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These states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, and also organized uprisings; because of this, they suffered persecution and their territories were devastated – major migrations from Serbia into Habsburg territory ensued.
In 1688, the Habsburg army took Belgrade and entered the territory of present-day Central Serbia.Despite being outnumbered, the Serbs subsequently defeated the Austro-Hungarians at the Battle of Cer, which marked the first Allied victory over the Central Powers in the war.Further victories at the battles of Kolubara and the Drina meant that Serbia remained unconquered as the war entered its second year.During the First Serbian Uprising, led by Duke Karađorđe Petrović, Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army was able to reoccupy the country.
Shortly after this, the Second Serbian Uprising began.
) are a South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans.