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Кing Milan Obrenovic

1854-1901
Кing Milan Obrenovic
Кing Milan Obrenovic
1854-1901

He was born in Mărășești, Moldavia on 10th /22nd August 1854. His father was Milos Jevrem Obrenovic who served as a foreign hired servicer in the Romanian army and died in a battle with the Turks near Bucharest on November 20th 1861. The mother of Milan, Elena Maria Catargiu was the daughter of Romanian Count Konstantin Catargiu. After the birth of Milan, Milos and Elena Marija parted. Milan was their only son, but he had one sister Tomania. After the death of his father, his mother, who led a luxurious aristocrat life, took care of him. Milan’s education did not pay much attention. The care for young Milan was taken over by his cousin, Prince Mihailo Obrenovic, the prince of Serbia. Milan Obrenovic came to Kragujevac with Prince Mihail who took care of him as a six years old boy. The prince provided him with an excellent governor who educated and taught him. After the maturation, Prince Mihailo sent Milan to school in a Parisian Lyceum. The education Milan received in Serbia was rather scarce. He was surrounded by unpleasant and uninhabited people in Kragujevac who were trying in all possible ways to reverse it. As one of the main teachers of the young Milan Obrenovic served the famous Dubrovnik poet Medo Pucić. The murder of Prince Mihailo reached him in Paris. The Grand Assembly recognized his right to inherit the throne, and then the Porta gave the permit being hereditary Prince. His Governors were Blaznavac, Ristic and Gavrilovic.

After Ristic, Prince Milan brought to power a government of conservatives in 1873. Between the conservatives and the liberals in Serbia at that time, there were continuing conflicts that often ended in ministerial crises and even in the first dissolution of the parliament in the recent history of Serbia in 1875.

With the uprising in Herzegovina that broke out that same year, the relations between Serbia and Turkey, which were not good at all, were deteriorating sharply.

In the meantime, Duke Milan married Natalia, the daughter of the Russian Colonel Peter Kesko, and in the next year, during the war of Serbia and Turkey, his son Aleksandar was born.

After the first war and the following in 1877, Serbia entered into another war with Turkey, which led to the independence of Serbia at the Berlin Congress and the joining of four new districts. In the foreign policy, Duke Milan, after the Berlin Congress, turned from Russia to Austria-Hungary and into all the tough relations with Vienna. Being sure about the support of the Vienna court office, Duke Milan declared Serbia in 1882 to be a Kingdom. That same year there was an assassination of King Milan, who was shot by Ilka Markovic, a widow of Colonel Jevrem Markovic.

King Milan changed his internal politics and gave his support to the Progressive Party, and against the Radical Party, which will led to the Timok rebellion which was rapidly suppressed with the help of the army.

The unification of Bulgaria with the Eastern Rumelia in 1885, Milan regarded as preparation for the conquest of Macedonia, which led him to the war with Bulgaria.

In the short-term war, Serbia was defeated, and the main battle took place on the Slivnica River from November 5th to November 7th 1885. The treaty of peace was signed in Bucharest on the principle of returning back to the original status.

Immediately after the end of the Serbian-Bulgarian War, an attempt was made to assassinate King Milan in a very specific way. Namely, the conspirators managed to get into the Palace and expel the beams from his bathroom. Only thanks to the watchfulness of the guards who saw the basement, King Milan Obrenovic was saved.

Because of love adventures he came into conflict with his wife, Queen Natalia. After numerous peripets, they got divorced in 1888.

In the same year, the Radical constitution known for its liberalism and progress was proclaimed. For that the Belgian Constitution of 1835 was used as a model.

On February 22, 1889, at the celebration of Kingdom Day, King Milan announced his abdication. By descending from the throne, King Milan, according to the Constitution, appointed three regents, who ruled until the adult age of King Aleksandar.

After giving his throne to his young son, King Milan stayed in Serbia for some time. On the basis of Milan’s agreement with the Russian court, on March 14th 1892 the government passed a law prohibiting King Milan to stay in Serbia and to regain Serbian citizenship without the approval of the National Assembly.

Only in the case of King Alexander’s illness, Milan had the right to come and stay in Serbia for the duration of the illness. In the meantime, King Alexander committed a coup and declared himself adulterous. After the first departure and retur to Serbia, in the spring of 1895 King Milan left Serbia for the second time. After a new arrangement with his son, Milan returned to Serbia on October 7th 1897. Alexander gave him the position of supreme commander of the active army, and Milan began to train and modernize it. Milan Obrenovic was victim of another attempt of assassination at Ivanjdan in 1899 when a radical tried to kill him.

New problems with King Aleksandar came after the decision of King Aleksandar to marry Drago Mašin. King Milan intervened in a letter and did not give him his blessing. After that, Milan departed from Serbia at the end of 1900.

He spent some time in Karlsbad and then in Timisoara to spend his last moments in Vienna.

King Milan died of pneumonia. The medical consultant who examined him said that he had no salvation. Emperor Franz Josef, as a sign of good relations, provided one of his own houses in which Milan lived and sent Hungarian Count Ergenia Zichi to be with him until the last moments. Often, Milan faced such a pain, that he was so desperate for long for a pistol to terminate his own troubles. While in agony, he succeeded in entrusting Zichi that he was not being buried in Serbia. Often after the pain had stopped he embraced Zichi, saying: “My friend, is it not terrible to die so young?” He often was in delirium and once he asked to lead him to the theater to watch a play of Rakovsky. Milan Obrenovic died on 29th January / 11th February 1901 at the age of 47. He was buried in Krušedolu, next to Princess Ljubica.