Biography of Nikola Pasic (1845-1926)

Serbian politician born on December 31, 1845 in Zajecar (Serbia) and died on December 10, 1926, in Belgrade. Initially, was Serbian Prime Minister at five different times (1891-1892, 1904-1905; 1906-1908; 1909-1911, 1912-1918), both under the Obrenovich dynasty and the Karageorgevich of liberal political ideas. At the end of his last term he/she was opposed to the Foundation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatian and Slovenian, although later, also of it, was Prime Minister three times (1918, 1921-1924, 1924-1926). In these years he/she worked for the Constitution of a State centralized under the hegemony of Serbia.

He was born in a family of middle class in a village near the Bulgarian border. After completing his studies at the high school, went to Belgrade to study engineering and, after graduating, he/she enrolled in the prestigious Polytechnic of Zurich, where he/she completed his training. His interest in liberalism and democratic institutions took him to relate to different Swiss groups and thus came into contact with the works of theoretical Russian anarchist Bakunin, which decisively influenced the formation of his political conscience. After his return to Serbia in 1873, joined Svetozar Markovic's Socialist Party, who appointed him director of the official party newspaper, Oslobodjenje ('liberation'). Since your post was able to verify how the Government of King Milan Obrenovic was destroying the prosperity of the Serbs, which were being subjected to an almost dictatorial regime.

Admission to the Parliament and first Government

Arose to the 1878 election on the Socialist lists and was elected as a Deputy. Soon distinguished himself as one of the most active of the Parliament, which called for the end of the monarchic dictatorship and the establishment of a parliamentary democracy. Along with other prominent political activists, founded in 1981 the Radical Party, organization that prepared a revolt in 1883 against King Milan that began in his native city and that was failed. The Government responded by pursuing and imprisoning the main instigators of the movement, forcing Pasic to leave for exile in Austria. Six years later, he/she returned to Serbia when King Milan abdicated in favor of his son Alejandro, to be elected President of the Parliament and Mayor of Belgrade. The new King named you in February 1891 first Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in that capacity accompanied the sovereign the following year on his visit to Russia, which has sought closer relations with the Tsarist regime. After ceasing to hold office, in August of 1892 was sent as Ambassador to San Petesburgo, charge he/she resigned in 1894 in protest against King Milan return to the country.

Exile and new Government

In 1889, there was an attempt on the life of Milan that were accused the leaders of the Radical Party. Pasic was arrested and sentenced to death; but, after obtaining the amnesty, he/she voluntarily left the country. He/She returned to Serbia in 1903, when a coup d ' ├ętat deposed definitively to Milan and the throne was returned to the Karageorgevich dynasty. Pedro I was then crowned as King of Serbia and Pasic rebuilt the Radical Party, in front of which struggled to bring down the last remnants of the old regime and lay the groundwork for new democracy, which made him the most famous politician in the country. In December 1904 he/she was again appointed first Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, charges from those who objected to the intention of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to impose the payment of a tax of war to Serbia. It was ceased in May 1905, but again he/she held both jobs in the Government of may 1906 to June 1908. Appointed again in October 1909, he/she was replaced in 1911 by his great political rival, Milan Milovanovic.

Despite their differences in criteria, the collaboration between the two was essential for the signing of a Treaty of Alliance with Bulgaria which was the Balkan League, had intended the preparation of war against Turkey. Its alliance with Milovanovic produced a major upset among the younger members of the party, which saw it as a betrayal of their principles and that calling for the immediate resignation of Pasic. The sudden death of Milovanovic placed him back in front of the Government; in this new period had to deal with two wars: one against Turkey in 1912 and one against Bulgaria in 1913, in which he/she led the Serbian army to victory.

First world war

After the assassination of the Archduke Francisco Fernando on June 28, 1914 at the hands of the nationalist Serbian student Gavrilo Prinzip, the Austro-Hungarian Government submitted to Pasic a hard ultimatum. The rejection of the conditions that were established made the emperor to declare war on Serbia on 28 July. In response to aggression, Pasic brought to the Parliament in the city of Nis, and formed a Government of national unity. The conquest of Serbia by the Austrian and German at the end of 1815 troops forced the Government to move to the Greek island of Corfu, conde spent throughout the first world war. The ruling coalition was broken in 1917, forcing the Prime Minister to form a Cabinet made up of members of the Radical Party. Although he/she was a supporter of the annexation by Serbia of the austro-hungaras provinces where the majority of the inhabitants were Serbs, the circumstances of the war forced him to negotiate on equal footing with the Yugoslav Committee, an organization that brought together all the Slavic peoples from Austria-Hungary.

Birth of Yugoslavia

In July 1917, was signed the Corfu Declaration, which established the foundations for the future unified Kingdom of the Serbs, Croat and Slovenes, which became a reality after the war. Pasic, however, refused to abandon his idea of the formation of a State in which the hegemony was exercised by Serbia and was presented as the only valid interlocutor with allies. The latter was forced to meet representatives of the Yugoslav Committee, of the National Council recently established in Zagreb and Serbia opposition, in 1918 and to sign an agreement which established a Yugoslavia in which members of the Governments of all the Slavic peoples from the South would share power in conditions of equality. Pasic pressures made the Serbian Government rejected the agreement. The conflict threatened to go international when Italy claimed for itself the Slavic territories of the South, as agreed in the secret London Pact with the allies during the war. Despite his strong opposition and its ongoing clashes with the National Council of Zagreb and the Yugoslav Committee, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was declared on December 1, 1918. Pasic in 1919, together with Trumbic and Vesnic, headed the delegation that represented their country at the Versailles peace conference, in which was established the map of Europe after the war.

It refused to recognize the existence of different cultures and Nations in the heart of the new country; for him, the Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians, and Bosnian Muslims were actually Serbs with different religions. When it was appointed Prime Minister in 1921, he/she imposed in Parliament a new Constitution, which considered the realm as a unitary country, which only recognized the existence of the Serbia nation. It eliminated the autonomy of the provinces and of the historical regions and imposed an authoritarian regime under the figure of the new monarch, Alejandro I. After eliminating all the members of the opposition government, lost the elections of March 1923, but the lack of understanding of the opposition allowed him to remain Prime Minister.

A coalition of parties headed by Ljubomir Davidovic snatched power in July 1924, but, again, the lack of understanding between the members of the new Government made it regained control of the country in October. The continued protests of the Croats and Slovenes led him to dissolve the Parliament in February, 1925, to enact a series of measures of exception and imprisoning most of the members of the opposition. At the end of that year he/she released to the President of the Croatian Party of peasants, Stjepan Radic, and signed a collaboration Pact with him to form a new Government. When it withdrew its support in March 1926 due to non-compliance with promises to grant autonomy to other nationalities, was forced to resign and leave the political scene. On December 10, 1926, he/she died in Belgrade, where he/she was buried as a Serbian national hero.


DARBY, H.C.; SETON-WATSON, R.W.; AUTY, p. and CLISSOLD, S. brief history of Yugoslavia. (Madrid, Espasa-Calpe: 1972).

SFORZA, C. Fifty Years of War and Diplomacy in the Balkans: Pashich and the Union of the Yugoslavs. (1966).