The modern history of Macedonia is usually considered to date from the conquest of Thessaloniki by Murad II in 1430 and coincides with the Ottoman occupation of the region. The first four centuries of Ottoman domination (1430-1821) were characterized by drastic changes in population and slow economic growth, but also by vague revolutionary plans which, after 1700, were put into action and took on greater dimensions.
Map of Macedonia, Thessaly and Epiros
Engraving by C. Cellarius, 1774
After the Revolution of 1821 and the liberation of southern Greece, the situation in Macedonia was affected by successive uprisings, administrative and legislative reforms that anticipated the Hatt-i-Humayun of 1856 and the elevation of the region's economic activity to an international level.
Finally, after 1870, the national and economic rivalry among the newly formed Balkan states, as well as the Great Powers' attempt to wield their political and economic influence over the last European provinces of the Ottoman Empire, gave rise to the Macedonian Question. This passed into a new phase after the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the cessation of the Ottoman occupation of northern Greece.