Τρίτη, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Ottoman Balkans (Part B) : The ethnological situation and the creation of independent Balkan states in 19th century

The Serbian Revolution was a national uprising and constitutional change in Serbia that took place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Ottoman province into a rebel territory, a constitutional monarchy and modern Serbia. The first part of the period, from 1804 to 1817, was marked by a violent struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire with two armed uprisings taking place, ending with a ceasefire. The later period (1817–1835) witnessed a peaceful consolidation of political power of the increasingly autonomous Serbia, culminating in the recognition of the right to hereditary rule by Serbian princes in 1830 and 1833 and the territorial expansion of the young monarchy. The adoption of the first written Constitution in 1835 abolished feudalism and serfdom, and made the country suzerain. The term Serbian Revolution was coined by a German academic historiographer, Leopold von Ranke, in his book Die Serbische Revolution, published in 1829. These events marked the foundation of modern Serbia. The official Serbian Proclamation (1809) by Karađorđe in the capital Belgrade probably represented the apex of the first phase. It called for national unity, drawing on Serbian history to demand the freedom of religion and formal, written rule of law, both of which the Ottoman Empire had failed to provide. It also called on Serbs to stop paying taxes to the Porte, deemed unfair as based on religious affiliation. Apart from dispensing with poll tax on non-Muslims (jizya), the Serbian revolutionaries also abolished all feudal obligations in 1806, only 15 years after the French revolution, peasant and serf emancipation thus representing a major social break with the past. The rule of Miloš Obrenović consolidated the achievements of the Uprisings, leading to the proclamation of the first constitution in the Balkans and the establishment of the oldest Balkan institution of higher learning still in existence, the Great Academy of Belgrade (1808). In 1830 and again in 1833, Serbia was recognized as an autonomous principality, with hereditary princes paying annual tribute to the Porte. Finally, de facto independence came in 1867, with the withdrawal of Ottoman garrisons from the principality; de jure independence was formally recognized at the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1830. In 1814, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria was founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolts in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities, and in Ottoman capital Constantinople and its surrounding areas. By late 1821, the insurrection had been planned for 25 March (Julian Calendar) 1821, on the Feast of the Annunciation for the Orthodox Christians. After eight years of war, Greece was finally recognized as an independent, sovereign state under the London Protocol of February 1830. Later, in 1832, the London Conference and the Treaty of Constantinople defined the final borders of the new state and established Prince Otto of Bavaria as the first king of Greece. The consequences of the Greek revolution were somewhat ambiguous in the immediate aftermath. An independent Greek state had been established, but with Britain, Russia and France claiming a major role in Greek politics, an imported Bavarian dynast as ruler, and a mercenary army. The country had been ravaged by ten years of fighting and was full of displaced refugees and empty Turkish estates, necessitating a series of land reforms over several decades. The population of the new state numbered 800,000, representing less than one-third of the 2.5 million Greek inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire. During a great part of the next century, the Greek state sought the liberation of the "unredeemed" Greeks of the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Megali Idea, i.e., the goal of uniting all Greeks in one country.
In the long-term historical perspective, this marked a seminal event in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, despite the small size and the impoverishment of the new Greek state. For the first time, a Christian subject people had achieved independence from Ottoman rule and established a fully independent state, recognized by Europe. Whereas previously, only large nations (such as the British or the French) were judged worthy of national self-determination by the Great Powers of Europe, the Greek Revolt legitimized the concept of small, ethnically based nation-states, and emboldened nationalist movements among other subject peoples of the Ottoman Empire. The Serbs, Bulgarians, Albanians, Romanians and Armenians all subsequently fought for and won their independence. Shortly after the war ended, the people of the Russian-dependent Poland, encouraged by the Greek victory, started the November Uprising, hoping to regain their independence. The uprising, however, failed, and Polish independence had to wait until 1918. The newly established Greek state would become a catalyst for further expansion and, over the course of a century, parts of Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, many Aegean Islands and other Greek-speaking territories would unite with the new Greek state.
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The war started in the Balkans in July 1853, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities (Romania), which were under Ottoman suzerainty, then began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, and a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse, France and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli. They then moved north to Varna in June 1854, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. The Russian port of Sevastopol in Crimea fell after eleven months, and neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. This was welcomed by France and Britain, as their subjects were beginning to turn against their governments as the war dragged on. The war was ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856. Russia was forbidden to host warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent. Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute.
The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro. Fought in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, it originated in emerging 19th-century Balkan nationalism. Additional factors combined Russian goals of recovering territorial losses endured during the Crimean War, re-establishing itself in the Black Sea and supporting the political movement attempting to free Balkan nations from the Ottoman Empire. The Russian-led coalition won the war. As a result, Russia succeeded in claiming several provinces in the Caucasus, namely Kars and Batum, and also annexed the Budjak region. The principalities of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, each of whom had de factosovereignty for some time, formally proclaimed independence from the Ottoman Empire. After almost five centuries of Ottoman domination (1396–1878), the Bulgarian state was re-established as the Principality of Bulgaria, covering the land between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains, as well as the region of Sofia, which became the new state's capital. The Congress of Berlin in 1878 also allowed Austria-Hungaryto occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina and Great Britain to take over Cyprus. The initial Treaty of San Stefano, signed on 3 March, is today celebrated as Liberation Day in Bulgaria, although it somewhat fell out of favour during years of Socialist rule.
The 1878 Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano was a treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed at San Stefano, then a village west of Constantinople, on 3 March 1878 by Count Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev and Aleksandr Nelidovon behalf of the Russian Empire and Foreign Minister Safvet Pasha and Ambassador to Germany Sadullah Bey on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty ended the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78. According to the official Russian position, by signing the treaty, Russia had never intended anything more than a temporary rough draft, so as to enable a final settlement with the other Great Powers. The treaty provided for the creation of an autonomous Principality of Bulgaria following almost 500 years of Ottoman domination. The day the treaty was signed, 3 March 1878, is celebrated as Liberation Day in Bulgaria. However, the enlarged Bulgaria envisioned by the treaty alarmed neighboring states as well as France and Great Britain. As a result, it was never implemented, being superseded by the Treaty of Berlin following the Congress of the same name that took place three months later.
The Treaty of Berlin was signed on 13 July 1878. In the aftermath of the Russian victory against the Ottoman Empire, the major powers restructured the map of the Balkan region. They reversed some of the extreme gains claimed by Russia in the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, but the Ottomans lost their major holdings in Europe. It was one of three major peace agreements in the period after the 1815 Congress of Vienna. It was the final act of the Congress of Berlin and included Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Germany's Otto von Bismarck was the chairman and dominant personality. The most important task of the Congress was to decide the fate of Bulgaria, but Bulgaria itself was excluded from participation in the talks, at Russian insistence. At the time, as it was nonexistent on the world map, Bulgaria was not a subject of international law, and the same went for the Bulgarians themselves. The exclusion was already an established fact in the great powers' Constantinople Conference, which had been held one year before without any Bulgarian participation. The most notable result of the conference was the official (de jure) recognition of actual (de facto) newly independent states of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. The treaty formally recognized the independence of the de facto sovereign principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and the autonomy of Bulgaria although the latter de facto functioned independently and was divided into three parts: the Principality of Bulgaria, the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia, which was given back to the Ottomans, thus undoing Russian plans for an independent and Russophile "Greater Bulgaria". The Treaty of San Stefano had created a Bulgarian state, which was just what Britain and Austria-Hungary feared the most. The Treaty of Berlin confirmed most of the Russian gains from the Ottoman Empire specified in the Treaty of San Stefan, but the valley of Alashkerd and the town of Bayazid were returned to the Ottomans. The three newly-independent states subsequently proclaimed themselves kingdoms: Romania in 1881, Serbia in 1882 and Montenegro in 1910, and Bulgaria proclaimed full independence in 1908 after it had united with Eastern Rumelia in 1885. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908, sparking the Bosnian crisis, a major European crisis.
The Convention of Constantinople was signed between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire on 2 July 1881, resulting in the cession of the region of Thessaly and a part of southern Epirus (Arta) to Greece. Greece had remained neutral during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, based on assurances by the other Great Powers that her territorial claims on the Ottoman Empire would be considered after the war. At the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Greece's claims were considered in the Thirteenth Protocol of 5 July 1878, whereby Greece gained not only Thessaly (the Ottoman Sanjak of Tirhala Trikala) but also much of Epirus. The Ottoman government, however, refused to implement the protocol's terms, leading Greece and the Empire to the verge of war. In the end, the Great Powers applied pressure on Greece to reduce her claims. On 24 May 1881, the Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire signed a treaty which finalized the new Greco-Turkish border, leading to the incorporation of most of Thessaly (except the Elassona) and of the area around Arta into Greece.
The Greco-Turkish War of 1897, also called the Thirty Days' War and known in Greece as the Black '97, was a war fought between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Its immediate cause was the question over the status of the Ottoman province of Crete, whose Greek majority long desired union with Greece. Despite the Ottoman victory on the field, an autonomous Cretan State under Ottoman suzerainty was established the following year, with Prince George of Greece and Denmark as its first High Commissioner. This was the first war effort in which the military and political personnel of Greece were put to test since the Greek War of Independence in 1821. For the Ottoman Empire, this was also the first war effort in which the reorganized military personnel were put to test. The Ottoman army was under the guidance of a German military mission led by Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz, who had reorganized it after the defeat in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). The conflict proved Greece was wholly unprepared for war. Plans, fortifications and weapons were non-existent, the mass of the officer corps was unsuited to its tasks, and training was inadequate. As a result, the numerically superior, better organized, equipped and led Ottoman forces pushed the Greek forces south out of Thessaly. On 20 September a peace treaty was signed between the two sides. Greece was forced to cede minor border areas and pay heavy reparations. To pay the latter, the Greek economy came under international supervision. For Greek public opinion and the military the forced armistice was a humiliation, highlighting the unpreparedness of the country to fulfill its national aspirations (Megali Idea).
The Macedonian Struggle or Greek Struggle in Macedonia was a series of social, political, cultural and military conflicts between Greek and Bulgarian subjects living in Ottoman Macedonia between 1893 and 1908. The conflict was part of a wider rebel war in which revolutionary organizations of Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs all fought over Macedonia. Gradually the Greek bands gained the upper hand, but the conflict was ended by the Young Turk Revolution in 1908. Initially the conflict was waged through educational and religious means, with a fierce rivalry developing between supporters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Greek speaking or Slavic speaking who generally identified as Greek), and supporters of the Bulgarian Exarchate, which had been established by the Ottomans in 1870. As Ottoman rule in the Balkans crumbled in the late 19th century, competition arose between Greeks and Bulgarians over the multi-ethnic region of Macedonia. The defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 was a loss that appalled Greeks. In order to strengthen Greek efforts for Macedonia, the Hellenic Macedonian Committee was formed in 1903, under the leadership of wealthy publisher Dimitrios Kalapothakis; its members included Ion Dragoumis and Pavlos Melas. Its fighters were known as Makedonomachoi ("Macedonian fighters"). Under these conditions, in 1904 a vicious guerrilla war broke as response of IMRO activities between Bulgarian and Greek bands within Ottoman Macedonia. Greeks succeeded to recruit some IMRO former members and to organize guerrilla groups, that were later reinforced with people sent from Greece and thus were mainly composed of ex-officers of the Hellenic Army, volunteers brought from Crete, from the Mani area of the Peloponnese, as well as Macedonian Greeks. The Greek state became concerned, not only because of Bulgarian penetration in Macedonia but also due to Serbian interests, which were concentrated mainly in Skopje and Bitola area. The success of Greek efforts in Macedonia was an experience that gave confidence to the country. It helped develop an intention to annex Greek-speaking areas, and bolster Greek presence in the still Ottoman-ruled Macedonia. The events in Macedonia, specifically the consequences of the conflicts between Greek and Bulgarian national activists, including Greek massacres against the Bulgarian population in 1905 and 1906, gave rise to pogroms against the ca. 70,000-80,000 strong Greek communities that lived in Bulgaria, who were considered to share responsibility for the actions of the Greek guerrilla groups. Nevertheless, the Young Turk movement resulted in a few instances of collaboration between Greek and Bulgarian bands, while this time the official policy in both countries continue to support the penetration of armed fighters into Ottoman Macedonia, but without having fully ensured that there would be no attacks on each other.
Πηγή : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_Revolution

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