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History of Croatia

General history | Croatia is located between East and West Europe and have been used during centuries as a transit country. Thereby several cultures came in contact with each other. Several cultural influences have contributed to the history of the country.

Image1 The history of Croatia returns almost as far as humanity himself. Current Croatia was inhabited in pre Historic period by the Illyrics. It was incorporated in 35 before Christ by Octavianus as Pannonian, which was a part of the Roman empire. In the 7th century Croatia was conquered by Slavonian tribes. In the 10 th century Tomislav (king in 924) made himself and Croatia independent. Also at that time Venice conquered the coast area. The influence of Italian construction art is still visible in the Croatian coast places.

Click here for a chronological overview

In 16 th and the beginning of the 17 th century Croatia had been conquered by the Turks (current Bosnia). The coast places and the islands remained Venetian. In 1699 Croatia became Austrian and 1779 Croatia was administratively joined at Hungary. Under the influence of the French revolution a national Croatian movement rose. After the French revolution the largest part of Croatia (except a part of Dalmatia) was incorporated by the Hungarian. The Croatian national movement fought especially against Budapest until 1868, when Croatia got a certain degree of autonomy.
During the first world war a part of Croatia chose for an Yugoslavian kingdom governed by the Serbian dynasty.
Another part of Croatia was leaded by the extremist Ustasa-movement, which were supported by Italy and Hungary. This movement was responsible for the assassination of king Alexander in 1934.

When the Germans attacked the region in 1941 the most Croatian people had a waiting attitude. From Italy came the Ustasa-leader Ante Paveliæ and he became prime minister of Croatia in April 1941. Paveliæ enjoyed some time wide recognition. During this regime many people overflowed to the partizan with the leading Josip Broz Tito. Paveliæ and a some friends and relatives fled the country in May 1945.

After the second world war Croatia took part of the federation Yugoslavia. At the end of the years eighty the traditional antagonisms between the different populations arose. Under the influence of Slobodan Milosevic the Serbian predominance grew and the resist from Croatia against this predominance grew rapidly. Not long after this the riots and political tensions began. In 1989 Croatia introduced a new law and explained in December 1990 itself sovereign. Croatia was recognised on 15 January 1992 as an independent state by the European community. Germany, Hungary and Italy took diplomatic relations at first states. The president of the new republic of Croatia was Franjo Tudjman, leader of the governing Croatian nationalist party HDZ (Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica, the Croatian democratic Union).

Image2President Franjo Tudjman |

During the war Croatia have lost 30% of its territory to the Serbs. Some of these cities, among these are Vukovar and Osijek, have been devastated heavily. By Serbs occupied areas in Croatia are: Krajina, West-Srijem, Baranja, Western and eastern Slavonia. The economic reforms and the privatisations of companies in 1993 led to a chaos, characterised by corruption, financial scandals, high inflation and high unemployment. In political way things improved in 1994, because of the Croatian cooperation with the Bosnian government, what resulted in an effective cooperation during the autumn offensive against the Bosnian Serbs. At the peace agreement for Bosnië-Hercegovina, with the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in November 1995 in the American Dayton. Croatia had to make important concessions to the Serbs. The Dayton-contract opened the way to freedom and in 1996, to better relations between Croatia and Serbia. This resulted in tying up diplomatic links. The HDZ from Tudjman remained to the power up to 1999, the year in which Tudjman died. Hereafter the HDZ suffered a crushing defeat. Nowadays Croatia has a democratic president Stjepan Mesic and a prime minister Ivica Racan. Both are a member of the leading social democratic party.

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