Biography of Zar de Bulgaria Fernando I (1861-1948)

Prince (1887-1908) and Tsar of Bulgaria (1908-1918), son of Prince August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born in Vienna, on 26 February the year 1861, and died removed on its German possessions of Coburg, in 1948.

From a very young joined the Austrian army. It was a great expert on botany, activity is that was when he/she was called to the throne of Bulgaria, in the year 1887, after the abdication, the previous year, of Battenberg Alejandro. On 7 July the year 1887 he/she was proclaimed King of Bulgaria by the Assembly gathered in the town of Tyrnovo. Although the regia choice was not recognized by the European powers - and especially by Russia, Fernando I was installed in Bulgaria, adopting a cautious posture of respect for the Government formed by the dictator Stambulov. In 1891, despite the manifest opposition of Russia, Fernando I was recognized by Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Turkey. In 1893 he/she married the Catholic Princess María Luisa de Parma, which alienated him further with the Orthodox Russia. Thanks to the support of a large part of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie and the European powers, Fernando I could feel more secure on the throne, which allowed him to dissolve the Government of Stambulov to form a new Cabinet, in front of which placed Stoilov, in 1894, manifestly russophile. After grant amnesties to all supporters of a policy approach to Russia, Fernando I became the Orthodox religion, as well as his son and successor, Prince Boris; the first consequence of this was the definitive recognition of Russia towards its Government. Fernando I conducted a fruitful diplomatic trip to France, where he/she signed with that country several trade agreements and a Covenant of peace and collaboration.

Accepted by all the European powers and taking advantage of the obvious decomposition and weakness of the Ottoman Empire, Fernando I declared the independence of Bulgaria, simply be then Tsar of Bulgaria, in 1908, after having annexed, by means of weapons, the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fernando I put into practice an ambitious political programme which resulted in the establishment of the Balkan League, in the year 1912, composed of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro, under the undisputed leadership of Bulgaria. Fernando I pursued the creation of what he/she called "the great Bulgaria". The political success of the League came with the landslide victory obtained over the Turks, in the same year. The protection of Russia to the Balkan League aroused fear and suspicion of Berlin and Vienna, so they encouraged and supported to Fernando I in its progressive action of expansion in the Balkans provided changed its policy of alliances with Russia. This fact greatly deteriorated Bulgaria relations with Serbia and Russia, which crystallized in the attack of Bulgaria on Serbia and Greece the following year, and caused also the second Balkan war (see Balkan wars), in which Bulgaria was defeated and humiliated.

After the outbreak of the first world war, Fernando I maintained a neutral attitude during the first year of the conflict. But after weighing the possibilities that each side had signed a treaty with Turkey and came fully into the conflict defending the interests of the central powers (Austria, Germany and Turkey), in the year 1915, so he/she followed the same fate as these. On 4 October of the year 1918, following the signing of the Treaty of Nevilly, Fernando I was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Boris III. Retired their possessions of Coburg, he/she died in 1948.

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