The Eastern Question

Topics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Pages: 2 (432 words) Published: March 10, 2014

The Eastern Question

Power vacuum caused by the decline of the Ottoman Empire created a problem in Eastern Europe

Rival interests in the region were a permanent threat to European peace: Russians wanted:
Expansion into Slavic lands
Secure the straits for access to the Mediterranean
Recover Constantinople for Christian Orthodoxy
Prevent Austrian expansion along their south-western boundaries

Austrians wanted:
Expansion into Serbian lands to counter Slav nationalism
Protect their trade route down the Danube
Prevent Russian expansion along their south-eastern boundaries

British wanted:
Secure the Mediterranean by preventing free access by the Russians Prevent Russians from controlling overland rout to India

Various Christian peoples of the Balkans wanted:
Relieve Turkish oppression
Achieve their own national ambitions: winning ancestral territory

This lead to conflicts, chronic instability in the region and to successive crises. Each crisis of the nineteenth century raised the possibility of general ware between powers In 1908 intellectuals and army officers in Macedonia revolted against the government of the Sultan Bulgaria declared itself independent under Tsar Ferdinand

Austria Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina against interests of the Serbs Serbs became hostile to Austria-Hungary
Russians became determined to avoid humiliation in the Balkans Russians embarked upon a program of rearmament
Resolved that no Serbian appeal for aid go unheeded
Christian states of the Balkans went to war against the Ottoman Empire in 1912 First Balkan War eliminated Turkish rule in Europe outside the area of Constantinople Austrians insisted upon the creation of an independent Albania to limit Serbian expansion and deprive Serbia of access to Adriatic Sea Bulgarians attacked the Serbs in Macedonia. Serbs repelled the attack and the Greeks and Romanians turned on the Bulgarians. Bulgaria was forced to sue for peace.

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