Primary Documents - Montenegrin Skupshtina's Decree, 1 December 1918

King Peter I of Serbia With the Austro-Hungarian empire rapidly crumbling in 1918 moves were well underway to instigate the creation of a new Greater Serbia state.

The establishment of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes - which was formally declared on 1 December 1918 and renamed Yugoslavia in October 1929 - demonstrated the clear determination on the part of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Macedonians and others to win self-determination from Austria; the collapse of the empire brought such nationalist agitation to a head.

Reproduced below is the text of the declaration of the Montenegrin assembly - the Skupshtina - which affirmed its intention to join the new state and to depose its own monarch, King Nicholas, in favour of Serbian monarch King Peter.

Click here to read the text of the Corfu Declaration of 20 July 1917 which established the Allied-backed principles upon which the new state would be created and governed.

Click here to read the address of the Ante Trumbic-led Yugoslav National Council, dated 24 November 1918, which expressed its concern at Italian regional territorial aspirations arising from the April 1915 Treaty of London Click here to read the Serbian government's response to the Yugoslav National Council's address.

Decree of the Montenegrin Skupshtina, 1 December 1918

Taking into consideration the historical tendencies as well as political and economic interests of Montenegro, the Great Skupshtina, elected by the people of Montenegro and assembled at Podgoritza, has decided:

1. To depose the King, Nicholas Petrovich Niegush;

2. To effect the union of Montenegro with Serbia under he Karageorgevich dynasty and its entrance into the common fatherland of Serbians, Croatians, and Slovenes;

3. To elect a national committee specifically charged with the conduct of the affairs of Montenegro united with Serbia, and

4. To communicate this decision to former King Nicholas and to the Government of the Kingdom of Serbia, as well as to the Governments of the Allied and neutral powers.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VII, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

The Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was the first ever delivered by telegram.

- Did you know?

Primary Docs