Bulgaria: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government in the country of Bulgaria.



Location--Southeastern Europe, in the eastern corner of the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Romania to the north, most of the northern boundary defined by the course of the Danube River. Bordered by the Black Sea to the east, by Greece and Turkey to the south, and by Yugoslavia to the west.

How Created--Thrace, as Bulgaria was known in ancient times, was 1st conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C., then by the Romans in 46 A.D. Roman rule lasted 500 years and was followed by a massive invasion of Slavs, who completely absorbed the Thracians. The next invaders were the Bulgars, a warlike and nomadic tribe from the central Asian steppes, who were also absorbed by the more numerous Slavs and left behind little of note but their name. In both the 9th and 13th centuries Bulgaria possessed a large southeastern European empire, but by 1397 the Ottoman Turks had seized complete control of the area. Bulgaria suffered under Turkish rule for 500 years. It was finally liberated by Czarist Russia and granted full national independence in 1878.

Size--43,000 sq. mi. (111,000 sq. km.), roughly the size of Ohio.

Population--8,850,000: Bulgarian, 87.9%; Turkish, 9.5%; Gypsy, 1.8%; Armenian, Macedonian, and others, 0.8%.

Who Rules--According to the constitution of May, 1971, "all power resides in the working people of town and country." Chief legislative body is the National Assembly. The State Council is the executive power, and its President is also Premier. The Council of Ministers administrates the government.

Who REALLY Rules--The Politburo of the Bulgarian Communist party. Bulgaria is the most loyal and orthodox of all Soviet satellites, and its policies copy those of the U.S.S.R. in nearly every respect.

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