Vladko Maèek (1871–1964) became the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after the assassination of Stjepan Radiæ (1871–1928). In this capacity, he played a pivotal role in Croatian and Yugoslav politics during the critical years 1928–41, when the clouds of war were gathering over Europe, and during the first phase of World War Two. Today he is best remembered for having negotiated the Cvetkoviæ-Maèek Sporazum (agreement) in August 1939; the Sporazum created a so-called banovina (province) of Croatia with considerable autonomy, and was intended to contribute to the calming of Serb–Croat frictions in royal Yugoslavia. The Banovina comprised 26.6 per cent of the territory of Yugoslavia and had some 4.4 million inhabitants, 28.6 per cent of the total population of the kingdom. However, it lasted only until April 1941, when an Axis invasion resulted in the occupation and partition of Yugoslavia.