In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Montenegro is Number 19 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. In the Middle Ages, Montenegro was part of Serbia. It later became an independent state known as Zeta, and from 1516 to 1851 was run as a theocracy under the control of the prince-bishops of the Orthodox Church. The bishops, elective until 1696 and thereafter hereditary, managed to preserve the cultural and religious identity of the country and its independence from the Turks. Montenegro greatly expanded its territory as a result of war with Turkey in 1876−78, and underwent peaceful internal development after 1880 under Prince (later King) Nikola I. The study estimates the population of Montenegro in 1914 at 400,000−500,000. Some 30,000 Montenegrins were living in the United States, and the study notes that the return of some emigrants from the United States was an “influence which tended to modernize Montenegro.”

Last updated: November 14, 2017