Page:The European Concert in the Eastern Question.djvu/237

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
221
TREATIES OF PARIS AND OF BERLIN.

Similarities between the Treaties of Paris and Berlin War was avoided. At the Congress of Paris, Russia had to renounce the pretensions which she had gone to war to maintain. At the Congress of Berlin she had to submit to the re-settlement of her contract with Turkey from the point of view of the general interest of Europe. The treaties of Paris and of Berlin thus resemble one another, in that both alike are a negation of the right of any one Power, and an assertion of the right of the Powers collectively, to regulate the solution of the Eastern question.

Differences between the two Treaties. But these two great treaties differ considerably from one another in several important particulars. The Treaty of Paris was primarily a treaty of peace, and contains therefore a number of articles which answer the merely temporary purpose of putting an end to a state of war. The Treaty of Berlin is primarily a political settlement, supervening upon a peace, the terms of which had been previously agreed upon, as between the belligerents, by the treaty of San Stefano. Again, in 1856, Turkey and her allies were victorious, and the object of the arrangement was the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire, which was to be left to perform its promises well-doing without external interference. In 1878 Turkey was crushed, her best friends were ready to consent to her dismemberment on a large scale; there was no more confidence in her reformation from within, and we no more hear of guarantees of her integrity and independence. The Treaty of Berlin was indeed intended to Double purpose of the Treaty of Berlin. be a re-assertion of the guiding principle of the Treaties of Paris and of London, i.e. of the claim of the Powers collectively, as against Russia individually, to take cognizance of the Eastern question. But it was also intended to be a revision of those Treaties.

The Treaty of Berlin as a reassertion of the authority of the Powers.

1. At the opening of the Berlin Congress, Prince Bismark explained that the stipulations of the Treaty of San Stefano were in several points of a nature to modify 'the state of things as fixed by former European Conventions,' and that the Plenipotentiaries were assembled for the purpose of submitting that Treaty 'to the free discussion of the Cabinets,