100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Greece and Bulgaria Strengthen Their Military Alliance

The Ottoman Empire is called “The Sick Man Of Europe”. It has increasingly fallen under the financial control of Europeans and has lost European territory in a series of disastrous wars. Nationalism has swept through many of its European territories and the Ottoman government itself had struggled with attempts at a more Western constitutional style government as it had in 1876. The Second Constitutional Era began after the Young Turk Revolution in July 1908 with the restoration of the 1876 constitution and the reconvening of the Ottoman Parliament. Ottoman politics is now dominated by the Committee of Union and Progress and the reform movement known as the Young Turks. The aging Sultan Mehmed V is put on the throne in April 1909 but he is largely a figurehead with no real political power.

When the constitutional reformists known as the Young Turks came into power in the Ottoman Empire, they put pressure on Ottoman Europe’s provinces by increasing taxes, forcing conscription in the Ottoman army and the disarming of civilian populations. This caused a revolt in Albania that resulted in an amnesty in June 1911 and several concessions. The Ottoman Empire went to war with Italy in October 1911 which wracked the government in Constantinople with crisis. Rigged elections in the Ottoman parliament resulted in the ousting of pro-Albanian ministers and Albania headed for rebellion again. Taking advantage of the Italo-Turkish conflict, the entire Balknas makes moves to reject Ottoman rule. Serbia form an alliance with Bulgaria in March 1912 and signed a military agreement with Greece in June 1912. Serbian King Nicola I Petrovic made a verbal agreement with the Bulgarian king regarding military support against the Ottoman Empire. In September 1912 Montenegro announced an agreement was signed stating that Serbia and Montenegro would support each other militarily in case of attack by Ottoman forces.

On September 22, 1912 Greece and Bulgaria strengthened their defense alliance with details for conditions and procedures for mobilization of their armed forces. These developments are heating up the Balkans and creating an atmosphere of war against the Ottoman Empire.

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