Primer on the differences of language and religion that helped to propel World War I. Created by Sal Khan.
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- What is "Slavic" and what does it mean?(118 votes)
- Of, relating to, or denoting the branch of the Indo-European language family that includes Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian(113 votes)
- Is Turkey a Eurasian country?(16 votes)
- Yes and the same applies to Russia because the western half its in Europe and the rest in Asia. Turkey is a Eurasian country because of its location in Asia and Europe at the same time. Eurasia is a continental landmass the comprises of Asia and Europe(21 votes)
- how come bosnia and herzogovina are not seperate countrties ?(15 votes)
- Because Bosnia and Herzegovina are geographical terms more than political. You have Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in both of them so separating them wouldn't change anything. Bosnia is named after river Bosna. While Herzegovina is named after a country that existed in that area some 600 years ago and was led by herzeg (title similar to duke)(16 votes)
- Sal keeps mentioning "The fall of communism," but communism is definitely still present in modern day. What does he mean by that?(8 votes)
- I believe he's referring to the fall of the USSR, or Communism, with a capital C. The USSR was often referred to as "Communism."(12 votes)
- Isn't the Eastern Orthodox just another form of Catholicism?(4 votes)
- NEVER say that to an Eastern Orthodox person. During the Fourth Crusade, the Catholics sacked Constantinople (which was Orthodox), robbed it of all its beautiful art and riches, and even exhumed the tombs of great Byzantine leaders such as Justinian I to steal the jewels they were buried with. This (among other reasons) is the reason behind ongoing tensions between the two churches.(12 votes)
- I usually don't hear a country named Kosovo so what is going on here?(5 votes)
- Maybe because Kosovo' status as a country is disputed. This is as a result of the Kosovo Conflict. According to Princeton, Kosovo is "A Serbian province in southern Serbia and Montenegro populated predominantly by Albanians:
However, over half of the UN agrees that it is a country.(15 votes)
- why is this religious / cultural barrier bigger than the language barrier? I mean they share common language, they could easily reunite and understand eachother, but they seem to make their lives difficult because of some obsolete religious beliefs?(2 votes)
- Religion is not as big of a factor as everybody seems to emphasize. Croats (Roman Catholic) get along much better with Bosniaks (Muslim) than with Serbs (Orthodox Christian) . The main reason is different history, specifically, freedom for its people it their respective empires. As Croatia and Serbia, before 1920., were never in a same country their geopolitical goals have never been the same, and they do overlap. Serbia is a landlocked country and needs access to the coast, and Croatia has a shape that is hard to defend. So Serbia needs the coast, that is dominated by Croats, and Croatia needs strategic depth (western Bosnia), which is dominated by Serbs. And those are the geopolitical goals that both countries tried to achieve throughout 20th century one way or another. About Bosniaks. As Kraguj pointed out (although their scholars would disagree) they are mostly from Serbian descent (although there was a huge melting pot in that area so you can't generalize) but that is the main problem, because Serbian nationalist want them to come back to their ''original'' religion and join Serbia because that would give them the upper hand over Croatia. Bosniaks developed their own culture and they don't want to give it away, especially now after brutalities of Yugoslav wars. So you see it's not nearly as simple as just dividing them on religious ground.(8 votes)
- What is a Muslim?.. Like what is all the information on them ?(0 votes)
- And know that Bosnian Moslems before the Yugoslav wars were unusual; their ancestors were Slavs who'd converted to Islam during the Ottoman period (1348-1700s), and kept many of their local customs. So Bosnian Moslems are Slavic, not Arab or Turk, although during the war they were referred to this way as an excuse to exclude and destroy them.(2 votes)
- What was the cause of the Yugoslav wars (1990s) and was it based on religion?(3 votes)
- It wasn't religion it was a wish of each country to have all its people in one country, which is almost impossible because these groups are scattered in pockets all around former Yugoslavia(3 votes)
- did would war 1 start because 2 people died(3 votes)
- No, there were numerous tensions before the assassination -- this was only the spark that caused the explosion.(4 votes)
Understanding the ethnic and religious commonalities and differences in the state or the region that used to be Yugoslavia can be quite confusing. What I want to do in this video is try to give a primer on it. It's really key to understanding some of the triggers of World War I. And to, obviously, understand the breakup of Yugoslavia which was quite ugly during the fall of Communism in the late '80s and early '90s. So first of all, it's a good idea to just understand where the word Yugoslavia comes from. It's literally referring to the southern Slavic states. So Yugo- is referring to southern. And -slavia, we're talking about the Slavic states. And when people talk about Slavic languages, they're talking about the languages that are spoken in this region, but also much of Eastern Europe, and in what is now Russia. Now, what we have here in blue is, we have shaded in where Serbo-Croatian is spoken, which is the dominant Slavic language in this region. And there are multiple dialects. Some people will say, oh, it's Croatian or Montenegrin or Serbian or whatever it might be. But mostly, linguists say, well, they're pretty close to each other. And you can categorize them as one language as Serbo-Croatian. And you see that it's now spoken in modern day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. And that is the commonality here, the thing that ties together this region. Now on top of that, the Slovenian language is also Slavic language that is closely related to Serbo-Croatian. In Macedonia, they also speak a Slavic language. It's closer to Bulgarian. But it has some close ties. It's not completely different than Serbo-Croatian. So you have this linguistic connection throughout this area. Now, what divides this area is really religion and history. So this area, if you look, go back hundreds of years, it was under the control of various empires, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire. Different-- the Austro-Hungarian Empire, you're dealing with the Roman Catholic Empire. When you're talking about the Ottomans, you're dealing with the Muslim Empire. And they held in different parts of this territory for hundreds of years. And so what you end up, is really a mix of religions. And that often gets tied to people's-- what they perceive as also their ethnicities. And so what I have here is a break down, the religious breakdown of the state, the former state of Yugoslavia. So in this pinkish color right over here, I have the areas that are predominately Roman Catholic. And I say, predominantly, because it really is all mixed together. So Slovenia, Croatia, primarily Roman Catholic. If you look at Serbia and Montenegro, primarily Eastern Orthodox. Kosovo, you have a strong Muslim majority right over there. And it really gets-- and Kosovo, before its break up, was kind of part of Serbia and Montenegro. Despite it having this very different religious makeup. And then, Bosnia and Herzegovina is where things get really, really mixed up. Roughly half of the population, and it's been moving over the centuries. But the dominant religion there is Islam. And in general, and this is where it can be confusing, when people talk about a Bosniak, when they're talking about a Bosniak, they're talking about a Bosnian Muslim. But Bosnia and Herzegovina also has significant fractions of Serbs who are Eastern Orthodox. So that's why I put the brown here as well. It's about a third of the population. And it also has a pretty sizable Roman Catholic population. Or we could say Bosnian Croats. So just to be clear here, it can be very confusing. Even when you when you hear history of it or when you've heard it on the news. I remember the '90s hearing this on the news and getting very confused. If someone's referring to a Bosnian Muslim or Bosniak, that's a Muslim living in Bosnia. That's they tend to be referring to. If they say a Bosnian Croats, this would be an ethnically Croat who is living in Bosnia. And they are-- it would tend to be Roman Catholic. And then if you have a Bosnian Serb, this is someone who ethnically identifies themselves as a Serbian or as a Serb who lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But is probably going to be Eastern Orthodox. So you can imagine, you have the strong linguistic and even ethnic ties. But at some point, because of the religion and dialect changes, there's also significant amount of differences here. Especially when things got ugly, as you have the fall of Communism. So hopefully, this lays the groundwork of the commonalities and the differences here. And it'll help us understand what got us into World War I, or at least what triggered World War I. And also some of the ugliness that was seen in the early '90s. And just to finish up with a little bit of context, this was not a unified state until-- World War I, to some degree, was precipitated by a desire to make this a unified state. This ethnic grouping, this linguistic grouping tended to be broken up with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire. Entering into a World War I, you started to have the decline of the Ottoman Empire which started to allow these people to start to have more energy behind their desire to form a unified state. World War I was essentially the catalyst that allowed the state of Yugoslavia to unify. And in different forms, it stayed unified until the fall of Communism. And even though it was a socialist state, a communist state during the Cold War, it actually always had a strange and distant relationship with the Soviet Union. But after the fall of Communism, that was kind of holding it together, these, especially these religious differences, frankly, and these ethnic and religious differences broke it apart.