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Serb Independent Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Serb Independent Party (Serbian Latin: Srpska samostalna stranka, SSS, German: Serbische selbständige Partei), also known as Serb Autonomous Party or simply Serb Autonomists, was an ethnic Serb political party in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was established in August 1881, in Ruma, by Pavle Jovanović and other affluent Serbs. In 1903 Svetozar Pribićević (1875–1936) became the party leader. They published Srbobran, which was the party organ. The party advocated for the unification of Lika, Kordun, Banija, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia to form a Greater Serbia. It was later one of the key members of the Croat-Serb coalition (formed in 1905).

It was formed by the Serbs of Croatia in response to the merging of the Military Frontier, inhabited by the Serbs, back into the Kingdom of Croatia.[1]

The party at first worked in concert with the Hungarian interests in Croatia, led by ban Károly Khuen-Héderváry.[1] In 1903, however, under its new leader Svetozar Pribićević it started to collaborate with Croatian parties. It eventually merged into the Croat-Serb Coalition in 1905.

After the 1908 Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia, a lesser known Bosnian party of the same name was formed, which participated in the Diet of Bosnia. In 1909 it was involved in the scandalous Agram Trial.

After World War I, in 1919 its members mostly joined the Yugoslav Democratic Party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, created by a merger of a wide range of political parties and coalitions, the one from Croatia being the Croato-Serb coalition. The individualism of the SNSS[citation needed] members, though, was never fully erased, and in 1924 most of the former members left JDS and formed the Independent Democratic Party, under the same leadership of the SNSS[citation needed] (president Svetozar Pribicevic).

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  • ✪ The Breakup of Yugoslavia


For most of the 20th century, there existed a country in Southeastern Europe called Yugoslavia. Today, however, what used to be Yugoslavia is now 6 fully independent countries… plus one self-declared independent country, but more on that later. So why exactly did Yugoslavia split up? Well… before looking at why it split up, let’s first look at how it came to be. For this, we need to go back to 1918 and the end of the World War 1. Yugoslavia was created from the Kingdom of Serbia, the Kingdom of Montenegro, and what used to be territories of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. The country was originally called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, but later changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This lasted until about 1941, when Yugoslavia was occupied by Axis the powers of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during World War II. The Axis powers installed their own puppet governments which effectively ended the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1945, after the Allied victory in World War II, Yugoslavia was re-established, this time as Socialist state, a federation of six republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. After initially siding with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia remained neutral throughout the Cold War, and even went on to become one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Throughout Yugoslavia’s existence, there had always been ethnic tensions among the various ethnic groups. This would ultimately lead to the country’s collapse, but under the rule of their first president, Josip Broz Tito, these tensions were largely kept under control, as he promoted “Brotherhood and Unity” between the six republics, and always tried to suppress nationalism, sometimes by force. The death of Tito in 1980 is often viewed as the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia. During the 1980s Yugoslavia’s economy took a turn for the worse, ethnic tensions began to rise, and nationalism began to grow among some of the individual republics. This, coupled with the fall of Communism around the world.. all contributed to what would become the Yugoslav Wars and the breakup of Yugoslavia. The ruling political party in the country was the League of Communists. There were 8 members… the six republics, as well as the two autonomous provinces of Serbia: Vojvodina and Kosovo. In 1986, Slobodan Milošević became leader of the Serbian branch. Milošević and his supporters were uncomfortable with the autonomous provinces of Serbia, as Belgrade had very little control over the politics in these parts of the country. Supporters of Milošević, through large protests, known as the “Rallies of Truth”, managed to overthrow the political leaders in Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro, which were replaced by allies of Milošević. Serbia had effectively created a voting bloc, having 4 of the 8 votes. The other Yugoslav republics, especially Slovenia, openly criticised these actions. In 1989, the autonomy of the province of Kosovo was abolished. Kosovo was about 80% ethnic Albanian, with ethnic Serbs being in the minority. Unsurprisingly, the Albanian majority were extremely unhappy with this motion.. and this led to the Kosovo miners' strike, in which more than 1300 Albanian miners went on a hunger strike. During what would become the last meeting of the League of Communists, there was a heated debate between the Slovenian and Serbian leaders about the structure of Yugoslavia. Slovenia called for more autonomy for the individual republics, while Serbia wanted more unity and centralization. The Slovenian delegates left the congress meeting in protest, and were soon followed by the Croatians and Macedonians. After the the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was dissolved, multi-party elections were held in all 6 of the republics for the first time. The Croatian people voted into power the newly established Croatian Democratic Union party and their leader Franjo Tuđman.The new Croatian flag was raised as the country moved towards its declaration of independence which later followed. Croatia’s population was mostly ethnic Croats, but the country also had a large minority of Serbs, and large regions of Croatia had Serbian majorities, especially along the border with Bosnia. For many Croatian Serbs, the newly elected government was something that caused serious concern. Many Serbs remembered the last time Croatia was an independent country - the Independent State of Croatia, during World War 2, governed by the ultranationalist, fascist group, Ustaše, allied with Nazi Germany. The extremist group of Croats took part in the Holocaust, carrying out a genocide campaign against ethnic Serbs. So in 1990, many Serbs had all-too vivid memories of the atrocities committed to their people just half a century before, and many worried about the newly elected government in Croatia. In a Serb-majority town of Knin, the local Serbs started a rebellion, blocking off key roads throughout Croatia. Croatian Special Force helicopters were sent to resolve the rebellion by force. However, while en route, Yugoslav Army fighter jets flew alongside them, ordering them to turn around or be shot down. They returned back to base. This was when the gravity of the situation became apparent. This wasn’t just some local Serbian rebellion, they were being assisted by the Yugoslav National Army. In the following weeks and months, the army also provided the rebels with weapons. Many more of the Serb dominated areas in Croatia started rebellions, taking control of Serb-majority towns, seeking to join Serbia. 3 separate rebel groups proclaimed themselves independent from Croatia. These 3 groups would later join together and seek unification with Serbia. On June 25th, 1991, Slovenia and Croatia both officially declared their independence. Of course by this point, the Yugoslav Wars had already begun, but were thus far mostly confined to Croatia, between the Croats and Serbs. However, with Slovenia declaring their independence, this brought them into the war as well. The Yugoslav Army travelled to Slovenia, with the goal of asking them to… politely reconsider their independence. Two days after their declaration of independence, began what became known as the Ten-Day War, between Slovenia and the Yugoslav Army. Relative to the other wars within Yugoslavia, there were very few casualties. After these ten days of war, under the sponsorship of the Europe Community, an agreement was signed between Slovenia, Croatia and Yugoslavia. The document sought to open up negotiations between the parties to resolve things peacefully. Yugoslavia withdrew their army, but the agreement did very little to actually stop the fighting. Yugoslavia were preparing a massive attack on Slovenia, with tanks, air force and artillery. Their military power was far superior and they could easily take control of Slovenia. However, Serbia’s authorisation was required, but Serbia refused. The Serbian representatives within Yugoslavia didn’t care if Slovenia left. Slovenia was a country of almost entirely ethnic Slovenes. Because there were very few Serbs within Slovenia, Serbia didn’t care if they left. Croatia, on the other hand, was a different story. Therefore Serbia were unwilling to let them leave so easily. The Croatian President publicly stated that he would “defend every inch of Croatia” Serbian nationalists in Croatia had already taken control of a dozen towns and villages, but things took a turn for the worse in the Croatian border town of Vukovar, where the conflict escalated between Croatia and the rebel Serbs. The Yugoslav Army sent a huge force to the Croatia-Serbia border, claiming to be a neutral peacekeeping unit. Together, the Yugoslav Army and the Croatian Serbs pushed forward taking control of more and more villages. Some of which had been entirely populated by Croats. They were no longer just taking control of Serb dominated parts of Croatia. Due to the escalating violence in Croatia, the presidents of all six of the republics were called to The Hague, by the European Community, to discuss possible peace plans. Croatian president, Franjo Tuđman, claimed that Croatia had every right to succeed from Yugoslavia. Serbian president, Slobodan Milošević, responded by saying that if Croatia had the right to succeed, then Serbs in Croatia had the right to join Serbia. Europe Community peace negotiator, Lord Carrington, presented Milošević with a question: would you be willing to accept the independence of Croatia, subject to the human rights of Serbs outside of Serbia. To Lord Carrington’s surprise, he said yes. In the meantime, the Yugoslav Army were planning a massive attack on the Croatian capital, Zagreb. But such an attack carried huge risks, of sanctions or even outside intervention. Carrington was eager to get this verbal agreement in writing. However, when it came time to sign the document, there was one key difference. The agreement would not simply accept Croatia’s independence, but would make all six republics independent nations. Milošević refused to sign, as he didn’t want to dissolve Yugoslavia. The Carrington Plan, was not just for Serbia and Milošević, but all of the republics, who voted on the plan. The plan needed 5 votes to pass. Serbia voted no, but all 5 other republics voted yes. This was surprising given that Montenegro was strongly allied with Serbia. As it later turned out, Italy had offered Montenegro a large aid program if they accepted the Carrington Plan. The plan was set to go ahead, but Serbia later blackmailed the Montenegrin president to send a letter to Lord Carrington and change his vote, or be outed to the public as a traitor to Yugoslavia. The letter was sent, and the plan broke down. Around this time, Macedonia held a referendum on independence, which was 95% in favour. Macedonia was the the only republic which broke away from Yugoslavia completely peacefully. Meanwhile in Croatia, the Croatian stronghold in Vukovar was under siege. The small Croatian defense force managed to hold the town for 87 days, before it finally fell to the much larger Yugoslav Army. The Serbs held around ⅓ of Croatian land. In January of 1992, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the Croats and the Serbs. But the war in Yugoslavia was not just between Croatia and Serbia. In fact, by far the bloodiest war in Yugoslavia was the Bosnian War. Bosnia and Herzegovina was the most multicultural of the republics, and had three main ethnic groups. The largest were the Bosniaks, often referred to as “Bosnian Muslims”, but there was also a very large minority of Serbs, and a smaller minority of Croats. The Bosnian Serb party leader issued a firm warning to the Bosnian government not to pursue independence, but in February 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina held a referendum. Most Bosniaks and Croats voted in favour, while the majority of Serbs boycotted the vote. The very next day, a Serb civilian in Bosnia was killed by a Bosniak, and Serbs retaliated by setting up roadblocks in nation’s capital, Sarajevo, and large parts of the city quickly came under the military occupation of the Bosnian Serbs. Demands were made that Bosnia and Herzegovina stop seeking international recognition. Serbs in Bosnia had declared their own independent republic: the "Republika Srpska". All Bosnian Serbs in the Yugoslav Army were transferred to the Bosnian Serb Army. On the 27th of April, 1992, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia officially came to end as a new constitution was adopted with the proclamation the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, consisting of just two of the six republics - Serbia and Montenegro. The United Nations denied their request to automatically continue membership as Yugoslavia. Bosnian Serbs began to take control of all Serb-majority areas of Bosnia, as well as Muslim towns near the Serbian border. As well as this, they also began sporadic mortar attacks on Sarajevo. The Bosnian capital would be under siege for nearly four years. In the beginning of the Bosnian War, Bosniaks and Croats were allied with each other, as they were fighting against a common enemy. However, Bosnian Croats had similar ideas to the Bosnian Serbs, to take control of the Croat-majority parts of Bosnia and join Croatia. Like the Serbs however, the Croat forces also didn’t just take control of Croat towns. Bosnian Croats proclaimed The Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, a separate state from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In May of 1993, a United Nations Commander was sent to the town of Srebrenica, which had become a refuge for Bosnian Muslims who fled their home. He was welcoming with open arms, but when it came time for him to leave, a crowd of people wouldn’t let him. They wanted him to guarantee their safety and demanded help from the West. The Bosnian Serbs already had the town surrounded. The Commander went against UN policy and announced the town was under UN protection. Later, a unanimous UN resolution was adopted which declared Srebrenica and other Muslim populated regions as a “Safe Area”. The international community devised a plan, the Vance-Owen plan, which would divide the country into ten ethnic provinces: 3 Bosniak, 3 Serb, 3 Croat, as well as the neutral capital, Sarajevo. The Bosnian president, the Croatian president, and the Bosnian Croats, had all agreed to the plan. The Serbian president urged the Bosnian Serbs to agree to the plan, but through their military conquests, they had taken control of about ⅔ of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Accepting the Vance-Owen Plan would mean giving up about 25% of their currently held territory, so the plan ultimately broke down. The Bosniaks and the Croats signed a peace treaty in Washington, as the Americans demanding that Croatia stop their war against Bosnian Muslims or face sanctions. They agreed to this as they wanted help from the West to re-take their own land in Croatia. In February of 1994, a mortar attack on Sarajevo’s marketplace caused the death of 68 civilians. In response to this, NATO issued the Bosnian Serbs with an ultimatum: withdraw your heavy weapons from the hills or Sarajevo within 10 days. The Bosnian Serbs rejected the ultimatum. The Bosnian Serbs wanted to show their military superiority over the Bosniaks, and show that they could not be bullied by the West. They launched a mortar attack at a hospital in the town of Goražde, a UN safe area, NATO responded with an airstrike of Bosnian Serb command post, and they retaliated by surrounding and taking hostage 150 UN personnel. One of the other UN safe areas, Srebrenica, while under UN military protection, was forcibly taken in what became known as the Srebrenica Massacre where thousands of civilians were killed. With the violence at an all-time high in Bosnia, another mortar attack on Sarajevo and another 37 civilians killed, was the final straw, and a full-scale NATO bombing campaign began against the Bosnian Serbs. President Milošević of Serbia, demanded that the Bosnian Serbs allow him to negotiate a peace treaty on their behalf, cutting all ties and support from Belgrade. Meanwhile, back in Croatia, the Croatian government had been preparing for several years to retake their land. In May and August of 1995, Croatia launched two large-scale military assaults on the Serb-controlled parts of Croatia. By this point, the Croats had a far stronger military. The vast majority of Serbs fled the country, even communities that had lived in Croatia for centuries. Many Serb villages were burnt to the ground, to ensure the Serbs never returned. With the Bosnian Serbs weakened, Croats and Bosniaks worked together in Bosnia taking as much land as they could. Serbs fled to Serbia and Montenegro. The Americans urged them to stop, as they wanted a peace treaty to be signed. Peace talks took place in Dayton, Ohio, USA. The plan was to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina as one country, but divided into two distinct legal entities: the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska. After 17 days of negotiating and several redrawn maps, the peace treaty was finally signed between all parties. This peace treaty which put a stop to the wars in Yugoslavia, was not quite the end of the violence. In the late 90’s, war broke out between the Albanian majority in Kosovo, against Serbia, as they seeked their independence. Backed by NATO, the Kosovo Liberation Army took effective control of Kosovo. The war ended in 1999 and in 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared itself an independent nation, but the situation still remains unresolved to this day. In the year 2000, after the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević, Serbia and Montenegro gave up on its desire to continue as the sole legal successor of Yugoslavia, they joined the UN as new member, and in 2003 changed their official name to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. This only last three more years though, because in 2006, Montenegro passed a narrowly won independence referendum. Yugoslavia was a country that was built on Brotherhood and Unity, but fell apart from internal struggle and civil war. The country may not exist anymore but its legacy lives on. Unfortunately, the most prominent memories from Yugoslavia’s history are the extremely unpleasant ones … but today all of the former Yugoslav republics are peaceful and prosperous nations. However, with the still unresolved situation in Kosovo, another war in Balkans is always a possibility. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and that the situation can be resolved peacefully. I’m happy to announce this video has been sponsored by, the leading provider of audiobooks with more than 250,000 titles. You can get a free audiobook and a 30-day free trial if you sign up at, and that’ll let them know you came from this video, which helps support the channel. The fall of Communism is one of the factors that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia, and for that reason I’m going to recommend “Revolution 1989” about the fall of the Soviet Union. You can download this audiobook for free, which is yours to keep even if you don’t continue with the service after the free trial. So I just want to say a massive thank you to for sponsoring this video, and thank you for watching.


  1. ^ a b "Povijest HSS-a" (in Croatian). Croatian Peasant Party. Retrieved 2010-12-08. Srpski političari koji su do tada djelovali unutar hrvatskih političkih stranaka, počinju s osnivanjem srpskih političkih stranaka. Tako je u Hrvatskoj 1881. osnovana Srpska samostalna stranka, koja za Khuenove vladavine provodi antihrvatsku šovinističku politiku. U Zagrebu ova stranka tiska glasilo "Srbobran".


This page was last edited on 13 June 2019, at 19:27
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