Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia

The Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia (Croatian: Socijaldemokratska stranka Hrvatske i Slavonije or 'SDSHiS') was a social-democratic political party in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. The party was active from 1894 until 1916.[2]

Social Democratic Party of
Croatia and Slavonia
Socijaldemokratska stranka
Hrvatske i Slavonije
PresidentVitomir Korać[1]
Succeeded bySocialist Workers' Party of Yugoslavia (of Communists)
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionLeft-wing


Social Democratic Party of Hungary, founded in Budapest in 1890, consisted, among others, of Croatian socialists. After the Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary in 1894, the socialists from Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia founded a separate Social Democratic Party on 8 and 9 September 1894. This was the first Workers' Party on the Yugoslav soil. Party was initially led by Ivan Ancel, and after 1901, Vilim Bukšeg and Vitomir Korać.[3][4]

Given the relative underdevelopment and lack of industry within the Croatia at the time, and small number of the working class, party had a rather small number of members. Nevertheless, party organised massive strikes in Slavonia in 1897. The relatively large number of party members at that time consisted mostly of foreign workers and Germans. Because of this, and its advocation of austromarxism, party was marginalized. During the 1890s, the labor movement in Croatia had more assets in Zagreb and Rijeka. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, party began to gradually grow and gain more support in other parts of Croatia, especially in Sisak, where Josip Broz Tito, who later become president of SFR Yugoslavia, joined SDSHiS in 1910.[5]

Party objected 1914 preparations of the attack of the Austro-Hungarian Army on Kingdom of Serbia. This led to Government ban on all organizations of the labor movement and the trade union press. Army mobilized more than 50% of party members which led to party becoming inactive during the First World War. At the end of the First World War, party left austromarxism. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, party fell apart. One part of its membership, led by Vitomir Korać, decided to operate in the People's committees, in order to thus fit into the new state structure, while the second part, led by Đuro Cvijić and Vladimir Čopić, rejected reformism, and had become members of the Socialist Workers Party Yugoslavia in 1919.

The Yugoslav historiography often stated that the "majority", left-wing of the party, sent the delegation to Congress in Belgrade, and that Đuro Cvijić, at that time secretary of the Zagreb organization, protested against "opportunistic" leadership.[6]


The first newsletter of the labor movement in Croatia-Slavonia was Sloboda ("Freedom"; 1892–1902). The main Croatian socialist newspaper was Slobodna riječ ("Free word"; 1902–1914). Other notable newsletters were Razredne borbe ("Class struggles"; 1907), the Cyrillic Pravo naroda ("Right of nation"; Šid and Zagreb, 1908–1912), German "Folksreht" (Zagreb and Osijek, 1908–1912) and others.


Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDS), founded in 1990, is regarded as SDSHiS successor. Hundredth anniversary of the establishment of SDSHiS was chosen as the date on which SDS merged into Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP).



  • Vitomir Korać, Povijest radničkog pokreta u Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji (book no. 1). „Radnički sindikati“, Zagreb, 1930
  • Istorija Saveza komunista Jugoslavije. Izdavački centar „Komunist“, „Narodna knjiga“, „Rad“ Beograd, 1985