Puslapio vaizdai

He said nothing, as might be expected, of Austrian encouragement or of the dangers which encompassed the dynasty. In the certain anticipation of victory he took with him to the front some gigantic candles to be lighted for the Te Deum which he proposed to celebrate in the cathedral at Sofia; these fell into the hands of Prince Alexander, and are now religiously preserved in King Ferdinand's palace.

The real significance of the war of 1885 seems to have escaped the notice of most observers, It was the first instance since the Middle Ages of an attack made by one of the Christian nations of the Balkan Peninsula upon another. It was the beginning of a series of fratricidal conflicts, partly due to unscrupulous foreign intrigue, partly to the crude chauvinism of young and inexperienced States, whose national programmes were as yet unfulfilled. It was the precursor of the SerboBulgarian wars of 1913 and 1915. The Bulgarians have long memories and never forget an injury; to those who are familiar with this trait in their character there is nothing surprising in the fact that they fired the first shot in the former year, and in the latter dealt their neighbours a 'stab in the back' similar to that which they had received from them thirty years previously. Before 1885 the relations between the two races had been most friendly; Bulgarian haiduks in the mountains had helped the Serbians in their struggle for independence; a Bulgarian legion was organised at Belgrade when that city was bombarded by the Turks in 1862; and large numbers of Bulgars fought under the Serbian flag in the campaigns of 1876 and 1877.

Why did not King Milan, instead of attacking the sister-state, seek 'compensation' from Turkey, the traditional enemy, for the Bulgarian union? Greece was preparing to take that course, but Austria preferred a Serbo-Bulgarian war. Divide et impera had already become the watchword of her Balkan policy. Austria had already in 1881 made a secret Treaty with Serbia, assuring her expansion in the direction of Macedonia in order to divert her attention from kindred Bosnia. The Treaty was renewed in 1889; but, even then, few persons in Serbia thought of making any claim to Macedonia on ethnological grounds. The writer spent some months in

Serbia in that year, when the 500th anniversary of the battle of Kossovo was celebrated with great solemnity and intense patriotic excitement. Ardent desires were expressed for the restoration of Czar Dushan's empire, but, except in this connexion, Macedonia was never mentioned.

The absence in the second Treaty of Bucarest of any indemnity for her neighbour's aggression caused much soreness in Bulgaria, which, together with the unsatisfactory and incomplete settlement of the question of the union with Eastern Rumelia and the intrigues of Russia and her partisans, brought about the fall of Prince Alexander and plunged the country in confusion. On the Serbian side there was the soreness of defeat, which led King Milan's delegates, it is said, to oppose the insertion in the Treaty of the usual reference to friendly relations in the future. Nevertheless, in 1904, after the extinction of the Obrenovich dynasty, we find Serbia and Bulgaria engaged in the negotiation of a defensive alliance and a fiscal union. The proclamation of Bulgarian independence in 1908 passed almost unnoticed in Serbia, owing to the irritation caused by the simultaneous annexation of Bosnia by Austria. The formation of the Balkan league followed in 1912; and the Christian nations which had fought side by side against the Ottoman invader at Kossovo were once more arrayed together against the secular foe. The Turkish empire in Europe was overthrown, but the splendour of this great achievement was soon dimmed by sordid disputes among the victors. The Central Powers, in confident anticipation of the defeat of the Balkan allies, had refrained from interference; but Austria, in pursuance of her usual policy, now began to foment their mutual jealousies, while Rumania, which had stood aloof from the great crusade, demanded 'compensation' for her neutrality.

It soon appeared evident that Bulgaria, whose central position exposes her to encroachment on every side, would be expected to satisfy all claims; and in these circumstances her wisest course would have been to buy off Rumania, who demanded a considerable slice of her territory, although the question between the two nations had already been settled by the Protocol of Petersburg. As between Serbia and Bulgaria, all possibility of a

conflict had apparently been eliminated by a treaty (March 13, 1912) which minutely defined the territorial claims of both nations, reserving the final disposal of a certain contested area for the decision of the Tsar. But Serbia repudiated the treaty; and the opposition orators in the Skupshtina at Belgrade were still denouncing Russian arbitration and advocating an appeal to the sword when the war party at Sofia broke away, and General Savoff, without the knowledge of his Government, gave orders to attack the Serbian and Greek armies. This rash step-of which the more immediate causes were the fear of the officers that the peasant soldiers would insist on going home for the harvest, and the exasperation of the Macedonian chiefs at the forcible denationalisation of their kindred by the Serbian and Greek authorities-put Bulgaria out of court and gave her enemies their chance. Two days later the troops were recalled and General Savoff was dismissed, but it was too late. The armed forces of Rumania, Turkey, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro closed around the culprit State as the champions of order and the sanctity of treaties; Bulgaria was crushed; and in the first week of August 1913 the delegates of the victorious allies, together with a number of military officers fresh from the battlefield, met at Bucarest for the division of the spoil. In the space of eight days a complete re-arrangement of territories in the Balkan Peninsula was announced to an astonished world. Had General Savoff stayed his hand the result would hardly have been different, for the military coteries surrounding King Constantine and the Serbian Crown-Prince were deter

mined on war. Three days before General Savoff's adventure King Constantine had left Athens for the front taking with him the declaration of war already drawn up.

The third Treaty of Bucarest (August 10, 1913) is of the old-fashioned type. It is based on the venerable principle Victoribus spolia, and, like most of its predecessors, e.g. the Treaties of Vienna and Berlin, takes no account of nationalities. It assigns practically the whole of Macedonia to Serbia and Greece, the greater part falling to Serbia, and hands over to Rumania a considerable portion of Bulgarian territory to which she

has no ethnological or geographical claim. Of the conquests made by the Balkan allies in 1912, Macedonia, which the verdict of the scientific world declares to be mainly Bulgarian, is handed over to alien rule, while a portion of Thrace, which the Greeks themselves declare to be mainly Greek and Turkish, is left to Bulgaria. Nothing could be more inconsistent or more likely to engender future trouble.

To criticise in detail the unjust territorial arrangements of the third Treaty of Bucarest would be to flog a dead horse. Like the Treaties of Vienna and Berlin, it is already obsolete. According to the Carnegie Commission, it registered the 'illegitimate pretensions of victorious nationalities'; according to Mr Asquith, it has been the especial source of continued discord in the Balkans. It has found a champion, however, in Principal Burrows, who in the last number of this Review classes it with recent European decisions,' and asks why any superior moral validity should be attributed to the Treaty of London and the Protocol of Petersburg? The answer is that those arrangements possess the sanction of Europe, while the Treaty of Bucarest has no better claim to general respect than the fiat of the Kaiser, which, as yet at least, is not equivalent to a European decision. He regards as suspect' the suggestion of a future Balkan settlement imposed from above' (i.e. by Britain, France, Italy and the United States on the conclusion of the war) and prefers in its stead the 'compromise' between Serbia and Greece embodied in the Bucarest Treaty, which still forms the only solid basis for our hopes of a Balkan Confederation.' In other words, these two States only-for Rumania disappears from the scene-are to regulate at will the future situation in the Balkans. Dr Burrows forgets that Serbia made a 'compromise' with another neighbour which she quickly discarded when the opportunity occurred of obtaining larger gains by other means. excuse for setting aside her treaty with Bulgaria (1812) was discovered in the doctrine rebus sic stantibus-that a treaty is binding only so long as circumstances remain unchanged. This elusive principle, by which Germany might have triumphantly defended her attack on


Belgium, will henceforth be frequently invoked in the Balkans unless we find a higher sanction for the ultimate settlement than the Greco-Serbian 'compromise' and the Treaty of Bucarest. A very competent writer has said that


The settlement of Bucarest was imposed against the teach. ings of equity, of ethnography and of experience in professed pursuance of a Balkan balance of power. . . . The Balkan wars and the Treaty of Bucarest have left an aftermath of wars of extermination and the seeds of future wars of annexation.'


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The Powers, Dr Burrows truly asserts, contributed nothing to the formation of the Balkan League; and the friends of Greece and Serbia consequently maintain that they should be superseded by those States as the arbiters of the future Balkan situation. Greece, he thinks, has shewn its fitness for this high vocation by its noble spirit of self-sacrifice-it has cheerfully acquiesced in the loss of Monastir, 'the watchword of its Irredentism, the test case for the argument that town should weigh more than country in determining ethnology.' This thoroughly Hellenic town, Hellenic it seems par excellence, was visited by Sir Valentine Chirol, a high and impartial authority, in 1881. With the exception of the Archbishop and the Hellenic Consul,' he writes, 'there is scarcely a family in Monastir that can lay claim to pure Greek blood.' Another eminent authority, Sir Arthur Evans, whose Serbophil sentiments are well known, declares that the population of the town is predominantly Bulgarian and that Bulgarian is the language of the market. Mr H. N. Brailsford, who spent a long time in the Monastir district and who speaks Greek and Bulgarian, writes: The so-called Greeks of Monastir are Vlachs to a man.' The writer, who has frequently visited Monastir, can add his testimony to these pronouncements. The population of Monastir is Turkish, Bulgarian and Vlach; the genuine Greeks are few; until the Serbian occupation, when the era of colonisation and forced conversions began, there were practically no Serbs in the town.

* Nationalism and War in the Near East,' p 356.

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