North Macedonia is an independent nation in Southern Europe. With the capital city of Skopje, North Macedonia 2020 population is estimated at 2,022,558 according to countryaah. 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 empire.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: 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. For Macedonia political system, please check computerminus.
After a period as a Greek state and Roman province, Macedonia came under the control of Byzantium (Östrom) 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 in Skopje.
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.