Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo

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Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
Socijalistička Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo
Социјалистичка Аутономна Покрајина Косово
Krahina Socialiste Autonome e Kosovës
Autonomous province of Serbia in Yugoslavia

1946–1992


Flag

Kosovo (dark red) in Serbia (light red), within Yugoslavia
Capital Priština
Languages Serbo-Croatian
Albanian
Government Autonomous province
Historical era Cold War
 -  Established 1946
 -  Disestablished 1992
Area
 -  1991 10,686 km² (4,126 sq mi)
Population
 -  1991 est. 1,584,441 
     Density 148.3 /km²  (384 /sq mi)
Currency Yugoslav dinar

The Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo (Serbo-Croatian: Socijalistička Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo, Социјалистичка Аутономна Покрајина Косово; Albanian: Krahina Socialiste Autonome e Kosovës; often abbreviated SAP Kosovo), comprising the Kosovo region, was one of the two autonomous provinces of Serbia within Yugoslavia (the other being Vojvodina), between 1946 and the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Between 1946 and 1963 the province was named Autonomous District of Kosovo and Metohija, and enjoyed a lower level of self-government than the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Between 1963 and 1974, when the province was granted equal status with Vojvodina, the province was accordingly named Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 1974 the two autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo were granted significantly increased autonomy, and added the prefix "Socialist" to their full official names, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija was at that point renamed to Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, in addition dropping the reference to Metohija from its name. Fifteen years later, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, the 1974 reforms were reversed and the province was restored to its 1963–74 name (Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija).

Background[edit]

During the interwar period, the constitutional status of Kosovo within Yugoslavia was unclear. At the time that Serbia conquered Kosovo (in 1912-1913), the 1903 constitution was still in force. This constitution required a Grand National Assembly before Serbia's borders could be expanded to include Kosovo; but no such Grand National Assembly was ever held. Constitutionally, Kosovo should not have become part of the Kingdom of Serbia. It was initially ruled by decree.[1][2] Serbian political parties, and the army, could not agree on how to govern the newly conquered territories; eventually this was solved by a royal decree.[3]

In 1944, Tito had written that it "will obtain a broader autonomy, and the question of which federal unit they are joined to will depend on the people themselves, through their representatives" although in practice decisionmaking was centralised and undemocratic.[4] There were various proposals to join Kosovo to other areas (even to Albania) but in 1945 it was decided to join Kosovo to Serbia. However, one piece of the former Kosovo Vilayet was given to the new Yugoslav republic of Macedonia (including the former capital Skopje), whilst another part had passed to Montenegro (mainly Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje and Rožaje), also a new entity. In July 1945, a "Resolution for the annexation of Kosovo-Metohija to federal Serbia" was passed by Kosovo's "Regional People's Council".[5]

In principle, Albanian became an official language; but little changed in practice as most judges and government officials were Slavs. In the immediate post-war years there was a certain amount of cooperation with the Albanian government, which even sent a few Albanian-speaking teachers to Kosovo.

1946–1963[edit]

From 1946 to 1963, it was Autonomous District of Kosovo and Metohija, which was a lower level of autonomy than Vojvodina.

After the break with the Cominform in 1948, the Tito regime tightened some policies, including stricter collectivisation. This led to serious reductions in grain production in Kosovo; there were food shortages across Yugoslavia. In parallel with this, the Hoxha government in Albania began to criticise Yugoslav rule over Kosovo; the Tito regime responded with crackdowns on the local population, in search of "traitors" and "fifth columnists", although the earliest underground pro-Tirana group was not founded until the early 1960s.[6]

1963–1974[edit]

The Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbo-Croatian: Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija, Аутономна Покрајина Косово и Метохија, Albanian: Territori Autonom i Kosovës dhe Metohisë) was the name used from 1963 to 1974. The 1963 change had equalised the status of Kosovo and Vojvodina.

Kosovo officially became an autonomous province in 1963. Tensions between ethnic Albanians and the Yugoslav government were significant, not only due to national tensions but also due to political ideological concerns, especially regarding relations with neighbouring Albania.[7] Harsh repressive measures were imposed on Kosovo Albanians due to suspicions that they there were Kosovo Albanian sympathisers of the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha of Albania.[7] In 1956, a show trial in Pristina was held in which multiple Albanian Communists of Kosovo were convicted of being infiltrators from Albania and were given long prison sentences.[7] High-ranking Serbian communist official Aleksandar Ranković sought to secure the position of the Serbs in Kosovo and gave them dominance in Kosovo's nomenklatura.[8]

Islam in Kosovo at this time was repressed and both Albanians and Muslim Slavs were encouraged to declare themselves to be Turkish and emigrate to Turkey.[7] At the same time Serbs and Montenegrins dominated the government, security forces, and industrial employment in Kosovo.[7] Albanians resented these conditions and protested against them in the late 1960s, accusing the actions taken by authorities in Kosovo as being colonialist, as well as demanding that Kosovo be made a republic, or declaring support for Albania.[7]

After the ouster of Ranković in 1966, the agenda of pro-decentralisation reformers in Yugoslavia, especially from Slovenia and Croatia succeeded in the late 1960s in attaining substantial decentralisation of powers, creating substantial autonomy in Kosovo and Vojvodina, and recognising a Muslim Yugoslav nationality.[9] As a result of these reforms, there was a massive overhaul of Kosovo's nomenklatura and police, that shifted from being Serb-dominated to ethnic Albanian-dominated through firing Serbs in large scale.[9] Further concessions were made to the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo in response to unrest, including the creation of the University of Pristina as an Albanian language institution.[9] These changes created widespread fear amongst Serbs that they were being made second-class citizens in Yugoslavia by these changes.[10]

1974–1990[edit]

Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo was the name used from 1974 until 1990.

The Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija received more autonomy within Serbia and Yugoslavia during the 1970s, and its name was officially changed in 1974 to Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo ("and Metohija" was removed because it was not used by the Kosovo Albanians and "Socialist" was added to further show the Socialist ideal of the then SFRY). In the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was granted major autonomy, allowing it to have its own administration, assembly, and judiciary; as well as having a membership in the collective presidency and the Yugoslav parliament, in which it held veto power.[11]

Per the Constitutions of SFR Yugoslavia and SR Serbia, SAP Kosovo also gained its own Constitution. The Province of Kosovo gained the highest officials, most notably Presidency and Government, and gained a seat in the Federal Yugoslavian Presidency (including veto power on the federal level) which equated it to the states of SR Serbia.[citation needed]

The local Albanian-dominated ruling class had been asking for recognition of Kosovo as a parallel republic to Serbia within the Federation, and after Josip Broz Tito’s death in 1980, the demands were renewed.[citation needed] In March 1981, Albanian students started the 1981 protests in Kosovo, where a social protest turned into violent mass riots with nationalist demands across the province, which the Yugoslav authorities contained with force. Emigration of non-Albanians increased and ethnic tensions between Albanians and non-Albanians greatly increased, with violent inner-attacks, especially aimed at the Yugoslavian officials and representatives of authority.[citation needed]

Slobodan Milošević became the leader of the Serbian communists in 1986, and then seized control of Kosovo and Vojvodina. This can especially be seen in the 1987 rift in Kosovo, which became the final turnout of possibilities of peace between Albanians and Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

On 28 June 1989, Milošević led a mass celebration of the 600th anniversary of a 1389 Battle of Kosovo. Milošević's Gazimestan speech, which marked the beginning of his political prominence, was an important part of the events that contributed to the ongoing crisis in Kosovo. The ensuing Serbian nationalist movement was also a contributing factor to the Yugoslav Wars.

In 1989, Milošević revoked the autonomy of Kosovo, returning it to the pre-1974 Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija status, which was passed by the Kosovo Parliament on 28 September 1990.[citation needed]

The Kosovo War followed. Later, in 2008, Kosovo declared independence.

Demographics[edit]

According to the 1981 census, the one taken during the period between 1974 and 1990, the population of the province numbered 1,584,441 people, including:

Politics[edit]

The only political party in the province was League of Communists of Kosovo, which was part of the League of Communists of Serbia and part of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

Political leaders[edit]

Prime Ministers[edit]

Chairman of the Executive Council of the People's Committee of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo:

Chairmen of the Executive Council of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo:

Presidents[edit]

Chairman of the People's Liberation Committee of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo:

Presidents of the Assembly of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo:

Presidents of Presidency of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo:

See also[edit]

Part of a series on the
History of Kosovo
Kosovo
Early History
Middle Ages
Ottoman Kosovo
20th century
Recent history
See also
Portal icon Kosovo portal

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malcolm, Noel (1999). Kosovo: A Short History. Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0-06-097775-7. 
  2. ^ Perić, La question constitutionelle en Serbie, Paris 1914
  3. ^ Olga Popović-Obradović, The Parliamentary System in Serbia 1903-1914.
  4. ^ Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo: A Short History. London: Macmillan. p. 315. ISBN 0-330-41224-8. 
  5. ^ Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo: A Short History. London: Macmillan. p. 316. ISBN 0-330-41224-8. 
  6. ^ Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo: A Short History. London: Macmillan. p. 322. ISBN 0-330-41224-8. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Independent International Commission on Kosovo. The Kosovo report: conflict, international response, lessons learned. New York, New York, USA: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. 35.
  8. ^ Melissa Katherine Bokovoy, Jill A. Irvine, Carol S. Lilly. State-society relations in Yugoslavia, 1945–1992. Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. Pp. 295.
  9. ^ a b c Melissa Katherine Bokovoy, Jill A. Irvine, Carol S. Lilly. State-society relations in Yugoslavia, 1945–1992. Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. Pp. 296.
  10. ^ Melissa Katherine Bokovoy, Jill A. Irvine, Carol S. Lilly. State-society relations in Yugoslavia, 1945–1992. Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. Pp. 301.
  11. ^ Independent International Commission on Kosovo. The Kosovo report: conflict, international response, lessons learned. New York, New York, USA: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. 35–36.

External links[edit]