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Encyclopedia > Nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina

More than 95% of population of Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to one of its three constitutive nations: Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. The term constitutive refers to the fact that these three nations are explicitly mentioned in The Constitution, and that none of them can be considered a minority or immigrant. Bosniaks (natively: Bošnjaci) are South Slavs descended from those who converted to Islam during the Ottoman period (15th-19th century). ... Croats (Croatian: Hrvati) are a south Slavic people mostly living in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (where theyre one of the constitutive nations). ... Serbs (in the Serbian language Срби, Srbi) are a south Slavic people living chiefly in Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... In sociology and in voting theory, a minority is a sub-group that forms less than half of the population. ... Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ...


Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks have no major physical traits by which they can be distinguished. A recent genetical study showed that variance of genome is larger among members of the same nation than between nations. Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... In probability theory and statistics, the variance of a random variable is a measure of its statistical dispersion, indicating how far from the expected value its values typically are. ... In biology the genome of an organism is the whole hereditary information of an organism that is encoded in the DNA (or, for some viruses, RNA). ...


While each have their own standard language variant and a name for it, they speak a mutually intelligible languages. On a dialectal level, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks speak a variety of Štokavian dialects: Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats "southern" neo-Štokavian; Croats and Bosniaks "western" neo-Štokavian and Bosniaks and Croats "eastern-Bosnian" old-Štokavian. These dialects are mutually intelligible, but have fixed phonetic, morphological and lexical differences. The question of standard language of Bosnia and Herzegovina is resolved in such a way that three constituent nations have their educational and cultural institutions in their respective national standard languages: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Serbo-Croatian (srpskohrvatski or hrvatskosrpski) is a name for a language of the Western group of the South Slavic languages. ... The Serbian language or Serb language is one of the standard versions of the Central-South Slavic diasystem, formerly (and still frequently) called Serbo-Croatian. ...


The most easily recognizable feature that distinguishes the three nations is their religion, with Croats predominantly Catholic Christians, Bosniaks predominantly Muslim, and Serbs Orthodox Christians. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious denomination of Christianity with over one billion members. ... Islam (Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ... ...


This has led many sociologists to believe that these ethnical groups emerged from religious groups in a process that occurred in 19th century. On the other hand, numerous historians, culturologists and ethnologists consider that Croats and Serbs have merely completed their national integration in the 19th century (like, for instance, Norwegians or Slovaks), while Bosniaks crystallized into a separate nation only at the end of the 20th century. Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups, and societies, sometimes defined as the study of social interactions. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Ethnical background of Bosnia and Herzegovina

During the Bronze Age, Bosnia was inhabited by a group of tribes we usually call Illyrians or Illyres. They were finally conquered by Roman Empire in 10. It is commonly believed that Illyrians were completely Romanized by 4th century; they spoke Latin language and their pagan religion was first replaced by corresponding Roman myths and later they became Christians. The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... In classical history, Illyria or Illyricum or Illyrikon was a region of the western Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the tribes and clans of Illyrians, an ancient people who probably spoke an Indo-European language (the Illyrian languages). ... Roman Empire between AD 60 and 400 with major cities. ... For other uses, see number 10. ... (3rd century - 4th century - 5th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Within a European Christian context, paganism is a catch-all term which has come to connote a broad set of not necessarily compatible religious beliefs and practices (see Cult (religion)) of a natural religion (as opposed to a revealed religion of a text), which are usually, but not necessarily, characterized... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. ...


The turmoil after the fall of Western Roman Empire in 476 was followed by settlement of Slavs in 7th century. Even though modern languages of this area are almost purely Slavic with very little Illyrian influence, it is believed that, genetically speaking, the present population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mixture of Slavs and Illyrians with influences of other nations such as Avars and Goths. Events August - The usurper Basiliscus is deposed and Zeno is restored as Eastern Roman Emperor. ... The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... (6th century - 7th century - 8th century - other centuries) Events Islam starts in Arabia, the Quran is written, and Arabs subjugate Syria, Iraq, Persia, Egypt, North Africa and Central Asia to Islam. ... The Eurasian Avars were a nomadic people of Eurasia who established a state in the Danube River area of Europe in the early 6th century. ... The Goths were an East Germanic tribe which according to their own traditions originated in Scandinavia (specifically Götaland and Gotland). ...


There are many theories regarding the ethnical structure of medieval Bosnian state; however, evidence is inconclusive. Claims that medieval Bosnians declared themselves Croats or Serbs have been disputed: evidence shows many instances of them calling themselves Bosnians (Bošnjani); however, some historians believe that these indicate regional rather than ethnical identity.


Brief history of religions in Bosnia and Herzegovina

South Slavs were christianized in 9th century. Until the Ottoman conqueror of Bosnia, we have evidence of three Christian denominations in Bosnia: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and an indigenous church known as the Bosnian Church. Both Orthodox and Catholic officials declared this church to be a heresy. Apart from testimonies of inquisitors and a few excerpts from allegedly apocryphal texts, we have very little knowledge of the Bosnian Church. Its connection with Bogomils is spurious, however. Discussion about how numerous each of these denominations was is impossible with the amount of historical documents that are presently available to us. ( 8th century - 9th century - 10th century - other centuries) Events Beowulf might have been written down in this century, though it could also have been in the 8th century Reign of Charlemagne, and concurrent (and controversially labeled) Carolingian Renaissance in western Europe Viking attacks on Europe begin Oseberg ship burial The... The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Imperial motto El Muzaffer Daima The Ever Victorious (as written in tugra) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital İstanbul (Constantinople/Asitane/Konstantiniyye ) Sovereigns Sultans of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40 million Area 6. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The Bosnian Church was an indigenous church of Bosnia which existed in the Middle Ages. ... Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... Pedro Berruguete. ... In Judeo-Christian theologies, apocrypha refers to religious Sacred text that have questionable authenticity or are otherwise disputed. ... Bogomils was the name of an ancient Gnostic religious community which is thought to have originated in Bulgaria. ...


The arrival of Ottoman Empire, an islamic state, resulted in a thorough realignment of religious groups. The Church of Bosnia vanished, apparently because its leaders were either killed or converted. Many members of all three denominations converted to Islam. Other members of Bosnian Church converted to either Catholicism or Orthodoxy. There are also evidence of Catholic population converting to Orthodoxy. The effect of the so-called devşirme or blood tax on the presence of Muslims in Bosnia is negligible. The presence of large Muslim population in contemporary Bosnia is due to many factors, with motives ranging from an effective propaganda to religious persecution of Catholics in the 15th to 18th centuries (Catholics being viewed as a sort of "fifth column" of the Ottoman arch-enemy, the Habsburg Empire) and understandable motive to improve one's social standing in the theocratic Ottoman empire. The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Imperial motto El Muzaffer Daima The Ever Victorious (as written in tugra) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital İstanbul (Constantinople/Asitane/Konstantiniyye ) Sovereigns Sultans of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40 million Area 6. ... Islam (Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Habsburg (sometimes spelled Hapsburg, but never so in official use) was one of the major ruling houses of Europe. ...


It is known that during the 16th and 17th century numerous Catholics left Bosnia. Much of the population of coastal regions of Croatia and Adriatic islands has origins in Bosnia. (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... The Adriatic Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea separating the Apennine peninsula (Italy) from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges. ...


Eventually, by the end of 17th century more than 80% of population of Bosnia was Muslim. However, the following century saw a drastic decline in the number of Muslims in Bosnia. Reasons for this include many defeats that the Ottoman army had during this century (in the Ottoman Empire Muslims were required to serve in the army, while non-Muslims weren't), plague and other natural disasters that mainly hit the urban population (whereas Christians were mostly peasants) and immigration of Christians from neighbouring territories. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... Plague redirects here. ...


Transformation of ethnicity to religion, its cause and course

Originally, the islamic Ottoman Empire didn't have a concept of private ownership of land. Rights to till the land (tapija) were given to deserving military commanders (spahi), and after their death this right was delegated to another person. However, considering the special circumstances of the border-line province of Bosnia, the Ottoman sultan made an exception allowing for tapijas to be hereditary. This resulted in a de facto feudal system. Bosnian landlords (begs) quickly acquired more land than they could possibly till themselves, therefore they allowed Christian peasants to settle and till the land, giving a percentage (usually one third) to their beg. Islam ( Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen?) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ... The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Imperial motto El Muzaffer Daima The Ever Victorious (as written in tugra) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital İstanbul (Constantinople/Asitane/Konstantiniyye ) Sovereigns Sultans of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40 million Area 6. ... A sultan (Arabic: سلطان) is an Islamic monarch ruling under the terms of shariah. ...


This system worked reasonably well until mid-18th century when, following several major military defeats, general economic situation in Ottoman Empire declined. Impoverished begs and widows hired čifluk sahibijas, persons that had the authority to collect taxes on a certain part of a begs land while keeping a portion for themselves. Sahibijas didn't feel any obligation towards peasants and treated them badly, often enforcing taxes and confiscating property. This combined with growing taxes that the Empire required for itself and several bad years for crops resulted in a series of uprisings of Christian peasants in Bosnia, Serbia and other European provinces. In Bosnia this meant a very deep chasm between Muslims and Christians of both denominations. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


In the times following the Ottoman conquest, the name «Bošnjanin» was turkified into «Bošnjak» (Bosh-nyak, Bosniak in English).During early Ottoman rule, the term «Bošnjak» was applied exclusively to the Christian population, while islamized natives were referred to as «Bosnalu». However, in following centuries (16th to 19th), this name, under various hyphenated forms («Bošnjak-milleti», «Bošnjak-taifesi») had acquired additional nuances of meaning: it became the common term for all the inhabitants of Bosnian Turkish pashaluk/military province. However, it is just one regional reference. The bureaucracy of the theocratic Ottoman empire couldn't even imagine that Muslims and Christians in one of the provinces of the vast Islamic polity would constitute a separated, supradenominational community. Nor was it thinkable to the Bosnian Christians and Muslims. Vilâyet (also eyalet or pashaluk) was the Turkish name for the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. ...


This has left Bosnian Muslims in a sort of vacuum. When Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, Muslims saw it as their arch-enemy and many left Bosnia for territories still under Ottoman rule. Therefore, Austria-Hungarian project of a Bosnian nation was accepted only among Muslim intellectual elite and a small number of Catholics. Serbs formed a resistance organization that grew into an opposition party named Serb Peoples1 Organization. A corresponding Muslim Peoples1 Organization was organized in 1906, and immediately entered into alliance with Serb Peoples1 Organization. These two parties combined with Croat Peoples1 Community won the 1910 elections by a large margin. This gave birth to the well-known concept of three natio-religions that we still see alive today. Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... 1878 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1906 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1910 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


The origins of the three nations now present in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be traced back to the period (ca. 1500. to ca. 1800.) of intense islamization when "triple" ethnic-denominational differentiation served as the focal point for growth of modern national individualities based on ancient ethnic loyalties: as Camus has said, people become what they already are - notwithstanding the fact that they may not yet be aware of it. Bosnian Croats and Serbs have definitely crystallized into modern nations during the 19th century, simultaneously retaining their regional Bosnian and Herzegovinian identities rooted in history and conjoining with their compatriots in Croatia and Serbia. Bosnian Muslims, on the other hand, have set out on the trek for self-identity. Feeling in their bones the unbridgeable separateness and distance from both Croats and Serbs, these "Turkey's abandoned children" found themselves in an uneasy position: being a cultural/denominational transplant from Asia Minor grafted onto South Slavic ethnicities whose nascent Croat and Serb identities melted away in the process of islamization, they vacillated between a few national and semi-national individualities: Turkish, Croat, Serb, supranational Yugoslav and quasidenominational ethnic Muslim designation - Bosnian Muslims were officially recognized as a nation under the name of Muslims in the 1971 Yugoslav census. Finally, this identity crisis was resolved in an abrupt way: the Bosniak designation (actually, a Turkish word meaning Bosnian) was adopted in 1993. as a sign of differentiating ethnic identity from denominational loyalties. Although circumstances of the procedure may look somewhat weird (it was unanimously accepted on September 28th 1993, at the 2nd Bosniak Congress - an institution of Bosnian Muslim intellectuals and ideologues), it seems that, in all likelihood, Bosnian Muslims have definitively reached the goal in their quest for national identity. Albert Camus Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960) was a French author and philosopher and one of the principal luminaries (with Jean-Paul Sartre) of existentialism. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years). ... 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003) Events Media:January January 1 - Czechoslovakia divides. ...


1 This word can also be translated as National or even Ethnical.


See also

  • History of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbo-Croatian language
  • Bosnians

For genesis of the Bosniak nation see: Bosniaks. This is the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... Serbo-Croatian (srpskohrvatski or hrvatskosrpski) is a name for a language of the Western group of the South Slavic languages. ... Bosniaks (natively: Bošnjaci) are South Slavs descended from those who converted to Islam during the Ottoman period (15th-19th century). ...


 
 

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