Download The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism by Dennis P. Hupchick PDF

By Dennis P. Hupchick

The tragedies in Bosnia and Kosovo are usually defined away because the unchangeable legacy of "centuries-old hatreds." during this richly particular, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans throughout 15 centuries, Dennis Hupchick units a sophisticated list immediately. prepared round the 3 nice civilizations of the region—Western ecu, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim—this is a much-needed inclusive advisor to the political, social, cultural, and non secular threads of Balkan history—with a transparent, convincing account of the explanations for nationalist violence and terror.

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Most of the sparsely available arable land lies in the valleys of the Neretva, Bosna, and Drina rivers and in scattered small mountain basins and plateaus. Much of the terrain is covered by forest, making timber products economically important. Livestock is herded in upland pastures. Lignite, iron, and manganese are mined in Bosnia, while bauxite and lignite are worked in Hercegovina. In former times, eastern Bosnia was an important gold and silver mining region. 8 million people. Geographically, it is fairly well defined: Most of the northern border is determined by the Danube River, but the extreme northeastern portion that crosses the Dobrudzhan Plain is undefined; the Black Sea coast serves in the east; the southern slopes of the Rhodope Mountains partially define the southern frontier, but the line is arbitrary on the Thracian Plain in the southeast; and the western slopes of the Struma River valley, along with the northern bend in the Balkan Mountains, roughly form the western border.

Similar to the situation of Bosnia-Hercegovina, the state is landlocked, possessing only a short length of Adriatic coastline in Montenegro, although the Morava River, which originates in the extreme south, close to Macedonia, provides a relatively direct access route linking the interior to the Aegean Sea by way of the Vardar River valley. Serbia, much the larger of the two state partners, is only partially defined by geographic features. These exist only for its southern half. The Dinaric ranges mark out the boundaries to the south and west, while the northern bend of the Balkan Mountains and the Danube River delineate the east.

While some are descendants of ancient Mediterranean Jewish merchant colonists, most are the heirs of Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain following the late fifteenth century. Numerous Spanish Jews settled in the Ottoman eastern Mediterranean, where they were granted recognition of self-government (on an equal footing with the Christians of the empire) and additional privileges, primarily within the Ottoman commercial class. Centered on the old Byzantine Greek port of Thessaloniki, the Sephardic Jews came to play an important role in the international maritime commerce of the Ottoman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean.

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