1919, in early use in reference to the Baltic states and Hungary, on the model of the political condition of the Balkans; said to have been coined by English editor James Louis Garvin (1868-1947), but A.J. Toynbee (1922) credited it to "German Socialists" describing the results of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Either way, the reference is to the political situation in the Balkans c. 1878-1913, when the European section of the Ottoman Empire split up into small, warring nations. Balkanized and Balkanization both also are from 1920.
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