The original borders of the former Southeastern European nation commonly referred to as Yugoslavia can be found in maps and globes that were created between 1918 and 1992. The borders of Yugoslavia were formed in 1918, after the end of World War I, from territory that was previously part of the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary and the former independent kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro. After 1992, during the course of a series of civil wars following the breakup of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was divided into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and a remaining portion that retained the name Yugoslavia until its division into Serbia and Montenegro between 2003 and 2006.Continue Reading
Between the end of World War II and the breakup of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia was a Soviet-styled socialist republic ruled by a powerful totalitarian central government under the leadership of its lifetime-term president, Josip Broz Tito. After Tito's death in 1980, tension began to develop between the various ethnic groups in Yugoslavia. In the year prior to his death, the long-term ruler predicted that Yugoslavia would fall apart after he died.
After Tito's death, the six socialist republics and the two autonomous regions comprising the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia developed competing and often antagonistic internal independence movements fueled by ethnic nationalism and religious differences. The train of events leading directly to the Yugoslav wars began in August 1990 when secessionist forces attempted to replace civilian and military authorities. Croatia and Slovenia were the fist two former Yugoslav republics to declare independence during June 1991, and by autumn of that same year, a series of civil wars began.Learn more about Maps & Cartography