- First Serbian Uprising
The First Serbian Uprising was a
Serbian national revolutionwhich lasted for nine years and approx. nine months (1804-1813), during which Serbia perceived itself as an independent state for the first time after 400 years of Ottoman and short-lasting Austrian occupations. Revolutionary Serbia responded to the Ottoman Slaughter of the knezesby establishing its separate government("Praviteljstvujušči Sovjet"), Serbian Prince, Parliament("Zbor") and Great Schoolof Belgrade. Even though it was brutally crushed by the Ottomansin 1813, this revolution sparked the Second Serbian Uprisingin 1815, which resulted with the creation of modern Serbia, as it gained semi-independence from Ottoman Empirein 1817 (formally in 1829).
After the defeat of the
Ottoman Empirein the Turkish-Austrian war of 1791, Serbs living under Turkish rule began to realize the potential for success in an uprising against the Ottomans.
Seeing the growing displeasure, the Sultan
Selim IIIproclaimed fermans in 1793 and 1796 which gave more rights to Serbs. Among other things, taxes were to be collected by local Serbian rulers called "knezes" ("local dukes"), freedom of trade and religion were granted, and, most importantly, the Janissarycorps were to leave Belgrade Pashaluk.
January 30, 1799, the Turkish court allowed the Janissaries to return. They and their leaders, the dahias, showed little respect towards any authority, even the central Turkish government. After killing Vizier Hadži-Mustafaof Belgradein 1801, they started to rule Serbia on their own. Recently-granted rights were suspended, and dahias exerted unlimited rule over Belgrade Pashaluk. Taxes were drastically increased, land was seized, forced labour ("čitlučenje") was introduced, and many citizens fled the Janissaries in fear.
The Uprising begins
Serb leaders began to conspire about starting an uprising against the dahias. When the dahias found out about this, they captured and killed many of the Serbian leaders on
February 4, 1804in an event known today as "Seča knezova" ( Massacre of Serbian knights). This mistake by the Janissaries incited the uprising, as it angered the people and the leaders had nothing to lose.
February 14, 1804, in the small Šumadijavillage of Orašac, the Serbs gathered and decided to undertake an uprising. Karađorđe Petrovićwas elected as the leader of the uprising, which started immediately. That afternoon, a Turkish inn ( caravanserai) in Orašac was burned and its residents fled or were killed. Similar actions were undertaken in surrounding villages and then spread further. Soon the cities Valjevoand Požarevacwere liberated, and the siegeof Belgradestarted.
When he was informed about the uprising, Selim III started to negotiate with the rebels. Dahias escaped from Belgrade, but they were captured and killed on the island of
Ada Kalehin the Danube. Eventually, the negotiations failed, and the Sultan organised a military campaign against the uprising.
The first major battle of the uprising was the
Battle of Ivankovacin 1805, where Karađorđe defeated the Turkish army and forced it to retreat toward Niš. The second major battle of the uprising was Battle of Mišarin 1806, in which the rebels defeated an Ottoman army from Bosnia led by Kulin Captain. At the same time, the rebels led by Petar Dobrnjacdefeated another army sent from the southeast in the Battle of Deligrad. In December 1806, the rebels besieged Belgrade, which was liberated in the beginning of 1807.
In 1805 the Serbian rebels organized a basic government for administering Serbia during the combat.Rule was divided between the Narodna Skupština (People's assembly), the
Praviteljstvujušči Sovjet(Ruling Council), and Karađorđehimself. Land was returned, forced labour was abolished, and taxes were reduced. The young state was modernised and by 1808 the Great Schoolwas founded, regarded as the foundation of the University of Belgrade.
Some of the leaders of the uprising later abused their privileges for personal gain, such as the reintroduction of forced labour in some places. There was dissent between Karađorđe and other leaders; Karađorđe wanted absolute power, while his voivods wanted to limit it. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-12 ended, the Ottoman Empire exploited these circumstances and reconquered Serbia in 1813.
Though ultimately unsuccessful, the First Serbian Uprising paved the way for the
Second Serbian Uprisingof 1815, which eventually succeeded in securing Serbian autonomy.
Battle of Ivankovac
Battle of Mišar
Battle of Deligrad
* Siege of Belgrade
Battle of Čegar
Hajduk Veljko Petrović
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20040501004449/http://www.serbia.sr.gov.yu/news/2003-12/18/332508.html Program of celebration of 200th anniversary of the uprising]
History of the Serbian-Turkish wars
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