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Anna Krcmarova, Eduardo Eischen, International Relations and

Laura Peserico, Nicolas Czerlinsky, European and World History

Miriam Dreyer 23.11.2017

Why did the Vienna System come to grief on the Eastern Question?


1) Napoleons defeat and the Congress of Vienna

2) The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire -> The arising of the Eastern Question
3) Greek Revolution
4) Crimean War
5) The Balkan Crisis
6) Conclusion

1. Napoleons defeat and the Congress of Vienna

- Napoleons expansion over Europe created new borders

- Napoleon banished after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
- Congress of Vienna: Political and geographical reorganization of Europe
- Led by Prince Klemens von Metternich
- Representatives from over 200 states present
- Decisions made mainly by Great Powers (Prussia, Russia, UK, Austria, France)
- Main goals of the Congress:
Reconstruction to the old political system before the French revolution
Legitimacy: Rulers wanted authority to rule after the divine right
Solidarity: United fight against revolutionary ideas/movements
Balance of Power: Equally strong countries no risk taking to go to war
- Geographic and political changes after 1815:
France gets old borders
Creation of the German Confederation: 35 states
Holy Alliance: coalition created by Prussia, Austria and Russia
-> Goal: Return to conservative politics by restraining liberal, national and social
revolutionary movements

2. The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire -> The arising of the Eastern Question

- 1299-1922 CE
- One of the biggest and longest lasting empires in world history
- Spread over the Mediterranean Sea, Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa
- Short history:
14th century Osman I controlled small principality south of the black sea which he
steadily expanded with the help of his military
1453 fall of Constantinople: former capital of Byzantine empire, now new capital
of the Ottomans renamed Istanbul
16th and 17th century peak of its power: its territories almost reached the gates of
After 17th century turning point: steadily decline of the Empire
End 1922: Turkey declared a republic
- The decline lead to the appearance of the Eastern Question
Anna Krcmarova, Eduardo Eischen, International Relations and
Laura Peserico, Nicolas Czerlinsky, European and World History
Miriam Dreyer 23.11.2017
- Ottoman Empire = The Sick Man of Europe due to its weaknesses military and
political wise
- Great powers felt to intervene

3. The Greek Revolution

- Period: 1821-1832
- Before: Balance of power quite set
- Breaking out of the revolt: European powers hostile toward the Ottomans; they did not
know how to handle their decreasing power at first
- The two powers Russia and Britain (Allies) had two different interests within the
Greek situation
Russia: tried to profit of the weakening of the Ottoman Empire (vacuum of power
is building up); interested in access to the Mediterranean See and gain more
territorial power
Britain: Empire should stay in command, no intention of disturbing the balance of
- 1827 Treaty of London signed by Britain, Russia and France
Concerning the independence of Greece
- 1828-29 Russia attacked the Turks
Treaty of Adrianople: Russia gains the won territories of eastern black sea
- Solution to Russias intervention also acceptable by Britain: Greek autonomy under
Ottoman suzerainty
- 1827: France had felt impelled to join it
- Allied intervention in Greece lead to Russo-Turkish war and threatened destruction of
the Ottoman Empire
- The Concert of Europe survived this crisis without major disturbance in the balance of

4. The Crimean War

- 1853-1856: fought by an alliance of Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia-Piedmont

against Russia
- Reasons for break out?
Russias expansion into the Danube region
Britain and France feared Russia pushing down further into Danube region to
eventually come into British India through Afghanistan
Religious tensions
- War fought on Crimean Peninsula
- Three main battles:
Battle of Alma 20 September 1854
Battle of Balaclava 24 October
Russian attack at the Inkerman in November
- Ending of the war: Evacuation of Sevastopol in 1855 by the Russians
- Signing of the Treaty of Paris 30 March 1856
- Results of the Crimean War:
Collapse of the Vienna settlement
Alexander II began to modernize Russia
Foundations from two powerful new nation states: Italy and Germany
Anna Krcmarova, Eduardo Eischen, International Relations and
Laura Peserico, Nicolas Czerlinsky, European and World History
Miriam Dreyer 23.11.2017
5. The Balkan Crisis

- The Great Eastern Crisis 1875-1878

1874 Nationalism growing phenomenon
June 1876 Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire
Britains interest: maintaining the balance of power
Peace conference: Congress of Berlin
Bosnia and Herzegovina turned over to Austria-Hungary
- Russia abandoned its alliance with Germany
- 1879: Dual Alliance (Germany and Austria-Hungary)
- 1882 Italy joined Dual Alliance and it became Triple Allianc
- Bulgarian Crisis (1885)
Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885-1886): military conflict between Serbia
and Bulgaria
1885: Bulgarian nationalists in Eastern Rumelia mounted a coup and
declared the provinces unification with Bulgaria
1886 Treaty of Bucharest: Reestablished the prewar Serbo-Bulgarian
border; left Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia united
1894: Russia allied with France and GB: Triple Entente
- The Balkan Wars (1912-1913)
Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908
First Balkan War: fought between Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece,
Montenegro and the Ottoman Empire
1913 Peace Treaty London: Albanian independence and Macedonia
divided among the Balkan allies
Second Balkan War
June 1913: Serbia and Greece formed alliance against Bulgaria
Increasing nationalism in Serbia and heightened tensions in the
Balkans: WWI: assassination of the Austrian heir-apparent by a Serb
in Sarajevo

6. Conclusion

Balance of power 1914 differed greatly from the balance of power 1870. 1914 was a balance
of two armed camps--Great Britain, France, and Russia on one side and Germany, Austria-
Hungary, and Italy on the other side. These permanent partnerships locked policymakers into
blank-checks of support for their allies in the name of preserving the precarious balance of
power. This, in turn, permitted weak nations to act irresponsibly, with the certainty that they
would be defended by their more powerful partners. This moral hazard problem explains the
Balkan crises of 1874-1913.
Harmony between the Great Powers disrupted, thus the Vienna system come to grief
on the Eastern question