The 1908 Prelude to the World War

Bulgarian soldiers in a trench, preparing to fire against an incoming airplane during WWI.

BRITISH DOCUMENTS ON THE ORIGINS OF THE WAR, 1898-1914. Vol. V, "The Near East: The Macedonian Problem and the Annexation of Bosnia, 1903-1909." EDITED BY G. P. GOOCH AND HAROLD TEMPERLEY. London: H. M. Stationery Office (New York: British Library of Information), 1928, pp. 886.

IN the winter of 1908-1909 Europe quivered in fear of a general war. It was barely a year after the Triple Entente had been completed by the agreement between England and Russia, and hardly two months since the Young Turk Revolution had upset the traditional alignment of the Powers in the Near East. These two factors -- the grouping of the Powers and their rival interests in the Near East -- supplied the setting for the crisis. The trouble arose from the precipitate action of the Austro-Hungarian Government in proclaiming the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, two provinces of the Ottoman Empire which had been occupied by

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