The proceeding collapse of the Ottomale Realm corresponded via the climb of nationalism in the Balkans, which resulted in increased tensions and conflicts in the region. This “powder keg” was therefore a major catalyst for the outbreak of World War I.

You are watching: Why were the balkans called the powder keg of europe


Key Points

By the early 20th century, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia had achieved freedom from the Ottoman Realm, but large aspects of their ethnic populaces remained under Ottoguy ascendancy. In 1912 these nations created the Balkan Organization and also declared war on the Ottomans to reclaim territory.Four Balkan claims beat the Ottoguy Realm in the first war; one of the four, Bulgaria, experienced defeat in the second battle.The tensions and disputes in this are frequently referred to as the “Balkan powder keg” and also had actually effects past the area.There were a number of overlapping claims to regions and also spheres of influence in between the major European powers, such as the Russian Realm, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Germale Empire and, to a lesser level, the Ottoguy Realm, the UK, and also Kingdom of Italy.Relations in between Austria and also Serbia ended up being progressively bitter and Russia felt humiliated after Austria and Germany kind of prevented it from helping Serbia.The powder keg ultimately “exploded” resulting in the First World War, which started via a dispute between imperial Austria-Hungary and Pan-Slavic Serbia.

Key Terms

irredentismAny political or famous movement intfinished to reinsurance claim and reoccupy a “lost” or “unredeemed” area; territorial claims are justified on the basis of genuine or imagined national and historic (an area previously part of that state) or ethnic (a space lived in by that nation or ethnic group) affiliations. It is frequently promoted by nationalist and pan-nationalist activities and also has actually been a function of identification politics and also social and also political location.BalkansA peninsula and a social area in Southeastern Europe with assorted and also disputed boundaries. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbia-Bulgaria border to the Black Sea. Conflicts here were a major contributing aspect to the outbreak of WWI.Pan-SlavismA movement which crystallized in the mid-19th century concerned with the advance of integrity and also unity for the Slavic world. Its major impact occurred in the Balkans, wright here non-Slavic empires—the Oriental Realm, Austria-Hungary, the Ottomale Empire, and Venice—had ruled the South Slavs for centuries.

The “Balkan powder keg,” additionally termed the “powder keg of Europe,” refers to the Balkans in the beforehand part of the 20th century preceding World War I. Tright here were a number of overlapping claims to regions and also spheres of affect in between the major European powers, such as the Russian Realm, the Austro-Hungarian Realm, the German Empire and also, to a lesser degree, the Ottomale Realm, the UK, and also Kingdom of Italy.

In enhancement to the imperialistic ambitions and interests in this area, there was a expansion in nationalism among the native individuals, resulting in the development of the independent states of Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania.

Within these countries, tbelow were motions to produce “greater” nations: to enlarge the boundaries of the state beyond those areas wbelow the national ethnic team was in the majority (termed irredentism). This led to problem between the newly independent countries and the empire from which they break-up, the Ottomale Empire. In addition, it led to differences in between the Balkan countries who wished to acquire area at the price of their next-door neighbors. Both the conflict with the Ottoman Empire and in between the Balkan nations brought about the Balkan Wars, discussed listed below.

In a various vein, the ideology of Pan-Slavism in Balkans obtained popularity; the motion constructed around it in the region sneed to unite every one of the Slavs of the Balkans right into one nation, Yugoslaby means of. This, but, would call for the union of a number of Balkan claims and also region that was part of Austria-Hungary. For this factor, Pan-Slavism was strongly opposed by Austria-Hungary, while it was supported by Russia which perceived itself as leader of all Slavic countries.

To complicate matters, in the years coming before World War I, there existed a tangle of Great Power alliances, both formal and informal, public and also trick. Following the Napoleonic Wars, tbelow existed a “balance of power” to prevent major wars. This theory hosted that opposing combicountries of powers in Europe would certainly be evenly matched, entailing that any kind of general battle would be much also costly to hazard entering. This mechanism started to fall apart as the Ottoguy Realm, seen as a check on Russian power, started to crumble, and also as Germany type of, a loose confederation of minor says, was joined into a major power. Not just did these alters result in a realignment of power, but of interests also.

All these determinants and many others conspired to carry around the First World War. As is insinuated by the name “the powder keg of Europe,” the Balkans were not the major problem at stake in the battle, however were the catalyst that caused the conflagration. The Chancellor of Germany type of in the late 1nine century, Otto von Bismarck, appropriately predicted it would be the source of significant dispute in Europe.

The powder keg “exploded” causing the First World War, which started with a problem in between royal Austria-Hungary and also Pan-Slavic Serbia.


Balkan Troubles: Germany, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and also Britain attempting to store the lid on the simmering cauldron of imperialist and also nationalist tensions in the Balkans to prevent a general European war. They were successful in 1912 and also 1913 however did not succeed in 1914, bring about the outbreak of World War I.


Balkan Wars

The continuing collapse of the Ottoguy Empire resulted in two battles in the Balkans, in 1912 and 1913, which was a prelude to world war. By 1900 country says had actually developed in Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and also Serbia. However, many of their ethnic compatriots lived under the regulate of the Ottoguy Empire. In 1912, these nations created the Balkan League. There were 3 primary causes of the First Balkan War. The Ottoman Realm was unable to reform itself, govern satisfactorily, or attend to the rising ethnic nationalism of its varied peoples. Secondly, the Great Powers quarreled among themselves and also faicaused encertain that the Ottomans would carry out the required reforms. This led the Balkan says to impose their own solution. Many importantly, the members of the Balkan League were confident that it might defeat the Turks, which would certainly prove to be the situation.

The First Balkan War broke out as soon as the League assaulted the Ottoguy Empire on October 8, 1912, and was finished salso months later on by the Treaty of London. After 5 centuries, the Ottomale Realm shed virtually every one of its possessions in the Balkans. The Treaty had actually been applied by the Great Powers, dissatisfying the victorious Balkan states. Bulgaria was dissatisfied over the department of the spoils in Macedonia, made in secret by its former allies, Serbia and Greece, and assaulted to pressure them out of Macedonia, starting the 2nd Balkan War. The Serbian and Greek armies repulsed the Bulgarian offensive and counter-struck into Bulgaria, while Romania and the Ottoman Realm likewise struck Bulgaria and acquired (or regained) territory. In the resulting Treaty of Bucharest, Bulgaria lost many of the regions it had got in the First Balkan War.

See more: Solved: Why Is A Gas Easier To Compress Than A Liquid Or A Solid? ?

The long-term outcome was heightened stress and anxiety in the Balkans. Relations in between Austria and Serbia ended up being increasingly bitter. Russia felt humiliated after Austria and Germany prevented it from helping Serbia. Bulgaria and Turvital were additionally dissatisfied, and also eventually joined Austria and Germany in the First World War.