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When the now former Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 at the end of World War I out of the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the independent states of Serbia and Montenegro, its peoples came from at least six separate legal entities: Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Ottoman Empire. The nationalities encompassed by the Yugoslav state included Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Turks, Macedonians, Albanians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Germans, Slovaks, Czechs, Russians, and Italians. Needless to say, this was a state with an extremely complex ethnic composition, whose peoples came into the new state with divergent experiences of government.

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