uprising, guerrillas declared the will to unite with already liberated Serbia. Turkey sent fresh troops, and Serbia and Montenegro declared war on Turkey. Russia followed. Turkey lost the war, and the Treaty of San Stefano was signed granting big gains to the allies.
|Where did Austria-Hungary got a mandate to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina as a "protectorate"? |
Berlin. The Treaty of Berlin (13.7-13.8.1878) modified the Treaty of San Stefano, which had been signed by Russia and Turkey (3.3.1878) after the end of the war between Russia and Turkey (1877-78). Dominated by Germany and Britain, the congress revised San Stefano Treaty to satisfy the interests of Great Britain, by maintaining the Ottoman Empire in Balkans (thus denying Russia's allies access to Mediterranean). Teh Congress also favoured the interests of Austria-Hungary, by allowing it to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina and thereby increase its influence in the Balkans. This way, the Congress failed to consider adequately the legitimate aspirations of the Balkan Christians, specially Serbs, for freedom and so laid the foundation for future crises in the region. Austro-Hungarian troops met with vigorous resistance from local Muslim forces, but in the end managed to occupy the country.
|The new occupying power immediately strived to create a new Bosnian national consciousness, in order to undermine the local Christians' sense of identity as Serbs and Croats. Who was in charge of this project? |
Benjamin Kallay. The Austro-Hungarian Finance Minister, Benjamin Kallay, a specialist in Slav history, directed Bosnian policy from 1882 to 1903, developing a Bosnian "national" consciousness to insulate the people of Bosnia from the growing movements of Croatian, Serbian, and Yugoslav ("South Slav") nationalism. Catholic and Orthodox people of Bosnia had begun by the mid-19th century to identify themselves as "Croats" and "Serbs." Kallay also did little to resolve tensions between Muslim landlords and Christian peasants.
|Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina with mandate to bring peace and stability. However, Austria-Hungary suddenly annexed it later. When was this?|
1908. The announcement (in October 1908) that Bosnia would be fully annexed by Austria-Hungary caught both local residents and other great powers by surprise and created a diplomatic crisis that lasted many months. It was triggered by the 1908 revolution of the Young Turks, who declared their willingness to establish a parliamentary democracy in Turkey, which could lead to reclaiming Turkish rights over Bosnia. The bitter resentment that the annexation caused among Serb and South Slav nationalists led to the growth of revolutionary groups and secret societies dedicated to the overthrow of much hated Habsburg rule. One of these, Mlada Bosna ("Young Bosnia"), was especially active in schools and universities. Tension was heightened by the First Balkan War of 1912-13, in which Serbia expanded southward, driving Turkish forces out of Kosovo, Novi Pazar, and Macedonia. In May 1913 the military governor of Bosnia, General Oskar Potiorek, declared a state of emergency, dissolving the local parliament, closing down Serb cultural associations, and suspending the civilian courts.
|Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serb from the 'Young Bosnia' clandestine organization. When exactly was this?|
June 28, 1914. The heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, went to Bosnia to review a military exercise, in wider preparations of war against Serbia. The Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff, Conrad von Hotzendorf, and the foreign minister Leopold von Berchtold, saw the assassination as the opportunity for measures to humiliate Serbia and so to enhance Austro-Hungarian domination in the Balkans. They had already (October 1913) been assured (by William II) of Germany's support in case Austria-Hungary should start a pre-emptive war against Serbia. The Austrians decided to present an unacceptable ultimatum to Serbia and then to declare war, relying on Germany to deter Russia from intervention. Serbia replied to the ultimatum on July 25, accepting most of its demands but protesting against two of them. Though Serbia offered to submit the issue to international arbitration, Austria-Hungary promptly severed diplomatic relations and ordered mobilization. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, and Austro-Hungarian artillery began to bombard Belgrade the next day. The WWI broke out.
Bosnia was under military rule throughout the war, and brutal repressive measures were applied to Bosnian Serbs and to some Muslim and Croat intellectuals supporting Yugoslav national movement.
|The Yugoslav Committee and the Serbian government-in-exile decided in July 1917 to create a single democratic South Slav state, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Where did they decide this?|
Corfu. The Yugoslav Committee and the Serbian government signed the Corfu Declaration, which called for a single democratic South Slav state, Bosnia and Herzegovina included, to be governed by a constitutional monarchy.
|After creation of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Bosnia and Herzegovina retained no formal status of its own. |
t. As a part of the new Kingdom, Bosnia was first divided into six districts ('oblasti')in 1921, and then into four regions ('banovine') in 1929 and thus was wiped off the map. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Kingdom of Yugoslavia (from 1929), was a highly centralized, unitary state.
|After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, the entire Bosnian territory was absorbed into what country?|
Croatia. The entire territory of Bosnia was absorbed into the puppet 'Independent State of Croatia'. The killing that took place in Bosnia between 1941 and 1945 was on a terrible scale. The Ustasa, the Croat fascist movement that ruled this puppet state during the war, exterminated most of Bosnia's 14,000 Jews and massacred Serbs on a large scale: more than 100,000 Serb civilians (at a conservative estimate) from Bosnia died in this way, about half of them in death camps.
|Two organized and strong resistance movements against Ustashas and Nazis emerged. Name them!|
Partisans and Chetniks. As a reaction to mass killings of Serbs and Jews by Ustashas, two resistance movements emerged: Partisans and Chetniks. Serb royalist force known as the Chetniks, were led by Draza Mihailovic, and the Communist Partisan force (mostly Serbs, but also included some Croats and Muslims) were led by Josip Broz Tito. They managed in the beginning to resist the Fascists successfully, but their sharply divergent aims turned Chetniks increasingly to German and Italian forces for assistance, and a civil war between them broke out. In the end, the partisans liberated the whole country. Sarajevo was liberated in April 1945 and a "people's government" for Bosnia was declared later that month. It is estimated that the total number of deaths in Bosnia during the war was 164,000 Serbs, 75,000 Muslims, and 64,000 Croats. Domobrans (domobrani) was regular army of the puppet state of Croatia. The Balli Kombetar (National Front) was Albanian Fascist movement during WWII that fought alongside the Nazis against Serb partisans in Kosovo and Enver Hoxha's Communist resistance forces. The Maquis ("underbrush") is a popular name for the French Resistance during WWII.
|In November of 1943, in still occupied country, Tito's anti-Fascist movement decided to reorganize post-war Yugoslavia into federation of six republics, thus historically re-creating Bosnia and Herzegovina. In what Bosnian town this historical meeting took place?|
Jajce. Tito's AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) was first convened at the Bosnian town of Bihac (Nov. 26-27, 1942), when it called upon all nationalities within Yugoslavia to join the struggle to liberate the country from Axis occupation. At its second session, at Jajce (Nov. 29-30, 1943), Tito was proclaimed marshal of Yugoslavia, and a plan was adopted for a postwar reorganization of the former Yugoslav kingdom into a federation of six equal republics, Bosnia being amongst them. Thus, Bosnia and Herzegovina was historically re-established as a federal Yugoslav republic.
|On what date was Sarajevo liberated from Axis occupation?|
April 6, 1945. On April 6, 1945, after prolonged and heavy fighting with German units, the Partisan army liberated Sarajevo after four years of Nazi occupation and Ustasa terror, during which tens of thousands of mostly Serb and Jewish civilians of the city of Sarajevo were killed. It is conservatively estimated that the total number of deaths in Bosnia during the war was around 164,000 Serbs, 75,000 Muslims, and 64,000 Croats.
|When was the first decree issued to the effect that the term "Muslim" denotes "national" rather then a religious identity in Bosnia?|
1968. The phrase "Muslim in the ethnic sense" was used first time in the 1961 census, and in 1968 the Bosnian Central Committee decreed that "the Muslims are a distinct nation." The change of official policy in the 1960s that led to the acceptance of "Muslim" as a term denoting a national identity was a consequence of orientating non-aligned Yugoslav politics more actively towards Islamic nations like Egypt and Indonesia. This decision had the effect of increasing the number of Muslims in Bosnia, many of whome declared themselves as Serbs or Croats before the decree, so in the 1970s for the first time Muslims became the largest ehtnic group in Bosnia with about 40% of the population.
|When was the referendum on the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina held? |
February 29, 1992. When the full-scale war for secession had broken out in Croatia in 1991, the situation in Bosnia became very volatile, because of the highly divergent aims of its constituent peoples - Serbs, Muslims and Croats. Bosnian Croats wanted Bosnia to secede from Yugoslavia in order to help Croatia in its own war for secession, and also to secede from Bosnia itself in a later stage in order to unite with Croatia. Muslims also wanted Bosnia as independent, but as a whole and unitary state under their own domination. Serbs wanted Bosnia to continue as a member of the Yugoslav Federation or to secede from it in case Bosnia secedes. This resulted in all sides accusing each other of expansionism. Tensions rose. On June 10th 1991 ruling Muslim party (SDA) secretly organized National Defense Council and formed two clandestine paramilitary organizations, Green Berets and Patriotic League and started secretly arming them. By the beginning of hostilities, Patriotic League has had some 100,000 paramilitaries under arms. Assassination of a Serb civilian Nikola Gardovic during wedding procession in Sarajevo by a Muslim paramilitary in mid-February, was a first bullet fired in what would soon become a bloody civil war. EC pressed for a political solution to the crisis and in February 1992 all three sides signed a compromise EC plan for Bosnia to become independent but divided into ethnic cantons (Ambassador Jose Cutileiro's plan). However Alija Izetbegovic suddenly pulled its signature and instead unilaterally opted for a unitary, Muslim-dominated country. Muslim and Croat MPs put referendum issue on agenda while Serb MPs angrily left the parliament in protest. Muslim-Croat majority voted for the referendum and considered the vote legitimate because they had constituted majority of the Parliament, while Serbs considered the decision unconstitutional because it was in contradiction to the constitution providing for each constituent people a veto power over such an issue. A disputed referendum on independence was nevertheless held February 29-March 1, 1992, with Serbs boycotting it. When Bosnia's independence was recognized by the United States and the European Union on April 7, civil war broke out immediately. Muslims and Croats fought Serbs, but all three warring parties created ad hoc alliances and fought each other during the bloody civil war. Croats fought Muslims in 1993-4 in the Central Bosnia, while Muslims fought each other in Western Bosnia, in the Bihac region.
Just after the war, the UN estimated that up to 200,000 people, mostly soldiers but also civilians, died in the civil war on all three sides. However, according to the more recent data, performed by the Centre for Research and Documentation in Sarajevo, and published in January 2006, the total casualties are 93.837, out of which 63.687 (or 67.87%) are Muslims, 24.216 (or 25.81%) are Serbs, 5.057 (or 5.39%) are Croats, and the rest 877 (0.93%) are of other nations. Muslims had the highest number of civilian casualties (33.173 military deaths compared to 30.514 civilian deaths). Expressed as a percentage of population loss, Muslims and Serbs lost around 1.5%, while Croats lost around 0.75% of their respective national prewar population. These figures demonstrate the essential features typical of civil wars, like relatively even distribution of casualties among warring sides and relatively high, but still limitied, percentages of civilian losses. However, the civil war 1992-5 is not at all the worst Bosnia has seen: comparing to the WWII, the absolute losses are less then a third, and the relative losses even smaller due to the smaller overall population back then.
|U.S.-sponsored peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, in November 1995, ended the three and a half years of civil war and created Bosnia as a country consisting of two separate entities. Name them!|
Croat-Bosnian Federation and the Serb Republic. In Dayton it was decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina was to become a sovereign state within its pre-1992 borders (when it was a member of Yugoslav Federation). Dayton Peace talks were formalized in Paris in December 1995. The agreement created a federalized Bosnia and Herzegovina in which 51 percent of the land would constitute the Croat-Bosnian Federation and 49 percent would constitute the Serb Republic. Sarajevo was unified within the Federation, while the status of the Brcko Serbian corridor was to be determined by arbitration within one year after. Today Bosnia and Herzegovina is still under UN protection.
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