Romania has had historical conflicts with
Hungary about Transylvania in the west and with Russia
about Bessarabia in the east. Modern Romania was founded
since the Principality of Moldova and Valakia merged in
1859. During World War I, Romania won Transylvania and
Bessarabia and Bukovina in the north, but after World
War II Romania lost the oil-rich Bessarabia and northern
Bukovina to the Soviet Union.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Romania, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Romania has been inhabited by Indo-European peoples
since the Stone Age. The first known inhabitants were
the Thracians, who lived by agriculture and livestock.
The Thracians sought to expand their kingdom to the
south and then came into conflict with the Romans who
called them thugs.
In 106 AD, the roofs were defeated by the Roman
emperor Trajan, who established a Roman province, Dacien
(Dacia), in the area. The Romans exploited Dacien's
gold, copper and salt mines. A stream of Roman colonists
moved there, giving rise to a Dako-Roman population.
Under pressure from Germanic people who attacked the
area from the north, the Romans were forced to evacuate
Dacien in 271.
Over the next 1,000 years, the area was flooded by a
variety of peoples. First came Goths followed by the
Huns and the Germanic cheetahs. In the 500s and 600s,
Avars, Serbs and Croats migrated in and somewhat later
the Bulgarians arrived. During the 900s and 1000s, the
nomad people spread their pet hunts in the area. They
came from the east, as did the Kumanas in the 12th
century and the Mongols in the 13th century. From the
west, the Magyars (the Hungarians) migrated in the 900s.
By the 11th century, they had taken control of
Under Ottoman and Russian rule
From the case of Dacien until the 13th century, there
is little information about the Dakian-Roman population.
Some scholars claim that they left Romania during the
early Middle Ages and only returned in the 13th century.
This direction is supported by Hungary, who has claimed
that Transylvania was unpopulated when the Hungarians
got there. The dominant view among historians, however,
is the so-called continuity theory, which assumes that
today's Romanians are descendants of the Dako-Roman
population and slaves from Transylvania, and that they
remained in the area that today constitutes Romania for
all the time it was crossed. by other people.
In the 13th and 13th centuries, the Romanians founded
two principalities in the plains east and south of the
Carpathians, Moldova and Valakiet. When the Ottoman
Empire, which had its base in Turkey, spread throughout
southeastern Europe during the 1400s and 1500s, Moldova
and Valakia also came under Turkish rule. The rulers
were never ruled directly by the rulers of
Constantinople, but by local leaders who must, however,
be approved by the Turkish sultan. The Romanians were
forced to pay an annual tribute to the Sultan.
In the 17th century, Greeks were allowed by the
Sultan to take over large land properties, and in the
18th century both princes were governed by Greeks,
so-called fanariats. In the 18th century, expanding
Russia also began to show increased interest in the
areas. From 1711 to 1854, Russian troops occupied
Romania eight times in their fight against the Ottoman
Empire. In 1812, Russia occupied the eastern part of
Moldova, Bessarabia, the central part of which forms
most of present-day Moldova.
After an unsuccessful fanatic revolt against the
Sultan in 1821, the Greeks were driven out of the
Principality. This worried Russia, who feared that the
Turks would thereby strengthen their position there.
After the Russian-Turkish war of 1826-1828, Moldova and
Valakia were ruled by a Russian governor for six years,
but still remained part of the Ottoman Empire.
Modern Romania is founded
The Russian governor of Bucharest, Pavel Kiseleff,
carried out a series of reforms and wrote the country's
first laws which gave the nobility the right to retain
their privileges. The power of the landowners was
strengthened and Romania became a major exporter of
agricultural products, while the conditions of the
In 1834, the Russian forces were withdrawn and, for
the sake of Valakiet and Moldova, a period of
self-government began. However, the Russian influence
consisted, as did the Turkish supremacy.
In the 1830s, nationalist sentiments began to grow
among Romanian students in Paris. When revolutionary
currents spread across Europe in 1848, it led to
nationalist uprisings in the two principalities. The
uprising was crushed by Turkey and Russia together.
After the Crimean War (1853-1856), the great powers
decided that the two principalities would be merged into
one unit. In 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected new
In seven years, Cuza laid the foundation for modern
Romania. He established Bucharest as the capital and
gave the country the name Romania. Two universities were
founded and four years of free and compulsory schooling
were introduced. Cuza abolished the livelihood and many
farm workers were allowed to buy the land they used.
The land reform became the fall of Cuza. He was
overthrown in 1866 in a coup staged by the large
landowners. As the successor of Cuza, a German prince,
Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was elected. Prince
Karl drafted a constitution that guaranteed two-chamber
kingdom day, but the political power remained limited to
the great landowners.
The Kingdom of Romania is proclaimed
Turkey's supremacy still existed formally but became
increasingly weakened. Following the defeat of the Turks
in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, Romania gained
full independence. In 1881 the Kingdom of Romania was
proclaimed and Prince Karl was crowned under the name
The population grew and poverty increased. Time and
again, the peasants revolted in protest against their
miserable conditions. A major uprising in 1907 was
fought with 10,000 to 11,000 casualties as a result.
Until the First World War, Transylvania was separated
from Romania. Hungarian control had gradually diminished
as a result of the spread of the Ottoman Empire. In
1526, Transylvania became a semi-independent
principality ruled by Hungarian princes under Turkish
supremacy. At the end of the 17th century, Transylvania
was incorporated into the Habsburg Empire, which had its
center in Vienna and which also included Hungary. When
Hungary's position was strengthened within the Habsburg
Empire through the formation of the Austria-Hungary
double monarchy in 1867, Transylvania ended up under
Romania attacked Bulgaria in the short-lived Second
Balkan War of 1913 to conquer Dobrudzja, a high plateau
by the sea in the southeast. Part of the area went to
Romania in the peace treaty that year. At the outbreak
of the First World War in 1914, Romania was neutral.
However, due to contradictions with Hungary regarding
its policy towards the Romanians in Transylvania,
Romania soon joined the entente powers (Britain, France
and Russia) against Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Great war successes
King Carol I died in 1914 and was succeeded by his
nephew Ferdinand who in 1916 declared war on
Austria-Hungary. After initial adversity, Romania
occupied Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina at the
end of the war. As a result, Romania's area and
population doubled. The new frontiers were established
by the peace in Trianon in 1920.
During the First World War, universal suffrage for
men had been introduced, which diminished the influence
of conservative groups. During the interwar period,
political life was dominated by the National Liberal
Party (NLP; founded in 1876). A social democratic party
had also been formed in the late 1800s. Its left wing
broke out after the Russian Revolution and founded a
Communist Party in 1921, but it was banned three years
In the agricultural country of Romania, the socialist
movement remained weak. Instead, NLP's main opponent was
the National Peasant Party, which represented, among
other things, the interests of small farmers and
workers. The growing anti-Semitic and fascist sentiments
during the interwar period also gave rise to the
founding of right-wing extremist organizations.
Since King Ferdinand's death in 1927, his grandson
Mihai (Michael) became regent. Ferdinand's own son Carol
had been forced to resign the throne and flee the
country after causing scandal by abandoning his wife to
another woman. In 1930, however, Carol returned to
Romania, taking under the name Carol II the royal power
of Mihai, which was still in disarray.
The iron yard is formed
In 1930 the Järngardet anti-Semitic, fascist and
nationalist movement was founded. The movement, led by
Captain Corneliu Codreanu, conducted anti-Semitic
campaigns, including in Bessarabia. At first Carol II
cooperated with Järngardet but gradually the king
himself began to feel threatened by the growing
influence of the movement and in 1938 he let Codreanu
die. The same year, the king introduced dictatorship and
banned all political parties.
At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939,
Romania declared itself neutral, but was forced by the
Soviet Union and Germany into extensive land disasters.
Bessarabia and northern Bukovina were transferred to the
Soviet Union, much of northern Transylvania went to
Hungary and Bulgaria regained southern Dobrudzja. This
caused the Romanians to turn against Carol II, who was
trying to get new support by appointing Conservative
General Ion Antonescu as head of government in 1940.
However, the king was forced to abdicate. He was
succeeded by Mihai, but the real power lay with
Antonescu who ruled the country with dictatorial powers.
Antonescu first allied himself with the Iron Guard, but
the movement was soon forced to leave the government
since Iron Guard staged violent persecution in the fall
of 1940 by royalists and Jews across the country in an
effort to seize power. At the same time, German troops
invaded Romania, joining the Axis powers (Germany and
Italy). German and Romanian soldiers finally crushed the
undisciplined iron guardians in early 1941.
Major Romanian army forces participated actively in
the summer 1941 attack on the Soviet Union. Romanian
troops interned or killed over 200,000 Jews in the
conquered areas. Most Jews in Transylvania were killed
or deported while the majority of Jews in Romania
survived the war. After the war, Romania regained
Transylvania and Dobrudzja, but lost the oil-rich
Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union,
which also required a large war damages.