Bulgaria became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1396. In the late nineteenth century, a growing tide of nationalism had been spreading across Europe, which had been threatening the break up of the western parts of the Ottoman Empire.
In April 1876, uprisings in other parts of the Ottoman Empire spread to Bulgaria. The suppression of the revolts by the Ottomans was horrific and when the atrocities were made public to the West and Russia, international condemnation was widespread. In April 1877, Russia formally declared war on the Ottoman Empire. The war ended in March 1878 with the signing of the San Stefano peace treaty which created the independent state of Bulgaria.
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