Europe 1878: Great Eastern Crisis

The 1870s saw increasing dissent in the Balkans against Ottoman rule. Meanwhile, Russia had taken advantage of the disruption caused by the rise of Germany to rebuild its forces after the Crimean War. When the Ottoman Empire refused to comply with demands by the Great Powers of Europe to grant reforms to its Balkan subjects, the Russians were ready to invade.

Main Events

21 Apr 1872–27 Feb 1876 Third Carlist War

Following the overthrow of Queen Isabel II, the Carlists who had opposed her revolted in protest over the appointment of the Liberal Amadeo I as her successor rather than the pretender Carlos VII. Beginning in 1872, the Carlists fought mostly in the Pyrenees, and were defeated after four wikipedia

9 Jul 1875–4 Aug 1877 Herzegovina Uprising

In the ethnically-mixed Ottoman vilayet of Bosnia and Herzegovina, wealthy Bosniak landowners largely ignored Sultan Abdülmecid I’s reform of the tax-farming system, by which the province’s predominantly-Christian peasants were employed by the state. In response, the Serbian population of Bosnia and Herzegovina wikipedia

9 Mar–13 May 1876 April Uprising

An 1875 tax increase on non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire inflamed nationalist sentiment among Bulgarians, who revolted in the spring of 1876 before being wikipedia

18 Jun 1876 Serbian-Ottoman War

Encouraged by the Ottoman failure to defeat the Herzegovina rebellion, the Ottoman vassals of Serbia and Montenegro proclaimed their full independence and declared wikipedia

23 Dec 1876–20 Jan 1877 Constantinople Conference

In response to the escalating turmoil in the Balkans, the governments of Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia met in Constantinople. After agreeing to greater autonomy for Bosnia and Bulgaria, the Ottoman Porte rejected the wikipedia

24 Apr 1877 Russo-Turkish War

In response to the failure of the Constantinople Conference, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, invading Bulgaria and Dobrogea through Romania, an Ottoman Vassal whose assistance to Russia effectively made the country wikipedia

21 May 1877 Romanian War of Independence

After allowing the passage of Russian troops to fight against the Ottomans, the Principality was effectively independent from Ottoman vassalship. On 21 May 1977 (O.S. 10 May), Prince Carol I officially declared Romanian wikipedia