The Slovenes


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. The Slovenes is Number 13 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. The study includes sections on political history, social and political conditions, and general observations. The Slovenes are a Slavic people that settled the area of present-day Slovenia as early as the sixth century. They came under Habsburg rule in 14th century and were overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. The study discusses the growth of nationalist and South Slavic feeling on the part of the Slovenes beginning in the late 19th century and the countervailing effort by the Austrians to cement their hold on this strategically and economically important part of their empire. This was done primarily through an active policy of Germanization that involved, for example, favoring German in schools and the employment of German speakers in public services. With the breakup of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I, Slovenia became part of the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia from 1929).

Last updated: November 14, 2017