IGCSE History
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Exams and Revision

Why were the problems in the Balkans so difficult for the Great Powers to solve?

Activities Resources
Although not an easy topic to understand, this essential to a full understanding of the causes of the First World War. Begin by reading the relevant 'Balkan' sections from Brooman and then try Farmer (see opposite)

1. Draw a sketch map of the Balkans (on this occasion do not simply cut and paste one from the Internet) showing the situation before 1900. 

2. Explain in detail why the Great Powers found it very difficult to agree about the 'Balkan Problem'. Brooman (24-5) (Farmer 42-3)

3. Read 50-1 1908 Bosnian Crisis and The Balkan Wars 52-3. Use these two headings to make simple chronological notes on the development of the Balkan problem from 1908 up to 1913. You should have three sub-headings:
  • 1908 Bosnian Crisis: causes, events and results
  • 1912 The First Balkan War: causes, events and results
  • 1913 The Second Balkan War: causes, events and results

The box in Farmer (52-3) 'The main results of the Balkan Wars', is worth using carefully. As a consequence of your reading and notes, you should be able to understand the final sentence: 'Austro-Hungarian leaders thought it essential to 'smash' Serbia if the Habsburg Empire was to survive.

Brooman The End of Old Europe, Part Three, 'The Balkan Powder Keg. (23-27)
Farmer (42-3 and 50-1 and 52-3)

Map below taken from the Open Doors website : www.saburchill.com/history/ chapters/empires/0060.html. Which also has some excellent notes explaining the Balkans.

Above the Balkans in 1878, below 1914

See The Corner website for good clear explanations.