Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Official languages||Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, Rusyn 1|
- % water
- Total (2002)
| Ethnic groups|
| Serbs: 65.05%|
|Time zone||UTC +1|
|1: All of the official languages are used in the provincial government, Serbian is used in all municipality governments, others are used in selected municipality governments, and few minority languages are used outside official documents|
The Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (Serbian: Аутономна Покрајина Војводина/Autonomna Pokrajina Vojvodina, Hungarian: Vajdaság Autonóm Tartomány, Slovak: Autonómna pokrajina Vojvodina, Romanian: Provincia Autonomă Voivodina, Croatian: Autonomna Pokrajina Vojvodina, Rusyn: Автономна Покраїна Войводина) is the northern province of Serbia. Its capital is Novi Sad and the second largest town is Subotica. It is ethnically diverse, with more than 25 different ethnic groups comprising a third of the region's population. It has no less than six official languages, reflecting the region's great cultural and linguistic diversity. Executive Council of Vojvodina is founder of several newspapers and magazines in official lagnuages: "Дневник" (Daily news) in Serbian and "Magyar Szó" (Hungarian Word) in Hungarian are daily newspapers, and weekly magazines are "Hrvatska riječ" (Croatian Word) in Croatian, "Hlas Ľudu" (The Voice of the People) in Slovak, "Libertatea" (Freedom) in Romanian and "Руске слово" (Rusyn Word) in Rusyn.
Vojvodina is one of two autonomous provinces of Serbia, the other being Kosovo and Metohija.
Vojvodina is the Serbian name for the territory of Northern Serbia, consisting of the southern part of the Pannonian Plain. Throughout history it has been a part of Dacia, the Roman Empire, the Hun Empire, the Avar Caganate, the Gepid Kingdom, the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Yugoslavia, and finally Serbia & Montenegro.
The name "Vojvodina" in the Serbian language simply means Dukedom. Its historical name was "Serbian Dukedom", but since Vojvodina is now part of Serbia, there is no need for the prefix "Serbian" anymore. The Serbian language uses two more varieties of the word Vojvodina. These varieties are Vojvodovina and Vojvodstvo, which is equivalent to the Polish word wojewodztwo (province).
The area of Vojvodina has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Before the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC, the region was inhabited by Illyrian, Thracian and Celtic tribes. Most important Illyrian tribe from this region were Pannonians. Latter Roman Pannonia was named after them.
Romans have conquered this region in the first century BC. Opposing the Roman rule, Illyrian tribes started uprising in 6 AD. Leaders of this uprising were Baton and Pines. They would be the first known Vojvodinians recorded in history. Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica) was an important Roman town. It was main city of Roman Pannonia and one of four capital cities of Roman Empire. Six Roman Emperors were born in this city or in its surroundings: Decius Traian (249-251), Aurelian (270-275), Probus (276-282), Maximianus Herculius (285-310), Constantius II (337-361) and Gratian (367-383). These emperors were Romanised Illyrians by origin.
The Huns drove the Romans out of Pannonia after A.D. 395. The rule of the Huns lasted little over half a century, and the region become part of Byzantine empire. Pannonia (province of Byzantine empire) existed in Srem in the 6th century and the capital city of this province was Sirmium.
During the early medieval migrations, Slavs (Severans, Abodrites, Branicevci , and Serbs) settled today's Vojvodina in the 6th and 7th centuries, but pockets of Romanised Illyrians remained in the area.
In the 9th century territory of present day Vojvodina was part of Bulgaria. Salan (Bulgarian duke) was ruler in territory of Backa and his capital city was Titel. Another Bulgarian duke, Glad, ruled in Banat. His residence was city Vidin in the territory of present day Bulgaria. His descendant was Ahtum, duke of Banat, the last ruler who opposed to the establishment of Hungarian kingdom.
In the 11th century, ruler of Srem vas Sermon, vassal of Bulgarian emperor Samuel. Sermon produced his own golden coins in present day Sremska Mitrovica. After Bulgarians were defeated by Byzantine Empire, Sermon was captured and killed, because he didn’t want to comply with new authorities.
The Hungarians or Magyars arrived in the Pannonian Plain during the last decade of the 9th century. Hungarian rule was established in the territory of present day Vojvodina starting with 10th century. Backa came under Hungarian rule in the 10th century, after Hungarians defeated Salan. Banat came under Hungarian rule in the 11th century after the defeat of Ahtum, and Srem came under Hungarian rule in the 12th century after Kingdom of Hungary conquered it from Byzantine Empire. Before Hungarian conquest, a province of Byzantine empire named Theme Sirmium existed in the territory of Srem.
Between 1282 and 1316 Serbian king Dragutin ruled a state consisted of Srem, Macva, Usora and Soli. Name of his state was: Kingdom of Srem. His capital city was Debrc (between Belgrade and Šabac). After Dragutin died, the ruler of Kingdom of Srem become his son, king Vladislav II (1316-1325).
Though Serbs were part of aboriginal population in the territory of Vojvodina (especially in Srem), an increasing number of Serbs began settling from the 14th century onward. By 1483, according to a Hungarian source, as much as half of the population of Vojvodina territory of the Kingdom of Hungary at the time would have been made up of Serbs.
After Turks conquered Serbia (in 1459), Serbian despots ruled in parts of Vojvodina territory as vassals of Hungarian kings. Residence of Serbian despots was city Kupinik (today Kupinovo) in Srem. Here are the names of these Serbian despots: Vuk Grgurevic (1471-1485), Djordje Brankovic (1486-1496), Jovan Brankovic (1496-1502), Ivanis Berislav (1504-1514), Stevan Berislav (1520-1535), Radic Bozic (1527-1528), Pavle Bakic (1537) and Stefan Stiljanovic (1537-1540). The last three didn’t ruled in the territory of present day Vojvodina, but they had possessions in the territories of present day Romania, Hungary and Croatia. The fact that Despots of Serbia ruled in the territory of present day Vojvodina, but also the presence of large Serbian population, are reasons because in many historical records and maps, which were written and drawn between 15th and 18th centuries, territory of present day Vojvodina was named Rascia (Raska, Serbia) and Little Raska (Little Serbia).
The Ottoman Empire took control of Vojvodina following the Battle of Mohács of 1526 and the fall of Banat in 1552. This turbulent period caused a massive depopulation of this region. Soon after the Battle of Mohács, leader of Serbian mercenaries, Jovan Nenad established his rule in Backa, northern Banat and a small part of Srem. He created an ephemeral independent state, with city Subotica as its capital. At the pitch of his power, Jovan Nenad proclaimed himself in Subotica for "Serbian Emperor". Taking advantage of the extremely confused military and political situation, the Hungarian noblemen from the region joined forces against him and defeated the Serbian troops in the summer of 1527. "Emperor" Jovan Nenad was assassinated and his state collapsed.
During the Ottoman rule, more than 90% of inhabitants of the Vojvodina region were Serbs. Serbs mostly lived in villages, while cities were populated with Muslims, among which were many Islamised Serbs. Elayet of Temesvar (Turkish province) existed in Banat (after 1552), while Sandzak of Srem and Sandzak of Segedin existed in Srem and Backa. In 1594 Serbs in Banat started large uprising opposing Turkish rule. This was one of three largest Serbian uprisings in history, and the largest one before the First Serbian Uprising led by Karadjordje.
The Habsburg Empire took control of Vojvodina among other lands by the treaties of Karlowitz (1699) and Passarowitz (1718). The areas adjacent to the Turkish territory in the south were incorporated into the Military Frontier (its Slavonian and Banat sections). Banat was established as province of Austria in 1718, but this province was abolished in 1778.
End of Ottoman rule dramatically altered the demographic character of the region. The original Serbian population was decimated. The Serbian patriarch, Arsenije III Čarnojević , fearing the revenge of the Turks, immigrated in the last decade of the 17th century to Habsburg Empire with as many as 36,000 families. The Austrian emperor promised these people religious freedom as well as the right to elect their own "vojvoda" (military governor), and incorporated much of the region where they settled, later known as Vojvodina, into the military border. Austrian Emperor also recognized Serbs as one of state nations of Austrian Empire and he recognized right of Serbs to have territorial autonomy. This right, however, was not realized before the revolution in 1848-1849.
During the Uprising of Rakoci (between 1703 and 1711), territory of present day Vojvodina was battlefield between Hungarian rebels and local Serbs, which fought on the side of Austrian Emperor. Serbs in Backa have suffered the great losses. Hungarian rebels have burned Serbian villages and many Serbs were expelled out of Backa. Darvas , the prime military commander of Hungarian rebels, which fought against Serbs in Backa, wrote: "We burned all large places of Rascia, on the both banks of rivers Danube and Tisa".
During the Austrian rule many colonists settled in the territory of present day Vojvodina. They were mainly (Catholic) Germans and Hungarians, but also Ruthenians, Slovaks, Romanians, and others. Because of this colonisation, Serbs lost absolute ethnic majority in the region, and Vojvodina become one of ethnically most diverse regions of Europe. However, there was also some emigration from Vojvodina: after Tisa-Moris section of military frontier was abolished, Serbs from north-eastern part of Backa left from this region and immigrated to Russia in 1752, and this region was then populated with new Hungarian settlers. Especially many Hungarians come after 1867, when Hungary became autonomous part of Habsburg Empire. Serbs, however, still were single largest ethnic group in Vojvodina, until the second half of 20th century, when they become absolute majority again.
The "long 19th century" (1789-1914) was marked by rapid population increase, prosperity, sustained economic development, expansion of the transportation infrastructure, and despite the birth of the various national and reform movements also of relatively peaceful interethnic relations and the reconstruction of the educational system. It was a period of reintegration into Europe, both economically and spirtitually.
Between 16th and 19th centuries, Vojvodina was cultural centre of Serbian people. Especially important cultural centres were: Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci and monasteries of Fruska Gora . In the first half of the 19th century, Novi Sad was largest Serbian city (In 1820 this city had about 20,000 inhabitants, of which 2/3 were Serbs). Novi Sad had an elected mayor that was alternately German or Serb. The Matica Srpska moved to that town from Budapest in 1864. The Serbian gymnasiums of Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci were at the time considered to be among the best in the Hungarian Kingdom. Novi Sad was being called the "Serb Athens".
This development was only interrupted during the revolutionary years 1848-1849. The human and material losses in the Bačka and Banat regions were the greatest in the entire Habsburg Empire. In 1848-1849 revolution Hungarians have demanded national rights and autonomy for them within the Habsburg Empire. In the same time they didn’t recognize national rights of other nationalities, which lived in Hungary in that time (According to 1842 data, only 38% of inhabitants of Hungary were Hungarians).
Wishing to express their national individuality and confronting with new Hungarian authorities, Serbs declared the constitution of the Serbian Vojvodina (Serbian Dukedom) at the May Assembly in Sremski Karlovci (13th to 15th May 1848). The Serbian Dukedom consisted of Srem, Backa, Banat, and Baranja. The Serbs also formed a political alliance with the Croats "based on freedom and perfect equality". They also recognized the Romanian nationality. The metropolitan of Sremski Karlovci, Josif Rajačić, was elected for Patriarch, and Stevan Supljikac for the first Duke. National committee was formed as new government of Serbian Vojvodina. Instead of the old feudal reign a new reign was founded based on the national boards with the Head Serbian national board presiding.
The Hungarian government replied by the use of force: on June 12th 1848, a war between Serbs and Hungarians started. Austria took side of Hungary at first, demanding from the Serbs to "go back to being obedient". Serbs were aided by the volunteers from Serbia. As a negative consequence of this war, was the expansion of the conservative fractions. Since the Austrian court turned against the Hungarians in the later stage of revolution, feudal and clerical circles of Vojvodina formed an alliance with Austria and became a tool of the Viennese reaction to Hungarian revolution. Serbian troops from Vojvodina then joined the Habsburg army and helped in crushing the revolution in Hungary. The forces of reaction smothered the revolution, helped by the Russian Czarism , in the summer of 1849 and in that way defeated all the national and social movements in the Habsburg monarchy.
After the defeat of the revolution, by a decision of the Austrian emperor, in November 1849, an Austrian crownland known as Vojvodina of Serbia and Tamis Banat (German: Wojwodschaft Serbien und Tamisch Banat) was formed (consisting of Banat, Backa and Srem). An Austrian governor seated in Temesvar ruled the area, and the title of Duke belonged to the emperor himself. Full title of Austrian emperor was: Great duke of Vojvodina of Serbia (German: Grosswojwod der Wojwodschaft Serbien). Even after Vojvodina was abolished, emperor kept this title until the last day of the existence of Habsburg Empire. After the Austrian and Hungarian authorities signed an agreement, the development of capitalism and democratic parliamentary rule had the necessary conditions to develop. The Vojvodina's two official languages became German and "Illyrian" (what would become Serbo-Croatian), but in practice it was mainly German.
In 1860 this crownland was abolished and its territory was incorporated into Hungary (However, the real Hungarian rule has begun only in 1867, when Hungary became autonomous part of Habsburg Empire). After Vojvodina was abolished, one Serbian politician, Svetozar Miletic , has appeared in the political life. He demanded national rights for Serbs and other non-Hungarian nationalities of Hungary, and that was the reason why he was arrested and locked up in prison.
During the second half of the 19th century the region's Hungarian, German, Serb, Croat, and Slovak farmers turned it into the most productive agricultural region of the Kingdom, and it's excellent products were exported all over Europe.
Between 1929 and 1941, Dunavska banovina (Danubian Banat) was province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The capital city of province was Novi Sad. Dunavska banovina consisted of Srem, Backa, Banat, Baranja and Sumadija. Population of this region was: Serbs and Croats (56,9%), Hungarians (18,2%), Germans (16,3%).
The Axis Powers occupied region between 1941 and 1944. Backa and Baranja were attached to Hungary, while Srem was attached to Independent State of Croatia. Smaller Dunavska banovina (including Banat and Sumadija) existed as part of Serbia between 1941 and 1944 and its administrative centre was Smederevo. However, Banat itself was separate autonomous region ruled by German minority. Occupants have committed countless crimes against the civilian population and especially many crimes were committed against the Serbian and Jewish population (Jewish population of Vojvodina was completely exterminated).
Vojvodina was liberated in 1944 and region was politicaly restored (In 1945) as a province of Serbia (incorporating Srem, Banat, and Backa). Instead of previous name (Dunavska Banovina), region officially gains its historical name: Vojvodina, and its capital city remained Novi Sad.
It was only nominally autonomous at first but enjoyed extensive rights of self-rule under the 1974 constitution, which also gave it voting rights equivalent to Serbia itself on the country's collective presidency.
Under the rule of Serbian president Slobodan Milošević, Vojvodina and Kosovo lost most of their autonomy in September 1990. The outbreak of the Yugoslav wars contributed to the increase of ethnic tensions, with many refugee Serbs who were driven out from Croatia and Bosnia being resettled in Vojvodina.
The fall of Milošević in 2000 created a new climate for reform in Vojvodina, with the province's ethnic minorities strongly supporting the new democratic government in Belgrade. Following talks between the parties, the province's autonomy was partially restored by the omnibus law in 2002. Vojvodina's new flag was also introduced in 2004.
Some sources for history of Vojvodina
- Dr. Aleksa Ivic, Istorija Srba u Vojvodini, Novi Sad, 1929.
- Milan Tutorov, Mala Raška a u Banatu, Zrenjanin, 1991.
- Drago Njegovan, Prisajedinjenje Vojvodine Srbiji, Novi Sad, 2004.
- Lazo M. Kostic, Srpska Vojvodina i njene manjine, Novi Sad, 1999.
- Radmilo Petrovic, Vojvodina, Beograd, 2003.
- Predrag Medovic, Praistorija na tlu Vojvodine, Novi Sad, 2001.
- Jovan M. Pejin, Iz prošlosti Kikinde, Kikinda, 2000.
- Peter Rokai, Zoltan Djere, Tibor Pal, Aleksandar Kasas, Istorija Madjara, Beograd, 2002.
- Nikola Gavrilovic, Srbi i Rumuni: Srpsko-Rumunske veze kroz vekove : zbornik radova, Prometej, 1997.
- Karl von Möller, Die Werschetzer Tat, 1938.
- Georges G. Mironesco, Le Probleme Du Banat, Paris, 1919.
- Severe Bocou, Question Du Banat, Paris, 1919.
- Rupert von Schumacher, Des Reiches Hofzaun - Geschichte der deutschen Militärgrenze im Südosten.
- Martinović Z., Nemački uticaj na ishranu Srba u Banatu, Mali Nemo.
- Spasović Ivana, Banatska vojna granica i njeno ukidanje 1872. godine, Istorijski arhiv u Pančevu.
The region is traditionally divided by the Danube and Tisa rivers into: Bačka in the northwest, Banat in the east and Srem in the southwest. Today, the western part of Srem is in Croatia while Baranja (which is between Danube and Drava, rather) is in Hungary and Croatia. Vojvodina has a total surface area of 21,500 km² (8,299 mi²).
The districts of Serbia in Vojvodina are:
- West Bačka okrug
- North Bačka okrug
- South Bačka okrug
- North Banat okrug
- Central Banat okrug
- South Banat okrug
- Srem okrug
Main article: Demographic history of Vojvodina
Population by national or ethnic groups:
- 1,321,807 Serbs (65.05%)
- 290,207 Hungarians (14.28%)
- 56,637 Slovaks (2.79%)
- 56,546 Croats (2.78%)
- 55,016 undeclared (2.71%)
- 49,881 Yugoslavs (2.45%)
- 35,513 Montenegrins (1.75%)
- 30,419 Romanians (1.50%)
- 29,057 Romanies (1.43%)
- 19,766 Bunjevci (0.97%)
- 15,626 Rusyns (0.77%)
- 11,785 Macedonians (0.58%)
- 10,154 regional affiliation (0.50%)
- 4,635 Ukrainians (0.23%)
Population by mother tongue:
- 1,557,020 Serbian language (76.63%)
- 284,205 Hungarian language (13.99%)
- 55,065 Slovak language (2.71%)
- 29,512 Romanian language (1.45%)
- 21,939 Roma language (1.08%)
- 21,053 Croatian language (1.04%)
- 4,152 Macedonian language
- 2,369 Albanian language
- 920 Bulgarian language
Population by religion:
- 1,401,475 Eastern Orthodox (68.97%)
- 388,313 Catholics (Roman Catholic and Eastern Rite) (19.11%)
- 72,159 Protestants (3.55%)
- 12,583 atheists
- 8,073 Muslims
- 329 Jews
- 166 Oriental religions (Buddhism, Hinduism etc.)
- 4,456 others
- 418 without religious affiliation
- 42,876 unknown
- 101,144 undeclared on the question
Population by gender:
- 984,942 males
- 1,047,050 females
Population by age groups:
- 0-14 years: 15.85% (165332 males, 156873 females)
- 15-64 years: 68.62% (693646 males, 700416 females)
- 65 years and over: 15.53% (125964 males, 189761 females)
There are several regionalist political parties in Vojvodina. Some of those are: League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina, Reformists of Vojvodina, Vojvodina Coalition, Vojvodinian Movement, Union of Socialists of Vojvodina.
Current president of Vojvodinian government is Bojan Pajtic (Democratic Party), while president of Vojvodinian parliament is Bojan Kostres (League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina).
- Ethnic groups of Vojvodina
- History of the Balkans
- History of Europe
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