Why was the Balkan area become the most serious source of nationalist tension in Europe after 1871? Explain with examples.
The Balkans was a region of geographical and ethnic variations. It includes modern Romania, Balgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Boasnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.
The resident of this region were known as "The Slaves"
- The large part of the Balkans was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
- The spread of the ideas of romantic nationalism in the Balkans together with the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire made this region very explosive.
- One by one, its European subject nationalities broke away from Ottoman’s control and declared independence.
- The Balkan peoples based their claims for independence and used history to prove that they had once been independent.
- The Balkan states were fiercely jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of the others.
- Each power - Russia, Germany, England, Austro-Hungry was keen on countering the hold of other powers over the Balkans.
- This led to a serious of wars in the region and finally the First World War.