Ivan Evstratiev Geshov
|Ivan Evstratiev Geshov
Иван Евстратиев Гешов
|18th Prime Minister of Bulgaria|
29 March 1911 – 14 June 1913
|Preceded by||Aleksandar Malinov|
|Succeeded by||Stoyan Danev|
|Born||20 February 1849 O.S.
Plovdiv, Ottoman Empire
|Died||11 March 1924
|Political party||People's Party (until 1920)
United People's Progressive Party (1920-1923)
Born in Plovdiv to a family originally from Karlovo, Geshov was educated at various Greek and Protestant institutions, as well as Owens College in Manchester. Geshov first came to political attention through his involvement in the campaign for Bulgarian independence from the Ottoman Empire. He wrote a series of letters against the Ottomans and was sentenced to death, although this was later commuted to exile in Aleppo. He was pardoned in 1878 after independence was gained and returned to Bulgaria to become involved in the government of Eastern Rumelia, taking on a number of roles including Minister of Finance for the region.
As governor of the Bulgarian National Bank from 1883 onwards he became recognized as one of the country's leading economic minds and was eventually appointed Finance Minister in the government of Vasil Radoslavov in 1886. In this role, and subsequent spells as Finance Minister, he tended to follow protectionism in order to build up Bulgaria's fairly backward economy. However he was opposed to the policies of Stefan Stambolov, at the time one of the country's regents, and resigned in 1887, largely over the pro-Austria-Hungary stance of Stambolov.
After a break from political life, he returned as Finance Minister in the government of Konstantin Stoilov in 1894, a position he held for three years. In 1901 he became President of the Sabranie (Assembly) and that same year was elected leader of the People's Party, following the death of Stoilov.
Geshov finally formed a government on 29 March 1911, heading a moderate coalition of nationalists and Stoyan Danev's Russophile faction. As Prime Minister he supported the policy of working through the Balkan League and led the country through the First Balkan War against Ottoman Empire. However, he resigned on May 30, 1913, the day that the Treaty of London was signed to end the War, as he opposed the Tsar's policy of making war on the Balkan League allies. Despite this, it had been Geshov's government that gave the Tsar the power to sign treaties in the first place.
Geshov remained in politics as a member of the Sabranie, joining the Democratic Party in 1923 after the fall of the government of Aleksandar Stamboliyski, but he played no further roles in government.
Outside politics he fulfilled a number of roles, including editor of the Maritsa newspaper, founder of the Study Society and the Scientific and Literary Society and chairman of the Bulgarian Red Cross (1899-1924) and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1911-1924)
- S.G. Evans, A Short History of Bulgaria, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1960, p. 147
- Works by or about Ivan Evstratiev Geshov at Internet Archive
- Works by or about Ivan Evstratiev Geshov in libraries (WorldCat catalog)