By Branimir M. Janković (auth.)
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Extra info for The Balkans in International Relations, 1st Edition
Prince Stefan Lazarevic (1389-1427) was at first a vassal of the Turks, but during the war of succession in Turkey in the early fifteenth century, he declared his independence as an ally of the Hungarian King Sigismund and consolidated his authority in Belgrade and the area of Macva. None of the attempts at defence in the Balkans were effective enough to prevent the Balkan lands from falling in rapid succession into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, even though the struggle against the Turkish onslaught lasted for over one century.
One of the causes of the war, which was to last sixteen years (1683-99) was France's instigation of Turkey to take advantage of Austria's internal disarray and support Hungarian separatism. The Holy League, which withstood the Turks in their direct assault on Europe, was not in fact a manifestation of European unity. It included states that were directly and indirectly threatened: Austria, Poland and Venice. After the Turkish onslaught was successfully repelled, a counter-offensive followed on a broad front in the Balkans.
On the other side, the Russian Baltic fleet sailed through the Mediterranean, arriving at the Morea early in 1770. The Greeks rose against their Turkish overlords. Russc>-Turkish peace talks were initiated thanks to the mediation of an alarmed Austria. The question of the balance of power among interested European states was the principal issue of the day and led to the partitioning of Poland in 1772. However, the breakdown in the Russc>-Turkish peace negotiations brought about renewed fighting, and Russia advanced across the Danube into Bulgaria.