A SERBIAN REBELLION IS LED BY KARAGEORGE 1804 -
xxxxxAs we have seen, the Serbs were defeated by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 (R2), and in 1459 Serbia was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. In 1804, however, the guerrilla fighter Karageorge led a rebellion against Turkish rule. By 1808 he had seized power and was regarded as the “supreme Serbian hereditary leader”. In 1812, however, faced with a French invasion, Russia made peace with the Turks and this gave the Sultan the opportunity to strike back. His armies invaded Serbia and crushed the revolt. Karageorge escaped, but on returning to Serbia in 1817 was murdered by a new national leader Milos Obrenovich. He went on to gain control of the country, and in 1867 his son Michael negotiated the withdrawal of all Turkish troops. Full independence came after supporting the Russians in the Russo-
xxxxxAs we have seen, the Serbs were defeated by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 (R2). Resistance continued for some years, but in 1459, six years after the Turks captured Constantinople, Serbia was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. As a result, any further show of open defiance against their masters did not emerge until 1804. It was then that George Petrovic (1762-
xxxxxKarageorge was a cold, calculating man, who showed no mercy to those who defied him, even be they relatives or friends. He waged a relentless guerrilla war against the Turks, conducting his campaign across the whole of the province, and slaughtering all those he captured regardless of age or sex. At first, in attacking the Janissaries, he had the tacit agreement of the Sultan -
xxxxxKarageorgexmanaged to escape, fled to Austria and then took refuge in Russia. It was while there that another national leader emerged, Milos Obrenovich (1780-
xxxxxNevertheless, following the Russo-
xxxxxIncidentally, in order to win favour with the Turks, after Milos Obrenovich had organised the murder of Karageorge, he had his victim’s head sent to Constantinople by way of a present to the Sultan!
Karageorge: detail, by the Russian painter Vladimir Borovikovsky (1757-