תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

respect for the “Treaty of Berlin.” We pointment of a conference to be held are now brought to a consideration of at Berlin. The chief work of that conthat wonderful international document ference is thus summarized from the known as the "Treaty of Berlin,” about Treaty: which so much time and breath has "Russia while retaining a claim been exhausted. We have therefore to against Turkey for about fifty millions drop back a period of nine years to ex sterling of an indemnity, which she conamine its origin and provisions.

sented to postpone to anterior hypothecaAt the close of the late Turko-Russian tions of revenue, kept Khars and Ardawar, in which the Turks were defeated han which she had conquered, while she and forced to sign the “Treaty of San got Batoum in Asia and Bessarabia in Stevano" on the thirty-first of January, Europe. Bosnia and the Herzegovina 1877, the great European Powers inter were denied the independence proposed ested themselves in the question. They for them; but instead of being continued were not satisfied with the “Treaty of under Turkish sway were handed over San Stevano,” especially Great Britain, to Austria. The Lesser powers of Roumaand appointed a conference at Berlin at nia, Servia, and Montenegro obtained which the treaty was to be reconsidered an acknowledgment of their independand revised. This resulted in what has ence and an extension of their boundarsince been known as the “Treaty of ies. Northern Bulgaria was erected Berlin.” The first treaty was liberal into what was virtually a free state. enough on the part of Russia. Of course The wishes of Russia in respect to it was almost an entire dismemberment Southern Bulgaria were overruled, the of European-Turkey; but Austria must arrangements being that under the desighave an indemnity for her neutrality nation East Roumelia, it should remain a and the English officers who moved their Turkish province, but with a "Christian" men of war into the Marmora sea, drank governor, whom the Powers approve, champagne and gave fancy balls on immunity from the presence of TurkPrinces' Islands, as the assertion in Con ish local officials, and a native militia. stantinople goes, had not received from England, in exchange for the acquisition selfish Russia a penny to pay expenses. of Cyprus at a rent of one hundred and Russia had made a great sacrifice in the ten thousand pounds a year, undertook war and only asked besides a reason the obligation of securing good governable war indemnity, the freedom of the ment in Asia Minor." “Christian” provinces under Turkish So much for the geographical features of rule. England was sharp enough lawyer that great document. But the Prince of to discover that the “Treaty of San Bulgaria was to be elected by the people Stevano'' might, could, or would affect with the consent of the sublime porte the treaties of 1856 and 1871, and so it (Turkish parliament) and approval of the must have the sanction of European Great Powers. Whether the approval of Powers. “Europe” said the jealous the Great Powers was to consist of a given Britain, “is asked to register the decrees majority or of all, the Treaty of Berlinois of Russia," and the latter retorted that silent. However, the instrument in that A congress is not a judicial tribunal respect leaves any one of them to offer and Russia does not come as a suitor objections and opposition, in what would but as an equal ; they may examine and be considered in ordinary governmental discuss every part of it; but she does institutions with perfect arbitrariness. not surrender the same liberty of appre Any one of them can make it the bone ciation and action as belongs to them." of contention just as Russia is doing at In the midst of these stormy disputes a present. That the Bulgarian people are war was threatened between England lest free to elect a prince of their own and Russia, and it was then that Bismarck appears true in a formal sense, but in in the interest of peace interceded and reality they are obliged to take whoma concerted faction resulted in the ap soever the Great Powers may force upon

Her army

them. The Bulgarians elect their prince

international law to offer in the future! through the Sobranje, their parliament.

England claimed that the two Bulgarias When the Sobranje has been elected by might be more prosperous under one the people it seeks to know the will of government, and having an "axe to the Great Powers and acts accordingly.

grind" in emancipating Bulgaria from With Prince Alexander of Battenburg

Russian influence favored the revolution. upon their throne, the Bulgarians, re Turkey wanted peace and would no lieved of Turkish rule, began their doubt have assumed her right over her national existence, in which they hoped

protectorate to quell, if necessary, the to find quiet and national prosperity, free

movement by force of arms. from oppression and intrigue.

had been summoned for action; but Russia had freed Bulgaria and naturally there was some great power in an indirect regarded herself as the latter's protector;

manner encouraging and sustaining the but the former nation is a despotism of

conduct of the revolutionists. Turkey the worst kind, and the latter was did not venture to act, and what could now beginning to enjoy the sweets of

be more natural than to suspect England national independence, and any political of infidelity to the “Treaty of Berlin." harmony between the two

countries The small States of southeastern Europe would simply be an anomaly. Russian

feigned alarm at the prospect of a powerunscrupulousness, and Bulgarian grati ful Bulgaria on their borders. Greece tude had made way in the army of the the arch-enemy of Bulgaria assumed a latter for a large percentage of Russian warlike attitude. Servia was equally officers and dominating influence. The jealous. Austrian influence in Servia question consequently arose, as the Mus predominated over Russian, and the covite and Bulgarian interests began to

former nation was determined to hold clash, whether all the pretext about re King Milan on the throne and induce lieving “Christian” Bulgaria from Mo him to step forward in the work of hammedan rule was not a shallow one humiliating Bulgaria by force of arms, and whether it was not simply drawing hence the Servo-Bulgarian war of 1885. them out of one yoke to put them under Russia equally anxious that the Bulanother. England in her wonted hate garians, and especially Prince Alexander for everything Russian began to exer (for whom the Czar seems early to have cise political influence in Bulgaria and entertained a dislike, which of late years emancipate, step by step, the policy of grew into the most rancorous hate,) the latter from that of the former. should be humbled, withdrew all RusFinally the two Bulgarias by the revo sian officers from service in the Bullution, in September, 1885, of the one garian army. In this situation the young south of the Balkans, were united under Prince was left to fight it out with Servia; Prince Alexander.

but as he was a thoroughly trained officer A powerful Bulgaria was a pleas of the Prussian school, and determined ing perspective for the

the future of to evince the greatest patriotism for his the ambitious young Prince, and it newly adopted country, he made the was not so displeasing to Russia, so most desperate efforts. His subjects long as all Bulgaria remained under her caught the spirit and displayed like dictum; still she claimed to be opposed courage. From the Prince to the humto the violation of the “Treaty of Ber blest man the cause was worthy of life lin.” The German and Austrian press itself and not one failed to vindicate the were violent in their denunciations of honor of his country. At Sclivnitza the the revolution in East Roumelia, the

Prince made a heroic display of patriotic former not because Germany was so devotion and daring bravery, for which directly interested, but because a prin he was afterwards honored with the ciple of international law was at stake, title of "the hero of Sclivnitza.” At and if it could be violated with indiffer first the Servians were successful in their ence now, what assurance of peace had encounters with the Bulgarians, and as

the former were more numerous, and consolidation of the Bulgarians is still a considered more civilized and better matter beyond definite proof, although trained, everybody predicted the failure it may be asserted that the noble Britain of the latter-it was a foregone conclu is not above intrigue in the use of the sion. For centuries the Bulgarians had sterling, as well as the Russian in the been a simple people under Turkish ruble. How well grounded the fears domination and “Fatherland” had lost its were of a general disrespect for the meaning and failed to awaken any en "Treaty of Berlin” was demonstrated thusiasm. Recent events however had this year, when Russia closed the free raised the people from this dormant port of Batoum on the Black Sea. Eng. condition, and the sweets of liberty had land was highly indignant, for the whetted their appetites. It was not long Batoum question was a horse of another before the fortunes of war changed. Bul color. The German press was not so garians abroad hastened home to ren pronounced in its opposition, it had der their services, the wealthier classes witnessed the conduct of England in gave liberally to the cause and recruits encouraging the revolution of East Rougathered from all parts. It was a day of melia and had lost considerable faith in patriotism. The writer happened to be the infallibility of the “Treaty." When in Bulgaria at the time, and at Rusch asked to explain her conduct in thus tschuk where the recruits were gathering, closing the port, Russia replied that the they would form large rings and dance “Treaty of Berlin” was binding only so to the music of the bagpipe, and shout long as the conditions under which it as though they were going to a picnic. was effected existed. At the railroad stations along the way The renown of Prince Alexander and large crowds gathered to meet the his popularity among the people, after wounded on their return, and the peo the Servo-Bulgarian war, was poison to ple displayed great sympathy as well as the Czar, and the Russian ruble has bravery. The end was a triumph for worked out the conspiracy against him; Bulgaria, the first for centuries. It was but Russia watched the chance to cona common cause and created a national

summate her purposes. When the prebrotherhood. Those who have watched sent French minister of war, Boulanger the course of the Bulgarians and know came into office, the old

cry

of revenge them from intimate associations have against Germany received a fresh imstrong faith in the future greatness of pulse. Bismarck no doubt felt that his that people, and assert for them a con hands must be free in treating with this siderable national importance. Far from implacable foe, and every attempt of humbling them, the war had an opposite alliance between Russia and France tendency; still they conducted them should be forestalled. The Muscovite selves with admirable fortitude and dis

was shrewd enough to grasp the situacreet firmness.

tion and sought a triple alliance with The question, though, of how Europe Austria and Germany. The French was to treat the revolution was not attitude was so favorable to him that he decided. International conferences were became master of the situation in Bulheld, and finally the consolidating of the garia, in so far as Germany and Austria two Bulgarias was granted. The vio had consented to sacrifice Prince Alexlation of the “Treaty' by the revolu ander in the interest of peace. Under tionists had been confirmed by the Great political currents were menacing to GerPowers, and what guarantee was there many, and that Bismarck should guard now that a general disrespect for that first and last the interests of Vaterland document might not lead to a disregard was quite natural, besides Germany was for its provisions, whenever expediency only indirectly interested in maintaining should dictatę a national policy. How the statu quo in Bulgaria. It was at this true it is that the English sterling played time, as referred to above, that the Engan important role in the defense and lish press accused Bismarck of encourag

ians

ing, by this alliance, the violation of a for future security and present interests. provision of the "Treaty of Berlin;" but England has, during these times, tried to the continental press thought England's make the best out of a bad case, and great reverence for the “Treaty” came declared she would not take the initiative a little tardy. No nation had greater against Russia; but it was rumored that interest in holding the statu quo in Bul if the Russian Bear put his paw on Congaria, and as its maintenence was likely stantinople, the British Lion would walk to bring on war, Bismarck naturally over Egypt on the principle of the asked why he should be expected to German adage: "You hit my Jew and I'll "pull the chestnuts out of the fire" for hit yours.” England.

Such hints thrown out in the EngMeantime Russia had sent a diplo lish press touched France in a tender matic agent, General Kaulbars, into Bul spot. These two nations seem to take garia to carry out a Russian policy in pleasure in tormenting one another if that principality, and especally to secure it be only for fun. Soon from Turkey, the election of a prince who would France and Russia a united expression more meekly submit to the surly old through the press as well as governman in the north. How for months this

ment gave Engiand to understand they same Kaulbars has tyrannically dictated would be pleased to have her evacthe Bulgarian government, insulted its uate Egypt and allow the red coats to officials, sought to bring about a revolu return home. It was to England very tion in the land; and how in the most strange that Turkey should thus make barbarous

manner at Dubnitza, Bulgar common cause with her old foe, the were murdered and torn to pieces Muscovite; but as England has by no by a rabble excited by Russian intrigue means proven herself the best friend are matters of recent date. While these Turkey has, the latter might well take Outrages were going on and ships of war, advantage of the present propitious ciras a menace, lay before Varna, England cumstances to get the unwelcome Enga Ssured the Bulgarians that they had lishman out of Egypt. So that now with her moral support-a great consolation. the Egyptian question there are two band how about the English press de bones of contention. England seeks an nunciation of Prince Alexander for abdi Austrian alliance in opposing the present cating the throne of Bulgaria! That the Russian aggressive movements in BulPrince is no coward, he has shown by garia; but is made somewhat uncomforthis bravely facing death at Sclivnitza, able by French demands respecting and in the palace of Sophia, while in the Egypt; and unless England has some sathands of the conspirators, when a prin- isfactory assurances to give, respecting ciple was at stake; but no man who has the land of the Khedive, a concerted watched the recent current of events in action with Turkey and Austria must be Bulgaria can doubt that he would simply considerably neutralized. Austria sought have been a victim of Russian conspiracy as far as possible to occupy a neutral had he held out against the will of the position on the Bulgarian question, but Czar, and that too in a case which simply her allied power, Hungaria, whose hate concerned the integrity of the Great for Russia is proverbial, forced the quesPowers to that principality. On the tion upon her, and to-day she occupies a moral support of England, his opposi hostile attitude. tion to Russia would not have been a All however are unanimous that Rusvery heroic one.

sia should be checked, and for months During all these troublous times Turkey they have been quarreling about whose has kept as much as possible out of the duty it was to interpose a substantial po Eitical arena; and the Sultan has sought objection. The Great Powers have earnestly the political friendship and virtually said to Bulgaria: we assume CoEinsel of Bismarck and apparently to say who shall and who shall not sit acquiesced with the Russian movements upon your throne, and we thereby make

ourselves your protector. For months the Bulgarians have been insulted, menaced and almost driven to desperation by Russia, and in face of threatening destruction of their independence and national existence they receive the consolation from all their mighty protectors that they have the moral support of England. Count Andrassy on the occasion of the Austro-Hungarian conference of delegations remarked: “It (the Bulgarian situation) is to me as if a great big burly man had insulted and overpowered a beautiful maiden, and five strong robust men had stood by and witnessed the insult without raising a finger.”

The present political situation of the Great Powers demonstrates how little international law may be relied upon, and further presents a picture of international mistrust, jealousy and hatred that is almost without a parallel in modern times. At present the Russians actually threaten a military occupation of the Bulgarian principality; and the Turks, in case Russia marches into North Bulgaria, are prepared to enter South Bulgaria for military occupation. The people who have been fleeing for some time from the latter province into Adrianople under Turkish protection, in consequence of Russian depredations, declare that if the Turks should march into East Roumelia they

would be received with open arms; and that brings us to a consideration of the relationship Turkey holds to other powers and a comparison of eastern and western life. Whether the present war elements boil over in the turmoil now going on or not, it is certain a vast amount of bad blood has been engendered. That this must gather and break there is an almost universal opinion, and whatever may now occur

to prevent the eruption the poison still remains in the system, a menace to the well being and place of European nations.

Should Russia's present dictatorial policy win and Russian candidate ascend the throne, his attempt to drag the people under Russian domination would meet a violent opposition from his subjects so that his position would be untenable. Should he oppose Russian policy the ruble is certain to work his ruin. To leave Bulgaria, therefore, an autonomic government is to continue to make it the bone of contention, and to suffer it to fall under the iron hand of Russia is to grant the latter a military standing before the gates of Constantinople; so that to all human appearance there is absolutely no definite peaceful solution of the question. J. M. Tanner.

a

Wisdom is lightly esteemed, where folly has many admirers.

were

MARTIN F. TUPPER. Down a little by-way, partially over It was on the twenty-seventh day of hung with trees, whose branches still August, 1886. The heat was tempered by a bore a profusion of leaf (though the partially beclouded sky, which interapproach of a chilly autumn was be mittantly shed a few grateful drops of tokened by a few stray and withered rain, that

not unwelcome, as leaves) down this quiet by-way is “Un they give freshness to a landscape at derwood”-itself half-buried in foliage any time, while adorned in its summer the home of the venerable poet and garb, as sweet to the eye and pleasant to philosopher, Martin Farquhar Tupper. behold as the light. One might abridge I remember well the first time I visited

a description by saying that it was an this charming spot. I had received a English landscape, at a season of the note from Mr. Tupper in answer to one year, when nature is covered with a sent by me soliciting an interview, which wealth of fresh wood and a profusion of I sought at the instance of General D. leaf and grass, to which the warmth of H. IVells; and I was requested to call. a summer's sun hath given life. And to

« הקודםהמשך »