People's Republic of Bulgaria

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People's Republic of Bulgaria
Народна Република България  (Bulgarian)  
Narodna Republika Balgariya  
Maritsa Rushes  (1946–1947)
Шуми Марица  (Bulgarian)
Shumi Maritsa  (transliteration)
Our Republic, Hail!  (1947–1951)
Републико наша, здравей!  (Bulgarian)
Republiko nasha, zdravey!  (transliteration)
Dear Bulgaria, Land of Heroes  (1951–1964)
Българийо мила, земя на герои  (Bulgarian)
Bulgariyo mila, zemya na geroi  (transliteration)
Dear Motherland  (from 1964)
Мила Родино  (Bulgarian)
Mila Rodino  (transliteration)
The People's Republic of Bulgaria until 1989
The People's Republic of Bulgaria until 1989
StatusSatellite state of the Soviet Union[a]
and largest city
42°41′N 23°19′E / 42.683°N 23.317°E / 42.683; 23.317
Official languagesBulgarian
Official scriptCyrillic
Secular state (de jure)
State atheism (de facto)
Bulgarian Orthodoxy (majority dominant)
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic (1946–1947)
Unitary socialist republic (1947–1950)
Unitary Marxist–Leninist one–party socialist republic (1950–1989)
Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic (1989–1990)
General Secretary 
• 1946–1949
Georgi Dimitrov
• 1949–1954
Vulko Chervenkov
• 1954–1989
Todor Zhivkov
• 1989–1990
Petar Mladenov
Head of state 
• 1946–1947 (first)
Vasil Kolarov
• 1989–1990 (last)
Petar Mladenov
Head of government 
• 1946–1949 (first)
Georgi Dimitrov
• 1990 (last)
Andrey Lukanov
LegislatureNational Assembly
State Council (1971–1990)
Historical eraCold War
15 September 1946
14 December 1955
18 May 1971
15 November 1990
12 July 1991
• Total
110,994 km2 (42,855 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 1946
• 1989
HDI (1989)0.918[1]
very high
CurrencyBulgarian lev
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+359
ISO 3166 codeBG
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Republic of Bulgaria
  • a. ^ All permanent non-Soviet members of the Warsaw Pact, except Romania, were "European colonies".[2]

The People's Republic of Bulgaria (PRB; Bulgarian: Народна Република България (НРБ), pronounced [nɐˈrɔdnɐ rɛˈpublikɐ bɐɫˈɡarijɐ] Narodna Republika Balgariya, NRB) was the official name of Bulgaria, when it was a socialist republic from 1946 to 1990.

Background[change | change source]

It was ruled by the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) together with its coalition partner, the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union. Bulgaria was closely allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, being part of Comecon and member of the Warsaw Pact. The Bulgarian resistance movement during World War II deposed the Kingdom of Bulgaria administration in the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944 which ended the country's alliance with the Axis powers and led to the People's Republic in 1946.

Society[change | change source]

The BCP modelled its policies after those of the Soviet Union. They transformed the country over the course of a decade from an agrarian peasant society into an industrialized socialist society.

In the 1950s[change | change source]

In the mid-1950s and after the death of Stalin, the party's hardliners lost influence and a period of social liberalization and stability followed under Todor Zhivkov.

Since 1960s[change | change source]

After a new energy and transportation infrastructure was made, by 1960 manufacturing became the dominant sector of the economy and Bulgaria became a major exporter of household goods and later of computer technologies. They earned the nickname of "Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc". The country's high productivity levels and high scores on social development rankings made it a model for other socialist countries' policies.

Disestablishment[change | change source]

In 1989, political reforms were started. Todor Zhivkov, who had served as head of the party since 1954, was removed from office in a BCP congress. In 1990, under the leadership of Aleksandar Lilov, the BCP changed its name to the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and adopted social democracy and democratic socialism in place of Marxism–Leninism. Following the BSP victory in the 1990 election, which was the first openly contested multi-party election since 1931, the name of the state was changed to the Republic of Bulgaria. Geographically, the People's Republic of Bulgaria had the same borders as present-day Bulgaria. It bordered the Black Sea to the east; Romania to the north; Yugoslavia (via SRs Serbia and Macedonia) to the west and Greece and Turkey to the south.

References[change | change source]