Josif Broz Tito also known as Marshall Tito took control of Yugoslavia when his Communist regime
defeated the Ustashe of Croatia and the Cetnik of Serbia for control of Yugoslavia. Tito modernized Bosnia from a strictly
agricultural republic to an industrial republic. During his reign as dictator he was able to hold strict control over
all six Yugoslav republics. This was the first time any Yugoslav leader was able to maintain control over the country.
Tito knew that in order for Yugoslavia to become successful he had to make all six republics
happy and make them feel like they were important. Tito recognized Bosnian Muslims as a separate ethnic identity in
Bosnia, which upset Serbians because Serb leaders felt that Bosnian Muslims wanted to make Yugoslavia an Islamic state and
feared that they wanted to much control over governmental affairs. Tito was able to make Serbian leaders happy by making
the capital of Yugoslavia Belgrade and making all governmental affairs to go through Serbia.
However in the 1970's Yugoslavia gained tremendous amounts of economic aid from Western European
nations and also the United States. Serbian leaders felt that hardly any of this money was put into the Serbian economy.
Many Serbian leaders began to feel that Tito did not care about Serbia and only used Serbia for its military strength.
This created nationalist feelings among Serbians.
This Serbian nationalist movement felt that all non-Serbs should be removed from traditional
Serb lands. Serbia claimed that the majority of Bosnia was actually ancient Serb lands. Just as it looked like
Tito was going to step in and regain his control over the six Yugoslav republics the unthinkable happened. Josip Tito
died of cancer on March 4, 1980. With Tito dead Serbian nationalism could not be stopped. Within ten years the
disintegration of Yugoslavia would begin.