How the World Votes: The Story of Democratic Development in Elections - Vol. 2

By Charles Seymour; Donald Paige Frary | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXII
ELECTIONS AND PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT IN THE BALKAN STATES AND THE TURKISH EMPIRE

THE story of the Turkish Empire in the nineteenth century has been one of long and painful dismemberment. After the Congress of Vienna Turkey entered upon the stage, which came upon feudal Germany in the Middle Ages. The principle of nationality cut swathes back and forth and obliquely over the Balkan peninsula. The Moslems made no attempt to understand or to amalgamate the Christians, whom they insulted with the name of rayahs, unprotected flocks, good only to be sheared. In the course of the century the Christian repaid the Moslem's contempt by stripping off leaf after leaf of the Turkish artichoke, until to-day the very core is barely left.

The first to rise against the Turks, the second, by one year, to gain their independence, were the Serbians. Miloch Obrenowitch succeeded, by ingratiating himself with the Sultan, in winning for himself in 1830 the title of Prince of the Serbians. What the Serbians won by negotiation, the Greeks gained by warfare, in which they were aided by the contributions of Greeks in every country, and later by the armed intervention of the European concert. After a merciless war of eight years' length ( 1821-1829) Greece became a kingdom entirely independent of Turkey.

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