Development of a Nation
How Kosovo became Kosovo,
and how the Kosovars became Kosovar.

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

Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Kosovo in 2008:

Slavic tribes
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

    . 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
  5. South Slavs settle in an area roughly equal to
    former Yugoslavia. Albanians (mixture of South Slavs and Illyrians
    centered around mountainous region of modern Albania) begin to
    settle in modern Kosovo, representing a minority amongst the
    majority Serbs in the region.
  6. Serbs lose the Battle of Kosovo to Muslim,
    Turkic Ottoman Empire in 1389, breaking down the gate for the
    Ottomans to conquer virtually all of Serbia by 1459.
  7. During the Ottoman reign, Albanians would
    gradually displace Serbian populations in the region of modern
    Kosovo, especially by the 18th and 19th
    centuries, as Albanians were largely converted to Islam, while the
    Serbs were not. With Kosovo lying at the edge of the Ottoman
    territory during the 18th and 19th centuries,
    Serbs took the opportunity to flee to Austrian controlled lands,
    while the Albanians, who were virtually all Muslim, moved in to
    settle the abandoned lands, preferring the suzerainty of the Muslim
    Ottoman Empire over Christian Austrian rule. In essence, Kosovar
    people Albanians that found themselves residing within Serbian
    borders due to unique circumstances. Kosovars would fall under
    Serbian rule after the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, remaining under
    Serbian rule until declaring independence in 2008.

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Development of Kosovar Language (Albania):

  1. South Slavs intermixed with Illyrians in the
    mountainous region of modern Albania, forming a new Albanian
    ethnogroup, beginning in the 6th century, during the time
    of the Slavic migrations southward into the Balkan peninsula. The
    Illyrian language became dominant among this group.
  2. The Albanians would soon become part of the
    Roman Catholic sphere of influence, largely converting to
    Catholicism, causing their language to be influenced by Latin.
  3. Throughout the remainder of the Middle Ages,
    the language would be influenced by Bulgarian, due to a lengthy
    stint under Bulgarian rule in region during the formative years of
    the language (850 to 1018).
  4. By the 13th century, the language
    and the people in this region would be referred to as Albanian.
  5. Beginning in the 14th century,
    Albania would be under Ottoman rule until early in the 20th
    century, gaining many Turkic loan words.

  6. Albanians would fill the void left by Serbs migrating out of modern
    SE Serbia to escape Ottoman rule, transforming Kosovo into an
    Albanian territory, making Albanian the dominant language in Kosovo
    as well (as Albanians are the dominant nationality in this region),
    as it remains to this day.

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Formation of Kosovo Borders:

  1. Yugoslavia Wars
    territory comprising modern Kosovo was part of the Roman Empire
    before the Slavs arrived in the 6th century. It returned to “Roman”
    rule (under the Byzantine Empire – the Greek continuation of the
    Roman Empire), shortly after Slavic migrations into the Balkan
    peninsula beginning in 6th century.
  2. By the
    7th century, Serbs (who were the dominant nationality in
    modern Kosovo) would begin to come under Bulgarian
    control, and then under Byzantine control in 10th
    century. Byzantines were the continuation of the Roman Empire among
    the Greeks and those under their rule. By the 7th
    century, the Serbs had already developed into a distinct
    nationality, as they

    were just far enough beyond the main body of
    surrounding kingdoms to materialize as a cohesive yet differentiated
    group. Despite the fact that the area was p
    Serb-inhabited at this point, due to proximity to Albanian region,
    it would host some Albanians, but with an overwhelming Serb
  3. In the late 12th century, the Serbs
    were still officially under control of Byzantine, but essentially
    operating independently. They went on to conquer Albania, Kosovo,
    northern Macedonia, and eastern modern Serbia. Their independence
    was formally recognized in 1217.
  4. Serbs lose Battle of Kosovo to Ottomans in
    1389, leading to battle for control of area until Ottomans gain
    decisive control in 1455.
  5. By
    1459, virtually all of Serbia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
  6. During the Ottoman reign, Albanians would
    gradually displace Serbian populations in the region of modern
    Kosovo, as they expanded from their home territory in Albania to the
    west, especially by the 18th and 19th
    centuries. Albanians displaced Serbs as the dominant nationality in
    the region due to the fact that that Albanians had largely converted
    to Islam, while Serbs remained Christian. Lying at the edge of the
    Ottoman territory during the 18th and 19th
    centuries, Serbs took the opportunity to flee to Austrian controlled
    lands, while the Albanians, who were virtually all Muslim,
    preferring Muslim Ottoman rule over Austrian Christian rule, moved
    in to settle the abandoned lands.
  7. Upon independence in 1878, Albanians in the
    southwest corner of Serbia (modern Kosovo) entered into a league
    with Albania, as Albanians in region wanted to avoid absorption into
    Balkan Christian nations.
  8. Kosovo was captured by Serbia during the
    Balkan Wars of 1912-13, where Balkan Christian nations fought the
    Muslim Ottoman Empire for control of the Balkan peninsula.
  9. After WWI, Kosovo remained coupled to Serbia,
    becoming part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918).
    The name was changed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.
  10. 1992 – Albanians in Kosovo riot in protest of
    persecutions carried out by Serbs, as part of a Serbian attempt to
    quash Albanian identity.
  11. 1996-99 – Kosovo War: Pitted the Kosovo
    Liberation Army (Albanians) vs. the Yugoslavia Army (primarily
    Serbs). Kosovo fails to win its independence.
  12. 1999 – A peace agreement is forged where the
    UN took charge of governance in Kosovo, with Kosovo still remaining
    officially part of Serbia.
  13. 2008 –
    amidst negotiations to settle the Kosovo question to the
    satisfaction of both Kosovo and Serbia, the Kosovo parliament
    declared independence. Their independence was recognized by most
    western nations, led by the U.S., while Serbia and Russia vehemently
    opposed the secession. Serbia was in no position to militarily
    restore rule to the break-away province, due to the suffocating
    limitations placed upon it in light of its indiscretions during the
    Yugoslavia Wars, while Russia was also impotent to forcibly reverse
    the Kosovar move.

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(How Name Received):

Kosovo was derived
from the Slavic word for “blackbird”.

Kosovar Culture:

indistinguishable from the larger Albanian culture, as Kosovars are
merely Albanians that settled in the southwest corner of Serbia during
the reign of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Albanians largely converted to
Islam during the Ottoman reign, transforming their culture from that of
Christianized-Slavic to one dominated by Islamic principles. However,
Albanians and Kosovars exhibit a low tendency for religious extremism.

Kosovo in 2008:

Kosovo’s citizens are
the poorest in Europe. Perhaps the most under-developed economy in
Europe. Unemployment is currently at about 40-50%. Business harmed by
unresolved international status and unreliable power. Kosovo had been
Yugoslavia’s poorest province, and was unprepared to enter competitive
world market.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Albanian population about 97% Muslim (Sunni), about 3%
Roman Catholic. Serbian population primarily Serbian Orthodox.
Therefore, Kosovo’s population is largely Muslim.
Demographics: Albanian 88%, Serb 7% (long part of Serbia).
Foreign Policy: Primarily focused on gaining widespread
international recognition as a sovereign nation. At least 43 nations
already recognize independence. Full, or near complete recognition will
open up foreign investment.
Population: 2,126,708 (2008)

Formation of Nations (All European Nations)

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