Političke stranke i uvođenje parlamentarizma u Srbiji od 1881. do 1903. godine
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deologically speaking, the initiators of founding all the political parties in Serbia were young intellectuals educated abroad. The ideology of political liberalism was brought to Serbia by young knowledgeable people educated in the West: Milovan Janković, Jevrem Grujić, Vladimir Jovanovic, Stojan Bošković, Filip Hristić, Đorđe Cenić and many more who published and initiated liberal-democratic ideas during the Peter Assembly in 1848. Only with St Andrea Assembly in 1858 did the Serbian Civil rebirth begin. During this assembly two political groups finally divided: the liberals and the conservatives. The most important attainment of the St Andrea Assembly in 1858 was the Act of National Assembly. This act initiated the introduction of the representative system in Serbia. In political history, the period from 1858 to 1869 represents the birth of the representative system in Serbia. The introduction of the representative system in Serbia by the Constitution of 1869 created the necessary p...olitical preconditions for organizing modern political parties. Regular political elections and participation of the Parliament in the legislative process resulted in a easier binding of the like-minded politicans with their political liders to whom it was important to strenghten their bonds with their electors. The fact that the constitutional elections took place every three years and that the Assembly took place every year led to the strenghening of the political parties in the state, since more thriving layers of society started entering the National Assembly, the delegates who infuenced the political life. After the Constitution of 1869 was enforced, the liberals are gathered under Jovan Ristić, and later the young oppositional conservatives are gathered. In the same time a third political party emerged, the supporters and followers of Svetozar Marković. The organized political parties did not emerge immediately after the Regent’s Constitution although it guaranteed a selection of political rights and freedom necessary for the emergence of the political parties, such as voting right, the freedom of speech and the freedom of press. This poses a question why did it never happen? The answer is to be looked into the intention of the Regency and later Regent Milan to unable the education of the political parties. In a situation when the Regency was closer to conservative than liberal ideas, it was hard to discuss organized political parties. The non-existence of political discipline as well as well political programs adversely affected the emergence of modern political parties. 277 Assembly Elections of October 1874 had a great impact on the history of political parties in Serbia. After the elections, a few political parties emerged in the Assembly: St Andrea Liberals under Jevrem Grujić, Libears under Ristić, Conservatives under Jovan Marinović, the beginnings of Young Conservatives and People’s Party of the future Radicals. The organizing of political parties was sped up by young intellectuals gathered round the paper “Videlo” and connected with the People’s party in the National Assembly. The beginning of 1881 saw the emergence of modern organized political parties in Serbia: People’s Radical Part, Progressive Party and Liberal Party. Until that period delegates in the National Assembly mainly performed individually, and after 1881 they perform in accordance with political program, respecting political discipline. In view of organization and the functioning, the radicals went further, because they realized that organization is of utter importance for successful functioning and development of political parties. Pera Todorovic was given most credit for organizing the Radical Party. His organization contributed a round of hierarchical organizational units starting with local committees in every small town, counties, and to the Main Committee as the supreme organ of the party. Speaking about organization of the other two political parties it could be said that they too emerged with statues similar to the radical one. However, they never occupied such number of members as the Radical Party. The main characteristic of the political life in Serbia during the 80s of the 19th century consisted of bitter fights between the Radical and the Progressive Party in which King Milan Obrenovic sided with the Progressive Party. He was the reason why the radicals, although during the period 1882-1883 in majority, they never succeeded to come to power nor for the years to come. Dedicated to unable radicalism in Serbia, Milan showed even greater resistance toward the liberal reforms and greater affection toward emergence of personal regime. After the Timok Rebellion many radical leaders were convicted for many years, and the political leader Nikola Pasic was in emigration. Among the radicals, involving even those in the custody, slowly awareness was raised that the accord with the crown was necessary. Treaty with the radicals was initiated by King Milan so as to reinforce his personal strength, decreased in the war with Bulgaria. Although hungry for power, the radicals denounced the king’s offer in Nis at the beginning of 1886. Radical leaders signed a treaty with liberals instead of progressives in 1887. The King did not have many possibilities, either to give radicals power and concede defeat or to draw back. Radical-liberal coalitional government gave great attention to the constitutional problem solving. Due to the fact that the first coalitional government was short-lived, it did not solve any problems. Similar situation happened with the first homogenous radical government that did not succeed anything more than its program, due to the fact that it was smothered by the King Milan’s party. The Constitutional reform of 1888 had a big impact on political and constitutional life of Serbia. The multiannual struggle of the People’s Radical Party was crowned by passing the constitution by the principle of majority. 278 The position of the Radical Party is changed from the ground, because it came to power and made its own cadre consisting of young intellectuals. Oversight over the whole work of the radical government from 1889 to 1892 shows that the radicals on the one hand showed great effort to introduce the constitution into the political life of Serbia, and on the other to limit the ruler’s power. However, it is important not to forget the fact that the parliamentary regime on whom so many radicals insisted was more and more changing into a totalitarian one-party system. The parliamentary system that enabled the absolute power of the Radical Party in all state institutions was short-lived. King Alexander had an immense wish to stop as soon as possible with all the new-laid things that were introduced by the parliamentary system and that is the reason he was constantly fighting with the political parties and very frequently insisted on coup. In 1894 he suspended the 1888 Constitution and reenacted the 1869 one. After that, a regime based on self-will came to power, which lasted until 1901, year when King Alexander passed a new constitution. Political life in time of self-willed regime of king Alexander was very tough, because the ruler denounced the parties with the basic idea: “to renounce with parliamentarism if we wish to arrange this state properly”. The last Obrenovic tried to denounce the existence of the Constitution, the government and the National Assembly by conducting various experiments. His “neutral” governments, which consisted of unforced political personnel, were under his impact. The whole political system turned round one political person, the king, which succeeded in dividing and manipulating the political parties. Neutralizing the People’s Radical Party dominance could not have lasted any longer, due to the fact that it was impossible that the party with the biggest support be in opposition any longer. The king’s wedding to Draga Masin represents a turning point in political life of Serbia. The shackles of the self-willed regime started to diminish, because the king wanted “to please the parties and the nation, so that they would accept the queen.” The king’s compromise with the strongest party in the country did not achieve results, due to the fact that among them existed huge differences in view of “state conceptions”. The radicals advocated for parliamentary monarchy in which the power would belong to the most popular party, whereas the crown advocated the constitutional monarchy in which the ruler would be a puppet in enforcing the power of the National Assembly. Co-operational politics between the king and the radicals were short-lived, since it turned out that the representatives of the two opposite state conceptions were incapable of reaching an agreement. Shorty, the king realized that the treaty with the radicals was impossible to be kept and decided to return to previous politics, as before signed by the treaty in 1901. The renewed return to the self-willed regime sped up the preparations of the conspirators that in the night of May 28th/June 10th/ May 29th June 11th staged a coup.
Faculty:University of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy
- The Modernization of the Western Balkans (RS-177009)