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Yugoslavia is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of nine provinces, known as "banovinas". Yugoslavia is governed by a parliamentary democracy with its seat of government in Belgrade, the capital.
Early Peoples and Migration
Slavic people have been described as living on or near the Danube river by historians of the Byzantine Empire since the 500s. The Slavic peoples that would come to live along the Danube have been speculated to have originated from the Pinsk marshes of northwest Ukraine. These Slavic peoples were described in historical documents as disorganized, though extremely strong and brave, said to come running towards their enemies with spears and small shields, wearing no armor. The South Slavic peoples were also described as being a hard people to unite, as they seemed to dislike centralized rule, this would be one of the main reasons that a united South Slavic state would not exist earlier in history.
Interaction with Byzantine Empire
Slavic interaction with the Byzantines would have a huge effect on the culture of the people, it was mostly because of Byzantine military pressure that the South Slavs would finally form together, turning their small groups of hamlet into larger communities, in which an elite could rise and mold an ethnic identity and organize the people.
Government and Politics
Yugoslavia's current subdivisions were set in 1931 with the new Yugoslav constitution, when nine new provinces, called banovinas or banates were formed. The borders of these banovinas were made with no ethnic divisions in mind. The nine banovinas are named after geographical features, mainly rivers. The current banovinas are as follows;
- Danube Banovina (Dunavska banovina), with its capital in Novi Sad
- Drava Banovina(Dravska banovina), with its capital in Ljubljana
- Drina Banovina (Drinska banovina), with its capital in Sarajevo
- Littoral Banovina (Primorska banovina), with its capital in Split
- Morava Banovina (Moravska banovina), with its capital in Nis
- Sava Banovina (Savska banovina), with its capital in Zagreb
- Vardar Banovina (Vardarska banovina), with its capital in Skopje
- Vrbas Banovina (Vrbaska banovina), with its capital in Banja Luka
- Zeta Banovina (Zetska banovina), with its capital in Cetinje
Yugoslavia's capital, Belgrade, is treated as its own "head subdivision", independent of any banovina, it shares and has shared this specification with the city of Zemun, which it would later amalgamate with and the city of Pancevo.
The territory of present-day Yugoslavia has repeatedly come under the influence of many cultures and influences, some of the most prominent being those of Germany, Italy, Turkey and even the ancient Roman and Byzantine empires. The influences of Yugoslavia's neighbours is readily apparent in the architecture, art, cuisine and religion of the country, although a local culture, similar to Russia's, is still very much evident.
Linguistic GroupsThe majority of the population speaks a Serbo-Croatian language, known as Yugoslavian, or a variation there of. for example, Macedonian. The second largest linguistic group within the country is that of the Slovenes, followed by the Germans, Hungarians and Albanians, who are further followed by the speakers of the Romanian and Turkish languages. An extremely small percentage of the population speaks a language other than the previous ones listed, the most prominent of these other languages are those who speak Italian or Polish.
- Serbo-Croatian (Yugoslavian):
There are three ethnic groups that together form the Yugoslav ethnic group, these are the Croats, Serbs and Slovenes. The reason for the classification of those three groups as one amalgamated one was just one of the many ways the Yugoslavian government strived to reduce ethnic tensions in the country. Other ethnic groups make up a much smaller portion of the country's population, the Germans, Hungarians and Albanians are the most numerous of these minorities.
There are three major religions in Yugoslavia, Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism and Islam. Orthodox Christianity is the most wide-spread in Yugoslavia, but Catholic influence also shows greatly, trailing only slightly behind the Orthodox church in number. Another major religion present in Yugoslavia is Islam, particularly Sunni Islam, brought to the country by Ottoman invaders. Other religious groups make a small minority. Religion is very important in Yugoslavia, showing in the statistics with a very low number of atheists.
- Roman Catholics:
- Greek Catholic: