Unification of the Bulgarian nation

Thus, the first stage of the unification of the Bulgarian nation ended in success and the country invested all its efforts in the implementation of the next stage – the liberation of Macedonia, Aegean and Adrianople Thrace. This task, however, was far more complex and difficult to carry out for a number of reasons. The existence of a large Bulgarian state within its natural ethnical borders was not to the liking either of the neighbouring Balkan states, which were afraid of a Bulgarian hegemony on the Balkans, or of the Great Powers which had engineered the Treaty of Berlin and regarded Bulgaria as the bridgehead of Russian penetration of the Mediterranean region. Besides, there was a large Turkish population of the not yet liberated parts of the country. In Macedonia, for instance, the Bulgarians formed two-thirds of the population, whereas the remaining part consisted of Turks, Wallachians and some other minorities. The liberation of Macedonia and the above-mentioned parts of Thrace was also complicated by the near-sighted adventurist policy of the Bulgarian ruling circles and by the lamentable cir-cumstance that the Bulgarian throne was ascended in 1887 by the power-loving, vain and venturesome Austro- Hungarian agent, Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg-Goth a.

The complicated internal and international conditions in which the liberation movement of Thrace and Macedonia was placed, was reflected on its overall organization and development. The fact that the Bulgarian state could not carry out the unification by force made necessary the appearance of a powerful national- revolutionary organization in the regions still under foreign yoke, an organization which was to prepare the people for a general uprising. Previous experience was extremely helpful in this respect, and the Bulgarian patriots in Thrace and Macedonia availed themselves directly of the traditions of the internal revolutionary organization of the time of Levski, developing it further, of course, in compliance with the concrete actual needs and conditions.

Damyan Grouev

Thus in 1893 Damyan Grouev, Hristo Tatarchev and others laid the foundations in Salonika of the Internal Macedonian and Adrianople Revolutionary Organization. In the following year Gotse Delchev joined the central leadership of the organization and soon became the recognized leader of the national-liberation movement in Macedonia and the Adrianople region. The activities of the organization were guided by the democratic and internationalist ideas of Karavelov, Levski and Botev and the influence of scientific socialism was strongly felt in it. Many of the leaders, with Nikola Karev at the head, were socialists, while Gotse Delchev himself had read socialist literature and had associated with socialists during his study at the Sofia Military School. The founders of the revolutionary organization came from among the people, were alien to bourgeois chauvinism and had republican convictions. That is why they followed their own path and had all the reasons not to trust the Bulgarian monarch and his obedient governments.



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