To the Issue of Change in the Role of the Danube River and the Danube Cities in the Foreign Trade of Bulgaria (1878–1912) Cover Image

Към въпроса за промяната в ролята на река Дунав и на крайдунавските градове във външната търговия на България (1878–1912)
To the Issue of Change in the Role of the Danube River and the Danube Cities in the Foreign Trade of Bulgaria (1878–1912)

Author(s): Margarita Marinova
Subject(s): History, Economy, National Economy, Business Economy / Management, Economic history, Local History / Microhistory, Modern Age, Recent History (1900 till today)
Published by: Център за стопанско-исторически изследвания
Keywords: The Danube River; Danube cities; foreign trade; relative share of imports and exports; Danube merchant fleet; railway policy; hinterland; grains

Summary/Abstract: This article studies the process of restriction of foreign trade along the Danube River and of the separate port cities and the results thereof. It is part of the general policy of the Bulgarian state after the Liberation for enhancing the trading role and importance of the Black Sea and the land routes. The survey has been based on economic and historical research, statistical sources and analyses of foreign trade and transport policy of the country, and the development of the Danube cities and their districts. The analysis shows that, mainly under the influence of the transport policy, the Danube River whose relative share in the total imports compared to the Black sea and land routes ranked first, and in imports over the period 1886-1895 – second, in the period between 1906 and 1910 it was already ranked third in the total imports and total exports.The reasons why the Danube ports remained major export centres of grains to Northwestern and large areas of Central and Northeastern Bulgaria have been explained. The role of the towns of Vidin, Lom, Oryahovo, Nikopol, Svishtov, Rousse, Tutrakan and Silistra in the import and export trade has been outlinedand special attention has been paid to the favoritism of Rousse at the expense of Svishtov. Attention has also been drawn to the indifference of the state towards the proposals of the Rousse Chamber of Commerce for the construction of Danube merchant fleet. The most important critical views of representatives of the Bulgarian economic science on the government policy in the field of railway construction and redirection of exports from the Danube River to the Black Sea have been outlined. Data on how the Bulgarian export of grains on the Danube River managed to overcome the dependency from Romania around the year 1912 have been presented. In conclusion, it has been stated that the reorientation of Bulgarian foreign trade from the Danube River to the Black Sea has been supported by important economic and political arguments. Concurrently, the state has ignored certain conditions that give stability of the foreign trade route on the Danube River and prerequisites for better prospects in future. The state has attempted to model the decline in the trading role of the Danube cities by underestimating major export opportunities of their natural hinterland, which showed "resistance" to such policy.

  • Issue Year: I/2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 365-386
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Bulgarian