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     At the end of the VI cent. AD, the Slavs came to this region. During a war (791-796 AD) Charlemagne destroyed the Avar tribe alliance and the Frank state expanded its borders to Fruska Gora. The important changes in social and economic relations took place at the end of the IX cent., when the Hungarians came from the East persecuted by Pecsenegs. They inhabited most of the teritory of the nowadays Vojvodina, where they found the remains of Avars, Slavs and Franks.
     In the period of great migrations, the habitats were built near the remains of the ancient cities. From this period, numerous objects made of glass, gold, silver, bronze and iron were preserved. They show the powerful influence of the Byzantine centres from the south of Balkans. On Avar materials is especially evident the proof of the symbiosis of the Medieval and old Byzantine artistic tradition. The most prominent sites from this periods are near Kovin, Pancevo, Vrbas, Novi Knezevac, Ada and Celarevo. At the turn of the IX and X century the culture of Belo Brdo had developed in these parts, mostly in Slavic population.
     The founder of the Hungarian state, king Istvan I (997-1038), layed the fundaments of the feudal system, assisted by the German knights and the western christian world, and using the organization of the conquered Slavic population as well as other conquered populations. The centres of power were fortified cities, from wich the surrounding land and dependant population was reigned, opressed by heavy taxes. Backa, Banat and a part of Srem were also under government of Hungarian state. Srem changed governors' hands very often - for a short while it was also a part of Bulgarian state, and the city of Sirmium was held, for some time, by the emperor of Macedonia, Samuilo, whose empire spreaded over a great part of Balkans. Later, Sirmium fell into Byzantine hands.
     Hungarian state was severely shaken when the dynasty of Luxenburg came to throne ending the reign of the dynasty of Anjou in 1387. Soon afterwards a new peril came into existance - the Turks, who sent their army to the North after the battle of Kosovo (1389), raided Srem and Banat. Only when the Serbian despot Stefan Lazarevic became dependant on the Hungarian king Zigmond, who, in return, gave Stefan Lazarevic the government of Belgrade and Macva, were Srem and Banat protected from the Turk raids for a short while by a belt which presented the Serbian protectorate.
     The Turkish breakthrough on Balkans caused mass migrations of the Serbian population from Kosovo and from the region of the river Morava towards the teritory of nowadays Vojvodina. The migrations were especially populous after the Serbian protectorate fell under Turkish government in 1459. Hungarian king and nobility accepted the refugees and used them as southern border protectors and as landless peasants. Hungarian king Matyas took in the descendants of the last Serbian dynasty and even provided the title of the Serbian despot in order to attach the Serbian population to the Hungarian state. In that way the Serbian protectorate still existed, though without a teritory. To the Serbian nobility Hungarian king gave estates, while the Serbian peasents were in the same position as the Hungarian ones, therefore it is understandable that in 1514 Serbs joined the great rise of the Hungarian peasants against the feudal exploitation, led by Dozsa Gyorgy. The rise ended in bloodshed.
     Serbs in Hungary remained devoted to their religion. They built a number of Serbian ortodox churches and monasteries (Sisatovac, Jazak, Hopovo, Krusedol, etc.), which became the centres of learning, copying and expansion of the Serbian literature. Last Serbian despot, Pavle Bakic, continued to bring Serbs from the Balkans, yet the migrations stopped when the Turks conquered and raided Vojvodina, after the Hungarian army had been defeated at the Mohacs field.
     The Turks strengthened their power in Srem at the time of the first siege of Vienna, in 1529. They conquered Backa in 1542, and finally Banat in 1552. Mostly Serbs and Vlahs were colonized in Vojvodina by Turks, due to the military and economic reasons, since the most of the Hungarian population migrated further North. Under Turkish reign Vojvodina suffered serious damage, economically and culturally. The people were opressed by heavy taxes and evils. In 1594, in Banat, there was a rise because of that, but the rebells could not resist the strong Turkish powers, since the help came neither from Austrians nor from the nobility of Erdely.

PictureBatle near Senta 1697.

     After the Turks were defeated at Vienna in 1683, Austrians took initiative and broke into the Turkish territory all the way to Skopje. The Turks were driven out of Backa, western and central Srem. In the war of 1716-1718, after the Pozarevac peace agreement, the Turks lost Banat and eastern Srem, too. Austrian government took place of the Turkish government in Vojvodina.
     The Turks reorganized their troops the drove the Austrians out of the Balkans. In the great migration of the 1690, caused by the Turkish retaliation on Serbian population "looking neiter for the write nor for the wrong, but all under the saber they sent", thousands of Serbs came to Vojvodina led by the patriarch Arsenije III Carnojevic. At the time the Serbs formed the majoritu of the population. Along with them in Backa and Srem lived Bunjevacs and Sokacs, and in Banat the Romanians.
     The Austrian court guaranteed the Serbs freedom of confession, release of the feudal obligations and autonomy in matters concerning religion and people because the court needed them as protectors of the frontier. Against Turks, a defense system was built, conceived as a Military Frontier. There was the Moris frontier in northern Banat. In Backa, there was the Tisa frontier, along the Tisa river, and the Sava and the Danube frontier along these two rivers. As emperors frontier keepers Serbs and Bunjevacs, who were obliged to serve both as soldiers and border keepers, were released from feudal taxes, and they had a village self government, with national officers as governors.
     The Military Frontier was thought of as of an "Austrian house's treasury", because the court could use the Frontier men as soldiers in wars against outer enemies, as well as an instrument of power in inside conflicts. The engagement of frontier men is illustrated by the fact that they participated in 13 wars from 1690 to 1802, that is they spent 90 years out of 112 fighting wars.<BR>Picture     Since Vojvodina had been raided and robbed during the Turk reign and the fields were uncultivated, after the defeat if the Turks, Austrians began to settle German population from Germany and northern Hungary. At the beginning of the 18th century Backa and Banat were underpopulated. The settlers were needed to turn the swamps and steppes into cultivated fields and for the renewal of trades and commerce.
     Most of the settlers were Germans, who knew how to cultivate fields and they were artisans. The authorities released them from paying taxes in order to motivate them. The Slovaks moved into Vojvodina from the Carpathian Mountains round 1740. They first populated Backa, and later Banat and Srem as well. At the time, Hungarians also came in Backa in great mber. Many of them moved to Banat later. The Chamber had settled the Rusinians to its estates in Backa from 1740 to 1765. They moved to Srem later. The planned settlement of Romanians took place in the second half of 18th century, but many of them had come individually before that even against the will of the authorities. The settlement of Serbs and Croats from Lika, Dalmatia, Serbia and Bosnia was continued.
     Thanks to the economic progress, that is, to the politics of the Austrian mercantilism, the middle class was strengthened. This class will mark not only commercial, but also the cultural, development of Vojvodina. While the Germans led in European trades, which overpowered the old Balkan trades, Serbs led in commerce, trading with cattle and wheat, and accumulating wealth. The cities were developed as the centers of trades and commerce, but also as centers of culture. The Free Royal Cities had the benefit of administrative and political autonomy.
     The First Serbian Rise of 1804 had a great impact on Serbs in Vojvodina because of its ideas of social and national liberation. The rise of Tican, named after one of the leaders, Teodor Avramovic Tican, which broke in Srem in April 1807, was not aimed only to improve the position of peasants, but also brought the idea of the national liberation. The people, dissatisfied with the Austrian rule and their own position at the Military Frontier, hoping to get some help from Serbia, started a rebellion at the village of Kruscica near Bela Crkva. Badly prepared and conducted the rise was doomed to fail. The discontent of the peasants and people in general grew to burst out into a revolution in 1848-49.

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Production by Vojvodina Web Team 1998.  Last update: 10/01/98