English translation by Igor Jaramaz
IV. The People
1. The People and the State Territory
A country’s total population, united under a state’s jurisdiction, makes up a people in the political sense, irrespective of whether or not it stems from a common tribe. Thus for example, we say ‘American People’, which implies all citizens of the United States disregarding different ethnic origins. That can also be applied to the French, German, Russian people and so on. Therefore, the concept of a ‘people’, in the political sense, does not overlap with that of ethnicity because the former is far more inclusive that the latter.
When it comes to the people of our fatherland, we could never utilize the term ‘Montenegrin people’ in an ethnic context because the Montenegrins are ethnic Serbs and a Montenegrin ethnicity does not exist. Aside from that, within Montenegro’s borders reside citizens of non-Serb ethnicity, yet this does not prevent them from belonging to a political Montenegrin people.
Accordingly, in order to avoid a detrimental and often dangerous misunderstanding, one should carefully distinguish an ethnographic people from a political people. For example, the formulation ‘Montenegro is for the Montenegrins’ should be understood as opposing Montenegrins to foreign citizens, with all Montenegrin citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity, remaining equal before the State.
Montenegro’s borders encompass its sovereign territory. That area is but a fraction of what is denoted as the Serb Lands, which are inhabited exclusively or mostly by Serbs yet politically separated among several states. Two present-day independent Serb kingdoms sprung from those Lands: Montenegro and Serbia. The third portion is in Austria-Hungary and a part in Bulgaria.
The Montenegrin Kingdom’s surface is 18,000 sq. km and home to some 500,000 inhabitants.
The sovereign territory is indivisible and unalienable. Montenegro’s borders cannot be drawn back,[...]