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Title: The Balkans - A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey
Author: Mitrany, D., 1888-1975, Toynbee, Arnold Joseph, 1889-1975, Forbes, Nevill, 1883-1929, Hogarth, D. G. (David George), 1862-1927
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Balkans - A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey" ***

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The authors of this volume have not worked in conjunction. Widely
separated, engaged on other duties, and pressed for time, we have had no
opportunity for interchange of views. Each must be held responsible,
therefore, for his own section alone. If there be any discrepancies in our
writings (it is not unlikely in so disputed a field of history) we can
only regret an unfortunate result of the circumstances. Owing to rapid
change in the relations of our country to the several Balkan peoples, the
tone of a section written earlier may differ from that of another written
later. It may be well to state that the sections on Serbia and Bulgaria
were finished before the decisive Balkan developments of the past two
months. Those on Greece and Rumania represent only a little later stage of
the evolution. That on Turkey, compiled between one mission abroad and
another, was the latest to be finished.

If our sympathies are not all the same, or given equally to friends and
foes, none of us would find it possible to indite a Hymn of Hate about any
Balkan people. Every one of these peoples, on whatever side he be fighting
to-day, has a past worthy of more than our respect and interwoven in some
intimate way with our history. That any one of them is arrayed against us
to-day is not to be laid entirely or chiefly at its own door. They are all
fine peoples who have not obtained their proper places in the sun. The
best of the Osmanli nation, the Anatolian peasantry, has yet to make its
physical and moral qualities felt under civilized conditions. As for the
rest--the Serbs and the Bulgars, who have enjoyed brief moments of
barbaric glory in their past, have still to find themselves in that future
which shall be to the Slav. The Greeks, who were old when we were not as
yet, are younger now than we. They are as incalculable a factor in a
political forecast as another Chosen Race, the Jews. Their past is the
world's glory: the present in the Near East is theirs more than any
people's: the future--despite the laws of corporate being and decline,
dare we say they will have no part in it? Of Rumania what are we to think?
Her mixed people has had the start of the Balkan Slavs in modern
civilization, and evidently her boundaries must grow wider yet. But the
limits of her possible expansion are easier to set than those of the rest.

We hope we have dealt fairly with all these peoples. Mediaeval history,
whether of the East or the West, is mostly a record of bloodshedding and
cruelty; and the Middle Age has been prolonged to our own time in most
parts of the Balkans, and is not yet over in some parts. There are certain
things salutary to bear in mind when we think or speak of any part of that
country to-day. First, that less than two hundred years ago, England had
its highwaymen on all roads, and its smuggler dens and caravans, Scotland
its caterans, and Ireland its moonlighters. Second, that religious fervour
has rarely mitigated and generally increased our own savagery. Thirdly,
that our own policy in Balkan matters has been none too wise, especially
of late. In permitting the Treaty of Bucarest three years ago, we were
parties to making much of the trouble that has ensued, and will ensue
again. If we have not been able to write about the Near East under
existing circumstances altogether _sine ira et studio_, we have tried to
remember that each of its peoples has a case.


_November_, 1915.



 1. Introductory
 2. The Balkan Peninsula in Classical Times 400 B.C. - A.D. 500
 3. The Arrival of the Slavs in the Balkan Peninsula, A.D. 500-650


 4. The Arrival of the Bulgars in the Balkan Peninsula,
 5. The Early Years of Bulgaria and the Introduction of
    Christianity, 700-893
 6. The Rise and Fall of the First Bulgarian Empire, 893-972
 7. The Rise and Fall of 'Western Bulgaria' and the Greek
    Supremacy, 963-1186
 8. The Rise and Fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire, 1186-1258
 9. The Serbian Supremacy and the Final Collapse, 1258-1393
10. The Turkish Dominion and the Emancipation, 1393-1878
11. The Aftermath, and Prince Alexander of Battenberg, 1878-86
12. The Regeneration under Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, 1886-1908
13. The Kingdom, 1908-13


14. The Serbs under Foreign Supremacy, 650-1168
15. The Rise and Fall of the Serbian Empire and the Extinction
    of Serbian Independence, 1168-1496
16. The Turkish Dominion, 1496-1796
17. The Liberation of Serbia under Kara-George (1804-13) and
    Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c] (1815-30): 1796-1830
18. The Throes of Regeneration: Independent Serbia, 1830-1903
19. Serbia, Montenegro, and the Serbo-Croats in Austria-Hungary,
20. Serbia and Montenegro, and the two Balkan Wars, 1908-13


1. From Ancient to Modern Greece
2. The Awakening of the Nation
3. The Consolidation of the State


1. Introduction
2. Formation of the Rumanian Nation
3. The Foundation and Development of the Rumanian Principalities
4. The Phanariote Rule
5. Modern Period to 1866
6. Contemporary Period: Internal Development
7. Contemporary Period: Foreign Affairs
8. Rumania and the Present War


1. Origin of the Osmanlis
2. Expansion of the Osmanli Kingdom
3. Heritage and Expansion of the Byzantine Empire
4. Shrinkage and Retreat
5. Revival
6. Relapse
7. Revolution
8. The Balkan War
9. The Future



The Balkan Peninsula: Ethnological
The Balkan Peninsula
The Ottoman Empire




The whole of what may be called the trunk or _massif_ of the Balkan
peninsula, bounded on the north by the rivers Save and Danube, on the west
by the Adriatic, on the east by the Black Sea, and on the south by a very
irregular line running from Antivari (on the coast of the Adriatic) and
the lake of Scutari in the west, through lakes Okhrida and Prespa (in
Macedonia) to the outskirts of Salonika and thence to Midia on the shores
of the Black Sea, following the coast of the Aegean Sea some miles inland,
is preponderatingly inhabited by Slavs. These Slavs are the Bulgarians in
the east and centre, the Serbs and Croats (or Serbians and Croatians or
Serbo-Croats) in the west, and the Slovenes in the extreme north-west,
between Trieste and the Save; these nationalities compose the southern
branch of the Slavonic race. The other inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula
are, to the south of the Slavs, the Albanians in the west, the Greeks in
the centre and south, and the Turks in the south-east, and, to the north,
the Rumanians. All four of these nationalities are to be found in varying
quantities within the limits of the Slav territory roughly outlined above,
but greater numbers of them are outside it; on the other hand, there are a
considerable number of Serbs living north of the rivers Save and Danube,
in southern Hungary. Details of the ethnic distribution and boundaries
will of course be gone into more fully later; meanwhile attention may be
called to the significant fact that the name of Macedonia, the heart of
the Balkan peninsula, has been long used by the French gastronomers to
denote a dish, the principal characteristic of which is that its component
parts are mixed up into quite inextricable confusion.

Of the three Slavonic nationalities already mentioned, the two first, the
Bulgarians and the Serbo-Croats, occupy a much greater space,
geographically and historically, than the third. The Slovenes, barely one
and a half million in number, inhabiting the Austrian provinces of
Carinthia and Carniola, have never been able to form a political state,
though, with the growth of Trieste as a great port and the persistent
efforts of Germany to make her influence if not her flag supreme on the
shores of the Adriatic, this small people has from its geographical
position and from its anti-German (and anti-Italian) attitude achieved
considerable notoriety and some importance.

Of the Bulgars and Serbs it may be said that at the present moment the
former control the eastern, and the latter, in alliance with the Greeks,
the western half of the peninsula. It has always been the ambition of each
of these three nationalities to dominate the whole, an ambition which has
caused endless waste of blood and money and untold misery. If the question
were to be settled purely on ethnical considerations, Bulgaria would
acquire the greater part of the interior of Macedonia, the most numerous
of the dozen nationalities of which is Bulgarian in sentiment if not in
origin, and would thus undoubtedly attain the hegemony of the peninsula,
while the centre of gravity of the Serbian nation would, as is ethnically
just, move north-westwards. Political considerations, however, have until
now always been against this solution of the difficulty, and, even if it
solved in this sense, there would still remain the problem of the Greek
nationality, whose distribution along all the coasts of the Aegean, both
European and Asiatic, makes a delimitation of the Greek state on purely
ethnical lines virtually impossible. It is curious that the Slavs, though
masters of the interior of the peninsula and of parts of its eastern and
western coasts, have never made the shores of the Aegean (the White Sea,
as they call it) or the cities on them their own. The Adriatic is the only
sea on the shore of which any Slavonic race has ever made its home. In
view of this difficulty, namely, the interior of the peninsula being
Slavonic while the coastal fringe is Greek, and of the approximately equal
numerical strength of all three nations, it is almost inevitable that the
ultimate solution of the problem and delimitation of political boundaries
will have to be effected by means of territorial compromise. It can only
be hoped that this ultimate compromise will be agreed upon by the three
countries concerned, and will be more equitable than that which was forced
on them by Rumania in 1913 and laid down in the Treaty of Bucarest of that

If no arrangement on a principle of give and take is made between them,
the road to the East, which from the point of view of the Germanic powers
lies through Serbia, will sooner or later inevitably be forced open, and
the independence, first of Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania, and later of
Bulgaria and Greece, will disappear, _de facto_ if not in appearance, and
both materially and morally they will become the slaves of the central
empires. If the Balkan League could be reconstituted, Germany and Austria
would never reach Salonika or Constantinople.


_The Balkan Peninsula in Classical Times_

400 B.C. - A.D. 500.

In the earlier historical times the whole of the eastern part of the
Balkan peninsula between the Danube and the Aegean was known as Thracia,
while the western part (north of the forty-first degree of latitude) was
termed Illyricum; the lower basin of the river Vardar (the classical
Axius) was called Macedonia. A number of the tribal and personal names of
the early Illyrians and Thracians have been preserved. Philip of Macedonia
subdued Thrace in the fourth century B.C. and in 342 founded the city of
Philippopolis. Alexander's first campaign was devoted to securing control
of the peninsula, but during the Third century B.C. Thrace was invaded
from the north and laid waste by the Celts, who had already visited
Illyria. The Celts vanished by the end of that century, leaving a few
place-names to mark their passage. The city of Belgrade was known until
the seventh century A.D. by its Celtic name of Singidunum. Naissus, the
modern Nish, is also possibly of Celtic origin. It was towards 230 B.C.
that Rome came into contact with Illyricum, owing to the piratical
proclivities of its inhabitants, but for a long time it only controlled
the Dalmatian coast, so called after the Delmati or Dalmati, an Illyrian
tribe. The reason for this was the formidable character of the mountains
of Illyria, which run in several parallel and almost unbroken lines the
whole length of the shore of the Adriatic and have always formed an
effective barrier to invasion from the west. The interior was only very
gradually subdued by the Romans after Macedonia had been occupied by them
in 146 B.C. Throughout the first century B.C. conflicts raged with varying
fortune between the invaders and all the native races living between the
Adriatic and the Danube. They were attacked both from Aquileia in the
north and from Macedonia in the south, but it was not till the early years
of our era that the Danube became the frontier of the Roman Empire.

In the year A.D. 6 Moesia, which included a large part of the modern
kingdom of Serbia and the northern half of that of Bulgaria between the
Danube and the Balkan range (the classical Haemus), became an imperial
province, and twenty years later Thrace, the country between the Balkan
range and the Aegean, was incorporated in the empire, and was made a
province by the Emperor Claudius in A.D. 46. The province of Illyricum or
Dalmatia stretched between the Save and the Adriatic, and Pannonia lay
between the Danube and the Save. In 107 A.D. the Emperor Trajan conquered
the Dacians beyond the lower Danube, and organized a province of Dacia out
of territory roughly equivalent to the modern Wallachia and Transylvania,
This trans-Danubian territory did not remain attached to the empire for
more than a hundred and fifty years; but within the river line a vast belt
of country, stretching from the head of the Adriatic to the mouths of the
Danube on the Black Sea, was Romanized through and through. The Emperor
Trajan has been called the Charlemagne of the Balkan peninsula; all
remains are attributed to him (he was nicknamed the Wallflower by
Constantine the Great), and his reign marked the zenith of Roman power in
this part of the world. The Balkan peninsula enjoyed the benefits of Roman
civilization for three centuries, from the first to the fourth, but from
the second century onwards the attitude of the Romans was defensive rather
than offensive. The war against the Marcomanni under the Emperor Marcus
Aurelius, in the second half of this century, was the turning-point. Rome
was still victorious, but no territory was added to the empire. The third
century saw the southward movement of the Germanic peoples, who took the
place of the Celts. The Goths invaded the peninsula, and in 251 the
Emperor Decius was killed in battle against them near Odessus on the Black
Sea (the modern Varna). The Goths reached the outskirts of Thessalonica
(Salonika), but were defeated by the Emperor Claudius at Naissus (Nish) in
269; shortly afterwards, however, the Emperor Aurelian had definitively to
relinquish Dacia to them. The Emperor Diocletian, a native of Dalmatia,
who reigned from 284 to 305, carried out a redistribution of the imperial
provinces. Pannonia and western Illyria, or Dalmatia, were assigned to the
prefecture of Italy, Thrace to that of the Orient, while the whole centre
of the peninsula, from the Danube to the Peloponnese, constituted the
prefecture of Illyria, with Thessalonica as capital. The territory to the
north of the Danube having been lost, what is now western Bulgaria was
renamed Dacia, while Moesia, the modern kingdom of Serbia, was made very
much smaller. Praevalis, or the southern part of Dalmatia, approximately
the modern Montenegro and Albania, was detached from that province and
added to the prefecture of Illyria. In this way the boundary between the
province of Dalmatia and the Balkan peninsula proper ran from near the
lake of Scutari in the south to the river Drinus (the modern Drina), whose
course it followed till the Save was reached in the north.

An event of far-reaching importance in the following century was the
elevation by Constantine the Great of the Greek colony of Byzantium into
the imperial city of Constantinople in 325. This century also witnessed
the arrival of the Huns in Europe from Asia. They overwhelmed the
Ostrogoths, between the Dnieper and the Dniester, in 375, and the
Visigoths, settled in Transylvania and the modern Rumania, moved
southwards in sympathy with this event. The Emperor Valens lost his life
fighting against these Goths in 378 at the great battle of Adrianople (a
city established in Thrace by the Emperor Hadrian in the second century).
His successor, the Emperor Theodosius, placated them with gifts and made
them guardians of the northern frontier, but at his death, in 395, they
overran and devastated the entire peninsula, after which they proceeded to
Italy. After the death of the Emperor Theodosius the empire was divided,
never to be joined into one whole again. The dividing line followed that,
already mentioned, which separated the prefecture of Italy from those of
Illyria and the Orient, that is to say, it began in the south, on the
shore of the Adriatic near the Bocche di Cattaro, and went due north along
the valley of the Drina till the confluence of that river with the Save.
It will be seen that this division had consequences which have lasted to
the present day. Generally speaking, the Western Empire was Latin in
language and character, while the Eastern was Greek, though owing to the
importance of the Danubian provinces to Rome from the military point of
view, and the lively intercourse maintained between them, Latin influence
in them was for a long time stronger than Greek. Its extent is proved by
the fact that the people of modern Rumania are partly, and their language
very largely, defended from those of the legions and colonies of the
Emperor Trajan.

Latin influence, shipping, colonization, and art were always supreme on
the eastern shores of the Adriatic, just as were those of Greece on the
shores of the Black Sea. The Albanians even, descendants of the ancient
Illyrians, were affected by the supremacy of the Latin language, from
which no less than a quarter of their own meagre vocabulary is derived;
though driven southwards by the Romans and northwards by the Greeks, they
have remained in their mountain fastnesses to this day, impervious to any
of the civilizations to which they have been exposed.

Christianity spread to the shores of the peninsula very early; Macedonia
and Dalmatia were the parts where it was first established, and it took
some time to penetrate into the interior. During the reign of Diocletian
numerous martyrs suffered for the faith in the Danubian provinces, but
with the accession of Constantine the Great persecution came to an end. As
soon, however, as the Christians were left alone, they started persecuting
each other, and during the fourth century the Arian controversy re-echoed
throughout the peninsula.

In the fifth century the Huns moved from the shores of the Black Sea to
the plains of the Danube and the Theiss; they devastated the Balkan
peninsula, in spite of the tribute which they had levied on Constantinople
in return for their promise of peace. After the death of Attila, in 453,
they again retreated to Asia, and during the second half of the century
the Goths were once more supreme in the peninsula. Theodoric occupied
Singidunum (Belgrade) in 471 and, after plundering Macedonia and Greece,
settled in Novae (the modern Svishtov), on the lower Danube, in 483, where
he remained till he transferred the sphere of his activities to Italy ten
years later. Towards the end of the fifth century Huns of various kinds
returned to the lower Danube and devastated the peninsula several times,
penetrating as far as Epirus and Thessaly.


_The Arrival of the Slavs in the Balkan Peninsula_, A.D. 500-650

The Balkan peninsula, which had been raised to a high level of security
and prosperity during the Roman dominion, gradually relapsed into
barbarism as a result of these endless invasions; the walled towns, such
as Salonika and Constantinople, were the only safe places, and the country
became waste and desolate. The process continued unabated throughout the
three following centuries, and one is driven to one of two conclusions,
either that these lands must have possessed very extraordinary powers of
recuperation to make it worth while for invaders to pillage them so
frequently, or, what is more probable, there can have been after some time
little left to plunder, and consequently the Byzantine historians'
accounts of enormous drives of prisoners and booty are much exaggerated.
It is impossible to count the number of times the tide of invasion and
devastation swept southwards over the unfortunate peninsula. The emperors
and their generals did what they could by means of defensive works on the
frontiers, of punitive expeditions, and of trying to set the various
hordes of barbarians at loggerheads with each other, but, as they had at
the same time to defend an empire which stretched from Armenia to Spain,
it is not surprising that they were not more successful. The growing
riches of Constantinople and Salonika had an irresistible attraction for
the wild men from the east and north, and unfortunately the Greek citizens
were more inclined to spend their energy in theological disputes and their
leisure in the circus than to devote either the one or the other to the
defence of their country. It was only by dint of paying them huge sums of
money that the invaders were kept away from the coast. The departure of
the Huns and the Goths had made the way for fresh series of unwelcome
visitors. In the sixth century the Slavs appear for the first time. From
their original homes which were immediately north of the Carpathians, in
Galicia and Poland, but may also have included parts of the modern
Hungary, they moved southwards and south-eastwards. They were presumably
in Dacia, north of the Danube, in the previous century, but they are first
mentioned as having crossed that river during the reign of the Emperor
Justin I (518-27). They were a loosely-knit congeries of tribes without
any single leader or central authority; some say they merely possessed the
instinct of anarchy, others that they were permeated with the ideals of
democracy. What is certain is that amongst them neither leadership nor
initiative was developed, and that they lacked both cohesion and
organisation. The Eastern Slavs, the ancestors of the Russians, were only
welded into anything approaching unity by the comparatively much smaller
number of Scandinavian (Varangian) adventurers who came and took charge of
their affairs at Kiev. Similarly the Southern Slavs were never of
themselves able to form a united community, conscious of its aim and
capable of persevering in its attainment.

The Slavs did not invade the Balkan peninsula alone but in the company of
the Avars, a terrible and justly dreaded nation, who, like the Huns, were
of Asiatic (Turkish or Mongol) origin. These invasions became more
frequent during the reign of the Emperor Justinian I (527-65), and
culminated in 559 in a great combined attack of all the invaders on
Constantinople under a certain Zabergan, which was brilliantly defeated by
the veteran Byzantine general Belisarius. The Avars were a nomad tribe,
and the horse was their natural means of locomotion. The Slavs, on the
other hand, moved about on foot, and seem to have been used as infantry by
the more masterful Asiatics in their warlike expeditions. Generally
speaking, the Avars, who must have been infinitely less numerous than the
Slavs, were settled in Hungary, where Attila and the Huns had been settled
a little more than a century previously; that is to say, they were north
of the Danube, though they were always overrunning into Upper Moesia, the
modern Serbia. The Slavs, whose numbers were without doubt very large,
gradually settled all over the country south of the Danube, the rural
parts of which, as a result of incessant invasion and retreat, had become
waste and empty. During the second half of the sixth century all the
military energies of Constantinople were diverted to Persia, so that the
invaders of the Balkan peninsula had the field very much to themselves. It
was during this time that the power of the Avars reached its height. They
were masters of all the country up to the walls of Adrianople and
Salonika, though they did not settle there. The peninsula seems to have
been colonized by Slavs, who penetrated right down into Greece; but the
Avars were throughout this time, both in politics and in war, the
directing and dominating force. During another Persian war, which broke
out in 622 and entailed the prolonged absence of the emperor from
Constantinople, the Avars, not satisfied with the tribute extorted from
the Greeks, made an alliance against them with the Persians, and in 626
collected a large army of Slavs and Asiatics and attacked Constantinople
both by land and sea from the European side, while the Persians threatened
it from Asia. But the walls of the city and the ships of the Greeks proved
invincible, and, quarrels breaking out between the Slavs and the Avars,
both had to save themselves in ignominious and precipitate retreat.

After this nothing more was heard of the Avars in the Balkan peninsula,
though their power was only finally crushed by Charlemagne in 799. In
Russia their downfall became proverbial, being crystallized in the saying,
'they perished like Avars'. The Slavs, on the other hand, remained.
Throughout these stormy times their penetration of the Balkan peninsula
had been peacefully if unostentatiously proceeding; by the middle of the
seventh century it was complete. The main streams of Slavonic immigration
moved southwards and westwards. The first covered the whole of the country
between the Danube and the Balkan range, overflowed into Macedonia, and
filtered down into Greece. Southern Thrace in the east and Albania in the
west were comparatively little affected, and in these districts the
indigenous population maintained itself. The coasts of the Aegean and the
great cities on or near them were too strongly held by the Greeks to be
affected, and those Slavs who penetrated into Greece itself were soon
absorbed by the local populations. The still stronger Slavonic stream,
which moved westwards and turned up north-westwards, overran the whole
country down to the shores of the Adriatic and as far as the sources of
the Save and Drave in the Alps. From that point in the west to the shores
of the Black Sea in the east became one solid mass of Slavs,
and has remained so ever since. The few Slavs who were left north of the
Danube in Dacia were gradually assimilated by the inhabitants of that
province, who were the descendants of the Roman soldiers and colonists,
and the ancestors of the modern Rumanians, but the fact that Slavonic
influence there was strong is shown by the large number of words of
Slavonic origin contained in the Rumanian language.


Place-names are a good index of the extent and strength of the tide of
Slav immigration. All along the coast, from the mouth of the Danube to the
head of the Adriatic, the Greek and Roman names have been retained though
places have often been given alternative names by the Slavonic settlers.
Thrace, especially the south-eastern part, and Albania have the fewest
Slavonic place-names. In Macedonia and Lower Moesia (Bulgaria) very few
classical names have survived, while in Upper Moesia (Serbia) and the
interior of Dalmatia (Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Montenegro) they have
entirely disappeared. The Slavs themselves, though their tribal names were
known, were until the ninth century usually called collectively S(k)lavini
([Greek: Sklabaenoi]) by the Greeks, and all the inland parts of the
peninsula were for long termed by them 'the S(k)lavonias' ([Greek:

During the seventh century, dating from the defeat of the Slavs and Avars
before the walls of Constantinople in 626 and the final triumph of the
emperor over the Persians in 628, the influence and power of the Greeks
began to reassert itself throughout the peninsula as far north as the
Danube; this process was coincident with the decline of the might of the
Avars. It was the custom of the astute Byzantine diplomacy to look on and
speak of lands which had been occupied by the various barbarian invaders
as grants made to them through the generosity of the emperor; by this
means, by dint also of lavishing titles and substantial incomes to the
invaders' chiefs, by making the most of their mutual jealousies, and also
by enlisting regiments of Slavonic mercenaries in the imperial armies, the
supremacy of Constantinople was regained far more effectively than it
could have been by the continual and exhausting use of force.



_The Arrival of the Bulgars in the Balkan Peninsula,_ 600-700

The progress of the Bulgars towards the Balkan peninsula, and indeed all
their movements until their final establishment there in the seventh
century, are involved in obscurity. They are first mentioned by name in
classical and Armenian sources in 482 as living in the steppes to the
north of the Black Sea amongst other Asiatic tribes, and it has been
assumed by some that at the end of the fifth and throughout the sixth
century they were associated first with the Huns and later with the Avars
and Slavs in the various incursions into and invasions of the eastern
empire which have already been enumerated. It is the tendency of Bulgarian
historians, who scornfully point to the fact that the history of Russia
only dates from the ninth century, to exaggerate the antiquity of their
own and to claim as early a date as possible for the authentic appearance
of their ancestors on the kaleidoscopic stage of the Balkan theatre. They
are also unwilling to admit that they were anticipated by the Slavs; they
prefer to think that the Slavs only insinuated themselves there thanks to
the energy of the Bulgars' offensive against the Greeks, and that as soon
as the Bulgars had leisure to look about them they found all the best
places already occupied by the anarchic Slavs.

Of course it is very difficult to say positively whether Bulgars were or
were not present in the welter of Asiatic nations which swept westwards
into Europe with little intermission throughout the fifth and sixth
centuries, but even if they were, they do not seem to have settled down as
early as that anywhere south of the Danube; it seems certain that they did
not do so until the seventh century, and therefore that the Slavs were
definitely installed in the Balkan peninsula a whole century before the
Bulgars crossed the Danube for good.

The Bulgars, like the Huns and the Avars who preceded them, and like the
Magyars and the Turks who followed them, were a tribe from eastern Asia,
of the stock known as Mongol or Tartar. The tendency of all these peoples
was to move westwards from Asia into Europe, and this they did at
considerable and irregular intervals, though in alarming and apparently
inexhaustible numbers, roughly from the fourth till the fourteenth
centuries. The distance was great, but the journey, thanks to the flat,
grassy, treeless, and well-watered character of the steppes of southern
Russia which they had to cross, was easy. They often halted for
considerable periods by the way, and some never moved further westwards
than Russia. Thus at one time the Bulgars settled in large numbers on the
Volga, near its confluence with the Kama, and it is presumed that they
were well established there in the fifth century. They formed a community
of considerable strength and importance, known as Great or White Bulgaria.
These Bulgars fused with later Tartar immigrants from Asia and eventually
were consolidated into the powerful kingdom of Kazan, which was only
crushed by the Tsar Ivan IV in 1552. According to Bulgarian historians,
the basins of the rivers Volga and Don and the steppes of eastern Russia
proved too confined a space for the legitimate development of Bulgarian
energy, and expansion to the west was decided on. A large number of
Bulgars therefore detached themselves and began to move south-westwards.
During the sixth century they seem to have been settled in the country to
the north of the Black Sea, forming a colony known as Black Bulgaria. It
is very doubtful whether the Bulgars did take part, as they are supposed
to have done, in the ambitious but unsuccessful attack on Constantinople
in 559 under Zabergan, chief of another Tartar tribe; but it is fairly
certain that they did in the equally formidable but equally unsuccessful
attacks by the Slavs and Avars against Salonika in 609 and Constantinople
in 626.

During the last quarter of the sixth and the first of the seventh century
the various branches of the Bulgar nation, stretching from the Volga to
the Danube, were consolidated and kept in control by their prince Kubrat,
who eventually fought on behalf of the Greeks against the Avars, and was
actually baptized in Constantinople. The power of the Bulgars grew as that
of the Avars declined, but at the death of Kubrat, in 638, his realm was
divided amongst his sons. One of these established himself in Pannonia,
where he joined forces with what was left of the Avars, and there the
Bulgars maintained themselves till they were obliterated by the irruption
of the Magyars in 893. Another son, Asparukh, or Isperikh, settled in
Bessarabia, between the rivers Prut and Dniester, in 640, and some years
later passed southwards. After desultory warfare with Constantinople, from
660 onwards, his successor finally overcame the Greeks, who were at that
time at war with the Arabs, captured Varna, and definitely established
himself between the Danube and the Balkan range in the year 679. From that
year the Danube ceased to be the frontier of the eastern empire.

The numbers of the Bulgars who settled south of the Danube are not known,
but what happened to them is notorious. The well-known process, by which
the Franks in Gaul were absorbed by the far more numerous indigenous
population which they had conquered, was repeated, and the Bulgars became
fused with the Slavs. So complete was the fusion, and so preponderating
the influence of the subject nationality, that beyond a few personal names
no traces of the language of the Bulgars have survived. Modern Bulgarian,
except for the Turkish words introduced into it later during the Ottoman
rule, is purely Slavonic. Not so the Bulgarian nationality; as is so often
the case with mongrel products, this race, compared with the Serbs, who
are purely Slav, has shown considerably greater virility, cohesion, and
driving-power, though it must be conceded that its problems have been
infinitely simpler.


_The Early Years of Bulgaria and the Introduction of Christianity_,

From the time of their establishment in the country to which they have
given their name the Bulgars became a thorn in the side of the Greeks, and
ever since both peoples have looked on one another as natural and
hereditary enemies. The Bulgars, like all the barbarians who had preceded
them, were fascinated by the honey-pot of Constantinople, and, though they
never succeeded in taking it, they never grew tired of making the attempt.

For two hundred years after the death of Asparukh, in 661, the Bulgars
were perpetually fighting either against the Greeks or else amongst
themselves. At times a diversion was caused by the Bulgars taking the part
of the Greeks, as in 718, when they 'delivered' Constantinople, at the
invocation of the Emperor Leo, from the Arabs, who were besieging it. From
about this time the Bulgarian monarchy, which had been hereditary, became
elective, and the anarchy of the many, which the Bulgars found when they
arrived, and which their first few autocratic rulers had been able to
control, was replaced by an anarchy of the few. Prince succeeded prince,
war followed war, at the will of the feudal nobles. This internal strife
was naturally profitable to the Greeks, who lavishly subsidized the rival

At the end of the eighth century the Bulgars south of the Danube joined
forces with those to the north in the efforts of the latter against the
Avars, who, beaten by Charlemagne, were again pressing south-eastwards
towards the Danube. In this the Bulgars were completely successful under
the leadership of one Krum, whom, in the elation of victory, they promptly
elected to the throne. Krum was a far more capable ruler than they had
bargained for, and he not only united all the Bulgars north and south of
the Danube into one dominion, but also forcibly repressed the whims of the
nobles and re-established the autocracy and the hereditary monarchy.
Having finished with his enemies in the north, he turned his attention to
the Greeks, with no less success. In 809 he captured from them the
important city of Sofia (the Roman Sardica, known to the Slavs as
Sredets), which is to-day the capital of Bulgaria. The loss of this city
was a blow to the Greeks, because it was a great centre of commerce and
also the point at which the commercial and strategic highways of the
peninsula met and crossed. The Emperor Nikiphóros, who wished to take his
revenge and recover his lost property, was totally defeated by the Bulgars
and lost his life in the Balkan passes in 811. After further victories, at
Mesembria (the modern Misivria) in 812 and Adrianople in 813, Krum
appeared before the capital, where he nearly lost his life in an ambush
while negotiating for peace. During preparations for a final assault on
Constantinople he died suddenly in 815. Though Krum cannot be said to have
introduced civilisation into Bulgaria, he at any rate increased its power
and gave it some of the more essential organs of government. He framed a
code of laws remarkable for their rigour, which was undoubtedly necessary
in such a community and beneficial in its effect. He repressed civil
strife, and by this means made possible the reawakening of commerce and
agriculture. His successor, of uncertain identity, founded in 822 the city
of Preslav (known to the Russians as Pereyaslav), situated in eastern
Bulgaria, between Varna and Silistria, which was the capital until 972.

The reign of Prince Boris (852-88) is remarkable because it witnessed the
definitive conversion to Christianity of Bulgaria and her ruler. It is
within this period also that fell the activities of the two great
'Slavonic' missionaries and apostles, the brothers Cyril and Methodius,
who are looked upon by all Slavs of the orthodox faith as the founders of
their civilisation. Christianity had of course penetrated into Bulgaria
(or Moesia, as it was then) long before the arrival of the Slavs and
Bulgars, but the influx of one horde of barbarians after another was
naturally not propitious to its growth. The conversion of Boris in 865,
which was brought about largely by the influence of his sister, who had
spent many years in Constantinople as a captive, was a triumph for Greek
influence and for Byzantium. Though the Church was at this time still
nominally one, yet the rivalry between Rome and Constantinople had already
become acute, and the struggle for spheres of spiritual influence had
begun. It was in the year 863 that the Prince of Moravia, anxious to
introduce Christianity into his country in a form intelligible to his
subjects, addressed himself to the Emperor Michael III for help. Rome
could not provide any suitable missionaries with knowledge of Slavonic
languages, and the German, or more exactly the Bavarian, hierarchy with
which Rome entrusted the spiritual welfare of the Slavs of Moravia and
Pannonia used its greater local knowledge for political and not religious
ends. The Germans exploited their ecclesiastical influence in order
completely to dominate the Slavs politically, and as a result the latter
were only allowed to see the Church through Teutonic glasses.

In answer to this appeal the emperor sent the two brothers Cyril and
Methodius, who were Greeks of Salonika and had considerable knowledge of
Slavonic languages. They composed the Slavonic alphabet which is to-day
used throughout Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro, and in many
parts of Austria-Hungary and translated the gospels into Slavonic; it is
for this reason that they are regarded with such veneration by all members
of the Eastern Church. Their mission proved the greatest success (it must
be remembered that at this time the various Slavonic tongues were probably
less dissimilar than they are now), and the two brothers were warmly
welcomed in Rome by Pope Adrian II, who formally consented to the use, for
the benefit of the Slavs, of the Slavonic liturgy (a remarkable
concession, confirmed by Pope John VIII). This triumph, however, was
short-lived; St. Cyril died in 869 and St. Methodius in 885; subsequent
Popes, notably Stephen V, were not so benevolent to the Slavonic cause;
the machinations of the German hierarchy (which included, even in those
days, the falsification of documents) were irresistible, and finally the
invasion of the Magyars, in 893, destroyed what was left of the Slavonic
Church in Moravia. The missionary brothers had probably passed through
Bulgaria on their way north in 863, but without halting. Many of their
disciples, driven from the Moravian kingdom by the Germans, came south and
took refuge in Bulgaria in 886, and there carried on in more favourable
circumstances the teachings of their masters. Prince Boris had found it
easier to adopt Christianity himself than to induce all his subjects to do
the same. Even when he had enforced his will on them at the price of
numerous executions of recalcitrant nobles, he found himself only at the
beginning of his difficulties. The Greeks had been glad enough to welcome
Bulgaria into the fold, but they had no wish to set up an independent
Church and hierarchy to rival their own. Boris, on the other hand, though
no doubt full of genuine spiritual ardour, was above all impressed with
the authority and prestige which the basileus derived from the Church of
Constantinople; he also admired the pomp of ecclesiastical ceremony, and
wished to have a patriarch of his own to crown him and a hierarchy of his
own to serve him. Finding the Greeks unresponsive, he turned to Rome, and
Pope Nicholas I sent him two bishops to superintend the ecclesiastical
affairs of Bulgaria till the investiture of Boris at the hands of the Holy
See could be arranged. These bishops set to work with a will, substituted
the Latin for the Greek rite, and brought Bulgaria completely under Roman
influence. But when it was discovered that Boris was aiming at the
erection of an independent Church their enthusiasm abated and they were
recalled to Rome in 867.

Adrian II proved no more sympathetic, and in 870, during the reign of the
Emperor Basil I, it was decided without more ado that the Bulgarian Church
should be directly under the Bishop of Constantinople, on the ground that
the kingdom of Boris was a vassal-state of the basileus, and that from the
Byzantine point of view, as opposed to that of Rome, the State came first
and the Church next. The Moravian Gorazd, a disciple of Methodius, was
appointed Metropolitan, and at his death he was succeeded by his fellow
countryman and co-disciple Clement, who by means of the construction of
numerous churches and monasteries did a great deal for the propagation of
light and learning in Bulgaria. The definite subjection of the Bulgarian
Church to that of Byzantium was an important and far-reaching event. Boris
has been reproached with submitting himself and his country to Greek
influence, but in those days it was either Constantinople or Rome (there
was no third way); and in view of the proximity of Constantinople and the
glamour which its civilization cast all over the Balkans, it is not
surprising that the Greeks carried the day.


_The Rise and Fall of the First Bulgarian Empire_, 893-972

During the reign of Simeon, second son of Boris, which lasted from 893 to
927, Bulgaria reached a very high level of power and prosperity. Simeon,
called the Great, is looked on by Bulgarians as their most capable monarch
and his reign as the most brilliant period of their history. He had spent
his childhood at Constantinople and been educated there, and he became
such an admirer of Greek civilization that he was nicknamed _Hèmiargos_.
His instructors had done their work so well that Simeon remained
spellbound by the glamour of Constantinople throughout his life, and,
although he might have laid the foundations of a solid empire in the
Balkans, his one ambition was to conquer Byzantium and to be recognized as
basileus--an ambition which was not to be fulfilled. His first campaign
against the Greeks was not very fruitful, because the latter summoned the
Magyars, already settled in Hungary, to their aid and they attacked Simeon
from the north. Simeon in return called the Pechenegs, another fierce
Tartar tribe, to his aid, but this merely resulted in their definite
establishment in Rumania. During the twenty years of peace, which strange
to say filled the middle of his reign (894-913), the internal development
of Bulgaria made great strides. The administration was properly organized,
commerce was encouraged, and agriculture flourished. In the wars against
the Greeks which occupied his last years he was more successful, and
inflicted a severe defeat on them at Anchialo (the modern Ahiolu) in 917;
but he was still unable to get from them what he wanted, and at last, in
921, he was obliged to proclaim himself _basileus_ and _autocrat[=o]r_ of
all Bulgars and Greeks, a title which nobody else recognized. He
reappeared before Constantinople the same year, but effected nothing more
than the customary devastation of the suburbs. The year 923 witnessed a
solemn reconciliation between Rome and Constantinople; the Greeks were
clever enough to prevent the Roman legates visiting Bulgaria on their
return journey, and thereby administered a rebuff to Simeon, who was
anxious to see them and enter into direct relations with Rome. In the same
year Simeon tried to make an alliance with the Arabs, but the ambassadors
of the latter were intercepted by the Greeks, who made it worth their
while not to continue the journey to Bulgaria.

In 924 Simeon determined on a supreme effort against Constantinople and as
a preliminary he ravaged Macedonia and Thrace. When, however, he arrived
before the city the walls and the catapults made him hesitate, and he
entered into negotiations, which, as usual, petered out and brought him no
adequate reward for all his hopes and preparations. In the west his arms
were more successful, and he subjected most of the eastern part of Serbia
to his rule. From all this it can be seen that he was no diplomat, though
not lacking in enterprise and ambition. The fact was that while he made
his kingdom too powerful for the Greeks to subdue (indeed they were
compelled to pay him tribute), yet Constantinople with its impregnable
walls, well-organized army, powerful fleet, and cunning and experienced
statesmen, was too hard a nut for him to crack.

Simeon extended the boundaries of his country considerably, and his
dominion included most of the interior of the Balkan peninsula south of
the Danube and east of the rivers Morava and Ibar in Serbia and of the
Drin in Albania. The Byzantine Church greatly increased its influence in
Bulgaria during his reign, and works of theology grew like mushrooms. This
was the only kind of literature that was ever popular in Bulgaria, and
although it is usual to throw contempt on the literary achievements of
Constantinople, we should know but little of Bulgaria were it not for the
Greek historians.

Simeon died in 927, and his son Peter, who succeeded him, was a lover of
peace and comfort; he married a Byzantine princess, and during his reign
(927-69) Greek influence grew ever stronger, in spite of several revolts
on the part of the Bulgar nobles, while the capital Preslav became a
miniature Constantinople. In 927 Rome recognized the kingdom and
patriarchate of Bulgaria, and Peter was duly crowned by the Papal legate.
This was viewed with disfavour by the Greeks, and they still called Peter
only _arch[=o]n_ or prince (_knyaz_ in Bulgarian), which was the utmost
title allowed to any foreign sovereign. It was not until 945 that they
recognized Peter as _basileus_, the unique title possessed by their own
emperors and till then never granted to any one else. Peter's reign was
one of misfortune for his country both at home and abroad. In 931 the
Serbs broke loose under their leader [)C]aslav, whom Simeon had captured
but who effected his escape, and asserted their independence. In 963 a
formidable revolt under one Shishman undermined the whole state fabric. He
managed to subtract Macedonia and all western Bulgaria, including Sofia
and Vidin, from Peter's rule, and proclaimed himself independent _tsar
(tsar_ or _caesar_ was a title often accorded by Byzantium to relatives of
the emperor or to distinguished men of Greek or other nationality, and
though it was originally the equivalent of the highest title, it had long
since ceased to be so: the emperor's designations were _basileus_ and
_autocrat[=o]r_). From this time there were two Bulgarias--eastern and
western. The eastern half was now little more than a Byzantine province,
and the western became the centre of national life and the focus of
national aspirations.

Another factor which militated against the internal progress of Bulgaria
was the spread of the Bogomil heresy in the tenth century. This remarkable
doctrine, founded on the dualism of the Paulicians, who had become an
important political force in the eastern empire, was preached in the
Balkan peninsula by one Jeremiah Bogomil, for the rest a man of uncertain
identity, who made Philippopolis the centre of his activity. Its principal
features were of a negative character, and consequently it was very
difficult successfully to apply force against them. The Bogomils
recognized the authority neither of Church nor of State; the validity
neither of oaths nor of human laws. They refused to pay taxes, to fight,
or to obey; they sanctioned theft, but looked upon any kind of punishment
as unjustifiable; they discountenanced marriage and were strict
vegetarians. Naturally a heresy so alarming in its individualism shook to
its foundations the not very firmly established Bulgarian society.
Nevertheless it spread with rapidity in spite of all persecutions, and its
popularity amongst the Bulgarians, and indeed amongst all the Slavs of the
peninsula, is without doubt partly explained by political reasons. The
hierarchy of the Greek Church, which supported the ruling classes of the
country and lent them authority at the same time that it increased its
own, was antipathetic to the Slavs, and the Bogomil heresy drew much
strength from its nationalistic colouring and from the appeal which it
made to the character of the Balkan Slavs, who have always been intolerant
of government by the Church. But neither the civil nor the ecclesiastical
authorities were able to cope with the problem; indeed they were apt to
minimize its importance, and the heresy was never eradicated till the
arrival on the scene of Islam, which proved as attractive to the
schismatics as the well-regulated Orthodox Church had been the reverse.

The third quarter of the tenth century witnessed a great recrudescence of
the power of Constantinople under the Emperor Nikiphóros Phokas, who
wrested Cyprus and Crete from the Arabs and inaugurated an era of
prosperity for the eastern empire, giving it a new lease of vigorous and
combative life. Wishing to reassert the Greek supremacy in the Balkan
peninsula his first act was to refuse any further payment of tribute to
the Bulgarians as from 966; his next was to initiate a campaign against
them, but in order to make his own success in this enterprise less costly
and more assured he secured the co-operation of the Russians under
Svyatoslav, Prince of Kiev; this potentate's mother Olga had visited
Constantinople in 957 and been baptized (though her son and the bulk of
the population were still ardent heathens), and commercial intercourse
between Russia and Constantinople by means of the Dnieper and the Black
Sea was at that time lively. Svyatoslav did not want pressing, and
arriving with an army of 10,000 men in boats, overcame northern Bulgaria
in a few days (967); they were helped by Shishman and the western Bulgars,
who did not mind at what price Peter and the eastern Bulgars were crushed.
Svyatoslav was recalled to Russia in 968 to defend his home from attacks
by the Tartar Pechenegs, but that done, he made up his mind to return to
Bulgaria, lured by its riches and by the hope of the eventual possession
of Constantinople.

The Emperor Nikiphóros was by now aware of the danger he had imprudently
conjured up, and made a futile alliance with eastern Bulgaria; but in
January 969 Peter of Bulgaria died, and in December of the same year
Nikiphóros was murdered by the ambitious Armenian John Tzimisces,[1] who
thereupon became emperor. Svyatoslav, seeing the field clear of his
enemies, returned in 970, and in March of that year sacked and occupied
Philippopolis. The Emperor John Tzimisces, who was even abler both as
general and as diplomat than his predecessor, quietly pushed forward his
warlike preparations, and did not meet the Russians till the autumn, when
he completely defeated them at Arcadiopolis (the modern Lule-Burgas). The
Russians retired north of the Balkan range, but the Greeks followed them.
John Tzimisces besieged them in the capital Preslav, which he stormed,
massacring many of the garrison, in April 972. Svyatoslav and his
remaining troops escaped to Silistria (the Durostorum of Trajan) on the
Danube, where again, however, they were besieged and defeated by the
indefatigable emperor. At last peace was made in July 972, the Russians
being allowed to go free on condition of the complete evacuation of
Bulgaria and a gift of corn; the adventurous Svyatoslav lost his life at
the hands of the Pechenegs while making his way back to Kiev. The triumph
of the Greeks was complete, and it can be imagined that there was not much
left of the earthenware Bulgaria after the violent collision of these two
mighty iron vessels on the top of it. Eastern Bulgaria (i.e. Moesia and
Thrace) ceased to exist, becoming a purely Greek province; John Tzimisces
made his triumphal entry into Constantinople, followed by the two sons of
Peter of Bulgaria on foot; the elder was deprived of his regal attributes
and created _magistros_, the younger was made a eunuch.

[Footnote 1: John the Little.]


_The Rise and Fall of 'Western Bulgaria' and the Greek Supremacy_,

Meanwhile western Bulgaria had not been touched, and it was thither that
the Bulgarian patriarch Damian removed from Silistria after the victory of
the Greeks, settling first in Sofia and then in Okhrida in Macedonia,
where the apostate Shishman had eventually made his capital. Western
Bulgaria included Macedonia and parts of Thessaly, Albania, southern and
eastern Serbia, and the westernmost parts of modern Bulgaria. It was from
this district that numerous anti-Hellenic revolts were directed after the
death of the Emperor John Tzimisces in 976. These culminated during the
reign of Samuel (977-1014), one of the sons of Shishman. He was as capable
and energetic, as unscrupulous and inhuman, as the situation he was called
upon to fill demanded. He began by assassinating all his relations and
nobles who resented his desire to re-establish the absolute monarchy, was
recognized as _tsar_ by the Holy See of Rome in 981, and then began to
fight the Greeks, the only possible occupation for any self-respecting
Bulgarian ruler. The emperor at that time was Basil II (976-1025), who was
brave and patriotic but young and inexperienced. In his early campaigns
Samuel carried all before him; he reconquered northern Bulgaria in 985,
Thessaly in 986, and defeated Basil II near Sofia the same year. Later he
conquered Albania and the southern parts of Serbia and what is now
Montenegro and Hercegovina. In 996 he threatened Salonika, but first of
all embarked on an expedition against the Peloponnese; here he was
followed by the Greek general, who managed to surprise and completely
overwhelm him, he and his son barely escaping with their lives.

From that year (996) his fortune changed; the Greeks reoccupied northern
Bulgaria, in 999, and also recovered Thessaly and parts of Macedonia. The
Bulgars were subjected to almost annual attacks on the part of Basil II;
the country was ruined and could not long hold out. The final disaster
occurred in 1014, when Basil II utterly defeated his inveterate foe in a
pass near Seres in Macedonia. Samuel escaped to Prilip, but when he beheld
the return of 15,000 of his troops who had been captured and blinded by
the Greeks he died of syncope. Basil II, known as Bulgaroctonus, or
Bulgar-killer, went from victory to victory, and finally occupied the
Bulgarian capital of Okhrida in 1016. Western Bulgaria came to an end, as
had eastern Bulgaria in 972, the remaining members of the royal family
followed the emperor to the Bosphorus to enjoy comfortable captivity, and
the triumph of Constantinople was complete.

From 1018 to 1186 Bulgaria had no existence as an independent state; Basil
II, although cruel, was far from tyrannical in his general treatment of
the Bulgars, and treated the conquered territory more as a protectorate
than as a possession. But after his death Greek rule became much more
oppressive. The Bulgarian patriarchate (since 972 established at Okhrida)
was reduced to an archbishopric, and in 1025 the see was given to a Greek,
who lost no time in eliminating the Bulgarian element from positions of
importance throughout his diocese. Many of the nobles were transplanted to
Constantinople, where their opposition was numbed by the bestowal of
honours. During the eleventh century the peninsula was invaded frequently
by the Tartar Pechenegs and Kumans, whose aid was invoked both by Greeks
and Bulgars; the result of these incursions was not always favourable to
those who had promoted them; the barbarians invariably stayed longer and
did more damage than had been bargained for, and usually left some of
their number behind as unwelcome settlers.

In this way the ethnological map of the Balkan peninsula became ever more
variegated. To the Tartar settlers were added colonies of Armenians and
Vlakhs by various emperors. The last touch was given by the arrival of the
Normans in 1081 and the passage of the crusaders in 1096. The wholesale
depredations of the latter naturally made the inhabitants of the Balkan
peninsula anything but sympathetically disposed towards their cause. One
of the results of all this turmoil and of the heavy hand of the Greeks was
a great increase in the vitality of the Bogomil heresy already referred to;
it became a refuge for patriotism and an outlet for its expression. The
Emperor Alexis Comnenus instituted a bitter persecution of it, which only
led to its growth and rapid propagation westwards into Serbia from its
centre Philippopolis.

The reason of the complete overthrow of the Bulgarian monarchy by the
Greeks was of course that the nation itself was totally lacking in
cohesion and organization, and could only achieve any lasting success when
an exceptionally gifted ruler managed to discount the centrifugal
tendencies of the feudal nobles, as Simeon and Samuel had done. Other
discouraging factors wore the permeation of the Church and State by
Byzantine influence, the lack of a large standing army, the spread of the
anarchic Bogomil heresy, and the fact that the bulk of the Slav population
had no desire for foreign adventure or national aggrandizement.


_The Rise and Fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire,_ 1186-1258

From 1186 to 1258 Bulgaria experienced temporary resuscitation, the
brevity of which was more than compensated for by the stirring nature of
the events that crowded it. The exactions and oppressions of the Greeks
culminated in a revolt on the part of the Bulgars, which had its centre in
Tirnovo on the river Yantra in northern Bulgaria--a position of great
natural strength and strategic importance, commanding the outlets of
several of the most important passes over the Balkan range. This revolt
coincided with the growing weakness of the eastern empire, which,
surrounded on all sides by aggressive enemies--Kumans, Saracens, Turks,
and Normans--was sickening for one of the severe illnesses which preceded
its dissolution. The revolt was headed by two brothers who were Vlakh or
Rumanian shepherds, and was blessed by the archbishop Basil, who crowned
one of them, called John Asen, as _tsar_ in Tirnovo in 1186. Their first
efforts against the Greeks were not successful, but securing the support
of the Serbs under Stephen Nemanja in 1188 and of the Crusaders in 1189
they became more so; but there was life in the Greeks yet, and victory
alternated with defeat. John Asen I was assassinated in 1196 and was
succeeded after many internal discords and murders by his relative Kaloian
or Pretty John. This cruel and unscrupulous though determined ruler soon
made an end of all his enemies at home, and in eight years achieved such
success abroad that Bulgaria almost regained its former proportions.
Moreover, he re-established relations with Rome, to the great discomfiture
of the Greeks, and after some negotiations Pope Innocent III recognized
Kaloian as _tsar_ of the Bulgars and Vlakhs (roi de Blaquie et de Bougrie,
in the words of Villehardouin), with Basil as primate, and they were both
duly consecrated and crowned by the papal legate at Tirnovo in 1204. The
French, who had just established themselves in Constantinople during the
fourth crusade, imprudently made an enemy of Kaloian instead of a friend,
and with the aid of the Tartar Kumans he defeated them several times,
capturing and brutally murdering Baldwin I. But in 1207 his career was cut
short; he was murdered while besieging Salonika by one of his generals who
was a friend of his wife. After eleven years of further anarchy he was
succeeded by John Asen II. During the reign of this monarch, which lasted
from 1218 till 1241, Bulgaria reached the zenith of its power. He was the
most enlightened ruler the country had had, and he not only waged war
successfully abroad but also put an end to the internal confusion,
restored the possibility of carrying on agriculture and commerce, and
encouraged the foundation of numerous schools and monasteries. He
maintained the tradition of his family by making his capital at Tirnovo,
which city he considerably embellished and enlarged.

Constantinople at this time boasted three Greek emperors and one French.
The first act of John Asen II was to get rid of one of them, named
Theodore, who had proclaimed himself _basileus_ at Okhrida in 1223.
Thereupon he annexed the whole of Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Epirus
to his dominions, and made Theodore's brother Manuel, who had married one
of his daughters, viceroy, established at Salonika. Another of his
daughters had married Stephen Vladislav, who was King of Serbia from
1233-43, and a third married Theodore, son of the Emperor John III, who
reigned at Nicaea, in 1235. This daughter, after being sought in marriage
by the French barons at Constantinople as a wife for the Emperor Baldwin
II, a minor, was then summarily rejected in favour of the daughter of the
King of Jerusalem; this affront rankled in the mind of John Asen II and
threw him into the arms of the Greeks, with whom he concluded an alliance
in 1234. John Asen II and his ally, the Emperor John III, were, however,
utterly defeated by the French under the walls of Constantinople in 1236,
and the Bulgarian ruler, who had no wish to see the Greeks re-established
there, began to doubt the wisdom of his alliance. Other Bulgarian tsars
had been unscrupulous, but the whole foreign policy of this one pivoted on
treachery. He deserted the Greeks and made an alliance with the French in
1237, the Pope Gregory IX, a great Hellenophobe, having threatened him
with excommunication; he went so far as to force his daughter to
relinquish her Greek husband. The following year, however, he again
changed over to the Greeks; then again fear of the Pope and of his
brother-in-law the King of Hungary brought him back to the side of Baldwin
II, to whose help against the Greeks he went with a large army into Thrace
in 1239. While besieging the Greeks with indifferent success, he learned
of the death of his wife and his eldest son from plague, and incontinently
returned to Tirnovo, giving up the war and restoring his daughter to her
lonely husband. This adaptable monarch died a natural death in 1241, and
the three rulers of his family who succeeded him, whose reigns filled the
period 1241-58, managed to undo all the constructive work of their
immediate predecessors. Province after province was lost and internal
anarchy increased. This remarkable dynasty came to an inglorious end in
1258, when its last representative was murdered by his own nobles, and
from this time onwards Bulgaria was only a shadow of its former self.


_The Serbian Supremacy and the Final Collapse,_ 1258-1393

From 1258 onwards Bulgaria may be said to have continued flickering until
its final extinction as a state in 1393, but during this period it never
had any voice in controlling the destinies of the Balkan peninsula. Owing
to the fact that no ruler emerged capable of keeping the distracted
country in order, there was a regular _chassé-croisé_ of rival princelets,
an unceasing tale of political marriages and murders, conspiracies and
revolts of feudal nobles all over the country, and perpetual ebb and flow
of the boundaries of the warring principalities which tore the fabric of
Bulgaria to pieces amongst them. From the point of view of foreign
politics this period is characterized generally by the virtual
disappearance of Bulgarian independence to the profit of the surrounding
states, who enjoyed a sort of rotativist supremacy. It is especially
remarkable for the complete ascendancy which Serbia gained in the Balkan

A Serb, Constantine, grandson of Stephen Nemanja, occupied the Bulgarian
throne from 1258 to 1277, and married the granddaughter of John Asen II.
After the fall of the Latin Empire of Constantinople in 1261, the
Hungarians, already masters of Transylvania, combined with the Greeks
against Constantine; the latter called the Tartars of southern Russia, at
this time at the height of their power, to his help and was victorious,
but as a result of his diplomacy the Tartars henceforward played an
important part in the Bulgarian welter. Then Constantine married, as his
second wife, the daughter of the Greek emperor, and thus again gave
Constantinople a voice in his country's affairs. Constantine was followed
by a series of upstart rulers, whose activities were cut short by the
victories of King Uro[)s] II of Serbia (1282-1321), who conquered all
Macedonia and wrested it from the Bulgars. In 1285 the Tartars of the
Golden Horde swept over Hungary and Bulgaria, but it was from the south
that the clouds were rolling up which not much later were to burst over
the peninsula. In 1308 the Turks appeared on the Sea of Marmora, and in
1326 established themselves at Brussa. From 1295 to 1322 Bulgaria was
presided over by a nobleman of Vidin, Svetoslav, who, unmolested by the
Greeks, grown thoughtful in view of the approach of the Turks, was able to
maintain rather more order than his subjects were accustomed to. After his
death in 1322 chaos again supervened. One of his successors had married
the daughter of Uro[)s] II of Serbia, but suddenly made an alliance with
the Greeks against his brother-in-law Stephen Uro[)s] III and dispatched
his wife to her home. During the war which ensued the unwonted allies were
utterly routed by the Serbs at Kustendil in Macedonia in 1330.

From 1331 to 1365 Bulgaria was under one John Alexander, a noble of Tartar
origin, whose sister became the wife of Serbia's greatest ruler, Stephen
Du[)s]an; John Alexander, moreover, recognized Stephen as his suzerain,
and from thenceforward Bulgaria was a vassal-state of Serbia. Meanwhile
the Turkish storm was gathering fast; Suleiman crossed the Hellespont in
1356, and Murad I made Adrianople his capital in 1366. After the death of
John Alexander in 1365 the Hungarians invaded northern Bulgaria, and his
successor invoked the help of the Turks against them and also against the
Greeks. This was the beginning of the end. The Serbs, during an absence of
the Sultan in Asia, undertook an offensive, but were defeated by the Turks
near Adrianople in 1371, who captured Sofia in 1382. After this the Serbs
formed a huge southern Slav alliance, in which the Bulgarians refused to
join, but, after a temporary success against the Turks in 1387, they were
vanquished by them as the result of treachery at the famous battle of
Kosovo in 1389. Meanwhile the Turks occupied Nikopolis on the Danube in
1388 and destroyed the Bulgarian capital Tirnovo in 1393, exiling the
Patriarch Euthymus to Macedonia. Thus the state of Bulgaria passed into
the hands of the Turks, and its church into those of the Greeks. Many
Bulgars adopted Islam, and their descendants are the Pomaks or Bulgarian
Mohammedans of the present day. With the subjection of Rumania in 1394 and
the defeat of an improvised anti-Turkish crusade from western Europe under
Sigismund, King of Hungary, at Nikopolis in 1396 the Turkish conquest was
complete, though the battle of Varna was not fought till 1444, nor
Constantinople entered till 1453.


_The Turkish Dominion and the Emancipation,_ 1393-1878

From 1393 until 1877 Bulgaria may truthfully be said to have had no
history, but nevertheless it could scarcely have been called happy.
National life was completely paralysed, and what stood in those days for
national consciousness was obliterated. It is common knowledge, and most
people are now reasonable enough to admit, that the Turks have many
excellent qualities, religious fervour and military ardour amongst others;
it is also undeniable that from an aesthetic point of view too much cannot
be said in praise of Mohammedan civilization. Who does not prefer the
minarets of Stambul and Edirne[1] to the architecture of Budapest,
notoriously the ideal of Christian south-eastern Europe? On the other
hand, it cannot be contended that the Pax Ottomana brought prosperity or
happiness to those on whom it was imposed (unless indeed they submerged
their identity in the religion of their conquerors), or that its Influence
was either vivifying or generally popular.

[Footnote 1: The Turkish names for Constantinople and Adrianople.]

To the races they conquered the Turks offered two alternatives--serfdom or
Turkdom; those who could not bring themselves to accept either of these
had either to emigrate or take to brigandage and outlawry in the
mountains. The Turks literally overlaid the European nationalities of the
Balkan peninsula for five hundred years, and from their own point of view
and from that of military history this was undoubtedly a very splendid
achievement; it was more than the Greeks or Romans had ever done. From the
point of view of humanitarianism also it is beyond a doubt that much less
human blood was spilt in the Balkan peninsula during the five hundred
years of Turkish rule than during the five hundred years of Christian rule
which preceded them; indeed it would have been difficult to spill more. It
is also a pure illusion to think of the Turks as exceptionally brutal or
cruel; they are just as good-natured and good-humoured as anybody else; it
is only when their military or religious passions are aroused that they
become more reckless and ferocious than other people. It was not the Turks
who taught cruelty to the Christians of the Balkan peninsula; the latter
had nothing to learn in this respect.

In spite of all this, however, from the point of view of the Slavs of
Bulgaria and Serbia, Turkish rule was synonymous with suffocation. If the
Turks were all that their greatest admirers think them the history of the
Balkan peninsula in the nineteenth century would have been very different
from what it has been, namely, one perpetual series of anti-Turkish

Of all the Balkan peoples the Bulgarians were the most completely crushed
and effaced. The Greeks by their ubiquity, their brains, and their money
were soon able to make the Turkish storm drive their own windmill; the
Rumanians were somewhat sheltered by the Danube and also by their distance
from Constantinople; the Serbs also were not so exposed to the full blast
of the Turkish wrath, and the inaccessibility of much of their country
afforded them some protection. Bulgaria was simply annihilated, and its
population, already far from homogeneous, was still further varied by
numerous Turkish and other Tartar colonies.

For the same reasons already mentioned Bulgaria was the last Balkan state
to emancipate itself; for these reasons also it is the least trammelled by
prejudices and by what are considered national predilections and racial
affinities, while its heterogeneous composition makes it vigorous and
enterprising. The treatment of the Christians by the Turks was by no means
always the same; generally speaking, it grew worse as the power of the
Sultan grew less. During the fifteenth century they were allowed to
practise their religion and all their vocations in comparative liberty and
peace. But from the sixteenth century onwards the control of the Sultan
declined, power became decentralized, the Ottoman Empire grew ever more
anarchic and the rule of the provincial governors more despotic.

But the Mohammedan conquerors were not the only enemies and oppressors of
the Bulgars. The rôle played by the Greeks in Bulgaria during the Turkish
dominion was almost as important as that of the Turks themselves. The
contempt of the Turks for the Christians, and especially for their
religion, was so great that they prudently left the management of it to
them, knowing that it would keep them occupied in mutual altercation. From
1393 till 1767 the Bulgarians were under the Greco-Bulgarian Patriarchate
of Okhrida, an organization in which all posts, from the highest to the
lowest, had to be bought from the Turkish administration at exorbitant and
ever-rising prices; the Phanariote Greeks (so called because they
originated in the Phanar quarter at Constantinople) were the only ones who
could afford those of the higher posts, with the result that the Church
was controlled from Constantinople. In 1767 the independent patriarchates
were abolished, and from that date the religious control of the Greeks was
as complete as the political control of the Turks. The Greeks did all they
could to obliterate the last traces of Bulgarian nationality which had
survived in the Church, and this explains a fact which must never be
forgotten, which had its origin in the remote past, but grew more
pronounced at this period, that the individual hatred of Greeks and
Bulgars of each other has always been far more intense than their
collective hatred of the Turks.

Ever since the marriage of the Tsar Ivan III with the niece of the last
Greek Emperor, in 1472, Russia had considered itself the trustee of the
eastern Christians, the defender of the Orthodox Church, and the direct
heir of the glory and prestige of Constantinople; it was not until the
eighteenth century, however, after the consolidation of the Russian state,
that the Balkan Christians were championed and the eventual possession of
Constantinople was seriously considered. Russian influence was first
asserted in Rumania after the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainardji, in 1774. It was
only the Napoleonic war in 1812 that prevented the Russians from extending
their territory south of the Danube, whither it already stretched. Serbia
was partially free by 1826, and Greece achieved complete independence in
1830, when the Russian troops, in order to coerce the Turks, occupied part
of Bulgaria and advanced as far as Adrianople. Bulgaria, being nearer to
and more easily repressed by Constantinople, had to wait, and tentative
revolts made about this time were put down with much bloodshed and were
followed by wholesale emigrations of Bulgars into Bessarabia and
importations of Tartars and Kurds into the vacated districts. The Crimean
War and the short-sighted championship of Turkey by the western European
powers checked considerably the development at which Russia aimed.
Moldavia and Wallachia were in 1856 withdrawn from the semi-protectorate
which Russia had long exercised over them, and in 1861 formed themselves
into the united state of Rumania. In 1866 a German prince, Charles of
Hohenzollern, came to rule over the country, the first sign of German
influence in the Near East; at this time Rumania still acknowledged the
supremacy of the Sultan.

During the first half of the nineteenth century there took place a
considerable intellectual renascence in Bulgaria, a movement fostered by
wealthy Bulgarian merchants of Bucarest and Odessa. In 1829 a history of
Bulgaria was published by a native of that country in Moscow; in 1835 the
first school was established in Bulgaria, and many others soon followed.
It must be remembered that not only was nothing known at that time about
Bulgaria and its inhabitants in other countries, but the Bulgars had
themselves to be taught who they were. The Bulgarian people in Bulgaria
consisted entirely of peasants; there was no Bulgarian upper or middle or
'intelligent' or professional class; those enlightened Bulgars who existed
were domiciled in other countries; the Church was in the hands of the
Greeks, who vied with the Turks in suppressing Bulgarian nationality.

The two committees of Odessa and Bucarest which promoted the enlightenment
and emancipation of Bulgaria were dissimilar in composition and in aim;
the members of the former were more intent on educational and religious
reform, and aimed at the gradual and peaceful regeneration of their
country by these means; the latter wished to effect the immediate
political emancipation of Bulgaria by violent and, if necessary, warlike

It was the ecclesiastical question which was solved first. In 1856 the
Porte had promised religious reforms tending to the appointment of
Bulgarian bishops and the recognition of the Bulgarian language in Church
and school. But these not being carried through, the Bulgarians took the
matter into their own hands, and in 1860 refused any longer to recognize
the Patriarch of Constantinople. The same year an attempt was made to
bring the Church of Bulgaria under that of Rome, but, owing to Russian
opposition, proved abortive. In 1870, the growing agitation having at last
alarmed the Turks, the Bulgarian Exarchate was established. The Bulgarian
Church was made free and national and was to be under an Exarch who should
reside at Constantinople (Bulgaria being still a Turkish province). The
Greeks, conscious what a blow this would be to their supremacy, managed
for a short while to stave off the evil day, but in 1872 the Exarch was
triumphantly installed in Constantinople, where he resided till 1908.

Meanwhile revolutionary outbreaks began to increase, but were always put
down with great rigour. The most notable was that of 1875, instigated by
Stambulóv, the future dictator, in sympathy with the outbreak in
Montenegro, Hercegovina, and Bosnia of that year; the result of this and
of similar movements in 1876 was the series of notorious Bulgarian
massacres in that year. The indignation of Europe was aroused and
concerted representations were urgently made at Constantinople. Midhat
Pasha disarmed his opponents by summarily introducing the British
constitution into Turkey, but, needless to say, Bulgaria's lot was not
improved by this specious device. Russia had, however, steadily been
making her preparations, and, Turkey having refused to discontinue
hostilities against Montenegro, on April 24, 1877, war was declared by the
Emperor Alexander II, whose patience had become exhausted; he was joined
by Prince Charles of Rumania, who saw that by doing so he would be
rewarded by the complete emancipation of his country, then still a
vassal-state of Turkey, and its erection into a kingdom. At the beginning
of the war all went well for the Russians and Rumanians, who were soon
joined by large numbers of Bulgarian insurgents; the Turkish forces were
scattered all over the peninsula. The committee of Bucarest transformed
itself into a provisional government, but the Russians, who had undertaken
to liberate the country, naturally had to keep its administration
temporarily in their own hands, and refused their recognition. The Turks,
alarmed at the early victories of the Russians, brought up better generals
and troops, and defeated the Russians at Plevna in July. They failed,
however, to dislodge them from the important and famous Shipka Pass in
August, and after this they became demoralized and their resistance
rapidly weakened. The Russians, helped by the Bulgarians and Rumanians,
fought throughout the summer with the greatest gallantry; they took
Plevna, after a three months' siege, in December, occupied Sofia and
Philippopolis in January 1878, and pushed forward to the walls of

The Turks were at their last gasp, and at Adrianople, in March 1878,
Ignatiyev dictated the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, by which a
principality of Bulgaria, under the nominal suzerainty of the Sultan, was
created, stretching from the Danube to the Aegean, and from the Black Sea
to Albania, including all Macedonia and leaving to the Turks only the
district between Constantinople and Adrianople, Chalcidice, and the town
of Salonika; Bulgaria would thus have regained the dimensions it possessed
under Tsar Simeon nine hundred and fifty years previously.

This treaty, which on ethnological grounds was tolerably just, alarmed the
other powers, especially Great Britain and Germany, who thought they
perceived in it the foundations of Russian hegemony in the Balkans, while
it would, if put into execution, have blighted the aspirations of Greece
and Serbia. The Treaty of Berlin, inspired by Bismarck and Lord Salisbury,
anxious to defend, the former, the interests of (ostensibly)
Austria-Hungary, the latter (shortsightedly) those of Turkey, replaced it
in July 1878. By its terms Bulgaria was cut into three parts; northern
Bulgaria, between the Danube and the Balkans, was made an autonomous
province, tributary to Turkey; southern Bulgaria, fancifully termed
Eastern Rumelia (Rumili was the name always given by the Turks to the
whole Balkan peninsula), was to have autonomous administration under a
Christian governor appointed by the Porte; Macedonia was left to Turkey;
and the Dobrudja, between the Danube and the Black Sea, was adjudged to


_The Aftermath, and Prince Alexander of Battenberg, 1878-86_

The relations between the Russians and the Bulgarians were better before
the liberation of the latter by the former than after; this may seem
unjust, because Bulgaria could never have freed herself so decisively and
rapidly alone, and Russia was the only power in whose interest it was to
free her from the Turks, and who could translate that interest so promptly
into action; nevertheless, the laws controlling the relationships of
states and nationalities being much the same as those which control the
relationships of individuals, it was only to be expected.

What so often happens in the relationships of individuals happened in
those between Russia and Bulgaria. Russia naturally enough expected
Bulgaria to be grateful for the really large amount of blood and treasure
which its liberation had cost Russia, and, moreover, expected its
gratitude to take the form of docility and a general acquiescence in all
the suggestions and wishes expressed by its liberator. Bulgaria was no
doubt deeply grateful, but never had the slightest intention of expressing
its gratitude in the desired way; on the contrary, like most people who
have regained a long-lost and unaccustomed freedom of action or been put
under an obligation, it appeared touchy and jealous of its right to an
independent judgement. It is often assumed by Russophobe writers that
Russia wished and intended to make a Russian province of Bulgaria, but
this is very unlikely; the geographical configuration of the Balkan
peninsula would not lend itself to its incorporation in the Russian
Empire, the existence between the two of the compact and vigorous national
block of Rumania, a Latin race and then already an independent state, was
an insurmountable obstacle, and, finally, it is quite possible for Russia
to obtain possession or control of Constantinople without owning all the
intervening littoral.

That Russia should wish to have a controlling voice in the destinies of
Bulgaria and in those of the whole peninsula was natural, and it was just
as natural that Bulgaria should resent its pretensions. The eventual
result of this, however, was that Bulgaria inevitably entered the sphere
of Austrian and ultimately of German influence or rather calculation, a
contingency probably not foreseen by its statesmen at the time, and whose
full meaning, even if it had, would not have been grasped by them.

The Bulgarians, whatever the origin and the ingredients of their
nationality, are by language a purely Slavonic people; their ancestors
were the pioneers of Slavonic civilization as expressed in its monuments
of theological literature. Nevertheless, they have never been enthusiastic
Pan-Slavists, any more than the Dutch have ever been ardent Pan-Germans;
it is as unreasonable to expect such a thing of the one people as it is of
the other. The Bulgarians indeed think themselves superior to the Slavs by
reason of the warlike and glorious traditions of the Tartar tribe that
gave them their name and infused the Asiatic element into their race, thus
endowing them with greater stability, energy, and consistency than is
possessed by purely Slav peoples. These latter, on the other hand, and
notably the Serbians, for the same reason affect contempt for the mixture
of blood and for what they consider the Mongol characteristics of the
Bulgarians. What is certain is that between Bulgarians and Germans
(including German Austrians and Magyars) there has never existed that
elemental, ineradicable, and insurmountable antipathy which exists between
German (and Magyar) and Slav wherever the two races are contiguous, from
the Baltic to the Adriatic; nothing is more remarkable than the way in
which the Bulgarian people has been flattered, studied, and courted in
Austria-Hungary and Germany, during the last decade, to the detriment of
the purely Slav Serb race with whom it is always compared. The reason is
that with the growth of the Serb national movement, from 1903 onwards,
Austria-Hungary and Germany felt an instinctive and perfectly
well-justified fear of the Serb race, and sought to neutralize the
possible effect of its growing power by any possible means.

It is not too much to say, in summing up, that Russian influence, which
had been growing stronger in Bulgaria up till 1877-8, has since been
steadily on the decline; Germany and Austria-Hungary, who reduced Bulgaria
to half the size that Count Ignatiyev had made it by the Treaty of San
Stefano, reaped the benefit, especially the commercial benefit, of the war
which Russia had waged. Intellectually, and especially as regards the
replenishment and renovation of the Bulgarian language, which, in spite of
numerous Turkish words introduced during the Ottoman rule, is essentially
Slavonic both in substance and form, Russian influence was especially
powerful, and has to a certain extent maintained itself. Economically,
owing partly to geographical conditions, both the Danube and the main
oriental railway linking Bulgaria directly with Budapest and Vienna,
partly to the fact that Bulgaria's best customers for its cereals are in
central and western Europe, the connexion between Bulgaria and Russia is
infinitesimal. Politically, both Russia and Bulgaria aiming at the same
thing, the possession of Constantinople and the hegemony of the Balkan
peninsula, their relations were bound to be difficult.

The first Bulgarian Parliament met in 1879 under trying conditions. Both
Russian and Bulgarian hopes had been dashed by the Treaty of Berlin.
Russian influence was still paramount, however, and the viceroy controlled
the organization of the administration. An ultra-democratic constitution
was arranged for, a fact obviously not conducive to the successful
government of their country by the quite inexperienced Bulgarians. For a
ruler recourse had inevitably to be had to the rabbit-warren of Germanic
princes, who were still ingenuously considered neutral both in religion
and in politics. The choice fell on Prince Alexander of Battenberg, nephew
of the Empress of Russia, who had taken part in the campaign of the
Russian army. Prince Alexander was conscientious, energetic, and
enthusiastic, but he was no diplomat, and from the outset his honesty
precluded his success. From the very first he failed to keep on good terms
with Russia or its representatives, who at that time were still numerous
in Bulgaria, while he was helpless to stem the ravages of parliamentary
government. The Emperor Alexander III, who succeeded his father Alexander
II in 1881, recommended him to insist on being made dictator, which he
successfully did. But when he found that this only meant an increase of
Russian influence he reverted to parliamentary government (in September
1883); this procedure discomfited the representatives of Russia,
discredited him with the Emperor, and threw him back into the vortex of
party warfare, from which he never extricated himself.

Meanwhile the question of eastern Rumelia, or rather southern Bulgaria,
still a Turkish province, began to loom. A vigorous agitation for the
reunion of the two parts of the country had been going on for some time,
and on September 18, 1885, the inhabitants of Philippopolis suddenly
proclaimed the union under Prince Alexander, who solemnly announced his
approval at Tirnovo and triumphantly entered their city on September 21.
Russia frowned on this independence of spirit. Serbia, under King Milan,
and instigated by Austria, inaugurated the policy which has so often been
followed since, and claimed territorial compensation for Bulgaria's
aggrandisement; it must be remembered that it was Bismarck who, by the
Treaty of Berlin, had arbitrarily confined Serbia to its inadequate limits
of those day.

On November 13 King Milan declared war, and began to march on Sofia, which
is not far from the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier. Prince Alexander, the bulk
of whose army was on the Turkish frontier, boldly took up the challenge.
On November 18 took place the battle of Slivnitsa, a small town about
twenty miles north-west of Sofia, in which the Bulgarians were completely
victorious. Prince Alexander, after hard fighting, took Pirot in Serbia on
November 27, having refused King Milan's request for an armistice, and was
marching on Nish, when Austria intervened, and threatened to send troops
into Serbia unless fighting ceased. Bulgaria had to obey, and on March 3,
1886, a barren treaty of peace was imposed on the belligerents at
Bucarest. Prince Alexander's position did not improve after this, indeed
it would have needed a much more skilful navigator to steer through the
many currents which eddied round him. A strong Russophile party formed
itself in the army; on the night of August 21, 1886, some officers of this
party, who were the most capable in the Bulgarian army, appeared at Sofia,
forced Alexander to resign, and abducted him; they put him on board his
yacht on the Danube and escorted him to the Russian town of Reni, in
Bessarabia; telegraphic orders came from St. Petersburg, in answer to
inquiries, that he could proceed with haste to western Europe, and on
August 26 he found himself at Lemberg. But those who had carried out this
_coup d'état_ found that it was not at all popular in the country. A
counter-revolution, headed by the statesman Stambulóv, was immediately
initiated, and on September 3 Prince Alexander reappeared in Sofia amidst
tumultuous applause. Nevertheless his position was hopeless; the Emperor
Alexander III forced him to abdicate, and on September 7, 1886, he left
Bulgaria for good, to the regret of the majority of the people. He died in
Austria, in 1893, in his thirty-seventh year. At his departure a regency
was constituted, at the head of which was Stambulóv.


_The Regeneration under Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg,_ 1886-1908

Stambulóv was born at Tirnovo in 1854 and was of humble origin. He took
part in the insurrection of 1876 and in the war of liberation, and in 1884
became president of the Sóbraniye (Parliament). From 1886 till 1894 he was
virtually dictator of Bulgaria. He was intensely patriotic and also
personally ambitious, determined, energetic, ruthlessly cruel and
unscrupulous, but incapable of deceit; these qualities were apparent in
his powerful and grim expression of face, while his manner inspired the
weak with terror and the strongest with respect. His policy in general was
directed against Russia. At the general election held in October 1886 he
had all his important opponents imprisoned beforehand, while armed
sentries discouraged ill-disposed voters from approaching the
ballot-boxes. Out of 522 elected deputies, there were 470 supporters of
Stambulóv. This implied the complete suppression of the Russophile party
and led to a rupture with St. Petersburg.

Whatever were Stambulóv's methods, and few would deny that they were
harsh, there is no doubt that something of the sort was necessary to
restore order in the country. But once having started on this path he
found it difficult to stop, and his tyrannical bearing, combined with the
delay in finding a prince, soon made him unpopular. There were several
revolutionary outbreaks directed against him, but these were all crushed.
At length the, at that time not particularly alluring, throne of Bulgaria
was filled by Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, who was born in 1861 and
was the son of the gifted Princess Clémentine of Bourbon-Orleans, daughter
of Louis-Philippe. This young man combined great ambition and tenacity of
purpose with extreme prudence, astuteness, and patience; he was a
consummate diplomat. The election of this prince was viewed with great
disfavour by Russia, and for fear of offending the Emperor Alexander III
none of the European powers recognized him.

Ferdinand, unabashed, cheerfully installed himself in Sofia with his
mother in July 1886, and took care to make the peace with his suzerain,
the Sultan Abdul Hamid. He wisely left all power in the hands of the
unattractive and to him, unsympathetic prime minister, Stambulóv, till he
himself felt secure in his position, and till the dictator should have
made himself thoroughly hated. Ferdinand's clever and wealthy mother cast
a beneficent and civilizing glow around him, smoothing away many
difficulties by her womanly tact and philanthropic activity, and, thanks
to his influential connexions in the courts of Europe and his attitude of
calm expectancy, his prestige in his own country rapidly increased. In
1893 he married Princess Marie-Louise of Bourbon-Parma. In May 1894, as a
result of a social misadventure in which he became involved, Stambulóv
sent in his resignation, confidently expecting a refusal. To his
mortification it was accepted; thereupon he initiated a violent press
campaign, but his halo had faded, and on July 15 he was savagely attacked
in the street by unknown men, who afterwards escaped, and he died three
days later. So intense were the emotions of the people that his grave had
to be guarded by the military for two months. In November 1894 followed
the death of the Emperor Alexander III, and as a result of this double
event the road to a reconciliation with Russia was opened. Meanwhile the
German Emperor, who was on good terms with Princess Clémentine, had paved
the way for Ferdinand at Vienna, and when, in March 1896, the Sultan
recognized him as Prince of Bulgaria and Governor-General of eastern
Rumelia, his international position was assured. Relations with Russia
were still further improved by the rebaptism of the infant Crown Prince
Boris according to the rites of the eastern Church, in February 1896, and
a couple of years later Ferdinand and his wife and child paid a highly
successful state visit to Peterhof. In September 1902 a memorial church
was erected by the Emperor Nicholas II at the Shipka Pass, and later an
equestrian statue of the Tsar-Liberator Alexander II was placed opposite
the House of Parliament in Sofia.

Bulgaria meanwhile had been making rapid and astonishing material
progress. Railways were built, exports increased, and the general
condition of the country greatly improved. It is the fashion to compare
the wonderful advance made by Bulgaria during the thirty-five years of its
new existence with the very much slower progress made by Serbia during a
much longer period. This is insisted on especially by publicists in
Austria-Hungary and Germany, but it is forgotten that even before the last
Balkan war the geographical position of Bulgaria with its seaboard was
much more favourable to its economic development than that of Serbia,
which the Treaty of Berlin had hemmed in by Turkish and Austro-Hungarian
territory; moreover, Bulgaria being double the size of the Serbia of those
days, had far greater resources upon which to draw.

From 1894 onwards Ferdinand's power in his own country and his influence
abroad had been steadily growing. He always appreciated the value of
railways, and became almost as great a traveller as the German Emperor.
His estates in the south of Hungary constantly required his attention, and
he was a frequent visitor in Vienna. The German Emperor, though he could
not help admiring Ferdinand's success, was always a little afraid of him;
he felt that Ferdinand's gifts were so similar to his own that he would be
unable to count on him in an emergency. Moreover, it was difficult to
reconcile Ferdinand's ambitions in extreme south-eastern Europe with his
own. Ferdinand's relations with Vienna, on the other hand, and especially
with the late Archduke Francis Ferdinand, were both cordial and intimate.

The gradual aggravation of the condition of the Turkish Empire, notably in
Macedonia, the unredeemed Bulgaria, where since the insurrection of 1902-3
anarchy, always endemic, had deteriorated into a reign of terror, and,
also the unmistakably growing power and spirit of Serbia since the
accession of the Karageorgevich dynasty in 1903, caused uneasiness in
Sofia, no less than in Vienna and Budapest. The Young Turkish revolution
of July 1908, and the triumph of the Committee of Union and Progress,
disarmed the critics of Turkey who wished to make the forcible
introduction of reforms a pretext for their interference; but the
potential rejuvenation of the Ottoman Empire which it foreshadowed
indicated the desirability of rapid and decisive action. In September,
after fomenting a strike on the Oriental Railway in eastern Roumelia
(which railway was Turkish property), the Sofia Cabinet seized the line
with a military force on the plea of political necessity. At the same time
Ferdinand, with his second wife, the Protestant Princess Eleonora of
Reuss, whom he had married in March of that year, was received with regal
honours by the Emperor of Austria at Budapest. On October 5, 1908, at
Tirnovo, the ancient capital, Ferdinand proclaimed the complete
independence of Bulgaria and eastern Rumelia under himself as King (_Tsar_
in Bulgarian), and on October 7 Austria-Hungary announced the annexation
of Bosnia and Hercegovina, the two Turkish provinces administered by it
since 1879, nominally under Turkish suzerainty.


_The Kingdom_, 1908-13

(cf. Chaps. 14, 20)

The events which have taken place in Bulgaria since 1908 hinge on the
Macedonian question, which has not till now been mentioned. The Macedonian
question was extremely complicated; it started on the assumption that the
disintegration of Turkey, which had been proceeding throughout the
nineteenth century, would eventually be completed, and the question was
how in this eventuality to satisfy the territorial claims of the three
neighbouring countries, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece, claims both
historical and ethnological, based on the numbers and distribution of
their 'unredeemed' compatriots in Macedonia, and at the same time avoid
causing the armed interference of Europe.

The beginnings of the Macedonian question in its modern form do not go
farther back than 1885, when the ease with which eastern Rumelia (i.e.
southern Bulgaria) threw off the Turkish yoke and was spontaneously united
with the semi-independent principality of northern Bulgaria affected the
imagination of the Balkan statesmen. From that time Sofia began to cast
longing eyes on Macedonia, the whole of which was claimed as 'unredeemed
Bulgaria', and Stambulóv's last success in 1894 was to obtain from Turkey
the consent to the establishment of two bishops of the Bulgarian
(Exarchist) Church in Macedonia, which was a heavy blow for the Greek
Patriarchate at Constantinople.

Macedonia had been envisaged by the Treaty of Berlin, article 23 of which
stipulated for reforms in that province; but in those days the Balkan
States were too young and weak to worry themselves or the European powers
over the troubles of their co-religionists in Turkey; their hands were
more than full setting their own houses in some sort of order, and it was
in nobody's interest to reform Macedonia, so article 23 remained the
expression of a philanthropic sentiment. This indifference on the part of
Europe left the door open for the Balkan States, as soon as they had
energy to spare, to initiate their campaign for extending their spheres of
influence in Macedonia.

From 1894 onwards Bulgarian propaganda in Macedonia increased, and the
Bulgarians were soon followed by Greeks and Serbians. The reason for this
passionate pegging out of claims and the bitter rivalry of the three
nations which it engendered was the following: The population of Macedonia
was nowhere, except in the immediate vicinity of the borders of these
three countries, either purely Bulgar or purely Greek or purely Serb; most
of the towns contained a percentage of at least two of these
nationalities, not to mention the Turks (who after all were still the
owners of the country by right of conquest), Albanians, Tartars, Rumanians
(Vlakhs), and others; the city of Salonika was and is almost purely
Jewish, while in the country districts Turkish, Albanian, Greek, Bulgar,
and Serb villages were inextricably confused. Generally speaking, the
coastal strip was mainly Greek (the coast itself purely so), the interior
mainly Slav. The problem was for each country to peg out as large a claim
as possible, and so effectively, by any means in their power, to make the
majority of the population contained in that claim acknowledge itself to
be Bulgar, or Serb, or Greek, that when the agony of the Ottoman Empire
was over, each part of Macedonia would automatically fall into the arms of
its respective deliverers. The game was played through the appropriate
media of churches and schools, for the unfortunate Macedonian peasants had
first of all to be enlightened as to who they were, or rather as to who
they were told they had got to consider themselves, while the Church, as
always, conveniently covered a multitude of political aims; when those
methods flagged, a bomb would be thrown at, let us say, a Turkish official
by an _agent provocateur_ of one of the three players, inevitably
resulting in the necessary massacre of innocent Christians by the
ostensibly brutal but really equally innocent Turks, and an outcry in the
European press.

Bulgaria was first in the field and had a considerable start of the other
two rivals. The Bulgars claimed the whole of Macedonia, including Salonika
and all the Aegean coast (except Chalcidice), Okhrida, and Monastir;
Greece claimed all southern Macedonia, and Serbia parts of northern and
central Macedonia known as Old Serbia. The crux of the whole problem was,
and is, that the claims of Serbia and Greece do not clash, while that of
Bulgaria, driving a thick wedge between Greece and Serbia, and thus giving
Bulgaria the undoubted hegemony of the peninsula, came into irreconcilable
conflict with those of its rivals. The importance of this point was
greatly emphasized by the existence of the Nish-Salonika railway, which is
Serbia's only direct outlet to the sea, and runs through Macedonia from
north to south, following the right or western bank of the river Vardar.
Should Bulgaria straddle that, Serbia would be economically at its mercy,
just as in the north it was already, to its bitter cost, at the mercy of
Austria-Hungary. Nevertheless, Bulgarian propaganda had been so effectual
that Serbia and Greece never expected they would eventually be able to
join hands so easily and successfully as they afterwards did.

The then unknown quantity of Albania was also a factor. This people,
though small in numbers, was formidable in character, and had never been
effectually subdued by the Turks. They would have been glad to have a
boundary contiguous with that of Bulgaria (with whom they had no quarrel)
as a support against their hereditary enemies, Serbs in the north and
Greeks in the south, who were more than inclined to encroach on their
territory. The population of Macedonia, being still under Turkish rule,
was uneducated and ignorant; needless to say it had no national
consciousness, though this was less true of the Greeks than of the Slavs.
It is the Slav population of Macedonia that has engendered so much heat
and caused so much blood to be spilt. The dispute as to whether it is
rather Serb or Bulgar has caused interminable and most bitter controversy.
The truth is that it _was_ neither the one nor the other, but that, the
ethnological and linguistic missionaries of Bulgaria having been first in
the field, a majority of the Macedonian Slavs had been so long and so
persistently told that they were Bulgars, that after a few years Bulgaria
could, with some truth, claim that this fact was so.

Macedonia had been successively under Greek, Bulgar, and Serb, before
Turkish, rule, but the Macedonian Slavs had, under the last, been so cut
off both from Bulgars and Serbs, that ethnologically and linguistically
they did not develop the characteristics of either of these two races,
which originally belonged to the same southern Slav stock, but remained a
primitive neutral Slav type. If the Serbs had been first in the field
instead of the Bulgars, the Macedonian Slavs could just as easily have
been made into Serbs, sufficiently plausibly to convince the most knowing
expert. The well-known recipe for making a Macedonian Slav village Bulgar
is to add _-ov_ or _-ev_ (pronounced _-off, -yeff_) on to the names of all
the male inhabitants, and to make it Serb it is only necessary to add
further the syllable _-ich, -ov_ and _-ovich_ being respectively the
equivalent in Bulgarian and Serbian of our termination _-son,_ e. g.
_Ivanov_ in Bulgarian, and _Jovanovit_ in Serbian = _Johnson_.

In addition to these three nations Rumania also entered the lists,
suddenly horrified at discovering the sad plight of the Vlakh shepherds,
who had probably wandered with unconcern about Macedonia with their herds
since Roman times. As their vague pastures could not possibly ever be
annexed to Rumania, their case was merely used in order to justify Rumania
in claiming eventual territorial compensation elsewhere at the final day
of reckoning. Meanwhile, their existence as a separate and authentic
nationality in Turkey was officially recognized by the Porte in 1906.

The stages of the Macedonian question up to 1908 must at this point be
quite briefly enumerated. Russia and Austria-Hungary, the two 'most
interested powers', who as far back as the eighteenth century had divided
the Balkans into their respective spheres of interest, east and west, came
to an agreement in 1897 regarding the final settlement of affairs in
Turkey; but it never reached a conclusive stage and consequently was never
applied. The Macedonian chaos meanwhile grew steadily worse, and the
serious insurrections of 1902-3, followed by the customary reprisals,
thoroughly alarmed the powers. Hilmi Pasha had been appointed
Inspector-General of Macedonia in December 1902, but was not successful in
restoring order. In October 1903 the Emperor Nicholas II and the Emperor
of Austria, with their foreign ministers, met at Mürzsteg, in Styria, and
elaborated a more definite plan of reform known as the Mürzsteg programme,
the drastic terms of which had been largely inspired by Lord Lansdowne,
then British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; the principal feature
was the institution of an international gendarmerie, the whole of
Macedonia being divided up into five districts to be apportioned among the
several great powers. Owing to the procrastination of the Porte and to the
extreme complexity of the financial measures which had to be elaborated in
connexion with this scheme of reforms, the last of the negotiations was
not completed, nor the whole series ratified, until April 1907, though the
gendarmerie officers had arrived in Macedonia in February 1904.

At this point again it is necessary to recall the position in regard to
this question of the various nations concerned. Great Britain and France
had no territorial stake in Turkey proper, and did their utmost to secure
reform not only in the _vilayets_ of Macedonia, but also in the realm of
Ottoman finance. Italy's interest centred in Albania, whose eventual fate,
for geographical and strategic reasons, could not leave it indifferent.
Austria-Hungary's only care was by any means to prevent the aggrandizement
of the Serb nationality and of Serbia and Montenegro, so as to secure the
control, if not the possession, of the routes to Salonika, if necessary
over the prostrate bodies of those two countries which defiantly barred
Germanic progress towards the East. Russia was already fatally absorbed in
the Far Eastern adventure, and, moreover, had, ever since the war of 1878,
been losing influence at Constantinople, where before its word had been
law; the Treaty of Berlin had dealt a blow at Russian prestige, and Russia
had ever since that date been singularly badly served by its ambassadors
to the Porte, who were always either too old or too easy-going. Germany,
on the other hand, had been exceptionally fortunate or prudent in the
choice of its representatives. The general trend of German diplomacy in
Turkey was not grasped until very much later, a fact which redounds to the
credit of the German ambassadors at Constantinople. Ever since the
triumphal journey of William II to the Bosphorus in 1889, German
influence, under the able guidance of Baron von Radowitz, steadily
increased. This culminated in the régime of the late Baron Marschall von
Bieberstein, who was ambassador from 1897 to 1912. It was German policy to
flatter, support, and encourage Turkey in every possible way, to refrain
from taking part with the other powers in the invidious and perennial
occupation of pressing reforms on Abdul Hamid, and, above all, to give as
much pocket-money to Turkey and its extravagant ruler as they asked for.
Germany, for instance, refused to send officers or to have a district
assigned it in Macedonia in 1904, and declined to take part in the naval
demonstration off Mitylene in 1905. This attitude of Germany naturally
encouraged the Porte in its policy of delay and subterfuge, and Turkey
soon came to look on Germany as its only strong, sincere, and
disinterested friend in Europe. For the indefinite continuance of chaos
and bloodshed in Macedonia, after the other powers had really braced
themselves to the thankless task of putting the reforms into practice,
Germany alone was responsible.

The blow which King Ferdinand had inflicted on the prestige of the Young
Turks in October 1908, by proclaiming his independence, naturally lent
lustre to the Bulgarian cause in Macedonia. Serbia, baffled by the
simultaneous Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and maddened
by the elevation of Bulgaria to the rank of a kingdom (its material
progress had hitherto been discounted in Serbian eyes by the fact that it
was a mere vassal principality), seemed about to be crushed by the two
iron pots jostling it on either side. Its international position was at
that time such that it could expect no help or encouragement from western
Europe, while the events of 1909 (cf. p. 144) showed that Russia was not
then in a position to render active assistance. Greece, also screaming
aloud for compensation, was told by its friends amongst the great powers
that if it made a noise it would get nothing, but that if it behaved like
a good child it might some day be given Krete. Meanwhile Russia, rudely
awakened by the events of 1908 to the real state of affairs in the Near
East, beginning to realize the growth of German influence at
Constantinople, and seeing the unmistakable resuscitation of
Austria-Hungary as a great power, made manifest by the annexation of
Bosnia and Hercegovina, temporarily reasserted its influence in Bulgaria.
From the moment when Baron Aehrenthal announced his chimerical scheme of
an Austrian railway through the _Sandjak_ of Novi Pazar in January 1908--
everybody knows that the railway already built through Serbia along the
Morava valley is the only commercially remunerative and strategically
practicable road from Berlin, Vienna, and Budapest to Salonika and
Constantinople--Russia realized that the days of the Mürzsteg programme
were over, that henceforward it was to be a struggle between Slav and
Teuton for the ownership of Constantinople and the dominion of the Near
East, and that something must be done to retrieve the position in the
Balkans which it was losing. After Baron Aehrenthal, in January 1909, had
mollified the Young Turks by an indemnity, and thus put an end to the
boycott, Russia in February of the same year liquidated the remains of the
old Turkish war indemnity of 1878 still due to itself by skilfully
arranging that Bulgaria should pay off its capitalized tribute, owed to
its ex-suzerain the Sultan, by very easy instalments to Russia instead.

The immediate effects of the Young Turk revolution amongst the Balkan
States, and the events, watched benevolently by Russia, which led to the
formation of the Balkan League, when it was joyfully realized that neither
the setting-up of parliamentary government, nor even the overthrow of
Abdul Hamid, implied the commencement of the millennium in Macedonia and
Thrace, have been described elsewhere (pp. 141, 148). King Ferdinand and
M. Venezelos are generally credited with the inception and realisation of
the League, though it was so secretly and skilfully concerted that it is
not yet possible correctly to apportion praise for the remarkable
achievement. Bulgaria is a very democratic country, but King Ferdinand,
owing to his sagacity, patience, and experience, and also thanks to his
influential dynastic connexions and propensity for travel, has always been
virtually his own foreign minister; in spite of the fact that he is a
large feudal Hungarian landlord, and has temperamental leanings towards
the Central European Empires, it is quite credible that King Ferdinand
devoted all his undeniable talents and great energy to the formation of
the League when he saw that the moment had come for Bulgaria to realize
its destiny at Turkey's expense, and that, if the other three Balkan
States could be induced to come to the same wise decision, it would be so
much the better for all of them. That Russia could do anything else than
whole-heartedly welcome the formation of the Balkan League was absolutely
impossible. Pan-Slavism had long since ceased to be the force it was, and
nobody in Russia dreamed of or desired the incorporation of any Balkan
territory in the Russian Empire. It is possible to control Constantinople
without possessing the Balkans, and Russia could only rejoice if a
Greco-Slavonic league should destroy the power of the Turks and thereby
make impossible the further advance of the Germanic powers eastward.

That Russia was ever in the least jealous of the military successes of the
league, which caused such gnashing of teeth in Berlin, Vienna, and
Budapest, is a mischievous fiction, the emptiness of which was evident to
any one who happened to be in Russia during the winter of 1912-13.

The years 1908 to 1912 were outwardly uneventful in Bulgaria, though a
great deal of quiet work was done in increasing the efficiency of the
army, and the material prosperity of the country showed no falling off.
Relations with the other Balkan States, especially with Serbia and
Montenegro, improved considerably, and there was ample room for such
improvement. This was outwardly marked by frequent visits paid to each
other by members of the several royal families of the three Slavonic
kingdoms of the Balkans. In May 1912 agreements for the eventual
delimitation of the provinces to be conquered from Turkey in the event of
war were signed between Bulgaria and Serbia, and Bulgaria and Greece. The
most controversial district was, of course, Macedonia. Bulgaria claimed
central Macedonia, with Monastir and Okhrida, which was the lion's share,
on ethnical grounds which have been already discussed, and it was expected
that Greece and Serbia, by obtaining other acquisitions elsewhere, would
consent to have their territories separated by the large Bulgarian wedge
which was to be driven between them. The exact future line of demarcation
between Serbian and Bulgarian territory was to be left to arbitration. The
possible creation of an independent Albania was not contemplated.

In August 1912 the twenty-fifth anniversary of King Ferdinand's arrival in
Bulgaria was celebrated with much rejoicing at the ancient capital of
Tirnovo, and was marred only by the news of the terrible massacre of
Bulgars by Turks at Kochana in Macedonia; this event, however, opportune
though mournful, tended considerably to increase the volume of the wave of
patriotism which swept through the country. Later in the same month Count
Berchtold startled Europe with his 'progressive decentralization' scheme
of reform for Macedonia. The manner in which this event led to the final
arrangements for the declaration of war on Turkey by the four Balkan
States is given in full elsewhere (cf. p. 151).

The Bulgarian army was fully prepared for the fray, and the autumn
manoeuvres had permitted the concentration unobserved of a considerable
portion of it, ready to strike when the time came. Mobilisation was
ordered on September 30, 1912. On October 8 Montenegro declared war on
Turkey. On October 13 Bulgaria, with the other Balkan States, replied to
the remonstrances of Russia and Austria by declaring that its patience was
at length exhausted, and that the sword alone was able to enforce proper
treatment of the Christian populations in European Turkey. On October 17
Turkey, encouraged by the sudden and unexpected conclusion of peace with
Italy after the Libyan war, declared war on Bulgaria and Serbia, and on
October 18 King Ferdinand addressed a sentimental exhortation to his
people to liberate their fellow-countrymen, who were still groaning under
the Crescent.

The number of Turkish troops opposing the Bulgarians in Thrace was about
180,000, and they had almost exactly the same number wherewith to oppose
the Serbians in Macedonia; for, although Macedonia was considered by the
Turks to be the most important theatre of war, yet the proximity of the
Bulgarian frontier to Constantinople made it necessary to retain a large
number of troops in Thrace. On October 19 the Bulgarians took the frontier
town of Mustafa Pasha. On October 24 they defeated the Turks at
Kirk-Kilissé (or Lozengrad), further east. From October 28 to November 2
raged the terrific battle of Lule-Burgas, which resulted in a complete and
brilliant victory of the Bulgarians over the Turks. The defeat and
humiliation of the Turks was as rapid and thorough in Thrace as it had
been in Macedonia, and by the middle of November the remains of the
Turkish army were entrenched behind the impregnable lines of Chataldja,
while a large garrison was shut up in Adrianople, which had been invested
by the end of October. The Bulgarian army, somewhat exhausted by this
brilliant and lightning campaign, refrained from storming the lines of
Chataldja, an operation which could not fail to involve losses such as the
Bulgarian nation was scarcely in a position to bear, and on December 3 the
armistice was signed. The negotiations conducted in London for two months
led, however, to no result, and on February 3, 1913, hostilities were
resumed. These, for the Bulgarians, resolved themselves into the more
energetic prosecution of the siege of Adrianople, which had not been
raised during the armistice. To their assistance Serbia, being able to
spare troops from Macedonia, sent 50,000 men and a quantity of heavy siege
artillery, an arm which the Bulgarians lacked. On March 26, 1913, the
fortress surrendered to the allied armies.

The Conference of London, which took place during the spring of that year,
fixed the new Turco-Bulgarian boundary by drawing the famous Enos-Midia
line, running between these two places situated on the shores respectively
of the Aegean and the Black Sea. This delimitation would have given
Bulgaria possession of Adrianople. But meanwhile Greece and especially
Serbia, which latter country had been compelled to withdraw from the
Adriatic coast by Austria, and was further precluded from ever returning
there by the creation of the independent state of Albania, determined to
retain possession of all that part of Macedonia, including the whole
valley of the Vardar with its important railway, which they had conquered,
and thus secure their common frontier. In May 1913 a military convention
was concluded between them, and the Balkan League, the relations between
the members of which had been becoming more strained ever since January,
finally dissolved. Bulgaria, outraged by this callous disregard of the
agreements as to the partition of Macedonia signed a year previously by
itself and its ex-allies, did not wait for the result of the arbitration
which was actually proceeding in Russia, but in an access of indignation
rushed to arms.

This second Balkan war, begun by Bulgaria during the night of June 30,
1913, by a sudden attack on the Serbian army in Macedonia, resulted in its
undoing. In order to defeat the Serbs and Greeks the south-eastern and
northern frontiers were denuded of troops. But the totally unforeseen
happened. The Serbs were victorious, defeating the Bulgars in Macedonia,
the Turks, seeing Thrace empty of Bulgarian troops, re-occupied
Adrianople, and the Rumanian army, determined to see fair play before it
was too late, invaded Bulgaria from the north and marched on Sofia. By the
end of July the campaign was over and Bulgaria had to submit to fate.

By the terms of the Treaty of Bucarest, which was concluded on August 10,
1913, Bulgaria obtained a considerable part of Thrace and eastern
Macedonia, including a portion of the Aegean coast with the seaport of
Dedeagach, but it was forced to 'compensate' Rumania with a slice of its
richest province (the districts of Dobrich and Silistria in north-eastern
Bulgaria), and it lost central Macedonia, a great part of which it would
certainly have been awarded by Russia's arbitration. On September 22,
1913, the Treaty of Constantinople was signed by Bulgaria and Turkey; by
its terms Turkey retained possession of Adrianople and of a far larger
part of Thrace than its series of ignominious defeats in the autumn of
1912 entitled it to.

In the fatal quarrel between Bulgaria and Serbia which caused the
disruption of the Balkan League, led to the tragic second Balkan war of
July 1913, and naturally left behind the bitterest feelings, it is
difficult to apportion the blame. Both Serbia and Bulgaria were
undoubtedly at fault in the choice of the methods by which they sought to
adjust their difference, but the real guilt is to be found neither in
Sofia nor in Belgrade, but in Vicuna and Budapest. The Balkan League
barred the way of the Germanic Powers to the East; its disruption weakened
Bulgaria and again placed Serbia at the mercy of the Dual Monarchy. After
these trying and unremunerative experiences it is not astonishing that the
Bulgarian people and its ambitious ruler should have retired to the remote
interior of their shell.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Explanation of Serbian orthography_

c = ts
[)c] = ch (as in _church_)
['c] =  "  "  "  but softer
[)s] =  sh
[)z] =  zh (as z in _azure_)
gj  = g (as in _George_)
j = y




_The Serbs under Foreign Supremacy_, 650-1168

The manner of the arrival of the Slavs in the Balkan peninsula, of that of
the Bulgars, and of the formation of the Bulgarian nationality has already
been described (cf. p. 26). The installation of the Slavs in the lands
between the Danube, the Aegean, and the Adriatic was completed by about
A.D. 650. In the second half of the seventh century the Bulgars settled
themselves in the eastern half of the peninsula and became absorbed by the
Slavs there, and from that time the nationality of the Slavs in the
western half began to be more clearly defined. These latter, split up into
a number of tribes, gradually grouped themselves into three main divisions:
Serbs (or Serbians), Croats (or Croatians), and Slovenes. The Serbs, much
the most numerous of the three, occupied roughly the modern kingdom of
Serbia (including Old Serbia and northern Macedonia), Montenegro, and most
of Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Dalmatia; the Croats occupied the more western
parts of these last three territories and Croatia; the Slovenes occupied
the modern Carniola and southern Carinthia. Needless to say, none of these
geographical designations existed in those days except Dalmatia, on the
coast of which the Latin influence and nomenclature maintained itself. The
Slovenes, whose language is closely akin to but not identical with Serbian
(or Croatian), even to-day only number one and a half million, and do not
enter into this narrative, as they have never played any political rôle in
the Balkan peninsula.

The Serbs and the Croats were, as regards race and language, originally
one people, the two names having merely geographical signification. In
course of time, for various reasons connected with religion and politics,
the distinction was emphasized, and from a historical point of view the
Serbo-Croatian race has always been divided into two. It is only within
the last few years that a movement has taken place, the object of which is
to reunite Serbs and Croats into one nation and eventually into one state.
The movement originated in Serbia, the Serbs maintaining that they and the
Croats are one people because they speak the same language, and that
racial and linguistic unity outweighs religious divergence. A very large
number of Croats agree with the Serbs in this and support their views, but
a minority for long obstinately insisted that there was a racial as well
as a religious difference, and that fusion was impossible. The former
based their argument on facts, the latter theirs on prejudice, which is
notoriously difficult to overcome. Latterly the movement in favour of
fusion grew very much stronger among the Croats, and together with that in
Serbia resulted in the Pan-Serb agitation which, gave the pretext for the
opening of hostilities in July 1914.

The designation Southern Slav (or Jugo-Slav, _jug_, pronounced yug, =
_south_ in Serbian) covers Serbs and Croats, and also includes Slovenes;
it is only used with reference to the Bulgarians from the point of view of
philology (the group of South Slavonic languages including Bulgarian,
Serbo-Croatian and Slovene; the East Slavonic, Russian; and the West
Slavonic, Polish and Bohemian).

In the history of the Serbs and Croats, or of the Serbo-Croatian race,
several factors of a general nature have first to be considered, which
have influenced its whole development. Of these, the physical nature of
the country in which they settled, between the Danube and Save and the
Adriatic, is one of the most important. It is almost everywhere
mountainous, and though the mountains themselves never attain as much as
10,000 feet in height, yet they cover the whole country with an intricate
network and have always formed an obstacle to easy communication between
the various parts of it. The result of this has been twofold. In the first
place it has, generally speaking, been a protection against foreign
penetration and conquest, and in so far was beneficial. Bulgaria, further
east, is, on the whole, less mountainous, in spite of the Balkan range
which stretches the whole length of it; for this reason, and also on
account of its geographical position, any invaders coming from the north
or north-east, especially if aiming at Constantinople or Salonika, were
bound to sweep over it. The great immemorial highway from the north-west
to the Balkan peninsula crosses the Danube at Belgrade and follows the
valley of the Morava to Nish; thence it branches off eastwards, going
through Sofia and again crossing all Bulgaria to reach Constantinople,
while the route to Salonika follows the Morava southwards from Nish and
crosses the watershed into the valley of the Vardar, which flows into the
Aegean. But even this road, following the course of the rivers Morava and
Vardar, only went through the fringe of Serb territory, and left untouched
the vast mountain region between the Morava and the Adriatic, which is
really the home of the Serb race.

In the second place, while it has undoubtedly been a protection to the
Serb race, it has also been a source of weakness. It has prevented a
welding together of the people into one whole, has facilitated the rise of
numerous political units at various times, and generally favoured the
dissipation of the national strength, and militated against national
organization and cohesion. In the course of history this process has been
emphasized rather than diminished, and to-day the Serb race is split up
into six political divisions, while Bulgaria, except for those Bulgars
claimed as 'unredeemed' beyond the frontier, presents a united whole. It
is only within the last thirty years, with the gradual improvement of
communications (obstructed to an incredible extent by the Austro-Hungarian
government) and the spread of education, that the Serbs in the different
countries which they inhabit have become fully conscious of their
essential identity and racial unity.

No less important than the physical aspect of their country on the
development of the Serbs has been the fact that right through the middle
of it from south to north there had been drawn a line of division more
than two centuries before their arrival. Artificial boundaries are
proverbially ephemeral, but this one has lasted throughout the centuries,
and it has been baneful to the Serbs. This dividing line, drawn first by
the Emperor Diocletian, has been described on p. 14; at the division of
the Roman Empire into East and West it was again followed, and it formed
the boundary between the dioceses of Italy and Dacia; the line is roughly
the same as the present political boundary between Montenegro and
Hercegovina, between the kingdom of Serbia and Bosnia; it stretched from
the Adriatic to the river Save right across the Serb territory. The
Serbo-Croatian race unwittingly occupied a country that was cut in two by
the line that divides East from West, and separates Constantinople and the
Eastern Church from Rome and the Western. This curious accident has had
consequences fatal to the unity of the race, since it has played into the
hands of ambitious and unscrupulous neighbours. As to the extent of the
country occupied by the Serbs at the beginning of their history it is
difficult to be accurate.

The boundary between the Serbs in the west of the peninsula and the
Bulgars in the east has always been a matter of dispute. The present
political frontier between Serbia and Bulgaria, starting in the north from
the mouth of the river Timok on the southern bank of the Danube and going
southwards slightly east of Pirot, is ethnographically approximately
correct till it reaches the newly acquired and much-disputed territories
in Macedonia, and represents fairly accurately the line that has divided
the two nationalities ever since they were first differentiated in the
seventh century. In the confused state of Balkan politics in the Middle
Ages the political influence of Bulgaria often extended west of this line
and included Nish and the Morava valley, while at other times that of
Serbia extended east of it. The dialects spoken in these frontier
districts represent a transitional stage between the two languages; each
of the two peoples naturally considers them more akin to its own, and
resents the fact that any of them should be included in the territory of
the other. Further south, in Macedonia, conditions are similar. Before the
Turkish conquest Macedonia had been sometimes under Bulgarian rule, as in
the times of Simeon, Samuel, and John Asen II, sometimes under Serbian,
especially during the height of Serbian power in the fourteenth century,
while intermittently it had been a province of the Greek Empire, which
always claimed it as its own. On historical grounds, therefore, each of
the three nations can claim possession of Macedonia. From an ethnographic
point of view the Slav population of Macedonia (there were always and are
still many non-Slav elements) was originally the same as that in the other
parts of the peninsula, and probably more akin to the Serbs, who are pure
Slavs, than to the Slavs of Bulgaria, who coalesced with their Asiatic
conquerors. In course of time, however, Bulgarian influences, owing to the
several periods when the Bulgars ruled the country, began to make headway.
The Albanians also (an Indo-European or Aryan race, but not of the Greek,
Latin, or Slav families), who, as a result of all the invasions of the
Balkan peninsula, had been driven southwards into the inaccessible
mountainous country now known as Albania, began to spread northwards and
eastwards again during the Turkish dominion, pushing back the Serbs from
the territory where they had long been settled. During the Turkish
dominion neither Serb nor Bulgar had any influence in Macedonia, and the
Macedonian Slavs, who had first of all been pure Slavs, like the Serbs,
then been several times under Bulgar, and finally, under Serb influence,
were left to themselves, and the process of differentiation between Serb
and Bulgar in Macedonia, by which in time the Macedonian Slavs would have
become either Serbs or Bulgars, ceased. The further development of the
Macedonian question is treated elsewhere (cf. chap. 13).

The Serbs, who had no permanent or well-defined frontier in the east,
where their neighbours were the Bulgars, or in the south, where they were
the Greeks and Albanians, were protected on the north by the river Save
and on the west by the Adriatic. They were split up into a number of
tribes, each of which was headed by a chief called in Serbian _[)z]upan_
and in Greek _arch[=o]n_. Whenever any one of these managed, either by
skill or by good fortune, to extend his power over a few of the
neighbouring districts he was termed _veliki_ (=great) _[)z]upan_. From
the beginning of their history, which is roughly put at A.D. 650, until
A.D. 1196, the Serbs were under foreign domination. Their suzerains were
nominally always the Greek emperors, who had 'granted' them the land they
had taken, and whenever the emperor happened to be energetic and powerful,
as were Basil I (the Macedonian, 867-86), John Tzimisces (969-76), Basil
II (976-1025), and Manuel Comnenus (1143-80), the Greek supremacy was very
real. At those times again when Bulgaria was very powerful, under Simeon
(893-927), Samuel (977-1014), and John Asen II (1218-41), many of the more
easterly and southerly Serbs came under Bulgarian rule, though it is
instructive to notice that the Serbs themselves do not recognize the West
Bulgarian or Macedonian kingdom of Samuel to have been a Bulgarian state.
The Bulgars, however, at no time brought all the Serb lands under their

Intermittently, whenever the power of Byzantium or of Bulgaria waned, some
Serb princeling would try to form a political state on a more ambitious
scale, but the fabric always collapsed at his death, and the Serbs
reverted to their favourite occupation of quarrelling amongst themselves.
Such wore the attempts of [)C]aslav, who had been made captive by Simeon
of Bulgaria, escaped after his death, and ruled over a large part of
central Serbia till 960, and later of Bodin, whose father, Michael, was
even recognized as king by Pope Gregory VII; Bodin formed a state near the
coast, in the Zeta river district (now Montenegro), and ruled there from
1081 to 1101. But as a rule the whole of the country peopled by the Serbs
was split into a number of tiny principalities always at war with one
another. Generally speaking, this country gradually became divided into
two main geographical divisions: (1) the _Pomorje_, or country _by the
sea_, which included most of the modern Montenegro and the southern halves
of Hercegovina and Dalmatia, and (2) the _Zagorje_, or country _behind the
hills_, which included most of the modern Bosnia, the western half of the
modern kingdom of Serbia, and the northern portions of Montenegro and
Hercegovina, covering all the country between the _Pomorje_ and the Save;
to the north of the _Pomorje_ and _Zagorje_ lay Croatia. Besides their
neighbours in the east and south, those in the north and west played an
important part in Serbian history even in those early days.

Towards the end of the eighth century, after the decline of the power of
the Avars, Charlemagne extended his conquests eastwards (he made a great
impression on the minds of the Slavs, whose word for king, _kral_ or
_korol_, is derived directly from his name), and his son Louis conquered
the Serbs settled in the country between the rivers Save and Drave. This
is commemorated in the name of the mass of hill which lies between the
Danube and the Save, in eastern Slavonia, and is to this day known as
_Fru[)s]ka Gora_, or French Hill. The Serbs and Bulgars fought against the
Franks, and while the Bulgars held their own, the Serbs were beaten, and
those who did not like the rule of the new-comers had to migrate
southwards across the Save; at the same time the Serbs between the rivers
Morava and Timok (eastern Serbia) were subjected by the Bulgars. With the
arrival of the Magyars, in the ninth century, a wall was raised between
the Serbs and central and western Europe on land. Croatia and Slavonia
(between the Save and the Drave) were gradually drawn into the orbit of
the Hungarian state, and in 1102, on the death of its own ruler, Croatia
was absorbed by Hungary and has formed part of that country ever since.
Hungary, aiming at an outlet on the Adriatic, at the same time subjected
most of Dalmatia and parts of Bosnia. In the west Venice had been steadily
growing in power throughout the tenth century, and by the end of it had
secured control of all the islands off Dalmatia and of a considerable part
of the coast. All the cities on the mainland acknowledged the supremacy of
Venice and she was mistress of the Adriatic.

In the interior of the Serb territory, during the eleventh and twelfth
centuries, three political centres came into prominence and shaped
themselves into larger territorial units. These were: (1) Raska, which had
been Caslav's centre and is considered the birth-place of the Serbian
state (this district, with the town of Ras as its centre, included the
south-western part of the modern kingdom of Serbia and what was the
Turkish _sandjak_ or province of Novi-Pazar); (2) Zeta, on the coast (the
modern Montenegro); and (3) Bosnia, so called after the river Bosna, which
runs through it. Bosnia, which roughly corresponded to the modern province
of that name, became independent in the second half of the tenth century,
and was never after that incorporated in the Serbian state. At times it
fell under Hungarian influence; in the twelfth century, during the reign
of Manuel Comnenus, who was victorious over the Magyars, Bosnia, like all
other Serb territories, had to acknowledge the supremacy of

It has already been indicated that the Serbs and Croats occupied territory
which, while the Church was still one, was divided between two dioceses,
Italy and Dacia, and when the Church itself was divided, in the eleventh
century, was torn apart between the two beliefs. The dividing line between
the jurisdictions of Rome and Constantinople ran from north to south
through Bosnia, but naturally there has always been a certain vagueness
about the extent of their respective jurisdictions. In later years the
terms Croat and Roman Catholic on the one hand, and Serb and Orthodox on
the other, became interchangeable. Hercegovina and eastern Bosnia have
always been predominantly Orthodox, Dalmatia and western Bosnia
predominantly Roman Catholic. The loyalty of the Croatians to
Austria-Hungary has been largely owing to the influence of Roman

During the first centuries of Serbian history Christianity made slow
progress in the western half of the Balkan peninsula. The Dalmatian coast
was always under the influence of Rome, but the interior was long pagan.
It is doubtful whether the brothers Cyril and Methodius (cf. chap. 5)
actually passed through Serb territory, but in the tenth century their
teachings and writings were certainly current there. At the time of the
division of the Churches all the Serb lands except the Dalmatian coast,
Croatia, and western Bosnia, were faithful to Constantinople, and the
Greek hierarchy obtained complete control of the ecclesiastical
administration. The elaborate organisation and opulent character of the
Eastern Church was, however, especially in the hands of the Greeks, not
congenial to the Serbs, and during the eleventh and twelfth centuries the
Bogomil heresy (cf. chap, 6), a much more primitive and democratic form of
Christianity, already familiar in the East as the Manichaean heresy, took
hold of the Serbs' imagination and made as rapid and disquieting progress
in their country as it had already done in the neighbouring Bulgaria;
inasmuch as the Greek hierarchy considered this teaching to be
socialistic, subversive, and highly dangerous to the ecclesiastical
supremacy of Constantinople, all of which indeed it was, adherence to it
became amongst the Serbs a direct expression of patriotism.


_The Rise and Fall of the Serbian Empire and the Extinction of Serbian
Independence_, 1168-1496

From 1168 the power of the Serbs, or rather of the central Serb state of
Raska, and the extent of its territory gradually but steadily increased.
This was outwardly expressed in the firm establishment on the throne of
the national Nemanja dynasty, which can claim the credit of having by its
energy, skill, and good fortune fashioned the most imposing and formidable
state the Serb race has ever known. This dynasty ruled the country
uninterruptedly, but not without many quarrels, feuds, and rivalries
amongst its various members, from 1168 until 1371, when it became extinct.

There were several external factors which at this time favoured the rise
of the Serbian state. Byzantium and the Greek Empire, to which the Emperor
Manuel Comnenus had by 1168 restored some measure of its former greatness
and splendour, regaining temporary control, after a long war with Hungary,
even over Dalmatia, Croatia, and Bosnia, after this date began
definitively to decline, and after the troublous times of the fourth
crusade (1204), when for sixty years a Latin empire was established on the
Bosphorus, never again recovered as a Christian state the position in the
Balkan peninsula which it had so long enjoyed. Bulgaria, too, after the
meteoric glory of its second empire under the Asen dynasty (1186-1258),
quite went to pieces, the eastern and northern parts falling under Tartar,
the southern under Greek influence, while the western districts fell to
Serbia. In the north, on the other hand, Hungary was becoming a dangerous
and ambitious neighbour. During the thirteenth century, it is true, the
attention of the Magyars was diverted by the irruption into and
devastation of their country by their unwelcome kinsmen from Asia, the
Tartars, who wrought great havoc and even penetrated as far as the
Adriatic coast. Nevertheless Hungary was always a menace to Serbia;
Croatia, Slavonia, and the interior of Dalmatia, all purely Serb
territories, belonged to the Hungarian crown, and Bosnia was under the
supremacy of the Magyars, though nominally independent.

The objects of the Magyars were twofold--to attain the hegemony of the
Balkan peninsula by conquering all the still independent Serb territories,
and to bring the peninsula within the pale of Rome. They were not
successful in either of these objects, partly because their wars with the
Serbian rulers always failed to reach a decision, partly because their
plans conflicted with those of the powerful Venetian republic. The
relations between Venice and Serbia were always most cordial, as their
ambitions did not clash; those of Venice were not continental, while those
of Serbia were never maritime. The semi-independent Slavonic city-republic
of Ragusa (called Dubrovnik in Serbian) played a very important part
throughout this period. It was under Venetian supremacy, but was
self-governing and had a large fleet of its own. It was the great place of
exchange between Serbia and western Europe, and was really the
meeting-place of East and West. Its relations with Serbia were by no means
always peaceful; it was a Naboth's vineyard for the rulers and people of
the inland kingdom, and it was never incorporated within their dominions.
Ragusa and the other cities of the Dalmatian coast were the home during
the Middle Ages of a flourishing school of Serbian literature, which was
inspired by that of Italy. The influence of Italian civilization and of
the Italian Church was naturally strong in the Serb province, much of
which was under Venetian rule; the reason for this was that communication
by sea with Italy was easier and safer than that by land with Serbia. The
long, formidable ranges of limestone mountains which divide the Serbian
interior from the Adriatic in almost unbroken and parallel lines have
always been a barrier to the extension of Serb power to the coast, and an
obstacle to free commercial intercourse. Nevertheless Ragusa was a great
trade centre, and one of the factors which most contributed to the
economic strength of the Serbian Empire.

The first of the Nemanja dynasty was Stephen, whose title was still only
_Veliki ['Z]upan_; he extended Serb territory southwards at the expense of
the Greeks, especially after the death of Manuel Comnenus in 1180. He also
persecuted the Bogomils, who took refuge in large numbers in the adjacent
Serb state of Bosnia. Like many other Serbian rulers, he abdicated in
later life in favour of his younger son, Stephen, called Nemanjié (=
Nemanya's son), and himself became a monk (1196), travelling for this
purpose to Mount Athos, the great monastic centre and home of theological
learning of the Eastern Church. There he saw his youngest son, who some
years previously had also journeyed thither and entered a monastery,
taking the name of Sava.

It was the custom for every Serbian ruler to found a sort of memorial
church, for the welfare of his own soul, before his death, and to decorate
and endow it lavishly. Stephen and his son together superintended the
erection in this sense of the church and monastery of Hilandar on Mount
Athos, which became a famous centre of Serbian church life. Stephen died
shortly after the completion of the building in 1199, and was buried in
it, but in 1207 he was reinterred in the monastery of Studenica, in
Serbia, also founded by him.

The reign of Stephen Nernanji['c] (1196-1223) opened with a quarrel
between him and his elder brother, who not unnaturally felt he ought to
have succeeded his father; the Bulgarians profited by this and seized a
large part of eastern Serbia, including Belgrade, Nish, Prizren, and
Skoplje. This, together with the fall of Constantinople and the
establishment of the Latin Empire in 1204, alarmed the Serbs and brought
about a reconciliation between the brothers, and in 1207 Sava returned to
Serbia to organise the Church on national lines. In 1219 he journeyed to
Nicaea and extracted from the Emperor Theodore Lascaris, who had fallen on
evil days, the concession for the establishment of an autonomous national
Serbian Church, independent of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Sava
himself was at the head of the new institution. In 1220 he solemnly
crowned his brother King _(Kralj)_ of Serbia, the natural consequence of
his activities in the previous year. For this reason Stephen Nemanji['c]
is called 'The First-Crowned'. He was succeeded in 1223 by his son Stephen
Radoslav, and he in turn was deposed by his brother Stephen Vladislav in
1233. Both these were crowned by Sava, and Vladislav married the daughter
of Tsar John Asen II, under whom Bulgaria was then at the height of her
power. Sava journeyed to Palestine, and on his return paid a visit to the
Bulgarian court at Tirnovo, where he died in 1236. His body was brought to
Serbia and buried in the monastery of Mile[)s]evo, built by Vladislav.
This extremely able churchman and politician, who did a great deal for the
peaceful development of his country, was canonized and is regarded as the
patron saint of Serbia.

The reign of Vladislav's son and successor, Stephen Uro[)s] I (1242-76),
was characterized by economic development and the strengthening of the
internal administration. In external affairs he made no conquests, but
defeated a combination of the Bulgarians with Ragusa against him, and
after the war the Bulgarian ruler married his daughter. In his wars
against Hungary he was unsuccessful, and the Magyars remained in
possession of a large part of northern Serbia. In 1276 he was deposed by
his son, Stephen Dragutin, who in his turn, after an unsuccessful war
against the Greeks, again masters of Constantinople since 1261, was
deposed and succeeded by his brother, Stephen Uro[)s] II, named Milutin,
in 1282. This king ruled from 1282 till 1321, and during his reign the
country made very great material progress; its mineral wealth especially,
which included gold and silver mines, began to be exploited. He extended
the boundaries of his kingdom in the north, making the Danube and the Save
the frontier. The usual revolt against paternal authority was made by his
son Stephen, but was unsuccessful, and the rebel was banished to

It was the custom of the Serbian kings to give appanages to their sons,
and the inevitable consequence of this system was the series of provincial
rebellions which occurred in almost every reign. When the revolt
succeeded, the father (or brother) was granted in his turn a small
appanage. In this case it was the son who was exiled, but he was recalled
in 1319 and a reconciliation took place. Milutin died in 1321 and was
succeeded by his son, Stephen Uro[)s] III, who reigned till 1331. He is
known as Stephen De[)c]anski, after the memorial church which he built at
De[)c]ani in western Serbia. His reign was signalized by a great defeat of
the combined Bulgarians and Greeks at Kustendil in Macedonia in 1330. The
following year his son, Stephen Du[)s]an, rebelled against him and deposed
him. Stephen Du[)s]an, who reigned from 1331 till 1355, was Serbia's
greatest ruler, and under him the country reached its utmost limits.
Provincial and family revolts and petty local disputes with such places as
Ragusa became a thing of the past, and he undertook conquest on a grand
scale. Between 1331 and 1344 he subjected all Macedonia, Albania,
Thessaly, and Epirus. He was careful to keep on good terms with Ragusa and
with Hungary, then under Charles Robert. He married the sister of the
Bulgarian ruler, and during his reign Bulgaria was completely under
Serbian supremacy. The anarchy and civil war which had become perennial at
Constantinople, and the weakening of the Greek Empire in face of the
growing power of the Turks, no doubt to some extent explain the facility
and rapidity of his conquests; nevertheless his power was very formidable,
and his success inspired considerable alarm in western Europe. This was
increased when, in 1345, he proclaimed his country an empire. He first
called together a special Church council, at which the Serbian Church, an
archbishopric, whose centre was then at Pe['c] (in Montenegro, Ipek in
Turkish), was proclaimed a Patriarchate, with Archbishop Joannice as
Patriarch; then this prelate, together with the Bulgarian Patriarch,
Simeon, and Nicholas, Archbishop of Okhrida, crowned Stephen Tsar of the
Serbs, Bulgars, and Greeks. Upon this the Patriarch of Constantinople gave
himself the vain satisfaction of anathematizing the whole of Serbia, as a
punishment for this insubordination.

In 1353 the Pope, Innocent VI, persuaded King Louis of Hungary to
undertake a crusade against Serbia in the name of Catholicism, but Stephen
defeated him and re-established his frontier along the Save and Danube.
Later he conquered the southern half of Dalmatia, and extended his empire
as far north as the river Cetina. In 1354 Stephen Du[)s]an himself
approached the Pope, offering to acknowledge his spiritual supremacy, if
he would support him against the Hungarians and the Turks. The Pope sent
him an embassy, but eventually Stephen could not agree to the papal
conditions, and concluded an alliance, of greater practical utility, with
the Venetians. In 1355, however, he suddenly died, at the age of
forty-six, and thus the further development and aggrandisement of his
country was prematurely arrested.

Stephen Du[)s]an made a great impression on his contemporaries, both by
his imposing personal appearance and by his undoubted wisdom and ability.
He was especially a great legislator, and his remarkable code of laws,
compiled in 1349 and enlarged in 1354, is, outside his own country, his
greatest title to fame. During Stephen Du[)s]an's reign the political
centre of Serbia, which had for many years gradually tended to shift
southwards towards Macedonia, was at Skoplje (Üsküb in Turkish), which he
made his capital. Stephen Du[)s]an's empire extended from the Adriatic in
the west to the river Maritsa in the east, from the Save and Danube in the
north to the Aegean; it included all the modern kingdoms of Serbia,
Montenegro, Albania, and most of Greece, Dalmatia as far north as the
river Cetina, as well as the fertile Morava valley, with Nish and
Belgrade--the whole eastern part of Serbia, which had for long been under
either Bulgar or Magyar control. It did not include the cities of Salonika
or Ragusa, nor any considerable part of the modern kingdom of Bulgaria,
nor Bosnia, Croatia, North Dalmatia, nor Slavonia (between the Save and
Drave), ethnologically all purely Serb lands. From the point of view of
nationality, therefore, its boundaries were far from ideal.

Stephen Du[)s]an was succeeded by his son, known as Tsar Uro[)s], but he
was as weak as his father had been strong. Almost as soon as he succeeded
to the throne, disorders, rebellions, and dissensions broke out and the
empire rapidly fell to pieces. With Serbia, as with Bulgaria, the empire
entirely hinged on the personality of one man, and when he was gone chaos
returned. Such an event for Serbia at this juncture was fatal, as a far
more formidable foe than the ruler's rebellious relations was advancing
against it. The Turkish conquests were proceeding apace; they had taken
Gallipoli in 1354 and Demotika and Adrianople in 1361. The Serbs, who had
already had an unsuccessful brush with the advance guard of the new
invaders near Demotika in 1351, met them again on the Maritsa river in
1371, and were completely defeated. Several of the upstart princes who had
been pulling Stephen Du[)s]an's empire to pieces perished, and Tsar
Uro[)s] only survived the battle of the Maritsa two months; he was
unmarried, and with him died the Nemanja dynasty and the Serbian Empire.

After this disaster the unity of the Serbian state was completely
destroyed, and it has never since been restored in the same measure.

That part of the country to the south of Skoplje fell completely under
Turkish control; it was here that the famous national hero, Marko
Kraljevi['c] (or King's son), renowned for his prowess, ruled as a vassal
prince and mercenary soldier of the Turks; his father was one of the rebel
princes who fell at the battle of the river Maritsa in 1371. North of
Skoplje, Serbia, with Kru[)s]evac as a new political centre, continued to
lead an independent but precarious existence, much reduced in size and
glory, under a native ruler, Prince Lazar; all the conquests of Stephen
Du[)s]an were lost, and the important coastal province of Zeta, which
later developed into Montenegro, had broken away and proclaimed its
autonomy directly after the death of Tsar Uro[)s].

In 1375 a formal reconciliation was effected with the Patriarch of
Constantinople; the ban placed on the Serbian Church in 1352 was removed
and the independence of the Serbian Patriarchate of Pe['c] (Ipek)
recognised. Meanwhile neither Greeks, Bulgars, nor Serbs were allowed any
peace by the Turks.

In 1389 was fought the great battle of Kosovo Polje, or the Field of
Blackbirds, a large plain in Old Serbia, at the southern end of which is
Skoplje. At this battle Serbian armies from all the Serb lands, including
Bosnia, joined together in defence of their country for the last time. The
issue of the battle was for some time in doubt, but was decided by the
treachery and flight at the critical moment of one of the Serb leaders,
Vuk Brankovi['c], son-in-law of Prince Lazar, with a large number of
troops. Another dramatic incident was the murder of Sultan Murad in his
tent by another Serbian leader, Milo[)s] Obili['c], who, accused of
treachery by his own countrymen, vowed he would prove his good faith, went
over to the Turks and, pretending to be a traitor, gained admission to the
Sultan's presence and proved his patriotism by killing him. The momentary
dismay was put an end to by the energetic conduct of Bayezid, son of
Murad, who rallied the Turkish troops and ultimately inflicted total
defeat on the Serbians. From the effects of this battle Serbia never
recovered; Prince Lazar was captured and executed; his wife, Princess
Milica, had to give her daughter to Bayezid in marriage, whose son thus
ultimately claimed possession of Serbia by right of inheritance. Princess
Milica and her son Stephen continued to live at Kru[)s]evac, but Serbia
was already a tributary of Turkey. In the north, Hungary profited by the
course of events and occupied Belgrade and all northern Serbia, but in
1396 the Turks defeated the Magyars severely at the battle of Nikopolis,
on the Danube, making the Serbs under Stephen fight on the Turkish side.
Stephen also had to help Sultan Bajazet against the Tartars, and fought at
the battle of Angora, in 1402, when Tamerlane captured Bayezid.

After Stephen returned to Serbia he made an alliance with Hungary, which
gave him back Belgrade and northern Serbia; it was at this time (1403)
that Belgrade first became the capital, the political centre having in the
course of fifty years moved from the Vardar to the Danube. The disorders
which followed the defeat of Bayezid gave some respite to the Serbs, but
Sultan Murad II (1421-51) again took up arms against him, and invaded
Serbia as far as Kru[)s]evac.

At the death of Stephen (Lazarevi['c]), in 1427, he was succeeded as
_Despot_ by his nephew, George Brankovi['c]; but the Sultan, claiming
Serbia as his own, immediately declared war on him. The Serbian ruler had
to abandon Belgrade to the Magyars, and Nish and Kru[)s]evac to the Turks.
He then built and fortified the town of Smederevo (or Semendria) lower
down on the Danube, in 1428, and made this his capital. He gave his
daughter in marriage to the Sultan, but in spite of this war soon broke
out again, and in 1441 the Turks were masters of nearly the whole of
Serbia. Later George Brankovi['c] made another alliance with Hungary, and
in 1444, with the help of John Hunyadi, defeated the Turks and liberated
the whole of Serbia as far as the Adriatic, though he remained a tributary
of the Sultan. The same year, however, the Magyars broke the treaty of
peace just concluded with the Turks, and marched against them under their
Polish king, Ladislas; this ended in the disastrous battle of Varna, on
the Black Sea, where the king lost his life. In 1451 Sultan Murad II died
and was succeeded by the Sultan Mohammed. In 1453 this sultan captured
Constantinople (Adrianople had until then been the Turkish capital); in
1456 his armies were besieging Belgrade, but were defeated by John
Hunyadi, who, unfortunately for the Serbs, died of the plague shortly
afterwards. George Brankovi['c] died the same year, and at his death
general disorder spread over the country. The Turks profited by this,
overran the whole of Serbia, and in 1459 captured Smederevo, the last
Serbian stronghold.

Meanwhile Bosnia had been for nearly a hundred years enjoying a false
security as an independent Serb kingdom. Its rulers had hitherto been
known by the title of _Ban_, and were all vassals of the King of Hungary;
but in 1377 Ban Tvrtko profited by the embarrassments of his suzerain in
Poland and proclaimed himself king, the neighbouring kingdom of Serbia
having, after 1371, ceased to exist, and was duly crowned in Saint Sava's
monastery of Mile[)s]evo. The internal history of the kingdom was even
more turbulent than had been that of Serbia. To the endemic troubles of
succession and alternating alliances and wars with foreign powers were
added those of confession. Bosnia was always a no man's land as regards
religion; it was where the Eastern and Western Churches met, and
consequently the rivalry between them there was always, as it is now,
intense and bitter. The Bogomil heresy, too, early took root in Bosnia and
became extremely popular; it was the obvious refuge for those who did not
care to become involved in the strife of the Churches. One of the kings of
Bosnia, Stephen Thomas, who reigned from 1444 till 1461, was himself a
Bogomil, and when at the insistence of the Pope and of the King of
Hungary, whose friendship he was anxious to retain, he renounced his
heresy, became ostensibly a Roman Catholic, and began to persecute the
Bogomils, he brought about a revolution. The rebels fled to the south of
Bosnia, to the lands of one Stephen, who sheltered them, proclaimed his
independence of Bosnia, and on the strength of the fact that Saint Sava's
monastery of Mile[)s]evo was in his territory, announced himself Herzog,
or Duke (in Serbian Herceg, though the real Serb equivalent is _Vojvoda_)
of Saint Sava, ever since when (1448) that territory has been called
Hercegovina. In spite of many promises, neither the Pope nor the King of
Hungary did anything to help Bosnia when the Turks began to invade the
country after their final subjection of Serbia in 1459. In 1463 they
invaded Bosnia and pursued, captured, and slew the last king; their
conquest of the country was complete and rapid. A great exodus of the Serb
population took place to the south, west, and north; but large numbers,
especially of the landowning class, embraced the faith of their conquerors
in order to retain possession of their property. In 1482 a similar fate
befell Hercegovina. Albania had already been conquered after stubborn
resistance in 1478. There remained only the mountainous coastal province
of Zeta, which had been an independent principality ever since 1371. Just
as inland Serbia had perished between the Turkish hammer and the Hungarian
anvil, so maritime Serbia was crushed between Turkey and Venice, only its
insignificance and inaccessibility giving it a longer lease of independent
life. Ivan Crnojevi['c], one of the last independent rulers of Zeta, who
had to fly to Italy in 1480, abandoning his capital, [)Z]abljak, to the
Turks, returned in 1481, when the death of Sultan Mohammed temporarily
raised the hopes of the mountaineers, and founded Cetinje and made it his
capital. His son George, who succeeded him and ruled from 1490 till 1496,
is famous as having set up the first Serbian printing-press there. Its
activities were naturally not encouraged by the Turkish conquest, but it
was of great importance to the national Serbian Church, for which books
were printed with it.

In 1496, Venice having wisely made peace with the Sultan some years
previously, this last independent scrap of Serb territory was finally
incorporated in the Turkish dominions. At the end of the fifteenth century
the Turks were masters of all the Serb lands except Croatia, Slavonia, and
parts of Dalmatia, which belonged to Hungary, and the Dalmatian coast and
islands, which were Venetian. The Turkish conquest of Serbia, which began
in 1371 at the battle of the Maritsa, and was rendered inevitable by the
battle of Kosovo Polje, in 1389, thus took a hundred and twenty-five years
to complete.


_The Turkish Dominion_, 1496-1796

The lot of the Serbs under Turkish rule was different from that of their
neighbours the Bulgars; and though it was certainly not enviable, it was
undoubtedly better. The Turks for various reasons never succeeded in
subduing Serbia and the various Serb lands as completely as they had
subdued, or rather annihilated, Bulgaria. The Serbs were spread over a far
larger extent of territory than were the Bulgars, they were further
removed from the Turkish centre, and the wooded and mountainous nature of
their country facilitated even more than in the case of Bulgaria the
formation of bands of brigands and rebels and militated against its
systematic policing by the Turks. The number of centres of national life,
Serbia proper, Bosnia, Hercogovina, and Montenegro, to take them in the
chronological order of their conquest by the Turks, had been notoriously a
source of weakness to the Serbian state, as is still the case to-day, but
at the same time made it more difficult for the Turks to stamp out the
national consciousness. What still further contributed to this difficulty
was the fact that many Serbs escaped the oppression of Turkish rule by
emigrating to the neighbouring provinces, where they found people of their
own race and language, even though of a different faith. The tide of
emigration flowed in two directions, westwards into Dalmatia and
northwards into Slavonia and Hungary. It had begun already after the final
subjection of Serbia proper and Bosnia by the Turks in 1459 and 1463, but
after the fall of Belgrade, which was the outpost of Hungary against the
Turks, in 1521, and the battle of Mohacs, in 1526, when the Turks
completely defeated the Magyars, it assumed great proportions. As the
Turks pushed their conquests further north, the Serbs migrated before them;
later on, as the Turks receded, large Serb colonies sprang up all over
southern Hungary, in the Banat (the country north of the Danube and east
of the Theiss), in Syrmia (or Srem, in Serbian, the extreme eastern part
of Slavonia, between the Save and the Danube), in Ba[)c]ka (the country
between the Theiss and Danube), and in Baranya (between the Danube and the
Drave). All this part of southern Hungary and Croatia was formed by the
Austrians into a military borderland against Turkey, and the Croats and
immigrant Serbs were organized as military colonists with special
privileges, on the analogy of the Cossacks in southern Russia and Poland.
In Dalmatia the Serbs played a similar rôle in the service of Venice,
which, like Austria-Hungary, was frequently at war with the Turks. During
the sixteenth century Ragusa enjoyed its greatest prosperity; it paid
tribute to the Sultan, was under his protection, and never rebelled. It
had a quasi monopoly of the trade of the entire Balkan peninsula. It was a
sanctuary both for Roman Catholic Croats and for Orthodox Serbs, and
sometimes acted as intermediary on behalf of its co-religionists with the
Turkish authorities, with whom it wielded great influence. Intellectually
also it was a sort of Serb oasis, and the only place during the Middle
Ages where Serbian literature was able to flourish.

Montenegro during the sixteenth century formed part of the Turkish
province of Scutari. Here, as well as in Serbia proper, northern Macedonia
(known after the removal northwards of the political centre, in the
fourteenth century, as Old Serbia), Bosnia, and Hercegovina, the Turkish
rule was firmest, but not harshest, during the first half of the sixteenth
century, when the power of the Ottoman Empire was at its height. Soon
after the fall of Smederevo, in 1459, the Patriarchate of Pe['c] (Ipek)
was abolished, the Serbian Church lost its independence, was merged in the
Greco-Bulgar Archbishopric of Okhrida (in southern Macedonia), and fell
completely under the control of the Greeks. In 1557, however, through the
influence of a Grand Vizier of Serb nationality, the Patriarchate of
Pe['c] was revived. The revival of this centre of national life was
momentous; through its agency the Serbian monasteries were restored,
ecclesiastical books printed, and priests educated, and more fortunate
than the Bulgarian national Church, which remained under Greek management,
it was able to focus the national enthusiasms and aspirations and keep
alive with hope the flame of nationality amongst those Serbs who had not

Already, in the second half of the sixteenth century, people began to
think that Turkey's days in Europe were numbered, and they were encouraged
in this illusion by the battle of Lepanto (1571). But the seventeenth
century saw a revival of Turkish power; Krete was added to their empire,
and in 1683 they very nearly captured Vienna. In the war which followed
their repulse, and in which the victorious Austrians penetrated as far
south as Skoplje, the Serbs took part against the Turks; but when later
the Austrians were obliged to retire, the Serbs, who had risen against the
Turks at the bidding of their Patriarch Arsen III, had to suffer terrible
reprisals at their hands, with the result that another wholesale
emigration, with the Patriarch at its head, took place into the
Austro-Hungarian military borderland. This time it was the very heart of
Serbia which was abandoned, namely, Old Serbia and northern Macedonia,
including Pe['c] and Prizren. The vacant Patriarchate was for a time
filled by a Greek, and the Albanians, many of whom were Mohammedans and
therefore Turcophil, spread northwards and eastwards into lands that had
been Serb since the seventh century. From the end of the seventeenth
century, however, the Turkish power began unmistakably to wane. The Treaty
of Carlowitz (1699) left the Turks still in possession of Syrmia (between
the Danube and Save) and the Banat (north of the Danube), but during the
reign of the Emperor Charles VI their retreat was accelerated. In 1717
Prince Eugen of Savoy captured Belgrade, then, as now, a bulwark of the
Balkan peninsula against invasion from the north, and by the Treaty of
Passarowitz (Po[)z]arevac, on the Danube), in 1718, Turkey not only
retreated definitively south of the Danube and the Save, but left a large
part of northern Serbia in Austrian hands. By the same treaty Venice
secured possession of the whole of Dalmatia, where it had already gained
territory by the Treaty of Curlowitz in 1699.

But the Serbs soon found out that alien populations fare little better
under Christian rule, when they are not of the same confession as their
rulers, than under Mohammedan. The Orthodox Serbs in Dalmatia suffered
thenceforward from relentless persecution at the hands of the Roman
Catholics. In Austria-Hungary too, and in that part of Serbia occupied by
the Austrians after 1718, the Serbs discovered that the Austrians, when
they had beaten the Turks largely by the help of Serbian levies, were very
different from the Austrians who had encouraged the Serbs to settle in
their country and form military colonies on their frontiers to protect
them from Turkish invasion. The privileges promised them when their help
had been necessary were disregarded as soon as their services could be
dispensed with. Austrian rule soon became more oppressive than Turkish,
and to the Serbs' other woes was now added religious persecution. The
result of all this was that a counter-emigration set in and the Serbs
actually began to return to their old homes in Turkey. Another war between
Austria-Hungary and Turkey broke out in 1737, in which the Austrians were
unsuccessful. Prince Eugen no longer led them, and though the Serbs were
again persuaded by their Patriarch, Arsen IV, to rise against the Turks,
they only did so half-heartedly. By the Treaty of Belgrade, in 1739,
Austria had to withdraw north of the Save and Danube, evacuating all
northern Serbia in favour of the Turks. From this time onwards the lot of
the Serbs, both in Austria-Hungary and in Turkey, went rapidly from bad to
worse. The Turks, as the power of their empire declined, and in return for
the numerous Serb revolts, had recourse to measures of severe repression;
amongst others was that of the final abolition of the Patriarchate of Peé
in 1766, whereupon the control of the Serbian Church in Turkey passed
entirely into the hands of the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The Austrian Government similarly, perceiving now for the first time the
elements of danger which the resuscitation of the Serbian nationality
would contain for the rule of the Hapsburgs, embarked on a systematic
persecution of the Orthodox Serbs in southern Hungary and Slavonia. During
the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-80), whose policy was to conciliate the
Magyars, the military frontier zone was abolished, a series of repressive
measures was passed against those Serbs who refused to become Roman
Catholics, and the Serbian nationality was refused official recognition.
The consequence of this persecution was a series of revolts which were all
quelled with due severity, and finally the emigration of a hundred
thousand Serbs to southern Russia, where they founded New Serbia in

During the reigns of Joseph II (1780-90) and Leopold II (1790-2) their
treatment at the hands of the Magyars somewhat improved. From the
beginning of the eighteenth century Montenegro began to assume greater
importance in the extremely gradual revival of the national spirit of the
Serbs. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it had formed part
of the Turkish dominions, though, thanks to the inaccessible nature of its
mountain fastnesses, Turkish authority was never very forcibly asserted.
It was ruled by a prince-bishop, and its religious independence thus
connoted a certain secular freedom of thought if not of action. In the
seventeenth century warlike encounters between the Turks and the
Montenegrins increased in frequency, and the latter tried to enlist the
help of Venice on their side but with indifferent success. The fighting in
Montenegro was often rather civil in character, being caused by the
ill-feeling which existed between the numerous Montenegrins who had become
Mohammedans and those who remained faithful to their national Church. In
the course of the eighteenth century the rôle which fell to Montenegro
became more important. In all the other Serb countries the families which
naturally took a leading part in affairs were either extinct or in exile,
as in Serbia, or had become Mohammedan, and therefore to all intents and
purposes Turkish, as in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Ragusa, since the great
earthquake in 1667, had greatly declined in power and was no longer of
international importance. In Montenegro, on the other hand, there had
survived both a greater independence of spirit (Montenegro was, after all,
the ancient Zeta, and had always been a centre of national life) and a
number of at any rate eugenic if not exactly aristocratic Serb families;
these families naturally looked on themselves and on their bishop as
destined to play an important part in the resistance to and the eventual
overthrow of the Turkish dominion. The prince-bishop had to be consecrated
by the Patriarch of Pe['c], and in 1700 Patriarch Arsen III consecrated
one Daniel, of the house (which has been ever since then and is now still
the reigning dynasty of Montenegro) of Petrovi['c]-Njego[)s], to this
office, after he had been elected to it by the council of notables at
Cetinje. Montenegro, isolated from the Serbs in the north, and precluded
from participating with them in the wars between Austria and Turkey by the
intervening block of Bosnia, which though Serb by nationality was solidly
Mohammedan and therefore pro-Turkish, carried on its feuds with the Turks
independently of the other Serbs. But when Peter the Great initiated his
anti-Turkish policy, and, in combination with the expansion of Russia to
the south and west, began to champion the cause of the Balkan Christians,
he developed intercourse with Montenegro and laid the foundation of that
friendship between the vast Russian Empire and the tiny Serb principality
on the Adriatic which has been a quaint and persistent feature of eastern
European politics ever since. This intimacy did not prevent the Turks
giving Montenegro many hard blows whenever they had the time or energy to
do so, and did not ensure any special protective clauses in favour of the
mountain state whenever the various treaties between Russia and Turkey
were concluded. Its effect was rather psychological and financial. From
the time when the _Vladika_ (= Bishop) Daniel first visited Peter the
Great, in 1714, the rulers of Montenegro often made pilgrimages to the
Russian capital, and were always sure of finding sympathy as well as
pecuniary if not armed support. Bishops in the Orthodox Church are
compulsorily celibate, and the succession in Montenegro always descended
from uncle to nephew. When Peter I Petrovi['c]-Njego[)s] succeeded, in
1782, the Patriarchate of Pe['c] was no more, so he had to get permission
from the Austrian Emperor Joseph II to be consecrated by the Metropolitan
of Karlovci (Carlowitz), who was then head of the Serbian national Church.

About the same time (1787) an alliance was made between Russia and
Austria-Hungary to make war together on Turkey and divide the spoils
between them. Although a great rising against Turkey was organised at the
same time (1788) in the district of [)S]umadija, in Serbia, by a number of
Serb patriots, of whom Kara-George was one and a certain Captain Ko[)c]a,
after whom the whole war is called Ko[)c]ina Krajina (=Ko[)c]a's country),
another, yet the Austrians were on the whole unsuccessful, and on the
death of Joseph II, in 1790, a peace was concluded between Austria and
Turkey at Svishtov, in Bulgaria, by which Turkey retained the whole of
Bosnia and Serbia, and the Save and Danube remained the frontier between
the two countries. Meanwhile the Serbs of Montenegro had joined in the
fray and had fared better, inflicting some unpleasant defeats on the Turks
under their bishop, Peter I. These culminated in two battles in 1796 (the
Montenegrins, not being mentioned in the treaty of peace, had continued
fighting), in which the Turks were driven back to Scutari. With this
triumph, which the Emperor Paul of Russia signalized by decorating the
Prince-Bishop Peter, the independence of the modern state of Montenegro,
the first Serb people to recover its liberty, was _de facto_ established.


_The Liberation of Serbia under Kara-George_ (1804-13) _and Milo[)s]
Obrenovi['c]_ (1815-30): 1796-1830

The liberation of Serbia from the Turkish dominion and its establishment
as an independent state were matters of much slower and more arduous
accomplishment than were the same processes in the other Balkan countries.
One reason for this was that Serbia by its peculiar geographical position
was cut off from outside help. It was easy for the western powers to help
Greece with their fleets, and for Russia to help Rumania and, later,
Bulgaria directly with its army, because communication between them was
easy. But Serbia on the one hand was separated from the sea, first by
Dalmatia, which was always in foreign possession, and then by Bosnia,
Hercegovina, and the _sandjak_ (or province) of Novi-Pazar, all of which
territories, though ethnically Serb, were strongholds of Turkish influence
owing to their large Mohammedan population. The energies of Montenegro,
also cut off from the sea by Dalmatia and Turkey, were absorbed in
self-defence, though it gave Serbia all the support which its size
permitted. Communication, on the other hand, between Russia and Serbia was
too difficult to permit of military help being rapidly and effectively
brought to bear upon the Turks from that quarter. Bessarabia, Wallachia,
and Moldavia were then still under Turkish control, and either they had to
be traversed or the Danube had to be navigated from its mouth upwards
through Turkish territory. The only country which could have helped Serbia
was Austria, but as it was against their best interests to do so, the
Austrians naturally did all they could not to advance, but to retard the
Serbian cause. As a result of all this Serbia, in her long struggle
against the Turks, had to rely principally on its own resources, though
Russian diplomacy several times saved the renascent country from disaster.

Another reason for the slowness of the emancipation and development of
modern Serbia has been the proneness of its people to internal dissension.
There was no national dynasty on whom the leadership of the country would
naturally devolve after the first successful revolution against Turkish
rule, there was not even any aristocracy left, and no foreign ruler was
ever asked for by the Serbs or was ever imposed on them by the other
nations as in the case of Greece, Rumania, and Bulgaria. On the other hand
the rising against Turkey was a rising of the whole people, and it was
almost inevitable that as soon as some measure of independence was gained
the unity the Serbs had shown when fighting against their oppressors
should dissolve and be replaced by bitter rivalries and disputes amongst
the various local leaders who had become prominent during the rebellion.

These rivalries early in the nineteenth century resolved themselves into a
blood-feud between two families, the Karagjorgjevi['c] and the
Obrenovi['c], a quarrel that filled Serbian history and militated against
the progress of the Serb people throughout the nineteenth century.

The same reasons which restricted the growth of the political independence
of Serbia have also impeded, or rather made impossible, its economic
development and material prosperity. Until recent years Austria-Hungary
and Turkey between them held Serbia territorially in such a position that
whenever Serbia either demurred at its neighbours' tariffs or wished to
retaliate by means of its own, the screw was immediately applied and
economic strangulation threatened. Rumania and Bulgaria economically could
never be of help to Serbia, because the products and the requirements of
all three are identical, and Rumania and Bulgaria cannot be expected to
facilitate the sale of their neighbours' live stock and cereals, when
their first business is to sell their own, while the cost of transit of
imports from western Europe through those countries is prohibitive.

After the unsuccessful rebellion of 1788, already mentioned, Serbia
remained in a state of pseudo-quiescence for some years. Meanwhile the
authority of the Sultan in Serbia was growing ever weaker and the real
power was wielded by local Turkish officials, who exploited the country,
looked on it as their own property, and enjoyed semi-independence. Their
exactions and cruelties were worse than had been those of the Turks in the
old days, and it was against them and their troops, not against those of
the Sultan, that the first battles in the Serbian war of independence were
fought. It was during the year 1803 that the Serbian leaders first made
definite plans for the rising which eventually took place in the following
year. The ringleader was George Petrovi['c], known as Black George, or
Kara-George, and amongst his confederates was Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c]. The
centre of the conspiracy was at Topola, in the district of [)S]umadija in
central Serbia (between the Morava and the Drina rivers), the native place
of Kara-George. The first two years of fighting between the Serbians and,
first, the provincial janissaries, and, later, the Sultan's forces, fully
rewarded the bravery and energy of the insurgents. By the beginning of
1807 they had virtually freed all northern Serbia by their own unaided
efforts and captured the towns of Po[)z]arevac, Smederevo, Belgrade, and
[)S]abac. The year 1804 is also notable as the date of the formal opening
of diplomatic relations directly between Serbia and Russia. At this time
the Emperor Alexander I was too preoccupied with Napoleon to be able to
threaten the Sultan (Austerlitz took place in November 1805), but he gave
the Serbs financial assistance and commended their cause to the especial
care of his ambassador at Constantinople.

In 1807 war again broke out between Russia and Turkey, but after the Peace
of Tilsit (June 1807) fighting ceased also between the Turks and the
Russians and the Serbs, not before the Russians had won several successes
against the Turks on the Lower Danube. It was during the two following
years of peace that dissensions first broke out amongst the Serbian
leaders; fighting the Turks was the sole condition of existence which
prevented them fighting each other. In 1809-10 Russia and the Serbs again
fought the Turks, at first without success, but later with better fortune.
In 1811 Kara-George was elected _Gospodar_, or sovereign, by a popular
assembly, but Serbia still remained a Turkish province. At the end of that
year the Russians completely defeated the Turks at Rustchuk in Bulgaria,
and, if all had gone well, Serbia might there and then have achieved
complete independence.

But Napoleon was already preparing his invasion and Russia had to conclude
peace with Turkey in a hurry, which necessarily implied that the Sultan
obtained unduly favourable terms. In the Treaty of Bucarest between the
two countries signed in May 1812, the Serbs were indeed mentioned, and
promised vague internal autonomy and a general amnesty, but all the
fortified towns they had captured were to be returned to the Turks, and
the few Russian troops who had been helping the Serbs in Serbia had to
withdraw. Negotiations between the Turks and the Serbs for the regulation
of their position were continued throughout 1812, but finally the Turks
refused all their claims and conditions and, seeing the European powers
preoccupied with their own affairs, invaded the country from Bosnia in the
west, and also from the east and south, in August 1813. The Serbs, left
entirely to their own resources, succumbed before the superior forces of
the Turks, and by the beginning of October the latter were again masters
of the whole country and in possession of Belgrade. Meanwhile Kara-George,
broken in health and unable to cope with the difficulties of the
situation, which demanded successful strategy both against the
overwhelming forces of the Turks in the field and against the intrigues of
his enemies at home, somewhat ignominiously fled across the river to
Semlin in Hungary, and was duly incarcerated by the Austrian authorities.

The news of Napoleon's defeat at Leipsic (October 1813) arrived just after
that of the re-occupation of Belgrade by the Turks, damped _feu-de-joie_
which they were firing at Constantinople, and made them rather more
conciliatory and lenient to the Serbian rebels. But this attitude did not
last long, and the Serbs soon had reason to make fresh efforts to regain
their short-lived liberty. The Congress of Vienna met in the autumn of
1814, and during its whole course Serbian emissaries gave the Russian
envoys no peace. But with the return of Napoleon to France in the spring
of 1815 and the break-up of the Congress, all that Russia could do was,
through its ambassador at Constantinople, to threaten invasion unless the
Turks left the Serbs alone. Nevertheless, conditions in Serbia became so
intolerable that another rebellion soon took shape, this time under
Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c]. This leader was no less patriotic than his rival,
Kara-George, but he was far more able and a consummate diplomat.
Kara-George had possessed indomitable courage, energy, and will-power, but
he could not temporize, and his arbitrary methods of enforcing discipline
and his ungovernable temper had made him many enemies. While the credit
for the first Serbian revolt (1804-13) undoubtedly belongs chiefly to him,
the second revolt owed its more lasting success to the skill of Milo[)s]
Obrenovi['c]. The fighting started at Takovo, the home of the Obrenovi['c]
family, in April 1815, and after many astonishing successes against the
Turks, including the capture of the towns of Rudnik, [)C]a[)c]ak,
Po[)z]arevac, and Kraljevo, was all over by July of the same year. The
Turks were ready with large armies in the west in Bosnia, and also south
of the Morava river, to continue the campaign and crush the rebellion, but
the news of the final defeat of Napoleon, and the knowledge that Russia
would soon have time again to devote attention to the Balkans, withheld
their appetites for revenge, and negotiations with the successful rebels
were initiated. During the whole of this period, from 1813 onwards,
Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c], as head of a district, was an official of the
Sultan in Serbia, and it was one of his principles never to break
irreparably with the Turks, who were still suzerains of the country. At
the same time, owing to his skill and initiative he was recognized as the
only real leader of the movement for independence. From the cessation of
the rebellion in 1815 onwards he himself personally conducted negotiations
in the name of his people with the various pashas who were deputed to deal
with him. While these negotiations went on and the armistice was in force,
he was confronted, or rather harassed from behind, by a series of revolts
against his growing authority on the part of his jealous compatriots.

In June 1817 Kara-George, who had been in Russia after being released by
the Austrians in 1814, returned surreptitiously to Serbia, encouraged by
the brighter aspect which affairs in his country seemed to be assuming.
But the return of his most dangerous rival was as unwelcome to Milo[)s] as
it was to the Turkish authorities at Belgrade, and, measures having been
concerted between them, Kara-George was murdered on July 26,1817, and the
first act in the blood-feud between the two families thus committed. In
November of the same year a _skup[)s]tina_, or national assembly, was held
at Belgrade, and Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c], whose position was already
thoroughly assured, was elected hereditary prince (_knez_) of the country.

Meanwhile events of considerable importance for the future of the Serb
race had been happening elsewhere. Dalmatia, the whole of which had been
in the possession of Venice since the Treaty of Carlowitz in 1699, passed
into the hands of Austria by the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, when the
Venetian republic was extinguished by Napoleon. The Bocche di Cuttaro, a
harbour both strategically and commercially of immense value, which had in
the old days belonged to the Serb principality of Zeta or Montenegro, and
is its only natural outlet on the Adriatic, likewise became Venetian in
1699 and Austrian in 1797, one year after the successful rebellion of the
Montenegrins against the Turks.

By the Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria Dalmatia became
French in 1805. But the Montenegrins, supported by the Russians, resisted
the new owners and occupied the Bocche; at the Peace of Tilsit in 1807,
however, this important place was assigned to France by Russia, and
Montenegro had to submit to its loss. In 1806 the French occupied Ragusa,
and in 1808 abolished the independence of the ancient Serb city-republic.
In 1812 the Montenegrins, helped by the Russians and British, again
expelled the French and reoccupied Cattaro; but Austria was by now fully
alive to the meaning this harbour would have once it was in the possession
of Montenegro, and after the Congress of Vienna in 1815 took definitive
possession of it as well as of all the rest of Dalmatia, thus effecting
the complete exclusion of the Serb race for all political and commercial
purposes from the Adriatic, its most natural and obvious means of
communication with western Europe.

Though Milo[)s] had been elected prince by his own people, it was long
before he was recognized as such by the Porte. His efforts for the
regularization of his position entailed endless negotiations in
Constantinople; these were enlivened by frequent anti-Obrenovi['c] revolts
in Serbia, all of which Milo[)s] successfully quelled. The revolution in
Greece in 1821 threw the Serbian question from the international point of
view into the shade, but the Emperor Nicholas I, who succeeded his brother
Alexander I on the Russian throne in 1825, soon showed that he took a
lively and active interest in Balkan affairs. Pan-Slavism had scarcely
become fashionable in those days, and it was still rather as the protector
of its co-religionists under the Crescent that Russia intervened. In 1826
Russian and Turkish delegates met at Akerman in Bessarabia, and in
September of that year signed a convention by which the Russian
protectorate over the Serbs was recognized, the Serbs were granted
internal autonomy, the right to trade and erect churches, schools, and
printing-presses, and the Turks were forbidden to live in Serbia except in
eight garrison towns; the garrisons were to be Turkish, and tribute was
still to be paid to the Sultan as suzerain. These concessions, announced
by Prince Milo[)s] to his people at a special _skup[)s]tina_ held at
Kragujevac in 1827, evoked great enthusiasm, but the urgency of the Greek
question again delayed their fulfilment. After the battle of Navarino on
October 20, 1827, in which the British, French, and Russian fleets
defeated the Turkish, the Turks became obstinate and refused to carry out
the stipulations of the Convention of Akerman in favour of Serbia.
Thereupon Russia declared war on Turkey in April 1828, and the Russian
armies crossed the Danube and the Balkans and marched on Constantinople.

Peace was concluded at Adrianople in 1829, and Turkey agreed to carry out
immediately all the stipulations of the Treaty of Bucarest (1812) and the
Convention of Akerman (1826). The details took some time to settle, but in
November 1830 the _hatti-sherif_ of the Sultan, acknowledging Milo[)s] as
hereditary prince of Serbia, was publicly read in Belgrade. All the
concessions already promised were duly granted, and Serbia became
virtually independent, but still tributary to the Sultan. Its territory
included most of the northern part of the modern kingdom of Serbia,
between the rivers Drina, Save, Danube, and Timok, but not the districts
of Nish, Vranja, and Pirot. Turkey still retained Bosnia and Hercegovina,
Macedonia, the _sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar, which separated Serbia from
Montenegro, and Old Serbia (northern Macedonia).


_The Throes of Regeneration: Independent Serbia,_ 1830-1903

During his rule of Serbia, which lasted virtually from 1817 till 1839,
Prince Milo[)s] did a very great deal for the welfare of his country. He
emancipated the Serbian Church from the trammels of the Greek Patriarchate
of Constantinople in 1831, from which date onwards it was ruled by a
Metropolitan of Serb nationality, resident at Belgrade. He encouraged the
trade of the country, a great deal of which he held in his own hands; he
was in fact a sort of prototype of those modern Balkan business-kings of
whom King George of Greece and King Carol of Rumania were the most notable
examples. He raised an army and put it on a permanent footing, and
organized the construction of roads, schools, and churches. He was,
however, an autocratic ruler of the old school, and he had no inclination
to share the power for the attainment of which he had laboured so many
years and gone through so much. From his definite installation as
hereditary prince discontent at his arbitrary methods of government
amongst his ex-equals increased, and after several revolts he was forced
eventually to grant a constitution in 1835. This, however, remained a dead
letter, and things went on as before. Later in the same year he paid a
prolonged visit to his suzerain at Constantinople, and while he was there
the situation in Serbia became still more serious. After his return he
was, after several years of delay and of growing unpopularity, compelled
to agree to another constitution which was forced on him, paradoxically
enough, by the joint efforts of the Tsar and of the Sultan, who seemed to
take an unnatural pleasure in supporting the democratic Serbians against
their successful colleague in autocracy, who had done so much for his
turbulent subjects. Serbia even in those days was essentially and
uncompromisingly democratic, but even so Milo[)s] obstinately refused to
carry out the provisions of the constitution or in any way to submit to a
curtailment of his power, and in 1839 he left his ungrateful principality
and took refuge in Rumania, where he possessed an estate, abdicating in
favour of his elder son Milan. This Prince Milan, known as Obrenovi['c]
II, was seriously ill at the time of his accession, and died within a
month of it. He was succeeded by his younger brother Michael, known as
Obrenovi['c] III, who was then only sixteen years of age. This prince,
though young, had a good head on his shoulders, and eventually proved the
most gifted ruler modern Serbia has ever had. His first reign (1840-2),
however, did not open well. He inaugurated it by paying a state visit to
Constantinople, but the Sultan only recognized him as elective prince and
insisted on his having two advisers approved and appointed by the Porte.
Michael on his return showed his determination to have nothing to do with
them, but this led to a rebellion headed by one of them, Vu[)c]i['c], and,
though Michael's rule was not as arbitrary as his father's, he had to bow
to the popular will which supported Vu[)c]i['c] and cross the river to
Semlin. After a stormy interval, during which the Emperor Nicholas I tried
to intervene in favour of Michael, Alexander Karagjorgjevi['c], son of
Kara-George, was elected prince (1843). No sooner was this representative
of the rival dynasty installed, however, than rebellions in favour of
Michael occurred. These were thrown into the shade by the events of 1848,
In that memorable year of revolutions the Magyars rose against Austria and
the Serbs in southern Hungary rose against the Magyars. Prince Alexander
resolved to send military help to his oppressed countrymen north of the
Save and Danube, and, though the insurgents were unsuccessful, Prince
Alexander gained in popularity amongst the Serbs by the line of action he
had taken. During the Crimean War, on the other hand, Serbia remained
strictly neutral, to the annoyance of the Tsar; at the Congress of Paris
(1856) the exclusive protectorate of Russia was replaced by one of all the
powers, and Russian influence in the western Balkans was thereby weakened.
Prince Alexander's prudence, moreover, cost him his popularity, and in
1858 he in his turn had to bid farewell to his difficult countrymen.

In December of the same year the veteran Prince Milo['s] Obrenovi['c] I
was recalled to power as hereditary prince. His activities during his
second reign were directed against Turkish influence, which was still
strong, and he made efforts to have the Turkish populations removed from
the eight garrison towns, including Belgrade, where they still lived in
spite of the fact that their emigration had been stipulated for in 1830.
Unfortunately he did not live long enough to carry out his plans, for he
fell ill at Topchider, the summer palace near Belgrade, in the autumn of
1860, and died a few days afterwards. He was again succeeded by his son
Michael Obrenovi['c] III, who was already thirty-six years of age. This
able prince's second reign was brilliantly successful, and it was a
disaster for which his foolish countrymen had to pay dearly, when, by
their fault, it was prematurely cut short in 1868. His first act was with
the consent of a specially summoned _skup[)s]tina_ to abolish the law by
which he could only appoint and remove his counsellers with the approval
of the Porte. Next he set about the organization and establishment of a
regular army of 30,000 men. In 1862 an anti-Turkish rebellion broke out
amongst the Serbs in Hercegovina (still, with Bosnia, a Turkish province),
and the Porte, accusing Prince Michael of complicity, made warlike
preparations against him.

Events, however, were precipitated in such a way that, without waiting for
the opening of hostilities, the Turkish general in command of the fortress
of Belgrade turned his guns on the city; this provoked the intervention of
the powers at Constantinople, and the entire civilian Turkish population
had to quit the country (in accordance with the stipulations of 1830),
only Turkish garrisons remaining in the fortresses of [)S]abac, Belgrade,
Smederevo, and Kladovo, along the northern river frontier, still
theoretically the boundary of the Sultan's dominions. After this success
Prince Michael continued his military preparations in order to obtain
final possession of the fortresses when a suitable occasion should arise.
This occurred in 1866, when Austria was engaged in the struggle with
Prussia, and the policy of Great Britain became less Turcophil than it had
hitherto been. On April 6, 1867, the four fortresses, which had been in
Serbian possession from 1804 to 1813, but had since then been garrisoned
by the Turks, were delivered over to Serbia and the last Turkish soldier
left Serbian soil without a shot having been fired. Though Serbia after
this was still a vassal state, being tributary to the Sultan, these
further steps on the road to complete independence were a great triumph,
especially for Prince Michael personally. But this very triumph actuated
his political opponents amongst his own countrymen, amongst whom were
undoubtedly adherents of the rival dynasty, to revenge, and blind to the
interests of their people they foolishly and most brutally murdered this
extremely capable and conscientious prince in the deer park near Topchider
on June 10, 1868. The opponents of the Obrenovi['c] dynasty were, however,
baulked in their plans, and a cousin of the late prince was elected to the
vacant and difficult position. This ruler, known as Milan Obrenovi['c] IV,
who was only fourteen years of age at the time of his accession (1868),
was of a very different character from his predecessor. The first thing
that happened during his minority was the substitution of the constitution
of 1838 by another one which was meant to give the prince and the national
assembly much more power, but which, eventually, made the ministers

The prince came of age in 1872 when he was eighteen, and he soon showed
that the potential pleasures to be derived from his position were far more
attractive to him than the fulfilment of its obvious duties. He found much
to occupy him in Vienna and Paris and but little in Belgrade. At the same
time the Serb people had lost, largely by its own faults, much of the
respect and sympathy which it had acquired in Europe during Prince
Michael's reign. In 1875 a formidable anti-Turkish insurrection (the last
of many) broke out amongst the Serbs of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and all
the efforts of the Turks to quell it were unavailing. In June 1876 Prince
Milan was forced by the pressure of public opinion to declare war on
Turkey in support of the 'unredeemed' Serbs of Bosnia, and Serbia was
joined by Montenegro. The country was, however, not materially prepared
for war, the expected sympathetic risings in other parts of Turkey either
did not take place or failed, and the Turks turned their whole army on to
Serbia, with the result that in October the Serbs had to appeal to the
Tsar for help and an armistice was arranged, which lasted till February
1877. During the winter a conference was held in Constantinople to devise
means for alleviating the lot of the Christians in Turkey, and a peace was
arranged between Turkey and Serbia whereby the _status quo ante_ was
restored. But after the conference the heart of Turkey was again hardened
and the stipulations in favour of the Christians were not carried out.

In 1877 Russia declared war on Turkey (cf. chap. 10), and in the autumn of
the same year Serbia joined in. This time the armies of Prince Milan were
more successful, and conquered and occupied the whole of southern Serbia
including the towns and districts of Nish, Pirot, Vranja, and Leskovac,
Montenegro, which had not been included in the peace of the previous
winter, but had been fighting desperately and continuously against the
Turks ever since it had begun actively to help the Serb rebels of
Hercegovina in 1875, had a series of successes, as a result of which it
obtained possession of the important localities of Nik['s]i['c],
Podgorica, Budua, Antivari, and Dulcigno, the last three on the shore of
the Adriatic. By the Treaty of San Stefano the future interests of both
Serbia and Montenegro were jeopardised by the creation of a Great
Bulgaria, but that would not have mattered if in return they had been
given control of the purely Serb provinces of Bosnia and Hercegovina,
which ethnically they can claim just as legitimately as Bulgaria claims
most of Macedonia. The Treaty of San Stefano was, however, soon replaced
by that of Berlin. By its terms both Serbia and Montenegro achieved
complete independence and the former ceased to be a tributary state of
Turkey. The Serbs were given the districts of southern Serbia which they
had occupied, and which are all ethnically Serb except Pirot, the
population of which is a sort of cross between Serb and Bulgar. The Serbs
also undertook to build a railway through their country to the Turkish and
Bulgarian frontiers. Montenegro was nearly doubled in size, receiving the
districts of Nik['s]i['c], Podgorica, and others; certain places in the
interior the Turks and Albanians absolutely refused to surrender, and to
compensate for these Montenegro was given a strip of coast with the
townlets of Antivari and Dulcigno. The memory of Gladstone, who specially
espoused Montenegro's cause in this matter, is held in the greatest
reverence in the brave little mountain country, but unfortunately the
ports themselves are economically absolutely useless. Budua, higher up the
Dalmatian coast, which would have been of some use, was handed over to
Austria, to which country, already possessed of Cattaro and all the rest
of Dalmatia, it was quite superfluous. Greatest tragedy of all for the
future of the Serb race, the administration of Bosnia and Hercegovina was
handed over 'temporarily' to Austria-Hungary, and Austrian garrisons were
quartered throughout those two provinces, which they were able to occupy
only after the most bitter armed opposition on the part of the
inhabitants, and also in the Turkish _sandjak_ or province of Novi-Pazar,
the ancient Raska and cradle of the Serb state; this strip of mountainous
territory under Turkish administrative and Austrian military control was
thus converted into a fortified wedge which effectually kept the two
independent Serb states of Serbia and Montenegro apart. After all these
events the Serbs had to set to work to put their enlarged house in order.
But the building of railways and schools and the organization of the
services cost a lot of money, and as public economy is not a Serbian
virtue the debt grew rapidly. In 1882 Serbia proclaimed itself a kingdom
and was duly recognized by the other nations. But King Milan did not learn
to manage the affairs of his country any better as time went on. He was
too weak to stand alone, and having freed himself from Turkey he threw
himself into the arms of Austria, with which country he concluded a secret
military convention. In 1885, when Bulgaria and 'Eastern Rumelia'
successfully coalesced and Bulgaria thereby received a considerable
increase of territory and power, the Serbs, prompted by jealousy, began to
grow restless, and King Milan, at the instigation of Austria, foolishly
declared war on Prince Alexander of Battenberg. This speedily ended in the
disastrous battle of Slivnitsa (cf. chap. II); Austria had to intervene to
save its victim, and Serbia got nothing for its trouble but a large
increase of debt and a considerable decrease of military reputation. In
addition to all this King Milan was unfortunate in his conjugal relations;
his wife, the beautiful Queen Natalie, was a Russian, and as he himself
had Austrian sympathies, they could scarcely be expected to agree on
politics. But the strife between them extended from the sphere of
international to that of personal sympathies and antipathies. King Milan
was promiscuous in affairs of the heart and Queen Natalie was jealous.
Scenes of domestic discord were frequent and violent, and the effect of
this atmosphere on the character of their only child Alexander, who was
born in 1876, was naturally bad.

The king, who had for some years been very popular with, his subjects with
all his failings, lost his hold on the country after the unfortunate war
of 1885, and the partisans of the rival dynasty began to be hopeful once
more. In 1888 King Milan gave Serbia a very much more liberal
constitution, by which the ministers were for the first time made really
responsible to the _skup[)s]tina_ or national assembly, replacing that of
1869, and the following year, worried by his political and domestic
failures, discredited and unpopular both at home and abroad, he resigned
in favour of his son Alexander, then aged thirteen. This boy, who had been
brought up in what may be called a permanent storm-centre, both domestic
and political, was placed under a regency, which included M. Risti['c],
with a radical ministry under M. Pa[)s]i['c], an extremely able and
patriotic statesman of pro-Russian sympathies, who ever since he first
became prominent in 1877 had been growing in power and influence. But
trouble did not cease with the abdication of King Milan. He and his wife
played Box and Cox at Belgrade for the next four years, quarrelling and
being reconciled, intriguing and fighting round the throne and person of
their son. At last both parents agreed to leave the country and give the
unfortunate youth a chance. King Milan settled in Vienna, Queen Natalie in
Biarritz. In 1893 King Alexander suddenly declared himself of age and
arrested all his ministers and regents one evening while they were dining
with him. The next year he abrogated the constitution of 1888, under which
party warfare in the Serbian parliament had been bitter and uninterrupted,
obstructing any real progress, and restored that of 1869. Ever since 1889
(the date of the accession of the German Emperor) Berlin had taken more
interest in Serbian affairs, and it has been alleged that it was William
II who, through the wife of the Rumanian minister at his court, who was
sister of Queen Natalie, influenced King Alexander in his abrupt and
ill-judged decisions. It was certainly German policy to weaken and
discredit Serbia and to further Austrian influence at Belgrade at the
expense of that of Russia. King Milan returned for a time to Belgrade in
1897, and the reaction, favourable to Austria, which had begun in 1894,
increased during his presence and under the ministry of Dr. Vladan
Gjorgjevi['c], which lasted from 1897 till 1900. This state of repression
caused unrest throughout the country. All its energies were absorbed in
fruitless political party strife, and no material or moral progress was
possible. King Alexander, distracted, solitary, and helpless in the midst
of this unending welter of political intrigue, committed an extremely
imprudent act in the summer of 1900. Having gone for much-needed
relaxation to see his mother at Biarritz, he fell violently in love with
her lady in waiting, Madame Draga Ma[)s]in, the divorced wife of a Serbian
officer. Her somewhat equivocal past was in King Alexander's eyes quite
eclipsed by her great beauty and her wit, which had not been impaired by
conjugal infelicity. Although she was thirty-two, and he only twenty-four,
he determined to marry her, and the desperate opposition of his parents,
his army, his ministers, and his people, based principally on the fact
that the woman was known to be incapable of child-birth, only precipitated
the accomplishment of his intention. This unfortunate and headstrong
action on the part of the young king, who, though deficient in tact and
intuition, had plenty of energy and was by no means stupid, might have
been forgiven him by his people if, as was at first thought possible, it
had restored internal peace and prosperity in the country and thereby
enabled it to prepare itself to take a part in the solution o£ those
foreign questions which vitally affected Serb interests and were already
looming on the horizon. But it did not. In 1901 King Alexander granted
another constitution and for a time attempted to work with a coalition
ministry; but this failed, and a term of reaction with pro-Austrian
tendencies, which were favoured by the king and queen, set in. This
reaction, combined with the growing disorganization of the finances and
the general sense of the discredit and failure which the follies of its
rulers had during the last thirty years brought on the country; completely
undermined the position of the dynasty and made a catastrophe inevitable.
This occurred, as is well known, on June 10, 1903, when, as the result of
a military conspiracy, King Alexander, the last of the Obrenovi['c]
dynasty, his wife, and her male relatives were murdered. This crime was
purely political, and it is absurd to gloss it over or to explain it
merely as the result of the family feud between the two dynasties. That
came to an end in 1868, when the murder of Kara-George in 1817 by the
agency of Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c] was avenged by the lunatic assassination
of the brilliant Prince Michael Obrenovi['c] III. It is no exaggeration to
say that, from the point of view of the Serbian patriot, the only
salvation of his country in 1903 lay in getting rid of the Obrenovi['c]
dynasty, which had become pro-Austrian, had no longer the great gifts
possessed by its earlier members, and undoubtedly by its vagaries hindered
the progress of Serbia both in internal and external politics. The
assassination was unfortunately carried out with unnecessary cruelty, and
it is this fact that made such a bad impression and for so long militated
against Serbia in western Europe; but it must be remembered that
civilization in the Balkans, where political murder, far from being a
product of the five hundred years of Turkish dominion, has always been
endemic, is not on the same level in many respects as it is in the rest of
Europe. Life is one of the commodities which are still cheap in backward

Although King Alexander and his wife can in no sense be said to have
deserved the awful fate that befell them, it is equally true that had any
other course been adopted, such as deposition and exile, the wire-pulling
and intriguing from outside, which had already done the country so much
harm, would have become infinitely worse. Even so, it was long before
things in any sense settled down. As for the alleged complicity of the
rival dynasty in the crime, it is well established that that did not
exist. It was no secret to anybody interested in Serbian affairs that
something catastrophic was about to happen, and when the tragedy occurred
it was natural to appeal to the alternative native dynasty to step into
the breach. But the head of that dynasty was in no way responsible for the
plot, still less for the manner in which it was carried out, and it was
only after much natural hesitation and in the face of his strong
disinclination that Prince Peter Karagjorgjevi['c] was induced to accept
the by no means enviable, easy, or profitable task of guiding Serbia's
destiny. The Serbian throne in 1903 was a source neither of glory nor of
riches, and it was notoriously no sinecure.

After the tragedy, the democratic constitution of 1888 was first of all
restored, and then Prince Peter Karagjorgjevi['c], grandson of
Kara-George, the leader of the first Serbian insurrection of 1804-13, who
was at that time fifty-nine years of age, was unanimously elected king. He
had married in 1883 a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Montenegro and sister
of the future Queen of Italy, but she had been dead already some years at
the time of his accession, leaving him with a family of two sons and a


_Serbia, Montenegro, and the Serbo-Croats in Austria-Hungary,_ 1903-8

It was inevitable that, after the sensation which such an event could not
fail to cause in twentieth-century Europe, it should take the country
where it occurred some time to live down the results. Other powers,
especially those of western Europe, looked coldly on Serbia and were in no
hurry to resume diplomatic intercourse, still less to offer diplomatic
support. The question of the punishment and exile of the conspirators was
almost impossible of solution, and only time was able to obliterate the
resentment caused by the whole affair. In Serbia itself a great change
took place. The new sovereign, though he laboured under the greatest
possible disadvantages, by his irreproachable behaviour, modesty, tact,
and strictly constitutional rule, was able to withdraw the court of
Belgrade from the trying limelight to which it had become used. The public
finances began to be reorganized, commerce began to improve in spite of
endless tariff wars with Austria-Hungary, and attention was again diverted
from home to foreign politics. With the gradual spread of education and
increase of communication, and the growth of national self-consciousness
amongst the Serbs and Croats of Austria-Hungary and the two independent
Serb states, a new movement for the closer intercourse amongst the various
branches of the Serb race for south Slav unity, as it was called,
gradually began to take shape. At the same time a more definitely
political agitation started in Serbia, largely inspired by the humiliating
position of economic bondage in which the country was held by
Austria-Hungary, and was roughly justified by the indisputable argument:
'Serbia must expand or die.' Expansion at the cost of Turkey seemed
hopeless, because even the acquisition of Macedonia would give Serbia a
large alien population and no maritime outlet. It was towards the Adriatic
that the gaze of the Serbs was directed, to the coast which was ethnically
Serbian and could legitimately be considered a heritage of the Serb race.

Macedonia was also taken into account, schools and armed bands began their
educative activity amongst those inhabitants of the unhappy province who
were Serb, or who lived in places where Serbs had lived, or who with
sufficient persuasion could be induced to call themselves Serb; but the
principal stream of propaganda was directed westwards into Bosnia and
Hercegovina. The antagonism between Christian and Mohammedan, Serb and
Turk, was never so bitter as between Christian and Christian, Serb and
German or Magyar, and the Serbs were clever enough to see that Bosnia and
Hercegovina, from every point of view, was to them worth ten Macedonias,
though it would he ten times more difficult to obtain. Bosnia and
Hercegovina, though containing three confessions, were ethnically
homogeneous, and it was realised that these two provinces were as
important to Serbia and Montenegro as the rest of Italy had been to

It must at this time be recalled in what an extraordinary way the Serb
race had fortuitously been broken up into a number of quite arbitrary
political divisions. Dalmatia (three per cent. of the population of which
is Italian and all the rest Serb or Croat, preponderatingly Serb and
Orthodox in the south and preponderating Croat or Roman Catholic in the
north) was a province of Austria and sent deputies to the Reichsrath at
Vienna; at the same time it was territorially isolated from Austria and
had no direct railway connexion with any country except a narrow-gauge
line into Bosnia. Croatia and Slavonia, preponderatingly Roman Catholic,
were lands of the Hungarian crown, and though they had a provincial
pseudo-autonomous diet at Agram, the capital of Croatia, they sent
deputies to the Hungarian parliament at Budapest. Thus what had in the
Middle Ages been known as the triune kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and
Dalmatia, with a total Serbo-Croat population of three millions, was
divided between Austria and Hungary.

Further, there were about 700,000 Serbs and Croats in the south of Hungary
proper, cast and north of the Danube, known as the Banat and Ba[)c]ka, a
district which during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was
the hearth and home of Serb literature and education, but which later
waned in importance in that respect as independent Serbia grew. These
Serbs were directly dependent on Budapest, the only autonomy they
possessed being ecclesiastical. Bosnia and Hercegovina, still nominally
Turkish provinces, with a Slav population of nearly two million (850,000
Orthodox Serbs, 650,000 Mohammedan Serbs, and the rest Roman Catholics),
were to all intents and purposes already imperial lands of
Austria-Hungary, with a purely military and police administration; the
shadow of Turkish sovereignty provided sufficient excuse to the _de facto_
owners of these provinces not to grant the inhabitants parliamentary
government or even genuine provincial autonomy. The Serbs in Serbia
numbered nearly three millions, those in Montenegro about a quarter of a
million; while in Turkey, in what was known as Old Serbia (the _sandjak_
of Novi-Pasar between Serbia and Montenegro and the vilayet of Korovo),
and in parts of northern and central Macedonia, there were scattered
another half million. These last, of course, had no voice at all in the
management of their own affairs. Those in Montenegro lived under the
patriarchal autocracy of Prince Nicholas, who had succeeded his uncle,
Prince Danilo, in 1860, at the age of nineteen. Though no other form of
government could have turned the barren rocks of Montenegro into fertile
pastures, many of the people grew restless with the restricted
possibilities of a career which the mountain principality offered them,
and in latter years migrated in large numbers to North and South America,
whither emigration from Dalmatia and Croatia too had already readied
serious proportions. The Serbs in Serbia were the only ones who could
claim to be free, but even this was a freedom entirely dependent on the
economic malevolence of Austria-Hungary and Turkey. Cut up in this way by
the hand of fate into such a number of helpless fragments, it was
inevitable that the Serb race, if it possessed any vitality, should
attempt, at any cost, to piece some if not all of them together and form
an ethnical whole which, economically and politically, should be master of
its own destinies. It was equally inevitable that the policy of
Austria-Hungary should be to anticipate or definitively render any such
attempt impossible, because obviously the formation of a large south Slav
state, by cutting off Austria from the Adriatic and eliminating from the
dual monarchy all the valuable territory between the Dalmatian coast and
the river Drave, would seriously jeopardize its position as a great power;
it must be remembered, also, that Austria-Hungary, far from decomposing,
as it was commonly assumed was happening, had been enormously increasing
in vitality ever since 1878.

The means adopted by the governments of Vienna and Budapest to nullify the
plans of Serbian expansion were generally to maintain the political
_émiettement_ of the Serb race, the isolation of one group from another,
the virtually enforced emigration of Slavs on a large scale and their
substitution by German colonists, and the encouragement of rivalry and
discord between Roman Catholic Croat and Orthodox Serb. No railways were
allowed to be built in Dalmatia, communication between Agram and any other
parts of the monarchy except Fiume or Budapest was rendered almost
impossible; Bosnia and Hercegovina were shut off into a watertight
compartment and endowed with a national flag composed of the inspiring
colours of brown and buff; it was made impossible for Serbs to visit
Montenegro or for Montenegrins to visit Serbia except via Fiume, entailing
the bestowal of several pounds on the Hungarian state steamers and
railways. As for the _sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar, it was turned into a
veritable Tibet, and a legend was spread abroad that if any foreigner
ventured there he would be surely murdered by Turkish brigands; meanwhile
it was full of Viennese ladies giving picnics and dances and tennis
parties to the wasp-waisted officers of the Austrian garrison. Bosnia and
Hercegovina, on the other hand, became the model touring provinces of
Austria-Hungary, and no one can deny that their great natural beauties
were made more enjoyable by the construction of railways, roads, and
hotels. At the same time this was not a work of pure philanthropy, and the
emigration statistics are a good indication of the joy with which the
Bosnian peasants paid for an annual influx of admiring tourists. In spite
of all these disadvantages, however, the Serbo-Croat provinces of
Austria-Hungary could not be deprived of all the benefits of living within
a large and prosperous customs union, while being made to pay for all the
expenses of the elaborate imperial administration and services; and the
spread of education, even under the Hapsburg régime, began to tell in
time. Simultaneously with the agitation which emanated from Serbia and was
directed towards the advancement, by means of schools and religious and
literary propaganda, of Serbian influence in Bosnia and Hercegovina, a
movement started in Dalmatia and Croatia for the closer union of those two
provinces. About 1906 the two movements found expression in the formation
of the Serbo-Croat or Croato-Serb coalition party, composed of those
elements in Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia which favoured closer union
between the various groups of the Serb race scattered throughout those
provinces, as well as in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Hercegovina, and
Turkey. Owing to the circumstances already described, it was impossible
for the representatives of the Serb race to voice their aspirations
unanimously in any one parliament, and the work of the coalition, except
in the provincial diet at Agram, consisted mostly of conducting press
campaigns and spreading propaganda throughout those provinces. The most
important thing about the coalition was that it buried religious
antagonism and put unity of race above difference of belief. In this way
it came into conflict with the ultramontane Croat party at Agram, which
wished to incorporate Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Dalmatia with Croatia and
create a third purely Roman Catholic Slav state in the empire, on a level
with Austria and Hungary; also to a lesser extent with the intransigent
Serbs of Belgrade, who affected to ignore Croatia and Roman Catholicism,
and only dreamed of bringing Bosnia, Hercegovina, and as much of Dalmatia
as they could under their own rule; and finally it had to overcome the
hostility of the Mohammedan Serbs of Bosnia, who disliked all Christians
equally, could only with the greatest difficulty be persuaded that they
were really Serbs and not Turks, and honestly cared for nothing but Islam
and Turkish coffee, thus considerably facilitating the germanization of
the two provinces. The coalition was wisely inclined to postpone the
programme of final political settlement, and aimed immediately at the
removal of the material and moral barriers placed between the Serbs of the
various provinces of Austria-Hungary, including Bosnia and Hercegovina. If
they had been sure of adequate guarantees they would probably have agreed
to the inclusion of _all_ Serbs and Croats within the monarchy, because
the constitution of all Serbs and Croats in an independent state (not
necessarily a kingdom) without it implied the then problematic
contingencies of a European war and the disruption of Austria-Hungary.
Considering the manifold handicaps under which Serbia and its cause
suffered, the considerable success which its propaganda met with in Bosnia
and Hercegovina and other parts of Austria-Hungary, from 1903 till 1908,
is a proof, not only of the energy and earnestness of its promoters and of
the vitality of the Serbian people, but also, if any were needed, of the
extreme unpopularity of the Hapsburg régime in the southern Slav provinces
of the dual monarchy. Serbia had no help from outside. Russia was
entangled in the Far East and then in the revolution, and though the new
dynasty was approved in St. Petersburg Russian sympathy with Serbia was at
that time only lukewarm. Relations with Austria-Hungary were of course
always strained; only one single line of railway connected the two
countries, and as Austria-Hungary was the only profitable market, for
geographical reasons, for Serbian products, Serbia could be brought to its
knees at any moment by the commercial closing of the frontier. It was a
symbol of the economic vassalage of Serbia and Montenegro that the postage
between both of these countries and any part of Austria-Hungary was ten
centimes, that for letters between Serbia and Montenegro, which had to
make the long détour through Austrian territory, was twenty-five. But
though this opened the Serbian markets to Austria, it also incidentally
opened Bosnia, when the censor could be circumvented to propaganda by
pamphlet and correspondence. Intercourse with western Europe was
restricted by distance, and, owing to dynastic reasons, diplomatic
relations were altogether suspended for several years between this country
and Serbia. The Balkan States Exhibition held in London during the summer
of 1907, to encourage trade between Great Britain and the Balkans, was
hardly a success. Italy and Serbia had nothing in common. With Montenegro
even, despite the fact that King Peter was Prince Nicholas's son-in-law,
relations were bad. It was felt in Serbia that Prince Nicholas's
autocratic rule acted as a brake on the legitimate development of the
national consciousness, and Montenegrin students who visited Belgrade
returned to their homes full of wild and unsuitable ideas. However, the
revolutionary tendencies, which some of them undoubtedly developed, had no
fatal results to the reigning dynasty, which continued as before to enjoy
the special favour as well as the financial support of the Russian court,
and which, looked on throughout Europe as a picturesque and harmless
institution, it would have been dangerous, as it was quite unnecessary, to

Serbia was thus left entirely to its own resources in the great
propagandist activity which filled the years 1903 to 1908. The financial
means at its disposal were exiguous in the extreme, especially when
compared with the enormous sums lavished annually by the Austrian and
German governments on their secret political services, so that the efforts
of its agents cannot be ascribed to cupidity. Also it must be admitted
that the kingdom of Serbia, with its capital Belgrade, thanks to the
internal chaos and dynastic scandals of the previous forty years,
resulting in superficial dilapidation, intellectual stagnation, and
general poverty, lacked the material as well as the moral glamour which a
successful Piedmont should possess. Nobody could deny, for instance, that,
with all its natural advantages, Belgrade was at first sight not nearly
such an attractive centre as Agram or Sarajevo, or that the qualities
which the Serbs of Serbia had displayed since their emancipation were
hardly such as to command the unstinted confidence and admiration of their
as yet unredeemed compatriots. Nevertheless the Serbian propaganda in
favour of what was really a Pan-Serb movement met with great success,
especially in Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Old Serbia (northern Macedonia).

Simultaneously the work of the Serbo-Croat coalition in Dalmatia, Croatia,
and Slavonia made considerable progress in spite of clerical opposition
and desperate conflicts with the government at Budapest. Both the one
movement and the other naturally evoked great alarm and emotion in the
Austrian and Hungarian capitals, as they were seen to be genuinely popular
and also potentially, if not actually, separatist in character. In October
1906 Baron Achrenthal succeeded Count Goluchowski as Minister for Foreign
Affairs at Vienna, and very soon initiated a more vigorous and
incidentally anti-Slav foreign policy than his predecessor. What was now
looked on as the Serbian danger had in the eyes of Vienna assumed such
proportions that the time for decisive action was considered to have
arrived. In January 1908 Baron Achrenthal announced his scheme for a
continuation of the Bosnian railway system through the _sandjak_ of
Novi-Pazar to link up with the Turkish railways in Macedonia. This plan
was particularly foolish in conception, because, the Bosnian railways
being narrow and the Turkish normal gauge, the line would have been
useless for international commerce, while the engineering difficulties
were such that the cost of construction would have been prohibitive. But
the possibilities which this move indicated, the palpable evidence it
contained of the notorious _Drang nach Osten_ of the Germanic powers
towards Salonika and Constantinople, were quite sufficient to fill the
ministries of Europe, and especially those of Russia, with extreme
uneasiness. The immediate result of this was that concerted action between
Russia and Austria-Hungary in the Balkans was thenceforward impossible,
and the Mürzsteg programme, after a short and precarious existence, came
to an untimely end (cf. chap. 12). Serbia and Montenegro, face to face
with this new danger which threatened permanently to separate their
territories, were beside themselves, and immediately parried with the
project, hardly more practicable in view of their international credit, of
a Danube-Adriatic railway. In July 1908 the nerves of Europe were still
further tried by the Young Turk revolution in Constantinople. The
imminence of this movement was known to Austro-German diplomacy, and
doubtless this knowledge, as well as the fear of the Pan-Serb movement,
prompted the Austrian foreign minister to take steps towards the
definitive regularization of his country's position in Bosnia and
Hercegovina--provinces whose suzerain was still the Sultan of Turkey. The
effect of the Young Turk coup in the Balkan States was as any one who
visited them at that time can testify, both pathetic and intensely
humorous. The permanent chaos of the Turkish empire, and the process of
watching for years its gradual but inevitable decomposition, had created
amongst the neighbouring states an atmosphere of excited anticipation,
which was really the breath of their nostrils; it had stimulated them
during the endless Macedonian insurrections to commit the most awful
outrages against each other's nationals and then lay the blame at the door
of the unfortunate Turk; and if the Turk should really regenerate himself,
not only would their occupation be gone, but the heavily-discounted
legacies would assuredly elude their grasp. At the same time, since the
whole policy of exhibiting and exploiting the horrors of Macedonia, and of
organizing guerilla bands and provoking intervention, was based on the
refusal of the Turks to grant reforms, as soon as the ultra-liberal
constitution of Midhat Pasha, which, had been withdrawn after a brief and
unsuccessful run in 1876, was restored by the Young Turks, there was
nothing left for the Balkan States to do but to applaud with as much
enthusiasm as they could simulate. The emotions experienced by the Balkan
peoples during that summer, beneath the smiles which they had to assume,
were exhausting even for southern temperaments. Bulgaria, with its
characteristic matter-of-factness, was the first to adjust itself to the
new and trying situation in which the only certainty was that something
decisive had got to be done with all possible celerity. On October 5,
1908, Prince Ferdinand sprang on an astonished continent the news that he
renounced the Turkish suzerainty (ever since 1878 the Bulgarian
principality had been a tributary and vassal state of the Ottoman Empire,
and therefore, with all its astonishingly rapid progress and material
prosperity, a subject for commiseration in the kingdoms of Serbia and
Greece) and proclaimed the independence of Bulgaria, with himself, as Tsar
of the Bulgars, at its head. Europe had not recovered from this shock,
still less Belgrade and Athens, when, two days later. Baron Aehrenthal
announced the formal annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by the Emperor
Francis Joseph. Whereas most people had virtually forgotten the Treaty of
Berlin and had come to look on Austria as just as permanently settled in
these two provinces as was Great Britain in Egypt and Cyprus, yet the
formal breach of the stipulations of that treaty on Austria's part, by
annexing the provinces without notice to or consultation with the other
parties concerned, gave the excuse for a somewhat ridiculous hue and cry
on the part of the other powers, and especially on that of Russia. The
effect of these blows from right and left on Serbia was literally
paralysing. When Belgrade recovered the use of its organs, it started to
scream for war and revenue, and initiated an international crisis from
which Europe did not recover till the following year. Meanwhile, almost
unobserved by the peoples of Serbia and Montenegro, Austria had, in order
to reconcile the Turks with the loss of their provinces, good-naturedly,
but from the Austrian point of view short-sightedly, withdrawn its
garrisons from the _sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar, thus evacuating the
long-coveted corridor which was the one thing above all else necessary to
Serbia and Montenegro for the realization of their plans.


_Serbia and Montenegro, and the two Balkan Wars,_ 1908-13 (cf. Chap, 13)

The winter of 1908-9 marked the lowest ebb of Serbia's fortunes. The
successive _coups_ and _faits accomplis_ carried out by Austria, Turkey,
and Bulgaria during 1908 seemed destined to destroy for good the Serbian
plans for expansion in any direction whatever, and if these could not be
realized then Serbia must die of suffocation. It was also well understood
that for all the martial ardour displayed in Belgrade the army was in no
condition to take the field any more than was the treasury to bear the
cost of a campaign; Russia had not yet recovered from the Japanese War
followed by the revolution, and indeed everything pointed to the certainty
that if Serbia indulged in hostilities against Austria-Hungary it would
perish ignominiously and alone. The worst of it was that neither Serbia
nor Montenegro had any legal claim to Bosnia and Hercegovina: they had
been deluding themselves with the hope that their ethnical identity with
the people of these provinces, supported by the effects of their
propaganda, would induce a compassionate and generous Europe at least to
insist on their being given a part of the coveted territory, and thus give
Serbia access to the coast, when the ambiguous position of these two
valuable provinces, still nominally Turkish but already virtually
Austrian, came to be finally regularized. As a matter of fact, ever since
Bismarck, Gorchakóv, and Beaconsfield had put Austria-Hungary in their
possession in 1878, no one had seriously thought that the Dual Monarchy
would ever voluntarily retire from one inch of the territory which had
been conquered and occupied at such cost, and those who noticed it were
astonished at the evacuation by it of the _sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar. At the
same time Baron Achrenthal little foresaw what a hornet's nest he would
bring about his ears by the tactless method in which the annexation was
carried out. The first effect was to provoke a complete boycott of
Austro-Hungarian goods and trading vessels throughout the Ottoman Empire,
which was so harmful to the Austrian export trade that in January 1909
Count Achrenthal had to indemnify Turkey with the sum of £2,500,000 for
his technically stolen property. Further, the attitude of Russia and
Serbia throughout the whole winter remained so provocative and threatening
that, although war was generally considered improbable, the Austrian army
had to be kept on a war footing, which involved great expense and much
popular discontent. The grave external crisis was only solved at the end
of March 1909; Germany had had to deliver a veiled ultimatum at St.
Petersburg, the result of which was the rescue of Austria-Hungary from an
awkward situation by the much-advertised appearance of its faithful ally
in shining armour. Simultaneously Serbia had to eat humble pie and
declare, with complete absence of truth, that the annexation of Bosnia and
Hercegovina had not affected its interests.

Meanwhile the internal complications in the southern Slav provinces of
Austria-Hungary were growing formidable. Ever since the summer of 1908
arrests had been going on among the members of the Croato-Serb coalition,
who were accused of favouring the subversive Pan-Serb movement. The press
of Austria-Hungary magnified the importance of this agitation in order to
justify abroad the pressing need for the formal annexation of Bosnia and
Hercegovina. The fact was that, though immediate danger to the monarchy as
a result of the Pan-Serb agitation was known not to exist, yet in the
interests of Austrian foreign policy, the Serbs had to be compromised in
the eyes of Europe, the Croato-Serb coalition within the Dual Monarchy had
to be destroyed to gratify Budapest in particular, and the religious and
political discord between Croat and Serb, on which the foundation of the
power of Austria-Hungary, and especially that of Hungary, in the south
rested, and which was in a fair way of being eliminated through the
efforts of the coalition, had to be revived by some means or other. It is
not possible here to go into the details of the notorious Agram high
treason trial, which was the outcome of all this. It suffices to say that
it was a monstrous travesty of justice which lasted from March till
October 1909, and though it resulted in the ostensible destruction of the
coalition and the imprisonment of many of its members, it defeated its own
ends, as it merely fanned the flame of nationalistic feeling against
Vienna and Budapest, and Croatia has ever since had to be governed
virtually by martial law. This was followed in December 1909 by the even
more famous Friedjung trial. In March 1909 Count Achrenthal had begun in
Vienna a violent press campaign against Serbia, accusing the Serbian
Government and dynasty of complicity in the concoction of nefarious
designs and conspiracies against the integrity of Austria-Hungary. This
campaign was thought to be the means of foreshadowing and justifying the
immediate military occupation of Serbia. Unfortunately its instigator had
not been sufficiently particular as to the choice of his tools and his
methods of using them. Among the contributors of the highly tendencious
articles was the well-known historian Dr. Friedjung, who made extensive
use of documents supplied him by the Vienna Foreign Office. His
accusations immediately provoked an action for libel on the part of three
leaders of the Croato-Serb coalition who were implicated, in December
1909. The trial, which was highly sensational, resulted in the complete
vindication and rehabilitation both of those three Austrian subjects in
the eyes of the whole of Austria-Hungary and of the Belgrade Foreign
Office in those of Europe; the documents on which the charges were based
were proven to be partly forgeries, partly falsified, and partly stolen by
various disreputable secret political agents of the Austrian Foreign
Office, and one of the principal Serbian 'conspirators', a professor of
Belgrade University, proved that he was in Berlin at the time when he had
been accused of presiding over a revolutionary meeting at Belgrade. But it
also resulted in the latter discrediting of Count Achrenthal as a diplomat
and of the methods by which he conducted the business of the Austrian
Foreign Office, and involved his country in the expenditure of countless
millions which it could ill afford.

There never was any doubt that a subversive agitation had been going on,
and that it emanated in part from Serbia, but the Serbian Foreign Office,
under the able management of Dr. Milovanovi['c] and Dr. Spalajkovi['c]
(one of the principal witnesses at the Friedjung trial), was far too
clever to allow any of its members, or indeed any responsible person in
Serbia, to be concerned in it, and the brilliant way in which the clumsy
and foolish charges were refuted redounded greatly to the credit of the
Serbian Government. Count Achrenthal had overreached himself, and moreover
the wind had already been taken out of his sails by the public recantation
on Serbia's part of its pretensions to Bosnia, which, as already
mentioned, took place at the end of March 1909, and by the simultaneous
termination of the international crisis marked by Russia's acquiescence in
the _fait accompli_ of the annexation. At the same time the Serbian Crown
Prince George, King Peter's elder son, who had been the leader of the
chauvinist war-party in Serbia, and was somewhat theatrical in demeanour
and irresponsible in character, renounced his rights of succession in
favour of his younger brother Prince Alexander, a much steadier and more
talented young man. It is certain that when he realized how things were
going to develop Count Achrenthal tried to hush up the whole incident, but
it was too late, and Dr. Friedjung insisted on doing what he could to save
his reputation as a historian. In the end he was made the principal
scapegoat, though the press of Vienna voiced its opinion of the Austrian
Foreign Office in no measured tones, saying, amongst other things, that if
the conductors of its diplomacy must use forgeries, they might at any rate
secure good ones. Eventually a compromise was arranged, after the
defendant had clearly lost his case, owing to pressure being brought to
bear from outside, and the Serbian Government refrained from carrying out
its threat of having the whole question threshed out before the Hague

The cumulative effect of all these exciting and trying experiences was the
growth of a distinctly more sympathetic feeling towards Serbia in Europe
at large, and especially a rallying of all the elements throughout the
Serb and Croat provinces of Austria-Hungary, except the extreme clericals
of Agram, to the Serbian cause; briefly, the effect was the exact opposite
of that desired by Vienna and Budapest. Meanwhile events had been
happening elsewhere which revived the drooping interest and flagging hopes
of Serbia in the development of foreign affairs. The attainment of power
by the Young Turks and the introduction of parliamentary government had
brought no improvement to the internal condition of the Ottoman Empire,
and the Balkan peoples made no effort to conceal their satisfaction at the
failure of the revolution to bring about reform by magic. The
counter-revolution of April 1909 and the accession of the Sultan Mohammed
V made things no better. In Macedonia, and especially in Albania, they had
been going from bad to worse. The introduction of universal military
service and obligatory payment of taxes caused a revolution in Albania,
where such innovations were not at all appreciated. From 1909 till 1911
there was a state of perpetual warfare in Albania, with which the Young
Turks, in spite of cruel reprisals, were unable to cope, until, in the
summer of that year, Austria threatened to intervene unless order were
restored; some sort of settlement was patched up, and an amnesty was
granted to the rebels by the new Sultan. This unfortunate man, after being
rendered almost half-witted by having been for the greater part of his
life kept a prisoner by his brother the tyrant Abdul Hamid, was now the
captive of the Young Turks, and had been compelled by them to make as
triumphal a progress as fears for his personal safety would allow through
the provinces of European Turkey. But it was obvious to Balkan statesmen
that Turkey was only changed in name, and that, if its threatened
regeneration had slightly postponed their plans for its partition amongst
themselves, the ultimate consummation of these plans must be pursued with,
if possible, even greater energy and expedition than before. It was also
seen by the more perspicacious of them that the methods hitherto adopted
must in future be radically altered. A rejuvenated though unreformed
Turkey, bent on self-preservation, could not be despised, and it was
understood that if the revolutionary bands of the three Christian nations
(Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria) were to continue indefinitely to cut each
others' throats in Macedonia the tables might conceivably be turned on

From 1909 onwards a series of phenomena occurred in the Balkans which
ought to have given warning to the Turks, whose survival in Europe had
been due solely to the fact that the Balkan States had never been able to
unite. In the autumn of 1909 King Ferdinand of Bulgaria met Crown Prince
Alexander of Serbia and made an expedition in his company to Mount
Kopaonik in Serbia, renowned for the beauty of its flora. This must have
struck those who remembered the bitter feelings which had existed between
the two countries for years and had been intensified by the events of
1908. Bulgaria had looked on Serbia's failures with persistent contempt,
while Serbia had watched Bulgaria's successful progress with speechless
jealousy, and the memory of Slivnitsa was not yet obliterated. In the
summer of 1910 Prince Nicholas of Montenegro celebrated the fiftieth
anniversary of his reign and his golden wedding. The festivities were
attended by King Ferdinand of Bulgaria and the Crown Prince Boris, by the
Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and his sister, grandchildren of Prince
Nicholas, by his two daughters the Queen of Italy and the Grand Duchess
Anastasia of Russia, and by their husbands, King Victor Emmanuel and the
Grand Duke Nicholas. The happiness of the venerable ruler, who was as
respected throughout Europe as he was feared throughout his principality,
was at the same time completed by his recognition as king by all the
governments and sovereigns of the continent. The hopes that he would
simultaneously introduce a more liberal form of government amongst his own
people were unfortunately disappointed.

The year 1911, it need scarcely be recalled, was extremely fateful for the
whole of Europe. The growing restlessness and irritability manifested by
the German Empire began to make all the other governments feel exceedingly
uneasy. The French expedition to Fez in April was followed by the
Anglo-Franco-German crisis of July; war was avoided, and France was
recognized as virtually master of Morocco, but the soreness of the
diplomatic defeat rendered Germany a still more trying neighbour than it
had been before. The first repercussion was the war which broke out in
September 1911 between Italy and Turkey for the possession of Tripoli and
Cyrenaica, which Italy, with its usual insight, saw was vital to its
position as a Mediterranean power and therefore determined to acquire
before any other power had time or courage to do so. In the Balkans this
was a year of observation and preparation. Serbia, taught by the bitter
lesson of 1908 not to be caught again unprepared, had spent much money and
care on its army during the last few years and had brought it to a much
higher state of efficiency. In Austria-Hungary careful observers wore
aware that something was afoot and that the gaze of Serbia, which from
1903 till 1908 had been directed westwards to Bosnia and the Adriatic, had
since 1908 been fixed on Macedonia and the Aegean. The actual formation of
the Balkan League by King Ferdinand and M. Venezelos may not have been
known, but it was realized that action of some sort on the part of the
Balkan States was imminent, and that something must be done to forestall
it. In February 1912 Count Aehrenthal died, and was succeeded by Count
Berchtold as Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs. In August of
the same year this minister unexpectedly announced his new and startling
proposals for the introduction of reforms in Macedonia, which nobody in
the Balkans who had any material interest in the fate of that province
genuinely desired at that moment; the motto of the new scheme was
'progressive decentralization', blessed words which soothed the great
powers as much as they alarmed the Balkan Governments. But already in May
1912 agreements between Bulgaria and Greece and between Bulgaria and
Serbia had been concluded, limiting their respective zones of influence in
the territory which they hoped to conquer. It was, to any one who has any
knowledge of Balkan history, incredible that the various Governments had
been able to come to any agreement at all. That arrived at by Bulgaria and
Serbia divided Macedonia between them in such a way that Bulgaria should
obtain central Macedonia with Monastir and Okhrida, and Serbia northern
Macedonia or Old Serbia; there was an indeterminate zone between the two
spheres, including Skoplje (Üsküb, in Turkish), the exact division of
which it was agreed to leave to arbitration at a subsequent date.

The Macedonian theatre of war was by common consent regarded as the most
important, and Bulgaria here promised Serbia the assistance of 100,000
men. The Turks meanwhile were aware that all was not what it seemed beyond
the frontiers, and in August 1912 began collecting troops in Thrace,
ostensibly for manoeuvres. During the month of September the patience of
the four Governments of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro, which
had for years with the utmost self-control been passively watching the
awful sufferings of their compatriots under Turkish misrule, gradually
became exhausted. On September 28 the four Balkan Governments informed
Russia that the Balkan League was an accomplished fact, and on the 30th
the representatives of all four signed the alliance, and mobilization was
ordered in Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The population of Montenegro was
habitually on a war footing, and it was left to the mountain kingdom from
its geographically favourable position to open hostilities. On October 8
Montenegro declared war on Turkey, and after a series of brilliant
successes along the frontier its forces settled down to the wearisome and
arduous siege of Scutari with its impregnable sentinel, Mount Tarabo[)s],
converted into a modern fortress; the unaccustomed nature of these tasks,
to which the Montenegrin troops, used to the adventures of irregular
warfare, were little suited, tried the valour and patience of the intrepid
mountaineers to the utmost. By that time Europe was in a ferment, and both
Russia and Austria, amazed at having the initiative in the regulation of
Balkan affairs wrested from them, showered on the Balkan capitals threats
and protests, which for once in a way were neglected.

On October 13 Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia replied that the offer of
outside assistance and advice had come too late, and that they had decided
themselves to redress the intolerable and secular wrongs of their
long-suffering compatriots in Macedonia by force of arms. To their dismay
a treaty of peace was signed at Lausanne about the same time between
Turkey and Italy, which power, it had been hoped, would have distracted
Turkey's attention by a continuance of hostilities in northern Africa, and
at any rate immobilized the Turkish fleet. Encouraged by this success
Turkey boldly declared war on Bulgaria and Serbia on October 17, hoping to
frighten Greece and detach it from the league; but on the 18th the Greek
Government replied by declaring war on Turkey, thus completing the
necessary formalities. The Turks were confident of an early and easy
victory, and hoped to reach Sofia, not from Constantinople and Thrace, but
pushing up north-eastwards from Macedonia. The rapid offensive of the
Serbian army, however, took them by surprise, and they were completely
overwhelmed at the battle of Kumanovo in northern Macedonia on October
23-4, 1912. On the 31st King Peter made his triumphal entry into Skoplje
(ex-Üsküb), the ancient capital of Serbia under Tsar Stephen Du[)s]an in
the fourteenth century. From there the Serbian army pursued the Turks
southward, and at the battles of Prilep (November 5) and Monastir
(November 19), after encountering the most stubborn opposition, finally
put an end to their resistance in this part of the theatre of war. On
November 9 the Greeks entered Salonika.

Meanwhile other divisions of the Serbian army had joined hands with the
Montenegrins, and occupied almost without opposition the long-coveted
_sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar (the ancient Serb Ra[)s]ka), to the inexpressible
rage of Austria-Hungary, which had evacuated it in 1908 in favour of its
rightful owner, Turkey. At the same time a Serbian expeditionary corps
marched right through Albania, braving great hardships on the way, and on
November 30 occupied Durazzo, thus securing at last a foothold on the
Adriatic. Besides all this, Serbia, in fulfilment of its treaty
obligations, dispatched 50,000 splendidly equipped men, together with a
quantity of heavy siege artillery, to help the Bulgarians at the siege of
Adrianople. On December 3 an armistice was signed between the
belligerents, with the condition that the three besieged Turkish
fortresses of Adrianople, Scutari, and Yanina must not be re-victualled,
and on December 16, 1912, peace negotiations were opened between
representatives of the belligerent countries in London. Meanwhile the
Germanic powers, dismayed by the unexpected victories of the Balkan armies
and humiliated by the crushing defeats in the field of the German-trained
Turkish army, had since the beginning of November been doing everything in
their power to support their client Turkey and prevent its final
extinction and at the same time the blighting of their ambitions
eventually to acquire the Empire of the Near East. During the conference
in London between the plenipotentiaries of the belligerents, parallel
meetings took place between the representatives of the great powers, whose
relations with each other were strained and difficult in the extreme. The
Turkish envoys prolonged the negotiations, as was their custom; they
naturally were unwilling to concede their European provinces to the
despised and hated Greek and Slavonic conquerors, but the delays implied
growing hardships for their besieged and starving garrisons in Thrace,
Epirus, and Albania. On January 23, 1913, a quasi-revolution occurred in
the Turkish army, headed by Enver Bey and other Young Turk partisans, and
approved by the Austrian and German embassies, with the object of
interrupting the negotiations and staking all on the result of a final
battle. As a result of these events, and of the palpable disingenuousness
of the Turks in continuing the negotiations in London, the Balkan
delegates on January 29 broke them off, and on February 3, 1913,
hostilities were resumed. At length, after a siege of nearly five months,
Adrianople, supplied with infinitely better artillery than the allies
possessed, was taken by the combined Serbian and Bulgarian forces on March
26, 1913. The Serbian troops at Adrianople captured 17,010 Turkish
prisoners, 190 guns, and the Turkish commander himself, Shukri Pasha.

At the outbreak of the war in the autumn of 1912 the Balkan States had
observed all the conventions, disavowing designs of territorial
aggrandizement and proclaiming their resolve merely to obtain guarantees
for the better treatment of the Christian inhabitants of Macedonia; the
powers, for their part, duly admonished the naughty children of
south-eastern Europe to the effect that no alteration of the territorial
_status quo ante_ would under any circumstances be tolerated. During the
negotiations in London, interrupted in January, and resumed in the spring
of 1913 after the fall of Adrianople, it was soon made clear that in spite
of all these magniloquent declarations nothing would be as it had been
before. Throughout the winter Austria-Hungary had been mobilizing troops
and massing them along the frontiers of Serbia and Montenegro, any
increase in the size of which countries meant a crushing blow to the
designs of the Germanic powers and the end to all the dreams embodied in
the phrase 'Drang nach Osten' ('pushing eastwards').

In the spring of 1913 Serbia and Montenegro, instead of being defeated by
the brave Turks, as had been confidently predicted in Vienna and Berlin
would be the case, found themselves in possession of the _sandjak_ of
Novi-Pazar, of northern and central Macedonia (including Old Serbia), and
of the northern half of Albania. The presence of Serbian troops on the
shore of the Adriatic was more than Austria could stand, and at the
renewed conference of London it was decided that they must retire. In the
interests of nationality, in which the Balkan States themselves undertook
the war, it was desirable that at any rate an attempt should be made to
create an independent state of Albania, though no one who knew the local
conditions felt confident as to its ultimate career. Its creation assuaged
the consciences of the Liberal Government in Great Britain and at the same
time admirably suited the strategic plans of Austria-Hungary. It left that
country a loophole for future diplomatic efforts to disturb the peace of
south-eastern Europe, and, with its own army in Bosnia and its political
agents and irregular troops in Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, even though
enlarged as it was generally recognized they must be, would be held in a
vice and could be threatened and bullied from the south now as well as
from the north whenever it was in the interests of Vienna and Budapest to
apply the screw. The independence of Albania was declared at the
conference of London on May 30, 1913. Scutari was included in it as being
a purely Albanian town, and King Nicholas and his army, after enjoying its
coveted flesh-pots for a few halcyon weeks, had, to their mortification,
to retire to the barren fastnesses of the Black Mountain. Serbia,
frustrated by Austria in its attempts, generally recognized as legitimate,
to obtain even a commercial outlet on the Adriatic, naturally again
diverted its aims southwards to Salonika. The Greeks were already in
possession of this important city and seaport, as well as of the whole of
southern Macedonia. The Serbs were in possession of central and northern
Macedonia, including Monastir and Okhrida, which they had at great
sacrifices conquered from the Turks. It had been agreed that Bulgaria, as
its share of the spoils, should have all central Macedonia, with Monastir
and Okhrida, although on ethnical grounds the Bulgarians have only very
slightly better claim to the country and towns west of the Vardar than any
of the other Balkan nationalities. But at the time that the agreement had
been concluded it had been calculated in Greece and Serbia that Albania,
far from being made independent, would be divided between them, and that
Serbia, assured of a strip of coast on the Adriatic, would have no
interest in the control of the river Vardar and of the railway which
follows its course connecting the interior of Serbia with the port of
Salonika. Greece and Serbia had no ground whatever for quarrel and no
cause for mutual distrust, and they were determined, for political and
commercial reasons, to have a considerable extent of frontier from west to
east in common. The creation of an independent Albania completely altered
the situation. If Bulgaria should obtain central Macedonia and thus secure
a frontier from north to south in common with the newly-formed state of
Albania, then Greece would be at the mercy of its hereditary enemies the
Bulgars and Arnauts (Albanians) as it had previously been at the mercy of
the Turks, while Serbia would have two frontiers between itself and the
sea instead of one, as before, and its complete economic strangulation
would be rendered inevitable and rapid. Bulgaria for its own part
naturally refused to waive its claim to central Macedonia, well knowing
that the master of the Vardar valley is master of the Balkan peninsula.
The first repercussion of the ephemeral treaty of London of May 30, 1913,
which created Albania and shut out Serbia from the Adriatic, was,
therefore, as the diplomacy of the Germanic powers had all along intended
it should be, the beginning of a feud between Greece and Serbia on the one
hand, and Bulgaria on the other, the disruption of the Balkan League and
the salvation, for the ultimate benefit of Germany, of what was left of
Turkey in Europe.

The dispute as to the exact division of the conquered territory in
Macedonia between Serbia and Bulgaria had, as arranged, been referred to
arbitration, and, the Tsar of Russia having been chosen as judge, the
matter was being threshed out in St. Petersburg during June 1913.
Meanwhile Bulgaria, determined to make good its claim to the chestnuts
which Greece and Serbia had pulled out of the Turkish fire, was secretly
collecting troops along its temporary south-western frontier[1] with the
object, in approved Germanic fashion, of suddenly invading and occupying
all Macedonia, and, by the presentation of an irrevocable _fait accompli_,
of relieving the arbitrator of his invidious duties or at any rate
assisting him in the task.

[Footnote 1: This was formed by the stream Zletovska, a tributary of the
river Bregalnica, which in its turn falls into the Vardar on its left or
eastern bank about 40 miles south of Skoplje (Üsküb).]

On the other hand, the relations between Bulgaria and its two allies had
been noticeably growing worse ever since January 1913; Bulgaria felt
aggrieved that, in spite of its great sacrifices, it had not been able to
occupy so much territory as Greece and Serbia, and the fact that
Adrianople was taken with Serbian help did not improve the feeling between
the two Slav nations. The growth of Bulgarian animosity put Greece and
Serbia on their guard, and, well knowing the direction which an eventual
attack would take, these two countries on June 2, 1913, signed a military
convention and made all the necessary dispositions for resisting any
aggression on Bulgaria's part. At one o'clock in the morning of June 30
the Bulgarians, without provocation, without declaration of war, and
without warning, crossed the Bregalnica (a tributary of the Vardar) and
attacked the Serbs. A most violent battle ensued which lasted for several
days; at some points the Bulgarians, thanks to the suddenness of their
offensive, were temporarily successful, but gradually the Serbs regained
the upper hand and by July 1 the Bulgarians were beaten. The losses were
very heavy on both sides, but the final issue was a complete triumph for
the Serbian army. Slivnitsa was avenged by the battle of the Bregalnica,
just as Kosovo was by that of Kumanovo. After a triumphant campaign of one
month, in which the Serbs were joined by the Greeks, Bulgaria had to bow
to the inevitable. The Rumanian army had invaded northern Bulgaria, bent
on maintaining the Balkan equilibrium and on securing compensation for
having observed neutrality during the war of 1912-13, and famine reigned
at Sofia. A conference was arranged at Bucarest, and the treaty of that
name was signed there on August 10, 1913. By the terms of this treaty
Serbia retained the whole of northern and central Macedonia, including
Monastir and Okhrida, and the famous _sandjak_ of Novi-Pazar was divided
between Serbia and Montenegro. Some districts of east-central Macedonia,
which were genuinely Bulgarian, were included in Serbian territory, as
Serbia naturally did not wish, after the disquieting and costly experience
of June and July 1913, to give the Bulgarians another chance of separating
Greek from Serbian territory by a fresh surprise attack, and the further
the Bulgarians could be kept from the Vardar river and railway the less
likelihood there was of this. The state of feeling in the Germanic
capitals and in Budapest after this ignominious defeat of their protégé
Bulgaria and after this fresh triumph of the despised and hated Serbians
can be imagined. Bitterly disappointed first at seeing the Turks
vanquished by the Balkan League--their greatest admirers could not even
claim that the Turks had had any 'moral' victories--their chagrin, when
they saw the Bulgarians trounced by the Serbians, knew no bounds. That the
secretly prepared attack on Serbia by Bulgaria was planned in Vienna and
Budapest there is no doubt. That Bulgaria was justified in feeling
disappointment and resentment at the result of the first Balkan War no one
denies, but the method chosen to redress its wrongs could only have been
suggested by the Germanic school of diplomacy.

In Serbia and Montenegro the result of the two successive Balkan Wars,
though these had exhausted the material resources of the two countries,
was a justifiable return of national self-confidence and rejoicing such as
the people, humiliated and impoverished as it had habitually been by its
internal and external troubles, had not known for very many years. At last
Serbia and Montenegro had joined hands. At last Old Serbia was restored to
the free kingdom. At last Skoplje, the mediaeval capital of Tsar Stephen
Du[)s]an, was again in Serbian territory. At last one of the most
important portions of unredeemed Serbia had been reclaimed. Amongst the
Serbs and Croats of Bosnia, Hercegovina, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, and
southern Hungary the effect of the Serbian victories was electrifying.
Military prowess had been the one quality with which they, and indeed
everybody else, had refused to credit the Serbians of the kingdom, and the
triumphs of the valiant Serbian peasant soldiers immediately imparted a
heroic glow to the country whose very name, at any rate in central Europe,
had become a byword, and a synonym for failure; Belgrade became the
cynosure and the rallying-centre of the whole Serbo-Croatian race. But
Vienna and Budapest could only lose courage and presence of mind for the
moment, and the undeniable success of the Serbian arms merely sharpened
their appetite for revenge. In August 1913 Austria-Hungary, as is now
known, secretly prepared an aggression on Serbia, but was restrained,
partly by the refusal of Italy to grant its approval of such action,
partly because the preparations of Germany at that time were not complete.
The fortunate Albanian question provided, for the time being, a more
convenient rod with which to beat Serbia. Some Serbian troops had remained
in possession of certain frontier towns and districts which were included
in the territory of the infant state of Albania pending the final
settlement of the frontiers by a commission. On October 18, 1913, Austria
addressed an ultimatum to Serbia to evacuate these, as its continued
occupation of them caused offence and disquiet to the Dual Monarchy.
Serbia meekly obeyed. Thus passed away the last rumble of the storms which
had filled the years 1912-13 in south-eastern Europe.

The credulous believed that the Treaty of Bucarest had at last brought
peace to that distracted part of the world. Those who knew their central
Europe realized that Berlin had only forced Vienna to acquiesce in the
Treaty of Bucarest because the time had not yet come. But come what might,
Serbia and Montenegro, by having linked up their territory and by forming
a mountain barrier from the Danube to the Adriatic, made it far more
difficult for the invader to push his way through to the East than it
would have been before the battles of Kumanovo and Bregalnica.



_From Ancient to Modern Greece_

The name of Greece has two entirely different associations in our minds.
Sometimes it calls up a wonderful literature enshrined in a 'dead
language', and exquisite works of a vanished art recovered by the spade;
at other times it is connected with the currant-trade returns quoted on
the financial page of our newspapers or with the 'Balance of Power'
discussed in their leading articles. Ancient and Modern Greece both mean
much to us, but usually we are content to accept them as independent
phenomena, and we seldom pause to wonder whether there is any deeper
connexion between them than their name. It is the purpose of these pages
to ask and give some answer to this question.

The thought that his own Greece might perish, to be succeeded by another
Greece after the lapse of more than two thousand years, would have caused
an Ancient Greek surprise. In the middle of the fifth century B.C.,
Ancient Greek civilization seemed triumphantly vigorous and secure. A
generation before, it had flung back the onset of a political power which
combined all the momentum of all the other contemporary civilizations in
the world; and the victory had proved not merely the superiority of Greek
arms--the Spartan spearman and the Athenian galley--but the superior
vitality of Greek politics--the self-governing, self-sufficing city-state.
In these cities a wonderful culture had burst into flower--an art
expressing itself with equal mastery in architecture, sculpture, and
drama, a science which ranged from the most practical medicine to the most
abstract mathematics, and a philosophy which blended art, science, and
religion into an ever-developing and ever more harmonious view of the
universe. A civilization so brilliant and so versatile as this seemed to
have an infinite future before it, yet even here death lurked in ambush.

When the cities ranged themselves in rival camps, and squandered their
strength on the struggle for predominance, the historian of the
Peloponnesian war could already picture Athens and Sparta in ruins,[1] and
the catastrophe began to warp the soul of Plato before he had carried
Greek philosophy to its zenith. This internecine strife of free
communities was checked within a century by the imposition of a single
military autocracy over them all, and Alexander the Great crowned his
father Philip's work by winning new worlds for Hellenism from the Danube
to the Ganges and from the Oxus to the Nile. The city-state and its
culture were to be propagated under his aegis, but this vision vanished
with Alexander's death, and Macedonian militarism proved a disappointment.
The feuds of these crowned condottieri harassed the cities more sorely
than their own quarrels, and their arms could not even preserve the
Hellenic heritage against external foes. The Oriental rallied and expelled
Hellenism again from the Asiatic hinterland, while the new cloud of Rome
was gathering in the west. In four generations[2] of the most devastating
warfare the world had seen, Rome conquered all the coasts of the
Mediterranean. Greek city and Greek dynast went down before her, and the
political sceptre passed irrevocably from the Hellenic nation.

[Footnote 1: Thucydides, Book I, chap. 10.]

[Footnote 2: 264-146 B.C.]

Yet this political abdication seemed to open for Hellenic culture a future
more brilliant and assured than ever. Rome could organize as well as
conquer. She accepted the city-state as the municipal unit of the Roman
Empire, thrust back the Oriental behind the Euphrates, and promoted the
Hellenization of all the lands between this river-frontier and the Balkans
with much greater intensity than the Macedonian imperialists. Her
political conquests were still further counterbalanced by her spiritual
surrender, and Hellenism was the soul of the new Latin culture which Rome
created, and which advanced with Roman government over the vast untutored
provinces of the west and north, bringing them, too, within the orbit of
Hellenic civilization. Under the shadow of the Roman Empire, Plutarch, the
mirror of Hellenism, could dwell in peace in his little city-state of
Chaeronea, and reflect in his writings all the achievements of the
Hellenic spirit as an ensample to an apparently endless posterity.

Yet the days of Hellenic culture were also numbered. Even Plutarch
lived[1] to look down from the rocky citadel of Chaeronea upon Teutonic
raiders wasting the Kephisos vale, and for more than three centuries
successive hordes of Goths searched out and ravaged the furthest corners
of European Greece. Then the current set westward to sweep away[2] the
Roman administration in the Latin provinces, and Hellenism seemed to have
been granted a reprieve. The Greek city-state of Byzantium on the Black
Sea Straits had been transformed into the Roman administrative centre of
Constantinople, and from this capital the Emperor Justinian in the sixth
century A.D. still governed and defended the whole Greek-speaking world.
But this political glamour only threw the symptoms of inward dissolution
into sharper relief. Within the framework of the Empire the municipal
liberty of the city-state had been stifled and extinguished by the waxing
jungle of bureaucracy, and the spiritual culture which the city-state
fostered, and which was more essential to Hellenism than any political
institutions, had been part ejected, part exploited, and wholly compromised
by a new gospel from the east.

[Footnote 1: About A.D. 100]

[Footnote 2: A.D. 404-476]

While the Oriental had been compelled by Rome to draw his political
frontier at the Euphrates, and had failed so far to cross the river-line,
he had maintained his cultural independence within sight of the
Mediterranean. In the hill country of Judah, overlooking the high road
between Antioch and Alexandria, the two chief foci of Hellenism in the
east which the Macedonians had founded, and which had grown to maturity
under the aegis of Rome, there dwelt a little Semitic community which had
defied all efforts of Greek or Roman to assimilate it, and had finally
given birth to a world religion about the time that a Roman punitive
expedition razed its holy city of Jerusalem to the ground.[1] Christianity
was charged with an incalculable force, which shot like an electric
current from one end of the Roman Empire to the other. The
highly-organized society of its adherents measured its strength in several
sharp conflicts with the Imperial administration, from which it emerged
victorious, and it was proclaimed the official religious organization of
the Empire by the very emperor that founded Constantinople.[2]

[Footnote 1: A.D. 70.]

[Footnote 2: Constantine the Great recognized Christianity in A.D. 313 and
founded Constantinople in A.D. 328.]

The established Christian Church took the best energies of Hellenism into
its service. The Greek intellectuals ceased to become lecturers and
professors, to find a more human and practical career in the bishop's
office. The Nicene Creed, drafted by an 'oecumenical' conference of
bishops under the auspices of Constantine himself,[1] was the last notable
formulation of Ancient Greek philosophy. The cathedral of Aya Sophia, with
which Justinian adorned Constantinople, was the last original creation of
Ancient Greek art.[2] The same Justinian closed the University of Athens,
which had educated the world for nine hundred years and more, since Plato
founded his college in the Academy. Six recalcitrant professors went into
exile for their spiritual freedom, but they found the devout
Zoroastrianism of the Persian court as unsympathetic as the devout
Christianity of the Roman. Their humiliating return and recantation broke
the 'Golden Chain' of Hellenic thought for ever.

Hellenism was thus expiring from its own inanition, when the inevitable
avalanche overwhelmed it from without. In the seventh century A.D. there
was another religious eruption in the Semitic world, this time in the
heart of Arabia, where Hellenism had hardly penetrated, and under the
impetus of Islam the Oriental burst his bounds again after a thousand
years. Syria was reft away from the Empire, and Egypt, and North Africa as
far as the Atlantic, and their political severance meant their cultural
loss to Greek civilization. Between the Koran and Hellenism no fusion was
possible. Christianity had taken Hellenism captive, but Islam gave it no
quarter, and the priceless library of Alexandria is said to have been
condemned by the caliph's order to feed the furnaces of the public baths.

[Footnote 1: A.D. 325.]

[Footnote 2: Completed A.D. 538.]

While Hellenism was thus cut short in the east, a mortal blow was struck
at its heart from the north. The Teuton had raided and passed on, but the
lands he had depopulated were now invaded by immigrants who had come to
stay. As soon as the last Goth and Lombard had gone west of the Isonzo,
the Slavs poured in from the north-eastern plains of Europe through the
Moravian gap, crossed the Danube somewhere near the site of Vienna, and
drifted down along the eastern face of the Alps upon the Adriatic
littoral. Rebuffed by the sea-board, the Slavonic migration was next
deflected east, and filtered through the Bosnian mountains, scattering the
Latin-speaking provincials before it to left and right, until it debouched
upon the broad basin of the river Morava. In this concentration-area it
gathered momentum during the earlier part of the seventh century A.D., and
then burst out with irresistible force in all directions, eastward across
the Maritsa basin till it reached the Black Sea, and southward down the
Vardar to the shores of the Aegean.

Beneath this Slavonic flood the Greek race in Europe was engulfed. A few
fortified cities held out, Adrianople on the Maritsa continued to cover
Constantinople; Salonika at the mouth of the Vardar survived a two hundred
years siege; while further south Athens, Korinth, and Patras escaped
extinction. But the tide of invasion surged around their walls. The Slavs
mastered all the open country, and, pressing across the Korinthian Gulf,
established themselves in special force throughout the Peloponnesos. The
thoroughness of their penetration is witnessed to this day by the Slavonic
names which still cling to at least a third of the villages, rivers, and
mountains in European Greece, and are found in the most remote as well as
in the most accessible quarters of the land.[1]

[Footnote 1: For example: Tsimova and Panitsa in the Tainaron peninsula
(Maina); Tsoupana and Khrysapha in Lakonia; Dhimitzana, Karytena, and
Andhritsena in the centre of Peloponnesos, and Vostitsa on its north coast;
Dobrena and Kaprena in Boiotia; Vonitza on the Gulf of Arta; Kardhitsa in
the Thessalian plain.]

With the coming of the Slavs darkness descends like a curtain upon Greek
history. We catch glimpses of Arab hosts ranging across Anatolia at will
and gazing at Slavonic hordes across the narrow Bosphorus. But always the
Imperial fleet patrols the waters between, and always the triple defences
of Constantinople defy the assailant. Then after about two centuries the
floods subside, the gloom disperses, and the Greek world emerges into view
once more. But the spectacle before us is unfamiliar, and most of the old
landmarks have been swept away.

By the middle of the ninth century A.D., the Imperial Government had
reduced the Peloponnesos to order again, and found itself in the presence
of three peoples. The greater part of the land was occupied by 'Romaioi'--
normal, loyal, Christian subjects of the empire--but in the hilly country
between Eurotas, Taygetos, and the sea, two Slavonic tribes still
maintained themselves in defiant savagery and worshipped their Slavonic
gods, while beyond them the peninsula of Tainaron, now known as Maina,
sheltered communities which still clung to the pagan name of Hellene and
knew no other gods but Zeus, Athena, and Apollo. Hellene and Slav need not
concern us. They were a vanishing minority, and the Imperial Government
was more successful in obliterating their individuality than in making
them contribute to its exchequer. The future lay with the Romaioi.

The speech of these Romaioi was not the speech of Rome. 'Romaikà,' as it
is still called popularly in the country-side, is a development of the
'koinè' or 'current' dialect of Ancient Greek, in which the Septuagint and
the New Testament are written. The vogue of these books after the triumph
of Christianity and the oncoming of the Dark Age, when they were the sole
intellectual sustenance of the people, gave the idiom in which they were
composed an exclusive prevalence. Except in Tzakonia--the iron-bound coast
between Cape Malea and Nauplia Bay--all other dialects of Ancient Greek
became extinct, and the varieties of the modern language are all
differentiations of the 'koinè', along geographical lines which in no way
correspond with those which divided Doric from Ionian. Yet though Romaic
is descended from the 'koinè', it is almost as far removed from it as
modern Italian is from the language of St. Augustine or Cicero. Ancient
Greek possessed a pitch-accent only, which allowed the quantitative values
of syllables to be measured against one another, and even to form the
basis of a metrical system. In Romaic the pitch-accent has transformed
itself into a stress-accent almost as violent as the English, which has
destroyed all quantitative relation between accented and unaccented
syllables, often wearing away the latter altogether at the termination of
words, and always impoverishing their vowel sounds. In the ninth century
A.D. this new enunciation was giving rise to a new poetical technique
founded upon accent and rhyme, which first essayed itself in folk-songs
and ballads,[1] and has since experimented in the same variety of forms as
English poetry.

[Footnote 1: The earliest products of the modern technique were called
'city' verses, because they originated in Constantinople, which has
remained 'the city' _par excellence_ for the Romaic Greek ever since the
Dark Age made it the asylum of his civilization.]

These humble beginnings of a new literature were supplemented by the
rudiments of a new art. Any visitor at Athens who looks at the three tiny
churches [1] built in this period of first revival, and compares them with
the rare pre-Norman churches of England, will find the same promise of
vitality in the Greek architecture as in his own. The material--worked
blocks of marble pillaged from ancient monuments, alternating with courses
of contemporary brick--produces a completely new aesthetic effect upon the
eye; and the structure--a grouping of lesser cupolas round a central dome--
is the very antithesis of the 'upright-and-horizontal' style which
confronts him in ruins upon the Akropolis.

[Footnote 1: The Old Metropolitan, the Kapnikaria, and St. Theodore.]

These first achievements of Romaic architecture speak by implication of
the characteristic difference between the Romaios and the Hellene. The
linguistic and the aesthetic change were as nothing compared to the change
in religion, for while the Hellene had been a pagan, the Romaios was
essentially a member of the Christian Church. Yet this new and determining
characteristic was already fortified by tradition. The Church triumphant
had swiftly perfected its organisation on the model of the Imperial
bureaucracy. Every Romaios owed ecclesiastical allegiance, through a
hierarchy of bishops and metropolitans, to a supreme patriarch at
Constantinople, and in the ninth century this administrative segregation
of the imperial from the west-European Church had borne its inevitable
fruit in a dogmatic divergence, and ripened into a schism between the
Orthodox Christianity of the east on the one hand and the Catholicism of
the Latin world on the other.

The Orthodox Church exercised an important cultural influence over its
Romaic adherents. The official language of its scriptures, creeds, and
ritual had never ceased to be the Ancient Greek 'koinè' and by keeping the
Romaios familiar with this otherwise obsolete tongue it kept him in touch
with the unsurpassable literature of his Ancient Greek predecessors. The
vast body of Hellenic literature had perished during the Dark Age, when
all the energies of the race were absorbed by the momentary struggle for
survival; but about a third of the greatest authors' greatest works had
been preserved, and now that the stress was relieved, the wreckage of the
remainder was sedulously garnered in anthologies, abridgements, and
encyclopaedias. The rising monasteries offered a safe harbourage both for
these compilations and for such originals as survived unimpaired, and in
their libraries they were henceforth studied, cherished, and above all
recopied with more or less systematic care.

The Orthodox Church was thus a potent link between past and present, but
the most direct link of all was the political survival of the Empire.
Here, too, many landmarks had been swept away. The marvellous system of
Roman Law had proved too subtle and complex for a world in the throes of
dissolution. Within a century of its final codification by Justinian's
commissioners) it had begun to fall into disuse, and was now replaced by
more summary legislation, which was as deeply imbued with Mosaic
principles as the literary language with the Hebraisms of the New
Testament, and bristled with barbarous applications of the _Lex Talionis_.
The administrative organization instituted by Augustus and elaborated by
Diocletian had likewise disappeared, and the army-corps districts were the
only territorial units that outlasted the Dark Age. Yet the tradition of
order lived on. The army itself preserved Roman discipline and technique
to a remarkable degree, and the military districts were already becoming
the basis for a reconstituted civil government. The wealth of Latin
technicalities incorporated in the Greek style of ninth-century
officialdom witnesses to this continuity with the past and to the
consequent political superiority of the Romaic Empire over contemporary
western Europe.

Within the Imperial frontiers the Romaic race was offered an apparently
secure field for its future development. In the Balkan peninsula the Slav
had been expelled or assimilated to the south of a line stretching from
Avlona to Salonika. East of Salonika the empire still controlled little
more in Europe than the ports of the littoral, and a military highway
linking them with each other and with Constantinople. But beyond the
Bosphorus the frontier included the whole body of Anatolia as far as
Taurus and Euphrates, and here was the centre of gravity both of the
Romaic state and of the Romaic nation.

A new Greek nation had in fact come into being, and it found itself in
touch with new neighbours, whom the Ancient Greek had never known.
Eastward lay the Armenians, reviving, like the Greeks, after the ebb of
the Arab flood, and the Arabs themselves, quiescent within their natural
bounds and transfusing the wisdom of Aristotle and Hippokrates into their
native culture. Both these peoples were sundered from the Orthodox Greek
by religion[1] as well as by language, but a number of nationalities
established on his opposite flank had been evangelized from Constantinople
and followed the Orthodox patriarch in his schism with Rome. The most
important neighbour of the Empire in this quarter was the Bulgarian
kingdom, which covered all the Balkan hinterland from the Danube and the
Black Sea to the barrier-fortresses of Adrianople and Salonika. It had
been founded by a conquering caste of non-Slavonic nomads from the
trans-Danubian steppes, but these were completely absorbed in the Slavonic
population which they had endowed with their name and had preserved by
political consolidation from the fate of their brethren further south.
This Bulgarian state included a large 'Vlach' element descended from those
Latin-speaking provincials whom the Slavs had pushed before them in their
original migration; while the main body of the 'Rumans', whom the same
thrust of invasion had driven leftwards across the Danube, had established
itself in the mountains of Transylvania, and was just beginning to push
down into the Wallachian and Moldavian plains. Like the Bulgars, this
Romance population had chosen the Orthodox creed, and so had the purely
Slavonic Serbs, who had replaced the Rumans in the basin of the Morava and
the Bosnian hills, as far westward as the Adriatic coast. Beyond, the
heathen Magyars had pressed into the Danubian plains like a wedge, and cut
off the Orthodox world from the Latin-Teutonic Christendom of the west;
but it looked as though the two divisions of Europe were embarked upon the
same course of development. Both were evolving a system of strongly-knit
nationalities, neither wholly interdependent nor wholly self-sufficient,
but linked together in their individual growth by the ties of common
culture and religion. In both the darkness was passing. The future of
civilization seemed once more assured, and in the Orthodox world the new
Greek nation seemed destined to play the leading part.

[Footnote 1: The Armenians split off from the Catholic Church four
centuries before the schism between the Roman and Orthodox sections of the

His cultural and political heritage from his ancient predecessors gave the
Romaic Greek in this period of revival an inestimable advantage over his
cruder neighbours, and his superiority declared itself in an expansion of
the Romaic Empire. In the latter half of the tenth century A.D. the nest
of Arab pirates from Spain, which had established itself in Krete and
terrorized the Aegean, was exterminated by the Emperor Nikiphóros Phokas,
and on the eastern marches Antioch was gathered within the frontier at the
Arabs' expense, and advanced posts pushed across Euphrates. In the first
half of the eleventh century Basil, 'Slayer of the Bulgars', destroyed the
Balkan kingdom after a generation of bitter warfare, and brought the whole
interior of the peninsula under the sway of Constantinople. His successors
turned their attention to the cast again, and attracted one Armenian
principality after another within the Imperial protectorate. Nor was the
revival confined to politics. The conversion of the Russians about A.D.
1000 opened a boundless hinterland to the Orthodox Church, and any one who
glances at a series of Greek ivory carvings or studies Greek history from
the original sources, will here encounter a literary and artistic
renaissance remarkable enough to explain the fascination which the
barbarous Russian and the outlandish Armenian found in Constantinople. Yet
this renaissance had hardly set in before it was paralysed by an
unexpected blow, which arrested the development of Modern Greece for seven

Modern, like Ancient, Greece was assailed in her infancy by a conqueror
from the east, and, unlike Ancient Greece, she succumbed. Turkish nomads
from the central Asiatic steppes had been drifting into the Moslem world
as the vigour of the Arabs waned. First they came as slaves, then as
mercenaries, until at last, in the eleventh century, the clan of Seljuk
grasped with a strong hand the political dominion of Islam. As champions
of the caliph the Turkish sultans disputed the infidels encroachment on
the Moslem border. They challenged the Romaic Empire's progress in
Armenia, and in A.D. 1071--five years after the Norman founded at Hastings
the strong government which has been the making of England--the Seljuk
Turk shattered at the battle of Melasgerd that heritage of strong
government which had promised so much to Greece.

Melasgerd opened the way to Anatolia. The Arab could make no lodgement
there, but in the central steppe of the temperate plateau the Turk found a
miniature reproduction of his original environment. Tribe after tribe
crossed the Oxus, to make the long pilgrimage to these new marches which
their race had won for Islam on the west, and the civilization developed
in the country by fifteen centuries of intensive and undisturbed
Hellenization was completely blotted out. The cities wore isolated from
one another till their commerce fell into decay. The elaborately
cultivated lands around them were left fallow till they were good for
nothing but the pasturage which was all that the nomad required. The only
monuments of architecture that have survived in Anatolia above ground are
the imposing khans or fortified rest-houses built by the Seljuk sultans
themselves after the consolidation of their rule, and they are the best
witnesses of the vigorous barbarism by which Romaic culture was effaced.
The vitality of the Turk was indeed unquestionable. He imposed his
language and religion upon the native Anatolian peasantry, as the Greek
had imposed his before him, and in time adopted their sedentary life,
though too late to repair the mischief his own nomadism had wrought. Turk
and Anatolian coalesced into one people; every mountain, river, lake,
bridge, and village in the country took on a Turkish name, and a new
nation was established for ever in the heart of the Romaic world, which
nourished itself on the life-blood of the Empire and was to prove the
supreme enemy, of the race.

This sequel to Melasgerd sealed the Empire's doom. Robbed of its Anatolian
governing class and its Anatolian territorial army, it ceased to be
self-sufficient, and the defenders it attracted from the west were at
least as destructive as its eastern foes. The brutal régime of the Turks
in the pilgrimage places of Syria had roused a storm of indignation in
Latin Europe, and a cloud gathered in the west once more. It was heralded
by adventurers from Normandy, who had first served the Romaic Government
as mercenaries in southern Italy and then expelled their employers, about
the time of Melasgerd, from their last foothold in the peninsula. Raids
across the straits of Otranto carried the Normans up to the walls of
Salonika, their fleets equipped in Sicily scoured the Aegean, and, before
the eleventh century was out, they had followed up these reconnoitring
expeditions by conducting Latin Christendom on its first crusade. The
crusaders assembled at Constantinople, and the Imperial Government was
relieved when the flood rolled on and spent itself further east. But one
wave was followed by another, and the Empire itself succumbed to the
fourth. In A.D. 1204, Constantinople was stormed by a Venetian flotilla
and the crusading host it conveyed on board, and more treasures of Ancient
Hellenism were destroyed in the sack of its hitherto inviolate citadel
than had ever perished by the hand of Arab or Slav.

With the fall of the capital the Empire dissolved in chaos, Venice and
Genoa, the Italian trading cities whose fortune had been made by the
crusades, now usurped the naval control of the Mediterranean which the
Empire had exercised since Nikiphóros pacified Krete. They seized all
strategical points of vantage on the Aegean coasts, and founded an
'extra-territorial' community at Pera across the Golden Horn, to
monopolize the trade of Constantinople with the Black Sea. The Latins
failed to retain their hold on Constantinople itself, for the puppet
emperors of their own race whom they enthroned there were evicted within a
century by Romaic dynasts, who clung to such fragments of Anatolia as had
escaped the Turk. But the Latin dominion was less ephemeral in the
southernmost Romaic provinces of Europe. The Latins' castles, more
conspicuous than the relics of Hellas, still crown many high hills in
Greece, and their French tongue has added another strain, to the varied
nomenclature of the country.[1] Yet there also pandemonium prevailed.
Burgundian barons, Catalan condottieri, and Florentine bankers snatched
the Duchy of Athens from one another in bewildering succession, while the
French princes of Achaia were at feud with their kindred vassals in the
west of the Peloponnesos whenever they were not resisting the
encroachments of Romaic despots in the south and east. To complete the
anarchy, the non-Romaic peoples in the interior of the Balkan peninsula
had taken the fall of Constantinople as a signal to throw off the Imperial
yoke. In the hinterland of the capital the Bulgars had reconstituted their
kingdom. The Romance-speaking Vlachs of Pindus moved down into the
Thessalian plains. The aboriginal Albanians, who with their back to the
Adriatic had kept the Slavs at bay, asserted their vitality and sent out
migratory swarms to the south, which entered the service of the warring
princelets and by their prowess won broad lands in every part of
continental Greece, where Albanian place-names are to this day only less
common than Slavonic. South-eastern Europe was again in the throes of
social dissolution, and the convulsions continued till they were stilled
impartially by the numbing hand of their ultimate author the Turk.

[Footnote 1: e.g. Klemoutsi, Glarentsa (Clarence) and Gastouni--villages
of the currant district in Peloponnesos--and Sant-Omeri, the mountain that
overlooks them.]

The Seljuk sultanate in Anatolia, shaken by the crusades, had gone the way
of all oriental empires to make room for one of its fractions, which
showed a most un-oriental faculty of organic growth. This was the extreme
march on the north-western rim of the Anatolian plateau, overlooking the
Asiatic littoral of the Sea of Marmora. It had been founded by one of
those Turkish chiefs who migrated with their clans from beyond the Oxus;
and it was consolidated by Othman his son, who extended his kingdom to the
cities on the coast and invested his subjects with his own name. In 1355
the Narrows of Gallipoli passed into Ottoman hands, and opened a bridge to
unexpected conquests in Europe. Serbia and Bulgaria collapsed at the first
attack, and the hosts which marched to liberate them from Hungary and from
France only ministered to Ottoman prestige by their disastrous
discomfiture. Before the close of the fourteenth century the Ottoman
sultan had transferred his capital to Adrianople, and had become
immeasurably the strongest power in the Balkan peninsula.

After that the end came quickly. At Constantinople the Romaic dynasty of
Palaiologos had upheld a semblance of the Empire for more than a century
after the Latin was expelled. But in 1453 the Imperial city fell before
the assault of Sultan Mohammed; and before his death the conqueror
eliminated all the other Romaic and Latin principalities from Peloponnesos
to Trebizond, which had survived as enclaves to mar the uniformity of the
Ottoman domain. Under his successors the tide of Ottoman conquest rolled
on for half a century more over south-eastern Europe, till it was stayed
on land beneath the ramparts of Vienna,[1] and culminated on sea, after
the systematic reduction of the Venetian strongholds, in the capture of
Rhodes from the Knights of St. John.[2] The Romaic race, which had been
split into so many fragments during the dissolution of the Empire, was
reunited again in the sixteenth century under the common yoke of the Turk.

[Footnote 1: 1526.]

[Footnote 2: 1522.]

Even in the Dark Age, Greece had hardly been reduced to so desperate a
condition as now. Through the Dark Age the Greek cities had maintained a
continuous life, but Mohammed II depopulated Constantinople to repeople it
with a Turkish majority from Anatolia. Greek commerce would naturally have
benefited by the ejection of the Italians from the Levant, had not the
Ottoman Government given asylum simultaneously to the Jews expelled from
Spain. These Sephardim established themselves at Constantinople, Salonika,
and all the other commercial centres of the Ottoman dominion, and their
superiority in numbers and industry made them more formidable urban rivals
of the Greeks than the Venetians and Genoese had ever been.

Ousted from the towns, the Greek race depended for its preservation on the
peasantry, yet Greece had never suffered worse rural oppression than under
the Ottoman régime. The sultan's fiscal demands were the least part of the
burden. The paralysing land-tax, collected in kind by irresponsible
middlemen, was an inheritance from the Romaic Empire, and though it was
now reinforced by the special capitation-tax levied by the sultan on his
Christian subjects, the greater efficiency and security of his government
probably compensated for the additional charge. The vitality of Greece was
chiefly sapped by the ruthless military organization of the Ottoman state.
The bulk of the Ottoman army was drawn from a feudal cavalry, bound to
service, as in the mediaeval Latin world, in return for fiefs or 'timaria'
assigned to them by their sovereign; and many beys and agas have
bequeathed their names in perpetuity to the richest villages on the
Messenian and Thessalian plains, to remind the modern peasant that his
Christian ancestors once tilled the soil as serfs of a Moslem timariot.
But the sultan, unlike his western contemporaries, was not content with
irregular troops, and the serf-communes of Greece had to deliver up a
fifth of their male children every fourth year to be trained at
Constantinople as professional soldiers and fanatical Moslems. This corps
of 'Janissaries'[1] was founded in the third generation of the Ottoman
dynasty, and was the essential instrument of its military success. One
race has never appropriated and exploited the vitality of another in so
direct or so brutal a fashion, and the institution of 'tribute-children',
so long as it lasted, effectually prevented any recovery of the Greek
nation from the untimely blows which had stricken it down.

[Footnote 1: Yeni Asker--New soldiery.]


_The Awakening of the Nation_

During the two centuries that followed the Ottoman conquest of
Constantinople, the Greek race was in serious danger of annihilation. Its
life-blood was steadily absorbed into the conquering community--quite
regularly by the compulsory tribute of children and spasmodically by the
voluntary conversion of individual households. The rich apostasized,
because too heavy a material sacrifice was imposed upon them by loyalty to
their national religion; the destitute, because they could not fail to
improve their prospects by adhering to the privileged faith. Even the
surviving organization of the Church had only been spared by the Ottoman
Government in order to facilitate its own political system--by bringing
the peasant, through the hierarchy of priest, bishop, and patriarch, under
the moral control of the new Moslem master whom the ecclesiastics
henceforth served.

The scale on which wholesale apostasy was possible is shown by the case of
Krete, which was conquered by the Turks from Venice just after these two
centuries had closed, and was in fact the last permanent addition to the
Turkish Empire. No urban or feudal settlers of Turkish blood were imported
into the island. To this day the uniform speech of all Kretans is their
native Greek. And yet the progressive conversion of whole clans and
villages had transferred at least 20 per cent. of the population to the
Moslem ranks before the Ottoman connexion was severed again in 1897.

The survival of the Greek nationality did not depend on any efforts of the
Greeks themselves. They were indeed no longer capable of effort, but lay
passive under the hand of the Turk, like the paralysed quarry of some
beast of prey. Their fate was conditional upon the development of the
Ottoman state, and, as the two centuries drew to a close, that state
entered upon a phase of transformation and of consequent weakness.

The Ottoman organism has always displayed (and never more conspicuously
than at the present moment) a much greater stability and vitality than any
of its oriental predecessors. There was a vein of genius in its creators,
and its youthful expansion permeated it with so much European blood that
it became partly Europeanized in its inner tissues--sufficiently to
partake, at any rate, in that faculty of indefinite organic growth which
has so far revealed itself in European life. This acquired force has
carried it on since the time when the impetus of its original institutions
became spent--a time when purely oriental monarchies fall to pieces, and
when Turkey herself hesitated between reconstruction and dissolution. That
critical period began for her with the latter half of the seventeenth
century, and incidentally opened new opportunities of life to her subject

Substantial relief from their burdens--the primary though negative
condition of national revival--accrued to the Greek peasantry from the
decay of Ottoman militarism in all its branches. The Turkish feudal
aristocracy, which had replaced the landed nobility of the Romaic Empire
in Anatolia and established itself on the choicest lands in conquered
Europe, was beginning to decline in strength. We have seen that it failed
to implant itself in Krete, and its numbers were already stationary
elsewhere. The Greek peasant slowly began to regain ground upon his Moslem
lord, and he profited further by the degeneration of the janissary corps
at the heart of the empire.

The janissaries had started as a militant, almost monastic body, condemned
to celibacy, and recruited exclusively from the Christian
tribute-children. But in 1566 they extorted the privilege of legal
marriage for themselves, and of admittance into the corps for the sons of
their wedlock. The next century completed their transformation from a
standing army into a hereditary urban militia--an armed and privileged
_bourgeoisie_, rapidly increasing in numbers and correspondingly jealous
of extraneous candidates for the coveted vacancies in their ranks. They
gradually succeeded in abolishing the enrolment of Christian recruits
altogether, and the last regular levy of children for that purpose was
made in 1676. Vested interests at Constantinople had freed the helpless
peasant from the most crushing burden of all.

At the same moment the contemporary tendency in western Europe towards
bureaucratic centralization began to extend itself to the Ottoman Empire.
Its exponents were the brothers Achmet and Mustapha Köprili, who held the
grand-vizierate in succession. They laid the foundations of a centralized
administration, and, since the unadaptable Turk offered no promising
material for their policy, they sought their instruments in the subject
race. The continental Greeks were too effectively crushed to aspire beyond
the preservation of their own existence; but the islands had been less
sorely tried, and Khios, which had enjoyed over two centuries[1] of
prosperity under the rule of a Genoese chartered company, and exchanged it
for Ottoman sovereignty under peculiarly lenient conditions, could still
supply Achmet a century later with officials of the intelligence and
education he required, Khiots were the first to fill the new offices of
'Dragoman of the Porte' (secretary of state) and 'Dragoman of the Fleet'
(civil complement of the Turkish capitan-pasha); and they took care in
their turn to staff the subordinate posts of their administration with a
host of pushing friends and dependants. The Dragoman of the Fleet wielded
the fiscal, and thereby in effect the political, authority over the Greek
islands in the Aegean; but this was not the highest power to which the new
Greek bureaucracy attained. Towards the beginning of the eighteenth
century Moldavia and Wallachia--the two 'Danubian Provinces' now united in
the kingdom of Rumania--were placed in charge of Greek officials with the
rank of voivode or prince, and with practically sovereign power within
their delegated dominions. A Danubian principality became the reward of a
successful dragoman's career, and these high posts were rapidly
monopolized by a close ring of official families, who exercised their
immense patronage in favour of their race, and congregated round the Greek
patriarch in the 'Phanari',[2] the Constantinopolitan slum assigned him
for his residence by Mohammed the Conqueror.

[Footnote 1: 1346-1566.]

[Footnote 2: 'Lighthouse-quarter.']

The alliance of this parvenu 'Phanariot' aristocracy with the conservative
Orthodox Church was not unnatural, for the Church itself had greatly
extended its political power under Ottoman suzerainty. The Ottoman
Government hardly regarded its Christian subjects as integral members of
the state, and was content to leave their civil government in the hands of
their spiritual pastors to an extent the Romaic emperors would never have
tolerated. It allowed the Patriarchate at Constantinople to become its
official intermediary with the Greek race, and it further extended the
Greek patriarch's authority over the other conquered populations of
Orthodox faith--Bulgars, Rumans, and Serbs--which had never been
incorporated in the ecclesiastical or political organization of the Romaic
Empire, but which learnt under Ottoman rule to receive their priests and
bishops from the Greek ecclesiastics of the capital, and even to call
themselves by the Romaic name. In 1691 Mustapha Köprili recognized and
confirmed the rights of all Christian subjects of the Sultan by a general
organic law.

Mustapha's 'New Ordinance' was dictated by the reverses which Christians
beyond the frontier were inflicting upon the Ottoman arms, for pressure
from without had followed hard upon disintegration within. Achmet's
pyrrhic triumph over Candia in 1669 was followed in 1683 by his brother
Mustapha's disastrous discomfiture before the walls of Vienna, and these
two sieges marked the turn of the Ottoman tide. The ebb was slow, yet the
ascendancy henceforth lay with Turkey's Christian neighbours, and they
began to cut short her frontiers on every side.

The Venetians had never lost hold upon the 'Ionian' chain of islands--
Corfù, Cefalonia, Zante, and Cerigo--which flank the western coast of
Greece, and in 1685 they embarked on an offensive on the mainland, which
won them undisputed possession of Peloponnesos for twenty years.[1] Venice
was far nearer than Turkey to her dissolution, and spent the last spasm of
her energy on this ephemeral conquest. Yet she had maintained the contact
of the Greek race with western Europe during the two centuries of despair,
and the interlude of her rule in Peloponnesos was a fitting culmination to
her work; for, brief though it was, it effectively broke the Ottoman
tradition, and left behind it a system of communal self-government among
the Peloponnesian Greeks which the returning Turk was too feeble to sweep
away. The Turks gained nothing by the rapid downfall of Venice, for
Austria as rapidly stepped into her place, and pressed with fresh vigour
the attack from the north-west. North-eastward, too, a new enemy had
arisen in Russia, which had been reorganized towards the turn of the
century by Peter the Great with a radical energy undreamed of by any
Turkish Köprili, and which found its destiny in opposition to the Ottoman
Empire. The new Orthodox power regarded itself as the heir of the Romaic
Empire from which it had received its first Christianity and culture. It
aspired to repay the Romaic race in adversity by championing it against
its Moslem oppressors, and sought its own reward in a maritime outlet on
the Black Sea. From the beginning of the eighteenth century Russia
repeatedly made war on Turkey, either with or without the co-operation of
Austria; but the decisive bout in the struggle was the war of 1769-74. A
Russian fleet appeared in the Mediterranean, raised an insurrection in
Peloponnesos, and destroyed the Turkish squadron in battle. The Russian
armies were still more successful on the steppes, and the Treaty of
Kutchuk Kainardji not only left the whole north coast of the Black Sea in
Russia's possession, but contained an international sanction for the
rights of the sultan's Orthodox subjects. In 1783 a supplementary
commercial treaty extorted for the Ottoman Greeks the right to trade under
the Russian flag. The territorial sovereignty of Turkey in the Aegean
remained intact, but the Russian guarantee gave the Greek race a more
substantial security than the shadowy ordinance of Mustapha Köprili. The
paralysing prestige of the Porte was broken, and Greek eyes were
henceforth turned in hope towards Petersburg.

[Footnote 1: 1699-1718.]

By the end of the eighteenth century the condition of the Greeks had in
fact changed remarkably for the better, and the French and English
travellers who now began to visit the Ottoman Empire brought away the
impression that a critical change in its internal equilibrium was at hand.
The Napoleonic wars had just extinguished the Venetian Republic and swept
the Ionian Islands into the struggle between England and France for the
mastery of the Mediterranean. England had fortified herself in Cefalonia
and Zante, France in Corfù, and interest centred on the opposite mainland,
where Ali Pasha of Yannina maintained a formidable neutrality towards
either power.

The career of Ali marked that phase in the decline of an Oriental empire
when the task of strong government becomes too difficult for the central
authority and is carried on by independent satraps with greater efficiency
in their more limited sphere. Ali governed the Adriatic hinterland with
practically sovereign power, and compelled the sultan for some years to
invest his sons with the pashaliks of Thessaly and Peloponnesos. The
greater part of the Greek race thus came in some degree under his control,
and his policy towards it clearly reflected the transition from the old to
the new. He waged far more effective war than the distant sultan upon
local liberties, and, though the elimination of the feudal Turkish
landowner was pure gain to the Greeks, they suffered themselves from the
loss of traditional privileges which the original Ottoman conquest had
left intact. The Armatoli, a local Christian militia who kept order in the
mountainous mainland north of Peloponnesos where Turkish feudatories were
rare, were either dispersed by Ali or enrolled in his regular army. And he
was ruthless in the extermination of recalcitrant communities, like
Agrapha on the Aspropotarno, which had never been inscribed on the
taxation-rolls of the Romaic or the Ottoman treasury, or Suli, a robber
clan ensconced in the mountains Immediately west of Ali's capital. On the
other hand, the administration of these pacified and consolidated
dominions became as essentially Greek in character as the Phanariot régime
beyond the Danube. Ali was a Moslem and an Albanian, but the Orthodox
Greeks were in a majority among his subjects, and he knew how to take
advantage of their abilities. His business was conducted by Greek
secretaries in the Greek tongue, and Yannina, his capital, was a Greek
city. European visitors to Yannina (for every one began the Levantine tour
by paying his respects to Ali) were struck by the enterprise and
intelligence of its citizens. The doctors were competent, because they had
taken their education in Italy or France; the merchants were prosperous,
because they had established members of their family at Odessa, Trieste,
or even Hamburg, as permanent agents of their firm. A new Greek
_bourgeoisie_ had arisen, in close contact with the professional life of
western Europe, and equally responsive to the new philosophical and
political ideas that were being propagated by the French Revolution.

This intellectual ferment was the most striking change of all. Since the
sack of Constantinople in 1204, Greek culture had retired into the
monasteries--inaccessible fastnesses where the monks lived much the same
life as the clansmen of Suli or Agrapha. Megaspélaion, the great cave
quarried in the wall of a precipitous Peloponnesian ravine; Metéora,
suspended on half a dozen isolated pinnacles of rock in Thessaly, where
the only access was by pulley or rope-ladder; 'Ayon Oros', the
confederation of monasteries great and small upon the mountain-promontory
of Athos--these succeeded in preserving a shadow of the old tradition, at
the cost of isolation from all humane influences that might have kept
their spiritual inheritance alive. Their spirit was mediaeval,
ecclesiastical, and as barren as their sheltering rocks; and the new
intellectual disciples of Europe turned to the monasteries in vain. The
biggest ruin on Athos is a boys' school planned in the eighteenth century
to meet the educational needs of all the Orthodox in the Ottoman Empire,
and wrecked on the reefs of monastic obscurantism. But its founder, the
Corfiot scholar Evyénios Voulgáris, did not hesitate to break with the
past. He put his own educational ideas into practice at Yannina and
Constantinople, and contributed to the great achievement of his
contemporary, the Khiot Adhamandios Koráis, who settled in Paris and there
evolved a literary adaptation of the Romaic patois to supersede the
lifeless travesty of Attic style traditionally affected by ecclesiastical
penmen. But the renaissance was not confined to Greeks abroad. The school
on Athos failed, but others established themselves before the close of the
eighteenth century in the people's midst, even in the smaller towns and
the remoter villages. The still flourishing secondary school of
Dhimitzána, in the heart of Peloponnesos, began its existence in this
period, and the national revival found expression in a new name. Its
prophets repudiated the 'Romaic' name, with its associations of ignorance
and oppression, and taught their pupils to think of themselves as
'Hellenes' and to claim in their own right the intellectual and political
liberty of the Ancient Greeks.

This spiritual 'Hellenism', however, was only one manifestation of
returning vitality, and was ultimately due to the concrete economic
development with which it went hand in hand. The Greeks, who had found
culture in western Europe, had come there for trade, and their commercial
no less than their intellectual activity reacted in a penetrating way upon
their countrymen at home. A mountain village like Ambelakia in Thessaly
found a regular market for its dyed goods in Germany, and the commercial
treaty of 1783 between Turkey and Russia encouraged communities which
could make nothing of the land to turn their attention to the sea.
Galaxhidi, a village on the northern shore of the Korinthian Gulf, whose
only asset was its natural harbour, and Hydhra, Spetza, and Psarà, three
barren little islands in the Aegean, had begun to lay the foundations of a
merchant marine, when Napoleon's boycott and the British blockade, which
left no neutral flag but the Ottoman in the Mediterranean, presented the
Greek shipmen that sailed under it with an opportunity they exploited to
the full. The whitewashed houses of solid stone, rising tier above tier up
the naked limestone mountainside, still testify to the prosperity which
chance thus suddenly brought to the Hydhriots and their fellow islanders,
and did not withdraw again till it had enabled them to play a decisive
part in their nation's history.

Their ships were small, but they were home-built, skilfully navigated, and
profitably employed in the carrying trade of the Mediterranean ports.
Their economic life was based on co-operation, for the sailors, as well as
the captain and owner of the ship, who were generally the same person,
took shares in the outlay and profit of each voyage; but their political
organization was oligarchical--an executive council elected by and from
the owners of the shipping. Feud and intrigue were rife between family and
family, class and class, and between the native community and the resident
aliens, without seriously affecting the vigour and enterprise of the
commonwealth as a whole. These seafaring islands on the eve of the modern
Greek Revolution were an exact reproduction of the Aigina, Korinth, and
Athens which repelled the Persian from Ancient Greece. The germs of a new
national life were thus springing up among the Greeks in every direction--
in mercantile colonies scattered over the world from Odessa to Alexandria
and from Smyrna to Trieste; among Phanariot princes in the Danubian
Provinces and their ecclesiastical colleagues at Constantinople; in the
islands of the Aegean and the Ionian chain, and upon the mountains of Suli
and Agrapha. But the ambitions this national revival aroused were even
greater than the reality itself. The leaders of the movement did not
merely aspire to liberate the Greek nation from the Turkish yoke. They
were conscious of the assimilative power their nationality possessed. The
Suliots, for example, were an immigrant Albanian tribe, who had learnt to
speak Greek from the Greek peasants over whom they tyrannized. The
Hydhriot and Spetziot islanders were Albanians too, who had even clung to
their primitive language during the two generations since they took up
their present abode, but had become none the less firmly linked to their
Greek-speaking neighbours in Peloponnesos by their common fellowship in
the Orthodox Church. The numerous Albanian colonies settled up and down
the Greek continent were at least as Greek in feeling as they. And why
should not the same prove true of the Bulgarian population, in the
Balkans, who had belonged from the beginning to the Orthodox Church, and
had latterly been brought by improvident Ottoman policy within the Greek
patriarch's fold? Or why should not the Greek administrators beyond the
Danube imbue their Ruman subjects with a sound Hellenic sentiment? In
fact, the prophets of Hellenism did not so much desire to extricate the
Greek nation from the Ottoman Empire as to make it the ruling element in
the empire itself by ejecting the Moslem Turks from their privileged
position and assimilating all populations of Orthodox faith. These dreams
took shape in the foundation of a secret society--the 'Philikì Hetairía'
or 'League of Friends'--which established itself at Odessa in 1814 with
the connivence of the Russian police, and opened a campaign of propaganda
in anticipation of an opportunity to strike.

The initiative came from the Ottoman Government itself. At the weakest
moment in its history the empire found in Sultan Mahmud a ruler of
peculiar strength, who saw that the only hope of overcoming his dangers
lay in meeting them half-way. The national movement of Hellenism was
gathering momentum in the background, but it was screened by the personal
ambitions of Ali of Yannina, and Mahmud reckoned to forestall both enemies
by quickly striking Ali down.

In the winter of 1819-20 Ali was outlawed, and in the spring the invasion
of his territories began. Both the Moslem combatants enlisted Christian
Armatoli, and all continental Greece was under arms. By the end of the
summer Ali's outlying strongholds had fallen, his armies were driven in,
and he himself was closely invested in Yannina; but with autumn a deadlock
set in, and the sultan's reckoning was thrown out. In November 1820 the
veteran soldier Khurshid was appointed to the pashalik of Peloponnesos to
hold the Greeks in check and close accounts with Ali. In March 1821, after
five months spent in organizing his province, Khurshid felt secure enough
to leave it for the Yannina lines. But he was mistaken; for within a month
of his departure Peloponnesos was ablaze.

The 'Philikì Hetairía' had decided to act, and the Peloponnesians
responded enthusiastically to the signal. In the north Germanòs,
metropolitan bishop of Patras, rallied the insurgents at the monastery of
Megaspélaion, and unfurled the monastic altar-cloth as a national
standard. In the south the peninsula of Maina, which had been the latest
refuge of ancient Hellenism, was now the first to welcome the new, and to
throw off the shadowy allegiance it had paid for a thousand years to
Romaic archonts and Ottoman capitan-pashas. Led by Petros Mavromichalis,
the chief of the leading clan, the Mainates issued from their mountains.
This was in April, and by the middle of May all the open country had been
swept clear, and the hosts joined hands before Tripolitza, which was the
seat of Ottoman government at the central point of the province. The
Turkish garrison attacked, but was heavily defeated at Valtetzi by the
tactical skill of Theodore Kolokotrónis the 'klepht', who had become
experienced in guerrilla warfare through his alternate professions of
brigand and gendarme--a career that had increased its possibilities as
the Ottoman system decayed. After Kolokotrónis's victory, the Greeks kept
Tripolitza under a close blockade. Early in October it fell amid frightful
scenes of pillage and massacre, and Ottoman dominion in the Peloponnesos
fell with it. On January 22, 1822, Korinth, the key to the isthmus, passed
into the Greeks' hands, and only four fortresses--Nauplia, Patras, Koron,
and Modhon--still held out within it against Greek investment. Not a Turk
survived in the Peloponnesos beyond their walls, for the slaughter at
Tripolitza was only the most terrible instance of what happened wherever a
Moslem colony was found. In Peloponnesos, at any rate, the revolution had
been grimly successful.

There had also been successes at sea. The merchant marine of the Greek
islands had suffered grievously from the fall of Napoleon and the
settlement at Vienna, which, by restoring normal conditions of trade, had
destroyed their abnormal monopoly. The revolution offered new
opportunities for profitable venture, and in April 1821 Hydhra, Spetza and
Psarà hastened to send a privateering fleet to sea. As soon as the fleet
crossed the Aegean, Samos rid itself of the Turks. At the beginning of
June the rickety Ottoman squadron issued from the Dardanelles, but it was
chased back by the islanders under the lee of Mitylini. Memories of
Russian naval tactics in 1770 led the Psariots to experiment in
fire-ships, and one of the two Turkish ships of the line fell a victim to
this attack. Within a week of setting sail, the diminished Turkish
squadron was back again in the Dardanelles, and the islanders were left
with the command of the sea.

The general Christian revolution thus seemed fairly launched, and in the
first panic the threatened Moslems began reprisals of an equally general
kind. In the larger Turkish cities there were massacres of Christian
minorities, and the Government lent countenance to them by murdering its
own principal Christian official Gregorios, the Greek patriarch at
Constantinople, on April 22, 1821. But Sultan Mahmud quickly recovered
himself. He saw that his empire could not survive a racial war, and
determined to prevent the present revolt from assuming such a character.
His plan was to localize it by stamping out the more distant sparks with
all his energy, before concentrating his force at leisure upon the main

This policy was justified by the event. On March 6 the 'Philikì Hetairia'
at Odessa had opened its own operations in grandiose style by sending a
filibustering expedition across the Russo-Turkish frontier under command
of Prince Alexander Hypsilantis, a Phanariot in the Russian service.
Hypsilantis played for a general revolt of the Ruman population in the
Danubian Principalities and a declaration of war against Turkey on the
part of Russia. But the Rumans had no desire to assist the Greek
bureaucrats who oppressed them, and the Tsar Alexander had been converted
by the experiences of 1812-13 to a pacifistic respect for the _status
quo_. Prince Hypsilantis was driven ignominiously to internment across the
Austrian frontier, little more than a hundred days after his expedition
began; and his fiasco assured the Ottoman Government of two encouraging
facts--that the revolution would not carry away the whole Orthodox
population but would at any rate confine itself to the Greeks; and that
the struggle against it would be fought out for the present, at least,
without foreign intervention.

In the other direction, however, rebellion was spreading northward from
Peloponnesos to continental Greece. Galaxídhi revolted in April, and was
followed in June by Mesolonghi--a prosperous town of fishermen,
impregnably situated in the midst of the lagoons at the mouth of the
Aspropotamo, beyond the narrows of the Korinthian Gulf. By the end of the
month, north-western Greece was free as far as the outposts of Khurshid
Pasha beyond the Gulf of Arta.

Further eastward, again, in the mountains between the Gulf of Korinth and
the river Elládha (Sperkheiòs), the Armatoli of Ali's faction had held
their ground, and gladly joined the revolution on the initiative of their
captains Dhiakos and Odhyssèvs. But the movement found its limits. The
Turkish garrison of Athens obstinately held out during the winter of
1821-2, and the Moslems of Negrepont (Euboía) maintained their mastery in
the island. In Agrapha they likewise held their own, and, after one
severely punished raid, the Agraphiot Armatoli were induced to re-enter
the sultan's service on liberal terms. The Vlachs in the gorges of the
Aspropotamo were pacified with equal success; and Dramali, Khurshid's
lieutenant, who guarded the communications between the army investing
Yannina and its base at Constantinople, was easily able to crush all
symptoms of revolt in Thessaly from his head-quarters at Lárissa. Still
further east, the autonomous Greek villages on the mountainous
promontories of Khalkidhiki had revolted in May, in conjunction with the
well-supplied and massively fortified monasteries of the 'Ayon Oros'; but
the Pasha of Salonika called down the South Slavonic Moslem landowners
from the interior, sacked the villages, and amnestied the monastic
confederation on condition of establishing a Turkish garrison in their
midst and confiscating their arms. The monks' compliance was assisted by
the excommunication under which the new patriarch at Constantinople had
placed all the insurgents by the sultan's command.

The movement was thus successfully localised on the European continent,
and further afield it was still more easily cut short. After the
withdrawal of the Turkish squadron, the Greek fleet had to look on at the
systematic destruction of Kydhonies,[1] a flourishing Greek industrial
town on the mainland opposite Mitylini which had been founded under the
sultan's auspices only forty years before. All that the islanders could do
was to take off the survivors in their boats; and when they dispersed to
their ports in autumn, the Ottoman ships came out again from the
Dardanelles, sailed round Peloponnesos into the Korinthian Gulf, and
destroyed Galaxídhi. A still greater catastrophe followed the reopening of
naval operations next spring. In March 1822 the Samians landed a force on
Khios and besieged the Turkish garrison, which was relieved after three
weeks by the arrival of the Ottoman fleet. A month later the Greek fleet
likewise appeared on the scene, and on June 18 a Psariot captain,
Constantine Kanaris, actually destroyed the Ottoman flag-ship by a daring
fire-ship attack. Upon this the Ottoman fleet fled back as usual to the
Dardanelles; yet the only consequence was the complete devastation, in
revenge, of helpless Khios. The long-shielded prosperity of the island was
remorselessly destroyed, the people were either enslaved or massacred, and
the victorious fleet had to stand by as passively this time as at the
destruction of Kydhonies the season before. In the following summer,
again, the same fate befell Trikéri, a maritime community on the Gulf of
Volo which had gained its freedom when the rest of Thessaly stirred in
vain; and so in 1823 the revolution found itself confined on sea, as well
as on land, to the focus where it had originated in April 1821.

[Footnote 1: Turkish Aivali.]

This isolation was a practical triumph for Sultan Mahmud. The maintenance
of the Ottoman Empire on the basis of Moslem ascendancy was thereby
assured; but it remained to be seen whether the isolated area could now be
restored to the _status quo_ in which the rest of his dominions had been

During the whole season of 1821 the army of Khurshid had been held before
Yannina. But in February 1822 Yannina fell, Ali was slain, his treasure
seized, and his troops disbanded. The Ottoman forces were liberated for a
counterattack on Peloponnesos. Already in April Khurshid broke up his camp
at Lárissa, and his lieutenant Dramali was given command of the new
expedition towards the south. He crossed the Sperkheiòs at the beginning
of July with an army of twenty thousand men.[1] Athens had capitulated to
Odhyssèvs ten days before; but it had kept open the road for Dramali, and
north-eastern Greece fell without resistance into his hands. The citadel
of Korinth surrendered as tamely as the open country, and he was master of
the isthmus before the end of the month. Nauplia meanwhile had been
treating with its besiegers for terms, and would have surrendered to the
Greeks already if they had not driven their bargain so hard. Dramali
hurried on southward into the plain to the fortress's relief, raised the
siege, occupied the town of Argos, and scattered the Greek forces into the
hills. But the citadel of Argos held out against him, and the positions
were rapidly reversed. Under the experienced direction of Kolokotrónis,
the Greeks from their hill-fastnesses ringed round the plain of Argos and
scaled up every issue. Dramali's supplies ran out. An attempt of his
vanguard to break through again towards the north was bloodily repulsed,
and he barely succeeded two days later in extricating the main body in a
demoralized condition, with the loss of all his baggage-train. The Turkish
army melted away, Dramali was happy to die at Korinth, and Khurshid was
executed by the sultan's command. The invasion of Peloponnesos had broken
down, and nothing could avert the fall of Nauplia. The Ottoman fleet
hovered for one September week in the offing, but Kanaris's fire-ships
took another ship of the line in toll at the roadsteads of Tenedos before
it safely regained the Dardanelles. The garrison of Nauplia capitulated in
December, on condition of personal security and liberty, and the captain
of a British frigate, which arrived on the spot, took measures that the
compact should be observed instead of being broken by the customary
massacre. But the strongest fortress in Peloponnesos was now in Greek

[Footnote 1: Including a strong contingent of Moslem Slavs--Bulgarian
Pomaks from the Aegean hinterland and Serbian Bosniaks from the Adriatic.]

In the north-west the season had not passed so well. When the Turks
invested Ali in Yannina, they repatriated the Suliot exiles in their
native mountains. But a strong sultan was just as formidable to the
Suliots as a strong pasha, so they swelled their ranks by enfranchising
their peasant-serfs, and made common cause with their old enemy in his
adversity. Now that Ali was destroyed, the Suliots found themselves in a
precarious position, and turned to the Greeks for aid. But on July 16 the
Greek advance was checked by a severe defeat at Petta in the plain of
Arta. In September the Suliots evacuated their impregnable fortresses in
return for a subsidy and a safe-conduct, and Omer Vrioni, the Ottoman
commander in the west,[1] was free to advance in turn towards the south.
On November 6 he actually laid siege to Mesolonghi, but here his
experiences were as discomfiting as Dramali's. He could not keep open his
communications, and after heavy losses retreated again to Arta in January

[Footnote 1: He was a renegade officer of Ali's.]

In 1823 the struggle seemed to be lapsing into stalemate. The liberated
Peloponnesos had failed to propagate the revolution through the remainder
of the Ottoman Empire; the Ottoman Government had equally failed to
reconquer the Peloponnesos by military invasion. This season's operations
only seemed to emphasize the deadlock. The Ottoman commander in the west
raised an auxiliary force of Moslem and Catholic clansmen from northern
Albania, and attempted to reach Mesolonghi once more. But he penetrated no
further than Anatolikòn--the Mesolonghiots' outpost village at the head of
the lagoons--and the campaign was only memorable for the heroic death of
Marko Botzaris the Suliot in a night attack upon the Ottoman camp. At sea,
the two fleets indulged in desultory cruises without an encounter, for the
Turks were still timid and incompetent, while the growing insubordination
and dissension on the Greek ships made concerted action there, too,
impossible. By the end of the season it was clear that the struggle could
only definitively be decided by the intervention of a third party on one
side or the other--unless the Greeks brought their own ruin upon

This indeed was not unlikely to happen; for the new house of Hellenism had
hardly arisen before it became desperately divided against itself. The
vitality of the national movement resided entirely in the local communes.
It was they that had found the fighting men, kept them armed and supplied,
and by spontaneous co-operation expelled the Turk from Peloponnesos. But
if the co-operation was to be permanent it must have a central
organization, and with the erection of this superstructure the troubles
began. As early as June 1821 a 'Peloponnesian Senate' was constituted and
at once monopolized by the 'Primates', the propertied class that had been
responsible for the communal taxes under the Romaic and Ottoman régimes
and was allowed to control the communal government in return. About the
same time two Phanariot princes threw in their lot with the revolution--
Alexander Mavrokordatos and Demetrius, the more estimable brother of the
futile Alexander Hypsilantis. Both were saturated with the most recent
European political theory, and they committed the peasants and seamen of
the liberated districts to an ambitious constitutionalism. In December
1821 a 'National Assembly' met at Epidauros, passed an elaborate organic
law, and elected Mavrokordatos first president of the Hellenic Republic.

The struggle for life and death in 1822 had staved off the internal
crisis, but the Peloponnesian Senate remained obstinately recalcitrant
towards the National Government in defence of its own vested interests;
and the insubordination of the fleet in 1823 was of one piece with the
political faction which broke out as soon as the immediate danger from
without was removed.

Towards the end of 1823 European 'Philhellenes' began to arrive in Greece.
In those dark days of reaction that followed Waterloo, self-liberated
Hellas seemed the one bright spot on the continent; but the idealists who
came to offer her their services were confronted with a sorry spectacle.
The people were indifferent to their leaders, and the leaders at variance
among themselves. The gentlemanly Phanariots had fallen into the
background. Mavrokordatos only retained influence in north-western Greece.
In Peloponnesos the Primates were all-powerful, and Kolokotrónis the
klepht was meditating a popular dictatorship at their expense. In the
north-east the adventurer Odhyssévs had won a virtual dictatorship
already, and was suspected of intrigue with the Turks; and all this
factious dissension rankled into civil war as soon as the contraction of a
loan in Great Britain had invested the political control of the Hellenic
Republic with a prospective value in cash. The first civil war was fought
between Kolokotrónis on the one side and the Primates of Hydhra and
Peloponnesos on the other; but the issue was decided against Kolokotrónis
by the adhesion to the coalition of Kolettis the Vlach, once physician to
Mukhtar Pasha, the son of Ali, and now political agent for all the
northern Armatoli in the national service. The fighting lasted from
November 1823 to June 1824, and was followed by another outbreak in
November of the latter year, when the victors quarrelled over the spoils,
and the Primates were worsted in turn by the islanders and the Armatoli.
The nonentity Kondouriottis of Hydhra finally emerged as President of
Greece, with the sharp-witted Kolettis as his principal wire-puller, but
the disturbances did not cease till the last instalment of the loan had
been received and squandered and there was no more spoil to fight for.

Meanwhile, Sultan Mahmud had been better employed. Resolved to avert
stalemate by the only possible means, he had applied in the course of 1823
to Mohammed Ali Pasha of Egypt, a more formidable, though more distant,
satrap than Ali of Yannina himself. Mohammed Ali had a standing army and
navy organized on the European model. He had also a son Ibrahim, who knew
how to manoeuvre them, and was ambitious of a kingdom. Mahmud hired the
father's troops and the son's generalship for the re-conquest of
Peloponnesos, under engagement to invest Ibrahim with the pashalik as soon
as he should effectively make it his own. By this stroke of diplomacy a
potential rebel was turned into a willing ally, and the preparations for
the Egyptian expedition went forward busily through the winter of 1823-4.

The plan of campaign was systematically carried out. During the season of
respite the Greek islanders had harried the coasts and commerce of
Anatolia and Syria at will. The first task was to deprive them of their
outposts in the Aegean, and an advanced squadron of the Egyptian fleet
accordingly destroyed the community of Kasos in June 1824, while the
Ottoman squadron sallied out of the Dardanelles a month later and dealt
out equal measure to Psarà. The two main flotillas then effected a
junction off Rhodes; and, though the crippled Greek fleet still ventured
pluckily to confront them, it could not prevent Ibrahim from casting
anchor safely in Soudha Bay and landing his army to winter in Krete. In
February 1825 he transferred these troops with equal impunity to the
fortress of Modhon, which was still held for the sultan by an Ottoman
garrison. The fire-ships of Hydhra came to harry his fleet too late, and
on land the Greek forces were impotent against his trained soldiers. The
Government in vain promoted Kolokotrónis from captivity to
commandership-in-chief. The whole south-western half of Peloponnesos
passed into Ibrahim's hands, and in June 1825 he even penetrated as far as
the mills of Lerna on the eastern coast, a few miles south of Argos

At the same time the Ottoman army of the west moved south again under a
new commander, Rashid Pasha of Yannina, and laid final siege on April 27
to Mesolonghi, just a year after Byron had died of fever within its walls.
The Greeks were magnificent in their defence of these frail mud-bastions,
and they more than held their own in the amphibious warfare of the
lagoons. The struggle was chequered by the continual coming and going of
the Greek and Ottoman fleets. They were indeed the decisive factor; for
without the supporting squadron Rashid would have found himself in the
same straits as his predecessors at the approach of autumn, while the
slackness of the islanders in keeping the sea allowed Mesolonghi to be
isolated in January 1826. The rest was accomplished by the arrival of
Ibrahim on the scene. His heavy batteries opened fire in February; his
gunboats secured command of the lagoons, and forced Anatolikòn to
capitulate in March. In April provisions in Mesolonghi itself gave out,
and, scorning surrender, the garrison--men, women, and children together--
made a general sortie on the night of April 22. Four thousand fell, three
thousand were taken, and two thousand won through. It was a glorious end
for Mesolonghi, but it left the enemy in possession of all north-western

The situation was going from bad to worse. Ibrahim returned to
Peloponnesos, and steadily pushed forward his front, ravaging as steadily
as he went. Rashid, after pacifying the north-west, moved on to the
north-eastern districts, where the national cause had been shaken by the
final treachery and speedy assassination of Odhyssèvs. Siege was laid to
Athens in June, and the Greek Government enlisted in vain the military
experience of its Philhellenes. Fabvier held the Akropolis, but
Generalissimo Sir Richard Church was heavily defeated in the spring of
1827 in an attempt to relieve him from the Attic coast; Grand Admiral
Cochrane saw his fleet sail home for want of payment in advance, when he
summoned it for review at Poros; and Karaiskakis, the Greek captain of
Armatoli, was killed in a skirmish during his more successful efforts to
harass Rashid's communications by land. On June 5, 1827, the Greek
garrison of the Akropolis marched out on terms.

It looked as if the Greek effort after independence would be completely
crushed, and as if Sultan Mahmud would succeed in getting his empire under
control. In September 1826 he had rid it at last of the mischief at its
centre by blowing up the janissaries in their barracks at Constantinople.
Turkey seemed almost to have weathered the storm when she was suddenly
overborne by further intervention on the other side.

Tsar Alexander, the vaccillator, died in November 1825, and was succeeded
by his son Nicholas I, as strong a character and as active a will as
Sultan Mahmud himself. Nicholas approached the Greek question without any
disinclination towards a Turkish war; and both Great Britain and France
found an immediate interest in removing a ground of provocation which
might lead to such a rude disturbance of the European 'Balance of Power'.
On July 6, 1827, a month after Athens surrendered, the three powers
concluded a treaty for the pacification of Greece, in which they bound
over both belligerent parties to accept an armistice under pain of
military coercion. An allied squadron appeared off Navarino Bay to enforce
this policy upon the Ottoman and Egyptian fleet which lay united there,
and the intrusion of the allied admirals into the bay itself precipitated
on October 20 a violent naval battle in which the Moslem flotilla was
destroyed. The die was cast; and in April 1828 the Russian and Ottoman
Governments drifted into a formal war, which brought Russian armies across
the Danube as far as Adrianople, and set the Ottoman Empire at bay for the
defence of its capital. Thanks to Mahmud's reorganization, the empire did
not succumb to this assault; but it had no more strength to spare for the
subjugation of Greece. The Greeks had no longer to reckon with the sultan
as a military factor; and in August 1828 they wore relieved of Ibrahim's
presence as well, by the disembarkation of 14,000 French troops in
Peloponnesos to superintend the withdrawal of the Egyptian forces. In
March 1829 the three powers delimited the Greek frontier. The line ran
east and west from the Gulf of Volo to the Gulf of Arta, and assigned to
the new state no more and no less territory than the districts that had
effectively asserted their independence against the sultan in 1821. This
settlement was the only one possible under the circumstances; but it was
essentially transitory, for it neglected the natural line of nationality
altogether, and left a numerical majority of the Greek race, as well as
the most important centres of its life, under the old régime of servitude.

Even the liberated area was not at the end of its troubles. In the spring
of 1827, when they committed themselves into the hands of their foreign
patrons, the Greeks had found a new president for the republic in John
Kapodistrias, an intimate of Alexander the tsar. Kapodistrias was a
Corfiote count, with a Venetian education and a career in the Russian
diplomatic service, and no one could have been more fantastically
unsuitable for the task of reconstructing the country to which he was
called. Kapodistrias' ideal was the _fin-de-siècle_ 'police-state'; but
'official circles' did not exist in Greece, and he had no acquaintance
with the peasants and sailors whom he hoped to redeem by bureaucracy. He
instituted a hierarchically centralized administration which made the
abortive constitution of Mavrokordatos seem sober by comparison; he
trampled on the liberty of the rising press, which was the most hopeful
educational influence in the country; and he created superfluous
ministerial portfolios for his untalented brothers. In fact he reglamented
Greece from his palace at Aigina like a divinely appointed autocrat, from
his arrival in January 1828 till the summer of 1831, when he provoked the
Hydhriots to open rebellion, and commissioned the Russian squadron in
attendance to quell them by a naval action, with the result that Poros was
sacked by the President's regular army and the national fleet was
completely destroyed. After that, he attempted to rule as a military
dictator, and fell foul of the Mavromichalis of Maina. The Mainates knew
better how to deal with the 'police-state' than the Hydhriots; and on
October 9, 1831, Kapodistrias was assassinated in Nauplia, at the church
door, by two representatives of the Mavromichalis clan.

The country lapsed into utter anarchy. Peloponnesians and Armatoli,
Kolokotronists and Kolettists, alternately appointed and deposed
subservient national assemblies and governing commissions by naked
violence, which culminated in a gratuitous and disastrous attack upon the
French troops stationed in Peloponnesos for their common protection. The
three powers realized that it was idle to liberate Greece from Ottoman
government unless they found her another in its place. They decided on
monarchy, and offered the crown, in February 1832, to Prince Otto, a
younger son of the King of Bavaria. The negotiations dragged on many
months longer than Greece could afford to wait. But in July 1832 the
sultan recognized the sovereign independence of the kingdom of Hellas in
consideration of a cash indemnity; and in February 1833, just a year after
the first overtures had been made, the appointed king arrived at Nauplia
with a decorative Bavarian staff and a substantial loan from the allies.


_The Consolidation of the State_

Half the story of Greece is told. We have watched the nation awake and put
forth its newly-found strength in a great war of independence, and we have
followed the course of the struggle to its result--the foundation of the
kingdom of Hellas.

It is impossible to close this chapter of Greek history without a sense of
disappointment. The spirit of Greece had travailed, and only a
principality was born, which gathered within its frontiers scarcely
one-third of the race, and turned for its government to a foreign
administration which had no bond of tradition or affinity with the
population it was to rule. And yet something had been achieved. An oasis
had been wrested from the Turkish wilderness, in which Hellenism could
henceforth work out its own salvation untrammelled, and extend its borders
little by little, until it brought within them at last the whole of its
destined heritage. The fleeting glamour of dawn had passed, but it had
brought the steady light of day, in which the work begun could be carried
out soberly and indefatigably to its conclusion. The new kingdom, in fact,
if it fulfilled its mission, might become the political nucleus and the
spiritual ensample of a permanently awakened nation--an 'education of
Hellas' such as Pericles hoped to see Athens become in the greatest days
of Ancient Greece.

When, therefore, we turn to the history of the kingdom, our disappointment
is all the more intense, for in the first fifty years of its existence
there is little development to record. In 1882 King Otto's principality
presented much the same melancholy spectacle as it did in 1833, when he
landed in Nauplia Bay, except that Otto himself had left the scene. His
Bavarian staff belonged to that reactionary generation that followed the
overthrow of Napoleon in Europe, and attempted, heedless of Kapodistrias'
fiasco, to impose on Greece the bureaucracy of the _ancien régime_. The
Bavarians' work was entirely destructive. The local liberties which had
grown up under the Ottoman dominion and been the very life of the national
revival, were effectively repressed. Hydhriot and Spetziot, Suliot and
Mainate, forfeited their characteristic individuality, but none of the
benefits of orderly and uniform government were realized. The canker of
brigandage defied all efforts to root it out, and in spite of the loans
with which the royal government was supplied by the protecting powers, the
public finance was subject to periodical breakdowns. In 1837 King Otto,
now of age, took the government into his own hands, only to have it taken
out of them again by a revolution in 1843. Thereafter he reigned as a
constitutional monarch, but he never reconciled himself to the position,
and in 1862 a second revolution drove him into exile, a scapegoat for the
afflictions of his kingdom. Bavarian then gave place to Dane, yet the
afflictions continued. In 1882 King George had been nineteen years on the
throne[1] without any happier fortune than his predecessor's. It is true
that the frontiers of the kingdom had been somewhat extended. Great
Britain had presented the new sovereign with the Ionian Islands as an
inaugural gift, and the Berlin Conference had recently added the province
of Thessaly. Yet the major part of the Greek race still awaited liberation
from the Turkish yoke, and regarded the national kingdom, chronically
incapacitated by the twin plagues of brigandage and bankruptcy, with
increasing disillusionment. The kingdom of Hellas seemed to have failed in
its mission altogether.

[Footnote 1: King George, like King Otto, was only seventeen years old
when he received his crown.]

What was the explanation of this failure? It was that the very nature of
the mission paralysed the state from taking the steps essential to its
accomplishment. The phenomenon has been, unhappily, only too familiar in
the Nearer East, and any one who travelled in the Balkans in 1882, or even
so recently as 1912, must at once have become aware of it.

Until a nation has completely vindicated its right to exist, it is hard
for it to settle down and make its life worth living. We nations of
western Europe (before disaster fell upon us) had learnt to take our
existence for granted, and 'Politics' for us had come to mean an organized
effort to improve the internal economy of our community. But a foreigner
who picked up a Greek newspaper would have found in it none of the matter
with which he was familiar in his own, no discussion of financial policy,
economic development, or social reconstruction. The news-columns would
have been monopolized by foreign politics, and in the cafes he would have
heard the latest oscillation in the international balance of power
canvassed with the same intense and minute interest that Englishmen in a
railway-carriage would have been devoting to Old Age Pensions, National
Health Insurance, or Land Valuation. He would have been amazed by a
display of intimate knowledge such as no British quidnunc could have
mustered if he had happened to stumble across these intricacies of
international competition, and the conversation would always have
terminated in the same unanswered but inconscionable challenge to the
future: 'When will the oppressed majority of our race escape the Turkish
yoke? If the Ottoman dominion is destroyed, what redistribution of its
provinces will follow? Shall we then achieve our national unity, or will
our Balkan neighbours encroach upon the inheritance which is justly ours?'

This preoccupation with events beyond the frontiers was not caused by any
lack of vital problems within them. The army was the most conspicuous
object of public activity, but it was not an aggressive speculation, or an
investment of national profits deliberately calculated to bring in one day
a larger return. It was a necessity of life, and its efficiency was barely
maintained out of the national poverty. In fact, it was almost the only
public utility with which the nation could afford to provide itself, and
the traveller from Great Britain would have been amazed again at the
miserable state of all reproductive public works. The railways were few
and far between, their routes roundabout, and their rolling-stock scanty,
so that trains were both rare and slow. Wheel-roads were no commoner a
feature in Greece than railways are here, and such stretches as had been
constructed had often never come into use, because they had just failed to
reach their goal or were still waiting for their bridges, so that they
were simply falling into decay and converting the outlay of capital upon
them into a dead loss. The Peiraeus was the only port in the country where
steamers could come alongside a quay, and discharge their cargoes directly
on shore. Elsewhere, the vessel must anchor many cables' lengths out, and
depend on the slow and expensive services of lighters, for lack of pier
construction and dredging operations. For example, Kalamata, the economic
outlet for the richest part of Peloponnesos, and the fifth largest port in
the kingdom,[1] was and still remains a mere open roadstead, where all
ships that call are kept at a distance by the silt from a mountain
torrent, and so placed in imminent danger of being driven, by the first
storm, upon the rocks of a neighbouring peninsula.

[Footnote 1: The four chief ports being Peiraeus, Patras, Syra, and

These grave shortcomings were doubtless due in part to the geographical
character of the country, though it was clear, from what had actually been
accomplished, that it would have been both possible and profitable to
attempt much more, if the nation's energy could have been secured for the
work. But it is hard to tinker at details when you are kept in a perpetual
fever by a question of life and death, and the great preliminary questions
of national unity and self-government remained still unsettled.

Before these supreme problems all other interests paled, for they were no
will-o'-the-wisps of theoretical politics. It needs a long political
education to appreciate abstract ideas, and the Greeks were still in their
political infancy, but the realization of Greater Greece implied for them
the satisfaction of all their concrete needs at once.

So long as the _status quo_ endured, they were isolated from the rest of
Europe by an unbroken band of Turkish territory, stretching from the
Aegean to the Adriatic Sea. What was the use of overcoming great
engineering difficulties to build a line of European gauge from Athens
right up to the northern frontier, if Turkey refused to sanction the
construction of the tiny section that must pass through her territory
between the Greek railhead and the actual terminus of the European system
at Salonika? Or if, even supposing she withdrew her veto, she would have
it in her power to bring pressure on Greece at any moment by threatening
to sever communications along this vital artery? So long as Turkey was
there, Greece was practically an island, and her only communication with
continental Europe lay through her ports. But what use to improve the
ports, when the recovery of Salonika, the fairest object of the national
dreams, would ultimately change the country's economic centre of gravity,
and make her maritime as well as her overland commerce flow along quite
other channels than the present?

Thus the Greek nation's present was overshadowed by its future, and its
actions paralysed by its hopes. Perhaps a nation with more power of
application and less of imagination would have schooled itself to the
thought that these sordid, obtrusive details were the key to the
splendours of the future, and would have devoted itself to the systematic
amelioration of the cramped area which it had already secured for its own.
This is what Bulgaria managed to do during her short but wonderful period
of internal growth between the Berlin Treaty of 1878 and the declaration
of war against Turkey in 1912. But Bulgaria, thanks to her geographical
situation, was from the outset freer from the tentacles of the Turkish
octopus than Greece had contrived to make herself by her fifty years'
start, while her temperamentally sober ambitions were not inflamed by such
past traditions as Greece had inherited, not altogether to her advantage.
Be that as it may, Greece, whether by fault or misfortune, had failed
during this half-century to apply herself successfully to the cure of her
defects and the exploitation of her assets, though she did not lack
leaders strong-minded enough to summon her to the dull business of the
present. Her history during the succeeding generation was a struggle
between the parties of the Present and the Future, and the unceasing
discomfiture of the former is typified in the tragedy of Trikoupis, the
greatest modern Greek statesman before the advent of Venezelos.

Trikoupis came into power in 1882, just after the acquisition of the rich
agricultural province of Thessaly under the Treaty of Berlin had given the
kingdom a fresh start. There were no such continuous areas of good arable
land within the original frontiers, and such rare patches as there were
had been desolated by those eight years of savage warfare[1] which had
been the price of liberty. The population had been swept away by wholesale
massacres of racial minorities in every district; the dearth of
industrious hands had allowed the torrents to play havoc with the
cultivation-terraces on the mountain slopes; and the spectre of malaria,
always lying in wait for its opportunity, had claimed the waterlogged
plains for its own. During the fifty years of stagnation little attempt
had been made to cope with the evil, until now it seemed almost past

[Footnote 1: 1821-28]

If, however, the surface of the land offered little prospect of wealth for
the moment, there were considerable treasures to be found beneath it. A
metalliferous bolt runs down the whole east coast of the Greek mainland,
cropping up again in many of the Aegean islands, and some of the ores, of
which there is a great variety, are rare and valuable. The lack of transit
facilities is partly remedied by the fact that workable veins often lie
near enough to the sea for the produce to be carried straight from mine to
ship, by an endless-chain system of overhead trolleys; so that, once
capital is secured for installing the plant and opening the mine,
profitable operations can be carried on irrespective of the general
economic condition of the country. Trikoupis saw how much potential wealth
was locked up in these mineral seams. The problem was how to attract the
capital necessary to tap it. The nucleus round which have accumulated
those immense masses of mobilised capital that are the life-blood of
modern European industry and commerce, was originally derived from the
surplus profits of agriculture. But a country that finds itself reduced,
like Greece in the nineteenth century, to a state of agricultural
bankruptcy, has obviously failed to save any surplus in the process, so
that it is unable to provide from its own pocket the minimum outlay it so
urgently needs in order to open for itself some new activity. If it is to
obtain a fresh start on other lines, it must secure the co-operation of
the foreign investor, and the capitalist with a ready market for his money
will only put it into enterprises where he has some guarantee of its
safety. There was little doubt that the minerals of Greece would well
repay extraction; the uncertain element was the Greek nation itself. The
burning question of national unity might break out at any moment into a
blaze of war, and, in the probable case of disaster, involve the whole
country and all interests connected with it in economic as well as
political ruin. Western Europe would not commit itself to Greek mining
enterprise, unless it felt confident that the statesman responsible for
the government of Greece would and could restrain his country from its
instinctive impulse towards political adventure.

The great merit of Trikoupis was that he managed to inspire this
confidence. Greece owes most of the wheelroads, railways, and mines of
which she can now boast to the dozen years of his more or less consecutive
administration. But the roads are unfinished, the railway-network
incomplete, the mines exploited only to a fraction of their capacity,
because the forces against Trikoupis were in the end too strong for him.
It may be that his eye too rigidly followed the foreign investor's point
of view, and that by adopting a more conciliatory attitude towards the
national ideal, he might have strengthened his position at home without
impairing his reputation abroad; but his position was really made
impossible by a force quite beyond his control, the irresponsible and
often intolerable behaviour which Turkey, under whatever régime, has
always practised towards foreign powers, and especially towards those
Balkan states which have won their freedom in her despite, while perforce
abandoning a large proportion of their race to the protracted outrage of
Turkish misgovernment.

Several times over the Porte, by wanton insults to Greece, wrecked the
efforts of Trikoupis to establish good relations between the two
governments, and played the game of the chauvinist party led by Trikoupis'
rival, Deliyannis. Deliyannis' tenures of office were always brief, but
during them he contrived to undo most of the work accomplished by
Trikoupis in the previous intervals. A particularly tense 'incident' with
Turkey put him in power in 1893, with a strong enough backing from the
country to warrant a general mobilization. The sole result was the ruin of
Greek credit. Trikoupis was hastily recalled to office by the king, but
too late. He found himself unable to retrieve the ruin, and retired
altogether from politics in 1895, dying abroad next year in voluntary
exile and enforced disillusionment.

With the removal of Trikoupis from the helm, Greece ran straight upon the
rocks. A disastrous war with Turkey was precipitated in 1897 by events in
Krete. It brought the immediate _débâcle_ of the army and the reoccupation
of Thessaly for a year by Turkish troops, while its final penalties were
the cession of the chief strategical positions along the northern frontier
and the imposition of an international commission of control over the
Greek finances, in view of the complete national bankruptcy entailed by
the war. The fifteen years that followed 1895 were almost the blackest
period in modern Greek history; yet the time was not altogether lost, and
such events as the draining of the Kopais-basin by a British company, and
its conversion from a malarious swamp into a rich agricultural area,
marked a perceptible economic advance.

This comparative stagnation was broken at last by the Young Turk
_pronunciamiento_ at Salonika in 1908, which produced such momentous
repercussions all through the Nearer East. The Young Turks had struck in
order to forestall the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, but the
opportunity was seized by every restive element within it to extricate
itself, if possible, from the Turkish coils. Now, just as in 1897, Greece
was directly affected by the action of the Greek population in Krete. As a
result of the revolt of 1896-7, Krete had been constituted an autonomous
state subject to Ottoman suzerainty, autonomy and suzerainty alike being
guaranteed by four great powers. Prince George of Greece, a son of the
King of the Hellenes, had been placed at the head of the autonomous
government as high commissioner; but his autocratic tendency caused great
discontent among the free-spirited Kretans, who had not rid themselves of
the Turkish régime in order to forfeit their independence again in another
fashion. Dissension culminated in 1906, when the leaders of the opposition
took to the mountains, and obtained such support and success in the
guerrilla fighting that followed, that they forced Prince George to tender
his resignation. He was succeeded as high commissioner by Zaimis, another
citizen of the Greek kingdom, who inaugurated a more constitutional
régime, and in 1908 the Kretans believed that the moment for realizing the
national ideal had come. They proclaimed their union with Greece, and
elected deputies to the Parliament at Athens. But the guarantor powers
carried out their obligations by promptly sending a combined naval
expedition, which hauled down the Greek flag at Canea, and prevented the
deputies from embarking for Peiraeus. This apparently pedantic insistence
upon the _status quo_ was extremely exasperating to Greek nationalism. It
produced a ferment in the kingdom, which grew steadily for nine months,
and vented itself in July 1909 in the _coup d'état_ of the 'Military
League', a second-hand imitation of the Turkish 'Committee of Union and
Progress'. The royal family was cavalierly treated, and constitutional
government superseded by a junta of officers. But at this point the policy
of the four powers towards Krete was justified. Turkey knew well that she
had lost Krete in 1897, but she could still exploit her suzerainty to
prevent Greece from gaining new strength by the annexation of the island.
The Young Turks had seized the reins of government, not to modify the
policy of the Porte, but to intensify its chauvinism, and they accordingly
intimated that they would consider any violation of their suzerain rights
over Krete a _casus belli_ against Greece. Greece, without army or allies,
was obviously not in a position to incur another war, and the 'Military
League' thus found that it had reached the end of its tether. There ensued
a deadlock of another eight months, only enlivened by a naval mutiny,
during which the country lay paralysed, with no programme whatsoever
before it.

Then the man demanded by the situation appeared unexpectedly from the
centre of disturbance, Krete. Venezelos started life as a successful
advocate at Canea. He entered Kretan politics in the struggle for
constitutionalism, and distinguished himself in the successful revolution
of 1906, of which he was the soul. Naturally, he became one of the leading
statesmen under Zaimis' régime, and he further distinguished himself by
resolutely opposing the 'Unionist' agitation as premature, and yet
retaining his hold over a people whose paramount political preoccupation
was their national unity. The crisis of 1908-9 brought him into close
relations with the government of the Greek kingdom; and the king, who had
gauged his calibre, now took the patriotic step of calling in the man who
had expelled his son from Krete, to put his own house in order. It speaks
much for both men that they worked together in harmony from the beginning.
Upon the royal invitation Venezelos exchanged Kretan for Greek
citizenship, and took in hand the 'Military League'. After short
negotiations, he persuaded it to dissolve in favour of a national
convention, which was able to meet in March 1910.

Thus Greece became a constitutional country once more, and Venezelos the
first premier of the new era. During five years of continuous office he
was to prove himself the good genius of his country. When he resigned his
post in April 1915, he left the work of consolidating the national state
on the verge of completion, and it will be his country's loss if he is
baulked of achievement. Results speak for themselves, and the remainder of
this pamphlet will be little more than a record of his statesmanship; but
before we pass on to review his deeds, we must say a word about the
character to which they are due. In March 1912 the time came for the first
general election since Venezelos had taken office. Two years' experience
of his administration had already won him such popularity and prestige,
that the old party groups, purely personal followings infected with all
the corruption, jingoism, and insincerity of the dark fifteen years,
leagued themselves in a desperate effort to cast him out. Corruption on a
grand scale was attempted, but Venezelos' success at the polls was
sweeping. The writer happened to be spending that month in Krete. The
Kretans had, of course, elected deputies in good time to the parliament at
Athens, and once more the foreign warships stopped them in the act of
boarding the steamer for Peiraeus, while Venezelos, who was still
responsible for the Greek Government till the new parliament met, had
declared with characteristic frankness that the attendance of the Kretan
deputies could not possibly be sanctioned, an opening of which his
opponents did not fail to take advantage. Meanwhile, every one in Krete
was awaiting news of the polling in the kingdom. They might have been
expected to feel, at any rate, lukewarmly towards a man who had actually
taken office on the programme of deferring their cherished 'union'
indefinitely; but, on the contrary, they greeted his triumph with enormous
enthusiasm. Their feeling was explained by the comment of an innkeeper.
'Venezelos!' he said: 'Why, he is a man who can say "No". He won't stand
any nonsense. If you try to get round him, he'll put you in irons.' And
clearly he had hit the mark. Venezelos would in any case have done well,
because he is a clever man with an excellent power of judgement; but
acuteness is a common Greek virtue, and if he has done brilliantly, it is
because he has the added touch of genius required to make the Greek take
'No' for an answer, a quality, very rare indeed in the nation, which
explains the dramatic contrast between his success and Trikoupis' failure.
Greece has been fortunate indeed in finding the right man at the crucial

In the winter of 1911-12 and the succeeding summer, the foreign traveller
met innumerable results of Venezelos' activity in every part of the
country, and all gave evidence of the same thing: a sane judgement and its
inflexible execution. For instance, a resident in Greece had needed an
escort of soldiers four years before, when he made an expedition into the
wild country north-west of the Gulf of Patras, on account of the number of
criminals 'wanted' by the government who were lurking in that region as
outlaws. In August 1912 an inquiry concerning this danger was met with a
smile: 'Oh, yes, it was so,' said the gendarme, 'but since then Venezelos
has come. He amnestied every one "out" for minor offences, and then caught
the "really bad ones", so there are no outlaws in Akarnania now.' And he
spoke the truth. You could wander all about the forests and mountains
without molestation.

So far Venezelos had devoted himself to internal reconstruction, after the
precedent of Trikoupis, but he was not the man to desert the national
idea. The army and navy were reorganized by French and British missions,
and when the opportunity appeared, he was ready to take full advantage of
it. In the autumn of 1912, Turkey had been for a year at war with Italy;
her finances had suffered a heavy drain, and the Italian command of the
sea not only locked up her best troops in Tripoli, but interrupted such
important lines of communication between her Asiatic and European
provinces as the direct route by sea from Smyrna to Salonika, and the
devious sea-passage thence round Greece to Scutari, which was the only
alternative for Turkish troops to running the gauntlet of the Albanian
mountaineers. Clearly the Balkan nations could find no better moment for
striking the blow to settle that implacable 'preliminary question.' of
national unity which had dogged them all since their birth. Their only
chance of success, however, was to strike in concert, for Turkey,
handicapped though she was, could still easily outmatch them singly.
Unless they could compromise between their conflicting claims, they would
have to let this common opportunity for making them good slip by

Of the four states concerned, two, Serbia and Montenegro, were of the same
South-Slavonic nationality, and had been drawn into complete accord with
each other since the formal annexation of Bosnia by Austria-Hungary in
1908, which struck a hard blow at their common national idea, while
neither of them had any conflicting claims with Greece, since the Greek
and South-Slavonic nationalities are at no point geographically in
contact. With Bulgaria, a nation of Slavonic speech and culture, though
not wholly Slavonic in origin, Serbia had quarrelled for years over the
ultimate destiny of the Üsküb district in north-western Macedonia, which
was still subject to Turkey; but in the summer of 1912 the two states
compromised in a secret treaty upon their respective territorial
ambitions, and agreed to refer the fate of one debatable strip to the
arbitration of Russia, after their already projected war with Turkey had
been carried through. There was a more formidable conflict of interests
between Bulgaria and Greece. These two nationalities are conterminous over
a very wide extent of territory, stretching from the Black Sea on the east
to the inland Lake of Okhrida on the west, and there is at no point a
sharp dividing line between them. The Greek element tends to predominate
towards the coast and the Bulgar towards the interior, but there are broad
zones where Greek and Bulgar villages are inextricably interspersed, while
purely Greek towns are often isolated in the midst of purely Bulgar rural
districts. Even if the racial areas could be plotted out on a large-scale
map, it was clear that no political frontier could be drawn to follow
their convolutions, and that Greece and Bulgaria could only divide the
spoils by both making up their minds to give and take. The actual lines
this necessary compromise would follow, obviously depended on the degree
of the allies' success against Turkey in the common war that was yet to be
fought, and Venezelos rose to the occasion. He had the courage to offer
Bulgaria the Greek alliance without stipulating for any definite minimum
share in the common conquests, and the tact to induce her to accept it on
the same terms. Greece and Bulgaria agreed to shelve all territorial
questions till the war had been brought to a successful close; and with
the negotiation of this understanding (another case in which Venezelos
achieved what Trikoupis had attempted only to fail) the Balkan League was

The events that followed are common knowledge. The Balkan allies opened
the campaign in October, and the Turks collapsed before an impetuous
attack. The Bulgarians crumpled up the Ottoman field armies in Thrace at
the terrific battle of Lule Burgas; the Serbians disposed of the forces in
the Macedonian interior, while the Greeks effected a junction with the
Serbians from the south, and cut their way through to Salonika. Within two
months of the declaration of war, the Turks on land had been driven out of
the open altogether behind the shelter of the Chataldja and Gallipoli
lines, and only three fortresses--Adrianople, Yannina, and Scutari--held
out further to the west. Their navy, closely blockaded by the Greek fleet
within the Dardanelles, had to look on passively at the successive
occupation of the Aegean Islands by Greek landing-parties. With the winter
came negotiations, during which an armistice reigned at Adrianople and
Scutari, while the Greeks pursued the siege of Yannina and the Dardanelles
blockade. The negotiations proved abortive, and the result of the renewed
hostilities justified the action of the Balkan plenipotentiaries in
breaking them off. By the spring of 1913 the three fortresses had fallen,
and, under the treaty finally signed at London, Turkey ceded to the Balkan
League, as a whole, all her European territories west of a line drawn from
Ainos on the Aegean to Midía on the Black Sea, including Adrianople and
the lower basin of the river Maritsa.

The time had now come for Greece and Bulgaria to settle their account, and
the unexpected extent of the common gains ought to have facilitated their
division. The territory in question included the whole north coast of the
Aegean and its immediate hinterland, and Venezelos proposed to consider it
in two sections. (1) The eastern section, conveniently known as Thrace,
consisted of the lower basin of the Maritsa. As far as Adrianople the
population was Bulgar, but south of that city it was succeeded by a Greek
element, with a considerable sprinkling of Turkish settlements, as far as
the sea. Geographically, however, the whole district is intimately
connected with Bulgaria, and the railway that follows the course of the
Maritsa down to the port of Dedeagatch offers a much-needed economic
outlet for large regions already within the Bulgarian frontier. Venezelos,
then, was prepared to resign all Greek claims to the eastern section, in
return for a corresponding concession by Bulgaria in the west. (2) The
western section, consisting of the lower basins of the Vardar and Struma,
lay in the immediate neighbourhood of the former frontier of Greece; but
the Greek population of Salonika,[1] and the coast-districts east of it,
could not be brought within the Greek frontier without including as well a
certain hinterland inhabited mainly by Bulgarians. The cession of this was
the return asked for by Venezelos, and he reduced it to a minimum by
abstaining from pressing the quite well-founded claims of Greece in the
Monastir district, which lay further inland still.

[Footnote 1: The predominant element within the walls of Salonika itself
is neither Greek nor Bulgarian, but consists of about 80,000 of those
Spanish-speaking Jews who settled in Turkey as refugees during the
sixteenth century.]

But Venezelos' conciliatory proposals met with no response from the
Bulgarian Government, which was in an 'all or nothing' mood. It swallowed
Venezelos' gift of Thrace, and then proceeded to exploit the Bulgar
hinterland of Salonika as a pretext for demanding the latter city as well.
This uncompromising attitude made agreement impossible, and it was
aggravated by the aggressive action of the Bulgarian troops in the
occupied territory, who persistently endeavoured to steal ground from the
Greek forces facing them. In May there was serious fighting to the east of
the Struma, and peace was only restored with difficulty. Bulgarian
relations with Serbia were becoming strained at the same time, though in
this case Bulgaria had more justice on her side. Serbia maintained that
the veto imposed by Austria upon her expansion to the Adriatic, in
coincidence with Bulgaria's unexpected gains on the Maritsa to which
Serbian arms had contributed, invalidated the secret treaty of the
previous summer, and she announced her intention of retaining the Monastir
district and the line of the Salonika railway as far as the future
frontier of Greece. Bulgaria, on the other hand, shut her eyes to Serbia's
necessity for an untrammelled economic outlet to one sea-board or the
other, and took her stand on her strictly legal treaty-rights. However the
balance of justice inclined, a lasting settlement could only have been
reached by mutual forbearance and goodwill; but Bulgaria put herself
hopelessly in the wrong towards both her allies by a treacherous
night-attack upon them all along the line, at the end of June 1913. This
disastrous act was the work of a single political party, which has since
been condemned by most sections of Bulgarian public opinion; but the
punishment, if not the responsibility for the crime, fell upon the whole
nation. Greece and Serbia had already been drawn into an understanding by
their common danger. They now declared war against Bulgaria in concert.
The counter-strokes of their armies met with success, and the intervention
of Rumania made Bulgaria's discomfiture certain.

The results of the one month's war were registered in the Treaty of
Bucarest. Many of its provisions were unhappily, though naturally,
inspired by the spirit of revenge; but the Greek premier, at any rate,
showed a statesmanlike self-restraint in the negotiations. Venezelos
advocated the course of taking no more after the war than had been
demanded before it. He desired to leave Bulgaria a broad zone of Aegean
littoral between the Struma and Maritsa rivers, including ports capable of
satisfying Bulgaria's pressing need for an outlet towards the south. But,
in the exasperated state of public feeling, even Venezelos' prestige
failed to carry through his policy in its full moderation. King George had
just been assassinated in his year of jubilee, in the streets of the
long-desired Salonika; and King Constantine, his son, flushed by the
victory of Kilkish and encouraged by the Machiavellian diplomacy of his
Hohenzollern brother-in-law, insisted on carrying the new Greek frontier
as far east as the river Mesta, and depriving Bulgaria of Kavala, the
natural harbour for the whole Bulgarian hinterland in the upper basins of
the Mesta and Struma.

It is true that Greece did not exact as much as she might have done.
Bulgaria was still allowed to possess herself of a coastal strip east of
the Mesta, containing the tolerable harbours of Porto Lagos and
Dedeagatch, which had been occupied during hostilities by the Greek fleet,
and thus her need for an Aegean outlet was not left unsatisfied altogether;
while Greece on her part was cleverly shielded for the future from those
drawbacks involved in immediate contact with Turkish territory, which she
had so often experienced in the past. It is also true that the Kavala
district is of great economic value in itself--it produces the better part
of the Turkish Régie tobacco crop--and that on grounds of nationality
alone Bulgaria has no claim to this prize, since the tobacco-growing
peasantry is almost exclusively Greek or Turk, while the Greek element has
been extensively reinforced during the last two years by refugees from
Anatolia and Thrace.

Nevertheless, it is already clear that Venezelos' judgement was the
better. The settlement at the close of the present war may even yet bring
Bulgaria reparation in many quarters. If the Ruman and South Slavonic
populations at present included in the complexus of Austria-Hungary are
freed from their imprisonment and united with the Serbian and Rumanian
national states, Bulgaria may conceivably recover from the latter those
Bulgarian lands which the Treaty of Bucarest made over to them in central
Macedonia and the Dobrudja, while it would be still more feasible to oust
the Turk again from Adrianople, where he slipped back in the hour of
Bulgaria's prostration and has succeeded in maintaining himself ever
since. Yet no amount of compensation in other directions and no abstract
consideration for the national principle will induce Bulgaria to renounce
her claim on Greek Kavala. Access to this district is vital to Bulgaria
from the geographical point of view, and she will not be satisfied here
with such rights as Serbia enjoys at Salonika--free use of the port and
free traffic along a railway connecting it with her own hinterland. Her
heart is set on complete territorial ownership, and she will not compose
her feud with Greece until she has had her way.

So long, therefore, as the question of Kavala remains unsettled, Greece
will not be able to put the preliminary problem of 'national
consolidation' behind her, and enter upon the long-deferred chapter of
'internal development'. To accomplish once for all this vital transition,
Venezelos is taking the helm again into his hands, and it is his evident
intention to close the Greek account with Bulgaria just as Serbia and
Rumania hope to close theirs with the same state--by a bold territorial
concession conditional upon adequate territorial compensation

[Footnote 1: The above paragraph betrays its own date; for, since it was
written, the intervention of Bulgaria on the side of the Central Powers
has deferred indefinitely the hope of a settlement based upon mutual

The possibility of such compensation is offered by certain outstanding
problems directly dependent upon the issue of the European conflict, and
we must glance briefly at these before passing on to consider the new
chapter of internal history that is opening for the Greek nation.

The problems in question are principally concerned with the ownership of

The integrity of a land-frontier is guaranteed by the whole strength of
the nation included within it, and can only be modified by a struggle for
existence with the neighbor on whom it borders; but islands by their
geographical nature constitute independent political units, easily
detached from or incorporated with larger domains, according to the
momentary fluctuation in the balance of sea-power. Thus it happened that
the arrival of the _Goeben_ and _Breslau_ at the Dardanelles in August
1914 led Turkey to reopen promptly certain questions concerning the
Aegean. The islands in this sea are uniformly Greek in population, but
their respective geographical positions and political fortunes
differentiate them into several groups.

1. The Cyclades in the south-west, half submerged vanguards of mountain
ranges in continental Greece, have formed part of the modern kingdom from
its birth, and their status has never since been called into question.

2. Krete, the largest of all Greek islands, has been dealt with already.
She enjoyed autonomy under Turkish suzerainty for fifteen years before the
Balkan War, and at its outbreak she once more proclaimed her union with
Greece. This time at last her action was legalized, when Turkey expressly
abandoned her suzerain rights by a clause in the Treaty of London.

3. During the war itself, the Greek navy occupied a number of islands
which had remained till then under the more direct government of Turkey,
The parties to the Treaty of London agreed to leave their destiny to the
decision of the powers, and the latter assigned them all to Greece, with
the exception of Imbros and Tenedos which command strategically the mouth
of the Dardanelles.

The islands thus secured to Greece fall in turn into several sub-groups.

Two of these are _(a)_ Thasos, Samothraki, and Lemnos, off the European
coast, and _(b)_ Samos and its satellite Nikarià, immediately off the west
coast of Anatolia; and these five islands seem definitely to have been
given up by Turkey for lost. The European group is well beyond the range
of her present frontiers; while Samos, though it adjoins the Turkish
mainland, does not mask the outlet from any considerable port, and had
moreover for many years possessed the same privileged autonomy as Krete,
so that the Ottoman Government did not acutely feel its final severance.

_(c)_ A third group consists of Mitylini and Khios,[1] and concerning this
pair Greece and Turkey have so far come to no understanding. The Turks
pointed out that the littoral off which these islands lie contains not
only the most indispensable ports of Anatolia but also the largest
enclaves of Greek population on the Asiatic mainland, and they declared
that the occupation of this group by Greece menaced the sovereignty of the
Porte in its home territory. 'See', they said, 'how the two islands flank
both sides of the sea-passage to Smyrna, the terminus of all the railways
which penetrate the Anatolian interior, while Mitylini barricades Aivali
and Edremid as well. As soon as the Greek Government has converted the
harbours of these islands into naval bases, Anatolia will be subject to a
perpetual Greek blockade, and this violent intimidation of the Turkish
people will be reinforced by an insidious propaganda among the disloyal
Greek elements in our midst.' Accordingly the Turks refused to recognize
the award of the powers, and demanded the re-establishment of Ottoman
sovereignty in Mitylini and Khios, under guarantee of an autonomy after
the precedent of Krete and Samos.

[Footnote 1: Including its famous satellite Psarà.]

To these arguments and demands the Greeks replied that, next to Krete;
these are the two largest, most wealthy, and most populous Greek islands
in the Aegean; that their inhabitants ardently desire union with the
national kingdom; and that the Greek Government would hesitate to use them
as a basis for economic coercion and nationalistic propaganda against
Turkey, if only because the commerce of western Anatolia is almost
exclusively in the hands of the Greek element on the Asiatic continent.
Greek interests were presumably bound up with the economic prosperity and
political consolidation of Turkey in Asia, and the Anatolian Greeks would
merely have been alienated from their compatriots by any such impolitic
machinations. 'Greek sovereignty in Mitylini and Khios', the Greeks
maintained, 'does not threaten Turkish sovereignty on the Continent. But
the restoration of Turkish suzerainty over the islands would most
seriously endanger the liberty of their inhabitants; for Turkish promises
are notoriously valueless, except when they are endorsed by the guarantee
of some physically stronger power.'

Negotiations were conducted between Greece and Turkey from these
respective points of view without leading to any result, and the two
standpoints were in fact irreconcilable, since either power required the
other to leave vital national interests at the mercy of an ancient enemy,
without undertaking to make corresponding sacrifices itself. The problem
probably would never have been solved by compromise; but meanwhile the
situation has been entirely transformed by the participation of Turkey in
the European War, and the issue between Greece and Turkey, like the issue
between Greece and Bulgaria, has been merged in the general problem of the
European settlement.

The Balkan War of 1912 doomed the Ottoman power in Europe, but left its
Asiatic future unimpaired. By making war against the Quadruple Entente,
Turkey has staked her existence on both continents, and is threatened with
political extinction if the Central Powers succumb in the struggle. In
this event Greece will no longer have to accommodate her régime in the
liberated islands to the susceptibilities of a Turkey consolidated on the
opposite mainland, but will be able to stretch out her hand over the
Anatolian coast and its hinterland, and compensate herself richly in this
quarter for the territorial sacrifices which may still be necessary to a
lasting understanding with her Bulgarian neighbour.

The shores that dominate the Dardanelles will naturally remain beyond her
grasp, but she may expect to establish herself on the western littoral
from a point as far north as Mount Ida and the plain of Edremid. The Greek
coast-town of Aivali will be hers, and the still more important focus of
Greek commerce and civilization at Smyrna; while she will push her
dominion along the railways that radiate from Smyrna towards the interior.
South-eastward, Aidin will be hers in the valley of the Mendere
(Maiandros). Due eastward she will re-baptize the glistening city of Ala
Shehr with its ancient name of Philadelphia, under which it held out
heroically for Hellenism many years after Aidin had become the capital of
a Moslem principality and the Turkish avalanche had rolled past it to the
sea. Maybe she will follow the railway still further inland, and plant her
flag on the Black Castle of Afiun, the natural railway-centre of Anatolia
high up on the innermost plateau. All this and more was once Hellenic
ground, and the Turkish incomer, for all his vitality, has never been able
here to obliterate the older culture or assimilate the earlier population.
In this western region Turkish villages are still interspersed with Greek,
and under the government of compatriots the unconquerable minority would
inevitably reassert itself by the peaceful weapons of its superior energy
and intelligence.

4. If Greece realizes these aspirations through Venezelos' statesmanship,
she will have settled in conjunction her outstanding accounts with both
Bulgaria and Turkey; but a fourth group of islands still remains for
consideration, and these, though formerly the property of Turkey, are now
in the hands of other European powers.

_(a)_ The first of those in question are the Sporades, a chain of islands
off the Anatolian coast which continues the line of Mitylini, Khios, and
Samos towards the south-east, and includes Kos, Patmos, Astypalià,
Karpathos, Kasos, and, above all, Rhodes. The Sporades were occupied by
Italy during her war with Turkey in 1911-12, and she stipulated in the
Peace of Lausanne that she should retain them as a pledge until the last
Ottoman soldier in Tripoli had been withdrawn, after which she would make
them over again to the Porte. The continued unrest in Tripoli may or may
not have been due to Turkish intrigues, but in any case it deferred the
evacuation of the islands by Italy until the situation was transformed
here also by the successive intervention of both powers in the European
War. The consequent lapse of the Treaty of Lausanne simplifies the status
of the Sporades, but it is doubtful what effect it will have upon their
destiny. In language and political sympathy their inhabitants are as
completely Greek as all the other islanders of the Aegean, and if the
Quadruple Entente has made the principle of nationality its own, Italy is
morally bound, now that the Sporades are at her free disposal, to satisfy
their national aspirations by consenting to their union with the kingdom
of Greece. On the other hand, the prospective dissolution of the Ottoman
Empire has increased Italy's stake in this quarter. In the event of a
partition, the whole southern littoral of Anatolia will probably fall
within the Italian sphere, which will start from the Gulf of Iskanderun,
include the districts of Adana and Adalia, and march with the new
Anatolian provinces of Greece along the line of the river Mendere. This
continental domain and the adjacent islands are geographically
complementary to one another, and it is possible that Italy may for
strategical reasons insist on retaining the Sporades in perpetuity if she
realizes her ambitions on the continent. This solution would be less ideal
than the other, but Greece would be wise to reconcile herself to it, as
Italy has reconciled herself to the incorporation of Corsica in France;
for by submitting frankly to this detraction from her national unity she
would give her brethren in the Sporades the best opportunity of developing
their national individuality untrammelled under a friendly Italian

_(b)_ The advance-guard of the Greek race that inhabits the great island
of Cyprus has been subject to British government since 1878, when the
provisional occupation of the island by Great Britain under a contract
similar to that of Lausanne was negotiated in a secret agreement between
Great Britain and Turkey on the eve of the Conference at Berlin. The
condition of evacuation was in this case the withdrawal of Russia from
Kars, and here likewise it never became operative till it was abrogated by
the outbreak of war. Cyprus, like the Sporades, is now at the disposal of
its _de facto_ possessor, and on November 5, 1914, it was annexed to the
British Empire. But whatever decision Italy may take, it is to be hoped
that our own government at any rate will not be influenced exclusively by
strategical considerations, but will proclaim an intention of allowing
Cyprus ultimately to realize its national aspirations by union with

[Footnote 1: Since the above was written, this intention, under a certain
condition, has definitely been expressed.]

The whole population of the island is Greek in language, while under an
excellent British administration its political consciousness has been
awakened, and has expressed itself in a growing desire for national unity
among the Christian majority. It is true that in Cyprus, as in Krete,
there is a considerable Greek-speaking minority of Moslems[1] who prefer
the _status quo_; but, since the barrier of language is absent, their
antipathy to union may not prove permanent. However important the
retention of Cyprus may be to Great Britain from the strategical point of
view, we shall find that even in the balance of material interests it is
not worth the price of alienating the sympathy of an awakened and
otherwise consolidated nation.

[Footnote 1: In Cyprus about 22 per cent.]

This rather detailed review of problems in the islands and Anatolia brings
out the fact that Greek nationalism is not an artificial conception of
theorists, but a real force which impels the most scattered and
down-trodden populations of Greek speech to travail unceasingly for
political unity within the national state. Yet by far the most striking
example of this attractive power in Hellenism is the history of it in

[Footnote 1: The name coined to include the districts of Himarra,
Argyrokastro, and Koritsà.]

The Epirots are a population of Albanian race, and they still speak an
Albanian dialect in their homes; while the women and children, at any
rate, often know no other language. But somewhat over a century ago the
political organism created by the remarkable personality of Ali Pasha in
the hinterland of the Adriatic coast, and the relations of Great Britain
and France with this new principality in the course of their struggle for
the Mediterranean, began to awaken in the Epirots a desire for
civilization. Their Albanian origin opened to them no prospects, for the
race had neither a literature nor a common historical tradition; and they
accordingly turned to the Greeks, with whom they were linked in religion
by membership of the Orthodox Church, and in politics by subjection to
Ali's Government at Yannina, which had adopted Greek as its official

They had appealed to the right quarter; for we have seen how Greek culture
accumulated a store of latent energy under the Turkish yoke, and was
expending it at this very period in a vigorous national revival. The
partially successful War of Liberation in the 'twenties of the nineteenth
century was only the political manifestation of the new life. It has
expressed itself more typically in a steady and universal enthusiasm for
education, which throughout the subsequent generations of political
stagnation has always opened to individual Greeks commercial and
professional careers of the greatest brilliance, and often led them to
spend the fortunes so acquired in endowing the nation with further
educational opportunities. Public spirit is a Greek virtue. There are few
villages which do not possess monuments of their successful sons, and a
school is an even commoner gift than a church; while the State has
supplemented the individual benefactor to an extent remarkable where
public resources are so slender. The school-house, in fact, is generally
the most prominent and substantial building in a Greek village, and the
advantage offered to the Epirots by a _rapprochement_ with the Greeks is
concretely symbolized by the Greek schools established to-day in generous
numbers throughout their country.

For the Epirot boy the school is the door to the future. The language he
learns there makes him the member of a nation, and opens to him a world
wide enough to employ all the talent and energy he may possess, if he
seeks his fortune at Patras or Peiraeus, or in the great Greek commercial
communities of Alexandria and Constantinople; while, if he stays at home,
it still affords him a link with the life of civilized Europe through the
medium of the ubiquitous Greek newspaper.[1] The Epirot has thus become
Greek in soul, for he has reached the conception of a national life more
liberal than the isolated existence of his native village through the
avenue of Greek culture. 'Hellenism' and nationality have become for him
identical ideas; and when at last the hour of deliverance struck, he
welcomed the Greek armies that marched into his country from the south and
the east, after the fall of Yannina in the spring of 1913, with the same
enthusiasm with which all the enslaved populations of native Greek dialect
greeted the consummation of a century's hopes.

[Footnote 1: There is still practically no literature printed in the
Albanian language.]

The Greek troops arrived only just in time, for the 'Hellenism' of the
Epirots had been terribly proved by murderous attacks from their Moslem
neighbours on the north. The latter speak a variety of the same Albanian
tongue, but were differentiated by a creed which assimilated them to the
ruling race. They had been superior to their Christian kinsmen by the
weight of numbers and the possession of arms, which under the Ottoman
régime were the monopoly of the Moslem. At last, however, the yoke of
oppression was broken and the Greek occupation seemed a harbinger of
security for the future. Unluckily, however, Epirus was of interest to
others besides its own inhabitants. It occupies an important geographical
position facing the extreme heel of Italy, just below the narrowest point
in the neck of the Adriatic, and the Italian Government insisted that the
country should be included in the newly erected principality of Albania,
which the powers had reserved the right to delimit in concert by a
provision in the Treaty of London.

Italy gave two reasons for her demand. First, she declared it incompatible
with her own vital interests that both shores of the strait between Corfù
and the mainland should pass into the hands of the same power, because the
combination of both coasts and the channel between them offered a site for
a naval base that might dominate the mouth of the Adriatic. Secondly, she
maintained that the native Albanian speech of the Epirots proved their
Albanian nationality, and that it was unjust to the new Albanian state to
exclude from it the most prosperous and civilized branch of the Albanian
nation. Neither argument is cogent.

The first argument could easily be met by the neutralization of the Corfù
straits,[1] and it is also considerably weakened by the fact that the
position which really commands the mouth of the Adriatic from the eastern
side is not the Corfù channel beyond it but the magnificent bay of Avlona
just within its narrowest section, and this is a Moslem district to which
the Epirots have never laid claim, and which would therefore in any case
fall within the Albanian frontier. The second argument is almost
ludicrous. The destiny of Epirus is not primarily the concern of the other
Albanians, of for that matter of the Greeks, but of the Epirots
themselves, and it is hard to see how their nationality can be defined
except in terms of their own conscious and expressed desire; for a nation
is simply a group of men inspired by a common will to co-operate for
certain purposes, and cannot be brought into existence by the external
manipulation of any specific objective factors, but solely by the inward
subjective impulse of its constituents. It was a travesty of justice to
put the Orthodox Epirots at the mercy of a Moslem majority (which had been
massacring them the year before) on the ground that they happened to speak
the same language. The hardship was aggravated by the fact that all the
routes connecting Epirus with the outer world run through Yannina and
Salonika, from which the new frontier sundered her; while great natural
barriers separate her from Avlona and Durazzo, with which the same
frontier so ironically signalled her union.

[Footnote 1: Corfù itself is neutralized already by the agreement under
which Great Britain transferred the Ionian Islands to Greece in 1863.]

The award of the powers roused great indignation in Greece, but Venezelos
was strong enough to secure that it should scrupulously be respected; and
the 'correct attitude' which he inflexibly maintained has finally won its
reward. As soon as the decision of the powers was announced, the Epirots
determined to help themselves. They raised a militia, and asserted their
independence so successfully, that they compelled the Prince of Wied, the
first (and perhaps the last) ruler of the new 'Albania', to give them home
rule in matters of police and education, and to recognise Greek as the
official language for their local administration. They ensured observance
of this compact by the maintenance of their troops under arms. So matters
continued, until a rebellion among his Moslem subjects and the outbreak of
the European War in the summer of 1914 obliged the prince to depart,
leaving Albania to its natural state of anarchy. The anarchy might have
restored every canton and village to the old state of contented isolation,
had it not been for the religious hatred between the Moslems and the
Epirots, which, with the removal of all external control, began to vent
itself in an aggressive assault of the former upon the latter, and
entailed much needless misery in the autumn months.

The reoccupation of Epirus by Greek troops had now become a matter of life
and death to its inhabitants, and in October 1914 Venezelos took the
inevitable step, after serving due notice upon all the signatories to the
Treaty of London. Thanks in part to the absorption of the powers in more
momentous business, but perhaps even in a greater degree to the confidence
which the Greek premier had justly won by his previous handling of the
question, this action was accomplished without protest or opposition.
Since then Epirus has remained sheltered from the vicissitudes of civil
war within and punitive expeditions from without, to which the unhappy
remnant of Albania has been incessantly exposed; and we may prophesy that
the Epiroi, unlike their repudiated brethren of Moslem or Catholic faith,
have really seen the last of their troubles. Even Italy, from whom they
had most to fear, has obtained such a satisfactory material guarantee by
the occupation on her own part of Avlona, that she is as unlikely to
demand the evacuation of Epirus by Greece as she is to withdraw her own
force from her long coveted strategical base on the eastern shore of the
Adriatic. In Avlona and Epirus the former rivals are settling down to a
neighbourly contact, and there is no reason to doubt that the _de facto_
line of demarcation between them will develop into a permanent and
officially recognized frontier. The problem of Epirus, though not,
unfortunately, that of Albania, may be regarded as definitely closed.

The reclamation of Epirus is perhaps the most honourable achievement of
the Greek national revival, but it is by no means an isolated phenomenon.
Western Europe is apt to depreciate modern 'Hellenism', chiefly because
its ambitious denomination rather ludicrously challenges comparison with a
vanished glory, while any one who has studied its rise must perceive that
it has little more claim than western Europe itself to be the peculiar
heir of ancient Greek culture. And yet this Hellenism of recent growth has
a genuine vitality of its own. It displays a remarkable power of
assimilating alien elements and inspiring them to an active pursuit of its
ideals, and its allegiance supplants all others in the hearts of those
exposed to its charm. The Epirots are not the only Albanians who have been
Hellenized. In the heart of central Greece and Peloponnesus, on the plain
of Argos, and in the suburbs of Athens, there are still Albanian enclaves,
derived from those successive migrations between the fourteenth and the
eighteenth centuries; but they have so entirely forgotten their origin
that the villagers, when questioned, can only repeat: 'We can't say why we
happen to speak "Arvanitikà", but we are Greeks like everybody else.' The
Vlachs again, a Romance-speaking tribe of nomadic shepherds who have
wandered as far south as Akarnania and the shores of the Korinthian Gulf,
are settling down there to the agricultural life of the Greek village, so
that Hellenism stands to them for the transition to a higher social phase.
Their still migratory brethren in the northern ranges of Pindus are
already 'Hellenes' in political sympathy,[1] and are moving under Greek
influence towards the same social evolution. In distant Cappadocia, at the
root of the Anatolian peninsula, the Orthodox Greek population, submerged
beneath the Turkish flood more than eight centuries ago, has retained
little individuality except in its religion, and nothing of its native
speech but a garbled vocabulary embedded in a Turkified syntax. Yet even
this dwindling rear-guard has been overtaken just in time by the returning
current of national life, bringing with it the Greek school, and with the
school a community of outlook with Hellenism the world over. Whatever the
fate of eastern Anatolia may be, the Greek element is now assured a
prominent part in its future.

[Footnote 1: Greece owed her naval supremacy in 1912-13 to the new cruiser
_Georgios Averof_, named after a Vlach millionaire who made his fortune in
the Greek colony at Alexandria and left a legacy for the ship's
construction at his death.]

These, moreover, are the peripheries of the Greek world; and at its centre
the impulse towards union in the national state readies a passionate
intensity. 'Aren't you better off as you are?' travellers used to ask in
Krete during the era of autonomy. 'If you get your "Union", you will have
to do two years' military service instead of one year's training in the
militia, and will be taxed up to half as much again.' 'We have thought of
that,' the Kretans would reply, 'but what does it matter, if we are united
with Greece?'

On this unity modern Hellenism has concentrated its efforts, and after
nearly a century of ineffective endeavour it has been brought by the
statesmanship of Venezelos within sight of its goal. Our review of
outstanding problems reveals indeed the inconclusiveness of the settlement
imposed at Bucarest; but this only witnesses to the wisdom of the Greek
nation in reaffirming its confidence in Venezelos at the present juncture,
and recalling him to power to crown the work which he has so brilliantly
carried through. Under Venezelos' guidance we cannot doubt that the
heart's desire of Hellenism will be accomplished at the impending European
settlement by the final consolidation of the Hellenic national state.[1]

[Footnote 1: This paragraph, again, has been superseded by the dramatic
turn of events; but the writer has left it unaltered, for the end is not

Yet however attractive the sincerity of such nationalism may be, political
unity is only a negative achievement. The history of a nation must be
judged rather by the positive content of its ideals and the positive
results which it attains, and herein the Hellenic revival displays certain
grave shortcomings. The internal paralysis of social and economic life has
already been noted and ascribed to the urgency of the 'preliminary
question'; but we must now add to this the growing embitterment which has
poisoned the relations of Greece with her Balkan neighbours during the
crises through which the 'preliminary question' has been worked out to its
solution. Now that this solution is at hand, will Hellenism prove capable
of casting out these two evils, and adapt itself with strength renewed to
the new phase of development that lies before it?

The northern territories acquired in 1913 will give a much greater impetus
to economic progress than Thessaly gave a generation ago; for the
Macedonian littoral west as well as east of the Struma produces a
considerable proportion of the Turkish Régie tobacco, while the
pine-forests of Pindus, if judiciously exploited, will go far to remedy
the present deficiency of home-grown timber, even if they do not provide
quantities sufficient for export abroad. If we take into account the
currant-crop of the Peloponnesian plain-lands which already almost
monopolizes the world-market, the rare ores of the south-eastern mountains
and the Archipelago, and the vintages which scientific treatment might
bring into competition with the wines of the Peninsula and France, we can
see that Greece has many sources of material prosperity within her reach,
if only she applies her liberated energy to their development. Yet these
are all of them specialized products, and Greece will never export any
staple commodity to rival the grain which Rumania sends in such quantities
to central Europe already, and which Bulgaria will begin to send within a
few years' time. Even the consolidated Greek kingdom will be too small in
area and too little compact in geographical outline to constitute an
independent economic unit, and the ultimate economic interests of the
country demand co-operation in some organization more comprehensive than
the political molecule of the national state.

Such an association should embrace the Balkans in their widest extent--
from the Black Sea to the Adriatic and from the Carpathians to the Aegean;
for, in sharp contrast to the inextricable chaos of its linguistic and
ecclesiastical divisions, the region constitutes economically a
homogeneous and indivisible whole, in which none of the parts can divest
themselves of their mutual interdependence. Greece, for example, has
secured at last her direct link with the railway system of the European
continent, but for free transit beyond her own frontier she still depends
on Serbia's good-will, just, as Serbia depends on hers for an outlet to
the Aegean at Salonika. The two states have provided for their respective
interests by a joint proprietorship of the section of railway between
Salonika and Belgrade; and similar railway problems will doubtless bring
Rumania to terms with Serbia for access to the Adriatic, and both with
Bulgaria for rights of way to Constantinople and the Anatolian hinterland
beyond. These common commercial arteries of the Balkans take no account of
racial or political frontiers, but link the region as a whole with other
regions in a common economic relation.

South-eastern and central Europe are complementary economic areas in a
special degree. The industries of central Europe will draw upon the raw
products of the south-east to an increasing extent, and the south-east
will absorb in turn increasing quantities of manufactured plant from
central Europe for the development of its own natural resources. The two
areas will become parties in a vast economic nexus, and, as in all
business transactions, each will try to get the best of the continually
intensified bargaining. This is why co-operation is so essential to the
future well-being of the Balkan States. Isolated individually and mutually
competitive as they are at present, they must succumb to the economic
ascendancy of Vienna and Berlin as inevitably as unorganized, unskilled
labourers fall under the thraldom of a well-equipped capitalist. Central
Europe will have in any event an enormous initial superiority over the
Balkans in wealth, population, and business experience; and the Balkan
peoples can only hope to hold their own in this perilous but essential
intercourse with a stronger neighbour, if they take more active and
deliberate steps towards co-operation among themselves, and find in
railway conventions the basis for a Balkan zollverein. A zollverein should
be the first goal of Balkan statesmanship in the new phase of history that
is opening for Europe; but economic relations on this scale involve the
political factor, and the Balkans will not be able to deal with their
great neighbours on equal terms till the zollverein has ripened into a
federation. The alternative is subjection, both political and economic;
and neither the exhaustion of the Central Powers in the present struggle
nor the individual consolidation of the Balkan States in the subsequent
settlement will suffice by themselves to avert it in the end.

The awakening of the nation and the consolidation of the state, which we
have traced in these pages, must accordingly lead on to the confederation
of the Balkans, if all that has been so painfully won is not to perish
again without result; and we are confronted with the question: Will Balkan
nationalism rise to the occasion and transcend itself?

Many spectators of recent history will dismiss the suggestion as Utopian.
'Nationality', they will say, 'revealed itself first as a constructive
force, and Europe staked its future upon it; but now that we are committed
to it, it has developed a sinister destructiveness which we cannot remedy.
Nationality brought the Balkan States into being and led them to final
victory over the Turk in 1912, only to set them tearing one another to
pieces again in 1913. In the present catastrophe the curse of the Balkans
has descended upon the whole of Europe, and laid bare unsuspected depths
of chaotic hatred; yet Balkan antagonisms still remain more ineradicable
than ours. The cure for nationality is forgetfulness, but Balkan
nationalism is rooted altogether in the past. The Balkan peoples have
suffered one shattering experience in common--the Turk, and the waters of
Ottoman oppression that have gone over their souls have not been waters of
Lethe. They have endured long centuries of spiritual exile by the
passionate remembrance of their Sion, and when they have vindicated their
heritage at last, and returned to build up the walls of their city and the
temple of their national god, they have resented each other's
neighbourhood as the repatriated Jew resented the Samaritan. The Greek
dreams with sullen intensity of a golden age before the Bulgar was found
in the land, and the challenge implied in the revival of the Hellenic
name, so far from being a superficial vanity, is the dominant
characteristic of the nationalism which has adopted it for its title.
Modern Hellenism breathes the inconscionable spirit of the _émigré_.'

This is only too true. The faith that has carried them to national unity
will suffice neither the Greeks nor any other Balkan people for the new
era that has dawned upon them, and the future would look dark indeed, but
for a strange and incalculable leaven, which is already potently at work
in the land.

Since the opening of the present century, the chaotic, unneighbourly races
of south-eastern Europe, whom nothing had united before but the common
impress of the Turk, have begun to share another experience in common--
America. From the Slovak villages in the Carpathians to the Greek villages
in the Laconian hills they have been crossing the Atlantic in their
thousands, to become dockers and navvies, boot-blacks and waiters,
confectioners and barbers in Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha, and all the other
cities that have sprung up like magic to welcome the immigrant to the
hospitable plains of the Middle West. The intoxication of his new
environment stimulates all the latent industry and vitality of the Balkan
peasant, and he abandons himself whole-heartedly to American life; yet he
does not relinquish the national tradition in which he grew up. In America
work brings wealth, and the Greek or Slovak soon worships his God in a
finer church and reads his language in a better-printed newspaper than he
ever enjoyed in his native village. The surplus flows home in remittances
of such abundance that they are steadily raising the cost of living in the
Balkans themselves, or, in other words, the standard of material
civilization; and sooner or later the immigrant goes the way of his money
orders, for home-sickness, if not a mobilization order, exerts its
compulsion before half a dozen years are out.

It is a strange experience to spend a night in some remote
mountain-village of Greece, and see Americanism and Hellenism face to
face. Hellenism is represented by the village schoolmaster. He wears a
black coat, talks a little French, and can probably read Homer; but his
longest journey has been to the normal school at Athens, and it has not
altered his belief that the ikon in the neighbouring monastery was made by
St. Luke and the Bulgar beyond the mountains by the Devil. On the other
side of you sits the returned emigrant, chattering irrepressibly in his
queer version of the 'American language', and showing you the newspapers
which are mailed to him every fortnight from the States. His clean linen
collar and his well-made American boots are conspicuous upon him, and he
will deprecate on your behalf and his own the discomfort and squalor of
his native surroundings. His home-coming has been a disillusionment, but
it is a creative phenomenon; and if any one can set Greece upon a new path
it is he. He is transforming her material life by his American savings,
for they are accumulating into a capital widely distributed in native
hands, which will dispense the nation from pawning its richest mines and
vineyards to the European exploiter, and enable it to carry on their
development on its own account at this critical juncture when European
sources of capital are cut off for an indefinite period by the disaster of
the European War. The emigrant will give Greece all Trikoupis dreamed of,
but his greatest gift to his country will be his American point of view.
In the West he has learnt that men of every language and religion can live
in the same city and work at the same shops and sheds and mills and
switch-yards without desecrating each other's churches or even suppressing
each other's newspapers, not to speak of cutting each other's throats; and
when next he meets Albanian or Bulgar on Balkan ground, he may remember
that he has once dwelt with him in fraternity at Omaha or St. Louis or
Chicago. This is the gospel of Americanism, and unlike Hellenism, which
spread downwards from the patriarch's residence and the merchant's
counting-house, it is being preached in all the villages of the land by
the least prejudiced and most enterprising of their sons (for it is these
who answer America's call); and spreading upward from the peasant towards
the professor in the university and the politician in parliament.

Will this new leaven conquer, and cast out the stale leaven of Hellenism
before it sours the loaf? Common sense is mighty, but whether it shall
prevail in Greece and the Balkans and Europe lies on the knees of the




The problem of the origin and formation of the Rumanian nation has always
provided matter for keen disputation among historians, and the theories
which have been advanced are widely divergent. Some of these discussions
have been undertaken solely for political reasons, and in such cases
existing data prove conveniently adaptable. This elastic treatment of the
historical data is facilitated by the fact that a long and important
period affecting the formation and the development of the Rumanian nation
(270-1220) has bequeathed practically no contemporary evidence. By linking
up, however, what is known antecedent to that period with the precise data
available regarding the following it, and by checking the inferred results
with what little evidence exists respecting the obscure epoch of Rumanian
history, it has been possible to reconstruct, almost to a certainty, the
evolution of the Rumanians during the Middle Ages.

A discussion of the varying theories would be out of proportion, and out
of place, in this essay. Nor is it possible to give to any extent a
detailed description of the epic struggle which the Rumanians carried on
for centuries against the Turks. I shall have to deal, therefore, on broad
lines, with the historical facts--laying greater stress only upon the
three fundamental epochs of Rumanian history: the formation of the
Rumanian nation; its initial casting into a national polity (foundation of
the Rumanian principalities); and its final evolution into the actual
unitary State; and shall then pass on to consider the more recent internal
and external development of Rumania, and her present attitude.


_Formation of the Rumanian Nation_

About the fifth century B.C., when the population of the Balkan-Carpathian
region consisted of various tribes belonging to the Indo-European family,
the northern portion of the Balkan peninsula was conquered by the
Thracians and the Illyrians. The Thracians spread north and south, and a
branch of their race, the Dacians, crossed the Danube. The latter
established themselves on both sides of the Carpathian ranges, in the
region which now comprises the provinces of Oltenia (Rumania), and Banat
and Transylvania (Hungary). The Dacian Empire expanded till its boundaries
touched upon those of the Roman Empire. The Roman province of Moesia
(between the Danube and the Balkans) fell before its armies, and the
campaign that ensued was so successful that the Dacians were able to
compel Rome to an alliance.

Two expeditions undertaken against Dacia by the Emperor Trajan (98-117)
released Rome from these ignominious obligations, and brought Dacia under
Roman rule (A.D. 106). Before his second expedition Trajan erected a stone
bridge over the Danube, the remains of which can still be seen at
Turnu-Severin, a short distance below the point where the Danube enters
Rumanian territory. Trajan celebrated his victory by erecting at Adam
Klissi (in the province of Dobrogea) the recently discovered _Tropaeum
Traiani_, and in Rome the celebrated 'Trajan's Column', depicting in
marble reliefs various episodes of the Dacian wars.

The new Roman province was limited to the regions originally inhabited by
the Dacians, and a strong garrison, estimated by historians at 25,000 men,
was left to guard it. Numerous colonists from all parts of the Roman
Empire were brought here as settlers, and what remained of the Dacian
population completely amalgamated with them. The new province quickly
developed under the impulse of Roman civilization, of which numerous
inscriptions and other archaeological remains are evidence. It became one
of the most flourishing dependencies of the Roman Empire, and was spoken
of as _Dacia Felix_.

About a century and a half later hordes of barbarian invaders, coming from
the north and east, swept over the country. Under the strain of those
incursions the Roman legions withdrew by degrees into Moesia, and in A.D.
271 Dacia was finally evacuated. But the colonists remained, retiring into
the Carpathians, where they lived forgotten of history.

The most powerful of these invaders were the Goths (271-375), who, coming
from the shores of the Baltic, had shortly before settled north of the
Black Sea. Unaccustomed to mountain life, they did not penetrate beyond
the plains between the Carpathians and the Dnjester. They had consequently
but little intercourse with the Daco-Roman population, and the total
absence in the Rumanian language and in Rumanian place-names of words of
Gothic origin indicates that their stay had no influence upon country or
population. Material evidence of their occupation is afforded, however, by
a number of articles made of gold found in 1837 at Petroasa (Moldavia),
and now in the National Museum at Bucarest.

After the Goths came the Huns (375-453), under Attila, the Avars
(566-799), both of Mongolian race, and the Gepidae (453-566), of Gothic
race--all savage, bloodthirsty raiders, passing and repassing over the
Rumanian regions, pillaging and burning everywhere. To avoid destruction
the Daco-Roman population withdrew more and more into the inaccessible
wooded regions of the mountains, and as a result were in no wise
influenced by contact with the invaders.

But with the coming of the Slavs, who settled in the Balkan peninsula
about the beginning of the seventh century, certain fundamental changes
took place in the ethnical conditions prevailing on the Danube. The
Rumanians were separated from the Romans, following the occupation by the
Slavs of the Roman provinces between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. Such
part of the population as was not annihilated during the raids of the
Avars was taken into captivity, or compelled to retire southwards towards
modern Macedonia and northwards towards the Dacian regions.

Parts of the Rumanian country became dependent upon the new state founded
between the Balkans and the Danube in 679 by the Bulgarians, a people of
Turanian origin, who formerly inhabited the regions north of the Black Sea
between the Volga and the mouth of the Danube.

After the conversion of the Bulgarians to Christianity (864) the Slovenian
language was introduced into their Church, and afterwards also into the
Church of the already politically dependent Rumanian provinces.[1] This
finally severed the Daco-Rumanians from the Latin world. The former
remained for a long time under Slav influence, the extent of which is
shown by the large number of words of Slav origin contained in the
Rumanian language, especially in geographical and agricultural

[Footnote 1: The Rumanians north and south of the Danube embraced the
Christian faith after its introduction into the Roman Empire by
Constantine the Great (325), with Latin as religious language and their
church organization under the rule of Rome. A Christian basilica, dating
from that period, has been discovered by the Rumanian; archaeologist,
Tocilescu, at Adam Klissi (Dobrogea).]

The coming of the Hungarians (a people of Mongolian race) about the end of
the ninth century put an end to the Bulgarian domination in Dacia. While a
few of the existing Rumanian duchies were subdued by Stephen the Saint,
the first King of Hungary (995-1038), the 'land of the Vlakhs' (_Terra
Blacorum_), in the south-eastern part of Transylvania, enjoyed under the
Hungarian kings a certain degree of national autonomy. The Hungarian
chronicles speak of the Vlakhs as 'former colonists of the Romans'. The
ethnological influence of the Hungarians upon the Rumanian population has
been practically nil. They found the Rumanian nation firmly established,
race and language, and the latter remained pure of Magyarisms, even in
Transylvania. Indeed, it is easy to prove--and it is only what might be
expected, seeing that the Rumanians had attained a higher state of
civilization than the Hungarian invaders--that the Hungarians were largely
influenced by the Daco-Romans. They adopted Latin as their official
language, they copied many of the institutions and customs of the
Rumanians, and recruited a large number of their nobles from among the
Rumanian nobility, which was already established on a feudal basis when
the Hungarians arrived.

A great number of the Rumanian nobles and freemen were, however, inimical
to the new masters, and migrated to the regions across the mountains. This
the Hungarians used as a pretext for bringing parts of Rumania under their
domination, and they were only prevented from further extending it by the
coming of the Tartars (1241), the last people of Mongolian origin to harry
these regions. The Hungarians maintained themselves, however, in the parts
which they had already occupied, until the latter were united into the
principality of the 'Rumanian land'.

To sum up: 'The Rumanians are living to-day where fifteen centuries ago
their ancestors were living. The possession of the regions on the Lower
Danube passed from one nation to another, but none endangered the Rumanian
nation as a national entity. "The water passes, the stones remain"; the
hordes of the migration period, detached from their native soil,
disappeared as mist before the sun. But the Roman element bent their heads
while the storm passed over them, clinging to the old places until the
advent of happier days, when they were able to stand up and stretch their

[Footnote 1: Traugott Tamm, _Über den Ursprung der Rumänen,_, Bonn, 1891.]


_The Foundation and Development of the Rumanian Principalities_

The first attempt to organize itself into a political entity was made by
the Rumanian nation in the thirteenth century, when, under the impulse of
the disaffected nobles coming from Hungary, the two principalities of
'Muntenia' (Mountain Land), commonly known as Wallachia and 'Moldavia',
came into being. The existence of Rumanians on both sides of the
Carpathians long before Wallachia was founded is corroborated by
contemporary chroniclers. We find evidence of it in as distant a source as
the _History of the Mongols,_ of the Persian chronicler, Rashid Al-Din,
who, describing the invasion of the Tartars, says: 'In the middle of
spring (1240) the princes (Mongols or Tartars) crossed the mountains in
order to enter the country of the Bulares (Bulgarians) and of the
Bashguirds (Hungarians). Orda, who was marching to the right, passed
through the country of the Haute (Olt), where Bazarambam met him with an
army, but was beaten. Boudgek crossed the mountains to enter the
Kara-Ulak, and defeated the Ulak (Vlakh) people.'[1] Kara-Ulak means Black
Wallachia; Bazarambam is certainly the corrupted name of the Ban Bassarab,
who ruled as vassal of Hungary over the province of Oltenia, and whose
dynasty founded the principality of Muntenia. The early history of this
principality was marked by efforts to free it from Hungarian domination, a
natural development of the desire for emancipation which impelled the
Rumanians to migrate from the subdued provinces in Hungary.

[Footnote 1: Xenopol, _Histoire des Roumains,_ Paris, 1896, i, 168.]

The foundation of Moldavia dates from after the retreat of the Tartars,
who had occupied the country for a century (1241-1345). They were driven
out by an expedition under Hungarian leadership, with the aid of Rumanians
from the province of Maramuresh. It was the latter who then founded the
principality of Moldavia under the suzerainty of Hungary, the chroniclers
mentioning as its first ruler the Voivod Dragosh.[1]

[Footnote 1: The legend as to the foundation of Moldavia tells us that
Dragosh, when hunting one day in the mountains, was pursuing a bison
through the dense forest. Towards sunset, just when a successful shot from
his bow had struck and killed the animal, he emerged at a point from which
the whole panorama of Moldavia was unfolded before his astonished eyes.
Deeply moved by the beauty of this fair country, he resolved to found a
state there. It is in commemoration of this event that Moldavia bears the
head of a wild bison on her banner.]

The rudimentary political formations which already existed before the
foundation of the principalities were swept away by the invasion of the
Tartars, who destroyed all trace of constituted authority in the plains
below the Carpathians. In consequence the immigrants from Transylvania did
not encounter any resistance, and were even able to impose obedience upon
the native population, though coming rather as refugees than as
conquerors. These new-comers were mostly nobles (boyards). Their
emigration deprived the masses of the Rumanian population of Transylvania
of all moral and political support--especially as a part of the nobility
had already been won over by their Hungarian masters--and with time the
masses fell into servitude. On the other hand the immigrating nobles
strengthened and secured the predominance of their class in the states
which were to be founded. In both cases the situation of the peasantry
became worse, and we have, curiously enough, the same social fact brought
about by apparently contrary causes.

Though the Rumanians seem to have contributed but little, up to the
nineteenth century, to the advance of civilization, their part in European
history is nevertheless a glorious one, and if less apparent, perhaps of
more fundamental importance. By shedding their blood in the struggle
against the Ottoman invasion, they, together with the other peoples of
Oriental Europe, procured that security which alone made possible the
development of western civilization. Their merit, like that of all with
whom they fought, 'is not to have vanquished time and again the followers
of Mohammed, who always ended by gaining the upper hand, but rather to
have resisted with unparalleled energy, perseverance, and bravery the
terrible Ottoman invaders, making them pay for each step advanced such a
heavy price, that their resources were drained, they were unable to carry
on the fight, and thus their power came to an end'.[1]

[Footnote 1: Xenopol, op. cit., i. 266.]

From the phalanx of Christian warriors stand out the names of a few who
were the bravest of a time when bravery was common; but while it is at
least due that more tribute than a mere mention of their names should be
paid to the patriot princes who fought in life-long conflict against
Turkish domination, space does not permit me to give more than the
briefest summary of the wars which for centuries troubled the country.

It was in 1389, when Mircea the Old was Prince of Wallachia, that the
united Balkan nations attempted for the first time to check Ottoman
invasion. The battle of Kosovo, however, was lost, and Mircea had to
consent to pay tribute to the Turks. For a short space after the battle of
Rovine (1398), where Mircea defeated an invading Turkish army, the country
had peace, until Turkish victories under the Sultan Mohammed resulted, in
1411, in further submissions to tribute.

It is worthy of mention that it was on the basis of tribute that the
relations between Turkey and Rumania rested until 1877, the Rumanian
provinces becoming at no time what Hungary was for a century and a half,
namely, a Turkish province.

In a battle arising following his frustration--by means not unconnected
with his name--of a Turkish plot against his person, Vlad the Impaler
(1458-62) completely defeated the Turks under Mohammed II; but an
unfortunate feud against Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia, put an end
to the reign of Vlad--a fierce but just prince.

A period of the most lamentable decadence followed, during which Turkish
domination prevailed more and more in the country. During an interval of
twenty-five years (1521-46) no less than eleven princes succeeded one
another on the throne of Muntenia, whilst of the nineteen princes who
ruled during the last three-quarters of the sixteenth century, only two
died a natural death while still reigning.

In Moldavia also internal struggles were weakening the country. Not
powerful enough to do away with one another, the various aspirants to the
throne contented themselves with occupying and ruling over parts of the
province. Between 1443-7 there were no less than three princes reigning
simultaneously, whilst one of them, Peter III, lost and regained the
throne three times.

For forty-seven years (1457-1504) Stephen the Great fought for the
independence of Moldavia. At Racova, in 1475, he annihilated an Ottoman
army in a victory considered the greatest ever secured by the Cross
against Islam. The Shah of Persia, Uzun Hasan, who was also fighting the
Turks, offered him an alliance, urging him at the same time to induce all
the Christian princes to unite with the Persians against the common foe.
These princes, as well as Pope Sixtus IV, gave him great praise; but when
Stephen asked from them assistance in men and money, not only did he
receive none, but Vladislav, King of Hungary, conspired with his brother
Albert, King of Poland, to conquer and divide Moldavia between them. A
Polish army entered the country, but was utterly destroyed by Stephen in
the forest of Kosmin.

Having had the opportunity of judging at its right value the friendship of
the Christian princes, on his death-bed Stephen advised his son Bogdan to
make voluntary submission to the Turks. Thus Moldavia, like Wallachia,
came under Turkish suzerainty.

For many years after Stephen's death the Turks exploited the Rumanian
countries shamelessly, the very candidates for the throne having to pay
great sums for Turkish support. The country groaned under the resultant
taxation and the promiscuousness of the tribute exacted till, in 1572,
John the Terrible ascended the Moldavian throne. This prince refused to
pay tribute, and repeatedly defeated the Turks. An army of 100,000 men
advanced against John; but his cavalry, composed of nobles not over-loyal
to a prince having the peasant cause so much at heart, deserted to the
enemy, with the result that, after a gallant and prolonged resistance, he
suffered defeat.

Michael the Brave, Prince of Muntenia (1593-1601), was the last of the
Vlakhs to stand up against Turkish aggression. This prince not only
succeeded in crushing a Turkish army sent against him, but he invaded
Transylvania, whose prince had leanings towards Turkey, pushed further
into Moldavia, and succeeded in bringing the three Rumanian countries
under his rule. Michael is described in the documents of the time as
'Prince of the whole land of Hungro-Wallachia, of Transylvania, and of
Moldavia'. He ruled for eight years. 'It was not the Turkish sword which
put an end to the exploits of Michael the Brave. The Magyars of
Transylvania betrayed him; the German emperor condemned him; and a Greek
in Austria's service, General Basta, had him sabred: as though it were
fated that all the enemies of the Rumanian race, the Magyar, the German,
and the Greek, should unite to dip their hands in the blood of the Latin
hero.'[1] The union of the Rumanian lands which he realized did not last
long; but it gave form and substance to the idea which was from that day
onward to be the ideal of the Rumanian nation.

[Footnote 1: Alfred Rumbaud, Introduction to Xenopol, op, cit., i. xix.]

The fundamental cause of all the sufferings of the Rumanian principalities
was the hybrid 'hereditary-elective' system of succession to the throne,
which prevailed also in most of the neighbouring countries. All members of
the princely family were eligible for the succession; but the right of
selecting among them lay with an assembly composed of the higher nobility
and clergy. All was well if a prince left only one successor. But if there
were several, even if illegitimate children, claiming the right to rule,
then each endeavoured to gain over the nobility with promises, sometimes,
moreover, seeking the support of neighbouring countries. This system
rendered easier and hastened the establishment of Turkish domination; and
corruption and intrigues, in which the Sultan's harem had a share, became
capital factors in the choice and election of the ruler.

Economically and intellectually all this was disastrous. The Rumanians
were an agricultural people. The numerous class of small freeholders
(moshneni and razeshi), not being able to pay the exorbitant taxes, often
had their lands confiscated by the princes. Often, too, not being able to
support themselves, they sold their property and their very selves to the
big landowners. Nor did the nobles fare better. Formerly free,
quasi-feudal warriors, seeking fortune in reward for services rendered to
their prince, they were often subjected to coercive treatment on his part
now that the throne depended upon the goodwill of influential personages
at Constantinople. Various civil offices were created at court, either
necessitated by the extension of the relations of the country or intended
to satisfy some favourite of the prince. Sources of social position and
great material benefit, these offices were coveted greedily by the
boyards, and those who obtained none could only hope to cheat fortune by
doing their best to undermine the position of the prince.


_The Phanariote Rule_

These offices very presently fell to the lot of the Phanariotes (Greek
merchants and bankers inhabiting the quarter of Phanar), who had in some
way or another assisted the princes to their thrones, these being now
practically put up to auction in Constantinople. As a natural consequence
of such a state of affairs the thoughts of the Rumanian princes turned to
Russia as a possible supporter against Ottoman oppression. A formal
alliance was entered into in 1711 with Tsar Peter the Great, but a joint
military action against the Turks failed, the Tsar returned to Russia, and
the Porte threatened to transform Moldavia, in order to secure her against
incipient Russian influence, into a Turkish province with a pasha as
administrator. The nobles were preparing to leave the country, and the
people to retire into the mountains, as their ancestors had done in times
of danger. It is not to be wondered at that, under the menace of losing
their autonomy, the Rumanians 'welcomed the nomination of the dragoman of
the Porte, Nicholas Mavrocordato, though he was a Greek. The people
greeted with joy the accession of the first Phanariote to the throne of
the principality of Moldavia'[1] (1711).

[Footnote 1: Xenopol, op. cit., ii. 138]

Knowledge of foreign languages had enabled the Phanariotes to obtain
important diplomatic positions at Constantinople, and they ended by
acquiring the thrones of the Rumanian principalities as a recompense for
their services. But they had to pay for it, and to make matters more
profitable the Turks devised the ingenious method of transferring the
princes from one province to another, each transference being considered
as a new nomination. From 1730 to 1741 the two reigning princes
interchanged thrones in this way three times. They acquired the throne by
gold, and they could only keep it by gold. All depended upon how much they
wore able to squeeze out of the country. The princes soon became past
masters in the art of spoliation. They put taxes upon chimneys, and the
starving peasants pulled their cottages down and went to live in mountain
caves; they taxed the animals, and the peasants preferred to kill the few
beasts they possessed. But this often proved no remedy, for we are told
that the Prince Constantin Mavrocordato, having prescribed a tax on
domestic animals at a time when an epidemic had broken out amongst them,
ordered the tax to be levied on the carcasses. 'The Administrative régime
during the Phanariote period was, in general, little else than organized
brigandage,' says Xenopol[1]. In fact the Phanariote rule was instinct
with corruption, luxury, and intrigue. Though individually some of them
may not deserve blame, yet considering what the Phanariotes took out of
the country, what they introduced into it, and to what extent they
prevented its development, their era was the most calamitous in Rumanian

[Footnote 1: Ibid, op. cit., ii. 308]

The war of 1768 between Russia and Turkey gave the former power a vague
protectorate over the Rumanian provinces (Treaty of Kutchuk Kainardji). In
1774 Austria acquired from the Turks, by false promises, the northern part
of Moldavia, the pleasant land of Bucovina. During the new conflict
between Turkey and Russia, the Russian armies occupied and battened upon
the Rumanian provinces for six years. Though they had again to abandon
their intention of making the Danube the southern boundary of their
empire--to which Napoleon had agreed by the secret treaty with Tsar
Alexander (Erfurt, September 27, 1808)--they obtained from Turkey the
cession of Bessarabia (Treaty of Bucarest, May 28, 1812), together with
that part of Moldavia lying between the Dnjester and the Pruth, the
Russians afterwards giving to the whole region the name of Bessarabia.


_Modern Period to 1866_

In 1821 the Greek revolution, striving to create an independent Greece,
broke out on Rumanian ground, supported by the princes of Moldavia and
Muntenia. Of this support the Rumanians strongly disapproved, for, if
successful, the movement would have strengthened the obnoxious Greek
domination; If unsuccessful, the Turks were sure to take a terrible
revenge for the assistance given by the Rumanian countries. The movement,
which was started about the same time by the ennobled peasant, Tudor
Vladimirescu, for the emancipation of the lower classes, soon acquired,
therefore, an anti-Greek tendency. Vladimirescu was assassinated at the
instigation of the Greeks; the latter were completely checked by the
Turks, who, grown suspicious after the Greek rising and confronted with
the energetic attitude of the Rumanian nobility, consented in 1822 to the
nomination of two native boyards, Jonitza Sturdza and Gregory Ghica,
recommended by their countrymen, as princes of Moldavia and Wallachia. The
iniquitous system of 'the throne to the highest bidder' had come to an

The period which marks the decline of Greek influence in the Rumanian
principalities also marks the growth of Russian influence; the first meant
economic exploitation, the second was a serious menace to the very
existence of the Rumanian nation. But if Russia seemed a possible future
danger, Turkey with its Phanariote following was a certain and immediate
menace. When, therefore, at the outbreak of the conflict with Turkey in
1828 the Russians once more passed the Pruth, the country welcomed them.
Indeed, the Rumanian boyards, who after the rising of 1821 and the Turkish
occupation had taken refuge in Transylvania, had even more than once
invited Russian intervention.[1] Hopes and fears alike were realized. By
the Treaty of Adrianople (1829) the rights of Turkey as suzerain were
limited to the exaction of a monetary tribute and the right of investiture
of the princes, one important innovation being that these last were to be
elected by national assemblies for life. But, on the other hand, a Russian
protectorate was established, and the provinces remained in Russian
military occupation up to 1834, pending the payment of the war indemnity
by Turkey. The ultimate aim of Russia may be open to discussion. Her
immediate aim was to make Russian influence paramount in the
principalities; this being the only possible explanation of the anomalous
fact that, pending the payment of the war indemnity, Russia herself was
occupying the provinces whose autonomy she had but now forcibly retrieved
from Turkey. The _Règlement Organique_, the new constitutional law given
to the principalities by their Russian governor, Count Kisseleff, truly
reflected the tendency. From the administrative point of view it was meant
to make for progress; from the political point of view it was meant to
bind the two principalities to the will of the Tsar. The personal charm of
Count Kisseleff seemed to have established as it were an unbreakable link
between Russians and Rumanians. But when he left the country in 1834 'the
liking for Russia passed away to be replaced finally by the two sentiments
which always most swayed the Rumanian heart: love for their country, and
affection towards France'.

[Footnote 1: Sec P. Eliade, _Histoire de l'Esprit Public en Roumanie_, i,
p. 167 et seq.]

French culture had been introduced into the principalities by the
Phanariote princes who, as dragomans of the Porte, had to know the
language, and usually employed French secretaries for themselves and
French tutors for their children. With the Russian occupation a fresh
impetus was given to French culture, which was pre-eminent in Russia at
the time; and the Russian officials, not speaking the language of the
country, generally employed French in their relations with the Rumanian
authorities, French being already widely spoken in Rumania. The contact
with French civilization, at an epoch when the Rumanians were striving to
free themselves from Turkish, Greek, and Russian political influence,
roused in them the sleeping Latin spirit, and the younger generation, in
constantly increasing numbers, flocked to Paris in search of new forms of
civilization and political life. At this turning-point in their history
the Rumanians felt themselves drawn towards France, no less by racial
affinity than by the liberal ideas to which that country had so
passionately given herself during several decades.

By the Treaty of Adrianople the Black Sea was opened to the commercial
vessels of all nations. This made for the rapid economic development of
the principalities by providing an outlet for their agricultural produce,
the chief source of their wealth. It also brought them nearer to western
Europe, which began to be interested in a nation whose spirit centuries of
sufferings had failed to break. Political, literary, and economic events
thus prepared the ground for the Rumanian Renascence, and when in 1848 the
great revolution broke out, it spread at once over the Rumanian countries,
where the dawn of freedom had been struggling to break since 1821. The
Rumanians of Transylvania rose against the tyranny of the Magyars; those
of Moldavia and Muntenia against the oppressive influence of Russia. The
movement under the gallant, but inexperienced, leadership of a few
patriots, who, significantly enough, had almost all been educated in
France, was, however, soon checked in the principalities by the joint
action of Russian and Turkish forces which remained in occupation of the
country. Many privileges were lost (Convention of Balta Liman, May 1,
1849); but the revolution had quickened the national sentiment of the
younger generation in all classes of society, and the expatriated leaders,
dispersed throughout the great capitals of Europe, strenuously set to work
to publish abroad the righteous cause of their country. In this they
received the enthusiastic and invaluable assistance of Edgar Quinet,
Michelet, Saint-Marc Girardin, and others.

This propaganda had the fortune to be contemporaneous and in agreement
with the political events leading to the Crimean War, which was entered
upon to check the designs of Russia. A logical consequence was the idea,
raised at the Paris Congress of 1856, of the union of the Rumanian
principalities as a barrier to Russian expansion. This idea found a
powerful supporter in Napoleon III, ever a staunch upholder of the
principle of nationality. But at the Congress the unexpected happened.
Russia favoured the idea of union, 'to swallow the two principalities at a
gulp,' as a contemporary diplomatist maliciously suggested; while Austria
opposed it strongly. So, inconceivably enough, did Turkey, whose attitude,
as the French ambassador at Constantinople, Thouvenel, put it, 'was less
influenced by the opposition of Austria than by the approval of
Russia'.[1] Great Britain also threw in her weight with the powers which
opposed the idea of union, following her traditional policy of preserving
the European equilibrium. The treaty of March 30, 1856, re-incorporated
with Moldavia the southern part of Bessarabia, including the delta of the
Danube, abolished the Russian protectorate, but confirmed the suzerainty
of Turkey--not unnaturally, since the integrity of the Ottoman Empire had
been the prime motive of the war. By prohibiting Turkey, however, from
entering Rumanian territory, save with the consent of the great powers, it
was recognized indirectly that the suzerainty was merely a nominal one.
Article 23 of the treaty, by providing that the administration of the
principalities was to be on a national basis, implicitly pointed to the
idea of union, as the organization of one principality independently of
the other would not have been national. But as the main argument of Turkey
and Austria was that the Rumanians themselves did not desire the union, it
was decided to convene in both principalities special assemblies (divans
_ad hoc_) representing all classes of the population, whose wishes were to
be embodied, by a European commission, in a report for consideration by
the Congress.

[Footnote 1: A. Xenopol, _Unionistii si Separatistii_ (Paper read before
the Rumanian Academy), 1909.]

To understand the argument of the two powers concerned and the decision to
which it led, it must be borne in mind that the principalities were in the
occupation of an Austrian army, which had replaced the Russian armies
withdrawn in 1854, and that the elections for the assemblies were to be
presided over by Turkish commissaries. Indeed, the latter, in
collaboration with the Austrian consuls, so successfully doctored the
election lists,[1] that the idea of union might once more have fallen
through, had it not been for the invaluable assistance which Napoleon III
gave the Rumanian countries. As Turkish policy was relying mainly on
England's support, Napoleon brought about a personal meeting with Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert, at Osborne (August 1857), the result of which
was a compromise: Napoleon agreed to defer for the time being the idea of
an effective union of the two principalities, England undertaking, on the
other hand, to make the Porte cancel the previous elections, and proceed
to new ones after revision of the electoral lists. The corrupt Austrian
and Turkish influence on the old elections was best demonstrated by the
fact that only three of the total of eighty-four old members succeeded in
securing re-election. The assemblies met and proclaimed as imperatively
necessary to the future welfare of the provinces, their union, 'for no
frontier divides us, and everything tends to bring us closer, and nothing
to separate us, save the ill-will of those who desire to see us disunited
and weak'; further, a foreign hereditary dynasty, because 'the accession
to the throne of princes chosen from amongst us has been a constant
pretext for foreign interference, and the throne has been the cause of
unending feud among the great families of this country'. Moreover, if the
union of the two principalities was to be accomplished under a native
prince, it is obvious that the competition would have become doubly keen;
not to speak of the jealousies likely to be arousal between Moldavians and

[Footnote 1: The edifying correspondence between the Porte and its
commissary Vorgoridès regarding the arrangements for the Rumanian
elections fell into the hands of Rumanian politicians, and caused a great
sensation when it appeared in _L'Etoile du Danube_, published in Brussels
by Rumanian _émigrés_.]

Such were the indisputable wishes of the Rumanians, based on knowledge of
men and facts, and arising out of the desire to see their country well
started on the high road of progress. But Europe had called for the
expression of these wishes only to get the question shelved for the
moment, as in 1856 everybody was anxious for a peace which should at all
costs be speedy. Consequently, when a second Congress met in Paris, in May
1858, three months of discussion and the sincere efforts of France only
resulted in a hybrid structure entitled the 'United Principalities'. These
were to have a common legislation, a common army, and a central committee
composed of representatives of both assemblies for the discussion of
common affairs; but were to continue to form two separate states, with
independent legislative and executive institutions, each having to elect a
prince of Rumanian descent for life.

Disappointed in their hopes and reasonable expectations, the Rumanians
adopted the principle of 'help yourself and God will help you', and
proceeded to the election of their rulers. Several candidates competed in
Moldavia. To avoid a split vote the name of an outsider was put forward
the day before the election, and on January 17, 1859, Colonel Alexander
Ioan Cuza was unanimously elected. In Wallachia the outlook was very
uncertain when the assembly met, amid great popular excitement, on
February 5. The few patriots who had realized that the powers, seeking
only their own interests, were consciously and of set purpose hampering
the emancipation of a long-suffering nation, put forth and urged the
election of Cuza, and the assembly unanimously adopted this spirited
suggestion. By this master-stroke the Rumanians had quietly accomplished
the reform which was an indispensable condition towards assuring a better
future. The political moment was propitious. Italy's military preparation
prevented Austria from intervening, and, as usual when confronted with an
accomplished fact, the great powers and Turkey finished by officially
recognizing the action of the principalities in December 1861. The central
commission was at once abolished, the two assemblies and cabinets merged
into one, and Bucarest became the capital of the new state 'Rumania'.

If the unsympathetic attitude of the powers had any good result, it was to
bring home for the moment to the Rumanians the necessity for national
unity. When the danger passed, however, the wisdom which it had evoked
followed suit. Cuza cherished the hope of realizing various ideal reforms.
Confronted with strong opposition, he did not hesitate to override the
constitution by dissolving the National Assembly (May 2, 1864) and
arrogating to himself the right, till the formation of a new Chamber, to
issue decrees which had all the force of law. He thus gave a dangerous
example to the budding constitutional polity; political passions were let
loose, and a plot organized by the Opposition led to the forced abdication
of Cuza on February 23, 1866. The prince left the country for ever a few
days later. No disturbance whatever took place, not one drop of blood was

A series of laws, mostly adapted from French models, was introduced by
Cuza. Under the Education Act of 1864 all degrees of education were free,
and elementary education compulsory. A large number of special and
technical schools were founded, as well as two universities, one at Jassy
(1860) and one at Bucarest (1864). After the _coup d'état_ of 1864
universal suffrage was introduced, largely as an attempt to 'swamp' the
fractious political parties with the peasant vote; while at the same time
a 'senate' was created as a 'moderating assembly' which, composed as it
was of members by right and members nominated by the prince, by its very
nature increased the influence of the crown. The chief reforms concerned
the rural question. Firstly, Cuza and his minister, Cogalniceanu,
secularized and converted to the state the domains of the monasteries,
which during the long period of Greek influence had acquired one-fifth of
the total area of the land, and were completely in the hands of the Greek
clergy (Law of December 13, 1863). More important still, as affecting
fundamentally the social structure of the country, was the Rural Law
(promulgated on August 26, 1864), which had been the cause of the conflict
between Cuza and the various political factions, the Liberals clamouring
for more thorough reforms, the Conservatives denouncing Cuza's project as
revolutionary. As the peasant question is the most important problem left
for Rumania to solve, and as I believe that, in a broad sense, it has a
considerable bearing upon the present political situation in that country,
it may not be out of place here to devote a little space to its

Originally the peasant lived in the village community as a free
land-owner. He paid a certain due (one-tenth of his produce and three
days' labour yearly) to his leader (_cneaz_) as recompense for his
leadership in peace and war. The latter, moreover, solely enjoyed the
privilege of carrying on the occupations of miller and innkeeper, and the
peasant was compelled to mill with him. When after the foundation of the
principalities the upper class was established on a feudal basis, the
peasantry were subjected to constantly increasing burdens. Impoverished
and having in many cases lost their land, the peasants were also deprived
at the end of the sixteenth century of their freedom of movement. By that
time the cneaz, from being the leader of the community, had become the
actual lord of the village, and his wealth was estimated by the number of
villages he possessed. The peasant owners paid their dues to him in labour
and in kind. Those peasants who owned no land were his serfs, passing with
the land from master to master.

Under the Turkish domination the Rumanian provinces became the granary of
the Ottoman Empire. The value of land rose quickly, as did also the taxes.
To meet these taxes--from the payment of which the boyards (the
descendants of the cneazi) were exempt--the peasant owners had frequently
to sacrifice their lands; while, greedy after the increased benefits, the
boyards used all possible means to acquire more land for themselves. With
the increase of their lands they needed more labour, and they obtained
permission from the ruler not only to exact increased labour dues from the
peasantry, but also to determine the amount of work that should be done in
a day. This was effected in such a way that the peasants had, in fact, to
serve three and four times the number of days due.

The power to acquire more land from the freeholders, and to increase the
amount of labour due by the peasants, was characteristic of the
legislation of the eighteenth century. By a decree of Prince Moruzi, in
1805, the lords were for the first time empowered to reserve to their own
use part of the estate, namely, one-fourth of the meadow land, and this
privilege was extended in 1828 to the use of one-third of the arable land.
The remaining two-thirds were reserved for the peasants, every young
married couple being entitled to a certain amount of land, in proportion
to the number of traction animals they owned. When the Treaty of
Adrianople of 1829 opened the western markets to Rumanian corn, in which
markets far higher prices were obtainable than from the Turks, Rumanian
agriculture received an extraordinary impetus. Henceforth the efforts of
the boyards were directed towards lessening the amount of land to which
the peasants were entitled. By the _Règlement Organique_ they succeeded in
reducing such land to half its previous area, at the same time maintaining
and exacting from the peasant his dues in full. It is in the same Act that
there appears for the first time the fraudulent title 'lords of the land',
though the boyards had no exclusive right of property; they had the use of
one-third of the estate, and a right to a due in labour and in kind from
the peasant holders, present or prospective, of the other two-thirds.

With a view to ensuring, on the one hand, greater economic freedom to the
land-owners, and, on the other, security for the peasants from the
enslaving domination of the upper class, the rural law of 1864 proclaimed
the peasant-tenants full proprietors of their holdings, and the
land-owners full proprietors of the remainder of the estate. The original
intention of creating common land was not carried out in the Bill. The
peasant's holding in arable land being small, he not infrequently ploughed
his pasture, and, as a consequence, had either to give up keeping beasts,
or pay a high price to the land-owners for pasturage. Dues in labour and
in kind were abolished, the land-owners receiving an indemnity which was
to be refunded to the state by the peasants in instalments within a period
of fifteen years. This reform is characteristic of much of the legislation
of Cuza: despotically pursuing the realization of some ideal reform,
without adequate study of and adaptation to social circumstances, his laws
provided no practical solution of the problem with which they dealt. In
this case, for example, the reform benefited the upper class solely,
although generally considered a boon to the peasantry. Of ancient right
two-thirds of the estate were reserved for the peasants; but the new law
gave them possession of no more than the strip they were holding, which
barely sufficed to provide them with the mere necessaries of life. The
remainder up to two-thirds of the estate went as a gift, with full
proprietorship; to the boyard. For the exemption of their dues in kind and
in labour, the peasants had to pay an indemnity, whereas the right of
their sons to receive at their marriage a piece of land in proportion to
the number of traction animals they possessed was lost without
compensation. Consequently, the younger peasants had to sell their labour,
contracting for periods of a year and upwards, and became a much easier
prey to the spoliation of the upper class than when they had at least a
strip of land on which to build a hut, and from which to procure their
daily bread; the more so as the country had no industry which could
compete with agriculture in the labour market. An investigation undertaken
by the Home Office showed that out of 1,265 labour contracts for 1906,
chosen at random, only 39.7 per cent, were concluded at customary wages;
the others were lower in varying degrees, 13.2 per cent. of the cases
showing wages upwards of 75 per cent. below the usual rates.

Under these conditions of poverty and economic serfdom the peasantry was
not able to participate in the enormous development of Rumanian
agriculture, which had resulted from increased political security and the
establishment of an extensive network of railways. While the boyards found
an increasing attraction in politics, a new class of middlemen came into
existence, renting the land from the boyards for periods varying generally
from three to five years. Owing to the resultant competition, rents
increased considerably, while conservative methods of cultivation kept
production stationary. Whereas the big cultivator obtained higher prices
to balance the increased cost of production, the peasant, who produced for
his own consumption, could only face such increase by a corresponding
decrease in the amount of food consumed. To show how much alive the rural
question is, it is enough to state that peasant risings occurred in 1888,
1889, 1894, 1900, and 1907; that new distributions of land took place in
1881 and 1889; that land was promised to the peasants as well at the time
of the campaign of 1877 as at that of 1913; and that more or less happily
conceived measures concerning rural questions have been passed in almost
every parliamentary session. The general tendency of such legislation
partook of the 'free contract' nature, though owing to the social
condition of the peasantry the acts in question had to embody protective
measures providing for a maximum rent for arable and pasture land, and a
minimum wage for the peasant labourer.

Solutions have been suggested in profusion. That a solution is possible no
one can doubt. One writer, basing his arguments on official statistics
which show that the days of employment in 1905 averaged only ninety-one
for each peasant, claims that only the introduction of circulating capital
and the creation of new branches of activity can bring about a change. The
suggested remedy may be open to discussion; but our author is undoubtedly
right when, asking himself why this solution has not yet been attempted,
he says: 'Our country is governed at present by an agrarian class.... Her
whole power rests in her ownership of the land, our only wealth. The
introduction of circulating capital would result in the disintegration of
that wealth, in the loss of its unique quality, and, as a consequence, in
the social decline of its possessors.'[1] This is the fundamental evil
which prevents any solution of the rural question. A small class of
politicians, with the complicity of a large army of covetous and
unscrupulous officials, live in oriental indolence out of the sufferings
of four-fifths of the Rumanian nation. Though elementary education is
compulsory, more than 60 per cent. of the population are still illiterate,
mainly on account of the inadequacy of the educational budget. Justice is
a myth for the peasant. Of political rights he is, in fact, absolutely
deprived. The large majority, and by far the sanest part of the Rumanian
nation, are thus fraudulently kept outside the political and social life
of the country. It is not surmising too much, therefore, to say that the
opportunity of emancipating the Transylvanians would not have been
wilfully neglected, had that part of the Rumanian nation in which the old
spirit still survives had any choice in the determination of their own

[Footnote 1: St. Antim, _Cbestiunea Social[)a] [^i]n Rom[^a]nia,_ 1908, p.


_Contemporary Period: Internal Development_

In order to obviate internal disturbances or external interference, the
leaders of the movement which had dethroned Prince Cuza caused parliament
to proclaim, on the day of Cuza's abdication, Count Philip of Flanders--
the father of King Albert of Belgium--Prince of Rumania. The offer was,
however, not accepted, as neither France nor Russia favoured the proposal.
Meanwhile a conference had met again in Paris at the instance of Turkey
and vetoed the election of a foreign prince. But events of deeper
importance were ripening in Europe, and the Rumanian politicians rightly
surmised that the powers would not enforce their protests if a candidate
were found who was likely to secure the support of Napoleon III, then
'schoolmaster' of European diplomacy. This candidate was found in the
person of Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, second son of the head
of the elder branch of the Hohenzollerns (Catholic and non-reigning).
Prince Carol was cousin to the King of Prussia, and related through his
grandmother to the Bonaparte family. He could consequently count upon the
support of France and Prussia, while the political situation fortunately
secured him from the opposition of Russia, whose relations with Prussia
were at the time friendly, and also from that of Austria, whom Bismarck
proposed to 'keep busy for some time to come'. The latter must have viewed
with no little satisfaction the prospect of a Hohenzollern occupying the
throne of Rumania at this juncture; and Prince Carol, allowing himself to
be influenced by the Iron Chancellor's advice, answered the call of the
Rumanian nation, which had proclaimed him as 'Carol I, Hereditary Prince
of Rumania'. Travelling secretly with a small retinue, the prince second
class, his suite first, Prince Carol descended the Danube on an Austrian
steamer, and landed on May 8 at Turnu-Severin, the very place where,
nearly eighteen centuries before, the Emperor Trajan had alighted and
founded the Rumanian nation.

By independent and energetic action, by a conscious neglect of the will of
the powers, which only a young constitutional polity would have dared, by
an active and unselfish patriotism, Rumania had at last chosen and secured
as her ruler the foreign prince who alone had a chance of putting a stop
to intrigues from within and from without. And the Rumanians had been
extremely fortunate in their hasty and not quite independent choice. A
prince of Latin origin would probably have been more warmly welcomed to
the hearts of the Rumanian people; but after so many years of political
disorder, corrupt administration, and arbitrary rule, a prince possessed
of the German spirit of discipline and order was best fitted to command
respect and impose obedience and sobriety of principle upon the Rumanian

Prince Carol's task was no easy one. The journal compiled by the
provisional government, which held the reins for the period elapsing
between the abdication of Cuza and the accession of Prince Carol, depicts
in the darkest colours the economic situation to which the faults, the
waste, the negligence, and short-sightedness of the previous régime had
reduced the country, 'the government being in the humiliating position of
having brought disastrous and intolerable hardship alike upon its
creditors, its servants, its pensioners, and its soldiers'.[1] Reforms
were badly needed, and the treasury had nothing in hand but debts. To
increase the income of the state was difficult, for the country was poor
and not economically independent. Under the Paris Convention of 1858,
Rumania remained bound, to her detriment, by the commercial treaties of
her suzerain, Turkey, the powers not being willing to lose the privileges
they enjoyed under the Turkish capitulations. Moreover, she was specially
excluded from the arrangement of 1860, which allowed Turkey to increase
her import taxes. The inheritance of ultra-liberal measures from the
previous regime made it difficult to cope with the unruly spirit of the
nation. Any attempt at change in this direction would have savoured of
despotism to the people, who, having at last won the right to speak aloud,
believed that to clamour against anything that meant 'rule' was the only
real and full assertion of liberty. And the dissatisfied were always
certain of finding a sympathetic ear and an open purse in the
Chancellories of Vienna and St. Petersburg.

[Footnote 1: D.A. Sturdza, _Treizeci de ani de Domnie ai Regelui Carol,_
1900, i.82.]

Prince Carol, not being sufficiently well acquainted with the conditions
of the country nor possessing as yet much influence with the governing
class, had not been in a position to influence at their inception the
provisions of the extremely liberal constitution passed only a few weeks
after his accession to the throne. The new constitution, which resembled
that of Belgium more nearly than any other, was framed by a constituent
assembly elected on universal suffrage, and, except for slight
modifications introduced in 1879 and 1884, is in vigour to-day. It
entrusts the executive to the king and his ministers, the latter alone
being responsible for the acts of the government.[1] The legislative power
is vested in the king and two assemblies--a senate and a chamber--the
initiative resting with any one of the three.[2] The budget and the yearly
bills fixing the strength of the army, however, must first be passed by
the Chamber. The agreement of the two Chambers and the sanction of the
king are necessary before any bill becomes law. The king convenes,
adjourns, and dissolves parliament. He promulgates the laws and is
invested with the right of absolute veto. The constitution proclaims the
inviolability of domicile, the liberty of the press and of assembly, and
absolute liberty of creed and religion, in so far as its forms of
celebration do not come into conflict with public order and decency. It
recognizes no distinction of class and privilege; all the citizens share
equally rights and duties within the law. Education is free in the state
schools, and elementary education compulsory wherever state schools exist.
Individual liberty and property are guaranteed; but only Rumanian citizens
can acquire rural property. Military service is compulsory, entailing two
years in the infantry, three years in the cavalry and artillery, one year
in all arms for those having completed their studies as far as the
university stage. Capital punishment does not exist, except for military
offences in time of war.

[Footnote 1: There are at present nine departments: Interior, Foreign
Affairs, Finance, War, Education and Religion, Domains and Agriculture,
Public Works, Justice, and Industry and Commerce. The President of the
Cabinet is Prime Minister, with or without portfolio.]

[Footnote 2: All citizens of full age paying taxes, with various
exemptions, are electors, voting according to districts and census. In the
case of the illiterate country inhabitants, with an income from land of
less than £12 a year, fifty of them choose one delegate having one vote in
the parliamentary election. The professorial council of the two
universities of Jassy and Bucarest send one member each to the Senate, the
heir to the throne and the eight bishops being members by right.]

The state religion is Greek Orthodox. Up to 1864 the Rumanian Church was
subordinate to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In that year it was
proclaimed independent, national, and autocephalous, though this change
was not recognized by the Patriarchate till 1885, while the secularization
of the property of the monasteries put an end _de facto_ to the influence
of the Greek clergy. Religious questions of a dogmatic nature are settled
by the Holy Synod of Bucarest, composed of the two metropolitans of
Bucarest and Jassy and the eight bishops; the Minister for Education, with
whom the administrative part of the Church rests, having only a
deliberative vote. The maintenance of the Church and of the clergy is
included in the general budget of the country, the ministers being state
officials (Law of 1893).

Religion has never played an important part in Rumanian national life, and
was generally limited to merely external practices. This may be attributed
largely to the fact that as the Slavonic language had been used in the
Church since the ninth century and then was superseded by Greek up to the
nineteenth century, the clergy was foreign, and was neither in a position
nor did it endeavour to acquire a spiritual influence over the Rumanian
peasant. There is no record whatever in Rumanian history of any religious
feuds or dissensions. The religious passivity remained unstirred even
during the domination of the Turks, who contented themselves with treating
the unbelievers with contempt, and squeezing as much money as possible out
of them. Cuza having made no provision for the clergy when he converted
the wealth of the monasteries to the state, they were left for thirty
years in complete destitution, and remained as a consequence outside the
general intellectual development of the country. Though the situation has
much improved since the Law of 1893, which incorporated the priests with
the other officials of the Government, the clergy, recruited largely from
among the rural population, are still greatly inferior to the Rumanian
priests of Bucovina and Transylvania. Most of them take up Holy orders as
a profession: 'I have known several country parsons who were thorough

[Footnote 1: R. Rosetti, _Pentru ce s-au r[)a]sculat [t'][)a]ranii_, 1907,
p. 600]

However difficult his task, Prince Carol never deviated from the strictly
constitutional path: his opponents were free to condemn the prince's
opinions; he never gave them the chance of questioning his integrity.

Prince Carol relied upon the position in which his origin and family
alliances placed him in his relations with foreign rulers to secure him
the respect of his new subjects. Such considerations impressed the
Rumanians. Nor could they fail to be aware of 'the differences between the
previously elected princes and the present dynasty, and the improved
position which the country owed to the latter'.[1]

[Footnote 1: Augenzeuge, _Aus dem Leben König Karls von Rum[)a]nien,
1894-1900,_ iii. 177.]

To inculcate the Rumanians with the spirit of discipline the prince took
in hand with energy and pursued untiringly, in spite of all obstacles, the
organization of the army. A reliable and well-organized armed force was
the best security against internal trouble-mongers, and the best argument
in international relations, as subsequent events amply proved.

The Rumanian political parties were at the outset personal parties,
supporting one or other of the candidates to the throne. When Greek
influence, emanating from Constantinople, began to make itself felt, in
the seventeenth century, a national party arose for the purpose of
opposing it. This party counted upon the support of one of the
neighbouring powers, and its various groups were known accordingly as the
Austrian, the Russian, &c., parties. With the election of Cuza the
external danger diminished, and the politicians divided upon principles of
internal reform. Cuza not being in agreement with either party, they
united to depose him, keeping truce during the period preceding the
accession of Prince Carol, when grave external dangers wore threatening,
and presiding in a coalition ministry at the introduction of the new
constitution of 1866. But this done, the truce was broken. Political
strife again awoke with all the more vigour for having been temporarily

The reforms which it became needful to introduce gave opportunity for the
development of strong divergence of views between the political parties.
The Liberals--the Red Party, as they were called at the time--(led by C.A.
Rosetti and Ioan Bratianu, both strong Mazzinists, both having taken an
important part in the revolutionary movements of 1848 and in that which
led to the deposition of Cuza) were advocating reforms hardly practicable
even in an established democracy; the Conservatives (led by Lascar
Catargiu) were striving to stem the flood of ideal liberal measures on
which all sense of reality was being carried away.[1] In little more than
a year there were four different Cabinets, not to mention numerous changes
in individual ministers. 'Between the two extreme tendencies Prince Carol
had to strive constantly to preserve unity of direction, he himself being
the only stable element in that ever unstable country.' It was not without
many untoward incidents that he succeeded. His person was the subject of
more than one unscrupulous attack by politicians in opposition, who did
not hesitate to exploit the German origin and the German sympathies of the
prince in order to inflame the masses. These internal conflicts entered
upon an acute phase at the time of the Franco-German conflict of 1870.
Whilst, to satisfy public opinion, the Foreign Secretary of the time,
M.P.P. Carp, had to declare in parliament, that 'wherever the colours of
France are waving, there are our interests and sympathies', the prince
wrote to the King of Prussia assuring him that 'his sympathies will always
be where the black and white banner is waving'. In these so strained
circumstances a section of the population of Bucarest allowed itself to be
drawn into anti-German street riots. Disheartened and despairing of ever
being able to do anything for that 'beautiful country', whose people
'neither know how to govern themselves nor will allow themselves to be
governed', the prince decided to abdicate.

[Footnote 1: A few years ago a group of politicians, mainly of
the old Conservative party, detached themselves and became the
Conservative-Democratic party under the leadership of M. Take Ionescu.]

So strong was the feeling in parliament roused by the prince's decision
that one of his most inveterate opponents now declared that it would be an
act of high treason for the prince to desert the country at such a crisis.
We have an inkling of what might have resulted in the letter written by
the Emperor of Austria to Prince Carol at the time, assuring him that 'my
Government will eagerly seize any opportunity which presents itself to
prove by deeds the interest it takes in a country connected by so many
bonds to my empire'. Nothing but the efforts of Lascar Catargiu and the
sound patriotism of a few statesmen saved the country from what would have
been a real misfortune. The people were well aware of this, and cheers
lasting several minutes greeted that portion of the message from the
throne which conveyed to the new parliament the decision of the prince to
continue reigning.

The situation was considerably strengthened during a period of five years'
Conservative rule. Prince Carol's high principles and the dignified
example of his private life secured for him the increasing respect of
politicians of all colours; while his statesmanlike qualities, his
patience and perseverance, soon procured him an unlimited influence in the
affairs of the state. This was made the more possible from the fact that,
on account of the political ignorance of the masses, and of the varied
influence exercised on the electorate by the highly centralized
administration, no Rumanian Government ever fails to obtain a majority at
an election. Any statesman can undertake to form a Cabinet if the king
assents to a dissolution of parliament. Between the German system, where
the emperor chooses the ministers independently of parliament, and the
English system, where the members of the executive are indicated by the
electorate through the medium of parliament, independently of the Crown,
the Rumanian system takes a middle path. Neither the crown, nor the
electorate, nor parliament possesses exclusive power in this direction.
The Government is not, generally speaking, defeated either by the
electorate or by parliament. It is the Crown which has the final decision
in the changes of régime, and upon the king falls the delicate task of
interpreting the significance of political or popular movements. The
system--which comes nearest to that of Spain--undoubtedly has its
advantages in a young and turbulent polity, by enabling its most stable
element, the king, to ensure a continuous and harmonious policy. But it
also makes the results dangerously dependent on the quality of that same
element. Under the leadership of King Carol it was an undoubted success;
the progress made by the country from an economic, financial, and military
point of view during the last half-century is really enormous. Its
position was furthermore strengthened by the proclamation of its
independence, by the final settlement of the dynastic question,[1] and by
its elevation on May 10, 1881, to the rank of kingdom, when upon the head
of the first King of Rumania was placed a crown of steel made from one of
the guns captured before Plevna from an enemy centuries old.

[Footnote 1: In the absence of direct descendants and according to the
constitution, Prince Ferdinand (born 1865), second son of King Carol's
elder brother, was named Heir Apparent to the Rumanian throne. He married
in 1892 Princess Marie of Coburg, and following the death of King Carol in
1914, he acceded to the throne as Ferdinand I.]

From the point of view of internal politics progress has been less
satisfactory. The various reforms once achieved, the differences of
principle between the political parties degenerated into mere opportunism,
the Opposition opposing, the Government disposing. The parties, and
especially the various groups within the parties, are generally known by
the names of their leaders, these denominations not implying any definite
political principle or Government programme. It is, moreover, far from
edifying that the personal element should so frequently distort political
discussion. 'The introduction of modern forms of state organization has
not been followed by the democratization of all social institutions....
The masses of the people have remained all but completely outside
political life. Not only are we yet far from government of the people by
the people, but our liberties, though deeply graven on the facade of our
constitution, have not permeated everyday life nor even stirred in the
consciousness of the people.'[1]

[Footnote 1: C. Stere, _Social-democratizm sau Poporanizm_, Jassy.]

It is strange that King Carol, who had the welfare of the people sincerely
at heart, should not have used his influence to bring about a solution of
the rural question; but this may perhaps be explained by the fact that,
from Cuza's experience, he anticipated opposition from all political
factions. It would almost seem as if, by a tacit understanding, and
anxious to establish Rumania's international position, King Carol gave his
ministers a free hand in the rural question, reserving for himself an
equally free hand in foreign affairs. This seems borne out by the fact
that, in the four volumes in which an 'eyewitness', making use of the
king's private correspondence and personal notes, has minutely described
the first fifteen years of the reign, the peasant question is entirely

[Footnote 1: The 'eyewitness' was Dr. Schaeffer, formerly tutor to Prince

Addressing himself, in 1871, to the Rumanian representative at the Porte,
the Austrian ambassador, von Prokesch-Osten, remarked: 'If Prince Carol
manages to pull through without outside help, and make Rumania governable,
it will be the greatest _tour de force_ I have ever witnessed in my
diplomatic career of more than half a century. It will be nothing less
than a conjuring trick.' King Carol succeeded; and only those acquainted
with Rumanian affairs can appreciate the truth of the ambassador's words.


_Contemporary Period: Foreign Affairs_

Up to 1866 Rumanian foreign politics may be said to have been
non-existent. The offensive or defensive alliances against the Turks
concluded by the Rumanian rulers with neighbouring princes during the
Middle Ages were not made in pursuance of any definite policy, but merely
to meet the moment's need. With the establishment of Turkish suzerainty
Rumania became a pawn in the foreign politics of the neighbouring empires,
and we find her repeatedly included in their projects of acquisition,
partition, or compensation (as, for instance, when she was put forward as
eventual compensation to Poland for the territories lost by that country
in the first partition).[1] Rumania may be considered fortunate in not
having lost more than Bucovina to Austria (1775), Bessarabia to Russia
(1812), and, temporarily, to Austria the region between the Danube and the
Aluta, called Oltenia (lost by the Treaty of Passarowitz, 1718; recovered
by the Treaty of Belgrade, 1739).

[Footnote 1: See Albert Sorel, _The Eastern Question in the Eighteenth
Century_ (Engl. ed.), 1898, pp. 141, 147 &c.]

While her geographical position made of Rumania the cynosure of many
covetous eyes, it at the same time saved her from individual attack by
exciting countervailing jealousies. Moreover, the powers came at last to
consider her a necessary rampart to the Ottoman Empire, whose dissolution
all desired but none dared attempt. Austria and Russia, looking to the
future, were continually competing for paramount influence in Rumania,
though it is not possible to determine where their policy of acquisition
ended and that of influence began.

The position of the principalities became more secure after the Paris
Congress of 1858, which placed them under the collective guarantee of the
great powers; but this fact, and the maintenance of Turkish suzerainty,
coupled with their own weakness, debarred them from any independence in
their foreign relations.

A sudden change took place with the accession of Prince Carol; a
Hohenzollern prince related to the King of Prussia and to Napoleon III
could not be treated like one of the native boyards. The situation called
for the more delicacy of treatment by the powers in view of the
possibility of his being able to better those internal conditions which
made Rumania 'uninteresting' as a factor in international politics. In
fact, the prince's personality assured for Rumania a status which she
could otherwise have attained only with time, by a political, economic,
and military consolidation of her home affairs; and the prince does not
fail to remark in his notes that the attentions lavished upon him by other
sovereigns were meant rather for the Hohenzollern prince than for the
Prince of Rumania. Many years later even, after the war of 1878, while the
Russians were still south of the Danube with their lines of communication
running through Rumania, Bratianu begged of the prince to give up a
projected journey on account of the difficulties which might at any moment
arise, and said: 'Only the presence of your Royal Highness keeps them [the
Russians] at a respectful distance.' It was but natural under these
circumstances that the conduct of foreign affairs should have devolved
almost exclusively on the prince. The ascendancy which his high personal
character, his political and diplomatic skill, his military capacity
procured for him over the Rumanian statesmen made this situation a lasting
one; indeed it became almost a tradition. Rumania's foreign policy since
1866 may be said, therefore, to have been King Carol's policy. Whether one
agrees with it or not, no one can deny with any sincerity that it was
inspired by the interests of the country, as the monarch saw them.
Rebuking Bismarck's unfair attitude towards Rumania in a question
concerning German investors, Prince Carol writes to his father in 1875: 'I
have to put Rumania's interests above those of Germany. My path is plainly
mapped out, and I must follow It unflinchingly, whatever the weather.'

Prince Carol was a thorough German, and as such naturally favoured the
expansion of German influence among his new subjects. But if he desired
Rumania to follow in the wake of German foreign policy, it was because of
his unshaken faith in the future of his native country, because he
considered that Rumania had nothing to fear from Germany, whilst it was
all in the interest of that country to see Rumania strong and firmly
established. At the same time, acting on the advice of Bismarck, he did
not fail to work toward a better understanding with Russia, 'who might
become as well a reliable friend as a dangerous enemy to the Rumanian
state'. The sympathy shown him by Napoleon III was not always shared by
the French statesmen,[1] and the unfriendly attitude of the French
ambassador in Constantinople caused Prince Carol to remark that 'M. de
Moustier is considered a better Turk than the Grand Turk himself'. Under
the circumstances a possible alliance between France and Russia, giving
the latter a free hand in the Near East, would have proved a grave danger
to Rumania; 'it was, consequently, a skilful, if imperious act, to enter
voluntarily, and without detriment to the existing friendly relations with
France, within the Russian sphere of influence, and not to wait till
compelled to do so.'

[Footnote 1: See _Revue des Deux Mondes_, June 15, 1866, article by Eugène

The campaigns of 1866 and 1870 having finally established Prussia's
supremacy in the German world, Bismarck modified his attitude towards
Austria. In an interview with the Austrian Foreign Secretary, Count Beust
(Gastein, October 1871), he broached for the first time the question of an
alliance and, touching upon the eventual dissolution of the Ottoman
Empire, 'obligingly remarked that one could not conceive of a great power
not making of its faculty for expansion a vital question'.[2] Quite in
keeping with that change were the counsels henceforth tendered to Prince
Carol. Early that year Bismarck wrote of his sorrow at having been forced
to the conclusion that Rumania had nothing to expect from Russia, while
Prince Anthony, Prince Carol's father and faithful adviser, wrote soon
after the above interview (November 1871), that 'under certain
circumstances it would seem a sound policy for Rumania to rely upon the
support of Austria'. Persevering in this crescendo of suggestion,
Austria's new foreign secretary, Count Andrassy, drifted at length to the
point by plainly declaring not long afterwards that 'Rumania is not so
unimportant that one should deprecate an alliance with her'.

[Footnote 2: Gabriel Hanotaux, _La Guerre des Balkans et l'Europe_ (Beust,
Mémoires), Paris, 1914, p. 297.]

Prince Carol had accepted the throne with the firm intention of shaking
off the Turkish suzerainty at the first opportunity, and not unnaturally
he counted upon Germany's support to that end. He and his country were
bitterly disappointed, therefore, when Bismarck appealed directly to the
Porte for the settlement of a difference between the Rumanian Government
and a German company entrusted with the construction of the Rumanian
railways; the more so as the Paris Convention had expressly forbidden any
Turkish interference in Rumania's internal affairs. It thus became
increasingly evident that Rumania could not break away from Russia, the
coming power in the East. The eyes of Russia were steadfastly fixed on
Constantinople: by joining her, Rumania had the best chance of gaining her
independence; by not doing so, she ran the risk of being trodden upon by
Russia on her way to Byzantium. But though resolved to co-operate with
Russia in any eventual action in the Balkans, Prince Carol skilfully
avoided delivering himself blindfold into her hands by deliberately
cutting himself away from the other guaranteeing powers. To the conference
which met in Constantinople at the end of 1876 to settle Balkan affairs he
addressed the demand that 'should war break out between one of the
guaranteeing powers and Turkey, Rumania's line of conduct should be
dictated, and her neutrality and rights guaranteed, by the other powers'.
This _démarche_ failed. The powers had accepted the invitation to the
conference as one accepts an invitation to visit a dying man. Nobody had
any illusions on the possibility of averting war, least of all the two
powers principally interested. In November 1876 Ali Bey and M. de Nelidov
arrived simultaneously and secretly in Bucarest to sound Rumania as to an
arrangement with their respective countries, Turkey and Russia. In
opposition to his father and Count Andrassy, who counselled neutrality and
the withdrawal of the Rumanian army into the mountains, and in sympathy
with Bismarck's advice, Prince Carol concluded a Convention with Russia on
April 16, 1877. Rumania promised to the Russian army 'free passage through
Rumanian territory and the treatment due to a friendly army'; whilst
Russia undertook to respect Rumania's political rights, as well as 'to
maintain and defend her actual integrity'. 'It is pretty certain', wrote
Prince Carol to his father, 'that this will not be to the liking of most
of the great powers; but as they neither can nor will offer us anything,
we cannot do otherwise than pass them by. A successful Russian campaign
will free us from the nominal dependency upon Turkey, and Europe will
never allow Russia to take her place.'

On April 23 the Russian armies passed the Pruth. An offer of active
participation by the Rumanian forces in the forthcoming campaign was
rejected by the Tsar, who haughtily declared that 'Russia had no need for
the cooperation of the Rumanian army', and that 'it was only under the
auspices of the Russian forces that the foundation of Rumania's future
destinies could be laid'. Rumania was to keep quiet and accept in the end
what Russia would deign to give her, or, to be more correct, take from
her. After a few successful encounters, however, the Tsar's soldiers met
with serious defeats before Plevna, and persistent appeals were now urged
for the participation of the Rumanian army in the military operations. The
moment had come for Rumania to bargain for her interests. But Prince Carol
refused to make capital out of the serious position of the Russians; he
led his army across the Danube and, at the express desire of the Tsar,
took over the supreme command of the united forces before Plevna. After a
glorious but terrible struggle Plevna, followed at short intervals by
other strongholds, fell, the peace preliminaries were signed, and Prince
Carol returned to Bucarest at the head of his victorious army.

Notwithstanding the flattering words in which the Tsar spoke of the
Rumanian share in the success of the campaign, Russia did not admit
Rumania to the Peace Conference. By the Treaty of San Stefano (March
3,1878) Rumania's independence was recognized; Russia obtained from Turkey
the Dobrudja and the delta of the Danube, reserving for herself the right
to exchange these territories against the three southern districts of
Bessarabia, restored to Rumania by the Treaty of Paris, 1856. This
stipulation was by no means a surprise to Rumania, Russia's intention to
recover Bessarabia was well known to the Government, who hoped, however,
that the demand would not be pressed after the effective assistance
rendered by the Rumanian army. 'If this be not a ground for the extension
of our territory, it is surely none for its diminution,' remarked
Cogalniceanu at the Berlin Congress. Moreover, besides the promises of the
Tsar, there was the Convention of the previous year, which, in exchange
for nothing more than free passage for the Russian armies, guaranteed
Rumania's integrity. But upon this stipulation Gorchakov put the
jesuitical construction that, the Convention being concluded in view of a
war to be waged against Turkey, it was only against Turkey that Russia
undertook to guarantee Rumania's integrity; as to herself, she was not in
the least bound by that arrangement. And should Rumania dare to protest
against, or oppose the action of the Russian Government, 'the Tsar will
order that Rumania be occupied and the Rumanian army disarmed'. 'The army
which fought at Plevna', replied Prince Carol through his minister, 'may
well be destroyed, but never disarmed.'

There was one last hope left to Rumania: that the Congress which met in
Berlin in June 1878 for the purpose of revising the Treaty of San Stefano,
would prevent such an injustice. But Bismarck was anxious that no
'sentiment de dignité blessée' should rankle in Russia's future policy;
the French representative, Waddington, was 'above all a practical man';
Corti, the Italian delegate, was 'nearly rude' to the Rumanian delegates;
while Lord Beaconsfield, England's envoy, receiving the Rumanian delegates
privately, had nothing to say but that 'in politics the best services are
often rewarded with ingratitude'. Russia strongly opposed even the idea
that the Rumanian delegates should be allowed to put their case before the
Congress, and consent was obtained only with difficulty after Lord
Salisbury had ironically remarked that 'having heard the representatives
of Greece, which was claiming foreign provinces, it would be but fair to
listen also to the representatives of a country which was only seeking to
retain what was its own'. Shortly before, Lord Salisbury, speaking in
London to the Rumanian special envoy, Callimaki Catargiu, had assured him
of England's sympathy and of her effective assistance in case either of
war or of a Congress. 'But to be quite candid he must add that there are
questions of more concern to England, and should she be able to come to an
understanding with Russia with regard to them, she would not wage war for
the sake of Rumania.' Indeed, an understanding came about, and an
indiscretion enabled the _Globe_ to make its tenor public early in June
1878. 'The Government of her Britannic Majesty', it said, 'considers that
it will feel itself bound to express its deep regret should Russia persist
in demanding the retrocession of Bessarabia.... England's interest in this
question is not such, however, as to justify her taking upon herself alone
the responsibility of opposing the intended exchange.' So Bessarabia was
lost, Rumania receiving instead Dobrudja with the delta of the Danube. But
as the newly created state of Bulgaria was at the time little else than a
detached Russian province, Russia, alone amongst the powers, opposed and
succeeded in preventing the demarcation to the new Rumanian province of a
strategically sound frontier. Finally, to the exasperation of the
Rumanians, the Congress made the recognition of Rumania's independence
contingent upon the abolition of Article 7 of the Constitution--which
denied to non-Christians the right of becoming Rumanian citizens--and the
emancipation of the Rumanian Jews.[1]

[Footnote 1: Rumania only partially gave way to this intrusion of the
powers into her internal affairs. The prohibition was abolished; but only
individual naturalization was made possible, and that by special Act of
Parliament. Only a very small proportion of the Jewish population has
since been naturalized. The Jewish question in Rumania is undoubtedly a
very serious one; but the matter is too controversial to be dealt with in
a few lines without risking misrepresentation or doing an injustice to one
or other of the parties. For which reason it has not been included in this

It was only after innumerable difficulties and hardships that, at the
beginning of 1880, Rumania secured recognition of an independence which
she owed to nobody but herself. Whilst Russia was opposing Rumania at
every opportunity in the European conferences and commissions, she was at
pains to show herself more amenable in _tête-à-tête_, and approached
Rumania with favourable proposals. 'Rather Russia as foe than guardian,'
wrote Prince Carol to his father; and these words indicate an important
turning-point in Rumania's foreign policy.

In wresting Bessarabia from Rumania merely as a sop to her own pride, and
to make an end of all that was enacted by the Treaty of Paris, 1856,
Russia made a serious political blunder. By insisting that Austria should
share in the partition of Poland, Frederick the Great had skilfully
prevented her from remaining the one country towards which the Poles would
naturally have turned for deliverance. Such an opportunity was lost by
Russia through her short-sighted policy in Bessarabia--that of remaining
the natural ally of Rumania against Rumania's natural foe,

Rumania had neither historical, geographical, nor any important
ethnographical points of contact with the region south of the Danube; the
aims of a future policy could only have embraced neighbouring tracts of
foreign territory inhabited by Rumanians. Whereas up to the date of the
Berlin Congress such tracts were confined to Austria-Hungary, by that
Congress a similar sphere of attraction for Rumanian aspirations was
created in Russia.[1] The interests of a peaceful development demanded
that Rumania should maintain friendly relations with both the powers
striving for domination in the Near East; it was a vital necessity for
her, however, to be able to rely upon the effective support of at least
one of them in a case of emergency. Russia's conduct had aroused a deep
feeling of bitterness and mistrust in Rumania, and every lessening of her
influence was a step in Austria's favour. Secondary considerations tended
to intensify this: on the one hand lay the fact that through Russia's
interposition Rumania had no defendable frontier against Bulgaria; on the
other hand was the greatly strengthened position created for Austria by
her alliance with Germany, in whose future Prince Carol had the utmost

[Footnote 1: It is probable that this confederation had much to do with
the readiness with which Bismarck supported the demands of his good
friend, Gorchakov.]

Germany's attitude towards Rumania had been curiously hostile during these
events; but when Prince Carol's father spoke of this to the German
Emperor, the latter showed genuine astonishment: Bismarck had obviously
not taken the emperor completely into his confidence. When, a few days
later, Sturdza had an interview with Bismarck at the latter's invitation,
the German Chancellor discovered once more that Rumania had nothing to
expect from Russia. Indeed, Rumania's position between Russia and the new
Slav state south of the Danube might prove dangerous, were she not to seek
protection and assistance from her two 'natural friends', France and
Germany. And, with his usual liberality when baiting his policy with false
hopes, Bismarck went on to say that 'Turkey is falling to pieces; nobody
can resuscitate her; Rumania has an important role to fulfil, but for this
she must be wise, cautious, and strong'. This new attitude was the natural
counterpart of the change which was at that time making itself felt in
Russo-German relations. While a Franco-Russian alliance was propounded by
Gorchakov in an interview with a French journalist, Bismarck and Andrassy
signed in Gastein the treaty which allied Austria to Germany (September
1879). As Rumania's interests were identical with those of Austria--wrote
Count Andrassy privately to Prince Carol a few months later--namely, to
prevent the fusion of the northern and the southern Slavs, she had only to
express her willingness to become at a given moment the third party in the
compact. In 1883 King Carol accepted a secret treaty of defensive alliance
from Austria. In return for promises relating to future political
partitions in the Balkans, the monarch pledged himself to oppose all
developments likely to speed the democratic evolution, of Rumania. Though
the treaty was never submitted to parliament for ratification, and
notwithstanding a tariff war and a serious difference with Austria on the
question of control of the Danube navigation, Rumania was, till the Balkan
wars, a faithful 'sleeping partner' of the Triple Alliance.

All through that externally quiet period a marked discrepancy existed and
developed between that line of policy and the trend of public opinion. The
interest of the Rumanians within the kingdom centred increasingly on their
brethren in Transylvania, the solution of whose hard case inspired most of
the popular national movements. Not on account of the political despotism
of the Magyars, for that of the Russians was in no way behind it. But
whilst the Rumanians of Bessarabia were, with few exceptions, illiterate
peasants, in Transylvania there was a solidly established and spirited
middle class, whose protests kept pace with the oppressive measures. Many
of them--and of necessity the more turbulent--migrated to Rumania, and
there kept alive the 'Transylvanian Question'. That the country's foreign
policy has nevertheless constantly supported the Central Powers is due, to
some extent, to the fact that the generation most deeply impressed by the
events of 1878 came gradually to the leadership of the country; to a
greater extent to the increasing influence of German education,[1] and the
economic and financial supremacy which the benevolent passivity of England
and France enabled Germany to acquire; but above all to the personal
influence of King Carol. Germany, he considered, was at the beginning of
her development and needed, above all, peace; as Rumania was in the same
position the wisest policy was to follow Germany, neglecting impracticable
national ideals. King Carol outlined his views clearly in an interview
which he had in Vienna with the Emperor Franz Joseph in 1883: 'No nation
consents to be bereaved of its political aspirations, and those of the
Rumanians are constantly kept at fever heat by Magyar oppression. But this
was no real obstacle to a friendly understanding between the two
neighbouring states.'

[Footnote 1: Many prominent statesmen like Sturdza, Maiorescu, Carp, &c.
were educated in Germany, whereas the school established by the German
community (_Evangelische Knaben und Realschule_), and which it under the
direct control of the German Ministry of Education, is attended by more
pupils than any other school in Bucarest.]

Such was the position when the Balkan peoples rose in 1912 to sever the
last ties which bound them to the decadent Turkish Empire. King Carol, who
had, sword in hand, won the independence of his country, could have no
objection to such a desire for emancipation. Nor to the Balkan League
itself, unfortunately so ephemeral; for by the first year of his reign he
had already approached the Greek Government with proposals toward such a
league, and toward freeing the Balkans from the undesirable interference
of the powers.[1] It is true that Rumania, like all the other states, had
not foreseen the radical changes which were to take place, and which
considerably affected her position in the Near East. But she was safe as
long as the situation was one of stable equilibrium and the league
remained in existence. 'Rumania will only be menaced by a real danger when
a Great Bulgaria comes into existence,' remarked Prince Carol to Bismarck
in 1880, and Bulgaria had done nothing since to allay Rumanian suspicions.
On the contrary, the proviso of the Berlin Convention that all
fortifications along the Rumania frontier should be razed to the ground
had not been carried out by the Bulgarian Government. Bulgarian official
publications regarded the Dobrudja as a 'Bulgaria Irredenta', and at the
outset of the first Balkan war a certain section of the Bulgarian press
speculated upon the Bulgarian character of the Dobrudja.

[Footnote 1: See Augenzeuge, op. cit., i. 178]

The Balkan League having proclaimed, however, that their action did not
involve any territorial changes, and the maintenance of the _status quo_
having been insisted upon by the European Concert, Rumania declared that
she would remain neutral. All this jugglery of mutual assurances broke
down with the unexpected rout of the Turks; the formula 'the Balkans to
the Balkan peoples' made its appearance, upon which Bulgaria was at once
notified that Rumania would insist upon the question of the Dobrudja
frontier being included in any fundamental alteration of the Berlin
Convention. The Bulgarian Premier, M. Danev, concurred in this point of
view, but his conduct of the subsequent London negotiations was so
'diplomatic' that their only result was to strain the patience of the
Rumanian Government and public opinion to breaking point. Nevertheless,
the Rumanian Government agreed that the point in dispute should be
submitted to a conference of the representatives of the great powers in
St. Petersburg, and later accepted the decision of that conference, though
the country considered it highly unsatisfactory.

The formation of the Balkan League, and especially the collapse of Turkey,
had meant a serious blow to the Central Powers' policy of peaceful
penetration. Moreover, 'for a century men have been labouring to solve the
Eastern. Question. On the day when it shall be considered solved, Europe
will inevitably witness the propounding of the Austrian Question.'[1] To
prevent this and to keep open a route to the East Austro-German diplomacy
set to work, and having engineered the creation of Albania succeeded in
barring Serbia's way to the Adriatic; Serbia was thus forced to seek an
outlet in the south, where her interests were doomed to clash with
Bulgarian aspirations. The atmosphere grew threatening. In anticipation of
a conflict with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia sought an alliance with
Rumania. The offer was declined; but, in accordance with the policy which
Bucarest had already made quite clear to Sofia, the Rumanian army was
ordered to enter Bulgaria immediately that country attacked her former
allies. The Rumanians advanced unopposed to within a few miles of Sofia,
and in order to save the capital Bulgaria declared her willingness to
comply with their claims. Rumania having refused, however, to conclude a
separate peace, Bulgaria had to give way, and the Balkan premiers met in
conference at Bucarest to discuss terms. The circumstances were not
auspicious. The way in which Bulgaria had conducted previous negotiations,
and especially the attack upon her former allies, had exasperated the
Rumanians and the Balkan peoples, and the pressure of public opinion
hindered from the outset a fair consideration of the Bulgarian point of
view. Moreover, cholera was making great ravages in the ranks of the
various armies, and, what threatened to be even more destructive, several
great powers were looking for a crack in the door to put their tails
through, as the Rumanian saying runs. So anxious were the Balkan statesmen
to avoid any such interference that they agreed between themselves to a
short time limit: on a certain day, and by a certain hour, peace was to be
concluded, or hostilities were to start afresh. The treaty was signed on
August 10, 1913, Rumania obtaining the line Turtukai-Dobrich-Balchik, this
being the line already demanded by her at the time of the London
negotiations. The demand was put forth originally as a security against
the avowed ambitions of Bulgaria; it was a strategical necessity, but at
the same time a political mistake from the point of view of future
relations. The Treaty of Bucarest, imperfect arrangement as it was, had
nevertheless a great historical significance. 'Without complicating the
discussion of our interests, which we are best in a position to
understand, by the consideration of other foreign, interests,' remarked
the President of the Conference, 'we shall have established for the first
time by ourselves peace and harmony amongst our peoples.' Dynastic
interests and impatient ambitions, however, completely subverted this
momentous step towards a satisfactory solution of the Eastern Question.

[Footnote 1: Albert Sorel, op, cit., p. 266.]

The natural counter-effect of the diplomatic activity of the Central
Powers was a change in Rumanian policy. Rumania considered the maintenance
of the Balkan equilibrium a vital question, and as she had entered upon a
closer union with Germany against a Bulgaria subjected to Russian
influence, so she now turned to Russia as a guard against a Bulgaria under
German influence. This breaking away from the 'traditional' policy of
adjutancy-in-waiting to the Central Powers was indicated by the visit of
Prince Ferdinand--now King of Rumania--to St. Petersburg, and the even
more significant visit which Tsar Nicholas afterwards paid to the late
King Carol at Constanza. Time has been too short, however, for those new
relations so to shape themselves as to exercise a notable influence upon
Rumania's present attitude.


_Rumania and the Present War_

_(a) The Rumanians outside the Kingdom_

The axis on which Rumanian foreign policy ought naturally to revolve is
the circumstance that almost half the Rumanian nation lives outside
Rumanian territory. As the available official statistics generally show
political bias it is not possible to give precise figures; but roughly
speaking there are about one million Rumanians in Bessarabia, a quarter of
a million in Bucovina, three and a half millions in Hungary, while
something above half a million form scattered colonies in Bulgaria,
Serbia, and Macedonia. All these live in more or less close proximity to
the Rumanian frontiers.

That these Rumanian elements have maintained their nationality is due to
purely intrinsic causes. We have seen that the independence of Rumania in
her foreign relations had only recently been established, since when the
king, the factor most influential in foreign politics, had discouraged
nationalist tendencies, lest the country's internal development might be
compromised by friction with neighbouring states. The Government exerted
its influence against any active expression of the national feeling, and
the few 'nationalists' and the 'League for the cultural unity of all
Rumanians' had been, as a consequence, driven to seek a justification for
their existence in antisemitic agitation.

The above circumstances had little influence upon the situation in
Bucovina. This province forms an integral part of the Habsburg monarchy,
with which it was incorporated as early as 1775. The political situation
of the Rumanian principalities at the time, and the absence of a national
cultural movement, left the detached population exposed to Germanization,
and later to the Slav influence of the rapidly expanding Ruthene element.
That language and national characteristics have, nevertheless, not been
lost is due to the fact that the Rumanian population of Bucovina is
peasant almost to a man--a class little amenable to changes of

This also applies largely to Bessarabia, which, first lost in 1812, was
incorporated with Rumania in 1856, and finally detached in 1878. The few
Rumanians belonging to the landed class were won over by the new masters.
But while the Rumanian population was denied any cultural and literary
activities of its own, the reactionary attitude of the Russian Government
towards education has enabled the Rumanian peasants to preserve their
customs and their language. At the same time their resultant ignorance has
kept them outside the sphere of intellectual influence of the mother

The Rumanians who live in scattered colonies south of the Danube are the
descendants of those who took refuge in these regions during the ninth and
tenth centuries from the invasions of the Huns. Generally known as
Kutzo-Vlakhs, or, among themselves, as Aromuni, they are--as even Weigand,
who undoubtedly has Bulgarophil leanings, recognizes--the most intelligent
and best educated of the inhabitants of Macedonia. In 1905 the Rumanian
Government secured from the Porte official recognition of their separate
cultural and religious organizations on a national basis. Exposed as they
are to Greek influence, it will be difficult to prevent their final
assimilation with that people. The interest taken in them of late by the
Rumanian Government arose out of the necessity to secure them against
pan-Hellenic propaganda, and to preserve one of the factors entitling
Rumania to participate in the settlement of Balkan affairs.

I have sketched elsewhere the early history of the Rumanians of
Transylvania, the cradle of the Rumanian nation. As already mentioned,
part of the Rumanian nobility of Hungary went over to the Magyars, the
remainder migrating over the mountains. Debarred from the support of the
noble class, the Rumanian peasantry lost its state of autonomy, which
changed into one of serfdom to the soil upon which they toiled. Desperate
risings in 1324, 1437, 1514, 1600, and 1784 tended to case the Hungarian
oppression, which up to the nineteenth century strove primarily after a
political and religious hegemony. But the Magyars having failed in 1848 in
their attempt to free themselves from Austrian domination (defeated with
the assistance of a Russian army at Villagos, 1849), mainly on account of
the fidelity of the other nationalities to the Austrian Crown, they
henceforth directed their efforts towards strengthening their own position
by forcible assimilation of those nationalities. This they were able to
do, however, only after Königgrätz, when a weakened Austria had to give
way to Hungarian demands. In 1867 the Dual Monarchy was established, and
Transylvania, which up to then formed a separate duchy enjoying full
political rights, was incorporated with the new Hungarian kingdom. The
Magyars were handicapped in their imperialist ambitions by their numerical
inferiority. As the next best means to their end, therefore, they resorted
to political and national oppression, class despotism, and a complete
disregard of the principles of liberty and humanity.[1] Hungarian was made
compulsory in the administration, even in districts where the bulk of the
population did not understand that language. In villages completely
inhabited by Rumanians so-called 'State' schools were founded, in which
only Hungarian was to be spoken, and all children upwards of three years
of age had to attend them. The electoral regulations were drawn up in such
a manner that the Rumanians of Transylvania, though ten times more
numerous than the Magyars, sent a far smaller number than do the latter to
the National Assembly. To quash all protest a special press law was
introduced for Transylvania. But the Rumanian journalists being usually
acquitted by the juries a new regulation prescribed that press offences
should be tried only at Kluj (Klausenburg)--the sole Transylvanian town
with a predominating Hungarian population--a measure which was in
fundamental contradiction to the principles of justice.[2] In 1892 the
Rumanian grievances were embodied in a memorandum which was to have been
presented to the emperor by a deputation. An audience was, however,
refused, and at the instance of the Hungarian Government the members of
the deputation were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for having
plotted against the unity of the Magyar state.

[Footnote 1: The Rumanians inhabit mainly the province of Transylvania,
Banat, Crishiana, and Maramuresh. They represent 46.2 per cent. of the
total population of these provinces, the Magyars 32.5 per cent., the
Germans 11.5 per cent., and the Serbs 4.5 per cent. These figured are
taken from official Hungarian statistics, and it may therefore be assumed
that the Rumanian percentage represents a minimum.]

[Footnote 2: Over a period of 22 years (1886-1908) 850 journalists were
charged, 367 of whom were Rumanians; the sentences totalling 216 years of
imprisonment, the fines amounting to Fcs. 138,000.]

Notwithstanding these disabilities the Rumanians of Transylvania enjoyed a
long period of comparative social and economic liberty at a time when
Turkish and Phanariote domination was hampering all progress in Rumania.
Office under the Government growing increasingly difficult to obtain, the
Rumanians in Transylvania turned largely to commercial and the open
professions, and, as a result, a powerful middle class now exists. In
their clergy, both of the Orthodox and the Uniate Church--which last,
while conducting its ritual in the vernacular, recognizes papal supremacy--
the Rumanians have always found strong moral support, while the national
struggle tends to unite the various classes. The Rumanians of Hungary form
by far the sanest element in the Rumanian nation. From the Rumanians
within the kingdom they have received little beside sympathy. The
important part played by the country at the Peace of Bucarest, and her
detachment from Austria-Hungary, must necessarily have stimulated the
national consciousness of the Transylvanians; while at the same time all
hope for betterment from within must have ceased at the death of Archduke
Francis Ferdinand, an avowed friend of the long-suffering nationalities.
It is, therefore, no mere matter of conjecture that the passive attitude
of the Rumanian Government at the beginning of the present conflict must
have been a bitter disappointment to them.

_(b) Rumania's Attitude_

The tragic development of the crisis in the summer of 1914 threw Rumania
into a vortex of unexpected hopes and fears. Aspirations till then
considered little else than Utopian became tangible possibilities, while,
as suddenly, dangers deemed far off loomed large and near. Not only was
such a situation quite unforeseen, nor had any plan of action been
preconceived to meet it, but it was in Rumania's case a situation unique
from the number of conflicting considerations and influences at work
within it. Still under the waning influence of the thirty years
quasi-alliance with Austria, Rumania was not yet acclimatized to her new
relations with Russia. Notwithstanding the inborn sympathy with and
admiration for France, the Rumanians could not be blind to Germany's
military power. The enthusiasm that would have sided with France for
France's sake was faced by the influence of German finance. Sympathy with
Serbia existed side by side with suspicion of Bulgaria. Popular sentiment
clashed with the views of the king; and the bright vision of the
'principle of nationality' was darkened by the shadow of Russia as despot
of the Near East.

One fact in the situation stood out from the rest, namely, the unexpected
opportunity of redeeming that half of the Rumanian nation which was still
under foreign rule; the more so as one of the parties in the conflict had
given the 'principle of nationality' a prominent place in its programme.
But the fact that both Austria-Hungary and Russia had a large Rumanian
population among their subjects rendered a purely national policy
impossible, and Rumania could do nothing but weigh which issue offered her
the greater advantage.

Three ways lay open: complete neutrality, active participation on the side
of the Central Powers, or common cause with the Triple Entente. Complete
neutrality was advocated by a few who had the country's material security
most at heart, and also, as a _pis aller_, by those who realized that
their opinion that Rumania should make common cause with the Central
Powers had no prospect of being acted upon.

That King Carol favoured the idea of a joint action with Germany is likely
enough, for such a policy was in keeping with his faith in the power of
the German Empire. Moreover, he undoubtedly viewed with satisfaction the
possibility of regaining Bessarabia, the loss of which must have been
bitterly felt by the victor of Plevna. Such a policy would have met with
the approval of many Rumanian statesmen, notably of M. Sturdza, sometime
leader of the Liberal party and Prime Minister; of M. Carp, sometime
leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister; of M. Maiorescu,
ex-Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, who presided at the Bucarest
Conference of 1913; of M. Marghiloman, till recently leader of the
Conservative party, to name only the more important. M. Sturdza, the old
statesman who had been one of King Carol's chief coadjutors in the making
of modern Rumania, and who had severed for many years his connexion with
active politics, again took up his pen to raise a word of warning. M.
Carp, the political aristocrat who had retired from public life a few
years previously, and had professed a lifelong contempt for the 'Press and
all its works', himself started a daily paper (_Moldova_) which, he
intended should expound his views. Well-known writers like M. Radu Rosetti
wrote[1] espousing the cause favoured by the king, though not for the
king's reasons: Carol had faith in Germany, the Rumanians mistrusted
Russia. They saw no advantage in the dismemberment of Austria, the most
powerful check to Russia's plans in the Near East. They dreaded the idea
of seeing Russia on the Bosphorus, as rendering illusory Rumania's
splendid position at the mouth of the Danube. For not only is a cheap
waterway absolutely necessary for the bulky products forming the chief
exports of Rumania; but these very products, corn, petroleum, and timber,
also form the chief exports of Russia, who, by a stroke of the pen, may
rule Rumania out of competition, should she fail to appreciate the
political leadership of Petrograd. Paris and Rome were, no doubt, beloved
sisters; but Sofia, Moscow, and Budapest were next-door neighbours to be
reckoned with.

[Footnote 1: See R. Rosetti, _Russian Politics at Work in the Rumanian
Countries_, facts compiled from French official documents, Bucarest,

Those who held views opposed to those, confident in the righteousness of
the Allies' cause and in their final victory, advocated immediate
intervention, and to that end made the most of the two sentiments which
animated public opinion: interest in the fate of the Transylvanians, and
sympathy with France. They contended that though a purely national policy
was not possible, the difference between Transylvania and Bessarabia in
area and in number and quality of the population was such that no
hesitation was admissible. The possession of Transylvania was assured if
the Allies were successful; whereas Russia would soon recover if defeated,
and would regain Bessarabia by force of arms, or have it once more
presented to her by a Congress anxious to soothe her 'sentiment de dignité
blessée'. A Rumania enlarged in size and population had a better chance of
successfully withstanding any eventual pressure from the north, and it was
clear that any attempt against her independence would be bound to develop
into a European question. Rumania could not forget what she owed to France;
and if circumstances had made the Transylvanian question one 'à laquelle
on pense toujours et dont on ne parle jamais', the greater was the duty,
now that a favourable opportunity had arisen, to help the brethren across
the mountains. It was also a duty to fight for right and civilization,
proclaimed M. Take Ionescu, the exponent of progressive ideas in Rumanian
politics; and he, together with the prominent Conservative statesman, M.
Filipescu, who loathes the idea of the Rumanians being dominated by the
inferior Magyars, are the leaders of the interventionist movement. It was
due to M. Filipescu's activity, especially, that M. Marghiloman was forced
by his own party to resign his position as leader on account of his
Austrophil sentiments--an event unparalleled in Rumanian politics.

These were the two main currents of opinion which met in conflict at the
Crown Council--a committee _ad hoc_ consisting of the Cabinet and the
leaders of the Opposition--summoned by the king early in August 1914, when
Rumania's neutrality was decided upon. The great influence which the Crown
can always wield under the Rumanian political system was rendered the more
potent in the present case by the fact that the Premier, M. Bratianu, is
above all a practical man, and the Liberal Cabinet over which he presides
one of the most colourless the country ever had: a Cabinet weak to the
point of being incapable of realizing its own weakness and the imperative
necessity at this fateful moment of placing the helm in the hands of a
national ministry. M. Bratianu considered that Rumania was too exposed,
and had suffered too much in the past for the sake of other countries, to
enter now upon such an adventure without ample guarantees. There would
always be time for her to come in. This policy of opportunism he was able
to justify by powerful argument. The supply of war material for the
Rumanian army had been completely in the hands of German and Austrian
arsenals, and especially in those of Krupp. For obvious reasons Rumania
could no longer rely upon that source; indeed, Germany was actually
detaining contracts for war and sanitary material placed with her before
the outbreak of the war. There was the further consideration that, owing
to the nature of Rumania's foreign policy in the past, no due attention
had been given to the defence of the Carpathians, nor to those branches of
the service dealing with mountain warfare. On the other hand, a continuous
line of fortifications running from Galatz to Focshani formed, together
with the lower reaches of the Danube, a strong barrier against attack from
the north. Rumania's geographical position is such that a successful
offensive from Hungary could soon penetrate to the capital, and by cutting
the country in two could completely paralyse its organization. Such
arguments acquired a magnified importance in the light of the failure of
the negotiations with Bulgaria, and found many a willing ear in a country
governed by a heavily involved landed class, and depending almost
exclusively in its banking organization upon German and Austrian capital.

From the point of view of practical politics only the issue of the
conflict will determine the wisdom or otherwise of Rumania's attitude.
But, though it is perhaps out of place to enlarge upon it here, it is
impossible not to speak of the moral aspect of the course adopted. By
giving heed to the unspoken appeal from Transylvania the Rumanian national
spirit would have been quickened, and the people braced to a wholesome
sacrifice. Many were the wistful glances cast towards the Carpathians by
the subject Rumanians, as they were being led away to fight for their
oppressors; but, wilfully unmindful, the leaders of the Rumanian state
buried their noses in their ledgers, oblivious of the fact that in these
times of internationalism a will in common, with aspirations in common, is
the very life-blood of nationality. That sentiment ought not to enter into
politics is an argument untenable in a country which has yet to see its
national aspirations fulfilled, and which makes of these aspirations
definite claims. No Rumanian statesman can contend that possession of
Transylvania is necessary to the existence of the Rumanian state. What
they can maintain is that deliverance from Magyar oppression is vital to
the existence of the Transylvanians. The right to advance such a claim
grows out of their very duty of watching over the safety of the subject
Rumanians. 'When there are squabbles in the household of my
brother-in-law,' said the late Ioan Bratianu when speaking on the
Transylvanian question, 'it is no affair of mine; but when he raises a
knife against his wife, it is not merely my right to intervene, it is my
duty.' It is difficult to account for the obliquity of vision shown by so
many Rumanian politicians. 'The whole policy of such a state [having a
large compatriot population living in close proximity under foreign
domination] must be primarily influenced by anxiety as to the fate of
their brothers, and by the duty of emancipating them,' affirms one of the
most ardent of Rumanian nationalist orators; and he goes on to assure us
that 'if Rumania waits, it is not from hesitation as to her duty, but
simply in order that she may discharge it more completely'.[1] Meantime,
while Rumania waits, regiments composed almost completely of
Transylvanians have been repeatedly and of set purpose placed in the
forefront of the battle, and as often annihilated. Such could never be the
simple-hearted Rumanian peasant's conception of his duty, and here, as in
so many other cases in the present conflict, the nation at large must not
be judged by the policy of the few who hold the reins.

[Footnote 1: _Quarterly Review_, London, April, 1915, pp. 449-50.]

Rumania's claims to Transylvania are not of an historical nature. They are
founded upon the numerical superiority of the subject Rumanians in
Transylvania, that is upon the 'principle of nationality', and are morally
strengthened by the treatment the Transylvanians suffer at the hands of
the Magyars. By its passivity, however, the Rumanian Government has
sacrificed the prime factor of the 'principle of nationality' to the
attainment of an object in itself subordinate to that factor; that is, it
has sacrificed the 'people' in order to make more sure of the 'land'. In
this way the Rumanian Government has entered upon a policy of acquisition;
a policy which Rumania is too weak to pursue save under the patronage of
one or a group of great powers; a policy unfortunate inasmuch as it will
deprive her of freedom of action in her external politics. Her policy
will, in its consequences, certainly react to the detriment of the
position acquired by the country two years ago, when independent action
made her arbiter not only among the smaller Balkan States, but also among
those and her late suzerain, Turkey.

Such, indeed, must inevitably be the fate of Balkan politics in general.
Passing from Turkish domination to nominal Turkish suzerainty, and thence
to independence within the sphere of influence of a power or group of
powers, this gradual emancipation of the states of south-eastern Europe
found its highest expression in the Balkan League. The war against Turkey
was in effect a rebellion against the political tutelage of the powers.
But this emancipation was short-lived. By their greed the Balkan States
again opened up a way to the intrusion of foreign diplomacy, and even, as
we now see, of foreign troops. The first Balkan war marked the zenith of
Balkan political emancipation; the second Balkan war was the first act in
the tragic _débâcle_ out of which the present situation developed. The
interval between August 1913 (Peace of Bucarest) and August 1914 was
merely an armistice during which Bulgaria and Turkey recovered their
breath, and German and Austrian diplomacy had time to find a pretext for
war on its own account.

'Exhausted but not vanquished we have had to furl our glorious standards
in order to await better days,' said Ferdinand of Bulgaria to his soldiers
after the conclusion of the Peace of Bucarest; and Budapest, Vienna, and
Berlin have no doubt done their best to keep this spirit of revenge alive
and to prevent a renascence of the Balkan Alliance. They have succeeded.
They have done more: they have succeeded in causing the 'principle of
nationality'--that idea which involves the disruption of Austria--to be
stifled by the very people whom it was meant to save. For whilst the
German peoples are united in this conflict, the majority of the southern
Slavs, in fighting the German battles, are fighting to perpetuate the
political servitude of the subject races of Austria-Hungary.

However suspicious Rumania may be of Russia, however bitter the quarrels
between Bulgars, Greeks, and Serbs, it is not, nor can it ever be natural,
that peoples who have groaned under Turkish despotism for centuries
should, after only one year of complete liberation, join hands with an old
and dreaded enemy not only against their fellow sufferers, but even
against those who came 'to die that they may live'. These are the Dead Sea
fruits of dynastic policy. Called to the thrones of the small states of
the Near East for the purpose of creating order and peace, the German
dynasties have overstepped their function and abused the power entrusted
to them. As long as, in normal times, political activities were confined
to the diplomatic arena there was no peril of rousing the masses out of
their ignorant indolence; but, when times are abnormal, it is a different
and a dangerous thing to march these peoples against their most intimate
feelings. When, as the outcome of the present false situation, sooner or
later the dynastic power breaks, it will then be for the powers who are
now fighting for better principles not to impose their own views upon the
peoples, or to place their own princes upon the vacant thrones. Rather
must they see that the small nations of the Near East are given a chance
to develop in peace and according to their proper ideals; that they be not
again subjected to the disintegrating influence of European diplomacy; and
that, above all, to the nations in common, irrespective of their present
attitude, there should be a just application of the 'principle of


Turkey is no better name for the Osmanli dominion or any part of it than
Normandy would be for Great Britain. It is a mediaeval error of
nomenclature sanctioned by long usage in foreign mouths, but without any
equivalent in the vernacular of the Osmanlis themselves. The real 'Turkey'
is Turkestan, and the real Turks are the Turcomans. The Osmanlis are the
least typical Turks surviving. Only a very small proportion of them have
any strain of Turkish blood, and this is diluted till it is rarely
perceptible in their physiognomy: and if environment rather than blood is
to be held responsible for racial features, it can only be said that the
territory occupied by the Osmanlis is as unlike the homeland of the true
Turks as it can well be, and is quite unsuited to typically Turkish life
and manners.

While of course it would be absurd to propose at this time of day any
change in the terms by which the civilized world unanimously designates
the Osmanlis and their dominion, it is well to insist on their
incorrectness, because, like most erroneous names, they have bred
erroneous beliefs. Thanks in the main to them, the Ottoman power is
supposed to have originated in an overwhelming invasion of Asia Minor by
immense numbers of Central Asiatic migrants, who, intent, like the early
Arab armies, on offering to Asia first and Europe second the choice of
apostasy or death, absorbed or annihilated almost all the previous
populations, and swept forward into the Balkans as single-minded apostles
of Islam. If the composition and the aims of the Osmanlis had been these,
it would pass all understanding how they contrived, within a century of
their appearance on the western scene, to establish in North-west Asia and
South-east Europe the most civilized and best-ordered state of their time.
Who, then, are the Osmanlis in reality? What have they to do with true
Turks? and in virtue of what innate qualities did they found and
consolidate their power?


_Origin of the Osmanlis_

We hear of Turks first from Chinese sources. They were then the
inhabitants, strong and predatory, of the Altai plains and valleys: but
later on, about the sixth century A.D., they are found firmly established
in what is still called Turkestan, and pushing westwards towards the
Caspian Sea. Somewhat more than another century passes, and, reached by a
missionary faith of West Asia, they come out of the Far Eastern darkness
into a dim light of western history. One Boja, lord of Kashgar and Khan of
what the Chinese knew as the people of Thu-Kiu--probably the same name as
'Turk'--embraced Islam and forced it on his Mazdeist subjects; but other
Turkish tribes, notably the powerful Uighurs, remained intolerant of the
new dispensation, and expelled the Thu-Kiu _en masse_ from their holding
in Turkestan into Persia. Here they distributed themselves in detached
hordes over the north and centre. At this day, in some parts of Persia,
e.g. Azerbaijan, Turks make the bulk of the population besides supplying
the reigning dynasty of the whole kingdom. For the Shahs of the Kajar
house are not Iranian, but purely Turkish.

This, it should be observed, was the western limit of Turkish expansion in
the mass. Azerbaijan is the nearest region to us in which Turki blood
predominates, and the westernmost province of the true Turk homeland. All
Turks who have passed thence into Hither Asia have come in comparatively
small detachments, as minorities to alien majorities. They have invaded as
groups of nomads seeking vacant pasturage, or as bands of military
adventurers who, first offering their swords to princes of the elder
peoples, have subsequently, on several occasions and in several
localities, imposed themselves on their former masters. To the first
category belong all those Turcoman, Avshar, Yuruk, and other Turki tribes,
which filtered over the Euphrates into unoccupied or sparsely inhabited
parts of Syria and Asia Minor from the seventh century onwards, and
survive to this day in isolated patches, distinguished from the mass of
the local populations, partly by an ineradicable instinct for nomadic
life, partly by retention of the pre-Islamic beliefs and practices of the
first immigrants. In the second category--military adventurers--fall, for
example, the Turkish praetorians who made and unmade not less than four
caliphs at Bagdad in the ninth century, and that bold _condottiere_, Ahmed
ibn Tulun, who captured a throne at Cairo. Even Christian emperors availed
themselves of these stout fighters. Theophilus of Constantinople
anticipated the Ottoman invasion of Europe by some five hundred years when
he established Vardariote Turks in Macedonia.

The most important members of the second category, however, were the
Seljuks. Like the earlier Thu-Kiu, they were pushed out of Turkestan late
in the tenth century to found a power in Persia. Here, in Khorasan, the
mass of the horde settled and remained: and it was only a comparatively
small section which went on westward as military adventurers to fall upon
Bagdad, Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor. This first conquest was little
better than a raid, so brief was the resultant tenure; but a century later
two dispossessed nephews of Melek Shah of Persia set out on a military
adventure which had more lasting consequences. Penetrating with, a small
following into Asia Minor, they seized Konia, and instituted there a
kingdom nominally feudatory to the Grand Seljuk of Persia, but in reality
independent and destined to last about two centuries. Though numerically
weak, their forces, recruited from the professional soldier class which
had bolstered up the Abbasid Empire and formed the Seljukian kingdoms of
Persia and Syria, were superior to any Byzantine troops that could be
arrayed in southern or central Asia Minor. They constituted indeed the
only compact body of fighting men seen in these regions for some
generations. It found reinforcement from the scattered Turki groups
introduced already, as we have seen, into the country; and even from
native Christians, who, descended from the Iconoclasts of two centuries
before, found the rule of Moslem image-haters more congenial, as it was
certainly more effective, than that of Byzantine emperors. The creed of
the Seljuks was Islam of an Iranian type. Of Incarnationist colour, it
repudiated the dour illiberal spirit of the early Arabian apostles which
latter-day Sunnite orthodoxy has revived. Accordingly its professors,
backed by an effective force and offering security and privilege, quickly
won over the aborigines--Lycaonians, Phrygians, Cappadocians, and
Cilicians--and welded them into a nation, leaving only a few detached
communities here and there to cherish allegiance to Byzantine
Christianity. In the event, the population of quite two-thirds of the
Anatolian peninsula had already identified itself with a ruling Turki
caste before, early in the thirteenth century, fresh Turks appeared on the
scene--those Turks who were to found the Ottoman Empire.

They entered Asia Minor much as the earlier Turcomans had entered it--a
small body of nomadic adventurers, thrown off by the larger body of Turks
settled in Persia to seek new pastures west of the Euphrates. There are
divers legends about the first appearance and establishment of these
particular Turks: but all agree that they were of inconsiderable number--
not above four hundred families at most. Drifting in by way of Armenia,
they pressed gradually westward from Erzerum in hope of finding some
unoccupied country which would prove both element and fertile. Byzantine
influence was then at a very low ebb. With Constantinople itself in Latin
hands, the Greek writ ran only along the north Anatolian coast, ruled from
two separate centres, Isnik (Nicaea) and Trebizond: and the Seljuk kingdom
was run in reality much more vigorous. Though apparently without a rival,
it was subsisting by consent, on the prestige of its past, rather than on
actual power. The moment of its dissolution was approaching, and the
Anatolian peninsula, two-thirds Islamized, but ill-organised and very
loosely knit, was becoming once more a fair field for any adventurer able
to command a small compact force.

The newly come Turks were invited finally to settle on the extreme
north-western fringe of the Seljuk territory--in a region so near Nicaea
that their sword would be a better title to it than any which the feudal
authority of Konia could confer. In fact it was a debatable land, an angle
pushed up between the lake plain of Nicaea on the one hand and the plain
of Brusa on the other, and divided from each by not lofty heights,
Yenishehr, its chief town, which became the Osmanli chief Ertogrul's
residence, lies, as the crow flies, a good deal less than fifty miles from
the Sea of Marmora, and not a hundred miles from Constantinople itself.
Here Ertogrul was to be a Warden of the Marches, to hold his territory for
the Seljuk and extend it for himself at the expense of Nicaea if he could.
If he won through, so much the better for Sultan Alaeddin; if he failed,
_vile damnum!_

Hardly were his tribesmen settled, however, among the Bithynians and
Greeks of Yenishehr, before the Seljuk collapse became a fact. The Tartar
storm, ridden by Jenghis Khan, which had overwhelmed Central Asia, spent
its last force on the kingdom of Konia, and, withdrawing, left the Seljuks
bankrupt of force and prestige and Anatolia without an overlord. The
feudatories were free everywhere to make or mar themselves, and they spent
the last half of the thirteenth century in fighting for whatever might be
saved from the Seljuk wreck before it foundered for ever about 1300 A.D.
In the south, the centre, and the east of the peninsula, where Islam had
long rooted itself as the popular social system, various Turki emirates
established themselves on a purely Moslem basis--certain of these, like
the Danishmand emirate of Cappadocia, being restorations of tribal
jurisdictions which had existed before the imposition of Seljuk

In the extreme north-west, however, where the mass of society was still
Christian and held itself Greek, no Turkish, potentate could either revive
a pre-Seljukian status or simply carry on a Seljukian system in miniature.
If he was to preserve independence at all, he must rely on a society which
was not yet Moslem and form a coalition with the 'Greeks', into whom the
recent recovery of Constantinople from the Latins had put fresh heart.
Osman, who had succeeded Ertogrul in 1288, recognized where his only
possible chance of continued dominion and future aggrandizement lay. He
turned to the Greeks, as an element of vitality and numerical strength to
be absorbed into his nascent state, and applied himself unremittingly to
winning over and identifying with himself the Greek feudal seigneurs in
his territory or about its frontiers. Some of these, like Michael, lord of
Harmankaya, readily enough stood in with the vigorous Turk and became
Moslems. Others, as the new state gained momentum, found themselves
obliged to accept it or be crushed. There are to this day Greek
communities in the Brusa district jealously guarding privileges which date
from compacts made with their seigneurs by Osman and his son Orkhan.

It was not till the Seljuk kingdom was finally extinguished, in or about
1300 A.D. that Osman assumed at Yenishehr the style and title of a sultan.
Acknowledged from Afium Kara Hissar, in northern Phrygia, to the Bithynian
coast of the Marmora, beside whose waters his standards had already been
displayed, he lived on to see Brusa fall to his son Orkhan, in 1326, and
become the new capital. Though Nicaea still held out, Osman died virtual
lord of the Asiatic Greeks; and marrying his son to a Christian girl, the
famous Nilufer, after whom the river of Brusa is still named, he laid on
Christian foundations the strength of his dynasty and his state. The first
regiment of professional Ottoman soldiery was recruited by him and
embodied later by Orkhan, his son, from Greek and other Christian-born
youths, who, forced to apostatize, were educated as Imperial slaves in
imitation of the Mamelukes, constituted more than a century earlier in
Egypt, and now masters where they had been bondmen. It is not indeed for
nothing that Osman's latest successor, and all who hold by him,
distinguish themselves from other peoples by his name. They are Osmanlis
(or by a European use of the more correct form Othman, 'Ottomans'),
because they derived their being as a nation and derive their national
strength, not so much from central Asia as from the blend of Turk and
Greek which Osman promoted among his people. This Greek strain has often
been reinforced since his day and mingled with other Caucasian strains.

It was left to Orkhan to round off this Turco-Grecian realm in Byzantine
Asia by the capture first of Ismid (Nicomedia) and then of Isnik (Nicaea);
and with this last acquisition the nucleus of a self-sufficient sovereign
state was complete. After the peaceful absorption of the emirate of
Karasi, which added west central Asia Minor almost as far south as the
Hermus, the Osmanli ruled in 1338 a dominion of greater area than that of
the Greek emperor, whose capital and coasts now looked across to Ottoman
shores all the way from the Bosphorus to the Hellespont.


_Expansion of the Osmanli Kingdom_

If the new state was to expand by conquest, its line of advance was
already foreshadowed. For the present, it could hardly break back into
Asia Minor, occupied as this was by Moslem principalities sanctioned by
the same tradition as itself, namely, the prestige of the Seljuks. To
attack these would be to sin against Islam. But in front lay a rich but
weak Christian state, the centre of the civilization to which the popular
element in the Osmanli society belonged. As inevitably as the state of
Nicaea had desired, won, and transferred itself to, Constantinople, so did
the Osmanli state of Brusa yearn towards the same goal; and it needed no
invitation from a Greek to dispose an Ottoman sultan to push over to the
European shore.

Such an invitation, however, did in fact precede the first Osmanli
crossing in force. In 1345 John Cantacuzene solicited help of Orkhan
against the menace of Dushan, the Serb. Twelve years later came a second
invitation. Orkhan's son, Suleiman, this time ferried a large army over
the Hellespont, and, by taking and holding Gallipoli and Rodosto, secured
a passage from continent to continent, which the Ottomans would never
again let go.

Such invitations, though they neither prompted the extension of the
Osmanli realm into Europe nor sensibly precipitated it, did nevertheless
divert the course of the Ottoman arms and reprieve the Greek empire till
Timur and his Tartars could come on the scene and, all unconsciously,
secure it a further respite. But for these diversions there is little
doubt Constantinople would have passed into Ottoman hands nearly a century
earlier than the historic date of its fall. The Osmanli armies, thus led
aside to make the Serbs and not the Greeks of Europe their first
objective, became involved at once in a tangle of Balkan affairs from
which they only extricated themselves after forty years of incessant
fighting in almost every part of the peninsula except the domain of the
Greek emperor. This warfare, which in no way advanced the proper aims of
the lords of Brusa and Nicaea, not only profited the Greek emperor by
relieving him of concern about his land frontier but also used up strength
which might have made head against the Tartars. Constantinople then, as
now, was detached from the Balkans. The Osmanlis, had they possessed
themselves of it, might well have let the latter be for a long time to
come. Instead, they had to battle, with the help now of one section of the
Balkan peoples, now of another, till forced to make an end of all their
feuds and treacheries by annexations after the victories of Kosovo in 1389
and Nikopolis in 1396.

Nor was this all. They became involved also with certain peoples of the
main continent of Europe, whose interests or sympathies had been affected
by those long and sanguinary Balkan wars. There was already bad blood and
to spare between the Osmanlis on the one hand, and Hungarians, Poles, and
Italian Venetians on the other, long before any second opportunity to
attack Constantinople occurred: and the Osmanlis were in for that age-long
struggle to secure a 'scientific frontier' beyond the Danube, whence the
Adriatic on the one flank and the Euxine on the other could be commanded,
which was to make Ottoman history down to the eighteenth century and spell
ruin in the end.

It is a vulgar error to suppose that the Osmanlis set out for Europe, in
the spirit of Arab apostles, to force their creed and dominion on all the
world. Both in Asia and Europe, from first to last, their expeditions and
conquests have been inspired palpably by motives similar to those active
among the Christian powers, namely, desire for political security and the
command of commercial areas. Such wars as the Ottoman sultans, once they
were established at Constantinople, did wage again and again with knightly
orders or with Italian republics would have been undertaken, and fought
with the same persistence, by any Greek emperor who felt himself strong
enough. Even the Asiatic campaigns, which Selim I and some of his
successors, down to the end of the seventeenth century, would undertake,
were planned and carried out from similar motives. Their object was to
secure the eastern basin of the Mediterranean by the establishment of some
strong frontier against Iran, out of which had come more than once forces
threatening the destruction of Ottoman power. It does not, of course, in
any respect disprove their purpose that, in the event, this object was
never attained, and that an unsatisfactory Turco-Persian border still
illustrates at this day the failures of Selim I and Mohammed IV.

By the opening of the fifteenth century, when, all unlooked for, a most
terrible Tartar storm was about to break upon western Asia, the Osmanli
realm had grown considerably, not only in Europe by conquest, but also in
Asia by the peaceful effect of marriages and heritages. Indeed it now
comprised scarcely less of the Anatolian peninsula than the last Seljuks
had held, that is to say, the whole of the north as far as the Halys river
beyond Angora, the central plateau to beyond Konia, and all the western
coast-lands. The only emirs not tributary were those of Karamania,
Cappadocia, and Pontus, that is of the southern and eastern fringes; and
one detached fragment of Greek power survived in the last-named country,
the kingdom of Trebizond. As for Europe, it had become the main scene of
Osmanli operations, and now contained the administrative capital,
Adrianople, though Brusu kept a sentimental primacy. Sultan Murad, who
some years after his succession in 1359 had definitely transferred the
centre of political gravity to Thrace, was nevertheless carried to the
Bithynian capital for burial, Bulgaria, Serbia, and districts of both
Bosnia and Macedonia were now integral parts of an empire which had come
to number at least as many Christian as Moslem subjects, and to depend as
much on the first as on the last. Not only had the professional Osmanli
soldiery, the Janissaries, continued to be recruited from the children of
native Christian races, but contingents of adult native warriors, who
still professed Christianity, had been invited or had offered themselves
to fight Osmanli battles--even those waged against men of the True Faith
in Asia. A considerable body of Christian Serbs had stood up in Murad's
line at the battle of Konia in 1381, before the treachery of another body
of the same race gave him the victory eight years later at Kosovo. So
little did the Osmanli state model itself on the earlier caliphial empires
and so naturally did it lean towards the Roman or Byzantine imperial type.

And just because it had come to be in Europe and of Europe, it was able to
survive the terrible disaster of Angora in 1402. Though the Osmanli army
was annihilated by Timur, and an Osmanli sultan, for the first and last
time in history, remained in the hands of the foe, the administrative
machinery of the Osmanli state was not paralysed. A new ruler was
proclaimed at Adrianople, and the European part of the realm held firm.
The moment that the Tartars began to give ground, the Osmanlis began to
recover it. In less than twenty years they stood again in Asia as they
were before Timur's attack, and secure for the time on the east, could
return to restore their prestige in the west, where the Tartar victory had
bred unrest and brought both the Hungarians and the Venetians on the
Balkan scene. Their success was once more rapid and astonishing: Salonika
passed once and for all into Ottoman hands: the Frank seigneurs and the
despots of Greece were alike humbled; and although Murad II failed to
crush the Albanian, Skanderbey, he worsted his most dangerous foe, John
Hunyadi, with the help of Wallach treachery at the second battle of
Kosovo. At his death, three years later, he left the Balkans quiet and the
field clear for his successor to proceed with the long deferred but
inevitable enterprise of attacking all that was left of Greek empire, the
district and city of Constantinople.

The doom of New Rome was fulfilled within two years. In the end it passed
easily enough into the hands of those who already had been in possession
of its proper empire for a century or more. Historians have made more of
this fall of Constantinople in 1453 than contemporary opinion seems to
have made of it. No prince in Europe was moved to any action by its peril,
except, very half-heartedly, the Doge. Venice could not feel quite
indifferent to the prospect of the main part of that empire, which, while
in Greek hands, had been her most serious commercial competitor, passing
into the stronger hands of the Osmanlis. Once in Constantinople, the
latter, long a land power only, would be bound to concern themselves with
the sea also. The Venetians made no effort worthy of their apprehensions,
though these were indeed exceedingly well founded; for, as all the world
knows, to the sea the Osmanlis did at once betake themselves. In less than
thirty years they were ranging all the eastern Mediterranean and laying
siege to Rhodes, the stronghold of one of their most dangerous
competitors, the Knights Hospitallers.

In this consequence consists the chief historic importance of the Osmanli
capture of Constantinople. For no other reason can it he called an
epoch-marking event. If it guaranteed the Empire of the East against
passing into any western hands, for example, those of Venice or Genoa, it
did not affect the balance of power between Christendom and Islam; for the
strength of the former had long ceased to reside at all in Constantinople.
The last Greek emperor died a martyr, but not a champion.


_Heritage and Expansion of Byzantine Empire_

On the morrow of his victory, Mohammed the Conqueror took pains to make it
clear that his introduction of a new heaven did not entail a new earth. As
little as might be would be changed. He had displaced a Palaeologus by an
Osmanli only in order that an empire long in fact Osmanli should
henceforth be so also _de jure_. Therefore he confirmed the pre-existing
Oecumenical patriarch in his functions and the Byzantine Greeks in their
privileges, renewed the rights secured to Christian foreigners by the
Greek emperors, and proclaimed that, for his accession to the throne,
there should not be made a Moslem the more or a Christian the less.
Moreover, during the thirty years left to him of life, Mohammed devoted
himself to precisely those tasks which would have fallen to a Greek
emperor desirous of restoring Byzantine power. He thrust back Latins
wherever they were encroaching on the Greek sphere, as were the Venetians
of the Morea, the Hospitallers of Rhodes, and the Genoese of the Crimea:
and he rounded off the proper Byzantine holding by annexing, in Europe,
all the Balkan peninsula except the impracticable Black Mountain, the
Albanian highlands, and the Hungarian fortress of Belgrade; and, in Asia,
what had remained independent in the Anatolian peninsula, the emirates of
Karamania and Cappadocia.

Before Mohammed died in 1481 the Osmanli Turco-Grecian nation may be said
to have come into its own. It was lord _de facto et de jure belli_ of the
eastern or Greek Empire, that is of all territories and seas grouped
geographically round Constantinople as a centre, with only a few
exceptions unredeemed, of which the most notable were the islands of
Cyprus, Rhodes, and Krete, still in Latin hands. Needless to say, the
Osmanlis themselves differed greatly from their imperial predecessors.
Their official speech, their official creed, their family system were all
foreign to Europe, and many of their ideas of government had been learned
in the past from Persia and China, or were derived from the original
tribal organization of the true Turks. But if they were neither more nor
less Asiatics than the contemporary Russians, they were quite as much
Europeans as many of the Greek emperors had been--those of the Isaurian
dynasty, for instance. They had given no evidence as yet of a fanatical
Moslem spirit--this was to be bred in them by subsequent experiences--and
their official creed had governed their policy hardly more than does ours
in India or Egypt. Mohammed the Conqueror had not only shown marked favour
to Christians, whether his _rayas_ or not, but encouraged letters and the
arts in a very un-Arabian spirit. Did he not have himself portrayed by
Gentile Bellini? The higher offices of state, both civil and military,
were confided (and would continue so to be for a century to come) almost
exclusively to men of Christian origin. Commerce was encouraged, and
western traders recognized that their facilities were greater now than
they had been under Greek rule. The Venetians, for example, enjoyed in
perfect liberty a virtual monopoly of the Aegean and Euxine trade. The
social condition of the peasantry seems to have been better than it had
been under Greek seigneurs, whether in Europe or in Asia, and better than
it was at the moment in feudal Christendom. The Osmanli military
organization was reputed the best in the world, and its fame attracted
adventurous spirits from all over Europe to learn war in the first school
of the age. Ottoman armies, it is worth while to remember, were the only
ones then attended by efficient medical and commissariat services, and may
be said to have introduced to Europe these alleviations of the horrors of

Had the immediate successors of Mohammed been content--or, rather, had
they been able--to remain within his boundaries, they would have robbed
Ottoman history of one century of sinister brilliance, but might have
postponed for many centuries the subsequent sordid decay; for the seeds of
this were undoubtedly sown by the three great sultans who followed the
taker of Constantinople. Their ambitions or their necessities led to a
great increase of the professional army which would entail many evils in
time to come. Among these were praetorianism in the capital and the great
provincial towns; subjection of land and peasantry to military seigneurs,
who gradually detached themselves from the central control; wars
undertaken abroad for no better reason than the employment of soldiery
feared at home; consequent expansion of the territorial empire beyond the
administrative capacity of the central government; development of the
'tribute-children' system of recruiting into a scourge of the _rayas_ and
a continual offence to neighbouring states, and the supplementing of that
system by acceptance of any and every alien outlaw who might offer himself
for service: lastly, revival of the dormant crusading spirit of Europe,
which reacted on the Osmanlis, begetting in them an Arabian fanaticism and
disposing them to revert to the obscurantist spirit of the earliest
Moslems. To sum the matter up in other words: the omnipotence and
indiscipline of the Janissaries; the contumacy of 'Dere Beys' ('Lords of
the Valleys,' who maintained a feudal independence) and of provincial
governors; the concentration of the official mind on things military and
religious, to the exclusion of other interests; the degradation and
embitterment of the Christian elements in the empire; the perpetual
financial embarrassment of the government with its inevitable consequence
of oppression and neglect of the governed; and the constant provocation in
Christendom of a hostility which was always latent and recurrently active--
all these evils, which combined to push the empire nearer and nearer to
ruin from the seventeenth century onwards, can be traced to the brilliant
epoch of Osmanli history associated with the names of Bayezid II, Selim I,
and Suleiman the Magnificent.

At the same time Fate, rather than any sultan, must be blamed. It was
impossible to forgo some further extension of the empire, and very
difficult to arrest extension at any satisfactory static point. For one
thing, as has been pointed out already, there were important territories
in the proper Byzantine sphere still unredeemed at the death of Mohammed.
Rhodes, Krete, and Cyprus, whose possession carried with it something like
superior control of the Levantine trade, were in Latin hands. Austrian as
well as Venetian occupation of the best harbours was virtually closing the
Adriatic to the masters of the Balkans. Nor could the inner lands of the
Peninsula be quite securely held while the great fortress of Belgrade,
with the passage of the Danube, remained in Hungarian keeping,
Furthermore, the Black Sea, which all masters of the Bosphorus have
desired to make a Byzantine lake, was in dispute with the Wallachs and the
Poles; and, in the reign of Mohammed's successor, a cloud no bigger than a
man's hand came up above its northern horizon--the harbinger of the

As for the Asiatic part of the Byzantine sphere, there was only one little
corner in the south-east to be rounded off to bring all the Anatolian
peninsula under the Osmanli. But that corner, the Cilician plain, promised
trouble, since it was held by another Islamic power, that of the Egyptian
Mamelukes, which, claiming to be at least equal to the Osmanli, possessed
vitality much below its pretensions. The temptation to poach on it was
strong, and any lord of Constantinople who once gave way to this, would
find himself led on to assume control of all coasts of the easternmost
Levant, and then to push into inland Asia in quest of a scientific
frontier at their back--perilous and costly enterprise which Rome had
essayed again and again and had to renounce in the end. Bayezid II took
the first step by summoning the Mameluke to evacuate certain forts near
Tarsus, and expelling his garrisons _vi et armis_. Cilicia passed to the
Osmanli; but for the moment he pushed no farther. Bayezid, who was under
the obligation always to lead his army in person, could make but one
campaign at a time; and a need in Europe was the more pressing. In
quitting Cilicia, however, he left open a new question in Ottoman
politics--the Asiatic continental question--and indicated to his successor
a line of least resistance on which to advance. Nor would this be his only
dangerous legacy. The prolonged and repeated raids into Adriatic lands, as
far north as Carniola and Carinthia, with which the rest of Bayezid's
reign was occupied, brought Ottoman militarism at last to a point, whose
eventual attainment might have been foreseen any time in the past century--
the point at which, strong in the possession of a new arm, artillery, it
would assume control of the state.

Bayezid's seed was harvested by Selim. First in a long series of
praetorian creatures which would end only with the destroyer of the
praetorians themselves three centuries later, he owed his elevation to a
Janissary revolt, and all the eight bloody years of his reign were to be
punctuated by Janissary tumults. To keep his creators in any sort of order
and contentment he had no choice but to make war from his first year to
his last. When he died, in 1520, the Ottoman Empire had been swelled to
almost as wide limits in Asia and Africa as it has ever attained since his
day. Syria, Armenia, great part of Kurdistan, northern Mesopotamia, part
of Arabia, and last, but not least, Egypt, were forced to acknowledge
Osmanli suzerainty, and for the first time an Osmanli sultan had
proclaimed himself caliph. True that neither by his birth nor by the
manner of his appointment did Selim satisfy the orthodox caliphial
tradition; but, besides his acquisition of certain venerated relics of the
Prophet, such as the _Sanjak i-sherif_ or holy standard, and besides a yet
more important acquisition--the control of the holy cities of the faith--
he could base a claim on the unquestioned fact that the office was vacant,
and the equally certain fact that he was the most powerful Moslem prince
in the world. Purists might deny him if they dared: the vulgar Sunni mind
was impressed and disposed to accept. The main importance, however, of
Selim's assumption of the caliphate was that it consecrated Osmanli
militarism to a religious end--to the original programme of Islam. This
was a new thing, fraught with dire possibilities from that day forward. It
marked the supersession of the Byzantine or European ideal by the Asiatic
in Osmanli policy, and introduced a phase of Ottoman history which has
endured to our own time.

The inevitable process was continued in the next reign. Almost all the
military glories of Suleiman--known to contemporary Europe as 'the
Magnificent' and often held by historians the greatest of Osmanli sultans--
made for weakening, not strengthening, the empire. His earliest operations
indeed, the captures of Rhodes from the Knights and of Belgrade and
[)S]abac from the Hungarians, expressed a legitimate Byzantine policy; and
the siege of Malta, one of his latest ventures, might also be defended as
a measure taken in the true interests of Byzantine commerce. But the most
brilliant and momentous of his achievements bred evils for which military
prestige and the material profits to be gained from the oppression of an
irreconcilable population were inadequate compensation. This was the
conquest of Hungary. It would result in Buda and its kingdom remaining
Ottoman territory for a century and a half, and in the principalities of
Wallachia and Moldavia abiding under the Ottoman shadow even longer, and
passing for all time out of the central European into the Balkan sphere;
but also it would result in the Osmanli power finding itself on a weak
frontier face to face at last with a really strong Christian race, the
Germanic, before which, since it could not advance, it would have
ultimately to withdraw; and in the rousing of Europe to a sense of its
common danger from Moslem activity. Suleiman's failure to take Vienna more
than made good the panic which had followed on his victory at Mohacs. It
was felt that the Moslem, now that he had failed against the bulwark of
central Europe, was to go no farther, and that the hour of revenge was

[Illustration: The Ottoman Empire (Except the Arabian and African

It was nearer than perhaps was expected. Ottoman capacity to administer
the overgrown empire in Europe and Asia was strained already almost to
breaking-point, and it was in recognition of this fact that Suleiman made
the great effort to reorganize his imperial system, which has earned him
his honourable title of _El Kanun_, the Regulator. But if he could reset
and cleanse the wheels of the administrative machine, he could not
increase its capacity. New blood was beginning to fail for the governing
class just as the demands on it became greater. No longer could it be
manned exclusively from the Christian born. Two centuries of recruiting in
the Balkans and West Asia had sapped their resources. Even the Janissaries
were not now all 'tribute-children'. Their own sons, free men Moslem born,
began to be admitted to the ranks. This change was a vital infringement of
the old principle of Osmanli rule, that all the higher administrative and
military functions should be vested in slaves of the imperial household,
directly dependent on the sultan himself; and once breached, this
principle could not but give way more and more. The descendants of
imperial slaves, free-born Moslems, but barred from the glory and profits
of their fathers' function, had gradually become a very numerous class of
country gentlemen distributed over all parts of the empire, and a very
malcontent one. Though it was still subservient, its dissatisfaction at
exclusion from the central administration was soon to show itself partly
in assaults on the time-honoured system, partly in assumption of local
jurisdiction, which would develop into provincial independence.

The overgrowth of his empire further compelled Suleiman to divide the
standing army, in order that more than one imperial force might take the
field at a time. Unable to lead all his armies in person, he elected, in
the latter part of his reign, to lead none, and for the first time left
the Janissaries to march without a sultan to war. Remaining himself at the
centre, he initiated a fashion which would encourage Osmanli sultans to
lapse into half-hidden beings, whom their subjects would gradually invest
with religious character. Under these conditions the ruler, the governing
class (its power grew with this devolution), the dominant population of
the state, and the state itself all grew more fanatically Moslem.

In the early years of the seventeenth century, Ahmed I being on the
throne, the Ottoman Empire embraced the widest territorial area which it
was ever to cover at any one moment. In what may be called the proper
Byzantine field, Cyprus had been recovered and Krete alone stood out.
Outside that field, Hungary on the north and Yemen (since Selim's conquest
in 1516) on the south were the frontier provinces, and the Ottoman flag
had been carried not only to the Persian Gulf but also far upon the
Iranian plateau, in the long wars of Murad III, which culminated in 1588
with the occupation of Tabriz and half Azerbaijan.


_Shrinkage and Retreat_

The fringes of this vast empire, however, none too surely held, were
already involving it in insoluble difficulties and imminent dangers. On
the one hand, in Asia, it had been found impossible to establish military
fiefs in Arabia, Kurdistan, or anywhere east of it, on the system which
had secured the Osmanli tenure elsewhere. On the other hand, in Europe, as
we have seen, the empire had a very unsatisfactory frontier, beyond which
a strong people not only set limits to further progress but was prepared
to dispute the ground already gained. In a treaty signed at Sitvatorok, in
1606, the Osmanli sultan was forced to acknowledge definitely the absolute
and equal sovereignty of his northern neighbour, Austria; and although,
less than a century later, Vienna would be attacked once more, there was
never again to be serious prospect of an extension of the empire in the
direction of central Europe.

Moreover, however appearances might be maintained on the frontiers, the
heart of the empire had begun patently to fail. The history of the next
two centuries, the seventeenth and eighteenth, is one long record of
praetorian tumults at home; and ever more rarely will these be compensated
by military successes abroad. The first of these centuries had not half
elapsed ere the Janissaries had taken the lives of two sultans, and
brought the Grand Vizierate to such a perilous pass that no ordinary
holder of it, unless backed by some very powerful Albanian or other tribal
influence, could hope to save his credit or even his life. During this
period indeed no Osmanli of the older stocks ever exercised real control
of affairs. It was only among the more recently assimilated elements, such
as the Albanian, the Slavonic, or the Greek, that men of the requisite
character and vigour could be found. The rally which marked the latter
half of the seventeenth century was entirely the work of Albanians or of
other generals and admirals, none of whom had had a Moslem grandfather.
Marked by the last Osmanli conquest made at the expense of Europe--that
of Krete; by the definite subjugation of Wallachia; by the second siege of
Vienna; by the recovery of the Morea from Venice; and finally by an
honourable arrangement with Austria about the Danube frontier--it is all
to be credited to the Kuprili 'dynasty' of Albanian viziers, which
conspicuously outshone the contemporary sovereigns of the dynasty of
Osman, the best of them, Mohammed IV, not excepted. It was, however, no
more than a rally; for greater danger already threatened from another
quarter. Agreement had not been reached with Austria at Carlowitz, in
1699, before a new and baleful planet swam into the Osmanli sky.

It was, this time, no central European power, to which, at the worst, all
that lay north of the proper Byzantine sphere might be abandoned; but a
claimant for part of that sphere itself, perhaps even for the very heart
of it. Russia, seeking an economic outlet, had sapped her way south to the
Euxine shore, and was on the point of challenging the Osmanli right to
that sea. The contest would involve a vital issue; and if the Porte did
not yet grasp this fact, others had grasped it. The famous 'Testament of
Peter the Great' may or may not be a genuine document; but, in either
case, it proves that certain views about the necessary policy of Russia in
the Byzantine area, which became commonplaces of western political
thinkers as the eighteenth century advanced, were already familiar to east
European minds in the earlier part of that century.

Battle was not long in being joined. In the event, it would cost Russia
about sixty years of strenuous effort to reduce the Byzantine power of the
Osmanlis to a condition little better than that in which Osman had found
the Byzantine power of the Greeks four centuries before. During the first
two-thirds of this period the contest was waged not unequally. By the
Treaty of Belgrade, in 1739, Sultan Mahmud I appeared for a moment even to
have gained the whole issue, Russia agreeing to her own exclusion from the
Black Sea, and from interference in the Danubian principalities. But the
success could not be sustained. Repeated effort was rapidly exhausting
Osmanli strength, sapped as it was by increasing internal disease: and
when a crisis arrived with the accession of the Empress Catherine, it
proved too weak to meet it. During the ten years following 1764 Osmanli
hold on the Black Sea was lost irretrievably. After the destruction of the
fleet at Chesme the Crimea became untenable and was abandoned to the brief
mercies of Russia: and with a veiled Russian protectorate established in
the Danubian principalities, and an open Russian occupation in Morean
ports, Constantinople had lost once more her own seas. When Selim III was
set on a tottering throne, in 1787, the wheel of Byzantine destiny seemed
to have come again almost full circle: and the world was expecting a
Muscovite succession to that empire which had acknowledged already the
Roman, the Greek, and the Osmanli.

Certainly history looked like repeating itself. As in the fourteenth
century, so in the eighteenth, the imperial provinces, having shaken off
almost all control of the capital, were administering themselves, and
happier for doing so. Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, and Trebizond
acknowledged adventurers as virtually independent lords. Asia Minor, in
general, was being controlled, in like disregard of imperial majesty, by a
group of 'Dere Beys', descended, in different districts, from tribal
chieftains or privileged tax-farmers, or, often, from both. The latter
part of the eighteenth century was the heyday of the Anatolian feudal
families--of such as the Chapanoghlus of Yuzgad, whose sway stretched from
Pontus to Cilicia, right across the base of the peninsula, or the
Karamanoghlus of Magnesia, Bergama, and Aidin, who ruled as much territory
as the former emirs of Karasi and Sarukhan, and were recognized by the
representatives of the great trading companies as wielding the only
effective authority in Smyrna. The wide and rich regions controlled by
such families usually contributed neither an _asper_ to the sultan's
treasury nor a man to the imperial armies.

On no mountain of either Europe or Asia--and mountains formed a large part
of the Ottoman empire in both--did the imperial writ run. Macedonia and
Albania were obedient only to their local beys, and so far had gone the
devolution of Serbia and Bosnia to Janissary aghas, feudal beys, and the
Beylerbey of Rumili, that these provinces hardly concerned themselves more
with the capital. The late sultan, Mustapha III, had lost almost the last
remnant of his subjects' respect, not so much by the ill success of his
mutinous armies as by his depreciation of the imperial coinage. He had
died bankrupt of prestige, leaving no visible assets to his successor.
What might become of the latter no one in the empire appeared to care. As
in 1453, it waited other lords.



It has been waiting, nevertheless, ever since--waiting for much more than
a century; and perhaps the end is not even yet. Why, then, have
expectations not only within but without the empire been so greatly at
fault? How came Montesquieu, Burke, and other confident prophets since
their time to be so signally mistaken? There were several co-operating
causes, but one paramount. Constantinople was no longer, as in 1453, a
matter of concern only to itself, its immediate neighbours, and certain
trading republics of Italy. It had become involved with the commercial
interests of a far wider circle, in particular of the great trading
peoples of western Europe, the British, the French, and the Dutch, and
with the political interests of the Germanic and Russian nations. None of
these could be indifferent to a revolution in its fortunes, and least of
all to its passing, not to a power out of Asia, but to a rival power among
themselves. Europe was already in labour with the doctrine of the Balance
of Power. The bantling would not be born at Vienna till early in the
century to come: but even before the end of the eighteenth century it
could be foreseen that its life would be bound up with the maintenance of
Constantinople in independence of any one of the parent powers--that is,
with the prolongation of the Osmanli phase of its imperial fortunes. This
doctrine, consistently acted upon by Europe, has been the sheet anchor of
the Ottoman empire for a century. Even to this day its Moslem dynasty has
never been without one powerful Christian champion or another.

There were, however, some thirty years still to elapse after Selim's
accession before that doctrine was fully born: and had her hands been
free, Russia might well have been in secure possession of the Byzantine
throne long before 1815. For, internally, the Osmanli state went from bad
to worse. The tumultuous insubordination of the Janissaries became an ever
greater scandal. Never in all the long history of their riots was their
record for the years 1807-9 equalled or even approached. Never before,
also, had the provinces been so utterly out of hand. This was the era of
Jezzar the Butcher at Acre, of the rise of Mehemet Ali in Egypt, of Ali
Pasha in Epirus, and of Pasvanoghlu at Vidin. When Mahmud II was thrust on
to the throne in 1809, he certainly began his reign with no more personal
authority and no more imperial prestige or jurisdiction than the last
Greek emperor had enjoyed on his accession in 1448.

The great European war, however, which had been raging intermittently for
nearly twenty years, had saved Mahmud an empire to which he could succeed
in name and try to give substance. Whatever the Osmanlis suffered during
that war, it undoubtedly kept them in Constantinople. Temporary loss of
Egypt and the small damage done by the British attack on Constantinople in
1807 were a small price to pay for the diversion of Russia's main energies
to other than Byzantine fields, and for the assurance, made doubly sure
when the great enemy did again attack, that she would not be allowed to
settle the account alone. Whatever Napoleon may have planned and signed at
Tilsit, the aegis of France was consistently opposed to the enemies of the
Osmanlis down to the close of the Napoleonic age.

Thus it came about that those thirty perilous years passed without the
expected catastrophe. There was still a successor of Osman reigning in
Constantinople when the great Christian powers, met in conclave at Vienna,
half unconsciously guaranteed the continued existence of the Osmanli
Empire simply by leaving it out of account in striking a Balance of Power
in Europe. Its European territory, with the capital within it, was of
quite enough importance to disturb seriously the nice adjustment agreed at
Vienna; and, therefore, while any one's henceforth to take or leave, it
would become always some one's to guard. A few years had yet to pass
before the phrase, the Maintenance of the Integrity of the Ottoman Empire,
would be a watchword of European diplomacy: but, whether formulated thus
or not, that principle became a sure rock of defence for the Osmanli
Empire on the birthday of the doctrine of the Balance of Power.

Secure from destruction by any foes but those of his own household, as
none knew better than he, the reigning Osmanli was scheming to regain the
independence and dignity of his forefathers. Himself a creature of the
Janissaries, Mahmud had plotted the abolition of his creators from the
first year of his reign, but making a too precipitate effort after the
conclusion of peace with Russia, had ignominiously failed and fallen into
worse bondage than ever. Now, better assured of his imperial position and
supported by leading men of all classes among his subjects, he returned
not only to his original enterprise but to schemes for removing other
checks on the power of the sovereign which had come into being in the last
two centuries--notably the feudal independence of the Dere Beys, and the
irresponsibility of provincial governors.

Probably Mahmud II--if he is to be credited with personal initiation of
the reforms always associated with his name--was not conscious of any
purpose more revolutionary than that of becoming master in his own house,
as his ancestors had been. What he ultimately accomplished, however, was
something of much greater and more lasting moment to the Osmanli state. It
was nothing less than the elimination of the most Byzantine features in
its constitution and government. The substitution of national forces for
mercenary praetorians: the substitution of direct imperial government of
the provinces for devolution to seigneurs, tribal chiefs, and
irresponsible officers: the substitution of direct collection for
tax-farming: and the substitution of administration by bureaucrats for
administration by household officers--these, the chief reforms carried
through under Mahmud, were all anti-Byzantine. They did not cause the
Osmanli state to be born anew, but, at least, they went far to purge it of
original sin.

That Mahmud and his advisers could carry through such reforms at all in so
old a body politic is remarkable: that they carried them through amid the
events of his reign is almost miraculous. One affront after another was
put on the Sultan, one blow after another was struck at his empire.
Inspired by echoes of the French Revolution and by Napoleon's recognition
of the rights of nationalities, first the Serbs and then the Greeks seized
moments of Ottoman disorder to rise in revolt against their local lords.
The first, who had risen under Selim III, achieved, under Mahmud,
autonomy, but not independence, nothing remaining to the sultan as before
except the fortress of Belgrade with five other strongholds. The second,
who began with no higher hopes than the Serbs, were encouraged, by the
better acquaintance and keener sympathy of Europe, to fight their way out
to complete freedom. The Morea and central Greece passed out of the
empire, the first provinces so to pass since the Osmanli loss of Hungary.
Yet it was in the middle of that fatal struggle that Mahmud settled for
ever with the Janissaries, and during all its course he was settling one
after another with the Dere Beys!

When he had thus sacrificed the flower of his professional troops and had
hardly had time to replace the local governments of the provinces by
anything much better than general anarchy, he found himself faced by a
Russian assault. His raw levies fought as no other raw levies than the
Turkish can, and, helped by manifestations of jealousy by the other
powers, staved off the capture of Constantinople, which, at one moment,
seemed about to take place at last. But he had to accept humiliating
terms, amounting virtually, to a cession of the Black Sea. Mahmud
recognized that such a price he must pay for crossing the broad stream
between Byzantinism and Nationalism, and kept on his way.

Finally came a blow at the hands of one of his own household and creed.
Mehemet Ali of Egypt, who had faithfully fought his sovereign's battles in
Arabia and the Morea, held his services ill requited and his claim to be
increased beyond other pashas ignored, and proceeded to take what had not
been granted. He went farther than he had intended--more than half-way
across Asia Minor--after the imperial armies had suffered three signal
defeats, before he extorted what he had desired at first: and in the end,
after very brief enjoyment, he had to resign all again to the mandate, not
of his sovereign, but of certain European powers who commanded his seas.
Mahmud, however, who lived neither to see himself saved by the _giaur_
fleets, nor even to hear of his latest defeat, had gone forward with the
reorganization of the central and provincial administration, undismayed by
Mehemet Ali's contumacy or the insistence of Russia at the gate of the

As news arrived from time to time in the west of Mahmud's disasters, it
was customary to prophesy the imminent dissolution of his empire. We,
however, looking backward now, can see that by its losses the Osmanli
state in reality grew stronger. Each of its humiliations pledged some
power or group of powers more deeply to support it: and before Mahmud
died, he had reason to believe that, so long as the European Concert
should ensue the Balance of Power, his dynasty would not be expelled from
Constantinople. His belief has been justified. At every fresh crisis of
Ottoman fortunes, and especially after every fresh Russian attack, foreign
protection has unfailingly been extended to his successors.

It was not, however, only in virtue of the increasing solicitude of the
powers on its behalf that during the nineteenth century the empire was
growing and would grow stronger, but also in virtue of certain assets
within itself. First among these ranked the resources of its Asiatic
territories, which, as the European lands diminished, became more and more
nearly identified with the empire. When, having got rid of the old army,
Mahmud imposed service on all his Moslem subjects, in theory, but in
effect only on the Osmanlis (not the Arabs, Kurds, or other half
assimilated nomads and hillmen), it meant more than a similar measure
would have meant in a Christian empire. For, the life of Islam being war,
military service binds Moslems together and to their chiefs as it binds
men under no other dispensation; therefore Mahmud, so far as he was able
to enforce his decree, created not merely a national army but a nation.
His success was most immediate and complete in Anatolia, the homeland of
the Osmanlis. There, however, it was attained only by the previous
reduction of those feudal families which, for many generations, had
arrogated to themselves the levying and control of local forces. Hence, as
in Constantinople with the Janissaries, so in the provinces with the Dere
Beys, destruction of a drastic order had to precede construction, and more
of Mahmud's reign had to be devoted to the former than remained for the

He did, however, live to see not only the germ of a nation emerge from
chaos, but also the framework of an organization for governing it well or
ill. The centralized bureaucracy which he succeeded in initiating was, of
course, wretchedly imperfect both in constitution and equipment. But it
promised to promote the end he had in view and no other, inasmuch as,
being the only existent machine of government, it derived any effective
power it had from himself alone. Dependent on Stambul, it served to turn
thither the eyes and prayers of the provincials. The naturally submissive
and peaceful population of Asia Minor quickly accustomed itself to look
beyond the dismantled strongholds of its fallen beys. As for the rest--
contumacious and bellicose beys and sheikhs of Kurdish hills and Syrian
steppes--their hour of surrender was yet to come.

The eventual product of Mahmud's persistency was the 'Turkey' we have seen
in our own time--that Turkey irretrievably Asiatic in spirit under a
semi-European system of administration, which has governed despotically in
the interests of one creed and one class, with slipshod, makeshift
methods, but has always governed, and little by little has extended its
range. Knowing its imperfections and its weakness, we have watched with
amazement its hand feeling forward none the less towards one remote
frontier district after another, painfully but surely getting its grip,
and at last closing on Turcoman chiefs and Kurdish beys, first in the
Anatolian and Cilician hills, then in the mountains of Armenia, finally in
the wildest Alps of the Persian borderland. We have marked its stealthy
movement into the steppes and deserts of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Arabia--
now drawn back, now pushed farther till it has reached and held regions
over which Mahmud could claim nothing but a suzerainty in name. To judge
how far the shrinkage of the Osmanli European empire has been compensated
by expansion of its Asiatic, one has only to compare the political state
of Kurdistan, as it was at the end of the eighteenth century, and as it
has been in our own time.

It is impossible to believe that the Greek Empire, however buttressed and
protected by foreign powers, could ever have reconstituted itself after
falling so low as it fell in the fourteenth century and as the Osmanli
Empire fell in the eighteenth; and it is clear that the latter must still
have possessed latent springs of vitality, deficient in the former. What
can these have been? It is worth while to try to answer this question at
the present juncture, since those springs, if they existed a hundred years
ago, can hardly now be dry.

In the first place it had its predominant creed. This had acted as Islam
acts everywhere, as a very strong social bond, uniting the vast majority
of subjects in all districts except certain parts of the European empire,
in instinctive loyalty to the person of the padishah, whatever might be
felt about his government. Thus had it acted with special efficacy in Asia
Minor, whose inhabitants the Osmanli emperors, unlike the Greek, had
always been at some pains to attach to themselves. The sultan, therefore,
could still count on general support from the population of his empire's
heart, and had at his disposal the resources of a country which no
administration, however improvident or malign, has ever been able to

In the second place the Osmanli 'Turks', however fallen away from the
virtues of their ancestors, had not lost either 'the will to power' or
their capacity for governing under military law. If they had never
succeeded in learning to rule as civilians they had not forgotten how to
rule as soldiers.

In the third place the sultanate of Stambul had retained a vague but
valuable prestige, based partly on past history, partly on its pretension
to religious influence throughout a much larger area than its proper
dominions; and the conservative population of the latter was in great
measure very imperfectly informed of its sovereign's actual position.

In the fourth and last place, among the populations on whose loyalty the
Osmanli sultan could make good his claim, were several strong unexhausted
elements, especially in Anatolia. There are few more vigorous and enduring
peoples than the peasants of the central plateau of Asia Minor, north,
east, and south. With this rock of defence to stand upon, the sultan could
draw also on the strength of other more distant races, less firmly
attached to himself, but not less vigorous, such, for example, as the
Albanians of his European mountains and the Kurds of his Asiatic. However
decadent might be the Turco-Grecian Osmanli (he, unfortunately, had the
lion's share of office), those other elements had suffered no decline in
physical or mental development. Indeed, one cannot be among them now
without feeling that their day is not only not gone, but is still, for the
most part, yet to be.

Such were latent assets of the Osmanli Empire, appreciated imperfectly by
the prophets of its dissolution. Thanks to them, that empire continued not
only to hold together throughout the nineteenth century but, in some
measure, to consolidate itself. Even when the protective fence, set up by
European powers about it, was violated, as by Russia several times--in
1829, in 1854, and in 1877--the nation, which Mahmud had made, always
proved capable of stout enough resistance to delay the enemy till European
diplomacy, however slow of movement, could come to its aid, and ultimately
to dispose the victor to accept terms consistent with its continued
existence. It was an existence, of course, of sufferance, but one which
grew better assured the longer it lasted. By an irony of the Osmanli
position, the worse the empire was administered, the stronger became its
international guarantee. No better example can be cited than the effect of
its financial follies. When national bankruptcy, long contemplated by its
Government, supervened at last, the sultan had nothing more to fear from
Europe. He became, _ipso facto_, the cherished protégé of every power
whose nationals had lent his country money.

Considering the magnitude of the change which Mahmud instituted, the stage
at which he left it, and the character of the society in which it had to
be carried out, it was unfortunate that he should have been followed on
the throne by two well-meaning weaklings, of whom the first was a
voluptuary, the second a fantastic spendthrift of doubtful sanity. Mahmud,
as has been said, being occupied for the greater part of his reign in
destroying the old order, had been able to reconstruct little more than a
framework. His operations had been almost entirely forcible--of a kind
understood by and congenial to the Osmanli character--and partly by
circumstances but more by his natural sympathies, he had been identified
from first to last with military enterprises. Though he was known to
contemplate the eventual supremacy of civil law, and the equality of all
sorts and conditions of his subjects before it, he did nothing to open
this vista to public view. Consequently he encountered little or no
factious opposition. Very few held briefs for either the Janissaries or
the Dere Beys; and fewer regretted them when they were gone. Osmanli
society identified itself with the new army and accepted the consequent
reform of the central or provincial administration. Nothing in these
changes seemed to affect Islam or the privileged position of Moslems in
the empire.

It was quite another matter when Abdul Mejid, in the beginning of his
reign, promulgated an imperial decree--the famous Tanzimat or Hatti Sherif
of Gulkhaneh--which, amid many excellent and popular provisions for the
continued reform of the administration, proclaimed the equality of
Christian and Moslem subjects in service, in reward, and before the law.
The new sultan, essentially a civilian and a man of easy-going
temperament, had been induced to believe that the end of an evolution,
which had only just begun, could be anticipated _per saltum_, and that he
and all his subjects would live happily together ever after. His
counsellors had been partly politicians, who for various reasons, good and
bad, wished to gain West European sympathy for their country, involved in
potential bondage to Russia since the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi (1833),
and recently afflicted by Ibrahim Pasha's victory at Nizib; and they
looked to Great Britain to get them out of the Syrian mess. Partly also
Abdul Mejid had been influenced by enthusiasts, who set more store by
ideas or the phrases in which they were expressed, than by the evidence of
facts. There were then, as since, 'young men in a hurry' among the more
Europeanized Osmanlis. The net result of the sultan's precipitancy was to
set against himself and his policy all who wished that such it
consummation of the reform process might never come and all who knew it
would never come, if snatched at thus--that is, both the 'Old Turks' and
the moderate Liberals; and, further, to change for the worse the spirit in
which the new machine of government was being worked and in which fresh
developments of it would be accepted.

To his credit, however, Abdul Mejid went on with administrative reform.
The organization of the army into corps--the foundation of the existing
system--and the imposition of five years' service on all subjects of the
empire (in theory which an Albanian rising caused to be imperfectly
realized in fact), belong to the early part of his reign; as do also, on
the civil side, the institution of responsible councils of state and
formation of ministries, and much provision for secondary education. To
his latest years is to be credited the codification of the civil law. He
had the advantage of some dozen initial years of comparative security from
external foes, after the Syrian question had been settled in his favour by
Great Britain and her allied powers at the cheap price of a guarantee of
hereditary succession to the house of Mehemet Ali. Thanks to the same
support, war with Persia was avoided and war with Russia postponed.

But the provinces, even if quiet (which some of them, e.g. the Lebanon in
the early 'forties', were not), proved far from content. If the form of
Osmanli government had changed greatly, its spirit had changed little, and
defective communications militated against the responsibility of officials
to the centre. Money was scarce, and the paper currency--an ill-omened
device of Mahmud's--was depreciated, distrusted, and regarded as an
imperial betrayal of confidence. Finally, the hostility of Russia,
notoriously unabated, and the encouragement of aspiring _rayas_ credited
to her and other foreign powers made bad blood between creeds and
encouraged opposition to the execution of the pro-Christian Tanzimat. When
Christian turbulence at last brought on, in 1854, the Russian attack which
developed into the Crimean War, and Christian allies, though they
frustrated that attack, made a peace by which the Osmanlis gained nothing,
the latter were in no mood to welcome the repetition of the Tanzimat,
which Abdul Mejid consented to embody in the Treaty of Paris. The reign
closed amid turbulence and humiliations--massacre and bombardment at
Jidda, massacre and Franco-British coercion in Syria--from all of which
the sultan took refuge with women and wine, to meet in 1861 a drunkard's

His successor, Abdul Aziz, had much the same intentions, the same civilian
sympathies, the same policy of Europeanization, and a different, but more
fatal, weakness of character. He was, perhaps, never wholly sane; but his
aberration, at first attested only by an exalted conviction of his divine
character and inability to do wrong, excited little attention until it
began to issue in fantastic expenditure. By an irony of history, he is the
one Osmanli sultan upon the roll of our Order of the Garter, the right to
place a banner in St, George's Chapel having been offered to this
Allah-possessed caliph on the occasion of his visit to the West in 1867.

Despite the good intentions of Abdul Aziz himself--as sincere as can be
credited to a disordered brain---and despite more than one minister of
outstanding ability, reform and almost everything else in the empire went
to the bad in this unhappy reign. The administration settled down to
lifeless routine and lapsed into corruption: the national army was starved:
the depreciation of the currency grew worse as the revenue declined and
the sultan's household and personal extravagance increased. Encouraged by
the inertia of the imperial Government, the Christians of the European
provinces waxed bold. Though Montenegro was severely handled for
contumacy, the Serbs were able to cover their penultimate stage towards
freedom by forcing in 1867 the withdrawal of the last Ottoman garrisons
from their fortresses. Krete stood at bay for three years and all but won
her liberty. Bosnia rose in arms, but divided against herself. Pregnant
with graver trouble than these, Bulgaria showed signs of waking from long
sleep. In 1870 she obtained recognition as a nationality in the Ottoman
Empire, her Church being detached from the control of the Oecumenical
Patriarch of the Greeks and placed under an Exarch. Presently, her
peasantry growing ever more restive, passed from protest to revolt against
the Circassian refugee-colonists with whom the Porte was flooding the
land. The sultan, in an evil hour, for lack of trained troops, let loose
irregulars on the villages, and the Bulgarian atrocities, which they
committed in 1875, sowed a fatal harvest for his successor to reap. His
own time was almost fulfilled. The following spring a dozen high
officials, with the assent of the Sheikh-ul-Islam and the active dissent
of no one, took Abdul Aziz from his throne to a prison, wherein two days
later he perished, probably by his own hand. A puppet reigned three months
as Murad V, and then, at the bidding of the same king-makers whom his
uncle had obeyed, left the throne free for his brother Abdul Hamid, a man
of affairs and ability, who was to be the most conspicuous, or rather, the
most notorious Osmanli sultan since Suleiman.



The new sultan, who had not expected his throne, found his realm in
perilous case. Nominally sovereign and a member of the Concert of Europe,
he was in reality a semi-neutralized dependant, existing, as an
undischarged bankrupt, on sufferance of the powers. Should the Concert be
dissolved, or even divided, and any one of its members be left free to
foreclose its Ottoman mortgages, the empire would be at an end. Internally
it was in many parts in open revolt, in all the rest stagnant and slowly
rotting. The thrice-foiled claimant to its succession, who six years
before had denounced the Black Sea clause of the Treaty of Paris and so
freed its hands for offence, was manifestly preparing a fresh assault.
Something drastic must be done; but what?

This danger of the empire's international situation, and also the disgrace
of it, had been evident for some time past to those who had any just
appreciation of affairs; and in the educated class, at any rate, something
like a public opinion, very apprehensive and very much ashamed, had
struggled into being. The discovery of a leader in Midhat Pasha, former
governor-general of Bagdad, and a king-maker of recent notoriety, induced
the party of this opinion to take precipitate action. Murad had been
deposed in August. Before the year was out Midhat presented himself before
Abdul Hamid with a formal demand for the promulgation of a Constitution,
proposing not only to put into execution the pious hopes of the two Hatti
Sherifs of Abdul Mejid but also to limit the sovereign and govern the
empire by representative institutions. The new sultan, hardly settled on
his uneasy throne, could not deny those who had deposed his two
predecessors, and, shrewdly aware that ripe facts would not be long in
getting the better of immature ideas, accepted. A parliament was summoned;
an electorate, with only the haziest notions of what it was about, went
through the form of sending representatives to Constantinople; and the
sittings were inaugurated by a speech from the throne, framed on the most
approved Britannic model, the deputies, it is said, jostling and crowding
the while to sit, as many as possible, on the right, which they understood
was always the side of powers that be.

It is true this extemporized chamber never had a chance. The Russians
crossed the Pruth before it had done much more than verify its powers, and
the thoughts and energies of the Osmanlis were soon occupied with the most
severe and disastrous struggle in which the empire had ever engaged. But
it is equally certain that it could not have turned to account any chance
it might have had. Once more the 'young men in a hurry' had snatched at
the end of an evolution hardly begun, without taking into account the
immaturity of Osmanli society in political education and political
capacity. After suspension during the war, the parliament was dissolved
unregretted, and its creator was tried for his life, and banished. In
failing, however, Midhat left bad to become so much worse that the next
reformers would inevitably have a more convinced public opinion behind
them, and he had virtually destroyed the power of Mahmud's bureaucracy. If
the only immediate effect was the substitution of an unlimited autocracy,
the Osmanli peoples would be able thenceforward to ascribe their
misfortunes to a single person, meditate attack, on a single position, and
dream of realizing some day an ideal which had been definitely formulated.

The Russian onslaught, which began in both Europe and Asia in the spring
of 1877, had been brought on, after a fashion become customary, by
movements in the Slavonic provinces of the Ottoman Empire and in Rumania;
and the latter province, now independent in all but name and, in defiance
of Ottoman protests, disposing of a regular army, joined the invader. In
campaigns lasting a little less than a year, the Osmanli Empire was
brought nearer to passing than ever before, and it was in a suburb of
Constantinople itself that the final armistice was arranged. But action by
rival powers, both before the peace and in the revision of it at Berlin,
gave fresh assurance that the end would not be suffered to come yet; and,
moreover, through the long series of disasters, much latent strength of
the empire and its peoples had been revealed.

When that empire had emerged, shorn of several provinces--in Europe, of
Rumania, Serbia, and northern Greece, with Bulgaria also well on the road
they had travelled to emancipation, and in Asia, of a broad slice of
Caucasia--Abdul Hamid cut his losses, and, under the new guarantee of the
Berlin Treaty, took heart to try his hand at reviving Osmanli power. He
and his advisers had their idea, the contrary of the idea of Midhat and
all the sultans since Mahmud. The empire must be made, not more European,
but more Asiatic. In the development of Islamic spirit to pan-Islamic
unity it would find new strength; and towards this end in the early
eighties, while he was yet comparatively young, with intelligence
unclouded and courage sufficient, Abdul Hamid patiently set himself. In
Asia, naturally sympathetic to autocracy, and the home of the faith of his
fathers, he set on foot a pan-Islamic propaganda. He exalted his caliphate;
he wooed the Arabs, and he plotted with extraneous Moslems against
whatever foreign government they might have to endure.

It cannot be denied that this idea was based on the logic of facts, and,
if it could be realized, promised better than Midhat's for escape from
shameful dependence. Indeed, Abdul Hamid, an autocrat bent on remaining
one, could hardly have acted upon any other. By far the greater part of
the territorial empire remaining to him lay in Asia. The little left in
Europe would obviously soon be reduced to less. The Balkan lands were
waking, or already awake, to a sense of separate nationality, and what
chance did the Osmanli element, less progressive than any, stand in them?
The acceptance of the Ottoman power into the Concert of Europe, though
formally notified to Abdul Mejid, had proved an empty thing. In that
galley there was no place for a sultan except as a dependent or a slave.
As an Asiatic power, however, exerting temporal sway over some eighteen
million bodies and religious influence over many times more souls, the
Osmanli caliph might command a place in the sun.

The result belied these hopes. Abdul Hamid's failure was owed in the main
to facts independent of his personality or statecraft. The expansion of
Islam over an immense geographical area and among peoples living in
incompatible stages of sophistication, under most diverse political and
social conditions, has probably made any universal caliphial authority for
ever impossible. The original idea of the caliphate, like that of the
_jehad_ or holy war of the faithful, presupposed that all Moslems were
under governments of their own creed, and, perhaps, under one government.
Moreover, if such a caliph were ever to be again, an Osmanli sultan would
not be a strong candidate. Apart from the disqualification of his blood,
he being not of the Prophet's tribe nor even an Arab, he is lord of a
state irretrievably compromised in purist eyes (as Wahabis and Senussis
have testified once and again) by its Byzantine heritage of necessary
relations with infidels. Abdul Hamid's predecessors for two centuries or
more had been at no pains to infuse reality into their nominal leadership
of the faithful. To call a real caliphate out of so long abeyance could
hardly have been effected even by a bold soldier, who appealed to the
general imagination of Moslems; and certainly was beyond the power of a
timid civilian.

When Abdul Hamid had played this card and failed, he had no other; and his
natural pusillanimity and shiftiness induced him to withdraw ever more
into the depths of his palace, and there use his intelligence in
exploiting this shameful dependence of his country on foreign powers.
Unable or unwilling to encourage national resistance, he consoled himself,
as a weak malcontent will, by setting one power against another,
pin-pricking the stronger and blustering to the weaker. The history of his
reign is a long record of protests and surrenders to the great in big
matters, as to Great Britain in the matter of Egypt in 1881, to Russia in
that of Eastern Rumelia in 1885, to France on the question of the
Constantinople quays and other claims, and to all the powers in 1881 in
the matter of the financial control. Between times he put in such
pin-pricks as he could, removing his neighbours' landmarks in the Aden
_hinterland_ or the Sinaitic peninsula. He succeeded, however, in keeping
his empire out of a foreign war with any power for about thirty years,
with the single exception of a brief conflict with Greece in 1897. While
in the first half of his reign he was at pains to make no European friend,
in the latter he fell more and more under the influence of Germany, which,
almost from the accession of Kaiser Wilhelm II, began to prepare a
southward way for future use, and alone of the powers, never browbeat the

Internally, the empire passed more and more under the government of the
imperial household. Defeated by the sheer geographical difficulty of
controlling directly an area so vast and inadequately equipped with means
of communication, Abdul Hamid soon relaxed the spasmodic efforts of his
early years to better the condition of his subjects; and, uncontrolled and
demoralized by the national disgrace, the administration went from bad to
much worse. Ministers irresponsible; officials without sense of public
obligation; venality in all ranks; universal suspicion and delation;
violent remedies, such as the Armenian massacres of 1894, for diseases due
to neglect; the peasantry, whether Moslem or Christian, but especially
Christian, forced ultimately to liquidate all accounts; impoverishment of
the whole empire by the improvidence and oppression of the central power--
such phrasing of the conventional results of 'Palace' government expresses
inadequately the fruits of Yildiz under Abdul Hamid II.

_Pari passu_ with this disorder of central and provincial administration
increased the foreign encroachments on the empire. The nation saw not only
rapid multiplication of concessions and hypothecations to aliens, and of
alien persons themselves installed in its midst under extra-territorial
immunity from its laws, secured by the capitulations, but also whole
provinces sequestered, administered independently of the sultan's
government, and prepared for eventual alienation. Egypt, Tunisia, Eastern
Rumelia, Krete--these had all been withdrawn from Ottoman control since
the Berlin settlement, and now Macedonia seemed to be going the same way.
Bitter to swallow as the other losses had been--pills thinly sugared with
a guarantee of suzerainty--the loss of Macedonia would be more bitter
still; for, if it were withdrawn from Ottoman use and profit, Albania
would follow and so would the command of the north Aegean and the Adriatic
shores; while an ancient Moslem population would remain at Christian

It was partly Ottoman fault, partly the fault of circumstances beyond
Ottoman control, that this district had become a scandal and a reproach.
In the days of Osmanli greatness Macedonia had been neglected in favour of
provinces to the north, which were richer and more nearly related to the
ways into central Europe. When more attention began to be paid to it by
the Government, it had already become a cockpit for the new-born Christian
nationalities, which had been developed on the north, east, and south.
These were using every weapon, material and spiritual, to secure
preponderance in its society, and had created chronic disorder which the
Ottoman administration now weakly encouraged to save itself trouble, now
violently dragooned. Already the powers had not only proposed autonomy for
it, but begun to control its police and its finance. This was the last
straw. The public opinion which had slowly been forming for thirty years
gained the army, and Midhat's seed came to fruit.

By an irony of fate Macedonia not only supplied the spectacle which
exasperated the army to revolt, but by its very disorder made the
preparation of that revolt possible; for it was due to local limitations
of Ottoman sovereignty that the chief promoters of revolution were able to
conspire in safety. By another irony, two of the few progressive measures
ever encouraged by Abdul Hamid contributed to his undoing. If he had not
sent young officers to be trained abroad, the army, the one Ottoman
institution never allowed wholly to decay, would have remained outside the
conspiracy. If he had never promoted the construction of railways, as he
began to do after 1897, the Salonika army could have had no such influence
on affairs in Constantinople as it exerted in 1908 and again in 1909. As
it was, the sultan, at a mandate from Resna in Macedonia, re-enacted
Midhat's Constitution, and, a year later, saw an army from Salonika arrive
to uphold that Constitution against the reaction he had fostered, and to
send him, dethroned and captive, to the place whence itself had come.



Looking back on this revolution across seven years of its consequences, we
see plainly enough that it was inspired far less by desire for humane
progress than by shame of Osmanli military decline. The 'Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity' programme which its authors put forward (a civilian
minority among them, sincerely enough), Europe accepted, and the populace
of the empire acted upon for a moment, did not express the motive of the
movement or eventually guide its course. The essence of that movement was
militant nationalism. The empire was to be regenerated, not by humanizing
it but by Ottomanizing it. The Osmanli, the man of the sword, was the type
to which all others, who wished to be of the nation, were to conform. Such
as did not so wish must be eliminated by the rest.

The revolutionary Committee in Salonika, called 'of Union and Progress',
held up its cards at first, but by 1910 events had forced its hand on the
table. The definite annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by
Austria-Hungary in 1908, and the declaration of independence and
assumption of the title Tsar by the ruler of Bulgaria, since they were the
price to be paid by the revolutionaries for a success largely made in
Germany, were opposed officially only _pro forma_; but when uninformed
opinion in the empire was exasperated thereby against Christendom, the
Committee, to appease reactionaries, had to give premature proof of
pan-Osmanli and pro-Moslem intentions by taking drastic action against
_rayas_. The Greeks of the empire, never without suspicions, had failed to
testify the same enthusiasm for Ottoman fraternity which others, e.g. the
Armenians, had shown; now they resumed their separatist attitude, and made
it clear that they still aspired, not to Ottoman, but to Hellenic
nationality. Nor were even the Moslems of the empire unanimous for
fraternity among themselves. The Arab-speaking societies complained of
under-representation in the councils and offices of the state, and made no
secret of their intention not to be assimilated by the Turk-speaking
Osmanlis. To all suggestions, however, of local home-rule and conciliation
of particularist societies in the empire, the Committee was deaf. Without
union, it believed in no progress, and by union it understood the
assimilation of all societies in the empire to the Osmanli.

Logic was on the side of the Committee in its choice of both end and
means. In pan-Ottomanism, if it could be effected, lay certainly the
single chance of restoring Osmanli independence and power to anything like
the position they had once held. In rule by a militarist oligarchy for
some generations to come, lay the one hope of realizing the pan-Ottoman
idea and educating the resultant nation to self-government. That end,
however, it was impossible to realize under the circumstances in which
past history had involved the Ottoman Empire. There was too much bad blood
between different elements of its society which Osmanli rulers had been
labouring for centuries rather to keep apart than to unite; and certain
important elements, both Moslem and Christian, had already developed too
mature ideas of separate nationality. With all its defects, however, the
new order did undoubtedly rest on a wider basis than the old, and its
organization was better conceived and executed. It retained some of the
sympathy of Europe which its beginnings had excited, and the western
powers, regarding its representative institutions as earnests of good
government, however ill they might work at the first, were disposed to
give it every chance.

Unfortunately the Young Turks were in a hurry to bring on their
millennium, and careless of certain neighbouring powers, not formidable
individually but to be reckoned with if united, to whom the prospect of
regenerated Osmanlis assimilating their nationals could not be welcome.
Had the Young Turks been content to put their policy of Ottomanization in
the background for awhile, had they made no more than a show of accepting
local distinctions of creed and politics, keeping in the meantime a tight
rein on the Old Turks, they might long have avoided the union of those
neighbours, and been in a better position to resist, should that union
eventually be arrayed against themselves.

But a considerable and energetic element among them belonged to the
nervous Levantine type of Osmanli, which is as little minded to compromise
as any Old Turk, though from a different motive. It elected to deal
drastically and at once with Macedonia, the peculiar object not only of
European solicitude but also of the interest of Bulgaria, Serbia, and
Greece. If ever a province required delicate handling it was this. It did
not get it. The interested neighbours, each beset by fugitives of its
oppressed nationals, protested only to be ignored or browbeaten. They drew
towards one another; old feuds and jealousies were put on one side; and at
last, in the summer of 1912, a Holy League of Balkan States, inspired by
Venezelos, the new Kretan Prime Minister of Greece, and by Ferdinand of
Bulgaria, was formed with a view to common action against the oppressor of
Greek, Serbian, and Bulgarian nationals in Macedonia. Montenegro, always
spoiling for a fight, was deputed to fire the train, and at the approach
of autumn the first Balkan war blazed up.


_Balkan War_

The course of the struggle is described elsewhere in this volume. Its
event illustrates the danger of an alliance succeeding beyond the
expectations in which it was formed. The constituent powers had looked for
a stiff struggle with the Ottoman armies, but for final success sufficient
to enable them, at the best, to divide Macedonia among themselves, at the
worst, to secure its autonomy under international guarantee. Neither they
nor any one else expected such an Ottoman collapse as was in store. Their
moment of attack was better chosen than they knew. The Osmanli War Office
was caught fairly in the middle of the stream. Fighting during the
revolution, subsequently against Albanians and other recalcitrant
provincials, and latterly against the Italians, who had snatched at
Tripoli the year before, had reduced the _Nizam_, the first line of
troops, far below strength. The _Redif_, the second line, had received
hardly more training, thanks to the disorganization of Abdul Hamid's last
years and of the first years of the new order, than the _Mustafuz_, the
third and last line. Armament, auxiliary services, and the like had been
disorganized preparatory to a scheme for thorough reorganization, which
had been carried, as yet, but a very little way. A foreign (German)
element, introduced into the command, had had time to impair the old
spirit of Ottoman soldiers, but not to create a new one. The armies sent
against the Bulgarians in Thrace were so many mobs of various arms; those
which met the Serbs, a little better; those which opposed the Greeks, a
little worse.

It followed that the Bulgarians, who had proposed to do no more in Thrace
than block Adrianople and immobilize the Constantinople forces, were
carried by their own momentum right down to Chataldja, and there and at
Adrianople had to prosecute siege operations when they ought to have been
marching to Kavala and Salonika. The Serbs, after hard fighting, broke
through not only into Macedonia but into Albania, and reached the
Adriatic, but warned off this by the powers, consoled themselves with the
occupation of much more Macedonian territory than the concerted plans of
the allies had foreseen. The Greeks, instead of hard contests for the
Haliacmon Valley and Epirus--their proper Irredenta--pushed such weak
forces before them that they got through to Salonika just in time to
forestall a Bulgarian column. Ottoman collapse was complete everywhere,
except on the Chataldja front. It remained to divide the spoil. Serbia
might not have Adriatic Albania, and therefore wanted as much Macedonia as
she had actually overrun. Greece wanted the rest of Macedonia and had
virtually got it. Remained Bulgaria who, with more of Thrace than she
wanted, found herself almost entirely crowded out of Macedonia, the common
objective of all.

Faced with division _ex post facto_, the allies found their _a priori_
agreement would not resolve the situation. Bulgaria, the predominant
partner and the most aggrieved, would neither recognize the others' rights
of possession nor honestly submit her claims to the only possible arbiter,
the Tsar of Russia. Finding herself one against two, she tried a _coup de
main_ on both fronts, failed, and brought on a second Balkan war, in which
a new determining factor, Rumania, intervened at a critical moment to
decide the issue against her. The Ottoman armies recovered nearly all they
had lost in eastern and central Thrace, including Adrianople, almost
without firing a shot, and were not ill pleased to be quit of a desperate
situation at the price of Macedonia, Albania, and western Thrace.

Defeated and impoverished, the Ottoman power came out of the war clinging
to a mere remnant of its European empire--one single mutilated province
which did not pay its way. With the lost territories had gone about
one-eighth of the whole population and one-tenth of the total imperial
revenue. But when these heavy losses had been cut, there was nothing more
of a serious nature to put to debit, but a little even to credit. Ottoman
prestige had suffered but slightly in the eyes of the people. The
obstinate and successful defence of the Chataldja lines and the subsequent
recovery of eastern Thrace with Adrianople, the first European seat of the
Osmanlis, had almost effaced the sense of Osmanli disgrace, and stood to
the general credit of the Committee and the individual credit of its
military leader, Enver Bey. The loss of some thousands of soldiers and
much material was compensated by an invaluable lesson in the faultiness of
the military system, and especially the _Redif_ organization. The way was
now clearer than before for re-making the army on the best European model,
the German. The campaign had not been long, nor, as wars go, costly to
wage. In the peace Turkey gained a new lease of life from the powers, and,
profligate that she was, the promise of more millions of foreign money.

Over and above all this an advantage, which she rated above international
guarantees, was secured to her--the prospective support of the strongest
military power in Europe. The success of Serbia so menaced
Germano-Austrian plans for the penetration of the Balkans, that the
Central Powers were bound to woo Turkey even more lavishly than before,
and to seek alliance where they had been content with influence. In a
strong Turkey resided all their hope of saving from the Slavs the way to
the Mediterranean. They had kept this policy in view for more than twenty
years, and in a hundred ways, by introduction of Germans into the military
organization, promotion of German financial enterprise, pushing of German
commerce, pressure on behalf of German concessions which would entail
provincial influence (for example, the construction of a transcontinental
railway in Asia), those powers had been manifesting their interest in
Turkey with ever-increasing solicitude. Now they must attach her to
themselves with hoops of steel and, with her help, as soon as might be,
try to recast the Balkan situation.

The experience of the recent war and the prospect in the future made
continuance and accentuation of military government in the Ottoman Empire
inevitable. The Committee, which had made its way back to power by violent
methods, now suppressed its own Constitution almost as completely as Abdul
Hamid had suppressed Midhat's parliament. Re-organization of the military
personnel, accumulation of war material, strengthening of defences,
provision of arsenals, dockyards, and ships, together with devices for
obtaining money to pay for all these things, make Ottoman history for the
years 1912-14. The bond with Germany was drawn lighter. More German
instructors were invited, more German engineers commissioned, more
munitions of war paid for in French gold. By 1914 it had become so evident
that the Osmanlis must array themselves with Austro-Germany in any
European war, that one wonders why a moment's credit was ever given to
their protestations of neutrality when that war came at last in August
1914. Turkey then needed other three months to complete her first line of
defences and mobilize. These were allowed to her, and in the late autumn
she entered the field against Great Britain, France, and Russia, armed
with German guns, led by German officers, and fed with German gold.


_The Future_

Turkey's situation, therefore, in general terms has become this. With the
dissolution of the Concert of Europe the Ottoman Empire has lost what had
been for a century its chief security for continued existence. Its fate
now depends on that of two European powers which are at war with the rest
of the former Concert. Among the last named are Turkey's two principal
creditors, holding together about seventy-five per cent. of her public
debt. In the event of the defeat of her friends, these creditors will be
free to foreclose, the debtor being certainly in no position to meet her
obligations. Allied with Christian powers, the Osmanli caliph has proved
no more able than his predecessors to unite Islam in his defence; but, for
what his title is worth, Mohammed V is still caliph, no rival claim having
been put forward. The loyalty of the empire remains where it was, pending
victory or defeat, the provinces being slow to realize, and still slower
to resent, the disastrous economic state to which the war is reducing

The present struggle may leave the Osmanli Empire in one of three
situations: (1) member of a victorious alliance, reinforced, enlarged, and
lightened of financial burdens, as the wages of its sin; (2) member of a
defeated alliance, bound to pay the price of blood in loss of territory,
or independence, or even existence; (3) party to a compromise under which
its territorial empire might conceivably remain Ottoman, but under even
stricter European tutelage than of old.

The first alternative it would be idle to discuss, for the result of
conditions so novel are impossible to foresee. Nor, indeed, when immediate
events are so doubtful an at the present moment, is it profitable to
attempt to forecast the ultimate result of any of the alternatives.
Should, however, either the second or the third become fact, certain
general truths about the Osmanlis will govern the consequences; and these
must be borne in mind by any in whose hands the disposal of the empire may

The influence of the Osmanlis in their empire to-day resides in three
things: first, in their possession of Constantinople; second, in the
sultan's caliphate and his guardianship of the holy cities of Islam;
third, in certain qualities of Osmanli character, notably 'will to power'
and courage in the field.

What Constantinople means for the Osmanlis is implied in that name _Roum_
by which the western dominions of the Turks have been known ever since the
Seljuks won Asia Minor. Apart from the prestige of their own early
conquests, the Osmanlis inherited, and in a measure retain in the Near
East, the traditional prestige of the greatest empire which ever held it.
They stand not only for their own past but also for whatever still lives
of the prestige of Rome. Theirs is still the repute of the imperial people
_par excellence_, chosen and called to rule.

That this repute should continue, after the sweeping victories of Semites
and subsequent centuries of Ottoman retreat before other heirs of Rome, is
a paradox to be explained only by the fact that a large part of the
population of the Near East remains at this day in about the same stage of
civilization and knowledge as in the time of, say, Heraclius. The
Osmanlis, be it remembered, were and are foreigners in a great part of
their Asiatic empire equally with the Greeks of Byzantium or the Romans of
Italy; and their establishment in Constantinople nearly five centuries ago
did not mean to the indigenous peoples of the Near East what it meant to
Europe--a victory of the East over the West--so much as a continuation of
immemorial 'Roman' dominion still exercised from the same imperial centre.
Since Rome first spread its shadow over the Near East, many men of many
races, whose variety was imperfectly realised, if realised at all, by the
peasants of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, have ruled in its
name; the Osmanlis, whose governmental system was in part the Byzantine,
made but one more change which meant the same old thing. The peasants
know, of course, about those Semitic victories; but they know also that if
the Semite has had his day of triumph and imposed, as was right and
proper, his God and his Prophet on Roum--even on all mankind as many
believed, and some may be found in remoter regions who still believe--he
has returned to his own place south of Taurus; and still Roum is Roum,
natural indefeasible Lord of the World.

Such a belief is dying now, of course; but it dies slowly and hard. It
still constitutes a real asset of the Osmanlis, and will not cease to have
value until they lose Constantinople. On the possession of the old
imperial city it depends for whatever vitality it has. You may
demonstrate, as you will, and as many publicists have done since the
Balkan War and before, what and how great economic, political, and social
advantages would accrue to the Osmanlis, if they could bring themselves to
transfer their capital to Asia. Here they would be rid of Rumelia, which
costs, and will always cost them, more than it yields. Here they could
concentrate Moslems where their co-religionists are already the great
majority, and so have done with the everlasting friction and weakness
entailed in jurisdiction over preponderant Christian elements. Here they
might throw off the remnants of their Byzantinism as a garment and, no
longer forced to face two ways, live and govern with single minds as the
Asiatics they are.

Vain illusion, as Osmanli imperialists know! It is their empire that would
fall away as a garment so soon as the Near East realized that they no
longer ruled in the Imperial City. Enver Pasha and the Committee were
amply justified in straining the resources of the Ottoman Empire to
cracking-point, not merely to retain Constantinople but also to recover
Adrianople and a territory in Europe large enough to bulk as Roum. Nothing
that happened in that war made so greatly for the continuation of the old
order in Asiatic Turkey as the reoccupation of Adrianople. The one
occasion on which Europeans in Syria had reason to expect a general
explosion was when premature rumours of the entry of the Bulgarian army
into Stambul gained currency for a few hours. That explosion, had the news
proved true or not been contradicted in time, would have been a
panic-stricken, ungovernable impulse of anarchy--of men conscious that an
old world had passed away and ignorant what conceivable new world could
come to be.

But the perilous moment passed, to be succeeded by general diffusion of a
belief that the inevitable catastrophe was only postponed. In the
breathing-time allowed, Arabs, Kurds, and Armenians discussed and planned
together revolt from the moribund Osmanli, and, separately, the mutual
massacre and plundering of one another. Arab national organizations and
nationalist journals sprang to life at Beirut and elsewhere. The revival
of Arab empire was talked of, and names of possible capitals and kings
were bandied about. One Arab province, the Hasa, actually broke away. Then
men began to say that the Bulgarians would not advance beyond Chataldja:
the Balkan States were at war among themselves: finally, Adrianople had
been re-occupied. And all was as in the beginning. Budding life withered
in the Arab movement, and the Near East settled down once more in the
persistent shadow of Roum.

Such is the first element in Osmanli prestige, doomed to disappear the
moment that the Ottoman state relinquishes Europe. Meanwhile there it is
for what it is worth; and it is actually worth a tradition of submission,
natural and honourable, to a race of superior destiny, which is
instinctive in some millions of savage simple hearts.

       *       *       *       *       *

What of the second element? The religious prestige of the Ottoman power as
the repository of caliphial authority and trustee for Islam in the Holy
Land of Arabia, is an asset almost impossible to estimate. Would a death
struggle of the Osmanlis in Europe rouse the Sunni world? Would the
Moslems of India, Afghanistan, Turkestan, China, and Malaya take up arms
for the Ottoman sultan as caliph? Nothing but the event will prove that
they would. Jehad, or Holy War, is an obsolescent weapon difficult and
dangerous for Young Turks to wield: difficult because their own Islamic
sincerity is suspect and they are taking the field now as clients of
_giaur_ peoples; dangerous because the Ottoman nation itself includes
numerous Christian elements, indispensable to its economy.

Undoubtedly, however, the Ottoman sultanate can count on its religious
prestige appealing widely, overriding counteracting sentiments, and, if it
rouses to action, rousing the most dangerous temper of all. It is futile
to ignore the caliph because he is not of the Koreish, and owes his
dignity to a sixteenth-century transfer. These facts are either unknown or
not borne in mind by half the Sunnites on whom he might call, and weigh
far less with the other half than his hereditary dominion over the Holy
Cities, sanctioned by the prescription of nearly four centuries.

One thing can be foretold with certainty. The religious prestige of an
Ottoman sultan, who had definitely lost control of the Holy Places, would
cease as quickly and utterly as the secular prestige of one who had
evacuated Constantinople: and since the loss of the latter would probably
precipitate an Arab revolt, and cut off the Hejaz, the religious element
in Ottoman prestige may be said to depend on Constantinople as much as the
secular. All the more reason why the Committee of Union and Progress
should not have accepted that well-meant advice of European publicists! A
successful revolt of the Arab-speaking provinces would indeed sound the
death-knell of the Ottoman Empire. No other event would be so immediately
and surely catastrophic.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third element in Osmanli prestige, inherent qualities of the Osmanli
'Turk' himself, will be admitted by every one who knows him and his
history. To say that he has the 'will to power' is not, however, to say
that he has an aptitude for government. He wishes to govern others; his
will to do so imposes itself on peoples who have not the same will; they
give way to him and he governs them indifferently, though often better
than they can govern themselves. For example, bad as, according to our
standards, Turkish government is, native Arab government, when not in
tutelage to Europeans, has generally proved itself worse, when tried in
the Ottoman area in modern times. Where it is of a purely Bedawi barbaric
type, as in the emirates of central Arabia, it does well enough; but if
the population be contaminated ever so little with non-Arab elements,
practices, or ideas, Arab administration seems incapable of producing
effective government. It has had chances in the Holy Cities at intervals,
and for longer periods in the Yemen. But a European, long resident in the
latter country, who has groaned under Turkish administration, where it has
always been most oppressive, bore witness that the rule of the native Imam
only served to replace oppressive government by oppressive anarchy.

As for the Osmanli's courage as a fighting man, that has often been
exemplified, and never better than in the Gallipoli peninsula. It is
admitted. The European and Anatolian Osmanlis yield little one to the
other in this virtue; but the palm, if awarded at all, must be given to
the levies from northern and central Asia Minor.

       *       *       *       *       *

If Constantinople should be lost, the Arab-speaking parts of the empire
would in all likelihood break away, carrying the Holy Cities with them.
When the constant risk of this consummation, with the cataclysmic nature
of its consequences is considered, one marvels why the Committee, which
has shown no mean understanding of some conditions essential to Osmanli
empire, should have done so little hitherto to conciliate Arab
susceptibilities. Neither in the constitution of the parliament nor in the
higher commands of the army have the Arab-speaking peoples been given
anything like their fair share; and loudly and insistently have they
protested. Perhaps the Committee, whose leading members are of a markedly
Europeanized type, understands Asia less well than Europe. Certainly its
programme of Ottomanization, elaborated by military ex-attachés, by Jew
bankers and officials from Salonika, and by doctors, lawyers, and other
_intellectuels_ fresh from Paris, was conceived on lines which offered
the pure Asiatic very little scope. The free and equal Osmanlis were all
to take their cue from men of the Byzantine sort which the European
provinces, and especially the city of Constantinople, breed. After the
revolution, nothing in Turkey struck one so much as the apparition on the
top of things everywhere of a type of Osmanli who has the characteristic
qualities of the Levantine Greek. Young officers, controlling their
elders, only needed a change of uniform to pass in an Athenian crowd.
Spare and dapper officials, presiding in seats of authority over Kurds and
Arabs, reminded one of Greek journalists. Osmanli journalists themselves
treated one to rhodomontades punctuated with restless gesticulation, which
revived memories of Athenian cafés in war-time. It was the Byzantine
triumphing over the Asiatic; and the most Asiatic elements in the empire
were the least likely to meet with the appreciation or sympathy of the

Are the Arab-speaking peoples, therefore, likely to revolt, or be
successful in splitting the Ottoman Empire, if they do? The present writer
would like to say, in parenthesis, that, in his opinion, this consummation
of the empire is not devoutly to be wished. The substitution of Arab
administration for Osmanli would necessarily entail European tutelage of
the parts of the Arab-speaking area in which powers, like ourselves, have
vital interests--Syria, for example, southern Mesopotamia, and, probably,
Hejaz. The last named, in particular, would involve us in so ticklish and
thankless a task, that one can only be thankful for the Turkish caretaker
there to-day, and loth to see him dismissed.

An Arab revolt, however, might break out whether the Triple Entente
desired its success or not. What chance of success would it have? The
peoples of the Arab part of the Ottoman Empire are a congeries of
differing races, creeds, sects, and social systems, with no common bond
except language. The physical character of their land compels a good third
of them to be nomadic, predatory barbarians, feared by the other
two-thirds. The settled folk are divided into Moslem and Christian (not to
mention a large Jewish element), the cleavage being more abrupt than in
western Turkey and the tradition and actual spirit of mutual enmity more
separative. Further, each of those main creed-divisions is subdivided.
Even Islam in this region includes a number of incompatible sects, such as
the Ansariye, the Metawali, and the Druses in the Syrian mountains, Shiite
Arabs on the Gulf coast and the Persian border, with pagan Kurds and
Yezidis in the latter region and north Mesopotamia. As for the Christians,
their divisions are notorious, most of these being subdivided again into
two or more hostile communions apiece. It is almost impossible to imagine
the inhabitants of Syria concerting a common plan or taking common action.
The only elements among them which have shown any political sense or
capacity for political organization are Christian. The Maronites of the
Lebanon are most conspicuous among these; but neither their numbers nor
their traditional relations with their neighbours qualify them to form the
nucleus of a free united Syria. The 'Arab Movement' up to the present has
consisted in little more than talk and journalese. It has not developed
any considerable organization to meet that stable efficient organization
which the Committee of Union and Progress has directed throughout the
Ottoman dominions.

As for the rest of the empire, Asia Minor will stand by the Osmanli cause,
even if Europe and Constantinople, and even if the Holy Places and all the
Arab-speaking provinces be lost. Its allegiance does not depend on either
the tradition of Roum or the caliphate, but on essential unity with the
Osmanli nation. Asia Minor is the nation. There, prepared equally by
Byzantine domination and by Seljukian influence, the great mass of the
people long ago identified itself insensibly and completely with the
tradition and hope of the Osmanlis. The subsequent occupation of the
Byzantine capital by the heirs of the Byzantine system, and their still
later assumption of caliphial responsibility, were not needed to cement
the union. Even a military occupation by Russia or by another strong power
would not detach Anatolia from the Osmanli unity; for a thing cannot be
detached from itself. But, of course, that occupation might after long
years cause the unity itself to cease to be.

Such an occupation, however, would probably not be seriously resisted or
subsequently rebelled against by the Moslem majority in Asia Minor,
supposing Osmanli armaments to have been crushed. The Anatolian population
is a sober, labouring peasantry, essentially agricultural and wedded to
the soil. The levies for Yemen and Europe, which have gone far to deplete
and exhaust it of recent years, were composed of men who fought to order
and without imagination, steadily and faithfully, as their fathers had
fought. They have no lust for war, no Arabian tradition of fighting for
its own sake, and little, if any, fanaticism. Attempts to inspire
Anatolian troops with religious rage in the Balkan War were failures. They
were asked to fight in too modern a way under too many Teutonic officers.
The result illustrated a prophecy ascribed to Ghasri Mukhtar Pasha. When
German instructors were first introduced into Turkey, he foretold that
they would be the end of the Ottoman army. No, these Anatolians desire
nothing better than to follow their plough-oxen, and live their common
village life, under any master who will let them be.

Elements of the Christian minority, however, Armenian and Greek, would
give trouble with their developed ideas of nationality and irrepressible
tendency to 'Europize'. They would present, indeed, problems of which at
present one cannot foresee the solution. It seems inevitable that an
autonomous Armenia, like an autonomous Poland, must be constituted ere
long; but where? There is no geographical unit of the Ottoman area in
which Armenians are the majority. If they cluster more thickly in the
vilayets of Angora, Sivas, Erzerum, Kharput, and Van, i.e. in easternmost
Asia Minor, than elsewhere, and form a village people of the soil, they
are consistently a minority in any large administrative district.
Numerous, too, in the trans-Tauric vilayets of Adana and Aleppo, the seat
of their most recent independence, they are townsmen in the main, and not
an essential element of the agricultural population. Even if a
considerable proportion of the Armenians, now dispersed through towns of
western Asia Minor and in Constantinople, could be induced to concentrate
in a reconstituted Armenia (which is doubtful, seeing how addicted they
are to general commerce and what may be called parasitic life), they could
not fill out both the Greater and the Lesser Armenias of history, in
sufficient strength to overbear the Osmanli and Kurdish elements. The
widest area which might he constituted an autonomous Armenia with good
prospect of self-sufficiency would be the present Russian province, where
the head-quarters of the national religion lie, with the addition of the
provinces of Erzerum, Van, and Kharput.

But, if Russia had brought herself to make a self-denying ordinance, she
would have to police her new Armenia very strongly for some years; for an
acute Kurdish problem would confront it, and no concentration of nationals
could be looked for from the Armenia Irredenta of Diarbekr, Urfa, Aleppo,
Aintab, Marash, Adana, Kaisariyeh, Sivas, Angora, and Trebizond (not to
mention farther and more foreign towns), until public security was assured
in what for generations has been a cockpit. The Kurd is, of course, an
Indo-European as much as the Armenian, and rarely a true Moslem; but it
would be a very long time indeed before these facts reconciled him to the
domination of the race which he has plundered for three centuries. Most of
the Osmanlis of eastern Asia Minor are descendants of converted Armenians;
but their assimilation would be slow and doubtful. Islam, more rapidly and
completely than any other creed, extinguishes racial sympathies and groups
its adherents anew.

The Anatolian Greeks are less numerous but not less difficult to provide
for. The scattered groups of them on the plateau--in Cappadocia, Pontus,
the Konia district--and on the eastward coast-lands would offer no serious
difficulty to a lord of the interior. But those in the western
river-basins from Isbarta to the Marmora, and those on the western and
north-western littorals, are of a more advanced and cohesive political
character, imbued with nationalism, intimate with their independent
nationals, and actively interested in Hellenic national politics. What
happens at Athens has long concerned them more than what happens at
Constantinople; and with Greece occupying the islands in the daily view of
many of them, they are coming to regard themselves more and more every day
as citizens of Graecia Irredenta. What is to be done with these? What, in
particular, with Smyrna, the second city of the Ottoman Empire and the
first of 'Magna Graecia'? Its three and a half hundred thousand souls
include the largest Greek urban population resident in any one city. Shall
it be united to Greece? Greece herself might well hesitate. It would prove
a very irksome possession, involving her in all sorts of continental
difficulties and risks. There is no good frontier inland for such an
_enclave_. It could hardly be held without the rest of westernmost Asia,
from Caria to the Dardanelles, and in this region the great majority of
the population is Moslem of old stocks, devotedly attached both to their
faith and to the Osmanli tradition.

The present writer, however, is not among the prophets. He has but tried
to set forth what may delay and what may precipitate the collapse of an
empire, whose doom has been long foreseen, often planned, invariably
postponed; and, further, to indicate some difficulties which, being bound
to confront heirs of the Osmanlis, will be better met the better they are
understood before the final agony--If this is, indeed, to be!


Abbasid Empire,
Abdul Aziz, Sultan,
Abdul Hamid, Sultan,
Abdul Mejid, Sultan,
Achmet III: _see_ Ahmed III.
Adhamandios Koráis,
  captured by the Turks (1361),
  captured by Serbians and Bulgarians (1913),
  first European seat of the Osmanlis,
  foundation of,
  Peace and Treaty of (1829),
  restored to Turkey (1913),
  Russians before (1878),
  siege of (1912-13),
Adriatic, the,
Aegean, the,
  islands of,
  trade of,
Aehrenthal, Baron and Count,
Afium Kara Hissar,
Agram (Zagreb), capital of Croatia,
Agram high treason trial, the,
Agrapha, clansmen of,
Ahiolu (Anchialo),
Ahmed I, Sultan,
Ahmed III, Sultan,
Ahmed ibn Tulun,
Ainos, _See also_ Enos.
Aivali, _See also_ Kydhonies.
Akerman, Convention of (1826),
Alaeddin, Sultan,
Ala Shehr (Philadelphia),
  and the Macedonian question,
  conquest of, by the Turks,
  during the Slav immigration,
  in classical times,
  made independent,
  revolts against Young Turks,
  under the Turks,
Albanian language, the,
Albanians, the,
  migrations of,
Alexander the Great,
Alexander I, King of Serbia (1889-1903),
Alexander I, Emperor of Russia,
Alexander II, Emperor of Russia,
Alexander III, Emperor of Russia,
Alexander, Crown Prince of Serbia,
Alexander of Battenberg, Prince of Bulgaria (1879-85),
Alexander Karagjorgjevi['c], Prince of Serbia (1843-58),
Alexis Comnenus, the Emperor,
Ali Pasha,
America, effect of emigration from south-eastern Europe to,
Anatolia, the Turks and,
  character of the population,
  feudal families,
  captured by the Turks (1825),
Andrassy, Count,
  battle of (1402),
Arabia, Turkish prestige in,
  and the Turks,
  movement of, in the direction of revolt,
Arabs and Anatolia,
  and Bulgars,
  and Islam,
Arcadiopolis: _see_ Lule-Burgas.
Arian controversy, the,
Armatoli, or Christian militia,
Armenians, the,
  character of the,
  massacres of (1894),
Arnauts: _see_ Albanians.
Arta, Gulf of,
  plain of,
Asen dynasty, the,
Asia Minor, Turks in,
Asparukh (Bulgar prince),
Aspropotamo, the,
  Duchy of,
  University of,
  siege of (1821-2),
Athos, Mount,
Austerlitz, battle of (1805),
Austria-Hungary and the Adriatic,
  and the Macedonian question,
  and Serbia, relations between,
  and the Serbs,
  and the Treaty of Berlin,
  and Turkey, relations between,
    wars between,
  annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by,
  occupation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by,
  relations with the Balkan League,
  relations with Rumania,
  Ruman and South Slavonic populations in,
Austrian politics in Rumania,
Austrians and Serbs, relations between,
  and Turks,
Avars, the: their invasion of the Balkan peninsula with the Slavs,
  their war with the Bulgars,
  bay of,
Avshar tribe,
'Ayon Oros',

'Balance of Power', the,
Balkan League, the,
  formation of the,
  dissolution of the,
Balkan peninsula, the, annexation of, by Mohammed II,
  control of,
  economic unity of,
  German policy in,
  nationalism in,
  Slav inhabitants of,
  Turkish power in,
  under Roman rule,
Balkan States, relations between the,
Balkan war, the first (1912-13),
  the second (June 1913),
Banat, the,
Basil I, the Emperor,
Basil II, the Emperor,
  'Slayer of the Bulgars',
Bassarab, dynasty of,
Bayezid I, Sultan,
Bayezid II, Sultan,
Beaconsfield, Earl of,
  capital of Serbia,
  captured by the Serbs (1807),
  captured by the Turks (1521),
  its Celtic name,
  Treaty of (1739),
Berchtold, Count,
  Congress of (1878),
  Treaty of (1878),
Bessarabia, Bulgars in, 25,
  regained (1856),
  lost again (1878),
  importance with regard to present situation,
Bieberstein, Duron Marschall von,
Bitolj: _see_ Monastir.
Black Castle of Afiun,
Black Sea,
  Russian exclusion from,
Bogomil heresy, the,
Boja, lord of Kashgar,
Boris, Bulgar prince (852-88),
Boris, Crown Prince of Bulgaria,
Bosnia, annexation of,
  independence of, and conquest of, by the Turks,
  in relation to the other Serb territories,
  its Slavonic population,
  relations of, with Hungary,
  revolts in, against Turkey,
  under Austro-Hungarian rule,
  under Turkish rule,
Bosphorus, the,
Botzaris, Marko,
Brankovi['c], George,
Brankovi['c], Vuk,
Bratianu, Ioan (father),
Bregalnica, battle of the (1913),
Bucarest, Committee of,
  Peace Conference (1913),
  Treaty of (1812),
Bucovina, acquisition by Austria,
  Rumanians in,
Budapest, in relation to the Serbo-Croats,
Bulgaria, declaration of independence by, and assumption of
                                   title Tsar by its ruler,
  conflicting interests with Greece,
  early wars between, and the Greeks,
  geographical position of,
  growth of,
  intervention on the side of the Central Powers in the European War,
  its division into eastern and western,
    extent of western,
  in the two Balkan wars (1912-13),
  its early relations with Rome,
  its relations with Russia,
  obtains recognition as a nationality in the Ottoman Empire,
  of Slav speech and culture,
  place of, in the Balkan peninsula,
  Turkish atrocities in,
Bulgaria and Rumania,
Bulgaria and Serbia, contrasted,
  the agreement between,
  wars between (1885, 1913),
Bulgaria and Turkey, relations between,
Bulgarian bishoprics in Macedonia,
  Church, early vicissitudes of the,
    claims and propaganda in Macedonia,
  Exarchist Church, the,
  monarchy, origins of the,
Bulgarians, general distribution of,
  their attitude to the Slavs and the Germans,
Bulgarians and Serbians, contrast between,
Bulgars, the, their origin,
  their advance westwards and then southwards into the
                                     Balkan peninsula,
  their absorption by the Slavs,
  north of the Danube,
  adherents of the Orthodox Church,
Burke, Edmund,
Byron, Lord,
Byzantine Christianity,
  diplomacy, its attitude towards the Slav and other invaders,
    heritage and expansion of, by the Turks,
Byzantium, ascendancy of, over Bulgaria,
  decline of,
  Greek colony of,
  Roman administrative centre,

Caliphate, the,
Campo Formio, Treaty of (1797),
Candia, siege of,
Cantucuzene, John,
Cape Malea,
Carlowitz, Treaty of (1699),
Carol, Prince of Rumania,
    his accession,
    joins Russia against Turkey,
    intention to abdicate,
    proclaimed king,
    and the Balkans,
    personal points,
Carp, P.P.,
Carpathian mountains, the,
Catargiu, Lascar,
Catherine, Empress,
Cattaro, Bocche di,
Celts, the, in the Balkan peninsula,
Cetina river (Dalmatia),
Charlemagne, crushes the Avars,
Charles VI, Emperor of Austria,
Charles, Prince and King of Rumania: _see_ Carol.
[)C]aslav, revolts against Bulgars,
Chataldja, lines of,
Chesme, destruction of Turkish fleet in,
Chios: _see_ Khios.
  in the Balkan peninsula in classical times,
  introduced into Bulgaria,
  introduced amongst the Serbs,
Christians, their treatment by the Turks,
Church, division of the, affects the Serbs and Croats,
Church, Generalissimo Sir Richard,
Churches, rivalry of the eastern and western,
Claudius, the Emperor,
Coalition, Serbo-Croat or Croato-Serb, the,
Cochrane, Grand Admiral,
Cogalniceanu, M.,
Comnenus: _see_ Alexis _and_ Manuel.
Concert of Europe,
Constantine the Great,
Constantine, King of Greece,
Constantine, ruler of Bulgaria,
  and the Serbian Church,
  ascendancy of, over Bulgaria,
  cathedral of Aya Sophia,
  commercial interests of,
  decline of,
  defences of,
  ecclesiastical influence of,
  fall of (1204),
  its position at the beginning of the barbarian invasions,
  made an imperial city,
  Patriarchate at,
  'Phanari', the,
  spiritual rivalry of, with Rome,
Constitution, Rumanian,
Corinth: _see_ Korinth.
Crete: _see_ Krete.
Crimea, abandoned to Russia,
Crimean War, the,
  absorbed by Hungary,
  position of, in relation to the Serb territories,
Croato-Serb unity, movement in favour of,
Croats, Crotians,
  general distribution of,
  their origin,
Croats and Serbs, difference between,
Crusaders, the, in the Balkan peninsula,
Crusades; the first; the fourth,
Cuza, Prince of Rumania,
Cyclades, the,
  in Latin hands,
  in Ottoman hands,
  under the British,
Cyril, St.,
Cyrillic alphabet, the,

  subjection to, and abandonment by, the Romans,
  settlement in Carpathian regions,
  wars with Rome,
  acquired by Austria-Hungary,
  and Venice,
  in classical times,
  in relation to other Serb territories,
  its Slavonic population,
  relations of, with Hungary,
Daniel, Prince-Bishop of Montenegro,
Danilo, Prince of Montenegro,
Danube, the,
  as frontier of Roman Empire,
Danube _(continued)_:
  Bulgars cross the,
  Slavs cross the,
Danubian principalities, Russian protectorate in,
Dardanelles, the,
Decius, the Emperor,
Diocletian, the Emperor, his redistribution of the imperial provinces,
Dnieper, the,
Dniester, the,
  acquisition by Rumania,
  Bulgarian aspirations in regard to,
Draga, Queen-Consort of Serbia,
Drave, the,
Drina, the,
Dubrovnik: _see_ Ragusa.
Dulcigno (Ulcinj),
Durostorum: _see_ Silistria.
Dushan: _see_ Stephen Du[)s]an.

Eastern Church, the,
Eastern Slavs; _see_ Russians.
Egyptian expedition (1823-4),
Enos-Midia line, the,
Enver Bey,
  power of Hellenism in,
Ertogrul, Osmanli chief,
Eugen, Prince, of Savoy,
Euphrates, the,
Euxine trade,
Evyénios Voulgáris,
Exarchist Church, the,

Ferdinand, Prince and King of Bulgaria (1886-),
  his relations with foreign powers,
Ferdinand, King of Rumania,
Filipescu, Nicholas,
Fiume (Rjeka),
  and the Macedonian question,
  and the struggle for Greek independence,
  and the struggle for the Mediterranean,
  and the Turks,
  relations with Rumania,
French, the,
  in the Balkan peninsula,
  in Dalmatia,
  in Morocco,
  influence in Rumania,
French Revolution
  and the rights of nationalities,
Friedjung, Dr., and the accusation against Serbia,

George, Crown Prince of Serbia,
  King of Greece,
  assassination of,
George, Prince of Greece,
German diplomacy at Constantinople,
  influence in the Near East,
  influence in Rumania,
  influence in Turkey,
German Empire, restlessness of,
German hierarchy, early struggles of, against Slavonic liturgy,
Germanic peoples, southward movement of,
Germanòs, metropolitan bishop of Patrae,
Germany and the Turkish frontier,
  efforts to reach the Adriatic,
  its expansion eastward,
  and the Macedonian question,
  and Russia, relations between,
  and the Treaty of Berlin,
  relations with Rumania,
  revolutions promoted by,
Gjorgjevi['c], Dr. V.,
Golden Horn,
Goluchowski, Count,
Gorchakov, Prince,
Goths, invasion of the,
Great Britain and the Balkan States, relations between,
  and Egypt,
  and Rumania,
  and Syria,
  and the Ionian Islands,
  and the Macedonian question,
  and the struggle for Greek independence,
  and the struggle for the Mediterranean,
  and the Treaty of Berlin,
  loan to Greece,
  occupation of Cyprus,
Greece, anarchy in,
  and Macedonia,
  and Russia,
  and Serbia,
  and the adjacent islands,
  and the Christian religion,
  and the first Balkan war,
  and the Ionian Islands,
  and the Orthodox Church,
  and the Slav migration,
  brigandage in,
  conflict of interests with Bulgaria,
  conquest of, by the Turks,
  delimitation of the frontier (1829),
  dispute with Italy as to possession of Epirus,
  effect of the French Revolution on,
  invasion of, by Goths,
  loans to,
  local liberties,
  'Military League' of 1909,
  minerals of,
  monarchy established, and its results,
  'National Assembly',
  oppressive relations with Turkey, and efforts for liberation,
  revolutions in 1843 and 1862.
  territorial contact with Turkey.
  'tribute-children' for Turkish army from.
  war with Turkey (1828); (1897); (1912).
Greek agriculture.
  anti-Greek movement in Rumania.
  art and architecture.
  ascendancy in Bulgaria.
  claims and propaganda in Macedonia.
  coalition with the Seljuks.
  commerce and economic progress.
  dialects of Ancient Greece.
  influence in the Balkan peninsula.
  influence in Bulgaria.
  influence in Rumania.
  language in Rumanian Church.
  monastic culture.
  national religion.
  officials tinder the Turks.
  public finance.
  public spirit.
  public works.
Greek Empire, decline of.
Greek hierarchy, in Bulgaria, the.
Greeks, Anatolian.
  general distribution of.
  their attitude with regard to the barbarian invasions.
Gregorios, Greek Patriarch at Constantinople.

Hadrian, the Emperor.
Haliacmon Valley.
Halys river.
Hatti Sherif.
Hellenic culture and civilization.
Hellenic Republic.
Hellespont, the.
  annexation of, by Austria-Hungary.
  its Slavonic population.
  origin and independence of, and conquest of, by the Turks.
  revolts in, against Turkey.
  under Austro-Hungarian rule.
  under Turkish rule.
Hilmi Pasha.
  and the Turks.
  invade the Balkan peninsula.
  and the Balkan peninsula,
  and the Serbo-Croats,
  and the Serbs,
  and Turkey, wars between,
  conquest of, by Suleiman I,
  growth of,
  loss of, by the Turks,
  Slavs in,
Huns, arrival of the, in Europe,
  their origin,
  settled in Hungary,
Hunyadi, John,
Hydhra and the Hydhriots,
Hypsilantis, Prince Alexander,
  Prince Demetrius,

Ibar, the,
Ibrahim Pasha,
Ida, Mount,
Ignatiyev, Count,
Illyria, Celtic invasion of,
  prefecture of,
  Roman conquest of,
Illyrians, the,
Ionescu, Take,
Ionian islands,
  presented to Greece by Great Britain,
Ipek: _see_ Pe['c]
Iskanderoun, Gulf of,
Italian influence in the Balkan peninsula,
  trading cities,
Italy, and the Macedonian question,
  and the possession of Epirus,
  diocese of,
  prefecture of,
  war with Turkey (1911-12),
Ivan III, Tsar of Russia,
Ivan IV, Tsar of Russia,

Jehad, or Holy War,
Jenghis Khan,
Jews, at Constantinople,
  in Rumania,
  in Turkey,
Jezzar the Butcher,
John Alexander, ruler of Bulgaria,
John Asen I, Bulgar Tsar (1186-96),
John Asen II, Bulgar Tsar (1218-41),
John Tzimisces, the Emperor,
John the Terrible, Prince of Moldavia,
Joseph II, Emperor of Austria,
Justin I, the Emperor,
Justinian I, the Emperor,

Kaloian, Bulgar Tsar (1196-1207),
Kama, Bulgars on the,
Kanaris, Constantine,
Kapodistrias, John,
Kara-George (Petrovi['c]),
Karagjorgjevi['c] (sc. family of Kara-George) dynasty, the,
Karlovci (Carlowitz, Karlowitz),
  destruction of (1824),
  siege of (1822),
Khurshid Pasha,
Kilkish, Greek victory at,
Kirk-Kilissé, battle of,
Kisseleff, Count,
Knights Hospitallers of St. John,
Kolokotrónis, Theodore,
  battle of,
Kopais basin, draining of,
  surrender of (1822),
Korinthian Gulf,
Kosovo, vilayet of,
Kosovo Polje, battle of,
Kraljevi['c], Marko: _see_ Marko K.
  conquest of, by Turks,
  intervention of the powers and constituted an autonomous state,
  speech of,
Krum (Bulgar prince),
Kubrat (Bulgar prince),
Kumanovo, battle of (1912),
Kumans, the Tartar,
Kurds, the,
Kutchuk Kainardji, Treaty of,
Kydhonies, destruction of,

Laibach (Ljubljana),
Lansdowne, Marquess of,
Latin Empire at Constantinople, the,
  influence in the Balkan peninsula,
Lausanne, Treaty of (1912),
Lazar (Serbian Prince),
'League of Friends',
Leipsic, battle of (1813),
Leo, the Emperor,
Leopold II, Emperor of Austria,
Lepanto, battle of (1571),
Levant, the,
  commerce of,
Libyan war (1911-12),
Lombards, the,
London, Conference of (1912-13),
  Treaty of (1913),
Louis, conquers the Serbs,
  battle of (1912),

  anarchy in,
  defeat of the Turks by the Serbians in,
  establishment of Turks in,
  general characteristics of, in classical times,
  inhabitants of,
  revolt in,
  place-names in,
Macedonian question, the,
  Slavs, the,
Magyars, the,
  their irruption into Europe,
  growing power and ambitions of the,
  influence upon the Rumanians,
Mahmud I, Sultan,
Mahmud II, Sultan,
Maiorescu, Titu
Malasgerd, battle of,
Malta, siege of,
Mamelukes, Egyptian,
Manichaean heresy, the,
Manuel Comnenus, the Emperor,
Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor,
Marghiloman, Alexander,
Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria,
Maritsa, the,
  battle of,
Marko Kraljevi['c],
Marmora, Sea of,
Mavrokordatos, Alexander,
Mavromichalis clan,
Mavromichalis, Petros,
Mediterranean, the,
Mehemet Ali: _see_ Mohammed Ali.
Melek Shah, of Persia,
Mendere (Maiandros),
Methodius, St.,
Michael Obrenovi['c] III, Prince of Serbia (1840-2, 1860-8),
Michael III, the Emperor,
Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia,
Midhat Pasha and representative institutions in Turkey,
Milan Obrenovi['c] II, Prince of Serbia (1839),
Milan Obrenovi['c] IV, Prince and King of Serbia (1868-89),
Mile[)s]evo, monastery of,
Milica, Princess,
Military colonies, Austro-Hungarian, of Serbs against Turkey,
Milo[)s] Obrenovi['c] I, Prince of Serbia (1817-39, 1858-60),
Milovanovi['c], Dr.,
Mircea the Old, Prince of Wallachia,
Misivria (Mesembria),
Mohacs, battle of,
Mohammed II, Sultan,
Mohammed IV, Sultan,
Mohammed V, Sultan,
Mohammed Ali Pasha, of Egypt,
Mohammedan influence in the Balkan peninsula,
Mohammedan Serbs, of Bosnia and Hercegovina, the,
  foundation of,
Monastir (Bitolj, in Serbian),
  battle of (1912),
  achieves its independence,
  and the Balkan League,
  becomes a kingdom,
  conquered by the Turks,
  during the Napoleonic wars,
  in the Balkan war (1912-13),
  position of, amongst the other Serb territories,
  relations with Russia,
  revolt in,
  under Turkish rule,
  war with Turkey,
Morava, the,
Moravia, its conversion to Christianity,
Morea: _see_ Peloponnesos.
Morocco crisis, the,
Mukhtar Pasha,
Muntenia (Wallachia), foundation of,
Murad I, Sultan, murder of,
Murad II, Sultan,
Murad III, Sultan,
Murad V, Sultan,
Murzsteg programme of reforms, the,
Mustapha II, Sultan,
Mustapha III, Sultan,

Naissus: _see_ Nish.
Napoleon I,
Napoleon III, and Rumania,
Natalie, Queen-Consort of Serbia,
  fall of (1822),
Nauplia Bay,
Navarino, battle of (1827),
Nemanja dynasty, the,
Nicholas I, Prince and King of Montenegro (1860-),
Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia,
Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia,
Nikarià, 230.
Nikiphóros Phokas, the Emperor,
  battle of,
Nish (Naissus, Ni[)s]),
  Celtic origin,
  Goths defeated at,
  Bulgarians march on,
  geographical position of,
Nish-Salonika railway,
Normans, the,
Novae: _see_ Svishtov.
Novi Pazar, Sandjak of,
  occupied by Austria-Hungary,
  evacuated by Austria-Hungary,
  occupied by Serbia and Montenegro,

Obili['c], Milo[)s],
Obrenovi['c] dynasty, the,
  Committee of,
Oecumenical Patriarch, the,
  Archbishopric and Patriarchate of,
  Lake of,
Old Serbia (northern Macedonia),
Orient, prefecture of the,
Orthodox Church: _see_ Eastern Church.
Osman (Othman), Sultan,
Osmanli: _see_ Turkey _and_ Turks.
Ostrogoths, the,
Otranto, straits of,
Otto, Prince, of Bavaria, King of Greece,
  driven into exile,
Ottoman Empire: _see_ Turkey.
Ouchy, Treaty of: _see_ Lausanne, Treaty of.

Palaiologos, Romaic dynasty of,
  Bulgars in,
Pan-Serb movement, the
Paris, Congress of (1856),
  Convention (1858),
  Treaty of (1856),
Pa[)s]a, M,
Passarowitz, Treaty of,
  Gulf of,
Paul, Emperor of Russia,
Paulicians, the,
Pe['c] (Ipek, in Turkish), patriarchate of,
Pechenegs, the Tartar,
'Peloponnesian Senate',
Peloponnesos (Morea),
Persia and the Turks,
  at war with Constantinople,
  Grand Seljuk of,
Persian Gulf,
Peter the Great,
  'Testament' of,
Peter, Bulgar Tsar (927-69)
Peter I, King of Serbia (1903),
Peter I, Prince-Bishop of Montenegro,
Petrovi['c]-Njego[)s], dynasty of,
Petta, battle of,
Phanariote Greeks, the, _See_ Greek officials under the
                 Turks, _and_ Turkey, Phanariot régime.
'Philikì Hetairia',
Philip, Count of Flanders,
Philip of Macedonia,
Philippopolis, Bogomil centre,
  foundation of,
  revolts against Turks,
Place-names, the distribution of classical, indigenous, and
                         Slavonic, in the Balkan peninsula,
Plevna, siege of,
Popes, attitude of the, towards the Slavonic liturgy,
Porto Lagos,
Preslav, Bulgarian capital,
Pressburg, Treaty of (1805),
Prilep, battle of (1912),
'Primates', the,
Prussia and Austria, war between (1866),

Radowitz, Baron von,
Ragusa (Dubrovnik, in Serbian), its relations with the Serbian
  prosperity of, under Turkish rule,
  decline of,
Railways in the Balkan peninsula,
Rashid Pasha,
Ra[)s]ka, centre of Serb state,
Règlement Organique,
Religious divisions in the Balkan peninsula,
Resna, in Macedonia,
  siege of,
Risti['c], M.,
Romaic architecture,
Roman Catholicism in the Balkan peninsula,
Roman Empire,
Roman law,
Rome, its conquest of the Balkan peninsula,
  relations of, with Bulgaria,
  relations of, with Serbia,
  spiritual rivalry of, with Constantinople,
Rosetti, C.A.,
Rovine, battle of,
Rumania and the Balkan peninsula,
  and the second Balkan war(1913),
  and Bulgaria,
  and the Russo-Turkish war (1877),
  anti-Greek movement in,
  anti-Russian revolution in,
  commerce of,
  convention with Russia (1877),
  dynastic question in,
  education in,
  influences at work in,
  military situation,
  nationalist activity in,
  neutrality of,
  origins of,
  Patriarch's authority in,
  peasantry of,
  Phanariotes in,
  political parties in,
  politics of, internal,
  relations with Russia,
  religion and Church in,
  Roman civilization, influence in,
  rural question in,
  Russian influence in; politics in,
  struggle for independence,
  territorial gains,
  territorial losses,
  Turkish rule in,
  Upper class in (cneazi, boyards),
    origins of,
    social evolution of,
    economic and political supremacy,
Rumanian army,
  claims in Macedonia,
  principalities, foundation of,
    union of,
    revolt (1822),
Rumanians, early evidences of,
  in Bessarabia,
  in Bucovina,
  in Hungary,
  in Macedonia,
Rumelia, Eastern,
Russia and Bulgaria,
  and Greece,
  and Montenegro,
  and Rumania,
  and Serbia,
  and Turkey,
  and the Macedonian question,
  and the struggle for Greek independence,
  Bulgars in,
  commercial treaty with Turkey (1783),
  convention with Rumania (1877),
  conversion to Christianity,
  occupation of Kars,
  re-organization under Peter the Great,
  wars with Turkey (1769-84),
Russian diplomacy at Constantinople,
  influence in Bulgaria,
  invasion of Balkan peninsula,
  relations with the Balkan Christians,
  relations with the Balkan League,
Russians, the, comparison of,
  with the Southern Slavs,
  _see_ Slavs, the Eastern,

[)S]abac (Shabatz),
Salisbury, Lord,
Salonika-Nish railway, the,
Samuel, Tsar of western Bulgaria (977-1014),
San Stefano, Treaty of (1878),
Saracens, the,
Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia,
Sava, St.,
Save, the,
Scutari (di Albania), Skodra,
Selim I, Sultan,
Selim III, Sultan,
Seljuks, the,
Semendria: _see_ Smederevo.
Semites, the,
Serb migrations,
  national life, centres of,
  political centres,
  race, home of the,
  territories, divisions of the,
Serbia and Austria-Hungary, relations between,
  and Bulgaria, contrasted,
  the agreement between,
  and Macedonia,
  and Russia, relations between,
  and the annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina,
  and the Balkan League,
  and Turkey,
  dissensions in,
  geography of,
  Patriarch's authority in,
  the barrier to German expansion eastwards,
  Turkish conquest of,
  wars with Turkey (1875-7),
Serbian Church, the,
  claims and propaganda in Macedonia,
  Empire, its extent under Stephen Du[)s]an,
  nation, centre of gravity of,
  principality, its extent in 1830,
Serbo-Bulgarian war (1885),
Serbo-Croat nationality, formation of the,
Serbo-Croat unity, movement in favour of,
Serbo-Croats, general distribution of,
Serbs, defeat Bulgars and Greeks,
  distribution of the, in the Balkan peninsula,
  general distribution of the,
  north of the Danube,
  outside the boundaries of the Serb state,
  religious persecution of,
  revolt against Bulgaria,
  revolt against the Magyars,
  revolts against Turkey,
  their attitude towards the Germans,
Serbs and Croats, difference between,
Shabatz: _see_ [)S]abac.
Shipka Pass,
Shishman, revolts against Bulgaria,
Simeon the Great, Bulgar Tsar (893-927),
Singidunum: _see_ Belgrade.
Sitvatorok, Treaty of,
Skodra: _see_ Scutari.
Skoplje (Üsküb, in Turkish),
Slav influence in Rumania,
  absorbed by Hungary,
Slavonic immigration, the streams of, in the Balkan peninsula,
  languages, the, use of, in Rumanian Church,
  liturgy, the, southern, nationalities,
Slavs, maritime,
  method of their migration southwards into the Balkan peninsula
  migration, in the seventh century,
  their lack of cohesion,
  their attacks on Salonika and Constantinople with the Avars,
  their original home,
  their settlement south of the Danube,
  the Balkan, their attitude towards the Church, under Turkish rule,
  the Eastern (Russians),
  the Southern, general distribution of,
  the Western,
Slivnitsa, battle of (1885),
Slovenes, the,
Smederevo (Semendria),
Sofia, captured by the Bulgars from the Greeks, captured by the Turks,
Soudha Bay,
Southern Slav nationalities, the,
Spain, Jews expelled from,
Spalajkovi['c], Dr.,
Sporades, the,
Srem: _see_ Syrmia.
Sultanate of,
Stephen Dragutin,
Stephen Du[)s]an, King of Serbia(1331-45), Tsar of Serbs, Bulgars,
                                             and Greeks (1345-55),
Stephen  (Lazarevi['c]), Serbian Prince,
Stephen Nemanja, _veliki [)z]upan_,
Stephen Nemanji['c], King of Serbia (1196-1223), the First-Crowned,
Stephen Radoslav, King of Serbia (1223-33),
Stephen Uro[)s] I, King of Serbia (1242-76),
Stephen Uro[)s] II (Milutin), King of Serbia (1282-1321),
Stephen Uro[)s] III (De['c]anski), King of Serbia (1321-31),
Stephen Vladislav, King of Serbia (1233-42),
Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia,
Struma, the,
Suleiman I, Sultan (the Magnificent),
Suli, clansmen of,
Svetoslav, ruler of Bulgaria,
Svyatoslav, Prince of Kiev,
Syrian question, the,

Tanzimat, the,
Tarabo[)s], Mount,
Tartar invasion, the,
Tartars of the Golden Horde,
Teutons, the,
Theodore Lascaris, the Emperor,
Theodosius, the Emperor,
Theophilus of Constantinople,
Thu-Kiu, people of,
Tilsit, peace of (1807),
Timok, the,
Tirnovo, centre and capital of second Bulgarian empire,
Trajan, the Emperor, in the Balkan peninsula,
  his conquest of Dacia,
Trikéri, destruction of,
Trikoupis, Greek statesman,
Turcomans, the,
Turkey: administrative systems,
  and the Armenian massacres (1894),
  and the Balkans,
  and Bulgaria,
  and the Bulgarian atrocities,
  and Greece,
  and the islands of southeastern Europe,
  and Rumania,
  and Russia,
  and Serbia,
  and the struggle for Greek independence,
  and the suzerainty of Krete,
  Christians in, position of,
  codification of the civil law,
  commercial treaties,
  Committee of Union and Progress,
  conquests in Europe,
    in Asia,
    of the Balkan peninsula,
  decline and losses of territory in Europe and Asia,
  'Dere Beys',
  Dragoman, office of, 184, 185,
  expansion: of the Osmanli kingdom,
    of the Byzantine Empire,
    extent of the empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
    territorial expansion in Asia,
  feudal aristocracy of,
  financial embarrassments and public debt,
  frontier beyond the Danube,
  German influence in,
  Grand Vizierate,
  military organization,
    soldiery recruited from Christian races,
    'tribute-children' system of recruiting,
  name of,
  pan-Islamic propaganda under Abdul Hamul,
  Phanariot régime,
  railway construction, effect of,
  reforms in,
  representative institutions inaugurated,
  revival and relapse in the nineteenth century,
  revolution of 1910,
  war in the Balkans (1912),
  war with Great Britain, France, and Russia (1914-15),
  wars with Greece (1821),
  war with Italy (1911-12),
  wars with Russia (1769-74),
  wars with Serbia (1875-7),
  Young Turks, the,
Turkish conquests in Europe,
Turks (Osmanlis), entry into Europe,
  general distribution of,
  nomadic tribes of,
  origin of,
  vitality and inherent qualities of the,

Uighurs, Turkish tribe,
Unkiar Skelessi, Treaty of (1833),
Uro[)s], King of Serbia: _see_ Stephen Uro[)s].
Uro[)s], Serbian Tsar (1355-71),
Üskub: _see_ Skoplje,

Valens, the Emperor,
Valtetzi, battle of,
Vardar, the,
  battle of (1444),
  captured by the Bulgars,
Venezelos, E., Kretan and Greek statesman,
  his part in the Kretan revolution,
  becomes premier of Greece,
  work as a constructive statesman,
  the formation of the Balkan League,
  his proposals to Bulgaria for settlement of claims,
  his handling of the problem of Epirus,
  results of his statesmanship,
Venice and the Venetian Republic,
Victoria, Queen of England,
  besieged by the Turks (1526),
  Congress of (1814),
  in relation to the Serbo-Croats: _see_ Budapest.
Visigoths, the,
Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia,
Vlakhs, the,
Volga, Bulgars of the,
Volo, Gulf of,
Vrioni, Omer,

  advent of the Turks in,
  subjugation of, by the Turks,
Wied, Prince of,
William II, German Emperor,

Yantra, the,
Yuruk tribe,

Zaimis, high commissioner of Krete,
Zeta, the, river and district,

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