2902 UNIVERSAL HISTORY. THE MODERN WORLD.
addition of territory. Servia at once set up the claim that Old Servia had included a part of Bulgaria, and that the latter Power must now surrender as much as had belonged to the ancient dominion of the Servian princes. To this Bulgaria was in no mood to accede. King George, of Greece, looked to the North, and coveted Macedonia as his portion of the spoils. The armies of the different principalities were organized, and at several crises were about to be thrown upon each other in battle. It was evident to the Western Powers that the moment such a conflict should break out, Russiaseeing herself freed from the compact of Berlin by the natural disruption of that settlementwould throw herself upon Constantinople, scarcely giving the Turk time enough to get himself into Asia. It was believed, moreover, that the greater German Powers, Austria and Prussia, were half indifferent to the fate of the Turkish Empire. Nevertheless, the Powers determined to uphold for a while longer the existing order. A new conference was held on the "Balkan Question" at Constantinople, and the principles of settlement agreed to seven years previously were reaffirmed. As to the union of Bulgaria and Roumelia, it was conceded that the same should extend no further than a common executive administration under Prince Alexander. Otherwise the two States were to remain as heretofore, independent principalities.
The struggles which had taken place since the beginning of the sixth decade of the nineteenth century had resulted, in general, in the weakening and contraction of the Ottoman Power to the narrowest limit consistent with its further perpetuation in Europe. Russia, on the whole, had gained again and again, though the increments of her power had not been coextensive with her ambitions. The Kingdom of Greece, under Otho and George I., had become well established; but the expected revival of the Greek peoples from the lethargy of ages, and the hoped-for reassertion of their claim to a place among the most intellectual of the races had not occurred. The bonds between the Christian principalities of Turkey and herself had been gradually loosed, or so greatly attenuated that they might be henceforth disregarded in estimating the political and historical condition of the countries within the Danube. While these processes had been going on, the tendency and ambition for independence had been correspondingly intensified. The prospect seemed to indicate at no distant day the complete disruption of the Ottoman Empire. It was generally supposed that the Russian Empire would absorb most of the Turkish dominions and would probably occupy Constantinople. But historical prophecy is always hazardous, and Turkey possessed more vitality than was then believed. Her final downfall was finally brought about, not by Russia, but by Powers which, in the middle of the nineteenth century, had intervened to save her from Muscovite aggression.