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Interactive nationhood: the relation between Croatian and Yugoslav national identity in the interwar period

Nations and Nationalism

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Croatian and Yugoslav national identity have been closely connected throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. This article questions the assumption that Croatian national identification inherently opposed the Yugoslav nationalising efforts of the interwar Yugoslav state by means of a study of commemorative activities. In the commemoration of the millennial anniversary of the Croatian Kingdom in 1925, the Yugoslav level of national identity was activated as a complement to Croatian national identity. During the 1930s, commemorations of Matija Gubec and the Illyrian movement conveyed a mutually exclusive relation between Croatian and Yugoslav national identity. I argue that the dismissal of grassroots Croatian historical commemorations that were indifferent but not averse to Yugoslav nationhood in the integral Yugoslav policy of the authoritarian state during the 1930s curtailed the potential of these commemorations as vehicles for Yugoslav national identification and complicated the concurrence of Croatian and Yugoslav nationhood.