The Ionian Islands were ceded by Great Britain to Greece in 1864. The great break-up came in 1878. The abortive treaty of San Stefano, concluded in that year, reduced the Turkish possessions in the Peninsula to Albania, Epirus, Thessaly and a portion of southern Thrace. A large Bulgarian principality was created extending from the Danube to the Aegean and from the Black Sea to the river Drin in Albania; it received a considerable coast-line on the Aegean and abutted on the Gulf of Salonica under the walls of that town. At the same time the frontiers of Servia and Montenegro were enlarged so as to become almost contiguous, and Montenegro received the ports of Antivari and Dulcigno on the Adriatic. From a strategical point of view the Bulgaria of the San Stefano treaty threatened Salonica, Adrianople and Constantinople itself; and the great powers, anticipating that the new state would become a Russian dependency, refused their sanction to its provisions. The treaty of Berlin followed, which limited the principality to the country between the Danube and the Balkans, created the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia south of the Balkans, and left the remainder of the proposed Bulgarian state under Turkish rule.
The Montenegrin frontier laid down at San Stefano was considerably curtailed, Dulcigno, the district north-east of the Tara, and other territories being restored to Turkey; in addition to Nish, Servia received the districts of Pirot and Vranya on the east instead of the Ibar valley on the west; the Dobrudja, somewhat enlarged, was ceded to Rumania, which surrendered southern Bessarabia to Russia. Bosnia and Herzegovina were handed over to Austrian administration; under a subsequent convention with Turkey, Austria sent troops into the sanjak of Novibazar. The complete independence of the principalities of Servia, Rumania and Montenegro was recognized. The claims of Greece, ignored at San Stefano, were admitted at Berlin; an extension of frontier, including Epirus as well as Thessaly, was finally sanctioned by the powers in 1880, but owing to the tenacious resistance of Turkey only Thessaly and the district of Arta were acquired by Greece in 1881. Rumania was proclaimed a kingdom in that year, Servia in 1882. In 1880, after a naval demonstration by the powers, Dulcigno was surrendered to Montenegro in compensation for the districts of Plava and Gusinye restored to Turkey. In 1886 the informal union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria was sanctioned by Europe, the districts of Tumrush (Rhodope) and Krjali being given back to the sultan.
In 1897 Crete was withdrawn from Turkish administration, and the Greco-Turkish War of that year was followed by the cession to Turkey of a few strategical points on the Thessalian frontier. In 1908 Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed to the Dual Monarchy, and Bulgaria (including Eastern Rumelia) was proclaimed an independent kingdom.
The growth and development of the Balkan nations have, to A Balkan confederation. a great extent, been retarded by the international jealousies arising from the Eastern Question. The possibility of the young states entering into a combination which would enable them to offer a united resistance to foreign interference while simultaneously effecting a compromise in regard to their national aims, has at various times occupied the attention of Balkan politicians. Among the earliest advocates of this idea was Ristich, the Servian statesman. During the reaction against Russia which followed the war of 1877 informal discussions were conducted with this object, and it was even suggested that a reformed or constitutional Turkey might find a place in the confederation. The movement was favourably regarded by King Charles of Rumania and Prince Alexander of Bulgaria. But the revolt of Eastern Rumelia, followed by the Servo-Bulgarian War and the coercion of Greece by the powers, embittered the rivalry of the various races, and the project was laid aside.
It was revived in a somewhat modified form in 1891 by Tricoupis, who suggested an offensive alliance of the Balkan states, directed against Turkey and aiming at a partition of the Sultan's possessions in Europe. The scheme, which found favour in Servia, was frustrated by the opposition of Stamboloff, who denounced it to the Porte. In 1897 a Bulgarian proposal for joint pacific action with a view to obtaining reforms in Macedonia was rejected by Greece.
Special bibliographies are appended to the separate articles which deal with the various political divisions of the Peninsula. For a general description of the whole region, its inhabitants, political problems, etc., see "Odysseus," Turkey in Europe (London, 1900), a work of exceptional interest and value. See also The Balkan Question, ed. L. Villari (London, 1905); W. Miller, Travels and Politics in the Near East (London, 1898); L. Lamouche, La Péninsule balkanique (Paris, 1899); H. C. Thomson, The Outgoing Turk (London, 1897); T. Joanne, états du Danube et des Balkans (Paris, 1895); R. Millet, Souvenirs des Balkans (Paris, 1891); V. Cambon, Autour des Balkans (Paris, 1890); P. J. Hamard, Par delà l'Adriatique et les Balkans (Paris, 1890); E. de Laveleye, La Péninsule des Balkans (Brussels, 1886). For geology see F. Toula, "Materialien zu einer Geologic der Balkan-halbinsel," Jahr. k.-k. geol. Reichsanst. (Vienna, vol. xxxiii. 1883), pp. 61-114; A. Bittnel. M. Neumayr, etc., Denks. k. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-nat. Cl., vol. xl. (1880); A. Philippson, Der Peloponnes (Berlin, 1892); J. Cvijić, "Die Tektonik der Balkanhalbinsel," C. R. IX. Cong. géol. inter.
Vienne, pp. 347-370 (1904). For the condition of the Peninsula before the Treaty of Berlin, see E. Rüffer, Die Balkanhalbinsel und ihre Volker (Bautzen, 1869); Mackenzie and Irby, Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey (London, 1866); and A. Boué, La Turquie d'Europe (Paris, 1840). W. Miller, The Balkans (London, 1896), sketches the history of Bulgaria, Montenegro, Rumania and Servia. See also Sir E. Hertslet, The Map of Europe by Treaty, esp. vol. iv. (London, 1875-1891); J. D. Bourchier, "A Balkan Confederation," in the Fortnightly Review (London, September 1891); the Austrian and Russian staff maps, and the ethnographical maps of Kiepert and Peucker.
(J. D. B.)