The economic development of Bulgaria after the Unification

The unification in 1885 had a positive impact on the economic development of the Principality of Bulgaria. It created an economic unit almost twice as large, removed some of the economic difficulties and restrictions created by the Berlin Treaty and created space and more favorable conditions for the development of capitalist relations in all spheres of economic life, historians are unanimous.


It remains the main branch of the country’s economy, but significant changes are taking place in it as well. The process of devastation and reduction in the number of independent farms continued (for the period 1889-1893, this reduction was 18%).

The mass destruction of poor and middle-class farmers was accompanied by a process of rapid concentration of land ownership. After 1893, the period of mass ruination of the peasants gradually passed, and the number of ruined peasants was already smaller than the number of newly created agricultural holdings along the lines of hereditary divisions.

Agriculture continues to develop extensively, with the largest increase in grain production. In the 1990s, its volume was more than 50% compared to the level at the Liberation.

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Animal husbandry recorded a significant increase and this led to a change in the structure of agricultural production. In 1892, the share of animal husbandry in the total amount of national income amounted to 17.6% and the tendency is towards a continuous increase. The commodity value of agricultural production is also increasing, which in the second half of the 1990s averaged 22-25%.

The industry

In the development of industry after 1885, several significant trends are noticeable – the decline of traditional craftsmanship and the emergence of capitalist industry, organized primarily by wealthy craftsmen and wealthy merchants.

The emergence of capitalist industry is the most essential process in the development of industry. But this happened at a relatively slow pace in the 1980s, as the competition of imported industrial products and the low import duties inherited from Turkey’s trade agreements with European countries, imposed on Bulgaria by the Berlin Treaty, had a restraining influence.

Lack of capital also hampers the development of local industry. With the expiration of the trade agreements with Turkey in 1889-1890, the Principality of Bulgaria began negotiations for the conclusion of independent trade agreements. The first was concluded with England and entered into force on January 1, 1890. After that, similar agreements were concluded with Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary and other countries. Under these agreements, the import duty has been increased from 8% to 10.5%, which significantly improves the conditions for the development of local industry.

The money

Money circulation in the country is maintained by the Bulgarian National Bank. From 1885, banknotes with gold content were also put into circulation. The central bank strictly observes legal restrictions on bank issuance, and only in the second half of the 1990s did the amount of issued banknotes begin to exceed gold availability by 1.03 to 2.8 times.

The gold reserves of the Bulgarian National Bank allow it to maintain the exchange rate of the lev against foreign currency at an almost proportional level, which means that 1 gold lev is equal to 1 gold franc.

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The article is in bulgaria

Tags: economic development Bulgaria Unification

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