Yugoslavia, 1949-1968

Administration . In 1945 Yugoslavia was proclaimed as a socialist state; in 1946 a federal socialist constitution was adopted. Josip Broz Tito served as president of Yugoslavia from 1953 until his death in 1980.

Foreign Policy . The Anglo-Russian arrangement on the Balkans had left Yugoslavia outside of the Soviet sphere of influence. Yet the country was communist and opposed to British policy in Greece; Yugoslavia long had sided with the Communists in the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). Another bone of contention was the future of Trieste.
Tito pursued a policy of maintaining relations with the USSR so that it could rely on Soviet assistance in case the West would attempt to destabilize and overthrow the government in Belgrade, without going so far to become a Soviet satellite. Britain and the U.S. did not want to repeat the Greek experience and instead offered incentives for Yugoslavia if it chose to stay outside of Stalin's camp - Marshall Plan aid and the Trieste Zone B territory (SST Vuja).
Tito broke with Stalin; Yugoslavia accepted Marshall Plan aid, annexed Trieste Zone B (1954), signed an agreement over mutual military assistance with the USA in 1951 and joined the Balkan Pact (with Greece, Turkey) in 1954. The deterioration of Yugoslav-Soviet relations resulted in Yugoslavia being accused of being a traitor to the Communist ideals by Soviet diplomacy, and in Bulgaria reiterating her claims on Vardar Macedonia. Following the Yugoslav signing of the Balkan Pact in 1954, the USSR reduced the tone of diplomatic rhetorics, and the relations of both countries improved.
Yugoslavia maintained a communist constitution; it was an advocate for decolonization, moved toward a neutral course between the two blocs, and was a founder-member and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, founded on a congress held in Belgrade in 1961.

Domestic Policies . The federal constitution of 1946 established six republics - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia; there were two autonomous areas within Serbia, Kosovo and the Vojvodina. Tito was the dominating figure in Yugoslav politics. A Bosnian Croat, he regarded nationalism as potential political dynamite; however, Tito did promote the Serbification of the Vojvodina, which had strong German and Hungarian population elements.
Yugoslavia was a communist state, yet one of its own kind. Its borders to the west were not absolutely closed; over the years Yugoslavs would move, as migrant workers, to both West and East Germany.

The Economy . Yugoslavia provided some room for its economic enterprises to make their own decisions. Several industries, among them producers of washing machines and cars (the Yugo) were able to export considerable amounts, low-price, simple technique products. Yugoslavia also attracted tourists, mainly to its picturesque resorts on the Adriatic coast (Dalmatia). In 1966 the Yugoslav Dinar was made convertible.
In 1949, Yugoslavia produced 2.5 million metric tons of wheat, in 1968 4.3 million (IHS pp.308-309). In 1953 he number of unemployed was 45,000, in 1968 311,000 (IHS p.164).

Political Dissent . Milovan Djilas became the most prolific critic of communism. Once having cooperated with Tito, he had fallen from favour and had been imprisoned for a while. He described the newly emerging class of privileged, political leaders in the country as Nomenclatura (the New Class).

Social History . The census of 1953 counted 16.9 million Yugoslavs, that of 1961 18.5 million, that of 1971 20.5 million (IHS p.8). In 1950 Yugoslavia allowed CARE to distribute food parcels to needy families, as a famine was expected for 1951 (Campbell pp.59-60).

Cultural History . Yugoslav athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968.

Articles Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, Non-Aligned Movement, Yugoslavia at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Yugoslavia at the 1956 Summer Olympics, Yugoslavia at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Yugoslavia at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Yugoslavia at the 1968 Summer Olympics, Milovan Djilas, Free Territory of Trieste, History of Vojvodina, Yugo, from Wikipedia
Yugoslavia, History of, from Library of Congress, Country Studies
Tito's Homepage by L. Judmila
Statistics of Yugoslavia's Democide : Estimates, Calculations, and Sources, from Statistics of Democide by R.J. Rummel
Article : Milovan Djilas, from Spartacus Schoolnet, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Cominform Communique : Resolution of the Information Bureau Concerning the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, June 28, 1948, from Modern History Sourcebook
Military Assistance Agreement Between the United States and Yugoslavia, November 14, 1951, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Treaty of Alliance, Political Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance Between the Turkish Republic, the Kingdom of Greece, and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (Balkan Pact), August 9, 1954, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Yugoslav banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money and from Curency Museum
Stalin's Plan to Assassinate Tito, c.1952, from CWIHP
Trade Agreement between India and Yugoslavia, July 24 1953, from India Bilateral Treaties
Trade Agreement Extension between India and Yugoslavia, March 31 1956, with appendices 1957-1959, from India Bilateral Treaties
Trade and Payment Agreement between India and Yugoslavia, Jan. 21st 1960, from India Bilateral Treaties
Cultural Relations Agreement between India and Yugoslavia, March 11 1960, from India Bilateral Treaties
Trade and Payments Agreement between India and Yugoslavia, Oct. 13 1962, from India Bilateral Treaties
Exchange of Letters between the Gvt.s of India and Yugoslavia on the Peaceful use of Atomic Energy, 1965 Sept. 8, from India Bilateral Treaties
Agreement on Scientific Cooperation betw. India and Yugoslavia, March 1st 1966, from India Bilateral Treaties
REFERENCE IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics : Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Chapter 23 : Satellites and Soviet Policy, pp.327-352, in : John Gunther, Inside Europe Today, NY : Harper & Bros. 1961 [G]
Wallace J. Campbell, The History of CARE, NY : Praeger 1990 [G]
Article Yugoslavia, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.744-746, 1951 pp.747-749, 1952 pp.746-748, 1953 pp.757-758, 1954 pp.757-758, 1955 pp.820-821, 1956 pp.757-758, 1957 pp.819-820, 1958 pp.757-758, 1959 pp.756-758, 1960 pp.756-757, 1961 pp.756-757, 1962 pp.746-748, 1963 pp.860-861, 1964 pp.869-870, 1965 pp.870-871, 1966 pp.809-811, 1967 pp.806-808, 1968 pp.806-808, 1969 pp.802-803 [G]
Milovan Djilas. The New Class. An Analysis of the Communist System, 1955
Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin, 1961 [G]
Dejan Djokic (ed.), Yugoslavism. Histories of a Failed Idea, University of Wisconsin Press 2003, KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.7103 D626y
Article : Yugoslavia, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.849-851, 1961 pp.824-826, 1962 pp.842-844, 1963 pp.750-752, 1964 pp.729-731, 1965 pp.754-755, 1967 pp.752-754, 1968 pp.753-754, 1969 pp.753-755 [G]
Article : Yugoslavia, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.502-505, 1961 pp.370-372 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on July 4th 2007

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