Principality of Serbia

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Principality of Serbia
Кнежевина Србија
Kneževina Srbija


Flag Coat of arms
Principality of Serbia in 1878
Government Principality
 •  1817–39 Miloš Obrenović I (first)
 •  1868–82 Milan Obrenović IV (last)
Prime Minister
 •  1815–1816 Petar Nikolajević Moler (first)
 •  1880–1882 Milan Piroćanac (last)
 •  Recognized by Porte 1815
 •  Statehood Day February 15, 1835c
 •  Recognized July 13, 1878d
 •  Proclaimed Kingdom 1882
a: Moved to Belgrade in 1838.
b: de jure in the 1830 Hatt-i Sharif.
c: Outbreak of Serbian Revolution, First Constitution adopted.
d: De facto independent since 1867, de jure by the Treaty of Berlin.

The Principality of Serbia (Serbian: Кнежевина Србија / Kneževina Srbija) was a semi-independent state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian Revolution which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Its creation was negotiated first through an unwritten agreement between Miloš Obrenović, leader of the Second Serbian Uprising and Ottoman official Marashli Pasha. It was followed by the series of legal documents published by the Porte in 1828, 1829 and finally, 1830 — the Hatt-i Sharif.


Despite oppression by the Ottoman authorities, the Serbian revolutionary leaders — first Karađorđe and then Miloš Obrenović — succeeded in their goal of liberating Serbia from the centuries-long Turkish rule. Turkish authorities acknowledged the state in 1830 by the charter known as the Hatt-i Sharif, and Miloš Obrenović became a hereditary prince (knjaz) of the Serbian Principality.

At first, the principality included only the territory of the former Pashaluk of Belgrade, but in 1831–33 it expanded to the east, south, and west. On 18 April 1867 the Ottoman government ordered the Ottoman garrison which had been since 1826 the last representation of Ottoman suzerainty in Serbia withdrawn from the Belgrade fortress. The only stipulation was that the Ottoman flag continue to fly over the fortress alongside the Serbian one. Serbia's de facto independence dates from this event.[1] A new Constitution in 1869 defined Serbia as an independent state. Serbia was further expanded to the south-east in 1878, when its independence from the Ottoman Empire 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.


The Principality was ruled by the Obrenović dynasty, except for a period under Prince Aleksandar of the Karađorđević dynasty. Princes Miloš and Mihailo Obrenović each reigned twice.

Portrait Name Birth Death From Until Notes
MilosObrenovic 1848.jpg Miloš Obrenović I March 17, 1780 September 26, 1860 November 6, 1817 June 25, 1839
Milan Obrenović II, Prince of Serbia.jpg Milan Obrenović II October 21, 1819 July 8, 1839 June 25, 1839 July 8, 1839
Mihailo Obrenović III.jpg Mihailo Obrenović III September 16, 1823 June 10, 1868 July 8, 1839 September 14, 1842
PrinceAlexander I w.jpg Aleksandar Karadjordjevic October 11. 1806 May 3. 1885 September 14, 1842 December 23, 1858
MilosObrenovic 1848.jpg Miloš Obrenović I March 17, 1780 September 1860 December 23, 1858 September 26, 1860
Mihailo Obrenović III.jpg Mihailo Obrenović III September 16, 1823 June 10, 1868 September 26, 1860 June 10, 1868
KraljMilanObrenovic.jpg Milan Obrenović IV August 22, 1854 February 11, 1901 June 10, 1868 March 6, 1882


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Volume 2: Reform, Revolution and Republic—The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975 (Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. 148.

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