Macedonian nationalism

Macedonian nationalism
Map of Macedonia on the basis of earlier publication in the newspaper "Македонскi Голосъ" of the Saint Petersburg Macedonian Colony, 1913

Macedonian nationalism is a term referring to the ethnic Macedonian version of nationalism.



History of the
Republic of Macedonia
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Karposh's Rebellion
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Exodus from Northern Greece
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Late 19th century beginning

The development of the Macedonian ethnicity[1][2][3] can be said to have begun in the late 19th and early 20th century.[4][5] This is the time of the first expressions of ethnic nationalism by limited groups of intellectuals in Belgrade, Sofia, Thessaloniki and St. Petersburg.[4] After the Berlin Treaty, the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) united all unsatisfied elements in the Ottoman Empire and struggled for political autonomy for the regions of Macedonia and Odrin Thrace.[6] Ivan Katardzhiev, an academician and historian from the Republic of Macedonia, who is considered to be one of the best specialist on the National Liberation Movement in Macedonia, asserts that the individual manifestations of separatism by the IMARO revolutionaries from the beginning of the 20th century are a political phenomenon without ethnic affiliation and that the Bulgarian ethnic provenance of the IMARO revolutionaries can not be put under question.[7] Even more so, since the regin in which IMARO was interested in was not only Macedonia but Thrace as well. Until 20th century and beyond the majority of the Slavic-speaking population of the region was identified as Macedono-Bulgarian or simply as Bulgarian[8][9] and after 1870 joined the Bulgarian Exarchate.[10] However, some authors consider that labels reflecting collective identity, such as "Bulgarian", changed into national labels from being broad terms that were without political significance.[4] At the beginning of 20th Century H. N. Brailsford, described the Slavic speakers from Macedonia as related both with Serbs and Bulgarians, but without clear defined ethnic consciousness. However, he accepted that a part of this population is "definitely Serbs", while the other part is "clearly Bulgarians".[11] This confusion is illustrated by Robert Newman in 1935, who recounts discovering in a village in Vardar Macedonia as part of Kingdom of Yugoslavia[12] two brothers, one who considered himself a Serb, and the other considered himself a Bulgarian. In another village he met a man who had been, "a Macedonian peasant all his life", but who had varyingly been called a Turk, a Serb and a Bulgarian.[13] In 1934 the Comintern issued a resolution about the recognition of Macedonian ethnicity.[14] The existence of a separate Macedonian national consciousness prior to the 1940s is disputed.[15][16][17] Anti-Serban and pro-Bulgarian feelings among the local population at this period prevailed.[18][19] Because of that Vardar Macedonia was the only region where Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito had not developed a strong Partisan movement after its annexation to Bulgaria in 1941. To improve the situation, in 1943 the Communist Party of Macedonia was established. But the Bulgarians soon fell into the old Balkan trap of centralization. The new provinces were quickly staffed with officials from Bulgaria proper who behaved with typical official arrogance to the local inhabitants.[20] According to some researchers, by the end of the war a tangible Macedonian national consciousness did not exist and bulgarophile sentiments still dominated in the area, but others consider that it hardly existed beyond a general conviction gained from bitter experience, that rule from Sofia was as unpalatable as that from Belgrade".[21]

Post World War II

After 1944 Communist Bulgaria and Communist Yugoslavia began a policy of making Macedonia into the connecting link for the establishment of new Balkan Federative Republic and stimulating here a development of distinct Slav Macedonian consciousness.[22] With the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav federation, the new authorities also started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among parts of its population.[23] The Greek communists as well as its fraternal parties in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, had already been influenced by the Comintern and it was the only political party in Greece to recognize Macedonian national identity.[24] The region received the status of a constituent republic within Yugoslavia and in 1945 a separate Macedonian language was codified. The population was promulgated ethnic Macedonian, a nationality different from both Serbs and Bulgarians. However the situation deteriorated after the Greek Communists lost the Greek Civil War. Thousands of Aegean Macedonians were expelled and fled to the newly-established Socialist Republic of Macedonia, while thousands more children took refuge in other Eastern Bloc countries. Аs well at the end of the 1950s the Bulgarian Communist Party repealed its previous decision and adopted a position denying the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity. As result in Macedonia the Bulgarophobia increased almost to the level of State ideology.[25] This put the end of the idea of the Balkan Communist Federation about unification of all of Macedonia under Communist rule. On the other hand, the Yugoslav authorities forcibly suppressed the ideologists of an independent Macedonian country. Later a separate Macedonian Orthodox Church was established too, splitting off from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967. The encouragement and evolution of Macedonian culture has had a far greater and more permanent impact on Macedonian nationalism than has any other aspect of Yugoslav policy. While development of national music, films and the graphic arts has been encouraged in Macedonia, the greatest cultural effect has come from the codification of the Macedonian language and literature, the new Macedonian national interpretation of history and the establishment of a Macedonian Orthodox Church.[26] In 1969 also the first History of the Macedonian nation was published. The past was systematycally falsified to conceal the truth, that most of the well-known Macedonians had felt themselves to be Bulgarians and generations of students were tought the pseudo-history of the Macedonian nation.[27]

Post-independence period

On September 8, 1991, the Socialist Republic of Macedonia held a referendum that established its independence from Yugoslavia, under the name of the Republic of Macedonia. With the fall of Communism, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the consequent lack of a Great power in the region, the Republic of Macedonia came into permanent conflicts with its neighbors. As a response a more assertive and uncompromising strand of Macedonian nationalism emerged.[28][29] This is the so called ancient Macedonism, whose supporters have claimed the ethnic Macedonians are not related to the Slavs, but are direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians, who were not Hellenes.[30] The background of this “antiquization” can be found in the 19-th Century and the myth of ancient descent among Orthodox Slavic-speakers in Macedonia. It was adopted partially due to Greek cultural inputs. This idea was also been included in the national mythology during the post-WWII Yugoslavia. An additional factor for its preservation has been the influence of the Macedonian Diaspora. Contemporary antiquization, has been revived as an efficient tool for political mobilization and has been reinforced by the ruling party - VMRO-DPMNE.[31] This ultra-nationalism accompanied by the emphasizing of Macedonia’s ancient roots has raised a concerns internationally about growing a kind of authoritarianism by the governing party.[32] There have also been attempts to scientific claims to ancient nationhood, but they had a negative impact on the international position of the country.[31]


This map, showing the geographical region of Macedonia split with barbed wire, has widely circulated among extreme ethnic Macedonian nationalists in Melbourne (supporting the irredentist concept of United Macedonia).

"Macedonism" (Macedonian: Македонизам, Serbian: Македонизам, Bulgarian: Македонизъм and Greek: Μακεδονισμός) is a political term used in a polemic sense to refer to a set of ideas perceived as characteristic of aggressive Macedonian nationalism by some Bulgarian[33] and Greek authors.[34][35][36] The term Macedonism has been also used to describe a Yugoslav Macedonia's dominant state ideology, aimed at transforming the Slavic and, to a certain extent, non-Slavic parts of its population into ethnic Macedonians.[37] This state policy is still current in today's Republic of Macedonia.[38] The term is occasionally used in international scholarship[39][40] and in an apologetic sense by some Macedonian authors.[41][42][43][44] Macedonism has also faced strong criticism from moderate political views in the Republic of Macedonia and international scholars.[45][46]

Macedonism as ethno-political conception

The roots of the concept were first developed in the second half of 19th century, in the context of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian initiatives to take control over the region of Macedonia, which was at that time ruled by the Ottoman Empire. It was originally used in a contemptuous manner to refer to Slav Macedonians, who believed they constituted a distinct ethnic group, separate from their neighbours. The first to use the term "Macedonist" was the Bulgarian author Petko Slaveykov, who coined the term in his article "The Macedonian Question", published in the newspaper Makedoniya in 1871. However, he pointed that he had heard for the first time of such ideas as early as 10 years prior, i.e., around 1860. Slaveykov sharply criticised those Macedonians espousing such views, as they had never shown a substantial basis for their attitudes, calling them "Macedonists".[47] Another early recorded use of the term "Macedonism" is found in a report by the Serbian politician Stojan Novaković from 1887. He proposed to employ the macedonistic ideology as a means to counteract the Bulgarian influence in Macedonia, thereby promoting Serbian interests in the region.[48] Novaković's diplomatic activity in Istanbul and St. Petersburg played significant role for the realization of his ideas, especially through the “Association of Serb-Macedonians” formed by him in Istanbul and through his support for the Macedonian Scientific and Literary Society in St. Petersburg.[49] In 1888 the Macedono-Bulgarian ethnographer Kuzman Shapkarev noted as result from this activity that a strange, ancient ethnonym: "Macedonci" (Macedonians) was imposed 10–15 years ago by some weird intellectuals, introduced probably with a "cunning aim" to replace the traditional one: "Bugari" (Bulgarians).[50]

Next proponents of this ideas were two other Serbian scholars, the geographer Jovan Cvijić[51] and the linguist Aleksandar Belić.[52] They claimed the Slavs of Macedonia were "Macedonian Slavs", an amorphous Slavic mass that was neither Bulgarian, nor Serbian. Cvijić further argued that the traditional ethnonym Bugari (Bulgarians) used by the Slavic population of Macedonia to refer to themselves actually meant only rayah, and in no case affiliations to the Bulgarian ethnicity. The geopolitics of the Serbs evidently played the crucial role in the ethnogenosis by promoting a separate Macedonian consciousness at the expense of the Bulgarians. Some panslavic ideologist in Russia, former supporter of Greater Bulgaria, also adopted this ideas as opposing Bulgaria's Russophobic policy at the beginning of 20th century, as for example Alexandr Rittikh[53] and Aleksandr Amfiteatrov. At the beginning of the 20th century, the continued Serbian propaganda efforts had managed to firmly entrench the concept of the Macedonian Slavs in European public opinion and the name was used almost as frequently as Bulgarians. Simultaneously the proponents of the Greek Struggle for Macedonia as Germanos Karavangelis openly popularized the Hellenic idea about a direct link between the local Slavs and the ancient Macedonians.[54] Nevertheless in 1914 the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs report states that the Serbs and Greeks classified the Slavs of Macedonia as a distinct ethnic group "Macedonians Slavs" for political purposes and to conceal the existence of Bulgarians in the area.[55] However after the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) Ottoman Macedonia was mostly divided between Greece and Serbia, which had as result processes of Hellenisation, respectively Serbianisation of the Slavic population and led in general to a ceasing the use of this term in both countries.

On the other hand Serbian and Bulgarian left-wing intellectuals envisioned in the early 20th century some sort of "Balkan confederation" including Macedonia, should the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Ottoman Empire dissolve. This view was accepted from the Socialist International. In 1910, the First Balkan Socialist Conference was held in Belgrade, then within the Kingdom of Serbia.[56] The main platforms at the first conference was the call for a solution to the Macedonian Question. It was offered to create a Balkan Socialist Federation and Macedonia would be a single state in it. After the Balkan Wars in 1915, it was confirmed on the Balkan Socialist Conference in Bucharest to create a Balkan Socialist Federation, and that divided from the imperialists Macedonia would be united into its framework. This ideology later found fruition with the support of the Soviet Union as an advent of Yugoslav communist federation. Various declarations were made during the 1920s and 1930s seeing the official adoption of Macedonism by the Comintern. In turn declarations were made by the Greek, Yugoslav and Bulgarian communist parties, as they agreed on its adoption as their official policy for the region. In 1944 the wartime Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, proclaimed the People's Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav Federation, thus partially fulfilling the Comintern’s pre-war policy. He was supported by the Bulgarian leader from Macedonian descent and former General Secretary of the Comintern, Georgi Dimitrov in anticipation of a failed incorporation of the Bulgarian Macedonia into the People's Republic of Macedonia, and of Bulgaria itself into Communist Yugoslavia.

Early adherents

The first Macedonian nationalists appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century outside Macedonia. At different points in their lives, most of them expressed conflicting statements about the ethnicity of the Slavs living in Macedonia, including their own nationality. They formed their pro-Macedonian conceptions after contacts with some panslavic circles in Serbia and Russia. The lack of diverse ethnic motivations seems to be confirmed by the fact that, in their works they often used the designations Bulgaro-Macedonians, Macedonian Bulgarians and Macedonian Slavs in order to name their compatriots. Representatives of this circle were Georgi Pulevski, Theodosius of Skopje, Kraste Misirkov, Stefan Dedov, Atanas Razdolov, Dimitrija Chupovski and others. Nearly all of them died in Bulgaria. Most of the next wave Macedonists were left-wing politicians, who changed their ethnic affiliations from Bulgarian to Macedonian during 1930s, after the recognition of the Macedonian ethnicity by the Comintern, as for example Dimitar Vlahov, Pavel Shatev, Panko Brashnarov, Venko Markovski, Georgi Pirinski, Sr. and others. Such Macedonian activists, who came from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) and the Bulgarian Communist Party never managed to get rid of their pro-Bulgarian bias.[57] Many of the them were later purged from their political positions, then isolated, arrested, imprisoned or executed by the federal authorities of Communist Yugoslavia.

Contemporary ideas

Bust of Alexander the Great inside the Skopje airport.

Among the views and opinions that are often perceived as representative of Macedonian nationalism and criticised as parts of "Macedonism" by those who use the term[58] are the following:

  • The notion of unbroken racial continuity between the modern ethnic Macedonians and a part of the ancient autochthonous peoples of the region, in particular the ancient Macedonians; (see: Ancient history of the Republic of Macedonia)
  • The idea that there is a fundamental ethnogenetic distinction between Macedonians and Bulgarians; (see: Ethno-genetic origins of the South-Slavic people.)
  • The opinion that the term Bulgarians used in Medieval and Ottoman Macedonia meant in fact common peasants or Christian Slavs, but in any case affiliations to the Bulgarian ethnicity.[59]
  • Irredentist political views about the neighbouring regions of Greek Macedonia ("Aegean Macedonia") and parts of southwest Bulgaria ("Pirin Macedonia") and about the existence of significant ethnic Macedonian minorities in these areas, connected to the irredentist concept of a United Macedonia.
  • The belief that the medieval migration of Slavs is a fictional concept coined by Communist Yugoslavia and that no such migration in the Balkans occurred; (see: South Slavs)
  • The opinion that an ethnogenetic connection exists between the Macedonians and the Hunza people, going back to the time of Alexander the Great.[60]
  • The belief that Republic of Macedonia neighbors have organized a huge propaganda across the world, containing false history and portraying a wrong picture about its people as a young nation, although the Macedonians are in fact the forefathers of the modern Europeans.[61] (see: Foreign relations of the Republic of Macedonia)
  • The idea that the internationally accepted term Hellenism is wrong and has to be replaced with a new one - Macedonism, which is more correct in historical aspect.[62]

Other, related areas of Macedonian–Bulgarian national polemics relate to:

  • The presence of the Bulgars in Medieval Macedonia and the lack of ethnogenetic connection to today's Macedonians in contrast to the Bulgarians; (see Kouber)
  • The ethnic character of various medieval historical figures and entities, including the saints Cyril and Methodius, the medieval Tsar Samuil and his kingdom, and the medieval Archbishopric of Ohrid;
  • The historical role of the Bulgarian Exarchate and the ethnic character of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization;
  • The historical role of various Macedonian insurgent movements during Ottoman rule (see Ilinden Uprising) and during the Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia in World War II; (see National Liberation War of Macedonia)
  • The opinion that a separate Macedonian nationhood and ethnicity are an artificial product, result of the Serbian propagana during the 19th and the Comintern policy during the 20th century.[63] (see: Balkan Communist Federation)
  • The belief that the Macedonians constitute a regional ethnographic subgroup of the Bulgarian people and the Macedonian language is a dialect of Bulgarian. (see Macedonian Bulgarians)

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Loring Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Princeton University Press, December 1995, p.63: "Finally, Krste Misirkov, who had clearly developed a strong sense of his own personal national identity as a Macedonian and who outspokenly and unambiguously called for Macedonian linguistic and national separatism, acknowledged that a ‘Macedonian’ national identity was a relatively recent historical development."
  2. ^ Eugene N. Borza, "Macedonia Redux", in "The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity", ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999: "The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one."
  3. ^ Throughout this article, the term "Macedonian" will refer to ethnic Macedonians. There are many other uses of the term, and comprehensive coverage of this topic may be found in the article Macedonia (terminology).
  4. ^ a b c Danforth, L. (1995) The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World ISBN 0691043574
  5. ^ Social cleavages and national “awakening” in Ottoman Macedonia by Basil C. Gounaris, East European Quarterly 29 (1995), 409-426
  6. ^ Спомени, И. Х. Николов, Д. Груев, Б. Сарафов, Ј. Сандански, М. Герџиков, д-р. Х. Татарчев. Култура, Скопје. 1995. ISBN 9989-32-022-5. 
  7. ^ Иван Катарџиев. "Верувам во националниот имунитет на македонецот", весник Форум
  8. ^ Cousinéry, Esprit Marie. Voyage dans la Macédoine: contenant des recherches sur l'histoire, la géographie, les antiquités de ce pay, Paris, 1831, Vol. II, p. 15-17, one of the passages in English - [1], Engin Deniz Tanir, The Mid-Nineteenth century Ottoman Bulgaria from the viewpoints of the French Travelers, A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate School of Social Sciences of Middle East Technical University, 2005, p. 99, 142
  9. ^ Pulcherius, Receuil des historiens des Croisades. Historiens orientaux. III, p. 331 – a passage in English -
  10. ^ Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe - Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE)- Macedonians of Bulgaria, p. 4.
  11. ^ MACEDONIA: Its races and their future. H. N. Brailsford, London, 1906. p. 101
  12. ^ The term "Vardar Macedonia" is a geographic term which refers to the portion of the region of Macedonia currently occupied by the Republic of Macedonia.
  13. ^ Newman, R. (1952) Tito's Yugoslavia (London)
  14. ^ "Резолюция о македонской нации (принятой Балканском секретариате Коминтерна" - Февраль 1934 г, Москва
  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 struggle for Greece, 1941-1949, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1850654921, p. 67.
  19. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton,Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1850652384, 9781850652380, p. 101.
  20. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton, Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, p. 101.
  21. ^ The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0691043566, pp. 65-66.
  22. ^ Europe since 1945. Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook. ISBN 0815340583, pg. 808.[2]
  23. ^ Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918-1992. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 122. ISBN 1850656630. 
  24. ^ Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949, Andrew Rossos - The Journal of Modern History 69 (March 1997): 42
  25. ^ Mirjana Maleska. Editor-in-chief. WITH THE EYES OF THE “OTHERS”. (about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations and the Macedonian national identity). New Balkan Politics - Journal of Politics. ISSUE 6 [3]
  26. ^ Palmer, Ir., E. Stephen and Robert King, R. Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question. 1971.
  27. ^ Yugoslavia: a concise history, Leslie Benson, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, ISBN 0333792416, p. 89.
  28. ^ The Global Review of Ethnopolitics Vol. 1, no. 3, March 2002, 3-17, The Power of Perception: The Impact of the Macedonian Question on Inter-ethnic Relations in the Republic of Macedonia Jenny Engström, London School of Economics and Political Science, p.6.
  29. ^ Floudas, Demetrius Andreas; "FYROM's Dispute with Greece Revisited”" (PDF). in: Kourvetaris et al. (eds.), The New Balkans, East European Monographs: Columbia University Press, 2002, p. 85. 
  30. ^ The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0691043566, pp. 45-46.
  31. ^ a b Nation-building ancient Macedonian style: the origins and the effects of the so-called antiquization in Macedonia, Nationalities Papers, Anastas Vangelia, pp. 13-32, Volume 39, Issue 1, 2011.
  32. ^ Concerns Grow About Authoritarianism in Macedonia By Matthew Brunnwasser, New York Times, October 13, 2011
  33. ^ Nikolaĭ Genov, Anna Krŭsteva, (2001) Recent Social Trends in Bulgaria, 1960-1995, Page 74
  34. ^ Society for Macedonian Studies, Macedonianism FYROM'S Expansionist Designs against Greece, 1944-2006, Ephesus - Society for Macedonian Studies, 2007 ISBN 978-960-8326-30-9, Retrieved on 2007-12-05.
  35. ^ Kentrotis, Kyriakos (1996): "Echoes from the Past: Greece and the Macedonian Controversy", in: Richard Gillespie (ed.) Mediterranean Politics, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, p. 85–101 [4]vid=ISBN0838636098&id=UpC4QJP66HUC&pg=PA99&lpg=PA99&ots=RauFTx6VlC&dq=macedonism&sig=jFMCaYW04ob2Jep-oCa3CxwzeVg]
  36. ^ Evangelos Kofos (1994): "Remarks on FYROM 's new school textbooks"
  37. ^ Greece and the new Balkans: challenges and opportunities, Van Coufoudakis, Harry J. Psomiades, André Gerolymatos, Pella Pub. Co., 1999, ISBN 091861872X, p. 361.
  38. ^ Mediterranean politics, Richard Gillespie, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1994, ISBN 0838636098, p. 97.
  39. ^ John D. Bell, edited by Sabrina P Ramet - (1999) The Radical Right in Central and Eastern Europe Since 1989, Page 252
  40. ^ Лабаури, Дмитрий Олегович. Болгарское национальное движение в Македонии и Фракии в 1894-1908 гг: Идеология, программа, практика политической борьбы, София 2008
  41. ^ The "Mi-An" encyclopedia - a great victory for Macedonism
  42. ^ The Macedonian (Old-New) Issue. Mirjana Maleska, Institute of Sociological and Political Research, Skopje, Macedonia. New Balkan Politics - Journal of Politics ISSUE 3.[5]
  43. ^ Example cited in: Loring Danforth (1995), The Macedonian Conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Page 45
  44. ^ Џамбазовски, Климент. Стоjан Новаковић и Македонизам, Историjски часопис, 1963-1965, књига ХІV-ХV, с. 133-156
  45. ^ "The lack of capability by Macedonists in condition of democracy, also contributes to the vision of their opponents. The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the Macedonian historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the Macedonian identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made. In a case which that was not possible, the persons from history were proclaimed for Bulgarian agents who crossed into some imaginary pure Macedonian space. But when we had to encourage the moderate Greek political variant and move into a direction of reconciliation among peoples, our nationalism was modelled according to the Greek one. The direct descendants of Alexander the Great raised the fallen flag on which the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia was written and led the people in the final confrontation with the Greeks, the direct descendants of Greek gods. This warlike attitude of the "winners" which was a consequence of the fear of politician from heavy and unpopular compromises had its price. In those years, we lost our capability for strategic dialog. With Greeks? No, with ourselves. Since then, namely, we reach towards some fictional ethnic purity which we seek in the depths of the history and we are angry at those which dare to call us Slavs and our language and culture Slavic!? We are angry when they name us what we -if we have to define ourselves in such categories- are, showing that we are people full with complexes which are ashamed for ourselves. We lost our capability for reasonable judgment, someone shall say, because the past of the Balkans teaches us that to be wise among fools is foolish. Maybe. Maybe the British historians are right when they say that in history one can find confirmation for every modern thesis, so, we could say, also for the one that we are descendants of the Ancient Macedonians...." Denko Maleski, politician of the Republic of Macedonia (foreign minister from 1991 to 1993 and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997), Utrinski Vesnik newspaper, October 16, 2006.
  46. ^ "Macedonia was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The Macedonian language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted. Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these radical Slavic factions decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world!..." T.J. Winnifrith, Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments, Duckworth, 1995
  47. ^ "We have many times heard from the Macedonists that they are not Bulgarians but Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians, and we have always waited to hear some proofs of this, but we have never heard them. The Macedonists have never shown us the bases of their attitude. They insist on their Macedonian origin, which they cannot prove in any satisfactory way. We have read in the history that in Macedonia existed a small nation - Macedonians; but nowhere do we find in it neither what were those Macedonians, nor of what tribe is their origin, and the few macedonian words, preserved through some greek writers, completely deny such a possibility....", "The Macedonian question" by Petko R. Slaveikov, published 18 January 1871 in the Macedonia newspaper in Constantinople.
  48. ^ "Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well-known, is deeply rooted in Macedonia, I think it is almost impossible to shake it completely by opposing it merely with the Serbian idea. This idea, we fear, would be incapable, as opposition pure and simple, of suppressing the Bulgarian idea. That is why the Serbian idea will need an ally that could stand in direct opposition to Bulgarianism and would contain in itself the elements which could attract the people and their feelings and thus sever them from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in Macedonism...." from the report of S. Novakovic to the Minister of Education in Belgrade about "Macedonism" as a transitional stage in Serbianization of the Macedonian Bulgarians; see idem. Cultural and Public Relations of the Macedonians with Serbia in the XIXth c.), Skopje, 1960, p. 178.
  49. ^ He was sent as the Serbian envoy to Constantinople, considered as one of the most important posts in that period. The diplomatic convention with Ottoman Turkey signed in 1886, due to Novaković's skillful negotiations, made possible the opening of Serbian consulates in Skopje and Thessaloniki. He was instrumental in organizing a huge network of Serbian consulates, secular and religious Serbian schools and Serb religious institutions throughout Turkey in Europe, in particular in Macedonia, where he aided macedonistic intellectuals as K. Grupchevic and N. Evrovic. Furthermore Novaković initiated the establishment of closer Serbian-Russian relations as consul in St. Petersburg, where he supported the local macedonists as Misirkov and Chupovski. Angel G. Angelov, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 1470-1316, Volume 2, Issue 3, 1997, Pages 411 – 417.; Memoirs of Hristo Shaldev, Macedonian revolutionary (1876-1962), Macedonian Patriotic Organization "TA" (Adelaide, Australia, 1993), The Slav Macedonian Student Society in St. Petersburg, pp. 14-21.
  50. ^ In a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888 Kuzman Shapkarev writes: "But even stranger is the name Macedonians, which was imposed on us only 10-15 years ago by outsiders, and not as some think by our own intellectuals.... Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: "Bugari", although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians. You can find more about this in the introduction to the booklets I am sending you. They call their own Macedono-Bulgarian dialect the "Bugarski language", while the rest of the Bulgarian dialects they refer to as the "Shopski language". (Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
  51. ^ Јован Цвијић, Основе за географију и геологију Македоније и Старе Србије I-III, 1906—1911.
  52. ^ Дијалекти источне и јужне Србије, Александар Белић, Српски дијалектолошки зборник, 1, 1905.
  53. ^ 20.11.1914 "Македонскiй Голосъ" - Кто такие Македонцы?
  54. ^ This theory has its deep roots into the Greek policy on Macedonia, which may be noticed in the address of Archbishop Germanos Karavangelis and his advices to Konstantinos Christou. In his memories entitled as “Macedonian Struggle”, Archbishop Karavangelis, wrote: "You have been Greeks since the time of Alexander the Great, but the Slavs came and slavicized you. Your appearance is Greek and the land we step on is Greek. This is witnessed by the monuments that are hidden in it, they are Greek, too, and the coins that we found are also Greek, and the inscriptions are Greek...." Каравангелис, Германос. „Македонската борба (спомени)“, Васил Чекаларов, Дневник 1901-1903 г., Съставителство Ива Бурилкова, Цочо Билярски, ИК „Синева” София, 2001, стр. 327.
  55. ^ "A comparison of the ethnographic and linguistic maps drawn up by Messers, Kantchev, Cvijic and Belic, with the new frontiers of the treaty of Bucharest reveals the gravity of the task undertaken by the Servians. They have not merely resumed possession of their ancient domain, the Sandjak of Novi-Bazar and Old Servia proper (Kosovo Pole and Metchia), despite the fact that this historic domain was strongly Albanian; they have not merely added thereto the tract described by patriotic Servian ethnographers as "Enlarged Old Servia" fan ancient geographical term which we have seen twice enlarged, once by Mr. Cvijic and again by Mr. Belic; [See chapter I, p. 29.] over and above all this, their facile generosity impelled them to share with the Greeks the population described on their maps as "Slav-Macedonian", a euphemism designed to conceal the existence of Bulgarians in Macedonia."
  56. ^ Stavrianos, L. S. (1942) The Balkan Federation Movement. A Neglected Aspect in The American Historical Review, Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 30-51.
  57. ^ Palmer, S. and R. King Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Archon Books (June 1971), p. 137.
  58. ^ Representative of the anti-"Macedonist" criticism from the Bulgarian side is the work by Bozhidar Dimitrov (2003), The Ten Lies of Macedonism, Sofia.
  59. ^ Вестник Народна воля , март 2008 г. История на Македония - Апология на македонизма, Доц. д-р Георги Радулов
  60. ^ Financial Times, Alexander’s ‘descendants’ boost Macedonian identity, by Neil MacDonald, July 18 2008.
  61. ^ 2,300 years later, 'Alexander-mania' grips Macedonia, Christian Science Monitor, March 20, 2009.
  62. ^ (C) А1 Телевизија, 16.06.2009, Нова историја на Македонија
  63. ^ Minchev, Dimiter: "Macedonia and Bulgaria". In: B. A. Cook (ed.), Europe since 1945: An Encyclopedia Taylor and Francis, 2001. ISBN 0815340583, pg. 808.[6]

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