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Congress of Berlin

From Academic Kids

Hosted in 1878 by Otto von Bismarck, after having been demanded by the rivals of the Russian Empire, particularly by Austria-Hungary and Great Britain, a number of the nations of Europe met to revise the Treaty of San Stefano and to attend to other pressing matters. The Congress of Berlin proposed and ratified the Treaty of Berlin.

The meetings were held at Chancellor Bismarck's residence, the Radziwill Palace, beginning on June 13, 1878. The congress revised or eliminated 18 of the 29 articles in the Treaty of San Stefano. Furthermore, using as a foundation the treaties of Paris (1856) and of London (1871), it effected a rearrangement of the Eastern situation.

In its attempt to create a state that reached from the Danube to the Aegean Sea, Russia had enlarged Bulgaria. Russia had hoped to bring all of the Slav peoples of the Balkans under her hegemony. The congress refused to allow the expansion of Bulgaria. Russia was forced to content herself with a much less radical disruption of the Turkish Empire in Europe than she had attempted to produce. Voiding the San Stefano treaty was a blow to the Pan-Slavism movement and a humiliation for Russia, and caused the decline of Alexander II in Russia. The Russians, led by chancellor Alexander Gorchakov, had manipulated the original treaty after their victory over the Ottoman Empire to create a very large Bulgarian autonomous principality under Turkey's nominal rule, but obviously subject to their influence. This state had access to the Aegean Sea and comprised a very large portion of Macedonia. The other Great Powers, the United Kingdom in particular, could not accept this as it was, in their eyes, a violation of balance of power. The Congress was attended by the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey. Delegates from Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro attended the sessions in which their states were concerned, but were not members of the congress.

In other matters, the Great Powers agreed that the status of the Turkish Empire was to be decided by the Powers jointly, and not by any one of them. Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro were declared independent principalities. Bulgaria was guaranteed autonomy and guarantees against Turkish oppression. The Dobruja was given to Romania; Montenegro obtained Niksitch, Podgoritza, and Antivari. The Porte agreed to obey the specifications contained in the Organic Law of 1868, and to guarantee the civil rights of non-Mohammedan subjects. Bosnia and Herzegovina were placed under the administration of Austria-Hungary. Other similar changes to the boundaries of various political entities were wrought, and political stipulations were made that affected all of the nations in some way or other. Russia accused Germany of treacherous behavior against her, an old friend, and she resented it. Distrust, enmity, and a long-lasting schism developed between the two nations.

Delegates

Great Britain

Russia

Germany

Austria-Hungary

France

Italy

  • Count Corti
  • Count De Launay

Turkey

Greece

Romania

Serbia

Montenegrobg:Берлински конгрес bs:Berlinski kongres de:Berliner Kongress no:Berlin-kongressen 1878 nl:Congres van Berlijn sl:Berlinski kongres sr:Берлински конгрес

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