The Russian-Turkish War of Liberation (1877-1878) restored to life the Bulgarian state but the decisions of the Congress of Berlin which divided the nation remained as a deep wound in the Bulgarians’ consciousness. Despite this the Bulgarian people had to move on in order to achieve its unity. The cherished aim – the national unification never fell into the background and the Union of Eastern Rumelia with the Bulgarian Principality accomplished in 1885 with its successful defense gave even more hopes that it would be realized.
In spite of the political squabbles which became part of the public life the young state developed notably fast. State administration was consolidated, economy made progress, culture developed. New buildings were constructed which housed important state and cultural institutions, the University and numerous schools and community centers were established. The Bulgarians became politically educated and aware of their priorities. That is why they were quite confident when they set out to liberate their brothers in Macedonia and Adrianople Thrace – a deed ruined by wrong decisions of arrogant politicians. The attempt at revenge during World War I was also unsuccessful and resulted in the Second National Catastrophe caused by the failed policy of the head of state and his political tools.
The catastrophe entailed a new catastrophe. In the period between the Two World Wars economic crisis and civil war raged in Bulgaria. Radical ideas gained ground in society causing mutual hostility and hatred among people. The military coups changed the old bourgeois political system which yielded to censorship and non-party system, to personal regime and totalitarian rule which changed for a long time the historical development of the Bulgarian people.