Macedonia is a historical region that originates from the ancient period. The history of the ancient Macedonian kingdom begins with Caranus, who was the first known Macedonian King (808-778 BC). By the 5th century BC the Macedonians expanded and forged a unified kingdom under Alexander I (498-454 B.C.) The zenith of the Macedonian kingdom, its unity, independence and predominance - political, military and economic - reached its apogee in the 4th century BC when the famous Philip II (- 336 B.C.) and Alexander III (356 - 323 B.C.) ruled the prestigious Kingdom of Macedonia the Great. Alexander III is also known as Alexander the Great.
After the dissolution of the Empire, the territory of Macedonia fell first under Roman and later under Byzantine rule. In the course of several centuries, the ancient Macedonians mixed with other ethnic groups such as Roman colonists.
The penetration of Slavic tribes towards the Balkans ended at the beginning of the seventh century and created a new situation - Macedonia's population mixed with the Slav newcomers but retained the Macedonian name, traditions and culture. At the beginning of this period the Macedonians were organized independently in their own tribal communities (sklavinas). Later, they fell under Byzantine and Bulgarian rule, alternatively.
After the death of Bulgarian czar Peter (969), an uprising started intended to overthrow central Bulgarian rule. The Macedonian brothers David, Moses, Aaron and Samuel headed the uprising. Historical sources indicate that later there were uprisings against the Byzantine Empire as well. When three of the brothers, David, Moses and Aaron, were killed in the battles against the Bulgarians and Byzantines, Samuel (976 - 1014) took over all power. Applying similar battle tactics as Alexander the Great in his numerous quests, Samuel managed to liberate the entire territory of ethnic Macedonia and even expand his kingdom through neighbouring territories reaching Danube in Bulgaria, Peloponnesus in current day Greece, Epirus and current day Albania, Zeta and Srem current day Serbia. At the peak of his kingdom, Samuel moved the seat of his kingdom from the island St. Achilles, Prespa to Ohrid where he was crowned king. In the period from 969 until 1018, a vast empire of the Macedonians emerged, second empire of the Macedonians after the empire of Alexander the Great, the Empire of King Samuel with its capital in Ohrid. Testimonies to this empire are the castles he built, of which the most well known is located above Ohrid, which exists even today. This Empire was destroyed by strong assaults of the Byzantine army headed by the emperor Basil II. The last crucial battle was the battle at the mountain of Belasica (current day eastern Macedonia) in the year 1014. In this battle over 50,000 Macedonian soldiers were killed, whereas 15,000 captured soldiers were blinded. The Byzantines left one eye to every hundredth soldier to lead the others back to their king. When king Samuel learned of the fate of his army, he suffered a heart attack and died on his throne in the Prilep castle. The tradition of King Samuel's state remains deeply rooted in the minds of the Macedonian people, praised in numerous folk tales and folk songs fuelling the fantasies of Macedonian patriots striving towards the future creation of an independent state. (The famous monastery of Vodocha in Strumica, Republic of Macedonia, was built on the site where the soldiers were blinded. (Vodocha - take eyes out, transl.)
The period of expansion of medieval states on the Balkan and in Macedonia was followed by the occupation of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. Macedonia remained a part of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, i.e. until 1912.
By 1870, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, with the help of their patrons France, Russia and Austro-Hungary, liberated themselves from the Ottoman Empire. In the liberation wars, the Greek, Bulgarian and Serb armies did not proceed onto Macedonian territory because it was not theirs. The Greek armies stopped at the mountain Olympus, the Bulgarian at the mountains Rila and Kitka, whereas the Serb armies stopped advancing near Vranje.
In 1870, peace was declared between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia on one side and Turkey on the other. In the period of the Eastern Crisis and the Berlin Congress (1878), Macedonia was left under the Ottomans although some concessions were granted to the people.
During the rule of the Ottomans, the Macedonians organized a number of uprisings against the Turkish yoke headed by leaders called "voivodas". Some of the most famous uprisings were the Mariovo - Prilep uprising (1564-1565), Karposh uprising (1689), the Kresnen Uprising (1878) and many more local uprisings.
Organized in TMORO - Secret Macedonian - Odrin Revolutionary Organization, which was formed in 1893 in Thessalonica (current day Greece).
The greatest uprising in Macedonian history occurred on August 2, 1903, on St. Elias’s Day, when Macedonian revolutionaries organized the Macedonians and the entire population to a rebellion against Ottoman rule. Large parts of Macedonia were liberated. The largest free territory was the town of Krushevo and the territory around it. The Krushevo Republic was declared, the first Republic on the Balkans with a President and Parliament with representatives of all ethnic communities. However, the Republic existed only 10 days, because the Ottoman Empire sent a large army that crushed the uprising and put an end to the Republic and demolished the town and the surrounding villages.
Even after the destruction of the Republic, the Macedonians continued to resist, and the Ottoman rule weakened. Famous leaders for Macedonian liberation and independence were Karposh, Goce Delchev, Jane Sandanski, Nikola Karev, Damjan Gruev, Pitu Guli, Lazo Trpovski, Nikola Parapunov, Dimitar Pop-Gjorgjiev, Nikola Petrov-Rusinski and others.
Macedonian soldiers headed by Jane Sandanski from the organization VMRO took part in the revolution of the Young Turks began in 1908 (Vinica Uprising). After the revolution, the Ottoman Empire was taken over by the Young Turks (one of their leaders was Mustafa Kemal Attaturk who managed to establish the Republic of Turkey after the First World War). The newly formed Parliament of Turkey included in its composition two Macedonians as representatives of Macedonia. In this period, Macedonia was granted the right to national Macedonian self organizing, more precisely autonomy.
However, in 1912 and 1913 three Balkan states - Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece, waged the Balkan wars intending to conquer and divide Macedonia between them. The Balkan Wars between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia ended with the treaty of Bucharest in 1913, with which, in spite of the protests of the ethnic Macedonians, Macedonia was divided into three parts. The Great Powers had no interest in the voice of the Macedonian - the dismemberment of Macedonia had already been accomplished, and no power seriously endorsed revision of the partition. Accordingly, Greece maintained its lion's share of Macedonian territory: 35.169 square kilometers; the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes retained 25.774 square kilometers; and Bulgaria was allowed to take, after minor revision, 6.798 square kilometers.
During World War II (1941-1945), Macedonians took part in the anti-fascist coalition for creating their own state Macedonia, respecting the promise from the Atlantic charter that all nations who take part in the struggle against fascism shall choose their own form of government and shall be afforded "the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want".
As a result, on 11 October 1941 in the Vardar part of Macedonia there was simultaneous uprising against the fascist occupation in Prilep and Kumanovo, where as in 1942 there were uprisings in the Aegean part of Macedonia (in Lerin and Kostur) headed by Lazo Trpovski and in the Pirin part of Macedonia (in Dupnica) headed by Nikola Parapunov. In spite of the lack of coordination, the intention was clear - liberation of the entire territory of Macedonia. However, only the people in the Vardar part managed to create a state in the face of the People's Republic of Macedonia within the framework of then Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. The Macedonians in the Pirin part of Macedonia were granted autonomy and certain cultural and ethnic rights in 1946, but these rights were revoked at the end of the decade at the height of the cold war. In the Aegean part of Macedonia there was a civil war in which the Macedonians took part hoping to acquire certain ethnic and cultural right, however at the end of the civil war hundreds of thousands of Macedonians were exiled and any show of ethnic Macedonian identity was banned.
The Republic of Macedonia was proclaimed at the first session of the Antifascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of Macedonia (on St. Elias’s Day - August 2, 1944). Later, by the provisions of the first Constitution (December 31, 1946), it became a constitutive part of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
The first multi-party elections for representatives in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia were held on November 11th, 1990, establishing parliamentary democracy in Macedonia.
In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations concerning self-determination and equal rights, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted the Declaration for International Recognition of the Republic of Macedonia on September 17th, 1991, which confirmed the will of the citizens to live in a sovereign and independent state. According to the Constitution adopted November 17th, 1991, the Republic of Macedonia is a sovereign, independent, democratic and social state. April 8, 1993, Macedonia becomes a UN member state.