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Motives For Creating The Balkan Alliance

2229 words - 9 pages

The Crimean War, fought over the rights of Christians in the holy land and controlled at that time by the Ottoman Empire, came to an ending in 1856, with Russia losing to an alliance of France, Britain, The Ottoman Empire and Sardinia and beginning to fear that its enemies would put extreme effort into preventing any further imperialism in the Mediterranean region. In preparation for this possibility and in an attempt to form a pre-emptive strike on an enemy alliance, Russia began pursuing goals of passive expansion throughout the Balkan region. Russia began giving military aid to the Balkan states in order to form indirect alliances with those countries. Russia helped cement an independent ...view middle of the document...

However, as Venizelos took his seat as the prime minster, his main policy was to avoid conflict with the Ottoman Empire. Inevitably though, as the Turkish government continued to boycott Greek products in Salonica and ruthlessly continued its repressive policies in Macedonia, Venizelos was forced out of his neutral stance towards Turkey. The pressure of an imminent Ottoman threat caused the need of securing military cooperation with Bulgaria. In 1911, through secrecy, a proposal was submitted to Bulgaria proposing that the two countries ally themselves for the immediate protection of Christians in Macedonia, and the more long term defensive front against the Ottomans. Venizelos proposal was granted no response by the newly elected Prime Minister Gueshoff in 1911.
Gueshoff of Bulgaria had support from political parties in favor of avoiding conflict with Turkey, so attempting to appease his supporting parties and doubting the capabilities and strength of the Greek military forces, in combination with his assumption that a Greco-Turkish war was imminent over Crete, Gueshoff ignored Venizelos request. However, Gueshoff’s lack of response soon changed as the Ottoman Empire’s repression in Macedonia continued and the Turkish government continued to procrastinate their promised cooperation for a Turkish Bulgarian railway system. The final move towards alliance with Greece occurred when the Ottoman Empire went to war with Italy in 1911 as this significantly weakened their military power during that period; however, before aligning with Greece, Bulgaria attempted to procure cooperation from Serbia.
Bulgaria had several other motives for wanting a military alliance in the Balkan region. After gaining independence in the Russo-Turkish war, a policy of expansion was used through indirect nationalism in the Macedonian region, which at the time was Ottoman held yet very multi ethnic. Bulgaria created an organization supposedly in promise of liberation and unification called IMRO in the Macedonian region. Proclaiming its goal for simply liberation of the people of Macedonian, IMRO had no national color and claimed “anti chauvinism.” However, in reality, a new autonomous state of Macedonia was simply a preliminary step to the unification of that would be independent state with the country of Bulgaria. The realization of these motives by Serbia and Greece caused the Macedonian struggle to erupt – involving Bulgarians and armed groups backed by Greece. The struggle continued to unfold until the Young Turks movement came to power, a movement promising equality to all Ottoman citizens regardless of religion or nationality, making it clear that the most direct and efficient form of expansion to be through winning a war against the Ottoman Empire. However, alone Bulgaria could never have defeated the Ottoman Empire and thus was forced into forming an alliance with other Balkan countries if its hope of expansion was to become a reality.
For Serbia, however, there...

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