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BULGARIA

features—a strong Bulgarian reaction against Bussian tutelage and. a vehement struggle against the autocratic institutions which the young ruler, under Russian guidance, endeavoured to inaugurate. Both movements were symptomatic of the determination of a strong-willed and egoistic race, suddenly liberated from secular oppression, to enjoy to the full the moral and material privileges of liberty. In the Assembly at Trnovo the popular party had adopted the watchword “ Bulgaria for the Bulgarians,” and a considerable anti-Russian contingent was included in its ranks. Young and inexperienced, Prince Alexander, at the suggestion of the Russian consul-general, selected his first ministry from a small group of “ Conservative ” politicians whose views were in conflict with those of the parliamentary majority, but he' was soon compelled to form a “ Liberal ” administration under Tzankoff and Karaveloff. The Liberals, once in power, initiated a violent campaign against foreigners in general and the Russians in particular; they passed an alien law, and ejected foreigners from every lucrative position. The Russians made a vigorous resistance, and a state of chaos ensued. Eventually the prince, finding good government impossible, obtained the consent of the Tsar to a change of the constitution, and assumed absolute authority on the 9th May 1881. The Russian general Ernroth was appointed sole minister, and charged with the duty of holding elections for the Grand Sobranye, to which the right of revising the constitution appertained. So successfully did he discharge his mission that the national representatives, almost without debate, suspended the constitution and invested the prince with absolute powers for a term of seven years (July 1881). A period of Russian government followed under Generals SkobelefF and Kaulbars, who were specially despatched from St Petersburg to enhance the authority of the prince. Their administration, however, tended to a contrary result, and the prince, finding himself reduced to impotence, opened negotiations with the Bulgarian leaders and effected a coalition of all parties on the basis of a restoration of the constitution. The generals, who had made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the prince, withdrew; the constitution of Trnovo was restored by proclamation (19th September 1883), and a coalition ministry was formed under Tzankoff. Prince Alexander, whose relations with the court of St Petersburg had become less cordial since the death of his uncle, the Tsar Alexander II., in 1881, now incurred the serious displeasure of Russia, and the breach was soon widened by the part yhich he played in encouraging the national aspirations of the Bulgarians. In Eastern Rumelia, where the Bulgarian population never ceased to protest against the division of the race, political life had developed on the same lines as Union principality. Among the politicians two 'Rumelia. parties had come into existence—the Conservatives or self-styled “ Unionists,” and the Radicals, derisively called by their opponents “ Kazioni ” or treasuryseekers ; both were equally desirous of bringing about the union with the principality. Neither party, however, while in power would risk the sweets of office by embarking in a hazardous adventure. It was reserved for the Kazioni, under their famous leader Zakharia Stoyanoff, who in early life had been a shepherd, to realize the national programme. In 1885 the Unionists were in office, and their opponents lost no time in organizing a conspiracy for the overthrow of the governorgeneral, Krstovitch Pasha. Their designs were facilitated by the circumstance that Turkey had abstained from sending troops into the province. Having previously assured themselves of Prince Alexander’s acquiescence, they seized the governor-general and proclaimed the

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union with Bulgaria (18th September). The revolution took place without bloodshed, and a few days later Prince Alexander entered Philippopolis amid immense enthusiasm. His position now became precarious. The Powers were scandalized at the infraction of the Berlin Treaty; England alone showed sympathy, while Russia denounced the union and urged the Porte to reconquer the revolted province— both Powers thus reversing their respective attitudes at the Berlin congress. The Turkish troops were massed at the frontier, and Servia, hoping to profit by the difficulties of her neighbour, suddenly declared war (14th November). At the moment of danger the Russian officers, who filled war all the higher posts in the Bulgarian army, were withdrawn by order of the Tsar. In these critical circumstances Prince Alexander displayed considerable ability and resource, and the nation gave evidence of hitherto unsuspected qualities. Contrary to general expectation, the Bulgarian army, imperfectly equipped and led by subaltern officers, successfully resisted the Servian invasion. After brilliant victories at Slivnitza (19th November) and Tsaribrod, Prince Alexander crossed the frontier and captured Pirot (27th November), but his further progress was arrested by the intervention of Austria. The Treaty of Bucarest followed (3rd March 1886), restoring the status quo ante; Servia, notwithstanding her aggression, escaped a war indemnity, but the union with Eastern Rumelia was practically secured. By the convention of Top-Khane (5th April) Prince Alexander was recognized by the Sultan as governor-general of Eastern Rumelia; a personal union only was sanctioned, but in effect the organic statute disappeared and the countries wrere administratively united. These military and diplomatic successes, wdiich invested the prince with the attributes of a national hero, quickened the decision of Russia to effect his removal. An instrument was found in the discontent of several of his officers, who considered themselves slighted in the distribution of rewards, and a conspiracy was formed in which Tzankoff, Karaveloff (the prime minister), Archbishop Clement, and other prominent persons were implicated. On the night of the 21st August the prince was seized in his palace by several officers and compelled, under menace of death, to sign his abdication ; he was then hurried to the Danube at Rakhovo and transported to Russian soil at Reni. This violent act met with instant disapproval on the part of the great majority of the nation. Stambuloff, the president of the Assembly, and Colonel Mutkuroff, commandant of the troops at Philippopolis, initiated a counter - revolution; the provisional government set up by the conspirators immediately fell, and a few days later the prince, wdio had been liberated by the Russian authorities, returned to the country amid every demonstration of popular sympathy and affection. His arrival forestalled that of a Russian imperial commissioner, who had been appointed to proceed to Bulgaria. He now committed the error of addressing a telegram to the Tsar in which he offered to resign his crown into the hands of Russia. This unfortunate step, by which. he ignored the suzerainty of Turkey, and represented Bulgaria as a Russian dependency, exposed him to a stern rebuff, and fatally compromised his position. The national leaders, after obtaining a promise from the Russian representative at Sophia that Russia would abstain from interference in the internal affairs of the country, consented to his departure; on the 8th September he announced his abdication, and on the following day he left Bulgaria. A regency was now formed, in which the prominent figure was Stambuloff, the most remarkable man whom modern Bulgaria has produced. A series of attempts to