POLS316 New Bulgaria National Conflicts on Balkans & Roots of WWI Paper Up to 1000 words describe the factors concerning the beginning of the national conf

POLS316 New Bulgaria National Conflicts on Balkans & Roots of WWI Paper Up to 1000 words describe the factors concerning the beginning of the national conflicts.Please use the text book to answer the question with up to 1000 wordsThank you 1
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
Lecture 8.
National conflicts on the Balkans and the roots of the First
World War.
Between 1878 and 1914 the Balkan states’ conflicting
aspirations for national-expansion, and intensified nationalist
movements among Balkan populations lacking states of their own,
produced a period of incessant turmoil. So tumultuous was the
time that Western Europeans came to characterize the Balkan
antagonists set on gaining their individual national goals no
matter the costs. Although the term “balkanization,” which was
coined in the West to describe the turmoil, has retained currency
into the present, it reflects more its creators’ perceptions than
those of the Balkan nations themselves. The national divisiveness
manifested in the Balkans during the period operated within the
framework of adopted Western European nation-state nationalism.
It was the European Great Powers themselves who legitimized
the Ottoman Empire’s fragmentation at Berlin by recognizing new
nation-states carved from its lands while, at the same time, they
blocked them from acquiring territories claimed on the basis of
Europeans, who historically demonstrated a near messianic impulse
to spread their cultural values to non-westerners, proved unable
to fathom accurately the Frankenstein monsters that they created.
The “Macedonian Question”
After Berlin, inter-Balkan state relations largely focused
on Macedonia’s possession or division.
 Bulgarian nationalists claimed the region on historical
grounds as an integral part of medieval Bulgaria, the
seat of the first independent Slavic-rite (Bulgarian)
Orthodox patriarchate (Ohrid), and the birthplace of
 Serbian nationalists considered it the heartland of
Stefan Dushan’s medieval empire and the location of
Serb-oriented principalities destroyed by the Ottomans.
 Greeks used classical historical arguments (Philip II
[356-37 BC] and Alexander III the Great [337-23 BC] of
Macedon) to buttress their “Great Idea” claims to the
region, which otherwise were grounded in reestablishing
Byzantium’s territories as the rightful Greek nationstate, validated by Greek control of the Orthodox
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
The vitriolic national antagonisms and mutually exclusive
Question” poisoned relations among Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece
until well into the twentieth century (and, to some extent, they
continue to do so).
territories of Thessaloniki, Bitola (Monastir), and Kosovo, was
an ethnic meeting ground where disparate peoples — primarily
Albanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Serbs, and Turks — lived in close,
often intermingled proximity. Along its northwestern and western
borders were large numbers of Albanians. Serbs were found in the
north. In the south were Greeks, who also mixed with Albanians in
the region’s southwest. Turks inhabited scattered central and
south-central towns and villages. Also present were seminomadic
Vlahs and Gypsies, who migrated among seasonal residences
throughout the region. A populous Jewish merchant community
resided in Thessaloniki, and some Jews lived in most towns of any
note, frequently along with Armenian merchants. Bulgarians
populated the eastern frontiers, extending southward to the
Aegean and mixing with Greeks in and around Thessaloniki. That
much of Macedonia’s ethnodemographic picture relatively was
certain. Less so was the ethnic composition of the region’s
majority population in its core territories, whose ethnicity
became the main bone of contention in the “Macedonian Question.”
Macedonia was an isolated and backward region. Its
inhabitants were predominantly Slavic at the time of the Ottoman
conquest, and largely for that reason they were left ignorant and
illiterate — as lowly Slav peasants of little account in the
Greek dominated Orthodox millet. After the Slavic-rite churches
were abolished in the 1760s, they came completely under the Greek
insulated all but a few against the full brunt of Greek cultural
assimilation. The overwhelming majority remained Slavs.
Until the 1870s and the advent of Bulgarian, Greek, and Serbian
nationalist agitation, Macedonia’s inhabitants held millet
religious identities. Specific linguistically defined ethnicity
meant little to them. That most spoke Slavic sufficed. Their
loyalties lay in their local villages and Orthodox faith, which
differentiated them from Muslim neighbors. Things changed once
the issue of the Bulgarian Exarchate exploded in their midst.
What disconcerted Greek and Serbian nationalists about the
Bulgarian Exarchate was its official right to acquire religious
jurisdiction over any Ottoman territory in which two-thirds of
the Orthodox population voted for membership. While few
consciously ethnic Greeks or Serbs would join the Exarchate,
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
Macedonia’s Orthodox majority lacked any such concrete ethnic
self-identity. Greeks were aware that the majority Macedonian
Slavs likely would join a culturally Slavic Orthodox church whose
literary-liturgical language closely resembled their own native
vernacular. The Serbs, preoccupied with Bosnia-Hercegovina in the
1870s, initially ignored the Exarchate’s potential threat to
Serbia’s future expansion. The Bulgarians were quick to
propagandize for the Exarchate in Macedonia. Early on Bulgarian
nationalists actively forged connections with Macedonia’s small,
new Slav middle class. While the Bulgarians’ national revival had
been late to bloom, the Macedonian Slavs lagged even further
behind. Bulgarian teachers and books circulated among Macedonia’s
Slav communities, where they warmly were welcomed, partly because
the Macedonian Slavs were “starving” for understandable education
and literature and partly because of the close linguistic
affinity between the Bulgarians’ and their native tongues. The
early Bulgarian cultural efforts in Macedonia were so well
received that a number of leading figures in the pre-1870’s
Bulgarian national movement (such as the brothers Dimitur and
Representatives from all of the Macedonian Orthodox dioceses
expressed their desire to join the Exarchate. The Greek patriarch
responded by declaring the Exarchate schismatic. The Macedonians’
wishes, however, needed validation by actual vote counts. ProExarchate Bulgarians traversed Macedonia proselytizing among the
Slavs. Pro-patriarchate Greeks, unwilling to lose their millet
monopoly, countered with similar efforts. The heated religiousnational
bloodshed. Organized gangs of exarchatists and patriarchatists
intimidated the Slav villagers and frequently came to blows.
Voting often was conducted under the threat of mortal danger
from one or both sides. By the time that Berlin Bulgaria
appeared, most Orthodox Macedonian Slavs had joined the
Exarchate, but the price had been heavy. After being humiliated
by the Bulgarians in 1886, the Serbs realized the full national
implications of the Exarchate’s victory in Macedonia. Since
Bulgaria had expanded into Eastern Rumelia and acquired a new
prince publicly ambitious to annex Macedonia, the Serbs needed to
act in Macedonia to keep alive their own expansionary national
aspirations. During the late 1880s Serb teachers, priests, and
gangs joined in the religious “campaigning” on behalf of the
Serbian Orthodox church but scored few victories over the more
popular Bulgarian effort. They did, however, intensify the terror
of the Macedonian Slavs, large numbers of whom fled eastward into
Bulgaria seeking asylum and expecting aid. Once there, they
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
quickly developed into a separate and powerful force in Bulgarian
politics that demanded state intervention in Macedonia.
While the church question boiled, Macedonia lay under direct
Ottoman control. This reality was key during the 1880s, when the
outwardly religious facet of the Macedonian struggle perceptibly
gave way to blatant nationalism once the Serbs entered the fray.
The Bulgarian may have won out over the Greek and Serbian
churches, but Ottoman administration and garrisons remained, as
did armed Christian bands. Sporadic fighting among the Christian
contenders continued, but, as the church issue stabilized in the
Exarchate’s favor, its Macedonian followers, supported by
Macedonian immigrants inside of Bulgaria, increasingly turned to
guerilla attacks on the Ottoman authorities.
The Bulgarian government’s official position regarding
Macedonia was touchy. Although nationalist sympathies lay with
the exarchatist guerillas, Bulgaria technically remained an
autonomous Ottoman state. Prince Ferdinand may have dreamed of
annexing Macedonia, but his prime minister Stefan Stambolov
realized that Bulgaria needed time to develop economic strength
and diplomatic support before engaging in expansionist policies,
and time could be bought only by placating the Ottomans (and
Britain). Stambolov conducted peaceful intervention in Macedonia,
often cooperating with the Ottoman authorities by tightening
Bulgaria’s borders with the troublesome province. In return, the
Ottomans rewarded his moderation with concessions in Macedonia,
such as appointing Bulgarian bishops to Macedonian exarchatist
dioceses (1890). Although proving effective, Stambolov’s policy
seemed far too timid and slow to the Macedonian immigrants in
Bulgaria, and they cried out for vigorous anti-Ottoman government
action to support the exarchatists in Macedonia. They brought the
tactics of intimidation learned in their homeland during the
church “campaigns” to the streets of Sofia. Placing himself at
the head of the nationalist movement, and signaling a policy
shift away from the Ottomans and Britain and toward Russia,
Ferdinand dismissed Stambolov (1894), who shortly thereafter was
assassinated by Macedonian revolutionaries.
In 1893 a small band of anti-Ottoman Macedonian Slav
revolutionaries secretly met in the town of Resna and founded the
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) with a
militant program for creating an autonomous Macedonian state
completely independent from the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Greece,
and Serbia. They considered Macedonia an indivisible territory
and all of its inhabitants “Macedonians,” no matter their
religion or ethnicity, thus signaling the beginning of a new,
strictly Macedonian national movement. The IMRO nationalists
essentially embraced a modified version of the Bulgarian
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
“Macedonian” for “Bulgarian” in its descriptive details. IMRO’s
“Macedonia for the Macedonians” revolutionary program was a
logical outgrowth of two decades of turmoil, in which the
region’s native population was cynically manipulated and brutally
abused solely for outsiders’ national interests. The natives had
been reduced to little more than statistics supporting the
various contenders’ nationalist claims (all of which were
massaged by nationalist biases).
Although the Macedonian Slav majority still retained
Bulgarian affinities, those were worn thin by the domineering
attitude often taken by Bulgarian-born exarchatist clergy toward
their Macedonian-born flocks and by the self-superior airs
assumed by many Bulgarian educators and intellectuals operating
in Macedonia. As for the Greeks, only a fraction of the
Macedonian Slavs had been Hellenized; for most Macedonians, the
Greeks were foreigners who threatened their native Slavic
culture. Although the Serbs were Slavs, their language was
noticeably different from the Macedonians’, and they proved
themselves just as brutish as Greeks in their treatment of native
Macedonian inhabitants. No Greeks or Serbs were enrolled in
IMRO’s ranks.
Originally IMRO was decentralized, composed of loosely
connected regional groups. In 1894 Goce Delcev, a young Sofiatrained revolutionary, transformed it into a highly effective
underground rebel network controlled by a central committee. He
also extended IMRO’s operations outside of Macedonia into
Ottoman-controlled Thrace. IMRO headquarters were established in
Thessaloniki, and representatives were sent to Sofia, Athens, and
Istanbul. Along with the network of revolutionary regions,
districts, and communes, IMRO established its own internal civil
administration, postal and courier services, police forces,
courts, and newspapers. Each district maintained armed units for
conducting guerrilla operations in the countryside. In towns,
IMRO maintained terrorist cells for use if and when needed. Soon
after Delcev’s reorganization, IMRO split into two factions over
the issue of future Macedonian autonomy. Delcev, supported by
Sandanski and others, held to the original goal of an independent
incorporation into Bulgaria, which a number of his colleagues
advocated. Viewing the anti-Ottoman struggle as necessary for
opponents moved to Sofia (1895) and, with Bulgarian assistance,
founded their own organization in competition with IMRO—the
External Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (EMRO). Supported
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
by the Bulgarian state and backed by the Macedonian immigrants,
pro-Bulgarian EMRO members soon gained majority representation in
IMRO’s governing central committee. The two organizations not
only held opposing views concerning Macedonia’s future, but also
espoused different tactical approaches in the revolutionary
IMRO focused on organizing a mass uprising and tried to
avoid armed activities as much as possible, but preparation for
the great revolutionary event remained its uppermost priority.
EMRO embraced armed activities from the start. From its Bulgarian
home base, it carried out political assassinations of opponents
inside Bulgaria and organized raiding parties into Macedonia,
which frequently included former or inactive Bulgarian army
officers. (The first such raid occurred in 1895.)
While Macedonian revolutionary activity fomented, Serbs and
Greeks were not idle. In Serbia, the Society of Saint Sava was
founded (1886) with the express purpose of whipping up Serbian
nationalism in Serb-claimed regions, especially in Macedonia.
By 1889 the society came under the direct authority of
Macedonia welcomed the Serbs’ activities, hoping to use them to
counterbalance rising Bulgarian efforts. As for the Greeks, a
secret National Society was founded in Athens (1894) with the
goal of liberating all Greeks under Ottoman control, but it
primarily aimed at combatting Bulgarian activities in Macedonia.
With its leadership staffed mostly by Greek army officers, and
supported by wealthy Greek merchants and consuls in Macedonia,
the society propagandized heavily and sponsored raids into
Macedonia to fight the Ottomans and Bulgarians.
entanglement was Romania, which in the late 1870s began
supporting educational efforts for the many seminomadic Vlahs
roaming the Macedonian countryside. Claiming the Latinspeaking
Vlahs as kindred nationals, the Romanians staked out a minor role
in the Macedonian fracas to own leverage in future nationalist
dealings with the main contenders, especially with Bulgaria over
conflicting territorial claims in Dobrudzha.
possession tended to obscure the fundamental factor in the
“Macedonian Question” The Ottomans first had to be expelled
before any nationalist solution could be reached. In the
emotionally charged nationalist atmosphere of the late 1880s and
early 1890s, Serbia and Greece unsuccessfully tried to bring
Bulgaria into anti-Ottoman alliances, the terms of which would
delineate peaceably their respective Macedonian claims. Both
Stambolov and Ferdinand rejected the proposals, although for
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
different political reasons. Serbia and Greece themselves
discovered that their own conflicting claims in Macedonia made
cooperation at the time impossible.
While the contending Balkan states failed to address the
problem of evicting the Ottomans from Macedonia, the Macedonian
revolutionaries acted. In early 1903 the Bulgarian-dominated IMRO
leadership decided to raise a concerted uprising, even though
many of its district units were unprepared. Delcev, Sandanski,
and other original leaders stood opposed but, after Delcev was
killed by Ottoman police in the spring, they accepted the plan.
On 2 August 1903 the Ilinden Uprising(named after the day on the
proclaimed. The rebels briefly gained control of the Bitola
region, and a short-lived “republic” was established around
Krusevo by a group of IMRO socialists. Bulgaria, uninformed of
IMRO’s plans and unprepared for war against the Ottomans, was
caught off guard and did little more than keep its border with
Macedonia open to appease the Macedonian immigrants and assuage
the Bulgarian populace’s national sympathies. The Ottomans took
nearly three months to quash the rebellion with their usual
indiscriminate devastation and violence. Hundreds of villages
were destroyed and a new flood of immigrants poured into
Bulgaria. The Ilinden debacle stirred the European Great Powers
into action. Austria-Hungary and Russia, the two most directly
concerned with the Balkans, hammered out the so-called Murzsteg
reform program for the stricken province and had it approved by
the others. Inspectors from both Great Powers were attached to
the Ottomans’ Macedonian administration, and a reformed Ottoman
Macedonian gendarmerie was placed under foreign command. The
reorganization and provide financial assistance for returning
refugees and rebuilding programs. The Ottomans accepted the
provisions to retain support among the Great Powers. Far from
dampening Macedonian unrest, the Murzsteg program stoked it,
since one of its provisions called for a future administrative
reorganization of the province along ethnic lines. That provision
caused Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece to intensify their propaganda
efforts in Macedonia to improve their positions in that
reorganization, which resulted in heightened violence but
The Rise of Albanian Nationalism and “Yugoslavism”
Compounding the divisive turmoil surrounding Macedonia were
two additional national factors not addressed at Berlin. One—the
Albanian national movement — arose as a self-defensive response
by a traditional Balkan society to its neighbors’ nation-state
Dr Boyan Dumanov, Department of Archaeology, New Bulgarian University
POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism
nationalism. The other — “Yugoslavism” — was a broader, more
politically sophisticated exp…
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