GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Information to furnish the mind

The Balkans and “Balkanization”

The Balkan Peninsula is an area of southeastern Europe surrounded by water on three sides: the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean seas) to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.

The Balkan Peninsula
The Balkan Peninsula

Although not all are on the Balkan Peninsula, when English-speaking commentators refer to “the Balkans,” they usually include the following countries in the designation: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, and, sometimes, Turkey.

The Balkan Countries
The "Balkan" Countries. Kosovo is indicated by red diagonal stripes. Yugoslavia no longer exists. The gray area on this map is now known as Serbia. Slovenia is above Croatia (green).

Since the early 19th century, the region has been noted for such discord and political instability that it has given us the words Balkanize and Balkanization.

Balkanize v. to divide (a region) into a number of smaller and often mutually hostile units, as was done in the Balkan Peninsula in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The word has become popular with journalists describing the fragmentation of American politics in recent years.

[perhaps] the United States of 2050 will be America Balkanized, an America without Americans, an America in which citizens will identify with their minority status and forget about the nation as a whole.

Geography blogger Catholicgauze reports on an effort by Russians to forecast the breakup of the United States and North America into small individual constituent countries. Perhaps those of the former USSR are praying for Balkanization of the U.S. superpower?

…overall, what I’ve found most disturbing is the Balkanization of the United States or as it is known by its politically correct euphemism “multiculturalism”.

An article in the San Bernadino Sun on the massive riot at Fontana High School contains telling quotes from school officials totally ignoring the balkanization problem.

Frank Jacobs speculates on a Balkanized version of American history at

A speculative Balkanization of the United States and its neighbors
A speculative Balkanization of the United States and its neighbors

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