Podgorica Assembly - Epilogue


After the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed, the historic entities including Montenegro remained, parallel to Serbia. The Great Serb People's Assembly convened for the last time on 27 December 1919 when it elected the Montenegrin delegation to the Collective National Representing Body of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes that was to draft a Constitution.

The deposed King and his internationally recognized Government of the Kingdom of Montenegro in Exile in Neilly was informed of this by French intelligence. Nicholas discarded the decisions of the assembly, claiming it was illegal, calling upon the Constitution of Montenegro, and called forth the Montenegrins not to accept the annexation. Prime Minister Evgenije Popović wrote to the Great Powers in complaint.

The Greens, led by Krsto Zrnov Popović, supported by the Italians, changed their desire to include a completely independent Montenegrin state and resorted to rebellion. With slogan "For justice, honour and the freedom of Montenegro", they raised on Christmas Eve of 7 January 1919 the Christmas Uprising, with an attempt to restore independent Montenegro. The international community opposed uprising and the Serbian forces quelled the rebellion in blood, raising the rebel sieges of completely cut-off Cetinje and Nikšić. The insurgents mostly found amnesty, but some form of little guerrilla resistance from continued until 1926.

During the Paris Peace Conference, a representative of Montenegro king was called to give a speech in which he protested annexation, but for the Treaty of Versailles, only the representative of Yugoslav Montenegro was called. At these two conferences, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was internationally recognized, but the Montenegrin question itself was left to be later resolved because of a bloody conflict escalating in Montenegro.

The independence of Montenegro was recognized by the Great Powers until 1922 after which all states accepted the Yugoslav claim on this state. During the 1918–22 period, annexation was supported by France, independence by Italy, and Great Britain took their middle road with suppression report about method practised by Serbia and French generals (in Montenegro) Franchet d'Esperey and Venal in Montenegro.

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