Bulgaria: History

  1. 500 BC

    Thracian tribes settle in what is now southeastern Bulgaria, which is dominated by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great and later by the Roman Empire.

  2. 681

    The Bulgarian state is established.

  3. 1018

    The Byzantine Empire rules over Bulgaria until 1185.

  4. 1396

    The Ottoman Empire completes its conquest of Bulgaria.

  5. 1908

    Bulgaria declares itself an independent kingdom.

  6. 1946

    The monarchy is abolished and the Communist Party wins the election.

  7. 1947

    A new constitution along Soviet lines establishes a one-party state and leads to economy and industry sectors being nationalized.

  8. 1984

    The Zhivkov government tries to force Turkish minorities to assimilate and take Slavic names. Many resist and in 1989 some 300,000, 3.5% of the country's population, flee the country.

  9. 1991

    Bulgaria is granted additional freedoms under a new constitution, also proclaiming it to be a parliamentary republic.

  10. 1993

    Mass privatization programs within the country begin.

  11. 1997

    Ivan Kostov becomes prime minister and initiates a series of reforms that help stabilize Bulgaria’s economy. The Bulgarian Lev is pegged to the German Mark.

  12. 2004

    Bulgaria is admitted to NATO.

  13. 2005

    The Bulgarian Lev is now pegged to the Euro.

  14. 2007

    Bulgaria joins the European Union.


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