Yugoslavia: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Yugoslavia.



Location--In southeastern Europe; shares its borders with 7 countries: northern Italy on the west, Austria and Hungary on the north, Romania and Bulgaria on the east, Greece and Albania on the south. To the southwest is the Adriatic Sea.

How Created--In the 6th and 7th centuries several Slavic tribes migrated, some southward and some westward, over the Carpathians into the area between the Danube and the Adriatic. It was not until 1918 that the various nationalities united to form an independent state, at that time called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

Size--98,766 sq. mi. (255,804 sq. km.), roughly the size of Wyoming.

Population--21,700,000: Serb, 42.1%; Croat 23.1%; Slovene, 8.6%; Macedonian, 5.6%; Muslim, 5.2%; Albanian, 4.9%; 16 other groups, 10.5%. 42% Serbian Orthodox, 25% Roman Catholic, 10% Muslim.

Who Rules--The President, a collective Presidency, a Premier, a Parliament (the Federal Assembly), and a Cabinet (the Executive Council). The position of President has been changing due to the problem of President Tito's succession. The policy is to try to create the conditions for collective leadership after Tito's death. The 1971 constitution established a 22-person collective Presidency, while at the same time reelecting Tito President for 5 years.

Who REALLY Rules--Tito, with the other leaders of the League of Communists as his lieutenants, has (since successfully leading the Partisan forces during W. W. II) held ultimate power, whatever the political form. As head of the party, the Government and the Socialist Alliance (the only other legal political party), and as a charismatic national hero who is never directly criticized but plays the role of critic of the bureaucracy in favor of the people (a la Mao), Tito has enjoyed a kind of autocratic reign, though sharing his power with his comrades-at-arms, the ruling clique of the party.

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