Bosnia and Herzegovina - Country history and economic development

6TH-7TH CENTURY A.D. Slavic tribes, including Serbs and Croats, settle in the present territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

958. The name Bosnia is used to denote the land. Most Slavic inhabitants belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

1180. Ban (a feudal title of nobility) Kulin creates an independent Bosnian state, and feudal agrarian economy develops.

1326. Ban Stephen Kotromanic unites Bosnia and Hum, which later becomes Herzegovina.

1463-83. Bosnia and Herzegovina are conquered by the Ottoman Empire, and large numbers of Christians are converted to Islam. Predominant Muslim feudal lords rule over a poor and Christian peasantry.

1878. After the European Congress at Berlin, the country is taken over by Austria-Hungary, but Muslims and Orthodox Christians resist occupation. The new regime promotes modern economic development.

1908. Austria-Hungary officially annexes Bosnia.

1914. Austria-Hungary starts World War I by declaring war on Serbia; most Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Muslims remain loyal to Austria-Hungary.

1918. After World War I, Bosnia becomes part of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (renamed Yugoslavia in 1929); the economy suffers from the loss of Austro-Hungarian markets.

1941. Yugoslavia breaks up during World War II, and Nazi Germany makes Bosnia part of the Independent State of Croatia.

1945. Germany is defeated, and Bosnia joins socialist Yugoslavia as a constituent republic.

1945-80. Yugoslavia develops a socialist economy.

1980. Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito dies, and the socialist economy of Yugoslavia begins to decline. Serb nationalism begins to rise, and non-Serbs grow dissatisfied with the Federation.

1990. In a multiparty parliamentary election in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Muslim Party of Democratic Action, led by Alija Izetbegovic, wins 34 percent of the seats; the Serbian Democratic Party, led by Radovan Karadzic, takes 30 percent; and the Croatian Democratic Union gets 18 percent. Izetbegovic becomes president of a 7-member tri-national presidency.

1991. Bosnia and Herzegovina declares independence from Yugoslavia, which is confirmed by a referendum in 1992. Bosnian Serbs, led by Karadzic and backed by neighboring Serbia and the pro-Serb Yugoslav army, start an armed offensive aimed at forming a greater Serbia and thus cause the bloody Bosnian civil war.

1994. Muslims and Croats create a Muslim-Croat Federation.

1995. In Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties sign a peace agreement, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Serb Republic. A NATO-led peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 is deployed to implement the agreement, and an international high representative is appointed.

1996. A Stabilization Force (SFOR) of 19,000 (as of late 2000) troops—to prevent new inter-ethnic hostilities—succeeds IFOR.

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