Vanished Kingdoms – Tsernagora

The next chapter in Norman Davies book on the Balkan state of Montenegro.  The chapter title is a way to be cute, I suppose, because it is only mentioned once in the entire chapter.

The chapter is mostly about the early 20th century, where the country grew as an after-effect of the dismemberment of the European parts of Ottoman Empire in the Balkan Wars.  Then in the aftermath of the World War I, the country was reabsorbed into the state of Yugoslavia – apparently not with universal approval by the Montenegrins.

Losers in a war get their sovereignty squished all the time, and sometimes so do bystanders.  But Montenegro was technically a member of the Allies, so this is a little more unusual.  But it isn’t totally unprecedented, the Franco-Prussian war terms did similarly to the minor German states, although they might have been more enthusiastic about it than Davies reports Montenegro was.

Davies uses Wilson’s “14 Points” to try and tar the Allies with being hypocritical, which is unfair.  At no time did any of the Allied powers aside from Wilson ever care about the 14 Points.  I’m not sure if Davies is naive himself, or thinks the reader is.  The post-WWI redrawing of the maps was the usual high-handed mix of punishment for some, reward for others, and the odd attempt to fix political problems for good or ill.

The creation of Yugoslavia was one of the latter, for all the scorn Davies heaps on it.  The major powers were tired of the wars breaking out in the region and the crises that it had caused.  They didn’t want too many weak states that might tempt a resurgence of Germany or Russia eastward or southeastward.

In the end, it partly worked – there were no wars in the area.  But this didn’t keep the area from falling into the orbit of Germany as WWII grew nearer.

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2 thoughts on “Vanished Kingdoms – Tsernagora

  1. Pingback: Vanished Kingdoms – Rusyn | Kilobooks

  2. Pingback: Vanished Kingdoms – Eire | Kilobooks

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