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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/586

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MONTENEGRO


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MONTENEGRO


of Zcta. From 1360 to 1421 this family ruled in Zota, notwithstanding tho constant opposition of the Ccr- nojovic family, settled in Upper Zeta. On the de- struction of the Great Servian Empire by the Turks after the battle of Amsfeld in 1389 Zeta became the refuge of the most valiant of the Serbs, who refused to submit to the Turkish yoke.

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Ve- netians established a settlement on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and conquered a portion of the Ser- vi;in Empire in spite of the opposition of the people. As vassal of the \'enetians, Iwan C'ernojewic, the son of Stefan (brother-in-law of Skandcrbeg), secured for himself sovereign authority. He founded the mon- astery of Cetinje about 1478 or 1485. It was dur- ing this period that the land received the name of Cmagora, or Montenegro. Under Iwan's son, George (149(>--), the first Slav liturgical books were printed at Obod (1493-.5). In loltjhe abdicated and the people invested the bishop (vladika), who was also superior of the mon- astery at Cetinje, wit h supreme secular authorit}'. Subse- quently the bishop. who until 1697 was always chosen by the National Assembly. was both spiritual and temporal nil it of the little state, although he named a secular governor to conduct war and administer justice. The Turks made re- peated attacks dur- ing the fifteenth cen- tury on the freedom of the mountain kingdom. The Mon- tenegrins, notwith- standing their heroic opposition, were fi- nally forced to make theirsubmis.sion, and from about 1530 had to pay tribute to the Sanjak of Scutari. In domestic affairs, however, they re- mained independent, and the sovereignty of the Porte was mostly of a purely nominal character. Frequently the little nation, which (according to the description of the Italian Mariano Bolizza in 1611) then contained 90 settlements and S027 armed men, engaged in war with the Turks, being often assisted with money and arms by the Venetians.

In 1696 Danilo Petrovie, of the Njego-s family, was elected vladika, and made the episcopal dignity hered- itary in his house, the vladika, who as bishop could not marry, being succeeded on his death by his nephew or brother. As prince of a nation recognizing the Orthodox Church, Danilo inaugurated cldscr rela- tions with Russia, which held the same religious beliefs, and Peter the Great undertook the protect(jrate of Montenegro in 1710. Since that daie the Montene- grins have always shown themselves the faithful allies of Russia in its wars against the Turks, although at the end of these wars they usually reaped no advan- tages. The Russians, however, of ten made large con- tributions of monej' to their poor allies: in 1714 Peter I contributed 10,000 rubles towards the relief of those whose property hafl been burnt and for the rebuilding of the destroyed moruusteries; in 1715 he assigned an annual contribution of .500 rubles and other presents to the monastery of Cetinje; and in 1837 Emperor Nicholas I assigned to the prince a fi.xed annual in- come of 9000 ducats. fhe most prosperous era of Montenegro opened


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with the reign of Vladika Peter I PetrovKi (1777- 1830), who repelled imaided a fierce attack of the Turks in 179{) and reiiderecl valuable aid to the Rus- sians against the lrcii(!i (luring the .N'lipdjeonic wars. Because of his glorious reign, Peter was priii'laiine<l a saint by tlie jH'opIe in 1834. He was succeeded by Peter UPelrovic (1830-51), who was educated at St. Petersburg; this monarch, who Wiis a distinguished poet,, rendered vahiable services to his country by raising its intellectual and commercial condition. Having abolished the office of governor, which had been too frequently the occasion of strife, he took into his own hands the secular administration, founded schools, instituted a system of taxation, organized a guard as the nucleus of a standing army, and es- tablished a senate of twelve members. His successor and nephew, Danilo (1851-60), changed Montenegro into a secular state, dispensed with episcopal conse- cration, and undertook the administration as a secular prince. At a national assembly held at Cetinje on 21 March, 18,52, the separation of the spirit \i.il and secular jiowers 111' the vladika wasileiTied, and the supreme ecclesiasti- cal authority en- trusted to the archi- mandrite of the mon- astery of Ostrog. In the same year Russia and Austria recog- nized Montenegro as an hereditary, secular, and indcpen- d e n t state. The Porte, however, which still regarded the country as "a portion of its Ra- jahs temporarily in revolt", refu.sed its recognition and sent an expedition of 60,- 000 men against it. When the land seemed about to be overwhelmed by such huge forces, Austria interfered in its behalf, and com- pelled the Porte to discontinue the war. The politi- cal position of the land, however, remaineil still undefined. In 1858, when the Turks attacked Monte- negro without any declaration of hostilities, the Euro- pean Great Powers, especially France and Russia, came forward as its protectors, and a commission of the Powers fixed the frontiers of the country, whose territory wiis increased by a few districts.

In 1860 Danilo was .shot by a Montenegrin deserter, and, as he left behind only a daughter two years old, his widow secured on 14 .\ugust, 1860, the election of the youngest son of Danilo's brother, who still reigns. Montenegro's participation in the insurrec- tion of Herzegovina led in 1862 to a war with Turkey, during which the Turks invaded the land and occu- pied Cetinje. The Peace of Scutari conceded to the Turks various fortresses along the road leading from Herzegovina through Montenegro to Scutari. In 1870, however, the Porte surrendered its right to oc- cupy these fortresses. In 1875, when the insurrection occurred in Bosnia, Nikita, who controlled an army of 15,000 well-armed troops, formed an alliance with the Bosnians against the Turks, and prosecuted the war with success until 1878. Not only did he repel all the Turkish attacks, but he even succeeded in capturing Antivari (thus securing a long-desired maritime outlet for his country) and Dulcigno in 1878. At the Congress of Berlin Turkey recognized the political independence of Montenegro (13 July, 1878),