Principality of Serbia
The Principality of Serbia was a semi-independent state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian Revolution, which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Its creation was negotiated first through an unwritten agreement between Miloš Obrenović, leader of the Second Serbian Uprising and Ottoman official Marashli Pasha, it was followed by the series of legal documents published by the Porte in 1828, 1829 and 1830 — the Hatt-i Sharif. Its de facto independence ensued in 1867, following the expulsion of all Ottoman troops from the country. In 1882 the country was elevated to the status of kingdom; the Serbian revolutionary leaders — first Karađorđe and Miloš Obrenović — succeeded in their goal of liberating Serbia from centuries-long Turkish rule. Turkish authorities acknowledged the state in 1830 by the charter known as the Hatt-i Sharif, Miloš Obrenović became a hereditary prince of the Serbian Principality. At first, the principality included only the territory of the former Pashaluk of Belgrade, but in 1831–33 it expanded to the east and west.
In 1866 Serbia began campaign of forging The First Balkan Alliance by signing the series of agreements with other Balkan entities in period 1866-68. On 18 April 1867 the Ottoman government ordered the Ottoman garrison, since 1826 the last representation of Ottoman suzerainty in Serbia, withdrawn from the Belgrade fortress; the only stipulation was that the Ottoman flag continue to fly over the fortress alongside the Serbian one. Serbia's de facto independence dates from this event. A new constitution in 1869 defined Serbia as an independent state. Serbia was further expanded to the southeast in 1878, when its independence from the Ottoman Empire won full international recognition at the Treaty of Berlin; the Principality would last until 1882. 1835 Sretenje Constitution, in effect 1835 1838 Constitution of Serbia, in effect 1838–69 1869 Constitution of Serbia, in effect 1869–88 Akkerman Convention, treaty between the Russian Empire and Ottoman Empire, had article 5 on Serbia: autonomy, return of lands removed in 1813, Serbs were granted freedom of movement through the Ottoman Empire.
Rejected by Mahmud II in 1828. 1829 hatt-i sharif 1830 hatt-i sharif 1833 hatt-i sharif This is ethnic and religious composition of Principality of Serbia in 1866 and after that population by year. The Principality was ruled by the Obrenović dynasty, except for a period under Prince Aleksandar of the Karađorđević dynasty. Princes Miloš and Mihailo Obrenović. History of Serbia Kingdom of Serbia Principality of Serbia in 1833 Principality of Serbia in 1878 Balkan Peninsula in 1878 Map Map
Atanasije Rajić, known by his nickname Tanasko, was a Serbian vojvoda and revolutionary, the barjaktar in the First Serbian Uprising led by Karađorđe against the Ottoman Empire, the captain in Obrenović's Second Serbian Uprising, during which he died. Atanasije was born on January 31, 1754, below the Rudnik mountain; as he was born on the slava of St. Athanasius, he was named Atanasije, he was a friend of Janićije Đurić, the secretary of Karađorđe. One of his sons married Perunika, the younger sister of Đurić. With Karađorđe and other Šumadijan rebels, he clashed many times with the Ottoman Turks. In his area, Sali-aga was known for his cruelty. Tanasko plan an attack on Sali-aga, he was part of the talks between prominent Serbs in planning the uprising. In the evening of Sretenje Gospodnje, 1804, Karađorđe, Stanoje Glavaš, Janićije Đurić, 70 other armed Šumadijans arrived at Orašac; the next day, the Orašac assembly elected leader of the Serbs. Karađorđe handed over a red and white war flag and appointed Tanasko the flag-bearer of the Serbian revolution.
After the outbreak of the uprising, Tanasko went to his home village and gathered and organized people for the siege of Rudnik which would follow. Tanasko was indignant to Sali-aga and promised that he would kill him and save Rudnik from violence. On 2 March 1804, the Serbian army led by Tanasko surrounded the city, demanding the surrender of Sali-aga; the Ottomans refused, prepared for battle, waiting for Kučuk Alija from Belgrade. Tanasko commanded the operation. Turkish reinforcements arrived from Čačak; the Turks were defeated, with their weapons seized. Tanasko was wounded in the arm. Tanasko did not participate in forming the first state government, he remained a soldier, known for his bravery. Sali-aga was beheaded by Tanasko, he further participated against the fightings against Ali Gušanac on the Morava river when he and his army fortified Crni Vrh near Jagodina and awaited Gušanac. Gušanac fled from the battle, his army was disarmed. Voivode Jovan Kursula participated in this battle. After the victory, there was political arguing between Tanasko and Karađorđe, due to the leader's centralism.
Tanasko returned to his village and stayed there until 1813. When Serbia faced serious difficulty, Tanasko reconciled with Karađorđe, planned the defense. After the failure of the uprising, Tanasko returns to his village, becoming a witness to Ottoman retaliation. Despite his advancing age, he joined Miloš Obrenović's Second Serbian Uprising and returned to the battlefield; as chief commanders of the Serb rebels, Tanasko sought to expel the Ottomans from the Čačak nahija. On 6 June 1815, the two sides met at the Ljubić hill; the Ottoman commander Imšir Pasha went to destroy the Serbian positions near Čačak. The rebels hurried and fortified the trenches of Ljubić, 1.5 km north of Čačak, where Imšir was holding. The battle began in the morning, with an Ottoman surprise attack on Serbian positions, the Serbs managed in the beginning. Tanasko commanded the cannon batteries in the surrounding hills. Just before the battle, Tanasko was elevated to captain in Obrenović's Serbian army. In the beginning of the battle, Tanasko had attacked the Ottoman positions, but Ottomans had his position encircled.
The situation became difficult, Tanasko held on to his cannons. When the Ottomans advanced on the trenches where Tanasko was situated, he continued to command, climbed onto a top and began to shoot at the Ottomans; the Ottomans had him cut into pieces. The Serbian army gathered and won the battle. Imšir Pasha died in the battle, the Ottoman army retreated to Čačak. A monument was erected in his honour on the hill of Ljubić, near Čačak, the site of the battle in which he fell, his weapons are held on display at the Military Belgrade. Schools in Čačak and Pirot are named after him. Streets in Čačak and Kraljevo are named after him. A Yugoslav Army barrack was named after him, stationed in Čačak; the Cultural and Artistic Association from Ljubić is named "Tanasko Rajić". A local football team in Pirot is named "FK Tanasko Rajić". Dojčilo Mitrović. Tanasko Rajić, ustanički barjaktar i tobdžija. Prosveta. Tanasko Rajić, Karađorđev barjaktar. Dositej. 2008. ISBN 978-86-7644-044-3. Milica Baum, "Belgrade", A. S. Barnes, 1970, p. 87 Nebojša Damnjanović, Vladimir Merenik, "The first Serbian uprising and the restoration of the Serbian state", Historical Museum of Serbia, Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, 2004, pp. 72–74 Novosti Online, "Rano bez oca", 29 May 2006
Pavle "Paja" Jovanović was one of Serbia’s most acclaimed Realist painters, alongside Uroš Predić and Đorđe Krstić. Jovanovic is best known for his early works using ordinary people during ″oriental cycles″, his detailed dramatic realism in both mythical and everyday scenes, he is considered one of Serbia's greatest “orientalist” painters. His most significant works are: The Wounded Montenegrin, Decorating of the Bride and Migration of the Serbs, he painted many famous portraits. Paja Jovanović was born in Vršac, Austrian Empire, his father was photographer Stevan Jovanović and his mother was Ernestina née Deot, of French descent. He spent his childhood and early youth in this home town, where he saw the iconostasis of Pavel Đurković and Arsa Teodorović in the town churches, which would influence his future works, he received his first art lectures and knowledge from his teacher Vodecki. His father took him to Vienna in 1875 when he was 15, where he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in 1877 in the class of professor Christian Griepenkerl.
He finished the Academy in 1880, attending several important courses taught by Leopold Carl Müller, known as an "orientalist". In the following period, having noticed greater interest of Europe for the Balkans, he painted scenes from the life of the Serbs, Herzogivinans and Albanians, which brought him great reputation. Encouraged to visit the Balkan region during his hiatus, he studied the customs and folklore of the people, in 1882 he was awarded the prize of the Academy and was given the Imperial scholarship for the composition The Wounded Montenegrin; the public and many art critics directed their attention to the young painter, in 1883 he signed a contract with the "French" gallery in London. He continued his travelling through Caucasus, Egypt, Turkey and Spain. A great number of sketches and studies, along with the collected objects from the life of the common people, will find their place in his famous genre-compositions, such as: Fencing, Decorating of the Bride, Cockfighting; some of Jovanović's most remarkable praises were gathered at two of his greatest exhibitions: Millennium exhibition in Budapest in 1896, where he prepared Migration of the Serbs for entry, but the Vršac triptych was sent instead, the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, for which he had painted a great historical composition The Proclamation of Dušan's Law Codex.
As early as 1893 he was proclaimed a member of the Serbian Royal Academy. He was tasked with painting historical compositions. After 1905 he devoted himself to painting the portraits in the style of academic realism for the rich clientele, he became famous thanks to them; some of the most famous include those of Painter Simington, Mihajlo Pupin, Đoka Jovanović, others. He painted the portraits of his longtime wife, Muni with special care, he painted the iconostasis in the church of St Nicholas in Dolovo and Orthodox cathedral in Novi Sad, painted without commission. He spent most of his time in his atelier in Vienna, where he settled, travelled to Belgrade. In 1940 he was made honorary citizen of Vršac, in 1949 he was given the Order zasluga za narod of the first category, he lived and lonely, after his wife's early death, in Vienna until his own death in 1957. According to his will, the urn with his ashes was to be moved to Belgrade and where “The Legacy of Paja Jovanović” was opened in 1970, as well in Vršac.
In the building of the Old Pharmacy on the Stairs, in 1977 the permanent commemorative exhibition of Paja Jovanović was opened. The works of Paja Jovanović have been kept in the Town Museum of Vršac, along with the exceptionally famous Vršac Triptych. Most of his works and personal belongings can be found in the Town Museum of Belgrade. Orientalism indicates interest in Oriental scenes in the visual arts of the 19th century. Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, the conquest of Algeria, as well as travel books and other literary descriptions encouraged the enthusiasm and imagination of artists. Islamic countries of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa had become the preferred travel destination for many artists. Scenes of squares, bazaars and various folklore events entered European painting. Orientalism had a purely documentary character and more depicted the enthusiasm of Europeans for beauty and allure of the unknown and exotic world; the wild nature and unusual customs, combined with the gorgeous colors and light, had become a great inspiration to European artists.
During a long period of education, Paja Jovanović, along with classes at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, attended the School of historical painting of Leopold Carl Miller, famous for its oriental motifs. There is no doubt. Noting the increased interest of Europe to the events in the Balkans, he traveled during the holidays to Albania, Dalmatia and Herzegovina and Serbia gathering sketches and studies of the life of the Balkan peoples; these themes brought Paja Jovanović worldwide fame and popularity. List of Orientalist artists Orientalism Paja Jovanović. Muzej Grada, Beograda. 1970. Dejan Medaković. Paja Jovanović. Prosveta izdavačko preduzeće Srbije. Pavle-Paja Jovanović. 1961. A Survey of Serbian art by Ljubica D. Popovich Museum of Belgrade City Museum; the Legacy of Paja Jovanović, Belgrade City Museum. In Remembrance of Paja Jovanović, Town Museum of Vrsac. Decorating of the Bride by Paja Jovanovic, National Museum Belgrade. Rooster
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
Albanian National Awakening
The Albanian National Awakening known as the Albanian Renaissance or National Renaissance or National Revival, refers to a social and political movement in the history of Albania from the 19th century until the declaration of independence in 1912 that advocated the revival of Albanian culture, language and the creation of the country of Albania. The activists are called Revivalists. There is some debate among experts regarding when the Albanian nationalist movement should be considered to have started; some sources attribute its origins to the revolts against centralization in the 1830s, others to the publication of the first attempt by Naum Veqilharxhi at a standardized alphabet for Albanian in 1844, or to the collapse of the League of Prizren during the Eastern Crisis in 1881. Various compromise positions between these three theses have emerged, such as one view positing that Albanian nationalism had foundations that dated earlier but "consolidated" as a movement during the Eastern Crisis.
Another view is that Albanian nationalism's roots "sprouted" in the reforms of the first decades of the 19th century but Albanian nationalism emerged properly in the 1830s and 1840s as a romantic movement for societal reform, mainly driven by Albanians publishing from abroad, it transformed into an overt political national movement in the 1870s. On December 20, 1912, the Conference of Ambassadors in London recognized an independent Albania within its present-day borders. After the fall of the Yanina Pashalik, the power and influence of the Albanian beys had faded; the remaining beys thus attempted to restore their rule. An assembly was held in Berat in 1828. In this Convention, the leaders were Zylyftar Poda and Shahin bej Delvina; the Ottoman Empire tried to prevent the rise of local beys, which presented a menace to centralized power. In 1830, the Sublime Porte sent an expeditionary force under the command of Reşid Mehmed Pasha to suppress the local Albanian beys. On hearing the news of the Ottoman forces' arrival, the three most powerful local chiefs, Zylyftar Poda, accompanied by the remains of Ali Pasha's faction, Veli Bey, Arslan Bey, along with other less powerful beys, began to prepare their forces to resist a probable Ottoman attack.
Realising the seriousness of the situation and the danger of a general uprising, Reşid Mehmed Pasha invited the Albanian beys to a meeting on the pretext that they would be rewarded for their loyalty to the Porte. The beys however, were all killed along with their guards; the last Albanian pashalik to fall was the Scutari Pashalik. The Bushati dynasty rule ended when an Ottoman army under Mehmed Reshid Pasha besieged the Rozafa Castle and forced Mustafa Reshiti to surrender; the Albanian defeat ended a planned alliance between the Albanian beys and the Bosnian nobility, who were seeking autonomy. Instead of the pashalik, the vilayets of Scutari and that of Kosovo were created. By removing the Timar system, the Sublime Porte intended to strengthen its central government and reclaim the power of the Empire, weakened due to economic and social backwardness, from the exploitative system and from the ongoing uprisings of peoples. Reforms began to be implemented in Albania since the 1830s, they gave a blow to the ranks of the old military feudal class, weakened from Ottoman expeditions from 1822 to 1831.
Parts of the feudal heads that had launched revolts were eliminated, others were exiled and those who could, had escaped from the country. All their properties were declared state-owned; this gave rise to new landowners. Due to the Ottoman occupation, the ideology of Nationalism developed difficultly and were limited in Albanian-inhabited territories in the Balkan, they found more favorable development conditions outside, in the capital of the Empire, Italy, other Balkan countries etc. The national ideas became apparent via popular uprisings against the Tanzimat reforms, but they still did not reach a period to be formulated in full policy of the National Movement, they were more expressed with literary works and studies of the Albanian people, history and culture. In their writings, the Rilindas fought to invoke feelings of love for the country by exalting patriotic traditions and episodes of history that of the Skanderbeg era and folk culture; the centralizing reforms of the Ottoman government were implemented with the deployment of civil and military personnel in Albania.
This was met with resistance by the local population which first began with the refusal to execute orders and transformed into armed rebellion. After two local uprisings that burst in the beginning of 1833 in Kolonjë and in Dibër were repressed, uprisings occurred in Berat-Vlorë-Delvinë-Çamëria area in larger scales than before; the actions of the Ottoman army were driven by terror and increased unhappiness in the local population, who were aptly anticipated to revolt again. Fugitive agitators circulated across the provinces to organize further rebellions, calling on the people to prepare for war. Others were sent to neighboring provinces to secure their presence by pointing out they are "brothers." To get ahead of the danger Of the new outbreak of popular hate, at the beginning of 1844, the Ottoman authorities urged urgent action. They concentrated large military forces at various points in Bitola where the state was worse. By the end of March 1844, the new uprising was suppressed. In the ensuing years there were bursts of
Simeon "Sima" Nenadović was a Serbian voivode in the Second Serbian Uprising of the Serbian revolution. He was part of the Nenadović family, among, his brother Prota Mateja, the first Serbian Prime Minister, his father Aleksa Nenadović, his nephew Ljubomir Nenadović, his uncle Jakov Nenadović. Simeon Nenadović "Sima" was born in Brankovina, his father was knez Aleksa Nenadović, his mother's name was Jovanka. The renegade janissaries, known as dahia, took control of the Smederevan Sanjak in 1802, after murdering Vizier Hadži Mustafa Pasha; the four leaders divided the Sanjak, ruling as dictators removing the rights granted by Sultan Selim III. In 1804, the jannisaries executed more than 70 prominent Serb nobles, among which were Aleksa, Ilija Birčanin. Sima finished Great School in Belgrade, military school in Vienna; the slaughter of the dukes triggered the First Serbian Uprising. Karadjordje was elected as leader. Sima's uncle, Jakov Nenadović, was one of the most distinguished revolutionary commanders, the first Serbian Interior Minister.
His older brother, known as Prota Mateja, was an Orthodox archpriest and the first Serbian Prime Minister. Sima did only participate in the battles on the Drina. With the suppression of the revolt by the Ottomans, Sima fled Serbia and helped his brother Mateja in his diplomatic missions, he returned to Serbia with the outbreak of the Second Serbian Uprising. He became a voivode of the Valjevo nahija, he died in combat against the Ottomans at Dublje, during the Battle of Dublje on 26 July 1815, at the age of 22. Milićević, Milan. Поменик знаменитих људи у српскога народа новијега доба. Srpska kraljevska štamparija. Pp. 412–414. Velibor Berko Savić, Nenadovići, Valjevo 2004
The Serbian Revolution was a national uprising and constitutional change in Serbia that took place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Ottoman province into a rebel territory, a constitutional monarchy and modern Serbia. The first part of the period, from 1804 to 1817, was marked by a violent struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire with two armed uprisings taking place, ending with a ceasefire; the period witnessed a peaceful consolidation of political power of the autonomous Serbia, culminating in the recognition of the right to hereditary rule by Serbian princes in 1830 and 1833 and the territorial expansion of the young monarchy. The adoption of the first written Constitution in 1835 abolished feudalism and serfdom, made the country suzerain; the term Serbian Revolution was coined by a German academic historiographer, Leopold von Ranke, in his book Die Serbische Revolution, published in 1829. These events marked the foundation of modern Serbia; the period is further divided as follows: First Serbian Uprising, led by Karađorđe Petrović Hadži Prodan's revolt Second Serbian Uprising, led by Miloš Obrenović Official recognition of the Serbian state The Proclamation by Karađorđe in the capital Belgrade represented the apex of the first phase.
It called for national unity, drawing on Serbian history to demand the freedom of religion and formal, written rule of law, both of which the Ottoman Empire had failed to provide. It called on Serbs to stop paying taxes to the Porte, deemed unfair as based on religious affiliation. Apart from dispensing with poll tax on non-Muslims, the revolutionaries abolished all feudal obligations in 1806, only 15 years after the French revolution and serf emancipation thus representing a major social break with the past; the rule of Miloš Obrenović consolidated the achievements of the Uprisings, leading to the proclamation of the first constitution in the Balkans and the establishment of the oldest Balkan institution of higher learning still in existence, the Great Academy of Belgrade. In 1830 and again in 1833, Serbia was recognized as an autonomous principality, with hereditary princes paying annual tribute to the Porte. De facto independence came in 1867, with the withdrawal of Ottoman garrisons from the principality.
New circumstances, such as the Austrian occupation of Serbia, rise of the Serbian elite across the Danube, Napoleon's conquests in the Balkans, reforms in the Russian Empire, exposed Serbs to new ideas. They could now compare how their compatriots made progress in Christian Austria, the Illyrian provinces and elsewhere, while the Ottoman Serbs were still subjects to a religion-based tax that treated them as second class citizens. During the Austrian occupation of Serbia, many Serbs served as soldiers and officers in Habsburg armies, where they acquired knowledge about military tactics and weapons. Others were employed in the occupied zone, they began to travel in search of trade and education, were exposed to European ideas about secular society, politics and philosophy, including both rationalism and Romanticism. They met with the values of the French Revolution, which would affect many Serbian merchants and educated people. There was an active Serbian community in the southern Habsburg Empire, from where ideas made their way southwards.
Another role model was the Russian Empire, the only independent Slavic and Orthodox country, which had reformed itself and was now a serious menace to the Turks. The Russian experience implied hope for Serbia. Other Serbian thinkers found strengths in the Serbian nation itself. Two top Serbian scholars were influenced by Western learning to turn their attention to Serbia's own language and literature. One was a former priest who left for Western Europe. Shocked that his people had no modern secular literature, he assembled grammars and dictionaries to create a modern Serbian language, wrote some books himself and translated others. Others followed his lead and revived tales of Serbia's medieval glory, he became the first Minister of Education of modern Serbia. The second figure was Vuk Karadžić. Vuk was less influenced by Enlightenment rationalism like Dositej Obradović and more by Romanticism, which romanticized rural and peasant communities. Vuk collected and published Serbian epic poetry, work that helped to build Serbian awareness of a common identity based in shared customs and shared history.
This kind of linguistic and cultural self-awareness was a central feature of German nationalism in this period, Serbian intellectuals now applied the same ideas to the Balkans. During the First Serbian Uprising, Serbia perceived itself as an independent state for the first time after 300 years of Ottoman and short-lasting Austrian occupations. Encouraged by the Russian Empire, the demands for self-government within the Ottoman Empire in 1804 evolved into a war for independence by 1807. Combining patriarchal peasant democracy with modern national goals the Serbian revolution was attracting thousands of volunteers among the Serbs from across the Balkans and Central Europe; the Serbian Revolution became a symbol of the nation-building process in the Balkans, provoking peasant unrest among the Christians in both Greece and Bulgaria. Following a successful siege with 25,000 men, on 8 January 1807 the charismatic leader of the revolt, Karađorđe Petrović, proclaimed Belgrade the capital of Serbia.
Serbs responded to Ottoman brutalities by establis