118 Balkan Smoke and Unifications

Tobacco and coffeehouses are growing in importance as markers of social status and places to plan political change. Meanwhile, two new countries emerge on the European map as the Great Powers find a balance between those which desire greater power and those seeking to preserve the status quo. All the while, calls for an independent Bulgarian church grow as Russia and the Patriarchate view the growing Uniate movement with fear.




Timeline for this Episode

  • February 1859, a book on tracing the Bulgarian language and nationality by Rakovski

  • 20th March, the newspaper Bulgaria begins publication in Svishtov by Dragan Tsankov, he works with Petko Slaveikov on the project.

  • 12th July, the Bulgarian population of Kilkis sends a petition to the Pope denouncing the Patriarchate for its violent, illegal, and immoral actions. They ask the Pope to accept them into the Catholic Church.

  • 1st August in Constantinople, Stephan Bogiridi dies

  • 25th October 1859, Nikola Konaki Bogoridi, the son of Stephan Bogiridi, lays the foundation for the new Bulgarian church in Constantinople. A prayer is read by Patriarch Kiril.

  • 29th October 1859, Parteni Zogravski becomes Bishop in Kilkis

  • 20th December, during Sunday mass in a church in Plovdiv there’s a fight between Greeks and Bulgarians because the service is read in Bulgarian.

  • 1859, Vasil Levski is made a Deacon by the Metropolitan of Plovdiv, Paisii

  • 1859, 36 books are published including the first Bulgarian-French grammar book in Bucharest

  • 1859, Wallachia and Moldavia unite

  • 1859, Miloš Obrenović I dies and is succeeded by his son

  • Jan 1860, Rakovski leaves Odessa heading for Belgrade.

  • 18th January 1860, the Bulgarians of the Tarnovo region sent a protest to the Patriarchate opposing their decisions. It’s signed by the municipal leaders of the area

  • Feb 16th, the Bulgarian Assembly called by the Ottomans in Constantinople ended without the Bulgarian requests being satisfied.

  • 20th February, Rakovski arrived in Belgrade

  • March 1860, the leaders of the national church movement in Constantinople filed a plea to the Porte asking for permission to found an independent Bulgarian church.

  • March 1860, a cultural center is founded in Stara Zagora

  • End of March 1860, the representatives of the Bulgarians in Constantinople held a meeting in which Petko Sleveikov and other influential church patrons decided to organize an official breaking of ties to the Patriarchate

  • 1860, Easter Sunday, Ilarian Makaripolski holds services without the approval of the Patriarch and in the service replaced the Patriarch with the Sultan.

  • 11th May, a Bulgarian municipality if formed in Varna

  • May, the Grand Vizier travels through Bulgaria to familiarize himself with the condition of the Christian population

  • 1st June 1860, the Bulgarians of Constantinople assembled and selected a committee including Ilarian Makaripolski to lobby the Porte to recognize an independent Bulgarian church

  • 1860, Rakovski begins publishing the newspaper Danube Swan (Perry, 8) He also published a book of speeches by Tsar Asen I & his son Asen II

  • 12th August, a school is built in Varna

  • 18th October, the Uniate church patrons headed by Dragan Tsankov draw up a plea for the recognition of the Bulgarian Uniate church

  • 22nd October, American Protestant missionaries found an all-male school in Plovdiv.

  • November 1860 Ottoman officials begin to try and prevent the dissemination of Rakovski’s works

  • 25th of November, Rakovski meets Mihail Obrenovic, after a long discussion they agree that the Serbian government will help mediate the church dispute between the Bulgarians and Greeks

  • 18th December, a group of Bulgarians hand the Catholic official in Constantinople a plea addressed to the Pope asking for autonomy of the Bulgarian church under the Pope’s jurisdiction

Major Characters in this Episode

Sultan Abdulmejid I

Tsar Alexander II

Georgi Rakovski

Stephan Bogoridi

Nikola Konaki Bogoridi

Ilarian Makiriopolski

Milos Obrenovic

Mihail Obrenovic

Giuseppe Garibaldi



The territory of unified Romania

The territory of unified Italy

Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi

Mihail Obrenovic of Serbia

Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Prince of Romania