The Illyrian Provinces: A Step Towards Yugoslavism

In: Southeastern Europe
Susana S. Macesich(Florida A and M University, Tallahassee, Fl., U.S.A.

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The history of the Illyrian Provinces belongs not only to the history of the Napoleonic Era in Europe, but also to that of the development of Yugoslav history in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Provinces can be studied from several aspects: political, social, economic and cultural. This paper will emphasize only one of the offered aspects-namely the impact of the Illyrian Provinces on the concept of Yugoslavism. Three features are of singular importance: first, the effects of the ideas of the French Revolution on the Yugoslavs (development of modern nationalism, use of the vernacular, secularism, abolition of feudalism); second, the effects of the political unification of Dalmatia, Slovenia and part of Croatia under French rule, which brought Croats, Slovenes and Serbs under one political and administrative unit; third, the correlation between French rule in the Western Balkans with the national-revolutionary movements of that period, such as the Serbian uprising of 1804 and its effect upon other Yugoslavs.1

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