J. G. S.
President’s Office Cornell University July 13, 1916
Postscript. I remarked in the foregoing Introduction, that Roumania would not abandon her neutrality till fortune had declared more decisively for one or the other group of belligerents. That was written seven weeks ago. And within the last few days Roumania has joined the Allies and declared war against Austria-Hungary. I also noted that the unstable equilibrium which had been maintained in Greece between the party of King Constantine and the party of Venizelos had already been upset to the disadvantage of the former. Roumania’s adhesion to the cause of the Allies is bound to accelerate this movement. It would not be surprising if Greece were any day now to follow the example of Roumania. Had Greece in 1914 stood by Venizelos and joined the Allies the chances are that Roumania would at that time have adopted the same course. But the opposition of King Constantine delayed that consummation, directly in the case of Greece, and indirectly in the case of Roumania. Now that the latter has cast in her lot with the Allies and the former is likely at any tune to follow her example, I may be permitted to quote the forecast which I made in the Preface to the Second Edition of this volume under date of November 26, 1914:
“If this terrible conflagration, which is already devastating Europe and convulsing all the continents and vexing all the oceans of the globe, spreads to the Balkans, one may hazard the guess that Greece, Montenegro, Servia, and Roumania will stand together on the side of the Allies and that Bulgaria if she is not carried away by marked Austro-German victories will remain neutral.”
J. G. S.
September 1, 1916.
[Map: map1.png Caption: The Balkan Peninsula before the Wars of 1912-1913.]
TURKEY AND THE BALKAN STATES
The expulsion of the Turks from Europe was long ago written in the book of fate. There was nothing uncertain about it except the date and the agency of destiny.
A little clan of oriental shepherds, the Turks had in two generations gained possession of the whole of the northwest corner of Asia Minor and established themselves on the eastern shore of the Bosphorus. The great city of Brusa, whose groves to-day enshrine the stately beauty of their mosques and sultans’ tombs, capitulated to Orkhan, the son of the first Sultan, in 1326; and Nicaea, the cradle of the Greek church and temporary capital of the Greek Empire, surrendered in 1330. On the other side of the Bosphorus Orkhan could see the domes and palaces of Constantinople which, however, for another century was to remain the seat of the Byzantine Empire.
The Turks crossed the Hellespont and, favored by an earthquake, marched in 1358 over the fallen walls and fortifications into the city of Gallipoli. In 1361 Adrianople succumbed to the attacks of Orkhan’s son, Murad I, whose sway was soon acknowledged in Thrace and Macedonia, and who was destined to lead the victorious Ottoman armies as far north as the Danube.