Crises in the Balkans

  • The Balkan Peninsula comprising South East Europe had been a trouble spot of European politics.
  • By the Treaty of Berlin, 1878 the European powers believed that the Eastern Question had been solved.
  • Problem that arose after 1878 was the question of Balkan nationalism due to multi-ethnic groups.
  • This question failed to solve the question of freedom of smaller groups of Balkans – Christians, from Muslim Turkish rule.
  • Serbian nationalism was another such issue.
  • Serbia became a champion of the Slavic nationalism.
  • A significant number of Serbians lived in the Habsburg Empire of Austria.
  • By the Treaty of Berlin, Bosnia, a predominantly Serb inhabited country was kept under Austrian protection.
  • Austria’s annexation of Bosnia inflamed Serbia which enjoyed full support of Russia.
  • The Young Turk Revolution started in Turkey in 1908.
  • Young Turk group was formed by the progressives, which waged war against the Ottoman Sultan.
  • Autocracy of Sultan Abdul Hamid II became unbearable to the people.
  • Enver Pasha and his supporters played leading role in deposing Abdul Hamid II and capturing power.
  • Italy took advantage of turmoil within Turkey and seized Tripoli after a brief war with Turkey.
  • Young Turks let loose a policy of Turkification and troubled Balkan Christians.
  • Joint Austro-Russian supervision did not work well.
  • Greek Minister, Venizelos persuaded regions fighting for nationalism to form a Balkan League.
  • In the First Balkan war, the German trained Turkish army collapsed in every place.
  • The Bulgarian army reached within 25 miles of Constantinople.
  • The Treaty of London was concluded in 1913.
  • Albania became independent of Turkey.
  • Bulgaria broke the Treaty of London and attacked Salonica and South Macedonia.
  • This led to the outbreak of the Second Balkan War.
  • By Treaty of Bucharest, all terms of Treaty of London were revised.
  • Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina predominantly inhabited by Serbs injured Serbian nationalism.
  • The Czarist government was determined to resist Austro-German aggressions in the Balkan.
  • On 28th June, 1914 Austrian Crown Prince Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were assassinated by a Bosnian Serb, known as Serajova Murder.
  • Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia on 48 hour notice.
  • Austria declared war on Serbia.
  • Russia started mobilization to support Serbia and in reply Germany started counter mobilization, started the WWI.

 

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