112 Tanzimat

As the young Abdulmejid I takes the throne, he has to immediately contend with the "Eastern Crisis" of 1840. Meanwhile, he launches the Tanzimat reforms, kicking off a continuation of his fathers reforms which trigger yet more revolts in Bulgaria and beyond. Now, more than ever, these revolts are being spearheaded by a growing young class of professional revolutionaries. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Bulgaria, yet more books are published, schools are opened, and anger with the Greek-dominated Orthodox Church deepens.



Major Characters in this Episode

Sultan Abdulmejid I

Mohammad Ali

Georgi Rakovski

Vasil Aprilov

Neofit Rilski

Neofit Bozveli


Timeline for this Episode

  • 1839, beginning of the Tanzimat reforms

  • 1839-1841, Second Egyptian-Ottoman War

  • 1840, Neofit Rilski’s translation of the New Testament is published, the Patriarchate later bans it and attempts to find and destroy all copies

  • 1840, Bulgarian representatives arrive in Constantinople to petition to have a man named Neofit Bozveli appointed Metropolitan of Tarnovo, however the Patriarchate bribes Ottoman officials to have a Greek appointed to the position. As a result, Neofit Bozveli is eventually exiled.

  • 1840, the first all girl school in Bulgaria was founded in Pleven with help from the Bishop of Vratsa and local Bulgarian notables.

  • 1840, the Russian government begins giving out stipends for Bulgarian youth to study in Russia

  • 1840, the first BG printing press was established in Smyrna (Izmir) with slavic type ironically imported from the US. Later in the year, another was established in Thessalonika

  • 1841, Niš rebellion, begins with an appeal to Serbia. It’s sparked when a Muslim mob attacks a church at Easter. Serbia ultimately distances itself from the rebellion.

  • 1841, First Brailla Rebellion

  • 1841, Vasil Aprilov publishes several pamphlets in Odessa regarding Bulgarians

  • 1842, Second Brailla rebellion

  • 1843, Third Brailla rebellion


The Gülhane Hatt-ı Şerif or Tanzimât Fermânı, proclaiming new reforms in the Ottoman Empire

The young Sultan Abdülmecid I

The Revolutionary Georgi Rakovski

The location of Brailla, where three Bulgarian revolts were organized