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Књажевина Црнa Горa
Princedom of Montenegro

Flag Coat of arms
To Our Beautiful Montenegro
Montenegro in 1862
Capital Cetinje
Language(s) Serbian
Religion Orthodox Christianity
Government Principality
 - 1852-1860 Danilo
 - 1860-1910 Nicholas
Prime minister
 - 1905-1906 Lazar Mijuskovic
 - 1906-1907 Marko Radulovic
 - 1907 Andrija Radovic
 - 1907-1910 Lazar Tomanovic
Legislature All-Montenegrin and Highland Assembly
 - Secularization 13 March 1852
 - Constitution 1905
 - Elevation to Kingdom¹ 28 August 1910
 - 1852 5,475 km2 (2,114 sq mi)
 - 1878 9,475 km2 (3,658 sq mi)
 - 1909 est. 317,856 
Currency Montenegrin perper
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.



History of Montenegro
Coat of Arms of Montenegro
This article is part of a series
Principality of Zeta
Montenegro Province, Ottoman Empire
Principality of Montenegro
Kingdom of Montenegro
Zeta Banovina
Kingdom of Montenegro
Socialist Republic of Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro

Montenegro Portal
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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:

By literacy:

  • 77% illiterate
  • 71,528 (23%) literate

The Principality had besides the Montenegrins, 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 Eastern Orthodox.


Ethnic map from 1910
Dark: Serbian majority
Light: Albanian majority

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:

By religion:

The total population was overestimated for political reasons. It was at about 220,000 inhabitants.


External links


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