At the end of the eighteenth century there were created favorable conditions for the majority of the Serbian people with the reforms of Sultan Selim III and particularly mild administered Duke Mustafa Pasha in Belgrade pasha jurisdiction. Serbian dukes' municipality guaranteed safety for Serbs and their traditional way of life. Serbs had previously gained confidence by participating in the Austrian- Turkish war of 1788- 1791. in volunteer squads on the Austrian side. Beginning of the nineteenth century did not promise to Serbs any new rights. “Janicari” (Turkish soldiers) were back and the seduction of power of their leaders dahije meant direct involvement of the Turks in the life of the Serbian patriarchal society. Stranjakovic wrote that bad times occurred in Serbia, it was all clear when turkish soldiers on 15th December 1801. in Belgrade killed Mustafa Pasha, called "Serbian mother." After that nothing was standing in the way of tyranny. Their leaders, outlaws of imperial power, the so-called dahis great, took all the power in Belgrade pasha jurisdiction and, with the help of pirate intruders made themthem for cadi, musellim, the master some teritories, Subasi and other, putting Serbs in a completely disenfranchised, namely slavery position.

Finding themselves in a helpless position, aware that Austria after Kocina Border is in peace with Turkey and that Sultan in Istanbul could not suprpress the outlaws in this border part of Ottoman Empire, Serbs realized that it is possible either to move out from Serbia or to rise up in arms, even if it would bring only honorable death.

Turkish governors attempt with murder of prominent Serbs, known as cutting of the dukes, to prevent an uprising of oppressed plebs, which was preparing, but this act just accelerated the Serbian national uprising.


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First Serbian uprising didn't brake out spontaneously or even unprepared. For it's beginning necessary preparations were made. Confirmation for this is the event in the monastery Voljavca in the summer of 1803. at the monastery celebration, when at the monastery attic, Duke Matija Jovcic from Topola was talking with Karađorđe and Gaja Pantelic not to start an uprising at that point. Karađorđe agreed with Dragutin Milutinovic that with Milos Kabadarac weapons should be supplied from Germany. After the events in Voljavca Karadjordje sent Gaja Pantelic to national leaders to start preparing people and to widen the network for uprising.

Less than five months after the meeting in Voljavča, preparations for the uprising had already been completed and it had to be to reach an agreement before winter. Orasac was defined as a place where it should happened, a meeting place was the house of Stevan Tomic at the day of St. Archangel Michael. Host Stevan was preparing a wedding for his son Maxim, so it was natural that for a dual cause to assemble a large number of people. When the wedding was far gone, quietly and unobtrusively, Archpriest Atanasije and everyone else made their way to a nearby gully.Prudent priest Atanasije maintenance lengthy speech, clearly realizing that the most important prerequsite for this joint venture was unity, and that the greatest danger was treason. The assemblage was completed with an oath and participants dispersed in the belief that the venturewas brought to an end. Based on this agreement, the conspirators gathered at the second gathering in Orašac in 1804. This time Duke Marko Savic was marrying his son Luka. As it was decided about the uprising in 1803., an officer and commander should be selected who would lead an uprising against the Turks. There were distinguished people at the gathering , which is indicated by the fact that five proposals for a commander were given.

Radovan Samardzic said: "Obviously, at a meeting in Orasac in 1804.Karadjordje wasn't randomly selected as a national leader in the rebellion. They knew, everyone, both his character and actions that he had already took. In fact, he bacame the leader at the beginning of preparations for the revolt. And his strategic idea of the rebellion was extension of his way to prepare people for the collective rebellion."


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Historian Milenko M. Vukicevic found out that, appart to Karadjordje, at Orasac gathering the main people were:
Archiepriest Atanasije Antonijevic, Stanoje Glavas, Hajduk Veljko, Vule Ilic Kolarac, Milosav Lapovac, Djordjic from Visevac, Jovan Krstovic from Bukovik, Aleksa Djukic from Banja, Arsenije Lomo, Tanasko Rajic, Janicije Djuric, Marko Savic Orasac Duke, merchant Teodosije Maricevic, Aleksa Jakovljevic, Koracica Duke Vicentije Petrovic, Topola Duke Matija Jovicic, Mihailo Badzak from Jagnjilo, Matija Karatosic from Kopljari, Miutin Savic from Garasi, Marko Katic from Rogaca “and many others”.

Assuming that this is obviousVukicevic hasn't put on this list Petar Jokic to whom he refer to and whose dialogue with Karadjordje Orašačka he stated in this set. Thus, 22 participants were in the first set in Orasac 1803. and on Candlemas in 1804. Apart from these, Milenko M. Vukicevic found 43 more participants of gathering in Orašac on Candlemas in 1804. It is estimated that the total assembly was attended by about 600 people.

Another coeval and participant in the events, Petar Jokic, describing preparations for the uprising in the area around (Poplar, Zabar, Saranovo, Trnava, Jagnjilo), succinctly states: "We came quickly in Orasac. There was Karadjordje, Glavas, archpriest of Bukovik and all those who are on in the day of Saint Archangel and about 500 people more and our number was around 70-80 and there is already quitecroud. They were very glad to see us, and we were glad to see them. Assembly was made.”
Taking everything into account, Petar Jokic gave more accurate estimation of the number of participants of Orasac gathering, because his experienced military eye could not be wrong a lot.


aberdarIgnition of Turkish hans began by Aleksa Djukic from village Banja with his squard, they were burning inns in Topola, Zabare and Jagnjilo and the rebelsm just after the Candlemas assembly in Orasac and election of Karadjordje as a leader started to burn inns in Orasac. Later they burst into flames Turkish hans all around the uprised Serbia and the rebels finally began to siege cities. One of the first besieged cities was Rudnik where stayd notorious Sali-aga aslo known as "Rudnik bull." The governors sent Aganlija Hussein Alemdar "to aline the above matter and to restore order." He went from Belgrade with detachment of four hundred janissaries. Aganlija was known in the people as the most peacemaking dahi. Because of the fear that he could fall between two fires, Aganlija's companies and the Turks from Rudnik, Karadjordje asked Petar Kare to prevent Rudnik Turks with his personnel and he went to Drlupa to "crack the cake" with Aganlija. kulaAlthough none were for peace, they agreed, for tactical reasons, to negotiate. During the unplanned gunfight Aganlija was wounded in the leg, two rebels were killed and Glavas was wounded in the head by Turkish bullet. Snow was falling continuously and this first seriosus conflict could be regarded as unfavourable for the rebels. Karadjordje admited that they were broken. The situation has, however, reversed the next day, after dahi decided to withdraw to Belgrade. All events taken together have made this conflict in reporters reviews, however, like rebel victory. As a help to Sall Aga in the besieged Rudnik came Uzice's muselim Džavić and Karanovac's muselim Pljakić. When Peter Kara got help from Milan Obrenovic from Tresnjevica, Arsenije Lomo and Karadjordje Rudnik was conquered and burned. The two major victories echoed strongly in the rebeled Serbia. And at the same time there has been a taking off Valjevo under the leadership of Jacov and Matija Nenadovic, and shortly after the siege and fall of Sabac. Serbs suffered a major defeat only in bloody and unequal battle on Cokesina In late May Pozarevac surrendered and Posavci have taken Palez a little earlier. Vasa Čarapić took Grocka and Milan Obrenovic took Cacak.

sabacOn 26th of April in the second attack Jagodina was burned and occupied, and near Lestane Vasa Čarapić managed to break the army of Kucuk Ali. Smederevo surrendered on 18th of July, and in august Milenko Stojkovic was able to catch and to behead runaway dahis on Ada Kale. The heads were sent to the Sultan in Stanbol.

ivankovacBattle of Ivankovac took place on the religious holliday The Transfiguration of the Lord (19. august) in 1805. and was crucial for the further course of The Uprising. As the commander of the Turkish army was determined Hafiz Pasha, who headed the army from Nis to Belgrade along Morava River. Karađorđe appointed Milenko Stojkovic with Peter Dobrnjac and Stevan Sinđelić to wait for Turks in village Ivankovac east from Cuprija on the right side of Morava river. In a fierce clash with the loss of life on both sides, the Turks, when they saw the Karadjordje army on the other, left side of Morava river, withdrawed in Paracin. The rebels have set up their camp orward Paracin.During the night one called Steva the scribe asked Karadjordje to fire a cannon at Turks in the town. Served by good fortune, and he injured Hafiz Pasha himself who withdrew that night to Nis, where he died of wounds from a cannon.

misarBattle of Misar is one of the brightes victories in tTe First Serbian Uprising. There was stopped Bosnian Turks march led by Suleiman Pasha Skopljak. Misar is a barrow from which we can see a field near the Sava river and the town of Sabac. Karađorđe decided to build the big trench, which could fit about 7000 people. Several times a shrinking rebel army met Turkish troops, which had to come out of Sabac and storm up the hill. With outstanding tactics and skillfully selected position for battle, Karadjordje managed to defend himself, and entering light Serbian cavalry at the decisive moment in the battle, to turn things to their advantage. Janko Katic died before the actual battle. Karadjordje' s war chapter consisted of Matija and Jakov Nenadovic, priest Luka Lazarevic, Milan and Milos Obrenovic, Sima Markovic, Lazar Mutap, Stojan Cupic, Milos Stojicevic and others. It was 13th august 1806.

deligradDeligrad is the best fortification built during the First Serbian Uprising. On Deligrad were many fights beginning from the 1806. Any Turkish military offensive from Nis, implied the attack on Deligrad. The fort was built by Petar Dobrnjac and it was on the right bank of the South Morava river. The longest commanders of Deligrad except Dobrnjac were Stanoje Glavas, Arsenije Lomo, Milutin Savic. Civil commander was Aleksa Djukic, and Karađorđe's messenger was Tesa Obradovic. After the fall of Belgrade in 1813..Deligrad was abandoned and the brave defenders dispersed houses. Deligrad had never been conquered militarily.


Battle for Belgrade is a very important moment in the rebeled Serbia. The rebels held the city under siege for about 2 years. No matter where other battles were the siege battle was not abandoned and was always maintained. The camp was initially in Vracar and later on Tasmajdan and Karađorđe always came back to the walls of Belgrade after some battles. With this siege it was impeded for Turks to come from behind the rebels, and they were also unable to come to the liberated areas and of course the dahis were desabled to escape. Final take over of Belgrade began at Sava gate and major role had Konda bimbasa and Uzun Mirko Apostolović. The fiercest battles were at Stamboul gates where Vasa Carapic died, between today's National Theatre and The National Museum. During the battles for liberation of Belgrade, about 50 rebels and 300 Turks died.Leader of one of the Turk troops Alija Glusanac tried to maintain in the upper town, but when he saw that all was lost he took the boat and escape to Vidin. On 8th of January, at St. Stephen Protomartyr Belgrade was finally in Serbian hands.

ratnazastavaThe Suvodol battle took place in early June 1809. Karađorđe rejected a series of concessions that he had proposed by Porta (Turkish Sultanate. He wanted to extend the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sandzak region, in order to eventually merged with Montenegro. In 5th of May 1809. Karađorđe occupies Sjenica, and after the Battle of Suvodol occupies Novi Pazar in 16th June, so that some units encountered some Montenegrin squads. Turks used Karađorđe's absence and from Nis and Vidin direction they attacked the Serbian army, which was in the near Nis, in Kamenica. The commander of Serbian army was Miloje Petrovic Trnavac who was previously abandoned by Peter Dobrnjac Hajduk Veljko Petrovic and with their units went to Deligrad and Krajina. This is an introduction to the Battle of Čegar. As Stevan Siđelić was in the nearest ditch close to Nis, because he wanted to be the first to enter the Niš, all Turkish military forces were attacking its Resava soldiers. Trnavac was located about 3km away from Sinđelic. When he saw there is no help for him Sinđelić had burnt all of ammunition that they had and all the Serbs and Turks who were there at the time, flew into the air. Turks made Skull Tower on Cegar from the heads of the dead, the most terrible monument of Serbian suffering


Military Organisation


Ustaničku vojskuRevolutionary army was made from the people. Collecting the army was done on a geographic basis, with occasional military training. An important part of the army was composed of former outlaws and refugees from neighboring areas under Turkish rule. Following the example of European countries at that time, Serbia at the end of the 1808. was introduced in the regular army, which has been dependent by the state. Each nahiye, depending on the population, formed one or two companies so called “regulasi” which means they were regular army.
Regular army consisted of infantry and calvary and had important number of fighters on cannons.
Great importance for the defence of the country had fortificated border camps and diches

Military obligation (“vojnica”)

General military obligation had been imposed by the 1807. proscribed following commitments:

If there were 1-3 strong and capable men in the house, army is considered only one
If there were 3- 5 strong and capable men in the house, army would have take two
Widows' homes with their children were free of any military service and burden
One kind of military service could be replaced with another
Personal substitution was possible both among cooperative members in the house and outside the cooperative
If necessary, in the army would go all able men



Along with the development of the liberation struggle, from 1804. in rebellion Serbia, on the basis of the dukes' governments, started organization of national government.
Supreme government body - “Prviteljstvujušči Soviet” was established in 1805. as a central administrative and legislative body. It was composed of representatives of all liberated nahiye and performed administrative, financial, military, judicial, diplomatic and educational and cultural affairs, and some part of ecclesiastical administration.
Leader of the uprising Karadjordje Petrovic had jurisdiction of the SupremeCommander, by the Constitutional Act from 1808. and was recognized for hereditary “supreme leader”.
Capital reorganization of the government was performed in 1811. when were introduced ministries and the Great Court.
Eastern Orthodox Church in Serbia at the time of the first Serbian uprising regarded as a national institution, which was helped and protected by the restored state. The church had national character, and was involved in liberating in its whole to endeavor of Serbian people, although in terms of of canonical jurisdiction, it recognized Constantinopole Patriarchate ant its bishops in Serbia.




Private of
Regular Army


Guardian of Supreme
government body


Private of the
Kozak's regiment


Sergeant major of Regular Army

flag 1811

The flag of Regular Army

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Karadjordje's flag with the portrait of the St King Stefan Prvovencani, front and back side

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Duke's flag from 1811. front and back side

voj zastava

Military flag of
First Serbian Uprising

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Military flag of
First Serbian Uprising (1807)


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Because Napoleon's Russian campaign campaign in 1812. Russian troops were withdrawn from Serbia. Russia made peace with the Turkey in Bucharest which rebels didn't accept because of the unfavorable decisions for Serbia.

At the end of the summer of 1813. the superior Turkish army attacked Serbia from several directions. After a lengthy battles of Deligrad, Negotin and Zasavica (Ravanje), the Turks re-conquered Serbia. A large part of the population, with Karadjordje and other insurgents, went to Austria and Wallachia.

Turks in Serbia made harsh reprisals, restored their power and established the Belgrade pasha jurisdiction at the old borders. The resistance of the Serbian people was not completely broken. On the tradition and achievements of The First Serbian Uprising free Serbia was later restored.