Südost-Forschungen

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Print ISSN: 0081-9077
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The author argues that the Transylvanian Romanians participated - at least from time to time - during the 13th and the 14th centuries, at the exercise of the power in their country, together with the noblemen, the Saxons and the Szeklers. This participation took place in the framework of the official general assemblies (congregationes generales) of the land of Transylvania (regnum Transilvanum). The gradual exclusion of Romanians as a group from the general assemblies of Transylvania, which took place around 1366–1437, was mainly an act of religious and not of ethnic significance. But this exclusion started to create a special state of mind in the country which has prepared the future ethnic discrimination from the modern times.
 
The author argues that the Transylvanian Romanians participated - at least from time to time - during the 13 th and the 14 th centuries, at the exercise of the power in their country, together with the noblemen, the Saxons and the Szeklers. This participation took place in the framework of the official general assemblies (congregationes generales) of the land of Transylvania (regnum Transilvanum). The gradual exclusion of Romanians as a group from the general assemblies of Transylvania, which took place around 1366–1437, was mainly an act of religious and not of ethnic significance. But this exclusion started to create a special state of mind in the country which has prepared the future ethnic discrimination from the modern times.
 
Since the Treaty of Adrianople 1829 the Lower Danube underwent major political, economic and territorial transformations. It changed from a quasi-closed river entirely under Ottoman rule into a site of Great Power intervention. This new found international interest mobilised sustained efforts to make the Danube from the Iron Gates to the Black Sea navigable. Within a few years the Lower Danube turned into an important commercial and communication hub of continental dimensions. It also turned into a place of pilgrimage for politicians, diplomats, merchants and hydraulic engineers from all over Europe enabling a vivid exchange of ideas. The goal of this article is twofold: on one hand it sets out to give an overview over the existing body of historical literature that places the Lower Danube into a transnational framework, and on the other it makes several suggestions for further studies.
 
Since the Treaty of Adrianople 1829 the Lower Danube underwent major political, economic and territorial transformations. It changed from a quasi-closed river entirely under Ottoman rule into a site of Great Power intervention. This new found international interest mobilised sustained efforts to make the Danube from the Iron Gates to the Black Sea navigable. Within a few years the Lower Danube turned into an important commercial and communication hub of continental dimensions. It also turned into a place of pilgrimage for politicians, diplomats, merchants and hydraulic engineers from all over Europe enabling a vivid exchange of ideas. The goal of this article is twofold: on one hand it sets out to give an overview over the existing body of historical literature that places the Lower Danube into a transnational framework, and on the other it makes several suggestions for further studies.
 
The article reconsiders the series of revolts that broke out in the Albanian provinces in 1910, 1911 and 1912 in paying attention to their nature, the place and position of the various actors involved as well as to the processes of repression and negotiation. Because of the changing context, of the harsh repression of summer 1910 and of the violent control of the electoral campaign of spring 1912, the uprisings, which were reactive, turned against the military and fiscal reforms, became active and multifaceted and led by different kinds of actors (local chiefs, former deputies opposed to the CUP, militaries, etc.). Their Albanian or pan-Albanian dimension was part of the contemporary debate and was a stake for their treatment.
 
The article reconsiders the series of revolts that broke out in the Albanian provinces in 1910, 1911 and 1912 in paying attention to their nature, the place and position of the various actors involved as well as to the processes of repression and negotiation. Because of the changing context, of the harsh repression of summer 1910 and of the violent control of the electoral campaign of spring 1912, the uprisings, which were reactive, turned against the military and fiscal reforms, became active and multifaceted and led by different kinds of actors (local chiefs, former deputies opposed to the CUP, militaries, etc.). Their Albanian or pan-Albanian dimension was part of the contemporary debate and was a stake for their treatment.
 
Relations between Greece and Austria-Hungary had never been particularly cordial, despite some brief periods of a certain rapprochement, and Vienna displayed a total lack of consideration for the interests of Athens also during the Balkan Wars. Greek ‘dreams’ were only marginally ‘tangent’ to Vienna’s interests and the Ballhausplatz did not envisage any point of convergence of their political goals. The cooperation, let alone the alliance, between Greece and Serbia proved to be a thorn in the Greco-Austrian relations. All issues of Greek interest met with Vienna’s strong opposition: the drawing of the southern/southeastern borders of Albania; the fate of Thessaloniki and Kavalla; the future of the East Aegean islands. While Austria was aiming at bringing Bulgaria in her sphere of influence, Germany wanted to attract Athens closer to the Triple Alliance, which led to serious misunderstandings between the two empires. Ultimately, this divergence of policy worked in favour of Greece that obtained Thessaloniki and its hinterland, Kavalla, a large part of Epirus, safeguarded her titles on the Aegean islands and secured a common Greco-Serbian borderline. However, the issue of Northern Epirus was left in abeyance until after the First World War. Finally, the Ballhausplatz, re-evaluating the new geopolitical realities in the Balkans, started looking constructively to the future role of Greece in the region.
 
Relations between Greece and Austria-Hungary had never been particularly cordial, despite some brief periods of a certain rapprochement, and Vienna displayed a total lack of consideration for the interests of Athens also during the Balkan Wars. Greek ‘dreams’ were only marginally ‘tangent’ to Vienna’s interests and the Ballhausplatz did not envisage any point of convergence of their political goals. The cooperation, let alone the alliance, between Greece and Serbia proved to be a thorn in the Greco-Austrian relations. All issues of Greek interest met with Vienna’s strong opposition: the drawing of the southern/southeastern borders of Albania; the fate of Thessaloniki and Kavalla; the future of the East Aegean islands. While Austria was aiming at bringing Bulgaria in her sphere of influence, Germany wanted to attract Athens closer to the Triple Alliance, which led to serious misunderstandings between the two empires. Ultimately, this divergence of policy worked in favour of Greece that obtained Thessaloniki and its hinterland, Kavalla, a large part of Epirus, safeguarded her titles on the Aegean islands and secured a common Greco-Serbian borderline. However, the issue of Northern Epirus was left in abeyance until after the First World War. Finally, the Ballhausplatz, re-evaluating the new geopolitical realities in the Balkans, started looking constructively to the future role of Greece in the region.
 
The best guarantee of protecting the rights of Christian minorities on the European territory of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century was nothing else but the establishing of own nation-states, where the Christian population could lead his life without being ruled or controlled by the Ottoman Empire. This process found support and was assisted by the Great Powers. It means, that one form of the humanitarian intervention was the state-building instructed or assisted from abroad. One of the unexpected experiences of the Balkan Wars 1912/1913 was that the members of the Balkan League committed genocides and other kinds of mass violence against other Nationalities and the Muslim population of the peninsula. Among other things the Albanian state-building project of the Great Powers aimed to prevent further genocide and other acts of violence against the Albanian population and other refugees from Macedonia and to put an end to the anarchy of the country. The main international organisation to directly represent the great powers in the new Albania and to be responsible for the state-building process was the International Commission of Control.
 
The best guarantee of protecting the rights of Christian minorities on the European territory of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19 th century was nothing else but the establishing of own nation-states, where the Christian population could lead his life without being ruled or controlled by the Ottoman Empire. This process found support and was assisted by the Great Powers. It means, that one form of the humanitarian intervention was the state-building instructed or assisted from abroad. One of the unexpected experiences of the Balkan Wars 1912/1913 was that the members of the Balkan League committed genocides and other kinds of mass violence against other Nationalities and the Muslim population of the peninsula. Among other things the Albanian state-building project of the Great Powers aimed to prevent further genocide and other acts of violence against the Albanian population and other refugees from Macedonia and to put an end to the anarchy of the country. The main international organisation to directly represent the great powers in the new Albania and to be responsible for the state-building process was the International Commission of Control.
 
This paper follows “Balkan Vienna”, a media phenomenon as well as a media construct created both by the Viennese press and from the perspective of the Balkans themselves. The decline of the once brilliant capital of the great empire into a hotbed of revolutionaries and terrorists was recorded in Belgrade with scorn and fear. In Vienna, the press addressed these events in terms that sought to distance the capital from the southeast. However, at the same time the Viennese press admired the political activists from the Balkans, exoticising them as heroes. Thus, the press externalised Austrian domestic contradictions through their discussions of Balkan politics. By reporting scandal and sleaze, the press perpetuated the image of Vienna as a refuge for revolutionary activities and “typical Balkan” violence. “Balkan Vienna” is thus a social and political place, one of local, national, transnational, Balkanic and European linkages. As such, it is part of a new discourse, which relocates the internal and external view of Vienna and Austria on the mental map of Europe.
 
This paper follows “Balkan Vienna”, a media phenomenon as well as a media construct created both by the Viennese press and from the perspective of the Balkans themselves. The decline of the once brilliant capital of the great empire into a hotbed of revolutionaries and terrorists was recorded in Belgrade with scorn and fear. In Vienna, the press addressed these events in terms that sought to distance the capital from the southeast. However, at the same time the Viennese press admired the political activists from the Balkans, exoticising them as heroes. Thus, the press externalised Austrian domestic contradictions through their discussions of Balkan politics. By reporting scandal and sleaze, the press perpetuated the image of Vienna as a refuge for revolutionary activities and “typical Balkan” violence. “Balkan Vienna” is thus a social and political place, one of local, national, transnational, Balkanic and European linkages. As such, it is part of a new discourse, which relocates the internal and external view of Vienna and Austria on the mental map of Europe.
 
Top-cited authors
Michael Kopsidis
  • Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies
Buchenau Klaus
  • Freie Universität Berlin
Lumnije Jusufi
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Andrea Matošević
  • Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Jure Ramsak
  • Science and Research Centre Koper