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Created in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it extended over parts
of Asia, Africa and Europe between the Eastern Mediterranean, the
Black Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea.
The Turkish (or Ottoman) Empire thus possessed some of the most
important highways by land and sea between these three continents.
predominant in the
But by the end of
the century the
Turks were no
longer able to
control that large
Turkey crumbles down
• After Greece, other Christian peoples tried to break away
from Turkish rule.
• The European powers had their own interests in the area:
* Britain wished to maintain Turkey as a buffer state and
avoid the formation of Russian “satellite” states.
* Austria – Hungary feared the advance of Russia and
also that the independency ideas of peoples under Turkish
control should attract peoples in the empire. It also hoped
to extend its power towards the SE.
* Russia needed an
outlet to the
hoped to influence the
Slav nations when they
THE CRISIS OF 1875 - 1877
Atrocities of Ottomans against Christian population were an
everyday reality to which Europe had remained indifferent.
In 1875 a rebellion began in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
extending later to Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.
The Russo-Turkish War 1877 - 1878
Russia was the only power
that helped the Christians.
In January 1878, the Turks
signed an armistice to end the
war (the Treaty of San
Stefano) and lost most of her
The other powers did not like
the treaty; they called a
meeting in Berlin to revise it
but made several secret
agreements before the
Congress in Berlin.
The Congress of Berlin 1878
• Bulgaria became independent but was divided in three.
• Serbia, Montenegro and Rumania retained
• Russia kept some land.
• Austria – Hungary was allowed to administer
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Britain gained Cyprus. It would be a naval base to keep
an eye on Russia.
In spite of the Sultan’s promise, massacres of Christians
took place at regular intervals.
Two of the parts into which Bulgaria had been divided
united in 1885 and did not become a Russian satellite.
Serbia and Montenegro resented Austro-Hungarian
administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FIRST BALKAN CRISIS
Austria took over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia and
Serbia protested. Germany made it clear that it would
support Austria - Hungary.
Effects of the 1908 crisis 1
Austria - Hungary
• Felt confident that
Germany would back it up
in future disputes.
• Too confident?
Serbia and Russia
• Russia resented being
• It quickened its arms
• After a series of local
wars, Serbia emerged as
the most powerful country
in the Balkans.
Effects of the 1908 crisis 2
The Balkan League, 1912
• Greece, Serbia,
Montenegro and Bulgaria
joined to persuade the
Turks to deal fairly with.
their Christian subjects.
• In 1912 they defeated
Turkey at war after just 6
• Greatly alarmed by
Balkan League’s success.
• The Kaiser told Austria
that he would support her
if she went to war with
• Russia declared she
would support Serbia.
Serbia allowed terrorists to train on Serb soil
before undertaking terrorist activities inside
the Austro-Hungarian Empire.