Early to late antiquity
Traces of settlement from the Neolithic period from 7000 BC can be found in Serbian territory. From 1200 BC almost the entire Balkans were populated by Illyrian tribes, which from 400 BC. mixed with Celtic ethnic groups immigrating from Central Europe. From the 2nd century BC The area of today’s Serbia belongs to the Roman province “Illyricum”, which covered almost the entire area of the Balkans. After the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD the area remained with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Roman law and administration, Greek culture and language, and Christianity were the foundations of the Eastern Roman Empire. The river Drina then marked the border between the Western and Eastern Roman Empire.
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Middle Ages to Ottoman Empire
In the 6th century, Slavic peoples migrated from the north to what is now Serbia. The Serbs, a South Slavic people, united their principalities into a unified Serbia under Grand Duke Stephan Nemanja in the 12th century and detached themselves from Byzantium. A separate Serbian church was built. In the 14th century Serbia experienced an economic and cultural heyday, the center of the empire was in today’s Kosovo. King Stephen IX Duan expanded his empire around Macedonia and Thessaly and assumed the title of tsar in 1346.
According to AbbreviationFinder, the Greater Serbian empire fell apart in 1389 after the defeat of the Serbs against the Islamic Ottomans (Turks) in the battle on the blackbird field (Kosovo polje). In 1459 Serbia became a province of the Ottoman Empire, the capital of which was Istanbul (the former Byzantium). Many members of the Serbian nobility were executed or Islamized. In the middle of the 16th century the entire Balkans up to Central Hungary was in the hands of the Ottomans.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Austrian-Habsburg troops repeatedly pushed the Ottomans back and liberated the city of Beograd (Belgrade).
At the beginning of the 19th century, several uprisings by the Serbs (under Prince Karadjordje and with the support of Russia) against the Ottoman rule led to Sultan Mahmud II granting the Serbs partial autonomy in 1812. The final separation took place only a little later when Serbia was given self-government under Prince Milo Obrenovic (1830). Serbia gained full independence in 1877/78 after the Ottomans suffered another military defeat. The basis for sovereignty was the so-called Berlin Treaty between the major European powers and the Ottoman Empire, in which the distribution of territories in the Balkans was reorganized. In 1882 Prince Milo Obrenovic declared Serbia a kingdom.At the end of the 19th century, the Serbian king (from 1882 Alexander I. Obrenovic) leaned against Austria-Hungary,
First and Second World War
Serbian support for the Bosnian assassin, who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne in June 1914, prompted Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. The four-year First World War started. After the collapse of the Danube monarchy became foreseeable in 1917, two opposite directions emerged in negotiations for an amalgamation of the South Slavs: On the one hand, the establishment of a federal Yugoslavia (“Yugo” = South) was demanded (“Yugoslav Committee “under the Croatian Ante) Trumbic), on the other hand, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbia, Nikola Pasic, demanded a centralistically governed Greater Serbia under Serbian rule. In 1918, a “United Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes” under the leadership of the Serbian dynasty, in which the conflicts between Serbs and Croats and between the different denominations werepreprogrammed. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia also belonged to the empire. In addition to the internal conflicts, there were foreign policy disputes with Romania, Hungary, Italy, Albania, Greece and Bulgaria over unclear border areas. In 1921, the Serbian king Alexander I ascended the throne and established a “royal dictatorship” with the help of the military: the constitution was overturned due to serious unrest in the empire, parties were banned, the parliament was dissolved. In 1929, the Serbian king Alexander I ascended the throne and established a “royal dictatorship” with the help of the military : the constitution was overturned due to serious unrest in the empire, parties were banned, the parliament was dissolved.
In 1941 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was occupied by German Wehrmacht associations. While Croatia, which was cooperating with Germany, became independent, two major resistance movements in Serbia waged a bitter partisan was against the occupiers: on the one hand, the Communist-oriented Antifascist Liberation Council (AVNOJ) under the leadership of Josip Broz, called “Tito” on the other hand, a large Serbian-oriented nationalist movement.
In 1945 the “Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia” was proclaimed in Belgrade, which consisted of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. Tito became head of government as the leader of the Communist Party. Following the Soviet model, he designed the “Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia” according to socialist principles (nationalization of industry and trade, unified party). The Serbs were still dominant in the multi-ethnic state, but an open outbreak of the conflict of nationalities only occurred again after Tito’s death in 1980.
Tito broke with the Soviet Union in 1948 and subsequently concluded a number of friendship and cooperation agreements (including with Greece, Turkey). The “Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia” pursued its own path of socialism, for example agriculture was not completely collectivized, but also managed in small private companies. In the 1960s the “Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia” joined the non-aligned movement. In 1963, Tito was appointed president for life under a new constitution; Yugoslavia was now called the “Socialist Federal Republic”.
In the 1970s, the provinces and republics were granted self-government, which led to a renewed flare-up of separatist movements. When Tito died in 1980 and the economic situation in the country deteriorated rapidly, the conflicts broke out again: Slovenia and Croatia, which were more prosperous due to tourism, demanded more independence and renunciation of communism, and serious unrest occurred in the Serbian province of Kosovo (90% of the population there were and still are Albanians). In 1988, Kosovo’s autonomous status was restricted. In Croatia and Slovenia, non-communist parties formed, which emerged as clear winners in the 1990 parliamentary elections.
Disintegration of the multinational state
In 1989 the Serb Slobodan Milosševic, since 1987 leader of the Serbian Communist Party, became President of the “Socialist Federal Republic”. The situation in Kosovo escalated in 1990 when Milosševic completely abolished autonomy. After the bloody suppression of the demonstrations carried out by Albanians, the Serbian government subsequently pushed the Albanian population out of all areas of public life (loss of job, closure of Albanian universities and schools, ban on Albanian media).
When the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia announced their independence in June 1991, the Yugoslav army intervened on the Serb side. Macedonia declared independence in September 1991, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina in March 1992. As with Slovenia and Croatia, the countries of the European Community recognized the newly emerging countries.
While the Yugoslav leadership recognized Slovenia’s independence relatively quickly and withdrew its troops, civil wars broke out between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the one hand and supporters of a Greater Serbia on the other. In April 1992, Serbia and Montenegro merged to form the “Federative Republic of Yugoslavia” (FRY), which was not recognized under international law due to its support for the Serbian civil war parties in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the same year, the United Nations imposed an economic and trade embargo on “rest of Yugoslavia”, which put a heavy strain on the country’s economy, which was already weakened by high military spending.In 1995 the military conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended (Dayton Peace Agreement),
In the mid-1990s, even in Yugoslavia, the voices of those calling for the replacement of President Milosševic increased, and mass demonstrations were repeated. In April 1992, Serbia and Montenegro formed the new “Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”. In local elections in November 1996, the opposition alliance “Zajedno” won the Socialist Party in several cities, but the elections were canceled.
In 1998 the situation in Kosovo escalated again: The KLA (the Albanian Liberation Arms of Kosovo) proclaimed the “open fight against Serbian rule” and demanded that the government in Belgrade give Kosovo full independence. The measures taken by the Yugoslav units, which left entire Albanian villages in ruins (around two thirds of all villages in Kosovo were devastated in 1998), led many Kosovar Albanians to flee to Albania and Macedonia. NATO troops intervened in the conflict in 1999; Armed peacekeepers (KFOR) have been stationed in Kosovo since 1999 to protect Kosovar Albanians from attacks by Yugoslav (Serbian and Montenegrin) troops. Parliament in Kosovo elected moderate Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova as president in 2002, Prime Minister became a former UÇK fighter. The formation of a government in Kosovo was a prerequisite for more self-determination. The KFOR peacekeeping force remains present in the region, but numerous powers have been ceded by the UN administration.
In October 2000, opposition leader Vojislav Koštunica succeeded Milosševic as President of Yugoslavia. In the parliamentary elections in December 2000, the democratic alliance DOS (Democratic Opposition of Serbia) won 64.2% of the votes cast. After the political change, the European Union lifted most of the sanctions imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and promised extensive economic aid. In 2001 Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia, Macedonia and Romania agreed on a free trade area with effect from 2003.
In March 2002, Serbia and Montenegro signed an agreement on the future relations between the two republics within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On February 4, 2003, the Republic of Yugoslavia was replaced by the Federation of Serbia and Montenegro with the adoption of the new constitution. However, a referendum was held in Montenegro in June 2006, which resulted in a majority for independence. As a result, the Montenegrin parliament adopted a declaration of independence; Serbia became the legal successor to the State Union. On June 5, 2006, the Serbian parliament in Belgrade declared the country’s formal independence. The autonomy rights of Vojvodina remained lower with the Serbian constitution of 2006, which was adopted in October, than before 1989. Kosovo, administered by the UN since the war, declared independence in February 2008. Although it is not recognized as an independent state by some countries, Serbia actually has no influence there. Serbia has protested sharply against this and continues to see Kosovo as part of its own territory.
In April 2008, the EU concluded a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia, which was implemented from January 1, 2010. In December 2009, the country officially applied for EU membership. Radovan Karadzic, the former president of the Bosnian Republika Srbska, was searched as a war criminal and was arrested by Serbian security forces in July 2008 and extradited to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. This delivery represents a major step forward in cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The visa requirement for travel to the EU was lifted in December 2009 for Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Serbia has had EU candidate status since March 2012.