Austro–Serbian Alliance of 1881

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Austro–Serbian Alliance
South-eastern Europe 1881.jpg
South-eastern Europe in 1881
Signed28 June 1881
Parties Austria-Hungary

The Austro–Serbian Convention of 1881 was a secret bilateral treaty signed in Belgrade on 28 June 1881 by Gabriel Freiherr Herbert-Rathkeal on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and by Čedomilj Mijatović[1] on behalf of the Principality of Serbia. The convention effectively turned Serbia into a vassal state of Austria-Hungary[2] and meant her accession by proxy to the subsequent Triple Alliance (1882).

The Balkans had been divided into spheres of influence, where Austria took the western part (including Serbia) and Russia took the eastern part (including Bulgaria). The treaty came after the railway convention of 6 April 1881 for the construction of the Belgrade–Niš section of the Vienna–Constantinople railway, and the trade treaty of 6 May 1881 which made Austria-Hungary virtually the sole market for agricultural products from Serbia and thereby dominant.

Following the Treaty of Berlin (1878), Serbia chose to accept Austria as its patron, when Russia had become a protector of Bulgaria. Nevertheless, the conclusion of the convention was met with resentment and opposition from Russophile sections of the political class in Serbia, including opposition on the part of the then prime minister Milan Piroćanac.[1]

Under the treaty, Austria-Hungary pledged to support the Obrenović dynasty and recognise the Serbian prince as king, and acknowledged Serbia′s southward territorial claims; in return, Serbian undertook not to allow any agitation or military activity inimical to Austro-Hungarian interests, which notably included those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sanjak of Novi Pazar; all foreign treaties of Serbia were to obtain Vienna′s prior approval.

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  1. ^ a b ″Austro-ugarsko-srpska tajna konvencija g. 1881.″ // Hrvatska Enciklopedija, Zagreb: Naklada Konzorcija Hrvatske Enciklopedije (Kingdom of Yugoslavia), 1941, Vol. I, p. 784.
  2. ^ Enciklopedija Jugoslavije 1968, p. 456.


  • Ian D. Armour (2014). Apple of Discord: The "Hungarian Factor" in Austro-Serbian Relations, 1867-1881. Purdue University Press. pp. 311–. ISBN 978-1-55753-683-9.
  • Alfred Francis Pribram; Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1920). The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary, 1879-1914: Texts of the treaties and agreements, with translations by Denys P. Myers and J.G. D'Arcy Paul. Harvard University Press. pp. 50–52.
  • Jan G. Beaver (1 September 2009). Collision Course: Franz Conrad Von Hötzendorf, Serbia, and the Politics of Preventive War. pp. 67–. ISBN 978-0-557-09600-8.'
  • Robin Okey; Senior Lecturer in History Robin Okey (2 September 2003). Eastern Europe 1740-1985: Feudalism to Communism. Routledge. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-1-134-88687-6.
  • Enciklopedija Jugoslavije (1968). Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, Vol. 7 // Sovjetsko-jugoslovenski odnosi (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Jugoslovenski leksikografski zavod.