One of the most outstanding Serbian diplomats, politicians and
economists of the second half of XIX through the early XX centuries, Čedomilj
Mijatović, a well known Anglophile, was the Kingdom of Serbia envoy to the
Great Britain for three times: 1884-1886, 1895-1900 and 1902-1903. In the
course of his terms in Britain, Mijatović persisted, both through public
representation and by publishing his essays in newspapers, to depict Serbia
and Serbian people in as favorable way as possible. His engagement in the
1895-1900 period was of the special importance. Activities of this kind were
exceptionally important, not only because British public was so scarcely
familiar with developments on the Balkans and with geography and history of
the Balkans as well, but because both Turcophilia and Bulgarophilia were
prevalent in England of the time. The purpose of essays Mijatović wrote and
published in English newspapers was twofold, that is - political and economic:
to advocate Serbian interests and pretensions and to bring British capital to
Serbia. He endeavored to engage some eminent Englishmen to make their
attitudes on the Balkan developments public, and to do that in favor of the
Kingdom of Serbia interests. He appealed the Great Powers, to Britain at the
first place, to refrain from considering the Eastern Question as the question of
how to apportion its territories among themselves, but to apply the „Balkans
Peninsula to the Balkans people“ principle instead.
However, a dedication uncompromising Čedomilj Mijatović pursued, as
aimed at propagation of the truth about Serbia within both British public and
British political environment, was not limited to his reactions made through his
newspaper articles. He engaged his friends, the English having friendly
attitudes to Serbia, to stand up for Serbian interests. Among more important
Mijatović`s actions is formation of the text comprising the data on Serbia and
forwarding it to the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica monumental issue.
The purpose of his endeavor was not only to familiarize British public
with a faraway, small and young state, but to form a notion on the state and its
people as being worth interests of both British politicians and British capital.
Nevertheless, by reconsidering the attitude of the Great Britain to Serbia effectively, together with the performance his legation achieved, Mijatović
came to a conclusion that he had failed to gain the support of the Great Britain.
But, he was not discouraged, because he believed a patient endeavor was still
necessary. Results of his efforts were not the great ones, but what he achieved
was to attract the attention of English public and, as much as he was able to,
to put the wrong notion about Serbia, immanent even to the educated social
environment of the Great Britain, right.