140: Hope and Despair

Even as the ink on the Treaty of Berlin is drying, Bulgarians are up in arms about its provisions. Soon, new uprisings are planned, newspapers and organizations protest, a new government is formed, and a constitution is written. It's a heady time full of hope and despair.




Major Characters in this Episode

Marin Drinov

Ivan Gueshoff

Prince Alexander Dondukov-Korsakov

Stefan Stambolov

Lyuben Karavelov


Timeline for this Episode

  • July 1st 1878, the Treaty of Berlin is signed.

  • 20th July 1878, A seven member assembly is created to govern Bulgaria, the only Bulgarian on it was Marin Drinov, a Russian citizen, who was responsible for education and religion.

  • 6th August 1878, First issue of the newspaper Maritsa is published in Plovdiv. It will last until 1885.

  • 11th and 14th August 1878, Decrees of the governing assembly recognize the right of Muslim refugees to return and restore their property, with the exception of those who have committed crimes against Christians. Property ownership must be established through the court systems, with deeds, or certification. This agrarian coup begins the legitimization of the transferring of property to Bulgarians.

  • 29th August 1878, Founding of the committee Union (Edinstvo) in Tarnovo by Georgi Zhivkov, Stefan Stambolov, Lyuben Karavelov, and others.

  • 10th September 1878, Marin Drinov published a temporary decree for national schools and implements an educational structure, unifying the Bulgarian school system with free and mandatory elementary education for boys and girls. This is the foundation of Bulgarian educational law.

  • 20th September 1878, An assembly of representatives of the Union committees, voivodes of Macedonian Cheti, and Russian officers meet at the Rila Monastery under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Nathaniel Ohridski and they decide to organize an uprising in Macedonia.

  • 30th September 1878, The beginning of the assemblies of the European Committee for the Creation of an organic charter of Eastern Rumelia in Constantinople. On October 15th it moves to Plovdiv.

  • September/October 1878, Sergey Lukianov prepares the initial project for the organic charter of the Bulgarian state. Through a 16 question survey, they ask 16 notable Bulgarians about how the country should be organized.

  • 17th October 1878, Beginning of the Kresna-Razlog uprising

  • 21st October 1878, Russia takes over governing southern Bessarabia. At this time, about 103,000 Bulgarians inhabit the area spread across two towns and 70 villages.

  • 29th October 1878, A Bulgarian delegation from Eastern Rumelia gives the European committee of the Great Powers a memoire against the separation of the Bulgarian people.

  • 29th October 1878, By the proposal of Marin Drinov, the headquarters of the Russian imperial government is moved from Plovdiv to Sofia. The first demonstration of a phonograph occurs in Plovdiv.

  • 18th November 1878, the organic charter project is approved by the Russian Emperor.

  • 20th November 1878, Bulgarian rebels headed by Banyo Marinov take Bansko

  • 26th November 1878, Romania takes over administration of Northern Dobrudja

  • 8th December 1878, A military school opens in Sofia, training of officers moves there from Plovdiv.

  • 10th December 1878, The Bulgarian literary assembly in Braila decides to move to Sofia.

  • 10th December 1878, The first public library in Sofia is founded (today the St. St. Kiril and Methodius National Library) alongside the national museum. The reading room will open on January 15th.

  • December 1878, the “particular committee” in St. Petersburg headed by Knyaz Sergey Orosuv rewords the organic charter for Bulgaria to make it more liberal. This is called the Petersburg Project. The first mayor of Stara Zagora invites a Czech Architect to create a plan for the city.

  • December 1878, seven mosques are destroyed with the help of Russian military engineers during a thunderstorm.

  • 4th January 1879, The Romanian-Macedonian Committee in Bucharest headed by Metropolitan Kalinik decides to create an Eparchate in Macedonia which is under the Romanian Synod.

  • 19th January 1879, The first all boys high school is founded in Sofia.

  • January 1879, While translating the Petersburg Project, Marin Drinov makes some editorial changes on the advice of Dondukov. A central committee for Edinstvo is founded in Plovdiv. A Bulgarian student society called Brotherhood is founded in Geneva.


Marin Drinov
Marin Drinov

Ivan Gueshov
Ivan Gueshov

The Edinstvo Committee which headed the Kresna-Razlog uprising
The Edinstvo Committee which headed the Kresna-Razlog uprising

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