A Fence Around the Russian Advance
The history of the Balkans is rife with the arguments of other nations playing out amongst the Slavic nations of south-west Europe. Nowhere is this illustrated better than through the events of the 1800s.
As Russia became increasingly able to turn away from the endless wars of the Caucasus, the Balkans of the retreating Ottoman Empire, and Slav unity, became her next focus.
This possibility did not suit the European Great Powers in the least – and as the 1800s wore on, treaty after treaty was instituted to prop up the decaying Ottomans as a bulwark against the Russian advance.
The road to the Great War in 1914 was set by The Treaty of Berlin in 1878, a treaty which addressed the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire that had established the Balkans firmly within the Russian sphere of influence.
The Congress of Berlin, and the treaty that came out of it, removed nearly all Russian gains from the earlier war – provoking Russian anger that continued to simmer and express itself through Balkan intrigue for the next forty years.
To read more about the Congress of Berlin, please click here.
To read more about Russia and Balkan history, please click here.