The use of the name Montenegro began in the 15th century when the Crnojevic dynasty began to rule the Serbian principality of Zeta; over subsequent centuries it was able to maintain its independence from the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Montenegro became a theocratic state ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it was transformed into a secular principality. After World War I, Montenegro was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and, at the conclusion of World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Montenegro federated with Serbia, first as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, after 2003, in a looser union of Serbia and Montenegro. Following a three-year postponement, Montenegro held an independence referendum in the spring of 2006 under rules set by the EU. The vote for severing ties with Serbia exceeded the 55% threshold, allowing Montenegro to formally declare its independence on 3 June 2006.
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Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of November 1, 2006