The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913
Jacob Gould Schurman

Produced by David Starner and Andrea Ball







The interest in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 has exceeded the
expectations of the publishers of this volume. The first edition,
which was published five months ago, is already exhausted and a
second is now called for. Meanwhile there has broken out and is now
in progress a war which is generally regarded as the greatest of all
time--a war already involving five of the six Great Powers and three
of the smaller nations of Europe as well as Japan and Turkey and
likely at any time to embroil other countries in Europe, Asia, and
Africa, which are already embraced in the area of military

This War of Many Nations had its origin in Balkan situation. It
began on July 28 with the declaration of the Dual Monarchy to the
effect that from that moment Austria-Hungary was in a state of war
with Servia. And the fundamental reason for this declaration as
given in the note or ultimatum to Servia was the charge that the
Servian authorities had encouraged the Pan-Serb agitation which
seriously menaced the integrity of Austria-Hungary and had already
caused the assassination at Serajevo of the Heir to the Throne.

No one could have observed at close range the Balkan Wars of
1912-1913 without perceiving, always in the background and
occasionally in the foreground, the colossal rival figures of Russia
and Austria-Hungary. Attention was called to the phenomenon at
various points in this volume and especially in the concluding

The issue of the Balkan struggles of 1912-1913 was undoubtedly
favorable to Russia. By her constant diplomatic support she retained
the friendship and earned the gratitude of Greece, Montenegro, and
Servia; and through her championship, belated though it was, of the
claims of Roumania to territorial compensation for benevolent
neutrality during the war of the Allies against Turkey, she won the
friendship of the predominant Balkan power which had hitherto been
regarded as the immovable eastern outpost of the Triple Alliance.
But while Russia was victorious she did not gain all that she had
planned and hoped for. Her very triumph at Bukarest was a proof
that she had lost her influence over Bulgaria. This Slav state after
the war against Turkey came under the influence of Austria-Hungary,
by whom she was undoubtedly incited to strife with Servia and her
other partners in the late war against Turkey. Russia was unable to
prevent the second Balkan war between the Allies. The Czar's summons
to the Kings of Bulgaria and Servia on June 9, 1913, to submit, in
the name of Pan-Slavism, their disputes to his decision failed to
produce the desired effect, while this assumption of Russian
hegemony in Balkan affairs greatly exacerbated Austro-Hungarian
sentiment. That action of the Czar, however, was clear notification
and proof to all the world that Russia regarded the Slav States in
the Balkans as objects of her peculiar concern and protection.

The first Balkan War--the war of the Allies against Turkey--ended in
a way that surprised all the world. Everybody expected a victory for
the Turks. That the Turks should one day be driven out of Europe was
the universal assumption, but it was the equally fixed belief that
the agents of their expulsion would be the Great Powers or some of
the Great Powers. That the little independent States of the Balkans
should themselves be equal to the task no one imagined,--no one with
the possible exception of the government of Russia. And as Russia
rejoiced over the victory of the Balkan States and the defeat of her
secular Mohammedan neighbor, Austria-Hungary looked on not only with
amazement but with disappointment and chagrin.

For the contemporaneous diplomacy of the Austro-Hungarian government
was based on the assumption that the Balkan States would be
vanquished by Turkey. And its standing policy had been on the one
hand to keep the Kingdom of Servia small and weak (for the Dual
Monarchy was itself an important Serb state) and on the other hand
to broaden her Adriatic possessions and also to make her way through
Novi Bazar and Macedonia to Saloniki and the Aegean, when the time
came to secure this concession from the Sultan without provoking a
European war. It seemed in 1908 as though the favorable moment had
arrived to make a first move, and the Austro-Hungarian government
put forward a project for connecting the Bosnian and Macedonian
railway systems. But the only result was to bring to an end the
co-operation which had for some years been maintained between the
Austrian and Russian governments in the enforcement upon the Porte
of the adoption of reforms in Macedonia.

And now the result of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 was the practical
expulsion of Turkey from Europe and the territorial aggrandizement
of Servia and the sister state of Montenegro through the annexation
of those very Turkish domains which lay between the Austro-Hungarian
frontier and the Aegean. At every point Austro-Hungarian policies
had met with reverses.

Only one success could possibly be attributed to the diplomacy of
the Ballplatz. The exclusion of Servia from the Adriatic Sea and the
establishment of the independent State of Albania was the
achievement of Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of
Foreign Affairs. The new State has been a powder magazine from the
beginning, and since the withdrawal of Prince William of Wied, the
government, always powerless, has fallen into chaos. Intervention on
the part of neighboring states is inevitable. And only last month
the southern part of Albania--that is, Northern Epirus--was occupied
by a Greek army for the purpose of ending the sanguinary anarchy
which has hitherto prevailed. This action will be no surprise to the
readers of this volume. The occupation, or rather re-occupation, is
declared by the Greek Government to be provisional and it is
apparently approved by all the Great Powers. Throughout the rest of
Albania similar intervention will be necessary to establish order,
and to protect the life and property of the inhabitants without
distinction of race, tribe, or creed. Servia might perhaps have
governed the country, had she not been compelled by the Great
Powers, at the instigation of Austria-Hungary, to withdraw her
forces. And her extrusion from the Adriatic threw her back toward
the Aegean, with the result of shutting Bulgaria out of Central
Macedonia, which was annexed by Greece and Servia presumably under
arrangements satisfactory to the latter for an outlet to the sea at
Saloniki. The war declared by Austria-Hungary against Servia may be
regarded to some extent as an effort to nullify in the interests of
the former the enormous advantages which accrued directly to Servia
and indirectly to Russia from the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. That
Russia should have come to the support of Servia was as easy to
foresee as any future political event whatever. And the action of
Germany and France once war had broken out between their respective
allies followed as a matter of course. If the Austro-German
Alliance wins in the War of Many Nations it will doubtless control
the eastern Adriatic and open up a way for itself to the Aegean.
Indeed, in that event, German trade and German political influence
would spread unchallenged across the continents from the North Sea
to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Turkey is a friend and
ally; but even if Turkey were hostile she would have no strength to
resist such victorious powers. And the Balkan States, with the
defeat of Russia, would be compelled to recognize Germanic

If on the other hand the Allies come out victorious in the War of
Many Nations, Servia and perhaps Roumania would be permitted to
annex the provinces occupied by their brethren in the Dual Monarchy
and Servian expansion to the Adriatic would be assured. The Balkan
States would almost inevitably fall under the controlling influence
of Russia, who would become mistress of Constantinople and gain an
unrestricted outlet to the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus, the
Sea of Marmora, and the Dardanelles.

In spite of themselves the destiny of the peoples of the Balkans is
once more set on the issue of war. It is not inconceivable,
therefore, that some or all of those States may be drawn into the
present colossal conflict. In 1912-1913 the first war showed
Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Servia allied against Turkey; and
in the second war Greece, Montenegro, and Servia were joined by
Roumania in the war against Bulgaria, who was also independently
attacked by Turkey. What may happen in 1914 or 1915 no one can
predict. But if this terrible conflagration, which is already
devastating Europe and convulsing all the continents and vexing all
the oceans of the globe, spreads to the Balkans, one may hazard the
guess that Greece, Montenegro, Servia, and Roumania will stand
together on the side of the Allies and that Bulgaria if she is not
carried away by marked Austro-German victories will remain
neutral,--unless indeed the other Balkan States win her over, as
they not inconceivably might do, if they rose to the heights of
unwonted statesmanship by recognizing her claim to that part of
Macedonia in which the Bulgarian element predominates but which was
ceded to her rivals by the Treaty of Bukarest.

But I have said enough to indicate that as in its origin so also in
its results this awful cataclysm under which the civilized world is
now reeling will be found to be vitally connected with the Balkan
Wars of 1912-1913. And I conclude with the hope that the present
volume, which devotes indeed but little space to military matters
and none at all to atrocities and massacres, may prove helpful to
readers who seek light on the underlying conditions, the causes, and
the consequences of those historic struggles. The favor already
accorded to the work and the rapid exhaustion of the first edition*
seem to furnish some justification of this hope.


November 26, 1914.

* The present work is rather, a reprint than a new edition, few
changes having been made except the correction of typographical


The changes made in the map of Europe by the Balkan Wars of
1912-1913 were not merely the occasion but a cause and probably the
most potent, and certainly the most urgent, of all the causes that
led to the World War which has been raging with such titanic fury
since the summer of 1914.

Had the Balkan Allies after their triumph over Turkey not fallen out
amongst themselves, had there been no second Balkan War in 1913, had
the Turkish provinces wrested from the Porte by the united arms of
Bulgaria, Greece, Servia, and Montenegro been divided amongst the
victors either by diplomacy or arbitration substantial justice would
have been done to all, none of them would have been humiliated, and
their moderation and concord would have commended their achievement
to the Great Powers who might perhaps have secured the acquiescence
of Austria-Hungary in the necessary enlargement of Servia and the
expansion of Greece to Saloniki and beyond.

But the outbreak of the second Balkan War nullified all these fair
prospects. And Bulgaria, who brought it on, found herself encircled
by enemies, including not only all her recent Allies against Turkey,
but also Turkey herself, and even Roumania, who had remained a
neutral spectator of the first Balkan War. Of course Bulgaria was
defeated. And a terrible punishment was inflicted on her. She was
stripped of a large part of the territory she had just conquered
from Turkey, including her most glorious battle-fields; her original
provinces were dismembered; her extension to the Aegean Sea was
seriously obstructed, if not practically blocked; and, bitterest and
most tragic of all, the redemption of the Bulgarians in Macedonia,
which was the principal object and motive of her war against Turkey
in 1912, was frustrated and rendered hopeless by Greek and Servian
annexations of Macedonian territory extending from the Mesta to the
Drin with the great cities of Saloniki, Kavala, and Monastir, which
in the patriotic national consciousness had long loomed up as fixed
points in the "manifest destiny" of Bulgaria.

That the responsibility for precipitating the second Balkan War
rests on Bulgaria is demonstrated in the latter portion of this
volume. Yet the intransigent and bellicose policy of Bulgaria was
from the point of view of her own interests so short-sighted, so
perilous, so foolish and insane that it seemed, even at the time, to
be directed by some external power and for some ulterior purpose. No
proof, however, was then available. But hints of that suspicion were
clearly conveyed even in the first edition of this volume, which, it
may be recalled, antedates the outbreak of the great European War.
Thus, on page 103, the question was put:

"Must we assume that there is some ground for suspecting that
Austria-Hungary was inciting Bulgaria to war?"

And again, on page 108, with reference to General Savoff's order
directing the attack on the Greek and Servian forces which initiated
the second Balkan War, the inquiry was made:

"Did General Savoff act on his own responsibility? Or is there
any truth in the charge that King Ferdinand, after a long
consultation with the Austro-Hungarian Minister, instructed the
General to issue the order?"

These questions may now be answered with positive assurance. What
was only surmise when this volume was written is to-day indubitable
certainty. The proof is furnished by the highest authorities both
Italian and Russian.

When the second Balkan War broke out San Giuliano was Prime Minister
of Italy. And he has recently published the fact that at that
time--the summer of 1913--the Austro-Hungarian government
communicated to the Italian government its intention of making war
on Servia and claimed under the terms of the Triple Alliance the
co-operation of Italy and Germany. The Italian government repudiated
the obligation imputed to it by Austria-Hungary and flatly declared
that the Triple Alliance had nothing to do with a war of aggression.
That Austria-Hungary did not proceed to declare war against Servia
at that time--perhaps because she was discouraged by Germany as well
as by Italy--makes it all the more intelligible, in view of her
bellicose attitude, that she should have been urgent and insistent
in pushing Bulgaria forward to smite their common rival.

This conclusion is confirmed by the positive statement of the
Russian government. The communication accompanying the declaration
of war against Bulgaria, dated October 18, contains the following

"The victorious war of the united Balkan people against their
ancient enemy, Turkey, assured to Bulgaria an honorable place in
the Slavic family. But under Austro-German suggestion, contrary
to the advice of the Russian Emperor and without the knowledge of
the Bulgarian government, the Coburg Prince on June 29, 1913,
moved Bulgarian armies against the Serbians."

The "Coburg Prince" is of course Ferdinand, King of Bulgaria. That
he acted under Austro-Hungarian influences in attacking his Balkan
Allies on that fateful Sunday, June 29, 1913, is no longer
susceptible of doubt. But whatever other inferences may be drawn
from that conclusion it certainly makes the course of Bulgaria in
launching the second Balkan War, though its moral character remains
unchanged, look less hopeless and desperate than it otherwise
appeared. Had she not Austria-Hungary behind her? And had not
Austria-Hungary at that very time informed her Italian ally that she
intended making war against Servia?

But, whatever the explanation, the thunderbolt forged in 1913 was
not launched till July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary formally
declared war on Servia. The occasion was the assassination, a month
earlier, of the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his
wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, in the streets of Sarajevo. The
occasion, however, was not the cause of the war. The cause was that
which moved the Dual Monarchy to announce a war on Servia in the
summer of 1913, namely, dissatisfaction with the territorial
aggrandizement of Servia as a result of the first Balkan War and
alarm at the Pan-Serb agitation and propaganda which followed the
Servian victories over Turkey. These motives had subsequently been
much intensified by the triumph of Servia over Bulgaria in the
second Balkan War. The relations of Austria-Hungary to Servia had
been acutely strained since October, 1908, when the former annexed
the Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which under the
terms of the treaty of Berlin she had been administering since 1878.
The inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Serb, and Serb also
are the inhabitants of Dalmatia on the west and Croatia on the
north, which the Dual Monarchy had already brought under its
sceptre. The new annexation therefore seemed a fatal and a final
blow to the national aspirations of the Serb race and it was
bitterly resented by those who had already been gathered together
and "redeemed" in the Kingdom of Servia. A second disastrous
consequence of the annexation was that it left Servia hopelessly
land-locked. The Serb population of Dalmatia and Herzegovina looked
out on the Adriatic along a considerable section of its eastern
coast, but Servia's long-cherished hope of becoming a maritime state
by the annexation of the Serb provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
was now definitively at an end. She protested, she appealed, she
threatened; but with Germany behind the Dual Monarchy and Russia
still weak from the effects of the war with Japan, she was quickly
compelled to submit to superior force.

During the war of the Balkan Allies against Turkey Servia made one
more effort to get to the Adriatic,--this time by way of Albania.
She marched her forces over the mountains of that almost impassable
country and reached the sea at Durazzo. But she was forced back by
the European powers at the demand of Austria-Hungary, as some weeks
later on the same compulsion she had to withdraw from the siege of
Scutari. Then she turned toward the Aegean, and the second Balkan
War gave her a new opportunity. The treaty of Bukarest and the
convention with Greece assured her of an outlet to the sea at
Saloniki. But this settlement proved scarcely less objectionable to
Austria-Hungary than the earlier dream of Servian expansion to the
Adriatic by the annexation of the Turkish provinces of Bosnia and

The fact is that, if we look at the matter dispassionately and in a
purely objective spirit, we shall find that there really was a
hopeless incompatibility between the ideals, aims, policies, and
interests of the Servians and the Serb race and those of the
Austrians and Hungarians. Any aggrandizement of the Kingdom of
Servia, any enlargement of its territory, any extension to the sea
and especially to the Adriatic, any heightening and intensifying of
the national consciousness of its people involved some danger to the
Dual Monarchy. For besides the Germans who control Austria, and the
Hungarians who control Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire embraces
many millions of Slavs, and the South Slavs are of the same family
and speak practically the same language as the inhabitants of the
Kingdom of Servia. And Austria and Hungary can not get to their
outlets on the Adriatic--Trieste and Fiume--without passing through
territory inhabited by these South Slavs.

If, therefore, Austria and Hungary were not to be left land-locked
they must at all hazards prevent the absorption of their South Slav
subjects by the Kingdom of Servia. Pan-Serbism at once menaced the
integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and jeopardized its
position on the Adriatic. Hence the cardinal features in the Balkan
policy of Austria-Hungary were a ruthless repression of national
aspiration among its South Slav subjects--the inhabitants of
Croatia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina; a watchful and jealous
opposition to any increase of the territory or resources of the
Kingdom of Servia; and a stern and unalterable determination to
prevent Servian expansion to the Adriatic.

The new Servia which emerged from the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 was
an object of anxiety and even of alarm to the statesmen of Vienna
and Buda-Pesth. The racial and national aspirations already astir
among the South Slavs of the Dual Monarchy were quickened and
intensified by the great victories won by their Servian brethren
over both Turks and Bulgarians and by the spectacle of the
territorial aggrandizement which accrued from those victories to the
independent Kingdom of Servia. Might not this Greater Servia prove a
magnet to draw the kindred Slavs of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia,
and Croatia away from their allegiance to an alien empire? The
diplomacy of Vienna had indeed succeeded in excluding Servia from
the Adriatic but it had neither prevented its territorial
aggrandizement nor blocked its access to the Aegean.

Access to the Aegean was not, however, as serious a matter as access
to the Adriatic. Yet the expansion of Servia to the south over the
Macedonian territory she had wrested from Turkey, as legalized in
the Treaty of Bukarest, nullified the Austro-Hungarian dream of
expansion through Novi Bazar and Macedonia to the Aegean and the
development from Saloniki as a base of a great and profitable
commerce with all the Near and Middle East.

Here were the conditions of a national tragedy. They have developed
into a great international war, the greatest and most terrible ever
waged on this planet.

It may be worth while in concluding to note the relations of the
Balkan belligerents of 1912-1913 to the two groups of belligerents
in the present world-conflict.

The nemesis of the treaties of London and Bukarest and the fear of
the Great Powers pursue the Balkan nations and determine their
alignments. The declaration of war by Austria-Hungary against
Servia, which started the present cataclysm, fixed the enemy status
of Servia and also Montenegro. The good relations long subsisting
between Emperor William and the Porte were a guarantee to the
Central Powers of the support of Turkey, which quickly declared in
their favor. The desire of avenging the injury done her by the
treaty of Bukarest and the prospect of territorial aggrandizement at
the expense of her sister Slav nation on the west drew Bulgaria
(which was influenced also by the victories of the Germanic forces)
into the same group in company with Turkey, her enemy in both the
Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Bulgaria's opportunity for revenge soon
arrived. It was the Bulgarian army, in cooperation with the
Austro-German forces, that overran Servia and Montenegro and drove
the national armies beyond their own boundaries into foreign
territory. If the fortunes of war turn and the Entente Powers get
the upper hand in the Balkans, these expelled armies of Servia and
Montenegro, who after rest and reorganization and re-equipping in
Corfu have this summer been transported by France and England to
Saloniki, may have the satisfaction of devastating the territory of
the sister Slav state of Bulgaria, quite in the divisive and
internecine spirit of all Balkan history. The fate and future of
Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro now depend on the issue of the
great European conflict. The same thing is true of Turkey, into
which meanwhile Russian forces, traversing the Caucasus, have driven
a dangerous wedge through Armenia towards Mesopotamia. Roumania has
thus far maintained the policy of neutrality to which she adhered so
successfully in the first Balkan war--a policy which in view of her
geographical situation, with Bulgaria to the south, Russia to the
north, and Austria-Hungary to the west, she cannot safely abandon
till fortune has declared more decisively for one or the other group
of belligerents. The only remaining party to the Balkan Wars is
Greece, and the situation of Greece, though not tragic like that of
Servia, must be exceedingly humiliating to the Greek nation and to
the whole Hellenic race.

When the war broke out, Mr. Venizelos was still prime minister of
Greece. His policy was to go loyally to the assistance of Servia, as
required by the treaty between the two countries; to defend New
Greece against Bulgaria, to whom, however, he was ready to make some
concessions on the basis of a quid pro quo; and to join and
co-operate actively with the Entente Powers on the assurance of
receiving territorial compensation in Asia Minor. King Constantine,
on the other hand, seems to have held that the war of the Great
Powers in the Balkans practically abrogated the treaty between
Greece and Servia and that, in any event, Greek resistance to the
Central Powers was useless. The positive programme of the King was
to maintain neutrality between the two groups of belligerents and at
the same time to keep the Greek army mobilized. Between these two
policies the Greek nation wavered and hesitated; but the King, who
enjoyed the complete confidence of the general staff, had his way
and the cabinet of Mr. Venizelos was replaced by another in
sympathy with the policy of the neutrality of Greece and the
mobilization of the Greek army.

It was, under all the circumstances of the case, an exceedingly
difficult policy to carry out successfully. Each group of the
belligerents wanted special favors; the nation was divided on the
subject of neutrality; the expense of keeping the army mobilized was
ruinous to the country; and the views and sympathies of the greatest
statesman Modern Greece had ever had remained out of office, as they
had been in office, diametrically opposed to those of the victorious
warrior-King and doubtless also of the Queen, the sister of the
German Emperor. This condition was one of unstable equilibrium which
could not long continue. It was upset on May 26, 1916, by a
Bulgarian invasion of Greek territory and the seizure of Fort Rupel,
one of the keys to the Struma Valley and to eastern Macedonia. The
cities of Seres and Drama with their large Greek Population, and
even Kavala are now in danger, and the Greek people seem greatly
stirred by the situation. Mr. Venizelos in a newspaper article
bitterly asks:

"Who could have imagined a Greek army witnessing the Bulgarian
flag replacing that of Greece? Is it for this that our
mobilization is maintained?"

But, while Greece has been invaded by Bulgaria, with the support of
Germany (who, however, has given a written promise that the Greek
territory now occupied shall be restored), Greek sovereignty has
since suffered another severe shock by the intervention of Great
Britain, France, and Russia, who, under the Protocol of London, are
the Protecting Powers of the Kingdom. These Powers demand of the
Greek government that the army shall be completely and immediately
demobilized, that the present cabinet shall be replaced by another
which shall guarantee benevolent neutrality toward the Entente
Powers, that the Chamber shall be immediately dissolved and new
elections held, and that certain public functionaries obnoxious to
the legations of the Allies shall be replaced. And statements from
Athens dated June 21 announce that Greece, under the menace of an
embargo maintained by the allied navies, has yielded to these
demands. With Greece humiliated by the Protecting Powers and her
territory occupied by Bulgaria, with Servia and Montenegro overrun
and occupied by the German-Austrian-Bulgarian forces, with Roumania
waiting to see which of the belligerent groups will be finally
victorious, with Bulgaria now basking in the sunshine of the Central
Powers but an object of hatred to all the Allied Powers and
especially to Russia, one may be pardoned for refusing to make any
guess whatever as to the way in which the resultant diagonal of the
parallelogram of European forces will ultimately run through the
Balkans. Fortunately also such prediction has no place in an account
of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.

To-day the Balkan nations are the pawns of the Great Powers who are
directly responsible for the deplorable conditions that now exist
among them. Yet in a very real sense their present tragic situation
is the nemesis of the political sins of the Balkan nations
themselves. These sins are those of all undeveloped political
communities. Even the most highly civilized nations may temporarily
fall under their sway, and then civilization reverts to barbarism,
as the terrible condition of Europe to-day actually demonstrates.
But the acute disease from which Europe suffers is more or less
chronic in the Balkans, where elemental human nature has never been
thoroughly disciplined and chastened in the school of peaceful
political life and experience. Each for himself without regard to
others or even without thought of a future day of reckoning seems to
be the maxim of national conduct among the Balkan peoples. The
spirit of strife and division possesses them; they are dominated by
the uncontrolled instinct of national egoism and greed. The second
Balkan War, alike in its origin, course, and conclusion, was a bald
exhibition of the play of these primitive and hateful passions.

The history of the world, which is also the high tribunal of the
world, proves that no nation can with impunity ignore the rights of
other nations or repudiate the ideal of a common good or defy the
rule of righteousness by which political communities achieve
it--justice, moderation, and the spirit of hopeful and unwearying
conciliation. In their war against Turkey in 1912 the Balkan
nations, for the first time in history, laid aside their mutual
antagonisms and co-operated in a common cause. This union and
concord marked at least the beginning of political wisdom. And it
was vindicated, if ever any policy was vindicated, by the surprise
and splendor of the results.

My hope for the Balkan nations is that they may return to this path
from which they were too easily diverted in 1913. They must learn,
while asserting each its own interests and advancing each its own
welfare, to pay scrupulous regard to the rights and just claims of
others and to co-operate wisely for the common good in a spirit of
mutual confidence and good will. This high policy, as expedient as
it is sound, was to a considerable extent embodied in the leadership
of Venizelos and Pashitch and Gueshoff. And where there is a leader
with vision the people in the end will follow him. May the final
settlement of the European War put no unnecessary obstacle in the
way of the normal political development of all the Balkan Nations!

J. G. S.

President's Office Cornell University July 13, 1916

_Postscript_. I remarked in the foregoing Introduction, that
Roumania would not abandon her neutrality till fortune had declared
more decisively for one or the other group of belligerents. That was
written seven weeks ago. And within the last few days Roumania has
joined the Allies and declared war against Austria-Hungary. I also
noted that the unstable equilibrium which had been maintained in
Greece between the party of King Constantine and the party of
Venizelos had already been upset to the disadvantage of the former.
Roumania's adhesion to the cause of the Allies is bound to
accelerate this movement. It would not be surprising if Greece were
any day now to follow the example of Roumania. Had Greece in 1914
stood by Venizelos and joined the Allies the chances are that
Roumania would at that time have adopted the same course. But the
opposition of King Constantine delayed that consummation, directly
in the case of Greece, and indirectly in the case of Roumania. Now
that the latter has cast in her lot with the Allies and the former
is likely at any tune to follow her example, I may be permitted to
quote the forecast which I made in the Preface to the Second Edition
of this volume under date of November 26, 1914:

"If this terrible conflagration, which is already devastating
Europe and convulsing all the continents and vexing all the
oceans of the globe, spreads to the Balkans, one may hazard the
guess that Greece, Montenegro, Servia, and Roumania will stand
together on the side of the Allies and that Bulgaria if she is
not carried away by marked Austro-German victories will remain

J. G. S.

September 1, 1916.

[Map: map1.png
Caption: The Balkan Peninsula before the Wars of 1912-1913.]



The expulsion of the Turks from Europe was long ago written in the
book of fate. There was nothing uncertain about it except the date
and the agency of destiny.


A little clan of oriental shepherds, the Turks had in two
generations gained possession of the whole of the northwest corner
of Asia Minor and established themselves on the eastern shore of the
Bosphorus. The great city of Brusa, whose groves to-day enshrine the
stately beauty of their mosques and sultans' tombs, capitulated to
Orkhan, the son of the first Sultan, in 1326; and Nicaea, the cradle
of the Greek church and temporary capital of the Greek Empire,
surrendered in 1330. On the other side of the Bosphorus Orkhan could
see the domes and palaces of Constantinople which, however, for
another century was to remain the seat of the Byzantine Empire.

The Turks crossed the Hellespont and, favored by an earthquake,
marched in 1358 over the fallen walls and fortifications into the
city of Gallipoli. In 1361 Adrianople succumbed to the attacks of
Orkhan's son, Murad I, whose sway was soon acknowledged in Thrace
and Macedonia, and who was destined to lead the victorious Ottoman
armies as far north as the Danube.

But though the provinces of the corrupt and effete Byzantine Empire
were falling into the hands of the Turks, the Slavs were still
unsubdued. Lazar the Serb threw down the gauntlet to Murad. On the
memorable field of Kossovo, in 1389, the opposing forces met--Murad
supported by his Asiatic and European vassals and allies, and Lazar
with his formidable army of Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians, Poles,
Magyars, and Vlachs. Few battles in the world have produced such a
deep and lasting impression as this battle of Kossovo, in which the
Christian nations after long and stubborn resistance were vanquished
by the Moslems. The Servians still sing ballads which cast a halo of
pathetic romance round their great disaster. And after more than
five centuries the Montenegrins continue to wear black on their caps
in mourning for that fatal day.

In the next two centuries the Ottoman Empire moved on toward the
zenith of its glory. Mohammed II conquered Constantinople in 1453.
And in 1529 Suleyman the Magnificent was at the gates of Vienna.
Suleyman's reign forms the climax of Turkish history. The Turks had
become a central European power occupying Hungary and menacing
Austria. Suleyman's dominions extended from Mecca to Buda-Pesth and
from Bagdad to Algiers. He commanded the Mediterranean, the
Euxine, and the Red Sea, and his navies threatened the coasts of
India and Spain.

But the conquests of the Turks were purely military. They did
nothing for their subjects, whom they treated with contempt, and
they wanted nothing from them but tribute and plunder. As the Turks
were always numerically inferior to the aggregate number of the
peoples under their sway, their one standing policy was to keep them
divided--divide et impera. To fan racial and religious differences
among their subjects was to perpetuate the rule of the masters. The
whole task of government, as the Turks conceived it, was to collect
tribute from the conquered and keep them in subjection by playing
off their differences against one another.

But a deterioration of Turkish rulers set in soon after the time of
Suleyman with a corresponding decline in the character and
efficiency of the army. And the growth of Russia and the reassertion
of Hungary, Poland, and Austria were fatal to the maintenance of an
alien and detested empire founded on military domination alone. By
the end of the seventeenth century the Turks had been driven out of
Austria, Hungary, Transylvania, and Podolia, and the northern
boundaries of their Empire were fixed by the Carpathians, the
Danube, and the Save. How marked and rapid was the further decline
of the Ottoman Empire may be inferred from the fact that twice in
the eighteenth century Austria and Russia discussed the project of
dividing it between them. But the inevitable disintegration of the
Turkish dominion was not to inure to the glorification of any of the
Great Powers, though Russia certainly contributed to the weakening
of the common enemy. The decline and diminution of the Ottoman
Empire continued throughout the nineteenth century. What happened,
however, was the revolt of subject provinces and the creation out of
the territory of European Turkey of the independent states of
Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Bulgaria. And it was Bulgarians,
Greeks, and Servians, with the active assistance of the Montenegrins
and the benevolent neutrality of the Roumanians, who, in the war of
1912-1913, drove the Turk out of Europe, leaving him nothing but the
city of Constantinople and a territorial fringe bordered by the
Chataldja line of fortifications.


There is historic justice in the circumstance that the Turkish
Empire in Europe met its doom at the hands of the Balkan nations
themselves. For these nationalities had been completely submerged
and even their national consciousness annihilated under centuries of
Moslem intolerance, misgovernment, oppression, and cruelty.

None suffered worse than Bulgaria, which lay nearest to the capital
of the Mohammedan conqueror. Yet Bulgaria had had a glorious, if
checkered, history long before there existed any Ottoman Empire
either in Europe or in Asia. From the day their sovereign Boris
accepted Christianity in 864 the Bulgarians had made rapid and
conspicuous progress in their ceaseless conflicts with the Byzantine
Empire. The Bulgarian church was recognized as independent by the
Greek patriarch at Constantinople; its primates subsequently
received the title of patriarch, and their see was established at
Preslav, and then successively westward at Sofia, Vodena, Presba,
and finally Ochrida, which looks out on the mountains of Albania.
Under Czar Simeon, the son of Boris, "Bulgaria," says Gibbon,
"assumed a rank among the civilized powers of the earth." His
dominions extended from the Black Sea to the Adriatic and comprised
the greater part of Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Servia, and
Dalmatia; leaving only to the Byzantine Empire--whose civilization
he introduced and sedulously promoted among the Bulgarians--the
cities of Constantinople, Saloniki, and Adrianople with the
territory immediately surrounding them. But this first Bulgarian
Empire was shortlived, though the western part remained independent
under Samuel, who reigned, with Ochrida as his capital, from 976 to
1014. Four years later the Byzantine Emperor, Basil II, annihilated
the power of Samuel, and for a hundred and fifty years the Bulgarian
people remained subject to the rule of Constantinople. In 1186 under
the leadership of the brothers Asen they regained their
independence. And the reign of Czar Asen II (1218-1240) was the most
prosperous period of all Bulgarian history. He restored the Empire
of Simeon, his boast being that he had left to the Byzantines
nothing but Constantinople and the cities round it, and he
encouraged commerce, cultivated arts and letters, founded and
endowed churches and monasteries, and embellished his capital,
Trnovo, with beautiful and magnificent buildings. After Asen came a
period of decline culminating in a humiliating defeat by the
Servians in 1330. The quarrels of the Christian races of the Balkans
facilitated the advance of the Moslem invader, who overwhelmed the
Serbs and their allies on the memorable field of Kossovo in 1389,
and four years later captured and burned the Bulgarian capital,
Trnovo, Czar Shishman himself perishing obscurely in the common
destruction. For five centuries Bulgaria remained under Moslem
despotism, we ourselves being the witnesses of her emancipation in
the last thirty-five years.

The fate of the Serbs differed only in degree from that of the
Bulgarians. Converted to Christianity in the middle of the ninth
century, the major portion of the race remained till the twelfth
century under either Bulgarian or Byzantine sovereignty. But Stephen
Nemanyo bought under his rule Herzegovina, Montenegro and part of
modern Servia and old Servia, and on his abdication in 1195 in favor
of his son launched a royal dynasty which reigned over the Serb
people for two centuries. Of that line the most distinguished
member was Stephen Dushan, who reigned from 1331 to 1355. He wrested
the whole of the Balkan Peninsula from the Byzantine Emperor, and
took Belgrade, Bosnia, and Herzegovina from the King of Hungary. He
encouraged literature, gave to his country a highly advanced code of
laws, and protected the church whose head--the Archbishop of
Ipek--he raised to the dignity of patriarch. On Easter Day 1346 he
had himself crowned at Uskub as "Emperor of the Greeks and Serbs." A
few years later he embarked on an enterprise by which, had he been
successful, he might have changed the course of European history. It
was nothing less than the capture of Constantinople and the union of
Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks into an empire which might defend
Christendom against the rising power of Islam. Dushan was within
forty miles of his goal with an army of 80,000 men when he died
suddenly in camp on the 20th of December, 1355. Thirty-four years
later Dushan's countrymen were annihilated by the Turks at Kossovo!
All the Slavonic peoples of the Balkan Peninsula save the brave
mountaineers of Montenegro came under Moslem subjection. And under
Moslem subjection they remained till the nineteenth century.


It is impossible to give any adequate description of the horrors of
Turkish rule in these Christian countries of the Balkans. Their
people, disqualified from holding even the smallest office, were
absolutely helpless under the oppression of their foreign masters,
who ground them down under an intolerable load of taxation and
plunder. The culminating cruelty was the tribute of Christian
children from ten to twelve years of age who were sent to
Constantinople to recruit the corps of janissaries. It is not
surprising that for the protection of wives and children and the
safeguarding of interests the nobles of Bosnia and the Pomaks of
Southeastern Bulgaria embraced the creed of their conquerors; the
wonder is that the people as a whole remained true to their
Christian faith even at the cost of daily martyrdom from generation
to generation. Their fate too grew worse as the Turkish power
declined after the unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683. For at
first Ottoman troops ravaged Bulgaria as they marched through the
land on their way to Austria; and later disbanded soldiers in
defiance of Turkish authority plundered the country and committed
nameless atrocities. Servia was to some extent protected by her
remote location, but that very circumstance bred insubordination in
the janissaries, who refused to obey the local Turkish governors and
gave themselves up to looting, brigandage, and massacre. The
national spirt of the subject races was completely crushed. The
Servians and Bulgarians for three or four centuries lost all
consciousness of a fatherland. The countrymen of Simeon and Dushan
became mere hewers of wood and drawers of water for their foreign
masters. Servia and Bulgaria simply disappeared. As late as 1834
Kinglake in travelling to Constantinople from Belgrade must have
passed straight across Bulgaria. Yet in "Eothen," in which he
describes his travels, he never even mentions that country or its

It is easy to understand that this history of Turkish horrors should
have burned itself into the heart and soul of the resurrected Servia
and Bulgaria of our own day. But there is another circumstance
connected with the ruthless destruction and long entombment of these
nationalities which it is difficult for foreigners, even the most
intelligent foreigners, to understand or at any rate to grasp in its
full significance. Yet the sentiments to which that circumstance has
given rise and which it still nourishes are as potent a factor in
contemporary Balkan politics as the antipathy of the Christian
nations to their former Moslem oppressors.


I refer to the special and exceptional position held by the Greeks
in the Turkish dominions. Though the Moslems had possessed themselves
of the Greek Empire from the Bosphorus to the Danube, Greek
domination still survived as an intellectual, ecclesiastical, and
commercial force. The nature and effects of that supremacy, and its
results upon the fortunes of other Balkan nations, we must now
proceed to consider.

The Turkish government classifies its subjects not on the basis of
nationality but on the basis of religion. A homogeneous religious
group is designated a millet or nation. Thus the Moslems form the
millet of Islam. And at the present time there are among others a
Greek millet, a Catholic millet, and a Jewish millet. But from the
first days of the Ottoman conquest until very recent times all the
Christian population, irrespective of denominational differences,
was assigned by the Sultans to the Greek millet, of which the
patriarch of Constantinople was the head. The members of this
millet were all called Greeks; the bishops and higher clergy were
exclusively Greek; and the language of their churches and schools
was Greek, which was also the language of literature, commerce, and
polite society. But the jurisdiction of the patriarch was not
restricted even to ecclesiastical and educational matters. It
extended to a considerable part of civil law--notably to questions
of marriage, divorce, and inheritance when they concerned Christians

It is obvious that the possession by the Greek patriarch of
Constantinople of this enormous power over the Christian subjects of
the Turks enabled him to carry on a propaganda of hellenization.
The disappearance for three centuries of the national consciousness
in Servia and Bulgaria was not the sole work of the Moslem invader;
a more fatal blight to the national languages and culture were the
Greek bishops and clergy who conducted their churches and schools.
And if Kinglake knew nothing of Bulgaria as late as 1834 it was
because every educated person in that country called himself a
Greek. For it cannot be too strongly emphasized that until
comparatively recent times all Christians of whatever nation or sect
were officially recognized by the Turks as members of the Greek
millet and were therefore designated Greeks.

The hostility of the Slavonic peoples in the Balkans, and especially
of the Bulgarians, to the Greeks, grows out of the ecclesiastical
and educational domination which the Greek clergy and bishops so
long and so relentlessly exercised over them. Of course the Turkish
Sultans are responsible for the arrangement. But there is no
evidence that they had any other intention than to rid themselves of
a disagreeable task. For the rest they regarded Greeks and Slavs
with equal contempt. But the Greeks quickly recognized the racial
advantage of their ecclesiastical hegemony. And it was not in human
nature to give it up without a struggle. The patriarchate retained
its exclusive jurisdiction over all orthodox populations till 1870,
when the Sultan issued a firman establishing the Bulgarian

There were two other spheres in which Greek influence was paramount
in the Turkish Empire. The Turk is a soldier and farmer; the Greek
is pre-eminent as a trader, and his ability secured him a
disproportionate share of the trade of the empire. Again, the Greeks
of Constantinople and other large cities gradually won the
confidence of the Turks and attained political importance. During
the eighteenth century the highest officials in the empire were
invariably Phanariots, as the Constantinople Greeks were termed from
the quarter of the city in which they resided.

In speaking of the Greeks I have not had in mind the inhabitants of
the present kingdom of Greece. Their subjection by the Turks was as
complete as that of the Serbs and Bulgaria though of course they
were exempt from ecclesiastical domination at the hands of an alien
clergy speaking a foreign language. The enmity of the Bulgarians may
to-day be visited upon the subjects of King Constantine, but it was
not their ancestors who imposed upon Bulgaria foreign schools and
churches but the Greeks of Constantinople and Thrace, over whom the
government of Athens has never had jurisdiction.


So much of the Balkan countries under Turkish rule. Their emancipation
did not come till the nineteenth century. The first to throw off the
yoke was Servia. Taking advantage of the disorganization and anarchy
prevailing in the Ottoman Empire the Servian people rose in a body
against their oppressors in January, 1804. Under the able leadership
first of Kara-George and afterward of Milosh Obrenovich, Servian
autonomy was definitely established in 1817. The complete independence
of the country was recognized by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The
boundaries of the new state, however, fell far short of Servian
aspirations, excluding as they did large numbers of the Servian
population. The first ruling prince of modern Servia was Milosh
Obrenovich; and the subsequent rulers have belonged either to the
Obrenovich dynasty or to its rival the dynasty of Kara-George. King
Peter, who came to the throne in 1903, is a member of the latter


Scarcely had Servia won her freedom when the Greek war of
independence broke out. Archbishop Germanos called the Christian
population of the Morea under the standard of the cross in 1821. For
three years the Greeks, with the assistance of European money and
volunteers (of whom Lord Byron was the most illustrious), conducted
a successful campaign against the Turkish forces; but after the
Sultan had in 1824 summoned to his aid Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt,
with his powerful fleet and disciplined army, the laurels which the
Greek patriots had won were recovered by the oppressor; and, with
the recapture of Athens in May, 1827, the whole country once more
lay under the dominion of the Turks. The Powers now recognized that
nothing but intervention could save Greece for European
civilization. The Egyptian fleet was annihilated at Navarino in
October, 1828, by the fleets of England, France, and Russia. Greece
was constituted an independent monarchy, though the Powers who
recognized its independence traced the frontier of the emancipated
country in a jealous and niggardly spirit. Prince Otto of Bavaria
was designated the first King and reigned for thirty years. He was
succeeded in 1863 by King George who lived to see the northern
boundary of his kingdom advanced to Saloniki, where, like a faithful
sentinel at his post, he fell, on March 18, 1913, by the hand of an
assassin just as he had attained the glorious fruition of a reign of
fifty years.


There had been a literary revival preceding the dawn of independence
in Greece. In Bulgaria, which was the last of the Balkan states to
become independent, the national regeneration was also fostered by a
literary and educational movement, of which the founding of the
first Bulgarian school--that of Gabrovo--in 1835 was undoubtedly the
most important event. In the next five years more than fifty
Bulgarian schools were established and five Bulgarian
printing-presses set up. The Bulgarians were beginning to
re-discover their own nationality. Bulgarian schools and books
produced a reaction against Greek culture and the Greek clergy who
maintained it. Not much longer would Greek remain the language of
the upper classes in Bulgarian cities; not much longer would
ignorant peasants, who spoke only Bulgarian, call themselves Greek.
The days of the spiritual domination of the Greek patriarchate were
numbered. The ecclesiastical ascendency of the Greeks had crushed
Bulgarian nationality more completely than even the civil power of
the Turks. The abolition of the spiritual rule of foreigners and the
restoration of the independent Bulgarian church became the leading
object of the literary reformers, educators, and patriots. It was a
long and arduous campaign--a campaign of education and awakening at
home and of appeal and discussion in Constantinople. Finally the
Sultan intervened and in 1870 issued a firman establishing the
Bulgarian exarchate, conferring on it immediate jurisdiction over
fifteen dioceses, and providing for the addition of other dioceses
on a vote of two-thirds of their Christian population. The new
Bulgarian exarch was immediately excommunicated by the Greek
patriarch. But the first and most important official step had been
taken in the development of Bulgarian nationality.

The revolt against the Turks followed in 1876. It was suppressed by
acts of cruelty and horror unparalleled even in the Balkans. Many
thousands of men, women, and children were massacred and scores of
villages destroyed. I remember vividly--for I was then in
England--how Gladstone's denunciation of those atrocities aroused a
wave of moral indignation and wrath which swept furiously from one
end of Great Britain to the other, and even aroused the governments
and peoples of the Continent of Europe. The Porte refusing to adopt
satisfactory measures of reform, Russia declared war and her
victorious army advanced to the very gates of Constantinople. The
Treaty of San Stefano, which Russia then enforced upon Turkey,
created a "Big Bulgaria" that extended from the Black Sea to the
Albanian Mountains and from the Danube to the Aegean, leaving to
Turkey, however, Adrianople, Saloniki, and the Chalcidician
Peninsula. But this treaty was torn to pieces by the Powers, who
feared that "Big Bulgaria" would become a mere Russian dependency,
and they substituted for it the Treaty of Berlin. Under this
memorable instrument, which dashed to the ground the racial and
national aspirations of the Bulgarians which the Treaty of San
Stefano had so completely satisfied, their country was restricted to
a "tributary principality" lying between the Danube and the Balkans,
Eastern Roumelia to the south being excluded from it and made an
autonomous province of Turkey. This breach in the political life of
the race was healed in 1885 by the union of Eastern Roumelia with
Bulgaria; and the Ottoman sovereignty, which had become little more
than a form, was completely ended in 1908 when the ruler of the
enlarged principality of Bulgaria publicly proclaimed it an
independent kingdom. In spite of a protest from the Porte the
independence of Bulgaria was at once recognized by the Powers.

If Bulgaria owed the freedom with which the Treaty of Berlin dowered
her to the swords, and also to the pens, of foreigners, her complete
independence was her own achievement. But it was not brought about
till a generation after the Treaty of Berlin had recognized the
independence of Servia, Montenegro, and Roumania and delegated to
Austria-Hungary the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yet
the progress made by Bulgaria first under Prince Alexander and
especially since 1887 under Prince Ferdinand (who subsequently
assumed the title of King and later of Czar) is one of the most
astonishing phenomena in the history of Modern Europe.


Thus in consequence of the events we have here so hastily sketched
Turkey had lost since the nineteenth century opened a large portion
of the Balkan Peninsula. Along the Danube and the Save at the north
Bulgaria and Servia had become independent kingdoms and Bosnia and
Herzegovina had at first practically and later formally been annexed
to Austria-Hungary. At the extreme southern end of the Balkan
Peninsula the Greeks had carved out an independent kingdom extending
from Cape Matapan to the Vale of Tempe and the Gulf of Arta. All
that remained of European Turkey was the territory lying between
Greece and the Slav countries of Montenegro, Bosnia, Servia, and
Bulgaria. The Porte has divided this domain into six provinces or
vilayets, besides Constantinople and its environs. These vilayets
are Scutari and Janina on the Adriatic; Kossovo and Monastir,
adjoining them on the east; next Saloniki, embracing the centre of
the area; and finally Adrianople, extending from the Mesta River to
the Black Sea. In ordinary language the ancient classical names are
generally used to designate these divisions. The vilayet of
Adrianople roughly corresponds to Thrace, the Adriatic vilayets to
Epirus, and the intervening territory to Macedonia. Parts of the
domain in question are, however, also known under other names. The
district immediately south of Servia is often called Old Servia; and
the Adriatic coast lands between Montenegro and Greece are generally
designated Albania on the north and Epirus on the south.

The area of Turkey in Europe in 1912 was 169,300 square kilometers;
of Bulgaria 96,300; of Greece 64,600; of Servia 48,300; and of
Montenegro 9,000. The population of European Turkey at the same date
was 6,130,000; of Bulgaria 4,329,000; of Greece 2,632,000; of Servia
2,912,000; and of Montenegro 250,000. To the north of the Balkan
states, with the Danube on the south and the Black Sea on the east,
lay Roumania having an area of 131,350 square kilometers and a
population of 7,070,000.


What was the occasion of the war between Turkey and the Balkan
states in 1912? The most general answer that can be given to that
question is contained in the one word Macedonia. Geographically
Macedonia lies between Greece, Servia, and Bulgaria.
Ethnographically it is an extension of their races. And if, as
Matthew Arnold declared, the primary impulse both of individuals and
of nations is the tendency to expansion, Macedonia both in virtue of
its location and of its population was foreordained to be a magnet
to the emancipated Christian nations of the Balkans. Of course the
expansion of Greeks and Slavs meant the expulsion of Turks. Hence
the Macedonian question was the quintessence of the Near Eastern

But apart altogether from the expansionist ambitions and the racial
sympathies of their kindred in Bulgaria, Servia, and Greece, the
population of Macedonia had the same right to emancipation from
Turkish domination and oppression as their brethren in these
neighboring states. The Moslems had forfeited their sovereign rights
in Europe by their unutterable incapacity to govern their Christian
subjects. Had the Treaty of Berlin sanctioned, instead of undoing,
the Treaty of San Stefano, the whole of Macedonia would have come
under Bulgarian sovereignty; and although Servia and especially
Greece would have protested against the Bulgarian absorption of
their Macedonian brethren (whom they had always hoped to bring under
their own jurisdiction when the Turk was expelled) the result would
certainly have been better for all the Christian inhabitants of
Macedonia as well as for the Mohammedans (who number 800,000 persons
or nearly one third of the entire population of Macedonia). As it
was these, people were all doomed to a continuation of Turkish
misgovernment, oppression, and slaughter. The Treaty of Berlin
indeed provided for reforms, but the Porte through diplomacy and
delay frustrated all the efforts of Europe to have them put into
effect. For fifteen years the people waited for the fulfilment of
the European promise of an amelioration of their condition, enduring
meanwhile the scandalous misgovernment of Abdul Hamid II. But after
1893 revolutionary societies became active. The Internal
Organization was a local body whose programme was "Macedonia for the
Macedonians." But both in Bulgaria and in Greece there were
organized societies which sent insurgent bands into Macedonia to
maintain and assert their respective national interests. This was
one of the causes of the war between Turkey and Greece in 1897, and
the reverses of the Greeks in that war inured to the advantage of
the Bulgarian propaganda in Macedonia. Servian bands soon after
began to appear on the scene. These hostile activities in Macedonia
naturally produced reprisals at the hands of the Turkish
authorities. In one district alone 100 villages were burned, over
8,000 houses destroyed, and 60,000 peasants left without homes at
the beginning of winter. Meanwhile the Austrian and Russian
governments intervened and drew up elaborate schemes of reform, but
their plans could not be adequately enforced and the result was
failure. The Austro-Russian entente came to an end in 1908, and in
the same year England joined Russia in a project aiming at a better
administration of justice and involving more effective European
supervision. Scarcely had this programme been announced when the
revolution under the Young Turk party broke out which promised to
the world a regeneration of the Ottoman Empire. Hopeful of these
constitutional reformers of Turkey, Europe withdrew from Macedonia
and entrusted its destinies to its new master. Never was there a
more bitter disappointment. If autocratic Sultans had punished the
poor Macedonians with whips, the Young Turks flayed them with

Sympathy, indignation, and horror conspired with nationalistic
aspirations and territorial interests to arouse the kindred
populations of the surrounding states. And in October, 1912, war was
declared against Turkey by Bulgaria, Servia, Montenegro, and Greece.


This brings us to the so-called Balkan Alliance about which much has
been written and many errors ignorantly propagated. For months after
the outbreak of the war against Turkey the development of this
Alliance into a Confederation of the Balkan states, on the model of
the American or the German constitution, was a theme of constant
discussion in Europe and America. As a matter of fact there existed
no juridical ground for this expectation, and the sentiments of the
peoples of the four Christian nations, even while they fought
together against the Moslem, were saturated with such an infusion of
suspicion and hostility as to render nugatory any programme of
Balkan confederation. An alliance had indeed been concluded between
Greece and Bulgaria in May, 1912, but it was a defensive, not an
offensive alliance. It provided that in case Turkey attacked either
of these states, the other should come to its assistance with all
its forces, and that whether the object of the attack were the
territorial integrity of the nation or the rights guaranteed it by
international law or special conventions. Without the knowledge of
the Greek government, an offensive alliance against Turkey had in
March, 1912, been concluded between Servia and Bulgaria which
determined their respective military obligations in case of war and
the partition between them, in the event of victory, of the
conquered Turkish provinces in Europe. A similar offensive and
defensive alliance between Greece and Turkey was under
consideration, but before the plan was matured Bulgaria and Servia
had decided to declare war against Turkey. This decision had been
hastened by the Turkish massacres at Kochana and Berane, which
aroused the deepest indignation, especially in Bulgaria. Servia and
Bulgaria informed Greece that in three days they would mobilize
their forces for the purpose of imposing reforms on Turkey, and, if
within a specified time they did not receive a satisfactory reply,
they would invade the Ottoman territory and declare war. They
invited Greece on this short notice to co-operate with them by a
simultaneous mobilization. It was a critical moment not only for the
little kingdom of King George, but for that great cause of Hellenism
which for thousands of years had animated, and which still animated,
the souls of the Greek population in all Aegean lands.


King George himself was a ruler of large experience, of great
practical wisdom, and of fine diplomatic skill. He had shortly
before selected as prime minister the former Cretan insurgent, Mr.
Eleutherios Venizelos. It is significant that the new premier had
also taken the War portfolio. He foresaw the impending conflict--as
every wise statesman in Europe had foreseen it--and began to make
preparations for it. For the reorganization of the army and navy he
secured French and English experts, the former headed by General
Eydoux, the latter by Admiral Tufnel. By 1914 it was estimated that
the military and naval forces of the country would be thoroughly
trained and equipped, and war was not expected before that date. But
now in 1912 the hand of the Greek government was forced. And a
decision one way or the other was inevitable.

Mr. Venizelos had already proved himself an agitator, an orator, and
a politician. He was now to reveal himself not only to Greece but to
Europe as a wise statesman and an effective leader of his people.
The first test came in his answer to the invitation to join Bulgaria
and Servia within three days in a war against Turkey. Of all
possibilities open to him Mr. Venizelos rejected the programme of
continued isolation for Greece. There were those who glorified it as
splendid and majestic: to him under the existing circumstances it
seemed stupid in itself and certain to prove disastrous in its
results. Greece alone would never have been able to wage a war
against Turkey. And if Greece declined to participate in the
inevitable conflict, which the action of the two Slav states had
only hastened, then whether they won or Turkey won, Greece was bound
to lose. It was improbable that the Ottoman power should come out of
the contest victorious; but, if the unexpected happened, what would
be the position, not only of the millions of Greeks in the Turkish
Empire, but of the little kingdom of Greece itself on whose northern
boundary the insolent Moslem oppressor, flushed with his triumph
over Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro, would be immovably
entrenched? On the other hand if these Christian states themselves
should succeed, as seemed likely, in destroying the Ottoman Empire
in Europe, the Kingdom of Greece, if she now remained a passive
spectator of their struggles, would find in the end that Macedonia
had come into the possession of the victorious Slavs, and the Great
Idea of the Greeks--the idea of expansion into Hellenic lands
eastward toward Constantinople--exploded as an empty bubble. It was
Mr. Venizelos's conclusion that Greece could not avoid participating
in the struggle. Neutrality would have entailed the complete
bankruptcy of Hellenism in the Orient. There remained only the
alternative of co-operation--co-operation with Turkey or
co-operation with the Christian states of the Balkans.


How near Greece was to an alliance with Turkey the world may never
know. At the nothing of the sort was even suspected. It was not
until Turkey had been overpowered by the forces of the four
Christian states and the attitude of Bulgaria toward the other three
on the question of the division of the conquered territories had
become irreconcilable and menacing that Mr. Venizelos felt it proper
to communicate to the Greek people the history of the negotiations
by which the Greek government had bound their country to a partner
now felt to be so unreasonable and greedy. Feeling in Greece was
running high against Bulgaria. The attacks on Mr. Venizelos's
government were numerous and bitter. He was getting little or no
credit for the victory that had been won against Turkey, while his
opponents denounced him for sacrificing the fruits of that victory
to Bulgaria. The Greek nation especially resented the occupation by
Bulgarian troops of the Aegean coast lands with their large Hellenic
population which lay between the Struma and the Mesta including the
cities of Seres and Drama and especially Kavala with its fine harbor
and its hinterland famed for crops of choice tobacco.

It was on the fourth of July, 1913, a few days after the outbreak of
the war between Bulgaria and her late allies, that Mr. Venizelos
made his defence in an eloquent and powerful speech at a special
session of the Greek parliament. The accusation against him was not
only that during the late war he had sacrificed Greek interests to
Bulgaria but that he had committed a fatal blunder in joining her in
the campaign against Turkey. His reply was that since Greece could
not stand alone he had to seek allies in the Balkans, and that it
was not his fault if the choice had fallen on Bulgaria. He had
endeavored to maintain peace with Turkey. Listen to his own words:

"I did not seek war against the Ottoman Empire. I would not have
sought war at a later date if I could have obtained any
adjustment of the Cretan question--that thorn in the side of
Greece which can no longer be left as it is without rendering a
normal political life absolutely impossible for us. I endeavored
to adjust this question, to continue the policy of a close
understanding with the neighboring empire, in the hope of
obtaining in this way the introduction of reforms which would
render existence tolerable to the millions of Greeks within the
Ottoman Empire."


It was this Cretan question, even more than the Macedonian question,
which in 1897 had driven Greece, single-handed and unprepared, into
a war with Turkey in which she was destined to meet speedy and
overwhelming defeat. It was this same "accursed Cretan question," as
Mr. Venizelos called it, which now drew the country into a military
alliance against her Ottoman neighbor who, until too late, refused
to make any concession either to the just claims of the Cretans or
to the conciliatory proposals of the Greek government.

Lying midway between three continents, the island of Crete has
played a large part both in ancient and modern history. The
explorations and excavations of Sir Arthur Evans at Cnossus seem to
prove that the Homeric civilization of Tiryns and Mycenae was
derived from Crete, whose earliest remains carry us back three
thousand years before the Christian era. And if Crete gave to
ancient Greece her earliest civilization she has insisted on giving
herself to modern Greece. It is a natural union; for the Cretans are
Greeks, undiluted with Turk, Albanian, or Slav blood, though with
some admixture of Italian. The one obstacle to this marriage of
kindred souls has been Turkey. For Crete was taken from the
Venetians by the Turks in 1669, after a twenty years' siege of
Candia, the capital. A portion of the inhabitants embraced the creed
of their conquerors, so that at the present time perhaps two-thirds
of the population are Christian and one-third Moslem. The result has
been to make Crete the worst governed province of the Ottoman
Empire. In Turkey in Europe diversity of race has kept the
Christians quarreling with one another; in Crete diversity of
religion plunges the same race into internecine war as often as once
in ten years. The island had been the scene of chronic insurrections
all through the nineteenth century. Each ended as a rule with a
promise of the Sultan to confer upon the Cretans some form of local
self-government, with additional privileges, financial or other. But
these promises were never fulfilled. Things went from bad to worse.
The military intervention of Greece in 1897 led to war with Turkey
in which she was disastrously defeated. The European Powers had
meantime intervened and they decided that Crete should be endowed
with autonomy under the sovereignty of the Sultan, and in 1898 they
appointed Prince George of Greece as High Commissioner. Between the
political parties of the island and the representatives of the
Powers the Prince, who worked steadily for the welfare of Crete, had
a difficult task, and in 1906 he withdrew, his successor being Mr.
Zaimis, a former prime minister of Greece. The new commissioner was
able to report to the protecting Powers in 1908 that a gendarmerie
had been established, that tranquility was being maintained, and
that the Moslem population enjoyed safety and security. Thereupon
the Powers began to withdraw their forces from the island. And the
project for annexation with Greece, which had been proclaimed by the
Cretan insurgents under Mr. Venizelos in 1905 and which the insular
assembly had hastened to endorse, was once more voted by the
assembly, who went on to provide for the government of the island in
the name of the King of Greece. I have not time to follow in detail
the history of this programme of annexation. Suffice it to say that
the Cretans ultimately went so far as to elect members to sit in the
Greek Parliament at Athens, and that Turkey had given notice that
their admission to the chamber would be regarded as a casus belli. I
saw them on their arrival in Athens in October 1912, where they
received a most enthusiastic welcome from the Greeks, while
everybody stopped to admire their picturesque dress, their superb
physique, and their dignified demeanor. If Mr. Venizelos excluded
these delegates from the chamber he would defy the sentiments of the
Greek people. If he admitted them, Turkey would proclaim war.


The course actually pursued by Mr. Venizelos in this predicament he
himself explained to the parliament in the speech delivered at the
close of the war against Turkey from which I have already quoted. He
declared to his astonished countrymen that in his desire to reach a
close understanding with Turkey he had arrived at the point where he
no longer demanded a union of Crete with Greece, "knowing it was too
much for the Ottoman Empire." What he did ask for was the
recognition of the right of the Cretan deputies to sit in the Greek
chamber, while Crete itself should remain an autonomous state under
the sovereignty of the Sultan. Nay, Mr. Venizelos was so anxious to
prevent war with Turkey that he made another concession, for which,
he frankly confessed, his political opponents if things had turned
out differently would have impeached him for high treason. He
actually proposed, in return for the recognition of the right of the
Cretan deputies to sit in the Greek chamber, that Greece should pay
on behalf of Crete an annual tribute to the Porte.

Happily for Mr. Venizelos's government the Young Turk party who then
governed the Ottoman Empire rejected all these proposals. Meanwhile
their misgovernment and massacre of Christians in Macedonia were
inflaming the red Slav nations and driving them into War against
Turkey. When matters had reached a crisis, the reactionary and
incompetent Young Turk party were forced out of power and a wise and
prudent statesman, the venerable Kiamil Pasha, succeeded to the
office of Grand Vizier. He was all for conciliation and compromise
with the Greek government, whom he had often warned against an
alliance with Bulgaria, and he had in readiness a solution of the
Cretan question which he was certain would be satisfactory to both
Greece and Turkey. But these concessions were now too late. Greece
had decided to throw in her lot with Servia and Bulgaria. And a
decree was issued for the mobilization of the Greek troops.


There is not time, nor have I the qualifications, to describe the
military operations which followed. In Greece the Crown Prince was
appointed commanding general, and the eve proved him one of the
great captains of our day. The prime minister, who was also minister
of war, furnished him with troops and munitions and supplies. The
plains and hills about Athens were turned into mock battlefields for
the training of raw recruits; and young Greeks from all parts of the
world--tens of thousands of them from America--poured in to protect
the fatherland and to fight the secular enemy of Europe. The Greek
government had undertaken to raise an army of 125,000 men to
co-operate with the Allies; it was twice as large a number as even
the friends of Greece dreamed possible; yet before the war closed
King Constantine had under his banner an army of 250,000 men
admirably armed, clothed, and equipped;--each soldier indeed having
munitions fifty per cent in excess of the figure fixed by the
general staff.


The Greek army, which had been concentrated at Larissa, entered
Macedonia by the Pass and the valley of the Xerias River. The Turks
met the advancing force at Elassona but retired after a few hours'
fighting. They took their stand at the pass of Sarandaporon, from
which they were driven by a day's hard fighting on the part of the
Greek army and the masterly tactics of the Crown Prince. On October
23 the Greeks were in possession of Serndje. Thence they pushed
forward on both sides of the Aliakmon River toward Veria, which the
Crown Prince entered with his staff on the morning of October 30.
They had covered 150 miles from Larissa, with no facilities but
wagons for feeding the army and supplying ammunition. But at Veria
they struck the line of railway from Monastir to Saloniki. Not far
away was Jenitsa, where the Turkish army numbering from 35,000 to
40,000 had concentrated to make a stand for the protection of
Saloniki. The battle of Jenitsa was fiercely contested but the
Greeks were victorious though they lost about 2000 men. This victory
opened the way to Saloniki. The Turkish armies which defended it
having been scattered by the Greek forces, that city surrendered to
Crown Prince Constantine on the eighth of November. It was only
three weeks since the Greek army had left Larissa and it had
disposed of about 60,000 Turks on the way.

On the outbreak of war Greece had declared a blockade of all Turkish
ports. To the usual list of contraband articles there were added not
only coal, concerning which the practice of belligerent nations had
varied, but also machine oil, which so far as I know was then for
the first time declared contraband of war. As Turkey imported both
coal and lubricants, the purpose of this policy was of course to
paralyze transportation in the Ottoman Empire. Incidentally I may
say the prohibition of lubricating oil caused much inconvenience to
American commerce; not, however, primarily on its own account, but
because of its confusion, in the minds of Greek officials, with such
harmless substances as cotton seed oil and oleo. The Greek navy not
only maintained a very effective blockade but also took possession of
all the Aegean Islands under Turkish rule, excepting Rhodes and the
Dodecanese, which Italy held as a temporary pledge for the
fulfilment by Turkey of some of the conditions of the treaty by
which they had closed their recent war. It will be seen, therefore,
that the navy was a most important agent in the campaign, and Greece
was the only one of the Allies that had a navy. The Greek navy was
sufficient not only to terrorize the Turkish navy, which it reduced
to complete impotence, but also to paralyze Turkish trade and
commerce with the outside world, to embarrass railway transportation
within the Empire, to prevent the sending of reinforcements to
Macedonia or the Aegean coast of Thrace, and to detach from Turkey
those Aegean Islands over which she still exercised effective


On land the other Allies had been not less active than Greece.
Montenegro had fired the first shot of the war. And the brave
soldiers of King Nicholas, the illustrious ruler of the one Balkan
state which the Turks had never conquered, were dealing deadly blows
to their secular enemy both in Novi Bazar and Albania.

As the Greeks had pressed into southern Macedonia, so the Servian
armies advanced through old Servia into northern and central
Macedonia. In their great victory over the Turkish forces at
Kumanovo they avenged the defeat of their ancestors at Kossovo five
hundred years before. Still marching southward they again defeated
the enemy in two great engagements, the one at Prilip and the other
at Monastir. The latter city had been the object of the Greek
advance to Florina, but when the prize fell to Servia, though the
Greeks were appointed, it made no breach in the friendship of the
two Allies. Already no doubt they were both gratified that the
spheres of their military occupation were conterminous and that no
Turkish territory remained for Bulgaria to occupy west of the Vardar


While Greece and Servia were scattering, capturing, or destroying
the Turkish troops stationed in Macedonia, and closing in on that
province from north and south like an irresistible vise, it fell to
Bulgaria to meet the enemy's main army in the plains of Eastern
Thrace. The distribution of the forces of the Allies was the natural
result of their respective geographical location. Macedonia to the
west of the Vardar and Bregalnitza Rivers was the only part of
Turkey which adjoined Greece and Servia. Thrace, on the other hand,
marched with the southern boundary of Bulgaria from the sources of
the Mesta River to the Black Sea, and its eastern half was
intersected diagonally by the main road from Sofia to Adrianople and
Constantinople. Along this line the Bulgarians sent their forces
against the common enemy as soon as war was declared. The swift
story of their military exploits, the record of their brilliant
victories, struck Europe with amazement. Here was a country which
only thirty-five years earlier had been an unknown and despised
province of Turkey in Europe now overwhelming the armies of the
Ottoman Empire in the great victories of Kirk Kilisse, Lule Burgas,
and Chorlu. In a few weeks the irresistible troops of King Ferdinand
had reached the Chataldja line of fortifications. Only twenty-five
miles beyond lay Constantinople where they hoped to celebrate their
final triumph.


The Great Powers of Europe had other views. Even if the Bulgarian
delay at Chataldja--a delay probably due to exhaustion--had not
given the Turks time to strengthen their defences and reorganize
their forces, it is practically certain that the Bulgarian army
would not have been permitted to enter Constantinople. But with the
exception of the capital and its fortified fringe, all Turkey in
Europe now lay at the mercy of the Allies. The entire territory was
either already occupied by their troops or could be occupied at
leisure. Only at three isolated points was the Ottoman power
unsubdued. The city of Adrianople, though closely besieged by the
Bulgarians, still held out, and the great fortresses of Scutari in
Northern Albania and Janina in Epirus remained in the hands of their
Turkish garrisons.

The power of Turkey had collapsed in a few weeks. Whether the ruin
was due to inefficiency and corruption in government or the
injection by the Young Turk party of politics into the army or
exhaustion resulting from the recent war with Italy or to other
causes more obscure, we need not pause to inquire. The disaster
itself, however, had spread far enough in the opinion of Europe, and
a Peace Conference was summoned in December. Delegates from the
belligerent states and ambassadors from the Great Powers came
together in London. But their labors in the cause of peace proved
unavailing. Turkey was unwilling to surrender Adrianople and
Bulgaria insisted on it as a sine qua non. The Peace Conference
broke up and hostilities were resumed. The siege of Adrianople was
pressed by the Bulgarians with the aid of 60,000 Servian troops. It
was taken by storm on March 26. Already, on March 6, Janina had
yielded to the well directed attacks of King Constantine. And the
fighting ended with the spectacular surrender on April 23 of Scutari
to King Nicholas, who for a day at least defied the united will of

Turkey was finally compelled to accept terms of peace. In January,
while the London Peace Conference was still in session, Kiamil
Pasha, who had endeavored to prepare the nation for the territorial
sacrifice he had all along recognized as inevitable, was driven from
power and his war minister, Nazim Pasha, murdered through an
uprising of the Young Turk party executed by Enver Bey, who himself
demanded the resignation of Kiamil and carried it to the Sultan and
secured its acceptance. The insurgents set up Mahmud Shevket Pasha
as Grand Vizier and made the retention of Adrianople their cardinal
policy. But the same inexorable fate overtook the new government in
April as faced Kiamil in January. The Powers were insistent on
peace, and the successes of the Allies left no alternative and no
excuse for delay. The Young Turk party who had come to power on the
Adrianople issue were accordingly compelled to ratify the cession to
the allies of the city with all its mosques and tombs and historic
souvenirs. The Treaty of London, which proved to be short-lived, was
signed on May 30.


The treaty of peace provided that beyond a line drawn from Enos near
the mouth of the Maritza River on the Aegean Sea to Midia on the
coast of the Black Sea all Turkey should be ceded to the Allies
except Albania, whose boundaries were to be fixed by the Great
Powers. It was also stipulated that the Great Powers should
determine the destiny of the Aegean Islands belonging to Turkey
which Greece now claimed by right of military occupation and the
vote of their inhabitants (nearly all of whom were Greek). A more
direct concession to Greece was the withdrawal of Turkish
sovereignty over Crete. The treaty also contained financial and
other provisions, but they do not concern us here. The essential
point is that, with the exception of Constantinople and a narrow
hinterland for its protection, the Moslems after more than five
centuries of possession had been driven out of Europe.

This great and memorable consummation was the achievement of the
united nations of the Balkans. It was not a happy augury for the
immediate future to recall the historic fact that the past successes
of the Moslems had been due to dissensions and divisions among their
Christian neighbors.

[Map: map2.png
Caption: Map showing the Turkish Territories occupied by the Armies
of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Servia at the close of the War
against Turkey]



The Treaty of London officially eliminated Turkey from the further
settlement of the Balkan question. Thanks to the good will of the
Great Powers toward herself or to their rising jealousy of Bulgaria
she was not stripped of her entire European possessions west of the
Chataldja lines where the victorious Bulgarians had planted their
standards. The Enos-Midia frontier not only guaranteed to her a
considerable portion of territory which the Bulgarians had occupied
but extended her coast line, from the point where the Chataldja
lines strike the Sea of Marmora, out through the Dardanelles and
along the Aegean littoral to the mouth of the Maritza River. To that
extent the Great Powers may be said to have re-established the Turks
once more in Europe from which they had been practically driven by
the Balkan Allies and especially the Bulgarians. All the rest of her
European possessions, however, Turkey was forced to surrender either
in trust to the Great Powers or absolutely to the Balkan Allies.

The great question now was how the Allies should divide among
themselves the spoils of war.


This was a difficult matter to adjust. Before the war began, as we
have already seen, a Treaty of Partition had been negotiated between
Bulgaria and Servia, but conditions had changed materially in the
interval and Servia now demanded a revision of the treaty and
refused to withdraw her troops from Central Macedonia, which the
treaty had marked for reversion to Bulgaria. In consequence the
relations between the governments and peoples of Servia and Bulgaria
were dangerously strained. The Bulgarians denounced the Servians as
perfidious and faithless and the Servians responded by excoriating
the colossal greed and intolerance of the Bulgarians. The immemorial
mutual hatred of the two Slav nations was stirred to its lowest
depths, and it boiled and sputtered like a witches' cauldron.

In Eastern Macedonia Bulgarians and Greeks were each eagerly pushing
their respective spheres of occupation without much regard to the
rights or feeling of the other Ally. Though the Bulgarians had not
forgiven the Greeks for anticipating them in the capture of Saloniki
in the month of November, the rivalry between them in the following
winter and spring had for its stage the territory between the Struma
and the Mesta Rivers--and especially the quadrilateral marked by
Kavala and Orphani on the coast and Seres and Drama on the line of
railway from Saloniki to Adrianople. They had one advantage over the
Bulgarians: their troops could be employed to secure extensions of
territory for the Hellenic kingdom at a time when Bulgaria still
needed the bulk of her forces to fight the Turks at Chataldja and
Adrianople. Hence the Greeks occupied towns in the district from
which Bulgarian troops had been recalled. Nor did they hesitate to
dislodge scattered Bulgarian troops which their ally had left behind
to establish a claim of occupation. Naturally disputes arose between
the military commanders and these led to repeated armed encounters.
On March 5 Greeks and Bulgarians fought at Nigrita as they
subsequently fought at Pravishta, Leftera, Panghaion, and Anghista.

This conduct of the Allies toward one another while the common enemy
was still in the field boded ill for their future relations. "Our
next war will be with Bulgaria," said the man on the street in
Athens, and this bellicose sentiment was reciprocated alike by the
Bulgarian people and the Bulgarian army. The secular mutual enmities
and animosities of the Greeks and Bulgarians, which self-interest
had suppressed long enough to enable the Balkan Allies to make
European Turkey their own, burst forth with redoubled violence under
the stimulus of the imperious demand which the occasion now made
upon them all for an equitable distribution of the conquered
territory. For ages the fatal vice of the Balkan nations has been
the immoderate and intolerant assertion by each of its own claims
coupled with contemptuous disregard of the rights of others.


There were also external causes which contributed to the deepening
tragedy in the Balkans. Undoubtedly the most potent was the
dislocation of the plans of the Allies by the creation of an
independent Albania. This new kingdom was called into being by the
voice of the European concert at the demand of Austria-Hungary
supported by Italy.

The controlling force in politics, though not the only force, is
self-interest. Austria-Hungary had long sought an outlet through
Macedonia to the Aegean by way of Saloniki. It was also the aim of
Servia to reach the Adriatic. But the foreign policy of
Austria-Hungary, which has millions of Serbs under its dominion, has
steadily opposed the aggrandizement of Servia. And now that Servia
and her allies had taken possession of Macedonia and blocked the
path of Austria-Hungary to Saloniki, it was not merely revenge, it
was self-interest pursuing a consistent foreign policy, which moved
the Dual Monarchy to make the cardinal feature of its Balkan
programme the exclusion of Servia from access to the Adriatic Sea.
Before the first Balkan war began the Adriatic littoral was under
the dominion of Austria-Hungary and Italy, for though Montenegro and
European Turkey were their maritime neighbors neither of them had
any naval strength. Naturally these two dominant powers desired that
after the close of the Balkan war they should not be in a worse
position in the Adriatic than heretofore. But if Servia were allowed
to expand westward to the Adriatic, their supremacy might in the
future be challenged. For Servia might enter into special relations
with her great sister Slav state, Russia, or a confederation might
be formed embracing all the Balkan states between the Black Sea and
the Adriatic: and, in either event, Austria-Hungary and Italy would
no longer enjoy the unchallenged supremacy on the Adriatic coasts
which was theirs so long as Turkey held dominion over the maritime
country lying between Greece and Montenegro. As a necessity of
practical politics, therefore, there emerged the Austro-Italian
policy of an independent Albania. But natural and essential as this
policy was for Italy and Austria-Hungary, it was fatal to Servia's
dream of expansion to the Adriatic; it set narrow limits to the
northward extension of Greece into Epirus, and the southward
extension of Montenegro below Scutari; it impelled these Allies to
seek compensation in territory that Bulgaria had regarded as her
peculiar preserve; and as a consequence it seriously menaced the
existence of the Balkan Alliance torn as it already was by mutual
jealousies, enmities, aggressions, and recriminations.


The first effect of the European fiat regarding an independent
Albania was the recoil of Servia against Bulgaria. Confronted by the
force majeure of the Great Powers which estopped her advance to the
Adriatic, Servia turned her anxious regard toward the Gulf of
Saloniki and the Aegean Sea. Already her victorious armies had
occupied Macedonia from the Albanian frontier eastward beyond the
Vardar River to Strumnitza, Istib, and Kochana, and southward below
Monastir and Ghevgheli, where they touched the boundary of the Greek
occupation of Southern Macedonia. An agreement with the Greeks, who
held the city of Saloniki and its hinterland as well as the whole
Chalcidician Peninsula, would ensure Servia an outlet to the sea.
And the merchants of Saloniki--mostly the descendants of Jews
expelled from Spain in the fifteenth century--were shrewd enough to
recognize the advantage to their city of securing the commerce of
Servia, especially as they were destined to lose, in consequence of
hostile tariffs certain to be established by the conquerors, a
considerable portion of the trade which had formerly flowed to them
without let or hindrance from a large section of European Turkey.
The government of Greece was equally favorably disposed to this
programme; for, in the first place, it was to its interest to
cultivate friendly relations with Servia, in view of possible
embroilments with Bulgaria; and, in the second place, it had to
countercheck the game of those who wanted either to make Saloniki a
free city or to incorporate it in a Big Bulgaria, and who were using
with some effect the argument that the annexation of the city to
Greece meant the throttling of its trade and the annihilation of its
prosperity. The interests of the city of Saloniki, the interests of
Greece, and the interests of Servia all combined to demand the free
flow of Servian trade by way of Saloniki. And if no other power
obtained jurisdiction over any Macedonian territory through which
that trade passed, it would be easy for the Greek and Servian
governments to come to an understanding.


Just here, however, was the rub. The secret treaty of March, 1912,
providing for the offensive and defensive alliance of Bulgaria and
Servia against the Ottoman Empire regulated, in case of victory, the
division of the conquered territory between the Allies. And the
extreme limit, on the south and east, of Turkish territory assigned
to Servia by this treaty was fixed by a line starting from Ochrida
on the borders of Albania and running northeastward across the
Vardar River a few miles above Veles and thence, following the same
general direction, through Ovcepolje and Egri Palanka to Golema Vreh
on the frontier of Bulgaria--a terminus some twenty miles southeast
of the meeting point of Servia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. During the
war with Turkey the Servian armies had paid no attention to the
Ochrida-Golema Vreh line. The great victory over the Turks at
Kumanovo, by which the Slav defeat at Kossovo five hundred years
earlier was avenged, was, it is true, won at a point north of the
line in question. But the subsequent victories of Prilip and
Monastir were gained to the south of it--far, indeed, into the heart
of the Macedonian territory recognized by the treaty as Bulgarian.

If you look at a map you will see that the boundary between Servia
and Bulgaria, starting from the Danube, runs in a slightly
undulating line due south. Now what the military forces of King
Peter did during the war of the Balkan states with the Ottoman
Empire was to occupy all European Turkey south of Servia between the
prolongation of that boundary line and the new Kingdom of Albania
till they met the Hellenic army advancing northward under Crown
Prince Constantine, when the two governments agreed on a common
boundary for New Servia and New Greece along a line starting from
Lake Presba and running eastward between Monastir and Florina to the
Vardar River a little to the south of Ghevgheli.


But this arrangement between Greece and Servia would leave no
territory for Bulgaria in Central and Western Macedonia! Yet Servia
had solemnly bound herself by treaty not to ask for any Turkish
territory below the Ochrida-Golema Vreh line. There was no similar
treaty with Greece, but Bulgaria regarded the northern frontier of
New Greece as a matter for adjustment between the two governments.
Servia, withdrawn behind the Ochrida-Golema Vreh line in accordance
with the terms of the treaty, would at any rate have nothing to say
about the matter. And, although the Bulgarian government never
communicated, officially or unofficially, its own views to Greece or
Servia, I believe we should not make much mistake in asserting that
a line drawn from Ochrida to Saloniki (which Bulgaria in spite of
the Greek occupation continued to claim) would roughly represent the
limit of its voluntary concession. Now if you imagine a base line
drawn from Saloniki to Golema Vreh, you have an equilateral triangle
resting on Ochrida as apex. And this equilateral triangle represents
approximately what Bulgaria claimed in the western half of Macedonia
as her own.

The war between the Allies was fought over the possession of this
triangle. The larger portion of it had in the war against Turkey
been occupied by the forces of Servia; and the nation, inflamed by
the military spirit of the army, had made up its mind that, treaty
or no treaty, it should not be evacuated. On the south, especially
above Vodena, the Greeks had occupied a section of the fatal
triangle. And the two governments had decided that they would not
tolerate the driving of a Bulgarian wedge between New Servia and New
Greece. Bulgaria, on the other hand, was inexorable in her demands
on Servia for the fulfilment of the terms of the Treaty of
Partition. At the same time she worried the Greek government about
the future of Saloniki, and that at a time when the Greek people
were criticizing Mr. Venizelos for having allowed the Bulgarians to
occupy regions in Macedonia and Thrace inhabited by Greeks, notably
Seres, Drama, and Kavala, and the adjacent country between the
Struma and the Mesta. These were additional causes of dissension
between the Allies. But the primary disruptive force was the
attraction, the incompatible attraction, exerted on them all by that
central Macedonian triangle whose apex rested on the ruins of Czar
Samuel's palace at Ochrida and whose base extended from Saloniki to
Golema Vreh.


From that base line to the Black Sea nearly all European Turkey
(with the exception of the Chalcidician Peninsula, including
Saloniki and its hinterland) had been occupied by the military
forces of Bulgaria. Why then was Bulgaria so insistent on getting
beyond that base line, crossing the Vardar, and possessing herself
of Central Macedonia up to Ochrida and the eastern frontier of

The answer, in brief, is that it has been the undeviating policy of
Bulgaria, ever since her own emancipation by Russia in 1877, to free
the Bulgarians still under the Ottoman yoke and unite them in a
common fatherland. The Great Bulgaria which was created by Russia in
the treaty she forced on Turkey--the Treaty of San Stefano--was
constructed under the influence of the idea of a union of the
Bulgarian race in a single state under a common government. This
treaty was afterward torn to pieces by the Congress of Berlin, which
set up for the Bulgarians a very diminutive principality. But the
Bulgarians, from the palace down to the meanest hut, have always
been animated by that racial and national idea. The annexation of
Eastern Roumelia in 1885 was a great step in the direction of its
realization. And it was to carry that programme to completion that
Bulgaria made war against Turkey in 1912. Her primary object was the
liberation of the Bulgarians in Macedonia and their incorporation in
a Great Bulgaria. And the Treaty of Partition with Servia seemed, in
the event of victory over Turkey, to afford a guarantee of the
accomplishment of her long-cherished purpose. It was a strange irony
of fate that while as a result of the geographical situation of the
belligerents Bulgaria, at the close of the war with Turkey, found
herself in actual occupation of all European Turkey from the Black
Sea up to the River Struma and beyond,--that is, all Thrace to
Chataldja as well as Eastern Macedonia--her allies were in
possession of the bulk of Macedonia, including the entire triangle
she had planned to inject between the frontiers of New Servia and
New Greece!

The Bulgarians claimed this triangle on ethnological grounds. Its
inhabitants, they asseverated, were their brethren, as genuinely
Bulgarian as the subjects of King Ferdinand.


Of all perplexing subjects in the world few can be more baffling
than the distribution of races in Macedonia. The Turks classify the
population, not by language or by physical characteristics, but by
religion. A Greek is a member of the Orthodox Church who recognizes
the patriarch of Constantinople; a Bulgarian, on the other hand, is
one of the same religious faith who recognizes the exarch; and since
the Servians in Turkey have no independent church but recognize the
patriarchate they are often, as opposed to Bulgarians, called
Greeks. Race, being thus merged in religion--in something that rests
on the human will and not on physical characteristics fixed by
nature--can in that part of the world be changed as easily as
religion. A Macedonian may be a Greek to-day, a Bulgarian to-morrow,
and a Servian next day. We have all heard of the captain in the
comic opera who "in spite of all temptations to belong to other
nations" remained an Englishman. There would have been nothing comic
in this assertion had the redoubtable captain lived in Macedonia. In
that land a race is a political party composed of members with
common customs and religion who stand for a "national idea" which
they strenuously endeavor to force on others.

Macedonia is the land of such racial propaganda. As the Turkish
government forbids public meetings for political purposes, the
propaganda takes an ecclesiastical and linguistic form. Each "race"
seeks to convert the people to its faith by the agency of schools
and churches, which teach and use its own language. Up to the middle
of the nineteenth century the Greeks, owing to their privileged
ecclesiastical position in the Ottoman Empire, had exclusive
spiritual and educational jurisdiction over the members of the
Orthodox Church in Macedonia. The opposition of the Bulgarians led,
as we have already seen, to the establishment in 1870 of the
exarchate, that is, of an independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church with
the exarch at its head. The Bulgarian propaganda in Macedonia
demanded the appointment of bishops to conduct churches and schools
under the authority of the exarchate. In 1891 the Porte conceded
Bulgarian bishops to Ochrida and Uskub, in 1894 to Veles and
Nevrokop, and in 1898 to Monastir, Strumnitza, and Dibra. As has
been well said, the church of the exarchate was really occupied in
creating Bulgarians: it offered to the Slavonic population of
Macedonia services and schools conducted in a language which they
understood and showed a genuine interest in their education. By 1900
Macedonia had 785 Bulgarian schools, 39,892 pupils, and 1,250

The Servian propaganda in Macedonia was at a disadvantage in
comparison with the Bulgarian because it had not a separate
ecclesiastical organization. As we have already seen, the orthodox
Serbs owe allegiance to the Greek patriarch in Constantinople. And
at first they did not push their propaganda as zealously or as
successfully as the Bulgarians. In fact the national aspirations of
the people of Servia had been in the direction of Bosnia and
Herzegovina; but after these provinces were assigned to Austria by
the Treaty of Berlin, a marked change of attitude occurred in the
Servian government and nation. They now claimed as Servian the
Slavonic population of Macedonia which hitherto Bulgaria had
cultivated as her own. The course of politics in Bulgaria, notably
her embroilment with Russia, inured to the advantage of the Servian
propaganda in Macedonia, which after 1890 made great headway. The
Servian government made liberal contributions for Macedonian
schools. And before the nineteenth century closed the Servian
propaganda could claim 178 schools in the vilayets of Saloniki and
Monastir and in Uskub with 321 teachers and 7,200 pupils.

These Slav propagandists made serious encroachments upon the Greek
cause, which, only a generation earlier, had possessed a practical
monopoly in Macedonia. Greek efforts too were for a time almost
paralyzed in consequence of the disastrous issue of the
Greco-Turkish war in 1897. Nevertheless in 1901 the Greeks claimed
927 schools in the vilayets of Saloniki and Monastir with 1,397
teachers and 57,607 pupils.


The more bishops, churches, and schools a nationality could show,
the stronger its claim on the reversion of Macedonia when the Turk
should be driven out of Europe! There was no doubt much juggling
with statistics. And though schools and churches were provided by
Greeks, Servians, and Bulgarians to satisfy the spiritual and
intellectual needs of their kinsmen in Macedonia, there was always
the ulterior (which was generally the dominant) object of staking
out claims in the domain soon to drop from the paralyzed hand of the
Turk. The bishops may have been good shepherds of their flocks, but
the primary qualification for the office was, I imagine, the gift of
aggressive political leadership. The Turkish government now favored
one nationality and now another as the interests of the moment
seemed to suggest. With an impish delight in playing off Slav
against Greek and Servian against Bulgarian, its action on
applications for bishoprics was generally taken with a view to
embarrassing the rival Christian nationalities. And it could when
necessary keep the propagandists within severe limits. The
Bulgarians grew bold after securing so many bishoprics in the
nineties and the bishop at Uskub thought to open new schools and
churches. But the Turkish governor--the Vali--summoned him and
delivered this warning: "O Bulgarian, sit upon the eggs you have,
and do not burst your belly by trying to lay more."

How are we to determine the racial complexion of a country in which
race is certified by religion, in which religion is measured by the
number of bishops and churches and schools, in which bishops and
churches and schools are created and maintained by a propaganda
conducted by competing external powers, and in which the results of
the propaganda are determined largely by money and men sent from
Sofia, Athens, and Belgrade, subject always to the caprice and
manipulation of the Sultan's government at Constantinople?

In Southern Macedonia from the Thessalian frontier as far north as
the parallel of Saloniki, the population is almost exclusively
Greek, as is also the whole of the Chalcidician Peninsula, while
further east the coast region between the Struma and the Mesta is
also predominantly Greek. Eastern Macedonia to the north of the line
of Seres and Drama and south of the Kingdom of Bulgaria is generally
Bulgarian. On the northwest from the city of Uskub up to the
confines of Servia and Bosnia, Macedonia is mixed Serb, Bulgarian,
and Albanian, with the Serb element preponderating as you travel
northward and the Albanian westward.


The difficulty comes when we attempt to give the racial character of
Central Macedonia, which is equally remote from Greece, Bulgaria,
and Servia. I travelled through this district last summer. On June
29, when the war broke out between the Allies I found myself in
Uskub. Through the courtesy of the Servian authorities I was
permitted to ride on the first military train which left the city.
Descending at Veles I drove across Central Macedonia by way of
Prilip to Monastir, spending the first night, for lack of a better
bed, in the carriage, which was guarded by Servian sentries. From
Monastir I motored over execrable roads to Lake Presba and Lake
Ochrida and thence beyond the city of Ochrida to Struga on the Black
Drin, from which I looked out on the mountains of Albania.

Coming from Athens where for many months I had listened to patriotic
stories of the thorough permeation of Macedonia by Greek settlements
my first surprise was my inability to discover a Greek majority in
Central Macedonia. In most of the cities a fraction of the
population indeed is Greek and as a rule the colony is prosperous.
This is especially true in Monastir, which is a stronghold of Greek
influence. But while half the population of Monastir is Mohammedan
the so-called Bulgarians form the majority of the Christian
population, though both Servians and Roumanians have conducted
energetic propaganda. In Veles two-thirds of the population are
Christians and nearly all of these are called Bulgarians. In Ochrida
the lower town is Mohammedan and the upper Christian, and the
Christian population is almost exclusively of the Bulgarian Church.

It does not follow, however, that the people of Central Macedonia,
even if Bulgarian churches are in the ascendant among them, are
really connected by ties of blood and language with Bulgaria rather
than with Servia. If history is invoked we shall have to admit that
under Dushan this region was a part of the Serb empire as under
Simeon and Asen it was part of the Bulgarian. If an appeal is made
to anthropology the answer is still uncertain. For while the
Mongolian features--broad flat faces, narrow eyes, and straight
black hair--which characterize the subjects of King Ferdinand can be
seen--I myself have seen them--as far west as Ochrida, they may also
be found all over Northern Servia as far as Belgrade though the
Servian physical type is entirely different. There is no fixed
connection between the anthropological unit and the linguistic or
political unit. Furthermore, while there are well-marked groups who
call themselves Serbs or Bulgarians there is a larger population not
so clearly differentiated by physique or language. Undoubtedly they
are Slavs. But whether Serb or Bulgarian, or intermediate between
the two, no one to-day can demonstrate. Central Macedonia has its
own dialects, any one of which under happy literary auspices might
have developed into a separate language. And the men who speak them
to-day can more or less understand either Servian or Bulgarian.
Hence as the anonymous and highly authoritative author of "Turkey in
Europe," who calls himself Odysseus, declares:

"The practical conclusion is that neither Greeks, Servians, nor
Bulgarians have a right to claim Central Macedonia. The fact that
they all do so shows how weak each claim must be."

Yet it was Bulgaria's intransigent assertion of her claim to Central
Macedonia which led to the war between the Allies.

It will be instructive to consider the attitude of each of the
governments concerned on the eve of the conflict. I hope I am in a
position correctly to report it. Certainly I had unusual
opportunities to learn it. For besides the official position I held
in Athens during the entire course of both Balkan wars I visited the
Balkan states in June and was accorded the privilege of discussing
the then pending crisis with the prime ministers of Roumania,
Servia, and Bulgaria. It would of course be improper to quote them;
nay more, I feel myself under special obligation sacredly to respect
the confidence they reposed in me. But the frank disclosures they
made in these conversations gave me a point of view for the
comprehension of the situation and the estimate of facts which I
have found simply invaluable. And if Mr. Venizelos in Athens, or Mr.
Maioresco in Bukarest, or Mr. Pashitch in Belgrade, or Dr. Daneff,
who is no longer prime minister of Bulgaria, should ever chance to
read what I am saying, I hope each will feel that I have fairly and
impartially presented the attitude which their respective
governments had taken at this critical moment on the vital issue
then confronting them.


I have already indicated the situation of Servia. Compelled by the
Great Powers to withdraw her troops from Albania, after they had
triumphantly made their way to the Adriatic, she was now requested
by Bulgaria to evacuate Central Macedonia up to the Ochrida-Golema
Vreh line in accordance with the terms of the treaty between the two
countries which was ratified in March, 1912. The Servian government
believed that for the loss of Albania, which the treaty assumed
would be annexed to Servia, they were entitled to compensation in
Macedonia. And if now, instead of compensation for the loss of an
outlet on the Adriatic, they were to withdraw their forces from
Central Macedonia and allow Bulgaria to establish herself between
New Servia and New Greece, they would block their own way to
Saloniki, which was the only prospect now left of a Servian outlet
to the sea. Nor was this the whole story by any means. The army,
which comprised all able-bodied Servians, was in possession of
Central Macedonia; and the military leaders, with the usual
professional bias in favor of imperialism, dictated their
expansionist views to the government at Belgrade. If Bulgaria would
not voluntarily grant compensation for the loss of Albania, the
Servian people were ready to take it by force. They had also a
direct claim against Bulgaria. They had sent 60,000 soldiers to the
siege of Adrianople, which the Bulgarians had hitherto failed to
capture. And the Servians were now asking, in bitter irony, whether
they had gone to war solely for the benefit of Bulgaria; whether
besides helping her to win all Thrace and Eastern Macedonia they
were now to present her with Central Macedonia, and that at a time
when the European Concert had stripped them of the expected prize of
Albania with its much desired Adriatic littoral! This argument was
graphically presented on a map of which I secured a copy in
Belgrade. The legend on this map reads as follows:

"Territories occupied by Servia 55,000 square miles. Servia cedes
to her allies in the east and south 3,800 square miles. Servia
cedes to Albania 15,200 square miles. Servia retains 36,000
square miles. Territories occupied by Bulgaria to Enos-Midia,
51,200 square miles. The Bulgarians demand from the Servians
still 10,240 square miles. According to Bulgarian pretensions
Bulgaria should get 61,520 square miles and Servia only 25,760!"


When the treaty between Servia and Bulgaria was negotiated, it seems
to have been assumed that the theatre of a war with Turkey would be
Macedonia and that Thrace--the country from the Mesta to the Black
Sea--would remain intact to Turkey. And if the rest of Turkey in
Europe up to the Adriatic were conquered by the two Allies, the
Ochrida-Golema Vreh line would make a fairly equitable division
between them of the spoils of war. But with Albania denied to
Servia and Thrace occupied by Bulgaria, conditions had wholly
changed. The Servian government declared that the changed conditions
had abrogated the Treaty of Partition and that it was for the two
governments now to adjust themselves to the logic of events! On May
28 Mr. Pashitch, the Servian prime minister, formally demanded a
revision of the treaty. A personal interview with the Bulgarian
prime minister, Mr. Gueshoff, followed on June 2 at Tsaribrod. And
Mr. Gueshoff accepted Mr. Pashitch's suggestion (which originated
with Mr. Venizelos, the Greek prime minister) of a conference of
representatives of the four Allies at St. Petersburg. For it should
be added that, in the Treaty of Partition, the Czar had been named
as arbiter in case of any territorial dispute between the two

What followed in the next few days has never been clearly disclosed.
But it was of transcendent importance. I have always thought that if
Mr. Gueshoff, one of the authors of the Balkan Alliance, had been
allowed like Mr. Venizelos and Mr. Pashitch, to finish his work,
there would have been no war between the Allies. I did not enjoy the
personal acquaintance of Mr. Gueshoff, but I regarded him as a wise
statesman of moderate views, who was disposed to make reasonable
concessions for the sake of peace. But a whole nation in arms,
flushed with the sense of victory, is always dangerous to the
authority of civil government. If Mr. Gueshoff was ready to arrange
some accommodation with Mr. Pashitch, the military party in Bulgaria
was all the more insistent in its demands on Servia for the
evacuation of Central Macedonia. Even in Servia Mr. Pashitch had
great difficulty in repressing the jingo ardor of the army, whose
bellicose spirit was believed to find expression in the attitude of
the Crown Prince. But the provocation in Bulgaria was greater,
because, when all was said and done, Servia was actually violating
an agreement with Bulgaria to which she had solemnly set her name.
Possibly the military party gained the ear of King Ferdinand.
Certainly it was reported that he was consulting with leaders of the
opposition. Presumably they were all dissatisfied with the
conciliatory attitude which Mr. Gueshoff had shown in the Tsaribrod
conference. Whatever the explanation, Mr. Gueshoff resigned on June


On that very day the Czar summoned the Kings of Bulgaria and Servia
to submit their disputes to his decision. While this demand was
based on a specific provision of the Servo-Bulgarian treaty, His
Majesty also urged it on the ground of devotion to the Slav cause.
This pro-Slav argument provoked much criticism in Austro-Hungarian
circles which resented bitterly the assumption of Slav hegemony in
Balkan affairs. However, on June 12 Bulgaria and Servia accepted
Russian arbitration. But the terms were not agreed upon. While Mr.
Venizelos and Mr. Pashitch impatiently awaited the summons to St.
Petersburg they could get no definite information of the intentions
of the Bulgarian government. And the rivalry of Austria-Hungary and
Russia for predominance in the Balkans was never more intense than
at this critical moment.

On June 14 Dr. Daneff was appointed prime minister in succession to
Mr. Gueshoff. He had represented Bulgaria in the London Peace
Conference where his aggressive and uncompromising attitude had
perturbed his fellow delegates from the other Balkan states and
provoked some criticism in the European press. He was known as a
Russophil. And he seems now to have got assurance from Russia that
she would maintain the Bulgarian view of the treaty with Servia,
although she had at one time favored the Servian demand for an
extensive revision of it. Certainly Dr. Daneff voiced the views and
sentiments of the Bulgarian army and nation. I was in Sofia the week
before the outbreak of the war between the Allies. And the two
points on which everybody insisted were, first, that Servia must be
compelled to observe the Treaty of Partition, and, secondly, that
Central Macedonia must be annexed to Bulgaria. For these things all
Bulgarians were ready to fight. And flushed with their great
victories over the main army of Turkey they believed it would be an
easy task to overpower the forces of Servia and Greece. For the
Greeks they entertained a sort of contempt; and as for the Servians,
had they not already defeated them completely at Slivnitza in 1886?
Men high in the military service of the nation assured me that the
Bulgarian army would be in Belgrade in eight days after war was
declared. The Greeks too would quickly be driven out of Saloniki.
The idea of a conference to decide the territorial question in
dispute between the Allies found no favor in any quarter.

Now it is important that full justice should be done to Bulgaria. As
against Servia, if Servia had stood alone, she might have appealed
to the sanctity and inviolability of treaties. Circumstances had
indeed changed since the treaty was negotiated. But was that a good
reason, Bulgaria might have asked, why she should be excluded from
Central Macedonia which the treaty guaranteed to her? Was that a
good reason why she should not emancipate her Macedonian brethren
for whose sake she had waged a bloody and costly war with Turkey?
The Bulgarians saw nothing in the problem but their treaty with
Servia and apparently cared for no territorial compensation without
Central Macedonia.


The Bulgarians were blind to all facts and considerations but the
abstract terms of the treaty with Servia. It was a fact, however,
that the war against Turkey had been fought by four Allies. It was a
fact that the Ottoman government had ceded European Turkey (except
Albania) to these four Allies. No two of the Allies could divide
between themselves the common possession. A division made by the
four Allies might contravene the terms of a treaty which existed
between any two of the Allies prior to the outbreak of the war. In
any event it was for the four Allies together to effect a
distribution of the territory ceded to them by Turkey. For that
purpose a conference was an essential organ. How otherwise could the
four nations reach any agreement? Yet the Bulgarians--army,
government, and nation--were obsessed by the fixed idea that
Bulgaria enjoyed not only a primacy in this matter but a sort of
sovereign monopoly by virtue of which it was her right and privilege
to determine how much of the common spoils she should assign Servia
(with whom she had an ante-bellum treaty), and, after Servia had
been eliminated, how much she could spare to Greece (with whom no
treaty of partition existed), and, when Greece had been disposed of,
whether any crumbs could be flung to Montenegro, who had indeed very
little to hope for from the Bulgarian government. And so Bulgaria
opposed a conference of the four prime ministers though a conference
was the natural, obvious, and necessary method of disposing of the
common business pressing upon them.

The attitude of Bulgaria left no alternative but war. Yet the
Bulgarian government failed to reckon the cost of war. Was it not
madness for Bulgaria to force war upon Greece, Servia, and
Montenegro on the west at a time when Roumania was making demands
for territorial compensation on the north and Turkey was sure to
seize the occasion to win back territory which Bulgaria had just
wrested from her on the south? Never was a government blinder to the
significant facts of a critical situation. All circumstances
conspired to prescribe peace as the manifest policy for Bulgaria,
yet nearly every step taken by the government was provocative of
war. The Bulgarian army had covered itself with glory in the
victorious campaign against the Moslem. A large part of European
Turkey was already in Bulgarian hands. To imperil that glory and
those possessions by the risk of a new war, when the country was
exhausted and new enemies lay in wait, was as foolish as it was
criminal. That way madness lay. Yet that way the policy pursued by
the Bulgarian government infallibly led. Must we assume that there
is some ground for suspecting that Austria-Hungary was inciting
Bulgaria to war? We must leave it to history to answer. If the
result was a terrible disaster, that was only the old Greek Nemesis
of the gods for the outraged principles of reason and moderation.


Those principles, thanks to the conciliatory spirit of Mr.
Venizelos, the prime minister, and the steady support of King
Constantine, who was also commander-in-chief, were loyally followed
in Greece. A few days after the declaration of war against the
Ottoman Empire, into which Greece was precipitately hastened by the
unexpected action of Servia and Bulgaria, the Greek foreign minister
addressed a communication to the Allies on the subject of the
division of conquered territory. He traced the line of Greek claims,
as based on ethnological grounds, and added that, as he foresaw
difficulties in the way of a direct adjustment, he thought the
disputed points should be submitted to arbitration. But months
followed months without bringing from Bulgaria any clear reply to
this just and reasonable proposal of the Greek government.
Nevertheless, Mr. Venizelos persisted in his attitude of
conciliation toward Bulgaria. He made concessions, not only in
Thrace but in Eastern Macedonia, for which he was bitterly
criticized on the ground of sacrificing vital Greek interests to
Bulgaria. He recognized, as his critics refused to do, that the
Balkan question could not be settled on ethnological principles
alone; one had to take account also of geographical necessities. He
saw that the Greeks in Thrace must be handed over to Bulgaria. He
demanded only the Macedonian territory which the Greek forces had
actually occupied, including Saloniki with an adequate hinterland.
As the attitude of Bulgaria became more uncompromising, as she
pushed her army of occupation further westward, Mr. Venizelos was
even ready to make the River Struma the eastern boundary of New
Greece, and to abandon to Bulgaria the Aegean Httoral between the
Struma and the Mesta Rivers including Greek cities like Kavala,
Seres, and Drama. But these new concessions of Mr. Venizelos were in
danger of alienating from him the support of the Greek nation
without yielding anything in return from Bulgaria. The outbreak of
the war between the Allies saved him from a difficult political
position. Yet against that war Mr. Venizelos strove resolutely to
the end. And when in despite of all his efforts war came, he was
justified in saying, as he did say to the national parliament, that
the Greeks had the right to present themselves before the civilized
world with head erect because this new war which was bathing with
blood the Balkan Peninsula had not been provoked by Greece or
brought about by the demand of Greece to receive satisfaction for
all her ethnological claims. And this position in which he had
placed his country was, he proudly declared, a "moral capital" of
the greatest value.


Bulgaria's belated acceptance of Russian arbitration was not
destined to establish peace. Yet Dr. Daneff, the prime minister, who
received me on June 27 and talked freely of the Balkan situation
(perhaps the more freely because in this conversation it transpired
that we had been fellow students together at the University of
Heidelberg), decided on June 28 not to go to war with the Allies.
Yet that very evening at eight o'clock, unknown to Dr. Daneff, an
order in cipher and marked "very urgent" was issued by General
Savoff to the commander of the fourth army directing him on the
following evening to attack the Servians "most vigorously along the
whole front." On the following afternoon, the 29th, General Savoff
issued another order to the army commanders giving further
instructions for attacks on the Servians and Greeks, including an
attack on Saloniki, stating that these attacks were taking place
"without any official declaration of war," and that they were
undertaken in order to accustom the Bulgarian army to regard their
former allies as enemies, to hasten the activities of the Russian
government, to compel the former allies to be more conciliatory, and
to secure new territories for Bulgaria! Who was responsible for this
deplorable lack of harmony between the civil government and the
military authorities has not yet been officially disclosed. Did
General Savoff act on his own responsibility? Or is there any truth
in the charge that King Ferdinand after a long consultation with the
Austro-Hungarian Minister instructed the General to issue the order?
Dr. Daneff knew nothing of it, and though he made every effort to
stop the resulting hostilities, the dogs of war had been let loose
and could not now be torn from one another's throats.

There had been sporadic fighting in Macedonia between the Allies for
some months past. Greece and Servia had concluded an anti-Bulgarian
alliance on June 1. They also entered into a convention with
Roumania by which that power agreed to intervene in case of war
between the late Allies. And war having been declared, Roumania
seized Silistria at midnight, July 10. Meanwhile the Servian and
Greek forces were fighting the Bulgarians hard at Kilkis, Doiran,
and other points between the Vardar and the Struma. And, as if
Bulgaria had not enemies enough on her back already, the Turkish
Army on July 12 left the Chataldja fortifications, crossed the
Enos-Midia line, and in less than two weeks, with Enver Bey at its
head, re-occupied Adrianople. Bulgaria was powerless to stop the
further advance of the Turks, nor had she forces to send against the
Roumanians who marched unopposed through the neighboring country
till Sofia itself was within their power.

No nation could stand up against such fearful odds. Dr. Daneff
resigned on July 15. And the new ministry had to make the best terms
it could.


A Peace Conference met at Bukarest on July 28, and peace was signed
on August 10. By this Treaty of Bukarest Servia secured not only all
that part of Macedonia already under her occupation but gained also
an eastward extension beyond the Doiran-Istib-Kochana line into
purely Bulgarian territory. Greece fared still better under the
treaty; for it gave her not only all the Macedonian lands she had
already occupied but extended her domain on the Aegean littoral as
far east as the mouth of the Mesta and away into the interior as far
above Seres and Drama as they are from the sea,--thus establishing
the northern frontier of New Greece from Lake Presba (near the
eastern boundary of Albania) on a northward-ascending line past
Ghevgheli and Doiran to Kainchal in Thrace on the other side of the
Mesta River. This assignment of territory conquered from Turkey had
the effect of shutting out Bulgaria from the Western Aegean; and the
littoral left to Bulgaria between the Mesta River and the Turkish
boundary has no harbor of any consequence but Dedeagach, which is
much inferior to Kavala.

The new Turkish boundary was arranged by negotiations between the
Bulgarian and Ottoman governments. The terminus on the Black Sea was
pushed north from Midia almost up to the southern boundary of
Bulgaria. Enos remained the terminus on the Aegean. But the two
termini were connected by a curved line which after following the
Maritza River to a point between Sufli and Dimotika then swung in a
semicircle well beyond Adrianople to Bulgaria and the Black Sea.
Thus Bulgaria was compelled to cede back to the Asiatic enemy not
only Adrianople but the battlefields of Kirk Kilisse, Lule Burgas,
and Chorlu on which her brave soldiers had won such magnificent
victories over the Moslems.


The Treaty of Bukarest marked the predominance of Roumania in Balkan
affairs. And of course Roumania had her own reward. She had long
coveted the northeastern corner of Bulgaria, from Turtukai on the
Danube to Baltchik on the Black Sea. And this territory, even some
miles beyond that line, Bulgaria was now compelled to cede to her by
the treaty. It is a fertile area with a population of some 300,000
souls, many of whom are Turks.

The claim of Roumania to compensation for her neutrality during the
first Balkan war was severely criticized by the independent press of
western Europe. It was first put forward in the London Peace
Conference, but rejected by Dr. Daneff, the Bulgarian delegate. But
the Roumanian government persisted in pressing the claim, and the
Powers finally decided to mediate, with the result that the city of
Silistria and the immediately adjoining territory were assigned to
Roumania. Neither state was satisfied with the award and the second
Balkan war broke out before the transfer had been effected. This
gave Roumania the opportunity to enforce her original claim, and,
despite the advice of Austria-Hungary, she used it, as we have
already seen.

The Roumanian government justifies its position in this matter by
two considerations. In the first place, as Roumania was larger and
more populous than any of the Balkan states, the Roumanian nation
could not sit still with folded arms while Bulgaria wrested this
preeminence from her. And if Bulgaria had not precipitated a war
among the Allies, if she had been content with annexing the portion
of European Turkey which she held under military occupation, New
Bulgaria would have contained a greater area and a larger population
than Roumania. The Roumanians claim, accordingly, that the course
they pursued was dictated by a legitimate and vital national
interest. And, in the second place, as Greeks, Servians, and
Bulgarians based their respective claims to Macedonian territory on
the racial character of the inhabitants, Roumania asserted that the
presence of a large Roumanian (or Vlach) population in that disputed
region gave her an equally valid claim to a share in the common

In all Macedonia there may be some 100,000 Vlachs, though Roumanian
officials put the number much higher. Many of them are highland
shepherds; others engage in transportation with trains of horses or
mules; those in the lowlands are good farmers. They are found
especially in the mountains and valleys between Thessaly and
Albania. They are generally favorable to the Greek cause. Most of
them speak Greek as well as Roumanian; and they are all devoted
members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Yet there has been a Roumanian
propaganda in Macedonia since 1886, and the government at Bukarest
has devoted large sums to the maintenance of Roumanian schools, of
which the maximum number at any time has perhaps not exceeded forty.

Now if every other nation--Greek, Servian, Bulgarian--which had
hitherto maintained its propaganda of schools and churches in
Macedonia, was to bring its now emancipated children under the
benign sway of the home government and also was to annex the
Macedonian lands which they occupied, why, Roumania asked, should
she be excluded from participation in the arrangement? She did not,
it is true, join the Allies in fighting the common Moslem oppressor.
But she maintained a benevolent neutrality. And since Macedonia is
not conterminous with Roumania, she was not seeking to annex any
portion of it. Yet the rights those Roumanians in Macedonia gave her
should be satisfied. And so arguing, the Roumanian government
claimed as a quid pro quo the adjoining northeastern corner of
Bulgaria, permitting Bulgaria to recoup herself by the uncontested
annexation of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia.

Such was the Roumanian reasoning. Certainly it bore hard on
Bulgaria. But none of the belligerents showed any mercy on Bulgaria.
War is a game of ruthless self-interest. It was Bulgaria who
appealed to arms and she now had to pay the penalty. Her losses
enriched all her neighbors. What Lord Bacon says of individuals is
still more true of nations: the folly of one is the fortune of
another, and none prospers so suddenly as by others' errors.


I have already sufficiently described the territorial gains of
Roumania, Servia, and Greece. But I must not pass over Montenegro in
silence. As the invincible warriors of King Nicholas opened the war
against the Ottoman Empire, so they joined Servia and Greece in the
struggle against Bulgaria. On Sunday, June 29, I saw encamped across
the street from my hotel in Uskub 15,000 of these Montenegrin
soldiers who had arrived only a day or two before by train from
Mitrowitza, into which they had marched across Novi Bazar. Tall,
lithe, daring, with countenances bespeaking clean lives, they looked
as fine a body of men as one could find anywhere in the world, and
their commanding figures and manly bearing were set off to great
advantage by their striking and picturesque uniforms. The officers
told me next day that in a few hours they would be fighting at
Ghevgheli. Their splendid appearance seemed an augury of victory for
the Serbs.

Montenegro too received her reward by an extension of territory on
the south to the frontier of Albania (as fixed by the Great Powers)
and a still more liberal extension on the east in the sandjak of
Novi Bazar. This patriarchal kingdom will probably remain unchanged
so long as the present King lives, the much-beloved King Nicholas, a
genuinely Homeric Father of his People. But forces of an economic,
social, and political character are already at work tending to draw
it into closer union with Servia, and the Balkan wars have given a
great impetus to these forces. A united Serb state, with an Adriatic
littoral which would include the harbors of Antivari and Dulcigno,
may be the future which destiny has in store for the sister kingdoms
of Servia and Montenegro. If so, it is likely to be a mutually
voluntary union; and neither Austria-Hungary nor Italy, the warders
of the Adriatic, would seem to have any good ground to object to
such a purely domestic arrangement.


The Albanians, though they rather opposed than assisted the Allies
in the war against Turkey, were set off as an independent nation by
the Great Powers at the instigation of Austria-Hungary with the
support of Italy. The determination of the boundaries of the new
state was the resultant of conflicting forces in operation in the
European concert. On the north while Scutari was retained for
Albania through the insistence of Austria-Hungary, Russian influence
was strong enough to secure the Albanian centres of Ipek and Djakova
and Prisrend, as well as Dibra on the east, for the allied Serb
states. This was a sort of compensation to Servia for her loss of an
Adriatic outlet at a time when the war between the Allies, which was
destined so greatly to extend her territories, was not foreseen. But
while in this way Albanians were excluded from the new state on the
north and east, an incongruous compensation was afforded it on the
south by an unjustifiable extension into northern Epirus, whose
population is prevailingly Greek.

The location of the boundary between Albania and New Greece was
forced upon the Great Powers by the stand of Italy. During the first
war the Greeks had occupied Epirus or southern Albania as far north
as a line drawn from a point a little above Khimara on the coast due
east toward Lake Presba, so that the cities of Tepeleni and Koritza
were included in the Greek area. But Italy protested that the Greek
occupation of territory on both sides of the Straits of Corfu would
menace the control of the Adriatic and insisted that the boundary
between Albania and Greece should start from a point on the coast
opposite the southern part of the island of Corfu, Greece,
accordingly, was compelled to evacuate most of the territory she had
occupied above Janina. And Albania subsequently attempted to assert
her jurisdiction over it.

But the task of Albania is bound to be difficult. For though the
Great Powers have provided it with a ruler--the German Prince
William of Wied--there is no organized state. The Albanians are one
of the oldest races in Europe, if not the oldest. But they have
never created a state. And to-day they are hopelessly divided. It is
a land of universal opposition--north against south, tribe against
tribe, bey against bey. The majority of the population are
Mohammedan but there are many Roman Catholics in the north and in
the south the Greek Orthodox Church is predominant. The inhabitants
of the north, who are called Ghegs, are divided into numerous tribes
whose principal occupation is fighting with one another under a
system of perpetual blood-feuds and inextinguishable vendettas.
There are no tribes in the south, but the people, who are known as
Tosks, live under territorial magnates called beys, who are
practically the absolute rulers of their districts. The country as a
whole is a strange farrago of survivals of primitive conditions. And
it is not only without art and literature, but without manufactures
or trade or even agriculture. It is little wonder that the Greeks of
Epirus feel outraged by the destiny which the European Powers have
imposed upon them--to be torn from their own civilized and Christian
kindred and subjected to the sway of the barbarous Mohammedans who
occupy Albania. Nor is it surprising that since Hellenic armies have
evacuated northern Epirus in conformity with the decree of the Great
Powers, the inhabitants of the district, all the way from Santi
Quaranta to Koritza, are declaring their independence and fighting
the Albanians who attempt to bring them under the yoke.

The future of Albania is full of uncertainty. The State, however,
was not created for the Albanians, who for the rest, are not in a
condition to administer or maintain it. The state was established in
the interests of Austria-Hungary and Italy. And those powers are
likely to shape its future.


For the sacrifice demanded of Greece in Epirus the Great Powers
permitted her by way of compensation to retain all the Aegean
Islands occupied by her during the war, except Imbros, Tenedos, and
the Rabbit Islands at the mouth of the Dardanelles. These islands,
however, Greece is never to fortify or convert into naval bases.
This allotment of the Asiatic Islands (which includes all but Rhodes
and the Dodecanese, temporarily held by Italy as a pledge of the
evacuation of Libya by the Turkish officers and troops) has given
great dissatisfaction in Turkey, where it is declared it would be
better to have a war with Greece than cede certain islands
especially Chios and Mitylene. The question of the disposition of
the islands had, however, been committed by Turkey to the Great
Powers in the Treaty of London. And Turkish unofficial condemnation
of the action of the Powers now creates a dangerous situation. Mr.
Venizelos declared not long ago, with the enthusiastic approval of
the chamber, that the security of Greece lay alone in the possession
of a strong navy. For Mr. Venizelos personally nothing in all these
great events can have been more gratifying than the achievement of
the union of Crete with Greece. This was consummated on December 14,
when the Greek flag was hoisted on Canea Fort in the presence of
King Constantine, the prime minister, and the consuls of the Great
Powers, and saluted with 101 guns by the Greek fleet.


Fortune in an extraordinary degree has favored the King of the
Hellenes--Fortune and his own wise head and valiant arm and the
loyal support of his people. When before has a Prince taken supreme
command of a nation's army and in the few months preceding and
succeeding his accession to the throne by successful generalship
doubled the area and population of his country?

[Map: map3.png
Caption: The Balkan Peninsula after the Wars of 1912-1913.]


The Balkan wars have been bloody and costly. We shall never know of
the thousands of men, women, and children who died from privation,
disease, and massacre. But the losses of the dead and wounded in the
armies were for Montenegro 11,200, for Greece 68,000, for Servia
71,000, for Bulgaria 156,000, and for Turkey about the same as for
Bulgaria. The losses in treasure were as colossal as in blood. Only
rough computations are possible. But the direct military
expenditures are estimated at figures varying from a billion and a
quarter to a billion and a half of dollars. This of course takes no
account of the paralysis of productive industry, trade, and commerce
or of the destruction of existing economic values.

Yet great and momentous results have been achieved. Although seated
again in his ancient capital of Adrianople, the Moslem has been
expelled from Europe, or at any rate is no longer a European Power.
For the first time in more than five centuries, therefore,
conditions of stable equilibrium are now possible for the Christian
nations of the Balkans. Whether the present alignment of those
states toward one another and towards the Great Powers is destined
to continue it would be foolhardy to attempt to predict.


But without pretending to cast a horoscope, certain significant
facts may be mentioned in a concluding word. If the Balkan states
are left to themselves, if they are permitted to settle their own
affairs without the intervention of the Great Powers, there is no
reason why the existing relations between Greece, Servia,
Montenegro, and Roumania, founded as they are on mutual interest,
should not continue; and if they continue, peace will be assured in
spite of Bulgaria's cry for revenge and readjustment. The danger
lies in the influence of the Great Powers with their varying
attractions and repulsions. France, Germany, and Great Britain,
disconnected with the Balkans and remote from them, are not likely
to exert much direct individual influence. But their connections
with the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente would not leave them
altogether free to take isolated action. And two other members of
those European groups--Russia and Austria-Hungary--have long been
vitally interested in the Balkan question; while the opposition to
Servian annexation on the Adriatic littoral and of Greek annexation
in Epirus now for the first time reveals the deep concern of Italy
in the same question.

The Serbs are Slavs. And the unhappy relations between Servia and
Austria-Hungary have always intensified their pro-Russian
proclivities. The Roumanians are a Romance people, like the French
and Italians, and they have hitherto been regarded as a Balkan
extension of the Triple Alliance. The attitude of Austria-Hungary,
however, during the Balkan wars has caused a cooling of Roumanian
friendship, so that its transference to Russia is no longer
inconceivable or even improbable. Greece desires to be independent
of both groups of the European system, but the action of Italy in
regard to Northern Epirus and in regard to Rhodes and the Dodecanese
has produced a feeling of irritation and resentment among the Greeks
which nothing is likely to allay or even greatly alleviate. Bulgaria
in the past has carried her desire to live an independent national
life to the point of hostility to Russia, but since Stambuloff's
time she has shown more natural sentiments towards her great Slav
sister and liberator. Whether the desire of revenge against Servia
(and Greece) will once more draw her toward Austria-Hungary only
time can disclose.

In any event it will take a long time for all the Balkan states to
recover from the terrible exhaustion of the two wars of 1912 and

Their financial resources have been depleted; their male population
has been decimated. Necessity, therefore, is likely to co-operate
with the community of interest established by the Treaty of Bukarest
in the maintenance of conditions of stable equilibrium in the
Balkans. Of course the peace-compelling forces operative in the
Balkan states themselves might be counteracted by hostile activities
on the part of some of the Great Powers. And there is one
danger-point for which the Great Powers themselves are solely
responsible. This, as I have already explained, is Albania. An
artificial creation with unnatural boundaries, it is a grave
question whether this so-called state can either manage its own
affairs or live in peace with its Serb and Greek neighbors. At this
moment the Greeks of Epirus (whom the Great Powers have transferred
to Albania) are resisting to the death incorporation in a state
which outrages their deepest and holiest sentiments of religion,
race, nationality, and humane civilization. On the other hand the
Hoti and Gruda tribes on the north fiercely resent annexation to
Montenegro (which the Great Powers have decreed) and threaten to
summon to their support other Malissori tribes with whom they have
had a defensive alliance for several centuries. If Prince William of
Wied is unable to cope with these difficulties, Italy and
Austria-Hungary may think it necessary to intervene in Albania. But
the intervention of either would almost certainly provoke
compensatory action on the part of other European Powers, especially

One can only hope that the Great Powers may have wisdom granted to
them to find a peaceful solution of the embarrassing problem which
they have created in setting up the new state of Albania. That the
Albanians themselves will have an opportunity to develop their own
national independence I find it impossible to believe. Yet I heard
in the summer of 1913 at Valona from the lips of Ismail Kemal Bey,
the head of the provisional government, a most impressive statement
of his hopes and aspirations for an independent Albania and his
faith and confidence in its future, in which he claimed to voice the
sentiments of the Albanian people. But, as I have already explained,
I think it doubtful whether under the most favorable external
circumstances the Albanians are at present qualified to establish
and maintain an independent state. And their destiny is so
inextricably entangled with the ambitions of some of the Great
Powers that the experiment stands no chance of getting a fair trial.
I heartily wish the circumstances were other than they are. For as
an American I sympathize with the aspirations of all struggling
nationalities to be free and independent. And my interest in Albania
is deepened, as the interest of all Americans must be deepened, by
the fact that a large number of Albanians have now found a home in
the United States.


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