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Original scientific paper

The South-Slav / Yugoslav idea (The fate of an encyclopedic study from 1988)

Petar Korunić

Full text: croatian pdf 348 Kb

page 471-578

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The author wrote the discussion paper under the title above in 1988 for the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Yugoslavia. However, the paper was not published in the encyclopedia. It is going to be published now, after twenty years. The first part of this article expounds on the reasons why the author decided to stop contributing to the preparations for the encyclopedia and why he revoked his discussion paper. Contrary to the prevalent claim in historiography that the protagonists of the Croatian National Revival advocated “the Yugoslav national idea” and that the ideology of the Croatian revival movement under the Illyrian name had already contained “the South-Slav national idea”, i.e. “the idea about South Slavs as a single nation”, which would mean that they aspired to establish a “national” and unitary Yugoslav state, at the time when the paper was originally written the author took the position that the Croatian populist politicians clearly sided with the Croatian national program, i.e. with the idea of formation of a modern Croatian nation, already at the time of the Illyrian Movement, and especially during the 1848/49 revolution, and that they accordingly accepted the South-Slav-Austrian political program: a program aimed at the remodeling of the Habsburg Monarchy into a Central European confederation within which they would accomplish a united Croatia and a complete national independence. Serbia, on the other hand, advocated the South-Slav-Balkanic program that they synchronized with the Serbian national program, the two being completely different political programs with completely different objectives. The author therefore concluded that there was no chance of reconciliation of the two programs in the 19th century that would give birth to an independent “national” state encompassing all the South Slavs. At the time the author was attacked in the public for his views. After this paper he is going to publish a critical discussion paper about these complex historical phenomena.


(Austro-Hungarian) Monarchy; Croatian National Revival; Illyrian Movement; South-Slav / Yugoslav national idea; Croatian national program; Serbian national program; confederation; unitary state; World War I Encyclopedia

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