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Containing Balkan NationalismImperial Russia and Ottoman Christians, 1856–1914$
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Denis Vovchenko

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190276676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190276676.001.0001

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The Bulgarian Minority in Search of Ottoman and Orthodox Autonomous Institutions (1860–1870)

The Bulgarian Minority in Search of Ottoman and Orthodox Autonomous Institutions (1860–1870)

(p.106) 3 The Bulgarian Minority in Search of Ottoman and Orthodox Autonomous Institutions (1860–1870)
Containing Balkan Nationalism

Denis Vovchenko

Oxford University Press

The Bulgarian church movement took advantage of the internal conflicts that shook the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s to demand limited autonomy for ethnic Bulgarians led by Bishop Hilarion. Some Bulgarian nationalists turned to Roman Catholic missions and diplomats to establish a separate Uniate church. Bulgarian pro-Catholic agitation played on Russian political and cultural rivalry with the West in the Christian East. In 1860–1861, Russian diplomats, prelates, and commentators backed more Bulgarian demands but never accepted all of them and helped return the Bulgarian leaders to the negotiations with the Patriarchate and the Ottoman government. Even Russian Pan-Slavs refused to see the Greeks as ethnic enemies especially during the Cretan Uprising of 1866–1869. Nikolai Danilevsky envisioned an important place for the Greeks in a Slavic Federation. Patriarch Gregory VI and Ambassador Ignatiev offered a territorial compromise and an Ecumenical Council to reconcile ethnocentric Bulgarian claims within traditional Orthodox institutions.

Keywords:   Uniates, Cretan Uprising, Hilarion Makariopolskii, Nikolai Danilevsky, Nikolai Ignatiev, Patriarch Gregory VI, Ecumenical Council

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