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Republic of Croatia
Republika Hrvatska
Anthem: Lijepa naša domovino
Our beautiful homeland
and largest city
45°48′N 16°0′E / 45.8°N 16°E / 45.8; 16
Official languages Croatian1
Ethnic groups 89.6% Croat,
4.5% Serb, 5% others[1]
Demonym Croat, Croatian
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
 -  Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković (independent)
 -  President of Parliament Željko Reiner (HDZ)
 -  Principality founded 785 (independent 879)2 
 -  Croatian Kingdom 925 (Union with Hungary 1102) 
 -  Joined Habsburg Empire 1 January 1527 
 -  Independent from Austria–Hungary 29 October 1918 
 -  Autonomous Croatian Principality (Banovina Hrvatska: 1939-1941) 26 August 1939 
 -  Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945) 10 April 1941 
 -  Yugoslavia become Republic (1945-1990) 8 May 1945 
 -  Decision on independence of the Croatian Republic 25 June 1991 (declared 8 October 1991) 
 -  Total 56,594 km2 (126th)
21,851 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.09
 -  2010 estimate 4,486,881[1]
 -  2001 census 4,437,460[2]
 -  Density 81/km2 (115th)
208/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $77.992 billion
 -  Per capita $17,609
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $59.917 billion
 -  Per capita $13,528
Gini (2008)29[3]
Error: Invalid Gini value
HDI (2010)0.767[4]
Error: Invalid HDI value · 51st
Currency Kuna (HRK)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code 385
Internet TLD .hr
1. Also Italian in Istria county. Recognised minority languages on the municipal level are Hungarian, Czech, Slovak and Serbian.
2. Shortly after the reign of Prince Višeslav, Franks were defeated in 803.
3. Before entering the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (Communists) from 8 May 1945, Croatia was also in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1 December 1918 to 9 April 1941.

Croatia (in Croatian: Hrvatska, German: Kroatien, Bosnian: Rvacka, archaic Chakavian: Harvatýa), officially the Republic of Croatia or also now Red Croatia (Republika Hrvatska), is a country at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Central Europe, and the Balkans. Its capital city is Zagreb. Croatia borders with Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, Montenegro to the far southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. Croatia is a member of the European Union (from July 2013), and joined NATO in April 2008. On October 17, 2007 Croatia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.


Ancient period

In ancient times, the recent Croatia's area was inhabited mostly by some romanized Illyrian tribes (Histri, Liburni, Delmatae, Iapodes, Celts, etc.[5]) under the rule of the Roman Empire[6], and after the end of it, these Illyrians mixed with the immigrant Slavs, Goths and others, forming the subsequent Croatian population. Recent detailed genetical analyses confirmed that only ca. 27% of actual Croats chiefly in N.W. Croatia include those of Slavic origin who immigrated from eastern Europe; others 70% are there of non-Slavic descent, including 46% of the southern Croats/Dalmatians of ancient Illyrian, Italian or Venetian origin who have been culturally Slavicized over the centuries. However, as late as the 19th and 20th centuries an average of 5 per cent of the Dalmatian population (more in places such as Fiume and Trieste) still spoke Italian as their native language.[7]

Dark Ages

Slavs settled in the western Balkans from the early 7th century and then formed two small Duchies: Dalmatia and Pannonia. The establishment of the Trpimirović dynasty (newer Serbo-Croat term; medieval Terpimiri) circa 850, brought stability to the small Dalmatian Duchy (with its capital at Nin), under the Byzantines and Venetians, which together with the inland Slav Pannonian Duchy (with its capital at Sisak), under the Franks, became a united Kingdom of Croatia in 925 under King Tomislav.[8] Most of Dalmatia continued under the overlordship of Venice until 1797.[9]

Habsburg Dominion

Following the death of last King, Petar II (Svačić), in 1102, Croatia passed to the crown of Hungary. After the 1526 Battle of Mohács with the Turks, the "reliquiae reliquiarum" (remnant of the remnants) of Croatia became a full constituent part of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, from 1527-1918; in 1463 the eastern parts of medieval Croatia were captured by the Turks, and, with Bosnia, were included in Ottoman Empire until they were ousted in 1875-8 when administration was ceded to Austria-Hungary in the Treaty of Berlin.

Present-day Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I, when the Kingdom of Italy, annexed, by secret agreements with the plutocratic Western Allies, some parts where the Italian population was considered by them to be a majority; the dispute over Fiume is famous.


Croatia was forced to become part of the artificial new state of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (a 'Greater Serbia'), from 1919, which was declared the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1928; from 1929-1941 this included their autonomous so-called Duchy of Croatia (Banovina). The capital was, of course, at Belgrade, and the new state was ruled with an iron fist; it flatly repudiated the rights of minorities within its borders, despite it being in direct conflict with Minority Treaty of Paris (1919).[10] Doubtless this led to the assassination (long planned for by Croatian patriots) by a Bulgarian-Macedonian of Serbian King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Marseilles in October 1934.

World War II

Bodies of Italian civilians murdered by the Serbs at Foiba.

Croatia gained independence in 1941 when the axis powers invaded Yugoslavia following the 'palace coup' (encouraged by Britain) in Belgrade against Prince Paul. The Croatian Ante Pavelić became the new leader of the (Independent State of Croatia). With the Axis defeat in World War II, Croatia, together with the former annexed Italian territories of Istria and Dalmatia, were integrated into the communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the communist terrorist Josip Tito. Croatia then became a federal republic within the new State.

During and after the war, the Serbian communists carried out many massacres against civilians, for example the Foibe massacres where the victims were mostly Italians, but also small number of Slovenes and Croatians, and the Bleiburg Massacres where the victims were civilians and military from different ethnic background (mostly Croatians) trying to escape the communists by escaping to Austria. Shamefully, the British handed them all over to to the communists[11].


The native Italian and Croat-Chakavian populations of Istria and Dalmatia both suffered ethnic cleansing by the Serbian communists; some were lucky and were just expelled from their lands during the Expulsion of Italians and Croats from Istria and Dalmatia, but many died in the Foibe massacres, together with a huge number of coastal and islander Croats (cleansed south-western Chakavians). The former coastal houses and related landed properties of both Italians and Chakavians at eastern Adriatic, were stolen and occupied by inland Bosnians and Serbs who immigrated there during Yugoslavia.

The same happened also with the native Croatians in southern Dalmatia and in southwest Istria, where one fifth of the former native Chakavians (maritime Croats) were also killed off by Yugoslav communists in the Foibe massacres, and others. Half were expelled and mostly went to Chile and Argentina (now including more expelled Chakavians than Croatia alone). In both south Dalmatia and south Istria, the eliminated Italians and Chakavian Croats there were replaced by the immigrant inland Serbs and Bosnians, and thus southeast Dalmatia has, in the 20th century, been ethnically removed from Croatia and almost 'cleansed' both of Croats and Italians. Thus prior to that, the archaic maritime Chakavians were 25% of Croatia's population (or prior even three fifths of medieval Croats), but now they are decimated to 11%.

Independence and war

With the collapse of Yugoslavia, in 1991 Croatia declared independence, and a bitter and costly War of Independence had to be fought by the Croatian people and their fledgling new government against the Serbian "Yugoslav" Army, Serbian paramilitary forces and immigrant local Serbs, all of whom were determined to maintain their "Greater Serbia". In October 1991 the Conservative Monday Club in London sent the first British political delegation, including Members of Parliament, to visit independent Croatia and to observe at first hand the war.[12] Later the war mutated into a conflict between independent Croatia and the rebel local immigrant Serbs, who were being clandestinely supported by Serbia. The war finally came to an end with signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995. The Serbs had caused great destruction across Croatia in this four year-period, mostly by artillery and some air force bombing and rocket attacks.[13][14][15]

Croatia today

Within Europe, Croatia from the 20th century has the most peculiar narrow shape of crescent, due to the huge Turkish and then Serbian amputations. Croatia includes the temperate flat areas in the the Pannonian plain of continental north and northeast (middle Croatia and Slavonia), which are divided by the central mountains of west Dinaric Alps (nearly 1900m), from the southwestern coastal regions at the warm Adriatic Sea: Istria peninsula, Kvarner Gulf and Dalmatia with more than thousand islands. Each of these three regions has a different climate and landscapes, almost without extreme weather conditions, except the cool central highlands of Lika and Gorski Kotar ranges.

Croatia is inhabited mostly by Croats who form about five-sixths of the population. Minority groups include Serbs, Bosnians, Hungarians and others. The natural growth rate is minute. Life expectancy and literacy rates are reasonably high. Croatia has a post-communist economy based mostly on various capitalist services and light industry. Tourism is a major source of income, chiefly in its long Adriatic coast and numerous islands. It has several excellent ports such as Pola, the former Austro-Hungarian naval base, Sebenico (Šibenik) and Ragusa (Dubrovnik).

Croatian culture is based on a long national history, during which many monumental buildings and even monumental cities such as medieval Dubrovnik and Split on the coast, and northern baroque Varazdin have been built, being now tourist attractions. Croatia includes six World Heritage sites and eight national parks. The country prides itself in artists as the sculptor Ivan Meštrović, mathematicians like the priest Rudjer Bošković, Nobel prize winning chemists Lavoslav Ružička and Vladimir Prelog (both with Austro-Hungarian upringings and education), inventors such as Eduard Penkala (of Dutch-Polish parentage), and by its old regional Parliament. Croatia also has its place in the history of neckwear as the origin of the necktie (cravat), whose name descends from medieval Latin 'Croata' of Croatian soldiers with their early neckties.reference required

From later 1991 post-communist Croatia became a parliamentary democracy, and the Croatian language returned to official public use (1990-2012). The Croatian Parliament (Sabor) is now an unicameral legislative body of 152 representatives, elected by popular vote to serve 4-year terms. The Government (Vlada) is the executive branch composed of the prime minister, 4 deputy prime ministers and 20 ministers in charge of particular sectors of activity. The President of the Republic (Predsjednik) is elected for a 5-year mandate with a limited executive jurisdiction; as Commander-in-Chief he controls the Croatian army.

On 22 December, 2011, the neo-communist party (SDP) returned to government in Croatia, becoming the unique half-communist state in Europe. From 2013, these neo-communists also abolished from public use the traditional Croatian language, and officially returned to the anew imposed Serbo-Croat hybrid pidgin of Yugoslavia. Croatia's newest communistic leaders from 2012 are: President Ivo Josipovic, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, and Parliamentary President Josip Leko. For these 2011-2013 changes, see: Neo-communist Red Croatia.

Religion and language

Croats differ from Serbs and Bosnians chiefly on religious grounds, but since World War I the three groups speak the similar Serbo-Croatian language imposed by the Serbs during their enforced Serbianisation of Yugoslavia from 1919 onwards. Prior to The Great War Croats within Croatia used another form of the Croatian dialect from former centuries, being closer to recent Slovene (Kaykavian & Chakavian) - spoken till now by 42% of the Croatian people.

Following the religious declarations in the 2011 census, Croatia is besides Italy, Portugal and Ireland, among the purest Catholic countries in Europe, as follows:

  • Roman-Catholics are the wast majority in Croatia, with declared 86% of Croatian citizens.
  • Atheists + agnostics, inherited from the communist former Yugoslavia, now including 6%, - but paradoxically, with the support of Euro-liberals these atheists (Neo-Communists) actually anew rule over the Croatian Christian majority (91%), including the state president and the subentire atheist government.
  • Orthodox-Eastern Christians in Croatia present 4% being almost Serbs, but including also nearly 1% of Ukrainians and other recent East-European immigrants.
  • Moslems are declared less than 3% in Croatia, including mostly the recently immigrated Bosnians and Albanians during the disaster of ex-Yugoslavia.
  • Other religions in Croatia present less than 1%, including almost the recent exotic sects chiefly in Croatian towns.


As usually in post-1945 Europe, races in the Croatian censuses were not directly declared, but rather are detectable from the ethnic, religious, and other declared data. By combining these indications, the result is following:

  • About 97% or the huge majority of Croatian citizens are the white Europeans (Caucasians), including also the non-Croatian minorities historically immigrated almost from surrounding European countries. It has been suggested that today's Croatia is amongst the racially purest and the whitest-European countries.
  • Only 3% of Croatian inhabitants are non-Europeans, chiefly of Asiatic origins. This is mainly due to economic issues Croatia starting out in 1991 as a relatively poor country, and thus not attractive for out-European immigrants. However, with the entering of Croatia to the European Union (1st July 2013), these conditions may be considerably changed as in many other European countries. The registered non-European minorities in recent Croatia include:
    • Gypsies, mostly inherited from ex-Yugoslavia and who migrated chiefly in 20th century, having partly a semi-nomadic life in northern inlands.
    • Chinese in recent urban immigrants in few last decades, occupied chiefly in commerce and similar services.
    • Jews include only 660 persons (census 2011), but despite that, they occupy there many of the decisive financial, medical and political positions (along with the atheist neo-Communists inherited from ex-Yugoslavia).
    • Turks are a tiny minority there, some 331 in Croatia (2011 census).
    • Arabs, Blacks, and other non-Europeans in Croatia are the rarest exotics only, occurring chiefly in towns by temporary transit. Formerly during the extensive Yugoslavian collaboration with Afro-Asian countries, numerous Afro-Asians schooled and traded chiefly in Croatian towns; but with the recent war of the ex-Yugoslavian disaster, nearly all these Afro-Asians fled out of warring Croatia. To conclude, the initial economical poverty of Croatia, and also its bloody war of independence, essentially contributed to the racially pure and very white Croatia we see today.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Croatia. The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
  2. Frucht 2005, p. 415
  3. Distribution of family income – Gini index. The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  4. Human Development Report 2010. United Nations (2010). Retrieved on 5 November 2010.
  5. See Tacitus for clear descriptions of the inhabitants.
  6. The Provinces of the Roman Empire by Professor Theodor Mommsen, 1885/1909 revision/1996 reprint, U.S.A., p.199-200, ISBN: 0-76070-145-8
  7. The Habsburg Empire by Professor Pieter M Judson, Harvard University Press, 2016, p.126, ISBN: 978-0-674-04776-1
  8. Croatia by Dubravko Horvatic, Zagreb, Croatia, English-language edition 1991, ISBN: 86-401-0167-1
  9. Judson, 2016, p.126.
  10. The Tragedy of Trianon by Sir Robert Donald, G.B.E. LL.B., London, 1928, p.241.
  11. The Minister and the Massacres by Count Nikolai Tolstoy, London, 1986, ISBN: 0-09-164010-5
  12. The Times newspaper, 5 May 1992, carried a letter from Gregory Lauder-Frost on behalf of the Club about this delegation and its findings.
  13. Europe's Backyard War - The War in the Balkans by Mark Almond, London, 1994, ISBN: 0-434-00003-5
  14. Somebody Else's War - Reports from the Balkan front line, by Paul Harris, U.K., 1992, ISBN: 0-907590-43-8
  15. Throught the Roads of Hell by Professor Danijel Rehak, Zagreb, 2008, ISBN: 978-953-98342-8-7