About Romania

History of Romanians


The ancient times
Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania
National Revival
Union and Independence
The 20-th Century

National Revival

In the 18th and early 19th centuries huge economic and social changes took place, the feudal structures were deeply eroded, the first capitalist enterprises emerged and at the same time Romanian goods were attracted step by step into the European circuit. The national idea, as everywhere else in Europe, was becoming the soaring dream of intellectuals and the underlying element in the plans for the future made by the politicians. The union of part of the clergy in Transylvania with the Catholic Church (the Greek- Catholics), achieved by the House of Hapsburg in 1699-1701, played an important part in the emancipation of Transylvanian Romanians.

Their fight for equal rights with the other ethnic groups (although the Romanians accounted for over 60% of the principate's population, they were still considered "tolerated" in their own country) was begun by Bishop Inocentiu Micu-Klein and continued by the intellectuals grouped in the "Transylvanian School" movement: Gheorghe Sincai, Petru Maior, Samuil Micu, Ion Budai-Deleanu, a.o. These scholars proved the Latinity of the Romanian language and people and, even more, the fact that they had uninterruptedly been the autochthonous population here. By virtue of this ancients, they demanded equal rights with the other "nations" in Transylvania - Hungarians, Szecklers and Saxons. The claims of the Romanians in Transylvania were submitted to the Court of Vienna in the long petition called Supplex Libellus Valachorum (1791), which did not receive any answer.

The quest for renewal in Wallachia was expressed in the revolution led by Tudor Vladimirescu (1821), which broke out at the same time with the Greek's movement for liberation.

Although the Ottoman and Czarist troops occupied the Danube principalities that same year, the sacrifices made by the Romanians brought about the abolition of the Phanariot regime and native voivodes were again appointed on the thrones of Moldavia and Wallachia. The peace treaty of 1829 signed at Adrianople (today Edirne) ended the Russian-Turkish conflict of 1828-1829, which had broken out in the final stage of the war for national liberation fought by the Greeks; this treaty greatly weakened the Ottoman suzerainty, but it increased Russia's "protectorate." Now that trade was freed, Romanian cereals began to penetrate European markets. Under Pavel Kiseleff, the commander of the Russian troops that occupied the two Romanian principalities (1828-1834), quasi-identical Organic Regulations were introduced in Wallachia (1831) and Moldavia (1832); until 1859 these Regulations served as fundamental laws (constitutions) and they contributed to the modernisation and homogenisation of the social, economic, administrative and political structures that had started in the preceding decades.

Therefore, in the first half of the 19th century, the Romanian principalities began to distance themselves from the Oriental Ottoman world and tune into the spiritual space of Western Europe. Ideas, currents, attitudes from the West were more than welcome in the Romanian world, which was undergoing an irreversible process of modernisation. Now the awareness that all Romanians belong to the same nation was generalised and the union into one single independent state became the ideal of all Romanians.

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