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CROATS (/ˈkroʊæt, ˈkroʊɑːt/ ; Croatian : Hrvati, pronounced ) are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Croatia
Croatia
, located at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Balkans
Balkans
. Croats
Croats
mainly live in Croatia
Croatia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, but are an officially recognized minority in Austria
Austria
, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
, Hungary
Hungary
, Poland
Poland
, Italy
Italy
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, Romania
Romania
, Serbia
Serbia
, Slovenia
Slovenia
, and Slovakia
Slovakia
. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have migrated throughout Europe (especially Germany
Germany
, Austria, Switzerland
Switzerland
, France
France
and Italy) and the Americas (particularly the United States
United States
, Canada
Canada
, Argentina
Argentina
, and Chile
Chile
), establishing a diaspora .

Croats
Croats
are mostly Roman Catholics . The Croatian language
Croatian language
is official in Croatia
Croatia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, as well as in the European Union , and is a recognised minority language within Croatian autochthonous communities and minorities in Montenegro, Austria ( Burgenland
Burgenland
), Italy
Italy
( Molise
Molise
), Romania
Romania
( Carașova , Lupac ) and Serbia
Serbia
( Vojvodina
Vojvodina
).

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Formative Period

* 1.1.1 The "Dark Ages" * 1.1.2 Croat ethnogenesis * 1.1.3 Other polities in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Pannonia
Pannonia

* 1.2 Early medieval age

* 1.2.1 Pannonian Principality ("Savia") * 1.2.2 Dalmatian Croats
Croats

* 1.3 Kingdom of Croatia
Croatia
925–1102

* 1.4 Personal union with Hungary
Hungary
(1102–1918)

* 1.4.1 Croatian national revival (1593–1918)

* 1.5 Modern history (1918–present)

* 2 Genetics * 3 Language * 4 Religion

* 5 Culture

* 5.1 Tradition * 5.2 Arts

* 6 Symbols

* 7 Communities

* 7.1 Autochthonous communities and minorities * 7.2 Diaspora
Diaspora

* 8 Maps * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Sources * 12 External links

HISTORY

Further information: History of Croatia
Croatia

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FORMATIVE PERIOD

Main articles: Origin hypotheses of the Croats , White Croatia
Croatia
, and White Croats

The "Dark Ages"

Evidence is rather scarce for the period between the 7th and 8th centuries, CE. Archaeological evidence shows population continuity in coastal Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Istria . In contrast, much of the Dinaric hinterland appears to have been depopulated, as virtually all hilltop settlements, from Noricum
Noricum
to Dardania , were abandoned (only few appear destroyed) in the early 7th century. Although the dating of the earliest Slavic settlements is still disputed, there is a hiatus of almost a century. The origin, timing and nature of the Slavic migrations remain controversial, however, all available evidence points to the nearby Danubian and Carpathian regions.

Croat Ethnogenesis

The ethnonym "Croat" is first attested during the 9th century CE, in the charter of Duke Trpimir ; and indeed begins to be widely attested throughout central and eastern Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries. Much uncertainty revolves around the exact circumstances of their appearance given the scarcity of literary sources during the 7th and 8th century "Dark Ages ".

Traditionally, scholarship has placed the arrival of the Croats
Croats
in the 7th century, primarily on the basis of the later Byzantine document De Administrando Imperio. As such, the arrival of the Croats was seen as a second wave of Slavic migrations, which liberated Dalmatia
Dalmatia
from Avar hegemony . However, as early as the 1970s, scholars questioned the reliability of Porphyrogenitus ' work, written as it was in the 10th century. Rather than being an accurate historical account, De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio
more accurately reflects the political situation during the 10th century. It mainly served as Byzantine
Byzantine
propaganda praising Emperor Heraclius
Heraclius
for repopulating the Balkans
Balkans
(previously devastated by the Avars ) with Croats
Croats
(and Serbs ), who were seen by the Byzantines as tributary peoples living on what had always been 'Roman land'.

Scholars have hypothesized the name Croat (Hrvat) to be Iranian , thus suggesting that the Croats
Croats
were actually a Sarmatian tribe from the Pontic region who were part of a larger movement of Slavs toward the Adriatic
Adriatic
. The major basis for this connection was the perceived similarity between Hrvat and inscriptions from the Tanais dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, mentioning the name Khoro(u)athos. Similar arguments have been made for an alleged Gothic -Croat link. Whilst there is indeed evidence of population continuity between Gothic and Croat times in parts of Dalmatia, the idea of a Gothic origin of Croats
Croats
was more rooted in 20th century Ustaše political aspirations than historical reality.

Another theory is that the name comes from Old Church Slavonic Churvatinu "Croat," literally "mountaineer, highlander," from churva "mountain" which also has its cognate in the Russian word khrebet "mountain chain").

Contemporary scholarship views the rise of "Croats" as an autochthonous, Dalmatian response to the demise of the Avar khanate and the encroachment of Frankish and Byzantine
Byzantine
Empires into northern Dalmatia. They appear to have been based around Nin and Klis , down to the Cetina
Cetina
and south of Liburnia
Liburnia
. Here, concentrations of the "Old Croat culture" abound, marked by some very wealthy warrior burials dating to the 9th century CE.

Other Polities In Dalmatia
Dalmatia
And Pannonia

Other, distinct polities also existed near the Croat duchy. These included the Guduscans (based in Liburnia), the Narentines
Narentines
(around the Cetina
Cetina
and Neretva
Neretva
) and the Sorabi (Serbs) who ruled some other eastern parts of ex-Roman "Dalmatia". Also prominent in the territory of future Croatia
Croatia
was the polity of Prince Liutevid, who ruled the territories between the Drava and Sava
Sava
rivers (" Pannonia Inferior
Pannonia Inferior
"), centred from his fort at Sisak . Although Duke Liutevid and his people are commonly seen as a "Pannonian Croats", he is, due to the lack of "evidence that they had a sense of Croat identity" referred to as dux Pannoniae Inferioris, or simply a Slav, by contemporary sources. However, soon, the Croats
Croats
became the dominant local power in northern Dalmatia, absorbing Liburnia
Liburnia
and expanding their name by conquest and prestige. In the south, while having periods of independence, the Naretines also "merged" with Croats
Croats
later under control of Croatian Kings. With such expansion, Croatia
Croatia
soon became dominant power and absorb other polities between Frankish, Bulgarian and Byzantine empire. Although the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja has been dismissed as an unreliable record, the mentioned "Red Croatia" suggests that Croatian clans and families might have settled as far south as Duklja
Duklja
/Zeta and city of Drač in today's Albania
Albania
.

EARLY MEDIEVAL AGE

Part of a series on

CROATS

Recognized

* CROATIA

* BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

* Serbia
Serbia
* Kosovo
Kosovo
* Austria
Austria
* Italy
Italy
* Montenegro
Montenegro
* Romania
Romania
* Slovakia
Slovakia
* Hungary
Hungary
* Czech Republic
Czech Republic

Diaspora
Diaspora
Europe

* Belgium * Germany
Germany
* Macedonia * Sweden
Sweden
* Slovakia
Slovakia
* Slovenia
Slovenia
* Switzerland
Switzerland
* Russia

North America

* United States
United States
* Canada
Canada

South America

* Argentina
Argentina
* Bolivia * Brazil
Brazil
* Chile
Chile
* Peru
Peru
* Venezuela

Oceania

* Australia
Australia
* New Zealand
New Zealand

Subgroups

* Bunjevci * Šokci * Burgenland
Burgenland
Croats
Croats
* Janjevci * Molise
Molise
Croats
Croats
* Krašovani

Culture

* Literature * Music * Art * Cinema * Cuisine * Dress * Sport

History

* History of Croatia
Croatia
* Origins * Rulers

Language

* Croatian * Chakavian
Chakavian
* Shtokavian
Shtokavian
* Kajkavian
Kajkavian
* Burgenland
Burgenland
* Molise
Molise

Related nations

* Bosniaks * South Slavs

* v * t * e

Main articles: Duchy of Croatia
Croatia
and Principality of Pannonian Croatia

The lands which constitute modern Croatia
Croatia
fell under 3 major geographic-politic zones during the Middle Ages, which were influenced by powerful neighbour Empires – notably the Byzantines, the Avars and later Magyars , Franks
Franks
and Bulgars
Bulgars
. Each vied for control of the Northwest Balkan regions. Nevertheless, two independent Slavic dukedoms emerged sometime during the 9th century: the Croat Duchy and Principality of Lower Pannonia
Pannonia
.

Pannonian Principality ("Savia")

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Having been under Avar control, lower Pannonia
Pannonia
became a march of the Carolingian Empire around 800. Aided by Vojnomir in 796, the first named Slavic Duke of Pannonia, the Franks
Franks
wrested control of the region from the Avars before totally destroying the Avar realm in 803. After the death of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
in 814, Frankish influence decreased on the region, allowing Prince Ljudevit Posavski to raise a rebellion in 819. The Frankish margraves sent armies in 820, 821 and 822, but each time they failed to crush the rebels. Aided by Borna the Guduscan, the Franks
Franks
eventually defeated Ljudevit, who withdrew his forces to the Serbs and conquered them, according to the Frankish Annals.

For much of the subsequent period, Savia was probably directly ruled by the Carinthian Duke Arnulf , the future East Frankish King and Emperor. However, Frankish control was far from smooth. The Royal Frankish Annals mention several Bulgar raids, driving up the Sava
Sava
and Drava rivers, as a result of a border dispute with the Franks, from 827. By a peace treaty in 845, the Franks
Franks
were confirmed as rulers over Slavonia
Slavonia
, whilst Srijem remained under Bulgarian clientage. Later, the expanding power of Great Moravia
Great Moravia
also threatened Frankish control of the region. In an effort to halt their influence, the Franks
Franks
sought alliance with the Magyars, and elevated the local Slavic leader Braslav in 892, as a more independent Duke over lower Pannonia.

In 896 his rule stretched from Vienna
Vienna
and Budapest
Budapest
to southern Croat dutchies, and included almost whole of ex-Roman Pannonian provinces (whole 4). He probably died c. 900 fighting against his former allies, the Magyars. The subsequent history of Savia again becomes mirky, and historians are not sure who controlled Savia during much of the 10th century. However, it is likely that the ruler Tomislav , the first crowned King, was able to exert much control over Savia and adjacent areas during his reign. It is indeed at this time that sources first refer to a "Pannonian Croatia", appearing in the 10th century Byzantine
Byzantine
work De Administrando Imperio.

Dalmatian Croats

In the meantime, the Dalmatian Croats
Croats
were recorded to have been subject to the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
under Lothair I
Lothair I
, since 828. The Croatian Prince Mislav (835–845) built up a formidable navy, and in 839 signed a peace treaty with Pietro Tradonico , doge of Venice
Venice
. The Venetians soon proceeded to battle with the independent Slavic pirates of the Pagania region, but failed to defeat them. The Bulgarian king Boris I (called by the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
Archont of Bulgaria after he made Christianity the official religion of Bulgaria) also waged a lengthy war against the Dalmatian Croats, trying to expand his state to the Adriatic
Adriatic
.

The Croatian Prince Trpimir I (845–864) succeeded Mislav. In 854, there was a great battle between Trpimir's forces and the Bulgars. Neither side emerged victorious, and the outcome was the exchange of gifts and the establishment of peace. Trpimir I managed to consolidate power over Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and much of the inland regions towards Pannonia
Pannonia
, while instituting counties as a way of controlling his subordinates (an idea he picked up from the Franks). The first known written mention of the Croats, dates form 4 March 852, in statute by Trpimir. Trpimir is remembered as the initiator of the Trpimirović dynasty , that ruled in Croatia, with interruptions, from 845 until 1091. After his death, an uprising was raised by a powerful nobleman from Knin – Domagoj , and his son Zdeslav was exiled with his brothers, Petar and Muncimir to Constantinople
Constantinople
.

Facing a number of naval threats by Saracens
Saracens
and Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, the Croatian Prince Domagoj (864–876) built up the Croatian navy again and helped the coalition of emperor Louis II and the Byzantine to conquer Bari in 871. During Domagoj's reign piracy was a common practice, and he forced the Venetians to start paying tribute for sailing near the eastern Adriatic
Adriatic
coast. After Domagoj's death, Venetian's chronicles named him "The worst duke of Slavs", while Pope John VIII referred to Domagoj in letters as "Famous duke". Domagoj's son, of unknown name, ruled shortly between 876 and 878 with his brothers. They continued the rebellion, attacked the western Istrian towns in 876, but were subsequently defeated by the Venetian navy. Their ground forces defeated the Pannonian duke Kocelj (861–874) who was suzerain to the Franks, and thereby shed the Frankish vassal status. Wars of Domagoj and his son liberated Dalmatian Croats
Croats
from supreme Franks
Franks
rule. Zdeslav deposed him in 878 with the help of the Byzantines. He acknowledged the supreme rule of Byzantine
Byzantine
Emperor Basil I . In 879, the Pope
Pope
ask for help from prince Zdeslav for an armed escort for his delegates across southern Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Zahumlje , but on early May 879, Zdeslav was killed near Knin in an uprising led by Branimir , a relative of Domagoj, instigated by the Roman Pope fearing Byzantine
Byzantine
power.

Branimir's (879–892) own actions were approved from the Holy See to bring the Croats
Croats
further away from the influence of Byzantium
Byzantium
and closer to Rome. Duke Branimir wrote to Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII
affirming this split from Byzantine
Byzantine
and commitment to the Roman Papacy . During the solemn divine service in St. Peter\'s church in Rome
Rome
in 879, Pope
Pope
gave his blessing to the duke and the whole Croatian people, about which he informed Branimir in his letters, in which Branimir was recognized as the Duke of the Croats
Croats
(Dux Chroatorum). During his reign, Croatia retained its sovereignty from both Holy Roman imperial and Byzantine rule, and became a fully recognized state. After Branimir's death, Prince Muncimir (892–910), Zdeslav's brother, took control of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and ruled it independently of both Rome
Rome
and Byzantium
Byzantium
as divino munere Croatorum dux (with God's help, duke of Croats). In Dalmatia, duke Tomislav (910–928) succeeded Muncimir. Tomislav successfully repelled Magyar mounted invasions of the Arpads , expelled them over the Sava
Sava
River , and united (western) Pannonian and Dalmatian Croats
Croats
into one state.

KINGDOM OF CROATIA 925–1102

Main article: Kingdom of Croatia
Croatia
(medieval) Coronation of King Tomislav by Oton Iveković .

Tomislav (910–928) became king of Croatia
Croatia
by 925. The chief piece of evidence that Tomislav was crowned king comes in the form of a letter dated 925, surviving only in 16th-century copies, from Pope John X calling Tomislav rex Chroatorum . According to De Administrando Imperio , Tomislav's army and navy could have consisted approximately 100,000 infantry units, 60,000 cavaliers, and 80 larger (sagina) and 100 smaller warships (condura ), but generally isn't taken as credible. Croatian Kingdom as an ally of Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
was in conflict with the rising Bulgarian Empire ruled by Tsar Simeon I . In 923, due to a deal of Pope
Pope
John X and a Patriarch of Constantinopole, the sovereignty of Byzantine
Byzantine
coastal cities in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
came under Tomislav's Governancy. The war escalated on 27 May 927, in the battle of the Bosnian Highlands , after Serbs were conquered and some fled to the Croatian Kingdom. There Croats
Croats
under leadership of their king Tomislav completely defeated Bulgarian army led by military commander Alogobotur , and stopped Simeon's extension westwards. The central town in the Duvno field was named Tomislavgrad ("Tomislav's town") in his honour in the 20th century.

Tomislav was succeeded by Trpimir II (928–935), and Krešimir I (935–945), this period, on the whole, however, is obscure. Miroslav (945–949) was killed by his ban Pribina during an internal power struggle, losing part of islands and coastal cities. Krešimir II (949–969) kept particularly good relations with the Dalmatian cities, while his son Stjepan Držislav (969–997) established better relations with the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
and received a formal authority over Dalmatian cities. His three sons, Svetoslav (997–1000), Krešimir III (1000–1030) and Gojslav (1000–1020), opened a violent contest for the throne, weakening the state and further losing control. Krešimir III and his brother Gojslav co-ruled from 1000 until 1020, and attemppted to restore control over lost Dalmatian cities now under Venetian control. Krešimir was succeeded by his son Stjepan I (1030–1058), who tried to reinforce the alliance with Byzantine
Byzantine
when 1032 sent a segment of naval fleet in war against Arabs , in favour for tolerance about conquering Zadar
Zadar
from Venice
Venice
, another Byzantine
Byzantine
ally. He did conquer it, but the circumstances changed later and lost it.

Krešimir IV (1058–1074) managed to get the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
to confirm him as the supreme ruler of the Dalmatian cities. Croatia under Krešimir IV was composed of twelve counties and was slightly larger than in Tomislav's time, and included the closest southern Dalmatian duchy of Pagania. From the outset, he continued the policies of his father, but was immediately commanded by Pope
Pope
Nicholas II first in 1059 and then in 1060 to reform the Croatian church in accordance with the Roman rite
Roman rite
. This was especially significant to the papacy in the aftermath of the Great Schism of 1054 . Baška tablet , which is the oldest evidence of the glagolitic script , mentions king Zvonimir .

He was succeeded by Dmitar Zvonimir , who was of the Svetoslavić branch of the House of Trpimirović , and a Ban of Slavonia (1064–1075). He was crowned on 8 October 1076 at Solin in the Basilica of Saint Peter and Moses (known today as Hollow Church) by a representative of Pope
Pope
Gregory VII .

He was in conflict with dukes of Istria , while historical records Annales Carinthiæ and Chronica Hungarorum
Chronica Hungarorum
note he invaded Carinthia to aid Hungary
Hungary
in war during 1079/83, but this is disputed. Unlike Petar Krešimir IV, he was also an ally of the Normans
Normans
, with whom he joined in wars against Byzantium. He married in 1063 Helen of Hungary , the daughter of King Bela I of the Hungarian Árpád dynasty
Árpád dynasty
, and the sister of the future King Ladislaus I . As King Zvonimir died in 1089 in unknown circumstances, with no direct heir to succeed him, Stjepan II (r. 1089–1091) last of the main Trpimirović line came to the throne at an old age and reigned for two years.

After his death civil war and unrest broke out shortly afterward as northern nobles decided Ladislaus I for the Croatian King. In 1093, southern nobles elected a new ruler, King Petar Svačić (r. 1093–1097), who managed to unify the Kingdom around his capital of Knin . His army resisted repelling Hungarian assaults, and restored Croatian rule up to the river Sava
Sava
. He reassembled his forces in Croatia
Croatia
and advanced on Gvozd Mountain , where he met the main Hungarian army led by King Coloman I of Hungary
Hungary
. In 1097, in the Battle of Gvozd Mountain , the last native king Peter was killed and the Croats
Croats
were decisively defeated (because of this, the mountain was this time renamed to Petrova Gora , "Peter's Mountain"). In 1102, Coloman returned to the Kingdom of Croatia
Croatia
in force, and negotiated with the Croatian feudal lords resulting in joining of Hungarian and Croatian crowns (with the crown of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
held separate from that of Croatia).

PERSONAL UNION WITH HUNGARY (1102–1918)

Main articles: Croatia
Croatia
in personal union with Hungary
Hungary
and Croatian-Ottoman Wars Pacta Conventa , is a historical document by which Croatia
Croatia
agreed to enter a personal union with Hungary. Although the validity of the document itself is disputed, Croatia
Croatia
did keep considerable autonomy.

In the union with Hungary, institutions of separate Croatian statehood were maintained through the Sabor (an assembly of Croatian nobles) and the ban (viceroy). In addition, the Croatian nobles retained their lands and titles. Coloman retained the institution of the Sabor and relieved the Croatians of taxes on their land. Coloman's successors continued to crown themselves as Kings of Croatia separately in Biograd na Moru
Biograd na Moru
. The Hungarian king also introduced a variant of the feudal system . Large fiefs were granted to individuals who would defend them against outside incursions thereby creating a system for the defence of the entire state. However, by enabling the nobility to seize more economic and military power, the kingdom itself lost influence to the powerful noble families. In Croatia
Croatia
the Šubić were one of the oldest Croatian noble families and would become particularly influential and important, ruling area between Zrmanja and Krka rivers. The local noble family from Krk
Krk
island (latter took surname Frankopan ) is often considered the second most important medieval family, as ruled over northern Adriatic
Adriatic
and are responsible for adoption of one of oldest European statutes , Law codex of Vinodol (1288). Both families gave many native bans of Croatia. Other powerful families were Nelipić from Dalmatian Zagora (14th–15th centuries); Kačić who ruled over Pagania and were famous for piracy and wars against Venice
Venice
(12th–13th centuries); Kurjaković family, a branch of old Croatian noble family Gusić from Krbava (14th–16th centuries); Babonići who ruled from western Kupa to eastern Vrbas and Bosna rivers, and were bans of Slavonia
Slavonia
(13th–14th centuries); Iločki family who ruled over Slavonian stronghold-cities, and in 15th century rose to power. During this period, the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller also acquired considerable property and assets in Croatia.

In the second half of the 13th century, during the Árpád and Anjou dynasty struggle, Šubić family became hugely powerful under Paul I Šubić of Bribir who was the longest Croatian Ban (1274–1312), conquered Bosnia and declared himself "Lord of all of Bosnia" (1299–1312), appointed his brother Mladen I Šubić as Ban of Bosnia (1299–1304), and helped Charles I from House of Anjou to be the King of Hungary. After his death in 1312, his son Mladen II Šubić was the Ban of Bosnia (1304–1322) and Ban of Croatia
Croatia
(1312–1322). The kings from House of Anjou intended to strengthen the kingdom by uniting the power and control in their hands, but to do so had to diminish the power of the higher nobility. Already Charles I tried to crash the aristocratic particularism, intention finished by his son Louis the Great (1342–1382), relying on lower nobility and towns. Both ruled without the parliament, and inner nobility struggles only helped them in their intentions. This led to Mladen's defeat at the battle of Bliska in 1322 by a coalition of several Croatian noblemen and Dalmatian coastal towns with support of King himself, exchange of Šubić's castle of Ostrovica for Zrin Castle in Central Croatia
Croatia
(thus this branch was named Zrinski ) in 1347. Eventually, Babonić and Nelipić families also succumbed to king's offensive against nobility, but with the centralization of power, Louis managed to force Venice
Venice
by the Treaty of Zadar
Zadar
in 1358 to give up their possessions in Dalmatia. When king Louis died, without successor the question of succession remained open. The kingdom once again entered the time of internal unrest. Besides King Louis's daughter Mary , Charles III of Naples as the closest king male relative pretended to the throne. In February 1386, two months after his coronation, was assassinated by order of queen Elizabeth of Bosnia . His supporters, bans John of Palisna , John Horvat and Stjepan Lacković planned a rebellion against them, and managed to capture and imprison Elizabeth and Mary. By orders of John of Palisna, Elizabeth was strangled. As the answer for that, Magyars crowned Mary's husband Sigismund of Luxembourg .

With the Ottoman invasion getting closer to Hungarian-Croatian kingdom, king Sigismund's army at the Battle of Nicopolis
Battle of Nicopolis
(1396) was catastrophically defeated, and without news about the king, then ruling Croatian ban Stjepan Lacković and nobles invited Charles III's son Ladislaus of Naples to be the new king. This resulted with Bloody Sabor of Križevci in 1397, lose of interest for the crown by Ladislaus and selling of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
to Venice
Venice
in 1403, and spreading of Croatian name to the north, while of Slavonia
Slavonia
to the east. The dynastic struggle didn't finish, and with the Ottoman invasion on Bosnia started the first short raids in Croatian territory, defended only by local nobles. Zrínyi\'s charge on the Turks from the Fortress of Szigetvár, by Simon Hollósy

As the Turkish incursion into Europe started, Croatia
Croatia
once again became a border area between two major forces in the Balkans
Balkans
. Croatian military troops fought in many battles under command of Italian Franciscan priest fra John Capistrano , the Hungarian Generalissimo John Hunyadi , and Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus
Matthias Corvinus
, like in the Hunyadi's long campaign (1443–1444), battle of Varna (1444), second battle of Kosovo
Kosovo
(1448) , and contributed to the Christian victories over the Ottomans in the siege of Belgrade
Belgrade
(1456) and Siege of Jajce (1463). At the time they suffered a major defeat in the battle of Krbava field ( Lika , Croatia) in 1493 and gradually lost increasing amounts of territory to the Ottoman Empire. Pope
Pope
Leo X called Croatia
Croatia
the forefront of Christianity (Antemurale Christianitatis ) in 1519, given that several Croatian soldiers made significant contributions to the struggle against the Ottoman Turks . Among them there were ban Petar Berislavić who won a victory at Dubica on the Una river in 1513, the captain of Senj
Senj
and prince of Klis Petar Kružić , who defended the Klis Fortress for almost 25 years, captain Nikola Jurišić who deterred by a magnitude larger Turkish force on their way to Vienna
Vienna
in 1532, or ban Nikola Šubić Zrinski who helped save Pest from occupation in 1542 and fought in the Battle of Szigetvar
Battle of Szigetvar
in 1566. During the Ottoman conquest tens of thousands of Croats
Croats
were taken in Turkey, where they became slaves. The Cetingrad Charter from 1 January 1527, when Croatian Sabor elected the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
.

The Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
(1526) and the death of King Louis II ended Hungarian rule over Croatia. In 1526 the Hungarian parliament elected two separate kings János Szapolyai and Ferdinand I Habsburg
Habsburg
, but the choice of the Croatian sabor at Cetin prevailed on the side of Ferdinand I, as they elected him as the new king of Croatia
Croatia
on 1 January 1527, uniting both lands under Habsburg
Habsburg
rule. In return they were promised the historic rights, freedoms, laws and defence of Croatian Kingdom.

However, the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom was not enough well prepared and organized and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
expanded further in the 16th century to include most of Slavonia, western Bosnia and Lika . For the sake of stopping the Ottoman conquering and possible assault on the capital of Vienna, the large areas of Croatia
Croatia
and Slavonia
Slavonia
(even Hungary
Hungary
and Romania) bordering the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
were organized as a Military Frontier which was ruled directly from Vienna
Vienna
military headquarters. The invasion caused migration of Croats, and the area which became deserted was subsequently settled by Serbs , Vlachs
Vlachs
, Germans and others. The negative effects of feudalism escalated in 1573 when the peasants in northern Croatia
Croatia
and Slovenia
Slovenia
rebelled against their feudal lords due to various injustices. After the fall of Bihać
Bihać
fort in 1592, only small areas of Croatia
Croatia
remained unrecovered. The remaining 16,800 square kilometres (6,487 sq mi) were referred to as the reliquiae reliquiarum of the once great Croatian kingdom.

Croats
Croats
stopped the Ottoman advance in Croatia
Croatia
at the battle of Sisak in 1593, 100 years after the defeat at Krbava field, and the short Long Turkish War ended with the Peace of Zsitvatorok in 1606, after which Croatian classes tried unsuccessfully to have their territory on the Military Frontier restored to rule by the Croatian Ban, managing only to restore a small area of lost territory but failed to regain large parts of Croatian Kingdom (present-day western Bosnia and Herzegovina
Herzegovina
), as the present-day border between the two countries is a remnant of this outcome.

Croatian National Revival (1593–1918)

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Main articles: Kingdom of Croatia
Croatia
(Habsburg) and Austria- Hungary
Hungary

In the first half of the 17th century, Croats
Croats
fought in the Thirty Years\' War on the side of Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
, mostly as light cavalry under command of imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein . Croatian Ban, Juraj V Zrinski , also fought in the war, but died in a military camp near Bratislava
Bratislava
, Slovakia
Slovakia
, as he was poisoned by von Wallenstein after a verbal duel. His son, future ban and captain-general of Croatia, Nikola Zrinski , participated during the closing stages of the war. Peter Zrinyi and Ferenc Frangepán in the Wiener-Neustadt Prison by Viktor Madarász .

In 1664, the Austrian imperial army was victorious against the Turks, but Emperor Leopold failed to capitalize on the success when he signed the Peace of Vasvár in which Croatia
Croatia
and Hungary
Hungary
were prevented from regaining territory lost to the Ottoman Empire. This caused unrest among the Croatian and Hungarian nobility which plotted against the emperor. Nikola Zrinski participated in launching the conspiracy which later became to be known as the Magnate conspiracy , but he soon died, and the rebellion was continued by his brother, Croatian ban Petar Zrinski , Fran Krsto Frankopan and Ferenc Wesselényi . Petar Zrinski, along the conspirators, went on a wide secret diplomatic negotiations with a number of nations, including Louis XIV of France
France
, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
, Sweden
Sweden
, the Republic of Venice
Venice
and even the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
, to free Croatia
Croatia
from the Habsburg sovereignty.

Imperial spies uncovered the conspiracy and on 30 April 1671 executed four esteemed Croatian and Hungarian noblemen involved in it, including Zrinski and Frankopan in Wiener Neustadt . The large estates of two most powerful Croatian noble houses were confiscated and their families relocated, soon after extinguished. Between 1670 and the revolution of 1848, there would be only 2 bans of Croatian nationality. The period from 1670 to the Croatian cultural revival in the 19th century was Croatia's political dark age. Meanwhile, with the victories over Turks, Habsburgs all the more insistent they spent centralization and germanization, new regained lands in liberated Slavonia
Slavonia
started giving to foreign families as feudal goods, at the expense of domestic element. Because of this the Croatian Sabor was losing its significance, and the nobility less attended it, yet went only to the one in Hungary. The Croatian Sabor (Parliament) in 1848, by Dragutin Weingärtner

In the 18th century, Croatia
Croatia
was one of the crown lands that supported Emperor Charles 's Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and supported Empress Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
in the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
of 1741–48. Subsequently, the empress made significant contributions to Croatian matters, by making several changes in the feudal and tax system, administrative control of the Military Frontier, in 1745 administratively united Slavonia
Slavonia
with Croatia
Croatia
and in 1767 organized Croatian royal council with the ban on head, however, she ignored and eventually disbanded it in 1779, and Croatia
Croatia
was relegated to just one seat in the governing council of Hungary, held by the ban of Croatia. To fight the Austrian centralization and absolutism, Croats
Croats
passed their rights to the united government in Hungary, thus to together resist the intentions from Vienna. But the connection with Hungary soon adversely affected the position of Croats, because Magyars in the spring of their nationalism tried to Magyarize Croats, and make Croatia
Croatia
a part of a united Hungary. Because of this pretensions, the constant struggles between Croats
Croats
and Magyars emerged, and lasted until 1918. Croats
Croats
were fighting in unfavorable conditions, against both Vienna
Vienna
and Budapest, while divided on Banska Hrvatska, Dalmatia and Military Frontier. In such a time, with the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, its possessions in eastern Adriatic
Adriatic
mostly came under the authority of France
France
which passed its rights to Austria
Austria
the same year. Eight years later they were restored to France
France
as the Illyrian Provinces , but won back to the Austrian crown 1815. Though now part of the same empire, Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Istria were part of Cisleithania
Cisleithania
while Croatia
Croatia
and Slavonia
Slavonia
were in Hungarian part of the Monarchy. The national revival began with the Illyrian movement in 1830.

In the 19th century Croatian romantic nationalism emerged to counteract the non-violent but apparent Germanization
Germanization
and Magyarization
Magyarization
. The Croatian national revival began in the 1830s with the Illyrian movement . The movement attracted a number of influential figures and produced some important advances in the Croatian language and culture. The champion of the Illyrian movement was Ljudevit Gaj who also reformed and standardized the Croatian literary language. Official language in Croatia
Croatia
has been Latin
Latin
until 1847 when it became Croatian. The movement relied on a South Slavic and Panslavistic conception, and its national, political and social ideas were advanced at the time.

By the 1840s, the movement had moved from cultural goals to resisting Hungarian political demands. By the royal order of 11 January 1843, originating from the chancellor Metternich , the use of the Illyrian name and insignia in public was forbidden. This deterred the movement's progress but it couldn't stop the changes in the society that had already started. On 25 March 1848, was conducted a political petition "Zahtijevanja naroda", which program included thirty national, social and liberal principles, like Croatian national independence, annexation of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Military Frontier, independence from Hungary
Hungary
as far as finance, language, education, freedom of speech and writing, religion, nullification of serfdom etc. In the revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire , the Croatian Ban Jelačić cooperated with the Austrians in quenching the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 by leading a military campaign into Hungary, successful until the Battle of Pákozd .

Croatia
Croatia
was later subject to Hungarian hegemony under ban Levin Rauch when the Empire was transformed into a dual monarchy of Austria- Hungary
Hungary
in 1867. Nevertheless, Ban Jelačić had succeeded in the abolition of serfdom in Croatia, which eventually brought about massive changes in society: the power of the major landowners was reduced and arable land became increasingly subdivided, to the extent of risking famine. Many Croatians began emigrating to the New World countries in this period, a trend that would continue over the next century, creating a large Croatian diaspora .

MODERN HISTORY (1918–PRESENT)

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Main articles: State of Slovenes, Croats
Croats
and Serbs ; Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
; Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
; SFR Yugoslavia ; and Republic of Croatia
Croatia

After the First World War and dissolution of Austria- Hungary
Hungary
, most Croats
Croats
were united within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
, created by unification of the short-lived State of SHS with the Kingdom of Serbia
Serbia
. Croats
Croats
became one of the constituent nations of the new kingdom. The state was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
in 1929 and the Croats
Croats
were united in the new nation with their neighbors – the South Slavs- Yugoslavs .

In 1939, the Croats
Croats
received a high degree of autonomy when the Banovina of Croatia
Croatia
was created, which united almost all ethnic Croatian territories within the Kingdom. In the Second World War
Second World War
, the Axis forces created the Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
led by the Ustaše movement which sought to create an ethnically pure Croatian state on the territory corresponding to present-day countries of Croatia
Croatia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Post-WWII Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
became a federation consisting of 6 republics, and Croats
Croats
became one of two constituent peoples of two – Croatia
Croatia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croats
Croats
in the Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
are one of six main ethnic groups composing this region.

Following the democratization of society, accompanied with ethnic tensions that emerged in the post-Tito era, in 1991 the Republic of Croatia
Croatia
declared independence, which was followed by war with its Serb minority, backed up by Serbia-controlled Yugoslav People\'s Army . In the first years of the war, over 200,000 Croats
Croats
were displaced from their homes as a result of the military actions. In the peak of the fighting, around 550,000 ethnic Croats
Croats
were displaced altogether during the Yugoslav wars.

Post-war government's policy of easing the immigration of ethnic Croats
Croats
from abroad encouraged a number of Croatian descendants to return to Croatia. The influx was increased by the arrival of Croatian refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the war's end in 1995, most Croatian refugees returned to their previous homes, while some (mostly Croat refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Janjevci from Kosovo) moved into the formerly-held Serbian housing.

GENETICS

Further information: Origin hypotheses of the Croats § Genetics and anthropology

Croatian Y chromosomal lineages testify to mostly Paleolithic European ancestry. A majority (>85%) of Croats
Croats
from Croatia
Croatia
belong to one of the three major European Y-DNA haplogroups : I (38% –45% ), R1a (27% –34% ) and R1b (13% –15% ), while a minority (>15%) mostly belongs to haplogroup E (9% ), and others to haplogroups J (4.4% ), N (2% ), and G (1% ).

The frequency of haplogroup I, especially I2 , in Croatian populations is especially high, indicating that the Adriatic
Adriatic
coast is a likely source of the recolonization of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum . Croatian Y chromosomal lineages testify to different migrational movements carrying mostly Palaeolithic European ancestry, a minor Neolithic
Neolithic
impact from the Near East
Near East
, as well as a Slavic influence from northwestern Europe. This frankly points to heterogeneous ethnogenesis, a high degree of mixing of newly arrived medieval migrant tribes (such as Slavs) with the indigenous populations that were already present in the region of modern-day Croatia. Hence, most modern day Croats
Croats
are partly descended from the original European population of the region who have lived in the territory by other names, such as Illyrians
Illyrians
, and their forebears. These original inhabitants also served an important role in re-populating Europe after the last ice age.

LANGUAGE

Further information: Croatian language
Croatian language
Location map of dialects in Croatia
Croatia
and areas in BiH.

Speech example An example of Old Croatian used in Baška tablet. -------------------------

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Croats
Croats
speak Croatian, a South Slavic language of the Western South Slavic subgroup. Standard Croatian is considered a variety of Serbo-Croatian , as mutually intelligible with the Serbian and Bosnian languages (see Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian ) which are all based on the Shtokavian
Shtokavian
dialect .

Besides Shtokavian, Croats
Croats
from the Adriatic
Adriatic
coastline speak in a Chakavian
Chakavian
, while Croats
Croats
from the continental northwestern part of Croatia
Croatia
in Kajkavian
Kajkavian
dialect. Vernacular texts in the Chakavian dialect first appeared in the 13th century, and Shtokavian
Shtokavian
texts appeared a century later. Standardization began in the period sometimes called " Baroque
Baroque
Slavism" in the first half of the 17th century, while some authors date it back to the end of the 15th century. The modern Neo- Shtokavian
Shtokavian
standard that appeared in the mid 18th century was the first unified Croatian literary language. Croatian is written in Gaj\'s Latin
Latin
alphabet .

The beginning of the Croatian written language can be traced to the 9th century, when Old Church Slavonic was adopted as the language of the liturgy . This language was gradually adapted to non-liturgical purposes and became known as the Croatian version of Old Slavonic. The two variants of the language, liturgical and non-liturgical, continued to be a part of the Glagolitic service as late as the middle of the 19th century. The earliest known Croatian Church Slavonic Glagolitic are Vienna
Vienna
Folios from the late 11th/early 12th century. Until the end of the 11th century Croatian medieval texts were written in three scripts: Latin
Latin
, Glagolitic, and Croatian Cyrillic (bosančica/bosanica ), and also in three languages: Croatian, Latin and Old Slavonic. The latter developed into what is referred to as the Croatian variant of Church Slavonic between the 12th and 16th centuries.

The most important early monument of Croatian literacy is the Baška tablet from the late 11th century. It is a large stone tablet found in the small Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor on the Croatian island of Krk
Krk
which contains text written mostly in Chakavian, today a dialect of Croatian, and in Croatian angular Glagolitic script. It mentions Zvonimir , the king of Croatia
Croatia
at the time. However, the luxurious and ornate representative texts of Croatian Church Slavonic belong to the later era, when they coexisted with the Croatian vernacular literature. The most notable are the " Missal of Duke Novak" from the Lika region in northwestern Croatia
Croatia
(1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395, named after the town of its final destination), Hrvoje\'s Missal from Bosnia and Split in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
(1404), and the first printed book in Croatian language, the Glagolitic Missale Romanum Glagolitice (1483).

During the 13th century Croatian vernacular texts began to appear, the most important among them being the "Istrian land survey" of 1275 and the " Vinodol Codex " of 1288, both written in the Chakavian dialect.

The Shtokavian
Shtokavian
dialect literature, based almost exclusively on Chakavian
Chakavian
original texts of religious provenance (missals , breviaries , prayer books ) appeared almost a century later. The most important purely Shtokavian
Shtokavian
vernacular text is the Vatican Croatian Prayer Book (ca. 1400).

Both the language used in legal texts and that used in Glagolitic literature gradually came under the influence of the vernacular, which considerably affected its phonological , morphological and lexical systems. From the 14th and the 15th centuries, both secular and religious songs at church festivals were composed in the vernacular.

RELIGION

Main article: Roman Catholicism in Croatia
Croatia
Alojzije Stepinac Zagreb Cathedral
Zagreb Cathedral
Stepinac was a beatified Croatian Catholic cardinal and Archbishop of Zagreb.

Croats
Croats
are predominantly Roman Catholic, and before Christianity they adhered to Slavic paganism
Slavic paganism
. The earliest record of contact between the Pope
Pope
and the Croats
Croats
dates from a mid-7th century entry in the Liber Pontificalis
Liber Pontificalis
. Pope
Pope
John IV (John the Dalmatian, 640–642) sent an abbot named Martin to Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Istria in order to pay ransom for some prisoners and for the remains of old Christian martyrs. This abbot is recorded to have travelled through Dalmatia
Dalmatia
with the help of the Croatian leaders, and he established the foundation for the future relations between the Pope
Pope
and the Croats.

The beginnings of the Christianization are also disputed in the historical texts: the Byzantine
Byzantine
texts talk of duke Porin who started this at the incentive of emperor Heraclius
Heraclius
(610–641), then of duke Porga who mainly Christianized his people after the influence of missionaries from Rome, while the national tradition recalls Christianization during the rule of Dalmatian duke Borna (810–821). It is possible that these are all renditions of the same ruler's name. The earliest known Croatian autographs from the 8th century are found in the Latin
Latin
Gospel of Cividale
Gospel of Cividale
.

Curiously enough, the Croats
Croats
were never obliged to use Latin—rather, they held masses in their own language and used the Glagolitic alphabet. In 1886 it arrived to the Principality of Montenegro
Montenegro
, followed by the Kingdom of Serbia
Serbia
in 1914, and the Republic of Czechoslovakia in 1920, but only for feast days of the main patron saints. The 1935 concordat with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia anticipated the introduction of the Slavic liturgy for all Croatian regions and throughout the entire state. This was officially sanctioned in 1248 by Pope
Pope
Innocent IV , and only later did the Latin alphabet prevail. The Latin
Latin
Rite prevailed over the Byzantine
Byzantine
Rite rather early due to numerous interventions from the Holy See . There were numerous church synods held in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
in the 11th century, particularly after the East-West Schism , during the course of which the use of the Latin
Latin
rite was continuously reinforced until it became dominant.

CULTURE

TRADITION

Main article: Culture of Croatia
Croatia
Alka is a traditional knights' competition.

The area settled by Croats
Croats
has a large diversity of historical and cultural influences, as well as diversity of terrain and geography. The coastland areas of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Istria were subject to Roman Empire , Venetian and Italian rule; central regions like Lika and western Herzegovina
Herzegovina
were a scene of battlefield against the Ottoman Empire, and have strong epic traditions. In the northern plains, Austro-Hungarian rule has left its marks. The most distinctive features of Croatian folklore include klapa ensembles of Dalmatia, tamburitza orchestras of Slavonia
Slavonia
. Folk arts are performed at special events and festivals, perhaps the most distinctive being Alka of Sinj , a traditional knights' competition celebrating the victory against Ottoman Turks. The epic tradition is also preserved in epic songs sung with gusle . Various types of kolo circular dance are also encountered throughout Croatia.

ARTS

Main articles: Croatian art
Croatian art
, Architecture of Croatia
Croatia
, and Croatian literature Grgur Ninski statue by Ivan Meštrović , with a tower of the Diocletian\'s Palace in the background

Architecture in Croatia
Croatia
reflects influences of bordering nations. Austrian and Hungarian influence is visible in public spaces and buildings in the north and in the central regions, architecture found along coasts of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
and Istria exhibits Venetian influence. Large squares named after culture heroes, well-groomed parks, and pedestrian-only zones, are features of these orderly towns and cities, especially where large scale Baroque
Baroque
urban planning took place, for instance in Varaždin
Varaždin
and Karlovac
Karlovac
. Subsequent influence of the Art Nouveau was reflected in contemporary architecture. Along the coast, the architecture is Mediterranean with a strong Venetian and Renaissance influence in major urban areas exemplified in works of Giorgio da Sebenico and Niccolò Fiorentino such as the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik
Šibenik
. The oldest preserved examples of Croatian architecture are the 9th-century churches, with the largest and the most representative among them being the Church of St. Donatus .

Besides the architecture encompassing the oldest artworks in Croatia, there is a long history of artists in Croatia
Croatia
reaching to the Middle Ages. In that period the stone portal of the Trogir Cathedral was made by Radovan , representing the most important monument of Romanesque sculpture in the Balkans. The Renaissance had the greatest impact on the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
coast since the remainder of Croatia
Croatia
was embroiled in the Hundred Years\' Croatian–Ottoman War . With the waning of the Ottoman Empire, art flourished during the Baroque
Baroque
and Rococo
Rococo
. The 19th and the 20th centuries brought about affirmation of numerous Croatian artisans, helped by several patrons of the arts such as bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer . Croatian artists of the period achieving worldwide renown were Vlaho Bukovac and Ivan Meštrović .

The Baška tablet , a stone inscribed with the Glagolitic alphabet found on the Krk
Krk
island which is dated to 1100, is considered to be the oldest surviving prose in Croatian. The beginning of more vigorous development of Croatian literature is marked by the Renaissance and Marko Marulić
Marko Marulić
. Besides Marulić, Renaissance playwright Marin Držić , Baroque
Baroque
poet Ivan Gundulić , Croatian national revival poet Ivan Mažuranić , novelist, playwright and poet August Šenoa , poet and writer Antun Gustav Matoš , poet Antun Branko Šimić , expressionist and realist writer Miroslav Krleža
Miroslav Krleža
, poet Tin Ujević and novelist and short story writer Ivo Andrić are often cited as the greatest figures in Croatian literature.

SYMBOLS

The current flag of Croatia
Croatia
, including the current coat of arms. Main articles: Flag of Croatia
Croatia
and Coat of arms of Croatia
Croatia
The current coat of arms shows, in order, the symbols of Zagreb
Zagreb
, Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
, Dalmatia
Dalmatia
, Istria , and Slavonia
Slavonia
. Examples of the Croatian pleter .

The flag of Croatia
Croatia
consists of a red-white-blue tricolor with the Coat of Arms of Croatia
Croatia
in the middle. The red-white-blue tricolor was chosen as those were the colours of Pan-Slavism, popular in the 19th century.

The coat-of-arms consists of the traditional red and white squares or grb, which simply means 'coat-of-arms'. It has been used to symbolise the Croats
Croats
for centuries; some speculate that it was derived from Red and White Croatia
Croatia
, historic lands of the Croatian tribe but there is no generally accepted proof for this theory. The current design added the five crowning shields, which represent the historical regions from which Croatia
Croatia
originated. The red and white checkerboard has been a symbol of Croatian kings since at least the 10th century, ranging in number from 3×3 to 8×8, but most commonly 5×5, like the current coat. The oldest source confirming the coat-of-arms as an official symbol is a genealogy of the Habsburgs dating during 1512–18. In 1525 it was used on a votive medal. The oldest known example of the šahovnica (chessboard in Croatian) in Croatia
Croatia
is to be found on the wings of four falcons on a baptismal font donated by king Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia
Croatia
(1058–1074) to the Archbishop of Split .

Unlike in many countries, Croatian design more commonly uses symbolism from the coat of arms, rather than from the Croatian flag. This is partly due to the geometric design of the shield which makes it appropriate for use in many graphic contexts (e.g. the insignia of Croatia
Croatia
Airlines or the design of the shirt for the Croatia
Croatia
national football team ), and partly because neighbouring countries like Slovenia
Slovenia
and Serbia
Serbia
use the same Pan-Slavic colours on their flags as Croatia. The Croatian interlace
Croatian interlace
(pleter or troplet) is also a commonly used symbol which originally comes from monasteries built between the 9th and 12th century. The interlace can be seen in various emblems and is also featured in modern Croatian military ranks and Croatian police ranks insignia.

COMMUNITIES

In Croatia
Croatia
(the nation state ), 3.9 million people identify themselves as Croats, and constitute about 90.4% of the population. Another 553,000 live in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, where they are one of the three constituent ethnic groups , predominantly living in Western Herzegovina
Herzegovina
, central Bosnia and Posavina . The minority in Serbia number about 70,000, mostly in Vojvodina
Vojvodina
, where also vast majority of the Šokci consider themselves Croats, as well as many Bunjevci (the latter, as well as other nationalities, settled the vast, abandoned area after the Ottoman retreat; this Croat subgroup originates from the south, mostly from the region of Bačka ). Smaller Croat autochthonous minorities exist in Slovenia
Slovenia
(mainly in Primorska , Prekmurje and in the Metlika area in Dolenjska regions – 35,000 Croats), Montenegro
Montenegro
(mostly in the Bay of Kotor – 6,800 Croats), and a regional community in Kosovo
Kosovo
called Janjevci who nationally identify as Croats. In the 1991 census Croats
Croats
consisted 19.8% of the overall population of former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
; there were around 4.6 million Croats in the entire country.

The subgroups of Croats
Croats
are commonly based on regional affiliation, like Dalmatians, Slavonians, Zagorci, Istrani etc., while outside Croatia
Croatia
there exist several ethnic groups : Šokci (Croatia, Serbia, Hungary), Bunjevci (Serbia, Hungary), Burgenland
Burgenland
Croats
Croats
(Austria), Molise
Molise
Croats
Croats
(Italy), Croats of Boka Kotorska or Bokelji (Montenegro), Raci (Hungary), Krashovans (Romania), Janjevci (Kosovo).

AUTOCHTHONOUS COMMUNITIES AND MINORITIES

Autochthonous communities

* Croatia
Croatia
is the nation-state of Croats. * In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats
Croats
are one of three constitute ethnic groups , numbering around 553,000 people or 14.6% of population. The entity of Federation
Federation
of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
is home to majority (495,000 or about little under 90%) of Bosnian Croats . * In Montenegro, Bay of Kotor , Croats
Croats
are a national minority, numbering 6,021 people or 0.97% of population. * In Serbia, Croats
Croats
are a national minority, numbering 70,602 people or 0.94% of population. They mostly live in the region of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
, where the Croatian language
Croatian language
is official (along with five other languages), and the national capital city of Belgrade
Belgrade
. * In Slovenia, Croats
Croats
are not recognized as a minority, numbering 35,642 people or 1.81% of population. They mostly live in Primorska , Prekmurje and in the Metlika area in Dolenjska regions.

Croatian communities with minority status

* In Austria, Croats
Croats
are an ethnic minority, numbering around 30,000 people in Burgenland
Burgenland
, ( Burgenland
Burgenland
Croats
Croats
), the eastern part of Austria, and around 15,000 people in the capital city of Vienna
Vienna
. * In the Czech Republic, Croats
Croats
are a national minority, numbering 850–2,000 people, forming a portion of the 29% minority (as "Others"). They mostly live in the region of Moravia
Moravia
, in the villages of Jevišovka , Dobré Pole and Nový Přerov . * In Hungary, Croats
Croats
are an ethnic minority, numbering 25,730 people or 0.26% of population. * In Italy, Croats
Croats
are a linguistic, and ethnic minority, numbering 23,880 people, of which 2,801 people belong to ethnic minority of Molise
Molise
Croats
Croats
from the region of Molise
Molise
. * In Romania, Croats
Croats
are a national minority, numbering 6,786 people. They mostly live in the Caraș-Severin County , in communes of Lupac (90.7%) and Carașova (78.28%). * In Slovakia, Croats
Croats
are an ethnic and national minority, numbering around 850 people. They mostly live in the area around Bratislava
Bratislava
, in the villages of Chorvátsky Grob , Čunovo
Čunovo
, Devínska Nová Ves , Rusovce and Jarovce
Jarovce
.

Croatian minorities exist in the following regions

* In Bulgaria, exist a small Croatian community, a branch of Janjevci, Croats
Croats
from Kosovo. * In Kosovo, Croats
Croats
or Janjevci (Letničani), as inhabited mostly the town of Janjevo , before 1991 numbered 8,062 people, but after the war many fled, and as of 2011 number only 270 people. * In the Republic of Macedonia, Croats
Croats
number 2.686 people or 0.1% of population, mostly living in the capital city Skopje
Skopje
, city Bitola and around Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid
.

DIASPORA

Main article: Croatian diaspora Croatian Embassy in Canberra
Canberra
, Australia
Australia

There are currently 4–4.5 million Croats
Croats
in diaspora throughout the world. The Croat diaspora was the consequence of either mostly economic or political (coercion or expulsions) reasons:

* To the west (Slovenia, Italy) and north (Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary), caused by the conquering of Ottoman Turks , when Croats
Croats
as well by religion as Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
were more oppressed than Orthodox Christians and Muslims. * To North America ( Croatian American and Canadians of Croatian ancestry ); South America, Chile
Chile
( Croatian Chilean ) and Argentina ( Croatian Argentine ), with smaller communities in Brazil
Brazil
(Croatian Brazilian ), Peru
Peru
( Croatian Peruvian ), and Ecuador
Ecuador
(Croatian Ecuadorian ); Australia
Australia
( Croatian Australian ) and New Zealand (Croats-New Zealander ); and South Africa
South Africa
; in the end of 19th and early 20th century, larger numbers of Croats
Croats
emigrated, particularly for economic reasons. * A further, larger wave of emigration, this time for political reasons, took place after the end of the World War II
World War II
. At this time, both collaborators of the Ustaša régime and refugees who did not want to live under a communist régime fled the country. * Going abroad as immigrant workers, particularly to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
Switzerland
in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, some emigrants left for political reasons. This migration made it possible for communist Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
to achieve lower unemployment and at the same time the money sent home by emigrants to their families provided an enormous source of foreign exchange income. * The last large wave of Croat emigration occurred during and after the Yugoslav Wars (1991–1995). Migrant communities already established in countries such as Australia, the United States, and Germany
Germany
grew as a result.

The count for diaspora is approximate because of incomplete statistical records and naturalization . Overseas, the United States contains the largest Croatian emigrant group (544,270 in the 1990 census; 374,271 in the 2000 census), mostly in Ohio
Ohio
, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
, Illinois
Illinois
and California
California
, with a sizable community in Alaska
Alaska
, followed by Australia
Australia
(105,747 according to 2001 census, with concentrations in Sydney
Sydney
, Melbourne
Melbourne
and Perth ) and Canada
Canada
(Southern Ontario , British Columbia
British Columbia
and Alberta
Alberta
). The total number of Croatian descendants in the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
has been estimated to 2 millions. Croats
Croats
have also emigrated in several waves to Latin America, mostly to South America: chiefly Chile, Argentina, and Brazil; estimates of their number vary wildly, from 150,000 up to 500,000. There are also smaller groups of Croatian descendants in the Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. The most important organisations of the Croatian diaspora are the Croatian Fraternal Union , Croatian Heritage Foundation and the Croatian World Congress. Reported Croatian ancestry by country Croatia
Croatia
More than 200,000 More than 100,000 More than 30,000

MAPS

*

Croats
Croats
in Croatia
Croatia
*

Croats
Croats
in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
*

Croats
Croats
in Vojvodina, Serbia
Serbia
*

Croats
Croats
in Romania
Romania

SEE ALSO

* Croatia
Croatia
portal

* CROATIA , nation-state of Croats * Timeline of Croatian history * List of Croats * Croatian American * Croatian Argentine * Croatians in Austria
Austria
* Croatian Australian * Croats of Belgium * Croats
Croats
of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
* Croatian Brazilian * Croatian Canadian * Croatian Chilean * Croats
Croats
in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
* Croatian Ecuadorian * Croatians in Germany
Germany
* Croats
Croats
in Hungary
Hungary
* Croats
Croats
of Italy
Italy
* Croats
Croats
of Montenegro
Montenegro
* Croats
Croats
in New Zealand
New Zealand
* Croatian Peruvian * Croats
Croats
of Romania
Romania
* Croats
Croats
of Russia * Croats
Croats
of Serbia
Serbia
* Croats
Croats
in Slovakia
Slovakia
* Croats
Croats
of Slovenia
Slovenia
* Croats
Croats
of Sweden
Sweden
* Croats
Croats
of Switzerland
Switzerland
* Croats in Uruguay * Croats in Venezuela * List of rulers of Croatia
Croatia
* List of bans of Croatia
Croatia
* Origin hypotheses of the Croats * Slavs ; Medieval Slav tribes ; South Slavs

REFERENCES

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Diaspora
Communities, 2 (illustrated ed.), Springer , p. 76, ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9 , It is estimated that 4.5 million Croatians live outside Croatia
Croatia
(...) * ^ A B "Hrvatski Svjetski Kongres". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2007. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link ), Croatian World Congress , "4.5 million Croats
Croats
and people of Croatian heritage live outside the Republic of Croatia
Croatia
and Bosnia and Herzegovina", also quoted here . * ^ ; "... newly independent Croatia
Croatia
with a population of approximately four and a half million adopted citizenship law in 1993 that granted citizenship rights to ethnic Croatians abroad that number approximately 4 million people." – expert from the book National Minorities in Inter-State Relations * ^ A B "HIA – iseljenici". Archived from the original on 2007-03-04. Retrieved 18 March 2015. * ^ "Central Bureau of Statistics". Dzs.hr. Retrieved 2013-03-26. * ^ Sarajevo, juni 2016. CENZUS OF POPULATION, HOUSEHOLDS AND DWELLINGS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, 2013 FINAL RESULTS (PDF). BHAS. Retrieved 30 June 2016. * ^ German Federal Statistical Office Archived 24 July 2006 at WebCite * ^ "State Office for Croats
Croats
Abroad". Retrieved 18 March 2015. * ^ Census 2001 "Tabelle 5: Bevölkerung nach Umgangssprache und Staatsangehörigkeit", page 60 "131,307 Croatians + 19,412 Burgenland Croats
Croats
= 150,719. In the Austrian census, Burgenland
Burgenland
Croats
Croats
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Chile
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Dalmatia
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SOURCES

* Dzino, Danijel (2010), Becoming Slav, Becoming Croat. Identity transformations in post-Roman and Early Medieval Dalmatia, Brill * Ancic, Mladen (1997), "From Carolingian Official to Croatian Ruler – the Croats
Croats
and the Carolingian Empire in the first half of the Ninth Century", Hortus Artium Medievalium, 3 * Curta, Florin (2010), "The early Slavs in the northern and eastern Adriatic
Adriatic
region. A critical approach", Archeologia Medievale, 37 * Wolfram, Herwig (2002), "Slavic Princes in the Carolingian Marches of Bavaria", Hortus Artium Medievalium, 8 * Curta, Florin (2006), Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge Medieval Books, ISBN 978-0-521-89452-4 * I. H. Garipzanov; P. Geary; P. Urbanczyk, eds. (2008), "Identities in Early Medieval Dalmatia
Dalmatia
(Seventh–Eleventh Centuries)", Franks, Northmen, and Slavs Identities and State Formation in Early Medieval Europe, Brepols * Borri, Francesco (2011), "White Croatia
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and the arrival of the Croats: an interpretation of Constantine Porphyrogenitus on the oldest Dalmatian history", Early Medieval Europe, 19, doi :10.1111/j.1468-0254.2011.00318.x

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to CROATS .

* (in Croatian) Matica hrvatska * Review of Croatian History at Central and Eastern European Online Library * " Croats
Croats
of Bosnia and Herzegovina: History". Archived from the original on 15 June 2002. * The Croatian nation at the beginning of the 20th century * Famous Croats
Croats
and Croatian cultural heritage * "Hrvatska matica

.