After a period of self-rule under King Tomislav and King Peter Kresimir IV, Croatia fell under the governance of Hungary in 1102.
After the legendary battle of Kosovo in 1389, Serbia fell under Turkish rule.
With the defeat of the Serbians, the Turks began to make inroads into Croatian territory.
The Croatians turned to the Austrians for military support, but with the rise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Croatians found themselves in a slave-like condition.
The newly independent republic of Croatia is located on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe.
Throughout much of the twentieth century, Croatia was one of five republics within Yugoslavia, an amalgam of ethnicities and religions tenuously held together by dictatorship and economic feasibility.
Croatia, which runs along the Adriatic to Montenegro, has a distinctive elongated geography that is largely the result of demarcations imposed upon it throughout this century.
Occupying 21,829 square miles, Croatia is bordered by Bosnia-Hercegovina on the south, by Italy on the west, by Slovenia to the north and northwest, by Hungary to the north and northeast, and by Vojvodina, a formerly autonomous Serbian province, to the east.
Croatia has a population of 5 million people, consisting of 80 percent Croats, 10 percent Serbians, about one-half percent Hungarians and Slovenians each, and even smaller groups of Czechs and Italians. Croatia's long, turbulent history has been affected by the control of empires that have included the Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Venetian empires. C., nomadic Slavic tribes from beyond the Carpathian Mountains of Poland and Russia drifted down into the Balkans, pushing out the Romans.
Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, followed by Eastern Orthodox, Islam, and Protestantism. Among the migrating South Slavic people, new religious ethnic identities evolved.