Rumelia 1815-1879

The name Rumelia was largely applied to the Ottoman possessions in Europe (except Bosnia and the areas to the north of the Danube), for the most part in Ottoman possession since the 14th respectively 15th century.
Serbia was proclaimed an autonomous principality in 1830 (her independence recognized in 1878), the same year Greece gained her independence. In 1864 an administrative reform was passed; new subprovinces (Vilayets) were formed, within Rumelia the Vilayet of the Danube (or Tuna Vilayet, 1864), those of Ioannina and Salonica (1867).
The Tuna Vilayet - Bulgaria north of the Balkans Mts. - was something of an experiment. Under Governor Mithad Pasha, the printing press was introduced (at the provincial capital in Ruscuk); roads and bridges were constructed; the number of schools - both of schools for Turks and of schools for Bulgarians - increased significantly in the following decade.

Rumelia was a caleidoscope; christian Bulgarians, Greeks, Serbs, Muslim Turks, Albanians, Macedonians, as well as small communities of Armenians, Jews (they formed the population majority in Salonica), Vlachs were forming an ethnic patchwork. As the Empire was Islamic, the Muslim community dominated; the non-Muslims being subject to the additional per capita tax.
Centers of Muslim culture were the mosques and madrasas of cities such as Edirne (Adrianople), Üsküb (Skopje), Monastir, Pristina, Filibe (Plovdiv) etc.

In 1876, the German and French consuls in Salonica were killed by a rioting mob.

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium entry Rumelia, posted by macottrum
Modern History of Thrace, timeline in English, pro-Greek
DOCUMENTS Map : Europe in 1700, from euratlas. The map shows the Elayet of Rumelia including all of Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and the Dobrudja.
Macedonia during the Turkish Rule, from The Archive of Macedonia, has numerous documents in facsimile
Map : Rumelia in 1856, from A Brief Historical Atlas of Albania-One-Nation-All
Ethnic Map of Rumelia, by G. Lejean, 1861, by McKenzie/Irby 1867, by H. Kiepert, 1876, by K. Sax 1878, from A Brief Historical Atlas of Albania-One-Nation-All
The Christian Uprising in the East (Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung 1854; Greeks at Arta), from Russian Military History
REFERENCE R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge Concise Histories 1997 pp.140-147
H.J. Kornrumpf, Felix Kanitz und sein Beitrag zur Osmanischen Geschichte auf dem Balkan (1985) (Felix Kanitz and his contribution to Ottoman History on the Balkans), in : Analecta Isisiana LV, Istanbul : Isis 2001, pp.113-124, in German [G]
H.J. Kornrumpf, Zur Verwaltungsgliederung der Dobrudscha in den letzten Jahren der Osmanischen Herrschaft (1978) (on the administrative organization of the Dobruja in the last years of Ottoman rule), in : Analecta Isisiana LV, Istanbul : Isis 2001, pp.351-367, in German [G]
H.J. Kornrumpf, Zur Wirtschaft und Infrastruktur des Donauvilayets (1986) (on economy and infrastructure of the Tuna Vilayet), in : Analecta Isisiana LV, Istanbul : Isis 2001, pp.411-424, in German [G]
Andrew Mango, Atatürk.The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey. Woodstock : Overlook 1999

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2002, last revised on August 11th 2008

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