GARASHANIN, ILIYA (1812-1874), Servian statesman, was the son of a Servian peasant, who made money by exporting cattle and pigs to Austria and by his intelligence and wealth attained to a certain influence in the country. He wanted to give his son as good an education as possible, and therefore sent him to Hungary to learn first in a Greek and then in a German school. Highly gifted, and having passed through a regular although somewhat short school training, the young Iliya very quickly came to the front. In 1836 Prince Milosh appointed him a colonel and commander of the then just organized regular army of Servia. In 1842 he was called to the position of assistant to the home minister, and from that time until his retirement from public life in 1867 he was repeatedly minister of home affairs, distinguishing himself by the energy and justice of his administration. But he rendered far greater services to his country as minister for foreign affairs. He was the first Servian statesman who had a political programme, and who worked to replace the Russian protectorate over Servia by the joint protectorate of all the great powers of Europe. As minister for foreign affairs in 1853 he was decidedly opposed to Servia joining Russia in war against Turkey and the western powers. His anti-Russian views resulted in Prince Menshikov, while on his mission in Constantinople, 1853, peremptorily demanding from the prince of Servia (Alexander Karageorgevich) his dismissal. But although dismissed, his personal influence in the country secured the neutrality of Servia during the Crimean War. He enjoyed esteem in France, and it was due to him that France proposed to the peace conference of Paris (1856) that the old constitution, granted to Servia by Turkey as suzerain and Russia as protector in 1839, should be replaced by a more modern and liberal constitution, framed by a European international commission. But the agreement of the powers was not secured. Garashanin induced Prince Alexander Karageorgevich to convoke a national assembly, which had not been called to meet for ten years. The assembly was convoked for St Andrew's Day 1858, but its first act was to dethrone Prince Alexander and to recall the old Prince Milosh Obrenovich. When after the death of his father Milosh (in 1860) Prince Michael ascended the throne, he entrusted the premiership and foreign affairs to Iliya Garashanin. The result of their policy was that Servia was given a new, although somewhat conservative, constitution, and that she obtained, without war, the evacuation of all the fortresses garrisoned by the Turkish troops on the Servian territory, including the fortress of Belgrade (1867). Garashanin was preparing a general rising of the Balkan nations against the Turkish rule, and had entered into confidential arrangements with the Rumanians, Bosnians, Albanians, Bulgarians and Greeks, and more especially with Montenegro. But the execution of his plans was frustrated by his sudden resignation (at the end of 1867), and more especially by the assassination of Prince Michael a few months later (the 10th of June 1868). Although he was a Conservative in politics, and as such often in conflict with the leader of the Liberal movement, Yovan Ristich, he certainly was one of the ablest statesmen whom Servia had in the 19th century.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)