In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Dalmatia is Number 11 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. At the time this book was written, Dalmatia was a kingdom within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, consisting of about 120 islands and three strips of coastland along the northeastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. The population consisted mainly of Serbo-Croatian-speaking Slavs, with substantial minorities of Italians and Germans. One of its main ports and principal cities was Ragusa (present-day Dubrovnik, Croatia), which was associated with Venice for centuries and in the Middle Ages was an important player in the transit trade between Europe and the Levant. Serbia and Italy both had ambitions to control all or part of Dalmatia after the war, and the study discusses the various arguments put forward for including Dalmatia in a future Yugoslav state or for transferring control to Italy. The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. Four appendices are included: a list of principal place-names in Dalmatia with Italian and Croatian equivalents; a detailed breakdown of the ethnic composition of Dalmatia by district, based on the Austrian census of 1910; a tally of ships that entered and departed the main ports in 1912 and their nationalities; and a list of the principal imports by sea during 1910.

Last updated: March 21, 2014