Lascăr Catargiu

Lascăr Catargiu

Infobox_Prime Minister
name =Lascăr Catargiu
nationality =Romanian

caption =
order =Prime Minister of Romania
term_start =May 24, 1866
term_end =July 25, 1866
March 24, 1871April 17, 1876
April 11, 1889March 2, 1891
December 29, 1891October 15, 1895
vicepresident =
deputy =
predecessor =Nicolae Creţulescu (1866)
Ion Ghica (1871)
Teodor Rosetti (1889)
Ion Emanuel Florescu (1891)
successor =Ion Ghica (1866)
Ion Emanuel Florescu (1876)
Ion Emanuel Florescu (1891)
Dimitrie Sturdza (1895)
order2 =
term_start2 =
term_end2 =
predecessor2 =
successor2 =
birth_date =November, 1823
birth_place =
death_date =death date|1899|4|11|mf=y
death_place =Bucharest, Romania
constituency =
party =
spouse =
profession =
religion =Romanian Orthodox

footnotes =|

Lascăr Catargiu (November 1823 – April 11, 1899) 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.


Born in Iaşi, Catargiu rose to the office of prefect of police in the city under the rule of the Moldavian Prince Grigore Ghica (1849–1856). In 1857 he became a member of the "ad hoc Divan" of Moldavia, a commission elected in accordance with the Treaty of Paris (1856) to vote on the proposed union of Moldavia and Wallachia (the Danubian Principalities). His strongly conservative views, especially on land reform, induced the Conservatives to support him as a candidate for the Romanian throne in 1859.

During the reign of "Domnitor" Alexander John Cuza (1859–1866), Catargiu was one of the Opposition leaders, and received much assistance from his kinsman, Barbu Catargiu (b. 1807), a noted journalist and politician, who was assassinated in Bucharest on the June 20, 1862. Lascăr Catargiu consequently took part in the so-called "Monstrous Coalition" that toppled Cuza, and, on the accession of "Domnitor" Carol I in May 1866, became President of the Council of Ministers but, finding himself unable to cooperate with his Liberal colleagues, Ion Brătianu and C. A. Rosetti, he resigned in July.

After eight more ministerial changes, culminating in the anti-dynastic agitation of 1870–1871 (provoked by the Liberals in the context of the Franco-Prussian War; "see also Republic of Ploieşti"), Catargiu formed, for the first time in Romanian history, a stable Conservative cabinet, which lasted until 1876. His policy, which averted political violence and revived the popularity of the crown, was regarded as unpatriotic and reactionary by the Liberals, who resumed office in 1876; and a proposal to impeach the whole Catargiu cabinet was only withdrawn in 1878.

Catargiu remained in opposition until 1889, when he formed another cabinet, taking the portfolio of the Interior; but this administration fell after seven months. In the Ion Emanuel Florescu cabinet of March 1891 he occupied the same position, and in December be again became president of the Council, retaining office until 1895. During this period he was responsible for several important reforms, chiefly financial and commercial. He died in Bucharest.



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