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Nicholas I

Nicholas I, 1841–1921, prince (1860–1910) and king (1910–18) of Montenegro, successor of his uncle, Danilo II. In 1862, after a series of frontier incidents, Nicholas was forced into war with the Ottoman Empire. Despite heroic resistance he had to conclude an unfavorable peace. He then reorganized his army. Although he rivaled Serbia for leadership of the South Slavs, in 1876 he allied himself with Serbia, intervened in favor of the rebels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, declared war on the Ottomans, and waged a successful campaign in Herzegovina. Russia's entrance (1877) into the war assured him of success. The Treaty of San Stefano (1878) trebled the size of Montenegro; the final boundaries adopted at the Congress of Berlin reduced the Montenegrin gains but gave access to the Adriatic Sea. Montenegro was recognized as fully independent, and, in 1910, Nicholas proclaimed himself king. He sided with Serbia in World War I but sought (1915) a separate peace with the Central Powers after his troops had been routed. When Montenegro was occupied by Austrian troops, he fled the country. In exile, he resisted the proposed union of Montenegro with Serbia under a Serbian king and as a result was deposed (1918) by a national assembly, which proclaimed the union. Nicholas succeeded in marrying his five daughters into the ruling houses of Europe, including those of Italy, Russia, and Serbia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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