Kingdom of Serbia
From Hobson's Choice
Nation of the Balkans with a history dating back to the Byzantine Empire. Suppressed during the period of Ottoman Rule in Europe (1389-1882). Approximately the same territory as modern Republic of Serbia.
In 1878, the same year that Serbia was recognized as a principality (not a kingdom) by the Congress of Berlin, the Austro-Hungarian Empire occupied the Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This created a political tension between Vienna and Belgrade, since the Serbs believed B-H was rightfully part of Serbia. An organization formed among Serbs in B-H, called the Black Hand, which demanded the redemption of B-H to Serbia.
In 1910, Austria-Hungary unilaterally annexed B-H, creating intense disaffection among Serbs living there. Especially disturbing to them was the proposal of the Archduke of Austria to replace the double crown (Austria + Hungary) with a triple crown (Austria + Hungary + Slavs), of which B-H would have been a part. In June of 1914, therefore, when the Archduke was visiting Sarajevo, he and his wife were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, member of the Black Hand.
The response of the Emperor was to insist at once on the right of Imperial officials to operate with complete liberty in Serbia in order to liquidate the Black Hand and Serbian nationalists. When the Serb government refused, the Empire invaded and World War 1 began.
World War I
Against the might of the Central Powers, Serbia's military collapsed. Montenegro entered the war on the Serb side, as it had in the Balkan Wars; it was occupied by Austria. By 1916, most of Serbia and Montenegro were under Central Occupation. Austria reached as far south as Thessaly in Greece (Serbia's ally). However, with the defeat of the Central Powers, Serbia was liberated. It immediately entered a union with Montenegro.
A direct consequence was the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hungarian province of Croatia and [most of] the Banat, plus the Austrian territories of Carniola and Dalmatia, were awarded to Serbia. Kosovo and Macedonia were already part of the Kingdom.
The new state was the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which in 1927 changed its name to Yugoslavia.
- Otto Neurath, Thomas E. Uebel, & R. S. Cohen, Otto Neurath Economic Writings: Selections, 1904-1945, Spinger (2004); see "Serbia's Successes in the Balkan War" (April 1913) p.200ff
- Map of the Balkans, 1918
- War Atlas: Kingdom of Serbia, Trenches on the Web
- Wikipedia: Kingdom of Serbia & History of Serbia