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Univerzitet u Zenici
  Doctoral theses defended at the University in Zenica

Date and place of thesis defense:
24.10.2008. Faculty of Law
mr. sc. Omer Hamzić
prof. dr. Salih Jalimam

Thesis title:

Legally-political and socio-economic status of Gračanica's district within the framework of Tuzla's region and regional unit of Vrbas ruled by a ban in the period from 1918. to 1941

In historical researches in the wider area of Gračanica so far,very little attention has been paid to the period between the two wars. Partly excluding the period of the second world war, there are no any other historical periods for which a serious historiographic work on Gračanica and its surroundings has been done.The period between the two world wars has been mentioned only through class-social discurs - struggle of the working class for their rights.
Choosing this theme,its defining and its name is a result of a wish to fill the mentioned emptiness to a certain degree within the framework of so-called local,homeland historiography about Gračanica. Local political circumstances,functioning of local administration as well as autonomy (legal-administrative and territorial-national aspects),
have not been considered at all.
In the beginning of the first part of this work it is defined a natural-historical position of the areas which include administrative borders of Gračanica's district between the two world wars and on the basis of that established a continuity of administrative-political individuality from the oldest times until the second world war.That is a town and a parish Sokol in the parish Usora in the old and middle ages,spacious "kadiluk","kaza" and "mudriluk" in Zvornik's sanjak during the Ottoman administration, "kotar" in Tuzla's county during Austria-Hungarian administration and finally area of district in Tuzla's region (until1929.) and regional unit of Vrbas ruled by a ban (until 1941.). By 1929., the district extended on the surface of 61.913 hectares,including 42 cadastral communities,that is settlements. On that area,according to the census of 1921.,lived 31.905 inhabitants (Gračanica 4.058),and according to the census of 1931.,there lived 55.750 inhabitants (Gračanica 4.682).After 1929.
within the regional unit Vrbas ruled by a ban,first there was expanding and later narrowing of the district administrative borders.Population density was above the average of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Settled mostly by Bosnian and Serb's inhabitants that area is the real "sample" where we can clearly recognize global political processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the two world wars.
Legally-political development of Gračanica's district is the central part of this dissertation. It consists of two major units: the first one describes legal framework and the other one political framework of this research.Within the first unit it has been considered organization and functioning of local administration on the district area and  district functioning within the limits of wider administrative-territoril units such as region and regional unit ruled by a ban.
In that context,local administration is considered as an area between constitutional definition and political reality,at which the following questions are in the focus: functioning of local authority in transitional period,1918. and 1919., district administrative borders,inhabitants and settlements,constitutional position and real scope of local administration and autonomy (application of statutory regulations governing local administration and autonomy),
organization of authority during the sixth January dictatorship,organization and functioning of
legal authority and police,municipal autonomy as a service of state administration , public utilities and other activities and functions of  municipal government. In the second unit it has been elaborated local policy - between illusory democracy and dictatorship,political organization,parties activities and elections (political development),period of two authorities and beginnings of political organizing in the district,change of government and dishonest send-off of the last chief of "kotar",agricultural items and other legally-political misunderstandings etc. There have been worked out in detail political circumstances on the area of Tuzla's region and Gračanica's district in pre-St Vitus' period,including the elections for Constituent assembly and other political events during the period of so-called "fictitious parliamentarism" (pseudodemocracy),from 1920. to 1929. During that period,there were parliamentary elections three more times,once regional elections and once municipal elections. In all those elections Yugoslav Moslem organization (JMO) at the Moslem side and Radical and Agricultural organizations at the side of Serbs obtained from 79 to 98 % of the votes on the area of district.
Gračanica was under the political influence of dominant political forces of  Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in that time,first of all under the influence of JMO and partly of HSS (in Moslems' circles),and Radical and Agricultural party (in the Serbs' parts of District).
Therefore,political organizing on this area was completely carried out according to national,that is conffesional pattern.
In the special chapters within the framework of the first part of this work there have been considered political turmoil in the so-called sixth January regime from 1929. to 1935. and political confrontations after dictatorship (1935.-1941.). In that period on this area politically was dominant Yugoslav radical association (JRZ) as a new ruling coalition in which entered the parties with completely opposite political programmes until then. As a reaction to "drowning" of JMO into the ruling structure of JRZ , after 1936. in Gračanica was formed Moslem organization of Croatian farmers' party (MO HSS),and before the very beginning of the Second world war there began to operate more actively some other left-orientated syndical and youth groups from which some initial forms of communist activities would arise.Political influences to religious communities and cultural and educational associations have been worked out in a separate chapter.
In the second part of this dissertation it has been considered in detail socio-economic development of Gračanica's district in the period between the two world wars.Gračanica was among 40 districts, of total number of 54 districts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which did not have any more significant industrial companies,not including a few motor mills,small sawmills,quarry,brick plant and similar. Population of the district were mostly occupied with agriculture as the main economic branch.New government on this area did not support new investments into economic capacities.Most of economic capacities which were in operation were started by foreign capital during Austria-Hungarian administration.Gračanica's district was particularly agricultural area,famous for its plum production and export.There was also very significant export of other sorts of fruit,cattle,lumber etc.     
Spiritual and cultural,as well as political,life in Gračanica was based on national and religious foundation and less or more depended on political events at local level.The first primary schools in Moslem villages were opened just after 1930.As the consequence of that there was a large percentage of illiterate people,as well as general backwardness of population.
Cultural and educational associations,and even religious institutions, were completely the instrument of policy and under the influence of local politicians.
By researching all those manifestations of life on the area of Gračanica's district as one local community in centralistically established system of state administration,there was confirmed
contradictory position of territorial autonomy which appeared as an opposition to that centralism and state bureaucracy and as a constitutional directive in direct collision with centralistic and unitarianistic principles of St. Vitus',and particularly later September's Constitution.That was a paradoxical position which determined the further destiny of those organizations and institutions of public administration.
Research has shown that institutions of local administration (region,district,community) were "croweded" together into a very "narrow space" between constitutional directive and political reality, on the state level as well as within the local community.Therefore,it is no wonder that intentions of the constitution and the law which regulated that matter were not completely implemented. The reasons of such huge clash between "normative and real"should be searched in the sphere of politics and political relations in this case too.
Proceeding from a fact that election results,disregarding their quality,were still utmost expression of political relations and political circumstances at certain area,abundance of historical data about political processes in Gračanica's district as well as in its surroundings,
supplemented historical picture about the wealth of political life of a typical Bosnian town in a way which could be a pattern for similar researches in other circles.

Key words: Gracanica, Tuzla area, Political parties, Yugoslav Muslim Organization, Radicals, Municipality, Vrbas Province (banovina), Local government 

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