13 July 1878

Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman Empire.

The Treaty of Berlin, signed on July 13, 1878, was a diplomatic agreement that aimed to settle the disputes and territorial conflicts that arose from the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. The war was fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, with other European powers having interests in the outcome.

The treaty was negotiated at the Congress of Berlin, a meeting of representatives from various European powers held in Berlin, Germany. The primary objective of the treaty was to revise the terms of the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, which had been signed earlier between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

The Treaty of Berlin made several important changes to the territorial arrangements in the Balkans, impacting the balance of power in the region. Some of the key provisions of the treaty included:

Recognition of the independence of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro.
Autonomy for Bulgaria under Ottoman suzerainty and the election of a prince for the new state.
Territorial adjustments in the Balkans, including the return of some territories to the Ottoman Empire and the expansion of others.
International administration for Bosnia and Herzegovina, while remaining nominally under Ottoman sovereignty.
Recognition of the neutrality and independence of the Ottoman Empire.
Guarantees for the protection of religious minorities in the Balkans.

The treaty was significant because it sought to maintain the European balance of power by preventing the complete disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and limiting Russian influence in the region. However, the treaty’s provisions were not entirely satisfactory to all parties involved, and it did not resolve all the issues in the region, setting the stage for further conflicts and tensions in the decades to come.