The Formation and Fragmentation of National Identity in the Balkans and India
The British Empire and the Ottoman Empire developed strategies to educate select members of the colonized population to administer the colonies and create new indigenous elites who imbibed European nationalism, democracy, and liberal values. The Indian National Congress was formed in 1885 to exert pressure on the British Indian government to allow educated Indians to take a more active role in government and administration. The Balkans experienced economic collapse and financial crisis, leading to Pan-Slavism and nationalistic sentiment. The Congress of Berlin was held in 1878 to renegotiate the Treaty of San Stefano, creating spheres of influence in the Balkans for Austria and Russia, leading to resentments and ambitions that caused major conflicts. Romania became a kingdom and established trade treaties with Austria-Hungary and Russia. European racist concepts of identity derived from overseas empires spread to the Balkans, justifying imperialism in terms of liberation and progress.
Table of Contents
- The British Empire and the Formation of Indian Identity
- The Ottoman Empire, the Tanzimat, and the Formation of Nationalistic Sentiment in the Balkans
- The Formation of Nationalist Sentiment in the Balkans and the Congress of Berlin
- Romania’s Independence and National Identity
- European Racism and Imperialism
Q1. How did ethnic nationalism emerge in India?
A1. Ethnic nationalism emerged in India when the British Raj allowed educated Indians to nominate themselves for elections and take a more active role in government and administration. The Indian National Congress was formed in 1885, aimed to exert pressure on the British Indian government for Indian representation in the government and administration.
Q2. How did the Tanzimat reforms impact the Balkans?
A2. The Tanzimat reformed the financial infrastructure, including the creation of a state bank and budgets, equal rights for religious groups, and an Ottoman national identity. However, the Tanzimat was undermined by over a million Muslim refugees fleeing from wars in the 1850s and 70s, causing a financial and economic collapse across Europe. Local and regional administration collapsed, sparking resistance in Christian areas in the Balkans.
Q3. How did Pan-Slavism emerge in the Balkans?
A3. Pan-Slavism was a cultural and political movement that emerged in the 1870s among South Slavs living in the Balkans. The movement spread throughout the Balkans and was fueled by nationalist sentiment and a desire for independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Q4. How did the Congress of Berlin lead to major conflicts in the Balkans?
A4. The Congress of Berlin was held in 1878 to renegotiate the Treaty of San Stefano, creating spheres of influence in the Balkans for Austria and Russia. This led to resentments and ambitions that eventually caused major conflicts in the region, including Albanian rebellion against Montenegro, Macedonian uprising against the Ottomans, and Bosnian and Albanian Muslim rebellion against Christian rule in Serbia.
Q5. What was the impact of racism and nationalism in the Balkans?
A5. The rapid spread of racist concepts of identity that derived from Europe’s overseas empires contributed to the increasing racism and nationalism in the Balkans. Justifications for imperialism were grounded in religious, political, and historical grounds, and were justified in terms of liberation and progress. Missionaries spread education and medical care throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, and Oceania.
The formation and fragmentation of national identity in the Balkans and India were the result of the colonial and post-colonial strategies of the British and Ottoman Empires. These strategies led to the formation of nationalist sentiment and the struggle for independence from the colonial powers. The Congress of Berlin, Romania’s independence, and the spread of racism and nationalism contributed to major conflicts in the Balkans. The rapid spread of racist concepts of identity that derived from Europe’s overseas empires further fueled the nationalism in the Balkans, justifying imperialism in terms of liberation and progress.