By Nicholas J. Miller

Nicholas Miller chronicles the politics in Croatia (1903-1914,) sooner than the 1st international battle. He examines the disasters of the Croat-Serbian Coalition that resulted in their destiny lack of ability to create a cohesive civic/democratic union through the warfare years. The Serb-Croat differences—political, ethnic, and regional—prevail to at the present time.

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Additional info for Between nation and state: Serbian politics in Croatia before the First World War

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Austria became Austria-Hungary, the Dual Monarchy. This momentous agreement settled the general organization of the monarchy until 1918. Hungary was charged with organizing and governing the lands to the east of the Leitha River, including Civil Croatia and Slavonia (but not yet the Military Frontier). The Ausgleich of 1867 was followed by the Hungaro- Croatian Nagodba of 1868. 29 The Nagodba regulated Croatias political and economic relationship to Hungary until 1918. Although the agreement allowed Croatia to have some autonomy, opposition to the Nagodba grew as it became evident that Hungary did not view it as a guarantee of Croatian existence as a state, but rather as the first step in the transformation of Croatia into a province of Hungary.

By the grace of the Austrian emperor, Serbs gained an autonomous church as one among the many concessions to this population that would defend his southern border. If the frontier drew the Orthodox populations northward and provided Page 13 them with an existence, the church gave them a separate cultural life. Eventually, as identity became less a function of status and faith and more of ethnicity and culture, this autonomous cultural existence would provide the basis for a thriving Serbian community in the southern reaches of the monarchy, lulling those who lived there into believing that they deserved not only an autonomous culture but political self-determination.

The Serbian Radical party, which left the Coalition in 1907, would remain in brisk competition with the Independents for the hearts of Serbian voters in Croatia. The fundamental goal of each party was to defend the integrity of the Serbian nation as they defined it. But they had different definitions and chose radically different political strategies in the pursuit of those policies. I analyze their competition by using the major concepts and definitions that have been developed by students of nationalism in the twentieth century.

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