A brief history of the Balkan Peninsula

The Balkan Peninsula has a long history and is one of the earliest birthplaces of human civilization. The southern part is the birthplace of ancient Greek culture. After the second century BC, it was ruled by Rome, Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire), Ottoman Turkey and other empires. From the 4th to the 7th century AD, the Hungarians, Avars, Lombards, Bulgarians, Romans, and Slavic peoples had fiercely contested the dominance of the peninsula. The Ottoman Empire ruled for more than 500 years, during which the people of the peninsula waged a series of struggles against the Ottoman Empire.

The Balkan region according to Prof R. J. Crampton

From the beginning of the 19th century, Tsarist Russia was eager to open the southern channel to the Mediterranean Sea. The Austrian Empire attempted to expand southwards to the Adriatic Sea. The British and French laws had to protect the lifeline of transportation to the Indian Ocean and the Far East. Therefore, the peninsula became Russia, Austria, and Britain. There have been many wars in areas where France and France are battling fiercely.

Sarajevo incident

The Balkan Peninsula has always been a complex and troublesome area in international relations, known as a “gunpowder depot”. Here, due to various historical reasons, thorny issues such as ethnic conflicts, religious conflicts, cultural differences, border disputes, and political differences not only affect each other, but are also intertwined, and are incompatible with each other. Among them, Yugoslavia is the region where conflicts and conflicts are most concentrated and intense.

And because the Balkans are located on the main roads of transportation, and have always been a battleground for military strategists, the major European countries have always paid attention to the dynamics and changes here for their own benefit, and actively participated in various contradictions and conflicts. For example, the “Sarajevo Incident” that occurred on June 28, 1914 was originally a common assassination in Europe. At first, people did not feel anything unusual about this, but after more than a week after the incident, European powers actually Hyped it as a heated “July diplomatic crisis”, which in turn triggered the First World War.


Yugoslavia is located in the northwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The earliest inhabitants in Yugoslavia are Illyrians, Thracians and Celts. In the 6th century, a Slavic team began to break through the Byzantine Empire’s Danube line and invade the Balkan Peninsula. In the 7th century, they settled in the Balkan Peninsula and gradually integrated with the local indigenous people, collectively known as the Yugoslavs.

DW @Author Darko Janjevic

The Slavic tribes in Yugoslavia have fought successive battles with the Byzantines, Avars, Franks, Hungarians, Venetians, etc. in order to survive and settle down. They have established medieval state organizations. However, due to their inability to resist the expansion and invasion of neighboring countries, these countries have not existed for long.

Bulgaria is located in the central and eastern Balkans. The earliest inhabitants of the Middle Ages were the Thracians. The Greeks and Romans had established a slave society in this area. In the second half of the 7th century, an ancient Bulgarian entered northeastern Bulgaria today. In the common struggle against the Byzantine Empire, the ancient Bulgarians allied with the Slavs who settled in the Balkan Peninsula and established the Slavic-Bulgarian Kingdom in 681 AD.

Afterwards, the ancient Bulgarians were gradually assimilated by the Slavs and became a Slavic country, but the name Bulgaria is still used. Albania is located in the western Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe. The Albanians are one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Balkan Peninsula.

Triple Alliance Treaty

The Triple Alliance is a secret alliance formed by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy in Vienna.
In 1881, France invaded Tunis from Algeria and turned it into its protectorate. Italy has long coveted Tunisia, but suffered from insufficient power and could not stand alone against France, so it turned to Germany and Austria. After negotiations, on May 20, 1882, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy signed an alliance treaty in Vienna.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the German economy developed rapidly, surpassing the United Kingdom. Germany’s plan to build the “Three-B Railway” also showed its intention to expand into the Balkan Peninsula, starting with its capital Berlin, passing through the Turkish capital Istanbul, and reaching Baghdad in Asia.

In order to deal with the alliance of the three countries, France and Russia concluded a military agreement in 1892, and the French-Russian alliance was formed. Britain also adjusted its relations with France and Russia. It means the establishment of a treaty between Britain, France and Russia.

In this way, the two European groups were finally formed. Then. The countries of the Balkans were dragged into “World War”. twice! ! !

Balkan League

At the end of the 20th century, although peace and development were the trends and trends of world development, there were no signs of easing and easing in the Balkans. The original contradictions still existed, even worsening, and new conflicts occurred again.


From 1912 to 1913, two Balkan wars broke out. Between March and August 1912, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro, which had been independent, successively formed an anti-Turkish alliance, the Balkan League.

Afterwards, many developed countries plugged in for their own aggressive purposes. Russia, Britain and France stand on the side of the Balkan League, while Germany and Austria-Hungary support Turkey. This situation in the Balkans is more complicated. In October, the Balkan League declared war on Turkey, and the first Balkan war broke out.

The war ended and the Ottoman Empire was defeated. In December of the same year, the four Balkan alliances and Turkey held negotiations in London until May 30, 1913, when they signed the “London Peace Treaty”:

In addition to the reservation of Istanbul and a small area in Turkey, the rest of Turkey’s territory in Europe is divided among the Balkan League countries; Albania’s independence is recognized.

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