Treaty of Berlin

Eastern Europe, 1878

The Berlin Treaty was regarded as an important part of the Berlin Congress, by which Germany, Russia, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ottoman Empire, as well as Austria-Hungary revised the San Stefano treaty that was formally signed and finalized in 1878. Those who formulated the treaty aimed to determine the fate of Bulgaria’s Principality that was established and stated in the San Stefano Treaty, in spite of the fact that Bulgaria was excluded in the conferences at Russia’s insistence.

Purpose and Consequences of the Berlin Treaty

The treaty acknowledged full independence and freedom of several nations including the principalities of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, as well as Bulgaria’s autonomy. There were three sections that composed Bulgaria, which included Eastern Rumilia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria proper. The San Stefano Treaty created a vast Bulgarian state, and this considered as a threat to Austria-Hungary and Great Britain. Kosovo Vilayet remained as a part of Ottoman Empire, and the previous “Sanjak” of Novi-Pazar was set under the historic Austro-Hungarian occupation, although it still remained as one of the territories of the Turkish Administration.

Further Details about the Berlin Treaty

Meanwhile, there were three newly-independent states that subsequently proclaimed and regarded themselves as kingdoms. These states that gained total independence include Romania (1881), Serbia (1882), and the state of Montenegro (1910). In 1908, Bulgaria claimed full independence after it united with Eastern Rumilia, in 1885. On the other hand, Austria-Hungary added Bosnia to their territories in 1908, and this action initiated the major European crisis.


This treaty granted a lawful and judicial status to a number of religious groups. Moreover, the treaty has served as a guide for the system of minorities, which was established subsequently within the League of Nations‘ framework. Furthermore, this treaty called for the rectification of borders between Ottoman Empire and Greece, which eventually occurred after the protracted negotiations that was held in 1881.

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