The article is devoted to the fact that the Russo — Turkish war of 1828-1829 led to the mass resettlement of Bulgarians in Bessarabia, which was part of the Russian Empire since 1812. Transdanubian settlers received 50 dess. of land per family. The Bulgarians became colonists. Their legal status was enshrined in the “Charter of Foreign Colonies in the Empire.” They were subordinated to the Trusteeship Committee for Foreign Immigrants of the Southern Territory of Russia and the Office for Transdanubian Immigrants. They had the opportunity to buy land outside the colonies, to engage in handicrafts and trade. The Bulgarians were released from military service. At the same time, the tsarist government paid little attention to the education of Transdanubian settlers, without allocating funds from the state budget. The education of the children of the Bessarabian Bulgarians was entrusted directly to the colonial societies. The Crimean War of 1853-1856 changed the position of the Bulgarians. Many of them voluntarily joined the Russian army to fight against foreign invaders. The Bulgarians defended Sevastopol, took part in the siege of the Turkish fortress of Silistria, and carried out a border guard in the ranks of the Danube Cossack army. Transdanubian settlers donated food and raised money for military needs. Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War had a negative effect on their future because according to Article XXI of the Paris Peace Treaty, the three southern counties of Bessarabia came under the jurisdiction of the Principality of Moldavia. Outside Russia, there were 40 colonies with a population of 22,365 people. Thanks to the efforts of the Russian authorities, from 1857 to 1860 only 500 families of Bulgarian colonists returned to the land of their second homeland. Transdanubian migrants who remained within Russia found themselves in a difficult economic situation due to the severance of economic ties associated with the new border division. In addition, they had to provide apartments to Cossack troops and border guards. Despite all the difficulties, the Bulgarians remained colonists. The Russian government retained this status, hoping to attract new Slavic settlers from the Balkan possessions of the Ottoman Empire.
Source: Turkov V. (2021). Migration and Settlement of Bulgarians in the Territory of Bessarabia in the 30-50s of XIX century. Consensus. (1): 86-95
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