Yugoslavs

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Yugoslavs
Total population
c.400,000
Regions with significant populations
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 291,045 (2013)
(Yugoslav American) [1]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 38,480 (2016)
(Yugoslav Canadian) [2]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 26,883 (2011) [3]
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 23,303 (2011)
(Yugoslavs in Serbia) [4]
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,507 (2013)
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 1,154 (2011) [5]
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 527 (2002) [6]
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 331 (2011) [7]
Languages
Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Slovene
Religion
Primarily Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Islam
Related ethnic groups
Other Slavic peoples

Yugoslavs or Yugoslavians (Serbo-Croatian: Jugoslaveni/Југославени, Jugosloveni/Југословени; Macedonian: Југословени; Slovene: Jugoslovani) is a designation that was originally designed to refer to a united South Slavic people. It has been used in two connotations, the first in an ethnic or supra-ethnic connotation, and the second as a term for citizens of the former Yugoslavia. Cultural and political advocates of Yugoslav identity have historically ascribed the identity to be applicable to all people of South Slav heritage, including those of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Attempts at uniting Bulgaria into Yugoslavia were however unsuccessful and therefore Bulgarians were not included in the panethnic identification.

Macedonian language Language spoken in North Macedonia

The Macedonian language is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by around two million people, principally in North Macedonia and the Macedonian diaspora, with a smaller number of speakers throughout the transnational region of Macedonia. It is the official language of North Macedonia and a recognized minority language in parts of Albania, Romania, and Serbia.

Slovene language language spoken in Slovenia

Slovene or Slovenian belongs to the group of South Slavic languages. It is spoken by approximately 2.5 million speakers worldwide, the majority of whom live in Slovenia. It is the first language of about 2.1 million Slovenian people and is one of the 24 official and working languages of the European Union.

South Slavs ethnic group

The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the South Slavic languages. They inhabit a contiguous region in the Balkan Peninsula and the eastern Alps, and in the modern era are geographically separated from the body of West Slavic and East Slavic people by the Romanians, Hungarians, and Austrians in between. The South Slavs today include the nations of Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes. They are the main population of the Eastern and Southeastern European countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

Contents

Since the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia and the establishment of South Slavic nation states, the term ethnic Yugoslavs has been used to refer to those who exclusively view themselves as Yugoslavs with no other ethnic self-identification, many of these being of mixed ancestry. [8]

Nation state Political term for a state that is based around a nation

A nation state is a state in which the great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political ones. According to one definition, "a nation state is a sovereign state of which most of its subjects are united also by factors which defined a nation such as language or common descent." It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.

In late 19th and early 20th century, influential public intellectuals Jovan Cvijić and Vladimir Dvorniković advocated that Yugoslavs, as a supra-ethnic nation, had "many tribal ethnicities, such as Croats, Serbs, and others within it". [9]

Jovan Cvijić Serbian scientist

Jovan Cvijić was a Serbian geographer and ethnologist, president of the Serbian Royal Academy of Sciences and rector of the University of Belgrade. Cvijić is considered the founder of geography in Serbia. He began his scientific career as a geographer and geologist, and continued his activity as a human geographer and sociologist.

Vladimir Dvorniković was a Croatian and Yugoslav philosopher, ethno-psychologist, and a strong proponent of a Yugoslav ethnicity. He was a professor at the University of Zagreb during the 1920s. Dvorniković was also an advocate of psychologism and animal philosophy. He is best known for authoring the book "Characterology of the Yugoslavs."

In the SFR Yugoslavia, the official designation for those who declared themselves simply as Yugoslav was with quotation marks, "Yugoslavs" (introduced in census 1971). The quotation marks were originally meant to distinguish Yugoslav ethnicity from Yugoslav citizenship – which was written without quotation marks. The majority of those who had once identified as ethnic "Yugoslavs" reverted to or adopted traditional ethnic and national identities. Some also decided to turn to sub-national regional identifications, especially in multi-ethnic historical regions like Istria, Vojvodina, or Bosnia (hence Bosnians). The Yugoslav designation, however, continues to be used by many, especially by the descendants of Yugoslav migrants in the United States, Canada and Australia while the country still existed.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia socialist republic in Southeast Europe between 1943 and 1992

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

Istria Peninsula on the Adriatic Sea

Istria, formerly Histria (Latin), Ίστρια, is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County.

Vojvodina Autonomous province of Serbia

Vojvodina, officially the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, is an autonomous province of Serbia, located in the northern part of the country, in the Pannonian Plain.

Background

Yugoslavism and Yugoslavia

Since the late 18th century, when traditional European ethnic affiliations started to mature into modern ethnic identities, there have been numerous attempts to define a common South Slavic ethnic identity. The word Yugoslav, meaning "South Slavic", was first used by Josip Juraj Strossmayer in 1849. [10] The first modern iteration of Yugoslavism was the Illyrian movement in Habsburg Croatia. It identified South Slavs with ancient Illyrians and sought to construct a common language based on the Shtokavian dialect. [11] The movement was led by Ljudevit Gaj, whose script became one of two official scripts used for the Serbo-Croatian language. [11]

Josip Juraj Strossmayer Croatian Roman Catholic bishop, benefactor and politician

Josip Juraj Strossmayer was a Croatian politician, Roman Catholic bishop, and benefactor.

Illyrian movement

The Illyrian movement was a pan-South-Slavist cultural and political campaign with roots in the early modern period, and revived by a group of young Croatian intellectuals during the first half of the 19th century, around the years of 1835–1849. This movement aimed to create a Croatian national establishment in Austria-Hungary through linguistic and ethnic unity, and through it lay the foundation for cultural and linguistic unification of all South Slavs under the revived umbrella term Illyrian.

Kingdom of Croatia (Habsburg) administrative division that existed between 1527 and 1868 within the Habsburg Monarchy

The Kingdom of Croatia was part of the Habsburg Monarchy that existed between 1527 and 1868, as well as a part of the Lands of the Hungarian Crown, but was subject to direct Imperial Austrian rule for significant periods of time, including its final years. Its capital was Zagreb.

Among notable supporters of Yugoslavism and a Yugoslav identity active at the beginning of the 20th century were famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962), who called Serbian folk hero Prince Marko "our Yugoslav people with its gigantic and noble heart" and wrote poetry speaking of a "Yugoslav race"; [12] Jovan Cvijić, in his article The Bases of Yugoslav Civilization, developed the idea of a unified Yugoslav culture and stated that "New qualities that until now have been expressed but weakly will appear. An amalgamation of the most fertile qualities of our three tribes [Serbs, Croats, Slovenes] will come forth every more strongly, and thus will be constructed the type of single Yugoslav civilization-the final and most important goal of our country." [9]

Ivan Meštrović Croatian sculptor and architect

Ivan Meštrović was a renowned Croatian sculptor, architect and writer of the 20th century.

Prince Marko Serbian medieval ruler and fictional character

Marko Mrnjavčević was the de jure Serbian king from 1371 to 1395, while he was the de facto ruler of territory in western Macedonia centered on the town of Prilep. He is known as Prince Marko and King Marko in South Slavic oral tradition, in which he has become a major character during the period of Ottoman rule over the Balkans. Marko's father, King Vukašin, was co-ruler with Serbian Tsar Stefan Uroš V, whose reign was characterised by weakening central authority and the gradual disintegration of the Serbian Empire. Vukašin's holdings included lands in western Macedonia and Kosovo. In 1370 or 1371, he crowned Marko "young king"; this title included the possibility that Marko would succeed the childless Uroš on the Serbian throne.

On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, in Sarajevo. Princip was a member of Young Bosnia, a group whose aims included the unification of the Yugoslavs and independence from Austria-Hungary. [13] The assassination in Sarajevo set into motion a series of fast-moving events that eventually escalated into full-scale war. [14] After his capture, during his trial, he stated "I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, and I do not care what form of state, but it must be free from Austria." [15]

In June–July 1917, the Yugoslav Committee met with the Serbian Government in Corfu and on 20 July the Corfu Declaration that laid the foundation for the post-war state was issued. The preamble stated that the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were "the same by blood, by language, by the feelings of their unity, by the continuity and integrity of the territory which they inhabit undivided, and by the common vital interests of their national survival and manifold development of their moral and material life." The state was created as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, a constitutional monarchy under the Karađorđević dynasty. The term "Yugoslavs" was used to refer to all of its inhabitants, but particularly to those of South Slavic ethnicity. Some Croatian nationalists viewed the Serb plurality and Serbian royal family as hegemonic. Eventually, a conflict of interest sparked among the Yugoslav peoples. In 1929, King Alexander sought to resolve a deep political crisis brought on by ethnic tensions by assuming dictatorial powers in the 6 January Dictatorship, renaming the country "Kingdom of Yugoslavia", and officially pronouncing that there is one single Yugoslav nation with three tribes. The Yugoslav ethnic designation was thus imposed for a period of time on all South Slavs in Yugoslavia. Changes in Yugoslav politics after King Alexander's death in 1934 brought an end to this policy, but the designation continued to be used by some people.

Philosopher Vladimir Dvorniković advocated the establishment of a Yugoslav ethnicity in his 1939 book entitled "The Characterology of the Yugoslavs". His views included eugenics and cultural blending to create one, strong Yugoslav nation. [9]

There had on three occasions been efforts to make Bulgaria a part of Yugoslavia or part of an even larger federation: through Aleksandar Stamboliyski during and after World War I; through Zveno during the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934, and through Georgi Dimitrov during and after World War II, but for various reasons, each attempt turned out to be unsuccessful. [16]

Self-identification in Second Yugoslavia

Percentage identifying as Yugoslav [17]
Republics and provinces196119711981
Croatia0.41.98.2
Central Serbia0.21.44.8
Bosnia and Herzegovina8.41.27.9
Kosovo0.50.10.1
Macedonia0.10.20.7
Montenegro0.32.15.3
Slovenia0.20.41.4
Vojvodina0.22.48.2
All of Yugoslavia1.71.35.4

After liberation from Axis Powers in 1945, the new socialist Yugoslavia became a federal country, and officially recognized and valued its ethnic diversity. Traditional ethnic identities again became the primary ethnic designations used by most inhabitants of Yugoslavia. However, many people still declared themselves as "Yugoslavs" because they wanted to express an identification with Yugoslavia as a whole, but not specifically with any of its peoples.

Josip Broz Tito expressed his desire for an undivided Yugoslav ethnicity when he stated, "I would like to live to see the day when Yugoslavia would become amalgamated into a firm community, when she would no longer be a formal community but a community of a single Yugoslav nation." [18]

The 1971 census recorded 273,077 Yugoslav, or 1.33% of the total population. The 1981 census recorded 1,216,463 or 5.4% Yugoslavs. In the 1991 census, 5.54% (242,682) of the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared themselves to be Yugoslav. [19] 4.25% of the population of the republic of Montenegro also declared themselves Yugoslav in the same census.

The Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1990 ratified a Presidency of seven members. One of the seven was to be elected amongst/by the republic's Yugoslavs, thereby introducing the Yugoslavs next to Muslims by nationality, Serbs and Croats into the Constitutional framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina although on an inferior level. However, because of the Bosnian War that erupted in 1992, this Constitution was short-lived and unrealized.

The 1981 census showed that Yugoslavs made up around 8% of the population in Croatia, this to date has been the highest percentage of Yugoslavs within Croatia's borders. The 1991 census data indicated that the number of Yugoslavs had dropped to 2% of the population in Croatia. The 2001 census in Croatia (the first since independence) registered only 176 Yugoslavs. [20] The next census in 2011 registered 331 Yugoslavs in Croatia (0.008% of the population). [21]

Just before and after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, most Yugoslavs switched to more conventional ethnic designations. Nevertheless, the concept has survived into Bosnia and Herzegovina (where most towns have a tiny percentage), and Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006), which kept the name "Yugoslavia" the longest, right up to February 2003.

After Yugoslavia

Organizations

Logo of the Alliance of Yugoslavs Savez Jugoslavena logo.png
Logo of the Alliance of Yugoslavs

The Yugoslavs of Croatia have several organizations. The "Alliance of Yugoslavs" (Savez Jugoslavena), established in 2010 in Zagreb, is an association aiming to unite the Yugoslavs of Croatia, regardless of religion, sex, political or other views. [22] Its main goal is the official recognition of the Yugoslav nation in every Yugoslav successor state: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. [23]

Another pro-Yugoslav organization advocating the recognition of the Yugoslav nation is the "Our Yugoslavia" association (Udruženje "Naša Jugoslavija"), which is an officially registered organization in Croatia. [24] The seat of Our Yugoslavia is in the Istrian town of Pula, [25] where it was founded on 30 July 2009. [26] The association has most members in the towns of Rijeka, Zagreb and Pula. [27] Its main aim is the stabilisation of relations among the Yugoslav successor states. It is also active in Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, its official registration as an association was denied by the Bosnian state authorities. [24]

The probably best-known pro-Yugoslav organization in Montenegro is the "Consulate-general of the SFRY" with its headquarters in the coastal town of Tivat. Prior to the population census of 2011, Marko Perković, the president of this organization called on the Yugoslavs of Montenegro to freely declare their Yugoslav identity on the upcoming census. [28]

Notable people

The best known example of self-declared Yugoslavs is Marshal Josip Broz Tito who organized resistance against Nazi Germany in Yugoslavia, [29] [30] effectively expelled Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia, co-founded the Non-Aligned Movement, and defied Joseph Stalin's Soviet pressure on Yugoslavia. Other people that declared as "Yugoslavs" include intellectuals, entertainers, singers and sportspersons, such as:

Symbols

The probably most frequently used symbol of the Yugoslavs to express their identity and to which they are most often associated with is the blue-white-red tricolor flag with a yellow-bordered red star in the flag's center, [52] which also served as the national flag of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1991.

Prior to World War II, the symbol of Yugoslavism was a plain tricolor flag of blue, white and red, which was also the national flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav state in the interwar period.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Sources

Further reading