Throughout history many different peoples
have contested the power of what is today Northern
Macedonia. At the end of the 1300s, the Ottoman Turks
conquered the area. Only during the Balkan wars of
1912–1913 were they defeated by Serbia, Bulgaria and
Greece, which then divided the area between them. After
the First World War, the Slavic part of the new state
formation that eventually came to be called Yugoslavia.
Historical Macedonia was early populated by Greek
tribes. With Philip II, who became king in 359 BC, a
great power period began. Under Philip's son Alexander
the Great, Macedonia became the center of a world
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Macedonia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Alexander established Macedonian rule in Greece,
waged war against the Persian Empire (in present-day
Iran) and conquered large parts of the Middle East (Asia
Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia) all the way to
northwestern India. The Greek-Oriental mixed culture
that flourished in his kingdom is called Hellenism.
After Alexander's death in 325 BC, the Hellenistic
empire fell apart.
After a period as a Greek state and Roman province,
Macedonia came under the control of Byzantium (Ístrom)
in 395 AD. In the 500s, the first Slavic people arrived
in the area, which in the 800s became part of the first
Bulgarian empire. The Bulgarian resistance to Byzantine
was led by Tsar Samuil, who ruled over a western
Bulgarian or Macedonian kingdom in 976-1014 (the exact
definition is still the subject of a dispute between
modern Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia). His
kingdom was incorporated in the Bulgarian in the 1000s.
Then Byzantines, Bulgarians and Serbs fought for power
over Macedonia, which became part of medieval Serbia. In
the 1300s, the Serbs founded a Serbian Orthodox church
The Balkan war divides the country
After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, Bulgaria
received most of Macedonia, but the Berlin Congress in
1878 returned it under Turkish rule.
Social and economic mismanagement and oppression by
the Turks created a breeding ground for political unrest
and contradictions between the country's peoples -
Turks, Albanians, Serbs, Romanians, Greeks and
Bulgarians - and at the turn of the century the area was
an inferno of violence. The Balkan Wars 1912–1913
redrawed the map. The First Balkan War between Turkey
and the Balkans (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and
Greece) ended with Turkey's defeat. In the Second Balkan
War, the victories of the spoils were fought and
Macedonia was divided between them.
Yugoslavia is founded
During the First World War (1914 - 1918), Bulgaria
tried to seize the area by allying itself with the
central powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). After the
war, the Slavic part of Macedonia became part of the
newly formed Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, who in 1929
became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Greece regained its
former Macedonian territories. During World War II (1939
- 1945), Bulgaria seized almost the entire Yugoslav part
of Macedonia. The western parts were part of the Great
Banana ruled by Italy.
At the end of World War II, the 1919 borders were
restored. Macedonia now became the smallest of six
sub-republics in the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia
proclaimed under the leadership of Yugoslav Communist
Party leader Josip Broz (Tito). The Communist Party
became the only permissible political force and major
parts of business were nationalized. Despite this, some
financial decisions were made at local level, including
through self-management in the factories.
Eventually, some political power was also
decentralized to the sub-republics, which in the 1970s
gained their own governments and administrations.
However, as the poorest state, Macedonia was dependent
on the help of the wealthier sub-republics in the north.
President Tito served as a cohesive force in
Yugoslavia, but after his death in 1980, rivalry between
the states grew, a development fueled by growing
economic problems and competition for federal funds.
Serbia's attempts in the mid-1980s to regain some of the
power previously relinquished by the central government
aroused opposition in the other sub-republics.
The EU abolishes the visa requirement
Citizens of Macedonia, as well as in Serbia and Montenegro, are allowed to
enter the EU without a visa.
Positive signals from the EU
The EU explains that Macedonia has made so much progress in its reforms that
it is now ready to start formal talks on Macedonian membership, even though the
Union expects the country to first resolve the name conflict with Greece. Prime
Minister Gruevski talks about a historic day and people celebrate the streets of
the capital Skopje.
Right victorious in the presidential election
The presidential election will be a success for the VMRO-DPMNE government
party, whose candidate Ǵorge (Gjorge) Ivanov wins over Social Democratic SDSM's
Ljubomir Frčkovski in the second round with 63 percent of the vote against 37
percent. The election is calm, but the opposition states that voters have been
threatened by representatives of VMRO-DPMNE. The turnout is very low, below 43
percent (the limit for a valid result goes at 40 percent). Ivanov is not a
member of VMRO-DPMNE.