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Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina - History

Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina - History


Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbo-Croatian: Republika Bosna i Hercegovina / Република Босна и Херцеговина ) was a state in Southeastern Europe, existing from 1992 to 1995. It is the direct legal predecessor to the modern-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. [2]

Bosnia and Herzegovina seceded from the disintegrating Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992. This led almost immediately to the breakout of the Bosnian War which went on over the entire existence of the republic. Leaders of two of the three main ethnicities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely Serbs and Croats, established separate entities of the Republika Srpska and the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, respectively, which were unrecognized by the international community. [3] Informally these events were considered as evidence that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina represented primarily its Bosniak (mainly Muslim) population, though formally the presidency and government of the republic was still composed of Serbs and Croats along with Bosniaks. [4] [5] [6]

Under the Washington Agreement of 1994, however, Bosniaks were joined by Croats of Herzeg-Bosnia, which was abolished by this agreement, in support for the Republic by the formation of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a sub-state joint entity. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Accords joined the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Serb entity, the Republika Srpska, from that point onward recognized formally as a political sub-state entity without a right of secession, into the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. [3] [5] [7]

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina existed legally until it co-signed the Annex 4 of the Dayton Agreement, containing the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 14 December 1995, but official documents reveal that the state existed until the end of 1997 when the implementation of the Dayton Agreement was finished and only then did it fully come into effect. [8]


OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Ever since it was settled by Slavic tribes in the 7th century, the region has been dominated and contested by its more powerful neighbors, the Hungarians, the Croats, and the Serbs, with the exception of an independent Bosnian kingdom in the 14th and 15th centuries. The entire Balkan peninsula was incorporated into the empire of the Ottoman Turks dating from the 15th century, but unlike many of its neighbors, a large number of the Bosnian Slavs converted to ISLAM, for reasons ranging from genuine religious conviction to tax breaks and political advancement.

Today's Bosnians are descendants of these people, and differ from their Croat and Serb conationalists mostly in terms of religious affiliation, despite the fact that most Bosnians consider themselves only minimally religious. The Serb and Croat languages are nearly the same, but Serbians use the alphabet of their Orthodox faith, while Croat Catholics use the Latin alphabet. Even after the Dayton Agreement of 1995, the populations have continued to separate along ethnic lines, whereas twenty years ago, ethnic intermarriages were more common than not, almost one in three. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily populated by Croats and Bosnians, and the Republika Srpska, populated by ethnic Serbs, are both oddly shaped—the latter (with roughly 50 percent of the land) wraps around the former—and include several ENCLAVES within each other, such as the internationally supervised district Brcko.

The wars of the 1990s and subsequent mass emigration has destroyed most of Bosnia's economy and left nearly 45 percent of the population unemployed. Even before the breakup of Yugoslavia and ethnic strife, Bosnia and Herzegovina was (along with Macedonia) the poorest region of the federation. Its economy had been focused not on food production, but chiefly on machinery and military supplies for the rest of Yugoslavia. Bosnia has a good supply of natural resources, including coal, iron, copper, and timber, which could form the core of a revived national economy.


Contents

Historic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Census Population Change Area (km 2 ) Density (pop. per km 2 ) Note
1879 1,158,440 51,246 22.6 As part of Austria-Hungary
(1878–1918)
1885 1,336,091 +15.3% 51,246 26.1
1895 1,568,092 +17.4% 51,246 30.6
1910 1,898,044 +21.0% 51,200 37.1
1921 1,890,440 –0.4% 51,200 36.9 As part of Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(1918–1941)
1931 2,323,555 +22.9% 51,564 45.1
1948 2,564,308 +10.4% 51,189 50.1 As SR Bosnia and Herzegovina
within SFR Yugoslavia
(1945–1992)
1953 2,847,459 +11.0% 51,221 55.6
1961 3,277,948 +15.1% 51,197 64.0
1971 3,746,111 +14.3% 51,197 73.2
1981 4,124,256 +10.1% 51,197 80.6
1991 4,377,033 +6.1% 51,197 85.5
2001 † 3,922,205 –10.4% 51,197 76.6 As Bosnia and Herzegovina
(1992–present)
2013 3,531,159 –9.9% 51,197 68.9
† = Estimate. ‡ = Preliminary results.
Sources: For period 1879–1991, Institute for Statistics of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina [1] For 2001 and 2011, various editions of Central Intelligence Agency's publication The World Factbook.

The highest concentration of Haplogroup I-M170, the only native European Haplogroup, is found in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranging from 65% to 73%. [2] The oldest traces of mankind in Bosnia and Herzegovina were during the Paleolithic period near Doboj, Prnjavor and in the Valley of the River of Usora. During the Neolithic period there were three cultural zones: the Adriatic in Herzegovina the Pannonian-Balkan in Bosnia and the transitional zone between the two in the headwaters of the river of Bosnia. Bosnia and Herzegovina has many archaeological foundings from the Bronze to Iron Age. Throughout the Classical Age cultural and civilization layers of the Illyrians (Daorsi in eastern Herzegovina, Ardiaei, Sardeates, Japodi, Breuci, Autariatae, Dalmatae etc.), Celts (Scordisci), Thracians, Romans, Huns, Germanic peoples (Visigoths, Ostrogoths) and others were formed, though the majority of the populace was Romanized during the conquests at the beginning of the New Era. The Eastern Goths thrust into the area during the early Middle Ages, while Avars and Slavs came in the 6th century.

Due to a variety of factors (such as frequent boundary shifts and a relative isolation from the rest of Europe) there are no detailed statistics dealing with Bosnia's population during the Middle Ages. It is generally estimated that the population of the Kingdom of Bosnia at the height of its power was between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people. [3] There were very few significant urban centers in Bosnia at this time, and even these paled in comparison to the far more urbanized areas along the nearby Dalmatian coast. Among the more notable cities were Doboj, Jajce, Srebrenik, Srebrenica, Tesanj and Visoko. The overwhelming majority of the population was rural and the social organization of Medieval Bosnia developed into what was called Zadruga. In this system, communities were organized by a few families of common interests usually situated in a cluster housing formation. Leaders of the community were selected according to their age and high ethical standards. Zadruga was primarily an agrarian community greatly dependent on natural resources.

Throughout the 15th–19th centuries there were many demographic changes. Frequent wars, religious persecutions, rebellions, uprisings, taking of children as tribute, high tributes, high taxes, years of bad crops, epidemics, violence, and oppression have caused a high mortality rate and suffering of the whole population and instigated the migration flows that changed the ethnic structure of the population. So, with arrival of Ottoman Empire coincided with the process of Christian population emigration from these regions, which has remained the main feature of the demographic development of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina until the present day. At the same time, intense internal shifting of the population together with recurrent migrations and also immigrations changed the distribution of some ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Ottoman period. The later stages saw particularly Muslim migrations from the region.

In the Bosnia proper the population started to move out first from lower regions (Posavina and the river valleys) and then from highlands. The most intensive migration flows originated in the karst Dinaric regions of Herzegovina and western Bosnia. For centuries, the population from these regions, mostly Christian, headed towards surrounding countries):

  • The migrations from Western Bosnia (from Glamoč and Unac, Kupres, Grahovo) were heading towards Lika, Croatia proper, and Slovenia, and steady emigration flows from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia, and Lika headed towards Slavonia, Syrmia, Banat, Bačka, and Baranja.
  • Migrations from eastern Herzegovina and Upper Podrinje headed towards western Serbia and Šumadija.
  • Migrations from the southern Dinaric region of Bosnia and Herzegovina headed towards Dalmatia. Jovan Cvijić states that the first migrations to Dalmatia from the Dinaric hinterland started already at the end of the 12th century, and they became stronger in the Ottoman period from the 15th to the 18th century. Also these migrations shifted the medieval population of Dalmatia that had previously migrated mostly towards Croatia, Slavonija, and Italy. According to Cvijić, almost all of the population of Makarska, Omiš, Split, Šibenik and Bukovica originated from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Of the Herzegovina origin were the inhabitants of the city of Dubrovnik and the vicinity, while the population of the Bay of Kotor originated from the Montenegrin and Herzegovina Dinaric regions.

Throughout the 15th–19th centuries, with coming of the Ottoman Empire on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina the first significant demographic change took place as almost all followers of than Bosnian Church converted to Islam as a method of keeping the ownership of the land they owned before the Ottoman conquest. Their conversions were also of a political nature while Eastern Orthodox and Catholic portions of the Bosnian population had their base in the Serbian Orthodox Church and Catholic Church, Bosnian church followers had no representation on a larger geopolitical scene. Added motivation were also tax reliefs for conversions to Islam. There was also a great influx of Eastern Orthodox believers, due to the constant immigrations from Montegro and Serbia, frequent wars (Eastern Orthodox population participated as soldiers on both sides), and shortage of Catholic preachers.

Preottoman Catholic population had a great share in the emigrations from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The emigration flows were directed towards Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Baranja and north-west Bačka. The western part of today's region of Bosnia, today known as Bosnian Krajina, was taken by the Ottomans in the 16th century, and was for some time still known as "Turkish Croatia", as its once overwhelming Catholic and Croat majority disappeared and the Ottomans entrenched the new border along the Sava and Una rivers. After more than a century of military losses, the Habsburg Empire waged some victorious wars against Turkey and managed to temporarily shift the border south of the Sava river with the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718), but this was undone as soon as the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade was signed. [4] Austria-Hungary would later take hold of the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Treaty of Berlin (1878), but under different circumstances, leading up to the Bosnian crisis of 1908. Relatively few previous Croatian emigrants came back to Bosnia.

According to the findings of many an author, the Muslim population, in the period of the Ottoman rule, did not emigrate much compared to the migrations of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic population. The Muslim population was characteristic of return migrations as soon as the political and economic situation again became stable or the state borders were shifted. The return movements of the Muslim population from the seaside, Lika, Slavonia, Hungary, and other places are well known. For example, after the Siege of Vienna (1683–1699), territorial losses of the Ottoman Empire and the conquest of Lika and Krbava by the Austrian Imperial Army, mass movements of the Muslim population from those regions took place the Muslim population headed towards Bihać, Cazin, and Bosanska Krupa where they created an enclave in the vast region of Bosnian Frontier. More intensified immigrations of the Muslim population were noticed in 1690 when they moved from Hungary and Slavonia to the region around the mountain of Majevica.

In the Ottoman period, the Muslim population increased in number in Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhat due to immigrations of Muslims from the Sanjaks of Smederevo and Novi Pazar, and especially from some regions of Montenegro, Sjenica, and Pešter. Immigrations of the Turkish population from Asia Minor also had an impact upon the growth of the Muslim population in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the 15th to 19th century.

However, the increase of the Muslim population was mostly due to their high natality rate given the patriarchal nature of the family structure. In such family structure the duties of the family members were strictly divided where female members of the family almost solely were bearing many children and taking care of the household while male members were engaged in running the land and the politics of the community.

Patriarchal structure was also evident in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic families but the statistics do not tend to show as high natality rates. The difference (according to some literary sources of the time) was in the social levels of Muslims relative to their Christian counterparts where the former were landowners and hence upper and upper middle class who could afford to have more offspring and the latter were land workers and hence lower middle to lower class. Such social organization corresponded to a feudal system of the time.

During and shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia, between 1463 and 1557, it is estimated [ by whom? ] that the Ottoman forces took around 100,000 of Bosnia's inhabitants into captivity and 30,000 young into the Janissaries as a result of the devshirmeh. [ according to whom? ]

The first official population census by religion in Bosnia conducted:

Number Type
37,125 Christian houses
332 Muslim houses

In 1489, the official population census by religion for Bosnian Sanjak was:

Number Type
25,068 Christian houses
4,485 Muslim houses

Contemporary Byzantine historian Michael Critobulus of Imbros described Bosnia and its endings in the first half of the 15th century. He calls Bosnia "land of Vostri" and its population Vostri (or Bostri, Bostni), clearly distinguishing Bosnia population from populations of its neighbors, which Serbian scholar Radivoj Radić cites and explains in his study Bosnia in historical work of Critobulus of Imbros, [5] citing author who calls Bosnians by the name of "Vostri", Albanians by the name of "Illirians", and Serbs by the name of "Tribali". [6] [7]

Turkish historian Ömer Lütfü Barkan conducted a population census based on religion in the Sanjak of Bosnia between 1520 and 1530. At that time, there were over 334,325 inhabitants, of whom 38,7% were followers of Islam.

During the late 16th century and early 17th century, according to various Austria-Hungary and Ottoman sources, Bosnia Eyalet's entire nobility, the greater part of her citizenry and a part of the serfdom were Muslims, around 75% of the population, and the Apostolic visitor Peter Masarechi claimed in his 1624 report that the population of Bosnia (excluding Herzegovina) was 450,000 Muslims, 150,000 Catholics, and 75,000 Orthodox. [8]

The Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the late 18th century to the early 19th century, started to gradually drop due to frequent wars fought by the Ottoman Empire. Muslims were required by Ottoman law to serve in the military, whereas Christians were not part of the army. With the created of independent states of Serbia and Montenegro, migrations of Serbs to the two states were in massive waves in the 1810s, 1820s and 1870s. [ citation needed ]

Both Muslim and Christian populations were considerably thinned in the 18th century due to frequent plagues. In particular, a huge plague epidemic reportedly halved the entire population of Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1813 and 1815.

It is impossible to give a correct estimate of the population of Bosnia at the time. Some writers state it a million, others at 920,000 and 840,000. George William von Zedlitz, in his "Brief Survey of Bosnia, Rascia, the Herzegovina, and Servia in 1829, gives us in one portion of his work the following estimates:

  • Bosniaks – 250,000
  • Servians – 120,000
  • Turks – 240,000 – 75,000
  • Croats – 40,000
  • Gypsies – 16,000
  • Jews – 2,000
  • Armenians – 800
  • 450,000 Muslims
  • 250,000 Catholics
  • 220,000 Eastern Orthodox
  • 2,000 Jews
  • 800 Armenians

Johann Roskiewicz estimated the ethnic composition of the population in 1867 as:

  • In Bosnia:
    • 782,000 Slavs
    • 9,000 Roma
    • 5,000 Jews
    • 227,000 Slavs
    • 2,500 Roma
    • 500 Jews


    In the 1871 population census done by the Ottoman Empire in the Bosnia Vilayet, the census says:

    Type Percentage range
    Eastern Orthodox Christians 37%
    Sunni Muslims 50%
    Catholic Christians 13%

    Between 1875 and 1876, an Ottoman population census by religion was conducted, but with vague, imprecise and varying figures: [ citation needed ]

    Type Percentage range
    Eastern Orthodox Christians 32.63%46.6%
    Sunni Muslims 32.6%51.9%
    Catholic Christians 14.97%20.17%

    New empire created mostly Muslim elites which made up the majority in most of the cities, as in the westernmost and easternmost of Bosnia (Cazin area, parts of Drina valley and larger area around Tuzla). Number of Catholic dropped in northern Bosnia (except for large parts of Bosnian Posavina), in central Bosnia Catholics dropped roughly to about one half of the population, and in Herzegovina Catholic and Orthodox were majority west and east of the Neretva, with a Muslim majority in most of the settlements. [ citation needed ]

    Territorial distribution Edit

    The Muslim population was mostly urban and comprised the majority in most of Bosnia and Herzegovina towns (Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka) as in western (Cazin and along the Una valley (Pounje)) and eastern (along the Drina valley) border areas of the country. In general, Muslims were the dominant group in most developed urban centers of the country.
    Parts of Bosanska Krajina with parts of Western Bosnia, parts of Eastern Herzegovina and across the Drina river toward Serbia border had Eastern Orthodox majority. These are mostly mountainous regions. The re-establishment of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in 1557, shortage of catholic priesthood, and general Ottoman tolerance, [9] especially for Orthodox Christianity, contributed greatly to enlargement and maintenance of Orthodox population, later Serbs in these areas.

    The Catholic population comprised majority in parts of the Herzegovina, Posavina and Central Bosnia. Franciscan Order played major role in maintaining Catholic population, in face of periodical emigration.

    Due to the frequent migrations and wars, population in many areas of the country was mixed, containing people of different religions.

    Bosnia accepted a wave of immigrants of Jews that were expelled from Spain since the 15th century. [9] They settled in Sarajevo, Travnik, Banja Luka and Bihać. The immigration of the Roma, Vlachs and Cincars, and Circassians, in small numbers, coincided with the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. None of these groups considerably influenced the overall population structure of the country.

    During the popular uprisings between 1875 and 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina lost 13,64% of its population (150,000 out of total 1,100,000) of whom most were Serbs. [ citation needed ]

    1879 census Edit

    The Austro-Hungarian government published the Haupt-Uebersicht der politischen Eintheilung von Bosnien und der Hercegovina, with demographics according to the census collected on 16 June 1879. [10] The first thorough population census, [ citation needed ] it recorded 1,158,440 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by religion:

    Religion Number
    Eastern Orthodox Christians 496,761 (42,88%)
    Muslims 448,613 (38.75%)
    Roman Catholics 209,391 (18.08%)
    Jews 3,426
    others 249

    1885 census Edit

    The Austro-Hungarian government published the Ortschafts-Bevölkerungs-Statistik von Bosnien und der Hercegovina nach dem Volkszählungs-Ergebnisse vom I. Mai 1885.. [11] According to the 1885 population census there were 1,336,091 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by religion:

    Religion Number
    Eastern Orthodox 571,250 (42.76%)
    Muslims 492,710 (36.88%)
    Roman Catholics 265,788 (19.89%)
    others 6,343 (0.47%)

    1895 census Edit

    An Austro-Hungarian population census conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 22 April 1895 which reported that the area of Bosnia had approximately 1,361,868 inhabitants while Herzegovina had 229,168 inhabitants. [12] The Catholic Encyclopedia treated the majority Slavic population (98%) as Serbs. [12]

    The number of persons per square mile was the second lowest in Austro-Hungary: 80 inhabitants per square mile. The number of persons per square mile across districts:

    Type Number
    Doljna Tuzla 106
    Banjaluka 96
    Bihać 91
    Sarajevo 73
    Mostar (Hercegovina) 65
    Travnik 62

    There were 5,388 settlements, 11 of which had more than 5,000 inhabitants. Over 4,689 of those settlements contained less than 500 inhabitants.

    The population census by religion: [ citation needed ]

    Type Description
    Serbian Orthodox Christians 674,000 (43%)
    Muslims 550,000 (35%)
    Catholics 334,000 (21.3%)
    Jews 8,000
    Protestants 4,000

    The territorial distribution among the area didn't change much. The towns became more multiethnic.

    Turkish merchants could be found in trading centres. The Austrian troops could be found in military garrisons, while the Jews that migrated from Spain earlier could be found in the cities. They were all divided according to occupation, 1,385,291 inhabitants (85%) were farmers or wine-cultivators. There were a total of 5,833 large estates, chiefly held by the Muslims. 88,970 cultivators serve as kmets. 88,867 free peasants own the land they till. 22,625 peasants own farming-land and also cultivate the land of others

    1910 census Edit

    According to the 1910 population census there were 1,898,044 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

    Religion Number
    Eastern Orthodox 825,918 (43.49%)
    Muslims 612,137 (32.25%)
    Roman Catholics 434,061 (22.87%)
    others 26,428 (1.39%)

    The urban population was, according to religion, 50.76% Muslims, 24.49% Roman Catholics, and 19.92% Eastern Orthodox. Land ownership was 91.1% Muslims, 6% Eastern Orthodox, 2.6% Roman Catholics, and 0.3% others. Comparing the 1910 percentages with the 1879 census shows a drop of the Muslim percentage from 39% to 32%, and a rise in Catholics from 18% to 23%, while the Orthodox population hovered around 43% the entire time.

    The First World War left Bosnia and Herzegovina without a total figure of 360,000 citizens or 19% of its population.

    As soon as the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was formed, a number of earlier colonized families started to emigrate and return to their homelands, among them Germans, Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians and Ruthenians.

    The new planned resettlement plans hit most the Orthodox Serb population, as large masses were moved from passive regions of Herzegovina and Bosnia to Vojvodina, eastern Banat to be precise while some left to Kosovo: inhabiting the region from Kačanik to Vučitrn, around Pristina, Lipljan, Peć, Istok, Đakovica, and in Drenica. Some also left to Macedonia.

    The earlier emigrational tendency of the Muslim population towards Ottoman-held territories continued.

    A great number of the population, among whom the Serbs and Croats from the karst regions of Herzegovina and Western Bosnia were most numerous, moved to the northern regions of Yugoslavia and abroad (North and South America, Canada, France, Belgium, etc.)

    Territorial distribution Edit

    Following the agrarian reforms of 1918 and 1919, [13] the government confiscated the property of Muslim landowners and redistributed it to non-Muslims.

    1921 census Edit

    The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes conducted a population census in the territorial entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 January 1921. There were 1,890,440 persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people were split among two nationalities:

    Sarajevo Edit

    The population of the district of Sarajevo according to the 1921 Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes religious population census:

      55,477 (38.6%%) 50,270 (34.9%)
  • Croats 29,395 (20.4%)
  • others 8,768 (6.1%)
  • There were 8 municipalities and their populations were:

      comprised the majority in 5 municipalities: Ilidža, Koševo, Pale, Rajlovac, and Trnovo
    • Muslims comprised the majority in the City of Sarajevo and in 2 municipalities: Bjelašnica and Ozren

    The same year the City of Sarajevo had 78,173 inhabitants:

      29,649 (37.9%)
    • Catholics 21,373 (27.3%) 18,630 (23.8%)
    • others 8,522 (11.0%)

    1931 census Edit

    The Kingdom of Yugoslavia has conducted a population census on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 March 1931 which stated that there were 2,323,555 persons. The population was given several nationalities:

    Name Number Percentage
    Serbian Orthodox Christians 1,028,139 44.25%
    Sunni Muslims 718,079 30.9%
    Catholics 547,949 23.58%
    others 29,388 1.27%

    Losses Edit

    The Federal Bureau of Statistics in Belgrade composed a figure of 179,173 persons killed in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Second World War:

    • 129,114 Serbs (72.1%)
    • 29,539 Muslims (16.5%)
    • 7,850 Croats (4.4%)
    • others (7%)

    Expulsions and relocations Edit

    By the plans of Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia 110,000 Serbs were relocated and transported to German-occupied Serbia. Just in the period of May to August 1941 over 100,000 Serbs were expelled to Serbia. In the heat of war Serbia had 200,000–400,000 Serbian refugees from Ustaša-held Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the end of war 137,000 Serbs have permanently left the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The Muslim population was also exposed to suffering and intense relocation, mainly to cities and mostly to Sarajevo, to where a portion of the Muslim population from Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia was relocated thus enlarging the overall Muslim percentage in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    1945–1948 colonization of Vojvodina Edit

    Prior to the expulsions of Germans from Vojvodina in 1945–1948, a number of inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina moved to the new living spaces in Vojvodina:

    1948 census Edit

      1,136,116 (44.3%)
    • undecided 788,403 (30.7%) [note 1] 614,123 (23.9%) 4,338 (0.2%) 3,094 (0.1%) 675
    • others 18,528 (0.8%)

    1953 census Edit

    According to the 1953 Yugoslav population census, Bosnia and Herzegovina had 2,847,790 inhabitants:

    • Serbs 1,264,372 (44.4%)
    • undecided 891,800 (31.3%) [note 1]
    • Croats 654,229 (23%)
    • Montenegrins 7,336 (0.3%)
    • Slovenes 6,300 (0.2%)
    • Macedonians 1,884 (0.1%)
    • others 21,869 (0.7%)

    1961 census Edit

    • Serbs 1,406,057 (42.9%) (later Bosniaks carried the name Muslims) 842,248 (25.7%) [note 2] 711,665 (21.7%) 275,883 (8.4%) 12,828 (0.4%) 6,136 (0.2%) 5,939 (0.2%) 3,642 (0.1%) 2,391 (0.1%) 1,812 (0.1%) 1,415 (0.1%)
    • others 6,849 (0.2%)

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1961

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961.

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961

    Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961

    Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961

    Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1961

    Ethnic maps of Sarajevo and Brcko by settlements:

    Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 1961

    Share of Serbs in Sarajevo by settlements 1961

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1961

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1961

    Share of Croats in Brcko by settlements 1961

    Share of Serbs in Brcko by settlements 1961

    Share of Muslims in Brcko by settlements 1961

    1971 census Edit

      (later Bosniaks carried the name Muslims) 1,482,430 (39.6%) [note 3] 1,393,148 (37.2%) 772,491 (20.6%) 43,796 (1.2%) 13,021 (0.3%) 5,332 (0.2%) 4,053 (0.2%) 3,764 (0.1%) 1,773 (0.0%) 1,456 (0.0%) 1,262 (0.0%)
    • others 23,584 (0,8%)

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1971

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1971

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1971

    Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1971

    Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1971

    Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1971

    Ethnic maps of Sarajevo and Brcko by settlements:

    Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 1971

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1971

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1971

    Share of Muslims in Brcko by settlements 1971

    Share of Croats in Brcko by settlements 1971

    Share of Serbs in Brcko by settlements 1971

    1981 census Edit

      (later Bosniaks carried the name Muslims) 1,629,924 (39.5%) [note 4] 1,320,644 (32%) 758,136 (18.4%) 326,280 (7.9%) [note 4] 14,114 (0.3%) 7,251 (0.2%) 4,502 (0.1%) 4,396 (0.1%) 2,755 (0.1%) 1,892 (0.1%)
    • others 54,119 (1.4%)

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1981

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1981

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1981

    Ethnic maps of Sarajevo and Brcko by settlements:

    Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 1981

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1981

    Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1981

    Share of Muslims in Brcko by settlements 1981

    Share of Croats in Brcko by settlements 1981

    Share of Serbs in Brcko by settlements 1981

    The 1981 territorial population distribution in the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

    • Serbs:
      • majority in 2,439 settlements or 41.4% of the total settlements
      • lived in 34.3% of the total housing
      • majority in 2,179 settlements or 37%of the total settlements
      • lived in 37.6% of the total housing
      • majority in 1,016 settlements or 17.3% of the total settlements
      • lived in 17.3% of the total housing
      • 223 settlements

      During the time of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, slight fall in population percentage and settlements of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina was due to immigration in foreign countries of western Europe, while Serbs colonized Vojvodina, Bosniaks stayed in Bosnia. Also as the data shows, Serbian people were less urbanized than Bosniaks or Croats and preferred smaller settlements (31% percent of populations lived in 41% of settlements).

      1991 census Edit

      Yugoslav population census, Bosnia and Herzegovina had 4,377,053 inhabitants:

        1,902,956 (43.47%) [note 5] 1,366,104 (31.21%) 760,872 (17.38%) 242,682 (5.54%) [note 5]
    • others 104,439 (2.40%):
        – 10,071 – 8,864 – 4,922 – 3,929 – 2,190 – 1,596 – 893 – 732 – 590 – 526 – 470 – 426 – 297 – 297 – 267 – 162 – 133
    • Other nationalities – 17,592
    • Undefined nationality – 14,585
    • Regional defined – 224
    • Unknown – 35,670
    • Ethnic maps by settlements:

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Share of Yugoslavs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by settlements 1991

      Ethnic maps by municipalities:

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Ethnic maps by Republic of Srpska by municipalities:

      Ethnic structure of Republic of Srpska by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Ethnic structure of Republic of Srpska by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Serbs in Republic of Srpska by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Bosniaks in Republic of Srpska by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Share of Croats in Republic of Srpska by municipalities 1991 (territorial organization from 2013)

      Ethnic maps of Sarajevo by settlements:

      Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 1991

      Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 1991

      Share of Muslims in Sarajevo by settlements 1991

      Share of Serbs in Sarajevo by settlements 1991

      Share of Croats in Sarajevo by settlements 1991

      Ethnic maps of Brcko by settlements:

      Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1991

      Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 1991

      Share of Muslims in Brcko by settlements 1991

      Share of Croats in Brcko by settlements 1991

      Share of Serbs in Brcko by settlements 1991

      1992 estimate Edit

      4.4 million people of which:

      Bosnian War Edit

      During the Bosnian War (1992–1995) ethnic cleansing drastically changed the ethnic composition and population distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (See: Casualties of the Bosnian War)

      1996 UNHCR census Edit

      In 1996 the UNHCR conducted a detailed population census in the whole country. This census was not only officially considered "official" because the Government of BH refused to recognize it, claiming that its recognition would be the same as the recognition of the ethnic cleansing conducted in the war. It was concluded that Bosnia and Herzegovina had 3,919,953 inhabitants: [ citation needed ]

      Type Number Percentage
      Bosniaks 1,805,910 46.07%
      Serbs 1,484,530 37.88%
      Croats 571,317 14.58%
      others 58,196 1.47%

      Federation Edit

      Type Number Percentage
      Bosniaks 1,773,566 72.5%
      Croats 556,289 22.8%
      Serbs 56,618 2.3%
      others 58,192 2.4%

      Republika Srpska Edit

      Type Percentage Range
      Serbs 1,427,912 (96.8%)
      Bosniaks 32,344 (2.2%)
      Croats 15,028 (1%)
      others 4

      Ethnic (2000 estimate) Edit

      Type Percentage Range
      Bosniaks 46% (of whom around 95% are followers of Islam)
      Serbs 37.8% (of whom around 99% are followers of the Serbian Orthodox Church)
      Croats 14.7% (of whom around 88% are followers of the Catholic Church)
      others 0.6%

      2002-2005 population estimates Edit

      4,025,476 (July 2005 estimate)

      Religious (2008 estimate) Edit

      Type Percentage Range [14]
      Muslims 45%
      Eastern Orthodox Serbs 36%
      Roman Catholics 15%
      other 4%

      2013 census Edit

      In October 2013, Bosnia conducted its first official census since the Bosnian War. [15]

      Population density in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipality, early data from the 2013 census

      Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced the final census results on July 1, 2016 based on methodology that is disputed by the Republic of Srpska entity, and because of this, doesn't recognize these results as relevant. The European Union welcomed the results of the census and evaluated them as correct and in accordance to EU statistical standards. [16]

      Ethnic structure Edit

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Ethnic maps of Republika Srpska by municipalities:

      Ethnic structure of Republika Srpska by municipalities 2013

      Ethnic structure of Republika Srpska by municipalities 2013

      Share of Serbs in Republika Srpska by municipalities 2013

      Share of Bosniaks in Republika Srpska by municipalities 2013

      Share of Croats in Republika Srpska by municipalities 2013

      Ethnic maps of Sarajevo by settlements:

      Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 2013

      Ethnic structure of Sarajevo by settlements 2013

      Share of Bosniaks in Sarajevo by settlements 2013

      Share of Serbs in Sarajevo by settlements 2013

      Share of Croats in Sarajevo by settlements 2013

      Ethnic maps of Brcko by settlements:

      Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 2013

      Ethnic structure of Brcko by settlements 2013

      Share of Bosniaks in Brcko by settlements 2013

      Share of Serbs in Brcko by settlements 2013

      Share of Croats in Brcko by settlements 2013

      Linguistic structure Edit

      Linguistic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Linguistic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Bosnian language in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Serbian language in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013

      Share of Croatian language in Bosnia and Herzegovina by municipalities 2013


      Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina - History

      Bosnia is located in the western Balkans , bordering Croatia (932 km or 579 mi) to the north and south-west, Serbia (302 km or 188 mi) to the east, and Montenegro (225 km or 140 mi) to the southeast. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N , and longitudes 15° and 20° E .

      The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina , which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which are roughly four-fifths of the entire country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the southern part of the country.

      The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps . The northeastern parts reach into the Pannonian basin , while in the south it borders the Adriatic . Dinaric Alps generally run in east-west direction, and get higher towards the south. The highest point of the country is peak Maglić at 2,386 m, at the Montenegrin border. Major mountains include Kozara , Grmeč , Vlašić , Čvrsnica , Prenj , Romanija , Jahorina , Bjelašnica and Treskavica .

      Overall, close to 50% of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested. Most forest areas are in Central, Eastern and Western parts of Bosnia. Herzegovina has drier Mediterranean climate, with dominant karst topography. Northern Bosnia ( Posavina ) contains very fertile agricultural land along the river Sava and the corresponding area is heavily farmed. This farmland is a part of the Parapannonian Plain stretching into neighboring Croatia and Serbia. The country has only 20 kilometres (12 miles) of coastline, around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. Although the city is surrounded by Croatian peninsulas, by the international law, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a right of passage to the outer sea.

      The major cities are the capital Sarajevo , Banja Luka in the northwest region known as Bosanska Krajina , Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the central part of Bosnia and Mostar , the capital of Herzegovina .

      There are seven major rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

      • The Sava is the largest river of the country, but it only forms its northern natural border with Croatia. It drains 76% of the country's territory into the Danube and the Black Sea. Bosnia and Herzegovina is therefore also a member of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).
      • The Una , Sana and Vrbas are right tributaries of Sava river. They are located in the northwestern region of Bosanska Krajina.
      • The Bosna river gave its name to the country, and is the longest river fully contained within it. It stretches through central Bosnia, from its source near Sarajevo to Sava in the north.
      • The Drina flows through the eastern part of Bosnia, and for the most part it forms a natural border with Serbia.
      • The Neretva is the major river of Herzegovina and the only major river that flows south, into the Adriatic Sea.

      Phytogeographically , Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region and Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region . According to the WWF , the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be subdivided into three ecoregions : the Pannonian mixed forests , Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Illyrian deciduous forests .


      Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Profile

      Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long history, which includes its fair share of recent turmoil. But thanks to recent independence this former Yugoslav country is now forging its own path.

      Want to learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina?
      • Capital and Largest City: Sarajevo
      • Population (2013): 3,531,159 (132 nd )
      • Total Area: 51,197 km² (127 th )
      • De Facto Languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
      • Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (KM) (BAM)

      History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      As we make our way through the Balkans, a similar story starts to arise. The area that is now Bosnia and Herzegovina was settled by a variety of tribes before eventually being conquered by Rome. Once the Empire split, the Eastern half (Byzantium) took over ,until the Slavic peoples moved in to dominate the region in the 6 th and 7 th centuries. Got all that? Good, now let’s get started.

      The Middle Ages

      Bosnia went through many phases during the Middle Ages. At times, it essentially determined itself (sometimes under Serb rule), while the latter Middle Ages mainly saw it contested between the powerful Hungarian Empire and the Byzantines. Eventually, the independent Banate of Bosnia emerged – free from control of its powerful neighbours. Though the Hungarians sought to regain sovereignty over the region, Bosnia was, for the most part, successful in repelling them, most notably with a hard fought victory in 1254. A century later, Bosnia had a king and was at its medieval apex – that is until the monarch died and the kingdom entered decline until another power came calling.

      Ottoman Bosnia

      The Ottoman conquest and subsequent four-century rule over Bosnia would have a massive effect on the country. While the Orthodox and Catholic churches fought an ideological war, this preoccupation opened up space for the Muslim faith to entrench itself in Bosnia – resulting in a widespread Slavic Muslim population. For many years, Bosnia enjoyed relative peace and prosperity as it was removed from the wider troubles of international politicking.

      This all changed during the late 17 th century. A chaotic time in Europe by any measure, Bosnia ended up as the westernmost province of the Ottoman Empire…meaning it was often the first target for other powers looking to strike against the Turks. This led to widespread dissension, with many in Bosnia becoming openly hostile to Ottoman rule.

      Austria-Hungary and a Duke

      After the 1878 Congress of Berlin, Bosnia and Herzegovina fell under the power of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As the Empire increased its holdings and presence throughout the Balkans, there was scattered resistance (including in nearby Serbia). Of course we all know the story of how this ended. A Bosnian Serb assassinated Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, igniting the spark that sent Europe into four years of total war. While the Bosniaks lost many men during the war, the country itself was able to remain relatively unharmed all things considered. This did however increase tensions between Muslim Bosniaks and their neighbours, as many Serbs were executed or expelled from the country in the midst of the conflict.

      Yugoslavia and World War II

      Following the end of WWI, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined with other nearby countries to form the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (as it was soon named). With a more diverse population than the other members, Bosnia and Herzegovina worked hard to keep a lid on these tensions between the dominant Muslim Bosniaks and Serb/Croat minorities. However, these troubles would pale in comparison to what came next.

      All of Yugoslavia was conquered by the Axis powers in 1941, and Bosnia was placed under the purview of the NDH (the Croatian puppet regime led by the brutal Ustaše). The regime exterminated many minority groups, however the Orthodox Serbs were their main target. In response, Serb nationalist Chetniks counterattacked, killing many Ustaše sympathizers as well as non-Serbs. While some Muslim Bosniaks assisted the NDH and the Nazi’s, many more sought to draw a distinction between those in opposition and those who committed these crimes.

      Communism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Eventually, the communists liberated Yugoslavia under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, and Bosnia and Herzegovina became one of the constituent republics of the new socialist country. There was a widespread military industry in Bosnia during this time. Generally people consider Tito’s rule to be a good era for Bosnia. Yugoslavia being a non-aligned country in the Cold War allowed it to grow open and prosperous – with Sarajevo even hosting the 1984 Winter Olympics. After Tito’s death however, tensions began to grow. As nationalism festered within all of Yugoslavia, the diverse Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared set to bear the worst of it all.

      The Bosnian War

      Starting in 1990, many former republics began to seek independence from Yugoslavia. Bosniaks and Croats mostly supported this, while Serbs for the most part opposed it. That being said, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence in 1992. It’s unclear who fired the first shots, but soon the country found itself in the grips of the worst European conflict since the Second World War.

      Many Serb paramilitary groups and Bosnian Serb forces (supported by Belgrade) fought against the Bosnian Muslims. In addition, Croat forces attacked Bosniaks before later siding with the them against the Serbs. The worst atrocity of all the Yugoslav Wars occurred in Srebrenica, when General Ratko Mladić’s Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska killed about 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks. This prompted a NATO bombing of Serb forces, eventually leading to a ceasefire and full independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia. Though the struggle was over, some of the war crime trials from the conflict are still ongoing.

      Modern Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Since independence, Bosnia has fought hard to find a place for itself on the regional and global stage. Unemployment and political strife have unfortunately reared their ugly head in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last couple decades – eventually culminating in widespread protests in 2014. It remains to be seen how Bosnia will fare in the future.

      Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      The country remains very diverse today, with the population split between about 50% Bosniaks, 30% Serbs, and 15% Croats. This diversity means society and culture varies along ethnic lines.

      The folk music known as Sevdalinka is one of the most distinctive elements of Bosnian culture. Bosnia and Herzegovina has also produced many shining examples of art, literature, architecture (both old and modern), and music.

      Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      The current flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of a blue background with a yellow triangle across the entire middle (from top to bottom), while 7 full and 2 half white stars run down the length of the triangle (it’s not the easiest flag to explain in writing to be quite honest). The corners of the triangle represent the three main ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats) while the stars are meant to be ‘infinite’ and represent Europe. Finally, the three colors are associated with peace and neutrality.

      Cuisine in Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Bosnian cuisine combines many Western and Eastern flavours to form a unique palette, though it has much in common with Mediterranean, Greek, and Turkish food. Local produce along with beef and lamb are commonplace, as well as a wide array of spices. In addition, Herzegovina is known for wine (thanks mostly to an agreeable climate).

      Sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Bosnia and Herzegovina has produced athletes of great renown across many sports, including handball, basketball, judo, chess, volleyball, and tennis. That being said, the most popular sport is soccer. The national team qualified for the 2014 World Cup and features star players such as Edin Džeko (the team captain who plays for Roma) and Asmir Begović (Chelsea keeper who spent much of his childhood in Canada).

      Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found in the western part of the Balkans. The country is roughly divided between the two areas, with Bosnia covering about 80% of the country in the north and Herzegovina the rest of the south. The country is heavily forested and mountainous, while rivers and fertile land are found throughout. The south is more Mediterranean and features an Adriatic coastline.

      Cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Sarajevo, the capital, is by far the largest city in the country. Though the city is home to less than 300,000, over 450,000 live in the metropolitan area as a whole. It is the major cultural centre in the country, and features a diverse religious history (with mosques, Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as synagogues in one neighborhood – the first European city feature all four so close together).

      Facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina

      • The country has the nickname ‘Heart Shaped Land’
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts one of Europe’s few remaining jungles
      • The country has one of the highest coffee consumption rates in the world
      • The Sarajevo Film Festival is one of the largest in Europe
      • It’s smaller than West Virginia
      • Bosnia comes from the Indo-European word Bosana , meaning ‘water’

      Last Word

      While its recent past may not soon be forgotten, Bosnia and Herzegovina looks to cut through the red tape and forge itself a better future!

      With Continental’s Countries you can find information on places all across the world! Learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina in our Travel Guide and our Currency Spotlight.

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      History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      In the first centuries AD, the area of ​​today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the Roman Empire. It was mostly inhabited by the Illyrians. After the fall of the empire, Byzantine Empire, and the Western heirs of Rome claimed Bosnia. The Slavs settled here in the 7th century, finding in these areas parts of Illyrian and Thracian tribes that were romanized, and upon arrival of the Slavs they retreated mainly in the mountains.

      Slavs call them Vlachs according to old German word Wallach, which means Roman. In their ethno-genesis, Bosnian Slavs – Bošnjani (Bosnians), later Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims, as central South Slavic people, mingled very little with other nations, which is not the case with the surrounding South Slavs, in whose ethno genesis the share of non-Slavic element is quite significant – in the east Greeks, Albanians, Aromanians, Romanians, and others, and in the west Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs, and others. Opinion of majority of Croatian and Serbian historians is that the Kingdom of Serbia and Croatia ruled parts of Bosnia during the 9th century, and that in the 11th and 12th century Hungarian Kingdom masters over Bosnia.

      However, the majority of Bosnian historians considered that Bosnia has been an independent state since 9th century. On the other hand, Serbian and Croatian historians believe that the medieval Bosnian state acquired its independence around 1200, basing its thesis on unverified documents of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and that during this period its indigenous Bosniak people grew here. At first, rulers of Bosnia were bans, first famous ban of Bosnia was Ban Borić, then Kulin Ban, and after the coronation of Ban Tvrtko and Kotromanić, in 1377, the rulers of Bosnia become kings. Bosnia preserved independence until the arrival of the Ottomans in 1463, when officially it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

      During the Ottoman rule in Bosnia, many Bosnians rejected Christianity and converted to Islam. At the same time, Vlachs, who later became Serbs, for the first time, appear in some parts of the former Bosnian eyalet, while many Bosnians move out to the west and north. This development of demography is the root of nowadays people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many Bosniaks belonged to the Bosniak nobility, so that already in the first half of the 16th century many beys and military leaders in Ottoman Europe were from Bosnia (e.g. Mehmed Paša Sokolović and Gazi Husrev-bey).

      In the 16th and 17th century, Bosniaks were part of the Ottoman army, and the most important roles in government of Bosnian eyalet usually belonged to Bosniaks. Many of the families, who converted to Islam early, were very powerful, and for a long time this retained feudal relations between Bosniaks and other nations.

      Ottoman failures against second regional power in this part of Europe, Austria, move the border between the Ottoman Empire and the rest of the Europe, which now again arrived at the gate of Bosnia, whereby the overall situation in the country deteriorated. With the constant attacks and the economic crisis disaffection was spreading, thus in the first half of the 19th century, Sultan tried to make reforms several times, but captains in Bosnia answered to this by riots. The most famous is rebellion of Husein-kapetan Gradaščević in 1831. After Ottomans defeated them, military resistance of Bosniaks ended, while the empire was still weakening. At the same time, Serbian and Croatian national movements exert strong pressure on the Bosniaks, so that many Bosniaks based on religion or something else went to Serbian or Croatian national corpus, and the number of Serbs and Croats in Bosnia grew.

      In 1878, by the decision of the Berlin Congress, Bosnia becomes an integral part of the dual kingdom of Austria-Hungary. Parallel to this, in the neighboring states, Slavic national movements develop, those worked on the unification of all South Slavs in the southeast of Europe. The cause of the First World War was the assassination in Sarajevo in the summer of 1914, which was done by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the revolutionary youth movement “Young Bosnia” (Mlada Bosna). He shot and killed the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife. The trigger for the first major confrontation of global dimensions was thus found.

      At the end of the First World War and the collapse of Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bosnia and Herzegovina enters the beginning of the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, and then the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which is from 1929 called the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After increased industrialization and the general expansion of Bosnian society during the Austro-Hungarian era, during the first Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina regresses economically, which creates the basis for social discontent and unrest, which will later follow.

      After the collapse of parliamentary democracy and the 6 January Dictatorship in 1929 there were new administrative and political changes in the country. Yugoslavia got nine banovinas, which formally divided Bosnia and Herzegovina. In its historical form the area of ​​Bosnia and Herzegovina was given to four different banovinas, which were named after the geographical and historical regions. Vrbas, Drina, Zeta, and Littoral Banovina should have, according to the original idea of ​​ Yugoslav King Alexander I, suppressed regional and national identity, and put in the foreground unique Yugoslav identity.

      In 1939 Agreement Cvetkovic-Macek resulted in creation of the Croatian Banovina, it was given parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mainly those which already belonged to the Littoral Banovina and parts of the country on the north, along the Sava River.

      At the beginning of the Second World War under the leadership of Ante Pavelić, on 10 th of April 1941 Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was established, and entire Bosnia and Herzegovina was a part of it. A significant part of the Bosnian Croats participate as members of the military of NDH Ustashe, Croatian Home Guard, while a handful of Bosniaks has leading positions in the government as ministers in the government, for example Osman Kulenović and Džafer Bey Kulenović. Certain number of Serbs fought on the side of the Chetniks, and participated in the persecution of Croats and Bosniaks. Ustashes persecuted and killed Serbs, Romani people, Jews, and communists.

      Yet, a large part of Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosnian Croats actively participate in the anti-fascist movement of Josip Broz Tito, giving a significant contribution to the National Liberation War and the final liberation of the whole country from foreign invaders. Thus, Bosnia and Herzegovina can boast that it is one of the first countries of the antifascist coalition in imprisoned Europe 1941-1945.

      On the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina some of the fiercest battles, during World War II, in South East Europe, were led (Neretva, Kozara, Sutjeska, Drvar). In Mrkonjic Grad on 25 th of November 1943, the foundations of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina were laid on the first State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While in Jajce, on 29 th of November of the same year, on the second session of Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia basis of the new, socialist Yugoslavia were set, within which Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six equal republics.

      In the time from 1945 to the early 1990s, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced rapid industrialization, modernization, and urbanization, and parallel to this country’s institutions were established, underlining its statehood and institutional independence. In this era the Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla, Sarajevo Radio and Television, and many other national and cultural institutions were established. 1971 brought the recognition of Muslims as the sixth nation in the former country, who with Serbs and Croats, were one of the constituent peoples of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia.

      In 1984, the capital city of the Republic, Sarajevo hosted the 14th Winter Olympic Games, sports event of peace and friendship, which raised the prestige of the city and the country abroad. During the 1980s, Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, became center of the pop culture in Yugoslavia. Here created some of the most popular local filmmakers (Kusturica, Kenović), and pop and rock groups from here were the most important in the country. The rich literary tradition continues during the seventies and eighties in the masterpieces, which continue there, where once stopped the Bosnian most significant authors like Ivo Andrić (Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) and Meša Selimović.

      In October 1991, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted sovereignty, followed by a referendum for independence in February 1992. Serb population largely boycotted the referendum. Immediately after the declaration of independence and international recognition of the country in April 1992, started the aggression of Serbia and Montenegro to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the United Nations on 22 nd of May 1992, but regardless of this ruthless aggression continued.

      In 1991, Croatian President Franjo Tuđman, entered into an agreement on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian President Milošević, during the well-known meeting in Karađorđevo. Today, there are numerous documents on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, among which the most important are the transcripts of Franjo Tuđman, and the testimony of Stjepan Mesić, former president of Yugoslavia, Ante Marković, former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, and many other witnesses of time.

      The war lasts until 1995, in which Bosniaks were killed, over which the genocide and ethnic cleansing was committed, Serbs and Croats have suffered great losses too. All three peoples in the country experience war in different ways, seeing in it threat to its national interest. So, for majority of Serbs this was the war for the fatherland, for majority of Croats this was patriotic war, and the truth is that this was the war initiated for the sake of the objectives of projects in neighboring countries and the strengthening of nationalism. In early 1992 historical name of Bosniaks was back in use, as the name of the nation, which replaced its former religious label “Muslim”. Intervention of international military ended the war, and Bosnia and Herzegovina has maintained its statehood and historical continuity.

      In the American city of Dayton, on 21 st of November 1995, all sides conflicted in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the peace agreement, which unofficially ended the war. The final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 th of December 1995. The Dayton agreement was confirmed Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent and sovereign state in Europe. According to this agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two administrative units: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska, and Brčko District, which has a special status and does not belong to any entity.


      Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021

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      Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina | Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine

      Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991, was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties signed a peace agreement that brought to a halt the three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Agreement retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government. This national government was charged with conducting foreign, economic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were charged with overseeing internal functions. In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission is to deter renewed hostilities. SFOR remains in place although troop levels were reduced to approximately 12,000 by the close of 2002.
      (Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

      Actual Time: Tue-June-22 07:02
      Local Time = UTC+1h

      Capital City: Sarajevo (est. pop 387,876)
      Official Site of the Canton Sarajevo.

      Other Cities:
      Banja Luka (220 000) Mostar (210 000) Tuzla (120 000) Bihac (50 000).

      Government:
      Type: Parliamentary democracy.
      Independence: 1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia referendum for independence was completed 1 March 1992 independence was declared 3 March 1992).
      Constitution: the Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995, included a new constitution now in force note - Bosnia and Herzegovina, each of the entities also has its own constitution.

      Geography:
      Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia.
      Area: 51,200 km² (19,768 sq. mi.)
      Terrain: Mountains in the central and southern regions, plains along the Sava River in the north.

      Climate:
      Hot summers and cold winters areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long severe winters mild, rainy winters in the southeast.

      People:
      Nationalities: Bosniak (Muslim), Bosnian Croat, Bosnian Serb.
      Population: 3.53 million (2013)
      GNI per capita PPP: $ 5 827 (year)
      Ethnic groups: Bosniak 48%, Serb 34%, Croat 15%, other 0.5% (2000)
      note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam.
      Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%.
      Languages: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian (formerly "Serbo-Croatian").
      Adult literacy rate: male 94%, female 78%

      Natural resources: Deposits of coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc, hydropower.

      Agriculture products
      : Wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables livestock.

      Industries: Steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining (2001)

      Exports - commodities: metals, clothing, wood products

      Exports partners: Slovenia 16.5%, Italy 15.9%, Germany 12.1%, Croatia 11.5%, Austria 11.1%, Turkey 5.2% (2015)

      Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemical products , fuels, food and live animals

      Official Sites of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      State Institutions of BiH:

      Ministarstvo Vanjskih Poslova
      Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


      Statistics
      Federalni zavod za statistiku
      Federal Office of Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
      More statistics by the Agency for Statistics.

      Weather
      Bosna i Hercegovina METEOBIH Federalní Meteoroloskí Zavod
      Bosnia and Herzegovina METEOBIH Federal Meteorolocical Institute.


      Entity Institutions:

      Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine :: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

      The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Serbian Republic.
      Vlada Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine
      Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      Parlament Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine
      The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


      Republika Srpska :: Serbian Republic
      The Serbian Republic is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Vlada Republike Srpske
      Republic of Srpska Government (Serbian Republic).
      President of the Republic of Srpska
      Official website of the President.
      National Assembly of Srpska
      The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska.

      Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
      Political Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      Google Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina
      Searchable map and satellite view of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      Google Earth Sarajevo
      Searchable map and satellite view of Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital city.

      TV is the chief news source in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country offers a real diversity of broadcasters with more than 200 commercial radio and TV stations.

      Newspapers
      Dani
      News magazine (in Serbo-Croatian).
      Federalna Novinska Agencija - FENA
      Federal News Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      Glas Srpske
      Bosnian Serb government daily, Banja Luka.
      Nezavisne Novine
      Banja Luka daily with BiH News (in Serbo-Croatian).
      Oslobodjenje
      A Sarajevo daily.


      Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina - History

      By Thierry Domin
      First published in
      SFOR Informer#124, October 17, 2001

      Surrounded by Croatia in the Southwest and much of the North, by Serbia and Montenegro in the East, Bosnia and Herzegovina is not such a large country. It has borders with Croatia (at the Southwest and the largest part of the North), Serbia (at the Northeast) and Montenegro (at the Southeast).
      The country is only 51,100 square kilometres (as an example, Switzerland is 41,293 square kilometres), with the shape of an isosceles triangle each side of the right angle measures about 300 kilometres, from Trebinje to Bijeljina and from Bijeljina to Velika Kladusa. It is this shape that is symbolised on the BiH national flag.
      Facts and figures
      But to count in kilometres in this country doesn't make any sense. For those who regularly travel, it's better to count in hours, and it is even worse during the winter season. This is because, and everybody is aware of this fact, BiH is a mountainous country. Its mountains are not very high (the summit is a peak in the Maglic Range, at the border with Montenegro, with a height of 2,383 metres, 7,821 feet), but when you drive you never stop going up and down. The reason is that the Alps, called the Dinaric Alps here, run across two thirds of BiH, from the Northwest to the Southeast. Hence this succession of mountains, high plateaux and deep valleys. The only flat open country is located in the North: it is the beginning (or the end) of the great Hungarian plains, the former "Puszta."
      The hilly relief explains the hydrology. The rivers quite unanimously flow towards the North because the natural slope of the mountains gradually climbs towards the South. From west to east, the main rivers are: the Una and its tributary, the Sana (which both give their names to the Una Sana Canton, (Canton 1) the Vrbas (which flows through Banja Luka) the Bosna and finally the Drina (which mainly forms the border with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). All these rivers flow, directly or indirectly, into the Sava River, a tributary of the Danube. The Sava River forms the border with Croatia. The only sizeable exception is the Neretva, flowing first towards the North, but turning back in the vicinity of Konjic and finally flowing into the Adriatic Sea.
      The mouth of the Neretva River is not located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but in Croatia. The fact is that BiH has a very small coastline, about 12 kilometres. And if you travel from Mostar to Dubrovnik using the main roads (Pacman and Cynthia routes), you first enter Croatia in Metkovic, reach and follow the coast, enter BiH again, and finally return to Croatia. On the route, you will pass through the town of Neum, which as result of the borderline, is the only Bosnian town located on the sea. But Neum is all but a port.
      To overcome the lack of a port suitable for shipping, BiH signed an agreement two years ago with Croatia for the use of the harbour in Ploce, through which an important amount of goods and commodities arrive by sea. Furthermore, BiH has its own port, but it is a river port: Brcko, located on the Sava River. But the town and the port installations were heavily destroyed during the war. That's why the International Community has a special interest for the re-opening of the facilities of Brcko.
      Human geography
      Another aspect of the geography lies in the population settlement. Before the war, apart from some big towns like Sarajevo, Mostar or Banja Luka, the major part of the settlement was rural: a lot of remote hamlets surrounding a mosque, a catholic or an orthodox church. Life there was difficult and hard, especially during the winter season, but these small communities survived, thanks to the solidarity of the villagers. Self-sufficiency prevailed through local agriculture and cattle breeding.
      Almost four years of war totally changed this landscape. Even though the three parties (Bosniacs, Bosnian-Croats and Bosnian-Serbs) were of the same ethnicity, the ethnic cleansing they all practised as a strategy drove a large part of the population to flee from their houses, their villages and their areas of settlement. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assessed that, by the beginning of 1996, about one million Displaced Persons were spread out all over the country, while 1.2 million were Refugees abroad. Of course, this movement strengthened the urban population to the detriment of the rural one.
      A lot of people of course returned to their pre-war homes. Nevertheless, by Aug. 1, 2001, UNHCR's figures establish that nearly 700,000 Bosnians are still Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs). Almost 500,000 persons have the status of Displaced Persons, and a little bit more than 200,000 are still Refugees, mainly in FRY (144,000). It is the hope of the International Community that the improvement of the overall situation in FRY will encourage more and more people to return.
      Those horrific figures must be compared to the pre-war population in BiH. A census carried out in 1991, one year before the war, established that the overall population of this country was 4.4 million. That means that one inhabitant in two, just at the end of the war, was not living in his pre-war home but elsewhere. Despite all the efforts and the positive trend observed over the last two years, the situation will never be the same as before the war.
      That is also a kind of geographic evolution.


      Watch the video: Bosnia and Herzegovina Regions - Geography (January 2022).