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Bulgarian Declaration of Independence

Bulgarian Declaration of Independence

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The de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

independence of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was proclaimed
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

 on in the old Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

n capital Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo is a city in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Veliko Tarnovo Province. Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists...

 by Prince (Knyaz
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

) (afterwards Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

) Ferdinand of Bulgaria. Bulgaria has been Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

's tenth oldest country by continuous sovereignty since that date.

Bulgaria had been a widely autonomous (de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

independent) principality
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

 since 3 March 1878, when it was liberated
Liberation of Bulgaria
In Bulgarian historiography, the term Liberation of Bulgaria is used to denote the events of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 that led to the re-establishment of Bulgarian state with the Treaty of San Stefano of March 3, 1878, after the complete conquest of the Second Bulgarian Empire, which...

 from Ottoman rule in the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. On 6 September 1885, it had unified with the Bulgarian
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

-majority Ottoman autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia or Eastern Roumelia was an administratively autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire and Principality of Bulgaria from 1878 to 1908. It was under full Bulgarian control from 1885 on, when it willingly united with the tributary Principality of Bulgaria after a bloodless revolution...

. After the Liberation, Bulgaria's main external goal was the unification of all Bulgarian-inhabited areas under foreign rule into a single Bulgarian state: the main targets of Bulgarian irredentism
Irredentism
Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. Some of these movements are also called pan-nationalist movements. It is a feature of identity politics and cultural...

 were Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 and southern Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, which continued to be part of the Ottoman realm. In order to join an anti-Ottoman alliance and claim those territories by war, however, Bulgaria had to proclaim its independence first. This would constitute a violation of the Treaty of Berlin's terms, an act unlikely to be approved by the Great Powers.

The chaos that ensued in the Ottoman Empire following the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

 of 1908 provided suitable conditions for the Bulgarian proclamation of independence. Many of the Great Powers had also abandoned their support for the Ottomans, looking for territorial gains instead: Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 was hoping to annex
Bosnian crisis
The Bosnian Crisis of 1908–1909, also known as the Annexation crisis, or the First Balkan Crisis, erupted into public view when on 6 October 1908, Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Germany and France...

 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 was looking to seize the empire's Arab territories in the east, and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

's main target was control over the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
The term Turkish Straits refers to the two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, that connect the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea on one side and the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the...

. In September 1908 at a meeting in Buchlau (modern Buchlov
Buchlov
The Buchlov castle is a royal castle that, along with Bare Hill and Saint Barbara’s Chapel, belongs to significant dominants of Chřiby mountains in Moravian Slovakia, which is a region in south-eastern Moravia, Czech Republic.-History:The castle was built approximately in the first part of the...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

), envoys of Austria-Hungary and Russia supported each other's plans and agreed not to hinder Bulgaria's proclamation of independence which was likely to take place.

Towards the middle of September, the democratic government of Aleksandar Malinov
Aleksandar Malinov
Aleksandar Pavlov Malinov was a leading Bulgarian politician who served as Prime Minister on three occasions. He was born in Pandakli, Bessarabia in a family of Bessarabian Bulgarians....

 had decided that the suitable moment was near. On 21 September, Ferdinand arrived at Rousse
Rousse
Ruse is the fifth-largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is situated in the northeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Romanian city of Giurgiu, from the capital Sofia and from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast...

 from a break in his Hungarian mansion. He was awaited there by the government to discuss the final decision on board the Krum ship. The delegation then took the train to Tarnovo, where the official proclamation would take place. According to recent research, it was at the Dve Mogili
Dve Mogili
Dve Mogili is a town in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Ruse Province. It is the administrative centre of Dve Mogili Municipality, which lies in the western part of the area. Dve Mogili is located 32 kilometres away from the provincial capital of Ruse...

 railway station that the manifesto
Manifesto
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

 of independence was completed on 22 September.

The independence of Bulgaria was formally proclaimed at the SS. Forty Martyrs Church
SS. Forty Martyrs Church
The Holy Forty Martyrs Church is a medieval Eastern Orthodox church constructed in 1230 in the town of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire....

 in Tarnovo. As a result, Bulgaria's status was promoted to that of a kingdom
Kingdom of Bulgaria
The Kingdom of Bulgaria was established as an independent state when the Principality of Bulgaria, an Ottoman vassal, officially proclaimed itself independent on October 5, 1908 . This move also formalised the annexation of the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which had been under the control...

, increasing its international prestige. Ferdinand would adopt the title of Tsar instead of a Knyaz and the country would be ready to join the Balkan League and fight the Ottoman Empire in the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

 of 1912–1913.

Bulgaria's declaration of independence was followed by Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia the following day and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

's union with the Cretan State
Cretan State
The Cretan State was established in 1898, following the intervention by the Great Powers on the island of Crete. In 1897 an insurrection in Crete led the Ottoman Empire to declare war on Greece, which led the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia to intervene on the grounds that the Ottoman...

 (unrecognized until 1913). With the two countries' joint violation of the Treaty of Berlin and the dominant support among European countries, the independence of Bulgaria was internationally recognized by the spring of 1909. The Ottoman Empire did not demand any financial compensation from Bulgaria because Russia cancelled the Ottomans' outstanding reparations for the war of 1877–1878. Bulgaria, however, did have to pay 82 million francs to Russia as a consequence.

The independence of Bulgaria is celebrated annually on 22 September as Bulgaria's Independence Day
Independence Day
An Independence Day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another nation or state, and more rarely after the end of a military occupation...

. On 22 September 2008, Bulgaria celebrated the centenary anniversary of its independence.