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Old 03-26-2017, 11:17 PM   #1
Liberator of Makedonija
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Default Discussion of 'On Macedonian Matters' by Krste Misirkov

Hey everyone, I recently picked up Misirkov's famous book published in 1903 and I had some questions I was hoping someone could shed some light on.

In the section of the book where Misirkov discusses the effects and consequences of the Illinden Uprising, he claims that 'the main members of the commitee are the same people who call themselves Bulgarian'. I assume this refers to the governing commitee of VMRO, is Krste suggesting that the leaders of VMRO decalred themselves to be Bulgarians or is he suggesting that many of the commitee have sold out their original Macedonian ideals in order to appease Bulgaria, who were funding VMRO? He claims that Tatarchev was a patriotic Macedonian but now claims he is Bulgarian, so this is why I'm not sure what exacty Krste is suggesting. I know you need to understand the context of the time when reading old texts like this and I feel I understand most of them but this one flies over my head a bit.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:43 AM   #2
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Also, does anyone know anything about this book supposedly written by Tartarchev?

Ставот на Внатрешната Македонска Револуционерна Организација кон македонското прашање
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:04 AM   #3
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Hey everyone, I recently picked up Misirkov's famous book published in 1903 and I had some questions I was hoping someone could shed some light on.

In the section of the book where Misirkov discusses the effects and consequences of the Illinden Uprising, he claims that 'the main members of the commitee are the same people who call themselves Bulgarian'. I assume this refers to the governing commitee of VMRO, is Krste suggesting that the leaders of VMRO decalred themselves to be Bulgarians or is he suggesting that many of the commitee have sold out their original Macedonian ideals in order to appease Bulgaria, who were funding VMRO? He claims that Tatarchev was a patriotic Macedonian but now claims he is Bulgarian, so this is why I'm not sure what exacty Krste is suggesting. I know you need to understand the context of the time when reading old texts like this and I feel I understand most of them but this one flies over my head a bit.
That is a good question. To briefly sum it up, in the months and couple years before the Illinden uprising, those Macedonians belonging to the external Macedonian committee, as well as some Bulgarians, managed to basically slither their way into control of the internal Macedonian committee. They also managed to influence some Macedonians of the internal committee of the "friendliness" or honesty of Bulgaria. The internal committee leadership was now becoming a pawn of The external committee, which was influenced by Bulgarian interests. Macedonians like Delchev, Sandanski, Petrov and Misirkov were against this take over and especially against an uprising in 1903. They didn't believe Macedonians were ready to actually defeat the Turks. The other leaders also knew this, but they hedged their bets on European intervention.

I hope that helps. Not to plug my book, but to plug it, I wrote about this conflict between the external and internal committees in a few chapters of my book The Macedonian Resurrection. I think it can be a very confusing topic because the external committee was the one that received most of the publicity in the western media during that time period. In reality, the two committees were almost constantly feuding.Delchev and Petrov especially had a hatred for them, and Sandanski began opposing the internal committee leaders once the Bulgairans and external committee members took it over.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:07 AM   #4
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That is a good question. To briefly sum it up, in the months and couple years before the Illinden uprising, those Macedonians belonging to the external Macedonian committee, as well as some Bulgarians, managed to basically slither their way into control of the internal Macedonian committee. They also managed to influence some Macedonians of the internal committee of the "friendliness" or honesty of Bulgaria. The internal committee leadership was now becoming a pawn of The external committee, which was influenced by Bulgarian interests. Macedonians like Delchev, Sandanski, Petrov and Misirkov were against this take over and especially against an uprising in 1903. They didn't believe Macedonians were ready to actually defeat the Turks. The other leaders also knew this, but they hedged their bets on European intervention.

I hope that helps. Not to plug my book, but to plug it, I wrote about this conflict between the external and internal committees in a few chapters of my book The Macedonian Resurrection. I think it can be a very confusing topic because the external committee was the one that received most of the publicity in the western media during that time period. In reality, the two committees were almost constantly feuding.Delchev and Petrov especially had a hatred for them, and Sandanski began opposing the internal committee leaders once the Bulgairans and external committee members took it over.
Does help but still doesn't explain why Misirkov claims that Tartarchev WAS a patriotic Macedonian but now is a Bulgarian
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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Tatarchev was one of those Macedonians influenced by the Bulgarians and the external committee. Therefore, I think Misirkov is saying that at one point Tatarchev was for an independent Macedonia for the Macedonia, accomplished by Macedonians only, and then he (along with Matov) were compromised by Bulgarian propaganda. Furthermore, Tatarchev and Matov (as Misirkov notes) were more concerned about Macedonia's liberation than as to what ethnicity Macedonians belonged to.

I don't think they (Tatarchev, Matov and others) were trying to appease Bulgaria as much as they thought that Bulgaria was genuinely going to come to Macedonia's aid against Turkey, whereas Delchev and others were adamant about not relying on Bulgaria and not being able to trust Bulgaria. This is what I think Misirkov was getting at. Though, I think that when it comes to matters of nationality, Tatarchev shifted more toward the idea of a 'Bulgarian' nationality as the years progressed. But this, as was mentioned earlier, was all of secondary importance to him.

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Old 03-27-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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I don't want to imply, however, that Tatarchev didn't see Macedonians as different than Bulgarians. The term ethnicity really wasn't used much during his time and the idea of nations in Macedonia was molded by Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia into a meaning political allegiances. In the 1900s, Tatarchev was leaning toward the pro-Bulgarians; then Tatarchev by 1920 had become opposed to Todor Alexandrov and, you could say, he had swung to the left on the Macedonian issue (he was aligned with Todor Panica and the left-wing MFO at the time). Then, somehow, during Bulgaria's occupation of most of Macedonia in World War 2, he was supposedly asked by Ivan Mihailov to be the leader of a proposed Macedonian state but he declined the offer.

Tatarchev either wanted an independent Macedonian state or Macedonia to be an equal member in a Balkan Federation. It's just that the politics of the day and the desperation of many Macedonians to achieve liberation led them down many different paths with regards to how to secure that liberation. Misirkov was alluding to a specific period where Tatarchev sided with the views influenced by the external committee. It's interesting to note that Misirkov even says that Tatarchev was a great patriot but that he had "no regard for the political situation." While the IMRO "left-wing" was aware of the dangerous game Bulgaria was playing with both committees, Tatarchev was either ignorant of it or had been led astray.

I don't think Misirkov's characterization was wrong; I do think that it was incomplete, though, because it just captures Tatarchev in a snapshot in time about a specific issue (the staging of the uprising).
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:10 PM   #7
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That's some great information you've provided there vicsinad, really helps me. Those were complicated times where Macedonians felt close to Bulgaria due them having a language and culture that were more similar to us that others in the Balkans and their "support" for Macedonian liberation.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:07 PM   #8
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That's some great information you've provided there vicsinad, really helps me. Those were complicated times where Macedonians felt close to Bulgaria due them having a language and culture that were more similar to us that others in the Balkans and their "support" for Macedonian liberation.
No problem. A similar language and culture was part of it; but the more damning part was the propaganda that flowed into Macedonia once Turkish authorities allowed the Bulgarian Church jurisdiction in Macedonia in the 1870s. Instead of learning about Macedonian history, culture and language, students were being told they were Bulgarian and began learning the Bulgarian language and history.
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