Radić, Stjepan

Radić, Stjepan stĕˈfän [key], 1871–1928, Croatian politician. Of peasant origin, he early became active in politics and founded (1905) the Croatian Peasant party. In 1918 he opposed the union of Croatia with Serbia, Montenegro, and Slovenia (later Yugoslavia), fearing Serbian centralism, and favoring a Croat peasant republic. After World War I, Radić dominated Croatian politics, and fought for a federal state structure within Yugoslavia and for Croatian autonomy, as well as for land reform and reduced peasant taxes. Despite the electoral success of his party in Croatia, he refused to participate in the national parliament, thus allowing the premier, Nikola Pašić, to impose a centralized government on Yugoslavia. Leaving Yugoslavia in 1923, he visited Moscow. After his return to Yugoslavia he was imprisoned by Pašić because of his association with the Soviet Communists, and his party was disbanded. Radić was soon released from prison and became (1925) Yugoslav minister of education. Resigning in 1926, he returned to the opposition. He died of wounds inflicted by an assassin on the floor of parliament.

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