Romania History

Romania History


In the 2nd millennium BC the Indo-European Dacians and Getens settled in what is now Romania. From the 7th century BC. the processing of iron into weapons, tools and jewelry is proven.

Changing foreign rule

The Dacian king Burebista united in the 1st century BC. the resident tribes and opposed the attempts to conquer the Roman Empire. It was only the Roman troops under Emperor Trajan in the 1st century AD. conquer the cities on the Black Sea and parts of Dobruzhda. In AD 106 the residence of the Dacer king Decebal was taken over by the Romans and the area was declared Roman province of Dacia together with today’s Moldova.

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In the 3rd century the Romans initially withdrew to the Danube border due to the advancing Visigoths. The waves of immigration of the Huns, Avars and Slavs from the 4th century onwards gradually mixed the Dacian-Roman population with the new settlers, which led to the formation of the Romanian people. From the beginning of the 7th century, the rule of the (Eastern) Roman Empire over the country was finally over.

The Slavs followed over the next centuries as immigrants Hungary (Magyars) and Turkic peoples (10th / 11th centuries), the Hungarians settling mainly in Transylvania (Carpathian region) and giving the area the name “Transylvania” by dividing it into seven administrative districts awarded. In large parts of Transylvania, members of the Teutonic Knights and German settlers (known as Transylvanian Saxons) immigrated to serve the Hungarian kings. They were recognized as a “Saxon nation” in the 13th century and were given the right to govern.

Ottoman domination

In the 14th century, the principality of Wallachia and the east of the Carpathians, the Principality of Moldova, to which some of today’s Ukrainian areas such as the so-called “Bukovina” and the area between the rivers Dniester and Danube belonged, arose in the south of today’s Romania. Towards the end of the same century, the troops of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire began to advance. The Principality of Wallachia initially placed itself under the sovereignty of the Ottomans and was able to maintain a certain independence. The Wallachian Prince Vlad III succeeded for a short time. Tepes (“Vlad the Impaler”), after bitter fights to strip the Ottoman rule, but after his death in 1477 their sovereignty was renewed. From 1456 the Principality of Moldova was also subject toIn 1526,

In the 16th century, the principalities received help from the Austrian Habsburgs in their struggle against the Ottomans. In the Peace of Karlowitz in 1699, the Ottomans renounced all of Hungary and Transylvania after several heavy defeats, whereupon these areas came under the Habsburg rule. In 1718 they also conquered the western part of the Principality of Wallachia, in 1775 parts of the Principality of Moldova (Bukovina) also came under Habsburg rule. The rest of the principalities were still subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, which for a time replaced the ruling Romanian upper class with Greek nobles (phanariots). According to AbbreviationFinder, after several uprisings by the Romanian population against the Greek governors, native princes were reinstated from 1822.

Liberation from Ottoman domination

In 1859 the principalities of Moldova and Wallachia were united under a common ruler, the Moldovan colonel Alexandru Ioan Cuza, and in 1862 they were given the common name “Romania”. The new state was still under Ottoman sovereignty. Only five years later, Karl I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen became Cuza’s successor. With the help of the Russian tsarist empire he finally liberated Romania from the Ottoman rule in 1877 (8th Russian-Turkish war). The state was recognized by the major European powers at the Berlin Congress in 1878. Southern Bessarabia, today’s Moldova, had to be given over to Tsarist Russia, and North Dobruja was added to the national territory.

In 1881, the Principality of Romania became a kingdom under King Carol I (Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen). After the Second Balkan War in 1913 (the country remained neutral in the First Balkan War in 1912), the “Peace of Bucharest” gave Romania the southern Dobruzhda of Bulgaria.

The two world wars and their consequences

During the First World War, Romania participated on the side of the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia). The Paris peace treaties of 1920 gave the country the eastern part of the Banat, all of Transylvania (Transylvania), Bukovina, Bessarabia and the entire Dobruzhda. This doubled the previous national territory. To secure the borders, Romania signed alliance contracts with Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland (“Little Entente”) a year later.

In the period between the two world wars, there were domestic tensions and numerous changes of government in the country. Right-wing forces such as the fascist “Iron Guard” party gained considerable influence. At the beginning of the 1930s, the country was on the brink of economic ruin. In 1938, after the right-wing extremists had won the parliamentary elections, the monarch Carol II (until 1940) suspended the constitution and banned all political parties.

In 1940, under pressure from National Socialist Germany, Romania had to cede the northern part of Transylvania to Hungary, northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the USSR and southern Dobruja to Bulgaria. From 1941, General Ion Antonescu became the sole ruler of Romania with the help of the “Iron Guard”. Antonescu closely followed Fascist Germany and joined the Second World War in 1941 alongside the Axis powers. The Bukovina and Bessarabia temporarily became Romanian again. In 1944 the Romanian monarch Mihail I had General Antonescu imprisoned and, surprisingly, declared war on the German Reich. He had already started secret negotiations with the Western Powers and the USSR. All of Romania was occupied by Soviet troops within a few months.

After the end of the Second World War, the borders of Romania were finally established: North Transylvania again belonged to the state territory, while the South Dobruja remained with Bulgaria. Bessarabia and northern Bukovina remained under Soviet rule. Under Soviet pressure, the “National Democratic Front” party, controlled by communists and socialists, established itself as the leading political force in Romania. Large parts of the country were nationalized as a result of land reform.

In 1947 the monarch was forced to abdicate and the People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed. Communists and socialists united to form the RAP (Romanian Workers’ Party), the leader of which was Georghe Georghiu-Dej, who was loyal to Moscow. Following the Soviet model, the political opposition was banned, industry and trade nationalized, agriculture was compulsorily collectivized, and society was transformed according to the Soviet model. Romania was one of the founding members of COMECON (1949, Council for Mutual Economic Aid) and the Warsaw Pact, which was founded in 1955 as a counterweight to the western defense alliance NATO. In the same year the country joined the UN.

The last Soviet troops were withdrawn from Romania in 1958.

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Romania under Ceaucescu

After Georghe Georghiu-Dej’s death in 1965, Nicolae Ceaucescu became the new leader of the RAP, which transformed it into the “Communist Party of Romania” (KPR). In the same year the country was renamed “Socialist Republic of Romania”. Two years later, Ceaucescu also took over the office of head of state (until 1989). As a “Conducator” (leader) he set up an authoritarian regime in Romania with the help of the secret police Securitate. Significant political offices were all filled with loyal followers. While the economic situation of the Romanian population deteriorated rapidly, Ceaucescu had oversized magnificent buildings built in the capital, Bucharest, after he had demolished entire old town quarters. To reduce the country ‘s foreign debt,he implemented a rigorous austerity program in the consumer and social sectors, although a large part of the population was already living in poverty. All demonstrations and strikes against government measures have been put down with great severity.

In terms of foreign policy, Ceaucescu distanced itself from the USSR and sought to get closer to the People’s Republic of China and the Western Powers. The Romanian leader condemned the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops under the leadership of the USSR into Czechoslovakia in 1968 to suppress the “Prague Spring”, as well as the Soviet invasion of Afhanistan in 1979. At the same time, trade agreements were concluded with the United States and the European Community.

Romania from 1989

The catastrophic economic situation of the population, the rigid policies of the Romanian government and the emerging collapse of the Eastern Bloc led to the outbreak of an open revolution in late 1989. Ceaucescu was arrested and executed by the insurgents with several members of his family. The country’s political leadership was taken over by the Revolutionary Council “Front to National Salvation” (FSN), chaired by ex-communists Ion Iliescu and Petru Roman. The “Socialist Republic of Romania” was renamed “Republic of Romania” and the multi-party system was reintroduced.

A year later, the first free elections were held, which the FSN won with an overwhelming majority. Despite the allegation of manipulation by the opposition, Ion Illiescu was named president. He disbanded the Securitate secret police, banned the Communist Party and took the first steps towards privatizing the economy.

In 1993, the party of President Illiescu was renamed the “Social Democratic Party of Romania” (PDSR). In the same year, Romania became a full member of the Council of Europe and an associate member of the European Union (subject to a number of changes in the Romanian legal and constitutional system).

Domestically, the leadership of the old Communist Illiescu and his cabinet, who were blamed for the further decline in living standards and the lack of economic recovery, were repeatedly challenged. In the parliamentary elections in November 1996, the oppositional conservative-liberal party alliance “Democratic Convention” (CDR) under the leadership of Emil Constantinescu became the strongest political force in both chambers of the parliament. The CDR was made up of the Christian Democratic Peasant Party (PNTCD), the National Liberal Party (PNL), another liberal party and a smaller, ecologically oriented group. Emil Constantinescu was able to assert himself with around 54% of the vote in the election for president.The new head of government Victor Ciorbea launched an extensive “program to save the national economy”, which led to a slight increase in economic growth over the next two years, but a further increase in external debt (approx. $ 8 billion at the end of 1998) and could not prevent the deterioration of the living conditions of the Romanian population. The closure of unprofitable companies, which were an integral part of the Romanian government’s austerity program, also triggered domestic tensions.eight billion US dollars) and could not prevent the deterioration of the living conditions of the Romanian population.

In February 2000, the official accession negotiations that had so far been refused began between Romania and the European Union. In the parliamentary elections held in the same year, the party of ex-communist and ex-head of state Ion Iliescu once again became the strongest political force, the previous coalition government of the “Democratic Convention” suffered a severe defeat. Illiescu became Romanian President for the second time (Constantinescu was no longer a candidate after just one term). The country’s new head of government was Adrian Nastase (PDSR), who headed a minority government. The Romanian government reiterated its intention to integrate their country into the European Union and NATO and promote the country’s economic development on the basis of the free market economy.

In December 2004, Traian Basescu was elected president. In 2005 he became increasingly opposed to incumbent Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (since 2004). The president was temporarily suspended for violating the constitution and arbitrarily applying the law. Basecu won a referendum on his dismissal with 74.5% of the vote and therefore returned to office. A vote of no confidence by the opposition party PSD against the minority government Tariceanu failed in October 2007. Despite these quarrels and resignations from several ministers due to allegations of corruption, the government (since December 2008 a large coalition of liberal-democratic PD-L and social-democratic PSD) has sought further reforms in line with the EU perform.The government collapsed less than a year after the formation of the grand coalition. The initial trigger was the dismissal of Interior Minister Dan Nica, followed by resignations from the other PSD ministers. After the government was overthrown in October 2009, no agreement could be reached on a new formation. Presidential elections were held in November. In the runoff election in the following month, Basescu achieved a narrow majority of 50.3% over its competitor Geoana. Because of suspected election fraud, the PSD demanded that the run-off election be canceled and repeated. However, recounting the ballot papers that were declared invalid did not bring about any major changes.

Emil Boc then formed a new government made up of PD-L, UDMR and independent politicians. The government’s austerity measures to curb the budget deficit led to strikes and protest demonstrations in 2010. After renewed mass protests in January 2012, Prime Minister Boc announced his resignation in February 2012. Parliament elected Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu as the new head of government. After disputes about austerity measures, the People’s Representative withdrew its cabinet’s trust just two months later. Socialist Victor Ponta formed a center-left coalition in May 2012. The state president and the government thus belong to different political camps. In July 2012, Parliament initiated another impeachment procedure against President Basescu.However, the impeachment referendum failed. Parliamentary elections were held in December 2012.

NATO joined in March 2004; Romania has been a member of the European Union since 2007.

Romania President