The Berlin Memorandum 1876

The Berlin Memorandum 1876:

When the Andrassy Note failed to produce any effect, one more attempt was made in this direction. This time it was Bismarck who took the initiative. He knew that if the dispute aggravated, “the alliance of three monarchs” might break. On the suggestions of Bismarck, a meeting of Andrassy, Garshkov, and Bismarck was held in Berlin in May 1876, which chalked out a programme of reforms for the whole of the Balkan region. The programme known as the “Berlin Memorandum” was circulated among all the European countries. At the end of the Memorandum there was the warning that if during the period of an armistice, the big powers did not get success as they desired, they would be forced to take strong measures to establish peace. The Berlin Memorandum demanded the Turkish government to declare an armistice with the rebels for two months and placed the following conditions for the Sultan of Turkey and the rebels to reach an agreement during this period.

(1) The administration should make arrangements for the resettlement of the prisoners and exiles of Bosnia and Herzegovina in these places.

(2) To execute this work a joint commission of Turks and Christians under the headship of a Christian be appointed.

(3) The consuls of European states be authorized to supervise the implementation of the programme of reforms and of return to the country.

(4) The Turkish troops be kept in predetermined places for some time and the Christian rebels be allowed to keep their arms.

France and Italy accepted the Berlin Memorandum, but England rejected it. Disraeli, the Prime Minister of England said that to take such a big step without consulting Turkey would be like jumping into a dark well. Really speaking, Disraeli wanted to maintain the integrity of Turkey in Europe so that it might be used as a wall in the way of Austria and Russia. He did not want to follow the dictates of the three monarchs. He was of the opinion that the alliance of three monarchs obeying the desires of Russia wanted to destroy the Turkish Empire. He not only rejected the Berlin Memorandum but to register his protest also sent the British fleet into Besika Bay. The British rejection made the Berlin Memorandum null and void and the hope of checking the war with the cooperation of European states fell through. If England had cooperated with other European states, the Sultan of Turkey would have bowed and thousands of people might have been spared their life. The three big states also made a mistake by not inviting England before drafting the Berlin Memorandum. Thus one more attempt for peace failed and this encouraged Turkey.

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