History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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In ancient times, Bosnia and Herzegovina was called Illyricum. It was taken over by the Roman Empire. They were conquered in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. The Romans occupied the area until their fall in the 6th century, but only to be conquered by the Byzantine Empire. After that era it was a part of Hungary. Around 1200 A.D., they revolted and won their independence. They went on to become a Christian state for some 260 years. This was during the crusades where the Europeans would travel around and kill those not a part of the Catholic Church.

After that era, the Ottoman Empire was on the rise. It headed towards the Balkans, which due to cultural diffusion introduced new culture and ways of life to that area. The Turkish defeated the Serbians at the great battle of Kosovo in 1389. They later conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1463. They spread the teachings of Mohammad the prophet and Muslim ways in that area. Jewish people also flooded into the area of Sarajevo (the capital). As parts of the Ottoman borders shrank, Bosnia-occupied parts shrank apart. Some countries next to Bosnia fought for their land, like Serbia and Montenegro. At the Berlin Congress in 1878, after the Russo-Turkish War, Austria-Hungary was given the rights to occupy and govern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia was still with the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary annexed them. This brought them into a feud with the Serbs and caused one Serb nationalist to assassinate the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 18, 1914. This assassination was one of the causes of World War I. Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to Serbia. The newly formed kingdom was called Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Later it changed to Yugoslavia.1

When Yugoslavia was invaded by Nazi Germany 1941, Bosnia and Herzegovina was made a part of Nazi-controlled Croatia. Resistance fighters of Bosnia fought against fascist troops form Croatia in guerrilla battles. At the end of World War II, they were reunited back into Yugoslavia but this time under communist rule. Their leader at this point was Marshall Tito. As Marshall Tito died, so did the economy. Economic dissatisfaction grew in Yugoslavia and the Berlin Wall came down, marking an end to an era of the communist rule in much of East Europe.

Yugoslavia began to fall apart. In December 1991, Bosnia was on the brink of war as they declared independence from Yugoslavia. They demanded recognition into the European Union. In 1992, the Bosnian president, Alija Izetbegovic, declared independence. Both Croatia and Serbia claimed parts of Bosnia and had a war to see who occupies Bosnia. Serbia started to execute Muslims. The United Nations stepped in and started to bomb Serbian camps because of the terror-like things the Serbs were doing. The United States set up a peace talk headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. In 1995, the war ended. The Muslim Bosnian President is still in power and a three-part democracy was set up in Bosnia. These three countries still face problems after the war and NATO takes over peace acts. They are now producing a new government through a time of deadlock and the Bosnian Serb president in charge for counts of genocide was found in Belegrande on put on trial. They are currently working for a spot in the European Union.