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But a region can carry many names, especially as the name confers identity and guides power structures.

Serbian was one of the competing identities for the population of the region, and in light of that the decision to call it south serbian within Serbia and Yugoslavia utnil 1944 is no less of a political decision then to call it Macedonia afterwards.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 10:11:37 AM EST
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I agree with that.

I'm not saying, as some propagandists do, that the name was invented out of whole cloth in the mid 1940s. Not at all.

The historians I've read cite a distinctive Macedonian consciousness from the late 19th/early 20th centuries. This consciousness was itself political since the Slav Macedonian revolutionaries weer trying to carve out a space for themselves against their ethnic kin in Bulgaria and then against the Greeks. 50 years later, by 1944, that ethnogenic idea had already taken root. That being said, the term Macedonian was also in use for Greeks in the 19th century as well, to refer to Greeks and the ancient past.

You also have to acknowledge, however, that even though the Vardar region also may have had the name Macedonia attached to it unofficially prior to the mid 1940s, Tito changed its name to Macedonia for strategic reasons (namely, as a claim on Greek Macedonia). In fact, to this day, Macedonians refer to Greek Macedonia as Aegean Macedonia, which is a term linked to the "carving up" of Macedonia in the Balkan Wars. Never have I heard an official or a journalist or analyst ever refer to the Greek side as Greek Macedonia. This is a hangup from the renaming of the Vardar to Macedonia, and it just fuels the suspicions in Greece that the Macedonians cloak their aspirations for Greek territory.

by Upstate NY on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 10:48:54 AM EST
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namely, as a claim on Greek Macedonia
Well that and his project of adopting and subjecting all southern slav nationalisms to the Yugoslav idea. He would certainly have problems if he went against "macedonianism".

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 08:53:35 PM EST
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