Montenegro (Slav. Tzernagora or Tchcrna-gora, Turk. Karadagh, Alb. Mal Zeze or Mal Esye, Black Mountains), a semi-independent principality in European Turkey, near the Adriatic, bordering on the Turkish provinces of Herzegovina, Bosnia, Albania, and the Dalmatian circle of Cattaro; area, 1,700 sq. m.; pop. about 130,000, chiefly Slavic. Capital, Cet-tigne. The limestone ridges of the Dinaric Alps traverse the territory, and it has hardly any plains. The principal mountains are from 5,000 to 8,000 ft. high. Most of the streams, among them the Moratcha, flow into the lake of Scutari on the S. E. border. The mulberry, olive, almond, fig, peach, pomegranate, and other fruit trees, and the vine, are cultivated. The chief productions are maize, potatoes, and tobacco. Agriculture is backward, but every piece of land capable of tillage is planted. Fishing is largely carried on. The winters are very cold, but the climate is healthful. The number of villages is between 200 and 300, mostly in hollows and on the slopes of mountains. The men till the land, and the inferior drudgery is performed by the women. The men wear a white or yellow cloth frock, reaching nearly to the knees, secured by a sash, and a red Fez cap and white or red turban.
The women wear a frock or pelisse of white cloth, much longer than that of the men, and both sexes wear sandals of untanned ox hide, and carry the struma (somewhat like the Scotch plaid) over their shoulders. The imports are cattle and some horses, tobacco, salt, copper, iron, oil, wax candles, wine, brandy, coffee, sugar, arms, glass, sandals, and Fez caps. The exports are smoked mutton, sumach wood and leaves, salted and dried fish, wax, honey, vegetables, fruits, and some silk. The principal market is Cattaro. The produce is carried thither chiefly by women, and it is only in the eastern regions of the country that they are assisted in their labor by the use of mules and asses. There is no port and no outlet to the shore, and the Montenegrins are dependent on the Austrian government for permission to pass goods to and from the sea. Manufactures arc limited to articles of immediate necessity. Taxes levied on each household, together with duties on salt, fish, and dry meat, the monopoly of tobacco, and the land rent of several convents, amounted in 1872 to about $23,000, to which Russia annually adds about $20,000 to cover the tribute due to the Porte. The Montenegrins are all of the non-united Greek church, excepting a few Roman Catholics who belong to the Turkish diocese of Scutari, and every village has its church.
The head of the church is the vladika, or prince-bishop, who till 1852 was also the secular ruler; he is elected from among the monks or unmarried clergy by the national assembly, and may be deposed by it; he has an annual revenue of $10,000. The number of priests is about 200; they join in war and the other occupations of the people. Priests must be married before they can be consecrated. The convents are those of Cet-tigne, Ostrog, and St. Stefano. Education is neglected, and many of the priests are unable to read and write; but several schools were established in 1841, and a printing press in Cettigne, which has issued several books. The first political newspaper was established in 1871. Since the separation of the secular from the clesiastical power on the accession of Danilo 1. in 1852, the government has been a limited monarchy, hereditary in the male line of the family of Petrovitch of Niegosh. The prince is assisted by a senate of 16 members, which also acts as a supreme court. The legislative functions are exercised by the skupshtina, or national assembly. There is no standing army except the body guard of the prince and a corps of gendarmes, together numbering 1,000 men.
The language of Montenegro is a very pore dialect of the IIIyrico-Servian branch of thy Slavic, not corrupted by admixture with foreign words. - In ancient times Montenegro formed part of Illyricnm. The present principality afterward constituted the S. W. corner of the old kingdom of Servia, which in the 14th century extended from the Adriatic to the [Hack sea. [Ward the end of that century Servia became tributary to the Porte. Montenegro, or Zeta as it was then called, secured its independence under the rule of George Balsha the so„ in-law of the last Servian king, and his descendants The last of the line (eventually known by the name of Tchernoyevitch) married a Venetian lady, and in 1516 abdicated and with In. wif, retired to Venice, leaving the government in the hands of the bishop, whose successor!! (since about 1700 all of the house of Petrovitch) ruled the country as prince-bishops till one of them proclaimed himself secular prince as Danilo I. (1852). Turkey regarded Montenegro as a portion of her empire, and in 1623 the pasha of Scutari invaded the country with a powerful army, but was repulsed with severe losses.
At the beginning of the 18th century the Montenegrins sought the protection of Russia against Turkey. The Turks sent several expeditions thither, one of which in 1714, consisting of 120,000 men, defeated the Montenegrins, and carried more than 20,000 of them into captivity. A war with Venice compelled the Turks to withdraw their forces, and successive invasions were repelled, in one of which, in 1790, 30,000 Turks were slain. In 1820 another invasion by the Turks was repulsed with heavy loss, as was still another in 1832. After a border warfare had continued for many years, at the close of 1852 Omar Pasha with a formidable force was sent to subdue the mountaineers. The position of Montenegro was most critical, when peace was restored by the intervention of Austria and the mediation of other powers. Danilo I. displayed much energy in improving the laws and the condition of the country. Fresh collisions with Turkey took place in 1858; and one of Danilo's uncles was detected in treasonable proceedings.
On Aug. 12, 1860, Danilo was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne by his nephew Nikolo Petrovitch-Niegosh. The insurrection which broke out in Herzegovina in 1861, being favored by the Montenegrins, was followed in 1862 by the invasion of Montenegro by Omer Pasha with an army of 30,000. In August the Turks appeared before Cettigne, and Nikolo soon submitted by treaty to the sovereignty of the Porte. New complications arose with Turkey in 1874 on account of murders committed on the Albanian border, and Montenegro declared war in January, 1875, but a compromise was effected toward the end of that month.