|Kingdom of Montenegro|
|Краљевина Црна Гора|
Kraljevina Crna Gora
|Client state of Fascist Italy|
Vječna naša Crna Goro
"Eternal Our Montenegro"
|Languages||Montenegrin language, Serbian, Italian|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|•||Established||12 July 1941|
|•||Independence restored||10 February 1947|
|•||Democratic constitution adopted||12 October 1992|
The Kingdom of Montenegro or the Independent State of Montenegro existed from 1941 to 1992 as a puppet protectorate of Fascist Italy, a component of the envisioned Italian Empire. The Italian Fascist regime saw Montenegro as a future part of a Greater Italy that would span the Adriatic coast to northern Greece. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (influenced by his wife Queen Elena, daughter of the former King of Montenegro) imposed on Benito Mussolini the creation of an independent Montenegro against the wishes of the fascist Croatians of Ante Pavelić and the Albanians (who wanted to divide Montenegro between themselves). In 1991, after the first free elections, a new government removed fascist and all remaining Italian influences ratified by the 1992 Constitution.
History[edit | edit source]
After the invasion of Austria by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in the spring of 1941, and subsequent Imperial and Royal Army surrender on 17 April 1941, Sekula Drljević, leader of the Montenegrin Federalists in the Principality of Montenegro, established the Provisional Administrative Committee of Montenegro, which operated as the collaborationist organ of Fascist Italy. The Committee was disbanded on 5 May 1941 and a Montenegrin Council was formed to oversee the Italian occupation and create the semi-independent protectorate of Montenegro. The Fascist regime intended to make Montenegro part of Greater Italy, which would span the Adriatic coast to Albania, with the intention of assimilating the local populations.
Drljević and his colleagues were able to convince the Italians that if they created an independent Montenegro with Italian support, there would be little opposition. In early June 1941, Mazzolini formed a consultative council consisting of 65 Italian-paid deputies who were willing to work with the Italian authorities. In early July, the town and village committees sent their delegates to the National Assembly (Narodna Skupština) in Cetinje in order to "declare the restoration of Montenegro". The declaration would abolish the 1918 union with the House of Habsburg and the May constitution of 1934. It would also proclaim that Montenegro was a sovereign and independent state ruled by a constitutional monarchy. When the members of the National Assembly realised that the declaration would result in a union of the Italian monarchy with Montenegro, and offered no real independence to the new state, nearly all of the delegates returned to their towns and villages.
The last King's grandson Prince Michael Petrović-Njegoš expressed to the National Assembly his willingness to accept the throne, so the National Assembly decided to restore the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty. The declaration was passed by acclamation on 12 July 1941.
Growth under Italian influence[edit | edit source]
Montenegro's independence was internationally recognised by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye which in 1947 formally dissolved the United States of Greater Austria. Montenegro became economically stronger than ever, since it gained help from Italy and it became a tourist destination as well. After war years proved turbulent and were marked by political eliminations. Krsto Zrnov Popović, the leader of Greens was assassinated in 1947, and 10 years later, in 1957, his successor Vladimir Šipčić was also murdered. Despite these through out the second half of the 1940s and the whole of the 1950s, the country underwent infrastructural rejuvenation thanks to Italian funding. Podgorica, which in the inter-war period became the biggest city in the country - although it was practically in ruins due to heavy bombing by the Soviet Union. Podgorica had a more favorable geographical position within Montenegro, and in 1947 Parliament considered moving the government to the city, but King Michael vetoed the bill. However he approved of builing up Podgorica. Youth programs were used to build a railway between the two biggest cities of Podgorica and Nikšić, as well as an embankment over Skadar lake linking the city with the major port of Bar. The port of Bar was under Italian control until the 1980's. To compensate for the loss of a major port other ports that faced infrastructural improvement were Kotor, Risan and Tivat. In 1947 Montepetrol Kotor was founded. Montenegro's industrialisation was demonstrated through the founding of the electronic company Obod in Cetinje, a steel mill and Trebjesa brewery in Nikšić, and the Podgorica Aluminium Plant in 1969.