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Macedonians or Macedonian Bulgarians ( ), sometimes also referred to as Macedono-Bulgarians or Macedo-Bulgarians is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Bulgarians, inhabiting or originating from Macedonia. Today, the larger part of this population is concentrated in Blagoevgrad Provincemarker but much is spread across the whole of Bulgaria and the diaspora.
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, at the beginning of the 20th century the Macedonian Bulgarians constituted the majority of the population in the whole region of Macedonia, then part of the Ottoman Empire. The functioning of the Bulgarian Exarchate than aimed specifically at differentiating the Bulgarian from the Greek and Serbian populations on an ethnic and linguistic basis, provided the open assertion of a Bulgarian national identity. However one basic distinction between the political agendas of local intelligentsias was clear. The Macedonian Greeks and Serbs followed, in general, the directives coming from their respective centers of national agitation, while by the Bulgarians the term Macedonian was acquiring the significance of a certain political loyalty, that progressively constructed a particular spirit of regional identity. The Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and World War I (1914-1918) left Ottoman Macedonia divided between Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania and resulted in significant changes in its ethnic composition. The immediate effect of the partition of Ottoman Macedonia were the nationalistic campaigns in areas under Serbian and Greek administration, which expelled Bulgarian churchmen and teachers and closed Bulgarian schools and churches. As a consequence a sizable part of the Slavic population of Greek and Serbian Macedonia fled to Bulgaria or was resettled there by virtue of a population exchange agreements. The Bulgarian population in Vardar Banovina was regarded as "Southern Serbs" and a policy of Serbianization was implemented. Within Greece, the Southern Macedonians were designated "Slavophone Greeks".
However most researchers agree that the bulk of the Slavic population in the region had a Bulgarian national identity until the early 1940s, when the Bulgarian troops, occupying most of the area, were greeted as liberators. Pro-Bulgarian feelings among the local Slavic population prevailed, including Greece and Serbia. After the Second World War and Bulgarian withdrawal, on the base of the strong Macedonian regional identity a process of ethnogenesis started and distinct national Macedonian identity was formed. It should be noted that as a whole an appreciable Macedonian national consciousness prior to the 1940s did not exist. At that time even the political organization by the Slavic immigrants from the region of Macedonia, the Macedonian Patriotic Organization has also promoted the idea of Macedonian Slavs being Bulgarians. The nation-building process was politically motivated and later reinforced by strong Bulgarophobia and Yugoslavism. The new authorities began a policy of removing of any Bulgarian influence and creating a distinct Slavic consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia. With the proclamation of the new Socialist Republic of Macedonia, there were started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among the population. It has been claimed that from 1944 till the end of the 1940s people espousing a Bulgarian ethnic identity had been opressed. According to Bulgarian sources more than 100,000 men were imprisoned and some 1,200 prominent Bulgarians were sentenced to death. In addition, the inconsistent policy to the Macedonian Bulgarians led from Communist Bulgaria at that time has thrown most independent observers ever since into a state of confusion, as to the real ethnicity of the population even in Bulgarian Macedonia. Practically as a consecuence the rest of this people, with exception of Bulgaria proper, were eventually macedonized, hellenized or albanized.

Nevertheless people with Bulgarophile sentiments still lives in the Republic of Macedoniamarker, Greecemarker and Albaniamarker.

See also


  1. South Slavic immigration in America, George J. Prpic, John Carroll University, Twayne Publishers. A division of G. K. Hall & Co., Boston., 1978, ISBN 0805784136, p. 212.
  2. Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups, Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov, Oscar Handlin Edition: 2, Published by Harvard University Press, 1980 ISBN 0674375122, p. 691.
  3. Minderheiten und Sprachkontakt, Ulrich Ammon, Peter H Nelde, Klaus J Mattheier, Published by Niemeyer, 1990, ISBN 3484603461, p. 143.
  4. Macedonia and Greece: the struggle to define a new Balkan nation, John Shea, Published by McFarland, 1997, ISBN 0786402288, p. 209.
  5. Етнография на Македония (Извори и материали в два тома), Автор: Колектив под редакцията на доц. Маргарита Василева, Обем: 853 стр. Издател: Българска Академия на Науките, Година: 1992.
  6. Sources of Bulgarian Ethnography. Volume 3. Ethnography of Macedonia. Materials from the Archive Heritage. Sofia, 1998 Publication: Ethnologia Bulgarica. Yearbook of Bulgarian Ethnology and Folklore (2/2001) Author Name: Nikolova, Vanya; Language: English, Subject: Anthropology, Issue: 2/2001,Page Range: 143-144
  7. Groups of Bulgarian population and ethnographic groups, Publication: Bulgarian Ethnology (3/1987ч Author: Simeonova, Gatya; Language: Bulgarian, Subject: Anthropology, Issue: 3/1987, Page Range: 55-63
  8. Bulgarians (described in encyclopaedia as "Slavs, the bulk of which is regarded by almost all independent sources as Bulgarians"): 1,150,000, whereof, 1,000,000 Orthodox and 150,000 Muslims (the so-called Pomaks); Turks: ca. 500,000 (Muslims); Greeks: ca. 250,000, whereof ca. 240,000 Orthodox and 14,000 Muslims; Albanians: ca. 120,000, whereof 10,000 Orthodox and 110,000 Muslims; Vlachs: ca. 90,000 Orthodox and 3,000 Muslims; Jews: ca. 75,000; Roma: ca. 50,000, whereof 35,000 Orthodox and 15,000 Muslims; In total 1,300,000 Christians (almost exclusively Orthodox), 800,000 Muslims, 75,000 Jews, a total population of ca. 2,200,000 for the whole of Macedonia.
  9. Journal of Modern Greek Studies 14.2 (1996) 253-301 Nationalism and Identity Politics in the Balkans: Greece and the Macedonian Question by Victor Roudometof.
  10. We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe, Diana Mishkova, Central European University Press, 2008, ISBN 9639776289, p. 108.
  11. Nationality on the Balkans. The case of the Macedonians, by F. A. K. Yasamee. (Balkans: A Mirror of the New World Order, Istanbul: EREN, 1995; pp. 121-132.
  12. The struggle for Greece, 1941-1949, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1850654921, p. 67.
  13. Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton,Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1850652384, 9781850652380, pp. 101; p. 109.
  14. Europe since 1945. Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook. ISBN 0815340583, pg. 808.[1]
  15. Loring M. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, 1995, Princeton University Press, p.65 , ISBN 0691043566
  16. Stephen Palmer, Robert King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian question,Hamden, CT Archon Books, 1971, p.p.199-200
  17. The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939-1949, Dimitris Livanios, edition: Oxford University Press, US, 2008, ISBN 0199237689, p. 65.
  18. The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Page 87 by Loring M. Danforth.
  19. Mirjana Maleska. Editor-in-chief. With the of eyes the others - about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations and the Macedonian national identity. New Balkan Politics - Journal of Politics. Issue 6.
  20. Europe since 1945. Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook. ISBN 0815340583, pg. 808.[2]
  21. V, Joseph. The Communist Party of Bulgaria; Origins and Development, 1883-1936. Columbia University Press. pp. p. 126.
  22. Coenen-Huther, Jacques (1996). Bulgaria at the Crossroads. Nova Publishers. p.166. ISBN 156072305X.
  23. Greece and the new Balkans: challenges and opportunities, Van Coufoudakis, Harry J. Psomiades, André Gerolymatos, Pella Pub. Co., 1999, ISBN 091861872X, p. 361.
  24. Ethnic Bulgarians in Mala Prespa and Golo Brdo, Mangalakova Tanya, 2004, International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations (IMIR), language English
  25. Yugoslavism: histories of a failed idea, 1918-1992, Dejan Djokić, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2003, ISBN 1850656630, p. 122.
  26. Проф. д-р на ист.н. Георги Димитров Даскалов, "Българите в Егейска Македония - мит или реалност", Историко- демографско изследване (1900-1990 г.). С., Македонски научен институт, София, 1996 г. Professor Georgi Daskalov, The Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia - myth or reality; Historical-Demographic research (1900-1990 г.), С. Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia, 1996, ISBN 9548187272.

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