Kosovo History – Middle Ages

The Serbian argument, however, refers to the settlement of the Balkan Peninsula by the great Slavic migration in the 6th century and to the expansion of the Serbian sphere of power that began afterwards. Kosovo was the center of the Nemanjid kingdom, which ruled large parts of southeast Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. An expression of this central position was in particular the seat of the patriarch in Peć (since 1253), as well as the extensive and important church and monastery building in Kosovo in general. This bloom came to an abrupt end with the battle on the Amselfeld in 1389. In this battle, the Serbian kingdom defended the civilized world of Europe from the “barbarians”. The heroic defeat against the Ottomans led to a martyrdom that lasted until 1912, during which the balance of power in Kosovo changed in favor of the Albanians, who were permanently settled Ottomans.

Middle Ages: Ottoman rule

With the conquest of Serbia in 1459, an almost 450-year phase of Ottoman rule in south-eastern Europe begins, which can hardly be characterized as uniform and straightforward, but rather is characterized by different phases of power penetration. A completely negative perception of the Ottoman Empire is certainly misleading. So learned z. For example, city life in the early phase of Ottoman administration, including the construction of mosques, baths and the establishment of bazaars and caravanserais, a sustainable upswing. Against the background of expansive military strategies and thus the maintenance of extensive military capacities, the administration of the provinces was based essentially on two motives, namely the collection of taxes and the provision of soldiers.Millet system. One of the most lasting changes by the Ottomans was the introduction of the Islamic faith, which, however, only spread gradually. The Millet system basically guaranteed the existence of an alternative faith, first and foremost the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Ottomans showed less tolerance towards the Catholic Church. The religious affiliation (and less the ethnic affiliation) determined the citizenship status and the structure of tax payments as well as the existence of certain rights (e.g. possession of weapons). Thus there was an economic and rational incentive to change religious affiliation. As a result of increasing sales charges, triggered by rising military spending and falling income (e.g. in mining), Islamization accelerated in Kosovo. The granting of autonomy rights (e.g. in the form of local jurisdiction) led, among other things, to the formation of extensive clan structures in the mountains of Kosovo and Albania. In the aftermath of the unsuccessful siege of Vienna (1683) by the Ottomans, Habsburg troops penetrated into Kosovo in 1689/90, but experienced a defeat there, which resulted in the flight of large parts of the Serbian population from Kosovo and the settlement of refugees in the today’s Serbian province of Vojvodina resulted. According to DENTISTRYMYTH, this migration movement, the scope of which is the subject of discussion, but realistically on the order of Habsburg troops penetrated into Kosovo in 1689/90, but suffered a defeat there, which resulted in the flight of large parts of the Serbian population from Kosovo and the settlement of the refugees in today’s Serbian province of Vojvodina. This migration movement, the scope of which is the subject of discussion, but realistically on the order of 30,000 Serbs can be numbered, later went down in Serbian historiography as the Great Migration (velika seoba).

Kosovo History - Middle Ages

End of the Ottoman rule

The Ottoman penetration of power on the Balkan Peninsula became increasingly difficult from the 18th century, which was due to the military weakness as well as economic and administrative problems. This led to increasing claims to power by local dignitaries and there were more and more uprisings against Ottoman rule. In 1877/78 the Ottoman Empire reacted and for the first time set up an independent administrative unit in Kosovo (vilayet Kosova), which clearly exceeded the spatial boundaries of today’s Kosovo. In the course of the Russo-Turkish War, Serbia was won at the Berlin Congress in 1878 its independence, which was in line with burgeoning nationalism in south-eastern Europe. The results of the Berlin Congress, the realization that there was no lobby for Albanian interests (e.g. Bismarck’s view that there was no Albanian nation), as well as the extensive expulsion of Muslims from Serbia resulted in a strengthening of the Albanian national movement in 1878 in founding the League of Prizren(alb. Lidhja e Prizrenit) found her expression. The movement, also known as the “national rebirth” (Alb. Rijlindja kombëtare), did not pursue – albeit not uniformly – the goal of Albanian independence, but aimed at expanded rights of self-government within the Ottoman Empire. The league was violently crushed by Ottoman troops in 1881, which led to a further destabilization of the situation with increasingly violent uprisings in Kosovo. The uprisings could not be stopped by the reform-oriented Young Turks movement, which took over the power of the Ottoman Empire in 1912. In the course of the first Balkan war Kosovo was occupied by Serbian and Montenegrin troops and subjected to a tyranny that lasted until the First World War. The position of Serbia was strengthened by the London Treaty (1913), with which Albania’s independence was accepted, but – reflecting the relationship between great powers – within the limits known today, which excluded a large part of the Albanian population and assigned the corresponding areas to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.