""Shoot the teacher!"": Education and the roots of the Macedonian struggle

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Education brought nationalism from Western Europe to the nineteenth century Balkans, upsetting the theocratic order of the Ottoman Empire. The children of Christian merchants journeyed abroad for better education and many returned imbued with nationalism and a determination to agitate against Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire's structure permitted Christians to educate themselves, allowing the educated returnees to inspire future generations. The educated generations made vital contributions to the revolutionary uprisings in Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria, which led to independence. However, no one nation dominated the mixed population of Ottoman Macedonia. Competition from neighbouring states intensified after 1878 with teachers arriving to vie for the loyalty of the population. This "Education Race" produced new generations of patriots for the rival nations. Additionally, a group of Macedonian Slavs emerged who declared "Macedonia for the Macedonians," and initiated an armed uprising in 1903 that marked the onset of the Macedonian Struggle of 1903-1 908.

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Department of History - Simon Fraser University
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Thesis (M.A.)