Balkan political history summary to 20th century

Eliznik home > South East Europe > history > Balkan political history summary to 20th century

Directly to the maps with an index


early 11th AD

late 11th AD


See also: The Hungarians in 11th century Transylvania

early 12th AD

late 12th AD

Medieval kingdoms of Bosnia and Serbia emerged from the fractional tribes.


See also: The Hungarians in 12th century Transylvania

early 13th AD

late 13th AD


See also: 13th century Transylvania

early 14th AD

late 14th AD

Serbia was briefly the most powerful Balkan nation under Stefan Dušan controlling Macedonia, parts of Bulgaria and northern Greece, but in 1389 in Kosovo the Serbs (with Albanians and Vlachs) lost to the Turks and within a century all areas of Serbia were under Turkish control.

early 15th AD

late 15th AD

Turkish invasions of the Slavic states. Bosnia transitioned to Turkish rule with many converting to Muslim in preference to the previous ruthless feudal nobilities.

16th AD

17th AD

18th AD

early 19th AD

late 19th AD

The defeat in 1866 of Austria by Prussia led to the Habsburg empire being split between Hungary and Austria in a dual monarchy with Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Transylvania (excluding Maramureş and Bucovina) under Hungary. With the Transylvania Diet being abolished becoming part of Hungary for the first time came a period of forced "Magyarisation" of Transylvania with laws to undermine Romanian culture.

Following the defeat of the Turks by Russia in 1877, the 1878 Congress of Berlin established states of Bulgaria and Montenegro, gave independence and extended Serbia to the south east, and gave Romania full independence plus north Dobrogea. Montenegro was formally part of Serbia, but through Ottoman times had forged some independence helped by the mountainous terrain and hence was recognised as a state. The European power could not decide on Macedonia thus it remained under Turkish rule.

early 20th AD

post WW2

Romania joined the Balkan wars in 1913 against Bulgaria and gained south Dobrogea.

In the WW1 war Romania sided against the Austro-Hungarians and eventually advanced into Transylvania and Hungary. In 1918 the union of Transylvania with Romania was declared and in addition Bessarabia and Bucovina joined Romania. In Transylvania Hungarian employees were dismissed and replaced by Romanian immigrants.

In 1940 a Soviet ultimatum led to Bessarabia and northern Bucovina being annexed into the Ukraine. Romanian entered WW2 in 1941 against Russia aiming to regain Bessarabia, but by 1944 had changed sides.

Russia created the Republic of Moldova after giving further areas to the Ukraine such as the southern area of Bugeac.




© Eliznik2005, First issue 2002, Last updated Dec-05