Bosnian early History
Bosnian history is a very interesting one. Bosnia has existed for over 1000 years. While Bosnia was inhabited at least since Neolithic Age (also called New Stone Age) the name Bosnia was first time mentioned in “De administrando de imperio” (On the Governance of the Empire ) by Byzantine emperor and historian Constantine Porfirigenet in the 10th century. Bosnia had developed into a relatively big country parallel with her neighbors Croatia and Serbia. During the 12th century Bosnia was led by ban Kulin (1180-1204), who is seen as one of the greatest rulers in the history of Bosnia. Bosnia reached the climax of its territorial and political power during reigns of bans Stjepan II Kotromanic (1322-1353) and Tvrtko Kotromanic (from 1353 as a ban, 1377-1391 as a king). The country stretched from the river Drina in the east to the river Sava in the north, and the Adriatic Sea in the southwest, with long stretch of the land including the islands of Hvar, Brac and Korcula. The crucial moment in Bosnian history was in the spring of 1463 when the Ottoman army, led by the sultan Mehmed II (see below), conquered Bosnian land. When the last king of Bosnia Stjepan Tomasevic was slain, Kingdom of Bosnia ceased to exist.
Ottoman Rule of Bosnia
Bosnia remained under the Ottoman Empire for 4 centuries until 1878 when Austro-Hungarian occupied the country. During this period of Bosnian history, the power of leadership over this country has changed from renowned era of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) to a period of total decadence in the 19th century. The Bosnian Pashadom (see image), in the 16th century (1580) finally became full administrated by the Ottoman Empire. This ‘pashadom’ was later known as the eyelet and beylerbeylik. The administration was first seat in Banja Luka, and then moved in Sarajevo 1639. It was later moved to Travnik in 1697 and back to Sarajevo in 1980. After the Viennese war, Pashadom borders were almost identical with present Bosnia & Herzegovina. Ottoman Empire recognized Bosnian heritage and the Muslim feudal lords enjoyed considerable independence, unlike other feudal lords and parts of the Ottoman Empire. Consequently, in the 19th century there were few rebellions of the Muslim leaders against Istanbul and coming reforms. Muslim feudal leaders sought Bosnian autonomy. In 1831 Captain Husein Gradascevic organized one of the strongest rebellions, when the Bosnian army fought battles against the Ottoman forces. This had continued for some years, before the rebellion was crushed 1850 by Omer-pasha Latas, the Sultan’s marshal.
Bosnian Pashadom 17th Century
Bosnian Uprising – “Bosnian Dragon” (Zmaj od Bosne)
Husein-kapetan Gradaščević (31 August 1802 – 17 August 1834) was a Bosniak Muslim general who fought for Bosnian autonomy in the Ottoman Empire. He is often referred to as “Zmaj od Bosne”, meaning “Dragon of Bosnia”. Gradaščević was born in Gradačac in 1802—hence his surname Gradaščević, meaning “of Gradačac”—and grew up surrounded by a political climate of turmoil in the western reaches of the Ottoman Empire. The young Husein developed a reputation for wise rule and tolerance and soon became one of the most popular figures in Bosnia.
The “Bosnian Uprising” lasted for three years and basically demanded autonomy and dignity and overthrew Mahmud II’s loyalists. During the uprising Husein Gradaščević was chosen as the leader and Vizier of Bosnia Eyalet in the year 1831 during the summer of that year he led nearly 25,000 men and marched towards Kosovo where his forces battled against Ottoman regulars under the command of Grand Vizier Reşid Mehmed Pasha had set up encampments near Štimlje in their efforts to subdue the Muslim uprisings in both Kosovo and Bosnia. There Husein Gradaščević’s forces dealt a heavy defeat to the imperial army during the Third Battle of Kosovo and at Novi Pazar.
Austro-Hungarian in Bosnian History
After the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Bosnian history continues under the Austro-Hungarian dominance. In the summer of 1878, the Austro-Hungarian army entered Bosnia and removed invasion of the Islamic-Turkish control. After many debates about whether Bosnia should belong to Austria or Hungary, the decision was made so she became the third state within the monarchy. It is to be noted that the first world war was started in Bosnia, Sarajevo with
First World War Starts in Bosnia
On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian-Serb student and member of Young Bosnia, assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, Bosnia. This began a period of diplomatic maneuvering among Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, and Britain called the July Crisis. Wanting to finally end Serbian interference in Bosnia, Austria-Hungary delivered the July Ultimatum to Serbia, a series of ten demands intentionally made unacceptable, intending to provoke a war with Serbia. When Serbia agreed to only eight of the ten demands, Austria-Hungary declared war on 28 July 1914. Strachan argues, “Whether an equivocal and early response by Serbia would have made any difference to Austria-Hungary’s behavior must be doubtful. Franz Ferdinand was not the sort of personality who commanded popularity, and his demise did not cast the empire into deepest mourning”.
The Russian Empire, unwilling to allow Austria–Hungary to eliminate its influence in the Balkans, and in support of its longtime Serb protégés, ordered a partial mobilization one day later. When the German Empire began to mobilize on 30 July 1914, France, resentful of the German conquest of Alsace-Lorraine during the Franco-Prussian War, ordered French mobilization on 1 August. Germany declared war on Russia on the same day. The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, following an “unsatisfactory reply” to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral.
After the World War II there was the concept of a federal Yugoslavia headed by the general Tito and his partisans. At the time, Bosnia and Herzegovina had become a separate federal unit, like other units in Yugoslavia. With dissolution of the Yugoslavia, which is confirmed by the Badinter Commission, Bosnia & Herzegovina sought international recognition. That was achieved by the referendum on the 6th of April 1992, where the great majority of population voted in favor of independence. In Bosnian history, the 1st of March is known as Independence Day.
Bosnian War History in early 1990ies
The new republic was almost annihilated at birth, by aggression from the neighboring republics of Croatia and Serbia. The Bosnian population suffered gravely during the war 1992-95. This war was brutal ‘ethnic cleansing’. During the war over 250, 000 people were killed and more than two million displaced. The war ended with Dayton Accords, brokered by the USA in December 1995. Today, Bosnia & Herzegovina is a potential candidate for accession into the EU which is the first step of her recovery.
Closing Statement from Lover of Bosnian History
As you can see we have not gone into details nor have we started in the bronze age or pre-slavic periods, the great migrations, Illyrians. Bosnia truly is and was an amazing place which thruout history found itself in very dynamic part of the world, a desired part of the world, it found itself in the middle of opposing powers, tribes, cultures, religions and even economic perspective. That is why we encourage you to learn more about great Bosnian Culture and even Bosnian Food that evolved over the last thousand years. Its History is very long and interesting and we could write whole encyclopedias about each chapter.
We would sincerely like to thank you for your interest in Bosnian History.
Incoming bosnian terms:
- zmaj od bosne
- omer pasa latas
- omer pasha latas
- bosnian history
- bosnia history
- omer pacha latas
- Tvrtko I Kotromanić
- ottoman rule in bosnia
- was Bosnian Serb student Gavrilo a muslim