Croatia: History

  1. 1980s

    The death of Tito and the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe leads to the unraveling of the Yugoslav Federation, as the republics call for independence.

  2. 1918

    Following the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Croatia joins the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

  3. 1929

    The Kingdom is renamed Yugoslavia and the government becomes more centralized as a royal dictatorship is established.

  4. 1945

    Croatia becomes one of the six republics of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia.

  5. 1971

    In what is known as the Croatian Spring, protestors begin a movement for greater autonomy and political, economic, and cultural liberalization. The Yugoslav government arrests activists for participation in the protests.

  6. 1990

    Croatia holds it first free elections in 50 years, and Franjo Tudjman, a conservative, defeats the communists to become president.

  7. 1991

    Croatia declares its independence. Conflict between Serbs and Croats living in Croatia escalates, and one month after independence is declared, the Yugoslav army intervenes. War erupts throughout the region.

  8. 1995

    After four years of fighting, Croatia signs the Dayton peace agreement, agreeing to a permanent cease-fire and the return of all refugees.

  9. 2000

    Newly elected president Stjepan Mesic brings significant changes to Croatia including progression in regional cooperation, national reconciliation, and democratization. He also declares his desire for Croatia to join the EU and NATO.

  10. 2009

    Croatia officially joins NATO.

  11. 2010

    Serbian President Boris Tadic visits Croatia, seen as a significant sign of the repairing of relations between the two countries.

  12. 2013

    Croatia becomes the 28th member of the EU.


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