Bosnian crisis of 1908!
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA: 15th edition, (year: 1986), Volume 2, page
Entry: "Bosnian crisis of 1908"
End of quote
State of severe international tension caused by the annexation by
Austria-Hungary of the Balkan provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the Congress
of Berlin (1878) had given Austria-Hungary the right to occupy [!] and administer
Bosnia-Herzegovina temporarily, the provinces officially remained possession of the
Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, the Austrian administration tried mightily and at great
expense to improve strategically valuable region economically
and link it closely with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When in July 1908 the Young Turks
staged a revolution in Constantinople, established a constitutional government, and
inaugurated a reform program, the Austrian foreign minister Aloys, Graf Lexa von
Aehrenthal resolved to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina before the new Turkish regime could regain
control over them.
To that end Aehrenthal met the Russian foreign minister Aleksandr P.
Izvolsky, at Buchlau, in Moravia, and on Sept. 16, 1908, Izvolsky agreed that Russia would
not object to the annexation. Aehrenthal pledged that in return Austria would not object
to opening the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships, an advantage that had
been denied to Russia since 1841. By a rescript of Oct. 7, 1908, Austria-Hungary annexed
Izvolsky, unprepared for such immediate action, could not control the
strong popular opposition to the annexation that developed in Russia. Furthermore, Serbia, which was closely related to
Bosnia-Herzegovina geographically AND ETHNICALLY, was outraged by the annexation.
It demanded that Austria cede a portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia, and Izvolsky
pressured by anti-Austrian opinion in Russia, was FORCED to support the Serbian claims.
Austria, however, firmly supported by its ally, Germany, threatened to invade Serbia if
that country persisted in its demands. Russia, having failed to secure equally strong
support from its ally, France, could not risk a war against both Austria- Hungary and
Germany for Serbia's sake, and in March 1909 Izvolsky notified Germany that Russia
accepted Austria's annexation.
Although the crisis was resolved without immediate warfare, the
resulting embittered relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary and Russia's resentment
at being deceived and humiliated by the Dual Monarchy produced a hostile tensions that
contributed to the outbreak of World War I.
Disposition of land masses does not change easily. That is one reason
more why history goes in circles. The same opponents, the same "Big Powers" in
the same geographical locations - play the same ugly games with destinies of small
peoples. They play it over and over again.
Today, Russia is as weak as ever. More than anything it is obvious from
the fact that some 40 million Russians live outside their own, mother country. They are
betrayed by new Izvolskys. Those Russians represent the LARGEST ethnic minority on Planet
Infested with traitors Russian people can not defend their own national
interests. Let alone Serbian ones. Yeltsin (new Izvolsky) who dismantled Soviet Union
along Stalin's design, is now after dismantling Russia itself. Why should then he care
whether Serbs in Bosnia are bombed by NATO?
[ World War One ]
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First posted: January 29, 1997