Milenko Radomar Vesnić

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Milenko R. Vesnić
Portrait Milenko Radomar Vesnić.jpg
3rd Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
In office
16 May 1920 – 1 January 1921
MonarchPeter I
Preceded byStojan Protić
Succeeded byNikola Pašić
2nd Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 November 1920 – 1 January 1921
Preceded byAnte Trumbić
Succeeded byNikola Pašić
Personal details
Born13 February 1863
Dušinić, Principality of Serbia
Died15 May 1921 (1921-05-16) (aged 58)
Paris, France
NationalitySerbian
Political partyPeople's Radical Party

Milenko Radomar Vesnić (Vesnitch in French, and Wesnitsch in German; 13 February 1863 – 15 May 1921) was a Serbian politician, diplomat, cabinet member and prime minister.

Biography[edit]

Vesnić studied law at la Grande École of Belgrade and at the University of Munich since 1883. On 8 August 1888 Vesnić became Ph.D. in law with a thesis under the title "The Blood Feud among South Slavs". His highly praised thesis was published in German next year in Stuttgart. Two next two years Vesnić spent in Paris (1888–1889) and in London (1889–1890), for further specialization in law. He joined the diplomatic service of Serbia in 1891, as the secretary of the Serbian Legation at Constantinople. In 1893, Vesnić was appointed as a university professor teaching international law at Grande École in Belgrade and the same year became MP in the National Assembly of Serbia as a member of the People's Radical Party of Nikola Pašić.

In the government of Sava Grujić (1893–1894), Vesnić was the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs. His university career was finished in 1899 after Vesnić insulted King Milan I and was sentenced for two years in prison. In 1901 Vesnić returned to the diplomatic service as the Minister of Serbia in Rome.

In 1904, Vesnić was appointed Serbian Minister in Paris, a posting he held for almost 17 years in various terms. In the Radical cabinet of Nikola Pašić in 1906 Vesnić was Minister of Justice and afterward returned to Paris, as the Minister of Serbia to France. After the Balkan wars, Vesnić was a member of the Serbian delegation at the Conference of Ambassadors in London (1912–1913).

Blanche Vesnić Ulman by Jean Béraud

During the First World War, Milenko R. Vesnić successfully organized various conferences in favor of war effort of Serbia, considered as "the heroic ally of France".

A collection of his speeches and articles in the French papers and journals was published in Paris in 1921 under the title: "Serbia through the Great War ("La Serbie à travers la Grande Guerre").

Milenko R. Vesnić was elected a corresponding member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in Paris.

Vesnić was the diplomatic representative from Serbia at the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles in June 1919. He was married to the American Blanche Ulman who was acquainted with President Wilson's wife. Vesnić traveled to Washington prior to the Peace Conference to meet with Wilson and explain the Serbian position with respect to the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He also represented Serbia at the League of Nations Conference in January 1919.

Vesnić became Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1920, and during his office, he signed the Rapallo Treaty with Italy. During his second government (1920–1921), Vesnić retained the portfolio of Foreign Minister as well.

A talented scholar Vesnić wrote dozens of studies regarding international law in general and the position of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the international system after the Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1878, in particular.

Vesnić translated important university textbooks on international and criminal law from French and German into the Serbian language, as well as the book on Prince Miloš Obrenović rule, written in French by his Italian physician Bartholomeo Cunibert.

Selected works[edit]

  • Milenko R. Wesnitsch, Die Blutrache bei den Südslaven: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Strafrechts, Stuttgart: Gebrüder Kröner, 1889.(PhD thesis in German language).
  • Milenko R. Vesnitch, La Serbie à travers la Grande Guerre, Bossard, Paris 1921.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (2002). Serbia: The History behind the Name. London: Hurst & Company.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lazar Dokić
Minister of Education of Serbia
1893–1894
Succeeded by
Andra Đorđević
Preceded by
Stojan Protić
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Nikola Pašić
Preceded by
Ante Trumbić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Nikola Pašić
Preceded by
Dragutin Pećić
Minister of Justice of Serbia
1906–1907
Succeeded by
Marko Trifković