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.
cry for revenge and readjustment.  The danger lies in the influence of the Great Powers with their varying attractions and repulsions.  France, Germany, and Great Britain, disconnected with the Balkans and remote from them, are not likely to exert much direct individual influence.  But their connections with the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente would not leave them altogether free to take isolated action.  And two other members of those European groups—­Russia and Austria-Hungary—­have long been vitally interested in the Balkan question; while the opposition to Servian annexation on the Adriatic littoral and of Greek annexation in Epirus now for the first time reveals the deep concern of Italy in the same question.

The Serbs are Slavs.  And the unhappy relations between Servia and Austria-Hungary have always intensified their pro-Russian proclivities.  The Roumanians are a Romance people, like the French and Italians, and they have hitherto been regarded as a Balkan extension of the Triple Alliance.  The attitude of Austria-Hungary, however, during the Balkan wars has caused a cooling of Roumanian friendship, so that its transference to Russia is no longer inconceivable or even improbable.  Greece desires to be independent of both groups of the European system, but the action of Italy in regard to Northern Epirus and in regard to Rhodes and the Dodecanese has produced a feeling of irritation and resentment among the Greeks which nothing is likely to allay or even greatly alleviate.  Bulgaria in the past has carried her desire to live an independent national life to the point of hostility to Russia, but since Stambuloff’s time she has shown more natural sentiments towards her great Slav sister and liberator.  Whether the desire of revenge against Servia (and Greece) will once more draw her toward Austria-Hungary only time can disclose.

In any event it will take a long time for all the Balkan states to recover from the terrible exhaustion of the two wars of 1912 and 1913.

Their financial resources have been depleted; their male population has been decimated.  Necessity, therefore, is likely to co-operate with the community of interest established by the Treaty of Bukarest in the maintenance of conditions of stable equilibrium in the Balkans.  Of course the peace-compelling forces operative in the Balkan states themselves might be counteracted by hostile activities on the part of some of the Great Powers.  And there is one danger-point for which the Great Powers themselves are solely responsible.  This, as I have already explained, is Albania.  An artificial creation with unnatural boundaries, it is a grave question whether this so-called state can either manage its own affairs or live in peace with its Serb and Greek neighbors.  At this moment the Greeks of Epirus (whom the Great Powers have transferred to Albania) are resisting to the death incorporation in a state which outrages their deepest and holiest sentiments

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