It was a memorable day on July 12, 1887, when Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria was crowned as Knyaz of Bulgaria at the Vrana Palace.
The ceremony was much more prestigious than in history, thanks to Ferdinand's efforts. At least, the guests who attended had much more influence.
Crown Prince Edward of the British Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary, and the King of Greece showed the support of the Great Powers by coming to the event in person.
It achieved Ferdinand's aim. He was able to deter the Bulgarian factions with the help of external power. He was able to lay the basis for later reforms.
Bulgaria has excellent natural terrain, with mountains, hills and plains, lakes and rivers. The main rivers are the Danube and the Maritsa.
It is also lack of abundant natural resources, with its major reserves such as coal, lead, zinc, copper, iron, uranium, manganese, chromium, mineral salts and a small amount of oil.
"In general, it is suitable for the beginning of the new period. It has been ruled by the Ottomans for a long time and just gained independence. There are no big aristocrats and big capitalists in the country. The initial start of progress is very good, but there is not much potential!" While Ferdinand had long been prepared, he still could not help but review.
"Stambolov, any good suggestions you have about personnel appointments and dismissals?" Ferdinand asked calmly.
Stambolov was a Bulgarian politician and strong prime minister (1887-1894). He was regarded as the Bismarck of Bulgaria.
In 1870 - 1872 he studied at the seminary in Odessa. In his early years, he joined the revolt against Turkish rule in Bulgaria as part of the underground revolt movement.
In 1875 and 1876, he led small-scale uprisings against the Turks. When Bulgaria gained autonomy in 1878, he was elected to the newly formed parliament and became its speaker in 1884.
After the abdication of Knyaz Alexander I in 1886, he crushed the Russian influence and instated Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as Knyaz of Bulgaria.
After the new Knyaz's enthronement, he formed a cabinet that continued to oppose Russia during his reign. He established good relations with Turkey and expanded the Bulgarian influence in Macedonia.
He used terror to deal with the rising plots and mutinies against the regime. When Knyaz Ferdinand I regained sovereign power, he made Stambolov resign as prime minister (May 31, 1894).
Ferdinand has no plans to change now. He has only just ascended the throne. The most important thing now is to stabilize the situation, and there is no proper one.
"Your Highness, after careful consideration, I would like to submit a list of the members of the cabinet as well as the main government officials for your approval." said Stambolov as he handed over the document.
"Well, it is done! Let them take office as soon as possible! There will be a cabinet meeting next week. You will have to come up with a policy proposal. You can leave now, I need to rest." Ferdinand gave his dismissal order with resentment.
"So you want to be a powerful minister now? You're too desperate! At least you have to make things better by offering a few more candidates! It is not a good idea to have all of them set. They treat me like a rubber stamp!" Ferdinand secretly thought.
"Bulgaria still has the advantage of growth. First: there is no strong investor, the industrial base is relatively poor. It is possible to fully monopolize the business. There is almost no trouble on the part of the government. Second: They are very rich. There is no such thing as a technology barrier now. I can get the technology I want!"
"The government should let them go to develop agriculture intensely! What kind of industry do you play? You're still waiting for a loan to pay your salary! By the way, we also need to develop education. However, it is better to simply use literacy classes now. Encourage patriotic youth to spread cultural literacy in the same spirit. It is good to give out some rewards, and save a..." Ferdinand is busy with planning.
"Your Highness, the cabinet ministers have arrived. They are waiting in the main hall now. Is it time to start the meeting?" The chamberlain reminded him.
"Yes, I'll be right there."
"Excuse me, Mr. Stambolov," Ferdinand spoke up.
"Yes, Your Highness, please speak!" Stambolov said with some grumbling.
"Mr. Stambolov, how was this plan made? How much population does Bulgaria have now? And how much of it is in agriculture and how much in industry? What is the situation with regard to education? What is the situation with regard to the resources available in the country?" Ferdinand nonchalantly exposed the problems in it. He gave Stambolov a hard time and vetoed the vague plan.
"This ~~ Your Highness, Bulgaria now has a population of 3,104,500 people. Most of them are farmers. The education status and the resources available in the country have not been taken into account. Well, I admit that this plan was made in a bit of a hurry." Stambolov said after a short time.
"It seems that there are few historical figures who have understood so quickly," Ferdinand thought to himself. He did say: "Mr. Prime Minister, we are obliged to the Bulgarian people. We must understand the reality of the country's affairs before drawing up a program of policy."
"On the matter of personnel salaries, I approve! The rest of them, you have to go back and redo them. The big industrial plan, hell, I've never even heard of any industry in Bulgaria. Be specific about it, do you understand?"
"In terms of demographics, I suggest you focus on agriculture first. We have to consider the interests of the majority! There is also education reform. The focus should be in the direction of science subjects. You may also establish literacy classes first. For industrial development, first figure out the layout of resources, and make plans according to local conditions. I don't want to see anything like this big industrial machine plan again!"
"Sorry, Your Highness, we'll go right back and redo it!" Stambolov said with his head bowed.
Stambolov, on the other hand, was beaten over the head by Ferdinand. His carefully prepared plan was said to be worthless. He had no way to refute it.
In Ferdinand's view, the current Bulgarian government is similar to the Tongmenghui1) during the Xinhai Revolution. A group of idealists who boast about what they can do. They are completely naive in terms of specific policies and strategies.
"Suit yourselves, gentlemen. For the sake of Bulgaria's future, you've come a long way!" After seeing that the cabinet headed by Stambolov had bowed its head, Ferdinand certainly knew that it was enough to see things through.
"For Bulgaria!" A few people who had slumped a moment ago got into high spirits at once.
"Struggle for Bulgaria!"
"Well, not bad. The young patriots are just good at fooling around!" As he looked at this group of cabinet members with an average age of no more than thirty-five, Ferdinand said in his heart dirt quiet.
The Stambolov government was regarded in later times as a regime of police terror. They gained the support of a part of the emerging capitalist and fully sided with the capitalist. They strongly promoted factories and trade.
The peasants and workers, who made up the vast majority, were excluded. The ruling power base was weak.
Most of the clergy and some intellectuals, and the petty capitalist, fought against the radical anti-Russian policy of the government.
1) Tongmenghui, also known as the Chinese United League. It was a republican secret society that existed in Qing Dynasty-era China from August 20, 1905, to August 25, 1912. The Tongmenghui recruited the people of China for a revolution. In 1911, the Tongmenghui returned to China from Japan. They were moving their headquarters to Shanghai and launching the Xinhai Revolution against the government. The predecessor of the Kuomintang.