It has been 204 years since the assassination of Karadjordj in Radovanjski lug, when one of the oldest and deepest divisions of the Serbian people was born with blood and crime. At that time the circle of dynastic struggles and violence was turned, which spread throughout the nineteenth century.
Tog 13/26. On the morning of July 1817, villager Dragić Vojkić found the beheaded bodies of leader Karađorđe and his servant Naum on his small estate in Radovanjski lug.
Their heads had already been taken to Prince Milos, who, according to the official historical version, was still the person who ordered the assassination. The question of what really happened that fateful night was broken by the reliability of the sources, of which there are many, and myths and legends are woven around it.
Different pens of Serbian literature and other intellectual elites also wove their views on folklore.
The events that led to the unfortunate event more or less escaped the traps of the collective memory thanks to good documentation.
However, there are also numerous doubts, especially as to who is more to blame and what influence the great powers had.
However, whatever the motives of Karadjordj, he was and remained for some the father of modern Serbia and for others a traitor.
Childhood and youth
Historians have not been able to determine with certainty the exact date on which he was born, but it is assumed that he was in Đurđić on November 16, 1762 in Viševac. Her parents Marica and Petar were very poor, so they often had to move.
At his birth, he was named George by the saint who was celebrated that day. There are several stories about how he acquired the nickname of George Black later in life.
According to one of the beliefs, this nickname dates back to his childhood, when one could already glimpse his unwavering and challenging temperament, which could not stand any authority.
According to another belief, the Turks added the prefix “kara” to their name, which means “black” in Turkish because they were afraid of it.
From the scant data we have on his life, it can be concluded that he abandoned the hajduks at first. In the spring of 1785 or 1786, he married Jelena Jovanović, whom he allegedly had to kidnap because his father did not approve of the marriage.
Fleeing the “Turkish Yoke Room”, Karadjordj moved to Srem with his family after his marriage.
During the trip, his father was afraid that the Turks would capture them, so he not only wanted to go back, but also wanted to betray them all. They say that at the urging of his mother, Karadjordj killed his father with his own hand.
He showed his stubbornness and justice in the midst of the uprising of 1806, when he sentenced his brother to death on charges of rape.
However, these decisions left devastating consequences on his mental state, which came to light only in the crucial hours for Serbia in the autumn of 1813.
In his early youth, shortly after reaching the Habsburg monarchy, Karadjordj joined the Frajkor detachment within the Austrian army, which was usually made up of Serbian volunteers.
Thus, in a strange uniform, he fought against the Turks in the pashaluq of Belgrade during the last Austro-Turkish war from 1788 to 1791 and then participated in the creation of Kočina Krajina. This experience will be of great help to you in organizing insurgent operations.
With the peace of Svishtov, the Turks guaranteed amnesty to all Serbs who fought on the enemy side, so Karadjordj refused to be an Austrian subject and returned to Serbia.
In the following years, the Ottoman Empire was shaken by the revolts of the Janissaries, while Karadjordj passed them constantly walking to the limit of the law.
He was a buljubas of the Serbian People’s Army, which was founded on the initiative of the Pasha of Belgrade in order to suppress the genissars, but this did not prevent him from taking on the role of harambasha among the hajduks a little later.
The Serbs feared both the Janissaries and the Turks. Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign in 1798 would drag a large part of the Ottoman army away from the Balkans, which would give the more persistent Daissis-Dahis a chance to establish their reign of terror.
The atrocities that took place during the nearly three-year tyranny of Aganlija, Kučuk Alija, Mule Jusuf and Mehmed-Age Fočić were unbearable.
The Dahija regime welcomed Karadjordj to Topola, where he intended to settle permanently. Instead, he was known as an honorable guest who was always willing to defend the country and the people, which ultimately recommended him as the leader of the Serbian Revolution.
At the head of the revolt
Turkish oppression broke the Serbian people ‘s limit of patience with the Seč princes, which took place in early 1804.
The Turks thought they had completely cut off the insurgent motives of the Serbs, but Karadjordje was on 2/14. In February, he gathered all prominent Serbian leaders in Orašje, more precisely in the ditch of Marićević. There an agreement was reached to start the fight as soon as possible.
Initially, the uprising was to be led by Prince Teodosije Maricevic or Hajduk Stanoje Glavas, but as neither accepted this idea, Karadjordj was eventually elected leader.
Insurgent fires quickly spread to western and central Serbia. It is important to note that the Serbs did not rise up against the sultan at that time, but only against the dahis, and that even the spahis supported them.
They entered open conflict with the port only in 1805. In August of the same year, the insurgents managed to defeat the huge Turkish army in the battles of Ivankovac. Serbian victories continued in Misara and Deligrad, until 1806, when the peace of Icko was concluded, according to which Serbia would become a Turkish vassal principality.
Of course, Karadjordj did not reconcile with this and in 1807 dragged Serbia into the anti-Turkish alliance with Russia. The glorious epic continued like this, but was abruptly interrupted in 1809 by the collapse of the Serbian army at the Battle of Čegra.
Simultaneously with the liberation of the territory, the administration of the Serbian state was formed. The Governing Council, the courts and the regular army were created. There are the beginnings of Serbian parliamentarism, but also the leader’s inclination towards the absolutist government, which is why he infuriated many of his comrades-in-arms.
The dreams of an independent Serbian state disappeared in 1812, when Russia was forced to sign the Bucharest peace treaty with Turkey due to Napoleon’s invasion. The summer of the following year, the Turks conquered Serbia in a few days.
Exile and death
In October 1813, Karadjordj reluctantly left Serbia with the intention of returning as soon as possible.
He arrived in Russia via Austria, where he asked the Russian tsar to help him start a revolt. As he did not receive the desired response, he turned to the Greek organization “Heterija,” whose goal was to create a large Balkan state of Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgarians.
Determined to fulfill his vital vision, he set foot on Serbian soil again on July 25, 1817, but was soon assassinated by Vujica Vulićevic and Nikola Novaković by order of the Vizier of Belgrade and Prince Miloš.