"Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, zone of endless military, cultural, and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy.Subject to violent shifts of borders, rulers and belief systems at the hands of the world's greatest empires- the Balkans are often called Europe's tinderbox and a seething cauldron of ethnic and religious resentments."
This paper will discuss some of the geographical, ethnic and political influences that caused the geographical boundaries of the former Yugoslavia to change from 1900 to 2003. Thefirst section of this paper discusses some of the geographical features of the Balkan region and the influences they may have had on the history and evolution of Yugoslavia.The second section will discuss the actual evolution and changes of the former Yugoslavia from 1900 through 2003. From this the reader will gain a fuller understanding of some of the factors behind the continued and long-standing unrest in this part of the world.
Over the course of history many writers and scholars attributed the almost continuous fighting, bloodshed and ever-shifting borders of the Balkans and more particularly, Yugoslavia, to the deep-rooted ethnic and religious differences that have existed in this region for centuries. As much as these ethnic and religious differences play a key role in the continued violence in this area, one cannot ignore the less than subtle role that the geography of the region has also played.
The Balkans could be described as being located at the crossroads or intersection of three major influences: Asia, Europe and Asia Minor.Influenced by the great empires of the Byzantine, Ottoman, Roman, Greek and Austrian-Hungary, this area of the world has truly been the crossroads of many diverse religious, ethnic and political influences. It is no surprise that it is one of the few places in the worl…


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