THE BALKAN PIEDMONT SERBIA AND THE YUGOSLAV QUESTION
Institute for Balkan Studies
All the crises in the 19th century Balkans stemmed from the Austro-Russian rivalry over the Eastern Question i.e. the question of the succession to the Ottoman provinces in Europe. National movements of the Orthodox Balkan Christians (the Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks and Romanians) developed under the influence and active support of Russia. The Greek national movement obtained the support of all the Great Powers, due to its Hellenic heritage, considered as the core of European civilisation. The Romanian and Bulgarian national movements were strongly supported and also shaped by tsarist Russia due to their geopolitical importance in the global strategy of Russian foreign policy - an exit on warm seas.
The Serbian national movement, first to arise in the Balkans as a national and social revolution in 1804 under the leadership of Karadjordje, was also supported by the Slavonic and Orthodox Empire. Savagely crushed in 1813, it gradually recovered after 1815, establishing the nucleus of the renewed Serbian state, encompassing most of today's Central Serbia, which acquired in 1830, through decisive Russian diplomatic pressure on Constantinople, an internationally recognized autonomy which expressed Serbia's independent status within the Ottoman Empire.
The Principality of Serbia, bordering on the Habsburg monarchy with a specific geopolitical and fragile political position, was not only dependent on the will of the suzerain court, the Porte, but on the influence of the two Great Powers that dominated the Balkans. In the first half of the 19th century, the neighbouring Habsburg Monarchy's economic domination over the Principality's trade was less tangible than the political protectorate of imperial Russia, at the time both the official and traditional protector of all Orthodox Christians in Turkey. It was only after Russia's defeat in the Crimean war that St. Petersburg's ambitions to dominate the political developments taking place among the Balkan Slavs were curbed. In 1856, the Treaty of Paris placed the Principality of Serbia under the protection of the European powers. Serbia was thus forced to balance between the triangle of interests (Ottoman, Habsburg and Russian Empire), which were all, at various times, opposed to Serbia's primary goal: the unification of the Serbs, dispersed as they were in various provinces within the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. (1)
Prince Milos Obrenovic (ruled 1815-1839 and 1858-1860), who became the official hereditary ruler of the autonomous principality, just like Karadjordje, tried to conduct a policy as independent as possible of the powers that tailored the fate of the Balkans, especially Russia which treated Serbia as its province. His national goals were the same as those of Karadjordje: Serbia's final goal was to unite with Bosnia, Old Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. He called on their leaders to incite an uprising: "thus to liberate yourselves from Turkish oppression and thus to unite with us, Serbia, so that we will renew the Serbian Kingdom that was destroyed at Kosovo." The British Consul in Belgrade, Colonel Hodges, who, at the time of the joint action aimed at limiting Russia's influence in the principality, was acquainted with Milos's plans, and considered that the Serbian Prince had the support of France for the unification of Bosnia and Serbia into an independent kingdom under the Obrenovic crown. Prince Milos, just like his predecessor Karadjordje, knew the importance of the South Slav framework for the resolution of the Serbian question. One of his associates told a foreign diplomat in confidence that Milos was secretly planning to unite Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Herzegovina, Uskokija (Krajina), Banat, the Slovenes, Illyria, Dalmatia, Montenegro and the Albanian mountains into a Southern Slavic Empire. At that time, names like Dalmatia, Croatia or Bulgaria were only geographical names or historical memories: except for the Serbs there were no other profiled national identities among the predominantly Slavonic populations. (2)
The Serbian national program was drawn up in 1844, during the rule of Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic (1842-1858), at a time when, after the toppling of absolutist ruler Milos Obrenovic, liberal ideas, accompanied by administrative reforms in the organization of the state administration, had rapidly penetrated the political life of the autonomous Serbian principality. This was a consequence of the coming to power of the enlightened bureaucratic elite (the so-called "Defenders of the Constitution"). Only a small circle of them, the Prince's associates, knew about the existence of the "Nacertanije" - the Program of Serbia's foreign and national policy at the end of 1844, drawn up by Prince Alexander's interior minister, Ilija Garasanin, a politician of broad political visions. (3)
The Nacertanije was based on the model for the unification of the Southern Slavs proposed to Garasanin by the Polish emigrants at the Hôtel Lambert in Paris; they belonged to the circle around Prince Adam Czartoryski. Polish émigrés with the financial and political support of the French and British governments, opened their agency in Belgrade. They projected the creation of a big Slavonic state around Serbia - the only (if tiny Montenegro is excepted) autonomous Slavic principality in the Balkans. That state was to be a counterpoise to the spreading of the influences of Russia and Austria, the two Great Powers that stood in the way of the restoration of the Polish state. Garasanin who, at the time did not believe, with good reason, in the possibility of the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire, modified the proposals of the Polish agent in Belgrade (Frantisek Zach, a Czech by birth) in accordance with Serbia's possibilities and needs. Zach's "Plan of the Slav Politics of Serbia" based on ideas of a previous plan made by Czartoryski himself ("Advices on the course of action to be followed by Serbia"), envisaged that Serbian national propaganda should expand towards Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania and that Belgrade should strengthen its relations with the Illyrian movement in Croatia. Because of the existing geopolitical realities, Garasanin softened the strong anti-Russian attitude in Czartoryski's and Zach's proposals and took the idea of Yugoslav unification as a subsidiary one as against that of the unification of the Serbs into one state. He was aware of the fact that the Serbian national movement was the only fully formed Southern Slavic movement - those of the Croats, Slovenes and Bulgarians were still in their infancy. The Illyrian movement in Croatia in the early forties was still a narrow cultural rather than a developed national movement. (4)
Essentially, Nacertanije, following advice and plans by Czartoryski and Zach, can be reduced to two main goals: 1) an independent policy had to mean balancing between the Great Powers and seeking support from those which had no direct interests in the Balkans; it was possible to lean on Russia only as regards its support of Serbian aspirations, and this was by no means to lead to Serbia's subjugation to the Slavonic empire's Balkan goals. 2) the development of Yugoslav co-operation in order to carry out Serbia's unification, first with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then also with Montenegro, Old Serbia and Macedonia - the Serbian-inhabited lands within the Ottoman Empire - which would have access to the Adriatic Sea through a narrow belt in the north of Albania. For Garasanin, unification of Serbia with the Southern Slavs in the Habsburg Monarchy was a task for future generations; he considered that, in the existing circumstances, the only active co-operation that was possible, was primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Nacertanije was a national program that gave a new dimension to Serbian national aspirations: the bearer of the unification was to be the Principality of Serbia, organized as a modern European state with developed bureaucratic structures that would organize and channel national propaganda. According to "Nacertanije", support for Serbian goals was to be sought from the powers that, unlike Russia and the Habsburg Empire, were not directly interested in the Eastern Question - Great Britain and France. Inspired by Jacobin ideas, Nacertanije was a nation-state model; at the level of generally accepted principles, it was the unofficial program of Serbia's foreign policy all the way up to the creation of the Yugoslav state in 1918.(5)
Depending on different criteria, the Serbian ethnic territory meant different regions. The widespread linguistic principle which dominated European science was that language makes a nation. That principle was introduced into Serbian politics by Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic. He accepted the views of distinguished scholars, experts on Balkan history, linguistics and literature, like the Slovene Jernej Kopitar and the Czech Pavel Safaryk that the shtokavian dialect of the Serbian language was the main criteria for ethnic affiliation. A map of a united Serbia dating from 1854 showed, according to the linguistic principle, apart from Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina and it also included South Hungary (the Serbian Vojvodina part as from 1848), Old Serbia (Kosovo with sandjak of Novi Pazar and northern Macedonia), Vardar Macedonia, along with the Serbo-Croatian region up to Istria and northern Albania (the region around Scutari).
In contrast to the linguistic principle, there also existed a narrower, almost confessional model of Serbian unification advocated mainly by pan-slavist circles within the Serbian Orthodox Church and the politicians of the Liberal party who dominated the foreign policy of Serbia during the late 1860s and early 1870s, during the minority of Prince Milan Obrenovic. On a map sent to the Russian government in 1866, asking for help in resisting aggressive Roman Catholic propaganda, Belgrade Metropolitan Mihailo mentioned as Serbian lands mostly the regions under Ottoman rule where the Serbian Orthodox population, according to his sources, constituted an absolute or relative majority,: apart from the two principalities, Montenegro and Serbia, he also mentioned Bosnia and Herzegovina, Old Serbia (including the sandjak of Nis, Kosovo, the sandjak of Novi Pazar including today's northern Macedonia, and northern Albania (the region of Scutari). (6)
Panslavist propaganda coming from Russia became intense during the late 1850's and early 1860's. The establishment of the Slavophile Committee in Moscow in 1858 and the visit of leading slavophile ideologist Ivan Aksakov to Serbia, Montenegro, Dalmatia and Croatia in 1860 gave fresh impetus to plans for liberation from Ottoman rule. Panslavist propaganda was focusing on Serbia and then on Bosnia, where general insurrection was being prepared.
Serbia's foreign policy plans during the second reign of prince Michael Obrenovic (1860-1868) - the preparations for a simultaneous uprising by the Balkan nations under Ottoman rule, an agreement with the leaders of the Croatian movement and the creation of an alliance of Balkan states - were being carried out by his Foreign Minister Ilija Garasanin. Garasanin's main goal during the 1860's was the unification of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia. Although there was no general insurrection, the various plans and activities showed the level of the revolutionary atmosphere within Serbia's political circles and among national leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The "Serbo-Bosnian committee", in charge of national propaganda in neighbouring countries, worked in Belgrade (1860-1861), in collaboration with Hungarian and Italian revolutionaries. Secret strongholds were created in the main towns: Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Maglaj and Travnik. The rebelling Serbian regions in Herzegovina, Bosnia and the Montenegrin army were financially supported by Panslavist committees. In accordance with the project of the uprising, the Serbs counted on the support and co-operation of part of the Bosnian Muslims.
The Serbo-Bosnian Committee organized 17 agencies in Dalmatia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, sent petitions and protests to the Great Powers from Kosovo and Bosnia. In 1862 another Serbian Committee was established in Belgrade to prepare general insurrection in Bosnia and Bulgaria, to welcome and organize Bulgarian refugees in a separate military unit which would operate together with Serbian forces. Another attempt was made during the Austro-Prussian war in 1866 when Bosnia again emerged as a main goal for Serbia. In Sarajevo a committee for the preparing of a general Serbian insurrection was established. Its leaders went to Serbia for special military training.
The most important achievement of Michael's rule was the creation of the Balkan Alliance. The first agreement on co-operation was signed in 1866 with Montenegro and it became the basis for the creation of the future alliance. Montenegrin prince Nicholas I Petrovic Njegos (ruled 1860-1918), agreed to renounce his throne in favour of prince Michael in the event that the two Serbian states united. Close ties were established and agreement on co-operation in the upcoming insurrection was concluded with the tribal leaders of northern Albania. The goal of the agreement with Bulgarian emigrants in 1867 was the creation of a Southern Slavonic Empire.
The alliance was crowned by an agreement with Greece - first an agreement on an alliance in August 1867, and then also a military convention in February 1868. In the event of a war and of joint action in it, Greece would get Epirus and Thessaly, while Serbia would get Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Balkan alliance was rounded off in 1868 with the signing of an agreement of friendship with Romania which had been created through the unification of the two Danubian principalities.(7)
The Yugoslav movement which emerged as a political program in the mid-nineteenth century with the Illyrian movement in Croatia, was dependent on the internal stability of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Yugoslav question in Austria-Hungary was thus, up to 1914 the question of either its federal re-organisation or its dissolution and the consequences of any of these two solutions. The crisis in the late 1850's and mid-1860's caused by lost wars in Italy and Germany, Italian and German agitation in the Balkans, opened the prospect of possible collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy. Garasanin established, during the 1860s close ties with leading Croatian politicians who, dissatisfied with the Compromise ("Ausgleich") between Austria and Hungary in 1867, instead of the expected federal reorganization, got a double-natured master: the Dual Monarchy - Austria-Hungary.
In an oral agreement with Garasanin, their leader, the Croat Bishop of Djakovo, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, agreed in principle to the creation of a common, independent "federal state", and also to the plan for the annexation of Bosnia to Serbia, as the beginning of the resolution of the issue of the future Southern Slav unification. It was in Zagreb that one of the important committees of the future uprising in Bosnia was supposed to operate.
The turnabout towards the final abandonment of the war for Bosnia, took place after the meeting between Prince Michael and Count Andrassy, the Hungarian Prime Minister, in August 1867. In order to dissuade Prince Michael from relying for support on Russia and from establishing closer relations with the leaders of the Croatian movement, Andrassy promised him tacit diplomatic support in getting Bosnia peacefully on condition that Serbia enter a political alliance with Hungary. The assassination of Prince Michael in a local political conspiracy in Belgrade, in June 1868, marked the end of the plans for a general uprising against Ottoman rule in the Balkans. A broad Balkan Alliance was established half a century later, in 1912.(8)
The Balkan Alliance and negotiations on a common state with the Croats once again raised the issue of a global resolution of the Yugoslav question. According to the views of Garasanin, who relied on the theoretical postulates of the leading scholars of the time, this was one nation for which the Serbian state, as the Balkan Piedmont, would be the main foundation. In his letter to Strossmayer in 1867, Garasanin pointed out: "The Serbian and Croatian nationalities are one - the Yugoslav SSlavC nationality; religion is not to interfere in the least bit in national affairs; the state is the only basis of nationality; religion divides us and separates us into three parts Si.e., Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, IslamC, but it can never be the principle of our unification into one state; it is our nationality, which is the same, that can". (9)
The main precondition for the future unification of the Serbs and the Croats was the disintegration of the Habsburg Monarchy along national lines which, after the defeat of the Viennese Emperor's army in Italy and Germany seemed possible at least for a while. In a memoir submitted to Napoleon III in 1866, Garasanin warned him that the Habsburg Monarchy was a strange agglomeration of nations, which should be recomposed according to the principle of nationality. Garasanin even envisaged the creation of a vast confederation of some 44,000,000 inhabitants, which would encompass the space between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea. That state, according to Garasanin's proposal, with Serbia as the Piedmont would serve as a buffer zone between Russia and Germany.(10)
Along with the spread of the network of political agents and the preparations for a joint struggle during the 1860s, propaganda work was being carried out to acquaint Europe with the Serbs' desires and their views on the resolution of the Eastern question. One of the leading Serbian politicians in Vojvodina, Mihailo Polit-Desancic, published (in 1862) a study "The Eastern Question and its Organic Resolution" ("Die orientalische Frage und ihre organische Lösung") in which he advocated the application of the principle of nationality and a confederation as a model for the future organization of the Balkans, suggesting that the problem of the Ottoman heritage in Europe be resolved outside the framework of Austria-Hungary.
Similar stands were also advocated in a study "Eastern Question" ("Die Orientfrage") written in 1877 by the leader of the Vojvodina Serbs, Svetozar Miletic, who stressed the significance of "natural rights" and proposed the creation of a Balkan confederation composed of a Serbo-Bulgarian federal unit on the one side, and of the Romanians and Greeks on the other. The Serbian unit, apart from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Old Serbia, would also include part of Macedonia "where the character of Serbian customs, the Serbian way of thinking, Serbian inclinations, and even the language itself, has largely and essentially penetrated, and that is the region spreading up to and somewhat beyond the Vardar River".
The leader of the Liberals in Serbia, Vladimir Jovanovic, strongly influenced by Mazzini, along with Miletic, was the main founder of the United Serbian Youth (Ujedinjena omladina srpska), an organization similar to Young Italy. Jovanovic stressed that a union of Balkan states ("the Balkans to the Balkan peoples"), for which Constantinople and Salonika would be free ports, would be most compatible with and useful for the political and economic interests of Europe as the bearer of liberal ideas in this part of the world, in contrast to the weakened and anachronous Ottoman Empire. Due to its geopolitical position, democratic aspirations and the overall diffusion of the Serbian population in the central parts of the peninsula, Serbia would have a special place in the alliance: according to Jovanovic, there were over five million Serbs in the Balkans, living in Montenegro, Serbia, Slavonia, Hungary, Croatia, Dalmatia, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Albania, Old Serbia and Macedonia.(11)
The political parties in Serbia, a fully sovereign state from 1878, were established in the early 1880s. They shaped their programs on a basis similar to Garasanin's Nacertanije. In its 1881 program the National Radical Party stressed that the state structure it aspired to was "the people's well-being and freedom on the inside, and state independence and the liberation and unification of the rest of the Serbian lands, on the outside." The paragraph devoted to foreign policy contains several ideas taken from the "Nacertanije" as regards: Balkan co-operation, cultural activities, the awakening of national awareness: "that concord among all the brotherly neighbouring nations be cherished, that the creation of an alliance of Balkan nations be actively worked on, and especially that agreement be reached as soon as possible with Montenegro and Bulgaria; that cultural assistance be offered to the dismembered and unliberated Serbian lands and that the lively awakening of the awareness about our national unity in the distant Serbian provinces, which are exposed to foreign factors, be organized (...)."(12)
The qualitative difference between the Radicals' program and Nacertanije, which relies on the State and its bureaucratic apparatus in the realization of its goals, had to do with political freedoms and democratic institutions as preconditions for the successful realization of foreign policy goals: general voting rights, legislative power for the Assembly (Narodna skupstina), freedom of the press, freedom of speech and agreement, freedom of association, communal self-governing, an independent judiciary and obligatory schooling free of charge.
Unlike the Radicals who did not hide their conviction that Austria-Hungary was the main obstacle to the national emancipation and unification of the Serbs, the Progressive party, which rallied part of the intelligentsia working for the state bureaucracy, without having stronger support among the people, leaned towards the Obrenovic dynasty and, in accordance with the dynasty's policy, it was ready to make certain compromises with Austria-Hungary. Emphasizing the importance of law, freedom and progress for the internal life of a country, in their 1879 program, members of the Progressive party presented the following position concerning foreign policy: "Feeling that loneliness at the international level brings no blessing, it is our holy duty to help spirituality and to preserve the valuable national characteristics of the Serbs outside the Serbian principality as well, and to strengthen brotherly relations in the big family of Slav nations, and, along with other neighbouring nations, on the basis of mutual respect and support, to give life and a meaning to the principle: the East belongs only to the Eastern nations."(13)
The Serbian Liberals, the oldest party in the country, which, respecting the principles of western democracies, persistently fought, from the end of the 1850s, for the establishment of constitutional rule and democratic institutions, formulated, in its 1881 program its foreign policy goals, adding a number of its own solutions to "Nacertanije's" main postulates: "Since the main precondition for the survival of every nation and the development of its natural resources and its living strength, is its unification, they Sthe liberalsC, just like all good patriots, consider that the Serbian nation's main concern and constant aspiration, as well as the highest and most sacred goal, must be: to unite its dismembered parts and lands of the Balkan peninsula within their natural ethnographic borders, and in the framework of the old historical glory and power, both on the political and the religious plane. To achieve this aim, and for the purpose of ensuring the freedom and independence of the people, it must choose, as the shortest and best road, greater closeness and a confederation (alliance) of the Eastern nations that have a similar historical fate and the same political and cultural interests - and it must primarily work on the establishment of a customs alliance with these nations and states. In this regard, we think that the best friends of Serbia and the Serbian nation are those states and nations whose political and economic interests are not opposed to the determined aspirations and interests of Eastern nations. In this respect it is Serbia's duty and need to seek and preserve the friendship of the big and enlightened nations, without ever forgetting those friendships and the assistance already written in the pages of contemporary Serbian history."(14)
Even after new redefinitions, brought about by the change of dynasty, and the establishment of full parliamentary democracy in 1903, party programs did not considerably change as regards positions of principle concerning foreign policy. The Radicals (after 1903, the Old Radicals), as the strongest party in the country, did not change their program, while, four years later, a new political party sprang-up from the faction that had separated in 1901 - the Independent Radicals (the Young Radicals). Rallying mostly young intellectuals, educated at foreign universities, the Independent Radical party established lively ties with the cultural and political élite in Croatia, where a Yugoslav oriented Croato-Serb coalition had been in power since 1906 which in contrast to predominantly clerical circles, inspired by the teachings of Czech liberals led by Tomas Masaryk, placed its hopes for the liberation of the Southern Slav nations in a democratic and constitutional Serbia as the Piedmont of the Yugoslav nations.
In their political program, the Independent Radicals included a paragraph about the need to cherish the spirit of togetherness with other Yugoslav nations: "To cherish concord with all kindred and neighbouring nations and good political relations with other states. To work on creating a political and economic alliance with other Balkan nations under the slogan: the Balkans to the Balkan nations. To cherish the spirit of a Yugoslav togetherness." However, their conclusion was practically the same as the one included in the Radicals' program of 1881: "Particularly to maintain and strengthen the cultural alliance with and to increase assistance to the dismembered and unliberated parts of the Serbian nation, and to keep awake the awareness about the question of national unity in distant Serbian provinces, exposed to the surge of foreign elements - all this with the desire: for Serbia, as the Piedmont of the Serbian nation, to do everything it can in order for all parts of the Serbian Nation to unite." (15)
The spirit of "Nacertanije", now adapted to the new political realities, also imbued the program of the Independent Radicals, which showed their essential belief that the unification of the Serbs was not considered to be contrary, but rather compatible with Yugoslav co-operation in principle. The influence of Garasanin's ideas is also easily noticed in the other Serbian state, Montenegro, among the parties that were founded after 1905, when the country got its Constitution.
In its program of 1907, the most influential among them, the National Party of Montenegro (Narodna stranka) defined its foreign political goals in the same way as the parties in Serbia: "To cherish concord with all the Balkan nations according to the principle: for everyone what is his; to maintain and strengthen ties with the oppressed Serbs Sreferring to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Old Serbia, Macedonia and DalmatiaC; to work in co-operation with Serbia and to aspire towards the realization of national ideas: to cherish ideas about a Yugoslav togetherness".(16)
The challenge came with the Eastern Crisis (1875-1878). The uprising of the Serbs in Herzegovina in the Nevesinje region (the Nevesinjska puska), and then in Bosnia in 1875, from social demands soon turned to national ones - annexation to Serbia and Montenegro. The open air national assemblies of the Bosnian Serbs in June and July 1876 proclaimed, in identical proclamations, unification with Serbia: as the only "legitimate representatives of the Serbian land of Bosnia, after much waiting and without hope for any kind of help, we have decided - as of today and for all times, to break with the non-Christian government in Constantinople, in the desire to share the fate of our Serbian brothers, no matter what it may be".(17)
The act of unification with Serbia was solemnly celebrated in Bosnia, and on that occasion, allegiance was also pledged to Serbian Prince Milan Obrenovic (1868-1889). At the same time, the Herzegovinian insurgents proclaimed their unification with Montenegro. Leading a unit of insurgents and calling himself Petar Mrkonjic, there also appeared in Bosnia a pretender to the Serbian throne from the rival dynasty - the grandson of Karadjordje, and the son of Prince Alexander - Peter Karadjordjevic.(18)
Disappointed in the policy of Budapest and Vienna towards the Croats, Bishop Strossmayer, the leader of the neo-Illyrian People's Party in Croatia-Slavonia wrote in October 1876, in his letter to British Prime Minister Gladstone: "The Serbs are a warriorlike and very enterprising race, full of vitality. It would be a just reward for their sanguinary sacrifices in a sacred cause, to put the autonomy of Bosnia under the protection of their energy and their fifty year' experience".(19)
Serbia's goal in the 1876 war was to proclaim, after the ultimate victory in liberated Kosovo, the unification of Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus create a unified Serbian kingdom. Being militarily unprepared with only 40,000 untrained soldiers dispersed on four fronts, Serbia tried to make up for its weakness with Russian volunteers, Slavophiles who rushed to help their endangered Slav brothers (around 2,500 soldiers and 600 officers). The Slavophiles believed that by sending volunteers, their society would "wage a war without the approval of its SRussianC government, without any kind of state organization in a foreign country".(20)
The command of the army was entrusted to Russian general M.G.Cherniaev. "the Lion of Tashkent", a hero from the wars in Central Asia. Trying to penetrate in various directions, via Sandjak towards Herzegovina, eastern Bosnia and southern Serbia, the poorly organized and even more poorly led Serbian troops experienced a failure on the southern front. Due to the intervention of the Great Powers, peace between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire on the basis of the status quo ante was concluded in March 1877. The lost war caused much turmoil in Serbia. Montenegro with 17,000 soldiers was much more successful in the war: it joined the insurgents in eastern Herzegovina and liberated a considerable part of the neighbouring territories.(21)
The fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the question of Bulgaria where an uprising broke out in April 1876, became the concern of the Great Powers. At a meeting between Russian Tsar Alexander II and Austro-Hungarian Emperor Francis Joseph I at the Reichstadt, in July 1876, their Foreign Ministers, Gorchakov and Andrassy agreed not to allow the unification of Bosnia with Serbia and of Herzegovina with Montenegro. The two Serbian principalities, apart from the international recognition of their sovereignty and full independence, would also be granted minor territorial extensions, while most of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be annexed by Austria-Hungary.
In the Budapest convention (January 1877), in view of its forthcoming war with Turkey, Russia ensured the neutrality of Austria-Hungary which was given the freedom to choose a favourable moment to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina. The problem of the "small black dot in Herzegovina", as Bismarck called Nevesinje - a stronghold of rebelling Serbs in Herzegovina, became, for the moment, the focal point of the balance of forces in Europe and initiated an accelerated resolution of the Eastern question. In Constantinople at the end of 1876, there was a Conference of the ambassadors of the Great Powers which tried to impose its own solutions for the reformation of the Ottoman Empire, and this would include the international supervision of the resolution of the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (22)
Information about the Serbs in Bosnia being massacred by Muslim troops did not easily reach the European public appalled by the atrocities committed by the Turks in Bulgaria. Nevertheless, Sir Arthur Evans wrote in the Manchester Guardian that around 6,000 "old people, women and children were cold-bloodedly murdered", that around 30,000 were forced to leave their burnt down villages, and that around 250,000 people fled to the Austrian side, across the Sava River.(23)
When Russia entered the war with Turkey at the end of April 1877, this encouraged Montenegro which, when its negotiations with Turkey failed, continued to fight. It was not before mid December that, after some hesitation, Serbia engaged in a new war against Turkey and scored important victories by liberating southern Serbia (sandjak of Nis). The advance units of the Serbian army got to Kosovo, reaching the monastery of Gracanica near Pristina, where they were greeted with great popular enthousiasm. After the signature of the Russian-Turkish truce which also referred to Serbia and Montenegro (in Adrianople on January 31st 1878), Serbian units were forced to withdraw from Kosovo to the agreed line of division.
The army of Montenegrin prince Nicholas Petrovic Njegos (1860-1916) achieved even more important successes. After difficult battles, Montenegrin troops liberated a whole series of towns and enlarged the territory of the small principality several times over.
The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija (central part of vilayet of Kosovo), being under the constant pressure of both the Albanian irregular units of plunderers, and the Ottoman authorities which were not well disposed towards their Christian subjects, fled in large numbers (30,000) to Serbian territory, and a similar number of Albanians from southern Serbia crossed over to Kosovo and Metohija, partly of their own will and partly under the pressure of the Serbian authorities. Along with other Albanians from the border regions of the Ottoman Empire, they represented the fighting fist of the Albanian League (1878-1881), a movement which, requesting the creation of a unified Albanian vilayet within the Ottoman Empire, was resolutely against the territorial gains of Serbia and Montenegro.(24)
After seizing northern Bulgaria and with Romania entering the war, after six months of difficult battles, on March 3rd 1878, the Russian army imposed on the Ottoman Empire its own solutions in the Treaty of San Stefano. Even before it was signed, Serbian Prince Milan had informed Russian diplomats that Serbia requested territorial concessions in Bosnia (the region between Foca and Visegrad in eastern Bosnia), the city of Vidin on the Danube (today's Bulgaria) and all of Old Serbia (the Kosovo vilayet). Informed about the Russian intentions to create a extensive Bulgarian state in the Balkans under its own protectorate which would also include certain Serbian territories, Prince Milan informed the Russian army's main headquarters that "the Serbian army will not leave the city of Nis even if the Russian army attacks it".(25) In response to the protests lodged by Serbia, Romania and Greece with the Russian government because of the provisions of the San Stefano Treaty, they were told that, in the hierarchy of Russian interests, Bulgarian interests come before Serbian ones. The Serbian goals were abandoned by the St.Petersburg Slavophiles, lead by Ivan Aksakov, so soon as immediately after the first war with the Turks.
The Pan-Slav settlement of the Eastern question, which Russia imposed on Turkey in San Stefano, provoked the reaction of the other Great Powers: after protests by Great Britain, Austria-Hungary and the Balkan countries, on June 13th 1878, a congress was convened in Berlin. It was preceded by a secret agreement between British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the Porte: in exchange for Britain's support at the Congress, the Turks gave up Cyprus. Serbia, abandoned by Russia, turned to Austria-Hungary. At Prince Milan's initiative, his Foreign Minister, Jovan Ristic, concluded an agreement with Count Andrassy, in which Serbia undertook to construct a railway from Belgrade to Nis, and afterwards to establish either a commercial or customs alliance with the Dual Monarchy.
Russia's representative, Count Shouvalov, instructed Ristic to reach agreement with Vienna, consoling him that, in fifteen years time at the latest, Russia would have its showdown with the Dual Monarchy. The Serbs were especially disappointed in the St.Petersburg Slavophiles. Seeing that Russia supported the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to be free to create a greater Bulgarian state, a Serbian emissary in the Russian capital complained to the Belgrade government that "there are nowhere in the world such snakes as our Slavophiles have turned out to be."(26)
The Treaty of Berlin (1878) gave a mandate to Austria-Hungary to occupy the rebellious Ottoman provinces, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to have its troops enter into the bordering Novi Pazar Sandjak. The Dual Monarchy considerably strengthened its shaken reputation in Europe. Penetration into the Balkans was a long awaited compensation for territorial losses in the wars in Italy (1859) and Germany (1866). The first ideas about a penetration into the Balkans had been formulated twenty years before the Berlin Congress in a memoir prepared by Marshal Radetzky; in 1862, the Foreign Ministry at the Ballhausplatz concluded that the Monarchy "must try, with all its power, to prevent the development of a cultural and state nucleus in the southern Danubian region that would be independent of Austria".(27)
The Treaty of Berlin brought Serbia and Montenegro the recognition of their independence in exchange for their main goal - the liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which Orthodox Serbs accounted for a relative majority (42.9% in 1879, compared to 38.7% of Muslims, the islamized Slavs). With Europe's mandate, Austro-Hungarian troops marched into Bosnia, crushing the ill-organized resistance of the common Muslim led Muslim-Serb forces. For Austrian generals of Croatian descent, like Josip Filipovic, the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was an opportunity for the enlarging of Croatian regions in the Habsburg Empire, even though Roman Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina who could be considered as Croats were only 18,1% of the population. The Croatian Diet's request for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be joined to Croatia-Slavonia, a province under Hungary, was resolutely rejected by Emperor Francis Joseph, with the explanation that this institution had overstepped its authority. The occupied provinces were placed under direct control of the Common Finance Ministry in Vienna. (28)
It was not possible to carry out the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina without the political neutralization of Serbia. From 1878 to 1903 Serbia was very strongly under Austria-Hungary's influence and was on the verge of being a protectorate. Abandoned by Russia at San Stefano and at the Congress of Berlin, Prince Milan Obrenovic turned to Vienna. By a Secret Convention ("Tajna konvencija") in 1881 (renewed in 1889) Austria-Hungary got to supervise the foreign policy of Serbia. In return, Serbia soon became a Kingdom (1882) and its Orthodox church gained independence from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. However, Serbia was obliged to abandon any further national agitation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with vague guarantees that in the future it could expand only a southerly direction, towards region of Skoplje. (29)
Austria-Hungary in 1878 successfully drove Russia out of the Balkans. By forming an alliance with Germany in 1879, to be joined by Italy three years later, the Dual Monarchy oriented its future towards the south, even though it formally accepted a division of spheres of interest in the Balkans through agreements on the status quo, concluded with Russia in 1897, and again in 1903 in Mürzsteg. Serbia was practically left in the sphere of the Dual Monarchy's influence. On January 5th 1901, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Goluchowski, assured the German ambassador: "We will simply strangle Serbia if something serious happens in the Balkans and if Serbia dares to conduct a policy different from what we want."(30) Viennese diplomats were ready to prevent the unification of the Kingdom of Serbia with the Principality of Montenegro, even if this meant war. Rounding off its influence in the Balkans by establishing pro-Austrian regimes in Serbia, Romania and partly in Bulgaria, Vienna fully dominated the Balkans in the last quarter of the 19th century. In 1887, Russian Tsar Alexander II resignedly toasted Montenegrin Prince Nicholas as his "one and only true friend" in the Balkans.
Despite the depression that was felt in the Balkan countries due to Austria-Hungary's domination, Serbia placed great hopes in the Franco-Russian alliance (1891,1894) as the beginning of a new balance of forces in Europe. In a special brochure, Stojan Boskovic, one of the leaders of the Serbian Liberals, pointed to the importance of the Serbs and their possible leadership in the future federal reorganization of the Balkans. Boskovic pointed out that the newly established rivalry among the Great Powers was an opportunity for the Serbs, after they previously created their state within their ethnic borders, to become the pillar of the Balkan nations. In a study on the Eastern question (1894), one of the leaders of the Radicals, Milovan Milovanovic, speaking about the creation of a Franco-Russian alliance, predicted "a new era of fateful and epochal events." He stressed that Serbia, like other states in south-eastern Europe, was a creation of Russia's policy and that "all its efforts should be aimed at making itself, its progress and its national mission part of the Russian policy program for resolving the Eastern question, making itself indispensable to Russia, and determining that its interests and its goals coincide, in every aspect, with the Russian goals as regards the Eastern question and showing that, in it, Russia can always find a reliable associate for its own, and the general Slav policy. Otherwise, Serbia will soon be crushed (...) A Russian-French action is on the threshold. The Eastern question is entering a new phase, perhaps its last one." (31) Milovanovic's program, published at the time of the Dual Monarchy's full domination over the political life of Serbia, was an expression not only of the people's wide-spread feeling that Austria-Hungary was their natural enemy, and that Russia was the Serbs' traditional ally, but also of the very ideology of the National Radical Party, followed by a majority of Serbia's electorate: that internal freedom could be achieved on the model of the French Radicals' political solutions, and, on the foreign political plane - by leaning on Russian support.(32) The Empire of the Tsars, in contrast to the time of Ilija Garasanins' "Nacertanije" (1844), was no longer a power, like Austria-Hungary, that could endanger the independence, internal policy and political aspirations of Serbia.
The Treaty of Berlin gave Austria-Hungary the mandate to send its troops into the northern part of the Novi Pazar sandjak. It was a region with a mixed Orthodox-Muslim population under the formal sovereignty of the Porte - a narrow strip that separated Serbia from Montenegro. Through the Sandjak, the Dual Monarchy had a direct link with the Albanians, a nation that had acquired an important place in its plans. Expecting the demise of Turkish rule in its European provinces, Austria-Hungary was preparing a plan for marching into Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia, with Europe's mandate, on the model applied in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The creation of a large Albanian state under Vienna's protectorate would form a wedge that would definitely separate Serbia from Montenegro and avert the danger of the formation of a strong and united Serbian state. For Vienna the Albanians in Kosovo and western Macedonia were the bridge towards Salonika. It was to be the first step in the German policy later called "Drang nach Osten". During the disputes on the necessity for a reform programme for the protection of Christians endangered by Albanian outlaws in Kosovo and Macedonia, the Russian Ambassador in Constantinople noticed that "for the Austrian ambassador Albanian atrocities do not exist, for they are not commited against the Catholics - who, like the Albanians, go about armed and enjoy all privileges - but against the Orthodox Serbs, who are treated like serfs that have no rights." The Russian Ambassador also stressed that Austria-Hungary was not displeased to see the gradual disappearance of the Serbian population in the vilayet of Kosovo (Old Serbia):"c'est sans déplaisir qu'elle en voit disparaître peu à peu la population orthodoxe serbe."(33)
The belatedness in the Albanians' national integration was favourable as regards a broad action by the Dual Monarchy: the Albanian élite, divided among three religious communities, consisted of people of different social status and speaking different dialects. In order to overcome the existing differences, Vienna launched important cultural initiatives: books about Albanian history were printed and distributed, national coats-of-arms were made and various grammars were written in order to create a unified Albanian language. The Latin alphabet, supplemented with new letters for non-resounding sounds, was envisaged as the future common script.
The most important cultural initiative was the Illyrian theory about the Albanians' origins. The theory about the Albanians' alleged Illyrian roots was launched from the cabinets of Viennese and German scholars where, until then, it had only had the form of a narrow scientific debate, and it was skilfully propagated in a simplified form. According to this theory, for which reliable scientific evidence has not been found to the present day, the Albanians are the oldest nation in Europe created through a mixture of pre-Roman Illyrian and Pelasgian tribes from an Aryan flock - "Volksschwarm". (34)
While politically neutralized Serbia was seething after a lost war (with Bulgaria 1885) and internal battles for a parliamentary regime against the absolutist rule of Milan (Timok rebellion 1883) and his son Alexander Obrenovic (ruled 1889-1903), in the occupied provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dual Monarchy's "civilizing measures", aimed primarily against the Serbs, also affected the Muslims. Reluctant to accept European education and technology, Muslims who consisted 90 percent of the land-owning beys, although favoured by the authorities started to emigrate to neighbouring provinces under direct Ottoman rule. According to the first population census in 1879, of the 1,158,164 strong population, Orthodox Serbs accounted for a relative majority: 496,485 (42.88 percent, while in 1910, of the 1,898,044 inhabitants, the Serbs once again represented the most numerous part of the population - 825,918 (43.49 percent). Despite migrations (over 40,000 of them had emigrated by 1914) the Serbs were, due to their high birth rate, with the agrarian population accounting for 87.92 percent, a population in constant demographic expansion. According to Austro-Hungarian sources, the Serbs dominated Bosnia and Herzegovina not only in the demographic, but also in the economic sense (in the small but growing capitalist sector), although the Muslims were still more numerous in the towns. At the beginning of the 20th century, out of the 19 millionaires in Sarajevo, 17 were Serbs. The number of Muslims, due to their slightly lower birth rate and large-scale emigration to Turkey, kept dropping: the authorities feared that, in time, the Orthodox Serbs would totally prevail in Bosnia. To prevent this, the authorities constantly kept settling new people, mostly Roman Catholics, for the needs of their economy and the bureaucratic and police apparatus. The Croats, considered as a Habsburgtreu nation were quietly but systematically settled in those regions: around 230,000 people, mostly Roman Catholics and predominantly Croats, came to live in Bosnia and Herzegovina by 1914. In 1910, there were 124,591 people living in Bosnia-Heregovina who did not have Bosnian citizenship, and by 1914 around 180,000 people had been settled in regions bordering on Serbia. Around 140,000 people, mostly Serbs and Bosnian Muslims, were stimulated, by various means, to emigrate.(35)
The proclamation of the application of the Military Law (creating conscription) for Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the end of 1881, provoked, at the beginning of 1882, an uprising by the Serbs in Herzegovina which was supported by Montenegro and even by the Ottoman government. Some local Muslims also took part in the rebellion. The uprising spread across the Neretva river in Herzegovina to central Bosnia, and then also to the region of eastern Bosnia around the Drina river. As the insurgents were without many weapons and sufficient foreign support, the uprising was severely crushed by 70,000 Austrian soldiers. The Austro-Hungarian foreign minister considered that "this uprising was the last cry of fatally wounded Slavism in the Balkans". The revolt perhaps did have a certain negative impact on ideas about the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the abandonment of dualism, which Vienna thought about in 1882 and 1883.(36)
An authority on Serbian affairs - the consul in Belgrade 1868-1875, a Hungarian nobleman Benjamin Kallay, was appointed governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1882. In order to definitely separate Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia, Kallay carefully developed the theory about a separate Bosnian nation, whose bearers would be the Bosnian Muslims, allegedly the descendants of the old Bogomil nobility of the Middle Ages which had retained its old privileges by accepting Islam. Since it was known that majority of the Bosnian nobility had been destroyed during the Ottoman onslaught, and that the Muslims were mostly the descendants of Islamized Serbs or Croats (nearly every Muslim family knows its origin), Kallay's new ideology, despite great efforts, did not encounter a significant response.
Instead of the Serbo-Croat language, the official language became "Bosnian", the Cyrillic script used by the Serbs and Muslims kept being systematically pushed out, and Serbian elementary schools had to face numerous problems in their work. The Austro-Hungarian ideology about a separate Bosnian nation was propagated by richly subsidized newspapers, with the intention of reviving Bosnian individuality ("Sarajevski list", the official "Bosnische Post", the Muslim "Bosnjak"). It was strictly forbidden to bring any Serbian newspapers printed in Montenegro, Vojvodina, Dalmatia or Serbia into Bosnia; Kallay even banned his own book "The History of the Serbian Nation", because in it the Serbs were described in a much too positive way.(37)
In 1889, a special coat of arms and a red and yellow flag were introduced in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The occupied provinces were covered with a network of foreign officials (58%) and police officers (mostly from Croatia); some Catholics were settled in Serbian-inhabited areas along the Drina river so that the ethnic continuity along the border with Serbia would be interrupted. For the purpose of strengthening Catholic influence, in 1881, Jesuits were brought to Bosnia. They were considered more aggressive in proselytist action than the local Franciscans who, over the previous decades, closely cooperated with the domestic Serbs and the governments in Belgrade. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sarajevo, Josip Stadtler, was especially ardent in sowing the seed of discord between the Serbs and the Croats, and between the Serbs and the Muslims. Numerous books and brochures containing insulting names for Orthodox Serbs were frequently printed and the persecution on a national and religious basis often verged on open racism. Along with the virulent persecution of the Serbs, Orthodox Christianity was also stifled. The Dual Monarchy had an agreement with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to which the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia was formally subjected, for it to appoint a Metropolitan independently. In 1881, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Sarajevo, Sava Kosanovic, informed the Serbian government, the Russian Synod and the Viennese ministry that a person working for the local government had offered him a lot of money to convert to the Uniate rite and to recognize the Pope as the supreme religious leader. Finally, because of his firm resistance to Roman Catholic proselytism, Metropolitan Kosanovic was forced to leave his post and eventually to emigrate from Bosnia.(38)
The Bosnian Muslims were, according to their own tradition, mostly of Serbian, and in a much lesser number of Croatian descent; very few of them spoke the Turkish language, almost every family knew when and under what conditions it had converted to Islam. The Muslims called the Cyrillic script, used for many centuries, 'Old Serbia', but their ties to the traditions of the Ottoman state in which they were the ruling layer, separated them from the Serbs who, having been for centuries "Rayah", were mostly serfs on their estates. Frightened by the possibility of remaining the subjects of a Christian state, a considerable number of Bosnian Muslims emigrated to neighbouring provinces under the direct rule of Constantinople; the leaders of the majority who stayed soon formed an alliance with the Serbs in a joint struggle for the gaining of educational and cultural autonomy. (39)
There soon emerged out of the Muslim intelligentsia, a movement of young Muslims rallied around the society and magazine "Gajret", which after several years started to cherish Serbian national sentiment, referring to their common origin with the Serbs. Poets like Osman Djikic and Avdo Karabegovic represented the leaders of an important group of Muslim-Serbs. Only several Muslim intellectuals, like Safvet-beg Basagic, advocated the theory of a Croat origin of the Bosnian Muslims.
Another Hungarian aristocrat, Khuen Hedervary, who administered Croatia-Slavonia (1883-1903), skilfully took advantage of the Croat open intolerance of the Serbs, which had gradually acquired a social dimension. Being more organized and enterprising in economic affairs, the Serbs had a disproportionately important position in trade, industry and banking. After the annexation of the Military Frontier ("Vojna Krajina" or simply "Krajina") to Croatia-Slavonia in 1881, the number of Serbs grew considerably, and Khuen Hedervary skilfully manipulated the nationally frustrated Serbs by way of certain concessions in order to prevent the Croats from setting out their national requests vis-à-vis the Hungarians.
After the annexation of the Krajina to Croatia in 1881, the Serbs accounted for 26.3% of the population of Croatia Slavonia, that is, they numbered 497,746 people out of the 1,892,499 strong population. Among the 35 members from Vojna Krajina in the Croatian Diet, there were 18 Serbs - 28 altogether, all followers of Bishop Strossmayer's People's party. Concerned about their nation's autonomous rights, "because of the narrow-minded and chauvinist policy" of the majority of Croatian politicians, they were forced to found, in 1883, the Serbian Independent Club of Members of the Diet. Starting from 1884, their newspaper was Srbobran. The first Serbian party had already been formed in 1881 in Srem - the Serbian People's Party and it had two seats in the Croatian Diet. Nevertheless, most of the people opted for the Serbian Independent Party, founded in 1887 in the town of Sremski Karlovci, and whose activities took in the territories of Croatia, Slavonia, Srem and Vojna Krajina. Considering themselves equal to Croatian nationals, with whom they wanted to establish active co-operation, in their program, the Independents stressed that they would advocate and defend "Serbian national individuality and the right of the Serbs, as a nation, to autonomy in respect of our Serbian Orthodox church and schools (...) to achieve the Serbian nation's right to autonomy in schooling and to establish the authority of the Serbian-National-Church Assembly (...) the guaranteed equality of the Orthodox confession with Roman Catholicism." Srbobran was officially proclaimed the party newspaper.(40)
The Serbs in Croatia-Slavonia and Krajina were considered to be an enterprising nation, skilful in trade and banking affairs, unlike the Croats whose intelligentsia, from landholders to the bureaucratic stratum, was mostly involved in agriculture and administrative affairs. Also, the Serbs in Vojna Krajina were free peasants who, instead of fulfilling feudal obligations, did military service, unlike the Croatian peasantry which found it difficult to discard the mentality of feudal subjugation. (Conditions especially in Civil Croatia-Slavonia were exceptionally onerous for the peasantry - they were often far worse than elsewhere in the Dual Monarchy).
Along with the strengthening of the economic power of the Serbs in Croatia, the Serbian population also grew. At the beginning of the 20th century, in Croatia (with Slavonia and Krajina) there lived 708,993 Serbs, compared to 467,247 Serbs who lived throughout Hungary. Around 1900 among Serbs Zagreb took over the position of economic supremacy from Novi Sad, capital of Vojvodina, becoming the Serbs' main centre in Austria-Hungary. The foundation of the craftsmen's society "Privrednik" ("Entrepreneur"), then "the Alliance of Serbian Farmers' co-operative societies (or zadrugas)" in 1897, and finally the "Serbian Bank" in 1895, was the economic expression of the prestige of Zagreb as the Serbs' new national centre.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia, Slavonia and Krajina, which constantly had problems in acquiring religious equality, consisted of two dioceses, with seats in Pakrac and Plaski. In the 1860s, it had 337 Orthodox parishes and 466 churches with 428 priests. The usual, disparaging expression for Serbian Orthodox Christianity was the "Greek-Disunited Confession", and for the Serbs, names like Gypsies, Wallachians, Shkipetars SAlbaniansC were used, or they were described as "those who Christen themselves Serbs" etc.
Starting from the administration of ban (governor) Ivan Mazuranic, croatization was increasingly pronounced: the school system was croatized in 1874, the Cyrillic script used by the Serbs was placed under pressure everywhere under various pretexts and in various ways. The Serbian flag, which followers of Party of (Croat State) Rights insultingly called "the Wallachian rag", was banned as a national symbol. Some improvement was brought about, during the rule of Khuen Hedervary, by the so-called "Serbian law" of 1887. The Serbs acquired Church and school autonomy, but they were not granted the right to call their Orthodox Church Serbian, but rather Greeco-Eastern. In return, the Serbs started to co-operate with the Unionist party in Croatia, which sponsored by Count Hedervary, was advocating closer ties with Budapest.(41)
In October 1895, during a visit by Emperor Francis Joseph to Zagreb, the local Serbs raised their flag on the Orthodox church and the Church community building, a mob then attacked Serbian institutions, under the pretext that "there can be only Croats in Croatia". The attacks were led by followers of Josip Frank's extreme rightist Party of Rights, whose founder, Ante Starcevic, in his numerous writings full of open racist prejudices over the previous decades, constantly had denied even the Serbs' very existence.
In time, Ante Starcevic, became the father of Croatian nationalism. From an enthusiastic Illyrian in his youth, Starcevic became an ideologist of racial intolerance and an advocate of the theory about 'the Croatian State Right' as the basis for the creation of an "independent" Croatian state under the Habsburg crown, in which there would be no room for non-Croatian nations. For Starcevic, the Serbs were "a race of slaves, the most repugnant of all beasts", people "without a conscience, who don't know how to read, they are not able to learn anything, they can be no better or worse than they already are. They are all absolutely the same, except for differences in cunningness and ability". Like Gobineau, he based his postulates on the theory about superior and inferior races. According to his theory, the Croats are by origin a Nordic, ruling race, while the Serbs, whose name he derived from Latin expressions for slaves, are the descedants of slaves. Starcevic also denied the existence of the Slovenes, calling them "Alpine Croats", and his texts also contained unequivocal anti-semitic messages. Towards the end of his life, along with Josip Frank, Starcevic founded the Pure Party of Rights which, having become increasingly dependent on influential clerical circles at the turn of the century, especially in urban areas, remained the bearer of a policy of unhidden intolerance towards the Serbs.(42)
The Serbs' requests for the use of the Cyrillic script and for religious and school equality did not encounter the Croatian Diet's understanding. New incidents took place in Zagreb in June 1889, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the literary work of Serbian poet Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, and afterwards once again in February 1900, after the completion of debates on the Serbs' request for national equality. The peak of the pogrom-type mood towards the Serbs was September 1902. It took place because of a newspaper article by a then unknown student from Bosnia, Nikola Stojanovic (who only decade later became a supporter of Yugoslav unity and was a member of the Yugoslav Committee 1915-1918), about the prospects for the Croats to be assimilated by the ethnically and politically stronger Serbs. Published in the Srbobran the article by Stojanovic stressed: "The battle being waged throughout the world between liberalism and ultra-montanist cosmopolitism is embodied here in the struggle between the Serbs and the Croats. The difference between the Historical State Right, which is the basis of the programs of all the Croatian parties, none of which are liberal (certainly a unique example in Europe), and the natural rights expressed in Serbian national thought, being the basis of the programs of the Serbian parties, none of which are clerical and conservative, best attests to this". Stojanovic considered the Croats to be "an alien avant-garde", and the Serbs to represent the principle of the "Balkans to the Balkan nations".(43)
Although Stojanovic's text was his personal opinion, the article was used as a convenient excuse for the followers of Josip Frank and Ante Starcevic to engage in the demolishing and plundering of Serbian stores and houses for three days, even though the Serbs never reacted with violence to much more serious and dangerous accusations that kept coming from the Croatian press. Similar pogroms took place in Karlovac and Slavonski Brod, while Serbian newspapers in Vojvodina kept calling on the disturbed Serbs in Krajina to remain calm. "There was a time - Croatian politician Iso Krsnjavi wrote in his diary - when there were writings saying that all the Serbs should be cut with an axe. That thought has something to it, and it is very important; namely, it points, openly and consistently, to the only way in which the 'Croatian thought' can be realized. It would certainly be a different matter if the Serbs would let themselves be killed so easily, like those good-natured calves in the North Sea called seals."(44)
The Serbs' claims for separate national individuality kept being denied in regular waves, as a rule, on the initiative of Frank's followers who were joined afterwards by followers of other parties as well, depending on the balance of forces and Croatian policy towards Vienna. Frano Supilo, one of the advocates of closer Yugoslav co-operation, wrote in his memoirs: "In the winter of 1907, there was a big battle in the Croatian Diet for the term "Serbian nation" to be erased from the name of the Coalition. In that debate, which lasted for almost a month every day, the whole day until late at night, and then again from early in the morning, the Serbs in Croatia were discussed from all possible standpoints and with the use all possible arguments. (...) Some tried to prove that there are no Serbs in Croatia at all, that the Orthodox element, which had now given itself the Serbian name, had been Croatian since time immemorial until priests taught it the Serbian name along with the religion, with the assistance of the government which, in that way, wanted to divide and weaken the Croats; that, at the time of Ottoman rule, elements of the Orthodox religion did flee to Croatia from the Balkans, but, according to the interpretation of these speakers, part of those from Bosnia were Croatian, while the rest were mostly the Greeks, Tzintzars, Romanians called Wallachians, that is Wlachs.(...) Others kept proving that there have been Serbs in Srem Stoday's western part of VojvodinaC for as long as our nation has been present in these regions; that these Orthodox elements settled as the Serbs in Slavonia and Croatia proper; that this has been acknowledged by Imperial privileges and patents; that for the four or five centuries that they have been there, the Serbian name has always consistently been propagated among them in ways that were possible at the time, either through the name of the people or the language, or through recognition by civilian or church districts; therefore, today's Serbs do not originate from Orthodox Croats. (...) Finally, their argumentation was that they are Serbs, they want to be Serbs and that is it".(45)
The Serbs in Dalmatia, which was under the direct rule of Vienna, were not exclusively of the Orthodox religion; a considerable part of the intelligentsia, especially the town-people of Dubrovnik, Sibenik, Zadar and Split, although of the Roman Catholic religion, declared themselves as Serbs. The Serbian People's Party, created in 1880 around the Srpski List newspaper in Zadar, relied for support on the Dalmatian movement of liberal citizens advocating autonomy. Sava Bjelanovic was the leader of the Serbian People's Party, and its radical wing was led by Nikodim Milas, the Orthodox Bishop of Dalmatia. More serious conflicts between the Serbs and Croats in the littoral region started with the clerical agitation of Roman Catholic priest Mihovil Pavlinovic, but they did not produce the same effects as those in Croatia-Slavonia.
The nucleus of the future Croato-Serbian cooperation was the creation of the United Croatian and Serbian Youth in Prague in 1896, which, under the influence of Czech politician Thomas Masaryk and on the basis of the stand that the Serbs and Croats are "one nation with one language", started publishing, in 1897, its almanac called The National Thought printed in the Cyrillic and Latin scripts. They were advocating the national unity ("narodno jedinstvo") of the Serbs and Croats, as a basis for future co-operation. Thanks to new conflicts between the Hungarians and Vienna, where both sides tried to win over either the Croats or the Serbs as allies, a new movement led by Progressive Youth (Napredna omladina) for establishing closer ties between the two nations appeared in Dalmatia, where the traditions of the national renaissance owed more to the Italian Risorgimento than to Hungarian-Croatian feudal legitimism. In Dalmatia, together with the Croats, especially in Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sibenik and Split, the bearers of Croato-Serb concord were Roman Catholic Serbs, mostly the descendants of the old Dubrovnik nobility (even including some Roman Catholic priests like don Ivo Stojanovic) and the bourgeoisie from the coastal cities, from Antun Fabris and Luka Zore to Medo Pucic and the brothers Lujo and Ivo Vojnovic. (46)
Having supported Hungary's desire for independence, Croatian politicians adopted, in Rijeka in October 1905, a resolution stating their desire for "State Rights". Some ten days later, the Serbs in Dalmatia adopted their resolution in Zadar supporting the Rijeka (Fiume) resolution. The creation of a Croato-Serb coalition in the Dalmatian parliament (the "New Course") laid the foundations for co-operation and, in time, instead of Budapest and Vienna, it started increasingly turning towards Belgrade, as the pillar of the future Yugoslav assemblage after 1903. In the Croatian Diet, the Croato-Serb coalition - with the constant support of its Serbian part led by Svetozar Pribicevic - thanks to a limited franchise, won a relative majority so soon as the 1906 elections, which, despite great challenges, it kept maintaining until the Unification in 1918.(47)
The Croato-Serb co-operation, established in 1905, was orientated against the common enemy - the Hungarians, who, at the internal level were endangering Croat and Serbian individuality, in Croatia-Slavonia and Vojvodina as well - and against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy as a whole. Substantial differences which existed within the Serbian and Croatian national movements, religious affiliation, uneven social and political backgrounds, were, for the moment put aside, for the sake of the closer political co-operation of the liberal branches of the two national movements against the political forces which menaced their development - the Common Ministry in Vienna and the Hungarian government in Budapest.
However, Vienna had on its side the whole of the clerically based part of the Croatian national movement, which rallied different political currents. Without the secularisation of the national ideology, as had been done at the State level in France and Germany ("Kulturkampf"), Croatian politics with its framework constituted of a religiously intolerant, xenophobic variant of a nationalism, would exercise, in the coming internal and external crisis, an important influence on the whole of the Yugoslav area.
Serbia was freed from its de facto Austria-Hungarian protectorate by a coup d'état on June 11, 1903. The last Obrenovic, pro-Austrian oriented King Alexander I, was notorious for his marital scandals. His reign was marked by the systematic limitation of political freedoms. In 1894 he abolished the parliamentary system introduced by way of the extremely liberal 1888 Constitution. Alexander Obrenovic and his wife Draga Masin were killed in a conspiracy organized by a group of Belgrade officers who were assisted by several political figures from the Liberal party.
Under the rule of the new king, Peter I Karadjordjevic (1903-1914, formally up to 1921), from the rival dynasty, the parliamentary régime was re-established with the reinstatement of the slightly modified 1888 Constitution. With its liberal institutions, its unhindered political life and almost unlimited freedom of the press, the parliamentary monarchy in Serbia released the long stifled national energy. The principle of "the Balkans - to the Balkan nations" - which all the political parties from the Liberals to the Progressists and from the Old to the Independent Radicals advocated in their programmes on foreign policy - a principle based on the right to self-determination of nations - was experienced in Vienna as a direct threat to the very existence of the Habsburg multi-ethnic empire. After initial difficulties with the Great Powers (Great Britain renewed relations with Serbia only in 1906, after the retirement of the most influential officer-conspirators), Peter I Karadjordjevic, the first truly constitutional ruler in Serbian history, gradually strengthened his unstable position.(48)
The operetta-like Balkan kingdom, known in Europe, in the last decades of the 19th century, for its court scandals, dubious financial affairs and a picturesque mixture of Balkan-oriental customs and European influences, a state whose not so high reputation seemed to be permanently compromised by the bloody change of dynasties on the throne in 1903, showed, in an unusually short period of time, the ability to undergo an essential political transformation. King Peter I Karadjordjevic's accession to the Serbian throne marked the beginning of the most liberal period in Serbian history. His regime was often described as a "republican monarchy" or a "peasants' democracy". In 1904, the percentage of the population who had the right to vote was the third highest percentage in Europe, just after France and Switzerland.
The political scene was characterized by the domination of the Radicals who were divided into two rival factions - an older one which retained the name of the National Radical Party, and the younger faction called the Independent Radical Party. Together, they used to win around 70-80% of the votes at the elections. However, the Old Radicals, closer to the peasantry, were more successful. For eleven years they constituted eight homogeneous cabinets, and the Balkan wars (1912-1913) were also waged under a homogeneous Old-Radical cabinet. The Independents, gathering together mostly urban intelligentsia, had only one homogeneous cabinet for less than a year (1905-1906).
Both Radical factions were aware of the importance of Serbia's further democratic transformation for the global settlement of the Serbian question in the Balkans. The leader of the Old Radicals, Nikola Pasic laid emphasis on this in his program speech at the party's assembly held in November 1911: "It is believed profoundly that a Serbia with a constitutional and parliamentary order can become the Piedmont of the Serbs, that only an open-minded Serbia attracts the Serbs, and that only being armed and well prepared can it fulfil its Piedmont-type vow." (49)
The period between 1903 and 1914 marked Serbia's return to the independent foreign policy described in Ilija Garasanin's "Nacertanije", adapted to the new international framework; the renovation of the struggle for national unification through an independent foreign policy. Reliance on the western democracies, France and Great Britain, as a counterpoise to the growing German influence, went through Russia, in which the Serbs saw their natural ally, the long-time traditional protector of Slav and Orthodox interests in the Balkans.
The balance of forces among the Great Powers, established at the Berlin Congress, was disrupted at the beginning of the 20th century, with the strengthening of Germany and the new regrouping of the Great Powers. The danger of a German expansion whose unequivocal goal was the creation of a gigantic German empire in Europe (the plan "Central Europe"), where the Middle East would become an undisputed part of its sphere of interest (the project for the "Berlin-Baghdad" railway and the plan "Central Europe from the North Sea to the Persian Gulf"), led to the creation of the rival bloc of the Entente (Russia, Great Britain, France).
The "Drang nach Osten" policy acquired a framework in the form of the Triple Alliance in which Italy had a somewhat subordinate role, while Austria-Hungary was the auxiliary lever that was to be adapted to Berlin's interests. The developing rivalry over cheap raw materials, concessions regarding the construction of a railway network, the building of new ports, the investment of capital through state loans and the purchase of weapons, increasingly tied Austria-Hungary to Germany's goals vis-à-vis the Balkans. It was not before the first decade of the 20th century that the Balkans, as an inexhaustible agrarian region, became important for highly industrialized Germany as "an additional economic space" ("ergänzugswirtschaftsraum").(50)
The opening of the Serbian question in the south - the problem of the upcoming division of the Balkan provinces under Ottoman rule - along with the resolution of the further fate of the Serbs and the Yugoslavs (the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes within the Dual Monarchy), inevitably led to an open conflict with Austria-Hungary; the conflict was to be waged along several parallel lines.
On Serbia's southern borders, in the vilayet of Kosovo (Old Serbia), Austro-Hungarian diplomacy obtained (1904) the exclusion of the predominantly Serbian regions (Sandjak, Kosovo including Metohija) from the Great Powers' reform actions (1903-1908). The Consuls of the Dual Monarchy actively supported and financed the Muslim leaders of the Albanian national movement which was spreading fear and anarchy among the Christians in the region. The Ballhausplatz aristocracy had already in 1896 made plans for the creation of a satellite Albanian state that would serve as a bridge for Austria-Hungary's intended penetration into the Balkans - towards the bay of Salonika.
Preparations for the planned conquest were announced by way of the concessions for the construction of a railway that would connect the Austro-Hungarian territories with Salonika (1908). Serbia responded with a project for an Adriatic railway, from the Danube to the Albanian coastal region. The Adriatic railway was a plan of special importance for Serbia: it would provide access for Serbia to western markets.(51)
As the national action in the Serbian-inhabited lands under Ottoman rule proceeded, the question of co-operation with other Yugoslav nations in Austria-Hungary was reopened. The Serbs constantly kept getting into conflict over Macedonia with the Bulgarians who, because of their German dynasty, constantly kept gravitating towards the German Reich and Austria-Hungary.
The policy of "the New Course" and the theory about a national unity (narodno jedinstvo) of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes invented by Croatian Progressive Youth ("Napredna omladina") encountered a significant response from intellectual circles in Serbia, especially among the ranks of the second strongest party in Serbia - the Independent Radicals. The Independent's leader Ljubomir Stojanovic, met with the leader of the Dalmatian Croats, Frano Supilo in Rijeka. The latter visited Belgrade in 1905 and met with the Prime Minister, Nikola Pasic, who was an Old Radical. Certain ties were established with the leaders of the Croato-Serbian coalition prior to its formation and to their accession to power in Croatia and Slavonia. Closer political ties with the Coalition were established in 1905-1906 during the rule of the Independent Radicals. A group of young intellectuals and students in Belgrade formed an association in 1904 called the Slavonic South ("Slovenski jug") which published a newspaper advocating the unification of the Yugoslav nations (in the newspaper's heading, there were two mottos: "Southern Slavs unite!" and "A revolution in the unliberated regions!"). Special "Yugoslav evenings" were regularly held on the Belgrade fortress promenade.
Belgrade's gradual growth into the pillar of the intellectual assemblage of the Yugoslav nations in Austria-Hungary started after Peter I ascended the throne. His coronation in 1904 and the celebration of the centenary of the First Serbian Uprising in Belgrade was attended by numerous representatives of the intellectual and political élite of all the Yugoslav lands. In September the same year, The First Congress of the Yugoslav youth was held in the Serbian capital, and in November 1905, The First Congress of Yugoslav writers and journalists (with representatives of the Serbian, Bulgarian, Croatian and Slovenian societies) took place. A strong stimulus to the assemblage of the Yugoslav-oriented youth and intellectuals around Belgrade was given by professors of the "Great School", trqnsformed into the University in 1905, an institution that was the spiritual mentor of the idea for Serbia to grow into the Piedmont of the Southern Slavs. A citizens' club called The Slavonic South was formed as early as 1907, and its founders were the most highly reputed professors of the Belgrade University (from Jovan Cvijic and Bogdan Popovic to Jovan Skerlic and Bozidar Markovicc and the Independents' leaders (Ljubomir Stojanovic, Ljubomir Davidovic, Jasa Prodanovic. According to its initiators, the club was founded for the purpose of "spreading the Yugoslav idea, and also Balkan mutuality in some distant future". The turmoil caused by the Yugoslav movement further troubled the ruling Viennese aristocracy.(52)
Leading Serbian scientists kept explaining to the public, in a theoretically convincing and politically reasonable manner, that the Yugoslav framework was best for the global resolution of the Serbian question. Through the activities of these intellectual circles, the nation-state model for resolving the Serbian question slowly started acquiring the features of a new, supranational cultural-state model. (As the basis for unification literary critic Jovan Skerlic suggested the acceptance of the Serbian Ekavian dialect and the use of the Latin instead of the Cyrillic script in order for linguistic differences to be overcome). The model of a unified Yugoslav nation fitted into the historical experience of the Serbs who equated the state and the nation. On the political plane, this meant the deterioration of relations with Austria-Hungary. Serbian statesman and diplomat Milovan Milovanovic wrote in 1911 that "Austria-Hungary is right when it accuses Serbia of Yugoslav national scheming, but it has forgotten that it had directed Serbia, that it had, actually, forced Serbia to go that way".(53)
Vienna's reaction to the Yugoslav challenge went along several parallel lines. The encirclement of Serbia started with the tariff war (1906-1911), known as a "Pig war" - the ban on exporting Serbian animal stock to Austro-Hungarian markets aimed at economically destroying Serbia and forcing it to be obedient. The results of the tariff or so-called "Pig war" were favourable for Serbia who found new markets and new trade routes. Several years later, Austria-Hungary, instead of previous 90 percent controlled only 41 percent of Serbian trade. The Viennese Cabinet started preparing itself for a war with Serbia as early as in 1907. In the summer of 1908, a plan was drawn up for the total destruction of Serbia and its division between the Monarchy and Bulgaria. The annihilation of Serbia's independence was to mean an internal "cleansing" for Austria-Hungary which was the precondition for the Monarchy's future consolidation - in Vienna they spoke about the war as being about a "cleansing" with "a steel brush". (Later plans for the division of conquered Serbia mentioned the possibility of parts of its territory being given to Bulgaria and Romania, and after 1912, to the just then created Albania as well).(54)
In autumn of 1908, Count Aehrenthal, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister explained, to the German government the logic of Vienna's policy: "With Turkey weakening and it being pushed towards Asia, the process of state reorganization on our south-eastern borders has once again been initiated. We had to take a stand on this. Thirty years ago this was resolved by occupation, while this time by annexation. Both acts meant the dispelling of the dreams about the creation of a Great Serbian state between the Danube, the Sava and the Adriatic. There is no need for me to point out that this new factor, if it were to be created, would receive instructions from the outside, from the north-east and the west, so that it wouldn't be an element contributing to a peaceful course of developments in central Europe. In such a crucial phase of our state reorganization which, from our point of view, is better to be called "the development of the Reich", one must, when nothing else helps, think about applying the ultima ratio in the life of a nation".(55)
Another attempt at eliminating the Serbian challenge, which was stigmatized in Vienna by the pejorative phrase "the Great Serbian danger", took place on October 5, 1908, with the full annexation of the occupied provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a gift to Francis Joseph for his sixty-year-long rule. The annexation was also the final defeat of Kallay's policy of creating a separate Bosnian nation. In Vienna's strategic plans, the annexation was a transitional means for finally abolishing Serbia's independence and for a final closing of the Yugoslav question.(56)
The reaction in Serbia to the annexation was fierce: a government of national unity was formed, public opinion was in favour of war, even volunteer legions, on the example of Garibaldi's "death legions" were formed; Austrian flags were burned in protest in Belgrade and other Serbian towns. The Austro-Hungarian legation in Belgrade reported on the unanimous readiness for war. On October 12th, the Serbian parliament adopted a resolution against the annexation and expressed its solidarity with the government, saying that it approved of all the measures it had to take. On the initiative of writer Branislav Nusic, in Belgrade on October 21, 1908, an association called the National Defense ("Narodna Odbrana") was spontaneously formed and it acquired a large number of followers by advocating a more active national policy, including the war option, "for the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina". Within several weeks, 220 committees were formed and they immediately registered around 5,000 volunteers. The National Defense founded its committees in other lands under Otoman and Habsburg rule and in Bosnia as well, but after the recognition of the annexation (March 1909), their activities were reduced to those of a cultural nature and to educational and national propaganda. The prestige of the National Defense, and especially Vienna's fear of its conspiratorial role, were overestimated given the predominantly ceremonial activities it carried out until 1909, when its work was revived.(57)
A wave of stormy protests against the annexation also spread throughout Montenegro. It was considered that the annexation had endangered the future of the Serbian idea, and that the survival of both Serbian states was made directly dependent on the will of the hostile military-administrative bureaucracy in Vienna. In Cetinje, Montenegro's capital, in front of the Royal Court, demonstrators called on King Nicholas Petrovic Njegos "to lead them to war for the Serbian lands and Serbian rights", and the Montenegrin parliament adopted a resolution concluding that the annexation had "dealt a lethal blow to the interests of the entire Serbian nation".(58)
Bosnia and Herzegovina itself seemed to be watching the happenings concerning the annexation passively, but the Austro-Hungarian authorities admitted that there was a lot of agitation in the country and that "almost the entire population was on Serbia's side". The Sarajevo garrison was immediately mobilized and 29 new battalions with 30,000 reservists were brought in. Eleven special "flying units" were formed from Muslim and Croatian volunteers. Followers of Josip Frank's extreme rightist Pure Party of Rights (Cista stranka prava) unsuccessfully tried to form, in Zagreb, a "Croatian national legion" for a possible war with Serbia. It was then that the "Croatian national ustashi (rebels)" were mentioned for the first time, a term which several decades later was to be adopted by Ante Pavelic's Ustashi movement. Francis Joseph rejected the General Staff's request for first an ultimatum to be sent to Serbia and then for war to be waged.(59)
The third attempt at eliminating "the Great Serbian danger" was made through the persecution of Serbs in Croatia-Slavonia. Public opinion there was prepared for the annexation through a "rigged" trial in Zagreb of 53 Serbian politicians for their alleged conspiratorial activities against the Monarchy in collaboration with the government in Belgrade. The Austro-Hungarian government, helped by a special agent Djordje Nastic, a Bosnian Serb infiltrated into Montenegro and Serbia, prepared a series of false documents and published several brochures. Charges were brought against the leading figures of the Serbian Independent Party ("Srpska samostalna stranka") which acted within the Croato-Serbian coalition. The trial began prior to the elections in Croatia-Slavonia and its goal was to break up and topple the Croato-Serbian coalition. The indictment was based on the statutes of an ephemeral revolutionary Serbian organization without followers, which was in favour of a Yugoslav republic and not of the monarchy under the rule of Peter I Karadjordjevic, as the indictment claimed. The indictment was also to serve as proof that the Serbs did not exist as a nation in Croatia and Slavonia (around 26 percent of the population), but rather that they had been created from the Orthodox population of various origins by persistent propaganda from Serbia. The trial became pointless when there was no longer any need for it to justify a possible war against Serbia. The accused were pardoned by a decree of emperor Francis Joseph. Another attempt at compromising the Coalition failed when it was proved in court that the articles in "Neue Freie Presse" based on the documents of the prominent Viennese historian Heinrich Friedjung about an alleged conspiratorial connection between the leaders of the Coalition and Belgrade, were only bad forgeries. (60)
In contrast to the Croato-Serbian coalition, a clerical movement was emerging in Croatia-Slavonia. Leaning on the uneducated peasantry it was entirely controlled by the Roman Catholic Church: religious intolerance was combined with the Serbophobic ideology of Josip Frank, the successor to Ante Starcevic. The death of the liberal Archbishop of Djakovo, Josip Juraj Strossmayer (1905), who advocated Yugoslav unity and the union of the Serbian Orthodox with the Roman Catholic Church was followed by a new situation. Clerical circles, relying on extreme rightist forces, took control over the passive majority (nine-tenths) of the Roman Catholic peasant population of Croatia-Slavonia, where only 5% of the people had the right to vote. Adopting Starcevic's ideology after the First Catholic Congress in Zagreb in 1900, clerical circles drew the map of Great Croatia which, encompassing all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of Vojvodina, was to extend to Dalmatia up to the Bay of Kotor (today the Montenegrin coast). Croatian historians had only one task left - to "prove" that these regions had been Croatian for centuries. Opposed to the idea of Yugoslav unity, Croatian historiography, which was almost entirely in the service the national aspirations, tried, due to the lack of "historical rights", to resort to new interpretations of historical sources in order to confirm Croatian "rights" in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Clerical circles on the Croatian political scene claimed that the Bosnian Muslims were "the purest Croats", and the head of the formally anti-clerical Croatian Peasants' Party, Stjepan Radic, even went to Russia to hold lectures on the Croats' "rights" to these provinces.(61)
Without foreign support, Serbia, along with Montenegro, unsuccessfully tried to internationalize the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina, since the act of annexation had violated the Treaty of Berlin. Following upon the expression of an idea of the Serbian Foreign Minister Milovan Milovanovic and to avoid a European war, Serbia tried to get some compensation in Raska (Sandjak) and to avoid a European war. The request for compensation did not meet with the expected response among the friendly powers - Russia, France and Great Britain, even though it meant the indirect recognition of the annexation. The powers of the Entente, although inclined towards Serbia, avoided even thinking about waging a war against Austria-Hungary and Germany because of the Bosnian crisis.
The Serbian public, along with the National Radical Party of which Milovanovic was a member, was against such a solution. It was considered that Europe should be blackmailed with the threat of war against Austria-Hungary. On the basis of the nationality principle, autonomy was to be sought for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the first phase towards its final unification with Serbia. The plan was militarily to seize the Sandjak, from whose northern part the Austro-Hungarian army was withdrawing after the proclamation of the Annexation, in agreement with the newly installed Young Turk regime in Constantinople. The conquest of the Sandjak would place Europe before a fait accompli. The tension reached boiling point. The slightest incident on the Serbian-Austrian border could turn into a war. Expecting an invasion, the Serbian government transferred the state archives and the National Bank's safes to the country's interior.(62)
Backed by Germany, Austria-Hungary obtained recognition of the annexation. Although unfamiliar with the preparations for the annexation, Berlin soon supported the action of its ally, and on March 22nd 1909, with an ultimatum to Russia, it neutralized any European intervention. The other powers of the Entente were unprepared for war: France, preoccupied in Morocco, believed that, by relenting, it would influence Vienna not to get too close to Berlin, and Great Britain, despite the disturbance in court circles, did not take any concrete steps. Serbia's unconditional yielding was also the result of an open threat of war. Austria-Hungary sent an army of 1,041,000 soldiers to the borders of Serbia and Montenegro. In March 1909, Serbia was forced to accept a fait accompli and officially declare that its interests had not been encroached upon by the annexation.(63)
Milovan Milovanovic, disappointed by the issue of the Bosnian crisis criticised the entire concept of Serbian "Piedmontism": During the last crisis Serbia was often compared to Piedmont and the Serbian Question to the Italian one. Meanwhile, Serbia's position and her task, as well as the difficulties she was faced with were quite different from the one which Piedmont had to confront... what does Serbia's position in the Balkans look like? The idea of Serbia being a Balkan Piedmont originated even before the 1870s. It is true that its Piedmont role for Serbia was not envisaged for the entire Balkan Peninsula, encompassing only the South Slavs, but including also those of them living to the north of the Sava and Danube rivers. After 1878 Bulgaria was created and through it the Bulgarian national idea, parallel to the Serbian, was realized. Further on, when they both clashed after 1885 and Bulgaria, unified with Eastern Rumelia, became even more powerful than Serbia, the Balkan-Slav Piedmontism of Serbia became nonsense. This nonsense had become more obvious everyday as the Macedonian problem had been progressing. The Serbian program in Macedonia has an outspoken opponent in Bulgaria, with whom a struggle on the terrain and in the field of European diplomacy is under way".
Milovanovic, scared of an Austro-Bulgarian collaboration in Macedonia concluded:
"1) The Piedmontese role of Serbia could be limited today only to Serbdom and thus, at the beginning, only to Balkan Serbdom. It is conditioned by the accomplishment of a sincere, solid, truly Serbo-Bulgarian agreement. Without it, the role of Serbia in emphasizing Serbian interests has to be directly opposite to the role of Piedmont: instead of a unified Serbian state opposed to Austria, the unification of all Serbs can be achieved only under Austrian auspices, and in harmony with the Habsburg Monarchy's Balkan interests. Instead of fuori Sout withC Austria from the Balkans - the slogan has to be: forward with Austria to Salonika". Let us suppose now that what we all want and strive for has been accomplished: that an agreement with Bulgaria has gone through and that Serbia has overtaken, in respect of Serbdom (of the Balkans primarily) the role of Piedmont. We must face the truth and see how much, in all regards, the position of Serbia is worse and her task more difficult and less accessible than that of Piedmont. Piedmont disposed of twenty million Italians placed in defined geographical boundaries, while Serbia has barely 3,5 million Serbs Swithin SerbiaC and these are mixed Soutside of SerbiaC, in some places, with foreign, even hostile elements, with a vague and undefined frontier. There are more Serbs outside the Balkan Peninsula, but mixed with Croats and representing a minority among them. The Croats do not feel identical with the Serbs, and are not willing to abandon themselves to Serbian leadership."
" 2) While the Italian people were united in their national characteristics and entirely imbued with the idea of national unity, the Serbs in most Serbian provinces outside Serbia i.e. in Bosnia Herzegovina are divided into three religions SOrthodox, Muslim and Roman CatholicC, each of them having separate national ideas."
"3) Piedmont had to confront only Austria. Even possessing an agreement with Bulgaria, Serbia would have to face both Austria and Turkey (The Albanians too)."
" 4) With its glorious past, Italy attracted the sympathies of the entire civilised world, Serbia and Serbdom could not even come close to competing with Italian prestige."(64)
The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the view of Belgrade and Cetinje, permanently endangered Serbian interests in the Balkans. In order to prevent the further spreading of Austro-Hungarian influence, Serbia needed a Balkan alliance for joint resistance to the Drang nach Osten. Closer ties between Vienna and Sofia would mean the further encirclement of Serbia and it would mark an introduction to the loss of its independence. Initiatives for the creation of a new Balkan alliance - on the model of the alliance from the time of Prince Michael Obrenovic in 1868 - were launched, several times, by Serbia - in 1909 and 1910, and attempts were made to establish close co-operation with Greece and Romania.
Meanwhile, the situation in Macedonia - where the Slav population's national awareness was still not clearly defined - constantly kept deteriorating. By the time the Patriarchate of Pec was abolished in 1766 most of the population in Vardar Macedonia, according to the testimony of foreign writers who had travelled there, felt themselves to be Serbs or ethnically close to the Serbs. The attempts at defining a separate Macedonian individuality, linked to the local tradition, were supported by Bishop Strossmayer who helped, in Zagreb, the publication of Macedonian epic poetry selected by the Miladinov brothers. By supporting their localism, the Croatian bishop wanted the Slavs in Macedonia, dissatisfied because the Church organization was under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and because the services were in the Greek language, to accept, in time, a union with the Roman Catholic church.
Different regions in Slavonic parts of Macedonia spoke different dialects - the western regions a dialect closer to Serbian, and the eastern closer to Bulgarian. The Serbian criteria for determining nationality was the custom of celebrating a slava (the day of the acceptance of Christianity) which foreign and domestic travel writers noticed among the population of northern, central and western Macedonia, while the celebration of the name-day (a custom characteristic of the Bulgarians) was wide-spread in the south-eastern regions (Pirin Macedonia). The dozens of requests for the unification of certain regions with Serbia that were sent to Belgrade during the 19th century also contained the claims that the population of those regions had been Serbian since time immemorial. At the end of the 19th century, from various regions similar petitions were also sent to Sofia. However, the ethnic composition of Macedonia was much more complex: apart from the Slavs who were in a dilemma over whether they belonged to the Bulgarians or the Serbs, there were also many Turks, Islamized Slavs, Tsintsars, Wallachians and Jews.
Bulgarian policy towards Macedonia was simple: it requested the establishment of an autonomous Macedonia within European Turkey, which would then, at an appropriate moment, like Eastern Rumelia in 1885, proclaim its unification with Bulgaria. A powerful weapon in the hands of Bulgarian propaganda was the creation of the Exarchate in 1870, which let Bulgaria handle Church and educational affairs in Macedonia. This was done with the blessing of the Serbian government - it was considered in Belgrade that it was important to introduce a Slavic language instead of Greek in Church services. Among the illiterate population desirous of Slavonic services in the Church and an elementary education, the Exarchate had a great effect. Bulgarian agitators also skilfully eradicated the traces of a Serbian feeling among the Macedonian Slavs - they systematically destroyed old Serbian books and manuscripts, even scratching frescoes with the images of Serbian saints in the numerous monasteries built at the time of Stefan Dusan and his successors in the 14th century. The traditional pilgrimage of Macedonian Slavs to Serbian monasteries in Kosovo completely died out at the end of the 19th century.
Another powerful weapon of Bulgarian propaganda was the IMRO (the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) which, financed by Sofia, conducted a campaign, and sometime was even engaged in armed clashes with the Turkish authorities, for Macedonia's autonomy. The IMRO was divided into several factions and experienced a number of successive divisions. The Ilinden uprising (1903) which ended in disaster, was an attempt at casting off Turkish oppression by revolutionary methods. The IMRO was in essence, a most useful tool for the goals of the government in Sofia.
Until the beginning of the 20th century Serbia passively and resignedly watched Sofia's campaign aimed at Bulgarianizing Macedonia. The dissatisfaction with the government's passiveness stimulated private circles in Belgrade to found, in 1904, the Chetnik movement which, using Macedonian migrant workers in Serbia and its followers in the regions of Skoplje and western Macedonia, opposed the Bulgarian komitadji and created a Serbian nucleus for the struggle for liberation from Turkish domination (region of Porec). The Chetniks were trained in army camps along the border with the Ottoman Empire, but armed units sent to Macedonia failed to diminish the strongly established Bulgarian influence in southern, central and eastern regions. Parallely with this, the reform action of the Great Powers in Macedonia (1903-1908), which was to ensure the equality of the Christians and the Muslims, produced no tangible results. The Young Turk Revolution in June 1908 eventually ended all the efforts at further reforms by the European powers which aimed at preventing severe national and religious clashes in Old Serbia and Macedonia. The Pan-Ottoman policy of the Young Turks provoked during the following years a growth of ethnic and religous tensions, followed by a renewed persecution of Christians in Old Serbia and Macedonia.(65)
The advocates of unification with Serbia were most numerous in the north-western part of Macedonia, in the region between Kumanovo, Skoplje, Tetovo and Veles, where Serbian units operated (the dialect there was closest to the Serbian language), while the pro-Bulgarians controlled parts of eastern Macedonia up to the Vardar river, in areas where the dialectal differences vis-à-vis the Bulgarian language were not great. Between them an Albanian national movement operated, and it was especially strong in the south-western part of Macedonia, around Gostivar, Kicevo and Debar, where most of the Albanians lived. Greece also joined in the resolution of the Macedonian question through the renewal of the organization Philiki Hetaeria which sent its units, the so-called Andartes, to operate mostly in Greek Macedonia. Serbia considered the Dual Monarchy's desire to create a Great Albania that would spread from the Adriatic Sea to the Vardar river as being especially dangerous, because that state would endanger Serbia's independence from the south. The Albanian revolts (1909-1912) which were partly subsidized by Serbia and Montenegro, in order to avoid complete control over the insurgents by Austria-Hungary, proved such fears to be justified.
The enormous literature on the Macedonian question created great confusion, because Serbian, Turkish, Bulgarian and Greek statistics concerning Macedonia's ethnic composition differed considerably. The estimate of Jovan Cvijic, at the time the top authority on Balkan ethnography, caused stormy disapproval among both the Serbs and the Bulgarians. Noticing the multitude of different customs, traditions and the lack of a firmly founded national identity, Cvijic concluded: "the popular masses of the Macedonian Slavs have no determined national feeling or national awareness, either Serbian or Bulgarian, even though they are quite close to both the Serbs and the Bulgarians", and that, essentially, they are "in the national sense, fluctuating masses of people with an ethnic predisposition to become either Serbs or Bulgarians." (66)
The political climate in Europe was favourable for the creation of a Balkan alliance because Russia and France, which Serbia leaned towards, saw in it a new ally in their confrontation with the future Central Powers. A crucial turning point in the creation of an alliance was the Italian-Turkish war (1911) in northern Africa which reopened the Eastern question. The danger of the war spreading to the European part of Turkey called for an urgent response by the Balkan states. The stumbling block was the division of so-called Vardar Macedonia, in which Serbian and Bulgarian interests were in sharp confrontation. Serbia eventually made concessions in return requesting access to the Adriatic sea via Kosovo to the Albanian coast, and a larger part of Macedonia was to be handed over to Bulgaria. According to a secret annex to the agreement of alliance signed on March 12th 1912, Serbia was to get the "undisputed zone" north and west of the Sar mountain, while Bulgaria would get the "undisputed" zone east of the Rhodope mountain range and the Struma river. For the rest of the territory - the "disputed" zone - the agreement envisaged either autonomy or a division in which Serbia would get the western part (the diagonal from Kriva Palanka in the north-east to Ohrid in the south-west). In the event of a dispute, the final arbitrator regarding the division of territories would be the Russian Tsar. This was followed by the creation of a Greek-Bulgarian alliance on May 29th 1912, in which the possibility of the central parts of Vardar Macedonia acquiring autonomy - which Greece was most resolutely against - was not even mentioned; the question of the final territorial division was left open. The alliance was rounded off, first of all, with an oral agreement between Montenegro and Bulgaria, and then also with a Serbo-Montenegrin agreement signed on September 27th.(67)
Austria-Hungary warned all the other Great Powers that it would not allow a change of the existing territorial situation, while Russia firmly stood behind the Balkan states. Right after an ultimatum was issued to Turkey demanding an immediate proclamation of reforms under the supervision of the Balkan states and protection of the Christians, a war broke out after the declaration of war by Montenegro. On October 18th, the Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian armies crossed the border. In the battle of Kumanovo (October 23th-24th), Serbian troops, under the command of Crown Prince Alexander, heavily defeated the Turkish forces and entered Skopje (Üsküb). At Florina, the Serbian army met with Greek troops after the victory at Bitolj (Monastir). At the end of October, Serbian armies liberated Kosovo, and on the Sandjak front near Novi Pazar they united with the Montenegrin forces which, on the southern front, seized Metohija and Pec - the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. (68)
Upon the liberation of Kosovo, in two columns, the Serbian army crossed Albania on November 9th, in order to ensure for itself an Adriatic port that would save Serbia from the iron embrace of Austria-Hungary. By conquering Tirana, Allesio and Durazzo at the end of November, Serbia violated the principle of nationality which it constantly kept referring to. When Serbian troops reached the Albanian coast, Austria-Hungary, through its Albanian protégés, led by Ismail Qemali, initiated the creation of an independent Albanian state on November 28th in Valona. Serbia was threatened with war if it did not withdraw from Albania.
The military party in Vienna demanded war against Serbia, and strong Austro-Hungarian troops were brought to the borders with Serbia. War against Serbia was only a matter of days. A declaration of war had already been prepared in Sarajevo, and the Viennese emperor's diplomats in Serbia had been ordered to burn their archives when war was declared. Serbian troops, occupied in the south, had only 25,000 conscripts of the third call-up on the border with the Dual Monarchy. The danger of a European war breaking out forced the Great Powers to react quickly.
At the London Conference (1912-1913), convened at the initiative of French president Raymond Poincaré, all the disputed issues were to be resolved without war. Presided over by Sir Edward Gray, on December 17th 1912, the conference adopted the decision to recognize the independence of Albania and this resolved the issue of Serbia's withdrawal from the Adriatic without a debate. In contrast to Austria-Hungary, Russia, along with France, tried to ensure as large a territorial extension as possible for Serbia. Montenegro, which helped by Serbian forces managed to seize Scutari (Shkodër) in April 1913, was threatened by the Dual Monarchy with the bombing of its ships on the Adriatic. Faced with the possibility of an invasion, Montenegrin King Nicholas handed Scutari over to international forces in May 1913.(69)
The danger of a European war was avoided. On May 30th 1913, Turkey signed a peace agreement in London by which it lost all its European provinces up to the Enos-Midia line near Constantinople. However, the conflicts between the Balkan allies over territorial divisions were leading to a new war. Most of Slave Macedonia went to Serbia which, having been driven out of Albania, asked for compensation in the south, on the territory which had been taken by the Serbian armies. Carried away by their great victories, certain political and especially military circles in Serbia refused to withdraw to the line of division envisaged by the agreement with Bulgaria signed in 1912. They justified the compensation by the fact that Serbian troops, going beyond the agreement, offered the Bulgarians resolute assistance on the eastern front and especially in liberating Adrianople (Edirne). At the same time, a Greek-Bulgarian dispute broke out over the territorial division of the south-eastern region. A Serbo-Greek defensive alliance for the protection of the common border in Macedonia was established in June 1913. Russia's attempt to arbitrate in the conflict failed. Bulgaria responded with a simultaneous, unannounced attack on Serbia and Greece. Defeated by the Serbs in the battle of the Bregalnica river, Bulgaria found itself in a new war not just against its Balkan allies, but also against Turkey which won back Edirne (Adrianopole). A peace agreement which approved Bulgarian losses was signed in Bucharest in August 1913. (70)
The unexpectedly great victories of the Serbs in the Balkan wars increased Serbia's prestige in the Yugoslav provinces of Austria-Hungary. From Zagreb and Split to Dubrovnik and Sarajevo, and even in Ljubljana, the liberal youth of the Croats, Slovenes and Muslims publicly expressed its enthusiasm for Serbia. Serbia's exaltation was especially pronounced in Dalmatia which, unlike Croatia and Slavonia, based its views regarding the national question on Italian experiences: In an address to Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic in November 1912, the Serbo-Croatian youth of Dalmatia "welcomed with enthusiasm the victories of the Serbian armies, bowing before the avengers of Kosovo and the creators of a new Yugoslavia".(71)
In Montenegro, which had become a Kingdom in 1910, despite the rivalry between the two Serbian dynasties over supremacy in the Serbian movement (King Nicholas Petrovic-Njegos was the father-in-law of Peter I Karadjordjevic, and the children of Serbia's ruler were born in Cetinje), the unanimous mood was that in favour of unification with Serbia, especially after the Balkan wars. The establishment of a common border with Serbia in the Sandjak, allowed a new regulation of relations between the two Serbian states. A real union between Serbia and Montenegro, proposed by the Montenegrin ruler in the spring of 1914, as the first step towards final unification was prevented by the outbreak of the world war.(72)
The growth of Serbia's prestige in the Balkans deeply worried the government in Vienna. At a ministerial meeting on October 3rd 1913, on the same day that Serbian Prime Minister Pasic was visiting the Monarchy's capital trying to conclude an agreement, Foreign Minister Berchtold used the following arguments to explain the policy towards Serbia: "Serbia represents a big attraction today, because it is visible that its prestige has grown to the detriment of ours. If Serbia continues to develop, our Yugoslavs will feel even more drawn to it, and even the best internal policy will not be able to do anything there (...) A showdown with Serbia and its humiliation - that is the Monarchy's vital interest. If this does not happen today, we must be thoroughly prepared for it"(73).
Serbia's war successes created a special feeling of self-confidence in the army which, ever since the coup in 1903, had played an important role on the political scene. Military circles, in the beginning supported by King Peter himself because they had brought him to the throne, tried, by exerting pressure on the ruler and certain party leaders, to significantly influence the political life of the country. The conflict between the conspirators of 1903, who advanced in their careers with lightning speed, and the part of the officers' corps which considered that they must be punished for regicide, ended in a defeat of the "counter-conspirators". It was only in 1906 that, under strong diplomatic pressure by Great Britain, the six main conspirators were retired, the court camarilla was disbanded and the army was, for a while, placed within the constitutional framework. The radical opening of the Serbian question through the annexation crisis and the government's consenting to the loss of Bosnia and Herzegovina led to a new polarization in military circles. While the two leading parties, the Old and the Independent Radicals tried to adapt national policy to realistic foreign policy circumstances, a group of junior officers-conspirators of 1903, founded, along with several civilians, a secret organization - "Unification or Death" - popularly called "The Black Hand". Disappointed in the democratic institutions of the parliamentary monarchy, which they considered to be the main reason for slowness and hesitation in resolving the question of Serbian unification, they rallied around the newspaper Piedmont, advocating the ideology of authoritarian nationalism and sharply opposing the government, going so far as to make bomb threats to "disobedient" ministers. With 178 active members, mostly from Serbia, who were predominantly junior officers, the organization Unification or Death acted on the basis of a Constitution that was the Balkan version of similar European officers' conspiracies that operated according to the principles of Masonic lodges. Led by charismatic officer Dragutin Dimitrijevic - Apis, head of the Supreme Command's Intelligence Service, the Black Hand gradually infiltrated its members into various important organizations, including the National Defense whose activities were, until then, mostly of a cultural nature. Dragutin Dimitrijevic Apis personally approved the line of division with Bulgaria in Macedonia.(74)
The organization's principles were not, however, strictly and consistently respected. Its existence was no secret to the public; new members were semi-publicly recruited from the army, and even some Yugoslav-oriented Croats were admitted into its ranks. The influence of the Black Hand grew especially after the Balkan wars where its members, through heroic accomplishments on the front, acquired a great reputation within the officer corps. Prior to the second Balkan war against Bulgaria the Piedmont newspaper openly warned the government concerning borders in Macedonia that if it let Bulgaria take part of the territory, it would be accused of treason. According to British sources, the apparent aim of the Black Hand was to "sacrifice everything to the building up of a powerful army for an ultimate war with Austria and the consolidation of a unified Slav Kingdom."(75)
The conflict with the government, over whether it was the military or civilian authorities that should have had supremacy in Macedonia in 1914, showed that the Black Hand, tactically supported by the opposition, had "praetorian desires" that were contrary to the democratic order. The crisis caused by the dispute over the supremacy of either the military or the civilian authorities ended in a constitutional crisis: the dissolution of the Parliament and the scheduling of elections, just before the assassination in Sarajevo. King Peter, unable to protect the army's interests, under the joint pressure of the Radicals and Russian diplomacy, quietly abdicated on June 24th 1914, handing the royal prerogatives over to his younger son, Crown Prince Alexander.(76)
Between the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkan wars, the position of the Serbs in Bosnia had rapidly deteriorated. Due to political violence, persecutions, imprisonment, the obstruction of the work of cultural and educational associations and their inability to act politically, in 1911, youth organizations like "Young Bosnia", created on the model of Mazzini's Young Italy, decided to shorten the road to freedom with individual sacrifices. On the day of the opening of the Bosnian Diet, in June 1910, after an unsuccessful attempted assassination of the Austro-Hungarian governor, the leader of Young Bosnia, Bogdan Zerajic, committed suicide, thus giving the entire generation an example of heroic self-sacrifice for the sake of national freedom.
In the years that followed, the persecution of the Serbs acquired vast proportions, creating an atmosphere of unbearable pressure. The arrival of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo to oversee big military manoeuvres in the region bordering on Serbia, on the day when the anniversary of the battle of Kosovo was being celebrated in all Serbian lands in a specially festive atmosphere since, two years before that, Kosovo had become once again free after four centuries, meant for the Serbs in Bosnia not just a serious provocation but also an open attempt at humiliation.(77)
Francis Ferdinand was shot by a young Serb, Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Young Bosnia organisation. Its members considered the Archduke to be the leader of a militarist party in Vienna seeking an excuse for waging a war against Serbia and for crushing the Serbian and Yugoslav movement. The military manoeuvres in Bosnia in the summer of 1914 were, in a way, preparations for war against Serbia. It was considered in Vienna that the abandonment of the idea about war against Serbia would have serious consequences for the Dual Monarchy: a) the definite loss of the status of a Great Power; b) proof of her incapacity as the ally of the German Reich; c) the permanent endangerment of the Monarchy's Yugoslav regions by the strengthened Balkan states.(78)
The Viennese government persistently tried to prove the Serbian government's involvement in the assassination. Even though they had received weapons from the "Black Hand" leaders, and although they had been transferred, with its help, from Serbia to Bosnia, the assassins belonging to Young Bosnia acted independently. The assassination of Francis Ferdinand was an authentic act of their nationalism which was not exclusively Serbian but more Yugoslav: the members of Young Bosnia were recruited among the Serbs, Croats and Muslims alike who considered themselves as Serbo-Croats or Yugoslavs. Vienna tried, without real evidence, to accuse the Serbian government of inspiring the assassination. The Viennese Foreign Ministry's envoy, Friedrich von Wiesner reported to his government that "there existed nothing that would point to the Serbian government's involvement in the organization or preparation of the killing or in supplying weapons. Nor is there anything that would arouse such suspicions."(79)
The assassination in Sarajevo was received in Vienna as the long-awaited excuse for a war against Serbia. Right after the annexation, Chief of Staff Konrad von Hötzendorf, suggested that a war crisis be provoked and that an unacceptable ultimatum be issued to the Serbian government. A similar method to this was used in the July crisis of 1914. The Serbian government was blamed for the assassination, and a month later, when Germany's support was assured, an unacceptable ultimatum consisting of ten points was issued to Belgrade on July 23rd. The Austro-Hungarian government knew that the war would inevitably turn into a world war because, already before the ultimatum, imperial Russia openly stood in defense of Serbia with an unequivocal statement that it would not "allow a blow to be dealt to Serbia's independence".(80)
Unprepared for war, militarily and financially exhausted by the Balkan wars (the army lacked about 120,000 rifles) and with the new territories in the south still insufficiently integrated, Serbia did everything to prevent escalation. The response to the ultimatum was diplomatically impeccable, and the only two conditions that were rejected were those incompatible with the status of an independent country - that allowed the investigative organs of the Habsburg police to search for the perpetrators on Serbian territory in a sovereign manner. At the same time, through British representatives in Serbia, the Belgrade government expressed readiness to fulfil, with minor corrections, all the requests set out in the ultimatum.(81)
Dissatisfaction with the response was taken as an excuse for declaring war on Serbia on July 28th 1914. In his proclamation, Montenegrin King Nicholas said that "the pride of the Serbian nation ("pleme") did not permit further, yielding" and stressed: "My Montenegrins are ready to die in defense of our independence".(82) In his proclamation to the nation, Serbian Regent Alexander stressed that "thirty years ago, Austria-Hungary conquered Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina", provinces which "it finally and illegitimately appropriated six years ago", and he called on the people to defend "with all their strength, their homesteads and the Serbian nation" (pleme)(83).
The way in which the war against Serbia was waged and, at the same time, the persecution of the Serbs in the Dual Monarchy, clearly showed that this was an attempt at totally crushing Serbian resistance and definitely closing the Serbian question in the Balkans. The repression against the civilian population during the short-lived Austro-Hungarian occupation of Serbian territory at the end of 1914, included the perpetration of serious war crimes: the most active perpetrators were soldiers of Hungarian and Croatian nationality under the command of Austrian officers. On the pretext that they were preparing and offering resistance, large numbers of Serbian civilians were executed or brutally killed in cold blood, regardless of their age: the victims were women, old people and children alike; authorized officers warned the Serbian Chief of Staff about the large number of mutilated bodies of women and children, and a complete documentation was collected in the field by Dr. Rudolf A. Reiss, a Swiss scholar of German descent, in his capacity of an independent researcher. (84)
One internal and confidential instruction written in German and signed by general Horstein for his troops, found on a wounded Austro-Hungarian soldier, showed, in a way, the general army policy towards the Serbian civilian population: "Brother soldiers, we will soon enter into a country with people who are worse than the most terrible barbarians; if you unfortunately fall into their hands the most shameful thing will happen, they will cut off your ears and noses, put out your eyes, poison the water and food. Therefore I command you not to treat these bandits with humanity but to destroy everything of Serbian origin, and every person speaking the Serbian language is to be shot without mercy. After entering the Serbian cities and villages all the prominent persons including clerks, priests and teachers should be arrested, and in the presence of the local population three persons from each group should be hanged." (85) The names of the officers who committed the most brutal executions and war crimes and who came from the 21st, 25th, 26th, 29th, 37th and 79th infantry divisions of the Austro-Hungarian army were afterwards published in a book by Clara Sturzeneger.(86)
Within Austria-Hungary all the Serbs in Bosnia and Srem who had welcomed the Serbian and Montenegrin troops as liberators during their joint offensive in eastern Bosnia and the region around Sarajevo in summer 1914 were arrested or interned. Over a hundred Serbian civilians were executed or bayoneted in the region between Sarajevo and the Drina river in the first wave of retaliation Salone. The governor of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Oskar Potiorek made plans during 1914 to repatriate all the Serbian Orthodox population from Eastern Bosnia. Afraid of a potential Serbian insurrection Potiorek planned to use domestic Muslims as armed volunteers ("Burgwehr" and "Schutzwehr") against unreliable Orhthodox Serbs in Bosnia. Potiorek's successor Stjepan Sarkotic in order to limit expression of Serbian national identity in Bosnia, wanted to submit the Serbian Orthodox Church to the military authorities, as was the practice in the Military Frontier ("Vojna Krajina") centuries before.(87)
The persecution of Serbs as unreliable subjects in the Dual Monarchy started immediately after the assassination of Francis Ferdinand: almost all Serbian shops in Sarajevo were demolished, and the most active in these attacks against the Serbs were the followers of the clerical current among the Croats and certain elements among the Bosnian Muslims. Serbian schools, private shops, cultural and educational societies were demolished and Orthodox priests were maltreated. Anti-Serbian demonstrations in Zagreb lasted for four days and they resulted in the terrorization of the Serbs and the plundering and demolition of their firms, shops and houses.
In their condemnation of the assassination in Sarajevo, followers of Frank's Party of Pure Rights were also joined by the Croatian People's Peasant party led by Stjepan Radic. A joint proclamation to the Croatian people named the culprit for the Sarajevo assassination: "the conspiratorial Great-Serbian policy on Croatian soil, within the borders of the Habsburg Monarchy". The press also called for pogroms against the Serbs. The Frankist newspaper "Hrvatska" ("Croatia") wrote on July 3rd 1914: "The people are announcing a battle to the death against the Serbs, and for their expulsion from Bosnia and Herzegovina", and on July 29th, the same goal was set out but in an even more radical form: "We must settle accounts with them once and for all, and destroy them... The Serbs are poisonous snakes which one is safe from only when they are beheaded". A few days after the assassination, Stjepan Radic wrote in his party's journal "Dom" ("Home") that "Serbian politicians from Belgrade, in their excessive greediness for Bosnia (which Francis Ferdinand had allegedly intended to unite with Croatia) and in their even greater hatred towards everything that is Croatian, Catholic and Austrian (...) had ordered the vile and perfidious murder". Radic said in the Zagreb Diet that "our Serbs must accept the Croatian thought and to abandon the Serbian thought, because the person who is the friend of Serbian thought is the enemy of the Croatian thought". The Slovenian clerical journal "Slovenec" wrote on July 1st: "Great-Serbianism is striving to create a big Serbian state on the ruins of Austria-Hungary. For the Catholic 'Yugoslavs' this would not be 'national liberation', but rather national slavery and death. The assassination in Sarajevo should sober up all those youthful elements that have been swayed by Great-Serbian propaganda".(88)
The persecution of the Serbs was carried out, with the tacit consent of the authorities, apart from Sarajevo and Zagreb, in other cities of Bosnia-Herzegovina also: Mostar, Stolac, Konjic, Tuzla, Bugojno, Visoko, Capljina and Trebinje. The violence did not stop at the demolition of property and the harassment of people: there were serious injuries and killings as well. Prior to the ultimatum to Serbia, the houses of the most respectable Serbs in Dalmatia, Bosnia and Vojvodina were searched, and immediately afterwards these people were taken as hostages in accordance with special lists.(89)
Special paramilitary forces called the "Schutzkorps" were created of Muslim and Croatian volunteers, who in the villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina killed Serbs concerning whom they had doubts without a trial. During the war, the number of Schutzkorps members rose to 11,000 people. In order to prevent "an armed rebellion in the country", 9,000 rifles were distributed exclusively to Muslims and Roman Catholics: it was considered by the local government that there were absolutely no loyal Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.(90)
The establishment of a court martial in the first months of the war, made possible the unhindered execution of a large number of Serbs. Their peaceful conduct, it was reported from certain regions in Bosnia, "is not to be ascribed to the Serbian population's loyalty, but rather to the effects of - the gallows". Certain repressive measures were also taken against Jews. At the very beginning of the war, the Austro-Hungarian army executed Serbs without a trial, especially in the regions bordering on Serbia (Foca, Gorazde, Cajnice). On August 14th 1914, 126 Serbs were killed in Foca alone.(91)
Simultaneously, the systematic eradication of the Serbian culture and national symbols was also being carried out: most Serbian newspapers and magazines were banned, national and cultural societies were closed down, and state and cultural institutions fired most of their Serbian employees. In October 1914, the Croatian government banned the use of the Cyrillic script in primary schools - it remained only for limited use by the Serbs - and the same order was also immediately issued by the Bosnian government (finally legalized only in November 1915); In Croatia-Slavonia in November 1914, the name of the language - "Croatian or Serbian", was replaced by "Croatian". The Cyrillic script was definitely and finally to be removed from public use in January 1915. Because of presumed anti-Monarchy conduct, Serbian high-schools in Tuzla and Mostar were closed down for a year, and the Bosnian parliament where only loyal Serbs had been nominated was dissolved with a similar explanation, on February 6th 1915. (92)
Most prominent Serbs, sometimes even entire families, were interned. On the basis of the treatment of these prisoners, the camps for internees in Austria-Hungary are considered as being the predecessors of the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. On the Yugoslav territories of Austria-Hungary alone, there were around twenty (out of a total of fifty throughout the Monarchy) concentration camps (reception and permanent ones), where hundreds of thousands of civilians were interned: Koprivnica, Virovitica, Osijek, Cepin, Tenja, Borovo, Varazdin, Dalj, Petrovaradin, Brsadin, Belisce, Donji Miholjac, Pleternica, Pqcetin, Bobota, Sisak, Turanj, Doboj, Poganovci etc. At the beginning of the war, the largest number of Serbs were in Arad (today's Romania) where, due to the terrible hygienic conditions, the internees died on a mass scale. According to incomplete documentation, it is considered that out of 5,500 internees, 1,195 people died by the end of January 1915. Internees were also placed in camps in Doboj (around 46,000, 17,000 of whom were women and children - members of the families of volunteers in the Serbian army), Neszider (internees from Serbia), Turony and Soproniek. At the same time, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian government kept carrying out the systematic expulsion of Serbian families (who were no longer considered to be Austro-Hungarian subjects). In February 1915 alone, 5260 people had their status of subjects taken away and were expelled, with their property being confiscated. Around 20,000 Serbs from the periphery of the Monarchy, from regions bordering on Serbia, were forcibly moved from Srem to Baranja, and another 60,000 were moved to Slavonia. Tens of thousands of Bosnian Serbs died, due to poor hygienic conditions, in the concentration camps in Hungary - Arad, Neszider, Talesdorf, Turony and Soproniek.(93)
In 1915 alone, mass trials were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Banja Luka, Travnik, Sarajevo, Mostar) against Serbian schoolboys and their teachers. The were accused of being responsible for the foundation of Yugoslav oriented schools' societies and because of their alleged ties with Belgrade and Prague. At a new trial of Serbian intellectuals, mostly of the older generation, charged with "high treason", that was held in Sarajevo in spring 1916, 159 persons (including twenty-four professors and teachers, twenty-one priests, eight students, seven members of the Diet) were convicted without real evidence; 16 were sentenced to death, while the others got many years of imprisonment. Under the pressure of world public opinion, the new Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Charles I, released them in order to present his regime as liberal at the time of the talks on a separate peace agreement with France.(94)
The Serbs in Vojvodina like their kinsmen in Bosnia experienced similar persecutions, arrests and executions, trials without real evidence and internment. Apart from Srem, where terrible retaliations, arrests and executions were carried out after the Serbian offensive in 1914, Banat suffered the same fate where only a few advance parties of the Serbian army appeared. Serbian political parties were disbanded, and a number of proceedings were instituted against schoolboys in Novi Sad, Kikinda, Sombor and other towns. In the Hungarian parliament, Gyula Andrassy warned that the "Great Serbian movement" had acquired such dangerous proportions that a revolution could break out any moment, and that the movement's goal was the unification of the 12 million Serbs disunited throughout the Monarchy and the Kingdom of Serbia, as well as the creation of a big Slavic state to the detriment of Hungary. As a counter-measure, he proposed that the separate nationalisms of the Slovenians, Croats and Serbs in the Monarchy be favoured as opposed to the Yugoslav movement.(95)
The Austro-Hungarian military and civilian authorities tried especially hard to awaken disputes between the Serbs and the Croats. For this reason, in the operations in Serbia in 1914, a special place was given to the 42nd Croatian Home-Guard ("Domobran") regiment; it was insisted on that Croatian units - the 26th Karlovac infantry regiment - be the first to enter the evacuated and, for a short while, lost Belgrade. Croatian soldier Josip Broz, the future Marshal Tito, also fought in the operations on the Drina in 1914, in a Croatian unit.(96)
The surprising victories of the Serbian army in 1914 forced even the Austro-Hungarian press to admit a defeat. "The Budapest Hirlap" wrote: "In Serbia, a mortal battle is being waged by a five million strong nation. It is being waged by a well-equipped, daring and, above all, brave army which does not number 400,000 but rather five million people, because everyone is fighting there, from old people to children"(97).
While the Serbian Orthodox Church, rooted in national traditions, stood by Serbia and Montenegro, the Roman Catholic church supported Vienna: Pope Pius X called for a final showdown with Serbia in order to do away with "the contagious disease that could, in a time, endanger the Monarchy's vital nerves."(98) Turkey, having joined the Central Powers, declared a holy war - a jihad, on the infidels in Serbia and Montenegro. Muslims from Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, regardless of whether they fought under the flag of the Austrian eagle or the green Islamic flag, had a clear message - Serbia and Montenegro were their enemies. The Fatwa declaring the jihad was officially read to the Bosnian, predominantly Muslim battalions in Vienna and elsewhere. Sarajevo's newspapers explained that the jihad meant that "all the Muslims were obliged, in this case to participate in the war against those who were marked as enemies of Islam." The Mufti of Tuzla like other Bosnian Muslim religious officials sent a telegram to the Sultan at Constantinople, the Khalif of all Muslims. They all stressed their happiness at the resolute struggle against the enemies of Islam, waged together with Emperor Francis Joseph, "the friend of Muslims and the guardian of security in this world." (99)
The most important theoretical basis for the Yugoslav idea, in its anthropogeographic sense, was provided by Jovan Cvijic, a geographer with European renown. In his voluminous scientific writings he explained that the Dinaric complex in the Balkans was a geopolitical whole with a quite uniform ethnic composition, since numerous migrations in the past had resulted in the mixing of the Serbs and the Croats, creating related cultural and civilizational patterns, especially in the vast Dinaric region where a patriarchal culture was dominant. The cultural unity of the Yugoslav nations was especially advocated by the influential élite of scholars, particularly experts in history and literature - among the Serbs (Stojan Novakovic and Jovan Skerlic) and the Croats (Vatroslav Jagic and Tomo Maretic). Prior to the world war, in 1913, the most reputable literary magazine in the Slavic South, "Srpski Knjizevni Glasnik", conducted a poll among scholars on the further development of the uniformity of the common language: no one among the dozens of them brought cultural unity into question.
The Yugoslavs were described as "a nation in creation" (Milan Marjanovic - a Croat, Sukrija Kurtovic - a Serb-Muslim) that would represent a synthesis of the East and the West in the Slavonic South. Stojan Novakovic, a historian and diplomat, predicted that a unified Yugoslav state would be created in the future and that it would spread from Split in the west, to Subotica in the north, and from Ohrid in the south, to Maribor in the north. Among the Croats, the bearers of the Yugoslav ideology were national leaders from Dalmatia, which, unlike Croatia, formed within the Central European cultural circle, developed under the influence of the Mediterranean heritage, inspired by Mazzini's model of unification around a Piedmont. For all of them, including influential Croat leader Frano Supilo, who was the only one to work, during the war, on a plan for the future state's federal set-up, the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were "one ethnic nation" with their Piedmont being exclusively Belgrade.(100)
The greatest resistance to the movement for Yugoslav closeness and unification was offered by clerical circles of the Roman Catholic church in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In August 1914, the Archbishop of Zagreb said that the war against the Serbs was a holy war, and similar statements about the Serbs as enemies were also made by the Bosnian Archbishop Stadler and the Bishop of Mostar Monsignor Misic; Slovene bishop Jeglic held a special speech to soldiers against the Serbs "the avowed enemies of Jesus himself who is present in the sacrament of love". In clerically oriented Slovenia, Bishop Sustercic made inflammatory statements against the Serbs, and it is in Slovenia that there appeared the famous slogan "(Hang) Serbs on willows" ("Srbe na vrbe"), analogous to the one that sublimated the mood in the Viennese press prior to the war - in the slogan "Serbien muss sterbien" ("Serbia must die"). Religious intolerance proved to be the one main obstacle to the idea of Yugoslav unification. Later on, Bosnian Archbishop Stadler formulated the desires of the conservative Roman Catholic hierarchy : "Strictly Catholic circles (...) predict that under the rule of Orthodox Christianity, Catholic life would have to be destroyed. The religiously indifferent and mostly anti-church oriented intelligentsia (...) is unanimous in the idea, prevalent in that circle even before the war, (...) for creating a better, national, political and economic existence by joining the Orthodox Slavs". That the bearers of the Yugoslav idea were mostly younger generation persons was also confirmed by Frano Supilo in 1915, in Nis, Serbia's war-time capital: "most of the present-day generation is not for this, but a large number of young people speak in favour of the national unity of the Serbs and the Croats".(101)
The need for creating a powerful state in the centre of the Balkans that would be strong enough to resist foreign pressure, resulted from the onerous political heritage of Serbia which had to adapt to the will of the neighbouring empires for a whole century. The Yugoslav movement, although it united only the liberal political and cultural élite and youth, was considered to be a solid foundation for the creation of a common Southern Slav state.
On September 4th 1914, Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic, sent a circular letter to legations abroad saying "that Serbia should become a strong south-western Slav state that would also include all the Croats and all the Slovenes". Only such a state could be "in the interest of the annihilation of Germanic supremacy and penetration towards the east"; only such a state could offer resistance to all the combinations whose aim would be to endanger European peace, or to annul the successes of the Allies' weapons". Already in the first days of the war, Pasic predicted that the borders of the future common state would go along the Klagenfurt-Maribor-Szeged line. At Serbian politicians' symposiums in Nis at the end of October 1914, it was predicted that the common state of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes "would preserve, without any special organization, the national characteristics of each tribe". Much later, after the war, NikolaPasic explained, in the following way, the decision to create Yugoslavia: "As soon as we were attacked, we saw that it was a matter of either staying alive - and if we stay alive, we must take advantage of the opportunity and liberate our Croatian and Slovenian brothers, - or being destroyed (...) We took the stand - and the situation was such - that we were either going to wage this war for the sake of the survival and unification of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, or we would be destroyed". It was the Yugoslav solution that the Serbian government, led by Pasic, persistently advocated throughout the war, even when the Allies might have offered Serbia the possibility of the Serbian question being resolved outside of the proclaimed Yugoslav framework, with territorial extensions in Bosnia and on the Adriatic coast, but with certain territorial concessions to Bulgaria in Macedonia. (102)
The war goals were publicly proclaimed already at the very beginning of the war, after the great victories against Austro-Hungarian troops on the Drina river and on Cer mountain in the summer and autumn of 1914. The war goal was epitomized in the Serbian government's declaration presented before the Parliament in Nis, on December 7th 1914:
"Convinced that the entire Serbian nation is determined to persevere in the holy struggle for the defense of their homesteads and their freedom, the government of the Kingdom (of Serbia) considers that, in these fateful times, its main and only task is to ensure the successful completion of this great warfare which, at the moment when it started, also became a struggle for the liberation and unification of all our unliberated Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian brothers. The great success which is to crown this warfare will make up for the extremely bloody sacrifices which this generation of Serbs is making".(103)
The proclamation of Serbia's war goals was aimed at acquainting the Allies with its wish to create a Yugoslav state, because there was fear among the Serbian leadership that Russia and Great Britain would make efforts to weaken Austria-Hungary considerably, but not to break it up. Great Britain considered that, due to the religious differences, the unification of the Serbs and the Croats would be the source of new instability in the common state and in the entire region, and it was believed in Russia that the religious differences were such that it would be better to create a "Great Serbia". According to certain researchers, the creation of a "Great Serbia" (occasionally identified with Yugoslavia), was advocated by the Black Hand which, in this regard, perhaps had the support of certain military circles in Russia.(104)
According to private information obtained by the Serbian Foreign Ministry some provisional plans for the "future Serbian state" were made by Black Hand officers who had an important influence over the Chief of Staff. These plans were probably backed by the Russian legation and military attaché Artamanov who often (un)officially discussed the future of Serbia with Dragutin Dimitrijevic-Apis. (Artamanov also told Crown-Prince Alexander that the future state should be a federation because of British attitudes). On the other hand the Piedmont newspaper of the Black Hand advocated, during 1914, the unification of the Serbs and Croats usually without mentioning the Slovenes: "Unity means that we - the Serbs and Croats are one nation, unification means: we should be one state, while unity is a fact, unification is our ideal." The destruction of Austria-Hungary was the primary goal: "Austria is a state without national foundations and without a cultural mission. Far from being an organic unit, those pieces of which she is made are still together due to old glue which could easily break-up if any stronger internal or external pressure is applied. Without modern constitutionalism and parliamentarism, Austria made up of nations full of hate against the Germans and Hungarians, is to be subjugated to the democratic imperatives of this century, in which states without national foundations are condemned to die, if not, according to the laws of History, will perish from the Earth."(105)
The conflict between the Black Hand on the one side and the government and Prince-Regent Alexander on other, about who was to have political supremacy ended with a "rigged" trial and the organization's liquidation in Salonika in 1917. Only the three first-accused were executed (Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic Apis, Major Ljubomir Vulovic and a volunteer from Bosnia Rade Malobabic). During the trial it was discovered that members of the Black Hand were involved (indirectly) in the Sarajevo assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914 and, what is more, that they had been preparing a whole new series of assassinations of the German, Bulgarian and Greek rulers. Above an open grave, prior to his execution, Colonel Apis cried out: "long live Serbia, long live Yugoslavia."(106)
The Entente powers considered that, when the war ended, provided that it gave part of Macedonia to Bulgaria, Serbia should get considerable territorial extensions at the expense of Austria-Hungary: all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of Southern Hungary (Vojvodina) and most of Dalmatia. The border of the compensations to Serbia would go along the Pakrac-Split line, and, thus, regions of the one time Military Frontier in Croatia would also become part of Serbia. According to Great Britain's plans, parts of Dalmatia and Macedonia were to be given to Italy and Bulgaria so as to persuade them to enter the war on the side of the Entente.
The Russian plans concerning the future borders were linked to the question of Constantinople and the Straits. At the beginning of the war, Russian diplomacy predicted the reorganization of Austria-Hungary on a trialist basis (Austrian, Czech and Hungarian lands), while Serbia would get Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia and northern Albania, with Croatia and Slovenia remaining within the Habsburg Empire. During the crisis over Bulgaria's engagement in the war, Russian diplomats requested that a considerable part of Macedonia - the apple of discord between the Serbs and Bulgars ever since the Balkan wars - be given to Bulgaria.(107)
The Serbian government, however, persistently kept refusing to give part of the territories in Macedonia to Bulgaria, considering that Macedonia was the key to strategic influence in the Balkan peninsula. Serbian officials, relying on Greece's support, reacted by establishing closer ties with France, which was trying to harmonize the opposed interests of Serbia and Italy on the eastern part of the Adriatic. However, Serbia, in accordance with its strategic orientation and the principle of the ethnic unity of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, persistently kept rejecting any kind of agreement. Because of its importance, by the London Treaty of April 26, 1915, the members of the Entente promised Italy all of Istria, several islands and Dalmatia up to the zone in the vicinity of Split; a clause banning the unification of Serbia and Montenegro ( the latter already had access to the Adriatic) was left out at the last moment.(108)
On the other hand, Germany and the Dual Monarchy were designing their own plans of the future borders in the Balkans. To obtain Bulgaria's entrance in war on the side of Central Powers, Sofia was promised almost 60% of Serbia's territory. There were several plans made in Vienna, concerning the annexation of the northern and central parts of Serbia and strategically important parts of Montenegro. Germany tried separately from Vienna, to establish direct contacts with the Pasic government. Berlin sent special emissaries to Serbia who opend the way to the possibility that some Yugoslav territories within Austria-Hungary could be given to Serbia. At the same time, there were intense negotiations between Vienna and Budapest about a new redistribution of the Yugoslav territories under their authority.(109)
Serbia's Yugoslav option acquired significant backing in the Yugoslav Committee established in Paris in May 1915, with the Serbian government's financial support "to assist in the creation of a unified Yugoslav (possibly Serbo-Croatian) state by informing leading circles and by publicity activity". Chaired by a Croatian politician from Split, Ante Trumbic, the Committee rallied exiled Croatian and Serbian politicians from Dalmatia, Croatia and Bosnia. The Comitteee was soon transferred to London where it had the task of promoting the idea of Yugoslav unification among the Allies. One of the arguments in favour of the desires of the Committee was the great response by volunteers from the United States and South America - apart from the Serbs, the Serbian army was also joined by persons of various nationalities including a small number of Croats. However, the number of Croatian volunteers from Austria-Hungary itself was even smaller; the Serbian army was mostly joined by Serbs and Czechs from the Austro-Hungarian army, and only a very small number of Croats and Slovenians.(110)
From December 1914, when the Austro-Hungarian army was driven out of Serbia, until October 1915, when a new offensive was launched, Serbia had an important period of peace which, however, was marked by new hardships: contagious diseases, especially typhoid, took a high toll in the winter between 1914 and 1915. An undeclared war was being waged on the border with Albania, where incursions were made into Serbia by units trained by Austro-Hungarian and Turkish officers, with the aim of provoking a rebellion of the Albanians in Kosovo and western Macedonia. At the same time, in the summer of 1915, the Allies kept exerting strong diplomatic pressure on Serbia to make territorial concessions in Macedonia in order for Bulgaria to enter the war on the side of the Entente. Bulgaria, however, was already concluding agreements on an alliance with the Central Powers and making maps for dividing up Serbia with Austria-Hungary.(111)
Certain difficulties appeared in the relations with the Montenegrin ruler who, faced with the will of his people to unite with Serbia, feared for the future of his dynasty. Nicholas I was ready to agree to a state "according to the German system", expressing readiness to be "like the Bavarian king", "the happy King of Montenegro in a Great Serbia of my Sgrandson, the Serbian Crown PrinceC Alexander". At the end of 1915, Pasic wrote: "Serbia is willing, and it has given proof of this, to ensure the utmost financial security for the Montenegrin dynasty, to preserve its prestige for all time, provided however that the unity of the Serbian nation be ensured at least by a real union. The issue of the borders between Serbia and Montenegro is to be considered an internal Serbian affair".(112)
On the international plane, the successful repelling of two Austro-Hungarian offensives in 1914, and the heroic battles against the several times more numerous enemy, raised Serbia's prestige among the Allies to a high level, especially in France where, in the middle of 1915, all schools celebrated Serbian Day, and the following year, similar events also took place in Great Britain. New challenges followed the break of the Serbian defense in autumn 1915: the joint Austro-German offensive from the north, and the Bulgarian offensive from the south-east, forced the Serbian army to withdraw towards the south-west. Cut off from Greece by Bulgarian advances in Macedonia, the Serbian army started moving towards the Albanian coast, partly via Montenegro, and partly via Albania, in order for Allied ships to transfer it to a safe place. Defending the flank of the withdrawing Serbian troops, on Orthodox Christmas Day on January 7th, the Montenegrin army heavily defeated Austro-German troops at Mojkovac, but it could not resist a new attack. The Montenegrin Parliament decided to follow Serbia's example, to withdraw in the face of the enemy, but King Nicholas, crushed and demoralized, left the country and crossed to Italy at the beginning of 1916, after which Montenegro was forced to sign a capitulation. Part of its army joined the Serbian troops who, accompanied by a multitude of civilian refugees, were forced, due to the Italians' obstruction, to fight their way through to the southern port of Albania, where French ships were waiting to evacuate them.
After leaving Kosovo, the second, larger part of the Serbian army withdrew, via the Albanian mountains, towards ports on the Adriatic. The withdrawal of the Serbian army is remembered as the Serbian nation's "Albanian Golgotha". Hungry, exhausted and unprepared for the winter, constantly fighting against enemy clans, over two hundred thousand soldiers (including an entire generation of recruits) and civilians remained for ever in the snow-covered mountain ranges of Albania. The number of casualties would have been much higher if the Serbian army had not been helped by the forces of the Lord of Central Albania, Essad-pasha Toptani: in the religious and civil war between tribes and regional lords, he had received military and political support from Serbia which, thus, worked against the Austro-Hungarian current among Albanian headmen. The Serbian government, along with the Parliament and the army (around 140,000 people) was evacuated to Corfu, civilians to French colonies and pupils and students to towns on the French Riviera. When the Salonika front was opened in 1916, the army was transferred to the front towards Macedonia, where it scored several important victories so soon as the first battles.(113)
In occupied Serbia, along with an attempt to denationalize the population, accompanied by the ravaging of cultural goods (the plundering and destruction of valuables from libraries, archives and monastery treasuries), the terror employed by the Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian military authorities against civilians intensified (internment, arrests, executions). In 1917, a large-scale uprising broke out in the region of Kosovo and southern Serbia (the Toplica uprising -Toplicki ustanak), which, despite initial successes, was crushed in blood, because the expected breakthrough of the Salonika front did not take place. In occupied Montenegro, the Komitadji movement developed favouring the idea of the two Serbian states' final unification. The Montenegrin Committee for National Unification was formed in exile and it consisted of reputable political leaders. Led by Andrija Radovic, the Montenegrin Comittee opposed King Nicholas accusing him of being prepared, for the sake of the dynasty's interests, "once again to tear the Serbs up" into two states, and to betray the Montenegrins' centuries-long desire for union with Serbia.(114)
With the outbreak of the February revolution in Russia, and with the United States entering the war, the positions of the Serbian government and the Yugoslav Committee concerning the way in which to carry out the unification and to establish the future structure of the common state were acceleratedly being brought closer. The circumstances were considered favourable for the Yugoslav question to be brought before Europe and for the disputed issues regarding the character of the future alliance to be settled. Prince-Regent Alexander, the Serbian government, the leaders of the opposition and representatives of the Yugoslav Committee were present at the debates on a joint declaration, which lasted for a month. Only the issues on which positions had been co-ordinated entered the final text signed by Nikola Pasic and Ante Trumbic on July 20, 1917:
"The State of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, known as the Southern Slavs or Yugoslavs, will be a free and independent Kingdom with a unified territory and unified citizenship. It will be a constitutional, democratic and parliamentary monarchy ruled by the Karadjordjevic dynasty, which has offered proof that in its thoughts and feelings it is not separated from the people and that it places the people's will and freedom above everything... The Constitution which, after the signing of a peace agreement, will be adopted by a Constituent Assembly, elected on the basis of the general, equal, direct and secret voting right, will be the basis for the functioning of the state, the source and last resort of all competences and rights, and the entire life in the State will be regulated according to it. The Constitution will also give the people the possibility to develop their energies in self-governing units bearing the hallmark of their natural, social and economic circumstances. The Constitution is to be adopted in its entirety, by the Constituent Assembly, with a numerically qualified majority. Both the Constitution and other laws that the Constituent Assembly adopts come into effect when the King sanctions them".(115)
With a special statement, the Corfu Declaration was also accepted by the Montenegrin Committee for National Unification. It was only King Nicholas's government in exile that rejected the Corfu Declaration in a sharply worded communiqué.
The Yugoslav Committee, however, was not a representative body of the Croatian and Slovenian nations. Most of its members, apart from the Serbs from Bosnia, were Croatian politicians from Dalmatia (at the time separated from Croatia and under the direct jurisdiction of Vienna, with its own Assembly), who considered the Yugoslav unification to be the best defense against Italian pretensions towards Dalmatia. With financial support from the Serbian government, the Yugoslav Committee successfully resolved all the questions, except the issue of the future Yugoslavia's constitutional structure.
Disagreements with the Serbian government over a series of questions characterized the work of the Yugoslav Committee's Croatian members. Frano Supilo went the furthest, fearing that Serbia would agree, with its new ally - Italy - on a division of Dalmatia. Won over by the stands of two British experts (Henry Wickham Steed and Robert William Seaton-Watson), that the focal point of the future federal state should be Roman Catholic Croatia, in a memorandum to the British government he asked for guarantees that the new state would not be of a predominantly Serbian and Orthodox nature and that, before the creation of a unified state, all the forces that saw Croatia as their cultural and political centre, would be brought together around Zagreb. Before his death in 1917, Supilo once again turned to co-operation with the Serbian government.(116)
The Serbs had two opposed concepts: the first one, which, apart from Pasic, was advocated by most of their political leaders, envisaged that the Serbian lands unite first, and, only then, that a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes be created. The second, less wide-spread one, advocated mostly by leaders of the Independents and part of the scholarly élite considered that the state that should be created first and that its structure should be determined afterwards. Some among them advocated federal reorganization of the future Yugoslav state. (117)
The Corfu declaration completely shook the positions of the representatives of the Slovenes and Croats who tried to preserve Austria-Hungary. Even before it was adopted, noticing the mood among certain layers of the population, Anton Korosec, the leader of the Slovenian People's Party, underlined, in his report to the Austrian Prime Minister, that, in the south of the Monarchy, the "Great Serbian idea is the strongest" and he proposed that it be opposed by the unification of Slovenia and Croatia. At Korosec's initiative, in May 1917, the Yugoslav club of Croatian and Slovenian members of the Viennese parliament adopted a declaration which, "on the basis of the national principle and the 'Croatian State Right', called for the unification of all the lands in the Monarchy inhabited by the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs into one independent state body that would be free from the nobility of the other nations and based on democratic foundations, under the sceptre of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, and it would invest all its efforts in order for this request of its 'one-and-the-same nation' to be achieved." For an overwhelming majority of the Serbs in the Monarchy, such a stand was not acceptable.(118)
Almost until the very end of the war, the Allies were against the break-up of Austria-Hungary, which was the conditio sine qua non of Yugoslav unification. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia in November 1917, made Allied circles fear that the disappearance of the Dual Monarchy would create a vacuum in central and south-eastern Europe. The version which, in 1917, seemed more probable to the Allies was the Dual Monarchy's federalization. With the disappearance of Russia as a rival in the eastern question, Great Britain gradually started accepting Yugoslav unification as a possible, but still distant option. At the beginning of 1918, the statements made by the British Prime Minister and "the Fourteen points" made by American President Woodraw Wilson, pointed to the fact that the Allies did not favour the disintegration of the Dual Monarchy. Autonomy was envisaged for the Yugoslavs, while Serbia would get access to the sea through a narrow strip on the Albanian coast.
Concerned because of the course of developments, Pasic tried to work out a "dis-annexation" of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in case the possibility of Yugoslav unification fell through, but he abandoned this intention when, in the following six months, a certain turnabout took place in the Allies' stand and when announcements came of internal disarray on the territory of Austria-Hungary.(119)
In the field, two divisions of volunteers, mostly Serbs, along with a small number of Croats, Slovenes and Czechs, under Serbian command, were transferred to the Salonika front. A special Yugoslav division was created of Yugoslav volunteers recruited primarily in the United States. The first victories had been scored already in the autumn of 1916, but a joint Allied offensive was not carried out before September 1918. Within the bloc of Allied forces, Serbian troops, under French supreme command, carried out a mighty breakthrough on the front, broke the Bulgarian lines and, in a few weeks, in a continuous march, they liberated and reinstated the authorities in Serbia. Kaiser Wilhelm II was furious because of the Serbian successes. After the successful Serbian breakthrough, in a telegram to the Bulgarian king, he wrote: "Disgraceful, 62,000 Serbs decided the war".(120)
The Serbian and Allied successes on the Salonika front intensified the already existing anti-Habsburg mood within the borders of Austria-Hungary. Already in February 1918, the fleet in the Bay of Kotor (today's Montenegro) rebelled against the Emperor, as did a Slovenian regiment in May. In Croatia-Slavonia and Bosnia, a movement called the Green Cadre was rapidly created of military fugitives. Its followers, mostly Croats and Serbs spreading an anti-war mood from their hide-outs in forests, attacked plundered and burned the estates of large landholders, seeking social justice and national rights. By the end of 1918, the numerous well-armed units of the Green Cadre in Bosnia, Croatia and Slavonia which numbered tens of thousands of men dominate almost the entire countryside.(121)
At the end of October 1918, the severance of all state and legal ties with Austria-Hungary was ceremonially proclaimed in Zagreb, and a National Council formed ad hoc. It tried to create, from the Yugoslav territories in the former Monarchy, a separate State of the Slovenians, Croats and Serbs which, however, was not internationally recognized by the Allies and it did not receive the people's support. The National Council's calls for mobilization encountered no response. From Zagreb, the National Council authorized the Yugoslav Committee to represent it abroad. (122)
At the beginning of November 1918, in Geneva negotiations were conducted with representatives of Serbia on the form of the future common state which, in accordance with the Croats' request, was to be organized according to the dual, Austro-Hungarian model. Faced with the possibility of the opposition concluding an agreement with the National Council and the Yugoslav Committee without him, and being suspicious about the intentions of Prince-Regent Alexander to take into his own hands the resolution of the issue of unification, Pasic unwillingly accepted not only the agreement on a dual model for the new state, but also the provision by which the country's monarchist character was not specifically stated. The Geneva agreement caused a government crisis: several ministers submitted their resignations saying that the agreement represented the achievement of the Yugoslav politicians' intention "to separate the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Srem and Slavonia, Dalmatia and Lika, Backa and Banat and Baranja, from Serbia and then to have them form a front against Serbia." (123) Pasic submitted the resignation of the entire government, thus annulling the agreement, and afterwards, at the initiative of its Serbian members, the National Council in Zagreb which, like the Yugoslav Committee, was not a representative body of the Slovenes, Serbs and Croats from the territory of the former Monarchy, also renounced the agreement. The Allies refused to recognize the Zagreb National Council as a partner at the Peace Conference: this dispute was ironed out much later by Serbian diplomacy when Ante Trumbic was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the common, interim government.
The main obstacle to the creation of a common Yugoslav state was the Treaty of London of 1915, which gave Dalmatia to Italy as compensation for entering the war on the side of the Entente Powers. While the Italians insisted on the fulfilment of the agreement, Serbia, along with the Yugoslavs in Austria-Hungary, referred to the right to self-determination which, along with other conditions, President Woodrow Wilson accepted several months after proclaiming his Fourteen Points.(124)
In the field, the course of developments surpassed diplomatic activities. In contrast to Zagreb, on November 4th, the National Council of Sarajevo called on the Serbian army to enter Bosnia. Two days later, the second Serbian army led by Field-Marshal (vojvoda) Stepa Stepanovic ceremonially entered Sarajevo as liberators. In November 1918, the departments and counties of Bosnia and Herzegovina commenced proclaiming the unification of Bosnian municipalities and local government areas with Serbia: 42 out of 54 municipalities (Banja Luka, Prijedor, Bihac, Kljuc, Jajce, Zvornik, Bijeljina, Visegrad, Gacko, Nevesinje, Rogatica etc.) proclaimed direct unification with Belgrade by the 3rd of December 1918 when news of the proclamation of the united Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on the 1st December brought this spontaneous activity to an end.(125)
On November 25th, the Great National Assembly of Vojvodina proclaimed the unification of Banat, Backa and Baranja with Serbia, and expressed the people's willingness to enter the future Yugoslav state. The Assembly of Srem adopted similar conclusions on the preceding day. In Podgorica on November 26th, the newly elected Montenegrin Parliament decided to overthrow the Petrovic-Njegos dynasty and, like Vojvodina, proclaimed unconditional unification with Serbia under the Karadjordjevic dynasty.
Dalmatia, the centre of the movement for Yugoslav unification threatened the National Council in Zagreb, on November 16th, that it would directly unite with Serbia, in five days' time, if Croatia continued to hesitate to enter the common state. Zagreb's last, unsuccessful attempt to impose the dual form of unification was made on November 24th when "the unification on the one hand of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, formed on the entire uninterrupted Yugoslav territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, with on the other the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro" was proclaimed. A delegation of 28 members rushed from Zagreb to Belgrade to convey the decision to the Serbian Regent Alexander. Before the members of the Zagreb delegation, in his response, the Prince-Regent ceremonially "proclaimed, in the name of H. M. King Peter, the unification of Serbia with the lands of the State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs into a unified Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes", and stressed that this act represented "the final realization of what the best sons of our blood, of all three religions, of all the three names, on both sides of the Danube, Sava and Drina, started preparing already during the rule of my grandfather Prince Alexander of blessed memory and Prince Michael SObrenovicC."(126)
The unification was welcomed in all the regions. An attempt at offering armed resistance was made only in Zagreb where several dozen soldiers, followers of the National Council, provoked clashes in which 15 people were killed. Behind the unrest stood Italy which, through Stjepan Radic, the leader of the Croatian People's Peasant party tried to prevent the unification and proclaim an independent Croatian republic. Radic was preparing a petition for the creation of an independent Croatia, claiming that he had collected as many as 200,000 signatures, but the Allies' reports confirmed that there was no great resistance to the unification in Croatia. A French emissary wrote that "organized support for Radic is only a myth" and that the attempts at organizing a resistance had turned into a farce. The exact percentage of the population that readily accepted the unification with Serbia, apart from the 44 percent Serbs in Bosnia and the 25 percent Serbs in Croatia and Slavonia, was not determined. The exact percentage of the Roman Catholic population (Croats and Slovenians) who approved of the unification (except for Dalmatia where, according to Austro-Hungarian estimates, almost 100 percent of the population was in favour of the unification with Serbia) was not determined. According to an American report, the proclamation of unification in Belgrade was accepted without resistance in Slovenia: "It seems that the Slovenes are taking as something natural the necessity to preserve and consolidate the unification."(127)
Another attempt at challenging the new state took place in January 1919: Followers of ousted King Nicholas, several thousand of them, with the financial support of Italian officers who armed them unsuccessfully tried to provoke a general rebellion in Montenegro and to restore the Petrovic-Njegos dynasty. Without greater support from the people, the rebellion was soon crushed, and the rebels surrendered.
The unification itself would have been of no significance if the creation of the Yugoslav state had not been of exceptional geopolitical importance in the new order that had been created in Europe under the leadership of France and Great Britain. At first, Yugoslavia represented a barrier to Germanic domination in the south-east of Europe. Then, it was part of a sanitary cordon towards Soviet Russia, which had tried, throughout the previous century, to get through to the Mediterranean. The mixed religious and national composition of the Yugoslav state also eliminated the fear of British experts on the Balkans (Robert Seaton-Watson) that, after the disappearance of Austria-Hungary, the creation of a big, united Serbian state, would represent a latent danger of Russia dominating the region in the future, due to its historical ties and kindred Orthodox and Slavonic characteristics. The Yugoslav unification would not have been possible without the consent of democratic Europe, which confirmed its existence at the Peace Conference in Paris.(128)
From the Serbian point of view, the price of the unification was extremely high: "After the unification in 1918, the Serbian national movement which, historically speaking, invested the greatest energy in its realization, is moving from a period of offensiveness towards a period of defensiveness. Weakened and historically exhausted, it is unable to build new towers on the foundations laid in 1918. All the energy is being spent on defending the set foundations. Apart from the fact that the struggle for a free farming estate is no longer the prime mover of social progress, the main reason for this stagnation is the loss of the Serbian population's biological basis. It is considered that 1,900,000 people died in the Yugoslav region during World War I. Serbia alone suffered 65.63 percent of all the losses. Estimates differ, and according to the official report for the Peace Conference in Versailles, Serbia lost 1,247,000 people - 845,000 civilians and 402,000 soldiers. Within its old borders (before 1912) Serbia had 2,900,000 inhabitants, which means that it lost 43 percent of its overall population. In European history, such a demographic collapse was registered only in German and western Slavonic provinces at the time of the Thirty Years' war (1618-1648). It took several centuries for that population to be renewed, but in the meantime, entire provinces changed their ethnic character. Due to its enormous losses in the war, pre-war Serbia had become a passive migrational region into which streams of Orthodox immigrants from neighbouring provinces are pouring. Room has been left for the growth of the population belonging to the Islamic religion which, in the past, kept experiencing a demographic decline, everywhere except in Kosovo. The unification in 1918 was a Pyrrhic victory for the Serbian nation (...) In the war, Montenegro lost 63,000 people - one quarter of its overall population. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 360,000 people, or 19 percent of the population was lost. Children up to ten years of age account for almost a third of this percentage, because of which the demographic loss will be felt in the following decades more than right after the war in 1918".(129)
1) G. Yakchitch, L'Europe et la résurrection de la Serbie (1804-1834), Paris, Hachette 1907.
2) Cf. S.K.Pavlowitch, Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Serbia, 1837-1839: the Mission of Colonel Hodges, Paris Mouton 1961.
3) Cf. D. MacKenzie, Ilija Garasanin. A Balkan Bismarck, Boulder, Colorado, 1987.
4) M. Handelsman, "La question d'Orient et la politique du prince Czartoryski après 1840", in: Séances et travaux de l'Académie des sciences morales et politiques, Paris 1929, pp. 394-409.
5) D. Stranjakovic, Kako je postalo Garasaninovo "Nacertanije", Belgrade, Spomenik SKA, vol XCI 1939, pp. 64-115.
6) M. Ekmecic, Ustanak u Bosni 1875-1878, Sarajevo, Veselin Maslesa 1960, pp. 41-46.
7) Cf. D. Stranjakovic, Srbija, Pijemont Juznih Slovena 1844-1853, Belgrade 1932, idem, "Politicka propaganda Srbije u juznoslovenskim pokrajinama (1844-1858)", Glasnik Istorijskog drustva u Novom Sadu, vol IX, pp. 155-179.
8) G. Jaksic, V. J. Vuckovic, Spoljna politika Srbije za vlade kneza Mihaila. Prvi Balkanski savez, Belgrade, Istorijski institut, 1963.
9) V. J. Vuckovic, Politicka akcija Srbije u juznoslovenskim pokrajinama Habsburske monarhije, Belgrade, SANU, 1965, p. 274.
11) Cf. D. Djordjevic, "Projects for the federation of South-East Europe in the 1860s and 1870s", Balcanica, vol I (1970), pp. 118-149.
12) Narodna Radikalna stranka. Program, Statuti, Belgrade, 1882.
13) Videlo, Belgrade, January 2/14 1880.
14) Srpska nezavisnost, Belgrade, N° 1, October 1/13 1881.
15) Samostalna radikalna stranka. Nacela, Program. Statut. Nasa Rec, Belgrade 1905.
16) Program Narodne stranke u Crnoj Gori, Dubrovnik, Srpska dubrovacka stamparija, 1907. All party programs are reprinted in: V.Krestic-R.Ljusic, Programi i statuti srpskih politickih stranaka do 1918. godine, Belgrade, Knjizevne novine 1991.
17) M. Ekmecic, Ustanak u Bosni 1878-1878, p. 231.
18) Cf. "Petar Mrkonjic (Petar Karadjordjevic),Dnevni zapisci jednog ustasa o bosansko-hercegovackom ustanku 1875-1876", edited by M.Stevcic and M.Radevic, in: Miscellanea, Belgrade, vol VII(1980), pp 9-149.
19) R.W.Seaton Watson, The Southern Slav Question and the Hapsburg Monarchy, New York, Howard Fertig 1969, Appendix XVII, p.420
20) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, p.314-315.
21) D. MacKenzie, The Serbs and the Russian Panslavism 1875-1878, Ithaca N.Y., 1967.
22) Cf. M. D. Stojanovic, The Great Powers and the Balkans 1875-1878, Cambridge, 1939, pp. 209-233.
23) A. Evans, Illyirian Letters. A Revised Selection of Correspondance from the Illyrian Provinces of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia, adressed to the Manchester Guardian, London 1878, pp. 43-55.
24) D. T. Batakovic, The Kosovo Chronicles, Belgrade, Plato 1992, pp.75-82.
25) V. Stojancevic, Srbija i Bugarska od Sanstefanskog mira do Berlinskog kongresa, Belgrade, Istorijski institut 1986, pp. 18-56.
26) M. Ekmecic, Ustanak u Bosni 1875-1878, p. 290.
27) V. Corovic, Borba za nezavisnost Balkana, Belgrade, Balkanski institut 1938, p.56.
28) Cf. G.Jaksic, Bosna i Hercegovina na Berlinskom kongresu, 1878, Belgrade, SAN, 1955.
29) By Article II of the Secret Convention Serbia undertook the obligation "not to permit any political, religious or other intrigue which might be directed from her territory against the Austo-Hungarian Monarchy, including Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Sandjak of Novi Pazar." The article IV of the same Convention obliged Belgrade to act so that "without previous agreement with Austria-Hungary, Serbia shall not negociate nor conclude any political treaty with any other Power." Only by Article VIII was it allowed to expand such that if "Serbia should be in a position to expand in the direction of her southern frontiers (with the exception of the Sandjak of Novi Pazar), Austria-Hungary will not opose this, and will intervene with the other Powers to incline them to adopt an attutude favourable to Serbia." In 1889 when the Convention was renewed, Article VIII was made more precise: instead of "her southern frontiers", it stated explicitly "in the direction of the Vardar valley, and added that the expansion was to extend "as far as circumstances permitted". (Cf. G. Jaksic, "Istorija Tajne Konvencije", in: Arhiv za pravne i drustvene nauke, vol IX, No 3, 1924, pp. 270-274).
30) V.Corovic, Borba za nezavisnost Balkana, p. 92.
31) Cf. M. Milovanovic, Nasa spoljna politika, Belgrade 1894.
32) Cf. M. St. Protic, Radikali u Srbiji.Ideje i pokret 1881-1903, Belgrade, Dosije -Balkanoloski institut 1991.
33) Cf. H. D. Schanderl, Die Albanienpolitik Österreich Ungarns und Italiens 1877-1908, Wiesbaden, O.Harassowitz 1971; Documents diplomatiques français, 2e série, vol II, p. 672.
34) Austro-Hungarian documentation quoted in: M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, pp. 451-455.
35) Istorija srpskog naroda, vol V/1, Belgrade, Srpska knjizevna zadruga 1981, pp. 560-565.
36) H. Kapidzic, Hercegovacki ustanak 1882.godine, Sarajevo, Veselin Maslesa 1973
37) T. Kraljacic, Kalajev rezim u Bosni i Hercegovini 1882-1903, Sarajevo, Veselin Maslesa 1987, pp. 214-272. Cf. also B.Kallay, Geschichte den Serben von den Altesten Zeiten bis 1815, Wien 1878, p. 17.
38) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, pp. 418-420.
39) S. Kurtovic, O nacionalizovanju Muslimana, Sarajevo 1914; Cf. R. J. Donia, Islam under the Double Eagle: The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina 1878-1914, Boulder Colorado 1980.
40) Cf. V. Krestic, Istorija Srba u Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji 1848-1914, Belgrade, Politika 1992, p. 85 passim.
41) Ibid., 291 passim
42) M. S. Spalatin, "The Croatian Nationalism of Ante Starcevic 1845-1871", The Journal of Croatian Studies, vol 16 (1975), pp. 105-146.
43) Cf. more details in: M.Artukovic, Ideologija srpsko-hrvatskih sporova, "Srbobran" 1884-1902, Zagreb, Naprijed 1991.
44) I. Krsnjavi, Zapisi iza kulisa hrvatske politike, vol II, Zagreb, Globus 1986, p. 212.
45) F. Supilo, Politika u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb 1953, pp.297-298.
46) Cf. R. Lovrencic, Geneza "novog kursa" u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb 1972.
47) M. Gross, Vladavina Hrvatsko-srpske koalicije, 1906-1907, Belgrade, Institut drustvenih nauka, 1960, pp. 25-28.Istorija srpskog naroda, vol. VI, t. 1, pp. 432-439.
48) Cf. W. Vucinich, Serbia Between East and West. The Events of 1903-1908, Stanford University Press, Stanfor Ca. 1954, pp. 60-74; D.R.Zivojinovic, Kralj Petar I Karadjordjevic, vol II, Belgrade, BIGZ 1988.
49) Spomenica Nikole P.Pasica, Beograd 1936, p. 175.
50) D. Djordjevic, "Srbija i Balkan na pocetku XX veka", dans: Jugoslovenski narodi pred Prvi svetski rat, SANU, Belgrade, SANU 1967, pp. 207-230. Cf. also V. Corovic, Odnosi Srbije i Austro-Ugarske u XX veku, Beograd 1936; A. Mitrovic, Prodor na Balkan. Srbija u planovima Austro-Ugarske i Nemacke 1908-1918, Belgrade, Nolit 1981, p. 75 passim.
51) D. Djordjevic, "Austro-srpski sukob oko projekta Novopazarske zeleznice", Istorijski casopis, vol VII (1967), pp. 213-248; idem, "Projekt jadranske zeleznice u Srbiji 1896-1912", Istorijski glasnik, vol 3-4 (1956), pp. 3-35.
52) D. Jankovic, "Jugoslovenstvo u Srbiji 1903-1912", Anali Pravnog fakulteta u Beogradu, vol: XVII (1969), pp. 523-535.
53) Cf. D. Djordjevic, Carinski rat Srbije i Austro-Ugarske (1906-1911), Belgrade, Istorijski institut, 1962.
54) A.Mitrovic, Prodor na Balkan. Srbija u planovima Austro-Ugarske i Nemacke 1908-1918, pp. 61-174.
55) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol. II, p.590.
56) Cf. M. Nintchitch, La crise bosniaque (1908-1909) et les puissances européennes, vol I-II, Paris, A. Costes 1937; B. Schmidt, The Annexatiuon of Bosnia 1908-1909, Cambridge University Press, 1937.
57) Narodna Odbrana, Belgrade 1991; B.Bogic, Ciljevi Narodne Odbrane, Belgrade 1938; Vladimir Corovic, Odnosi Srbije i Austro-Ugarske u XX veku, pp. 540 passim
58) Luka Vukcevic, Crna Gora u Bosansko-hercegovackoj krizi (1908-1909), Titograd 1985, p. 134 passim.
59) Milorad Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, p. 607.
60) J. Sidak, M. Gross, I. Karaman, D. Sepic, Povijest hrvatskog naroda 1860-1914, p. 247 passim; T. G. Massaryk, Der Agramer Hochverratsprozess und die annexion von Bosnien und Herzegovina, Wien 1909; M. Chultz, "L'affaire Friedjung", Revue historique de la guerre mondiale, vol XV (1937).
61) Cf. St. Radic, Zivo hrvatsko pravo na Bosnu i Hercegovinu, Zagreb 1908; F. Sisic, Herceg-Bosna prigodom aneksije. Geografsko - etnografsko-historicna i drzavno-pravna razmatranja, Zagreb 1908.
62) Istorija srpskog naroda, vol. VI/1, Belgrade 1981, pp. 169-170.
63) M. Nintchitch, op. cit; vol II, p. 324-325.
64) D. Djordjevic, "The Influence of the Italian Risorgimento on Serbian Policy during the 1908-1909 Annexation Crisis", Balcanica III (1972), pp. 345-346.
65) Cf. Livres Jaunes. Affaires de Macédoine 1902-1907, Ministère des affaires etrangères, Paris 1907; Dj. Slijepcevic, The Macedonian question. The Struggle for Southern Serbia, Chicago 1960; D. Dakin, The Greek Strugle in Macedonia 1897-1913, Thessaloniki 1966; S. Skendi, The Albanian National Awekening 1878-1912, Princeton 1967.
66) J. Cvijic, Promatranja o etnografiji Makedonskih Slovena, Beograd 1906, pp. 9-10.
67) Cf. D. Drossos, La fondation de l'alliance balkanique, Athènes 1929; E. C. Helmreich, The Diplomacy of the Balkan Wars 1912-1913, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass., 1938; A. Rossos, Russia and the Balkans. Inter-Balkan Rivalries and Russian Foreign Policy 1908-1914, Toronto 1981, pp. 40-68.
68) D. T. Batakovic, The Kosovo Chronicles, p. 176.
69) Cf. D. Djordjevic, Izlazak Srbije na Jadransko more i Konferencija ambasadora u Londonu 1912-1913, Belgrade 1956; M.Vojvodic, Skadarska kriza 1913, Belgrade, Zavod za izdavanje udzbenika 1970; Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes ad Conduct of the Balkan Wars, Washington, Carnegie Endowment 1914.
70) Cf. Bela. K. Kiraly et Dimitrije Djordjevic (ed.), East Central European Society and the Balkan Wars, War and Society in East Central Europe, vol. XVIII, Boulder Colorado, 1986.
71) V. Novak, Le Roi Alexandre Ier Karageorgevitch et la formation de l'unité nationale, Paris, Editions des "Amitiès franco-yougoslaves" 1935, p. 40-41.
72) N. Rakocevic, Odnosi Crne Gore i Srbije 1908-1914, Cetinje, Obod 1985.
73) Cf. D. Djordjevic, "The Role of the Military in the Balkans in the Nineteenth Century", in: Der Berliner Kongress von 1878, Wiesbaden 1982, pp. 317-347;
74) D.MacKenzie, Apis: The Congenial Conspirator. The Life of Colonel Dragutin T. Dimitrijevic, Boulder Colorado 1989.
75) PRO, FO, 371/2098, N° 12, Belgrade, January 17, 1914.
76) D. T. Batakovic, "Sukob vojnih i civilnih vlasti u Srbiji u prolece 1914", Istorijski casopis XIX-XXX (1982-1983), pp.477-491.
77) V. Dedijer, La route de Sarajevo, Paris, Gallimard 1969.
78) PRO FO, 371/1899, N° 32744; A.Mitrovic, Prodor na Balkan . Srbija u planovima Austro-Ugarske i Nemacke 1908-1918, p. 105.
79) Osterreich Ungarns Aussenpolitik vom der bosnischen Krise 1908 bis zum Kriegsausbruch 1914, Wien 1930, vol VIII, p. 436.
80) PRO FO 371/2169, N° 33849; I. Geiss, Juli 1914. Die Europaische Krise und der Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkriegs. Dokumente, Munchen 1965, pp. 89-115.
81) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, p. 691-694.
82) N. Rakocevic, Crna Gora u Prvom svjetskom ratu, Cetinje, Obod, 1968, p. 21.
83) M. P. Djordjevic, Srbija i Jugosloveni za vreme rata 1914-1918, Belgrade, Sveslovenska knjizara 1922, p. 15.
84) R. A. Reis, Rapport sur les atrocités commises par les troupes austro-hongroises pendant le premiere invasion de la Serbie, Paris 1919.
85) N. Stojanovic, Srbija i Jugoslovensko ujedinjenje, Belgrade 1939, pp. 19-21.
86) K. Sturzenegger, La Serbie en guerre 1914-1915, Paris 1916.
87) M. Ekmecic, Ratni ciljevi Srbije 1914-1918, Belgrade, Politika, 1992, p. 90.
88) Quotations taken from: D. Jankovic, Srbija i jugoslovensko pitanje 1914-1915, Belgrade Institut za savremenu istoriju 1973, pp. 90-115.
89) V. Corovic, Crna knjiga.Patnje Srba Bosne i Hercegovine za vreme svetskog rata 1914-1918, Sarajevo 1920, pp. 115-143; A. Mitrovic, Srbija u Prvom svetskom ratu, Srpska knjizevna zadruga, Belgrade 1984, pp. 101-121.
90) M. Ekmecic, Ratni ciljevi Srbije 1914., 151-153.
91) I. Bozic (ed.), Istorija Jugoslavije, Belgrade,Prosveta 1972, pp. 394-396.
92) V. Corovic, Crna knjiga, pp. 125-130
93) Ibid., 131-134.
94) Cf. Veleizdajnicki proces u Banjaluci, Banja Luka 1987.
95) D. Jankovic, Srbija i jugoslovensko pitanje 1914-1915, p.126.
96) I. Bozic (ed), Istorija Jugoslavije, p. 384.
97) D. Jankovic, Srbija i jugoslovensko pitanje 1914-1915, p. 132.
98) D. R. Zivojinovic, Vatikan, Srbija i stvaranje jugoslovenske drzave 1914-1920, Belgrade, Nolit, 1980, p. 25 passim.
99) Sarajevski list, Sarajevo, December 1 and 18, 1914.
100) Cf. J. Cvijic, La péninsule balkanique.La geographie humain, Paris, A.Colin 1918; Lj.Trgovcevic, Naucnici Srbije i stvaranje jugoslovenske drzave 1914-1918, Narodna kniga, Belgrade 1986, 20 passim ; M.Ekmecic, Ratni ciljevi Srbije 1914., pp. 178-195.
101) M. Ekmecic, Ratni ciljevi Srbije 1914., pp. 198-207, 315-342.
102) M. Ekmecic, "Serbian War Aims", in: D.Djordjevic (ed.) The Creation of Yugoslavia 1914-1918, Clio Books, Santa Barbara, Oxford 1980, p. 21-23.
103) Srpske novine, Nis, N° 282, November 25/ December
104) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol. II, p. 725.
105) Pijemont, N° 169, 172, 174, 183, 198, 252, June-July 1914.
106) Cf. M. Z. Zivanovic, Solunski proces 1917, Beograd SAN, 1957; D. MacKenzie, Apis. The Congenial Conspirator, pp. 263-296.
107) N. Popovic, Odnosi Srbije i Rusije u Prvom svetskom ratu, Belgrade, Narodna knjiga, 1977, pp. 34-41..
108) Cf. M. Marjanovic, Londonski ugovor iz godine 1915, Zagreb 1960.
109) A.Mitrovic, Prodor na Balkan, pp.197-211.
110) G. Stokes, "The Role of the Yugoslav Committee in the formation of Yugoslavia", in: D. Djordjevic (ed.) The Creation of Yugoslavia 1914-1918, pp. 51-67.
111) A. Mitrovic, Srbija u Prvom svetskom ratu, pp. 195-222.
112) Ibid., pp. 243-252.
113) Ibid., pp. 312-315.
114) Cf. N. Rakocevic, Crna Gora u Prvom svjetskom ratu, Cetinje, Obod, 1968.
115) F. Sisic, Dokumenti o postanku Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca 1914-1920, Zagreb, Matica Hrvatska, 1920, pp. 96-99.
116) D. Sepic, Pisma i memorandumi Frana Supila (1914-1917), SANU, Belgrade 1967, pp. 43-45, 106-107, 119-121, Cf. M. Paulova, Jugoslavenski odbor (Povijest jugoslavenske emigracije za svjetskog rata od 1914-1918), Zagreb 1925.
117) Cf. D. Jankovic, Jugoslovensko pitanje i Krfska deklaracija 1917. godine, Beograd, Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1967.
118) F. Sisic, Dokumenti, p. 94; V.Corovic, Istorija Srba, vol III, BIGZ, Belgrade 1989, p. 229.
119) Cf. Dj. Dj. Stankovic, Nikola Pasic, saveznici i stvaranje Jugoslavije, Belgrade, Nolit 1984, pp. 178-215,
120) P. Opacic, Solunska ofanziva 1918, Belgrade, Knjizevne novine 1983. Cf. also L. Cordier, Victoire éclair en Orient 15-29 septembre 1918, Union sociale de l Haute Auvergne, Aurillac 1968.
121) Cf. R. G. Plaschka, H.Haselsteiner, A.Suppan, Innere Front. Militarassistenz, Widerstand und Umsturz in der Donaumonarchie 1918, Erster Band: Zwichen Streik und Meuterei, Wien 1974, p. 118 passim.
122) B. Krizman, Raspad Austro-Ugarske i stvaranje jugoslavenske drzave, Skolska knjiga, Zagreb 1977, pp.40-67.
123) D. Jankovic, "Zenevska konferencija o stvaranju jugoslovenske zajednice 1918", Istorija XX veka, vol 5 (1963), pp. 225-227. Quotation: M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, p. 815.
124) Cf. D. R. Zivojinovic, America, Italy and the Birth of Yugoslavia (1917-1919), Boulder Colorado 1972.
125) Istorija srpskog naroda, vol VI, t.2, pp. 251-254. Cf. H. Kapidzic, "Pokusaj Ujedinjenja Bosne i Hercegovine sa Srbijom u novembru 1918", in: Bosna i Hercegovina u vrijeme austro-ugarske uprave, Sarajevo 1968.
126) B. Krizman, op. cit., 169-175; A. Mitrovic, Srbija u Prvom svetskom ratu, p. 555-569.
127) M. Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, pp.830-832.
128) Cf. I. J. Lederer, Yugoslavia at the Paris Peace Conference. A Story in Frontier Making, Yale Univeristy Press, London & New Haven 1963; A. Mitrovic, Jugoslavija na Konferencija mira u Parizu 1919-1920, Belgrade, Zavod za izdavanje udzbenika 1970.
129) Quoted from: M.Ekmecic, Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918, vol II, p. 838.
Previously published in: Dialogue #10, Paris 1994. pp. 25-73
Dusan T. Batakovic