The Balkan Powder Keg

Turkey (Ottoman Empire) ruled most of the
Balkans at the start of this century.
This part of Europe was called “the sick man
of Europe” because it was so weak.
All the major surrounding power wanted to
increase their influence in the area were
looking for an opportunity to take the
Russia - ports on the
Austria-Hungary – ports on the
Mediterranean and crush the
rebellious Slavs.
Germany – A Berlin to Baghdad
Italy – Land on the other side of
In 1908, a group called the “young Turks” caused
chaos everywhere in Turkey.
 Austria- Hungary takes advantage. They seized the
provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 Most of the people were Serbs and did not want to
be a part of Austria-Hungary.
They wanted to be part of
Serbia. Now Serbia was an
enemy of Austria - Hungary.
Italy attacked Turkey in
1911, beating them easily. Turkey was now
very week.
The other Balkan countries (Greece, Bulgaria,
Serbia, and Montenegro) joined together in
1912 to form the “Balkan League”.
The Balkan League attacked Turkey and won.
They were given all the land that Turkey
owned in the Balkans.
King Ferdinand (Bulgaria) wanted
more land.
1913 Ferdinand attacks Serbia and Greece.
This was a disaster for Bulgaria. They ended
up being attacked from 4 sides. (they lost)
Serbia came out the best after both Balkan
After all of this the Austrian Serbs gained an
even stronger desire to join Serbia.
The Balkans were now seething with hatred,
resentment and unrest.