The Balkan Crises
The First Balkan Crisis- 1908
This crisis started when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia because they wanted to expand their empire into the Balkans. Serbia were annoyed by this because they wanted Bosnia to become part of a 'Greater Serbia' as there were a lot of Slavic people living in Bosnia. Russia backed up Serbia as it saw itself as the protector of the Slavic people that Serbia sought to protect. Serbia and Russia had to back down because Germany backed up Austria-Hungary, in accordance with the Triple Alliance of 1882. Germany's army was far stronger than Russia's, and so backing down was their only option, however Russia did begin to modernize her armed forces and increase the speed of their mobilization, in addition, Russia was determined not to back down again.
The Second Balkan Crisis- 1912 & 1913
The Second Balkan Crisis consisted of two Balkan Wars
The First Balkan war of 1912
In 1912 the Balkan countries were controlled by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). After the first Balkan Crisis, these nations had formed the Balkan league, the Balkan countries then fought against the Ottoman Empire for independence. The Balkan League won and conquered Turkey's land in Europe.
The Second Balkan War of 1913
In 1913 the Balkan countries turned on each other and fought among themselves for power. The outcome was that Serbia became the most powerful country in the Balkans and proclaimed that Austria-Hungary was its next target. This was worrying for Austria-Hungary as their opponents were clearly growing in strength, and could now challenge their empire.
Causes of Tensions in The Balkans Diagram ( Causes of the Balkan Crisis 1908)