This chapter serves as an introduction to the Macedonian Question from the 1870s to the 1930s. It consists of three sections: the first section discusses the ‘national identity’ of the peasants in Ottoman Macedonia, and argues that they did not have a clear-cut national identity as they were still locked into pre-modern, and mainly religious, forms of belonging. The second section offers a narrative of the main political events in the region, and covers the emergence and role of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO) as well as political developments in Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria with relation to Macedonia. The third section investigates the policy of the Balkan communist movement towards Macedonia, and shows that the Communists were no less divided over the issue than their respective governments.
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