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Europe du Sud-Est : histoire, concepts, frontières

The Prehistory of a Neologism : « South-Eastern Europe »

Alex Drace-Francis

Texte intégral

  • 1 Kaser (Karl), Südosteuropäische Geschichte und Geschichtwissenschaft. Eine Einführung, Wien / Köln (...)

1The general scholarly consensus regarding the origin and development of the term “South-Eastern Europe” is, briefly, as follows1 :

2a) first used in German in 1861, it was theorized and popularized by the geographer Theobald Fischer in an article of 1893 and another one of 1909 ;

3b) it was subsequently promoted, notably by the Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga, as a neutral term in the wake of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 ;

4c) various official bodies and research units adopted it starting from the interwar period, but it was notably discredited by its usage to promote German hegemony in the South-East ;

5d) it never really caught on in public life, although it continued to be used in Romanian, German and to a lesser extent Anglo-American academic and diplomatic circles, following the older traditions ;

  • 2  Opponents of “South-Eastern Europe” have included Papacostea (Victor), « La péninsule Balkanique e(...)

6e) Some object to the term as a covert means whereby nations deny their Balkan heritage2 ;

  • 3  For a full text of the pact, see :

7f) I have few disagreements with the later points of this account ; but the term has some interesting prehistory, hitherto unobserved, which it is the purpose of this article to relate. “South-Eastern Europe” has enjoyed a remarkable resuscitation in recent months : the immediate reason for this is its usage in the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, signed by a very large number of international organizations in Cologne on June 10, 19993. A new look at the history of the term may prove useful at such a time.

8During the course of some research on a completely different topic, I came across an article published in 1813 by the illustrious Slovene philologist Bartholomaeus (Jernej) Kopitar (1780-1844), which begins as follows :

  • 4 Kopitar (Barth), « Walachische Literatur », in Wiener allgemeine Literaturzeitung (1813), p. 1551 ;(...)

About four (by their own account fully six) million people speak Wallachian [i.e. Romanian, AD-F]. The importance of the language for the history of the Latin and Slavic languages, and likewise the history of the people for the general history of South-Eastern Europe, has often been sensed by great scholars, Schlözer for instance. Both, history and language, are still truly and deeply cloaked in obscurity4.

  • 5 Kopitar (Jernej), « Patriotische Phantasien eines Slaven » (1810) repr. in Kleinere Schriften, p. 6(...)

9Kopitar offers no definition of South-Eastern Europe in this article, a review of the Transylvanian Romanian scholar Petru Maior’s History of the Origin of the Romanians in Dacia (Buda, 1812). It is possible that in his choice of the term he was influenced by a division he had made in an earlier article of the Slavic Volkstämme into two principal branches. He divided the Slavs into a south-eastern branch (including Russians ; so-called “Sloveno-Serbs” south of the Danube, Sava and Kupa rivers as far as the Balkan mountains together with their colonies in southern Hungary and Slavonia ; the Slovenes of Inner Austria, Provincial Croats and Croats of Western Hungary) and a north-western one (including Poles, Bohemians, Moravians together with the Slovaks and the Lusatian Wends)5. But the range of references in the 1813 article makes it fairly clear he had no narrowly Slavic language-area in mind : he goes on to comment on Romanian history and language in relation to those of all the major peoples of the region : Greeks (ancient and modern), Romanic peoples (north and south of the Danube), South Slavs and Albanians. It is scarcely remarkable that this usage, fifty years earlier than any known hitherto, has passed unobserved. But its very inconspicuousness is important : there was absolutely no confusion or surprise among his readers, who knew precisely what he meant by “South-Eastern Europe”. Unlike the term Balkan, it required little elaboration or geographical tinkering to make it work.

  • 6 Boué (Ami), « Synoptical Table of the Formations of the Crust of the Earth », Edinburgh Philosophic(...)
  • 7 Boué (Ami), « Synoptische Darstellung der die Erdrinde ausmachenden Formazionen, so wie der wichtig(...)
  • 8  Ibid., p. 98 ; cf. Boué (Ami), « Considérations générales sur la distribution géographique, la nat(...)

10The name derived from the points of the compass betrays the more general tendency in European science towards accurate division and measurement of all kinds, and the achievement of a more complete knowledge of the earth’s surface in the latter half of the 18th century. By the early 19th-century, stratigraphical classification and “geognostic maps” were all the rage. It is to be expected, then, that publications in a fashionable science like geology would also yield usages of the term “South-Eastern Europe”. And a brief sampling of the works of one of the great geological travellers of the period, Ami Boué (1794-1881), shows this to be the case. In 1825 Boué published a very elaborate Synoptical Table of the Formations of the Crust of the Earth6 ; two years later he reworked it in an article published in German where he went so far as to declare that, as far as secondary (Mesozoic) formations in Europe were concerned, « one may conclude that two major general types are to be found in this great continent, namely one type for the terrains of the north-west of Europe and another for the south-east »7. The term “südostliche Europa” appears again in this article, and several more times (as “le sud-est de l’Europe”) in the revised French version of part of the same piece published in 18328. Boué also used the term in English in an letter sent to the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal in 1837 :

  • 9 Boué (Ami), « On the Geography and Geology of Northern and Central Turkey. Part II : Geology », Edi(...)

The sienitic porphyry of the Bannat also contains crystals of glassy feldspar. It is to be hoped that competent judges may soon travel all over South Eastern Europe, where trachytes as well as sienitic porphyries occur, and they will soon agree with Beudant and myself in thinking that Montdor, the Cantal, the whole of Italy, the Alps, and the lowest portions of the Rhine, present no porphyritic rocks like those which I have mentioned as occurring in Turkey.9

11The distribution of these special sienitic porphyries was said to cover central Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia, among other places, which shows roughly what Boué’s usage intended. Thus he implicitly conceived of the space as extending beyond the northern and western political frontiers of the Ottoman Empire into parts of the Habsburg Empire.

  • 10 Fischer (Theobald), « Die südosteuropäischen Halbinsel », in Alfred Kirchoff, Hg., Unser Wissen von(...)
  • 11  Boué (Ami), La Turquie d’Europe (op.cit.), Preface, p. viii.
  • 12  Boué (Ami), « Mémoire géologique sur l’Allemagne », Journal de Physique, de Chimie, d’Histoire Nat(...)

12But Boué made no systematic attempt to introduce the term “South-Eastern Europe”. He is well known as the scholar who permanently refuted the notion that the Balkan range extended across the entire peninsula, so one would hardly expect him to have used the term “Balkan”10. He generally preferred la Turquie d’Europe, notably for his classic four-volume monograph of that name, published in 1840. Boué wrote that, having directed his favourite studies “above all to oriental and meridional Europe”, Turkey had long ago aroused his curiosity11. The book’s prestige, and its moderately pro-Ottoman stance, probably helped to perpetuate the name la Turquie d’Europe. As with Kopitar, the interest for us today is precisely that “South-Eastern Europe” was used discreetly and meaningfully, without polemic ; and not that its usage might give any real support to a bogus theory of elemental distinction stretching back into geological time. As it happens, in historical time Boué seems to have used the term “Central Europe” even earlier, in 182212.

  • 13  Zeune (August), Gea. Versuch einer wissenschaftlichen Erdbeschreibung (Zweite Auflage), Berlin : L(...)

13There may be further usages in scientific texts of the early 19th but I, who am no great authority, have not found them. It would not be surprising if there were, given the fairly well-developed conceptualization of an East and a West of Europe, replacing an older North and South, by around 1800. August Zeune, the man notorious for the creation of the notion “Balkan Peninsula”, had an “Eastern” and a “Western” Europe ; but he placed his neological formation, for reasons of his own, in the latter ; the former consisted only of the Russian Empire, Prussia and Poland13.

  • 14  Balbi (Adrien), Abrégé de Géographie, rédigé sur un nouveau plan d’après les derniers traités de p(...)
  • 15  For some “cultural” rather than “natural” considerations, see his article Balbi (Adriano), « D’alc(...)
  • 16  [Laurie (James)] The System of Universal Geography, Founded on the Works of Malte-Brun and Balbi,(...)

14Another famous contemporary geographer, Adriano Balbi (1782-1848), came up with the term la Péninsule Orientale. Balbi posited a Western Europe (divided into Northern, Central and Southern) and an Eastern Europe, initially including only Russia but later also the “Oriental Peninsula” and Republic of Cracow. He argued that European Turkey was improper, mainly for anti-Turkish reasons : the Turks are strangers there ; they are a minority not just of the whole population but even compared to the Greco-Latin element, seen as the ethnic core ; many of these lands have already won their autonomy and do not allow Turks to settle there. He therefore selected what he claimed was “ a designation which, embedded as it is in Nature itself, offers none of the difficulties for which others may be faulted ”14. Names are of course never as “natural” as this, and Balbi was not devoid of prejudice15. But the term did not catch on. For instance, an English adapter of his substituted the term “Slavo-Grecian peninsula” in 184216.

  • 17 Klöden (Gustav Adolf von), Handbuch der Erdkunde. Zweiter Theil: Politisch Geographie. Länder- und(...)

15A theoretical division of Europe on racial-linguistic lines in 1861 led Gustav Adolf von Klöden to propose the concept of “South-Western, or Roman Europe” (including the Iberian and Italian peninsulas plus France). The other two areas were “German Europe” (including the British Isles, Iceland, Scandinavia, and the Low Countries including Belgium), and “Slavic Europe” which came (albeit in smaller script) “together with the Finnish and the Greek”. This last included “the Greek-Turkish peninsula”, which is « the most diverse of the Southern European Peninsulas in its formation [Bildung] »17.

  • 18 Hahn (Johann Georg von), « Reise von Belgrad nach Salonik », Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademi(...)
  • 19 Fischer (Theobald), art.cit.

16In 1861 the German diplomat and scholar Johann Georg von Hahn (1811-1869) first gave a solid definition of the term (in fact using Südosthalbinsel, not Südosteuropäische Halbinsel or Südosteuropa), as « the true triangle, in which Europe tapers off towards the South-East ; for all other proposed collective terms have met with more or less well-founded objections »18. Hahn mentioned Boué several times in glowing terms ; but did not attribute the term’s invention to him. Fischer, who is generally given the credit for the establishment of the term in geographical science, likewise mentioned Boué favourably, but attributed the coinage to Hahn19.

  • 20 List (Friedrich), « Die Ackerverfassung, die Zwergwirthschaft und die Auswanderung » (1842) in Hera(...)

17On a more political level, the economist Friedrich List, in an article of 1842 entitled “Farming conditions, the pygmy economy and emigration”, developed a programme which included many of the essential elements of the 20th-century German drive to the South-East. Writing from New York, he bemoaned the continuing flow of German emigrants to the unpromising American lands, and sketched a strongly-worded and motivated program for expansion into the “unused, but naturally fertile” lands along the banks of the Danube from Pressburg to its mouth, the northern provinces of Turkey and the western shores of the Black Sea. « The entire South-East beyond Hungary is our hinterland. » This would be « the basis of a powerful German-Hungarian Eastern Empire, bordered on one side by the Black, and the other by the Adriatic Sea, animated by German and Hungarian spirit », or, as he states elsewhere, by « German phlegm and Hungarian fire ». Hungary would be saved from the ignominious fate of Poland, which stands to her north-east as an example of what not to do. Thus the idea of a strong Central Europe was connected at an early stage with a planned domination of the South-East. But the phrase “South-Eastern Europe” is not to be found, naturally enough as List did not intend to encroach on independent (and infertile) Greece20.

  • 21 Atherton (Louise), « Never Complain, Never Explain » : Records of the Foreign Office and State Pape(...)

18These and other near misses on the Continent make it all the more surprising that the place where the name “South-Eastern Europe” was used most continuously at high official level in the late 19th century was England. Yet, beginning from December 1883, a series of official papers began to be printed for the recently created Eastern (Europe) Department of the Foreign Office entitled Correspondence relating to the affairs of South-Eastern Europe. This was one of a number of series specially produced for use not as an official public record but for limited circulation among the Queen, the Cabinet and other statesmen who needed a handy printed collection of recent confidential correspondence when making policy on such affairs21. The South-Eastern Europe series initially covered Greece, Bulgaria, Eastern Roumelia, Serbia, Montenegro and Roumania. It continued, with various brief interruptions caused by differently-named wars and necessary administrative changes, until 1947. In other words, when dealing with “the Balkans” all the most important people in England had to consult “South-East European” papers.

  • 22 Arrowsmith (Aaron), A Compendium of Ancient and Modern Geography for the Use of Eton School, London(...)

19How did this come about ? After all, England was the place where the elite who attended Eton College in the early 19th century used a geography textbook which divided up modern Europe in two pages into Western, Central, Southern and Northern22. Eastern Europe did not exist even as a geographical expression.

20Nevertheless, it was largely those who had learnt from Arrowsmith’s geography who were responsible for the administrative reorganization of the Foreign Office in 1882. The division of work by country in this august institution had undergone many changes since its establishment, with a “Northern” and a “Southern” Department, exactly a hundred years previously (1782). By 1857 there were six regional departments :

21a) the Central Powers and Denmark ;

22b) the Near East (Turkey) ;

23c) Russia, Greece, Sweden and the Italian States ;

24d) France, Switzerland, the West Indies ;

25e) the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and the South American States ;

26f) North and Central America, China, Japan.

  • 23 Cecil (Algernon), « The Foreign Office », in Ward (Sir A. W.), Gooch (G. P.), eds., The Cambridge H(...)
  • 24 Roper (Michael), op.cit. ; Cromwell (Valerie), « The Foreign and Commonwealth Office », in Steiner(...)

27These categories reflected the vestiges of various defunct historical entities, a certain degree of commercial logic, and the respective ambitions of the senior civil servants and parliamentarians responsible, who sometimes wished to reserve control over different states according to their importance rather than their location23. In 1865, these were refined into five : b) and c) were reorganized together as the “Turkish Department” (Russia, Greece, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East), and the others were reorganized and renamed as the German, French, Spanish and American departments24. More clearly separated geographical regions were thus introduced, even if the nomenclature remained largely national.

  • 25  London, Public Record Office, Foreign Office, (hereafter PRO, FO), 366/386 (Distribution of Busine(...)

28The reorganization which interests us, that of 1882, simplified matters still further and divided that portion of the world’s surface not under British rule into three. Among other things the French and German departments of 1865 were amalgamated. Most of the correspondence on the matter which has been preserved in the Foreign Office Distribution of Business file deals with really important matters like pay and who was to have which office. But, in December 1882, geographical considerations surfaced. « The members of the Franco-German Dept. », minuted Philip Currie, Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the 15th, « have raised the question what the new department should be called -They suggest “European” but I think that is rather too comprehensive a title. “Franco-German” is ugly. Would it do to call it the “Western dept.” and the Turkish the “Eastern Dept.” ? I presume that the question should be submitted to Lord Granville for decision »25.

  • 26  PRO, FO 366/386, Sir Julian Pauncefote’s note of 18 Dec 1882 ; Jones (Ray A.), The Administration(...)
  • 27  PRO, FO 366/386, Thomas Villiers Lister in circular of 15 Dec 1882.
  • 28  PRO, FO 366/386, note by Granville, 21 Dec 1882; cf. PRO, FO 366/678, Domestic Entry Book, Vol. XI(...)

29About six senior officials put in an opinion, one of whom, apparently Sir Charles Dilke, came up with the refinement of “Eastern (Europe) and Western (Europe) Departments”26. One official noted that these « in common parlance would be West & East » but did not think Eastern and Western Europe would « do »27. The objection to “Europe” probably owed as much to the fact that both “Franco-German” and “Turkish” departments dealt extensively with countries in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East as it did to any putative Victorian repulsion from the idea that the Balkans or Turkey could be considered European. The names “Eastern (Europe)”, “Western (Europe)” and “American and Asiatic” Departments were approved by the Foreign Secretary on December 20, 188228.

  • 29  All these series in PRO, FO 881 (Confidential Print, Numerical Series) and PRO, FO 421 (South-East(...)
  • 30 Cecil (Algernon), art.cit., p. 606.
  • 31 Hertslet (Sir Edward, K.C.B.), Recollections of The Old Foreign Office, London : John Murray, 1901,(...)

30It was almost certainly as a direct result of this reorganisation that the name “South-Eastern Europe” came to be used for a print series. As it turns out, this series had been started in April 1876 as Correspondence relating to Affairs in the Herzegovina (Parts 1-4), was continued as Further Correspondence relating to Affairs in Turkey (parts 5-75, August 1876 - November 1883), to become Further Correspondence relating to the Affairs of South-Eastern Europe in December 188329. The use of print for important collections of documents had increased at the insistence of Lord Salisbury, Foreign Secretary from 1878-1880 ; and the Eastern Crisis, as well as the directly-related Cabinet crisis in Britain, brought with it a corresponding urgency of information. Disraeli had on occasion had the unfortunate need to call on the Foreign Office for documents on a Sunday or before 11 o’clock on a weekday morning, only to find nobody in30. Edward Hertslet, the Foreign Office librarian, was greatly proud of this practice of printing, and tells with pleasure an anecdote about a Frenchman who came to visit him in 1877 and was astonished at the confidence British officials placed in the civic loyalty of their printers in having them handle confidential papers31.

  • 32 Tilley (Rt. Hon Sir John),Gaselee (Stephen), The Foreign Office, London / New York : Putnams &(...)
  • 33  PRO, FO 366/386, Sir Julian Pauncefote to Lord Salisbury, 15 August 1885.
  • 34 Further Correspondence respecting the affairs of South-Eastern Europe, Part 94, p. 103 : Wyndham to(...)

31Another official, Sir John Tilley, who started off in the Eastern Department in 1893, recalled the “South-Eastern Europe” print series as an office chore. But there was certainly no department of that name32. Indeed, the name can hardly be said to have imposed itself. Three years after the sanctioning of the Eastern (Europe) Department name, one of the officials who had been party to its christening wrote anachronistically to the Foreign Secretary that « on Monday Bertie gives up charge of the Turkish Department to Mr. Sanderson »33. And it is extremely rare to find the term in the documents of the series. The documents were confidential and subject to paraphrasing by the decipherers : a fact which opens up the possibility that the very title may have initially been hit upon by a paraphraser for “the Balkans” ; but when we read in such-and-such a paraphrased telegram that « the dethronement of Prince Alexander is a very great warning to the Balkan nations… »34 it is hardly likely that the original diplomat had wired « …a warning to South-Eastern Europe ».

  • 35  For completists : alongside Balkan Wars (1912-1914), a print series from Dec. 1912 on Aegean Islan(...)
  • 36  Iorga (Nicolae), Ce este sud-estul european, Bucureşti, 1940, p. 14.

32The phrase, then, though intelligible and meaningful to all, remained largely unused in practice except on the title page series of dull but important despatches read by Queen Victoria, her cabinet, and a few officials. One might, however, care to reflect on the fact that its first consecration in governmental nomenclature followed on from a substantial crisis in which a British government involved itself substantially and lost substantial face. The new name was a product of the acknowledged need for better information, after a crisis had blown over. The neutrality of the term was not deemed appropriate for the period 1912-1914, when the “Balkan Wars” broke out and caused, among other horrors, a change in the filing system35. The same wars were also the spur for Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940) to set up an institute for “South-East European Studies” in Bucharest. In one of the last lectures Iorga gave before his murder in 1940 by members of the Fascist Iron Guard, and as war was beginning to rage in Europe again, he recalled how heads of state had rallied in the 1913 post-bellum reconstruction phase to his importunate requests for sponsorship of the South-East European idea, in search of a basis for unity and enduring peace in the Balkans. He was bitter about the superficiality of the Balkan Ententes of the 1930s, and their failure to achieve anything in the face of squabbling nations and the claims of the Great Powers. Nevertheless, he remained convinced of the validity of the South-East European idea and the common culture of the different groups. « Everything binds us together, whether we want it to or not. »36

  • 37  Two recent works implicitly carry this distinction in their titles : Nelson (Daniel N.), Balkan Im(...)
  • 38  Joint press conference with Jacques Chirac, 19/02/99. This appears to be Clinton’s first use of th(...)
  • 39  A phrase cited approvingly by François Lamoureux, a deputy director general of the European Commis(...)
  • 40 Hobbes (Thomas), Leviathan, Part I, Ch. 4.

33That statement is valid for our age too, in more ways than one. Conflicts are called “Balkan” and reacting Western governments (and intellectuals) produce plans for stability and reconstruction which are known as “South-East European”37. The President of the United States remarked that « the conflicts in the Balkans highlight the need to strengthen stability across Southeastern Europe »38. Likewise, French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine has said that one of the aims of the Stability Pact was to “Europeanize the Balkans”39. As Hobbes pointed out, it is always bad news if something has two names : « …considerations being diversely named, divers absurdities proceed from the confusion, and unfit connexion of their names into assertions »40. If the region is “South-Eastern Europe” when the wars are over, and “the Balkans” during their duration, we might hope that the former term will prevail. But for peace to prevail the region must be attended to whatever its name.

Notes

1 Kaser (Karl), Südosteuropäische Geschichte und Geschichtwissenschaft. Eine Einführung, Wien / Köln : Böhlau, 1990 ; Todorova (Maria), Imagining the Balkans, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 27-30, 46. Todorova’s excellent work, an essential analysis of manipulations surrounding the terms “Balkan” and “South-Eastern Europe”, nevertheless contains a few minor errors : she writes that the Romanian scholar B. P. Hasdeu took up Iorga’s ideas on South-East Europe after World War I. Hasdeu (1838-1907) in fact preceded Iorga, and favoured the term “Balkan”, meant to include Romania, in most of his theories of regional unity published from 1876 to his death. Useful summaries of his ideas in Fochi (Adrian), Recherches comparées de folklore sud-est européen, Bucarest : AIESEE, 1972, pp. 20-33 ; and Rosetti (Al.), La linguistique balcanique, Bucureşti : Univers, 1985, pp. 16-22.

2  Opponents of “South-Eastern Europe” have included Papacostea (Victor), « La péninsule Balkanique et le problème des études comparées », Balcania, 6, 1943, p. v, who called it “vague and anonymous” ; and Ortalyi (Ilber), « Les Balkans et l’héritage ottoman », Bulletin de l’AIESEE, 28-29, 1998-1999, p. 214, who notes « Why use three words when one will do ? », and argues that users of the term covertly attempt to minimize the role of the Ottoman Empire in the region.

3  For a full text of the pact, see :

http://www.seerecon.org/KeyDocuments/KD.1999062401.htm.

4 Kopitar (Barth), « Walachische Literatur », in Wiener allgemeine Literaturzeitung (1813), p. 1551 ; repr. in Barth. Kopitars Kleinere Schriften. Sprachswissenschaftlichen, geschichtlichen, ethnographischen und rechtshistorischen Inhalts (Herausg. von Fr. Miklosich), Wien : Friedrich Beck, 1857, p. 230 : « die allgemeine Geschichte des südöstlichen Europa ».

5 Kopitar (Jernej), « Patriotische Phantasien eines Slaven » (1810) repr. in Kleinere Schriften, p. 61 ; English version by Miriam Levy in Lencek (Rado L.), Cooper (Henry R., Jr.), eds., To Honor Jernej Kopitar 1780-1980. Papers in Slavic Philology, 2, Ann Arbor : University of Michigan 1982, pp. 195ff.

6 Boué (Ami), « Synoptical Table of the Formations of the Crust of the Earth », Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 13, April-October 1825.

7 Boué (Ami), « Synoptische Darstellung der die Erdrinde ausmachenden Formazionen, so wie der wichtigsten, ihnen unter-geordneten, Massen », Zeitschrift für Mineralogie, 2, 1827, p. 81.

8  Ibid., p. 98 ; cf. Boué (Ami), « Considérations générales sur la distribution géographique, la nature et l’origine des terrains de l’Europe », Mémoires géologiques et palaeontologiques, t. I, Paris : L’auteur / Paris / Strasbourg : F.G.Levrault / Bruxelles : Librairie Parisienne, 1832, pp. 47, 52, 65, 68.

9 Boué (Ami), « On the Geography and Geology of Northern and Central Turkey. Part II : Geology », Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 23, April-October 1837, p. 61.

10 Fischer (Theobald), « Die südosteuropäischen Halbinsel », in Alfred Kirchoff, Hg., Unser Wissen von der Erde. Allgemeine Erdkunde und Länderkunde. Dritter Band : Länderkunde von Europa. Zweiter Teil, zweite hälfte, Wien / Prag : K. Lempsky / Leipzig : G. Freytag, 1893, p. 65 ; Carter (Francis W.), ed., An Historical Geography of the Balkans, London : Academic Press, 1974, p. 7 ; Todorova (Maria), op.cit., p. 28, overrates Boué’s geographical accuracy : he did not say the Balkan range was 550 kilometres long, nor are the altitudes he gives for various mountains very close to today’s accepted figures. Cf. Boué (Ami), La Turquie d’Europe, Paris : Arthus Bertrand, 1840, t. I, pp. 90-95.

11  Boué (Ami), La Turquie d’Europe (op.cit.), Preface, p. viii.

12  Boué (Ami), « Mémoire géologique sur l’Allemagne », Journal de Physique, de Chimie, d’Histoire Naturelle et des Arts, 45, septembre 1822, p. 181.

13  Zeune (August), Gea. Versuch einer wissenschaftlichen Erdbeschreibung (Zweite Auflage), Berlin : L. W. Wittich, 1811, p. 58.

14  Balbi (Adrien), Abrégé de Géographie, rédigé sur un nouveau plan d’après les derniers traités de paix et les découvertes les plus récentes, Paris : Jules Renouard & Cie, 1833, pp. 107-108 ; 502-503. This was a set text in French universities for many years and was translated, abridged and adapted in many European languages. I was not able to consult Balbi (Adriano), Compendio di geographia universale (Venice 1817), where he apparently first developed his ideas on the division of Europe.

15  For some “cultural” rather than “natural” considerations, see his article Balbi (Adriano), « D’alcuni contrasti fra l’oriente e l’occidente », Gazzetta di Milano, Maggio 1839 (repr. in Balbi (Adriano), Scritti geografici, statistici i vari. t. IV, Torino : A. Fontana, 1842).

16  [Laurie (James)] The System of Universal Geography, Founded on the Works of Malte-Brun and Balbi, Edinburgh : A. & C. Black / London : Longman &c., 1842, p. 140.

17 Klöden (Gustav Adolf von), Handbuch der Erdkunde. Zweiter Theil: Politisch Geographie. Länder- und Staatenkunde von Europa, Berlin : Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1861, pp. ix-xi, 1035.

18 Hahn (Johann Georg von), « Reise von Belgrad nach Salonik », Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophish-Historische Classe, 11 (2), 1861, p. 2 n. 2. (Not 1863, as in Todorova (Maria), op.cit., p. 28).

19 Fischer (Theobald), art.cit.

20 List (Friedrich), « Die Ackerverfassung, die Zwergwirthschaft und die Auswanderung » (1842) in Herausg. von Erwin V. Beckerath et al., Schriften / Reden / Briefe, Band V, Berlin : Reimar Hobbing, 1928 (quotes from 502, 498-499). For the context of List’s ideas see Meyer (Henry Cord), Mitteleuropa in German Thought and Action, 1815-1945, The Hague : Martinus Nijhoff, 1955, p. 13 ; and Droz (Jacques), L’Europe Centrale. Evolution historique de l’idée de “Mitteleuropa”, Paris : Payot, 1960, pp. 31-62.

21 Atherton (Louise), « Never Complain, Never Explain » : Records of the Foreign Office and State Paper Office 1500-c.1960, London: PRO Publications, 1994, pp. 97-98.

22 Arrowsmith (Aaron), A Compendium of Ancient and Modern Geography for the Use of Eton School, London / Eton : E. Williams, 1831, pp. 48-50. The section on ancient European geography was four times longer than that on the modern period, where we learn only that Austria « stretches far beyond the limits of ancient Germany to the Eastward » and Turkey includes « the Thracian provinces on the Danube, together with Macedonia and parts of Illyricum, Epirus and Thessaly, Crete and several islands in the Aegean Sea. To the S. of Turkey is the Kingdom of Greece ».

23 Cecil (Algernon), « The Foreign Office », in Ward (Sir A. W.), Gooch (G. P.), eds., The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783-1919, Cambridge University Press, 1923, Vol. III, p. 589 ; Roper (Michael), The Records of the Foreign Office 1782-1939, London : HMSO, 1969, pp. 12-15.

24 Roper (Michael), op.cit. ; Cromwell (Valerie), « The Foreign and Commonwealth Office », in Steiner (Zara), ed., The Times Survey of Foreign Ministries of the World, London : Times Books, 1982. Responsibility for Sweden was transferred to the “German” Department.

25  London, Public Record Office, Foreign Office, (hereafter PRO, FO), 366/386 (Distribution of Business, 1838-1903), circular with comments by Philip Currie, Sir Julian Pauncefote, Sir Francis Alston, Thomas Lister and Earl Granville, 15 Dec 1882.

26  PRO, FO 366/386, Sir Julian Pauncefote’s note of 18 Dec 1882 ; Jones (Ray A.), The Administration of the British Diplomatic Service and Foreign Office, 1848-1905, PhD thesis, University of London, 1968, p. 147 n. 1.

27  PRO, FO 366/386, Thomas Villiers Lister in circular of 15 Dec 1882.

28  PRO, FO 366/386, note by Granville, 21 Dec 1882; cf. PRO, FO 366/678, Domestic Entry Book, Vol. XI (1878-1883), p. 427. “Western (Europe)”= Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Austria [sic], Germany, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, North Africa Madagascar, Miscellaneous; “Eastern (Europe)” = Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Persia, Central Asia; “American + Asiatic” = The Americas, China, Japan and Siam. This last had originally been called “American”, and was changed despite objections raised over composite names by Philip Currie (PRO FO 366/386, circular note of 15 Dec 1882). For comparison, note that the Russian Foreign Ministry dealt with the Balkans through its Asiatic Department until 1914.

29  All these series in PRO, FO 881 (Confidential Print, Numerical Series) and PRO, FO 421 (South-Eastern Europe 1812-1933). The British Library, London, has bound copies of parts 89 to 134, covering the period from March 1886 to December 1889, together with a series of Confidential Telegrams on the Affairs of South-Eastern Europe (6 July 1886-20 Dec 1889) : these appear to have been for the personal use of Lord Salisbury, as they are stamped with the words “Prime Minister”.

30 Cecil (Algernon), art.cit., p. 606.

31 Hertslet (Sir Edward, K.C.B.), Recollections of The Old Foreign Office, London : John Murray, 1901, pp. 50-51.

32 Tilley (Rt. Hon Sir John),Gaselee (Stephen), The Foreign Office, London / New York : Putnams & Sons Ltd., 1933, pp. 127-130.

33  PRO, FO 366/386, Sir Julian Pauncefote to Lord Salisbury, 15 August 1885.

34 Further Correspondence respecting the affairs of South-Eastern Europe, Part 94, p. 103 : Wyndham to Iddesleigh, August 26 1886.

35  For completists : alongside Balkan Wars (1912-1914), a print series from Dec. 1912 on Aegean Islands, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Roumania, Serbia & General ; from Jan 1914, continued as Eastern Europe ; from 1919, South-Eastern Europe (= Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and the Vatican, Hungary, Roumania, Jugoslavia, Montenegro and General) was revived ; from 1934-1941, the series dealing with the same states was called Southern Europe ; from 1941-1947, South-Eastern Europe including Turkey ; from 1948, Eastern Europe.

36  Iorga (Nicolae), Ce este sud-estul european, Bucureşti, 1940, p. 14.

37  Two recent works implicitly carry this distinction in their titles : Nelson (Daniel N.), Balkan Imbroglio. Politics and Security in Southeastern Europe, Boulder, CO : Westview, 1991, and Hall (Derek),Danta (Darrick), Reconstructing the Balkans. A Geography of the New Southeast Europe, Chichester, UK / New York : John Wiley & Sons, 1996. An older instance : D. Mitrany published Mitrany(David), The Effects of the War in Southeastern Europe, London : Oxford University Press / New Haven : Yale University Press, 1936 ; during that war, he had contributed to a history of The Balkans (London : Wm. Heinemann, 1915).

38  Joint press conference with Jacques Chirac, 19/02/99. This appears to be Clinton’s first use of the term in recent official statements relating to NATO, since when he has used it over forty times, sometimes for a more extensive region than the Balkans, sometimes as a synonym with more positive associations. He is doing both here. See his major statements since 1997 on the Internet at http://www.nato.int/usa/president.htm.

39  A phrase cited approvingly by François Lamoureux, a deputy director general of the European Commission, in a speech in Paris, 28/06/99, available on the Internet at the time of writing (18 January 2000) at :

http://www.europa/eu.int/com/dg1a/see/docs/medef_lamoureux.htm.

40 Hobbes (Thomas), Leviathan, Part I, Ch. 4.

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Référence électronique

Alex Drace-Francis , « The Prehistory of a Neologism : « South-Eastern Europe » », Balkanologie, Vol. III, n°2 | décembre 1999, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 22 juin 2010. URL : http://balkanologie.revues.org/751. Consulté le 23 avril 2014.

Auteur

Alex Drace-Francis

Alex Drace-Francis is a PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. 

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