Romania History

By | January 9, 2023

Romania – national flag

Romania National Flag

The flag was introduced in its current form in 1989. The colors are heraldic and correspond to the base colors of the arms of Wallachia (blue), Transylvania (yellow) and Moldova (red). In 1848, a tricolor in the above colors was adopted, which only became official in 1859, when the country was in fact united. The stripes were originally placed horizontally, in 1867 changed to vertical.

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Romania – prehistory

The oldest finds from Romania are pebble tools and hand wedges from older Paleolithic times. The Middle Paleolithic moustérien cultureis well represented. In younger Paleolithic times, the aurignacia was followed on a local basis in the moustérien tradition by gravetti. Recently, Paleolithic-style paintings have been found in the Cuciulat Cave, including a horse. Settlements from the Mesolithic have been found along the rivers. After 6500 BC. the sparsely populated areas were settled from the south by the oldest peasants, whose settlements, eg Gura Baciului in Transylvania, with painted pottery is associated with the Greek proto-Sesklo culture. From approximately 6000 BC known rich Neolithic cultures. In the Cucuteni culture, the pottery reaches a climax, painted with spiral patterns. Characteristic are clay statues, most famously two seated figures from Cernavoda, and temple models in clay. approximately 4000 BC began the exploitation of copper and gold, and especially from this time are known urban mounds with mighty cultural layers.

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The Bronze Age began approximately 2300 BC The treasure find from Apa includes swords and decorated charcoal axes in bronze, and the treasure from Persinari includes a gold sword, 12 gold daggers and three silver axes; both finds are dated to approximately 1600 BC Iron began to appear approximately 1000 BC; at this time Romania was under the influence of the urnmark culture with the special religious symbolism encompassing sun images and swimming birds, as seen on a boiler wagon from Bujoru. After the founding of Greek colonies on the Black Sea approximately 600 BC a rich Thracian culture emerged in Romania and Bulgaria, culminating in 300 BC. Magnificent gold and silver works are known, for example from princely tombs at Peretu and Aghigiol. approximately 300 BC Celts migrated from Hungary into Transylvania, and several Celtic burial sites are known, including at Ciumeşti, where a tomb of a prince with a helmet has been found, crowned with a large falcon figure. In Moldova, finds from the Poineşti-Lukasevka culture testify to Germanic settlement in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

Romania – history

According to a2zgov, the Romanians consider themselves descendants of the Dacian people who lived in Transylvania and in the plains north of the Danube during the Roman Empire.

The oldest story

In 106, the Roman emperor Trajan established the province of Dacia north of the Danube and in the Carpathians, and the local population was subjected to a systematic Romanization. The Latin language quickly gained prominence, and by 271 Christianity had come to the area. Under pressure from the advancing Goths, Emperor Aurelian had toabandon the province, and 271-275 the Roman legions and officials were evacuated to the provinces south of the Danube along with the upper class of cities. Archaeological research, however, suggests that the majority of the Dacian-Roman population settled, and Christianity seems to have survived. North of the Danube operated in the 300-t. the mission priests Sava and Wulfila, who preached in Latin. After the Goths, the Dacian territory was dominated by the Huns (from 376), the Gepids (from 454) and the Avars (from 558). Under the changing lords, the Dacian-Roman population of mountain shepherds and peasants maintained close contacts with the Byzantine Empire, especially with the province of Scythia (see Dobrogea), and the Romanization process was only interrupted when the Danube border in 602 fell for the massive immigration of Slavic tribes. Balkan.

Historical overview
ca. 6500 BC oldest arable crops
approx. 2300-600 BC Bronze Age
approx. 600-300 BC Thracian cultures on the Black Sea
approx. 300 BC Celtic immigration from Hungary
106 AD Emperor Trajan establishes the province of Dacia north of the Danube
approx. 270 Christianity comes to the area
271-75 the Goths displace the Romans
300 t.-500-t. females, geese and avaras dominate the area
500-600-t. slaves settle on the Romanian Plain
approx. 680 Bulgaria conquers the Romanian Plain
approx. 900 the Magyars conquer Transylvania
1100-1200-t. German and Hungarian immigrants colonize Transylvania
approx. 1300-1350 Moldova and Wallachia become the first Romanian states
1500-t. the principalities of Moldova and Wallachia become sound states during the Ottoman Empire
1829 Moldova and Wallachia become Russian protectorates
1856 after the Crimean War, the Russian protectorate is abolished and the principalities come back under the Ottomans
1862 Alexandru Ioan Cuza unites the principalities under the name of Romania
1878 The Berlin Congress recognizes Romania’s independence
1913 2nd Balkan War, Romania conquers the southern parts of Dobrogea from Bulgaria
1919-20 At the conclusion of the peace after the First World War, the territory of Romania is expanded by e.g. Transylvania and Bessarabia, thus more than doubling the area of ​​the country
1923 Romania gets new constitution
1938 Carol II introduces royal dictatorship
1940 Carol 2. abdicates in favor of her son Mihai 1.; Ion Antonescu becomes the real ruler. Romania is forced to cede Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, central Transylvania to Hungary and southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria.
1941 Romania enters World War II on the side of the Axis Powers
1945 Romania gets Transylvania back
1947 Romania becomes a communist people’s republic
1965 Ceausescu comes to power
1989 the fall of communism; Ceausescu and his wife are executed
1990 Ion Iliescu wins the first free election
2004 Romania becomes a member of NATO
2005 Negotiations with the EU result in Romanian membership of the Union from 2007

The slaves also settled in Transylvania and on the Romanian plain, where, as the upper class of the agrarian society, they came to greatly influence the Neolithic population. Since the area in the second half of 800-t. was conquered by neo-Christian Bulgaria, became Church Slavonic liturgical language, and Cyrillic the alphabet used. Around the year 900, Transylvania was conquered by the Magyars. The plains were conquered by the Petjenegers and then (from the 1100’s) by the Kumans. However, these events had little impact on Romanian ethnogenesis, which is characterized by the gradual merging of the Slavic element with the neo – Latin majority.

The Principalities

Until the peace treaties after World War I, the Romanians in Transylvania (German: Transylvania) were a social underclass that was politically disenfranchised by the leading Hungarian nobility and by German colonists who immigrated in the High Middle Ages. In contrast, the Romanians on the plain south and east of the Carpathian Arch in the 1300’s. form their own states. The Mongol storm of 1240-42 had driven out the Kumans and inflicted heavy blows on both Hungary and Bulgaria, and as the Mongols themselves were gradually weakened by strife, a number of Wallachian nobles took advantage of the resulting power vacuum to form the principality of Wallachia., which came to cover the entire area between the Danube and the Transylvania Alps. This first Romanian state formation was completed by Prince Basarab I, who in 1330 added a scorching defeat to the Hungarian king. The next Romanian state was Moldova, which was established east of the Carpathians 1352-53 as a Hungarian border with the Mongols. In 1359, Army Commander Bogdan I declared the country independent of Hungary, and Moldova was finally consolidated as a state under Roman I (reigned 1391-95), who expelled the Mongols and extended his principality to the Dniester and the Black Sea.

Both Wallachia and Moldova benefited from the lively transit trade between Central Europe and the Black Sea. Sometimes they chose to recognize resp. the Hungarian and the Polish king as lords, but culturally they oriented themselves towards the Orthodox world in the Balkans, especially Bulgaria, which is clearly evident from the architecture, church ornamentation and the literary genres. In 1359, the Patriarch of Constantinople gave his blessing to the creation of the first Romanian metropolitan seat in Wallachia’s capital, Curtea de Argeş, and in 1401, Moldova gained its own metropolitan city of Suceava. Among the many new monasteries were the main centers of learning Vodiţa and Tismana in Wallachia and Moldoviţa and Bistriţa in Moldova. The Church Slavonic language and the Cyrillic alphabet were also used in secular administration.

The Romanian principalities took an active part in the struggle against the advancing Ottomans, but in the long run had to bow to supremacy. From the 1500’s. both Wallachia and Moldova were the sultan’s tributary sound states. However, they retained some autonomy during national dynasties and were not subjected to the same oppression as the Christian peoples south of the Danube. Michael the Brave of Wallachia (1558-1601, reigned from 1593) succeeded in creating a short-lived Greater Romania that also included Moldova and Transylvania. His disobedience caused the sultan to disregard the dynastic succession and even appointed the princes (see hospodar) among the mutually rival bojar families (see bojar). In the late 1500-t. most Romanian peasants became staffed. 1600-t. became a relatively peaceful period, marked by material progress and cultural flourishing. In the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in Moldova in 1711, the Romanians fought alongside the Russian fellow believers. As punishment, the Ottomans in 1711-1821 installed Greek fanarites as rulers of the two principalities. Under foreign rule, the Romanian elite increasingly linked its hopes to Russia, which gained access to the Black Sea in 1774-92 through repeated victories over the Ottoman Empire. In 1812, Bessarabia was also incorporated into Russia, and after the peace of Adrianople in 1829 between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, the Romanian principalities became a Russian protectorate with extensive autonomy based on the Organic Regulations..

At the conclusion of the peace in Paris in 1856 after Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War, the Russian protectorate was abolished, and the autonomy of the principalities under Ottoman supremacy was instead guaranteed by the seven signatory powers. In 1859, the Romanian Landtag elected Alexandru Ioan Cuza as hospodarin both Moldova and Wallachia, which was contrary to the instructions of the guarantor powers, and after a lengthy diplomatic tug of war, in January 1862 he was able to unite the “Danube Principalities” under the name of Romania. The united principality, which had its capital in Bucharest, oriented itself politically and culturally towards France, and the Cyrillic alphabet was now replaced by the Latin one. The agrarian reform of 1864 meant that Alexandru Ioan Cuza got the buoys and the church against him, and in 1866 he was forced to abdicate. A new constitution was now drawn up with a two-chamber system that gave the large landowners greater power, and the German prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was elected as the new head of state. In 1881, like Carol I, he was crowned king after the Berlin Congress 1878 had recognized Romania’s full independence from the Ottoman Empire and the acquisition of northern Dobrogea with the port city of Constanţa.

The Kingdom

The administration and military were now modernized following the German model. The railway network was expanded and an oil industry was also established for foreign capital, but Romania remained a distinctly agrarian society. Political life was marked by corruption and nepotism, and the leading groups in parliament were partly the liberal officials and businessmen of the cities, and partly the conservative landowners who sat on a substantial part of the agricultural land. The first priority was the national issue, the dream of expanding the kingdom to include the Romanians in Transylvania and Bessarabia. The social distress of the growing rural population was not remedied, and in 1907 the result was an extensive peasant uprising that was brutally crushed. During the Second Balkan War of 1913, Romania conquered southern Dobrogea from Bulgaria. After 1. Outbreak of World War II In 1914, Romania was initially neutral. The new king, Ferdinand I, declared war on Austria-Hungary in August 1916; but after attacks by the Central Powers and Bulgaria, he was forced out of the war in May 1918.However, the Russian Civil War and the collapse of Austria-Hungary later that year gave the Romanian government the opportunity to conquer East, North and West, and by the 1919-20 peace treaties the victorious powers recognized Romania’s possession of Bessarabia, Bukovina, Transylvania and most of Banaten. Thus, the territory of the country more than doubled.

The new Greater Romania faced significant national, social and political problems. Of a population of approximately 16 mio. population, Romanians accounted for 72%. The new constitution of 1923, based on the 1866 constitution and leaving great powers to the monarchy, gave universal suffrage to all men and equal rights for all ethnic groups. But in reality, national minorities were treated as foreigners. The main ethnic minority was the Hungarians (8%), who were considered the biggest threat. But one also looked askance at the Jews and the Germans, who each amounted to approximately 4% and held many key financial positions; these groups were otherwise willing to cooperate with the government in Bucharest and willingly played out against the Hungarians. A nationalist sting also had the important land reform legislation of 1918-21, which redistributed 6 million.

Despite allegations of electoral fraud, the National Liberal Party remained in power 1922-28. The 1928 election gave victory to the National Peasants’ Party, which formed government 1928-30 under Iuliu Maniu (1873-1953). Political life in the 1930’s was marked by fascist and anti-Semitic movements, especially the Iron Garden. In 1938, Carol II introduced a royal dictatorship. In 1940 he was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Mihai I, and the real ruler was then General Ion Antonescu. From 1921, Romania’s foreign policy was based on the Little Ententewith Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and on a bilateral alliance with Poland; but in the late 1930’s the government oriented itself politically and economically towards Germany. In 1941, Romania joined Germany’s in World War II and attacked the Soviet Union. As the Red Army approached Romania in 1944, “head of state” Antonescu was arrested by King Mihai, who included Communists in the government and declared war on Germany. Although Romania formally sided with the victors at the end of the war, it had to cede southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria and Bessarabia, as well as northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union.

Romania (Recent History of Romania)

Romania (Recent History of Romania), The Communist Period

After the king overthrew Antonescuand broken with Germany, an intervening period ensued during which the country was ruled by generals and bourgeois politicians, while Soviet troops gradually gained control of the entire country. The king’s appeals to the Western powers to intervene in the face of increasing Soviet infiltration into Romanian politics were fruitless. With the support of Moscow, the Romanian Communist Party secured control of all key posts. The most important democratic politician, the leader of the Romanian Peasant Party, Iuliu Maniu, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1946, and in December 1947 the king was forced to abdicate and leave the country. Romania then became a people’s republic following the Stalinist pattern and developed into one of the most brutal regimes in Eastern Europe. Loyalty of the regime to Moscow and party leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dejs power was strengthened in 1952 when half of the government was replaced at Soviet demand.

Gheorghiu-Dej, who from 1961, in addition to being party leader, was also the president of Romania, tried to make the country an industrial nation by promoting heavy industry contrary to Moscow’s desire that Romania should be primarily an agricultural country and import industrial products from the Soviet Union. After Gheorghiu-Dej’s death in 1965, Soviet-critical politics were sharpened by his successor, Nicolae Ceauşescu., and also came to apply to defense policy, with Romania withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact’s military cooperation. Pga. its independent line, Romania achieved through the 1970’s major credits in the West for the modernization process. However, it failed, and the 1980’s were marked by a harsh and restrictive economic policy, which probably had the country’s foreign debt restructured, but at the same time drastically reduced the living conditions of the population. At the same time, ambitious projects continued, including a relocation of the population from villages to centers with apartment blocks; this policy was particularly destructive for the national minorities of Transylvania, first and foremost the Hungarians. A harsh modernization of Bucharest was carried out, with Ceauşescu tearing down historic buildings and building a swollen splendor palace for himself and his family. Increasingly, the presidential family behaved like a royal dynasty, marked by wasteful exercise of power, while a huge security apparatus, the Securitate, kept the population down.

Romania after Ceauşescu

In December 1989, a popular uprising against the regime, which the army joined, erupted. Ceauşescu and his wife tried to escape, but were taken prisoner, convicted by a standard and executed. The Front for the Salvation of the Nation took power, held the first free elections in 1990, and in 1991 established a democratic republic based on a multi-party system. In practice, however, it was former members of the Ceauşescu regime, led by Ion Iliescu, who guided the transition to democracy and a market economy.. The modernization of the lye-poor and misgoverned country went very slowly and was marked by violent conflicts, during which Iliescu deployed militant miners from the province against the popular opposition in the capital. Iliescu also allied with nationalist parties such as the anti-Semitic Greater Romanian Party, which discriminated against the minorities at the local level, especially the Hungarians in Transylvania. Discriminatory laws within the education system resulted in major demonstrations and Western pressure against the Romanian government in 1995. Nevertheless, an association agreement with the EU entered into force in 1995.

In the 1996 presidential election, Iliescu was defeated by Emil Constantinescu (b. 1939), who was lined up by forces rooted in the pre-war democratic parties. This brought about a real change of system, which has also enabled ex-King Mihai to take up residence in the country, and the human rights situation has been significantly improved. But both the political and economic transformation of the former party- and plan-led country is still very slow, and the government is trying to speed up the process by pushing for rapid accession to NATO and the EU.. Relations with Hungary were significantly improved in 1997 with the conclusion of an agreement on the rights of the Hungarian minority. The protracted crisis surrounding neighboring Yugoslavia has been an additional burden for Romania, which has participated in the international blockades of the country. Romania has been involved in EU deliberations on a comprehensive recovery plan for south-eastern Europe.

Heads of State
Princes Sort
1862-66 Alexandru Ioan Cuza
1866-81 Carol 1.
1881-1914 Carol 1.
1914-27 Ferdinand 1.
1927-30 Mihai 1.
1930-40 Carol 2.
1940-47 Mihai 1.
Secretaries General of the Communist Party
1947-65 Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
1965-89 Nicolae Ceausescu
1990-96 Ion Iliescu
1996-2000 Emil Constantinescu
2000-04 Ion Iliescu
2004-14 Traian Băsescu
2014- Klaus Iohannis

In 1999, a deep economic and political crisis led President Emil Constantinescu to dismiss the bourgeois Prime Minister Radu Vasile (1942-2013). Constantinescu then appointed National Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu (b. 1949) as Prime Minister until the new parliamentary elections in 2000. The government’s main goal was to qualify Romania for EU membership, by halving inflation. Persistent social unrest, further fueled by a financial scandal in the summer of 2000, affected many Romanians. Ion Iliescu recovered s.å. the presidency; his party, the PDSR, also won a significant victory in the parliamentary elections, while the Greater Romanian Party with its nationalist program under Vadim Tudor (b. 1949) won five times the number of votes. The traditional bourgeois wing appeared divided,

History after 2000

Since the 2000 elections, which gave the Social Democrats victory in both the presidential and parliamentary elections, the policy has been marked by Western integration, and the Romanian government in particular, since 2001, has strongly emphasized its solidarity with the United States and NATO. In 2002, Parliament decided to join the US-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, and in 2003, Parliament unanimously decided to seek NATO membership, which took place in 2004.

With the EU accession negotiations, which took place in parallel with the negotiations on Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, things went slower. Romania was the subject of a very critical Commission report in 2003, which was followed by critical reports from the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The criticism pointed out, among other things, ineffective fight against corruption and inadequate protection of the country’s minority. In September 2003, a referendum passed far-reaching constitutional amendments that extended the rights of minorities, guaranteed private property ownership and the right of foreigners to acquire property, and extended the presidential term from 4 to 5 years. Also with a view to relations with the EU, Romania concluded a special agreement with Hungary in September 2003 on the improvement of the rights of the large Hungarian minority. That same month, Prime Minister Adrian Năstase fired three members of the government for corruption; Thus, the Minister for European Integration was accused of passing on EU funding to her husband’s and son’s firms. In 2004, a new government transformation followed, which reintroduced the previously defunct Ministry of the Environment, a result of criticism of recent years’ pollution scandals. But the criticism of Romania did not fall silent. The actions of the police in September 2003 in the unrest surrounding the Roma minority in Transylvania led in 2005 to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the prohibition of discrimination and unworthy treatment of people. EU bodies have criticized government interference in the judiciary, restrictions on freedom of the press and a lack of protection for the country’s many abandoned children,

In 2004, a change of system took place when Traian Băsescu, leader of the Democratic Party and mayor of Bucharest, defeated Năstase in a second round of elections in the presidential election. During the formation of the government, the Humanist Party, which had been part of Nastase’s government before the election, changed sides and joined a majority government led by Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (b. 1952) from the National Liberal Party, which together with the Democratic Party had gone to the polls. as the Democratic Alliance Justice and Truth. The Hungarian minority party also changed sides. The result was a center-right government bypassing the votes of the far left and the far right.

The new government launched a lawsuit against outgoing President Ion Iliescu and former Prime Minister Petre Roman for their role in deploying mining workers to crack down on government-critical mass demonstrations in Bucharest – as his last official act in December 2004, Iliescu pardoned the leader of the operation, Miron Cozma. who had been sentenced to 18 years in prison, but had had to lift it again after fierce protests from home and abroad.

In April 2005, the new President and Prime Minister signed the Accession Treaty with the EU, which was unanimously ratified the following month by the Romanian Parliament. The recording took place on 1.1.2007. However, Romania is criticized, among other things, by EU bodies for continuing to inadequately fight corruption in the country, which makes admission uncertain. Romania still carries a heavy legacy from the time under the communist dictatorship to which most people in political life since 1990, including the new president, owe the first part of their careers.