The Search for independence, Macedonia

The title of the essay is "The Search for independence, Macedonia", the reason I decided to do this essay on this question is because I have lived and stydied in my society enough to know is it really independent or not. Back home I had the chance to talk to people and see their point of view on this matter, of course all of them are patriotic and say that "Macedonia is independend and it will stay independetn forever". But will it stay independent or not is not the argument. My argument is, is the country independent or are the people just deluding themselves.

To explain that I stated the Historical bacground from the time of Alexander the Great,Otoman Empire,Balkan Wars, First and Second World War, Period of Yugoslavian Federation till the end of the Federation and the final gaining of independence for Macedonia. So after the whole process of struglle troughout the centuries from the time when it was a great empire and now when it is an insignificant part of the world did Macedonia sucseed to raise itself or did it fall in the darkness forever, long time ago?

I am clearly stating in the conclusion that until the country overcomes all the obsticales sated in the essay it will not acheeve its full independence because there will be the other countries to give statements like the ones where they say that all the culture and tradition belongs to them. Of course forgeting about the fact that long time ago we were all slavs and some of the traditions are common for all the region. but I hope that it will happen like the rest of the Macedonian people.

Introduction Macedonia is a crossroads where East and West meet, where European and Asian civilizations unite to create new values. Macedonia is the heart of Balkan Peninsula. Something that is shown, as true is that Macedonian geography had its contribution to a lot of problems connected with Macedonian's independence. Macedonia with its valleys full of graves, rivers and lakes with churches and monasteries built around them, a mountain with caves is the right place where History and Geography meet.

Looking at the past, we can see that Balkan Peninsula usually mean endless conflicts and wars, conspiracies and murders, undignified human being, misfortune and suffering. And however, Macedonian's lakes have shined like mirrors among all the rivers of blood and the towns in flames. On the other hand Balkan Peninsula also mean Alexander the Grate's venture, place where Christ's apostles brought Christianity, where the Son of God spoke Slavic for the firs time, where the great educator, Clement of Ohrid laid the foundations of Slavic literature.

And one of first conclusion that is imposing is undoubtedly that, the Macedonian people have survived in this Balkan Peninsula thanks to its own culture as creative gift and despite all the horrors of war and sufferings. If we speak about the Macedonian history we found that it has been interpreted in different ways, from different aspects and viewpoints. It has been usurped falsified, supplemented and altered. Written by others, who did not have a lot of knowledge, it has been adjusted depending on interests. Usually it has been broadened and narrowed, according to the situation and various interests.

Exactly the individuality of Macedonia has been disputed. To Macedonia and Macedonian's were given different names, difficult to pronounce and difficult to remember. Statues of kings and gods have been demolished, old manuscripts have been burnt, and graves have been erased. Books written in Macedonian language have been burnt by Bulgarians and Greeks in order to deny the existance of the language. Also a lot of creative achievements produced during the centuries in Macedonia have been disappeared, and nobody knows how.

But despite all attempts, despite long domination, despite the destruction's, migrations, deportations and naming and renaming, the Macedonian people hardly but anyway succeeded to preserve its individuality, as well as individuality of its culture and as result to create independence of own state. Macedonia, therefore, exists and endures by the rules of its own development and by its own manner. Basic data on Macedonia Macedonia is South European-state on the Balkan Peninsula, bounded by Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. It belongs to the group of small continental states.

Such geographical features beside the above-mentioned negative influences, on other side give broad opportunities for geographic connections, traffic communications and economic links. Macedonia is mountainous country with many lowlands. As well as Macedonia is characterized by develop hydrographic net. As population concerned Macedonia has one of most complex ethnic population in Europe. Macedonian Slavs made up 67 percent of the population. These people are traditionally Orthodox Christians and speak a South Slavic language called Macedonian. Neighboring Bulgaria does not recognize Macedonian as separate language.

While the overall population growth rate in Macedonia is relatively low, the ethnic Albanians have a growth rate substantially higher than that of the Macedonians. That growth rate is in disorder with the economy growth rate, which is one serious problem. In relation to the age structure it is interesting to mention that the number of people between ages 0-19 for instance in capital Skopje make up to 30. 0 percent of the total population. This means there is the possibility for rising number of people looking for employment when unemployment is constantly large problem.

Macedonia throughout History I have mentioned before that the Balkan's history was characterized by military and political strife. Because Balkan Peninsula was politically and economically important as an let say bridge between Europe and Asia and the main way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea, conflicts between Balkan peoples and nations had been common. Balkans also has played a key role in European power struggles, for example a huge conflict like the First World War1 started there. However Macedonia existed as an independent state as early as the ancient period.

It was a slave-owning society located on the territory known by the same name, but previously called Ematia. Ancient Macedonia had bordered with Greece in south, Epirus in the west, Illyria in the northwest and Thrace in the East. The population of this state had consisted of various nations. It was supposed that they were all been close to the Illyrians, the Thracians and the Greeks. Apart from this supposition, in the past Macedonia did not have close contacts with the Greek State and culture. Macedonia had its own culture and concerning the state it was organized on a very primitive basis.

In the moment when the processes of development entered Macenonia started uniting its territory. Alexander I was the first to unite Macedonia. During the Philip II authority the borders of Macedonia were significantly expanded. He reorganized the military, defeated Greeks and raised Macedonia among the most powerful states. Later, his son, Alexander the Great in the perion of 356 to 323 B. C. continued military territorial expansion. After he destroyed the powerful state of his southern neighbors, Alexander moved to the East and reached as far as India.

Than Macedonia became the center of great empire. But Roman's aspirations toward the Balkans were present(215-205, 200-193, 171-167 B. C. ) and Macedonia falls under Roman rule. Macedonia was divided into regions within the Roman provinces and the Balkan Peninsula become Byzantine Empire. During that period, the power of the knezes increased as well as the acceptance of Christianity. Feudalism established itself as a social order. One of the most famous rebellions against feudal system was by the Knez Nikola.

The sons of knez Nikola (David, Moses, Aaron, and Samuil) rebel against Bulgarian authority and establish the medieval Macedonian state, which in 997 becomes the Macedonian Empire. This kingdom became one of the most powerful in the Balkans. When the knez was assassinated Macedonia fell under Bulgarian rule. Later Czar Dushan managed the whole territory of Macedonia to put under Serbian rule. Until the late Middle Ages, Ottoman Turks took control of almost the entire Balkan Peninsula. Macedonians took an active part in the struggle against Turkish rule.

The largest Macedonian uprising against the Turks took place during the Austro-Turkish war and is known as the Karpos2 Uprising(1689). In this period large social changes happened in Macedonia as transition from a barter economy to a monetary economy, growth of cities, beginnings of a cultural and national awakening, expansion of education, publication of the books in the Macedonian language and development of Macedonian culture as whole. It is important to stress that these were the first steps of gaining an independent state.

Particularly the appearance of several very well organized resistance against five-century long Turkish occupation. Those were great achievements toward the independence. These were also years when the first socialist groups were formed in Macedonia. They claimed that independence of Macedonia was an important matter of the Macedonians and also propagated the idea of the creation of an independent Macedonian Republic. Actually in the 19th century, one Balkan nation after another developed strong nationalist movements and won independence from the Turks.

Worth to mention here is that by the 1890's in Macedonia a national movement was developed. In 1896 the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization /VMRO/ tried to resist the influence of the regional powers, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, which wanted control over Macedonia. They have used the slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians". However, It was failed attempting. As a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 entire historical region of Macedonia was divided up among Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia.

After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the provinces of Croatia, Slovenia united with Serbia and Montenegro to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians. Later this kingdom has been renamed in Yugoslavia, which part was Macedonia too. In this period the name of Macedonia did not mentioned and the people were not recognized. But probably, thinking about the later results, Macedonians did not stop to develop as nation in whole aspects of their life, cultural, social, and educational. In the Second World War Yugoslavia and Greece fell to the Germans early in 1941 despite their stubborn resistance.

For a brief period during the Second World War the territory of Macedonia was over Bulgaria, but afterwards was incorporated into Yugoslavia. The idea of independence of Macedonia come true later in 1944, when the first Macedonian state was proclaimed but within the Yugoslav Federation. The founding of Yugoslav Macedonia in that time was mean full development of a Macedonian nationality with its own recognized language, culture and institutions. Thanks to Tito3 who was very tolerant of national groups and national issues in general, Macedonians succeeded in furthering their identity within Yugoslavia.

For independence of Macedonia there is important that in mid 1989 the ruling League of Communists of Macedonia, acting in line with developments elsewhere in Yugoslavia, committed itself to the introduction of multi-party politics. The political party that most hardly promoted Macedonian nation is the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party of Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE). They pledged as "all free Macedonians being united in a Macedonian state". The party took a strong line on the issue of the country's name as well as being relatively hostile to all other ethnic groups or nations.

There were two ethnic Albanian parties – the party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP) and the more radical National Democratic Party. There were the first signs that the Albanian minorities were becoming increasing radicals. Finally in 1991 and 1992 four Yugoslav republics, and Macedonia too, declared their independence from Yugoslavia. Those republics were (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia), Serbia and Montenegro preserved the name "Yugoslavia". On 8th September Macedonia becomes really and finally Independent State. It proclaimed the independent Republic of Macedonia along with its Constitution on 17th November 1991.