:"Not to be confused with
Slovenia, a nearby country."Slavonia (Croatian, Serbian: "Slavonija", Cyrillic script: Славонија) is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia. It is a fertile agricultural and forested lowland bounded, in part, by the Dravariver in the north, the Sava river in the south, and the Danuberiver in the east.
The area is divided into five counties, with a total population of 891,259 (2001 census). [http://www.dzs.hr/Hrv/censuses/Census2001/Popis/H01_02_02/H01_02_02.html] Two more counties mostly located in
Central Croatiaalso include some western parts of Slavonia. The biggest city is Osijekwith a population of 114,616 (2001). Other cities are: Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci, Vukovar,
While generally known as a lowland, Slavonia does actually have a number of hills. The main ones are
Psunj, Papuk, Požeška Gora, Ravna gora, Krndijaand Dilj, which in turn encircle the valley of Požega.
Historically, the borders of Slavonia fluctuated. In the early medieval period of the
Kingdom of Hungary, Slavonia was a vassal province of the Kingdom, and included only the western part of present-day Slavonia, but also parts of present-day central Croatia(including Zagreb) and the western and northern parts of present-day Bosnia (The eastern parts of present-day Slavonia belonged to Hungary proper). In the late Medieval period Slavonia occupied territories between the rivers Sava, Drava, Sutlaand Danube. In the 18th and 19th century, the Kingdom of Slavonia was a province of the Habsburg Monarchy, and included northern parts of present day regions of Slavonia and Syrmia, while the southern parts of these regions were part of the Habsburg Military Frontier( Slavonian Krajina).
The region was originally part of the Roman province of
Pannonia. In the 7th century a Slavonic state owing allegiance to the Avars was established, soon replaced by the Croats. Slavonia was defended by King Tomislavof the House of Trpimirovićfrom Hungarian invaders and annexed to his newly-created Kingdom of Croatiain 925. In 1027 a Hungarian Army under Stjepan Svetoslavićof the side branch of the Trpimirović dynasty took Slavonia and made it a Slavonian Banate of the Kingdom of Hungary, ruled by its own dynasty of Svetoslavić. Slavonia was reunified with Croatia in the 1070s under King Dmitar Zvonimir Svetoslavić. In 1091 it separated again and accepted the suzerainty of the Hungarian crown. 11 years later, the rest of Croatia also accepted the suzerainty of the Hungarian crown. In the 12th century there was a practice that successor of the throne first became Duke of "whole Slavonia" (like the eldest British prince is prince of Wales), and there were some power grabs since in many cases son waged war against father, trying to establish and confirm its power base. Though Slavonia was originally considered to be part of the Kingdom of Hungaryby Hungarian public law, it became more and more separated from the Kingdom of Hungary and had more and more tied to the Kingdom of Croatia.
In the 13th century, Croatia was divided into 2 banovinas, one of which was named Slavonia (other keeping the name Croatia). Nobility in Slavonia was more connected to Hungary than the nobility of Croatia. In the late 13th century the eastern parts of the region were turned into the semi-independent state of the powerful local ruler
Csák Ugrin, although the Hungarian King took the area in 1311 after the death of Ugrin.
Ever since the fall of the
Serbian Despotatemigrations of Serbsunder Ottoman yoke were present, including their nobility which made an important political factor in Slavonia. Slavonia and Croatia were ruled by separate bans, until 1476, when these two ruling positions were merged into one.
When Ottoman Turks invaded the Kingdom of Hungary and destroyed the Hungarian army at Mohács in 1526, the
Croatian Parliamentinvited the Habsburgs to assume control over Croatia. After many fierce battles Ottomans conquered all of today's Slavonia bit by bit in 1529, 1536, 1540, 1543 and 1552, but not the whole of the medieval Kingdom of Slavonia (its borders stretching west to Sutla river).The Habsburgstook the entire region from the Ottomans in the Great Turkish War, affirmed by the Treaty of Karlowitzin 1699. During the Habsburg rule, the Kingdom of Slavoniawas a Habsburg province, and it was part of both, the Kingdom of Croatia, and the Kingdom of Hungary. Southern parts of the present-day Slavonia were not included into this province, but into Habsburg Military Frontier( Slavonian Krajina), which Slavonian nobles numerous times tried to integrate into Slavonia, but with no success. Post-1699 Slavonia was a different geographical entity from the medieval Slavonia. Whereas medieval Slavonia incorporated the territories between the Drava and Kupa Rivers, Habsburg Slavonia was extended eastwards to refer to the sparsely populated territories between the Sava and Drava Rivers.
Revolutions of 1848Slavonia was temporarily united with Croatia under the Ban Josip Jelačić. After 1849, both, Slavonia and Croatia were affirmed as a completely separate Habsburgcrown lands. Following the 1868 Settlement ("hrvatsko-ugarska nagodba") with the Kingdom of Hungary, Slavonia was joined with Croatia in the single Croatia-Slavoniakingdom, which although it was under the suzerainty of the Crown of Saint Stephen kept a certain level of self-rule. The year 1881 also saw the final dissolution of the Slavonian Krajina and its incorporation into the existing Slavonian Counties.
As a rest of the Croatia-Slavonia, the region became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in December 1918. Between 1922 and 1929, it was a province known as the
Osijek Oblast(Osijek Province), administered from Osijek, and since the 1929 creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, it was part of the Sava Banovina, administered from Zagreb. In August 1939, it became part of the Banovina of Croatia.
World War II, it was part of the Nazi puppet state Independent State of Croatia. When the Yugoslav federation was formed after the war, Slavonia became part of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.
When Croatia declared its independence in 1991, Serbs of Krajina proclaimed their own state over portions of eastern and western Slavonia. The eastern portion was referred to as the "Serbian Autonomous Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia", and it encompassed roughly everything east of
Osijekand Vinkovciand northeast of Županja, including the cities of Vukovarand Ilok, as well as all of Baranja. This part of Krajina was ethnically mixed with a Croatian relative majority and had seen bitter fighting during the war (See: War in Croatia). The 1991 Battle of Vukovarwas the most important war event in the area. The western portion of Slavonia controlled by RSK included the area around Okučaniand most of the Psunjmountain. In May 1995, the western region was seized by Croatian forces in the military Operation Flash. In 1996 the east was turned over to the UNTAES, and integrated into Croatia by January 1998.
Five counties of Croatia located mostly in the Slavonia region are:
Osijek-Baranja County(mostly in Slavonia, but also include Baranjaregion)
Vukovar-Syrmia County(including the western part of Syrmia)
Two counties located mostly in
Central Croatia, but also include parts of Slavonia:
The rough population of Slavonia (comprising five Slavonian counties) numbering 891,259 people (2001 census), including: [http://www.dzs.hr/Hrv/censuses/Census2001/Popis/H01_02_02/H01_02_02.html]
* 763,323 (85.65%)
* 78,085 (8.76%)
* others (including
Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Bosniaks, Rusyns, etc.)
Wheatand maizeare the major crops, and the leading industry is foodprocessing. It also has some oil and natural gasresources.
A subspecies of pedunculate (common)
oak"Quercus robur slavonica" is named after Slavonia. The region is home to these and sessile oaks.
Kingdom of Slavonia
Banovina of Slavonia
* [http://www.croatiatouristcenter.com/slavonia.htm Slavonia - Croatia Tourist Center]
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