Ww1 Essay

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Examine the impact of the Congress of Berlin (1878) on political development in Europe up to 1914.

After the outbreak of the Balkan Crisis in 1875, Russia sent troops to help the Balkans to get independence from the control of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877. She defeated the Turks and forced them to sign the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878. Being afraid of the increase in the Russian influence and power, the powers called the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Although it was held to settle the issues in the Balkans, the political development in Europe was greatly affected.

By the Treaty of San Stefano, the Russian influence in the Balkan could increase tremendously. An autonomous ‘Big Bulgaria’ was created under Russian occupation for 2 years. It would inevitably be a mere Russian satellite, a facade for Russian dominance of the Balkans and a springboard from which a Russian attack on Constantinople could be launched at any time. Secondly, Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro were to obtain their independence. Since Russia helped them to get independence, she could win their respect and friendship. Thirdly, Russia could get S. Bessarabia, and so she could control the Danube delta. On the whole, the Russian influence in the Balkans was enhanced. It fulfilled her desire for an expansion into this region.

However, the European powers could not tolerate this situation. None could like to see that the balance of power was to be upset by the arrangements made by Russia in the Treaty of San Stefano. So the Congress of Berlin was called to settle the issues. Certainly, the extent to which the San Stefano settlement was modified at Berlin was bitterly resented by the Russians. In this meeting, the Big Bulgaria was divided into three parts, northern part remained independent; middle part became Eastern Rumelia, which recognized the suzerainty of Turkey;…...

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