130 Prelude

As the Bosnia and Herzegovina break out into open revolt against the Ottomans, some BRCC members see their golden opportunity to free Bulgaria. Meanwhile, the Ottoman government must finally reckon with its past mistakes as the fight between reformers and hardliners continues.



Major Characters in this Episode

Lyuben Karavelov

Hristo Botev

Stefan Stambolov

Prince Milan of Serbia

Petar Karađorđević

Dragan Tsankov

Count Ignatiev

Ivan Panov Semerdzhiev

Mikhail and Georgi Zhekovi

Verban Yordanov


Timeline for this Episode

  • 1874-5 Escalating crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 15 January 1875, Lyuben Karavelov published the first issue of his magazine “Knowledge” in Bucharest. It’s educational and gives another reason for attacks against him by Hristo Botev.

  • 27th January 1875, the Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs was informed that during a check in Guergu they found a trunk full of revolvers along with ammunition heading towards Bulgaria.

  • April 1875, Ivan Panov Semerdzhiev arrived in Bucharest and by recommendation by Stefan Stambolov he was selected as an apostle to operate in Bulgaria.

  • 19th May 1875, in Tarnovo there was a meeting of the local BRCC committee and Semerdzhiev is the chairman. They come up with a new set of rules and regulations for the organization.

  • 4th June 1875, Ilarion Makiriopolski dies in Constantinople (he was the Metropolitan of Tarnovo at the time.

  • 19 June 1875, Herzegovina uprising begins

  • 5-17th July 1875, In Bucharest, the founding assembly of “Slavic Brotherhood” was held. Amongst the participants were Kiriak Tsankov, Hristo Botev, and other prominent figures from revolutionary immigrant societies.

  • 16-19th July 1875, a common assembly of the representatives of Evangelical churches in Bulgaria was held in Samokov. They affirmed their own rules and regulations.

  • 12-24 August, the BRCC held an assembly in Bucharest organized by Botev, Stambolov, and Ivan Drasov. They founded the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee 1875, which tasked itself with preparing the national uprising in Bulgaria. The new committee contains Botev, Drasov, Dragoi Shopov, Dimitar Tsenovic, and Hristo Chobanov.

  • 21 August 1875, on the initiative of Kiriak Tsankov, the Bulgarian humanitarian society was formed in Bucharest.

  • 29th August 1875, Stefan Stambolov arrived in Stara Zagora to take over leadership of the preparations for an uprising in that region.

  • 1/12 September 1875, In a telegram to the Russian general consul in Bucharest, Ignatief announced himself against the intention of the Bulgarian uprising.

  • 16-28 September 1875, About 20 people, headed by Georgi Ikonomov and Stefan Stambolov announced the uprising in Stara Zagora. They gathered around “Umbrella Hill” and waited for other rebels from surrounding villages but none joined them. So they formed a Cheta and headed toward Hainito (today Gurkovo).

  • 16 September 1875, Stara Zagora uprising (ruins Botev’s reputation)

  • 18th-30 September 1875, Mikhail and Georgi Zhekovi died in a barn after being caught by Ottoman forces.

  • 18th-30 September 1875, the Shumen Cheta headed by Atanas Stoiko started towards the village of Vurbitsa and onwards to Kotel. Along the way they learned that the uprising was a failure and dispersed.

  • 20th September - 2nd October, in an attempt to prevent further revolts, the Porte issued an order with which they lowered the 10% tax to 7.5% and forgave some shortfalls for tax payments for the period from 1872-1873.

  • 21st September 1875, In the region of Cherneva Voda around Ruse, a cheta of 17 people formed, headed by Verban Yordanov. They headed to Gorna Oryahovitsa and to Tarnovo but disbanded after 3 days.

  • 30th September 1875, Hristo Botev filed for his resignation from the BRCC in light of the failure of the uprising.

  • 30th September 1875, the Porte issued a Firman with which they drew new boundaries for the continuation of the Tanzimat reforms.

  • 1st October 1875, A common assembly of BRCC in Bucharest came to the conclusion that the failure of the Stara Zagora uprising came down to the lack of Voivodi.

  • 30 October 1875, The Ottoman government defaults on its debts.

  • 11-12 November 1875, The “assembly of apostles” was held in Giurgiu

  • 30th November 1875, the Porte issued another Firman implementing changes in the production of dishware, announcing a new tax system, proclaims the equality of all subjects in the Empire, and lowers taxes.

  • 1875, the train from Thessaloniki to Skopje and Mitrovitsa was completed


Fighters in Herzegovina

Bosnian refugees

Hristo Botev, Nikola Slavkov, and Ivan Drasov in Romania in 1875

A young Stefan Stambolov

A map of the Stara Zagora Uprising

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