VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > C. Europe, 1919–1945 > 19. The Balkan States
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1912) (See July 28) (See 1914, Aug. 5)
19. The Balkan States
a. Yugoslavia
The history of the new state, composed of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, and Dalmatia, was marked chiefly by the efforts of the Serbs to establish a centralized Serb state and by the vigorous resistance of the Croats and Slovenes (Roman Catholic and much more Westernized than the Serbs) to secure some type of autonomy.  1
1917, July 20
The PACT OF CORFU, signed by Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Montenegrin representatives, declared that the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formed a single nation, to be organized under the Serbian dynasty.  2
1918, Oct. 29
The Croatian diet announced secession of Croatia and Dalmatia from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and handed over supreme authority in the new state to the national council. The council then proclaimed the desire for union with Serbia and Montenegro without specifying further conditions.  3
Nov. 26
A national assembly in Montenegro proclaimed union with Serbia and declared King Nicholas, who had resisted previous efforts at union, deposed (d. March 1, 1921, in exile).  4
Dec. 1
Prince Alexander of Serbia accepted the regency of the new state and THE KINGDOM OF THE SERBS, CROATS, AND SLOVENES FORMALLY PROCLAIMED.  5
The new state had numerous economic and social problems resulting mainly from the union of different systems. The old manorial system was abolished and one in four peasant families obtained land, but the holdings remained small. The Serbs represented 39 percent of the population, the Croats 24 percent, the Slovenes 8.5 percent, and the rest was an amalgam of Germans, Magyars, Albanians, Macedonians, and Bosnian Muslims. Finally, Yugoslavia had to contend with border disputes with six neighboring states, including Italy (See 1919–24).  6
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.