- Historical and political context
- Early proposals
- Balkan Wars
- World War I
- World War II
- post World War II
Alexandar Stamboliiski, Hristo Botev, Vasil Levski, Dimitrije Tucovic, Georgi Sava Rakovski, Lyuben Karavelov, Josip Broz Tito, Georgi Dimitrov, Christian Racovschi, ? Lapcevic, Svetozar Markovic, Sima Markovic, Rigas Velestinlis, Mikhail Gerdzhikov, Pantelis Pouliopoulos, Mihailo Obrenovic, Stjepan Radić, Alexander Ypsilanti, Evangelos Averoff, Koci Xoxe, Take Ionescu, Alexandros Papanastasiou
Philike Hetaireia, Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation, Balkan Communist Federation, Balkan Democratic Federation, Balkan Socialist Federation, Greek Communist Party, Bulgarian Communist Party, Romanian Communist Party, Communist Party of Yugoslavia,
Agreements, Treaties, etc.
Bled Agreement, Treaty of Friendship
Alexander Ypsilanti and the Philike Hetaireia planned a liberation of the whole Balkan peninsula.
Stalin opposes "attempted Balkan federation".
Pundeff, M. (1971) "Marxism in Bulgaria before 1891" in Slavic Review. pp. 523-550
Botev urged immediate popular revolt aided by guerilla bands from the outside and proclaimed that the "only way out of the dreadful plight of the people is the revolution, that is, a revolution by the people, immediate, desperate". He paid much attention to the life of socialist organisations in Europe, and in 1875 reported in some detail on the Gotha congress of the German socialists at which a united Socialist Labour Party of Germany (after 1890 the German Social Democratic Party) emerged. Also in 1875 he presumably took part in a circle of Russian émigrés in Bucharest who studied the works of Marx, and he is said to have owned a copy of the Russian translation of Marx's Capital (St. Petersburg, 1872). In the course of the upheavel in the Bulgarian lands in 1876 he crossed the Danube in Garibaldian fashion as a leader of a guerrilla band, after spectacularly seizing an Austrian riverboat and announcing his plans to the European press. Under a banner inscribed "Liberty or Death" the band marched into northwest Bulgaria, but finding no support or response among the people, they became isolated and broke up. In the ensuing engagements with the Turkish forces the group was decimated, and Botev met the fate he had postulated as the alternative to liberty. (Pundef 1971:531)
It is easy to see why Botev has had an enormous appeal to the Bulgarian Marxists and why they wish to claim him as the "forerunner of Bulgarian socialism and the Bulgarian Communist Party. However, if he indeed studied Marx, he did not evolve into a Marxist. He espoused the ideas of Russian and Western utopian socialists and anarchists, preached nationalism against the imperialism of Russia and the other powers, shared with Karavelov and Levski the vision of a Balkan federation, demanded a national revolution against Ottoman rule as well as a social revolution against the propertied classes, and with equal passion preached atheism. (Pundeff 1971:531)
Blagoev naturally moved among the Macedonians, who had banded together in an organization called "Makedonskii Glas" and were publishing a newspaper under the same name and agitating for the liberation of their homeland at the first opportunity. IT was in Makedonskii glas that he published his first article in Bulgaria, "The Balkan Federation and Macedonia", written in the excited atmosphere on the eve of the events of 1885. Cautiously suggesting an alternative to the generally advocated unification of Macedonia with Bulgaria, he argued that international federation was one of mankind's lofiest ideas in facing "the dilemma of struggle or cooperation" and that in the Balkans the idea had found in recent years great apostles such as Karakelov, Levski, and Botev. Echoing Karavelov, Blagoev felt that only a Balkan federation could protect the Balkan "mini-states" from the imperialism of the great powers, including Russia's, and could provide the collective resources needed for their economic development. In regard to the Macedonian question, which he said required solution "as the sine qua non of Bulgaria's progress," a Balkan federation "could and should" free Macedonia from Ottoman rule and provide for its population "a broad freedom of self-government and the socialization of its material and moral resources." The Macedonians should be free to choose the language, religion, and nationality they preferred, and neither Greece nor Serbia nor Bulgaria could profit from an internecine struggle, especially between the two Slavic nations, over Macedonia. "Peoples of the Balkan peninsula," Blagoev exhorted in Marxist fashion, "unite before it is too late!". (Pundeff 1971:534-535)
For a first statement of creed in regard to the Macedonian problem and the future of the Balkans, the article was quite lucid, although not thoroughly Marxist, and indicated lines to which Blagoev was to adhere for the rest of his life. The salvation of the Macedonians and the Balkan nations was in the creation of a regional federation for common defense and development. The predatory aims of the imperialist powers, especially Russia, could be thwarted only by such unity, as the leaders of the Bulgarian movement of national liberation before 1878 had recognized. (Pundeff 1971:535)
Black, E. (1943) "The Influence of Western Political Thought in Bulgaria, 1850-1885" in The American Historical Review pp. 507-520
On his death in 1867 Rakovski was succeeded by Lyuben Karavelov, who had just returned from nine years of study in Moscow ... Karavelov worked out a plan for a Balkan federation on a liberal basis, with Switzerland and the United States as his models, and it is interesting that while he got great inspiration from the teachings of nihilists and the anarchists, his concrete proposals bore a much stronger resemblance to the democracies of the West. (Black 1943:511)
Rossos, A. (1997) "Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949" in The Journal of Modern History pp. 42-76
The KKE, as well as its fraternal parties in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, had already been influenced by the Comintern in the early 1920s to appeal to the Macedonians and to manipulate Macedonian discontent to further the cause of revolution in Greece and in the Balkans generally. IT was the only political party in Greece to recognize Macedonian national identity and to have a public policy on the Macedonian national question. Against considerable opposition, the Third Extraordinary Congress of the KKE, meeting from November 26 to December 3, 1924, endorsed the Comintern line: support for a united Macedonian state in a future Balkan communist federation. This position was in basic accord with the demands of Macedonian activists and patriots, but it was extremely unpopular among the Greeks. The inauguration of the Popular Front line by the Comintern gave the Greek Communist Party the opportunity to replace it. Its Sixth Congress, in 1935, adopted a new policy supporting equality for all national minorities in Greece, including the Macedonian; this remained its official stand [sic] until early 1949. From the limited perspective of the average Macedonian it was also most striking that the KKE was the only political organization in the country to raise a voice in their defense. This was true throughout the interwar period, but especially during the dictatorship of General Metaxas, which for them was an extremely harsh and repressive era. (Rossos 1997:45-46)
The KKE had the following major aims: to deprive Tito and Yugoslavia of the initiative on the Macedonian question, which they had gained and enjoyed since 1943 when they promised the Macedonians equality and the status of a nation in the Yugoslav federation; to turn the Macedonians in all three parts of Macedonia, including the People's Republic of Macedonia, against Tito and the Yugoslav resolution of the Macedonian question; to discredit the old guard of the NOF; who were pro-Yugoslav and considered the Macedonian Republic as "the Piedmont" of Macedonian unification, and force them back into the fold of the KKE; and, finally, to mobilise even greater numbers of Macedonians for the struggle. In short, the KKE's new position called on the Macedonians to turn against and, indeed, destroy "the Piedmont" of Macedonian unification in return for a dubious promise of a united Macedonia in an even more uncertain future Balkan communist federation. (Rossos 1997:74)
Frankel, J. (1955) "Federalism in Yugoslavia" in The American Political Science Review. pp. 416-430
The centralist Constitution failed to meet the requirements of the multinational society, but the King was unwilling to compromise with the demands of the non-Serbian nationalities. To outside political pressures endangering the very existence of the new state, the King responded by increasing the severity of the police-regime. Eventually, on January 6, 1929, he suspended the Constitution and established a dictatorship. Even the Yugoslavs themselves did not take the stability and the frontiers of their state for granted. The Croat peasant leader, Stjepan Radić, who advocated the transformation of Yugoslavia into a federation, wanted to include the Bulgarians. The Yugoslav Communists, under Comintern pressure, reluctantly decided to support a Communist Balkan Federation, which would have involved the disintegration of Yugoslavia. (Frankel 1955:419)
William Miller: Ottoman Empire and its Successors (1937 ed.), p 449:
He [ Stambulov ] saw clearly that it was the interest of Bulgaria to establish friendly relations with Turkey; he was thus able to secure Turkish support against Russian schemes and to establish Bulgarian schools and bishoprics as the nucleus of a Bulgarian propaganda against the Greeks and Serbs in Macedonia. When Trikoúpes proposed to him a Balkan Federation, he betrayed the Greek statesman's offer to the Porte, in order to conciliate it.
- Date unclear, but in the context of Stambulov's premiership, 1887-1894. Therefore this could be any of Trikoupis' last three terms. Septentrionalis 17:18, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
István Deák "Out of the Past" in New Republic June 8, 1998
During the war, Tito contemplated setting up a large Communist Albania, which might include Kosovo and would operate under the benevolent tutelage of Communist Yugoslavia, possibly as part of a future Balkan federation, but because Stalin wouldn't hear of any such thing and because, in any case, Tito could not completely ignore Serbian sensibilities, Kosovo remained in Serbia.
Indented indicates that I have successfully procured the reference.
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- Stavrianos, L. (1942) "The Balkan Federation Movement: A Neglected Aspect" in The American Historical Review, Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 30-51
- Zivkovic, A and Plavsic, D. (eds), (2003) "The Balkan Socialist Tradition: Balkan Socialism and the Balkan Federation, 1871-1915" in Revolutionary History, Vol. 8, No. 3
- Trotsky, L. (1981) The Balkan Wars (1912-13)
- Racovski, C. (1915) Republica Federativa Balcanica (Bucuresti : Cercul de Editura Socialista)
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- Geshkoff, T. I. (1940) Balkan Union: A Road to Peace In Southeastern Europe (New York: Columbia University Press)
- Lagani, I. (2000) “Balkan Federation : The historical process of an idea” in The Balkans yesterday and today (Athens)
- Kordatos, Y. (1974) Rigas Feraios and Balkan Federation (Athens)
- Sakasoff, J. (1911) "Neoslavism, Balkan Federation and Social Democracy", Der Kampf, IV, 5, 1 February 1911.
- Galitzi, C. (1933) "The Balkan Federation" in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 168, (Jul., 1933), pp. 178-182
- Kavalski, E. (1999) "The Forgotten Solution: Origins of the Balkan Union" in Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution Issue 2.4 (November 1999)
- Argyriades, P. (1895) "La Confédération balkanique". Revue socialiste, (t. XXII, 1895.)
- Engelhardt (Ed.) (1892) "La Confédération balkanique". Revue d'histoire diplomatique. (Paris, E. Leroux, janvier 1892).--La Turquie et le Tanzimat. Paris, 1882.
- Kretzulescu, Constantin , A. (1905) Une Confédération Orientale comme solution de la Question d'Orient (Paris : Plon-Nourrit)