100 Years Ago Today

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

Slavic Day in Russia

Pan-Slavism is a movement which aims at the unity of all the Slavic peoples. Its main impact occurs in the Balkans, where different non-Slavic empires – the Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice – had ruled the South Slavs for centuries. The First Pan-Slav congress was held in Prague, Bohemia in June, 1848. The Southern Slavic movement was active after Serbia regained independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Southern Slavic movement advocated the independence of the Slavic peoples in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Austria feared that nationalists would endanger the empire. Pan-Slavism in the south was vastly different, instead it often turned to Russia for support. Austria looked to thwart Serbia whenever it could.


In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it had occupied since 1878. This angered the Kingdom of Serbia and its patron, the Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Russian Empire. The First Balkan War in 1`912 was fought between the Balkan League and the fracturing Ottoman Empire. The resulting Treaty of London created an independent Albanian state which denied victorious Serbia a seaport which it had desired. Smoldering resentment against Austria-Hungary by Pan Slavic nationalists induced Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb national revolutionary to assassinate the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 1914. The assassination triggered a chain of events that led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia has sided with her Slavic ally. This has embroiled Russia and the major European powers in the continental war that has engulfed Europe and has spilled over to the Mid-East as well.

On January 11, 1915 a rally called Slavic Day was held at the Kremlin in Moscow with full support of the Imperial Russian authorities.


Slavic Day rally at the Kremlin in Moscow – January 11, 1915


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