The Balkan Wars were two major conflicts that took place in 1912 and 1913. During the first war, the Ottoman Empire lost a majority of its territory in Europe to the Balkan League (Montenegro, Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria). Following the first war, the league partitioned the conquered lands. These partitions, specifically in Macedonia, made some parties in the Balkan League uneasy. Bulgaria was dissatisfied with the partitions, which triggered the Second Balkan War.

Bulgaria attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece. With the growing threat of Bulgaria, this also provoked Romania to intervene against Bulgaria. The Ottomans, Romanians, Serbians, and Greeks repelled the Bulgarians, resulting in a loss for Bulgaria. The Second Balkan War ended with the Treaty of Bucharest and the Treaty of Constantinople, where lands were returned from Bulgaria to its former allies and the Ottomans, respectively.

It is now late July of 1913. The six nations of Austria-Hungary, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire have clashing goals and interests for how they picture Europe in the twentieth century. With increased militarism, alliances, nationalism, and imperialism, tensions in the world are ever-increasing. These six nations will decide the fate of Europe for the twentieth century and beyond. Historical alliances exist, but alliances are and should be fluid. And remember, while history is important, history can be changed. It is up to these six nations to decide how the events leading up to the First World War will play out, and if the conflict as a whole could be avoided.

 

Austro-Hungarian Empire

In 1913 the Habsburg dual monarchy, Europe's most diverse state, is at a crossroads. It has followed in Germany's shadow ever since the Brothers' War and taken on a nationalist domestic and foreign policy to the detriment of relations with its old ally, Russia. But the Austrian Social Democratic movement has been slowly and steadily rising, fueled by the rejection of the idea that culture should divide nations, and that the rich and the noble should oppress the people. The time has come to decide both what Austria-Hungary will stand for, and whom it will stand with on the world stage.

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German Empire

The German Empire is the center of European conservatism and tradition. The 20th Century has been the German Empire's opportunity to wield its influence and militarism over the continent. Following two Balkan Wars, the fate of Europe hangs in the balance. Will the German Empire be able to assert its control over Europe? Can Germany successfully fend off the threats of other nations?

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Ottoman Empire

Despite a moment of hope after the restoration of the Ottoman Constitution, the empire has been in a state of unrest ever since. Losing territory and political capital left and right, the empire is clearly in a state of decline. Meanwhile, a great conflict is brewing among the Ottoman's European neighbors that the empire may soon be involved in. With decaying strength and resources, the Ottomans must fight hard if they wish to perserve the longevity of the empire.

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The United Kingdom

The sun never sets on the British Empire. In 1913, Great Britain enjoys its glorious status as a superior world power, but gloomy omens lurk beneath the tremendous wealth and strength. British pride in its population, military power and fertile colonies cannot overshadow imminent threat from a rising neighbor. It is a crucial moment for Britain as to whether it will maintain its dominance over Europe and the world, or succumb to the dangers ahead.

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Third French Republic

Emerging from the years of turmoil and violence during the French Revolution and Napoleon's reign, France is a growing but self-concerned nation with many issues. A focus on internal problems leads to France turning a blind eye to many of the events leading up to the first World War. However, fear of a German nation that was growing ever more powerful led France to establish strong alliances with both Russia and Great Britain that would define French foreign policy leading up to WW1. France will have a highly important role to play in attempting to ensure stability within both its own orders and throughout Europe against an expanding German threat.

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Russian Empire

In the final years of the Russian Empire, the middle and working classes have heavily increased and political tides are shifting internally. Meanwhile, on the international stage, there is a Great War brewing that Russia will invariably have to take part in. Will Russia be able to balance domestic turmoil and the changing of the status quo with an extremely risky global war that threatens to expose the incompetence of the Tsarist government and the Imperial Army alike?

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