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This Sceptred Isle

Gladstone and the War in Bosnia
In 1875 Slav peasants revolted against the Turks in Hercegovina. Serbian volunteers came to help them and fighting spread throughout Bosnia. In 1876 the Bulgarians joined the rebellion and the Turks sent in troops. Slavs, Romanians and Greeks looked to Russia to liberate them. Germany, Austria and Russia united in the League of Three Emperors and demanded that Turkey make reforms in Bosnia. Disraeli argued that the reforms would mean the disintegration of Turkey. This stance was not popular at home or abroad.

In 1876 a conference was held at Constantinople which agreed Russian proposals for Turkish reform The Turks did not agree to them. War was declared and the Russians quickly gained the upper hand. The Royal Navy was ordered to Constantinople. The Turks and the Russians signed the Treaty of San Stefano which gave Russia effective control over the Balkans. This was unacceptable to the Great Powers. Lord Salisbury called the Congress of Berlin and the area was carved up between them.

Anthony Trollope
Anthony Trollope

  • Author
  • Senior civil servant in the Post Office
  • Introduced postboxes
  • Retired in 1867
  • Became Editor of St Paul's Magazine
  • Wrote 47 novels and 16 other books including the Chronicles of Barsetshire (1855-1867) and the Palliser novels (1864-1880)
  • His novels are a reflection of Victorian life

did you know?
In 1877 the Turks massacred an estimated 12,000 Christian Bulgarians.


This Congress was dominated by:

  • Andrassy of Hungary
  • Beaconsfield (Disraeli) of Britain
  • Bismarck of Germany
  • Gortchakov of Russia
  • Russian territory now extended to the mouth of the Danube
  • Bulgaria received autonomy. Also Montenegro, Romania and Serbia
  • Austria occupied Bosnia and Hercegovina
  • Separately Britain gained Cyprus from Turkey.
Select historical period

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1837Victoria becomes Queen
1859Palmerston becomes Prime Minister
1861Prince Albert dies
1865Palmerston dies
Russell becomes Prime Minister
1868 Disraeli becomes Prime Minister
Gladstone becomes Prime Minister
1870Franco-Prussian War
First Irish Land Act
1874Disraeli becomes Prime Minister
1877 Victoria becomes Empress of India
1880 Gladstone becomes Prime Minister
1881Disraeli dies
Second Irish Land Act
1885Salisbury becomes Prime Minister
1887Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee
1892Gladstone becomes Prime Minister
1894Rosebery becomes Prime Minister
1895Salisbury becomes Prime Minister
1897Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
1898Gladstone dies
1899Second Boer War breaks out
1901Queen Victoria dies
Edward VII becomes king

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