A historical region in eastern Yugoslavia; Serbs settled the region in the 6th and 7th centuries; Also called: Srbija.
(Serbo-Croatian Srbija) Constituent republic of Yugoslavia, which includes Kosovo and Vojvodina
area 88,400 sq km/34,122 sq mi
physical fertile Danube plains in the N, mountainous in S (Dinaric Alps, Sar Mountains, N Albanian Alps, Balkan Mountains); rivers Sava, Tisza, Morava
features includes the former autonomous provinces of Kosovo, capital Priština, of which the predominantly Albanian population demands unification with Albania, and Vojvodina, capital Novi Sad, largest town Subotica, with a predominantly Serbian population and a large Hungarian minority
language the Serbian variant of Serbo-Croatian
religion Serbian Orthodox
history The Serbs settled in the Balkans in the 7th century and became Christians in the 9th century. They were united as one kingdom about 1169; the Serbian hero Stephan Dushan (1331–1355) founded an empire covering most of the Balkans. After their defeat at Kosovo 1389 they came under the domination of the Turks, who annexed Serbia 1459. Uprisings 1804–16, led by Kara George and Milosh Obrenovich, forced the Turks to recognize Serbia as an autonomous principality under Milosh. The assassination of Kara George on Obrenovich’s orders gave rise to a long feud between the two houses. After a war with Turkey 1876–78, Serbia became an independent kingdom. On the assassination of the last Obrenovich 1903 the Karageorgevich dynasty came to the throne.
The two Balkan Wars 1912–13 greatly enlarged Serbia's territory at the expense of Turkey and Bulgaria. Serbia's designs on Bosnia-Herzegovina, backed by Russia, led to friction with Austria, culminating in the outbreak of war 1914. Serbia was overrun 1915–16 and was occupied until 1918, when it became the nucleus of the new kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and subsequently Yugoslavia. Rivalry between Croats and Serbs continued within the republic. During World War II Serbia was under a puppet government set up by the Germans (94% of Serbian Jews were killed 1941–44); after the war it became a constituent republic of Yugoslavia.
From 1986 Slobodan Miloševic as Serbian communist party chief and president waged a populist campaign to end the autonomous status of the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. Despite a violent Albanian backlash in Kosovo 1989–90 and growing pressure in Croatia and Slovenia to break away from the federation, Serbia formally annexed Kosovo and Vojvodina Sept 1990. Miloševic was reelected by a landslide majority Dec 1990, but in March 1991 there were anticommunist and anti-Miloševic riots in Belgrade.
The 1991 civil war in Yugoslavia arose from the Milosevic nationalist government attempting the forcible annexation of Serb-dominated regions in Croatia, making use of the largely Serbian federal army. In Oct 1991 Miloševic renounced territorial claims on Croatia pressured by threats of European Community (now European Union) and United Nations (UN) sanctions, but the fighting continued until a cease-fire was agreed Jan 1992. EC recognition of Slovenia’s and Croatia’s independence in Jan 1992 and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s in April left Serbia dominating a greatly reduced “rump” Yugoslavia. A successor Yugoslavia, announced by Serbia and Montenegro April 1992, was rejected by the US and EC because of concerns over serious human rights violations in Kosovo and Serbia’s continued backing of Bosnian Serbs in their fight to partition Bosnia-Herzegovina. In March 1992, and again in June, thousands of Serbs marched through Belgrade, demanding the ousting of Miloševic and an end to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Milosevic
was reelected Dec 1992.
Država na Balkanu.