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Authors: Vasilevska, Ivanka
Keywords: Versailles system; League of Nations; Woodrow Wilson; Ottoman Empire; protection of minorities.
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Iustinianus Primus Law Journal - Law Review
Journal: Iustinianus Primus Law Review
Abstract: The minority issues in the era of the creation of nations and nationalism in Europe during the XIX century directly affected the existence of the Ottoman Empire. The minority problems in Southeastern Europe were an indirect generator of the crucial issues on the international stage. If observed from the aspect of a religious protectorate, these issues instigated the Russian-Turkish military clashes and started the wave of national uprisings among the Balkan peoples, which culminated with the Balkan wars. The struggle for supremacy over the Christian population within the Ottoman Empire also affected the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Russian Empire. At a certain moment, even France demonstrated its interest, becoming not only a strategic partner of the Ottomans but also a protector of the Orthodox Christian population on the Balkans during the period from the end of the Crimean War in 1856 until the outbreak of the Great Eastern crisis. Basically, the minorities always existed, although their treatment as a political issue started at the end of the XVIII century. The Versailles system created new states with significant minority groups within their borders. Following the necessity for resolving their status and in accordance with the postulate upon which the new European order was built i.e. the "self-determination of the peoples", international obligations which guarantee the protection of minorities were set. The fulfilment of these obligations was generally guaranteed by the League of Nations, establishing a practice that enabled minorities to submit petitions to the Council of the League of Nations. Step by step, this practice opened the possibility for taking into consideration the minority rights within the frames of the internal law of the states which were part of the sphere of the newly established, order. Ever since the creation of the Covenant of the League of Nations, there were several attempts, mainly by the American president Woodrow Wilson, to apply the principles for the religious, language, racial and national minorities.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Law: Journal Articles

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