Serbia's History

The strategic location of Serbia has long invited colonisers and invaders alike. The ancient Greeks settled the south in the 4th Century BC followed later by the Romans who for much of their time used the Danube River, which cuts through Serbia, as their border. Around 620AD a great Serb leader, recorded as the Unknown Archont, led the Serbs from around south west Poland to the Balkans eventually dominating Serbia and surrounding regions. They were a vassal of Byzantium until proclaiming their own kingdom in 1219, peaking under Stefan the Mighty in 1346. In 1459 Serbia fell to the Ottoman Turks, who finally left Belgrade in 1867. By 1912 Serb lands south of the Danube were mostly in Serbia while Serbs to the north were part of Austria-Hungary. Yugoslavia emerged from WWI’s destruction, uniting Slavs and in WWII the country was dismembered only to be recreated in 1944 and again dismembered in the 1990’s.

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Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia was a diverse family of nationalities and religions who were treated equally by his benevolent Communist regime. When he died in 1980 the country was initially governed by a council but the rise of ethnic consciousness led to tensions and Serb domination of the Yugoslav Federation. Between 1991 and 2006 each Republic within the Federation broke away until only Serbia remained. In 1999 Serbian leaders perpetrated the Kosovo War to remove Albanians but a NATO intervention led to Kosovo’s independence in 2008. Slobodan Milošević's bloody reign ended in his 2000 overthrow following a rigged election, and Serbia now develops in peace.

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