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The Balkan Problem - Brief Summart

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The Balkan Problem The Balkans (from the Turkish word for mountain) was the poor mountainous area of east Europe bordering Hungary and Turkey. Despite being poor, there was serious rivalry for it by the world powers. It is necessary to look at the Balkans itself and the rivalry in it. Looking at the Balkan problem, the Balkans was under control by the weakening, Turkish (Ottoman) empire and wanted freedom. In 1908, an extremist group, the "Young Turks", started revolting and worrying Turkey. Having seen this opportunity, Crete and Bulgaria broke away from Turkish rule. Also, Austria- Hungary seized control of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who actually wanted to be with Serbia (who also wanted them). This caused peril between them, since Austria was a patchwork country. ...read more.


These changes in attitude worried Austria since it was encouraging rebellions of the Serbs in their empire as well as inspiring others. The hatred between the countries grew until war was 'waiting' to break out. Having seen the Balkan problem, it is now important to look at the rivalries of it's neighbours. There were four main countries who wanted to control the Balkans, despite it being poor: Italy, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia. Italy wanted it because she wanted to expand and control the Adriatic Sea and the land around it. Austria-Hungary was a patchwork country and was experiencing revolts from Slavs, so they wanted to expand into the Balkans and eliminate the threats, as a second reason, they wanted ports on the Mediterranean Sea for trade and defence. ...read more.


As a second reason, Austria's allies were Germany and Italy who both wanted the Balkans and would gladly aid their ally if necessary which would bring two major powers into a small conflict. However, allied with Serbia was Russia who was also allied with France and Britain. This would bring them into the conflict too, turning it into a full scale war. This possible sequence of events would end with WWI as historians know it. This shows how simple rivalries, alliances and conflicts between the Balkans and it's neighbours could slowly get worse as a problem and start a major war that causes more devastation than any other war. It shows how the rulers of the countries were overly envious of each other and would break out a war whenever a suitable reason or trigger is pulled. ...read more.

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