Pasic, Nikola

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Pašić or Pashitch, Nikola

(both: nē`kôlä pä`shĭch), 1845?–1926, Serbian statesman. After studying engineering, he became interested in politics and was elected (1878) to the Serbian parliament. In 1881 he founded the Radical party, which he led for the rest of his life. An opponent of the government of King Milan, he lived in exile from 1883 to 1889. After his return, he was (1891–92) premier of Serbia for the first of many times. Exiled (1899) by King Alexander, he returned to power after the accession (1903) of Peter I and virtually controlled Serbia in the years preceding World War I. Strongly pro-Russian and advocating the creation of a greater Serbia, he adopted a violently anti-Austrian policy after the annexation by Austria of Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina
, Serbo-Croatian Bosna i Hercegovina, country (2013 pop. 3,791,622), 19,741 sq mi (51,129 sq km), on the Balkan peninsula, S Europe. It is bounded by Croatia on the west and north, Serbia on the northeast, and Montenegro on the southeast.
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. The Austrian government accused him (1914), with cause, of having possessed knowledge of the plot against Archduke Francis FerdinandFrancis Ferdinand,
1863–1914, Austrian archduke, heir apparent (after 1889) of his uncle, Emperor Francis Joseph. In 1900 he married a Czech, Sophie Chotek. She was made duchess of Hohenberg, but because she was of minor nobility their children were barred from succession.
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, whose assassination precipitated World War I. Pašić led Serbia throughout the war and in 1917 negotiated the union of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (see YugoslaviaYugoslavia
, Serbo-Croatian Jugoslavija, former country of SE Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula. Belgrade was the capital and by far the largest city. Yugoslavs (i.e.
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). He was an important figure at the Paris Peace Conference and was premier of Yugoslavia for most of the time from 1921 until his death. Favoring a greater Serbia in which Serbia would control the other sections through a centralized administration, he met bitter opposition from Stjepan RadićRadić, Stjepan
, or Stefan Radich
, 1871–1928, Croatian politician. Of peasant origin, he early became active in politics and founded (1905) the Croatian Peasant party.
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 in Croatia. Pašić and his party grew increasingly conservative in the latter part of his career.

Pašić, Nikola

 

Born Dec. 19, 1845, in Zaječar; died Dec. 10, 1926, in Belgrade. Serbian, later Yugoslav, political figure and statesman. Civil engineer by education.

While a student at the Zürich Polytechnic Institute from 1868 to 1873, Pašić was close to M. A. Bakunin’s group. Upon his return to Serbia in 1873, he became a follower of S. Marković for a time. In 1878 he was elected a deputy to the Serbian skupština (parliament). Pašić was one of the organizers (1881) and then the leader of the Radical Party, which originally sought some democratization of Serbia’s political and governmental system and fought against the regime of King Milan Obrenović.

Pašić emigrated in the 1880’s. He returned to Serbia in 1889 and once more headed the Radical Party. He served as premier and minister of foreign affairs from February 1891 to August 1892 and as envoy to Russia in 1893 and 1894. When the Karageorgevich dynasty returned to power in 1903, Pašić’s Radical Party, which had abandoned its former position and now expressed the interests of the big industrial bourgeoisie, became the governing party. As premier and minister of foreign affairs from 1904 to 1918 (with interruptions), Pašić supported the Pan-Serbian foreign policy of the Karageorgevich dynasty. He headed the delegation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20. Serving as premier of the new kingdom from 1921 to 1926 (with an interruption from July to November 1924), Pašić was one of the sponsors and promoters of the reactionary domestic policy and anti-Soviet foreign policy of the Yugoslav government.

V. V. ZELENIN