History of Serbia

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, Serbian tribes appeared in the Balkans as early as the 6th-7th centuries, settling on the territory of the former possessions of Ancient Rome. In the 9th century they adopted Christianity in its Orthodox form. Being between the powerful regional powers of that time – Venice, Byzantium, Hungary and Bulgaria, the Serbs were forced to constantly fight for their freedom and independence. To this end, they created special territorial entities, headed by zhupans, who concentrated both military and administrative power in their hands. In the 2nd floor. 12th c. one of these zhupans – Stefan Nemanja – became the prince of all Serbia and the founder of the first national dynasty. His son Stefan the First Crowned was already married as a king.

The heyday of the Serbian state fell on ser. 14th c. – the period of the reign of King Stefan Dusan, whose possessions were so extensive that he bore the title of “king of the Serbs and Greeks.” However, after the death of Dushan, the state he created began to disintegrate. The fragmentation of the Serbs took advantage of the new conquerors of the Balkans, the Ottoman Turks. In the Battle of Kosovo on June 28, 1389, a crushing defeat was inflicted on the Serbs, which also led to their state catastrophe. Since then, the date of the Kosovo battle, which coincided with the Day of St. Vitus (“Vidovdan”), has become the most tragic in the entire history of the Serbian people.

The history of centuries of Turkish domination was also the history of the struggle of the Serbs against their enslavers. However, only at the beginning of the 19th century. there was a nationwide uprising, led by Black George (Kara-Dzhorje), which marked the beginning of a new Serbian dynasty – Karadzhordzhevich. On the liberated territory, the Serbs restored their statehood.

In 1820, Istanbul officially recognized Serbia as an independent principality with the rights of vassalage. Serbia gained complete independence only after Turkey’s defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. See ehistorylib for more about Serbia history.

At the same time, the Berlin Congress (1878) secured the status of a subject of international law for Montenegro. Until the 14th century the history of the Montenegrin people related to the Serbs was inseparable from the history of Serbia, which included Montenegro as one of the regions. After the Turkish enslavement of Serbia, the Zeta state formation, which included Montenegro and northern Albania, became independent. Only a century later, the Turks managed to subdue the lowland Montenegrin territories. The population, which was entrenched in the impregnable Black Mountains, managed to maintain independence by creating a theocratic republic headed by the lords – the metropolitans of Montenegro. One of them – Vladyka Peter the Great Negosh – after successful wars with the Turks, in 1798 achieved from the Sultan the publication of a special firman recognizing the independence of Montenegro. The process of turning the lords into secular rulers, which began after this, eventually led to the fact that in 1852 Vladyka Danilo took the title of prince and laid the foundation for the secular Petrovich dynasty. His successor, Prince Nikola, became King of Montenegro in 1910.

The age-old desire of two kindred peoples to unite was hampered not only by territorial disunity in the form of the Turkish Sanjak separating them, which was eliminated in 1912 as a result of the victory over Turkey in the 1st Balkan War. The main obstacle was the rivalry between the two reigning dynasties – Petrovich and Karadzhorzhevich. Therefore, not the ruling royal dynasty, but the Montenegrin opposition, joined the Korfu (1917) declaration of the representatives of the Yugoslav peoples about their intention to create a single state of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes.

On November 26, 1918, the Assembly of representatives of the Montenegrin people, who gathered in Podgorica, spoke out for the overthrow of the Petrovich dynasty and for unification with Serbia under the rule of Peter the Great Karadjordjevic, and on December 1, as a result of the unification of Serbia with the State of Slovenes, Croats, Serbs (proclaimed in the former Yugoslav territories of Austria-Hungary ) a united Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes was formed (since 1929 – the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). With the adoption of the Vidovdan Constitution of 1931, the country received a new administrative division into banovinas, which secured the liquidation of the historical regions of the unitary state. At the same time, if as a result of this, the territory of Serbia proper was divided between several banovinas, then Montenegro became entirely part of one Zeta banovina, thus retaining its territorial integrity. In connection with the formation in 1939 on the basis of the Cvetković-Maček Agreement of a separate Banovina of Croatia, a project was developed to create a similar united Banovina of Serbian lands. However, due to the outbreak of the 2nd World War, he was not destined to be realized.

After the fascist aggression against Yugoslavia in April 1941, Serbia was occupied by German troops and the quisling regime of General Milan Nedich was created in it, and Montenegro entered the Italian occupation zone. With the capitulation of Italy in September 1943, Montenegro was also occupied by the Germans. During the 2nd World War, various projects of the state structure concerning Serbia and Montenegro collided. The carriers of the Great Serbian idea of unification were both the Nedić regime and the monarchist Ravnogorsk movement of the Chetniks of Draža Mikhailovich. The Great Serbian idea was opposed by the concept of the Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia, which provided for the revival of the country on a federal basis. This idea was implemented in 1945 within the framework of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (since 1946 – the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, since 1963 – the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). Thus, within the framework of the federation, the statehood of both Serbia and Montenegro was restored.

At the same time, two autonomies were formed within Serbia – Kosovo and Metohija and Vojvodina, which, as a result of the constitutional changes of 1974, were endowed with elements of confederalism on a par with the union republics, having received seats in the highest state body – the Presidium of the SFRY and the right to veto on issues of both regional and republican development. As a result, a situation arose when not the regions were subordinate to Serbia, but Serbia itself was subordinate to its autonomies. Such a situation contributed to fueling the ambitions of the Albanian national elite in Kosovo and Metohija, which began to demand more and more insistently for the province the status of a union republic with the right to secede from the federation. In order to preserve the territorial integrity of Serbia and the SFRY in 1989–90, appropriate changes were made to the Constitution at the republican and federal levels. The response from the Albanian majority of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija was the unilateral declaration of the region as a republic, and then as an independent state. In 1992, illegal elections of their own “state” authorities were held in Kosovo and Metohija. In 1998, the Albanian separatists in Kosovo and Metohija switched to an armed struggle to achieve their goals, provoking retaliatory actions from the Serbian authorities, which, in turn, was the reason for NATO aggression against the FRY in March 1999. In June of that year, by UN Security Council Resolution No. 1244 an international protectorate was established in Kosovo and Metohija.

In con. 1990s separatist tendencies also appeared in Montenegro. With the collapse of the SFRY in 1992, the Montenegrin leadership at first, just like the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia and Croatia, agreed with the principle of creating new independent states within the former republican borders developed by the international Badenter Commission. However, after negotiations with the Serbian leadership, a decision was made to maintain the federation in the two republics, and on April 27, 1992, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed. However, after the split in 1997 in the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists in Montenegro and the election of Milo Djukanovic as president, separatist tendencies intensified in the republic. The Montenegrin leadership ceased to recognize the federal parliament and the government of the FRY formed by it. And after the federal presidential elections in September 2000, which official Montenegro boycotted, all federal institutions were already considered in Podgorica as purely Serbian. As a result, the federation acquired an almost nominal character.

Due to the complete incompatibility of the positions of Belgrade and Podgorica on the future of their relations, bilateral negotiations have stalled. Using the mutual desire of Serbia and Montenegro for European integration, the EU forced the authorities in both republics to agree to a compromise and sign on March 14, 2002 the Belgrade Agreement on the transformation of the FRY into a new state community of Serbia and Montenegro.

History of Serbia