Fact of the day: 6th March

On this day in 1882 the Serbian Kingdom was refounded.

The Principality of Serbia was a state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian revolution which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Despite serious and extremely brutal oppression and revenge by the Ottoman authorities, the revolutionary leaders, first Karađorđe and then Miloš Obrenović, succeeded in their goal to liberate Serbia after centuries of Turkish rule.

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At first, the principality included only the territory of the former Pashaluk of Belgrade, but in 1831–1833 it expanded to the east, south, and west. In 1867 the Ottoman army was expelled from the Principality, securing its de facto independence. Serbia was further expanded to the south-east in 1878, when it won full international recognition at the Treaty of Berlin. The Principality would last until 1882 when it was raised to the level of the Kingdom of Serbia.

During its existence, the Kingdom was ruled by two dynasties: the House of Obrenović and the House of Karađorđević. King Milan Obrenović ruled from 6 March 1882 to 6 March 1889, when he abdicated the throne. He was succeeded by his son, Aleksandar Obrenović, who ruled from 6 March 1889 to 11 June 1903, when he was deposed by a group of officers. The slaughter of the royal couple (the king and Queen Draga) by the Black Hand shocked Europe. This opened the way for the descendants of Karađorđe (Karageorge), regarded by Serbs throughout the Balkans as the man who threw off the Turkish yoke, to return to the throne. Petar Karađorđević was initially reluctant to accept the crown, disgusted as he was by the coup d’état. However, he finally did accept and was the Kingdom’s sovereign from 15 June 1903 to 1 December 1918, the day that the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed.

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