Milan (prince and king of Serbia)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Milan (prince and king of Serbia)

Milan (Milan Obrenović) (mĬl´än ōbrĕ´nəvĬch), 1854–1901, prince (1868–82) and king (1882–89) of Serbia; grandnephew of Miloš Obrenović. He succeeded his cousin Michael Obrenović as prince. He was educated in Paris, and a regency, which undertook constitutional reform in 1869, ruled for him until 1872. Under Russian influence he declared war (1876) on the Ottoman Empire in support of the rebellion in Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Russo-Turkish Wars). At the Congress of Berlin (1878) he secured Austrian support and obtained European recognition of the full independence of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire. In 1882 he took the title king of Serbia after signing a secret treaty granting Austria considerable influence. Heavy taxation, his pro-Austrian policy, his scandalous private life, and his unsuccessful campaign (1885) against Bulgaria aroused bitter opposition. After proclaiming (1889) a liberal constitution, he abdicated in favor of his son, Alexander (Alexander Obrenović), and went abroad. He returned in 1897 and became commander in chief of the army but resigned upon his son's marriage to Draga Mašin.

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