Yugoslavia: A Concise History: A Concise History by Leslie Benson (auth.)

By Leslie Benson (auth.)

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Extra info for Yugoslavia: A Concise History: A Concise History

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The Treaty of Berlin crowned a decade of bitter disappointment among Croats, who coveted Dalmatia and those parts of BosniaHercegovina where Croats were settled. Austria’s calamitous defeat by Prussia forced the Emperor to agree to the establishment of the Dual Monarchy by a Compromise (Ausgleich) signed in 1867, and Croatian nationalists hoped for similar status within the Empire. In fact, the effect of the deal between Vienna and Budapest was to return Croatia to Hungarian tutelage. The Hungarians in their turn concluded an Agreement (Nagodba) with the Croats in 1868, in which Croatia was recognized as a national entity, with Serbo-Croatian as the official language, and the Sabor in Zagreb acquired control over internal matters such as justice and education.

The precise intention of this rider was not explained in the Declaration, which was also vague about whether the state should be centralist or federalist in character: the first point seemed to endorse a unitary model, while the last (of 14) spoke of autonomous units required by natural, social or economic conditions. At the time none of this mattered. The course of the war was still uncertain, and the Declaration was in no way binding on the Allies. The main thing was that Serbia and the Yugoslav Committee had agreed a form of words for the founding of an independent South Slav state.

A satellite Serbia was a useful instrument for conducting by proxy the business of undermining Ottoman power along the route to Salonika, and the fall of the Obrenoviç dynasty threatened the drive to the east. In 1906, the Serbian government flexed its muscles in the ‘Pig War’, a tariff dispute over the export of livestock to the Habsburg territories, which formed the mainstay of Serbia’s trade. This was part of a general 12 Yugoslavia: A Concise History programme of innovation and reform led by Pasiç, based of necessity on new international links, notably with France, which provided crucial loans, including one to re-equip the army.

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