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Macedonia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Macedonia. By: Tamara La Martina. Overview. Total area is 25,713 km2 (slightly larger than state of Vermont) Bordered by Albania, Serbia/Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Greece

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Macedonia l.jpg


By: Tamara La Martina

Overview l.jpg

  • Total area is 25,713 km2 (slightly larger than state of Vermont)

  • Bordered by Albania, Serbia/Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Greece

  • Completely landlocked since partitioned after the First Balkan War by Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia; closest open water port is in Thessalonica (Greece)

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  • Wide range of topographic, climatic, and vegetation regions; highest elevation is 2753m, lowest is 50m

  • Sub-Mediterranean to alpine conditions

  • 4 principle bodies of water: Vardar R, Lake Ohrid, Lake Prespa, and Lake Dojran

  • 37% covered by forest

  • Natural resources: chromium, lead, zinc, manganese, tungsten, low grade iron ore, asbestos, sulfur and arable land

  • Area of high seismic activity

  • Water shortage problemsesp. in east

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  • Population is approx. 2.1 million

  • West most highly populated: 39% of pop. Lives in area, which makes up 43% of total land area; 18.5% of pop. lives in east

  • Largest cities are: Skopje (capital) Bitola, Tetovo, Kumanovo, Veles, Prilep, Stip, Strumica, Ohrid

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Ethnicity and Religion

  • Titular majority is 67% of total population

  • Large ethnic Albanian minority is approx. 23%

  • Also small Turkish, Roma, and Serbian minorities

  • Languages: Macedonian 70%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 3%, other 3%

  • 2/3 of pop. are Orthodox, 30% Muslims (Albanians and Turks), 0.5% Catholic, and 2.8% other

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Economy and Industry

  • One of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in Europe; forced industrialization during communist era

  • Instability and conflict caused the economy to shrink after independence

  • Primary exports: food, beverages, tobacco, misc. manufactured items, iron and steel

  • Agriculture and tourism also important to economy

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History of the Macedonian Question

  • Question came to the forefront in the 19th century as the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and nationalism in the Balkans was growing

  • One of the greatest diplomatic concerns facing the Great Powers in the 19th c.

  • The Question was “Who are the Macedonians ethnically?” and “Who has the strongest claim to the territory?”

  • Bulgarians claimed that Macedonians were ethnically Bulgarian and the land should be theirs since it was the site of the first independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church

  • Serbians claimed that Skopje was the capital of Stefan Dusan’s medieval empire and therefore the “heartland” of their ethnic territory

  • Greeks made the claim that Macedonians were Slavic-speaking Greeks and that Philip II and Alexander the Great were Greeks

  • Question became pertinent again after the breakup of Yugoslavia

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Ancient History of Macedonia

  • Philip II (359-336 B.C.); expanded Macedonian territory to include Greece; assassinated in 336 B.C.

  • Alexander III…otherwise known as “The Great” (336-323 B.C.); expanded Macedonian empire to include territories to the Indus R. in India, Egypt, and along the western coast of Black Sea

  • Macedonia’s big (and maybe only) claim to fame!

  • Modern Greeks try to say Alexander and Macedonians were Greeks, but ancients thought they were barbarians

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Medieval Empires

  • Byzantine, Bulgarian, and Serbian Empires

  • Brought Orthodoxy, Cyrillic alphabet, and feudal society

  • Feudalism caused tribal clans to lose independence and turned them into serfs; feudal lords mostly of Greek and Armenian descent

  • Autonomous Bulgarian Orthodox Church established in Ohrid (free from Greek patriarch) and the capital of the Western Bulgarian Kingdom under Samuil

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Ottoman Rule

  • Turks began rule in 1394 which continued until 1912

  • Change in Demographics and religion

  • Incursion of Ottoman army caused many Slavs to flee; Ottomans settled Turks, Albanians, and Ladino Jews in place of Slavs

  • Albanians used as landlords and administrators; part of origin of modern hostility between Macedonians and Albanians

  • Macedonian (Bulgarian) Orthodox Church placed under Greek patriarch and Hellenization

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  • Some Balkan countries gain autonomy or independence, but not Macedonia

  • After Russo-Turkish War (1878), Treaty of San Stefano gave most of Macedonia to Bulgaria

  • Great Powers disagreed with this decision and Macedonia was given back to Turks by Congress of Berlin

  • During late 1800’s Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia try to gain influence in Macedonia through schools, religion, and language. Leads to what is called the “Macedonian Question”

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Balkan Wars 1912-1913

  • First Balkan War Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia fight Ottomans for Balkan areas remaining under Turkish rule and succeed in their effort

  • Second Balkan War Former allies fight over the gained territory; Serbia gets Vardar (Modern) Macedonia, Greece gets Aegean Macedonia, and Bulgaria left with small Pirin area

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World War II

  • Bulgaria for the third time since First Balkan War gains control almost all of Macedonia by joining the Germans and kicked out again after their side loses again.

  • Josip Tito, attracted many Macedonians with promises of reuniting the three areas of Macedonia after the war; never accomplished but Communists continue to fight to regain Aegean and Perin Macedonia until defeated in 1950

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Yugoslavia 1944-1990

  • Tito failed to unite regions of Macedonia, but …

  • Created a Macedonian republic in the Vardar Macedonia region

  • First to recognize Macedonians as a distinct ethnic and political entity; standard language adopted; history of area reinterpreted, and autonomous Macedonian Orthodox Church was established in 1958

  • Encouragement of Macedonian Nationalism as a tool against the Bulgarians’ and Greeks’ claims on the territory

  • Poured money into the area for educational and economic advancement

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  • In 1990 Communism collapsed in Yugoslavia

  • Sept. 8, 1991, Yugoslav Macedonia held a referendum in which 95% voted for independence (Serbian and Albanian minorities boycotted the referendum); seceded in November

  • New country led by Kiro Gligorov (1991-1999)

  • Power divided between the Macedonian majority party the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and the Ethnic Albanian-Democratic Party for Macedonia (VMRO-DPMNE) and Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA)

  • Greatest challenge to the new state has been the transition and stabilization of its economy, gaining recognition from its neighbors, and ethnic conflicts

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The Modern Question

  • Greece is upset because of the use of the name Macedonia, several clauses in its constitution, and because of its flag; thought the new gov’t had irredentist ambitions on Greek Aegean Macedonian province

  • August 1991 Greece closed its border to Macedonia and imposed an oil embargo, which crippled the Macedonian economy

Old Flag

Current Flag

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Recognition by EU and UN

  • Macedonia changed several clauses in its constitution on Dec. 26 to fit EU’s criteria for recognition; no territorial claims on other countries and renounced meddling in other countries affairs

  • On Jan. 15 Germany recognized Slovenia and Croatia, but not Macedonia or Bosnia

  • Why? Internal tensions w/ ethnic Albanians high and Greece had blocked recognition of Macedonia because Macedonian’s gov’t wouldn’t change name and flag

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Recognition cont’d.

  • Dec. 10, 1992 Greek demonstration in Athens against recognition of Macedonia, +million people participated

  • Dec. 11 UN Security Council sent a peacekeeping force to Macedonia, fearing the spread of Balkan War

  • April 8, 1993 Macedonia was admitted to UN against the wishes of Greece and Yugoslavia, but had to use the provisional name The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; EU also extended recognition; 300 American and 150 Canadian troops protected the borders

  • Decision on name still pending….

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Propaganda From Both Sides

  • Both sides of the “Question” began a propaganda campaign

  • Greeks have picked up where they left off in the 19th c.

  • Macedonians Slavs defending their distinct ethnicity and history

  • Historians of Ancient Greece have also picked up the unsolvable question of “who are the Macedonians?” answer still in limbo….

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Hellenized” Macedonian History

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The Macedonian Viewpoint




  • Macedonia before and after the partitions of the Balkan Wars

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Origins Of The Conflict

  • Hostilities going back to Ottoman Empire, when Albanian Muslims were the overlords

  • Ethnic Albanian minority calling for a greater rights

  • Some call for secession of Albanian majority areas

  • Possibility of Macedonia’s leaders starting conflict to hide theft of state-owned enterprises and assets

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The Conflict

  • Feb. 2001 armed ethnic Albanians took Tetovo; said they were members of the National Liberation Army (NLA); said they wanted more political and economic rights; gov’t said they were trying to divide the country along ethnic lines

  • Struggle between NLA and gov’t lasted for seven months; 200 killed, 180 000 displaced

  • US and Europe sent diplomats who helped forge a peace agreement at Ohrid on August 13

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National Liberation Army

  • Many of core members were part of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)

  • Searching for “Greater Albania (Kosovo)”; led by Ali Ahmeti

  • Also sought to get rid of the corrupt DPA

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NLA/ANA Propaganda

  • Population stats according to ANA:

    -8 mill. Albanians and 800,000 Macedonian Slavs

    -actual world-wide # of Albanians= 5 mill.

  • ROM census and CIA:

    -2 mill. Citizens

    :66.6% (1,378,687) Macedonians

    :22.7% (478,967) Albanians

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A Tentative Peace

  • Sept. 24, 2001 Framework Agreement ratified in Ohrid; removed distinction of Macedonians as country’s constituent nation from constitution’s preamble

  • Ohrid Agreement, adopted by ROM’s legislature Nov.16, 2001; provided for equal representation of minorities in administration, language rights, strengthening of local gov’t, reintegration of territory captured by NLA, return of refugees, and an internationally supervised census

  • Slow in being implemented by there are some signs of hope

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  • European Union is taking over for NATO Peacekeeping forces by the end of April

  • 320 troops, if successful in Macedonia, will take over in Bosnia next year

Small protest in Skopje