Serbs


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Serbs

 

a nation in Yugoslavia, numbering 8.1 million persons (1971 census), of whom about 6 million live in Serbia and the rest in various parts of Bosnia and Hercegovina and in eastern Croatia. In addition, about 180,000 Serbs live outside of Yugoslavia, chiefly in Rumania and Hungary but also in the USA. They speak Serbo-Croatian, and most of the believers among them are Greek Orthodox. There are also small groups of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims.

In the sixth and seventh centuries South Slavic tribes, the ancestors of the modern Serbs, settled large parts of the central Balkan Peninsula, where they intermingled with the local romanized Illyrian and Thracian population. The name “Serbs” is first mentioned in ninth-century sources. In the early Middle Ages a feudal state developed slowly among the Serbs, and the political center shifted between the interior and the coastal regions. Medieval Serbia reached its zenith in the reign of Stephen Duŝan (1331–55).

Soon after the defeat at Kosovo in 1389, the Serbian lands came under Ottoman rule, which lasted for several centuries. Turkish oppression retarded the historical development of the Serbian people, who remained economically and culturally backward for many years. Vestiges of patriarchal and clan relations persisted for a long time in Serbian society.

The national liberation struggle promoted the growth of national consciousness among the Serbian people. The center of the liberation movement was the area now called Vojvodina, where capitalist relations emerged among the Serbs in the 18th century. The Serbs’ liberation from Turkish oppression began with the first (1804–13) and second (1815) Serbian uprisings, after which part of the Serbian territory was proclaimed the Principality of Serbia. It was not until 1878, however, that Serbia gained its independence and extended its frontiers. Even then, a considerable part of Serbia remained under Turkish and Austrian rule.

The consolidation of the Serbian nation was accelerated in the third quarter of the 19th century. The Serbian Omladina (1866–72) called for national unity among all Serbs regardless of state boundaries. In 1918 the Serbs and other Yugoslav (South Slavic) peoples united to form a single state, called the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Renamed Yugoslavia in 1929, the kingdom was dominated by the Greater Serbia bourgeoisie. In the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, formed in 1945, and later in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Serbs have constituted one of several equal nations in a federation, within which they are participating in the building of socialism and developing their national culture. Although the Serbs form a homogeneous nation, the names of individual ethnographic groups, usually derived from place names, are still used. Among such groups are the Ŝumadijans, Užicans, and Mačvans.

REFERENCE

Narody Zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964.

M. S. KASHUBA

References in periodicals archive ?
Dodik stressed that Serbs in the Federation of BiH have been ignored by cantonal and Federation authorities even though they exercise local authority.
She was in love with a doctor, who was appalled at the slaughter in Bosnia being committed in the name of the Serb nation.
Bosnian Serbs and authorities in neighbouring Serbia had accused Oric and his fellow soldier Sabahudin Muhic of killing three Bosnian Serb prisoners of war in the villages near Srebrenica early in the war which claimed 100,000 lives.
The municipal court in Split said Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan and Daniel Snedden, is guilty of the killings and torture of imprisoned Croatian civilians and troops while he was a rebel Serb commander during the 1991-95 Croatian war.
The Serbs celebrate the holiday by hanging out Serb flags and holding Orthodox Christian ceremonies in public institutions, which non-Serbs say is aimed at excluding them.
Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said Karadzic was the only person in the Bosnian Serb leadership with the power to halt the genocide.
No, all attention was focused on four small towns in the north where around 50,000 Serbs were supposed to elect their local councils and mayors.
Earlier this month, the Serbs of northern Kosovo proclaimed their own legislature, instead of agreeing to take part in local elections the Kosovo authorities have called for in November.
Nikolic last year disputed a United Nations court ruling that the Srebrenica massacre constituted genocide; he described the Croatian border town of Vukovar - reduced to rubble by Serb forces in 1991 - as a "Serb town"; and this month he said Bosnia's autonomous Serb entity was the second "Serb state" in the Balkans.
Thaci added that the agreement could have only negative impact on the approach of Government of the Republic of Kosovo to the problems of the Serb minority in the northern parts of the Republic as well as the normalization of ties between the two neighbors.
Trifkovic traces the genocidal Serbophobia of the Ustase to the 17th and 18th centuries, when large numbers of Serbs lived in the military-frontier (Krajina, "borderland") region of Habsburg-ruled Croatia.
Speaking in an interview broadcasted by the Bulgarian National Radio Saturday morning, Ceku said that ethnic Serbs in Northern Kosovo need to look for opportunities that the Pristina government gives them to become integrated citizens of Kosovo.