Thus, Bulgarians, like other Christians, were subjected to heavy taxes and a small portion of the Bulgarian populace experienced partial or complete Islamisation, It restored national consciousness and became a key factor in the liberation struggle, resulting in the 1876 April Uprising.
Up to 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion.
After his death Byzantine domestic policies changed and a series of unsuccessful rebellions broke out, the largest being led by Peter Delyan.
In 1185 Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV organised a major uprising which resulted in the re-establishment of the Bulgarian state.
Bulgaria is a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralisation.
It is a member of the European Union, NATO, and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and has taken a seat at the UN Security Council three times.
In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc.
Most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia.
The Bulgars gradually mixed with the local population, adopting a common language on the basis of the local Slavic dialect. Paganism was abolished in favour of Eastern Orthodox Christianity under Boris I in 864.
This conversion was followed by a Byzantine recognition of the Bulgarian church After his conquest of Bulgaria, Basil II prevented revolts and discontent by retaining the rule of the local nobility and by relieving the newly conquered lands of the obligation to pay taxes in gold, allowing them to be paid in kind instead.
Organised prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period.
Its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Greeks, Persians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Alans and Huns.