Prince Milos Obrenovic
Prince Milos Obrenovic
He ruled Serbia from 1815 to 1839 and from 1858 to 1860. He was a great statesman and diplomat. He was one of the most deserving men of a good political status of Serbia in Europe. Milos surname was Teodorovic (by his father Teodor Mihajlovic). The surname “Obrenovic” was taken over from the family “Obrenovic”, coming from the village of Brusnica, in particular from his half-brothers Jakov and Milan, deriving from the first marriage of his mother with Obren Martinovic. In particular his half-brother Milan, who was a prominent duke, had a great reputation among the people. Next to him, Milos went through almost all the battles in the First Serbian Uprising. The administration and the defense of Uzice Nahia were entrusted to him.
After the failure of the uprising, Milos was the only prominent duke who remained in Serbia. He was given amnesty by the Turks and became Obor-Knez (senior chief) of the districts Rudnik, then Pozega and the nahia (administrative territorial entity) of Kragujevac.
On 23rd of April 1815 Milos stood at the helm of the Second Serbian Uprising, which has raised in Takovo. He has participated in major battles and personally led the negotiations with the Turks. Thus, on October 25th 1815 he entered into an oral agreement with Ali-Pasha about the mixed Serbo-Turkish Administration in the pashaluk (territory administered by the Pasha) Belgrade . The deal was arranged by a special decree, through which Serbia officially received several significant benefits.
Due to a persistent diplomacy and with a lot of political tact, Milos in 1830 received a special act, called Hatt-i Sharif, of the Sultan about partial internal self-government and free school. It was a priceless value for Milos when he got the dignity of a hereditary prince.
Although he was illiterate, Prince Milos well the felt needs of the new era. Thanks to him, Serbian young men started to get their education in Russia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. Following the Prince’s invitation, doctors, professors and engineers came to Serbia. The economy of the whole country improved by sending new residents into deserted areas and granting to them official tax breaks.
In 1835 he established the first Serbian constitution of the modern state, known as “Sretenjski Constitution”. The Constitution was quickly suspended because it did not correspond with the interests of the big empires Russia, Austria and Turkey. In place of it 1838 an act was passed, called “Turkish Constitution”. This Constitution established the Russian Council. With such a power sharing, Prince Milos on June 1st 1839 abdicated and left the country. He was succeeded by his difficult diseased older son Milan, who died a month later. So the throne went over to Milos’s younger son Mihailo.
Mihailo’s reign was short. Soon he was expelled by the Constitutionalists from the country. In his place from 1842 onwards Karadjordje`s son Aleksandar acceded to the Serbian throne until 1858.
After nineteen years of exile, Milos returned to Serbia and began his second short reign.
He died on September 26th 1860. He was buried in the Cathedral Church in Belgrade.
Prince Milan Obrenovic
Prince Milan Obrenovic
He was born on October 21st in Kragujevac. He was a Prince of Serbia and was the first heir to the throne of the Royal House Obrenovic.
Prince Milan was the elder son of Prince Milos I Obrenovic and Princess Ljubica, and was the brother of Prince Mihailo.
Though he was sickly all his life and did not have a regular systematic education, he managed to partially build up certain political views and opinions. However the diseases of tuberculosis prevent him from self- development and from being more active. He came to the throne following the abdication of Prince Milos (13thJune) and ruled until his death on 8 July 1839. Due to his own illness and the opposition of the Council of Regency he did not have a chance to sign a single document as a prince. He entered into the history of the Serbs being a ruler with the shortest period of regency (25 days).
Prince Mihailo Obrenovic
Prince Mihailo Obrenovic
Being a child of Prince Milos and Princess Ljubica, he was born on September 4th, 1823 in Kragujevac. He completed his school education in Pozarevac, and then moved together with his mother to Vienna. His older brother Milan I Obrenovic came to the throne by right of inheritance on June 1st 1839. But due to his poor health he reigned less than a month. Prince Milan died on July 8th, 1839 in Belgrade.
The elder statesmen were glad to raise another son of Milos, Prince Mihailo Obrenovic to the throne. In that time Mihailo was in Bucharest. Before coming to Serbia, Prince with his mother went to the Turkish Sultan Abdul Mecid, who welcomed him with great honors. Sultan gave him the title of a “Musir” and awarded him the Order of Lftihara. Accompanied by a Saint, Prince Mihailo arrived in Serbia on March 2nd 1840.
So he got on the throne for the first time on June 26th 1839 and reigned until August 25th 1842. Since he was underage, his appointment was designated. As very young and inexperienced, Mihailo did not cope with the complex circumstances of Serbia’s internal and external position. He was overthrown from the throne in 1842, in a riot led by one of the most prominent attorneys, Toma Vucic Perisic. In 1843 the Constitutional Council elected Aleksandar Karadjordjevic at the assembly for being the new prince.
Austria and Turkey had decided about the fate of the young Mihailo. Together with his mother he was sent to the Banat, the estate of his sister Savka Nikolic. After Banat, he moved to Vienna together with his father. He traveled across Europe in search of a living companion. Finally, in Vienna in 1853 he married Countess Julio Hunjadi.
After the death of his father Prince Miloš, Prince Michael came to the throne for the second time on September 14th 1860. At the beginning of his second reign, significant changes were made in Serbia’s policy. The “Turkish Constitution” was abolished; completely other legal orders came into force, which were passed by the National Assembly, and sanctioned by the prince. Prince Mihailo also brought orders for the organization of the national army and gave new tax laws. When Serbian blood fell on Cukur-fes on June 3rd 1862, Turkey began bombing Belgrade. Prince Mihailo traveled to Lausanne, where he prepared a war with Turkey for the liberation of Serbian cities. He arrived in Belgrade on July 23, 1862, and at the ministerial session he called on all Serbs to oppose Turkish pretensions. Already on September 23rd 1862, the Turks emigrated from Serbia, except the cities where only parts of the army remained. On the feast of Pentecost, May 23rd 1865 Prince Mihailo gave to all the fighters from Prince Miloš’s uprising who had celebrated the 50th anniversary of the restoration the monument of the first cannon of Prince Miloš, named Takovo Cross.
Prince Mihailo received a letter from the Sultan to come and receive a “firman” by which Serbia should get back the above mentioned cities. This document was received on March 30th 1866.
On the fourth of April of the same year, he returns to Belgrade, where he is greeted by the enthusiastic people. Ali Riza Pasha, the commander of the Belgrade city, who had accompanied him to Constantinople, arrived together with him.
The ferman of the Sultan was read on the Kalemegdan place on April 6th 1867, when Ali Riza Pasha, the last Belgrade governor, handed over to Prince Mihailo the keys of the cities in Serbia, and then the Serbian and Turkish flag were highlighted on the Belgrade fortress. On Sunday May 29th 1869 Prince Mihailo was taking carriages to Kosutnjak. With him went adjutant Svetozar Garasanin, the son of Ilija Garasanin and in the carriages to the Prince sat as well Anka Konstantinovic, the sister of his uncle and her daughter Katarina. In the park Kosutnjak appeared Pavle and Kosta Radovanovic in solemn black suits, cylinders on their heads and pistols directed towards the Prince’s carriage. Prince Mihailo, was killed with three shots.
All the conspirators were brought to a hearing the same day. The group was led by Nikola Hristic. They were sentenced to death and executed at midnight at Karaburma.
For the murder of Prince Mihailo national mourning lasted three days. Prince Mihailo was buried with military honors at St. Mark’s cemetery in Belgrade, which is now abandoned. Later his relics were transferred to the Cathedral Church in Belgrade. He was succeeded by Prince Milan Obrenovic, son of Milos Jevrem Obrenovic.
Кing Milan Obrenovic
Кing Milan Obrenovic
He was born in Mărășești, Moldavia on 10th /22nd August 1854. His father was Milos Jevrem Obrenovic who served as a foreign hired servicer in the Romanian army and died in a battle with the Turks near Bucharest on November 20th 1861. The mother of Milan, Elena Maria Catargiu was the daughter of Romanian Count Konstantin Catargiu. After the birth of Milan, Milos and Elena Marija parted. Milan was their only son, but he had one sister Tomania. After the death of his father, his mother, who led a luxurious aristocrat life, took care of him. Milan’s education did not pay much attention. The care for young Milan was taken over by his cousin, Prince Mihailo Obrenovic, the prince of Serbia. Milan Obrenovic came to Kragujevac with Prince Mihail who took care of him as a six years old boy. The prince provided him with an excellent governor who educated and taught him. After the maturation, Prince Mihailo sent Milan to school in a Parisian Lyceum. The education Milan received in Serbia was rather scarce. He was surrounded by unpleasant and uninhabited people in Kragujevac who were trying in all possible ways to reverse it. As one of the main teachers of the young Milan Obrenovic served the famous Dubrovnik poet Medo Pucić. The murder of Prince Mihailo reached him in Paris. The Grand Assembly recognized his right to inherit the throne, and then the Porta gave the permit being hereditary Prince. His Governors were Blaznavac, Ristic and Gavrilovic.
After Ristic, Prince Milan brought to power a government of conservatives in 1873. Between the conservatives and the liberals in Serbia at that time, there were continuing conflicts that often ended in ministerial crises and even in the first dissolution of the parliament in the recent history of Serbia in 1875.
With the uprising in Herzegovina that broke out that same year, the relations between Serbia and Turkey, which were not good at all, were deteriorating sharply.
In the meantime, Duke Milan married Natalia, the daughter of the Russian Colonel Peter Kesko, and in the next year, during the war of Serbia and Turkey, his son Aleksandar was born.
After the first war and the following in 1877, Serbia entered into another war with Turkey, which led to the independence of Serbia at the Berlin Congress and the joining of four new districts. In the foreign policy, Duke Milan, after the Berlin Congress, turned from Russia to Austria-Hungary and into all the tough relations with Vienna. Being sure about the support of the Vienna court office, Duke Milan declared Serbia in 1882 to be a Kingdom. That same year there was an assassination of King Milan, who was shot by Ilka Markovic, a widow of Colonel Jevrem Markovic.
King Milan changed his internal politics and gave his support to the Progressive Party, and against the Radical Party, which will led to the Timok rebellion which was rapidly suppressed with the help of the army.
The unification of Bulgaria with the Eastern Rumelia in 1885, Milan regarded as preparation for the conquest of Macedonia, which led him to the war with Bulgaria.
In the short-term war, Serbia was defeated, and the main battle took place on the Slivnica River from November 5th to November 7th 1885. The treaty of peace was signed in Bucharest on the principle of returning back to the original status.
Immediately after the end of the Serbian-Bulgarian War, an attempt was made to assassinate King Milan in a very specific way. Namely, the conspirators managed to get into the Palace and expel the beams from his bathroom. Only thanks to the watchfulness of the guards who saw the basement, King Milan Obrenovic was saved.
Because of love adventures he came into conflict with his wife, Queen Natalia. After numerous peripets, they got divorced in 1888.
In the same year, the Radical constitution known for its liberalism and progress was proclaimed. For that the Belgian Constitution of 1835 was used as a model.
On February 22, 1889, at the celebration of Kingdom Day, King Milan announced his abdication. By descending from the throne, King Milan, according to the Constitution, appointed three regents, who ruled until the adult age of King Aleksandar.
After giving his throne to his young son, King Milan stayed in Serbia for some time. On the basis of Milan’s agreement with the Russian court, on March 14th 1892 the government passed a law prohibiting King Milan to stay in Serbia and to regain Serbian citizenship without the approval of the National Assembly.
Only in the case of King Alexander’s illness, Milan had the right to come and stay in Serbia for the duration of the illness. In the meantime, King Alexander committed a coup and declared himself adulterous. After the first departure and retur to Serbia, in the spring of 1895 King Milan left Serbia for the second time. After a new arrangement with his son, Milan returned to Serbia on October 7th 1897. Alexander gave him the position of supreme commander of the active army, and Milan began to train and modernize it. Milan Obrenovic was victim of another attempt of assassination at Ivanjdan in 1899 when a radical tried to kill him.
New problems with King Aleksandar came after the decision of King Aleksandar to marry Drago Mašin. King Milan intervened in a letter and did not give him his blessing. After that, Milan departed from Serbia at the end of 1900.
He spent some time in Karlsbad and then in Timisoara to spend his last moments in Vienna.
King Milan died of pneumonia. The medical consultant who examined him said that he had no salvation. Emperor Franz Josef, as a sign of good relations, provided one of his own houses in which Milan lived and sent Hungarian Count Ergenia Zichi to be with him until the last moments. Often, Milan faced such a pain, that he was so desperate for long for a pistol to terminate his own troubles. While in agony, he succeeded in entrusting Zichi that he was not being buried in Serbia. Often after the pain had stopped he embraced Zichi, saying: “My friend, is it not terrible to die so young?” He often was in delirium and once he asked to lead him to the theater to watch a play of Rakovsky. Milan Obrenovic died on 29th January / 11th February 1901 at the age of 47. He was buried in Krušedolu, next to Princess Ljubica.
King Aleksandar Obrenovic
King Aleksandar Obrenovic
He was born on 2nd/14th August 1876 in Belgrade in a maternity hospital which was personally funded by King Milan Obrenovic. He was brought up in Serbia, and as governors he had Dr Lazar Djokic and General Jovan Miskovic. All the care of the young Crown Prince were taken over by King Milan himself. Also, on the expense of his father, the young prince was sent to school in Paris. He returned to Belgrade in the age of less than eleven years in 1887.
By abdication on February 21st / 6th of March 1889, King Milan Obrenovic handed over the throne to his son Aleksandar, and from that point on, due to his minor age at the head of Serbia acted as regents: Jovan Ristic and generals Jovan Belimarkovic and Kosta Protic.
Four years after Aleksandar entered the throne and took over the power from the regents, assisted by his father Milan.
At the time the King Alexander made a palace revolution, and took over the power, there were several senior officers around him, including equestrian Colonel Lazar Petrovic, who later would become his personal adjutant, and would be advanced to the rank of a general by the king. Minister’s protests were left without results, while the king reiterated that it was better so for everyone. The new government was composed by the former ex-teacher, Dr. Lazar Dokić, with several prominent radicals.
At the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1889, held in the monastery of Zica, the Metropolitan Michael conceived King Aleksandar in the presence of the royal governor, the ministers of the Serbian government and the Russian Minister Alexander (Constantine) Persiani. The act of anointment was extremely solemn. On this occasion the King donated the Order of Saint Prince Lazar, an Order which could be carried only by the King and his Heir of the Royal House of Obrenovic. Previously, the young king attended a bardie in Lazarus church in Krusevac, laid the foundation for a monument to the Kosovo Heroes, and on his way to Zica, he stopped at the Ljubostinja Monastery, where a special significance was placed on the tomb of Empress Milica.
A special law had been drafted for the Society for the Raising of the Temple of St. Sava in Vracar, which received the exemption from all tax duties.
Due to the very difficult situation of the Serbian population within the borders of the Turkish Empire, King Alexander visited Constantinople in the summer of 1894, to obtain some political privileges of the Serbian people in Turkey. Faced with good relations with Greece, King Aleksandar visited the Greek Court in spring, returning from Constantinople. On his way, after several centuries, he visited the Holy Mountain and Hilandar, which had been threatened by the Bulgarians. On this occasion, the Hilandarian Brotherhood handed over to the King the Miroslav Gospel, Nemanja’s original Charter of the monastery and several other manuscripts.
With this royal visit and his great monetary contributions, Hilandar remained a Serbian monastery.
In the summer of 1900, when King Milan and Prime Minister Vladan Djordjevic were out of Belgrade, King Aleksandar suddenly announced his engagement with Drago Lunjevica. Many were opposed to this marriage, and Djordjevic’s ministry resigned. After some concerns with senior officers, King Alexander gathered them in the Cathedral Church on 10th July 1900, at the memorial service for the victims of the wars for the liberation of Serbia, and gave a speech to them:
“I am the Head of the House of Obrenovic and I first have a right and duty to take care of the fate and future of the Dynasty. Accordingly, the opinion of my father in the part of my marriage is a minor matter and is of little importance. It is the main, what I think, and not my father. My father did not respond to my wishes and, being the supreme commander, I dismissed him as the commander of the active army.“
After the publication, the royal wedding took place on July 23rd 1900 in the Cathedral Church in Belgrade. In foreign policy , the king turned to Russia immediately, releasing previously Radicals from the jail accused for the Ivandan assassination.
Due to such events Count Goluhovski, an Austro-Hungarian deputy in Belgrade, sent a sharp protest. Especially great problems for King Aleksandar arose due to the non-existent pregnancy of Queen Draga. The first reaction came from the Imperial Palace in St. Petersburg and where they did not want to receive the king and the queen in a promised visit.
Due to the increasing repulsiveness of the Russian Court, King Aleksandar tried to get close again to Austria from autumn of 1902, and he took some steps earlier. Already in January 1902, King Alexander sent his personal secretary Miloš Petronijević to Vienna with the promise that he would solve the issue of his successor in an agreement with the neighboring monarchy, and this, by its very nature, should be one of the descendants of the female line Obrenović, who lived in Austria-Hungary.
The Russian Foreign Minister Count Alexander Lamzdorf strongly opposed to this, when he visited King Alexander at the end of 1902 in Nis.
On the night of May 29th/11th of June 1903, a group of conspirators, under the leadership of Captain Dragutin Dimitrijevic Apis, carried out a coup. King Aleksandar Obrenovic and Queen Draga were murdered in the bedroom, their bodies thrown out of the window. In this bloody and dramatic nights also were killed: Prime Minister Dimitrije Cincar-Markovic, War Minister Milovan Pavlovic, Nicodije and Nikola Lunjevic, both brothers of the queen. The Palace Gate was opened by the officer Petar Živković.