Bulgaria Table of Contents
The Ottoman Empire was founded in the early fourteenth century by Osman I, a prince of Asia Minor (see Glossary) who began pushing the eastern border of the Byzantine Empire westward toward Constantinople. Present-day European Turkey and the Balkans, among the first territories conquered, were used as bases for expansion far to the West during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The capture of Constantinople in 1453 completed Ottoman subjugation of major Bulgarian political and cultural institutions. Nevertheless, certain Bulgarian groups prospered in the highly ordered Ottoman system, and Bulgarian national traditions continued in rural areas. When the decline of the Ottoman Empire began about 1600, the order of local institutions gave way to arbitrary repression, which eventually generated armed opposition. Western ideas that penetrated Bulgaria during the 1700s stimulated a renewed concept of Bulgarian nationalism that eventually combined with decay in the empire to loosen Ottoman control in the nineteenth century.
Data as of June 1992