Enter Yugoslavia Part 1 | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1929 Part 2 of 3
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Enter Yugoslavia Part 1 | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1929 Part 2 of 3

August 24, 2019

Today I am going to touch a live wire. We
are going to speak about the Balkans. Yugoslavia to be precise, where we will look at how this
new country proclaimed after the Great War struggles with ethnic violence already from
its beginning and how, as so often in the interwar period – some view totalitarianism
as the solution. Welcome to Between-2-Wars, a chronological
summary of the interwar years, covering all facets of life, the uncertainty, hedonism,
and euphoria, and ultimately humanity’s descent into the darkness of the Second World
War. I’m Indy Neidell. This is going to be a two part episode covering
what happens in Yugoslavia between 1918 and 1929, so before you jump to any conclusions,
wait until you’ve seen both episodes. Now, I’m going to talk about issues that continue
to impact the region and Europe in 2019. Issues that famously tend to launch bitter and toxic
debate. First of all – we are not taking any side here, simply relating what happened.
Second of all, should anyone, from any “side” take any toxic debate full of hatred to our
comment section, we will remove those comments and revoke your posting privileges permanently
– and it doesn’t matter how much you feel that you are right or are responding to other
people’s hatred, we will not tolerate it from anyone- you should read our rules of
conduct in the pinned post before you start commenting, there you will also find an exposition
as to why these are our policies. We read every single comment that we get and that
takes time, so you can do us all a favor, and save us and yourself some work by simply
not posting anything hateful in the first place. By the end of the 1920s, ethnic rivalry and
fundamental constitutional questions have plagued what would eventually be known as
Yugoslavia ever since it became a nation shortly after The Great War. As the fragile constitutional
monarchy crumbles under these conflicts, on January 6, 1929, King Aleksandar dismisses
Parliament and becomes the absolute monarch of the union of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Aleksandar’s hope- and that of many of his subjects- is that he can put an end to the
‘tribal’ squabbles between the different Southern Slav nations and build a strong state
based around a single Yugoslav identity. But let’s backtrack a little to see how
we end up there in the first place. We saw way back in our 1918 episode on the
Rise of Nations that the Great War had created a multitude of new states in Europe. The ‘Kingdom
of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes’ is one of these. It faces the huge task of incorporating
a multitude of ethnicities more or less in conflict. It is not only the national groupings
of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, but also the unrecognized groups of Montenegrins, Macedonians,
and Bosnian Muslims that shall now become one ‘Yugoslavia’ (literally ‘the land
of the Southern Slavs’ in Serbo-Croatian). There are also minorities of Albanians, Germans,
Hungarians, and many more that need to be considered. The government of the new nation
is immediately hobbled by heated arguments over ethnic boundaries, identity, and constitutional
structure that simply will not abate or be magically solved. Some argue for a strong
central state while others push for a confederation, and ethnic loyalties often take precedence
over loyalty to the Kingdom. Now, the movement for a united nation of the
South Slavs has existed for quite some time, but already as an idea it was burdened with
ethnic unbalance. Back in the mid-nineteenth-century, certain Croat intellectuals began to propagate
the idea that Southern Slavs were descended from the Illyrian tribes which populated the
Balkans in Antiquity. Inspired by the romanticism of the period, the ‘Illyrians’ called
for a national rebirth through linguistic unity and cultural awakening. At the center
of the movement was Ljudevit Gaj who championed the use of Štokavian, a dialect used by
a great number of both Croats and Serbs, and in 1850 it was chosen as the basis of the
Serbo-Croatian language. By the 1860’s, this becomes ‘Yugoslavism’- calling for
unity and autonomy amongst the South Slavs. It is led by a kind of Croatian national awakening
with awareness that for the Croat nation to survive against the forces of Austria, Hungary,
and other major regional powers, unity amongst the South Slavs is needed. One of the proponents of South Slav unity
in Austria-Hungary is Stepjan Radić, who forms the Croat People’s Peasants Party
(HPSS) in 1904. At first, he advocates an autonomous Croatia within Habsburg territory.
But as a loftier goal, Radić believes that the ‘national oneness’ and equality of
South Slavs is possible so long as they accept Croatia as a political entity. But Radić’s
dreams of Croatia’s federalized autonomy is to some degree in conflict with Serbia
and its Balkan partners. Serbia emerges victorious from the Balkan
Wars in 1912 and 1913 with huge territorial gains which rocket Aleksandar to fame. He
is at this point the Crown Prince of Serbia and leads the offensive to force the Ottomans
out of Kosovo, with national romantic historical connections to the Serbian defeat at Ottoman
hands at Kosovo back in 1389. An increasing number of Southern Slav intellectuals, less
sympathetic to the Habsburg monarchy than Radić, now see Aleksander as a viable vehicle
to independence. Radić fears Serbian domination, though, and declares that Serbian expansion
“certainly could and would end up with only the complete destruction of Croatia and the
Croats”. And in fact, most of Serbia’s ideologues
and politicians do envision a union dominated by what they saw as fellow Serbs in Montenegro,
Macedonia, Croatia, and beyond. Aleksandar even sees himself as the liberator of what
he believed to be Serbian lands, no matter who lives on them or their religion. Thus,
Radić, and many Slovene and Croat intellectuals, instead continue to advocate South Slav unity
within the Habsburg Empire. But the Great War is now about to change the
destiny of Yugoslavia. In December 1914, the Serb leadership releases
its statement of war aims in the Niš Declaration, where it proclaims “the struggle for the
liberation and unification of all our brothers, Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, who are still
not free.” Within the Empire, the Yugoslav Committee is formed and claims to speak for
all Southern Slavs in Austro-Hungarian lands. So, an increasing number of forces are now
driving for similar ideas, but they are also on opposing sides in the War. Another party gets involved in mid 1917, when
deputies in the ‘Yugoslav Club’ in the Austrian parliament call for a South Slav
autonomous community in the empire. Fearing being outmaneuvered, the Serbian government
and the Yugoslav Committee decide to collaborate, producing the Corfu Declaration in July 1917.
The declaration endorses the creation of a kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes ruled
by the Serbian Karađorđević dynasty, in other words King Petar and Crown Prince Aleksander. Things are pretty vague and contradictory
though. The Yugoslav Committee, made up largely of Croats and led by Ante Trumbić, desire
a federation of unique states, whereas the Serbian Government, led by Nikola Pašić,
dream of a strongly centralized state. Now, Radić is not part of any of these factions
and fears that the Serbian government are simply using the Corfu Declaration as a cover
for territorial expansion. He is not entirely wrong; Aleksander and his politicians are
pretty focused on Serbian supremacy, with the commitment to Yugoslavia being more of
a military and political practicality rather than ideology. Not at all what Radić is striving
for. Despite his fears, in 1918, as the Austro-Hungarian
Empire collapses, Radić joins the National Council of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs which
is formed in Zagreb on October 6, thinking that it will furhter his goals. The National
Council, though, announced the goal of unification with Serbia. Radić is opposed, but despite
his continued protests, the National Council decides to send a delegation to Serbia to
call for unification. On 1 December 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs,
Croats, and Slovenes is proclaimed. Aleksandar is declared Prince Regent and will become
King when his father Peter dies in 1921. The prince addresses representatives from the
National Council with unequivocal support of the Yugoslav project, stating that “I
am convinced that by this act I am fulfilling my duty as ruler, because with this I am merely
realizing that which the best sons of our blood – of all three faiths and all three
names from both sides of the Danube, the Sava and the Drina… I proclaim the unification
of Serbia with the lands of the independent state of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in the
unified Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.” A sudden about face- it would seem- and Radić
spares no drama, describing that those rushing into unification are flying “like drunken
geese into a fog.” In March 1919, a provisional parliament meets
to draft a new constitution and immediately hits bumpy ground because of the conflict
of centralism versus federalism. Nikola Pašić’s Radical Party considers Serbia’s war sacrifice
to be what created Yugoslavia, and assumes that Serbian institutions and governance will
continue. Sharing their centralist dream is the Democratic Party, led by Ljubomir Davidovic,
but who oppose the Radical Party’s ill-hidden desire for Serb domination and instead advocate
a unitarian Kingdom where old dividing lines shall be forgotten. The dominant Slovenian
party, the Slovene Peoples Party (SLS), is pro regionalism, but has Italy breathing down
its neck after already taking chunks of Italian territory after the war, and now sees Belgrade
as a guarantee of safety. In some ways in opposition to all of them is Radić, who is
now leading the Croat Peasant Party, opposed to unification, which has unexpected electoral
success in November 1920, propelling Radić to a higher position of influence. Within
weeks of electoral success, though, he and the party come to accept federalization within
some kind of unified state as reality, and republicanism becomes relevant. On top of the main parties, the diverse communities
of Slavic Muslims form a number of independent and largely opposed groups. They seek alliances
with the main parties in exchange for support of Islamic institutions and good treatment
of Muslim landowners in, for instance, Bosnia. Montenegrins and Macedonians get little special
representation as they are viewed as Serbs by Belgrade. Others, like the Internal Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization, oppose Yugoslavia altogether and carry out attacks against Serbian
officials. Constitutional and identity issues are compounded by economic issues. It’s
a motley crew of disjointed agrarian economies with more diversity than cooperation. The
northwest is a great deal more prosperous and advanced than the southeast, and in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Muslim landowners and Serbian peasants are struggling with each other for
economic control. To make things worse, the new state has different tax and banking systems,
transport and communication networks, and legal codes which all have to be linked up. Despite all the differences, on 28 June 1921,
exactly seven years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and 532 years
after the Battle of Kosovo, the Vidovdan Constitution is ratified by 223 of the 285 delegates present
at the Constitutional Assembly in Belgrade, though a huge block of 161 Croat and Slovene
delegates boycott the vote. The Kingdom will be a constitutional, parliamentary, and hereditary
monarchy – one nation comprised of three tribes. It is a victory for centralists. The monarch,
still Peter I at this point, is invested with considerable power over parliamentary politics,
declared to be head of the military, and has most of the government bureaucracy flowing
from him. He has the power to appoint and dismiss prime ministers and the de facto ability
to reject any legislation he doesn’t like. The kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes
now has a constitution, but it is far from having a stable government, and it will stay
that way. In fact, government will come close to failing
or will actually fail over 20 times over the decade, and no government will ever serve
out a full parliamentary mandate. Two opposing parliamentary blocs now emerge. On one side
is the powerful Radical party and on the other is the uneasy coalition of the Croat Republican
Peasant Party, the Slovenes People’s Party, the Yugoslav Muslim Organization, Serbian
agrarians, and a growing number of Democrats, who all don’t really have much in common
apart from their hatred of the Radicals. Radić emerges as a leading figure of opposition
and a thorn in the side of the radicals. On 14 July 1923, Bastille Day, he holds a speech
comparing the Kingdom to the infamous French prison. He is met with death threats, flees
to Hungary, and then embarks on a European tour, visiting Vienna, London, and most controversially,
Moscow, where he attends the Peasant International Congress. His continued agitation continues
to anger the Radicals even from abroad. His visit to Moscow is seen as a personal slight
by Aleksandar, now King, who is a staunch anti-communist and victim of a failed communist
assassination plot in 1921. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia is spiraling deeper
into crisis. Supported by the King, Pašić forms a minority government in March 1924.
Without support in the parliament it falls after only a month. In an attempt to bridge
the partisan divide, Aleksandar gives the mandate to govern to the Democrat leader,
Davidović. But he isn’t even able to form a government, returning Pašić to power once
again in early May. The chaos does not subside as parliament blocks the government from any
meaningful governance and the government refuses to bow to the reform demands of the federalist
opposition. Aleksandar fears that the opposition might gain the upper hand, so he recesses
parliament and refuses to hold elections to avert constitutional reform forces coming
to power. The next two months see Yugoslavia come extremely close to royal dictatorship. Finally, in July, he asks Davidović to once
again try to form a government. The Democrats manage to form a coalition which, to the extreme
anger of the Radical party, includes Radić’s Croat Republican Peasant Party. Radić returns
in August and declares himself ready to participate in government but still continues to espouse
anti-monarchical views in his speeches. Furious, the King demands the resignation of Davidović.
He hands it in, but remains as PM because no new government is formed. That might not
make sense to you, but that is, in fact, how it worked. Yugoslavia is now basically without a legislative
body and the King and his politicla party are facing a showdown over who controls the
country. So there it is, in late 1924, after barely
six years of existence, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes looks like it might not
survive. And let us be clear here, there are a number of forces in Europe that wouldn’t
mind if it fell apart. The Italians are aggressively pursuing their Mediterranean interests in
Albania. The newly formed USSR might have abandoned expansionism for now, but are still
very much interested in fostering new Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. The old central
powers are pretty much powerless now, but a collapse of Yugoslavia might shine new hope
to regain a foothold to their south, at least for economic reasons. When we return in our next episode, we will
see how the struggle over Yugoslavia continues and it becomes a matter of personal life or
death as Radić and King Aleksander move closer and closer to
a showdown.

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  1. We don’t delete or ban any opinions which disagree with other opinions. We delete comments that contain historical fallacies and political propaganda by antidemocratic organisations, irrespective of political leaning. This means that we do not tolerate any lies or propaganda that forward the agenda of, for instance, Nazis, Fascists, Stalinists, Leninists, other ultra-Marxists or Anarchists. That is within our responsibility according to the laws in our territory which forbids the dissemination of false flag information, propaganda, and symbols connected to organizations that have been found to be unconstitutional and an immediate danger to a democratic, free society by the German courts, in accordance with §86 and §86a of the German Penal Code. The law specifically mentions NDSDAP in §86 and the KPD in §86a (NSDAP is the Nazi Party and KPD the Communist party). Moreover we do not tolerate hate speech, racism, xenophobia, and the denial of proven crimes against humanity. This is in perfect agreement with the opinion forwarded by The US Supreme Court on society’s responsibility to fight against that kind of speech and it is in agreement with numerous EU and EU member state laws against same said speech.

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  2. No offense Indie and not to be mean. But it is not "Kasovo" as it sounds the way your saying but Kosovo or Kosov

  3. Pretty good, pretty good … Kudos for explaining the hugely complicaded Yugoslav interwar history in such a concise, vivid and fairly accurate manner.
    Just one comment: Radić was not a very important figure before the war. I think it was the right decision to follow him from the outset of his political career, to make sense of what came after the war, just keep in mind that he was pretty much marginal before 1918. It was the failure of both the old-style, pro-Habsburg Croat nationalism and of the Yugoslav ideal (which soon turned out into a mess, as you can see) that propelled Radić as the undisputed tribune of the Croats, also thanks to his Cassandra role in the 1910s.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Good video, as always. However, I would like to add a couple of clarifications:

    1) Ljudevit Gaj did not take the shtokavian dialect as the basis for the Serbo-Croatian languge, this was done in 1848 by Vuk Karadzic. He merely adopted the shotkavian dialect as the basis for the language spoken in Zagreb and Croatia (as opposed to Kaykavian spoken in Zagreb before mid XIX century).

    2) The ethnic tensions were there before Yugoslavia was created – see Ante Starcevic and a series of anti-Serb protests in Zagreb and other cities in late XIX and early XX century.

    3) You failed to mention that Croats willingly participated in WW1 and were all promoted to higher ranks in 1919, regardless of their role in WW1.

    4) The Illyrian movement did not originate in Croatia, but in Vienna. The AH empire saw it as a way to conquer Serbia, at the time still part of the Ottoman empire, and was in favor of the Yugoslav / Illyrian unity as long as the centre was in Agram (Zagreb). One the centre of it moved to Belgrad, the Germanic world became a strong opponent of the Yugoslav idea.

    5) You said you wouldn't take sides, but you speak about Serbian supremacy. In the 1st Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik, Cavtat, Split, Sibenik along with all catholic Serbs in Dalmatia and Slavonia were forced to declare themselves as ethnic Croats. Please check the AH population census in late XIX century and that of Yugoslavia in 1920/1930, and you will understand what I am talking about.

  5. That was awesome. Thank you. It would seem that there are few parts of the planet where folk have managed to keep from fighting for sustained periods. Would be interesting to see if such places exist and what might be the factors behind any stability.

  6. To watch corporate news without some knowledge of history is to be misled.. Americans need to study-up! Thank you for this channel..

  7. Legend has it that whenever Yugoslavia is mentioned, everyone from the Balkans senses it and feels compelled to go and quarrel with other people from the Balkans.
    As a Bulgarian, I believe this to be true.

  8. Love the Show! We follow Indy since The Great War show. I watched with my dad. I have to translate it for him. Hope you one day release the episodes with Spanish subtitles for people who doesn't know English. Keep the good work. Greetings from Chile.

  9. I was washing the dishes, I don't know how this video auto-started but when I heard Indy's warning at 1:00 I think…. Ah, Yugoslavia.

  10. Very brave from you. I wonder how many comments you have to delete by now. Few things you did mis. The communist won first local elections after the WWI through Serbia. Government cancelled it otherwise Niš and Belgrade would have the red mayors.
    Also strife between factions within Serbian military continued. And if Apis was key figure before WWI, general Petar Živković who was responsible for all State run terror against anyone opposing to him.

  11. It's interesting how you have worded this video quite carefully and it's presented about as neutral as possible.
    But when discussing other topics you just dive head first into slagging various nationalities off. I don't even recall the last time you had a positive thing to say about Britain or France in ww2 series and you seem to condemn every nation for every action possible except America which curiously seems to escape any kind of reflection or criticism for it's rather isolationist stance despite it clearly being a major world power at this point.
    I know isolationism today is seen as a positive trait what with various wars getting some seriously bad press etc, but can you really frame it as a positive trait in the lead up to ww2 and even the war itself?

    I'm not so sure you can. And surely Neville Chamberlains appeasement would put an end to any kind of preference for championing such a view when dealing with dictators.
    Where is the condemnation for the lack of American involvement? For all of Chamberlains politik at least he chose a side. The same can't be said for the Americans at this time.

    That said, I actually prefer your tone and presentation with the longer episodes shown here covering the interwar period. It seems more professional. Although I think you can fall prey to the fallacy of the "enlightened middle way" and trying to simply present the facts as they appear. But in the more contentious and political aspects this is where you struggle.
    Eventually you'll be presented with two entirely opposed views on dodgy evidence and you'll have to pick a side to present as "the truth". And this is where the middle way falls down. Some events have no nice and simple ways to cut them up for historical consumption.

    On some binary topics where no middle ground exists you insist on trying to make the fence wider so you can sit upon it and gaze down on the uncultured extremists below. Hiding from their cruel barbs and contempt with a shroud of righteousness built upon the notion that your view is superior to either of theirs.

  12. Read "Thirty years war" by Schiller. There you can find roots of behavior that led to worst death camps of WW2 in Nazi Croatia.

  13. There is one mistake in the vid ..
    On map at 2:34 Serbia is presented within the borders of Austria Hungary and that's not historically correct 😉

  14. I think it's totally ok to let comment section open for spilling hatred among all Balkaners, it's our natural online habitat and experience. Guidelines-wise there should be exclusion for this region only. 😀

    Cheers from Macedonia.

  15. Naravno da zabranjujete komentare ne bi li se slucajno da zemlje iz koje vi dolazite su napravili sva ova sranja koji govorite istorijske lazi kako bi opravdali ubijanje srpskog naroda i njegovo etnicko ciscenje ali znajte vi svi Dogodine ua Kninu i Prizrenu

  16. There are a few things I would have liked you guys have mentioned about this period of Yugoslav history:
    1) Bosnia was a pretty tense region even back then. The Muslims, who made up around 1/3 of the population, owned almost all of the agricultural land, and Serbs and Croats were working those fields for the most part. Naturally that made the Christian population of Bosnia "a bit" angry once Bosnia became part of Yugoslavia. Austria-Hungary did not bother trying to make a meaningful agricultural reform, but now Serbs felt they could push for it because the government in Belgrade would not treat them as second class citizens and actually would listen to their plight ( because it was, de facto, a Serb run government, of course ). And there was a big agitation for agrarian reforms which, naturally, scared the Muslims because they feared losing power over the people they've despotically ruled over for centuries. They were afraid of a Serb payback. And most of the Western people getting just introduced to the history of the region would assume the same would happen. Only it didn't, but not thanks to Bosnian Serbs ( we were always "a bit" more angry than our brothers from Serbia ). King Alexander's government(s) actually did a great job at equally redistributing the land to the people who actually worked on it, while it fairly compensated the former Muslim landlords ( siphahis, or "spahija" in Serbo-Croatian ). Muslims then generally turned more and more into an urban population, while Serbs and Croats generally remained a rural one ( with a few cities as exceptions, like Banjaluka, Sarajevo or Mostar ). It was done in about 10-15 years, if I remember correctly, as a gradual process. Of course, this made Bosnian Serbs and Croats politically more powerful, so the Muslims had to maneuver on the Yugoslav scene in order to remain in some kind of control over their fate – which leads me to the next point:
    2) The first Yugoslav constitution got passed by a slim majority only because the Serbian Radical Party promised the Muslims in Bosnia religious autonomy. Then, just as the country got created, the Muslims sided against the SRP – which clearly shows how they sided with whomever who will guarantee them more autonomy or at least take away less political influence from them.
    3) Ljudevit Gaj was a huge fan of the work of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, a Serbian linguist who has codified the modern Serbian grammar and succeeded in establishing the spoken folk language as the norm ( rather than the weird "slavyanoserbski" language which had no precisely defined grammar and was this strange mixture of Serbian and Russian, with which the upper Serbian classes spoke – a separate story all unto itself ). It was Vuk who first defined that the štokavian dialect should be the basis for a Serbian and/or Serbo-Croatian language ( it's because he spoke that dialect and yeah, I do to, and yeah, it's honestly the best one ) and who introduced certain letters, rules etc. and who insisted on the ijekavian way of speaking as being the most proper. Funny thing is that the Croatians like Ljudevit Gaj implemented the reforms of Vuk to the letter. Croatians before then spoke all sorts of dialects and were even split into three ways of speaking – ekavian, ijekavian and ikavian; but after Vuk and Gaj the standard literary language became the language of Vuk, štokavian ijekavian. Plus, Croatians to this day follow the rule which Vuk spoke of, and that is to use a Slavic word instead of a foreign one if it can be used properly ( today it has taken a wrong turn in Croatia, as there are lots of cases where they try to distinguish between "Serbian" and "Croatian" words, which often led to comical results ). On the other hand, in Serbia, it went into an opposite direction. Serbia became štokavian ekavian and didn't purge its language of Turkish loanwords. Bosnian Muslims? Eh, they speak half Yugoslav half Turkish sometimes just to accentuate their identity. You can sometimes form sentences in perfect Serbo-Croatian, but using mostly Turkish, Arab or Persian nouns and the Christians wouldn't understand a thing you're saying. Just goes to show how different the nations were even in the smallest of details, like the spoken word.
    4) Montenegrins – since you've mentioned how they lacked representation because Serbs thought of them as Serbs – they were Serbs. They felt nationally and ethnically as Serbs. Their entire history of fighting the Ottomans was done in the name of Serbian identity. Even the guy who shot Stjepan Radić in the Parliament ( SPOILER ALERT ) out of revenge was a Montenegrin, Puniša Račić. There's a historical anegdote about why Puniša shot Radić. During one heated parliamentary debate, the Croats were, as usual, complaining on how Serbs want to rule everything and don't want to give Croatia its autonomy it already had under the Habsburgs; while the Serbs accused the Croats of wanting to break up the country which so many Serbs have spilled their blood for. In a moment of debating anger, Stjepan Radić asked:"Well how much does your Serbian blood cost, so that we may pay it off and leave then?". And Puniša heard that. A Montenegrin heard someone disrespecting the war efforts made by his people. You do not want to go there. You. Never. Go. There. Montenegrins suffered horribly and made huge sacrifices during the battle at Mojkovac in 1915 in order to secure a safe retreat for the Serbian army. And Montenegrins were ( are ) a people generally easily insulted. So, when Puniša heard Radić saying that sentence, he decided to shoot him. There are even stories how Puniša Račić was seen days before the assassination in the audience of king Alexander, but there is nothing more than rumors about that event taking place. Not impossible though. Either way, that was the moment when the king decided to establish a royal dictatorship – he's had enough of his peoples squabbling like children.

  17. Thank you for a great episode! I would really like to see (for the sake of unbiased approach) if you could find and tell the world in the next episode the exact Stjepan Radić's last words to Puniša Račić before he (*SPOILER ALERT*) assassinated him…If I remember well, it went something like this:
    P. Račić: "We Serbs should have a privileged status in Yugoslavia since we liberated you all, so you Croats are in debt with us".
    S.Radić: "OK, so tell me, how much do you ask, so we pay you for your "liberation" and you just let us be!" (Basically a prequel of the: "I'll pay you 50 bucks to f*** off" meme…)
    P.Račić: *pulls the trigger*…
    Thank you again, TimeGhost History, for touching the livewire in quite an unbiased show. I enjoyed it very much. Well done!

  18. Wow! I never heard of any of this while studying world or European history in secondary school in the states. Thank you for a very interesting episode.

  19. One thing is for sure. The biggest curse of the Balkans is the inclination of all its people to some national ideals. With so many nations in so little space it can only bring disaster for all. The Serbian king wants to unite all lands, seen by him as serbian. The croats and the slovenians want as much independence as possible, bulgarians are seeking the unification of all lands populated, as they see it, with bulgarians, the greeks are keen to unite the ancient greek lands, the romanians, seeing themselves as descendants of ancient Rome may even want to unite the lands of the ancient empire and don't forget the turks with their past Otoman empire. It would be very funny if we can forget the suffering of all the people of the Balkan region thrue wars, violence, ethnic cleansing, but we can't. And yet again and again there is always somebody in the region to pull out some ancient maps from long forgotten time just to claim the historical right over one land or another that is tragical. Saying that I can not resist to ask if somebody has data from a census or some contemporary tastements from a macedonian back in 1918? Any historical document? Please don't misunderstand me, one way or another nowadays there are lots of people with macedonian self-determination and that is a fact which I am aware with and have no issues with it too.

  20. It's tragic that people cpuldn't come together after ww1. So much strife could've been avoided if the idealists had won out

  21. First, thanks for the excellent episode.

    Second, I have a point of disagreement. I doubt “Macedonians” existed in 1918 – and I don’t think anyone self-identified as “Macedonian” back then. People living in modern day Macedonia self-identified as Bulgarian (the majority), Greek, Albanian, Turkish, Karakachan, Serbian, etc.

    The Macedonian Internal Revolutionary Organisation (IRO) that you mention is basically a Bulgarian entity having its roots in the 19-century IRO, which started as a network of secretive revolutionary clubs among ethnic Bulgarians in the Ottoman Empire. After Bulgaria gained independence in 1878, the IRO survived in Macedonia, which remained under Ottoman rule. The Macedonian IRO first fought the Ottomans and after the Balkan Wars – the Serbs, who had gained control over the region. The Macedonian IRO was closely linked to Bulgaria up until the end of WW2 and was a major factor in Bulgarian political squabbles, while (at the same time) continuing an anti- Serbian struggle in Macedonia proper.

    What can be said is that in time the Bulgarian government started to drop support for the Macedonian IRO. This was for numerous reasons. The main one seems to be that the IRO was not militarily successful in Macedonia and instead used its power and influence in Bulgaria to meddle in local politics, often in a violent manner. As a result, in the 1920s and 30s the Macedonian IRO began to slowly divide into two groups – one continuing to advocate unification with Bulgaria (the traditional course for the IRO) and one advocating for a separate Macedonian country.

    However the issue of ethnically separate Macedonian identity started to arise after 1945 – not without influence from Tito’s communist regime.

  22. I love how you felt the need to worn us Yugoslavs to be nice in the comments. Keep up with a good work.. Love your channels.

  23. you should mention JMO (Yugoslav Muslim Organization) a bit more. Its practically the only voice of Muslims and Bosnia during this period.

  24. A 300:1 ratio between likes and dislikes on a video on the history of Balkan ethnic/political tensions. That's the best validation you'll get 😅

  25. Yugoslavia was a huge Serbian mistake; of an intelligencia romantizing Pan Slavic fantasies. Our soldiers gave their blood in the wars leading up to 1918 while the Croats and Slovens gave nothing for that Yugoslav creation. Plus Serbia was promised huge territories in the Conference of London 1915, which we could have taken, and this was still small compared to the gains we made 1918 pushing to Trst, Italy! Unfortunatly, we opted for 'unity' and ' friendship' and recevied in return a nice slap 1941 from our fellow Slavs, and yet a worse one from 1945 onward- from Tito. Like your videos btw! And I like your intro for this video😀 All the best!

  26. Period 1918-1941 was one of the most interesting, if not the most interesting periods in the history of Balkans and most modern animosity is actually sown during that time. Largest opium trade in Europe, fascists parties march, communist win in the elections against the ruling Radicals but are denied the postings, sparking assassinations, strikes, bloody police actions against the opposition, dictatorship of gay prime minister/general/commander of the Royal Guard, militarization of Sokols, grand infrastructure works, underground cities, political backstabbing like never before or after, foreign powers exploiting natural resources of the new kingdom, Russian White Army, colonization laws and practice, India-Pakistan style population exchange deals… I could go on and on.

    Many other regions have had rich histories, but none as rich within such a small time frame while remaining relevant to this day than Yugoslavia between the two wars.

    If you who are reading this love history, that is the period and region I'd suggest. One part for its richness, but the other for its present day importance – if you want to understand Balkans, that is where you start – it will lead you forward and back, weave fantastic stories and you might begin to understand the clusterfuck that modern Balkan is.

    Crap, an entire series, if not channel, can be made covering it, and there would not be a single dull moment.

    Indy and crew – thank you for even brushing against this. People of the region know next to nothing about that time frame (due to political reasons, it is hardly studied in schools) so this might nudge someone into further reading. Historical videos usually save stories from fading, but topics like these can actually change the outlook of some people and bring about the better understanding – one person at the time.

    So once again, thank you. I am not sure you are even aware of the scale of importance of even superficial video covering this.

  27. part 1 part 2 i really dont get it where is 1 now ? can u pls next time put more simple headline so we can find all parts by order thank you

  28. Wasn’t Serbia an independent kingdom, opposed to Austro Hungary? How was the yugoslavism centered on Croatia and not Serbia?

  29. >Macedonians Yeah, I'm not willing to hurt anyone's precious feelings but the vast majority of so called "Macedonian Slavs" in Vardar Macedonia as well as the population of the just taken from Bulgaria Western Outlands, as well as the leaders and members of the revolutionary movement had pronounced Bulgarian ethnic identity, suppressed and substituted by Yugoslav authorities with the notion of "Southern Serbs".

  30. This entire series is long coming. Thank you for exposing the history that shaped our world. We were not told about most of the things you discuss. As a history buff, I am loving your conversation.

  31. My GOsh, an objective Ignorant Amerikun point of view… Th e GATEWAY to EUROPE, has EVERYTHING to gain to bury the hatchet(s) and unite as a collection of those who don't eat the same kind of dinner, BUT have everything else in common as their strengths. sigh … sounds ripe for fascist intervention….

  32. Honestly I lost my interest to hear what Indiana has to say when I saw "your rules" which completely negate "freedom of speech" and by that – "your (in)famous democracy", the term you love to use to cover yourselves and your anarchy…

  33. I'm from ex-Yugoslavia, and there are a lot of details in this video I didn't know about. Thank you so much for making this! You guys are awesome!

  34. Serbs, Croats and Slovenes ( as well as Bosnian Muslims, Macedonians and even Romanians) are genetically identical people. All problems are created by religions, politics and financies … ydna map of Europe: https://i.imgur.com/wfivt2y.png

  35. Indy, learn the basics. Back in 1910-1920-es every Montenegrin saw himself as a Serb. You can find that as a fact in lettaraly every doucument or in a bio of any relevant Montenegrin of that time.

  36. You have done an amazing job, except the part with the Serbo-Croatian language you're not doing both languages a favor with that. This series also shows you some of the reasons for the wars in the 1990s.

  37. Your videos are a worthy successor to Eric Sevareid's "Between the Wars," but I am very surprised there is not an episode on Spain.

  38. They might as well have called it the Kingdom of Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome. It's about the same length.

  39. Good stuff. A couple of points: Radic's first name was Stjepan, not Stepjan. More importantly, Serbia had another option at the end of WW I (especially urged by England): to take all of the areas populated by Serbs (that would include all of Bosnia, since Muslims were not considered a separate nation; large swats of Croatia, and, of course, Montenegro and Macedonia) and stop there. This would have allowed the England to reward Italy for its participation in WW I on the side of the Entente with Austrian coast of the Adriatic. But, Serbia wouldn't listen (partially from selfless reasons (couldn't abandon brothers Yugoslavs), partially from selfish reasons), Italy got alienated and later sided with Germany…

  40. I'm confused, how was the constitution ratified by 223/285 if 161 members boycotted/abstained from voting?

    What have I missed?

  41. Unfortunately you're so vague in a too stern warning about what you consider hate comments that almost anyone else might simply think it's your simple interpretation of a region where you're almost obviously floundering to try to understand… instead of giving clear arguments, you prefer to hear clearly just your own voice, a perfectly democratic liberal attitude… typical for an impartial history…

  42. Croats and serbs. Two nation divaded by same rase, same lenguage,same religion. You have to be croat or serb to understand that. Not always. I am croat. Don't understand

  43. I appreciate very much that you use the word" hateful" in your description of what NOT to post. a difference of opinion is a good thing. A robust discussion of history and current events is a good thing. hatefulness is neither good nor constructive. thank you very much for your videos. I find them very helpful and entertaining.

  44. Yugoslavia was doomed from the start. Not sad at all it’s gone and no one should. Long live individual nationalism!

  45. Mentions Yugoslavia

    Former Yugoslavs: Nationalism…? Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

  46. The very idea of unification derived actually from language reforms that occured both in Serbia and Croatia. Serbia got its partially legislative autonomy (approval was requested from Ottoman's goverment) back in 1827, with major laws in 1829, 1831, 1833, the First Serbian constitution of 1835 and so called Turkish constitution of 1838. In Croatian regions there were already formed Illyrian movement, but, what you forgot to mention, at the very same time (1844) a proclamation was given by Ilija Garašanin, where he pointed 2 direction of eventual independent country. 1. To liberate all lands where Serbian people live, therefore expanding enormously Serbian borders (the great Serbia). 2. To unify with all south Slavs, including Bulgaria, and almost touching the modern Chechia, which would be called United States of South Slavs. Interesting name. Not having the country for several centuries influenced both Croats and Serbs to thrive for independency. "A sick man of Europe" didnt appear just before the Balkan wars, Ottoman survival on Balkan actually was topical subject from mid 19th century. Thats why all the national movements started when both Serbs and Croats saw the opportunities to get out of the claws of both imperialism. They thought unification would make more stable country. What Indy would like say, they. were. wrong.
    It should be a very big episode to point out everything that caused those movements, but most of them seem logical if you look superficially. They were wrong.

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