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A brief history of Croatia

  Multilingual concise encyclopedic article on the political history of Croatia throughout 14 centuries
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METODIOS has a mission to standardise and promote fundamental knowledge about Croatian history, culture, society and state. The information is presented through the main topics with the requirements of formalisation and transferability.

METODIOS is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit private philanthropic initiative.

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A brief history of Croatia reaches 10 languages
Besides Croatian, the article is presented in 9 largest European languages.

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Quadriscriptal brief history of Croatia
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Literary Language of 17 March 1967, Metodios introduces the quadriscriptal Brief history of Croatia.

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Multilingual and transferable brief history of Croatia
In the occasion of Croatian accession to the European Union on 1 July 2013, Metodios proudly presents its first main topic, A brief history of Croatia, which can be copied and distributed through media, publications, official documents and business overviews.

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A brief history of Croatia

In the year 626, the Croatian people brought the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum under its rule and established two independent principalities that were united into the Croatian Kingdom by its first king Tomislav, who was crowned in 925. Along with the Frankish Kingdom, Adriatic Croatia was the first permanent and organised state in Central Europe. After the extinction of the native Trpimirović dynasty, the Parliament (Sabor) began electing rulers of other states as kings of Croatia, thereby creating a personal union – first between Croatia and Hungary (1102 – 1300 and 1307 – 1526), and then between Croatia and Austria (1527 – 1918). Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the Croatian Kingdom acted as a bulwark for Christian Europe and was crucial in halting the further advance of the Ottoman Empire towards the West while, on the other side, the Venetian Republic occupied most of the Croatian coast. Owing to its special position within the Habsburg Monarchy, the Croatian Kingdom preserved its sovereignty until the collapse of the Monarchy in 1918.

Having discontinued constitutional links with Austria and Hungary in 1918, Croatia was incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) without the consent of the Parliament. As a result, Croatia was for the first time placed within a Balkan political context and forcibly ceased to exist as a state. The autonomous Banovina of Croatia, established in 1939 through an agreement between the Croatian opposition and the Yugoslav Government, lasted until the Axis powers broke Yugoslavia up in 1941. Despite the plebiscitary support of the population for the pro-Western peasant-democratic coalition, the Second World War in Croatia was fought between two radical movements – the Ustashe under the auspices of the Axis and the Communists (Partisans) on the side of the Allies, both of which proclaimed their own Croatian state. From 1945 on, Croatia was one of the six federal states of Marshal Tito’s communist Yugoslavia. A democratic people’s movement known as the Croatian Spring, which called for political rights for Croatia within Yugoslavia and in 1967 opposed the forcible merging of the Croatian language with Serbian into Serbo-Croatian, was repressed by the Yugoslav regime in 1971.

Following the democratic elections in 1990, the Republic of Croatia declared independence in 1991, as did the majority of the member states of Yugoslavia. Using the former federal army and local rebels, Serbia and Montenegro attacked Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991 with the aim of retaining the territories conquered in rump Yugoslavia. The war ended in 1995 with a victory for Croatia and the liberation of the occupied areas, while the concurrent successes of the Croatian-Bosniak alliance led to the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ■

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A brief history of Croatia, in all languages. For details, see the Terms of use.