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Bulgarian History

Bulgarian History

An insight into the History of Bulgaria

When looking closely at Bulgarian history you’ll find it this article offers an important view for everyone interested in the latest research. Providing a broad perspective and covers the entire Bulgarian chronological range from the early middle ages to the twentieth century.

In the Beginning

Bulgaria’s foundations date back to 681. As a nation, it is considered one of the oldest European countries. Because its areas have been inhabited since long ago e.g. since the Paleolithic period.

In the town called Montana, an ancient Egyptian script was discovered. This script is believed to have been created in 4 A.D.

In 1972, gold dating back to the Copper Age was found near the port of Varta, on the Black Sea. The treasure weighting 1516 g. contains some regal symbols as silent witnesses to an ancient culture. The ethnic traces and place of birth of the owners of the riches remain unknown.

Written evidence has also been discovered proving that the Thracians, one of the oldest cultures in Europe, settled in some regions.

The Thracians believed strongly in the gods and evidence supports the Thracian’s devotion to gods like Artemis, Dionysus, and Spartacus. The Thracians left many offerings of gold to these gods. Many of these tokens are now on display in some of Bulgaria’s most popular museums.

Bulgarian History – 1st Century

Areas along the coast of the Black Sea were conquered by Hellenes of Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great. It was time for the Hellenic colony to take their part in shaping the foundations of Bulgaria.

In the 1st century, proof comes into play that the Romans settled in many of these towns. Elaborate highway and road systems were formed. Not only did this hook towns together. Also it provided merchants with easier trade routes.

While a percentage of Thracians converted to Latin, other cultures fell to the Byzantium rule and continued speaking their language and practicing their beliefs. This fronted the beginning of the three groups (Macedonia, Moesia, and Thrace) that would form Bulgaria’s ancestral history.

As history passed, the Great Migration occurred. Many tribes crossed Bulgaria heading west towards Vraca in a quest to find new and better homes. Each tribe left a mark on the area.

It was only a matter of time before the populous Slavic tribes took over the area. By the 7th century, they had taken over much of the area that would become the Balkans.

While the Serbs, Croats, and even Slovenians moved onward to the northwest, the Slavs remained in the area that would become Bulgaria. Eventually, Proto Bulgarians invaded the area of the Danube River.

This tribe was Turkish and had strong traditions. They made a pact with the Slavs allowing them to form a new country named after themselves – Bulgaria. In the late 600s, a peace pact was signed and everyone settled in relative quiet.

681 – 1000’s

From 681 to the early 1000s, the First Bulgarian Kingdom experienced their first taste of Christianity. The Bulgarian alphabet was formed and all looked great for the people. This ended in the end of the 11th century when Emperor Basil II and his armies attacked and conquered the area.

Now under Byzantine Empire ruling, the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was formed.

The country was ruled by the Assen dynasty. Turnovo was named capital city and all worked hard alongside the Ottoman Muslims to keep the Sultans from expanding into Europe. For five centuries, Bulgaria remained under Ottoman rule. When all was said and done, much of Bulgaria was destroyed.

For the next span of time, Bulgarians worked hard to restore their monasteries and towns, and find strong leaders. The language evolved and by the 1800s, Bulgaria seemed well established. This is when the Third Bulgarian Kingdom was established.

In March 1878, the San Stephano Peace Treaty was enacted. Unfortunately, a few months later many other European nations reformed it. Once again, the Bulgarians lost a bit of their independence. They would not sit back; the Balkan Wars was the resulting battle for them to regain some freedom.

1900’s in Bulgaria

After the restoration of Bulgaria in 1878, countrymen were offered a system of government that offered complete democracy.

Unfortunately, Bulgarian history shows us that Tsar Ferdinand led to the catastrophes of 1913, when the nation had to wage war simultaneously against Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, and Romania. In 1918, additional battles occurred. Near dictatorships were re-established as a result.

Some years later, in Bulgarian history, in 1930’s, there was a period of stable development in the country. For the first time in years, no attacks were waged on Bulgarian territory. After the invasion of the Red Army in 1944, Bulgarian armies entered Austria hoping to help eliminate the Nazi regime.

Because of a pact made by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, following WWII, Bulgaria fell into Soviet hands. But, due to its multiple resources, Bulgaria eliminated the troubles caused by education, industry, and social issues. Over the decades, the country established itself as strong economic partners to the Soviet Union.

With strong military ties, Bulgarian history shows that it soon had tied their own economy to that of the Soviet Unions. They relied on many raw materials from the Soviet and therefore all industries were closely linked to government agencies.

Few private citizens could succeed in this mob run atmosphere. The deeper your pockets, the better off you were.

In 10 November 1989, Todor Zhivkov, an established Communist leader, quit his post, Bulgaria had once more chance at democracy. This has helped Bulgaria turn itself into a developing country with a parliament, voting rights, and developing economy in which anyone can participate.

Further Reading on Bulgarian History

More information about Bulgarian history can be found in this fantastic second edition book ” A Concise History of Bulgaria”