BALKAN PENINSULA, the usual name for the peninsula in southeastern Europe running southward between the Adriatic and the ,,Egean. The most con. venient northern boundary is the Save and the lower Danube; though histori cally and politically Rumania and some parts of the former Austrian dominions are closely associated with the regions S. of the Danube. Greece is a peninsula upon a peninsula, but is not usually ac counted one of the Balkan states.
The home of so many diverse races, the peninsula has long been a hotbed of war ring interests. Previous to the World War the Turk's hand may be said to have been against every man's hand, and every other against the Turk. Greeks and Bul garians intrigued each against the other with Russia, and looked on the inheri tance of the peninsula as exclusively theirs by right. Bulgarian and Serb, though cherishing the Slavonic name, met in the bloody campaign of 1885-1886. Macedonia in especial was demanded alike by Greek, Bulgar and Serb. And the case was further complicated by the hostile faiths—Latin Christianity, Greek Church, both Orthodox and United, and Mohammedanism.
Greece, with the aid of the Great Pow ers, obtained her independence in 1836, as also did Serbia in 1830-1867. Wal lachia and Moldavia (now united in the kingdom of Rumania) were made trib utary principalities by the Peace of Paris, 1856. Rumania and Serbia ob tained their complete independence by the Berlin Treaty of 1878—the former receiving the Dobrudja in exchange for a portion of Bessarabia, which was re stored to Russia; the latter having its area enlarged. The same treaty handed over to Austria-Hungary the administra tion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and es tablished the principality of Montenegro, the principality of Bulgaria, and the province of Eastern Rumelia, which was united with Bulgaria in 1886. As a re sult of the BALKAN WARS (q. v.) of 1912 1913 and the WORLD WAR (q. v.) of 1914 1918 various political readjustments took place. For political, statistical, and other details see ALBANIA, BULGARIA, GREECE, JUGOSLAVIA, MONTENEGRO, Ru MANIA, SERBIA, TURKEY.