History of Bulgaria

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, the earliest settlements on the territory of present-day Bulgaria date back to the Paleolithic era. The oldest known population is the Thracian tribes. By the 1st century AD Thracian lands fell under the rule of the Roman Empire, and after its collapse in the 5th century. found themselves within the Byzantine Empire. Gradually, the Thracians were assimilated by the Slavs, who in the 6th century. began to massively settle on the Balkan Peninsula. In the 7th century Proto-Bulgarians of Turkic origin invaded the northeastern part of present-day Bulgaria under the leadership of Khan Asparuh. In alliance with the Slavs, their struggle against Byzantium was crowned with success. In 681, Byzantium recognized the formation of the Bulgarian state, headed by Khan Asparukh, and Pliska was chosen as the capital.

At 8 and early. 9th century the territory of the state was significantly expanded. In 864, Christianity was adopted as the official religion. In the 2nd floor. 9th c. brothers Cyril (Konstantin the Philosopher) and Methodius, the creators of the Slavic alphabet, spread Slavic writing. During the time of Tsar Simeon (893-927), the most prominent of the rulers of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, new territorial acquisitions pushed the borders of the state to the shores of the Aegean Sea. The independence of the Bulgarian Church from the Patriarch of Constantinople was proclaimed. Introduced Slavic writing. Bulgarian became the official state, church and literary language. Under the heirs of Simeon, however, internal strife arose, which weakened the country. After long wars with Byzantium, Bulgaria in 1018 again fell under its rule. See ehistorylib for more about Bulgaria history.

In 1186, an uprising led by the brothers Peter and Asen led to the formation of a new Bulgarian state known as the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186-1396). Its capital was Tarnovo. However, internal strife led to Ser. 14th c. to the division of the country into two kingdoms: Vidin and Tarnovo. Feudal fragmentation weakened Bulgaria. In 1396, it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, under whose yoke it was for almost five centuries.

All this time, the Bulgarian people resisted the enslavers and managed to preserve their identity and culture. From the beginning 18th century the national liberation movement began to gain strength, which at first was educational, and later acquired the character of a revolutionary one. Raising the level of organization of the national liberation struggle and substantiating the revolutionary path is closely connected with the name of the writer and publicist and figure in education G. Rakovsky (1821–67). Among the outstanding figures of the national liberation movement, its ideologists, strategists and organizers were also national heroes V. Levski, L. Karavelov, H. Botev. The apogee of the national liberation struggle was the April Uprising of 1876, which was brutally suppressed.

As a result of the victory of the Russian army in the war with Turkey (1877–78), the Bulgarian state was restored, but by decision of the Berlin Congress (1878), Bulgaria was divided into three parts: the Principality of Bulgaria (Northern Bulgaria and the Sofia region); Eastern Rumelia (Southern Bulgaria – an autonomous region, vassal of Turkey) and Thrace with Macedonia, which remained within the Ottoman Empire. In 1885 the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia united. In 1887 Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1887-1918) became Prince of Bulgaria. In 1908, Bulgaria finally freed itself from vassalage from Turkey, and Prince Ferdinand was proclaimed Tsar of the Bulgarians.

Bulgaria with Greece, Serbia and Montenegro participated in the 1st Balkan War (1912) against Turkey for the freedom of Thrace and Macedonia. However, the contradictions between the former allies over the division of the liberated territories led to the 2nd Inter-Allied Balkan War (1913), in which Bulgaria was defeated and lost not only the lands acquired as a result of the 1st Balkan War, but also part of the former territories, losing the South Dobruja Romania. Serbia and Greece divided almost all of Macedonia among themselves. Bulgaria was left with the Pirin region and Western Thrace, which gave access to the Aegean Sea.

Participation in World War I on the side of Germany had grave consequences for the country. According to the Treaty of Neuilly (1919), Bulgaria lost its western outskirts and Western Thrace. Southern Dobruja, which was actually included within Bulgaria during the war, was again lost and passed to Romania. In 1918 Tsar Ferdinand abdicated in favor of his son Boris III (1918–43). In August 1943, after the sudden death of Tsar Boris, the young Simeon II became his successor, under whom a regency was created.

During World War II, Bulgaria collaborated with Nazi Germany and its allies. On September 5, 1944, the USSR declared war on Bulgaria, and on September 8, Soviet troops crossed the Bulgarian border. This contributed to the activation of political forces that fought against fascism and rallied around the Fatherland Front (OF). On September 9, 1944, the government of the PF was formed, headed by K. Georgiev. In 1946, a referendum was held on the form of government, following which Bulgaria was proclaimed a People’s Republic (September 15, 1946). After that, Tsar Simeon, the Queen Mother and Princess Marie-Louise left the country.

On November 22, 1946, a new government of the PF was formed, headed by G. Dimitrov. On February 10, 1947, at the Paris Peace Conference, a peace treaty was signed with Bulgaria, which confirmed the national independence and territorial integrity of the country, the annexation of Southern Dobruja, transferred to Bulgaria by Romania in 1940. After the death of G. Dimitrov (1949), the government was successively headed by V. Kolarov, V. Chervenkov, A. Yugov. In March 1954, T. Zhivkov became the head of the Communist Party, in 1962-71 he was simultaneously chairman of the Council of Ministers, in July 1971 he was elected chairman of the State Council of the country. Zhivkov remained party leader and head of state until his resignation on November 10, 1989.

In the course of the course pursued by the Communist Party towards building socialism, a party-state political system took shape, political parties outside the Fatherland Front ceased to exist. A high degree of nationalization of property was allowed. Accelerated industrialization was carried out with an emphasis on the priority development of engineering, oriented to export to the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, primarily in the USSR.

Since November 1989, the countdown of democratic transformations, the systemic transformation of society in Bulgaria, begins. In June 1990, elections were held for the Great People’s Assembly, which adopted a new Constitution that came into force in July 1991.

History of Bulgaria