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The royal dictatorship in Yugoslavia, 1929-1934: as seen from British sources

Shepherd, David (1975) The royal dictatorship in Yugoslavia, 1929-1934: as seen from British sources. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In January 1929, King Alexander of Yugoslavia proclaimed a Royal Dictatorship over his country. He believed that such strong action was necessary because there was a very real danger of civil war, for the animosity and disagreement which had existed between the Serbs and the Croats since the inception of the Kingdom had reached the point of open murder with the killing of the Croat leader and two of his colleagues in the Yugoslav Parliament. Alexander believed that national unity was his chief responsibility and he hoped that, by removing the party political system, he might inspire his people to think of themselves as Yugoslavs rather than as Serbs or Croats. But despite his efforts to improve the quality of government, to streamline the methods of administration and to eliminate corruption, he failed - not only because of an entrenched hostility towards absolutism amongst an intensely democratic people, but also because of the dearth of men with any capacity for sound government or inspired leadership. During the course of his Dictatorship, he came to realize that even if he secured a viable settlement between his people at home, there could be no sure future for his Kingdom unless he took steps to secure its international position. To this end, he attempted to come to terms with Mussolini recognizing these men as Yugoslavia's most immediate opponents. (Only when his efforts failed – through no fault of his own - did he seek to strengthen Yugoslavia's existing treaties with the Little Entente and to complement this alliance in the north with a similar Entente in the Balkan peninsula. It was precisely because of his successes abroad, rather than his failures at home, that his enemies arranged his assassination. His death united the Yugoslav nation but greatly weakened its position abroad.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:21

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