Settlement of Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohia between Two World Wars - Course and Outcome Cover Image

Settlement of Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohia between Two World Wars - Course and Outcome

Author(s): Vladan Z. Jovanović
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije
Keywords: Macedonia; Kosovo and Metohia; Kingdom of SHS/Yugoslavia; Turks; Albanians;

Summary/Abstract: Settlement of Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohia was a result of both socioeconomic and political needs of non-consolidated Kingdom of SHS/Yugoslavia, whose undisguised national ambitions were vindicated by the ethnic structure of settlers (90% Serbs, 10% Croats). The purpose of settling mostly Serbian population throughout the regions which had been, starting from the Balkan Wars, subjected to the Turkish administration, was the intended realization of two objectives: establishing of masses of the poor from underdeveloped parts of the state and, at the same time, changing the national structure of the district that was being increasingly left by both Turks and Albanians. However, the initial enthusiasm simmered down soon, as the mentally and climatically maladjusted settlers, arriving to the „Southern regions”, faced numerous obstacles: inadequate supply, persisting Komita guerilla actions, officials' tyranny, natives' dissatisfaction, and the like. Since the majority of settlers were unskilled farmers, the land property generally granted to a settling family (some more than eight hectares of non-cultivated land), was not enough to satisfy their existential necessities. In spite of problems of updating the persistently fluctuating number of settlers the state administration was facing, there were more than 19,508 settler's families registered in 1,078 settlements throughout the so-called Southern Territories in 1940. Together with native families, granted a land themselves as well, the final number of families directly included in the settlement and land reform processes amounts more than 48,000, whereby a fifth of the total number of houses built up was funded by the state. The price of a „Rich Kosovo” stereotype, and „South Slav Heaven” and „cheep settlement” as well, was paid by the settlers themselves. Their moral was crucially influenced by bad public security atmosphere, by weakness of the state administration and by lack of both continuity and „mission spirit”. No wonder that more than half the total number of settlers got back home by 1928. A social agony was not dealt with but was only deepened instead, causing numerous far reaching consequences in both political and economic domains.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 25-44
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian
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