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|Milivoje Petrović Blaznavac
Миливоје Петровић Блазнавац
|President of the Ministry of Serbia|
22 August 1872 – 5 April 1873
|Preceded by||Radivoje Milojković|
|Succeeded by||Jovan Ristić|
16 May 1824|
|Died||5 April 1873
General Milivoje Petrović Blaznavac (Blaznava, 16 May 1824 – Belgrade, 5 April 1873) was Serbian soldier and politician. His father, Petar, was a rural merchant and shopkeeper from Blaznava, although a story circulated that he was an illegitimate son of Prince Miloš Obrenović and a lady of Miloš's household, whom Miloš married off to one of his guards retired as a village storekeeper, before the birth of Blaznavac in 1824.
Milivoje Petrović Blaznavac finished elementary school and a painting craft school in his native village of Blaznava. Upon graduation, he immediately joined the army and later the police force under Prince Miloš. During his stormy career Blaznavac was almost killed for treachery by Jevrem Obrenović, Miloš's brother, and later by Prince Alexander Karageorgević, who succeeded Miloš on the throne of Serbia in 1842. Jevrem gave him his life, but only after having Blaznavac flogged almost to death, which became later the best proof of his devotion to the Karageorgević dynasty.
As Blaznavac stood on the side of opponents of Prince Mihailo Obrenović – Ustavobranioci (Defenders of the Constitution), led by Toma Vučić Perišić, he was rewarded with transfer to Belgrade, where in 1848, as a Captain, he became in a very short time aide de camp of Prince Prince Alexander Karađorđević. After leaving the duty of adjutant, Blaznavac crossed into Serbian Vojvodina, where he fought alongside Stevan Knićanin.
Upon his return to Serbia, he was granted further military training in Vienna, Paris and Metz. At the end of 1854, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, Blaznavac was appointed Chief of the military departments, and was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1858. When the Obrenović dynasty came back to Serbia in 1858, Blaznavac was immediately arrested and expelled to his native village of Blaznava and deprived of all titles. Through various court intrigues, connected with the plans of Prince Mihailo Obrenović to marry the daughter of his cousin Katarina Konstantinović, however, Blaznavac won favor of the prince. During the second reign of Prince Mihailo, Blaznavac was reactivated, appointed in 1861 administrator of a cannon factory in Kragujevac, and four years later he was named minister of war.
After the assassination of Prince Mihailo on 29 May 1868, the government's theory was that election of the new ruler could be made by the Visoka Narodna Skupština (the Grand National Council). Mihailo's minister of war (Blaznavac), however, took matters into his own hands and with the support of a Belgrade garrison staged a coup d'état, and proclaimed as Prince of Serbia, Milan Obrenović, the fourteen-year-old son of Miloš, whose father Jevrem was the brother of Prince Miloš, the founder of the Obrenović dynasty. Until the age of majority of Milan (1872), Blaznavac was, together with Jovan Ristić and Jovan Gavrilović, a member of the regency, and after Prince Milan come of age, Blaznavac became his Prime Minister, being previously promoted to the rank of General.
Blaznavac was married to Katarina Konstantinović, former fiancée of Prince Mihailo Obrenović. Blaznavac himself was a suitor for Katarina's hand before Prince Mihailo began to show an interest in her. He died suddenly of a heart attack on 5 April 1873 and was buried in the family tomb of Jevrem Obrenović in Rakovica.
He is entitled to be remembered as one of those who first inculcated, from a wide practical experience, the views of royal administration and its responsibilities which in his last years he saw accepted by the bulk of his countrymen.