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Miloš Obrenović (Serbian Cyrillic: Милош Обреновић; Anglicised: Milosh Obrenovich; also known as: Miloš Teodorović ) (18 March 1780 - 26 September 1860) was Prince of Serbia from 1815 to 1839, and again from 1858 to 1860. He participated in the First Serbian Uprising, led Serbs in the Second Serbian Uprising, and founded the House of Obrenović. Under his rule, Serbiamarker became an autonomous dukedom within the Ottoman Empire. He is credited with starting the process of reestablishing Serbian statehood, as well as shaping the domestic and foreign policies of the modern Serbian state. Prince Miloš ruled autocratically, permanently refusing to share power. During his rule, he was the richest man in Serbiamarker and one of the richest in the Balkans.

Early life

Miloš Obrenović was born in the village of Dobrinja near Požegamarker in the Užicemarker District to a poor family that had immigrated from Montenegromarker. His father, Teodor Mihailović, was a poor peasant. In 1810, following his half-brother Milan's death, Miloš derived the name Obrenović from the first name of his stepfather Obren Martinović (Milan's father). His mother Višnja Gojković had three children by her first husband - sons Jakov and Milan, and daughter Stana, and three more by her second husband - sons Miloš, Jevrem and Jovan. In his youth, Miloš was a servant in the family of Akso Ječmenica, an affluent cattle trader from Zlatibormarker.

Serbian Uprisings and Autonomy

Miloš fought in the First Serbian Uprising until its very end in 1813. His half-brother Milan also took part in the Uprising, rising to become the commander (duke) of the Rudnikmarker district. After the rebellion collapsed, Miloš was among the few of its leaders that remained in Serbia to face the vengeful returning Ottoman Turks. After the killing of Karađorđe Petrović, in 1817, Obrenović became the leader of the Serbs.

In April 1815, he organized and led the Second Serbian Uprising. By 1817 the Turks defeated Miloš's army, but not before he negotiated with Maraşlı Ali Paşa (English, Marashli Ali Pasha; Serbian, Marašli Ali Paša), the Ottoman governor. As a result of the agreement, Serbia gained some autonomy, but remained under Ottoman sovereignty. Miloš Obrenović was left in power as its absolute ruler. Sultan's decrees of 1830 and 1833 expanded the same rights to a larger territory, and made Serbiamarker a sovereign principality with Miloš Obrenović as hereditary prince. A Metropolitanate of Serbia was established in Belgrade, and made independent from the Patriarchate of Constantinoplemarker. Russiamarker's status as the guarantor of Serbiamarker's autonomy was also recognized.

Later rule

Monument "Uprising in Takovo" representing Miloš Obrenović

The people of Serbia often rebelled against Miloš's autocratic and often brutal rule. Following one such rebellion, he agreed to adopt a constitution in 1835. The move was opposed by neighboring Austria, the ruling Ottoman Empire and Russia. It is believed that the three great empires saw the constitution as a danger to their own autocratic systems of government. Metternich's Austria particularly ridiculed the fact that Serbia had its own flag and ministry of foreign affairs. Miloš abolished the constitution at the demand of Russia and Turkey.

Miloš abdicated in 1839 in favor of his sons – Milan, who died a few weeks later, and Mihailo, who then became prince. Mihailo was deposed in 1842, and the family was out of power until 1858, when it returned with Miloš restored as prince for the last two years of his life.


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