Servia (Slav. Serbia; Turk. Syrp), a state of Europe, tributary to Turkey, bounded N. by Slavonia and Hungary proper, E. by Wal-lachia and Bulgaria, S. by districts of the vilayets of Prisrend and Bosnia known as Old or Turkish Servia, and W. by Bosnia; area, 16,-817 sq. m.; pop. in 1873, 1,338,505, all Serbs, of Slavic origin, excepting about 140,000 Wal-lachs, 25,000 gypsies, and 15,000 Turks, Bulgarians, Jews, Germans, and Hungarians. The surface is broken by ramifications of the Carpathians in the northeast, of the Balkan in the southeast and south, and of the Dinaric Alps in the west. The highest summits in the east and south reach an altitude of upward of 4,000 and 5,500 ft. respectively. Most of the mountains are covered with dense forests. In the centre and along the banks of the principal rivers are extensive plains. The Danube and its tributary the Save flow on the N. frontier (the former for some distance also on the eastern), and receive the drainage of the country by several streams, the most important of which are the Drina, Morava, and Timok. The principal towns are Belgrade, the capital, Kraguyevatz, Semendria, Uzhitza, and Sha-batz. The climate is severe in the uplands, but mild in the valleys; in winter the thermometer generally ranges between 6° and 14° F. The low grounds are very fertile, and cereals are raised in abundance; good white wine is produced near Semendria; tobacco, hemp, fruit, and some cotton are raised; but horses, cattle, sheep, and swine are the principal sources of wealth.
The exports, including grain, skins, wool, cattle, and especially hogs, amounted in 1872 to $6,000,000, and the imports, chiefly salt, sugar, and manufactured goods, to about the same. Valuable minerals abound, but are not fully worked. Manufactures consist mainly of articles for home consumption. The powder, firearms, and accoutrements required for the army are made in the government works at and near Kraguyevatz. Complete freedom of commerce is guaranteed in the Ottoman empire. - The Serbs are among the most spirited of the Slavic races. There is no nobility, and the peasants are free householders. Community of interests prevails among the laboring classes, who live together under the authority of a chief or "father of the house," of their own selection. The Greek religion is that of almost all the inhabitants, and there is a synod consisting of the metropolitan at Belgrade and three bishops. Secession from the church is rigorously prohibited; but Roman Catholics (about 5,000), Protestants (400), and Jews (1,500) enjoy religious liberty. Education in the higher branches is better provided for by the government than in the lower by the communes, and in the elementary schools is free and obligatory.
The academy of Belgrade was made a university in 1869. - Servia pays to Turkey an annual tribute of 2,300,000 piasters, and has enjoyed since 1834 a perfect autonomy, which was confirmed by the treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856, and guaranteed by the European powers. The right of garrisoning Belgrade and other fortresses was finally relinquished by the Porte in 1867. In 1872 a postal treaty was made with Roumania. Commercial treaties were concluded with Russia and Austria in 1874, and Servia established her own coinage in 1875. There are Servian diplomatic agents at Constantinople and Bucharest, and many foreign consular and diplomatic agents reside in Belgrade, the national capital. The government is a limited monarchy, vested in a hereditary prince of the Obrenovitch dynasty, who appoints responsible ministers. The original charter dates from 1838. The latest revised constitution, that of 1869, converts the senate, consisting of 17 life members appointed by the government, into a permanent council of state, and vests legislative power solely in the skupshtina or assembly (the origin of which is traced back to the earliest period of Servian history), and provides for its annual meetings at Kraguyevatz. In 1874 the skup-shtina consisted of 134 members, 101 elected by the people for three years, and 33 appointed by the government.
A so-called great skup-shtina, with about 500 members, assembles in the event of a vacancy on the throne, or in other extraordinary emergencies. Suffrage is universal for all Christian Servians 21 years old and over, who pay direct taxes; only menials and gypsies are disfranchised. All electors are eligible to the skupshtina excepting members of the government and of the clergy. The prefects of the 17 circles and the 54 districts are appointed by the government, and the presidents of the communes, who are at the same time justices of the peace, are elected by the people. There are superior courts of law in each circle, besides a court of appeal at Belgrade. The courts are all public, and the independence of the judges is guaranteed by the constitution. The military forces comprise a standing army and a national army (militia). The second forms the nucleus of the military organization; the standing army is only employed on ordinary garrison duty and in training the national army for war. All able-bodied men must serve between the ages of 20 and 50; the period of service in the standing army is three years, and in the national army 27. The officers of the national army are trained at a central military college, and the non-commissioned officers and men in district schools and shooting grounds.
The strength of the standing army is about 12,000 men (divided into garrison troops and reserve), and of the national army (first and second levies) 150,000. - The original inhabitants of Servia were chiefly Thracians. Conquered by the Romans during the early period of the empire, Servia formed part of Illyricum under the name of Moesia Superior. During the great migration of nations it was overrun by the Huns, Ostrogoths, and other barbarians, and subsequently was under Byzantine rule from the middle of the 6th till early in the 7th century, when it was devastated by the Avars. The latter were driven out by the Serbs, a Slavic people, who had been living N. of the Carpathians, and whose aid the emperor Heraclius (died 641) had invoked. He allotted to them the depopulated regions, and introduced Christianity. Servia remained a vassal state of the emperors of the East; but a spirit of liberty was fostered by powerful and well organized local governments, whose chiefs (zhupans) repeatedly attempted to make themselves altogether independent.
But the imperial authority was fully restored in the latter part of the 9th century by Basil I., surnamed the Macedonian. Subsequently the Bulgarians held the ascendancy in Servia for a long period, but their power was broken by John Zimisces, and finally destroyed by Basil II. in 1018. Stephen Bogislas was the first Serb to found an independent principality, about 1043; his son Michael (1050-80) styled himself king (kral), and was recognized by the Roman see. Stephen's grandson Bodin (1080-90) extended his dominions, but was captured by the Byzantines, with whom his successor Vulkan or Vuk made peace in 1094. Urosh I. joined (1127-'9) the Hungarians against the Greek emperors, laying the foundation of repeated alliances with Hungary; and the contests with Constantinople continued under his successors. Stephen Nemania, grandson of Urosh II., founded a new dynasty in 1165. He conquered Bosnia and other territories, and made Rassa (now Novibazar) his capital, from which his realm was called the Rascian, but could not cope with the emperors of Constantinople. His son Stephen I. was crowned in 1217 as king of Servia, and his successors acquired much additional territory. The most illustrious of them was Stephen Dushan (1336-'56), who had himself crowned czar.
He conquered nearly all Macedonia, Albania, Thessa-ly, northern Greece, and Bulgaria, and greatly improved the laws, learning, and trade. But conflicts among the governors of his provinces undid his work, and most of his conquests were lost by his son, King Urosh V., whose assassination in 1367 closed this dynasty. He was succeeded by the waywode (governor) Vukashin, who fought with the Greeks against the Turks, and conquered Salonica in 1369, but was defeated and fell in battle in 1371. Lazarus I. in 1374 established a new dynasty by conquering most of the Servian dominions. In 1389 he was defeated by Amurath I. on the high plains of Kosovo, and executed by order of the sultan, who had received a mortal wound from the hands of a brother-in-law of Lazarus. His son and successor Stephen, first as a vassal and then, in conjunction with the Hungarians, an adversary of Turkey, died in 1427 without issue, and was succeeded by his nephew George Brankovitch. He combated his son-in-law Amurath II., together with John Hunyady, who, after repeated victories, was vanquished in October, 1448, also on the plains of Kosovo. The sultan Mohammed II. completed the conquest of Servia in 1454, but in 1456 was compelled by Hunyady to raise the siege of Belgrade, a year before the death of Prince George of Servia. The latter's son Lazarus II. obtained the succession by poisoning his mother and expelling his two brothers.
He died in 1458, the last and the worst of his dynasty. In 1459 Mohammed II. incorporated Servia with Turkey, excepting Belgrade, which was held by the Hungarians until taken by Solyman the Magnificent in 1521. The Turks resented the heroic resistance of Servia by sending 200,000 of her citizens into captivity, and by exterminating whole families, while others emigrated to Hungary; and rapacious pashas ruled abominably for several centuries, and reduced the country almost to a wilderness. Austria received Belgrade and most of northern Servia at the close of her war with Turkey in 1718, but the peace of Belgrade (1739) restored the Turkish domination, and the Serbs were again subjected to dire calamities, especially by the excesses of the janissaries. Their repeated applications for redress remaining unheeded at Constantinople, the people at length rose against the Turks, and Czerny George, a peasant, became in 1805 a successful leader of the revolt, and in 1807 was recognized as chief of the Servians by the sultan. (See Czerny George.) After the treaty of Bucharest of 1812, Servia was deserted by Russia and France, and in 1813 the Turks again became masters of the country. But in 1815 Milosh Obrenovitch put a final end to their absolute domination.
The stepbrother of Milan Obrenovitch (son of Obren), whose name he assumed, he began life as a grazier, but subsequently became one of the most valiant officers of Czerny George, and in 1813 showed so much firmness that the Turks left him in charge of several districts and at the head of several thousand men, in the hope that he would reconcile the people to their rule. But he awaited only an opportunity for its overthrow, and finally on Palm Sunday, 1815, gave the signal for an insurrection. He defeated the Turks repeatedly, and secured in 1816 a partial independence for Servia; and after being head of the provisional government, he was elected hospodar or prince in November, 1817, and subsequently recognized by the sultan. He incurred the hostility of former chiefs, and attempted in vain to allay agitation by adopting in 1835 a liberal statute and the code Napoleon. Russia and Turkey concocted a new statute, which the sultan promulgated, Dec. 24, 1838, in the form of a hatti-sherif, instituting a senate, the members of which could not be displaced without the sultan's consent.
This body was chiefly composed of Milosh's enemies, who brought charges of peculation against him, it being known that he had large estates in Wallachia and Austria, besides vast funds deposited in Vienna. He was compelled to abdicate, June 13, 1839, in favor of his son Milan, who died on July 7 and was succeeded by Milosh's younger son Michael. Soon after assuming the government he incurred the hostility of the Turks by banishing their most zealous partisans, Vu-tchitch and Petronievitch, who in 1842 headed an insurrection against him, which resulted in his ignominious defeat. He was driven from Servia on Sept. 7, his dynasty was deposed, and Alexander Karageorgevitch, a son of Czerny (or Kara) George, was elected prince, Sept. 14. His complacency toward the Turks during the Crimean war secured their assent to the placing of Servia, by the treaty of Paris of 1856, under the collective protection of the European powers; but at the same time he made himself odious in Servia for having invoked Turkish assistance for the punishment of his enemies, and Turkish protection in the citadel of Belgrade against his own countrymen. He was deposed Dec. 23, 1858, and Milosh, though almost an octogenarian, was reinstated. He died Sept. 26, 1860, and Michael again became reigning prince.
After the disturbances at Belgrade in 1862, Michael obtained in 1867 the withdrawal of the Turkish garrisons from this and all other fortresses. He was assassinated June 10, 1868. (See Alexander Karageorgevitch.) Prince Michael married Julia Hunyady, but had no children, and had adopted as his son his nephew Milan (born in Jassy, of a Moldavian mother, Aug. 22,1854), who was educated in Paris (1864-'8), and was elected prince July 2, 1868, as Milan Obrenovitch IV. The sultan, fearing the alleged preference of Russia for the prince of Montenegro as ruler of Servia, not only at once recognized him, but also acknowledged for the first time the hereditary rank of the dynasty. A regency of three members, of whom the minister Blagnavatz, who had chiefly promoted his election, was the chief, conducted public affairs during his minority (1868-'72). Turkey had in 1834 restored six Servian districts which she had retained since 1813, and in the spring of 1872 she relinquished a few additional localities, though not all which Servia claims as her own. The majority of Prince Milan was declared on Aug. 22, 1872. His relations with Turkey were complicated in the summer of 1875 by the outbreak of the insurrection in Herzegovina, which excited in Servia a strong sympathy.
The seat of the legislature, which had always been at Kragu-yevatz, was in October removed to Belgrade. At the first session held in the latter city (Oct. 4) the prince declared himself, contrary to the wishes of the skupshtina, opposed to a war with Turkey, and appointed a new cabinet in harmony with his conservative views, thereby impairing his popularity. - See Ranke, Die serbische Revolution (Hamburg, 1829; 2d ed., 1844); Milutinovitch, Geschichte Serbiens von 1389-1815 (Leipsic, 1837); Cunibert, Essai historique sur les révolutions et l'indépendance de la Serbie depuis 1804 jusqu'à 1850 (2 vols., Leipsic, 1855); Hilferding, Geschichte der Ser-ben und Bulgaren (Bautzen, 1856); the Rev. W. Denton, "Servia and the Servians" (London, 1862); Elodie Lawton Mijatovics (William Tweedie), "History of Modern Servia" (London, 1874); and Saint-René Taillandier, La Serbie au XIXe siècle, Kara George et Mi-losch (Paris, 1875).