1914, "to divide into small and mutually hostile groups," as was the political condition of the Balkans; it is said to have been coined by English editor James Louis Garvin, 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 melted into small, warring nations. Balkanized and Balkanization both also are from 1920.
updated on October 03, 2022