History of Croatia

Brief history of Croatia summarized

A brief tour of the history of Croatia, a European country, in a summarized way.

Ancient Croatia

Before 5,000 BC the people of what is now Croatia learned to farm even though they only had stone tools. Later they learned to use bronze and then iron. After 390 BC the Greeks settled in colonies along the coast.

Then, after 229 BC, the Romans took control of Croatia. By AD 12 the Romans ruled everything. The Romans divided the area into provinces. The coast became the province of Dalmatia. Part of Croatia became the province of Noricum (which included part of Austria).

The rest of Croatia became the province of Pannonia (which included part of Hungary). Over time, the Croats adopted the Roman way of life. The Romans founded new cities and built roads. However, Roman control of Croatia collapsed in the 5th century.

Croatia in the Middle Ages

In the early 7th century a Slavic people called the Croats migrated to the area. At first they settled in Dalmatia. However, in the 8th century they expanded north and inland. Two separate Croatian states emerged, one on the coast and the other in the interior. In the 9th century, the Inland Croats submitted to the Franks, a powerful people who ruled most of Europe.

Meanwhile, in the 9th century, Croatia converted to Christianity. However, the Croats became part of the Western Catholic Church based in Rome instead of the Eastern Orthodox Church based in Constantinople.

Meanwhile, in the 8th and early 9th centuries, trade and commerce grew in Croatia. Roman cities were revitalized and new towns were created.

In the 11th century, King Petar Kresimir (1058-1074) succeeded in uniting the two Croatian states. However, in 1102 the Hungarian king Koloman conquered Croatia.

During the Middle Ages, trade and urban life flourished in Croatia and many cities became large and important. However, Venice coveted parts of Croatia. In 1202, the Crusaders agreed to take the city of Zadar to pay off a debt they owed to the Venetians. They captured it in 1204. In 1205 the Venetians captured Dubrovnik and Istria.

In 1358 the Hungarian-Croatian king defeated the Venetians and regained Croatian territory in Dalmatia. However, in 1382 Dubrovnik bought its independence. It was an independent republic until 1808.

Meanwhile, the Venetians still had designs on the Croatian coast. In 1409, after a war, the King of Hungary-Croatia sold Dalmatia (except Dubrovnik) to Venice. So the Venetians were left in control of Istria and most of Dalmatia.

In 1493 the Ottomans defeated the Croats at the Battle of Krovsko Poje. In 1526 the Hungarians were crushed by the Turks at the Battle of Mohacs. The King of Hungary-Croatia was assassinated and his kingdom passed to an Austrian, Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg. However, the Turks continued to advance and by the end of the 16th century they controlled most of Croatia.

However, at the end of the 17th century, the Turks were forced to back down. They were expelled from Vienna in 1683 and in 1716 they were defeated at the Battle of Petervaradino, which led to the liberation of Croatia. The 18th century was relatively peaceful for Croatia. However, Croatian society changed little.

XIX century

In 1797 Venice was forced to hand over its territory in Croatia to Austria. However, in 1809 Napoleon formed the territory of the area into a new state called the Illyrian Provinces, but the new state was short-lived. After Napoleon was defeated in 1815, the old order returned. Austria took all the territory that once belonged to Venice. The Austrians also took Dubrovnik.

However, the ideas of the French Revolution did not disappear in Croatia. In the early and mid-19th century Croatian nationalism grew and Croatian culture and literature flourished. Then, in 1847, the Croatian parliament, the Sabor, made Croatian the official language. He also abolished feudalism.

In 1848 a wave of revolutions swept across Europe and rebels seized power in Hungary. However, the Hungarians and Croats quarreled and went to war. However, the Austrian monarchy soon regained power, and both Hungary and Croatia became part of the Austrian Empire again.

Still in 1867 the Austrian Empire was divided into two halves, Austria and Hungary. The Austrian monarch remained the king of both halves, but was otherwise largely independent. Croatia was divided.

Dalmatia was ruled by Austria, while most of Croatia was ruled by Hungary. At the end of the 19th century, Croatian nationalists divided into two schools of thought. One wanted a new state that would unite all the South Slavs. The other wanted an independent Croatia.

Twentieth century

In 1914 the First World War began. Even before it ended in November 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was falling apart. Croatia declared its independence in October 1918. However, on December 1, 1918, the Croats agreed to join the Slovenes and Serbs to form a new state called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

The Croats soon became disenchanted as they wanted the new state to be federal, while it became a unitary state. The demands for autonomy were led by Stjepan Radic, who was assassinated in 1928.

In 1929 King Alexander suspended parliament and introduced a royal dictatorship. The state was renamed Yugoslavia. In the 1930s there were two extremist parties in Croatia. The communists and the fascist Ustase, founded by Ante Pavelic in 1929. In 1939, the Yugoslav government gave in to demands for Croatian autonomy and created an autonomous region called Banovina.

That same year the Second World War began. At first Yugoslavia was neutral, but in March 1941 a coup by pro- British officers took place. As a result, the Germans attacked Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941 and quickly conquered the country.

The Germans created a puppet state in Croatia with the fascist Ustase at the helm. However, Croatia was liberated by the partisans in 1945 and a communist regime was later imposed.

However, during the 1960s nationalism resurfaced in Croatia. Some people demanded more autonomy, but in 1971 Tito, the communist leader, covered up all demands for reform. However, Tito died in 1980.

Communism collapsed in most of Eastern Europe in 1989. That same year non-communist organizations were formed in Croatia. In May 1990 elections were held. The Croats tried to leave Yugoslavia, but there was a substantial minority of Serbs living in Croatia.

In May 1991 the Croats voted for independence. However, under the pretext of protecting the Serbs living within the Croatian borders, the Yugoslav army invaded the country and started a long war.

Meanwhile, the EU nations recognized Croatia’s independence on January 15, 1992. The war ended in 1995 with the Erdut Agreement. Eastern Slavonia was administered by the UN until 1998, when it was handed over to Croatia.

XXI century

Croatia joined NATO in 2009. Then in 2013 Croatia joined the EU. Meanwhile, tourism is flourishing in Croatia. The population of Croatia is 4.3 million inhabitants.

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