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The society of Macedonia at the end of the 19th century
Macedonian society was a traditional society on the threshold of modernization. In the countryside, farmers lived under almost inhumane conditions, especially in the villages of the large estates, due to large debts and the rise of usury. Livestock breeding flourished in the mountainous regions. Immigration was also quite extensive. Merchants and skilled craftsmen travelled within the Ottoman Empire, making large profits. These mountainous areas were plagued by lawlessness. Many Muslims and Christian robbers constantly terrorized the residents.
In the cities, society was rapidly evolving. The insecurity of the countryside led to the concentration of the population and the creation of a workforce. The simultaneous presence of military forces, European trade representatives and numerous administrative mechanisms accelerated the growth of the cities. The railways gave new life to the economy and favored the spread of new ideas. Along with the machines that entered the lives of the inhabitants, modern schools were built, cultural associations were founded, while newspapers and magazines were militantly announcing their various political and national positions.
Meanwhile, the evolution of community self-government led to the emergence of various social forces, while the impoverishment of farmers and workers upset the social balance. Soon everything revolved around armed national competition.