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The Brothers Antun and Stjepan Radić and the Croatian Peasant Party

Jan Rychlik

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Antun Radić (1868 – 1919) considered Croatian peasant to be the bearer of the true cultural heritage of the Croatian nation. That is why he considered it necessary to develop the cultural level of Croatian farmers. In december 1904, Antun together wirt his younger brother Stjepan (1871 – 1928) founded the Croatian Peoples Peasant Party (Hrvatska pučka seljačka stranka). The program of the party published in January 1905 called for general suffrage, state assistence for the peasants and cultural and economic development of the rural population in general.The HPSS took part in the election to the Croat autonomous Diet (Sabor) in 1905 and 1906, but both Antun and Stjepan had not been elected until the elections of 1910. During the Worl War I, Stjepan took active part in the Croatian liberation movement. He advocadet the unification of Serbe, Croats and Slovenes living in Austria-Hungary into one state. This plan was materialized in the end of the WWI, but after one month (on December 1, 1918), it was attached to Serbia. Stjepan Radić (after the death of Antun in 1919) became the respective leader of the Croat autonomist movement in the newly formed The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovens, after 1929 officially named Yugoslavia. Stjepan Radić disagreed with the centralistic regime that in fact meant the Serbian rule over the Croats. On June 20. 1928 Radić was seriously wounded ih the parlament in Belgrade by Puniša Račić, a deputy of the Serbian Radikal Party. He died few days leter.


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