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In the century between 1806 and 1914 tsarist Russia was drawn into five wars due to its deep involvement, based on treaty rights and established traditions, in Balkan affairs. This book examines the reason for the Russian involvement in the Balkan peninsula and attempts to explain at least partially the connection that drew the Russian government into entanglements that were not only dangerous to its great power interests, but that were difficult to control. The wars, waged at a high human and economic cost, limited the resources that could be spent on internal development and, in particular when they ended in defeat, led to domestic unrest and after 1856 and 1917 to drastic internal change.
Reviews & endorsements
"As usual, Jelavich has written an impressive book, minor criticisms notwithstanding. She has done extensive research in archives throughout Europe as well as in Washington, D.C....This book is recommended to students and specialists interested in nineteenth-century European foreign affairs as well as to those who seek explanations for the 1917 February Revolution in Russia." The HistorianSee more reviews
"In this excellent book, Jelavich analyzes the interplay of economic factors, geopolitical concerns, questions of ideology, religion, ethnicity, and great-power prestige in the formulation and implementation of Russia's Balkan policy...In her analysis of Russia's multifarious political, diplomatic, and military engagements in the Balkans, Jelavich deftly discusses the origins, provisions, and significance of no fewer than 27 treaties negotiated between 1699 and 1913. Crisply written and clearly articulated..." Choice
"Overall this is an excellent work. It provides a well researched and highly readable synthesis of the complexities of Russia's Balkan policies during the nineteenth century. Jelavich's wide knowledge and sound judgments make this work an excellent addition to the literature on this difficult subject." Richard C. Hall, The Russian Review
"Barbara Jelavich has written a competent and confident study of what was perhaps the most challenging arena of foreign policy of late imperial Russia. This aptly titled book leaves the reader with a sound awareness of the foreign policy and diplomatic issues that bedeviled decision makers variously involved in Russia's engagement in the Balkans and, more generally, the Ottoman empire....Well written and handsomely presented, Jelavich's study is a persuasive and at times engrossing study in diplomatic history." T. A. Meininger, American Historical Review
"One must be grateful, therefore, that Barbara Jelavich, author of many well-known books and articles on specialized aspects of Russo-Balkan relations, has always been willing to give the overview." Ann Pottinger Saab, The International History Review
"Jelavich has produced a sweeping overview of Russia's involvement in the Balkans during the better part of a century. It is evidently the product of a long and productive career during which much has been gathered and digested over a number of years, a process that has resulted in yet another lucid account of Russian foreign relations in the nineteenth century....Certainly Jelavich, in a very readable volume, gives us plenty of food for thought for today's events as well as those of the past." Jonathan Haslam, Journal of Modern History
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- Date Published: March 2004
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521522502
- length: 308 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.474kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of maps and illustrations
1. Rights and obligations acquired: the advance to the Black Sea, the Danubian Principalities, and the Serbian revolution
2. Rights and obligations defended and extended: the Greek revolution and the Russo-Turkish War, 1828–9
3. The defense of the status quo: the Crimean War
4. Balkan involvements continued: the Bulgarian question and the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–8
5. Final steps: the Belgrade link and the origins of World War I
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