In ancient times the Serbian state had a more southern position and drew its main resources from the mountainous districts of Lim, Ibar and western Morava. The expansion to the north (13th century) is connected both with the search for more fertile land, and with the Turkish invasion and domination, which was pressing from the south, the center of the state becomes Kruševac for some time, at the confluence of the two Moravas. Then the Turks also occupied this locality, Belgrade and Smederevo remain the last Serbian bulwarks, until the Ottoman invasion (1521: fall of Belgrade) submerged everything. When Serbia was resurrected, the first territory (from 1815 to 1833) was the pa š aluk of Belgrade (24,440 sq. km.), a region extended a little more than Šumadija, with the capital first Kraguievac, apart from the traffic routes, and then Belgrade (from 1841). The area has an important position with respect to the Balkan Peninsula, since it is able to dominate some of the main streets. In this first period, Serbia is oriented towards the north and forms almost an appendage of the Danube basin, in very close relations with Austria, to which, however, it precludes free access in the heart of the Balkan region. The first enlargement took place in 1833 with the purchase of the Timok basin, the Kruševac area and some territories located in the SW. it is a modest rounding towards Serbia and towards E., on territories inhabited by Serbs. A little more than half a century later, the wars with the Turks and the Berlin congress (1878) instead shifted the bases of Serbia somewhat, with the aggregation of a large part of the southern Morava basin, which brought the state to 48,300 sq km. and bought an important city like Nis. The shape stretches towards the south, showing the tendency to expand in that direction, a tendency which, despite the obstacle posed by the mountain ranges (Golija and Kopaonik), it will find in the peace of Bucharest, after the wars of 1912 and 1913, victorious development, in order to add a large part of the Vardar valley to the state and bring Serbia, now 86,664 km wide, back to many territories of the ancient kingdom (Old Serbia), later albanized and Islamized. With the’ aggregation of the Rascia and the sangiaccato di Novi Pazar, a bare territory, partly karst, difficult to access, then the wedge that divided the Slavs of Serbia from the Slavs of Montenegro disappears and the state acquires a dominant position in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, given the possession of the area of Skoplje, a crossroads of the main longitudinal and transversal communication routes of the Peninsula. In fact, the Morava, in addition to giving access to Presevo a depressed threshold, to the Vardar basin, allows, through the Nisava, its right tributary, to easily reach Sofia, while the western Morava, as well as offering easy communication with the course of the Drina, following the Ibar from Kraljevo, allows good communication with Skoplje through the Sitnica. Despite the advantages derived from its centrality, Serbia nevertheless remained an internal state and Belgrade, its capital, although in a strategic and commercial position of the first order, appeared somewhat peripheral compared to the southern regions. The residents, which in 1834 were 678.190 (with a density of 18 residents per sq. Km.), Increased to 998.900 in 1854 (density 27), 1.353.890 in 1874 (36 per sq. Km.), 1.909.740 in 1884 (39 per sq. km.) and 2,911,701 in 1910 (60 per sq. km.). Another 2390 sq. Km. Serbia gained in 1919 with the Treaty of Neuilly, which forced Bulgaria to cede the territories of Strumica and Caribrod, in order to reach an area of 90,000 sq km. and a population of 2.4 million.
Serbia Ternorial Development