The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.
instrument, which dashed to the ground the racial and national aspirations of the Bulgarians which the Treaty of San Stefano had so completely satisfied, their country was restricted to a “tributary principality” lying between the Danube and the Balkans, Eastern Roumelia to the south being excluded from it and made an autonomous province of Turkey.  This breach in the political life of the race was healed in 1885 by the union of Eastern Roumelia with Bulgaria; and the Ottoman sovereignty, which had become little more than a form, was completely ended in 1908 when the ruler of the enlarged principality of Bulgaria publicly proclaimed it an independent kingdom.  In spite of a protest from the Porte the independence of Bulgaria was at once recognized by the Powers.

If Bulgaria owed the freedom with which the Treaty of Berlin dowered her to the swords, and also to the pens, of foreigners, her complete independence was her own achievement.  But it was not brought about till a generation after the Treaty of Berlin had recognized the independence of Servia, Montenegro, and Roumania and delegated to Austria-Hungary the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Yet the progress made by Bulgaria first under Prince Alexander and especially since 1887 under Prince Ferdinand (who subsequently assumed the title of King and later of Czar) is one of the most astonishing phenomena in the history of Modern Europe.


Thus in consequence of the events we have here so hastily sketched Turkey had lost since the nineteenth century opened a large portion of the Balkan Peninsula.  Along the Danube and the Save at the north Bulgaria and Servia had become independent kingdoms and Bosnia and Herzegovina had at first practically and later formally been annexed to Austria-Hungary.  At the extreme southern end of the Balkan Peninsula the Greeks had carved out an independent kingdom extending from Cape Matapan to the Vale of Tempe and the Gulf of Arta.  All that remained of European Turkey was the territory lying between Greece and the Slav countries of Montenegro, Bosnia, Servia, and Bulgaria.  The Porte has divided this domain into six provinces or vilayets, besides Constantinople and its environs.  These vilayets are Scutari and Janina on the Adriatic; Kossovo and Monastir, adjoining them on the east; next Saloniki, embracing the centre of the area; and finally Adrianople, extending from the Mesta River to the Black Sea.  In ordinary language the ancient classical names are generally used to designate these divisions.  The vilayet of Adrianople roughly corresponds to Thrace, the Adriatic vilayets to Epirus, and the intervening territory to Macedonia.  Parts of the domain in question are, however, also known under other names.  The district immediately south of Servia is often called Old Servia; and the Adriatic coast lands between Montenegro and Greece are generally designated Albania on the north and Epirus on the south.

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The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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