The Macedonian Question in the Light of Documents of the Serbian Diplomacy 1903-1914
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In the early 20th century Macedonia became the focus of the political activity of the Balkan states, interested in partitioning this Turkish territory. From the Serbian perspective, Bulgaria emerged as the main rival of Serbia, its aspirations to the Macedonian territory rooted in Bulgarian national mythology. Hence the Bulgarian government’s actions and activities were closely watched by Serbian diplomats. They viewed Bulgarian politics as a complex, ambiguous game. The Bulgarians simultaneously made preparations for a war with Turkey and tried to keep the appearances of friendly relations with Turkey and Bulgaria’s neighbors: Serbia and Greece. Initially, Bulgaria intended to incorporate the whole of Macedonia but soon realized its own weakness and the determination of its neighbors. Thus, the Bulgarian prime minister made an offer to Serbia, proposing an alliance and participation in the partition of Macedonia of whose territory Bulgaria would get a bigger share. Serbia did not want to accept this offer but at the same time it was afraid of the hostile reaction of Austro‑Hungary to its own aspirations, involving even Austro‑Hungary entering into some secret alliance with Bulgaria. Consequently, Serbian politicians decided to seek a compromise. An analysis of Serbian diplomatic documents has shown that from 1911 a slow process continued of Bulgaria and Serbia coming to the conclusion that a consent concerning the future of Macedonia had to be reached but there was no agreement as how to divide up the Macedonian territory between the two sides. Arguments continued on how to define the Serbian and Bulgarian zones, the demarcation line, etc. Each side formulated its boundary conditions and there was little progress in negotiations. In the end, the prospective Serbian and Bulgarian zones were defined and also the so‑called “disputed territory” whose status would be decided through arbitration by the Tsar of Russia. However, Bulgaria and Serbia remained deeply distrustful of one another and the course of the first Balkan War in 1912 would soon demonstrate that Bulgaria, Serbia, and also Greece had each an intention to incorporate the largest possible part of Macedonian territory with no regard for any earlier treaties.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 1, P. 1: 29 maj/11 jun 1903 – 14/27 februar 1904, Београд 1991.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1904, Vol. 4, P. 3/1: 1/14 januar – 31 mart/13 april 1911, Београд 2009.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 4, P. 4/1: 1/14 jula – 30 septembra/13 oktobra 1911, Београд 2009.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 4, P. 4/2: 1/14 oktobra 1912 – 31 decembra/13 januara 1912, Београд 2009.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 5, P. 2: 15/28 jula – 4/17 oktobra 1912, Београд 1985.
- Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 6, P. 1: 1/14 januar –
- 31 mart/13 april 1913, Београд 1981. Документи о спољној политици Краљевине Србије 1903–1914, Vol. 6, P. 2: 1/14 april – 30 jun/13 juli 1913, Београд 1981.
- Војводић М., Србија у меđународним односима крајем XIX и почетком XX века, Београд 1988.
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