Crisis In Kosovo Essay, Research Paper
Foundations in the Crisis in Yugoslavia
For hundreds of years there has been conflicts in the area of Yugoslavia. The present day conflicts between the United Nations and Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbians has caused uproar throughout the world. Many innocent lives have been lost since the beginning of the present warfare, but there has been bad blood between the Serbians and the ethnic Albanians long before President Milosevic started pushing the Albanians out of their motherland.
Yugoslavia is a federated country situated on the west central Balkan Peninsula. It is a union of two related states, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia is landlocked, but Montenegro forms a bridge southwestward from southern Serbia to the Adriatic Sea. Serbs have been living in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija since the 6th century, yet they make up only one-tenth of the population. The areas in interest are the most undeveloped in Yugoslavia. For over two centuries the area of Yugoslavia were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Ottoman Empire was the most powerful empire in the world. Although sometimes called the Ottoman Nights by many people who were under the rule there was much advancement in society during this time. During the 17th century numerous revolts by armed groups of peasants and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire led to many of the Serbs in the area to flee. The greatest of these revolts took place in 1690, when Serbs rose in support of an Austrian invasion. The Habsburg forces, unable to sustain their advance, retreated back across the Sava, leaving the native population seriously exposed to Turkish reprisals. In 1691 Archbishop Arsenate III Crnojevic of Pec led a migration of 30,000-40,000 families from “Old Serbia” and Southern Bosnia across the Danube.
There they were settled at the Austrian Military Frontier. From the time of the great migration of 1691 also dates the gradual conversion of Kosovo-Metohija into a predominantly Albanian region, as Albanians filled the space left by the displaced Serbs. Since this time there has been ill feelings between the Ethnic Albanians and the Serbians. When war broke out between the Ottomans and an alliance of Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787, the Austrian emperor called upon the Serbs to rise once more against the Turks, which they did with some success. Afterward, when two treaties were signed the rights of the Serbs were guaranteed, but these promises were never fulfilled and soon this area sank into a decline.
The French Revolution and the Napoleonic era signaled the beginning of the transformation of the way of life throughout the Balkans. The wars of this period precipitated changes in diplomacy, and in their aftermath entirely new social and political processes began to change the way these people lived their lives. They remained overwhelmingly peasant societies, but the older aristocratic dynasties were increasingly challenged by the rising middle classes, which saw “national interest” in different terms. This led to the weakening of the aristocratic families and the middle class taking over their estates and became “peasant proprietors.” These landowners had total control over those that rented land from them. Throughout most of the 19th century there was political unrest throughout the lands of Yugoslavia. By the early 20th century the relationship between Serbia and Hungary (especially over Bosnia) was deteriorating. In 1906 tariffs was placed on Serbian exports through Hungary as part of the so-called “Pig War.” This shift of Serbia’s external circumstances had a dramatic effect on its foreign policy, in that there was a sudden “discovery” of Macedonia. This was one of the last Turkish holdings in the area, and although Bulgaria and Greece had been trying to obtain it for many years. Early in the 1900’s the areas of Yugoslavia, Austria-Hungary fought diligently to take control of the lands of Macedonia. This growing engagement in Macedonia brought
Serbia into deepening conflict with Austria-Hungary, and later led to the Ten year war.
Ten years of almost continuous war began with the onset of the Balkan Wars in October 1912 and lasted through World War I and to the resolution of the status of Albania in May 1922 in the areas surrounding Yugoslavia. Although countries like Serbia gained vast amounts of land during this time the bitterness between the Hungarians and the Serbs reached a peak. The peak was when Austrian archduke Francis Ferdinand attended a military review at Sarajevo. There a group called the secret society assassinated him and his wife. This was the catalyst for the beginning of the First World War. The first and second world wars had a deep lasting effect on this area. Although Yugoslavia tried hard to be an independent and non-warring nation during the second world war the pressure from the Nazis were too much and they eventually succumbed to them on March 25, 1941, the regents signed the Tripartite Pact. This was followed by numerous demonstrations in Belgrade by commoners. Afterward the Slavic nations were divided into an array of puppet states, with these new creations being placed under German or Italian zones of military control.
In 1942 the communists formed the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia, which, as a self-declared “temporary government,” linked acknowledgment of the ethnic plurality of the peoples of Yugoslavia with the reconstitution of Yugoslavia as a federation. At that time communist forces in Serbia were relatively weak. Following their defeat 1941, they returned only in the closing stages of the war, when, armed by the Western Allies and supported by the advancing Red Army, they came to conquer a basically anticommunist Serbia. The last of the royal traitors were finally found and persecuted in the early 1950s.
Throughout much its recent history, the area of Yugoslavia has been one always in conflict with itself or other outside nations. The present day conflict in Kosovo is nothing new to the American citizens, considering we had just sent our troops to Bosnia to quell the internal problems there. The comic strips that were handed out in class sent a message of non-violence, but the warring continues. The first comic strip depicts Hagar on his was to war. His wife then speaks to another woman and states that she had another job for him to complete. Then the artist depicts Hagaar quite miserable and unhappy, the woman tells the other that the job she had for him to do was diplomacy. I feel that the need for diplomacy is in great need in lieu of what has happened recently, yet NATO continues to shower the ground with missiles and accidentally killing innocent people. The Serbians and Milosevic should pay for what travesties they have done to the Albanians there, but I feel that a course of action should be taken, and diplomacy should be tried more before we as a nation take more innocent lives.