Russo-Turkish Wars

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(1806–12; 1828–29; 1853–56; 1877–78)

A series of wars between Russia and the Ottoman empire, fought in the Balkans, the Crimea, and the Caucasus for political domination of those territories. The wars enabled the Slavonic nations of Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria to emerge and stimulated nationalist aspirations throughout the area to develop. In 1806–12 a vigorous campaign under Marshal Kutuzov in the Balkans compelled the Turks to make peace, recognizing the autonomy of Serbia and ceding Bessarabia to Russia. The war of 1828–29 was a result of the Greek War of Independence as Russian ships fought at the Battle of Navarino in which the Turks were defeated, enabling Greece to gain independence. One Russian army invaded Wallachia and Moldavia and, advancing through the Balkans, threatened Constantinople; a second army crossed the Caucasus to reach the Upper Euphrates. The Treaty of Adrianople (1829), which ended the war, gave Wallachia and Moldavia effective independence and granted Russia control over a part of Armenia. Russia was opposed in the Crimean War of 1853–56 by Britain and France as well as Austria and Turkey, and, at the Treaty of Paris, ceded territories. In 1876 the Turks quelled an uprising in Bulgaria, causing a European outcry against the “Bulgarian atrocities”. Russian forces invaded in 1877, allegedly to protect Bulgarian Christians; they again threatened Constantinople. The Treaty of San Stefano (March 1878) (Three Emperors' League) which ended the war, provoked criticism from Britain and Germany and was modified by the Congress of Berlin (June 1878), as it was alleged to have given too much influence to Russia in the Balkans.

Subjects: World History.

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