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Treaty of Berlin (1878)

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a peace treaty signed on 13 July 1878
Treaty of Berlin
Treaty between Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, for the Settlement of the Affairs of the East
SouthEast Europe 1878.jpg

Southeastern Europe after the Congress of Berlin
ContextCongress of Berlin, after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)
Signed13 July 1878 (1878-07-13)
Location Berlin , German Empire
  •   United Kingdom
  •   Austria-Hungary
  •   French Third Republic
  •   German Empire
  •   Kingdom of Italy
  •   Russian Empire
  •   Ottoman Empire

The Treaty of Berlin (formally the Treaty between Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire for the Settlement of Affairs in the East) was signed on 13 July 1878. In the aftermath of the Russian victory against the Ottoman Empire, the major powers restructured the map of the Balkan region. They reversed some of the extreme gains claimed by Russia in the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano , but the Ottomans lost their major holdings in Europe. It was one of three major peace agreements in the period after the 1815 Congress of Vienna . It was the final act of the Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13 July 1878) and included Great Britain, Austria-Hungary , France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire . Germany’s Otto von Bismarck was the chairman and dominant personality.

The most important task of the Congress was to decide the fate of Bulgaria , but Bulgaria itself was excluded from participation in the talks, at Russian insistence. [1] [2] At the time, as it was nonexistent on the world map, Bulgaria was not a subject of international law, and the same went for the Bulgarians themselves. The exclusion was already an established fact in the great powers’ Constantinople Conference , which had been held one year before without any Bulgarian participation.

The most notable result of the conference was the official (de jure) recognition of actual (de facto) newly independent states of Romania , Serbia and Montenegro .


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Terms
  • 3 List of plenipotentiaries
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
    • 5.1 Primary sources
  • 6 Further reading

Background[ edit ]

The Paris Peace Treaty of 1856, which ended the Crimean War , had made the Black Sea a neutral territory. The treaty had protected the Ottoman Empire, ended the Holy Alliance and weakened Russia’s position in Europe. After the treaty, the Ottoman Empire became the sixth Great Power of the Concert of Europe . In 1870, Russia invoked the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus and effectively terminated the treaty by breaching provisions concerning the neutrality of the Black Sea. The great powers became increasingly convinced that the Ottoman Empire would not be able to hold its territories in Europe. [3]

In 1875, the Herzegovina uprising resulted in the Great Eastern Crisis . As the conflict in the Balkans intensified, atrocities during the 1876 April Uprising in Bulgaria inflamed anti-Turkish sentiments in Russia and Britain, which eventually culminated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 . [3]

Terms[ edit ]

The treaty formally recognized the independence of the de facto sovereign principalities of Romania , Serbia and Montenegro and the autonomy of Bulgaria although the latter de facto functioned independently and was divided into three parts: the Principality of Bulgaria, the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia , which was given back to the Ottomans, [4] thus undoing Russian plans for an independent and Russophile ” Greater Bulgaria “. The Treaty of San Stefano had created a Bulgarian state, which was just what Britain and Austria-Hungary feared the most. [5]

The Treaty of Berlin confirmed most of the Russian gains from the Ottoman Empire specified in the Treaty of San Stefan, but the valley of Alashkerd and the town of Bayazid were returned to the Ottomans. [6]

Despite the pleas of the Romanian delegates, Romania was forced to cede southern Bessarabia to the Russian Empire. [7] As a compensation, Romania received Dobruja , including the Danube Delta . [7] The treaty also limited the Russian occupation of Bulgaria to 9 months, which limited the time during which Russian troops and supplies could be moved through Romanian territory. [7]

The three newly-independent states subsequently proclaimed themselves kingdoms: Romania in 1881, Serbia in 1882 and Montenegro in 1910, and Bulgaria proclaimed full independence in 1908 after it had united with Eastern Rumelia in 1885. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908, sparking the Bosnian crisis , a major European crisis.

The Treaty of Berlin accorded special legal status to some religious groups and also would serve as a model for the Minority Treaties , which would be established within the framework of the League of Nations . [8] It stipulated that Romania recognize non-Christians (Jews and Muslims) as full citizens. It also vaguely called for a border rectification between Greece and the Ottoman Empire, which occurred after protracted negotiations in 1881, with the transfer of Thessaly to Greece.

In the “Salisbury Circular” of 1 April 1878, British Foreign Secretary, the Marquess of Salisbury, made clear his own and his government’s objections to the Treaty of San Stefano and its favourable position of Russia. [9] Historian AJP Taylor wrote, “If the treaty of San Stefano had been maintained, both the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary might have survived to the present day. The British, except for Beaconsfield in his wilder moments, had expected less and were, therefore, less disappointed. Salisbury wrote at the end of 1878: “We shall set up a rickety sort of Turkish rule again south of the Balkans. But it is a mere respite. There is no vitality left in them.” [10]

The Kosovo Vilayet remained part of the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary was allowed to station military garrisons in the Ottoman Vilayet of Bosnia and Sanjak of Novi Pazar . The Vilayet of Bosnia was placed under Austro-Hungarian occupation although it formally remained part of the Ottoman Empire until it was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. The Austro-Hungarian garrisons in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar were withdrawn in 1908, after the annexation of the Vilayet of Bosnia and the resulting Bosnian crisis, to reach a compromise with the Ottoman Empire, which was struggling with internal strife because of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, which also paved the way for the loss of Bosnia and of Bulgaria the same year[ citation needed ]

List of plenipotentiaries[ edit ]

  •   United Kingdom
    • Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield , Prime Minister
    • Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury , Foreign Secretary
    • Lord Odo Russell , ambassador to Berlin
  •   Germany and Prussia
    • Otto von Bismarck , Minister President of Prussia and Chancellor of Germany
    • Baron Ernst von Bülow , Foreign Minister of Prussia
    • Chlodwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst , ambassador to Paris
  •   Austria-Hungary
    • Gyula, Count Andrássy , Foreign Minister
    • Count Alajos Károlyi , ambassador to Berlin
    • Baron Heinrich Karl von Haymerle , ambassador to Rome
  •   France
    • William Henry Waddington , the Comte de Saint-Vallier, ambassador to Berlin and Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • Félix Hippolyte Desprez, Director of Political Affairs in the Department for Foreign Affairs
  •   Russia
    • Alexander, Prince Gorchakov , Chancellor and Foreign Minister
    • Count Pyotr Shuvalov , ambassador to the court of St James’s
    • Paul d’Oubril, ambassador to Berlin
  • Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire
    • Alexander Karatheodori Pasha , Minister of Public Works
    • Mehmed Ali Pasha , marshal of the Ottoman army
    • Sadullah Pasha , ambassador to Berlin [11]

See also[ edit ]

  • Commissions of the Danube River
  • Kosovo Vilayet
  • List of treaties

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ Krasner, Stephen D. (1999). Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy . Princeton University Press . p. 165. ISBN   0-691-00711-X .

  2. ^ Wikisource  Bourchier, James David (1911). ” Bulgaria/History “. In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ a b Bogaert, Sina Van den. “Berlin Congress (1878)” . Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  4. ^ Jelavich, Barbara (2004). Russia and the Formation of the Romanian National State, 1821–1878 . Cambridge University Press . p. 286. ISBN   0-521-52251-X .
  5. ^ Crampton, R. J. (2005). A Concise History of Bulgaria . Cambridge University Press . p. 84. ISBN   0-521-85085-1 .
  6. ^ Schem, Alexander Jacob (1878). “Chapter IX [Third Book]: The Berlin Congress”. War in the East: An Illustrated History of the Conflict Between Russia and Turkey, With a Review of the Eastern Question. H.S. Goodspeed & Co. pp. 685–700.
  7. ^ a b c Hitchins, Keith (1994). Rumania: 1866–1947. Oxford History of Modern Europe. Oxford University Press . p. 50. ISBN   0-19-822126-6 .
  8. ^ Buergenthal, Thomas (1 July 2002). International Human Rights in a Nutshell (Third ed.). West Publishing Company . p. 7. ISBN   0-314-26014-5 .
  9. ^ Walker, Christopher J. (1980), Armenia: The Survival of A Nation, London: Croom Helm, p. 112
  10. ^ Taylor, A. J. P. (1954). The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918. Oxford University Press . p. 253. ISBN   0-19-881270-1 .
  11. ^ Wikisource  Phillips, Walter Alison (1911). ” Berlin#Berlin, Congress and Treaty of “. In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Primary sources[ edit ]

  • European commission for Eastern Roumelia (1880). Report presented to the international commission at Constantinople [European commission for Eastern Roumelia as to the state of Macedonia since the treaty of Berlin .
  • Gladstone, William Ewart (1878). The Berlin Treaty and the Anglo-Turkish Convention: speech of the Right Hon. W.E. Gladstone, M.P. in the House of Commons on Tuesday, July 30th, 1878 .
  • Gladstone, William Ewart (1916). “The Treaty of Berlin, 30 July 1878”. Gladstone’s Speeches, Descriptive Index and Bibliography by Arthur Tilney Bassett with a Preface by Viscount Bryce, O.M. and Introduction to the Selected Speeches by Herbert Paul . London: Methuen & Co. pp. 505–52.

Further reading[ edit ]

  • Anderson, M.S. The Eastern Question, 1774–1923: A Study in International Relations (1966) online
  • Goldfrank, David M. (2003). “Berlin, Congress of”. In Millar, James R. Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. ISBN   978-0028656939 .
  • Langer, William L. European Alliances and Alignments: 1871-1890 (1950) pp 151-70. Online
  • Millman, Richard (1979). Britain and the Eastern question, 1875–1878 . Clarendon Press. ISBN   978-0-19-822379-5 .
  • Medlicott, W. N. (1963). The Congress of Berlin and After: A Diplomatic History of the Near East Settlement, 1878–1880 (Second ed.). London: Frank Cass., Focus on the aftermath.
  • Munro, Henry F. The Berlin congress (1918) online free , 41pp of text, 600 pp of documents
  • Stavrianos, Leften Stavros. The Balkans since 1453 (1958).
  • Taylor, A. J. P. (1954). The struggle for mastery in Europe: 1848–1918 . Oxford University Press.
  • Yavuz, M. Hakan; Sluglett, Peter, eds. (2012). War and Diplomacy: The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and the Treaty of Berlin. University of Utah Press. ISBN   978-1-60781-150-3 .
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      Home / День в истории / Заключён Берлинский трактат 1878 г.

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      Treaty of Berlin 1878 concluded

      13 July 1878

      In the report to Alexander II the head of Russian delegation, Chancellor A. M. Gorchakov wrote: “The Congress of Berlin is the blackest page in my official career». Emperor marked: “So it is in mine.”

      The Treaty of Berlin was signed July 1 (13), 1878 following the Congress of Berlin in 1878, convened by Britain and Austria-Hungary to revise the Treaty of San Stefano that ended the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878.

      International Congress in Berlin took place from June 1 (13) to July 1 (13), 1878. It was attended by delegations from Russia, England, Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey. Representatives of the Balkan countries (Greece, Iran, Romania, Montenegro and Serbia) were invited to the congress but did not participate in its work. The initiators of the Congress were Austro-Hungary and England, who spoke against the strengthening of Russia’s position in the Balkans and the formation of a large Slavic state – Bulgaria. Russia, under the threat of a new war, weakened by the just-ended war with Turkey and not supported by Germany, was forced to agree to the convening of the congress.

      The states at the Berlin Congress were represented by: Russia – State Chancellor, Prince A. M. Gorchakov , ambassador in London, Count P. A. Shuvalov , ambassador in Berlin P. P. Ubri; Germany – State Chancellor, Prince O. Bismarck, Foreign Minister B. E. Bulow and ambassador to Paris, Prince H. Hohenlohe-Shillingsfyurst; Austria-Hungary – foreign Minister, Earl D. Andrassy, ambassador in Berlin, Earl A. Karolyi and ambassador to Rome, Baron G. Haymerle; France – Foreign Minister V. Waddington, Ambassador in Berlin, Count Saint-Vallier and head of the political department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs J. Despres; England – Prime Minister, Earl Beaconsfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marquis Salisbury and ambassador in Berlin, Lord Rossel; Italy – Foreign Minister, Count Corti and ambassador in Berlin, Earl Delaunay; and Turkey – Foreign Minister Caratheodory Pasha, General Mehmed Ali Pasha and ambassador in Berlin Saadulla bay.

      The treaty was signed July 1 (13). It consisted of 64 articles and significantly changed the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano.

      Under the new agreement, Bulgaria was divided along the Balkan mountain range into two parts: the northern one which was declared an autonomous principality, paying tribute to Turkey; and the southern (Eastern Rumelia) – it remained under Turkish rule on the conditions of administrative autonomy. Macedonia ,which under the Treaty of San Stefano was making part of Bulgaria, was also given to Turkey.

      Territories of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, which remained independent, were reduced. Bosnia and Herzegovina found themselves in the zone of occupation by Austria-Hungary. Russia retained the mouth of the Danube, in the Caucasus – Kars and Ardahan; Batum became a free port for trade. As to Alashkertskaya valley and the city of Bajazet, Russia returned them to Turkey. The definitions of the Treaty of Paris of 1856 and the London Convention of 1871 regarding sea straits remained unchanged. England, which had concluded a secret agreement with the sultan, received Cyprus for its help to Turkey.

      As a result, the acquisitions of Russian and of the Balkan states which fought for the independence, were severely curtailed, while Austria-Hungary and England, who did not participate in the war, were even given certain acquisitions. Concessions made to Turkey at the Congress were the result of European policy to curb the influence of Russia in the Balkans.

      Lit.: Берлинский конгресс 1878 // Большая советская энциклопедия. М., 1970. Т. 3; Берлинский трактат [Электронный ресурс] // Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова. URL: http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/FOREIGN/berlin.htm ; Дебидур А. Дипломатическая история Европы от Венского до Берлинского конгресса (1814-1878). М., 1947. Т 2.

      См. также в Президентской библиотеке:

      Анучин Д. Г. Берлинский конгресс 1878 года : [Дневник, веденный на месте Д. Г. Анучиным]. СПб., 1912 ;

      Стебницкий И. И. Русско-турецкая граница в Малой Азии по Берлинскому трактату 1878 года. [Тифлис], 1881 .