Macedonian nationalism is a general grouping of nationalist ideas and concepts among ethnic Macedonians that were first formed in the late 19th century among separatists seeking the autonomy of the region of Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. The idea evolved during the early 20th century alongside the first expressions of ethnic nationalism among the Slavs of Macedonia. The separate Macedonian nation gained recognition after World War II when the "Socialist Republic of Macedonia" was created as part of Yugoslavia. Afterwards the Macedonian historiography has established historical links between the ethnic Macedonians and events and figures from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century. Following the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in the late 20th century, issues of Macedonian national identity have become contested by the country's neighbours, as some adherents to aggressive Macedonian nationalism, called Macedonism, hold more extreme beliefs such as an unbroken continuity between ancient Macedonians (an ancient Greek people), and modern ethnic Macedonians (a Slavic people), and views connected to the irredentist concept of a United Macedonia, which involves territorial claims on a large portion of Greece, along with smaller regions of Albania, Bulgaria, and Serbia.
- 1 The designation "Macedonian"
- 2 Origins
- 3 History
- 4 Macedonism
- 5 See also
- 6 References and notes
The designation "Macedonian"
During the first half of the second millennium, the concept of Macedonia on the Balkans was associated by the Byzantines with their Macedonian province, centered around Edirne in modern-day Turkey. After the conquest of the Balkans by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th century, the Greek name Macedonia disappeared as a geographical designation for several centuries. The background of the modern designation Macedonian can be found in the 19th century, as well as the myth of "ancient Macedonian descent" among the Orthodox Slavs in the area, adopted mainly due to Greek cultural inputs. However Greek education was not the only engine for such ideas. At that time some pan-Slavic propagandists believed the early Slavs were related to the paleo-Balkan tribes. Under these influences some intellectuals in the region developed the idea on direct link between the local Slavs, the Early Slavs and the ancient Balkan populations.
In Ottoman times names as "Lower Bulgaria" and "Lower Moesia" were used by the local Slavs to designate most of the territory of today's geographical region of Macedonia and the names Bulgaria and Moesia were identified with each other. Self-identifying as "Bulgarian" on account of their language, the local Slavs considered themselves as "Rum", i.e. members of the community of Orthodox Christians. This community was a source of identity for all the ethnic groups inside it and most people identified mostly with it. Until the middle of the 19th century the Greeks also called the Slavs in Macedonia "Bulgarians", and regarded them predominantly as Orthodox brethren, but the rise of Bulgarian nationalism changed the Greek position. At that time the Orthodox Christian community began to degrade with the continuous identification of the religious creed with ethnic identity, while Bulgarian national activists started a debate on the establishment of their separate Orthodox church.
As a result, massive Greek religious and school propaganda occurred, and a process of Hellenization was implemented among the Slavic-speaking population of the area. The very name Macedonia, revived during the early 19th century after the foundation of the modern Greek state, with its Western Europe-derived obsession with Ancient Greece, was applied to the local Slavs. The idea was to stimulate the development of close ties between them and the Greeks, linking both sides to the ancient Macedonians, as a counteract against the growing Bulgarian cultural influence into the region. In 1845, for instance, the Alexander romance was published in Slavic Macedonian dialect typed with Greek letters. At the same time the Russian ethnographer Viktor Grigorovich described a recent change in the title of the Greek Patriarchist bishop of Bitola: from Exarch of all Bulgaria to Exarch of all Macedonia. He also noted the unusual popularity of Alexander the Great and that it appeared to be something that was recently instilled on the local Slavs.
As a consequence, since the 1850s some Slavic intellectuals from the area adopted the designation Macedonian as a regional label, and it began to gain popularity. In the 1860s, according to Petko Slaveykov, some young intellectuals from Macedonia were claiming that they are not Bulgarians, but they are rather Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians. In a letter written to the Bulgarian Exarch in February 1874 Petko Slaveykov reports that discontentment with the current situation “has given birth among local patriots to the disastrous idea of working independently on the advancement of their own local dialect and what’s more, of their own, separate Macedonian church leadership.”
Per Kuzman Shapkarev, as a result of their activity, in the 1870s the ancient ethnonym Macedonians was imposed on the local Slavs, and began to replace the traditional one Bulgarians. During the 1880s, after recommendation by Stojan Novaković, the Serbian government also began to support those ideas to counteract the Bulgarian influence in Macedonia, claiming the Macedonian Slavs were in fact pure Slavs (i.e. Serbian Macedonians), while the Bulgarians, unlike them, were partially a mixture of Slavs and Bulgars (i.e. Tatars). In accordance with Novaković's agenda this Serbian "Macedonism" was transformed in the 1890s, in a process of the gradual Serbianisation of the Macedonian Slavs.
By the end of the 19th century, according to Vasil Kanchov the local Bulgarians called themselves Macedonians, and the surrounding nations called them Macedonians. In the early 20th century Pavel Shatev, witnessed this process of slow differentiation, describing people who insisted on their Bulgarian nationality, but felt themselves Macedonians above all. During the interwar period Bulgaria also supported to some extent the Macedonian regionalism, especially in the Kingdom Yugoslavia, to prevent the final Serbianization of the local Slavs, because the very name Macedonia was prohibited there. Ultimately the designation Macedonian, changed its status in 1944, and went from being predominantly a regional, ethnographic denomination, to a national one. However, when the anthropologist Keith Brown visited Republic of Macedonia at the eve of the 21th century, he discovered that the local Aromanians, who also call themselves Macedonians, still label "Bulgarians" the ethnic Macedonians, and their eastern neighbours.
In the 19th century, the region of Macedonia became the object of competition by rival nationalisms, initially Greek nationalists, Serbian nationalists and Bulgarian nationalists that each made claims about the Slavic-speaking population as being ethnically linked to their nation and thus asserted the right to seek their integration. The first assertions of Macedonian nationalism arose in the late 19th century. Early Macedonian nationalists were encouraged by several foreign governments that held interests in the region. The Serbian government came to believe that any attempt to forcibly assimilate Slavic Macedonians into Serbs in order to incorporate Macedonia would be unsuccessful, given the strong Bulgarian influence in the region. Instead, the Serbian government believed that providing support to Macedonian nationalists would stimulate opposition to incorporation into Bulgaria and favourable attitudes to Serbia. Another country that encouraged Macedonian nationalism was Austria-Hungary that sought to deny both Serbia and Bulgaria the ability to annex Macedonia, and asserted a distinct ethnic character of Slavic Macedonians. In the 1890s, Russian supporters of a Slavic Macedonian ethnicity emerged, Russian-made ethnic maps began showing a Slavic Macedonian ethnicity, and Macedonian nationalists began to move to Russia to mobilize.
The origins of the definition of an ethnic Slav Macedonian identity arose from the writings of Georgi Pulevski in the 1870s and 1880s, who identified the existence of a distinct modern "Slavic Macedonian" language that he defined as different from the other languages in that it had linguistic elements from Serbian, Bulgarian, Church Slavonic, and Albanian. Pulevski analyzed the folk histories of the Slavic Macedonian people, in which he concluded that Slavic Macedonians were ethnically linked to the people of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia of Philip and Alexander the Great based on the claim that the ancient Macedonian language had Slavic components in it and thus the ancient Macedonians were Slavic, and modern-day Slavic Macedonians were their descendants. However, Slavic Macedonians' self-identification and nationalist loyalties remained ambiguous in the late 19th century. Pulevski for instance viewed Macedonians' identity as being a regional phenomenon (similar to Herzegovinians and Thracians). Once calling himself a "Serbian patriot", another time a "Bulgarian from the village of Galicnik", he also identified the Slavic Macedonian language as being related to the "Old Bulgarian language" as well as being a "Serbo-Albanian language". Pulevski's numerous identifications reveal the absence of a clear ethnic sense in a part of the local Slavic population.
The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) grew up as the major Macedonian separatist organization in the 1890s, seeking the autonomy of Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. The IMRO initially opposed being dependent on any of the neighbouring states, especially Greece and Serbia, however its relationship with Bulgaria grew very strong, and it soon became dominated by figures who supported the annexation of Macedonia into Bulgaria, though a small fraction opposed this. As a rule, the IMRO members had Bulgarian national self-identification, but the autonomist faction stimulated the development of Macedonian nationalism. It devised the slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians" and called for a supranational Macedonia, consisting of different nationalities and eventually included in a future Balkan Federation. However, the promoters of this slogan declared their conviction that the majority of the Macedonian Christian Slav population was Bulgarian.
In the late 19th and early 20th century the international community viewed the Macedonians predominantly as a regional variety of the Bulgarians. At the end of the First World War there were very few ethnographers who agreed that a separate Macedonian nation existed. During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Allies sanctioned Serbian control of Vardar Macedonia and accepted the belief that Macedonian Slavs were in fact Southern Serbs. This change in opinion can largely be attributed to the Serbian geographer Jovan Cvijić. Nevertheless, Macedonist ideas increased during the interbellum in Yugoslav Vardar Macedonia and among the left diaspora in Bulgaria, and were supported by the Comintern. During the Second World War Macedonist ideas were further developed by the Yugoslav Communist Partisans, but some researchers doubt that even at that time the Slavs from Macedonia considered themselves to be ethnically separate from the Bulgarians. The turning point for the Macedonian ethnogenesis was the creation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following World War II.
Early and middle 19th century
With the conquest of the Balkans by the Ottomans in the late 14th century, the name of Macedonia disappeared for several centuries and was rarely displayed on geographic maps. It was rediscovered during the Renaissance by western researchers, who introduced ancient Greek geographical names in their work, although used in a rather loose manner. The modern region was not labeled "Macedonia" by the Ottomans. The name "Macedonia" gained popularity parallel to the ascendance of rival nationalism. The central and northern areas of modern Macedonia were often called "Bulgaria" or "Lower Moesia" during Ottoman rule. The name "Macedonia" was revived to mean a separate geographical region on the Balkans, this occurring in the early 19th century, after the foundation of the modern Greek state, with its Western Europe-derived obsession with the Ancient world. However, as a result of the massive Greek religious and school propaganda, a kind of Macedonization occurred among the Greek and non-Greek speaking population of the area. The name Macedonian Slavs was also introduced by the Greek clergy and teachers among the local Slavophones with an aim to stimulate the development of close ties between them and the Greeks, linking both sides to the ancient Macedonians, as a counteract against the growing Bulgarian influence there.
Late 19th and early 20th century
The first attempts for creation of the Macedonian ethnicity can be said to have begun in the late 19th and early 20th century. This was the time of the first expressions of Macedonism by limited groups of intellectuals in Belgrade, Sofia, Thessaloniki and St. Petersburg. However, up until the 20th century and beyond, the majority of the Slavic-speaking population of the region was identified as Macedono-Bulgarian or simply as Bulgarian and after 1870 joined the Bulgarian Exarchate. Although he was appointed Bulgarian metropolitan bishop, in 1891 Theodosius of Skopje attempted to restore the Archbishopric of Ohrid as an autonomous Macedonian church, but his idea failed. Some authors consider that at that time, labels reflecting collective identity, such as "Bulgarian", changed into national labels from being broad terms that were without political significance.
On the eve of the 20th century the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) tried to unite all unsatisfied elements in the Ottoman Europe and struggled for political autonomy in the regions of Macedonia and Adrianople Thrace. But this manifestation of political separatism by the IMARO was a phenomenon without ethnic affiliation and the Bulgarian ethnic provenance of the revolutionaries can not be put under question.
Balkan Wars and First World War
During the Balkan Wars and the First World War the area was exchanged several times between Bulgaria and Serbia. The IMARO supported the Bulgarian army and authorities when they took temporary control over Vardar Macedonia. On the other hand, Serbian authorities put pressure on local people to declare themselves Serbs: they disbanded local governments, established by IMARO in Ohrid, Veles and other cities and persecuted Bulgarian priests and teachers, forcing them to flee and replacing them with Serbians. Serbian troops enforced a policy of disarming the local militia, accompanied by beatings and threats. During this period the political autonomism was abandoned as tactics and annexationist positions were supported, aiming eventual incorporation of the area into Bulgaria.
Interwar period and WWII
During the interwar period in Vardar Macedonia, then annexed by Serbia, part of the young locals repressed by the Serbs attempted at a separate way of ethnic development. In 1934 the Comintern issued a resolution about the recognition of a separate Macedonian ethnicity. However, the existence of considerable Macedonian national consciousness prior to the 1940s is disputed. This confusion is illustrated by Robert Newman in 1935, who recounts discovering in a village in Vardar Macedonia two brothers, one who considered himself a Serb, and the other a Bulgarian. In another village he met a man who had been "a Macedonian peasant all his life" but who had been at various times called a Turk, a Serb and a Bulgarian. During the Second World War the area was annexed by Bulgaria and anti-Serbian and pro-Bulgarian feelings among the local population prevailed. Because of that Vardar Macedonia remained the only region where Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito had not developed a strong partisan movement in 1941. The new provinces were quickly staffed with officials from Bulgaria proper who behaved with typical official arrogance to the local inhabitants. The communists' power started growing only in 1943 with the capitulation of Italy and the Soviet victories over Nazi Germany. To improve the situation in the area Tito ordered the establishment of the Communist Party of Macedonia in March 1943 and the second AVNOJ congress on 29 November 1943 did recognise the Macedonian nation as separate entity. As a result, the resistance movement grew. However, by the end of the war, the Bulgarophile sentiments were still distinguishable and the Macedonian national consciousness hardly existed beyond a general conviction gained from bitter experience, that rule from Sofia was as unpalatable as that from Belgrade.
Post-World War II
After 1944 the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began a policy of making Macedonia into the connecting link for the establishment of a future Balkan Federative Republic and stimulating the development of a distinct Slav Macedonian consciousness. The region received the status of a constituent republic within Yugoslavia and in 1945 a separate Macedonian language was codified. The population was proclaimed to be ethnic Macedonian, a nationality different from both Serbs and Bulgarians. With the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav federation, the new authorities also enforced measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among parts of its population. On the other hand, the Yugoslav authorities forcibly suppressed the ideologists of an independent Macedonian country. The Greek communists, similar to their fraternal parties in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, had already been influenced by the Comintern and were the only political party in Greece to recognize Macedonian national identity. However, the situation deteriorated after they lost the Greek Civil War. Thousands of Aegean Macedonians were expelled and fled to the newly established Socialist Republic of Macedonia, while thousands more children took refuge in other Eastern Bloc countries.
Post-Informbiro period and Bulgarophobia
At the end of the 1950s the Bulgarian Communist Party repealed its previous decision and adopted a position denying the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity. As a result, the Bulgarophobia in Macedonia increased almost to the level of State ideology. This put an end to the idea of a Balkan Communist Federation. During the post-Informbiro period, a separate Macedonian Orthodox Church was established, splitting off from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967. The encouragement and evolution of the culture of the Republic of Macedonia has had a far greater and more permanent impact on Macedonian nationalism than has any other aspect of Yugoslav policy. While the development of national music, films and graphic arts had been encouraged in the Republic of Macedonia, the greatest cultural effect came from the codification of the Macedonian language and literature, the new Macedonian national interpretation of history and the establishment of a Macedonian Orthodox Church. Meanwhile, the Yugoslav historiography borrowed certain parts of the histories of its neighboring states in order to construct the Macedonian identity, having reached not only the times of medieval Bulgaria, but even as far back as Alexander the Great. In 1969, the first History of the Macedonian nation was published. Most Macedonians' attitude to Communist Yugoslavia, where they were recognised as a distinct nation for the first time, became positive. The Macedonian Communist elites were traditionally more pro-Serb and pro-Yugoslav than those in the rest of the Yugoslav Republics.
After the Second World War, Macedonian and Serbian scholars usually defined the ancient local tribes in the area of the Central Balkans as Daco-Moesian. Previously these entities were traditionally regarded in Yugoslavia as Illyrian, in accordance with the romantic early-20th-century interests in the Illyrian movement. At first, the Daco-Moesian tribes were separated through linguistic research. Later, Yugoslav archaeologists and historians came to an agreement that Daco-Moesians should be located in the areas of modern-day Serbia and Republic of Macedonia. The most popular Daco-Moesian tribes described in Yugoslav literature were the Triballians, the Dardanians and the Paeonians. The leading research goal in the Republic of Macedonia during Yugoslav times was the establishment of some kind of Paionian identity and to separate it from the western "Illyrian" and the eastern "Thracian" entities. The idea of Paionian identity was constructed to conceptualise that Vardar Macedonia was neither Illyrian nor Thracian, favouring a more complex division, contrary to scientific claims about strict Thraco-Illyrian Balkan separation in neighbouring Bulgaria and Albania. Yugoslav Macedonian historiography argued also that the plausible link between the Slav Macedonians and their ancient namesakes was, at best, accidental.
Post-independence period and Antiquisation
On September 8, 1991, the Socialist Republic of Macedonia held a referendum that established its independence from Yugoslavia, under the name "Republic of Macedonia". With the fall of Communism, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the consequent lack of a Great power in the region, the Republic of Macedonia came into permanent conflicts with its neighbors. Bulgaria contested its national identity and language, Greece contested its name and symbols, and Serbia its religious identity. On the other hand, the ethnic Albanians in the country insisted on being recognised as a nation, equal to the ethnic Macedonians. As a response, a more assertive and uncompromising form of Macedonian nationalism emerged. At that time the concept of ancient Paionian identity was changed to a kind of mixed Paionian-Macedonian identity which was later transformed to a separate ancient Macedonian identity, establishing a direct link to the modern ethnic Macedonians. This phenomenon is called "ancient Macedonism", or "Antiquisation" ("Antikvizatzija", "антиквизација"). Its supporters claim that the ethnic Macedonians are not related to the Slavs, but are direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians, who, according to them, were not Greeks. Antiquisation is the policy which the nationalistic ruling party VMRO-DPMNE pursued after coming to power in 2006, as a way of putting pressure on Greece, as well as for the purposes of domestic identity-building. Antiquisation is also spreading due to a very intensive lobbying of the Macedonian diaspora from the US, Canada, Germany and Australia.
As part of this policy, statues of Alexander the Great and Philip II of Macedon have been built in several cities across the country. In 2011, a massive, 22-metre-tall tall statue of Alexander the Great (called "Warrior on a horse" because of the dispute with Greece) was inaugurated in Macedonia Square in Skopje, as part of the Skopje 2014 remodelling of the city. An even larger statue of Philip II is under construction at the other end of the square. A triumphal arch named Porta Macedonia, constructed in the same square, featuring images of historical figures including Alexander the Great, caused the Greek Foreign Ministry to lodge an official complaint to authorities in the Republic of Macedonia. Statues of Alexander are also on display in the town squares of Prilep and Štip, while a statue to Philip II of Macedon was recently built in Bitola. Additionally, many pieces of public infrastructure, such as airports, highways, and stadiums have been named after ancient historical figures or entities. Skopje's airport was renamed "Alexander the Great Airport" and features antique objects moved from Skopje's archeological museum. One of Skopje's main squares has been renamed Pella Square (after Pella, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon), while the main highway to Greece has been renamed to "Alexander of Macedon" and Skopje's largest stadium has been renamed "Philip II Arena". These actions are seen as deliberate provocations in neighboring Greece, exacerbating the dispute and further stalling Macedonia's EU and NATO applications. In 2008 a visit by Hunza Prince was organized in the Republic of Macedonia. The Hunza people of Northern Pakistan were proclaimed as direct descendants of the Alexandrian army and as people who are most closely related to the ethnic Macedonians. The Hunza delegation was welcomed at the Skopje Airport by the country's prime minister Nikola Gruevski, the head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Archbishop Stephen and the mayor of Skopje, Trifun Kostovski.
Such antiquization is facing criticism by academics as it demonstrates feebleness of archaeology and of other historical disciplines in public discourse, as well as a danger of marginalization. The policy has also attracted criticism domestically, by ethnic Macedonians within the country, who see it as dangerously dividing the country between those who identify with classical antiquity and those who identify with the country's Slavic culture. Ethnic Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia see it as an attempt to marginalize them and exclude them from the national narrative. The policy, which also claims as ethnic Macedonians figures considered national heroes in Bulgaria, such as Dame Gruev and Gotse Delchev, has also drawn criticism from Bulgaria. Foreign diplomats have warned that the policy has reduced international sympathy for the Republic of Macedonia in the naming dispute with Greece.
The background of this antiquization can be found in the 19th century and the myth of ancient descent among Orthodox Slavic-speakers in Macedonia. It was adopted partially due to Greek cultural inputs. This idea was also included in the national mythology during the post-WWII Yugoslavia. An additional factor for its preservation has been the influence of the Macedonian Diaspora. Contemporary antiquization has been revived as an efficient tool for political mobilization and has been reinforced by the VMRO-DPMNE. For example, in 2009 the Macedonian Radio-Television aired a video named "Macedonian prayer" in which the Christian God was presented calling the people of the Republic of Macedonia "the oldest nation on Earth" and "progenitors of the white race", who are described as "Macedonoids", in opposition to Negroids and Mongoloids. This ultra-nationalism accompanied by the emphasizing of Macedonia's ancient roots has raised concerns internationally about growing a kind of authoritarianism by the governing party. There have also been attempts at scientific claims about ancient nationhood, but they have had a negative impact on the international position of the country. On the other hand, there is still strong Yugonostalgia among the ethnic Macedonian population, that has swept also over other ex-Yugoslav states.
Macedonian nationalism also has support among high-ranking diplomats of the Republic of Macedonia who are serving abroad, and this continues to affect the relations with neighbors, especially Greece. In August 2017, the Consul of the Republic of Macedonia to Canada attended a nationalist Macedonian event in Toronto and delivered a speech against the backdrop of an irredentist map of Greater Macedonia. This has triggered strong protests from the Greek side, which regards this as a sign that irredentism remains the dominant state ideology and everyday political practice in the neighboring country. Following strong diplomatic protests, however, the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Macedonia condemned the incident and recalled its diplomat back to Skopje for consultations.
Macedonism, sometimes referred to as Macedonianism (Macedonian and Serbian: Македонизам, Makedonizam; Bulgarian: Македонизъм, Makedonizam and Greek: Μακεδονισμός, Makedonismós) is a political and historical term used in a polemic sense to refer to a set of ideas perceived as characteristic of aggressive Macedonian nationalism. Before the Balkan Wars Macedonist ideas were shared by a limited circle of intellectuals. They grew in significance during the interbellum, both in Vardar Macedonia and among the left-leaning diaspora in Bulgaria, and were endorsed by the Comintern. During the Second World War, these ideas were supported by the Communist Partisans, who founded the Yugoslav Macedonian Republic in 1944. Following the Second World War, Macedonism became the basis of Yugoslav Macedonia's state ideology, aimed at transforming the Slavic and, to a certain extent, non-Slavic parts of its population into ethnic Macedonians. This state policy is still current in today's Republic of Macedonia, where it was developed in several directions. One of them maintains the connection of the modern ethnic Macedonians with the ancient Macedonians, rather than with the South Slavs, while others have sought to incorporate into the national pantheon the right-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) activists, previously dismissed as Bulgarophiles.
The term is occasionally used in an apologetic sense by some Macedonian authors, but has also faced strong criticism from moderate political views in the Republic of Macedonia and international scholars.
Macedonism as an ethno-political conception
The roots of the concept were first developed in the second half of the 19th century, in the context of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian initiatives to take control over the region of Macedonia, which was at that time ruled by the Ottoman Empire. It was originally used in a contemptuous manner to refer to Slav Macedonians, who believed they constituted a distinct ethnic group, separate from their neighbours. The first to use the term "Macedonist" was the Bulgarian author Petko Slaveykov, who coined the term in his article "The Macedonian Question", published in the newspaper Makedoniya in 1871. However, he pointed out that he had heard for the first time of such ideas as early as 10 years prior, i.e. around 1860. Slaveykov sharply criticised those Macedonians espousing such views, as they had never shown a substantial basis for their attitudes, calling them "Macedonists". Nevertheless, those accused of Slaveikov as Macedonists were representative of the movement aiming at the construction of the Bulgarian standard literary language primarily on the Macedonian dialects, such as Kuzman Shapkarev, Dimitar Makedonski and Veniamin Machukovski. Another early recorded use of the term "Macedonism" is found in a report by the Serbian politician Stojan Novaković from 1887. He proposed to employ the Macedonistic ideology as a means to counteract the Bulgarian influence in Macedonia, thereby promoting Serbian interests in the region. Novaković's diplomatic activity in Istanbul and St. Petersburg played a significant role in the realization of his ideas, especially through the "Association of Serbo-Macedonians" formed by him in Istanbul and through his support for the Macedonian Scientific and Literary Society in St. Petersburg. The geopolitics of the Serbs evidently played a crucial role in the ethnogenesis by promoting a separate Macedonian consciousness at the expense of the Bulgarians (it is worth mentioning that 19th century Serbian propaganda mostly adhered to direct Serbianization, including post-WWI policy of Belgrade in Vardar Macedonia). In 1888 the Macedono-Bulgarian ethnographer Kuzman Shapkarev noted that, as a result of this activity, a strange, ancient ethnonym "Makedonci" (Macedonians) was imposed 10–15 years prior by outside intellectuals, introduced with a "cunning aim" to replace the traditional "Bugari" (Bulgarians).
In 1892, Georgi Pulevski completed the first "Slavic-Macedonian General History", with a manuscript of over 1,700 pages. According to the book, the ancient Macedonians were Slavic people and the Macedonian Slavs were native to the Balkans, in contrast of the Bulgarians and the Serbs, who came there centuries later. The root of such indigenous mixture of Illyrism and Pan-Slavism can be seen in "Concise history of the Slav Bulgarian People" (1792), written by Spyridon Gabrovski, whose original manuscript was found in 1868 by the Russian scientist Alexander Hilferding on his journey in Macedonia. Gabrovski tried to establish a link between the Bulgaro-Macedonians from one side, and the Illyrians and the ancient Macedonians from another, who he regarded also Slavs. The main agenda of this story about the mythical Bulgaro-Illyro-Macedonians was to assert that the Macedonian and Bulgarian Slavs were among the indigenous inhabitants of the Balkans.
Other proponents of the Macedonist ideas in the early 20th century were two Serbian scholars, the geographer Jovan Cvijić and the linguist Aleksandar Belić. They claimed the Slavs of Macedonia were "Macedonian Slavs", an amorphous Slavic mass that was neither Bulgarian, nor Serbian. This view was also shared by some Western intellectuals, notably Oswald Spengler.[not in citation given] Cvijić further argued that the traditional ethnonym Bugari (Bulgarians) used by the Slavic population of Macedonia to refer to themselves actually meant only rayah, and in no case affiliations to the Bulgarian ethnicity. In his ethnographic studies of the Balkan Slavs, Cvijic devised a "Central Type" (Slav Macedonians and Torlaks), dissimilar at the same time to the "Dinaric Type" (the principal "Serb" ethnographic variant) and the "East Balkan Type" (representing the Bulgarians, but excluding even Western Bulgaria). The true Bulgarians belonged only to the "East Balkan Type" and were a mixture of Slavs, "Turanian" groups (Bulgars, Cumans, and Turks) and Vlachs, and as such, were different from the other South Slavs in their ethnic composition. More importantly, their national character was decidedly un-Slavic. Bulgarians were industrious and coarse. They were a people without imagination and therefore necessarily without art and culture. This caricature of the Bulgarians permitted their clear differentiation from the "Central Type," within which Cvijic included Macedonian Slavs, western Bulgarians (Shopi), and Torlaks, a type that was eminently Slavic (i.e. old-Serbian) and therefore non-Bulgarian. Nowadays, these outdated Serbian views have been propagandized by some contemporary Macedonian scholars and politicians.
Some panslavic ideologists in Russia, former supporter of Greater Bulgaria, also adopted these ideas as opposing Bulgaria's Russophobic policy at the beginning of the 20th century, as for example Alexandr Rittikh and Aleksandr Amfiteatrov. At the beginning of the 20th century, the continued Serbian propaganda efforts had managed to firmly entrench the concept of the Macedonian Slavs in European public opinion and the name was used almost as frequently as Bulgarians. Simultaneously, the proponents of the Greek Struggle for Macedonia, such as Germanos Karavangelis, openly popularized the Hellenic idea about a direct link between the local Slavs and the ancient Macedonians. Nevertheless, in 1914 the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs report states that the Serbs and Greeks classified the Slavs of Macedonia as a distinct ethnic group "Macedonians Slavs" for political purposes and to conceal the existence of Bulgarians in the area. However, after the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) Ottoman Macedonia was mostly divided between Greece and Serbia, which began a process of Hellenization and Serbianisation of the Slavic population and led in general to a cease in the use of this term in both countries.
On the other hand, Serbian and Bulgarian left-wing intellectuals envisioned in the early 20th century some sort of "Balkan confederation" including Macedonia, should the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Ottoman Empire dissolve. This view was accepted from the Socialist International. In 1910, the First Balkan Socialist Conference was held in Belgrade, then within the Kingdom of Serbia. The main platform at the first conference was the call for a solution to the Macedonian Question. The creation of a Balkan Socialist Federation was proposed, in which Macedonia would be a constituent state. In 1915, after the Balkan Wars had concluded, the Balkan Socialist Conference in Bucharest agreed to create a Balkan Socialist Federation, and that divided from the "imperialists" Macedonia would be united into its framework. This ideology later found fruition with the support of the Soviet Union as a project of the Yugoslav communist federation. Various declarations were made during the 1920s and 1930s seeing the official adoption of Macedonism by the Comintern. In turn declarations were made by the Greek, Yugoslav and Bulgarian communist parties, as they agreed on its adoption as their official policy for the region. Also, the demise of the IMRO and its ideology for much of the interwar period led a part of the young local intellectuals in Vardar Macedonia, regarded at that time as Serbs, to find a solution in the ideology of Macedonism. This issue was supported during the Second World War by the Communist Resistance and in 1944 the wartime Communist leader Josip Broz Tito proclaimed the People's Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav Federation, thus partially fulfilling the Comintern's pre-war policy. He was supported by the Bulgarian leader from Macedonian descent and former General Secretary of the Comintern Georgi Dimitrov, in anticipation of an ultimately failed incorporation of the Bulgarian part of Macedonia (Pirin Macedonia) into the People's Republic of Macedonia, and of Bulgaria itself into Communist Yugoslavia.
The first Macedonian nationalists appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century outside Macedonia. At different points in their lives, most of them expressed conflicting statements about the ethnicity of the Slavs living in Macedonia, including their own nationality. They formed their pro-Macedonian conceptions after contacts with some panslavic circles in Serbia and Russia. The lack of diverse ethnic motivations seems to be confirmed by the fact that in their works they often used the designations Bulgaro-Macedonians, Macedonian Bulgarians and Macedonian Slavs in order to name their compatriots. Representatives of this circle were Georgi Pulevski, Theodosius of Skopje, Krste Misirkov, Stefan Dedov, Atanas Razdolov, Dimitrija Chupovski and others. Nearly all of them died in Bulgaria. Most of the next wave Macedonists were left-wing politicians, who changed their ethnic affiliations from Bulgarian to Macedonian during the 1930s, after the recognition of the Macedonian ethnicity by the Comintern, as for example Dimitar Vlahov, Pavel Shatev, Panko Brashnarov, Venko Markovski, Georgi Pirinski, Sr. and others. Such Macedonian activists, who came from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) and the Bulgarian Communist Party never managed to get rid of their pro-Bulgarian bias.
Among the views and opinions that are often perceived as representative of Macedonian nationalism and criticised as parts of "Macedonism" by those who use the term are the following:
- The notion of unbroken racial, linguistic and cultural continuity between the modern ethnic Macedonians and a part of the ancient autochthonous peoples of the region, in particular the ancient Macedonians; (see: Ancient history of the Republic of Macedonia)
- The idea that there is a fundamental ethnogenetic distinction between Macedonians on one side and Bulgarians on the other; (see: Ethno-genetic origins of the South-Slavic people.)
- The opinion that the term Bulgarians used in Medieval and Ottoman Macedonia meant in fact common peasants or Christian Slavs, but in any case not affiliations to the Bulgarian ethnicity. (see: Macedonian Bulgarians)
- Irredentist political views about the neighbouring regions of Greek Macedonia ("Aegean Macedonia") and parts of southwest Bulgaria ("Pirin Macedonia") and about the existence of significant ethnic Macedonian minorities in these areas, connected to the irredentist concept of a United Macedonia.
- The belief that the medieval migration of Slavs is a fictional concept coined by Communist Yugoslavia and that no such migration in the Balkans occurred; (see: South Slavs)
- The denial of any presence of Serbs in Ottoman Macedonia until 1913; (see: Serbs in Macedonia)
- The opinion that an ethnogenetic connection exists between the Macedonians and the Hunza people, going back to the time of Alexander the Great.
- The belief that the Republic of Macedonia's neighbours have organized a huge propaganda effort across the world, containing false history and portraying a wrong picture about its people as a young nation, although the Macedonians are in fact the forefathers of the modern Europeans. (see: Foreign relations of the Republic of Macedonia)
- The idea that the internationally accepted term Hellenism is wrong and has to be replaced with Macedonism, which is more correct in an historical aspect.
Other, related areas of Macedonian–Bulgarian national polemics relate to:
- The presence of the Bulgars in Medieval Macedonia and the lack of ethnogenetic connection to today's Macedonians in contrast to the Bulgarians; (see Kouber)
- The ethnic character of various medieval historical figures and entities, including the saints Cyril and Methodius, the medieval Tsar Samuil and his Empire, and the medieval Archbishopric of Ohrid;
- The historical role of the Bulgarian Exarchate and the ethnic character of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization;
- The historical role of various Macedonian insurgent movements during Ottoman rule (see Ilinden Uprising) and during the Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia in World War II; (see Communist resistance in Vardar Macedonia)
- The opinion that a separate Macedonian nationhood and ethnicity are an artificial product, result of the Serbian propaganda during the 19th and the Comintern policy during the 20th century; (see: Balkan Communist Federation)
- The belief that the Macedonians constitute a regional ethnographic subgroup of the Bulgarian people and the Macedonian language is a dialect of Bulgarian. (see Macedonian Bulgarians)
- Macedonia (terminology)
- United Macedonia
- United Macedonian Diaspora
- World Macedonian Congress
- Macedonian Question
- History of the Macedonians (ethnic group)
- Demographic history of Macedonia
- Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
- Albanian nationalism in the Republic of Macedonia
References and notes
- Atanas Makedonec, Pretskazuvawata na Golem Aleksandar, podgotovka, predgovor i transkripcija Vera Stojcevska-Antic}, Zumpres, Skopje, 1996.
- Ани Гергова, Българска книга: Енциклопедия, Pensoft Publishers, 2004, ISBN 954642210X, Мистификации литературни. стр. 286.
- John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos M. Veremis, Modern Greece: A History since 1821. A New History of Modern Europe, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 1444314831, p. 48.
- Bonner, Raymond (14 May 1995). "The World; The Land That Can't Be Named". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
Macedonian nationalism did not arise until the end of the last century.
- "Until the late 19th century both outside observers and those Bulgaro-Macedonians who had an ethnic consciousness believed that their group, which is now two separate nationalities, comprised a single people, the Bulgarians. Thus the reader should ignore references to ethnic Macedonians in the Middle ages which appear in some modern works. In the Middle ages and into the 19th century, the term 'Macedonian' was used entirely in reference to a geographical region. Anyone who lived within its confines, regardless of nationality could be called a Macedonian...Nevertheless, the absence of a national consciousness in the past is no grounds to reject the Macedonians as a nationality today." "The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century," John Van Antwerp Fine, University of Michigan Press, 1991, ISBN 0472081497, pp. 36–37.
- Modern Greece: John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos M. Veremis, A History since 1821, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 1444314831, p. 48.
- Nationalist Exclusion and Ethnic Conflict: Shadows of Modernity, Andreas Wimmer, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-01185-X, pp. 171–172.
- Richard Clogg, Minorities in Greece: Aspects of a Plural Society. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1850657068, p. 160.
- Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, Introduction, pp. VII–VIII.
- Jelavich Barbara, History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century, 1983, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521274591, p. 91.
- J. Pettifer, The New Macedonian Question, St Antony's group, Springer, 1999, ISBN 0230535798, pp. 49–51.
- Anastas Vangeli, Nation-building ancient Macedonian style: the origins and the effects of the so-called antiquization in Macedonia. Nationalities Papers, the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Volume 39, 2011 pp. 13–32.
- Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, Introduction, p. VII.
- Roumen Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov, Entangled Histories of the Balkans, Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X, pp. 283–285.
- The Macedonian Question an article from 1871 by Petko Slaveykov published in the newspaper Macedonia in Carigrad (now Istanbul). In this article Petko Slaveykov writes: "We have many times heard from the Macedonists that they are not Bulgarians, but they are rather Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians."
- A letter from Slaveykov to the Bulgarian Exarch written in Solun in February 1874
- In a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888 Kuzman Shapkarev writes: "But even stranger is the name Macedonians, which was imposed on us only 10–15 years ago by outsiders, and not as some think by our own intellectuals.... Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: "Bugari", although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians. You can find more about this in the introduction to the booklets I am sending you. They call their own Macedono-Bulgarian dialect the "Bugarski language", while the rest of the Bulgarian dialects they refer to as the "Shopski language". (Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
- Claudia-Florentina Dobre, Cristian Emilian ed., Quest for a Suitable Past: Myths and Memory in Central and Eastern Europe, Central European University Press, 2018, ISBN 9633861365, p. 139.
- Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900–1996, Chris Kostov, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 65.
- According to Vasil Kanchov: "The local Bulgarians and Kucovlachs who live in the area of Macedonia call themselves Macedonians, and the surrounding nations also call them so. Turks and Arnauts from Macedonia do not call themselves Macedonians, but when asked where they are from, they respond: from Macedonia. Arnauts from the north and north west limits of the area, who also call their country Anautluk, and Greeks who live in the southern areas, do not call themselves Macedonians, hence the borders in these areas according to the peoples’ perception are not clearly defined." Vasil Kanchov - 1911. Original: Орохидрография на Македония, wiki translation: Orohydrography of Macedonia. For more see: E. Damianopoulos, The Macedonians: Their Past and Present, Springer, 2012, ISBN 1137011904, p. 185.
- Tchavdar Marinov, Famous Macedonia, the Land of Alexander: Macedonian Identity at the Crossroads of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian Nationalism in Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume One, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X, p. 303.
- Donald Bloxham, The Final Solution: A Genocide, OUP Oxford, 2009, ISBN 0199550336, p. 65.
- Raymond Detrez, Pieter Plas, Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence, Volume 34 of Multiple Europesq Peter Lang, 2005, ISBN 9052012970, p. 173.
- Chris Kostov, Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 71.
- Keith Brown, The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation, Princeton University Press, 2003, ISBN 0691099952, p. 110.
- Friedman Victor A (1975). "Macedonian language and nationalism during the 19th and early 20th centuries" (PDF). Balkanistica. 2: 83–98. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-15.
- Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov. Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. 2013. p. 318.
- Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov. Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. BRILL, 2013. p. 300.
- Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov. Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. BRILL, 2013. p. 316.
- Peter Lang (2010). Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900–1996. p. 67. ISBN 978-3034301961.
- Viktor Meier. Yugoslavia: A History of Its Demise. p. 179.
- Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, Balkan Studies Library, Roumen Dontchev Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X, pp. 300–303.
- The term "Vardar Macedonia" is a geographic term which refers to the portion of the region of Macedonia currently occupied by the Republic of Macedonia.
- Nationalism and Territory: Constructing Group Identity in Southeastern Europe, Geographical perspectives on the human past, George W. White, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, ISBN 0847698092, p. 236.
- Dimitar Bechev (2009). Historical dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 139–140. ISBN 978-0-8108-5565-6.
- The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65–66.
- "The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world", Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65-66.
- Modern hatreds: the symbolic politics of ethnic war. New York: Cornell University Press. Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001), p. 193, ISBN 0-8014-8736-6.
- Up until the early twentieth century, the international community viewed Macedonians as a regional variety of Bulgarians, i.e. Western Bulgarians. However, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 the Allies sanctioned Serbian control of much of Macedonia, because they accepted the belief that Macedonians were in fact Southern Serbs. This extraordinary change in opinion can largely be attributed to one man, Jovan Cvijić, a prominent geographer at the University of Belgrade. Nationalism and Territory: Constructing Group Identity in Southeastern Europe, Geographical perspectives on the human past, George W. White, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, ISBN 0847698092, p. 236.
- John Breuilly, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN 0199209197, p. 192.
- Robin J. Fox, Robin Lane Fox, Brill's Companion to Ancient Macedon: Studies in the Archaeology and History of Macedon, 650 BC – 300 AD, BRILL, 2011, ISBN 9004206507, p. 35.
- Victor Roudometof, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0275976483, p. 89.
- Loring Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Princeton University Press, December 1995, p. 63: "Finally, Krste Misirkov, who had clearly developed a strong sense of his own personal national identity as a Macedonian and who outspokenly and unambiguously called for Macedonian linguistic and national separatism, acknowledged that a 'Macedonian' national identity was a relatively recent historical development."
- Eugene N. Borza, "Macedonia Redux", in "The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity", ed. Frances B. Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999: "The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one."
- Throughout this article, the term "Macedonian" will refer to ethnic Macedonians. There are many other uses of the term, and comprehensive coverage of this topic may be found in the article Macedonia (terminology).
- Danforth, L. (1995) The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World ISBN 0-691-04357-4
- Social cleavages and national "awakening" in Ottoman Macedonia by Basil C. Gounaris, East European Quarterly 29 (1995), 409–426
- Cousinéry, Esprit Marie (1831). Voyage dans la Macédoine: contenant des recherches sur l'histoire, la géographie, les antiquités de ce pay, Paris. II. pp. 15–17.
- "French consul in 1831: Macedonia consists of Greeks and Bulgarians". History-of-macedonia.com. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Engin Deniz Tanir (2005). "The Mid-Nineteenth century Ottoman Bulgaria from the viewpoints of the French Travelers, A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate School of Social Sciences of Middle East Technical University" (PDF). pp. 99, 142.
- "I. The Middle Ages 1". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "II. The National Revival Period 1". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe - Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE)- Macedonians of Bulgaria" (PDF). Greekhelsinki.gr. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-07-23. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Teodosij Gologanov established contacts with the patriarchate in Constantinople in an attempt to persuade its leadership to accept and promote the revival of the Ohrid archbishopric under the patriarchate of Constantinople but with an autonomous status. After the Greek newspapers prematurely broke (and distorted) the news, the Exarchate started proceedings for Teodosij’s dismissal. Teodosij’s last attempt was to contact the Vatican representative Augusto Bonetti with the aim of negotiating a Greek Catholic (Uniate) archbishopric in Ohrid to serve the territory of Macedonia. The Exarchate, however, with the help of the local Turkish administrative authorities arranged his expulsion from Skopje (1892). For more see: Nikola Iordanovski, Letter on the renewal of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, Teodosij Gologanov. pp. 188-193 in Balazs Trencsenyi, Michal Kopecek as ed., National Romanticism: The Formation of National Movements: Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945, Vol. 2. Central European University Press, 2006, ISBN 963732660X, p. 187.
- Although he was named Bulgarian metropolitan bishop in Skopje, in 1890–1892 Gologanov tried to establish a separate Macedonian Church, an activity that resulted in his dismissal and temporary marginalization. Thus after his short period as an early Macedonian national ideologist, Gologanov again became a Bulgarian bishop, as well as a writer and a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He contributed significantly to the construction of the image of Macedonia as cradle of the Bulgarian National Revival. For more see: Roumen Daskalov, Alexander Vezenkov as ed., Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume Three: Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies, BRILL, 2015, ISBN 9004290362, p. 451.
- Theodosius, the metropolitan of Skopje, to Pope Leo XIII I, the undersigned Metropolitan of Skopje, Theodosius, by Gods Mercy head of the Skopje eparchy, am submitting this request both in my name and in the name of the whole Orthodox flock of Macedonia, with which we are begging His Holiness to accept us under the wing of the Roman Catholic Church, after he has restored the ancient Archbishopric of Ohrid, unlawfully abolished by Sutlan Mustapha III in 1767, and put it in canonical unity with the Roman Catholic Church. Our desire springs from the historical right of the Orthodox Macedonian people to be freed from the jurisdiction of foreign Churches - the Bulgarian Exarchate and Constantinople Patriarchate - and be united in its own Orthodox Church, acquiring all the characteristic features of a people who have a right to independent spiritual and cultural life and education.
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- Academic G. Stardelov and first President of the Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov against antiquisation, on YouTube
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- Makedonska molitva - Македонска молитва - Macedonian prayer, on CastTV Translation from Macedonian: 0:25–0:45 O, Lord! Dearest God, which You are in Heaven! Do you see our Macedonian agonies? Do you hear the crying of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and of our children? For the offspring which died for Macedonia? 0:47–2:27 We are bleeding for thousands of years, the living wounds of our offspring are left to them. O, Lord, You are the Only One in the Heaven. Only You are looking at our mother, crucified at four sides as the Son of God. Wherever You go, You are stepping over a grave and fall over bones. O, Lord, appear now, say us the truth, to us and to the world, because St. Nicholas came in my dream and told me: "and I am from the land of love and goodness, and I am a Macedonian. And I shed a bloody tear in the pot of our pain. But the truth is at the Almighty. Ask Him and He will tell it, because our Macedonian era has arrived. O, Lord, only You know that two truths exist, but the justice is only one. Thousands of book were spread all over the world by our neighbors with fake history and twisted truth about Macedonia. O, Lord, only You know our true justice: who we are, from where we are and why we are Macedonians? And to the Apostle Paul during a dream a Macedonian appeared, saying: "come to Macedonia and help us". 2:28–3:24 And St. Apostle Paul listened to the prayer and firstly came among us, Macedonians. And now here, for 2.000 years we are believing only in You, and in 2.000 Churches and Monasteries we are praying, and from the eternity we are waiting on You. I already can't remember, but I know, I, Macedon of Govrlevo, I am alone with God for 8.000 years and I pray in front of the largest cross in the world. You, the only Lord, dearest God which is in Heaven, listen to our prayer, come to Armageddon, lend us a hand and tell us the truth about the evil and the good, to us and to the whole world, because no more blood left in us, for the great mother - Macedonia. "God" is supposed to say the following: 3:48–5:16 Divine blessing for you, my Macedonians. I have waited for thousands of years to be called by you. From always with you, from eternity I am coming, I am already among you because here neither time nor space exists. Here, at my place, the time is still. But at your place, the time is now, for me to explain. Your mother Earth I have inhabited with three races: the White-Macedonoids, the Yellow-Mongoloids and the Black-Negroids. The rest-all are mulattoes. From you, Macedonians, the descendants of Macedon, I have impregnated the White race and everything began from you, to the Sea of Japan. All White people are your brothers because they carry Macedonian gene. And all the migrations started from your place towards the north. Kokino, Porodin, Radobor, Angelci, Barutnica, Govrlevo, wherever you dig you shall find the truth who you are, why you are and from where are you. Evil diabolic souls obscured the truth for thousands of years and lied to the world. 5:19–6:37 How much did you suffered and to what kind of plights did you passed, because I was sending you temptations, but you have stayed faithful, my children. Children of the sun and of the flowers, blessed with the joy, love and goodness. I send you Tsars for thousands of years and now I am giving you again. You are giving them to everybody, you didn't left them for you. How many Tsars are here with Me and how many Macedonians are, so many stars are on the heaven and sand in the sea is. Let all the Angels sing, for everybody who are with Me, who from love for Macedonia, exchanged their life for eternity and shared the Tsardom here with Me. Already the Angels are singing for all of you which understood God's glory, for all of you to which I gave a part of Paradise, for all of you I gifted with love and peace, for all of you which waited for Me and have seen My arrival. 6:40–8:23 Here, I am now coming to Macedonia, I am now among you, to tell you the truthful truth, which is among you under the soil. The grave of Alexander, the Macedonian Tsar, I shall open it, and the entire world at bowing in front of you I shall bring. How many Macedonian graves I have yet to open, because souls near me desire the truth. Love your greatest enemies, because I send them to be of greatest help to you. The truth about Macedonia and you, Macedonians should be known to the world. Because you were first among the firsts, most dignified among the most dignified. Now the Macedonian era arrived, the whole world to obtain the truth, to see that honor and blessing is to be a Macedonian, a descendant of Macedon and son of the God of Universe. Children of mine, blessed and eternal be, here where the sun and flowers rule, let there be eternal joy, love and goodness. Among you, I am now noble. In eternal Macedonia, blessed One, amen!
- Matthew Brunnwasser (October 13, 2011). "Concerns Grow About Authoritarianism in Macedonia". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Another diplomatic incident between Greece and Macedonia". Macedonia's Top-Channel TV. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "Σε αλυτρωτική εκδήλωση συμμετείχε Σκοπιανός πρόξενος – Σφοδρή απάντηση από το ΥΠΕΞ (English: Macedonian consul participated in an irredentist event - Foreign Ministry)". Aixmi.gr. 2017-08-16. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "Σκοπιανός πρόξενος με φόντο χάρτη της ΠΓΔΜ με ελληνικά εδάφη – ΥΠΕΞ: Ο αλυτρωτισμός εξακολουθεί (English: Macedonian Consul against a backdrop of Greater Macedonia - Greek MoFA: "Macedonian irredentism continues")". Real.gr. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "ΥΠΕΞ: Καταδίκη της συμμετοχής του σκοπιανού πρόξενου σε αλυτρωτική εκδήλωση στο Τορόντο (English: Greek MoFA condemns the participation of Macedonian Consul in an irredentist event at Toronto)". 2017-08-16. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "Dimitrov says MoFA won't tolerate 'excursions' like the diplomatic blunder in Toronto". Macedonian Information Agency. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Focus information Agency, June 01, 2010 - UNESCO has send a letter to the Bulgarian Cultural Club – Skopje about the alarming condition of Bulgarian monuments in Macedonia.
- Исправена печатарска грешка, Битола за малку ќе се претставуваше како бугарска. Дневник-online, 2006. Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived April 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Phillips, John (2004). Macedonia: Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans. I.B.Tauris. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-86064-841-0.
- Raymond Detrez; Pieter Plas (2003-12-13). Developing Cultural Identity in the Balkans: Convergence Vs. Divergence. p. 184. ISBN 9789052012971. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Dimitris Keridis (2009-07-01). Historical Dictionary of Modern Greece. p. 101. ISBN 9780810863125. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Rossos, Andrew (2008). Macedonia and the Macedonians (PDF). Hoover Institution Press. pp. 155, 165. ISBN 978-0817948832. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- John D. Bell, edited by Sabrina P Ramet - (1999) The Radical Right in Central and Eastern Europe Since 1989, ISBN 0271018119&id=QZr1vsDIvlUC&pg=RA1-PA252&lpg=RA1-PA252&ots=-2m4nrHkz1&dq=macedonism&sig=GwSevgcuvQtmz9ZAWPvrNKobTxg p. 252
- Лабаури, Дмитрий Олегович. Болгарское национальное движение в Македонии и Фракии в 1894–1908 гг: Идеология, программа, практика политической борьбы, София 2008
- Nikolaĭ Genov, Anna Krŭsteva, (2001) Recent Social Trends in Bulgaria, 1960–1995, [https://www.google.com/books?vid= ISBN 0773520228, p. 74.
- Society for Macedonian Studies Archived 2007-05-27 at Archive.today, Macedonianism FYROM'S Expansionist Designs against Greece, 1944–2006, Ephesus - Society for Macedonian Studies, 2007 ISBN 978-960-8326-30-9, Retrieved on 2007-12-05.
- Gillespie, Richard (1994). %5b%5bInternational Standard Book Number|ISBN%5d%5d %5b%5bSpecial:BookSources/0838636098 |0838636098%5d%5d&id=UpC4QJP66HUC&pg=PA99&lpg=PA99&ots=RauFTx6VlC&dq=macedonism&sig=jFMCaYW04ob2Jep-oCa3CxwzeVg Mediterranean Politics - Richard Gillespie Check
|url=value (help). p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8386-3609-1. Retrieved 2015-09-04. templatestyles stripmarker in
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-  Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Greece and the new Balkans: challenges and opportunities, Van Coufoudakis, Harry J. Psomiades, André Gerolymatos, Pella Pub. Co., 1999, ISBN 0-918618-72-X, p. 361.
- Mediterranean politics, Richard Gillespie, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8386-3609-8, p. 97.
- "IIS7". Utrinskivesnik.com.mk. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120504142215/http://www.newbalkanpolitics.org.mk/OldSite/Issue_3/maleska.macedonia.eng.asp. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2016. Missing or empty
- Example cited in: Loring Danforth (1995), The Macedonian Conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, ISBN 0691043566&id=ZmesOn_HhfEC&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&ots=Eb0bBzHBQT&dq=macedonism&sig=LO82EJ_vsHIAzByUF4dUWNNRjd4 p. 45
- Џамбазовски, Климент. Стоjан Новаковић и Македонизам, Историjски часопис, 1963–1965, књига ХІV–XV, с. 133–156
- "The lack of capability by Macedonists in condition of democracy, also contributes to the vision of their opponents. The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the Macedonian historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the Macedonian identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word "Bulgarian" with the word "Macedonian" were made. In a case which that was not possible, the persons from history were proclaimed for Bulgarian agents who crossed into some imaginary pure Macedonian space. But when we had to encourage the moderate Greek political variant and move into a direction of reconciliation among peoples, our nationalism was modelled according to the Greek one. The direct descendants of Alexander the Great raised the fallen flag on which the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia was written and led the people in the final confrontation with the Greeks, the direct descendants of Greek gods. This warlike attitude of the "winners" which was a consequence of the fear of politician from heavy and unpopular compromises had its price. In those years, we lost our capability for strategic dialog. With Greeks? No, with ourselves. Since then, namely, we reach towards some fictional ethnic purity which we seek in the depths of the history and we are angry at those which dare to call us Slavs and our language and culture Slavic!? We are angry when they name us what we -if we have to define ourselves in such categories- are, showing that we are people full with complexes which are ashamed for ourselves. We lost our capability for reasonable judgment, someone shall say, because the past of the Balkans teaches us that to be wise among fools is foolish. Maybe. Maybe the British historians are right when they say that in history one can find confirmation for every modern thesis, so, we could say, also for the one that we are descendants of the Ancient Macedonians...." Denko Maleski, politician of the Republic of Macedonia (foreign minister from 1991 to 1993 and ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997), Utrinski Vesnik newspaper, October 16, 2006.
- "Macedonia was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The Macedonian language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted. Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these radical Slavic factions decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world!..." T.J. Winnifrith, Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments, Duckworth, 1995
- "We have many times heard from the Macedonists that they are not Bulgarians but Macedonians, descendants of the ancient Macedonians, and we have always waited to hear some proofs of this, but we have never heard them. The Macedonists have never shown us the bases of their attitude. They insist on their Macedonian origin, which they cannot prove in any satisfactory way. We have read in the history that in Macedonia existed a small nation - Macedonians; but nowhere do we find in it neither what were those Macedonians, nor of what tribe is their origin, and the few Macedonian words, preserved through some Greek writers, completely deny such a possibility....", "The Macedonian question" by Petko R. Slaveikov, published 18 January 1871 in the Macedonia newspaper in Constantinople.
- Ц. Билярски, Из българския възрожденски печат от 70-те години на XIX в. за македонския въпрос, сп. "Македонски преглед", г. XXIII, София, 2009, кн. 4, с. 103–120.
- "Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well-known, is deeply rooted in Macedonia, I think it is almost impossible to shake it completely by opposing it merely with the Serbian idea. This idea, we fear, would be incapable, as opposition pure and simple, of suppressing the Bulgarian idea. That is why the Serbian idea will need an ally that could stand in direct opposition to Bulgarianism and would contain in itself the elements which could attract the people and their feelings and thus sever them from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in Macedonism...." from the report of S. Novakovic to the Minister of Education in Belgrade about "Macedonism" as a transitional stage in Serbianization of the Macedonian Bulgarians; see idem. Cultural and Public Relations of the Macedonians with Serbia in the XIXth c.), Skopje, 1960, p. 178.
- He was sent as the Serbian envoy to Constantinople, considered as one of the most important posts in that period. The diplomatic convention with Ottoman Turkey signed in 1886, due to Novaković's skillful negotiations, made possible the opening of Serbian consulates in Skopje and Thessaloniki. He was instrumental in organizing a huge network of Serbian consulates, secular and religious Serbian schools and Serb religious institutions throughout Turkey in Europe, in particular in Macedonia, where he aided Macedonistic intellectuals as K. Grupchevic and N. Evrovic. Furthermore, Novaković initiated the establishment of closer Serbian-Russian relations as consul in St. Petersburg, where he supported the local Macedonists as Misirkov and Chupovski. Angel G. Angelov, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 1470–1316, Volume 2, Issue 3, 1997, pp. 411–417.; Memoirs of Hristo Shaldev, Macedonian revolutionary (1876–1962), Macedonian Patriotic Organization "TA" (Adelaide, Australia, 1993), The Slav Macedonian Student Society in St. Petersburg, pp. 14–21.
- One Nineteenth Century Macedonian History Book (Historical Data and Mythology) Biljana Ristovska-Josifovska Institute of National History (Macedonia) Summary Archived 2015-01-10 at the Wayback Machine
- Multiple Antiquities - Multiple Modernities: Ancient Histories in Nineteenth Century European Cultures, Gábor Klaniczay, Michael Werner, Ottó Gecser, Campus Verlag, 2011, ISBN 3593391015, p. 224.
- An Agenda for the Western Balkans: From Elite Politics to Social Sustainability, Nikolaos Papakostas, Nikolaos Passamitros, Columbia University Press, 2014, ISBN 3838266986, p. 121.
- Јован Цвијић, Основе за географију и геологију Македоније и Старе Србије I-III, 1906–1911.
- Дијалекти источне и јужне Србије, Александар Белић, Српски дијалектолошки зборник, 1, 1905.
- "Full text of "The Decline of the West: The Complete Edition"". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- 20.11.1914 "Македонскiй Голосъ" - Кто такие Македонцы?
- This theory has its deep roots into the Greek policy on Macedonia, which may be noticed in the address of Archbishop Germanos Karavangelis and his advice to Konstantinos Christou. In his memories entitled as "Macedonian Struggle", Archbishop Karavangelis, wrote: "You have been Greeks since the time of Alexander the Great, but the Slavs came and slavicized you. Your appearance is Greek and the land we step on is Greek. This is witnessed by the monuments that are hidden in it, they are Greek, too, and the coins that we found are also Greek, and the inscriptions are Greek...." Каравангелис, Германос. "Македонската борба (спомени)", Васил Чекаларов, Дневник 1901–1903 г., Съставителство Ива Бурилкова, Цочо Билярски, ИК "Синева" София, 2001, стр. 327.
- "A comparison of the ethnographic and linguistic maps drawn up by Messrs, Kantchev, Cvijic and Belic, with the new frontiers of the treaty of Bucharest reveals the gravity of the task undertaken by the Servians. They have not merely resumed possession of their ancient domain, the Sandjak of Novi-Bazar and Old Servia proper (Kosovo Pole and Metchia), despite the fact that this historic domain was strongly Albanian; they have not merely added thereto the tract described by patriotic Servian ethnographers as "Enlarged Old Servia" fan ancient geographical term which we have seen twice enlarged, once by Mr. Cvijic and again by Mr. Belic; [See chapter I, p. 29.] over and above all this, their facile generosity impelled them to share with the Greeks the population described on their maps as "Slav-Macedonian", a euphemism designed to conceal the existence of Bulgarians in Macedonia."
- Stavrianos, L. S. (1942) The Balkan Federation Movement. A Neglected Aspect in The American Historical Review, Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 30–51.
- Bousfield, Jonathan; Richardson, Dan (2002). Bulgaria - Jonathan Bousfield, Dan Richardson. p. 453. ISBN 9781858288826. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Palmer, S. and R. King Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Archon Books (June 1971), p. 137.
- An outline of Macedonian history from ancient times to 1991. Macedonian Embassy London. Retrieved on 2007-04-28.
- "EP Urges Macedonia to Form Joint Committee on History with Bulgaria - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". Novinite.com. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Representative of the anti-"Macedonist" criticism from the Bulgarian side is the work by Bozhidar Dimitrov (2003), The Ten Lies of Macedonism, Sofia.
- "Íàðîäíà Âîë£À". Narodnavolja.com. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- FYROM, 2011 - Euphoria Of Racism And Expansionism Towards Greece. A large assembly of people during the inauguration of the Statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje, the players of the national basketball team of the Republic of Macedonia during the European Basketball Championship in Lithuania, and a little boy, singing a racist tune. Translation from Macedonian: "Get out, boy, right away on the balcony And say hello to the people of Goce's race Lift your hands up high Ours will be Thessaloniki's field."
- Neil MacDonald (2008-07-18). "Alexander's 'descendants' boost Macedonian identity". FT.com. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "2,300 years later, 'Alexander-mania' grips Macedonia". CSMonitor.com. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Page Redirection". A1.com.mk. Retrieved 2015-09-04.