Austria Annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina, creating an international crisis that lays the groundwork for the start of World War I.
Summary of Event
Since the sixteenth century, the Balkan peninsula had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks had pushed their holdings westward into Europe until 1683, when their advance was stopped at the gates of Vienna by an army composed largely of Poles under their king, Jan Sobieski. Since that time, the Turkish hold had been gradually reduced, chiefly by the Habsburg rulers, who had successfully reclaimed Hungary in the eighteenth century.
In the nineteenth century, the Turkish hold on the Slavic inhabitants of the Balkans continued to weaken. Serbia had achieved de facto independence in 1829, and de jure independence in 1878. Increasingly, Russia had become a sponsor of the Slavic ethnic groups in the Balkans, particularly Serbia. Under the stimulus of the Pan-Slavic movement in Russia, the Serbs in Serbia began to dream of a great Slavic country in the Balkans with Serbia as its center. In 1876 Russia had gone to war with Turkey, largely to assist the Slavic ethnic groups in the Balkans to free themselves from Turkish control.
The Russian victories in the war with Turkey, and the revelation of Russian plans for the reorganization of the Balkan peninsula under her aegis, alarmed the other powers. Under the leadership of Bismarck,...
(The entire section is 1454 words.)
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