Principality of Wallachia
Wallachia in 1812
Wallachia in the late 18th century
|Status||Vassal of the Ottoman Empire (1417–1859)|
(under Russian protection 1774–1856)
|Government||Elective absolute monarchy with hereditary lines|
• c. 1290 – c. 1310
|Radu Negru (first)|
|Alexandru Ioan Cuza (last)|
|Historical era||Middle Ages/Early modern period/Modern history|
• Ottoman suzerainty
|21 July [ O.S. 10 July] 1774|
|14 September [ O.S. 2 September] 1829|
|5 February [ O.S. 24 January] 1859|
Wallachia or Walachia (Romanian : Țara Româneascăpronounced [ˈt͡sara romɨˈne̯askə] , literally The Romanian Country; archaic: Țeara Rumânească, Romanian Cyrillic alphabet: Цѣра Рȣмѫнѣскъ) is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Lower Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians. Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections, Muntenia (Greater Wallachia) and Oltenia (Lesser Wallachia). Wallachia as a whole is sometimes referred to as Muntenia through identification with the larger of the two traditional sections.
Romanian is an Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It is an official and national language of each of Romania and Moldova. In addition, it is also one of the official languages of the European Union.
In language, an archaism is a word, a sense of a word, or a style of speech or writing that belongs to a historical epoch long beyond living memory, but that has survived in a few practical settings or affairs. Lexical archaisms are single archaic words or expressions used regularly in an affair or freely; literary archaism is the survival of archaic language in a traditional literary text such as a nursery rhyme or the deliberate use of a style characteristic of an earlier age—for example, in his 1960 novel The Sot-Weed Factor, John Barth writes in an 18th-century style. Archaic words or expressions may have distinctive emotional connotations—some can be humorous (forsooth), some highly formal, and some solemn.
The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet is the Cyrillic alphabet that was used to write the Romanian language before the 1860s, when it was officially replaced by a Latin-based Romanian alphabet. The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was based on the Bulgarian alphabet. Cyrillic remained in occasional use until the 1920s, mostly in Bessarabia.
Wallachia was founded as a principality in the early 14th century by Basarab I, after a rebellion against Charles I of Hungary, although the first mention of the territory of Wallachia west of the river Olt dates to a charter given to the voivode Seneslau in 1246 by Béla IV of Hungary. In 1417, Wallachia accepted the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire;this lasted until the 19th century, albeit with brief periods of Russian occupation between 1768 and 1854.
A principality can either be a monarchical feudatory or a sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or by a monarch with another title considered to fall under the generic meaning of the term prince.
Basarab I, also known as Basarab the Founder, was a voivode, and later the first independent ruler of Wallachia who lived in the first half of the 14th century. Many details of his life are uncertain. Although his name is of Turkic origin, 14th-century sources unanimously state that he was a Vlach. Basarab came into power before 1324, but the circumstances of his ascension are unknown. According to two popular theories, he succeeded either his father, Thocomerius, or the legendary founder of Wallachia, Radu Negru.
Charles I, also known as Charles Robert was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1308 to his death. He was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou and the only son of Charles Martel, Prince of Salerno. His father was the eldest son of Charles II of Naples and Mary of Hungary. She laid claim to Hungary after her brother, Ladislaus IV of Hungary, died in 1290, but the Hungarian prelates and lords elected her cousin, Andrew III, king. Instead of abandoning her claim to Hungary, she transferred it to her son, Charles Martel, and after his death in 1295, to her grandson, Charles. On the other hand, her husband, Charles II of Naples, made their third son, Robert, heir to the Kingdom of Naples, thus disinheriting Charles.
In 1859, Wallachia united with Moldavia to form the United Principalities, which adopted the name Romania in 1866 and officially became the Kingdom of Romania in 1881. Later, following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the resolution of the elected representatives of Romanians in 1918, Bukovina, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș were allocated to the Kingdom of Romania, thereby forming the modern Romanian state.
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 Kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 26 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 proclaiming Romania a socialist republic.
The Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on 1 December 1918 by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia. The Great Union Day, celebrated on 1 December, is a national holiday in Romania that commemorates this event. The holiday was established after the Romanian Revolution, and commemorates the unification not only of Transylvania, but also of Bessarabia and Bukovina and parts of Banat, Crișana and Maramureș with the Romanian Kingdom. Bessarabia and Bukovina had joined with the Kingdom of Romania earlier in 1918.
The name Wallachia is an exonym, generally not used by Romanians themselves who used the denomination "Țara Românească/Rumânească" – Romanian Land. The term "Wallachia" (however present in some Romanian texts as Valahia or Vlahia) is derived from the term walhaz used by Germanic peoples to describe Celts, and later romanized Celts and all Romance-speaking people. In Northwestern Europe this gave rise to Wales, Cornwall, and Wallonia, among others, while in Southeast Europe it was used to designate Romance-speakers, and subsequently shepherds generally.
*Walhaz is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic word meaning "Roman", "Romance-speaker", or "Celtic-speaker". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Western Roman Empire, who were largely romanised and spoke Latin or Celtic languages. The adjectival form is attested in Old Norse valskr, meaning "French"; Old High German walhisk, meaning "Romance"; New High German welsch, used in Switzerland and South Tyrol for Romance speakers; Dutch Waals "Walloon"; Old English welisċ, wælisċ, wilisċ, meaning "Romano-British". The form of these words imply that they are descended from a Proto-Germanic form *walhiska-. It is attested in the Roman Iron Age from an inscription on one of the Tjurkö bracteates, where walhakurne "Roman/Gallic grain" is apparently a kenning for "gold".
The Germanic peoples were an indigenous ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples, and identified in modern scholarship as speakers, at least for the most part, of early Germanic languages.
Romanization or Latinization, in the historical and cultural meanings of both terms, indicate different historical processes, such as acculturation, integration and assimilation of newly incorporated and peripheral populations by the Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire. Ancient Roman historiography and Italian historiography until the fascist period used to call the various processes the "civilizing of barbarians".
In the Early Middle Ages, in Slavonic texts, the name Zemli Ungro-Vlahiskoi (Земли Унгро-Влахискои or "Hungaro-Wallachian Land") was also used as a designation for its location. The term, translated in Romanian as "Ungrovalahia", remained in use up to the modern era in a religious context, referring to the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan seat of Hungaro-Wallachia, in contrast to Thessalian or Great Vlachia in Greece or Small Wallachia (Mala Vlaška) in Serbia. The Romanian-language designations of the state were Muntenia (The Land of Mountains), Țara Românească (the Romanian Land), Valahia, and, rarely, România
Historians typically regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history. The alternative term "Late Antiquity" emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and precedes the High Middle Ages.
Church Slavonic, also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative Slavic sacred language used by the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. The language appears also in the services of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and occasionally in the services of the Orthodox Church in America. It was also used by the Orthodox Churches in Romanian lands until the late 17th and early 18th centuries as well as by Roman Catholic Croats in the Early Middle Ages. It is also co-used by Greek Catholic Churches, which are under Roman communion, in Slavic countries, for example the Croatian, Slovak and Ruthenian Greek Catholics, as well as by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Orthodox Church in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches, one of the nine Patriarchates in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 1925, the Church's Primate bears the title of Patriarch. Its jurisdiction covers the territories of Romania and Moldova, with additional dioceses for Romanians living in nearby Serbia and Hungary, as well as for diaspora communities in Central and Western Europe, North America and Oceania.
For long periods after the 14th century, Wallachia was referred to as Vlaško (Bulgarian : Влашко) by Bulgarian sources, Vlaška (Serbian : Влашка) by Serbian sources, Voloschyna (Ukrainian : Волощина) by Ukrainian sources and Walachei or Walachey by German-speaking (Transylvanian Saxon) sources. The traditional Hungarian name for Wallachia is Havasalföld, literally "Snowy Lowlands", the older form of which is Havaselve, meaning "Land beyond the snowy mountains" ("snowy mountains" refers to the – Southern Carpathians (the Transylvanian Alps) ); its translation into Latin, Transalpina was used in the official royal documents of Kingdom of Hungary. In Ottoman Turkish, the term Eflâk Prensliği, or simply ''Eflâkافلاق, appears. (Note that in a turn of linguistic luck utterly in favor of the Wallachians' eastward posterity, this toponym, at least according to the phonotactics of modern Turkish, is homophonous with another word, افلاک, meaning "heavens" or "skies".)
Bulgarian, is a South Slavic language spoken in Southeastern Europe, primarily in Bulgaria. It is the language of Bulgarians.
Serbian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Serbs. It is the official language of Serbia, co-official in the territory of Kosovo, and one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it is a recognized minority language in Montenegro, where it is spoken by the relative majority of the population, as well as in Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
Ukrainian is an East Slavic language. It is the official state language of Ukraine and one of the three official languages in the unrecognized state of Transnistria, the other two being Romanian and Russian. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script.
Arabic chronicles from the 13th century had used the name of Wallachia instead of Kingdom of Bulgaria. They gave the coordinates of Wallachia and specified that Wallachia was named al-Awalak and the dwellers ulaqut or ulagh.
The area of Oltenia in Wallachia was also known in Turkish as Kara-Eflak ("Black Wallachia") and Kuçuk-Eflak ("Little Wallachia"),while the former has also been used for Ottoman Moldova.
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|History of Romania|
In the Second Dacian War (AD 105) western Oltenia became part of the Roman province of Dacia, with parts of Wallachia included in the Moesia Inferior province. The Roman limes was initially built along the Olt River in 119 before being moved slightly to the east in the second century, during which time it stretched from the Danube up to Rucăr in the Carpathians. The Roman line fell back to the Olt in 245 and, in 271, the Romans pulled out of the region.
The area was subject to Romanization also during the Migration Period, when most of present-day Romania was also invaded by Goths and Sarmatians known as the Chernyakhov culture, followed by waves of other nomads. In 328, the Romans built a bridge between Sucidava and Oescus (near Gigen) which indicates that there was a significant trade with the peoples north of the Danube. A short period of Roman rule in the area is attested under Emperor Constantine the Great,after he attacked the Goths (who had settled north of the Danube) in 332. The period of Goth rule ended when the Huns arrived in the Pannonian Basin and, under Attila, attacked and destroyed some 170 settlements on both sides of the Danube.
Byzantine influence is evident during the 5th to 6th century, such as the site at Ipotești-Cândești, but from the second half of the 6th century and in the seventh century, Slavs crossed the territory of Wallachia and settled in it, on their way to Byzantium, occupying the southern bank of the Danube.In 593, the Byzantine commander-in-chief Priscus defeated Slavs, Avars and Gepids on future Wallachian territory, and, in 602, Slavs suffered a crucial defeat in the area; Flavius Mauricius Tiberius, who ordered his army to be deployed north of the Danube, encountered his troops' strong opposition.
Wallachia was under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire from its establishment in 681, until approximately the Hungarians' conquest of Transylvania at the end of the 10th century. With the decline and subsequent Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria (from the second half of the 10th century up to 1018), Wallachia came under the control of the Pechenegs, Turkic peoples who extended their rule west through the 10th and 11th century, until they were defeated around 1091, when the Cumans of southern Ruthenia took control of the lands of Wallachia.Beginning with the 10th century, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and later Western sources mention the existence of small polities, possibly peopled by, among others, Vlachs led by knyazes and voivodes .
In 1241, during the Mongol invasion of Europe, Cuman domination was ended—a direct Mongol rule over Wallachia was not attested, but it remains probable.Part of Wallachia was probably briefly disputed by the Kingdom of Hungary and Bulgarians in the following period, but it appears that the severe weakening of Hungarian authority during the Mongol attacks contributed to the establishment of the new and stronger polities attested in Wallachia for the following decades.
One of the first written pieces of evidence of local voivodes is in connection with Litovoi (1272), who ruled over land each side of the Carpathians (including Hațeg Country in Transylvania), and refused to pay tribute to Ladislaus IV of Hungary. His successor was his brother Bărbat (1285–1288). The continuing weakening of the Hungarian state by further Mongol invasions (1285–1319) and the fall of the Árpád dynasty opened the way for the unification of Wallachian polities, and to independence from Hungarian rule.
Wallachia's creation, held by local traditions to have been the work of one Radu Negru (Black Radu), is historically connected with Basarab I of Wallachia (1310–1352), who rebelled against Charles I of Hungary and took up rule on either side of the Olt, establishing his residence in Câmpulung as the first ruler of the House of Basarab. Basarab refused to grant Hungary the lands of Făgăraș, Almaș and the Banate of Severin, defeated Charles in the Battle of Posada (1330), and, according to Romanian historian Ștefan Ștefănescu, extended his lands to the east, to comprise lands as far as Kiliya in the Budjak (reportedly providing the origin of Bessarabia );the supposed rule over the latter was not preserved by the princes that followed, as Kilia was under the rule of Nogais c.1334.
There is evidence that the Second Bulgarian Empire ruled at least nominally the Wallachian lands up to the Rucăr–Bran corridor as late as the late 14th century. In a charter by Radu I, the Wallachian voivode requests that tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria order his customs officers at Rucăr and the Dâmboviţa River bridge to collect tax following the law. The presence of Bulgarian customs officers at the Carpathians indicates a Bulgarian suzerainty over those lands, though Radu's imperative tone hints at a strong and increasing Wallachian autonomy.Under Radu I and his successor Dan I, the realms in Transylvania and Severin continued to be disputed with Hungary. Basarab was succeeded by Nicholas Alexander, followed by Vladislav I. Vladislav attacked Transylvania after Louis I occupied lands south of the Danube, conceded to recognize him as overlord in 1368, but rebelled again in the same year; his rule also witnessed the first confrontation between Wallachia and the Ottoman Empire (a battle in which Vladislav was allied with Ivan Shishman).
As the entire Balkans became an integral part of the growing Ottoman Empire (a process that concluded with the fall of Constantinople to Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453), Wallachia became engaged in frequent confrontations in the final years of the reign of Mircea I (r. 1386–1418). Mircea initially defeated the Ottomans in several battles, including the Battle of Rovine in 1394, driving them away from Dobruja and briefly extending his rule to the Danube Delta, Dobruja and Silistra (c. 1400–1404).He swung between alliances with Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, and Jagiellon Poland (taking part in the Battle of Nicopolis), and accepted a peace treaty with the Ottomans in 1417, after Mehmed I took control of Turnu Măgurele and Giurgiu. The two ports remained part of the Ottoman state, with brief interruptions, until 1829. In 1418–1420, Michael I defeated the Ottomans in Severin, only to be killed in battle by the counter-offensive; in 1422, the danger was averted for a short while when Dan II inflicted a defeat on Murad II with the help of Pippo Spano.
The peace signed in 1428 inaugurated a period of internal crisis, as Dan had to defend himself against Radu II, who led the first in a series of boyar coalitions against established princes.Victorious in 1431 (the year when the boyar-backed Alexander I Aldea took the throne), boyars were dealt successive blows by Vlad II Dracul (1436–1442; 1443–1447), who nevertheless attempted to compromise between the Ottoman Sultan and the Holy Roman Empire.
The following decade was marked by the conflict between the rival houses of Dănești and Drăculești. Faced with both internal and external conflict, Vlad II Dracul reluctantly agreed to pay the tribute demanded of him by the Ottoman Empire, despite his affiliation with the Order of the Dragon, a group of independent nobleman whose creed had been to repel the Ottoman invasion. As part of the tribute, the sons of Vlad II Dracul (Radu cel Frumos and Vlad III Dracula) were taken into Ottoman custody. Recognizing the Christian resistance to their invasion, leaders of the Ottoman Empire released Vlad III to rule in 1448 after his father's assassination in 1447.
Known as Vlad III the Impaler or Vlad III Dracula, he immediately put to death the boyars who had conspired against his father, and was characterized as both a national hero and a cruel tyrant.He was cheered for restoring order to a destabilized principality, yet showed no mercy toward thieves, murderers or anyone who plotted against his rule. Vlad demonstrated his intolerance for criminals by utilizing impalement as a form of execution, having learned of the method of the impalement from his youth spent in Ottoman captivity. Vlad fiercely resisted Ottoman rule, having both repelled the Ottomans and been pushed back several times.
The Transylvanian Saxons were also furious with him for strengthening the borders of Wallachia, which interfered with their stranglehold on the trade routes. In retaliation, the Saxons distributed grotesque poems of cruelty and other propaganda, demonizing Vlad III Dracula as a drinker of blood. These tales strongly influenced an eruption of vampiric fiction throughout the West and, in particular, Germany. As well the main character in the 1897 Gothic novel Dracula by Bram Stoker could be modelled on Vlad III Dracula. According to Elizabeth Miller Stoker borrowed only the name and "scraps of miscellaneous information" about Romanian history; as well, there are no comments about Vlad III in the author's working notes.
In 1462, Vlad III defeated Mehmed the Conqueror's offensive during the Night Attack at Târgovişte before being forced to retreat to Târgoviște and accepting to pay an increased tribute.Meanwhile, Vlad III faced parallel conflicts with his brother, Radu cel Frumos, (r. 1437/1439—1475), who had at this time become Muslim, and Basarab Laiotă cel Bătrân. This led to the conquest of Wallachia by Radu who would rule it for 11 years until his death. Subsequently, Radu IV the Great (Radu cel Mare, who ruled 1495–1508) reached several compromises with the boyars, ensuring a period of internal stability that contrasted his clash with Bogdan III the One-Eyed of Moldavia.
The late 15th century saw the ascension of the powerful Craiovești family, virtually independent rulers of the Oltenian banat, who sought Ottoman support in their rivalry with Mihnea cel Rău (1508–1510) and replaced him with Vlăduț. After the latter proved to be hostile to the bans, the House of Basarab formally ended with the rise of Neagoe Basarab, a Craioveşti.Neagoe's peaceful rule (1512–1521) was noted for its cultural aspects (the building of the Curtea de Argeş Cathedral and Renaissance influences). It was also a period of increased influence for the Saxon merchants in Brașov and Sibiu, and of Wallachia's alliance with Louis II of Hungary. Under Teodosie, the country was again under a four-month-long Ottoman occupation, a military administration that seemed to be an attempt to create a Wallachian Pashaluk . This danger rallied all boyars in support of Radu de la Afumaţi (four rules between 1522 and 1529), who lost the battle after an agreement between the Craiovești and Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent; Prince Radu eventually confirmed Süleyman's position as suzerain and agreed to pay an even higher tribute.
Ottoman suzerainty remained virtually unchallenged throughout the following 90 years. Radu Paisie, who was deposed by Süleyman in 1545, ceded the port of Brăila to Ottoman administration in the same year. His successor Mircea Ciobanul (1545–1554; 1558–1559), a prince without any claim to noble heritage, was imposed on the throne and consequently agreed to a decrease in autonomy (increasing taxes and carrying out an armed intervention in Transylvania – supporting the pro-Turkish John Zápolya).Conflicts between boyar families became stringent after the rule of Pătrașcu the Good, and boyar ascendancy over rulers was obvious under Petru the Younger (1559–1568; a reign dominated by Doamna Chiajna and marked by huge increases in taxes), Mihnea Turcitul, and Petru Cercel.
The Ottoman Empire increasingly relied on Wallachia and Moldavia for the supply and maintenance of its military forces; the local army, however, soon disappeared due to the increased costs and the much more obvious efficiency of mercenary troops.
Initially profiting from Ottoman support, Michael the Brave ascended to the throne in 1593, and attacked the troops of Murad III north and south of the Danube in an alliance with Transylvania's Sigismund Báthory and Moldavia's Aron Vodă (see Battle of Călugăreni). He soon placed himself under the suzerainty of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor, and, in 1599–1600, intervened in Transylvania against Poland's king Sigismund III Vasa, placing the region under his authority; his brief rule also extended to Moldavia later in the following year. [ citation needed ] Following Michael's downfall, Wallachia was occupied by the Polish–Moldavian army of Simion Movilă (see Moldavian Magnate Wars), who held the region until 1602, and was subject to Nogai attacks in the same year.For a brief period, Michael the Brave ruled (in a personal, but not formal, union) all the territories where Romanians lived, rebuilding the mainland of the ancient Kingdom of Dacia. The rule of Michael the Brave, with its break with Ottoman rule, tense relations with other European powers and the leadership of the three states, was considered in later periods as the precursor of a modern Romania, a thesis which was argued with noted intensity by Nicolae Bălcescu.
The last stage in the Growth of the Ottoman Empire brought increased pressures on Wallachia: political control was accompanied by Ottoman economical hegemony, the discarding of the capital in Târgoviște in favour of Bucharest (closer to the Ottoman border, and a rapidly growing trade center), the establishment of serfdom under Michael the Brave as a measure to increase manorial revenues, and the decrease in importance of low-ranking boyars (threatened with extinction, they took part in the seimeni rebellion of 1655).Furthermore, the growing importance of appointment to high office in front of land ownership brought about an influx of Greek and Levantine families, a process already resented by locals during the rules of Radu Mihnea in the early 17th century. Matei Basarab, a boyar appointee, brought a long period of relative peace (1632–1654), with the noted exception of the 1653 Battle of Finta, fought between Wallachians and the troops of Moldavian prince Vasile Lupu—ending in disaster for the latter, who was replaced with Prince Matei's favourite, Gheorghe Ștefan, on the throne in Iași. A close alliance between Gheorghe Ștefan and Matei's successor Constantin Șerban was maintained by Transylvania's George II Rákóczi, but their designs for independence from Ottoman rule were crushed by the troops of Mehmed IV in 1658–1659. The reigns of Gheorghe Ghica and Grigore I Ghica, the sultan's favourites, signified attempts to prevent such incidents; however, they were also the onset of a violent clash between the Băleanu and Cantacuzino boyar families, which was to mark Wallachia's history until the 1680s. The Cantacuzinos, threatened by the alliance between the Băleanus and the Ghicas, backed their own choice of princes (Antonie Vodă din Popești and George Ducas) before promoting themselves—with the ascension of Șerban Cantacuzino (1678–1688).
Wallachia became a target for Habsburg incursions during the last stages of the Great Turkish War around 1690, when the ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu secretly and unsuccessfully negotiated an anti-Ottoman coalition. Brâncoveanu's reign (1688–1714), noted for its late Renaissance cultural achievements (see Brâncovenesc style), also coincided with the rise of Imperial Russia under Tsar Peter the Great—he was approached by the latter during the Russo-Turkish War of 1710–11, and lost his throne and life sometime after sultan Ahmed III caught news of the negotiations.Despite his denunciation of Brâncoveanu's policies, Ștefan Cantacuzino attached himself to Habsburg projects and opened the country to the armies of Prince Eugene of Savoy; he was himself deposed and executed in 1716.
Immediately following the deposition of Prince Ștefan, the Ottomans renounced the purely nominal elective system (which had by then already witnessed the decrease in importance of the Boyar Divan over the sultan's decision), and princes of the two Danubian Principalities were appointed from the Phanariotes of Constantinople. Inaugurated by Nicholas Mavrocordatos in Moldavia after Dimitrie Cantemir, Phanariote rule was brought to Wallachia in 1715 by the very same ruler.The tense relations between boyars and princes brought a decrease in the number of taxed people (as a privilege gained by the former), a subsequent increase in total taxes, and the enlarged powers of a boyar circle in the Divan.
In parallel, Wallachia became the battleground in a succession of wars between the Ottomans on one side and Russia or the Habsburg Monarchy on the other. Mavrocordatos himself was deposed by a boyar rebellion, and arrested by Habsburg troops during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18, as the Ottomans had to concede Oltenia to Charles VI of Austria (the Treaty of Passarowitz).The region, subject to an enlightened absolutist rule that soon disenchanted local boyars, was returned to Wallachia in 1739 (the Treaty of Belgrade, upon the close of the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39)). Prince Constantine Mavrocordatos, who oversaw the new change in borders, was also responsible for the effective abolition of serfdom in 1746 (which put a stop to the exodus of peasants into Transylvania); during this period, the ban of Oltenia moved his residence from Craiova to Bucharest, signalling, alongside Mavrocordatos' order to merge his personal treasury with that of the country, a move towards centralism.
In 1768, during the Fifth Russo-Turkish War, Wallachia was placed under its first Russian occupation (helped along by the rebellion of Pârvu Cantacuzino).The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) allowed Russia to intervene in favour of Eastern Orthodox Ottoman subjects, curtailing Ottoman pressures—including the decrease in sums owed as tribute —and, in time, relatively increasing internal stability while opening Wallachia to more Russian interventions.
Habsburg troops, under Prince Josias of Coburg, again entered the country during the Russo-Turkish-Austrian War, deposing Nicholas Mavrogenes in 1789.A period of crisis followed the Ottoman recovery: Oltenia was devastated by the expeditions of Osman Pazvantoğlu, a powerful rebellious pasha whose raids even caused prince Constantine Hangerli to lose his life on suspicion of treason (1799), and Alexander Mourousis to renounce his throne (1801). In 1806, the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–12 was partly instigated by the Porte's deposition of Constantine Ypsilantis in Bucharest—in tune with the Napoleonic Wars, it was instigated by the French Empire, and also showed the impact of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (with its permissive attitude towards Russian political influence in the Danubian Principalities); the war brought the invasion of Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich. After the Peace of Bucharest, the rule of Jean Georges Caradja, although remembered for a major plague epidemic, was notable for its cultural and industrial ventures. During the period, Wallachia increased its strategic importance for most European states interested in supervising Russian expansion; consulates were opened in Bucharest, having an indirect but major impact on Wallachian economy through the protection they extended to Sudiți traders (who soon competed successfully against local guilds).
The death of prince Alexander Soutzos in 1821, coinciding with the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, established a boyar regency which attempted to block the arrival of Scarlat Callimachi to his throne in Bucharest. The parallel uprising in Oltenia, carried out by the Pandur leader Tudor Vladimirescu, although aimed at overthrowing the ascendancy of Greeks,compromised with the Greek revolutionaries in the Filiki Eteria and allied itself with the regents, while seeking Russian support (see also: Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire).
On March 21, 1821, Vladimirescu entered Bucharest. For the following weeks, relations between him and his allies worsened, especially after he sought an agreement with the Ottomans;Eteria's leader Alexander Ypsilantis, who had established himself in Moldavia and, after May, in northern Wallachia, viewed the alliance as broken—he had Vladimirescu executed, and faced the Ottoman intervention without Pandur or Russian backing, suffering major defeats in Bucharest and Drăgășani (before retreating to Austrian custody in Transylvania). These violent events, which had seen the majority of Phanariotes siding with Ypsilantis, made Sultan Mahmud II place the Principalities under its occupation (evicted by a request of several European powers), and sanction the end of Phanariote rules: in Wallachia, the first prince to be considered a local one after 1715 was Grigore IV Ghica. Although the new system was confirmed for the rest of Wallachia's existence as a state, Ghica's rule was abruptly ended by the devastating Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.
The 1829 Treaty of Adrianople placed Wallachia and Moldavia under Russian military rule, without overturning Ottoman suzerainty, awarding them the first common institutions and semblance of a constitution (see Regulamentul Organic). Wallachia was returned ownership of Brăila, Giurgiu (both of which soon developed into major trading cities on the Danube), and Turnu Măgurele.The treaty also allowed Moldavia and Wallachia to freely trade with countries other than the Ottoman Empire, which signalled substantial economic and urban growth, as well as improving the peasant situation. Many of the provisions had been specified by the 1826 Akkerman Convention between Russia and the Ottomans, but it had never been fully implemented in the three-year interval. The duty of overseeing of the Principalities was left to Russian general Pavel Kiselyov; this period was marked by a series of major changes, including the reestablishment of a Wallachian Army (1831), a tax reform (which nonetheless confirmed tax exemptions for the privileged), as well as major urban works in Bucharest and other cities. In 1834, Wallachia's throne was occupied by Alexandru II Ghica—a move in contradiction with the Adrianople treaty, as he had not been elected by the new Legislative Assembly; he was removed by the suzerains in 1842 and replaced with an elected prince, Gheorghe Bibescu.
Opposition to Ghica's arbitrary and highly conservative rule, together with the rise of liberal and radical currents, was first felt with the protests voiced by Ion Câmpineanu (quickly repressed);subsequently, it became increasingly conspiratorial, and centered on those secret societies created by young officers such as Nicolae Bălcescu and Mitică Filipescu. Frăția, a clandestine movement created in 1843, began planning a revolution to overthrow Bibescu and repeal Regulamentul Organic in 1848 (inspired by the European rebellions of the same year). Their pan-Wallachian coup d'état was initially successful only near Turnu Măgurele, where crowds cheered the Islaz Proclamation (June 9); among others, the document called for political freedoms, independence, land reform, and the creation of a national guard. On June 11–12, the movement was successful in deposing Bibescu and establishing a Provisional Government. Although sympathetic to the anti-Russian goals of the revolution, the Ottomans were pressured by Russia into repressing it: Ottoman troops entered Bucharest on September 13. Russian and Turkish troops, present until 1851, brought Barbu Dimitrie Știrbei to the throne, during which interval most participants in the revolution were sent into exile.
Briefly under renewed Russian occupation during the Crimean War, Wallachia and Moldavia were given a new status with a neutral Austrian administration (1854–1856) and the Treaty of Paris: a tutelage shared by Ottomans and a Congress of Great Powers (Britain, France, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and, albeit never again fully, Russia), with a kaymakam -led internal administration. The emerging movement for a union of the Danubian Principalities (a demand first voiced in 1848, and a cause cemented by the return of revolutionary exiles) was advocated by the French and their Sardinian allies, supported by Russia and Prussia, but was rejected or suspicioned by all other overseers.
After an intense campaign, a formal union was ultimately granted: nevertheless, elections for the Ad hoc Divans of 1859 profited from a legal ambiguity (the text of the final agreement specified two thrones, but did not prevent any single person from simultaneously taking part in and winning elections in both Bucharest and Iași). Alexander John Cuza, who ran for the unionist Partida Națională , won the elections in Moldavia on January 5; Wallachia, which was expected by the unionists to carry the same vote, returned a majority of anti-unionists to its divan.
Those elected changed their allegiance after a mass protest of Bucharest crowds,and Cuza was voted prince of Wallachia on February 5 (January 24 Old Style), consequently confirmed as Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (of Romania from 1862). Internationally recognized only for the duration of his reign, the union was irreversible after the ascension of Carol I in 1866 (coinciding with the Austro-Prussian War, it came at a time when Austria, the main opponent of the decision, was not in a position to intervene).
Slavery (Romanian : robie) was part of the social order from before the founding of the Principality of Wallachia, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves were of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity. The very first document attesting the presence of Roma people in Wallachia dates back to 1385, and refers to the group as ațigani (from the Greek athinganoi , the origin of the Romanian term țigani, which is synonymous with "Gypsy").
The exact origins of slavery are not known. Slavery was a common practice in Europe at the time, and there is some debate over whether the Romani people came to Wallachia as free men or as slaves. In the Byzantine Empire, they were slaves of the state and it seems the situation was the same in Bulgaria and Serbia [ citation needed ] until their social organization was destroyed by the Ottoman conquest, which would suggest that they came as slaves who had a change of 'ownership'. Historian Nicolae Iorga associated the Roma people's arrival with the 1241 Mongol invasion of Europe and considered their slavery as a vestige of that era, the Romanians taking the Roma from the Mongols as slaves and preserving their status. Other historians consider that they were enslaved while captured during the battles with the Tatars. The practice of enslaving prisoners may also have been taken from the Mongols. While it is possible that some Romani people were slaves or auxiliary troops of the Mongols or Tatars, the bulk of them came from south of the Danube at the end of the 14th century, some time after the foundation of Wallachia. The arrival of the Roma made slavery a widespread practice.
Traditionally, Roma slaves were divided into three categories. The smallest was owned by the hospodars, and went by the Romanian-language name of țigani domnești ("Gypsies belonging to the lord"). The two other categories comprised țigani mănăstirești ("Gypsies belonging to the monasteries"), who were the property of Romanian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox monasteries, and țigani boierești ("Gypsies belonging to the boyars"), who were enslaved by the category of landowners.
The abolition of slavery was carried out following a campaign by young revolutionaries who embraced the liberal ideas of the Enlightenment. The earliest law which freed a category of slaves was in March 1843, which transferred the control of the state slaves owned by the prison authority to the local authorities, leading to their sedentarizing and becoming peasants. During the Wallachian Revolution of 1848, the agenda of the Provisional Government included the emancipation (dezrobire) of the Roma as one of the main social demands. By the 1850s the movement gained support from almost the whole of Romanian society, and the law from February 1856 emancipated all slaves to the status of taxpayers (citizens).
With an area of approximately 77,000 km2 (30,000 sq mi), Wallachia is situated north of the Danube (and of present-day Bulgaria), east of Serbia and south of the Southern Carpathians, and is traditionally divided between Muntenia in the east (as the political center, Muntenia is often understood as being synonymous with Wallachia), and Oltenia (a former banat) in the west. The division line between the two is the Olt River.
Wallachia's traditional border with Moldavia coincided with the Milcov River for most of its length. To the east, over the Danube north-south bend, Wallachia neighbours Dobruja (Northern Dobruja). Over the Carpathians, Wallachia shared a border with Transylvania; Wallachian princes have for long held possession of areas north of the line (Amlaș, Ciceu, Făgăraș, and Hațeg), which are generally not considered part of Wallachia proper.
The capital city changed over time, from Câmpulung to Curtea de Argeș, then to Târgoviște and, after the late 17th century, to Bucharest.
Contemporary historians estimate the population of Wallachia in the 15th century at 500,000 people.In 1859, the population of Wallachia was 2,400,921 (1,586,596 in Muntenia and 814,325 in Oltenia).
According to the latest 2011 census data, the region has a total population of 8,256,532 inhabitants, distributed among the ethnic groups as follows (as per 2001 census): Romanians (97%), Roma (2.5%), others (0.5%).
The largest cities (as per the 2011 census) in the Wallachia region are:
This article provides an overview of the history of Romania; further details are presented in separate articles.
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river.
Mircea the Elder was Voivode of Wallachia from 1386 until his death. The byname "elder" was given to him after his death in order to distinguish him from his grandson Mircea II, although some historians believe the epithet was given to him as a sign of respect by later generations. He is considered the most important Wallachian ruler during the Middle Ages and one of the great rulers of his era, and starting in the 19th century Romanian historiography has also referred to him as Mircea the Great.
Radu III the Fair, Radu III the Handsome or Radu III the Beautiful, also known by his Turkish name Radu Bey (1437/1439—1475), was the younger brother of Vlad III and voivode of the principality of Wallachia. They were both sons of Vlad II Dracul and his wife, Princess Cneajna of Moldavia. In addition to Vlad III, Radu also had two older siblings, Mircea II and Vlad Călugărul, both of whom would also briefly rule Wallachia.
Vlad II, also known as Vlad Dracul or Vlad the Dragon, was Voivode of Wallachia from 1436 to 1442, and again from 1443 to 1447. Born an illegitimate son of Mircea I of Wallachia, he spent his youth at the court of Sigismund of Luxembourg, who made him a member of the Order of the Dragon in 1431. Sigismund also recognized him as the lawful voivode of Wallachia, allowing him to settle in the nearby Transylvania. Vlad could not assert his claim during the life of his half-brother, Alexander I Aldea, who acknowledged the suzerainty of the Ottoman Sultan, Murad II.
Vlad III Dracula, known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, was Voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is often considered one of the most important rulers in Wallachian history and a national hero of Romania.
The history of Bucharest covers the time from the early settlements on the locality's territory until its modern existence as a city, capital of Wallachia, and present-day capital of Romania.
Michael the Brave was the Prince of Wallachia, Prince of Moldavia (1600) and de facto ruler of Transylvania (1599–1600). He is considered one of Romania's greatest national heroes. Michael was seen by 19th-century nationalists as the first author of Romanian unity.
Constantine Mavrocordatos was a Greek noble who served as Prince of Wallachia and Prince of Moldavia at several intervals. As a ruler he issued reforms in the laws of each of the two Danubian Principalities, ensuring a more adequate taxation and a series of measures amounting to the emancipation of serfs and a more humane treatment of slaves.
Vlad VI of Wallachia was the voivode [prince] who ruled Wallachia between June 1530 and September 1532. He has been historically referenced as Vlad Înecatul ["Vlad the Drowned"], as a description of the manner of his death.
Alexander Mourouzis (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Μουρούζης; was a Grand Dragoman of the Ottoman Empire who served as Prince of Moldavia and Prince of Wallachia. Open to Enlightenment ideas, and noted for his interest in hydrological engineering, Mourouzis was forced to deal with the intrusions of Osman Pazvantoğlu's rebellious troops. In a rare gesture for his period, he renounced the throne in Wallachia, and his second rule in Moldavia was cut short by the intrigues of French diplomat Horace Sébastiani. Through his mother, he was a member of the Ghica family an Orthodox Phanariote family of Albanian origin.
The Craiovești, later Brâncovenești, were a boyar family in Wallachia who gave the country several of its Princes and held the title of Ban of Oltenia for ca. 60 years.
Pârvu III Cantacuzino, also known as Pârvul or Pîrvu Cantacuzino, was a high-ranking Wallachian statesman who served intermittently as Spatharios and Ban of Oltenia, primarily known as the leader of an anti-Ottoman rebellion. Holding sway over a Russophile faction within the Wallachian boyardom, he briefly served as an officer in Russia's Imperial Army during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. Pârvu was a member of the Cantacuzino family, which made him a descendant of several Wallachian Princes, and was joined in all of his political and military actions by his younger brother, the Vistier Mihai.
Regulamentul Organic was a quasi-constitutional organic law enforced in 1831–1832 by the Imperial Russian authorities in Moldavia and Wallachia. The document partially confirmed the traditional government and set up a common Russian protectorate which lasted until 1854. The Regulament itself remained in force until 1858. Conservative in its scope, it also engendered a period of unprecedented reforms which provided a setting for the Westernization of the local society. The Regulament offered the two Principalities their first common system of government.
Nicholas Mavrogenes was a Phanariote Prince of Wallachia. He was the great-uncle of Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek War of Independence.
The Wallachian Revolution of 1848 was a Romanian liberal and nationalist uprising in the Principality of Wallachia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the unsuccessful revolt in the Principality of Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by Imperial Russian authorities under the Regulamentul Organic regime, and, through many of its leaders, demanded the abolition of boyar privilege. Led by a group of young intellectuals and officers in the Wallachian Militia, the movement succeeded in toppling the ruling Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, whom it replaced with a Provisional Government and a Regency, and in passing a series of major progressive reforms, first announced in the Proclamation of Islaz.
The foundation of Wallachia, that is the establishment of the first independent Romanian principality, was achieved at the beginning of the 14th century, through the unification of smaller political units that had existed between the Carpathian Mountains, and the Rivers Danube, Siret and Milcov.
Slavery existed on the territory of present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 13th–14th century, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s, and also until 1783, in Transylvania and Bukovina. Most of the slaves were of Roma (Gypsy). Particularly in Moldavia there were also slaves of Tatar ethnicity, probably prisoners captured from the wars with the Nogai and Crimean Tatars.
Leon Tomșa, also known as Leon Vodă or Alion, was the Prince of Wallachia from October 1629 to July 1632. He claimed to be a son of Ștefan IX Tomșa, and as such a Moldavian, but was generally identified as a Greek of lowly origins, and reportedly an oyster-monger. He was imposed on the throne by the Ottoman Empire, one of a line of Princes who were primarily subservient to Ottoman power. In his first year, he also supported the political ascendancy of Greeks and Levantines, many of whom made their way into Wallachia's traditional aristocracy, or boyardom. This upset the local boyars, who were further alienated and impoverished by Leon's fiscal policies, which in turn reflected Ottoman demands for tribute. The regime was threatened by an Oltenia-centered rebellion, initially led by Ban Aslan, and later by Matei Basarab. Though often depicted as an anti-Greek movement, it had Greeks and Romanians fighting on either side.