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San Stefano, Treaty of (1878)

SAN STEFANO, TREATY OF (1878)

Signed on 3 March 1878, this treaty concluded one of the major wars fought between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (18771878).

Among the provisions of the Treaty of San Stefano were the following:

  1. Serbia and Montenegro received their independence from the Ottoman Empire and were granted additional territory.
  2. Independence was also gained by Romania, which lost southern Bessarabia to Russia but was compensated by the acquisition of the Black Sea province of Dobrudja.
  3. Bosnia and Herzegovina were granted autonomy and were promised reforms, to be supervised jointly by Russia and Austria.
  4. In addition to southern Bessarabia, Russia also acquired a substantial part of northeastern Anatolia, including the provinces of Batum, Kars, and Ardahan.
  5. Unexpectedly, the treaty also called for the creation of Greater Bulgaria. Its territory extended from the Danube and the Black Sea
    to the Aegean Sea in the south and included much of Macedonia. Nominally a part of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Bulgaria was to be ruled by a Christian government and to possess a national militia. For the next two years, it was also to remain under Russian occupationa clear indication of the direction in which Russia was moving: Bulgaria guards the northern access to the Turkish Straits.

It soon became obvious that the Treaty of San Stefanoa major gain in Russia's contest with the Ottoman Empire for supremacy in the Balkan-Black Sea regionwould not be allowed to stand. Among the great powers, early concern was expressed by Great Britain and Austria-Hungary. Britain had long opposed Russia's aggrandizement at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and particularly the Russian drive toward the Turkish Straits. Austria-Hungary shared British apprehensions and was also perturbed by the creation of the Russian puppet state of Greater Bulgaria. Bowing to the British, Austro-Hungarian, and later German pressure, Russia agreed to submit the terms of the treaty of San Stefano to a great power congressthe Congress of Berlin.

The resulting Treaty of Berlin (1878) endorsed many of the provisions negotiated at San Stefano. Russia and Romania kept their territorial gains. Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro retained their independence, and the latter two retained much of the territory allocated to them. Bosnia and Herzegovina were, however, placed under Austrian control, and England was permitted to occupy Cyprus. Finally, despite Russian objections, the Congress of Berlin dismantled Greater Bulgaria. The latter was split into three parts: Bulgaria proper, located north of the Balkan mountains; East Rumelia, situated south of them; and Macedonia. All remained under Ottoman suzerainty but were granted autonomy and were promised reforms.

Great Britain was the main beneficiary of the Congress of Berlin. Supported by Austria-Hungary, Britain denied Russia the opportunity to become the sole arbiter of the affairs of the Ottoman Empire. The congress also prevented Russia from becoming the patron of Greater Bulgaria. Great Britain also acquired Cyprus; strategically located in the eastern Mediterranean, the island was used four years later to effect the British occupation of Egypt.

Bibliography


Langer, William L. European Alliances and Alignments, 18711890, 2d edition. New York: Knopf, 1950.

Sumner, Benedict H. Russia and the Balkans, 18701880. Oxford: Clarendon, 1937.

oles m. smolansky

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"San Stefano, Treaty of (1878)." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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San Stefano, Treaty of

SAN STEFANO, TREATY OF

The Treaty of San Stefano, signed March 3, 1878, ended the Russo-Turkish War (18771878).

On January 31, 1878, with Russian victory over Turkey a foregone conclusion, the belligerents agreed to an armistice at Adrianople, followed by peace negotiations at San Stefano, a village near Constantinople. There, Count Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev, former ambassador to the Porte, and Savfet Pasha worked out final terms for signature on March 3, the anniversary date of Tsar Alexander II's imperial accession.

Accordingly, Turkey agreed to pay reparations of 1.41 billion rubles, of which 1.1 billion would be cancelled by cession to Russia in Asia Minor of Ardahan, Kars, Batumi, and Bayazid. In the Balkans, Turkey ceded northern Dobrudja and the Danube delta to Russia for ultimate transfer to Romania, in return for Romanian agreement to Russian occupation of southern Bessarabia. With a seaboard on the Mediterranean and an elected prince, Bulgaria remained under nominal Turkish control, while Bosnia and Herzegovina received autonomy. Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro received their independence, along with territorial enlargement. Turkey was obliged strictly to observe concessions for local participation in government that were inherent in the Organic Regulation of 1868 on Crete, while analogous regimes were to be implemented in Thessaly and Albania. The Porte was also to introduce reforms in Turkish Armenia.

The San Stefano Treaty formally went into effect on March 16, 1878, but concerted opposition from Great Britain and Austria-Hungary, together with Russia's growing diplomatic isolation, meant that the agreement remained only preliminary. Indeed, its main provisions subsequently underwent substantial revision at the Congress of Berlin in July 1878.

See also: berlin, congress of; russo-turkish wars; turkey, relations with

bibliography

Jelavich, Barbara. (1974). St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet Foreign Policy, 18141974. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Oleg R. Airapetov

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"San Stefano, Treaty of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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San Stefano, Treaty of

Treaty of San Stefano (săn stĕf´ənō), 1878, peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, at the conclusion of the last of the Russo-Turkish Wars; it was signed at San Stefano (now Yeşilköy), a village W of İstanbul, Turkey. The Ottomans ceded to Russia parts of Armenia and the Dobruja; agreed to pay a very large indemnity; recognized the independence of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro; and increased the territories of Serbia and Montenegro. Bulgaria was made an autonomous principality and was immensely enlarged, and the Ottoman Empire promised reforms for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because the treaty modified the Treaty of Paris of 1856 (see Paris, Congress of) and greatly increased Russian influence in SE Europe, the other great powers obtained its revision at an international conference (see Berlin, Congress of).

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"San Stefano, Treaty of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"San Stefano, Treaty of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/san-stefano-treaty