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(4230)
 

Milivoje Petrović Blaznavac
(1824-73)


Honours

Order of Independence, 2nd class (Montenegro)
Order of the Mejidie, 2nd class (Turkey)
Order of the Iron Crown, 1st class (Austria)

Positions Held

Prime Minister of Serbia, 1872-73†
General, 1872
Co-regent of Serbia, 1868-72
Minister of Defence, 1865-67 and 1872-73†
Chief of the Artillery Department in Kragujevac as artillery colonel, 1862-65
Colonel, 1860
Acting mayor of Belgrade
Adjutant of His Majesty Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, 1855
Chief of the Military Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 1855
Lieutenant colonel, 1855
Major, 1849
Staff Captain, 1847
First lieutenant, 1846

Biographical

Blaznavac's father Petar was a poor shopkeeper and marble merchant from Blaznavac, but it was rumoured that his biological father was actually Prince Milos Obrenović who sent his mother Petriya off to be married to Petar in 1823.  Little is known about Blaznavac's early years except that he studied painting crafts.  Because he had a sudden connection to the Serbian ruling family and rapidly gained power and influence, this led many to believe that the rumour about his father was true.

Blaznavac began work in the public service at the age of eighteen , and it was at that age when he was almost beaten to death as a traitor at the hands of Jevrem Obrenović, Prince Milos' brother, for aiding the rebels opposing the ruling family.  In 1842, he became a clerk in the Ministry of the Interior. and in 1845, he became secretary of the prefecture of the Belgrade County, before enlisting in military service in 1846.  He was active in the events taking place in Vojvodina between 1848 and 1849.

After the Obrenović family was overthrown, Blaznavac was seen as a martyr under the old regime, and was promoted under Elijah Garasanin, becoming his close assistant.  In 1848, Prince Milos was in Vienna trying to raise a rebellion to regain the throne, and Blaznavac was sent to him to monitor events there.  He soon returned to Serbia and afterwards went to the Military Academy in Metz continued for his military training.

He returned during the Crimean War and was made acting mayor of Belgrade.  On the Obrenovic restoration of 1858, Blaznavac was exiled back to his birthplace.  After Prince Milo's death in 1860, Prince Milhalo allowed Blaznavac to return and he began to be appointed to important posts. As chief of the Artillery Department, he played an important role in the development of gun and cannon modernisation.

After Prince Milhaly's murder in 1868, Blaznavac led the coup proclaiming Milan Obrenovic the successor.  He, along with Jovan Ristić and Jovan Gavrilović, was proclaimed co-regent for the young Milan.  As co-regent, he gained more power over the prince, and there were rumours that he was coveting the throne for himself.  Two assassination attempts against the prince were thought to have been staged by Blaznavac himself.

Blaznavac's attempts to reform the Serbian army were considered unsuccessful and are considered a contributory factor for the Serbian defeat in the war against Turkey in 1878.   He is noted for introducing mandatory military service to Serbia.   He had a son, Vojislav, a colonel who commanded the royal guard of the Karadjordjevics in the 1920s, and a daughter named Milica.

Place of birth: Blaznava, near Topola


 

 

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Sources

1
. C. Antić. Nekrunisani vladar Srbije. Prvi Srpski general. Politikin zabavnik magazin, No. 3054, 2010.
2. Z. Miodrag. Eminentisimus u intrigama – ko je bio Milivoje Petrovic Blaznavac Laguna, 7 August 2018.
3. Blaznavac Milivoje (1824-1873). Vojna obaveštajna agencija. [n.d.].




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