Question: The Balkan issue became one of the major factors responsible for the First World War. Explain by giving examples.
Answer: The Balkan was a region with diversity, ethnicity and geographical variation, which comprises of following countries – modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Its inhabitants were known as Slavs. The Balkan issue become one of the major factors responsible for the First World War. Some of the examples were –
1. Many parts of the Balkan were under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The idea of romantic nationalism and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire intensified the situation, even though Ottoman empire tried to strengthen its position by introducing reforms but didn’t succeed, so the Balkan people demanded independence and political rights. They also proved that they were always free but later subjugated by foreign powers.
2. In Balkan, Slavic Nationalities were in search of their identity and independence made the situation worse. The Balkan states wanted to capture more territories no matter how; this made Balkans a big power rivalry.
3. During this time, the European powers conflicted on trade, colonies, naval and military. Russia, Germany, England, Austro-Hungary wanted to establish their power in Balkan. All these were the examples that made Balkan issues as the major factor responsible for the First World War.