The state was formed on the site of three historical lands of the Croatian crown – Croatia proper (or Lesser Croatia), Dalmatia and Slavonia, as well as the former Margraviate of Istria.
This small country has a history that spans several millennia and has absorbed various cultures that have replaced one another. And each of them left its indelible mark on Croatian soil.
Archaeological finds have proved that already in the VI century BC. the ancient Greeks traded with the Illyrians, mainly by sea, and founded their colonies here. For example, the “old town” on the islands of Hvar and Vis.
In the 5th century BC e. colonies of Greek merchants began to appear in central and southern Dalmatia. A colony was formed on the island of Korcula, at the beginning of the 4th century. colony of Issa on the island of the same name. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Croatia.
During the mass migration of peoples (at the end of the 6th and at the beginning of the 7th centuries), the Slavs settled the coastal strip. According to Pope Gregory I, at that time the Slavs ended up in Istria. With the last wave of their invasion, the Croats came from the upper reaches of the Vistula and captured the coastal strip.
Croats master the Latin language, adopt Christianity, gradually subjugate the former Roman provinces of Pannonia, Dalmatia and Istria. The decomposition of their primitive communal tribal system begins.
The uprising of Ludevit of Posava (819-823), which had the goal of liberating Lower Pannonia from the Franks, ended in failure. Conditions are being created for the formation of a new state headed by Croatian princes.
The Croatian state first went to the sea, expanding its territory, during the reign of Tomislav (910-928). The Byzantine emperor gave him control of the Dalmatian cities. Tomislav successfully repulsed the raids of the Hungarians, defeated the Bulgarians. Following his example, Stjepan Drzhislav at the end of the tenth century. proclaimed himself king of Croatia and Dalmatia. However, the real victory over Dalmatia was achieved by Petar Kresimir IV (1058-1074), reuniting the Dalmatian cities and Croatia and creating a single state – the Kingdom of Dalmatia and Croatia.
In 1102 the Hungarian king Koloman ascends the throne of Croatia and Dalmatia. The Hungarian rulers introduced in Croatia the forms of the feudal system that existed in Hungary. Croatia had its own ban, but he was not a real ruler. With the expansion of the rights of the feudal families, the power of the king began to weaken, so he had to grant certain rights to the cities. Free cities (Petrinya, Samobor, Virovitsa, Vukovar, Krizhevtsi, Hradec, etc.) ruled independently.
In 1260 the Croatian territory was divided into two parts – Slavonia and Croatia. In 1409 the rights to Dalmatia were sold by the nobility of Venice for 100,000 ducats. The Croatian islands and coastal cities remained under the rule of Venice for several centuries until the fall of the Venetian state in 1797.
From the 12th century the Croats were seriously threatened by the Turks. After the victory at Dobor in 1415, the Turks entered Croatian territory for the first time. After the defeat of the Croatian-Hungarian troops on the Krbava field in Lika (1493), especially after the catastrophe in the battle of Mohacs (now Hungary) in 1526, the road to Vienna was opened to the Turks. Croatian feudal lords in 1527 decide to seek support from the Habsburg crown, and Ferdinand Habsburg becomes the Croatian king.
With the coming to power of the Habsburgs in Croatia, the Krajna War was formed to defend against the Turks, which was directly subordinate to the king.
The centralizing aspirations of the Habsburgs were especially pronounced during the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-1780), who stopped the convocations of general councils, canceled the Croatian royal assembly, depriving Croatia of independence within the framework of the Habsburg state.
Her successor and heir Joseph II (1780-1790) pursued a policy of open Germanization, endangering the national identity of the Croats. In 1827, the Croatian Sabor sacrificed national interests in order to preserve class, feudal interests and proclaimed the Hungarian language compulsory in all Croatian higher educational institutions.
The unceremonious Magyarization aroused in Croatia the resistance of the new bourgeois class, which strengthened its national consciousness and took shape the idea of uniting all the southern Slavs. This led to the formation in the 30s of the Illyrian movement, led by the Croatian educator Ljudevit Gai. The Illyrians founded the first Croatian party, the People’s Party. In 1848 they proclaimed their ideas publicly. Among the demands of the Illyrians stood out: the formation of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia: the independence of the people, the reunification of Dalmatia and the War of the Carniola with Croatia, the introduction of the Croatian language as the official language of communication, freedom of the press, speech, religion, the abolition of serfdom, etc.
In 1867, Austria and Hungary created a dual monarchy – Austria-Hungary. Banskaya Croatia and Slavonia with Srem were in the sphere of influence of Hungary, and Istria, the Kvarner Islands, Dalmatia with the islands and Rijeka became part of the Austrian part of the monarchy. A year later, a Croatian-Hungarian agreement was concluded, which was extremely unfavorable for the Croats.
In 1918, the Croatian Council decided to cut off all ties with Austria and Hungary. In this way, the state of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was created, with its center in Zagreb, whose representatives in 1918 gave their consent to unite with the previously united kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes with its capital in Belgrade.
In 1919, the labor movement unites into a single socialist workers’ party of Yugoslavia, which a year later in the elections, already as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, wins an overwhelming majority of votes in Zagreb, Karlovac, Slavonsk Brod and other cities. Of the other parties, the Croatian Peasant Party of Stjepan Radić proved to be the most influential. In 1928 Radic was killed.
The king tried to overcome the crisis that gripped the country by introducing a dictatorship on January 6, 1929. All parties were banned and the constitution was canceled. The crisis, however, was not resolved, even after the assassination of King Alexander.
The Communist Party, despite difficult conditions, strengthened its positions, especially after the founding of the Croatian Communist Party in 1937. In the same year, Josip Broz Tito became head of the CPY. From this moment, the development of the Communist Party begins, which carried out a war of liberation and a revolution, rebuffed Stalinism, launched self-government in the country, created Yugoslavia, which acquired the authority of an independent country that did not join at the world level.
In April 1941 Hitler occupied Yugoslavia. From a small part of Croatia, Bosnia with Herzegovina and Srem, the so-called Independent Croatian State was created. The proclamation of the state was carried out by the Ustashe, who were under strict control by the Nazi military leaders. Ante Pavelic, who also enjoyed the patronage of Italy, became the head of this state.
After the partisans liberated the village of Srb on July 27, 1941, an uprising began in Croatia. In 1943, the Regional Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Croatia (KAVNOH) was established. On May 8, 1945, units of the People’s Liberation Army entered the capital of Croatia – Zagreb. Croatia was liberated.
Croatia after liberation became one of the six Yugoslav republics. It developed dynamically and entered a number of industrially moderately developed countries. Industry was also modernized to a large extent, such industries as petrochemistry, electrical engineering, the food industry, shipbuilding, textile and woodworking industries began to dominate in it. Another modern branch of the economy, tourism, has reached a high level. The Constitution of the sovereign Republic of Croatia was adopted on December 22, 1990, and the country received international recognition on January 15, 1992.