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Montenegro History

The country of Montenegro used to be a big player in the region and it was one of the only few countries that wasn’t fully controlled by the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the region for over four centuries. In 1878, Montenegro defeated the Turks and gained full independence, which was recognized by the Congress of Berlin at the time. In 1910 Nikola I Petrović, who was Montenegro’s ruler at the time declared himself king of the country. The Austrians ousted him in 1916, but when World War I ended Montenegro was incorporated into Serbia.

During World War II the country was invaded by the Nazi’s and Italians and the Montenegrins fought along side Tito and his partisan army.  The country suffered during World War II as over one million people perished, which a large number was in part of a genocide of Serbs committed by the Croatian clerico-fascist Ustasa in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the war the country was given a republic status within the incorporation of Yugoslavia, as thanks from Tito for the country’s loyalty during the war.

Following Tito’s death in 1980, Yugoslavia was starting to fall apart and segregate itself from one another, as before it was Tito who was keeping all the countries together. In 1990 Slovenia and Croatia held elections and there governments wanted independence. Slovenia was the first to outright declare independence and the federal government launched a half-hearted and ineffectual military campaign against the Slovenes. After a few weeks of fighting a ceasefire was concluded, under which the Slovenes obtained virtually everything they wanted and they got there full independence.

After the seeing how easy the Slovenians got there independence the Croats tried the same, but the Serb minority in the Croatian region of Krajina declared autonomy. The Serb led army, which was backed by Montenegro, went in to fight the Croatians. This was when you saw all the Yugoslav republics ethnic split (Muslim, Croat, Serb) gave rise to different aspirations for different ethnic groups, which Bosnia was stuck in the middle of all of it and having the most of each ethnic split in there country.

In 1996, Slobodan Milosevic, a former Communist Party member, had assumed effective power and had been consolidating his position by appealing to Serbian nationalist sentiments. What was to follow was a bloody Balkan War that most people in the area would like to forget about. The Serbs had a policy of ethnic cleansing, which involved many Kosovan Albanians, Croat and any other nationality that wasn’t a Serb. The British and the US began a bombing campaign against Serbia. This was the end of the war and Slobodan Milosevic, but the effects are still felt today. After the war a NATO peacekeeping force and a small Russian contingent were sent in to make sure peace was to prevail.

Montenegro was joined once again with Serbia after the war, but in 2006 after a vote Montenegro became the newest country in Europe, as they have finally gained there independence. The country is looking to join the European Union, but still has many things to do before that happens.

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