Serbian freedom - Critical blow to Ottoman Empire

VladEinar By VladEinar, 20th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>History

At the end of 19th and the start of the 20th century, Serbs managed to free themselfs completely from the Ottoman Empire. These new years led to prosperity and reputation, but also to war and death.

The First Serbian Uprising

In the year of 1801, reign over Belgrade Pashadom (as Ottomans used to call their provinces) was taken over by four leaders of janissaries (Ottoman infantry of Christian origin) who were called Dahije (or Dahijas). Dahije (Aganlija, Kučuk Alija, Mula Jusuf and Mehmed Aga Fočić) established a reign of terror and Serbian position under Ottoman occupation was worst than ever (Serbia was occupated in 1459). People used to say that in those times the living envied the deads.
In 1803, Serbs planned to start an uprising against the Dahije's terror after the winter 1803/1804. The oppressors found out about that so they commited the famous "Sječa knezova", or Carnage of counts from 4th-10th of February 1804. They expected it to demoralise the Serbs but that massacre only stimulated them to revolt as soon as possible. So on 14. of February Serbian counts have assembled in Orashac and chose George Petrovich (Đorđe Petrović) as the leader of uprising.
In the years that followed, Serbs repeated victory after victory. The first battle that occured during the uprising was Battle of Drlupa on 24th of February. Later, under Karageorge's command (Turks added KARA in front of George Petrovich's name wich in turkish means BLACK) Serbs achieved great victories at Ivankovac in 1805 (after wich the uprising against Dahije's terror became an uprising against Ottoman Empire), victorys at Mishar and Deligrad in 1806. In September of 1806, Serbs and Ottomans singed a truce but when Russians declared war on the Ottomans, Serbs continued their battle.
In 31st of May 1809, battle of Chegar occured. Ottomans won this battle but in Serbian people and culture it remained famous almost as the Battle of Kosovo (1389). It was labeled with heroic suicide of Serbian duke Stevan Sindjelich. When Stevan saw that the battle can not be won, he fired a bullet into a barrel of gunpowder and entire Serbian army led by Stevan died. However, the number of Ottoman killed in that heroic feat was greater than the number of Serbs (as Ottoman army was much more numbered than Serbian). Many songs were created to celebrate this battle and action.
In 1812, when French emperor Napoleon declared war to Russia, Russian emperor was forced to withdraw his forces from the Ottoman border and to sign a truce with the Ottomans in Bucharest (Romania). Serbian uprisers were included in regulations of the truce and were offered some privileges but they decided to continue their battle as they started it - alone.
Ottomans then send everything they'd got in Serbia and attack it from three sides. Serbian Uprising was suffocated in blood. Karageorge and most of Serbian counts managed to cross Danube and Sava Rivers and to escape to Austro-Hungaria.

The Second Serbian Uprising

In 23rd of April 1815, remaining Serbian counts assembeled in Takovo and decided to raise a new revolt against the Ottomans. Milosh Obrenovich, duke from the First Uprising, was ellected as the leader. This war was much different than the last. It lasted for only four months and it included much more diplomacy (and bribe) than the First Uprising. It ended with verball agreement between Milosh Obrenovich and Marashli Ali Pasha (Pasha of Belgrade Pashadom), which was approved by the Sultan in 1816. When the war ended, it was time for diplomatic war for Serbian freedom. Milosh managed to put across the publication of the first Hatisherif (Sultan's edict) in 1830. wich guaranteed Serbs great privileges (Among others, Milosh became a Monarch). In 1833, Serbs were given the second Hatisherif which granted widening of new formed Serbian principality which was an Ottoman vassal.
In 1835. Serbia became one of the first countries in the world which replaced Feudalism with Capitalism.

Squabble of the dynasties and the Congress of Berlin

In 1817, Karageorge returned to Serbian with plans of new uprising which would seccure the final victory over the Ottomans and the rebirth of Serbian state. His murder was contracted by Milosh Obrenovich himself. This event started a "war" between two Serbian families and literary divided the people between the ones who supported Karageorgevichs and the ones who supported Obrenovichs. In 1842, Milosh's son Mihailo (who inheritted Milosh on the throne) was ousted. Alexander Karageorgevich, Karageorge's son, was named as the new count. He ruled until 1858. when the Parlament returned the throne to Milosh Obrenovich (who died in 1860. He was again inherited by Mihailo (1860 - 1868)). Mihailo Obrenovich was one of the best rulers that Serbia ever had. He was intelligent, well educated, energic and a true patriot. Unfortunately, he was killed in 1868. Alexander Karageorgevich was accused to have contracted Mihailo's murder.
Mihailo was also a poet. He wrote a beautiful song to the daugtehr of Aleander Karageorgevich, Cleopatra
Mihailo, who had no children, was inherited by Milan Obrenovich, grandson of Milosh's brother Jevrem. He ruled Serbia from 1868 to 1889. He was not a good ruler. He drank a lot, gambled a lot (with the state's money) and loved women far too much (it is said that one of his mistresses was the mother of Winston Churchil).
In 1878. the Congress of Berlin occured. Serbs requested Russian aid but the Russians said that thei will represent only Russian and Bulgarian interests at the Congress. Milan asked Austro-Hungaria for help and they agreed. Serbia became independet state after 419 years of Ottoman occupation. Later on, Serbia signed commerce agreement with Austro-Hungaria in 1881. which included "The secret convention", which threw Serbia in almost complete economic dependence of Austro-Hungaria. Serbia was the first buyer of Habsbugr's merchandise and if it had any articles to sell, it had to offer it to Austro-Hungaria first.
In 1883. Milan was crowned as King of Serbia. He abdicated in 1889. and was inherited by his son Alexander Obrenovich, who was even worst ruler than his father. He was a true tyrant and a dictator and was killed by conspirators in 1903. That event was known as "The Overturn of May". After the Overturn, Petar Karageorgevich, son of Alexander, grandson of Karageorge, was crowned king, and was, without any question, the best Serbian ruler in it's recent history.

Napoleon about Karageorge

At the end of this story, I bring you the words of the great French emperor and general Napoleon Bonaparte about the greatest Serbian son, Karageorge.

"It is easy for me to be grand with our well-experienced army and vast financial means, but down in the south, in the Balkans, there is a marshal who had arisen from the simple peasant folk, and who gathered his sheepherders, and without sophisticated weapons with just the cherry cannons, shook the foundation of almighty Ottoman empire thus freeing his enslaved people. That is Karađorđe, to him goes all the glory of being the greatest marshal."


Abdication, Crown, Karageorgevich, King, Monarchy, Serbia, Uprising, Yugoslavia

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author avatar VladEinar
If you want some story about Serbian history, just contanct me.

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author avatar WOGIAM
21st Jun 2014 (#)

Informative article on historical facts, thanks for sharing.

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author avatar VladEinar
21st Jun 2014 (#)

You are very welcome. More articles with simillar subject will be written.
Best regards!

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