Bulgaria Table of Contents
The social and cultural events of the National Revival moved parallel to important political changes. Bulgarian aid to the Russians in the Russo-Turkish wars of 1806-12 and 1828-29 did nothing to loosen Ottoman control. Then the Ottoman Empire ruthlessly quelled major Bulgarian uprisings in 1835 (in Turnovo), 1841 (in Nis), and in 1850-51 (in Vidin). Those uprisings still bore the disorganized qualities of the hajduti, but, together with smaller movements in intervening years, they established a tradition of insurrection for the next generation. Meanwhile, beset by European enemies and internal revolutions, the Turks entered a reform period in 1826. They replaced the elite but increasingly untrustworthy Janissary forces with a regular army and officially abolished the feudal land system. These changes reduced oppression by the local Turkish rulers in Bulgaria. In the 1830s, Sultan Mahmud II recentralized and reorganized his government to gain control over his corrupt officials and follow European administrative models. Although these changes had little direct effect on Bulgaria, they clearly signaled to the Slavic subjects of the empire that reform was now possible.
Data as of June 1992