Explaining History

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The Croat Spring 1971

Yugoslavia, a state created in 1919 and recreated from the ashes of war once again in 1945 was a federation of balkan nationalities held together after World War Two by the totalitarian Leninist Josep Tito. The fact that Yugoslavia under his leadership had liberated itself and was not dominated like the rest of Eastern Europe by the Red Army, meant that its Cold War years would be fundamentally different. Yugoslavia was affected by the wave of unrest that afflicted Eastern Europe in 1968, following the crushing of the Prague Spring. The result was the energising of nationalist movements, the most vocal of which was in Croatia, which was eventually crushed by Tito. However, from 1971 to the early 1990s, nationalism, far from being extinguished, became the force that would rip Yugoslavia apart.

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