The concept of nationalism had made it into the Balkan Peninsula by the early nineteenth century. Originally a strong cultural movement, efforts were made to standardize and celebrate local languages, and some group made strong ties to medieval states that had existed before the Ottoman Empire. Quickly the concept of nationalism became political, and there was a strong desire to have national unity, which they believed was necessary to develop and prosper.
Bulgarian nationalism originally began as a peaceful struggle for religious and cultural autonomy, but eventually transformed into a large scale armed struggle at the beginning of the 1870’s with the influence of Vasil Levski as a revolutionary leader. The movement reached its peak in the April uprising of 1876, which was barbarically suppressed and increased frustration within the civilian population. There were attempts to have reforms made, but the battle continued until the Russians sided with Bulgarian forces and Bulgaria came out victorious. On March 3rd, 1878, the Treaty of San Stefano was signed, greatly reshaping political boundaries in Europe.1
The Treaty of Berlin was the final act of the Congress of Berlin, and was signed on July 13th, 1878. Romania was left very bitter after the Treaty of Berlin had been signed towards Russia after losing the guaranteed integrity of Roman territory that the Russo-Romanian treaties had guaranteed them. Austria-Hungary was frustrated that they had lost influence over the Bosnia – Herzegovina. Greece was also angered, due to the land that was ceded to Bulgaria was inhabited by very large Greek populations.
The combination of support for nationalism and the dissolution of the Treat of San Stefano greatly influenced the Balkan League, and were both very influential in the initiation of the First Balkan War. A.J.P. Taylor, a British historian once said: “If the treaty of San Stefano had been maintained, both the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary might have...