Bosnia/Bosnians


Bosnia/Bosnians:
Development of a Nation
How Bosnia became Bosnia,
and how the Bosnians became Bosnian.


Bosnia-HerzegovinaHow
Bosnians as a people, and the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Bosnian language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.


Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Culture
Bosnia in 2008


Slavic tribes
Bosniak
Ancestral Background:

  1. 3000 BC – People along the Baltic coast
    centered around modern Lithuania begin speaking the
    Proto-Balto-Slavic language, a branch off from

    Proto-Indo-European
    . This serves as the genesis of the Slavic
    and Baltic languages/peoples.
  2. 1000 BC – A group splinters from the
    Proto-Balto-Slavic people, migrating southeast into modern Ukraine.
    This branch off group were the predecessors to Slavs, who would
    ultimately extend outward in all directions.
  3. In the 6th century, as Germanics
    migrated westward, a group of Slavs expanded southward to fill the
    void, inhabiting the northern border of the Byzantine Empire
    (continuation of the Roman Empire in the Greek world).
  4. 558 – Avars, a central Asian Turkic people,
    driven west into Europe (through modern Ukraine) by Persians and
    more powerful Turkic empires, came into contact with the Byzantines.
    They were paid off by the Byzantines to settle the area north of the
    Danube River, and to subdue barbarian Germanics remaining in the
    territory. The Avars succeeded in driving the Germans out of area,
    including the Lombards, who were driven into Italy, where they
    become the ruling class. At this time, large groups of Slavic
    peoples were settled north of the Danube as well. The Avar raids
    forced them south into the Balkan peninsula, where they settled
    lands abandoned by Germanic peoples, including modern Romania and
    Hungary. Slavic peoples would inhabit the entire Balkan region north
    of the Greek-inhabited lands at the very southern portion of the
    peninsula by 700. The Illyrians would be driven into a remote
    mountainous region in modern Albania, becoming forefathers to modern
    Albanians, which would also include a Slavic component from
    intermixing.
  5. By end
    of 10th century, Byzantine (continuation of the Roman
    Empire in the Greek world) re-establishes control in the region of
    modern Bosnia, now inhabited by Slavic predecessors to the Bosniaks.
  6. Around
    1050, Bosnia falls under control of fellow South Slavs – the Kingdom
    of Croatia. Bosniaks and Croats each have their distinct sense of
    nationalistic identity by this point, so little intermixing is done.
    At this point, the Bosniak genetic composition is largely set.
  7. 1102 – Due to a succession crisis, the Kingdom
    of Croatia (including Bosnia) came under the monarchy of Hungary.
  8. 1166 – Byzantines conquer Bosnia from the
    Kingdom of Hungary.
  9. 1189 –
    Serbs and Hungarians help Bosnia escape Byzantine rule, but Bosnia
    is now under Hungarian rule again. The first known written document
    in Bosnian Cryllic (old form of Bosnian language) comes from this
    time period, which referred to Bosnia as a nationality.
  10. In the 14th century, Venice expanded along the
    eastern Adriatic coastline from its perch at the northern end of the
    sea, absorbing the thin strip of coastline of modern Croatia.
    Following France’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the
    European powers would award this coastal strip to Austria, opening
    the way for Croat consolidation of the area. Bosnia was still under
    Ottoman rule, so this strip of coast was closed off to the Bosniak
    populations directly inland, creating the enclave between Croatia
    and Bosnia still in place today.
  11. By
    1463, most of Bosnia & Herzegovina were conquered by the Muslim,
    Turkic Ottoman Empire. By 1482, the remaining westernmost parts were
    conquered. This would lead to nearly all Bosnians being converted to
    Islam. Bosnians did not have the strong Christian centralization of
    other Balkan peoples, who were either strongly tied to the Roman
    Catholic Church, or the Byzantine Orthodox Church. Bosnians had
    their own church, but with the weaker church organization, they
    succumbed to the perks of being Muslim in the Ottoman Empire,
    especially considering that they would endure under Ottoman rule for
    over 400 years. This was a key development in the Bosnian heritage
    that would forever distinguish them from other, “Christian” South
    Slavs.
  12. 1878 –
    Austria-Hungary captures Bosnia & Herzegovina, much to the
    resentment of the Muslim Bosniaks, who preferred the Muslim rule of
    the Ottoman Empire. Their insurgent activities would help to cause
    WWI.
  13. Upon the disbandment of the Austrian-Hungarian
    Empire at the conclusion of WWI in 1918, Bosnia & Herzegovina was
    added to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Like the other South Slav
    nations consolidated into this new nation-state, the Bosniaks
    maintained their distinct nationality (in large part due to
    sectarian rivalries that persisted throughout the existence of
    Yugoslavia), until the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992, resulting in
    an independent, sovereign Bosniak nation (Bosnia & Herzegovina).

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Development of Bosniak Language:

  1. 3000 BC – People along the Baltic coast
    centered around modern Lithuania begin speaking the
    Proto-Balto-Slavic language, a branch off from

    Proto-Indo-European
    . This serves as the genesis of the Slavic
    and Baltic languages/peoples.
  2. 1000 BC – A group splinters from the
    Proto-Balto-Slavic people, migrating southeast into modern Ukraine.
    This branch off group were the predecessors to Slavs, who would
    ultimately extend outward in all directions. Their language evolves
    into the original Slav language, a sub-branch of Proto-Balto-Slavic,
    and the ancestral language to all Slav sub-branches, including
    Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian and others.
  3. South Slav Language begins to separate from
    Western Slav Language in the 9th to 10th
    century, after Magyars settled into modern Hungary, separating the
    West Slavs (in modern Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) from the
    South Slavs (territory roughly approximating the former Yugoslavia).
  4. By 10th
    century, Bosnian begins to become a distinct language, having
    sufficiently diverged from other South Slav languages. It remains
    mutually intelligible with Serbian and Croat.

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Hungary
Formation
of Bosnia
& Herzegovina Borders:

  1. In the 6th century, as Germanics
    migrated westward, a group of Slavs expanded southward to fill the
    void, inhabiting the northern border of the Byzantine Empire
    (continuation of the Roman Empire in the Greek world).
  2. 558 – Avars, a central Asian Turkic people,
    driven west into Europe (through modern Ukraine) by Persians and
    more powerful Turkic empires, came into contact with the Byzantines.
    They were paid off by the Byzantines to settle the area north of the
    Danube River, and to subdue barbarian Germanics remaining in the

    Defeat of Austria-Hungary
    territory.
    The Avars succeeded in driving the Germans out of area, including
    the Lombards, who were driven into Italy, where they become the
    ruling class. At this time, large groups of Slavic peoples were
    settled north of the Danube as well. The Avar raids forced them
    south into the Balkan peninsula, where they settled lands abandoned
    by Germanic peoples, including modern Romania and Hungary. Slavic
    peoples would inhabit the entire Balkan region north of the
    Greek-inhabited lands at the very southern portion of the peninsula
    by 700.
  3. In the 7th century, Slavs in the
    eastern Alps (modern southern Austria/northern Slovenia) formed
    Principality of Carantania. They were absorbed into the Frankish
    Empire by 745. Frankish rule ended at the approximate modern
    southern Slovenian border.
  4. By end
    of 10th century, Byzantine (continuation of the Roman
    Empire in the Greek world) re-establishes control in the region of
    modern Bosnia, now inhabited by Slavic

    predecessors
    to the Bosniaks.
  5. Around
    1050, Bosnia falls under control of fellow South Slavs – the Kingdom
    of Croatia.
  6. 1102 – Due to a succession crisis, the Kingdom
    of Croatia (including Bosnia) came under the monarchy of Hungary.
  7. 1166 – Byzantines conquer Bosnia from the
    Kingdom of Hungary.
  8. 1189 –
    Serbs and Hungarians help Bosnia escape Byzantine rule, but Bosnia
    is now under Hungarian rule again.
  9. In the 14th century, Venice expanded along the
    eastern Adriatic coastline from its perch at the northern end of the
    sea, absorbing the thin strip of coastline of modern Croatia.
    Following France’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the
    European powers would award this coastal strip to Austria, opening
    the way for Croat consolidation of the area. Bosnia was still under
    Ottoman rule, so this strip of coast was closed off to the Bosniak
    populations directly inland, creating the enclave between Croatia
    and Bosnia still in place today.
  10. By
    1463, most of Bosnia & Herzegovina were conquered by the Muslim,
    Turkic Ottoman Empire. By 1482, the remaining westernmost parts were
    conquered. This would lead to nearly all Bosnians being converted to
    Islam. Bosnians did not have the strong Christian centralization of
    other Balkan peoples, who were either strongly tied to the Roman
    Catholic Church, or the Byzantine Orthodox Church. Bosnians had
    their own church, but with the weaker church organization, they
    succumbed to the perks of being Muslim in the Ottoman Empire,
    especially considering that they would endure under Ottoman rule for
    over 400 years. This was a key development in the Bosnian heritage
    that would forever distinguish them from other, “Christian” South
    Slavs.

  11. Yugoslavia Wars
    1878 –
    Austria-Hungary captures Bosnia & Herzegovina, much to the
    resentment of the Muslim Bosniaks, who preferred the Muslim rule of
    the Ottoman Empire. Their insurgent activities would help to cause
    WWI.
  12. Bosnia was added to the

    Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
    after WWI, as part of
    the terms of defeat of the Austrians in this war. Bosniaks within
    Yugoslavia maintained their distinct nationalistic identity until
    the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, when Bosnia fought and won its
    independence, becoming a sovereign nation-state.
  13. In 1929, the name was changed to Kingdom of
    Yugoslavia.
  14. Gains independence in Yugoslavia Wars as its
    own nation in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War of
    Independence against Serbia (Serbia being the preeminent sectarian
    group in Yugoslavia). Minor border (non-violent) disputes with
    Croatia and Serbia continue to this day.

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Etymology (How
Name Received):

Bosnia
named after the Bosna River running through Bosnia. The original Illyric
word “Bosna” is of uncertain meaning. Herzegovina is from the German
word Herzog, meaning Duke.

Bosniak
Culture:

Bosnian culture is derived
from several influences, due to its many neighbors, and existing under
foreign rule throughout most of its history. Bosnia is perhaps most
defined as an enclave of Islam in an otherwise Christian part of the
world (Southeast Europe). The unfortunate side effect of this is that
Bosnia has been plagued by religious-induced violence.

However, Bosnia
has traditionally been a religiously moderate nation, with the exception
of the sectarian violence suffered during the Yugoslavia Wars. The
government is secular, and acceptance of various religions is valued, an
important characteristic in a religiously diverse nation such as Bosnia
& Herzegovina.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
in 2008:


Economy:
Bosnian War (1992-95)
produced devastating effect. Still an underdeveloped economy as far as
Europe is concerned, but showing signs of growth and improvement.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Other
14%. Ethnic Bosniaks are primarily Muslim, while ethnic Serbs (generally
Orthodox) and Croats (generally Roman Catholic) primarily Christian.
Ethnic Bosniaks were unlike other European people that came under
Ottoman rule during the time of the Ottoman Empire, most of which
retained their Christian beliefs and practices. Bosniaks, on the other
hand, were religiously decentralized before the Ottoman conquest, and
found it easier to abandon Christianity to take advantage of the Muslim
preference within the Ottoman Empire, causing Bosniaks to largely
convert to Islam.
Demographics: Bosniak 48%, Croat 14% (Yugoslavia), Serb 37%
(holdovers from population intermixing during era of Yugoslavia).
Foreign Policy: Engaged in law suit against Serbia for war crimes
and charges of genocide during Bosnian War from 1992 – 95. Currently
engaged in minor border disputes with Croatia and Serbia & Montenegro.

Population: 4,590,310 (2008)



Formation of Nations (All European Nations)


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