chapter  I
35 Pages

BEFORE THE CONGRESS

AT THE Congress of Berlin in the summer of I878 the representatives of the powers were able, within the space of exactly one calendar month, to produce a complete paper settlement of the Near Eastern question; so speedy a result, when compared with the length of the crises which preceded and followed the deliberations, inevitably suggests that the achievement was neither so original nor so final as the more sanguine of its authors imagined. The Congress had, in fact, become possible only after several months of difficult diplomatic preparation, and the execution of its provisions provided ample scope for renewed friction. The international tension which accompanied the attempt to remake the map of the Near East continued until the spring of I88o, and even after this the settlement provided Europe with many problems, although the danger of war between the powers had by then been satisfactorily removed.