Balkan Powder Keg

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Treaty of Berlin 1878

June 13, 1878 - July 13, 1878

Called to revise the Treaty of San Stefano; recognized independence of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro as well as Bulgaria.

Romania declares itself a kingdom

1881

Austro-Serbian Alliance

1881 - 1895

Austria - Hungary enters an alliance with Serbia in order to prevent Russia from gaining too much influence in the Balkans and to prevent Russian aggression in Serbia.

Serbia declares itself a kingdom

1882

Triple Alliance Begins

1882

Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy enter an alliance enter an alliance that lasts until the beginning of World War I. Italy goes against the alliance shortly after the beginning of WWI.

May Overthrow

May 1903

Serbian King Alexander Obrenović and his wife, Queen Draga, were assassinated inside the Royal Palace in Belgrade. Led to the extinction of the House of Obrenović, replaced by the House of Karađorđević. The House of Karađorđević was associated with Russia and France while the House of Obrenović was associated with Austria - Hungary. The May Overthrow strained relations between Austria - Hungary and Serbia, and led to the Customs War when Serbia tried to become less dependent on Austria - Hungary.

Customs War

1906 - 1911

Also known as the Pig War - Austria-Hungary imposes a customs blockade on Serbian pork. Austria - Hungary attempted to stop Serbian growth; in response, Serbia found new partners to export pork to and increased its trade.

Triple Entente Begins

August 31, 1907

Anglo-Russian Entente and Entente Cordial led to the formation of the Triple Entente, an alliance between Russia, France and Britain. Triple Entente included some off-alliances with Portugal and Japan as well.

Bosnian Crisis

October 6 1908 - April 1909

Austria-Hungary announces the annexation of Bosnia - Herzegovina, which drew the attention of Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Germany and France. The annexation strained relationships between Russia and Austria - Hungary.

Montenegro declares itself a kingdom

1910

First Balkan War

October 1912 - May 1913

Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria) against the Ottoman Empire. Victory for the Balkan states.

Second Balkan War

June 16 1913 - July 18 1913

Bulgaria attacks Serbia and Greece after the end of the First Balkan War, because it was unhappy with the split of land. Romania and the Ottoman Empire joined Serbia and Greece. Result was the Treaty of Bucharest that gave land to Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Ottomans.
Serbia was left the only ally of Russia in the Balkan Peninsula.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

June 28 1914

Bosnian Serb nationalist youth named Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand. In response, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.