Kingdom of Serbia (1718–39)

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Kingdom of Serbia
Königreich Serbien
Crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy



Coat of arms

Kingdom of Serbia (1718–39)
Capital Belgrade
Languages Serbian, German
Religion Roman Catholic,
Serbian Orthodox
Government Crownland
 •  1718–1720 Johann O'Dwyer
 •  1738–1739 George de Wallis
Historical era Early modern period
 •  Treaty of Passarowitz 21 July 1718
 •  Austro-Turkish War 1737–39
 •  Treaty of Belgrade 18 September 1739
Currency Kreuzer

The Kingdom of Serbia (Serbian: Краљевина Србија/Kraljevina Srbija; German: Königreich Serbien; Latin: Regnum Serviae) was a province (crownland) of the Habsburg monarchy from 1718 to 1739. It was formed from the territories to the south of the rivers Sava and Danube, corresponding to the paşalık of Belgrade, conquered by the Habsburgs from the Ottoman Empire in 1717. It was abolished and returned to the Ottoman Empire in 1739.

Although Habsburg rule was more oppressive than Ottoman and exploited the local Serb majority, the latter did benefit from self-government, including an autonomous militia, and economic integration with the Habsburg monarchy—reforms that contributed to the growth of the Serb middle class and were continued by the Ottomans "in the interest of law and order".[1] Serbia's population increased rapidly from 270,000 to 400,000, but the decline of Habsburg power in the region provoked the second Great Serb Migration (1737–39).


In 1688–89, during the Great Turkish War, the Habsburg troops temporarily took control over most of present-day Serbia, but were subsequently forced into retreat. The Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 recognized Ottoman authority over most of present-day Serbia, while the region of Bačka and the western part of Syrmia were assigned to the Habsburgs.

Another war broke out in 1716–18, in which Serbs massively joined the Habsburg troops. After the gains of 1718 (following the Treaty of Passarowitz), the Habsburgs sought to integrate Serbia into their empire. The land was officially named the "Kingdom of Serbia", because it was neither a part of the Holy Roman Empire nor the Kingdom of Hungary. The actual administration of the province was in the hands of an appointed governor. Not all the Serb-inhabited territory conquered by the Habsburgs in 1718 was included into Kingdom of Serbia. A large eastern province was administratively separate as the Banat of Temeswar.

After a new Austro-Turkish War (1737–39), the Habsburg monarchy lost all territories south of the Sava and Danube rivers, including the whole territory of the Kingdom of Serbia, it retained, however, the Banat of Temeswar. The end of Habsburg rule resulted in the second Great Serb Migration (1737–39).


Serbia was jointly supervised by the Aulic War Council and the Court Chamber, and subordinated to a local military-cameral administration.[2]


Serbian Militia

Following the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718), the Habsburgs established the Kingdom of Serbia and appointed the first command cadre of the Serbian National Militia, composed out of two obor-kapetans, ten kapetans, two lieutenants and one major.[3] The obor-kapetans were Vuk Isaković "Crnobarac" and Staniša Marković "Mlatišuma".[3] During the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39), the Serbian Militia was divided into 18 companies, in four groups (obor-kapetanije).[4]


A 1720 regulation declared that Belgrade was to be settled mainly by German Catholics, while the Serbs were to live outside the city walls in the "Rascian" part.[2] It has been estimated that the population in Belgrade in the 1720s did not exceed 20,000.[2] The population increased rapidly from 270,000 to 400,000, but the end of Habsburg power in the region resulted in the second Great Serb Migration (1737–39).


Growth of the Habsburg Monarchy showing Serbia in 1718–39.

Although the Habsburg administration over this part of present-day Serbia was short-lived, the consciousness about separate political entity was left behind by the Habsburgs, thus local inhabitants never again fully accepted Ottoman administration, which led to Koča's frontier rebellion in 1788 and to the First Serbian Uprising in 1804, which ended direct Ottoman rule over this part of present-day Serbia.[citation needed]


  1. Hupchick 2004, p. 213.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Michael Hochedlinger (2003). Austria's Wars of Emergence: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1683-1797. Longman. pp. 229–. ISBN 978-0-582-29084-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Belgrade (Serbia). Istorijski muzej Srbije (1984). Zbornik Istorijskog muzeja Srbije. Muzej. p. 11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Radovan M. Drašković (1987). Valjevo u prošlosti: prilozi za zavičajnu istoriju. "Milić Rakić". p. 22. Хајдучка војска била је подељена на 18 компанија, које су се распореЬивале у 4 групе.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>