Miloš Ković

Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of Belgrade

Great Britain and the Consular Initiative of the Great Powers in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1875

Abstract: This paper examines on the basis of the British archival records the attitude of Great Britain towards the consular initiative of the Great Powers in August and September 1875. It was the first joint undertaking of the European powers in the Great Eastern Crisis (1875–1878). In the British view, it was the ambitions of the League of the Three Emperors in the Balkans and Austria-Hungary in Bosnia-Herzegovina that underpinned the initiative. Although the consuls had limited authority, Britain accepted the initiative with reluctance and mistrust – and only after the Ottoman Empire had given its consent. When the League of the Three Emperors proposed more extensive powers for the consuls in order to prevent the failure of their mission, both the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain declined this proposal. This meant that the Consular Mission could accomplish nothing.

Keywords: Great Britain, Great Eastern Crisis, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs, Austria-Hungary, Consular Mission