Ethnic map of the Balkans from 1861, by Guillaume Lejean. Bulgarians are marked with light green.
Territoried under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1870–1913).
Map of European Turkey after the Treaty of Berlin. Macedonia and Adrianople areas, which were given back from Bulgaria to the Ottomans are shown with green frontiers.
Bulgarian Millet or Bulgar Millet was an ethno-religious and linguistic community within the Ottoman Empire from the mid-19th to early 20th century. Initially the Millet were recognized as the Bulgarian Uniates, and then the Bulgarian Orthodox Christians (Eksarhhâne-i Millet i Bulgar). At that time the classical Ottoman Millet-system began to degrade with the continuous identification of the religious creed with ethnic identity and the term millet was used as a synonym of nation. In this way, in the struggle for recognition of a separate Church, the modern Bulgarian nation was created. The establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870, meant in practice recognition of a separate Bulgarian nationality, and in this case the religious affiliation became a consequence of national allegiance. The founding of an independent church, along with the revival of Bulgarian language and education, were the crucial factors that strengthened the national consciousness and revolutionary struggle, that led to the creation of an independent nation-state in 1878.
1.2 School and Church struggle
1.3 Recognition of the Bulgarian Millet
1.4 Independence of Bulgaria
1.5 Thrace and Macedonia
2 See also
3 References and notes
All Orthodox Christians, including Bulgarians, in the Ottoman Empire were subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was dominated by Greek Phanariotes by the end of the 19th century. The Orthodox Christians were included into the Rum Millet. Belonging to this Orthodox community grew more important to the common people than their ethnic origins and the Balkan Orthodox people identified themselves simply as Christians. Nevertheless, ethnonymes never disappeared and some form of ethnic identification was preserved as evident from a Sultan’s Firman from 1680, which lists the ethnic groups in the Balkan lands as follows: Greeks (Rum), Albanians (Arnaut), Serbs (Sirf), Vlachs (Eflak) and Bulgarians (Bulgar).
During the late 18th century, the Enlightenment in Western Europe pr