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Title: British policy and Bulgaria, 1918-1919
Author: Treanor, Patrick Joseph
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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The period from the conclusion of the Armistice of Salonika until the signature of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine (roughly September 30, 1918 to November 26, 1919) saw complete turnabouts in both British policy toward Bulgaria and Bulgarian domestic politics. British policy toward Bulgaria during this period, as since at least 1876, was derivative of Britain's policy toward the Turkish Straits, was the main factor in shaping the Treaty of Neuilly and therefore exercised an important influence on the simultaneously unfolding Bulgarian power struggle and on setting that country's political agenda for years to come. Britain was determined to use the results of the Great War to establish the peace of Europe and the security of the Empire on a lasting basis. In the Balkans, Britain's primary security interests were focused on the Straits, which she sought to utilise as both a waterway for her fleet and a barrier to German expansion toward lands controlled by her further east. British policy towards the Straits had long had a major impact on that towards the Balkans in general and Bulgaria in particular. By the end of the war, British official thinking on a post-war settlement with Bulgaria, which had entered the war against the Allies in order to achieve her territorial aspirations, centred on the idea of creating a Balkan bloc to defuse the region as a powder keg and form a bulwark protecting the Straits. In the British analysis, the formation of such a bloc was dependent on territorial concessions to Bulgaria by her neighbours, some of whom were Britain's allies. At the Paris Peace Conference, however, the British Delegation, under the influence of Lloyd George's desire to back Greece as Britain's surrogate in the Near East, decided to support that country's territorial claims in the Balkans and Asia Minor. This required taking rather than giving territory to Bulgaria and ended all thought of attempting to form the projected bloc. At the same time, political forces were coming to power in Bulgaria favouring peaceful development and co-operation with the country's neighbours rather than military means to achieve her national aspirations at their expense. Ironically, while the territorial losses inflicted on Bulgaria with British support may have promoted this process, they represented a heavy legacy for the new Agrarian government of Alexander Stambolisky which he recognised he had to overcome if his party was to remain in power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available