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Charles Seignobos, A Political History of Europe, since 1814, ed. S. M. Macvane, H. Holt and Company, New York, 1900, pp. 663-664; excerpt from chapter XXI The Christian Nations of The Balkans, subchapter Servia and Montenegro, passages Montenegro

Tchernagora, better known by the Italian name Montenegro, is a small, almost inaccessible country lying in the range of mountains that skirts the eastern Adriatic. It had maintained itself as a practically independent district within the Ottoman Empire. Its inhabitants, Orthodox Serbs, nominally Turkish subjects, formed a small nation of armed mountaineers, governed by a family of national and religious leaders who succeed each other from uncle to nephew, with the title of Vladika or prince-bishop. It was a democracy of warriors; the women cultivated the land and the men practised arms. The neighbourhood of Herzegovina gave Montenegro a political rôle; the Vladikas became allies of Russia, which used the Montenegrins to rouse the Christian Serbs of Herzegovina and to make raids upon the Turks.

In 1851 Danilo, on succeeding his uncle, dropped the title of Vladika, married, and founded the dynasty of the princes of Montenegro. The Sultan sent an army against him, which the Tsar obliged him to recall ( 1852). Then, in return for the attitude he had taken in the Crimean war, the Prince of Montenegro received an annual subsidy from the Tsar. Danilo was killed by a private enemy in 1860 and was succeeded by his nephew Nikita.

Montenegrin political life consisted of little more than the almost continual struggle against the Mussulmans, which came to open war during the Herzegovina insurrections (1862 and 1876). Russia repaid Montenegro's services in the campaign of 1877 by making the Sultan cede to her a larger and more populous territory than the whole former principality, with a port which assured her communication with Europe (1878). But the Albanian Mussulmans who occupied the country refused to give it up; and Montenegro got possession of it only after a long war and the famous demonstration of the European fleets before Dulcigno.

Of domestic political life there has been extremely little. The prince, once officially independent of the Sultan, has remained an absolute sovereign, controlling the budget, exercising all the powers, appointing even Church officials. But he has covered the patriarchal system with European forms. The administrative Statute of 1879 established a legislative Council of State of 8 members, half chosen by the prince, the other half elected by the people. A legal code of the French sort has been adopted. The organization has remained military, the people divided into tribes, each with its elective elders and its military chief. But the princely family of Montenegro, by means of marriages with the reigning families of Russia (1889) and Italy (1896), has entered the society of European dynasties.