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.
of war.  But with Albania denied to Servia and Thrace occupied by Bulgaria, conditions had wholly changed.  The Servian government declared that the changed conditions had abrogated the Treaty of Partition and that it was for the two governments now to adjust themselves to the logic of events!  On May 28 Mr. Pashitch, the Servian prime minister, formally demanded a revision of the treaty.  A personal interview with the Bulgarian prime minister, Mr. Gueshoff, followed on June 2 at Tsaribrod.  And Mr. Gueshoff accepted Mr. Pashitch’s suggestion (which originated with Mr. Venizelos, the Greek prime minister) of a conference of representatives of the four Allies at St. Petersburg.  For it should be added that, in the Treaty of Partition, the Czar had been named as arbiter in case of any territorial dispute between the two parties.

What followed in the next few days has never been clearly disclosed.  But it was of transcendent importance.  I have always thought that if Mr. Gueshoff, one of the authors of the Balkan Alliance, had been allowed like Mr. Venizelos and Mr. Pashitch, to finish his work, there would have been no war between the Allies.  I did not enjoy the personal acquaintance of Mr. Gueshoff, but I regarded him as a wise statesman of moderate views, who was disposed to make reasonable concessions for the sake of peace.  But a whole nation in arms, flushed with the sense of victory, is always dangerous to the authority of civil government.  If Mr. Gueshoff was ready to arrange some accommodation with Mr. Pashitch, the military party in Bulgaria was all the more insistent in its demands on Servia for the evacuation of Central Macedonia.  Even in Servia Mr. Pashitch had great difficulty in repressing the jingo ardor of the army, whose bellicose spirit was believed to find expression in the attitude of the Crown Prince.  But the provocation in Bulgaria was greater, because, when all was said and done, Servia was actually violating an agreement with Bulgaria to which she had solemnly set her name.  Possibly the military party gained the ear of King Ferdinand.  Certainly it was reported that he was consulting with leaders of the opposition.  Presumably they were all dissatisfied with the conciliatory attitude which Mr. Gueshoff had shown in the Tsaribrod conference.  Whatever the explanation, Mr. Gueshoff resigned on June 9.


On that very day the Czar summoned the Kings of Bulgaria and Servia to submit their disputes to his decision.  While this demand was based on a specific provision of the Servo-Bulgarian treaty, His Majesty also urged it on the ground of devotion to the Slav cause.  This pro-Slav argument provoked much criticism in Austro-Hungarian circles which resented bitterly the assumption of Slav hegemony in Balkan affairs.  However, on June 12 Bulgaria and Servia accepted Russian arbitration.  But the terms were not agreed upon.  While Mr. Venizelos and Mr. Pashitch impatiently awaited the summons to St. Petersburg they could get no definite information of the intentions of the Bulgarian government.  And the rivalry of Austria-Hungary and Russia for predominance in the Balkans was never more intense than at this critical moment.

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