Principality of Montenegro

Principality of Montenegro

Infobox Former Country
native_name = Књажевина Црнa Горa
conventional_long_name = Princedom of Montenegro
common_name = Montenegro|
continent = Europe
region = Balkans
country = Montenegro
era =
status =
status_text =
empire =
government_type = Principality|
year_start = 1852
year_end = 1910|
year_exile_start =
year_exile_end = |
event_start = Secularization
date_start = 13 March
event_end = Elevation to Kingdom¹
date_end = 28 August|
event1 = independence recognized
date_event1 = 13 July 1878
event1 = Constitution
date_event1 = 1905|
p1 = Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro
flag_p1 = Mitropolija.jpg
s1 = Kingdom of Montenegro
flag_s1 = Flag_of_Montenegro_%281941-1944%29.svg|

flag_type = |

symbol =
symbol_type = |

image_map_caption = Montenegro in 1862|
capital = Cetinje
capital_exile =
latd= |latm= |latNS= |longd= |longm= |longEW= |
national_motto =
national_anthem = "To Our Beautiful Montenegro" (state)
"There, o'er There!" (national)
common_languages = Serbian
religion = Serbian Orthodoxy
currency = Montenegrin perper|
leader1 = Danilo
year_leader1 = 1852-1860
leader2 = Nicholas
year_leader2 = 1860-1910
title_leader = Prince
deputy1 = Lazar Mijuskovic
deputy2 = Marko Radulovic
deputy3 = Andrija Radovic
deputy4 = Lazar Tomanovic
year_deputy1 = 1905-1906
year_deputy2 = 1906-1907
year_deputy3 = 1907
year_deputy4 = 1907-1910
title_deputy = |
legislature = All-Montenegrin and Highland Assembly|
stat_year1 = 1852
stat_area1 = 5475
stat_year2 = 1878
stat_area2 = 9475
stat_year3 = 1909
stat_pop3 = 317,856|
footnotes = ¹ celebration of 50th anniversary of the monarch's reign

The Principality or Princedom of Montenegro was a principality in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king.

The capital of the Principality was at Cetinje and used the Montenegrin Perper as its currency from 1906. The area of the principality roughly consisted of the central area of modern Montenegro. It was a Constitutional Monarchy but de-facto absolutist, and a nation-state of the Montenegrins.


The Principality was formed on 13 March 1852 by Knjaz Danilo I Petrović-Njegoš, when Knjaz Danilo, then known as Vladika Danilo II, decided to overthrow his ecclesiastical position of the Vladika and get married, which, after centuries of theocratic rule, turned Montenegro into a secular principality.

After the assassination of Knjaz Danilo on 13 August 1860, Knjaz Nikola, the nephew of Knjaz Danilo, became the next ruler of Montenegro.

On 28 August 1910, it was proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king.

Battle of Grahovac

Grand Duke Mirko Petrović, elder brother of Knjaz Danilo, led a strong army of 7,500 and won a crucial battle against the Turks (army of between 7,000 to 13,000) at Grahovac on 1 May, 1858. The Turkish forces were routed. A considerable arsenal of war trophies were left in Montenegrin hands, to come in handy again in the final wars of independence in 1862 and 1875-1878.

This major victory had had even more diplomatic significance. The glory of Montenegrin weapons was soon immortalized in the songs and literature of all the South Slavs, in particular the Serbs in Vojvodina, then part of Austria-Hungary. This Montenegrin victory forced the Great Powers to officially demarcate the borders between Montenegro and Ottoman Turkey, de facto recognizing Montenegro's centuries-long independence. Montenegro gained Grahovo, Rudine, Nikšić's Župa, more than half of Drobnjaci, Tušina, Uskoci, Lipovo, Upper Vasojevići, and part of Kuči and Dodoši.

Government and Politics

Constitution of 1855

Knjaz Danilo used the Law of Petar I Petrović-Njegoš, as an inspiration for his own General Law of the Land from 1855 ("Zakonik Danila Prvog"). Danilo's Code was based on the Montenegrin traditions and customs and it is considered to be the first national constitution in Montenegrin history. It also stated rules, protected privacy and banned warring on the Austrian Coast (Bay of Kotor). It also stated: "Although there is no other nationality in this land except Serb nationality and no other religion except Eastern Orthodoxy, each foreigner and each person of different faith can live here and enjoy the same freedom and the same domestic right as Montenegrin or Highlander."

Constitution of 1905



Schwartz estimated in 1882 that the Principality had 160,000 inhabitants. Although, a more usual estimate is that it was around 230,000 inhabitants.


In 1900, according to international sources, the Principality of Montenegro had 311,564 inhabitants. By religion:
* 293,527 Eastern Orthodox (94.21%)
* 12,493 Muslims (4.01%)
* 5,544 Roman Catholic (1.78%)

By litteracy:
* "77%" illiterate
* 71,528 ("23%") literate

The Principality had besides the Serbs, around 5,000 Albanians and a colony of 800 Romas.


In 1907, it had been estimated that there were around 282,000 inhabitants in Montenegro.

The supermajority being Serb (Eastern Orthodox).


The 1909 official census was undertaken by the authorities of the Principality. Ethnicity was decided according to the mother tongue, the official language, then being the Serbian language:

Total: 317,856 inhabitants.

By language:
* Serbs: about "95%"
* others mostly Albanians

By religion:
* Orthodox Christians: "94.38%"
* "others" (mostly Muslims) The total population was overestimated for political reasons. It was at about 220,000 inhabitants.


*Knjaz Danilo I Petrović-Njegoš (1852 - 13 August 1860)
*Knjaz Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš (13 August 1860 - 28 August 1910).

External links

* [ of Montenegro in 1859]
* []
* []
* []

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