Serbia, Europe, Historical Profile (1922), #025-The Treaty of Bucharest


By July 17 the Serbs had forced back the Bulgarians at all points to the frontier of 1912, and could henceforth adopt a mainly defensive attitude, while Greeks. Rumanians and Turks continued to advance. The appeals of Sofia to the Powers to enforce upon Turkey respect for a treaty concluded under their auspices were disregarded; and Western public opinion was not inclined to save Bulgaria from the consequences of her own act.

Meanwhile Austria-Hungary was held back from intervention by both her allies-Italy, who viewed with alarm the Balkan activities of any outside Power and was determined to insist upon compensation, and Germany, who feared the loss of Rumania for the Triple Alliance and the consequent derangement of the military balance in Europe. Italy indeed made it clear to Vienna that she would not recognize the casus foederis of the Triple Alliance as-applicable to such a case; and the combined pressure of Rome and Berlin, coupled with the certainty of Russian aid to Serbia, again averted war at the last moment.
Bulgaria was forced to sign an armistice on July 31 and to open peace negotiations at Bucharest with her four Christian neighbours.

By the Treaty of Bucharest (Aug. 10) Serbia acquired all Macedonia west of the Vardar, and to the east the districts of Slip (Istib) and KoCana: Bulgaria retained possession of a dangerous salient at Strumnica, which enabled her to threaten Serbia's only railway connection with the Aegean. The Treaty of Constantinople, which was concluded between Bulgaria and Turkey (Sept. 29) and deprived the former of the greater. Thrace, did not directly concern Serbia; but the indifference shown by her and her new allies, and still more by Britain and Russia, to Turkey's violation of a treaty which was their joint work, and indeed was morally binding upon them, was to be dearly paid for by Bulgaria's attitude in the World War.

The treaties marked a new orientation in the Near East. Slav co-operation was replaced by mutual hatred, which threw defeated Bulgaria into the arms of Turkey and predisposed both for alliance with Berlin; Rumania's ties with the Triple Alliance were sensibly loosened, while Greece was drawn in two directions by dynastic attractions and party rancours.

      "Serbia, Europe, Historical Profile (1922), #025-The Treaty of Bucharest," The Encyclopedia Britannica. (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1922); digital edition, ( : posted 15 Jan 2013)

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