Yugoslavia | Origin of Street Names

Yugoslavia (1929 - 2003) is the name of a country that existed in different administrative and ideological frameworks during most of the 20th century, encompassing present-day Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Effectively created after the end of the Great War in 1918 under the name Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, it received its distinctive and historical name on December 1, 1929. Although it was a centuries-old idea of creating a common state for the southern Slavs and many related peoples, its implementer became King Aleksandar I Karađorđević in the late 1920s.

The creation of the Kingdom of SHS and later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was preceded by the disintegration of two great empires that ruled the Balkan peoples throughout the centuries - the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian. Riding on the wave of Serbian victory in the First World War, the centuries-old Serbian dream of Balkan Serbs living under one "roof" became a reality. On the other hand, other nations such as Croats, Slovenes, and Bosnian Muslims also saw an opportunity for freedom and independence that had been denied to them for centuries under the Turkish or Austrian rule.

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Numerous compromises and state-building ambitions from all sides led to the creation of a large common state that was inherently unstable from the very beginning. Despite speaking more or less the same language and having much in common, the new state united peoples who professed different religions, had different cultural and historical beliefs, and were even opposed to each other in the recent war.

It took a little over two decades for the so-called First Yugoslavia to experience a complete collapse. In what was arguably the bloodiest war in world history, the differences among the "Yugoslav" peoples reached their peak, and to make matters worse, a civil fratricidal war based on ideological differences unfolded within the fractured state.

Just when one could conclude that Yugoslavia was, to put it mildly, an unsuccessful project, history repeated itself. After the end of the Second World War, on the foundations of the motto of social justice and equality, brotherhood and unity of the Yugoslav peoples, the Second Yugoslavia was created as a socialist republic led by Josip Broz for over 30 years. Through an aggressive authoritarian policy, all class, religious, and national differences for which the compatriots had fought until recently were swept "under the rug." With international support, Tito's Yugoslavia became a highly esteemed state, and its people seemed ostensibly calm.

Coat of Arms of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

However, the centuries-old problems of the "fraternal" peoples resurfaced at the end of the century in another bloody war, which resulted in a new and final dissolution of the common state. Nevertheless, the name Yugoslavia lived on for another decade in a different format, reducing itself to the state union of two former federal republics - Serbia and Mont enegro.

In 2003, after 74 years, the name Yugoslavia disappeared from the political map of the world. But the idea of a great and idyllic common state remains an inspiration for every new generation and will undoubtedly continue to live on in the future, as well as in the memories of its contemporaries.

In the wave of relinquishing the Yugoslav heritage that has been sweeping the entire region for decades, a few streets in Serbian cities still resist, so one can still find a Yugoslav Street in places like Ćuprija, Kovin, Surdulica, Železnik, and others.

Jugoslovenska ulica