Ref Number: 102
Ref Number: 102
A street near the hospital “St. Anna” does not impress with a concentration of cultural and historical heritage artefacts, as do others in the neighbourhood. This street, on the other hand, is named after Victorian-era British statesman William Gladstone.
Gladstone, William Ewart, was a British statesman and Liberal politician. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for 12 years, spanned across four non-consecutive terms (the most of any British prime minister), commencing in 1868 and ending in 1894. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer four times, for a total of nearly 12 years.
Gladstone’s link with Bulgarian history, notably garnering public attention to the Bulgarian people during the April Uprising, an effort by the Bulgarians to obtain emancipation from the Ottoman Turks in 1876, is the basis for discovering a street named after him in Bulgaria.
Gladstone’s booklet Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East, released on September 6, 1876, chastised the Disraeli administration for its apathy to the Ottoman Empire’s ruthless repression of the Bulgarian April rebellion.
He was an important participant in the organisation of a public campaign against Benjamin Disraeli’s eastern policy (dubbed the “Bulgarian agitation”).
The booklet was well-received. Gladstone suggested giving Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria autonomy, as well as terminating unconditional English backing for the High Gate. Following the dissolution of Parliament and the staging of a general election in 1880, the Liberal Party won an overwhelming majority.
After nearly 500 years of Ottoman control, the Bulgarian state resurfaced on the political map of Europe during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.
Gladstone vehemently attacked the Treaty of Berlin and Disraeli’s then-British administration in 1878. The Bulgarian state remained split as a result of this pact.
Gladstone endorsed the Bulgarian Tarnovo Constitution and opposed its repeal between 1881 and 1883 because he believed the Bulgarians were politically mature and capable of democratic administration. Gladstone firmly backed the Act of Union of South and North Bulgaria in 1885 and advised neighbouring governments not to resist the “free will” of the Bulgarian people.
Many Bulgarian cities have streets and memorial plaques dedicated to William Gladstone as a mark of respect and gratitude.
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