Bosnian Crisis

The Bosnian Crisis, also known as the Annexation Crisis (German: Bosnische Annexionskrise; Serbo-Croatian: Aneksiona kriza, Анексиона криза) or the First Balkan Crisis, erupted on 5 October 1908[1] when Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,[lower-alpha 1] territories formerly within the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire but under Austro-Hungarian administration since 1878.[9]

Cover of the French periodical Le Petit Journal on the Bosnian Crisis: Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria declares independence and is proclaimed Tsar, and the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II looks on.

This unilateral action—timed to coincide with Bulgaria's declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire on 5 October—sparked protestations from all the Great Powers and Austria-Hungary's Balkan neighbors, Serbia and Montenegro. In April 1909, the Treaty of Berlin was amended to reflect the fait accompli and bring the crisis to an end. The crisis permanently damaged relations between Austria-Hungary and its neighbors, especially Serbia, Italy and Russia, and in the long term helped lay the grounds for World War I. Although the crisis ended with what appeared to be a total Austro-Hungarian diplomatic victory, the crisis destroyed any remaining ability for the Austrians and the Russians to cooperate in the Balkans and damaged Austrian relations with Serbia and the Italians.[10] Austro-Serbian relations – harmed by the annexation's inflaming of Serbian nationalists[11] – continued to be strained to the point of declaring war on each other in 1914.[12]