Treaty of London (1913)
Borders of the Balkan states after the Treaty of London and the Treaty of Bucharest
|Signed||30 May 1913|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
The combatants were the victorious Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Kingdom of Bulgaria, and Montenegro) and the defeated Ottoman Empire. Representing the Great Powers were Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
Hostilities had officially ceased on 2 December 1912, although unofficially Serbian and Greek advances continued. Three principal points were in dispute:
- the status of the territory of present-day Albania, the vast majority of which had been overrun by Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece
- the status of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar formally under the protection of Austria-Hungary since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878
- the status of the other territories taken by the Allies: Kosovo; Macedonia; and Thrace
Austria-Hungary and Italy strongly supported the creation of an independent Albania. In part, this was consistent with Austria-Hungary's previous policy of resisting Serb expansion to the Adriatic; Italy had designs on the territory, manifested in 1939. Russia supported Serbia and Montenegro. Germany and Britain remained neutral. The balance of power struck between the members of the Balkan League had been on the assumption that no Albanian polity would be formed and Albanian territory would be split between them.
The terms enforced by the Great Powers were:
- All European territory of the Ottoman Empire west of the line between Enos on the Aegean Sea and Midia on the Black Sea was ceded to the Balkan League, except Albania.
- The Ottoman Empire ceded Crete, while it was left to the Great Powers to determine the fate of the other islands in the Aegean Sea.
- The borders of Albania and all other questions concerning Albania were to be settled by the Great Powers.
However, the division of the territories ceded to the Balkan League was not addressed in the Treaty, and Serbia refused to carry out the division agreed with Bulgaria in their treaty of March 1912. As a result of Bulgarian dissatisfaction with the de facto military division of Macedonia, the Second Balkan War broke out between the combatants on 16 June 1913. A final peace was agreed at the Treaty of Bucharest on 12 August 1913.
The delineation of the exact boundaries of the Albanian state under the Protocol of Florence (17 December 1913) was highly unpopular among the local Greek population of Southern Albania (or Northern Epirus for Greeks), who after their revolt managed to declare the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus, which was internationally recognised as an autonomous region inside Albania under the terms of the Protocol of Corfu.
The delineation was, of course, equally unpopular among people speaking Albanian in southern Epirus, western and northern Macedonia, and Kosovo, who were not provided autonomy or recognition of their ethnic identity.
Perceptions of the Treaty
Albanians have tended to regard the Treaty as an injustice imposed by the Great Powers, on the grounds that about 30%-40% of all ethnic Albanians were left out of the new state. It should however be recognised that the Great Powers (themselves divided) were dealing with the realities of a war situation in which very few majority-Albanian areas had not been already occupied by the Balkan League powers.
- Anderson, Frank Marby; Amos Shartle Hershey (1918). "The Treaty of London, 1913". Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914. Washington, DC: National Board for Historical Service, Government Printing Office.
- "(HIS,P) Treaty of Peace between Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia on the one part and Turkey on the other part. (London) 17/30 May 1913". Zum.de. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- Richard C. Hall,The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913
- Stickney, Edith Pierpont (1926). Southern Albania or Northern Epirus in European International Affairs, 1912–1923. Stanford University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-8047-6171-0. "By the terms of the agreement of Corfu the Epirotes obtained the autonomy for which they had struggled"
- Elsie, Robert (2010), "Independent Albania (1912—1944)", Historical dictionary of Albania, Lanham: Scarecrow Press, p. lix, ISBN 978-0-8108-7380-3, OCLC 454375231, retrieved 4 February 2012, "... about 30 percent of the Albanian population were excluded from the new state/about 40% ... found themselves excluded from this new country p.243"
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