School of Philosophy
University of Belgrade
Ilija Garašanin on Serbia’s Statehood
Abstract: A subject usually neglected in the historical work on Ilija Garašanin’s role as a statesman has been discussed. Attention has been drawn to the legal status of Serbia at the moment Garašanin entered civil service and how it changed during the thirty years of his political career (1837–67). The first part of the paper looks at his views against the background of three vitally important issues for Serbia’s legal status at the time: the constitutional issue, the issue of hereditary succession and the issue of internal independence. His views on the three issues reflect his understanding of the existing status of the Principality of Serbia. The second part of the paper looks at how he envisaged a future Serbian state. Its largest portion is naturally devoted to the ideas put forth in the Načertanije (1844), the first programme of nineteenth-century Serbia’s national and foreign policy. It also looks at Garašanin’s attempt, made through the Serbian representative at the Porte in the revolutionary year 1848, to achieve the reorganization of the Ottoman Empire into a dual monarchy with the Serbian United States (or a Serbian vice-kingdom) as a constituent state. Finally, attention has been paid to the creation of a Balkan alliance through agreements concluded by Balkan states.
Keywords: Ilija Garašanin, Principality of Serbia, statehood, Ottoman Empire, Načertanije, foreign and national policy programme