|See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Bulgaria.
After 40 years of struggle to regain independence, in 1870
the Bulgarian church reached an agreement with the Sultan,
allowing the creation of an archdiocese with 15 dioceses
under it. The first archbishop and his successors were
considered "troublemakers" and were banned by the Greek
Church Father, which merely helped to bolster Bulgarian
From 1876, a number of Bulgarian uprisings were at their
worst. Some of the Bulgarian volunteers joined the Russian
and Serbian armies at war with the empire. In the San
Stefano Treaty, Moscow was forced to establish a Bulgarian
state, but European superpowers feared it would become a
Russian vassal state in the Balkans.
At the Berlin Congress of 1878, the great powers agreed
to establish "the autonomous province" of Rumelia in the
southern part of the country, formally subject to the
Sultanate, as well as a Bulgarian state in the northern
region, but Macedonia remained part of the Ottoman Empire.
The responsibility for the constitution and the election of
the new state government was laid in the hands of a nobility
The Constitution, passed by this Assembly and one of the
most liberal of the time, introduced a curtailed monarchy.
Alexander of Battenberg, grandson of Alexander II of Russia,
was subsequently elected Prince, and sat on the throne in
July 1878 with an obligation to abide by the Constitution -
which he abolished two years later!
The Prince formed a dictatorial government led by Russian
general LN Sobolev, supported by conservative sectors of
society. The death of the Russian czar partly moderated
Alexander's policy, becoming more "Bulgarian friendly". In
1885 he supported the rebellion of the Liberals in Rumelia
which led to the deposition of the governor and the
proclamation of a union with Bulgaria.
The Bucharest and Top Khané treaties, both signed in
1886, recognized Prince Alexander as governor of Rumelia and
Bulgaria, but he was forcibly deposed by Russia and forced
to abdicate. In an attempt to find a candidate who could
satisfy both Russia and the rest of Europe, the Bulgarians
eventually proclaimed Ferdinand of Saxony-Coburg-Göttingen.
With the support of Vienna, London, Rome and Russia,
Ferdinand overcame the mistrust of the first period, and he
became a central figure for the return of the Bulgarians
who, according to the Berlin Agreement, had stayed abroad.
The prince took advantage of the situation to declare
Bulgaria independent in 1908 and abolished the formal
dependence on Turkey.
In 1912, Bulgaria signed secret, military agreements with
Greece and Serbia. In October of that year, Montenegro
declared war on Istanbul and received support from the
Balkan allies. In May, Turkey signed the surrender of its
European territories, located north of a line drawn from
Enos in the Aegean and Midia in the Black Sea.
However, the Allies did not agree with the split;
Bulgaria came into conflict with Greece and Serbia, which
later gained support from Romania. The Second Balkan War
ended quickly with the defeat of the Bulgarians. Macedonia
was split in August 1913 between Greece and Serbia, but
Romania was allocated a rich area in northern Bulgaria.