United Principalities Moldavia and Wallachia (1859–1862)
Romanian United Principalities (1862–1866)
The United Principalities (Romania) 1859–1878, shown in light beige
|Status||De jure vassal of the Ottoman Empire (1859–1877) [a]|
|Religion||Romanian Orthodox, Catholicism, Judaism, Reformed Church|
|Government||Constitutional monarchy [b]|
|Alexandru Ioan Cuza|
|President of the Council of Ministers|
|Barbu Catargiu (first)|
|Ion Brătianu (last)|
|Assembly of Deputies|
|24 January 1859|
• First common government
|22 January 1862|
• First Constitution
|13 July 1866|
|9 May 1877|
• Kingdom established
|14 March 1881|
|1860||123,335 km2 (47,620 sq mi)|
|1881||130,177 km2 (50,262 sq mi)|
|Today part of|
The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (Romanian : Principatele Unite ale Moldovei și Țării Românești), commonly called United Principalities, was the personal union of the Principality of Moldavia and the Principality of Wallachia, formed on 5 February [ O.S. 24 January] 1859 when Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as the Domnitor (Ruling Prince) of both principalities, which were autonomous but still vassals of the Ottoman Empire. On 3 February [ O.S. 22 January] 1862, Moldavia and Wallachia formally united to create the Romanian United Principalities, the core of the Romanian nation state.
In February 1866, Prince Cuza was forced to abdicate and go into exile by a political coalition led by the Liberals; the German Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was offered the Throne and, on 22 May [ O.S. 10 May] 1866 he entered Bucharest for the first time. In July the same year, a new constitution came into effect, giving the country the name of Romania; internationally, this name was used only after 1877, since at the time the foreign policy of the state was drafted by the Ottomans. Nominally, the new state remained a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. However, by this time the suzerainty of the Sublime Porte had become a legal fiction. Romania had its own flag and anthem, and conducted its own foreign policy. From 1867, it had its own currency as well.
On 21 May [ O.S. 9 May] 1877, Romania proclaimed itself fully independent; the proclamation was sanctioned by the Domnitor the following day. Four years later, the 1866 constitution was modified so the Romania became a kingdom, on 22 May [ O.S. 10 May] 1881, Domnitor Carol I was crowned as the first King of Romania. After the First World War, Transylvania and other territories were also included.
For its triple symbolic meaning, the date of May 10 was celebrated as Romania's National Day until 1948, when Romanian and Soviet Communists installed the republic via coup d'état on December 30, 1947.
As a historical term designating the pre-Union Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, sometimes including the Principality of Transylvania, the term "Romanian Principalities" dates back to the beginnings of modern Romanian history in the mid-19th century.[ citation needed ] It was subsequently used by Romanian historians as an alternative to the much older term "Romanian Lands". English use of "Romanian Principalities" is documented from the second half of the 19th century.
In the period between the late 18th century and the 1860s, Danubian Principalities was used, a term that sometimes included Serbia, but not Transylvania. In contrast, use of "Romanian Principalities" sometimes included Transylvania but never Serbia.
The aftermath of the Russian Empire's defeat in the Crimean War brought the 1856 Treaty of Paris, which started a period of common tutelage for the Ottomans and a Congress of Great Powers—the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and, though never again fully, Russia. While the Moldavia-Wallachia unionist campaign, which had come to dominate political demands, was accepted with sympathy by the French, Russians, Prussians, and Sardinians, it was rejected by the Austrian Empire, and looked upon with suspicion by Great Britain and the Ottomans.Negotiations amounted to an agreement on a minimal formal union; however, elections for the ad-hoc divans in 1859 profited from an ambiguity in the text of the final agreement, which, while specifying two thrones, did not prevent the same person from occupying both thrones simultaneously and ultimately ushered in the ruling of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as Domnitor (Ruling Prince) over the United Romanian Principalities from 1862 onwards.
Though internationally formally recognized only after the period of Cuza's reign, [ citation needed ]the Union was cemented by Ioan Cuza's unsanctioned interventions in the text of previous "Organic Law". In addition, the circumstances of his deposition in 1866, together with the rapid election of Prussian Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (who was backed by the increasingly important Prussia) and the Austro-Prussian War in the same time, made applying measures against the Union actually impossible.
Following the Romanian War of Independence in 1877–78, Romania shook off formal Ottoman rule but eventually clashed with its Russian ally over its demand for the Southern Bessarabia region. Ultimately, Romania was awarded Northern Dobruja in exchange for Southern Bessarabia. The Kingdom of Romania subsequently emerged in 1881 with Prince Carol being crowned as King Carol I of Romania.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza took steps to unify the administrations of the two Romanian Principalities and gain international recognition for the Union. He also adopted several reforms, including the secularization of church lands, introduction of free primary education, a French-inspired civil code and penal code as well as a limited agrarian reform and one in the army.[ citation needed ]
Opposition from the large-land-owners dominated parliament to Cuza resulted in a coup against him in 1864. He subsequently instituted authoritarian rule but his popular support, strong at the time of the coup, gradually waned as the land reform failed to bring prosperity to the peasant majority.[ citation needed ]
Cuza was forced to abdicate in 1866 by the two main political groups, the Conservatives and the Liberals, who represented the interests of former large-land-owners. Although the event sparked some anti-unionist turmoil in Cuza's native province of Moldavia, it was quickly suppressed by the central authorities.[ citation needed ]
The new governing coalition appointed Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as the new Ruling Prince of Romania in a move initially rejected by the European powers but later on accepted. In the first year of Carol's reign Romania adopted its first constitution. This instrument provided for a hereditary constitutional monarchy, with a Parliament being elected through censitary suffrage although the country remained under Ottoman suzerainty. Carol was not unanimously accepted, and a rise in republican sentiment culminated with an uprising in Ploiești in 1870 and a revolt in Bucharest in 1871, both of which were quelled by the army.[ citation needed ]
In April 1877, in the wake of a new Russo-Turkish war, Romania signed a convention by which Russian troops were allowed to pass through Romanian territory in their advance towards the Ottoman Empire. On May 9, the Romanian parliament declared the independence of the principality, and joined the war on the Russian side. After several Romanian victories south of the Danube and the ultimate victory of the Russian-led side in the war, the European powers recognized Romania's independence under the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Nevertheless, Romania was made to exchange Southern Bessarabia for Northern Dobruja, and allow non-Christians living in Romania access to Romanian citizenship.[ citation needed ]
In 1881, the country's parliament proclaimed Romania a kingdom.
|Portrait||Name||Birth||Death||Start of reign||End of reign||Notes|
|Alexandru Ioan I (Alexandru Ioan Cuza)||March 1820||15 May 1873||5 February 1862||22 February 1866||Born in Bârlad, Moldavia|
|Carol I (Karl Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen)||20 April 1839||10 October 1914||20 April 1866||15 March 1881||First German King of Romania from the House of Hohenzollern, the founder of the Romanian branch of this German royal dynasty|
As of 1872, the Romanian Principality was organized into 33 counties of which 17 were in Wallachia (12 in Muntenia and 5 in Oltenia), and 16 were in Moldavia (13 in western Moldavia and 3 in southern Bessarabia).
According to the 1859-1860 census, the United Principalities had a population of 3,864,848.
|Religion and ethnic group||number||%|
Cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants, in 1859:
|3||Izmail 1||31,779||Sou Bessarabia|
Notes: 1 - data for 1856.
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was a principality in Southwestern Germany. Its rulers belonged to the senior Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The Swabian Hohenzollerns were elevated to princes in 1623. The small sovereign state with the capital city of Sigmaringen was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1850 following the abdication of its sovereign in the wake of the revolutions of 1848, then became part of the newly created Province of Hohenzollern.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was the first domnitor (Ruler) of the Romanian Principalities through his double election as prince of Moldavia on 5 January 1859 and prince of Wallachia on 24 January 1859. He was a prominent figure of the Revolution of 1848 in Moldavia. Following his double election, he initiated a series of reforms that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and of state structures.
Moldavia is a historical region and former principality in Central and Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester River. An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when it united with Wallachia as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, Moldavia included the regions of Bessarabia, all of Bukovina and Hertza. The region of Pokuttya was also part of it for a period of time.
The King of Romania or King of the Romanians, was the title of the monarch of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when the Romanian Workers' Party proclaimed the Romanian People's Republic following Michael I's forced abdication.
Ion Constantin Brătianu was one of the major political figures of 19th-century Romania. He was the son of Dincă Brătianu and the younger brother of Dimitrie, as well as the father of Ionel, Dinu, and Vintilă Brătianu. He also was the grandfather of poet Ion Pillat.
Lascăr Catargiu was a Romanian conservative statesman born in Moldavia. He belonged to an ancient Wallachian family, one of whose members had been banished in the 17th century by Prince Matei Basarab, and had settled in Moldavia.
In the Romantic era, the concept of a national state emerged among the Romanians, as among many other peoples of Europe and a "national awakening" began. Defining their nation against the nearby Slavs, Germans, and Hungarians, the nationalist Romanians looked for models of nationality in the other Latin countries, notably France.
The Kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 13 March (O.S.) / 25 March 1881 with the crowning of prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as King Carol I, until 1947 with the abdication of King Michael I of Romania and the Romanian parliament's proclamation of Romania as a putative socialist people's republic.
Ion Ghica was a Romanian statesman, mathematician, diplomat and politician, who was Prime Minister of Romania five times. He was a full member of the Romanian Academy and its president many times. He was the older brother and associate of Pantazi Ghica, a prolific writer and politician.
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The Romanian Old Kingdom is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romanian nation state, which was composed of the Romanian Principalities: Wallachia and Moldavia. The union of the two principalities was achieved when, under the auspices of the Treaty of Paris (1856), the ad hoc Divans of both countries, which were then under Ottoman Empire suzerainty, voted for Alexander Ioan Cuza as their prince. This process achieved a de facto unification under the name of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The region itself is defined by the result of that political act, followed by the Romanian War of Independence, the inclusion of Northern Dobruja and the transfer of the southern part of Bessarabia to the Russian Empire in 1878, the proclamation of the Kingdom of Romania in 1881, and the annexation of Southern Dobruja in 1913.
Alexandru G. Golescu was a Romanian politician who served as a Prime Minister of Romania in 1870.
Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common geopolitical situation. The term was largely used then by foreign political circles and public opinion until the union of the two Principalities (1859). Alongside Transylvania, the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia became the basis for the Kingdom of Romania, and by extension the modern Romanian nation-state.
Great Union Day is a national holiday in Romania, celebrated on 1 December, marking the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918, something that is known as the Great Union. This holiday was declared after the Romanian Revolution and commemorates the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia, who declared the Union of Transylvania with Romania.
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The Romanian government is the armiger in Romania. It exercises this right under the mandatory advice of the National Committee of Heraldry, Genealogy and Sigillography. The committee is subordinate to the Romanian Academy. All the coats of arms of Romanian institutions must be approved by this committee with two exceptions. The Romanian military is subject to the Ministry of National Defense Heraldric Committee, and Romanian law enforcement institutions are subject to the Ministry of Administration and Interior Heraldric Committee. Both of these committees may share members with the National Committee of Heraldry, Genealogy and Sigillography.
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Alexandru Al. Ioan Cuza was a Romanian aristocrat and politician. He was the eldest son of Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza, by his mistress Maria Catargi-Obrenović, and adopted by Cuza's wife Elena Rosetti-Cuza. His father's rule was the earliest political union between the two Danubian Principalities, which was to form the Kingdom of Romania in 1881. When Alexandru Ioan was ousted and replaced with Carol of Hohenzollern (1866), Alexandru Al. Ioan followed him into exile. He settled back in Romania after his father's death, attempting to create a current of opinion against Carol. He later helped journalists Alexandru Beldiman and Grigore Ventura in founding the anti-Carlist newspaper Adevărul.
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Grigore Balș was a Moldavian-born Romanian politician.