Bosnia and Herzegovina

ABOUT Bosnia and Herzegovina

Country Briefs: Bosnia and Herzegovina apparently seem to be two different places, but is the name of a single country that lies in the south east region of Europe, is spread over more than fifty-one thousand square kilometers and has a population of over four million people. Though Bosnia mainly comprises of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is referred to as a Bosnian only.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a strategic location. On its west lies the land of beautiful damsels, Croatia and on the east lie the much known Serbia and Montenegro.

The capital of Bosnia is its largest city, Sarajevo. Sarajevo is an important city of the Balkans. It was discovered by the Ottomans in 1461 and has a long and rich history since then.

Reflecting over the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina we find that the foremost inhabitants of Bosnia were the Neolithic people. They were displaced by the IIlyrians or the Indo-European tribes.

In 4th and 5th centuries there was influx of the Celtics. At some places the Celtics merged with the IIlyrians while at other places they ousted them.

In 9 CE, the Romans invaded Bosnia. This led to the settlement of many Latin-speaking people in that region.

In 1st century BC the Christianity religion mushroomed in Bosnia. In 6th century the emperor Justinian had re-conquered the area for the Byzantine Empire. In this very century the Slavs and the Eurasian Avars invaded the eastern Roan Empire and settled in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1830 Belgian revolution took place. As a result of this revolution an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium under a provisional government was established. In 1831 Leopold I was declared as the king of Belgium. Belgium became a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy under his rule.

In 9th century there was Frankish penetration into the region and the South Slavs were being Christianized.

In the 9th and 10th centuries the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia split their control of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the years that flowed Bosnia and Herzegovina was the bone of contention between the kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire.

In 12th century due to tremendous political mayhem, Bosnia emerged as an independent state. It was then governed by the local Bans, the land administrators in the old lands of Bosnia by its indigenous population, since 7th century.

Ban Kulin was the foremost Bosnian monarch. Bosnia progressed largely in Ban's era. But while Ban tried his best to bring peace in the region, he was at loggerheads with the Christian sect, the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches.

From 1254 to the 14th century Bosnia was the arena of struggle for power between the Subic and the Kotromanic families. The conflict was concluded with the crowning of Stephen II Kotromanic as a ban. But Bosnia underwent immense progress during the reign of Stephen's nephew, Tvrtko.


However the downfall of Bosnia began from 1391. In 1463, Bosnia did officially fell and it was followed by Herzegovina in 1482.

The Ottomans came to rule the country from 1463 onwards. They did numerous socio-political changes in the country. A significant event was the emergence of the Bosnian Muslim community. This community was a result of countless conversions to Islam in this era.

After four centuries the ottoman rule over Bosnia came to an end in 1878. This happened after an agrarian unrest in the province in 19th century that led to a widespread peasant revolt in 1875 that also involved several Balkan states and Great Powers. Due to this large-scale uprising the ottomans were forced to give up the administration of the country to Austria-Hungary in 1878.

Bosnia was ruled by Austria-Hungary from 1878 to 1918. The Habsburgs introduced many modern political practices in the country.

During the First World War the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo.

After the War, Bosnia was incorporated into the South Slav kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. This kingdom was later named as Yugoslavia.

During the Second World War, the dominant Nazi forces invaded the kingdom of Yugoslavia too. As a result Bosnia was ceded to the Nazi-puppet state Croatia. Nazis launched an annihilation drive against the Jewish population of the country. They killed and persecuted countless Jews during their rule.

On 25th November 1943 the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia held a conference that re-established Bosnia and Herzegovina as a republic within the Yugoslavian federation in its ottoman borders.

In 1991 the Bosnia and Herzegovina was declared sovereign. In 1992 Yugoslavia passed a referendum for independence, which was boycotted by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs.

In mid-1992 the UN Protection force was deployed in the country because the Serbia and Bosnia Serbs had launched an armed attack on Bosnian ? Herzegovinian Croats and Bosniaks. 1992 and 1993 were years when the country laid in a pool of blood.

In 1993 the Lord Owen brought a peace agreement that was to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina ethnically into three parts. But this led to a conflict between Bosniak and Croat units over territorial gain.

In March 1994 an agreement was signed between the two warring sides. This reduced the number of warring factions from three to two.

But the bloodshed finally ceased in 1995 with the Dayton Agreement. The presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia signed the Dayton agreement, meant to bring peace in the region. This agreement also authorized the division between the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim and Croat entity

Bosnia and Herzegovina Counties
County HASC Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²)
Banja Luka BA.BL 338,196 4,720 1,822
Bihać BA.BH 195,573 3,868 1,493
Brčko BA.BR 256,467 2,375 917
Doboj BA.DO 319,125 3,356 1,296
Gora?de BA.GO 155,890 3,384 1,307
Jajce BA.JJ 137,702 2,650 1,023
Livno BA.LI 133,147 4,500 1,737
Mostar BA.MO 347,516 9,425 3,639
Prijedor BA.PR 250,078 3,660 1,413
Sarajevo BA.SA 424,472 5,212 2,012
Tuzla BA.TU 452,107 5,067 1,956
Zenica BA.ZE 267,662 2,800 1,081
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • Population: 1961 estimate.
  • Capitals: All capitals have the same name as their kotar.
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