Suppose that the Treaty of San Stefano is upheld, for one reason or another - either because the vehemently anti-Turkish British prime minister Gladstone keeps his office in 1874 instead of losing it to Disraeli, or because Bismarck supports Russia in the Congress of Berlin - and a Greater Bulgaria is established.

Bulgaria-SanStefano_-%281878%29-byTodorBozhinov.png


Since there already have been some discussions about the international effects of this alternate Bulgaria, I'll ask a different question: what could its internal politics look like? Would it still have Alexander of Battenberg as its first monarch, and if so, would he have a better chance of keeping his throne ITTL?

Last but definitely not least, what would happen to the Muslims in Bulgarian territory? From what I know they'd be a sizable percentage of the population, at least a third.
 
Bulgarian mistreatment of Turks (and potentially others) leads to either a Balkan War or the Great War, depending on who backs who.

The flip side of that is that there are so many different nationalities in these borders, you could see pan-South Slavism originate in Bulgaria as an ideological cover.
 
I don't doubt that at all. My main hope is that they'd be too large a percentage of the population to make wholesale expulsion viable.
To follow up on this, an interesting point I saw in a thread was that Bulgaria and the Ottomans might become allies, since they'd have few border issues left. If this happens to be the case, hopefully it'd translate domestically into better treatment of Bulgarian Muslims.

Of course, it's probably just as likely that Constantinople would ally with Serbia, Greece and Romania to get some of their lands back.
 

Grey Wolf

Donor
Since it will only happen with Russian support, any Serb or Romanian aims of dealing with it will have to wait for another great power to come along, and that's not the already defeated Ottomans. Greece doesn't even have a common border, and those weird areas cut off are all going to be Ottoman

Inside the country, well if its integrity relies on Russia then the power of the Russia power will be stronger, otherwise the opposition getting in, losing Russian support, almost certainly equals a losing war and being carved up

Monarch? If they want Alex, they get Alex. In this scenario there are certainly lots of things for him to do - half the country was never really koined to the other half, so transport and national integration
 
To follow up on this, an interesting point I saw in a thread was that Bulgaria and the Ottomans might become allies, since they'd have few border issues left. If this happens to be the case, hopefully it'd translate domestically into better treatment of Bulgarian Muslims.
Wouldn't they just arrange a population exchange since that was the vogue thing to do at this point? Based on those borders, there's still 100-200K Bulgarians in Ottoman lands--most of these would be massacred or forced to flee in the 1900-1913 period.
 
Wouldn't they just arrange a population exchange since that was the vogue thing to do at this point? Based on those borders, there's still 100-200K Bulgarians in Ottoman lands--most of these would be massacred or forced to flee in the 1900-1913 period.
Were there any big exchanges in the 19th century? I thought that was a 20th century thing.
 
Wouldn't they just arrange a population exchange since that was the vogue thing to do at this point? Based on those borders, there's still 100-200K Bulgarians in Ottoman lands--most of these would be massacred or forced to flee in the 1900-1913 period.
World leaders at the time did not see the nation-state as inevitable. Assimilation was the preference. Violence if necessary.
 
Um, there were big exchanges. Roughly a million Muslims were turned into refugees, half of those just Bulgaria/Eastern Rumelia. It is estimated that roughly 200,000 Bulgarian/Eastern Rumelian Muslims died, and 500,000 more fled. 350,000 more would leave over the next 30 years. By 1911 the Christian population had nearly doubled and the Muslim dropped 60%. Incidentally this is almost identical to the pattern in the areas gained in the Balkan wars where the Muslim population dropped 62% by 1926. This Bulgaria's borders would realistically involve a half million refugees or so more refugees from Macedonia and Eastern Rumelia.
 
This big Bulgaria will be unstable, but not necessarily more internally unstable than OTL. The Muslim population of Bulgaria was most heavily concentrated in the east of the country, areas which were part of Bulgaria in OTL, so adding Macedonia isn't likely to skew things all that much. Big Bulgaria may be much more of a menacing power to other Balkan Powers such as the Serbs and Greeks, and the former may well be dissuaded from launching the disastrous 1885 war they did in OTL. I doubt even an enlarged Bulgaria will be large enough to prevent the Russians from kicking out Battenberg down the line, but perhaps someone more well-versed in Bulgarian history might tell me otherwise.
 

pls don't ban me

Monthly Donor
Ok, i want to say two thing.
first, despite how much i desire it would have happened, there is no way the Santo stefano is enforced without making the great war start earlier.
I've reasoned on a... compromise. Let's say that Bismarck, despite hating the Balkans ( and being a prophet by saying that the next major conflict will spark from there), decide to mediate more rather then side with Austria. let's say, it's a better shot at keeping his 3 emperors alliance together.
What i propose is Bulgaria being reduced yes, kept de facto nominally as Ottoman vassal BUT they get to incorporate Rumelia and Pirot instead of whatever the great powers thought was a good idea.

now. What happens?
Alexander will still be elected fro 2 main reasons
  1. He's the nephew of Tsar Alexander II the Liberator of Bulgaria
  2. He participated in the war so he's already known among the Bulgarian revolutionaries.
in the initial stage events will unfold the same way, with Alexander trying to be Absolutist but later befriending Stambolov and getting buddies with him. BUT there is no 1885 crisis. Rumelia is already part of Bulgaria. So no Serbo-Bulgarian war. Alexander won't be a national hero but he also won't be couped because there is no attrition with the pro-Russian generals. Serbo-Bulgarian Relations stay warmer and most importantly, Stambolov who is in the grace of the prince gets to work more time into making Bulgaria a stronger country.

for some Miracle we get to see the Balkans in peace without war from 1878/79 to at least the 1900.

new century. What changes from OTL?
Alexander is married to some rich woman ( i'll avoid for the Yusupova Option cause i don't have the time to go through the rabbit hole of deleting the killer of Rasputin) that helps him keep his popularity. Stambolov is probably retiring before the great war cause he's old(born in 1854) and finally letting another party snatch a victory, probably the usual agrarians or some more conservative party.
Are we getting the Balkan wars? only one, for now. The first one. It will go similar to OTL but Serbia is a bit weaker and Bulgaria a bit stronger( i don't know how much the Pirot province can change the equilibrium with what... 100k people?). Let's say we get a similar result in 1912.
there are two options here:
  1. Bulgaria honors it's agreement with Serbia and supports his neighbor for it's right to take at least a decent port from Albania in exchange for Macedonia.
  2. The new PM and Tsar Battenberg both say "naah i'm good, for now" and settle for the new borders.
Option 1 will most lickley Kickstart ww1. the balkans league invades Albania. Austria declares war on the balkans league. Romania and OE join Austria. Russia joins the balkan League and the domino goes on. how is different from OTL? WW1 starts in 1913. Franz Ferdinand is not shot. Romania has a paper army and Austria like OTL will have a hard time to take down Serbia, who is now supported by the Bulgarian army. the british will also send troops. for the sake of equilibrium and drama i would say that we see Russia and OE getting both knocked out of the war ( Russia is one year less prepared then OTL) and the OE has to defend itself on 3 fronts ( Costantinople, Caucasus, Arabia). Italy is a trump card. If they agree to defend Albania they are fucked with the CP. Italy has a very bad army and is lead by Cadorna. while one might say that it is enough to hep Germany push trough France i would say no. Germany will be forced to send the army in the Balkans to help out Austria and Romania who are now fighting a united Balkan league after the OE collapse. the front is also very difficult to fight on. on the east the Danube and on the west part of the front the mountains and hills where everyone one is entrenched. By this point we would have Italy starving off from lack of coal and it's fleet most likely inside the harbors because it can't move. Austria with more and more inside turmoil, especially the Balkan aerea. Germany is starving off from the British blockade. when the American enter due to a Zimmerman like event or even more unrestricted sub warfare the war is basically lost. at the peace table the changes are all in the Balkans of course. Serbia form Yugoslavia all the way up to Istria and Zara included. Hungary keeps Transylvania as no one wants Romania to have it. Romania loses Bessarabia to Ukraine or whoever is there claiming it. Bulgaria gets all of Vardar Macedonia and the entirety of Dobruja . Greece gets the asia minor coast. Constantinople will be the big issue. it might be made most likely into a Danzig free city like. but i can see Bulgaria and Greece fighting over it since Russia is busy into killing itself ( revolution is a canon even after 1900 without any changes in personality of the tsars)

Options 2 : Bulgaria stays neutral in ww1 or joins the entente in exchange for all of Macedonia. the first is most likely honestly. what also might happen is Bulgaria doing a greece by the end of the war jumping on the winner chariot to get free stuff. Dobruja if Romania joined CP and Constantinople if Russia( almost certain) collapsed.

in both scenarios i can see better relations with Serbia/Yugoslavia due to less or no Macedonian question and Greece becoming the enemy
 

pls don't ban me

Monthly Donor
BTW i realized only now that i didn't mention the losses for Italy should it side with the CP:
  1. The colonies, partioned between France and Britain ( Somalia and Eritrea to UK, Lybia to France)
  2. Dodecanese to Greece ( if it was taken at all in this TL)
  3. Val d'Aosta e maybe Sardinia to france.
  4. SO MUCH WAR REP that Mussolini will be literally invited to take power. or even worse Italy goes full communist in the "biennio Rosso"
 
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