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BALKANS The Balkans has been an area of great toil and conflict for many centuries After World War I the countries of this region had difficulty forming a steady and successful form of government The communist party was revived in the 1930s in the Balkans and Josip Broz-Tito took power in 1945 At the time this seemed to be just what the Balkans needed Tito was a Communist dictator and he strictly enforced many laws during his rule Communism became entrenched in many areas during this period of time The United States did the best they could to keep Communism out of every corner of the world but they could only do so much Their policy of containment did not reach the Balkans until it was too late Under Titos rule it looked as though Communism had erased nearly every shred of racism there This was only the view of things from the surface of things however If one were to look more closely they would see that Tito was enforcing laws that made it illegal to say or do anything racist Often times these offenses were punishable by jail or even death So as a result racial tensions and issues seemed to disappear For a long time everyone looked as though they were getting along fine with one another No one wanted to be sentenced to jail or death simply for making a racist comment In addition to his anti-racist laws Tito suppressed internal opposition to his leadership by executing Mihajlovic and imprisoning Archbishop Stepinac He also forced citizens with farms to give a very large portion of their crop to the state He did this by severely threatening these farmers But not everything he did was bad He nationalized industry and undertook a planned economy However things could not continue on this way forever When Tito died in 1980 all of the ethnic tensions that had been suppressed in the Balkans violently exploded
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