The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.

The area of Turkey in Europe in 1912 was 169,300 square kilometers; of Bulgaria 96,300; of Greece 64,600; of Servia 48,300; and of Montenegro 9,000.  The population of European Turkey at the same date was 6,130,000; of Bulgaria 4,329,000; of Greece 2,632,000; of Servia 2,912,000; and of Montenegro 250,000.  To the north of the Balkan states, with the Danube on the south and the Black Sea on the east, lay Roumania having an area of 131,350 square kilometers and a population of 7,070,000.

CAUSES OF THE FIRST BALKAN WAR

What was the occasion of the war between Turkey and the Balkan states in 1912?  The most general answer that can be given to that question is contained in the one word Macedonia.  Geographically Macedonia lies between Greece, Servia, and Bulgaria.  Ethnographically it is an extension of their races.  And if, as Matthew Arnold declared, the primary impulse both of individuals and of nations is the tendency to expansion, Macedonia both in virtue of its location and of its population was foreordained to be a magnet to the emancipated Christian nations of the Balkans.  Of course the expansion of Greeks and Slavs meant the expulsion of Turks.  Hence the Macedonian question was the quintessence of the Near Eastern Question.

But apart altogether from the expansionist ambitions and the racial sympathies of their kindred in Bulgaria, Servia, and Greece, the population of Macedonia had the same right to emancipation from Turkish domination and oppression as their brethren in these neighboring states.  The Moslems had forfeited their sovereign rights in Europe by their unutterable incapacity to govern their Christian subjects.  Had the Treaty of Berlin sanctioned, instead of undoing, the Treaty of San Stefano, the whole of Macedonia would have come under Bulgarian sovereignty; and although Servia and especially Greece would have protested against the Bulgarian absorption of their Macedonian brethren (whom they had always hoped to bring under their own jurisdiction when the Turk was expelled) the result would certainly have been better for all the Christian inhabitants of Macedonia as well as for the Mohammedans (who number 800,000 persons or nearly one third of the entire population of Macedonia).  As it was these, people were all doomed to a continuation of Turkish misgovernment, oppression, and slaughter.  The Treaty of Berlin indeed provided for reforms, but the Porte through diplomacy and delay frustrated all the efforts of Europe to have them put into effect.  For fifteen years the people waited for the fulfilment of the European promise of an amelioration of their condition, enduring meanwhile the scandalous misgovernment of Abdul Hamid II.  But after 1893 revolutionary societies became active.  The Internal Organization was a local body whose programme was “Macedonia for the Macedonians.”  But both in Bulgaria and in Greece there were organized societies which

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