Saturday, September 18, 2004

Teaching about Conflict and Crisis in the Former Yugoslavia: The Case of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Teaching about Conflict and Crisis in the Former Yugoslavia: The Case of Bosnia-Hercegovina. This is an essayw hich gives ideas for teachers on how to instruct students about the Yugoslavian Civil War of the 1990s and how it impacted Bosnia-Hercegovina. It includes an overview of Yugoslavian history.

From the site:

Yugoslavia was a country of about 23 million people located in southeastern Europe, across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. More than 15 ethnic groups lived in the former Yugoslavia. The majority of the population, however, belonged to one of six related Slavic groups: Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnian Muslims, Macedonians, and Montenegrins. The Croats, Serbs, Muslims, and Montenegrins speak a common language, referred to as "Serbo-Croatian." But religious and other cultural differences, which have resulted from separate historical experiences, have divided these Slavic groups.

From the Middle Ages to 1918, most of these people lived in one of two empires, which dominated this part of Europe: the Hapsburg Empire, ruled from Vienna, and the Ottoman Empire, ruled by the Turks from Istanbul. The Slovenes and Croats lived under Hapsburg rule, while the Bosnians and most Serbs lived under Turkish authority. Serbia and Montenegro, though, had small independent kingdoms by the turn of this century. These served as a base for the construction of Yugoslavia (Land of the South Slavs) in 1918, following World War I, which was a monarchy headed by the Serbian ruling house.

During World War II, Yugoslavia was occupied by Germans and Italians. A Communist, Josip Broz (Tito), organized a large resistance force known as the Partisans. He wanted to throw out the enemy occupiers and transform Yugoslavia into a socialist state.

After World War II, Tito became the supreme ruler of the new, second Yugoslavia. The country was divided into six republics: Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro (Crna Gora), and Macedonia. Each republic corresponded to one of the six South Slav ethnic groups, but all had minorities.

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