- Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Roumania (or '
Romania' in post-1969, and also current, spelling) was the old Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between March 13th, 1881 and December 30th, 1947, specified by the First (in 1866), and respectively, the Second Constitution of Roumania. Thus, the Kingdom of Romania began with the reign of King Carol I of Romaniawho gained Romanian's independence in the Independence War of 1877-1878, and ended with the abdication of King Michael I of Romaniain December 30th, 1947, imposed by the Soviet Union with the tacit and secret, implicit consent of its allies (as a result of the Yalta Conferenceand secret agreements). As such, it is quite distinct from the 'Old Kingdom of Romania' (or Romanian Old Kingdom) which refers strictly to the reign of King Carol I of Romania (also known as 'King Charles the 1st of Roumania'), between March 13th, 1881 and October 10th, 1914.
Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Regatul României"
conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Roumania
common_name = Romania
region = Romania
country = Romania
era= Interwar period
year_start = 1881
date_start = 13 March
event_start = Kingdom established
year_end = 1947
date_end = 30 December
event_end = Monarchy abolished
event1 = Territorial expansion
December 1, 1918
p1 = Romanian principalities
flag_p1 = Flag of Romania.svg
p2 = Moldavian Democratic Republic
flag_p2 = R D Moldova.png
p3 = Bukovina
flag_p3 = Flag of Bukowina.svg
p4 = Transylvania
flag_p4 = Flag of Austria-Hungary 1869-1918.svg
s1 = Communist Romania
flag_s1 = Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg
s2 = Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
flag_s2 = Flag of Moldavian SSR 02.svg
s3 = Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
flag_s3 = Flag of Ukrainian SSR (1937-1949).svg
s4 = Kingdom of Bulgaria
flag_s4 = Flag of Bulgaria.svg
flag_article= Flag Of Romania
image_map_cpation = Romania 1918-1940
national_anthem = Trăiască Regele
common_languages = Romanian
capital = Bucharest
government_type = Constitutional monarchy
title_leader = King
leader1 = Carol I
year_leader1 = 1881-1914
leader2 = Ferdinand I
year_leader2 = 1914-1927
leader3 = Michael I (1st reign)
year_leader3 = 1927-1930
leader4 = Carol II
year_leader4 = 1930-1940
leader5 = Michael I (2nd reign)
year_leader5 = 1940-1947
legislature = Parlamentul (Reprezentanţa Naţională, or Corpurile Legiuitoare)
house1 = Senatul
house2 = Adunarea Deputaţilor
currency = Romanian Leu
From 1859 to 1877,
Romaniaevolved from a personal unionof two vassal principalities ( Moldaviaand Wallachia) under a single prince to a full-fledged independent kingdom with a Hohenzollernmonarchy. In 1918, at the end of World War I, Transylvania, Eastern Moldavia ( Bessarabia), and Bukovinaunited with the Kingdom of Romania, resulting in a " Greater Romania". In 1940, at the beginning of World War II, Northern Transylvania, Basarabia and Cadrilaterwere ceded to Hungary, Soviet Unionand Bulgariarespectively, only Northern Transylvania being recovered after World War II ended. In 1947 the monarchy was replaced by a communist regime.__TOC__
Unification and monarchy
The 1859 ascendancy of
Alexander John Cuzaas prince of both Moldavia and Wallachia under the nominal suzeraintyof the Ottoman Empireunited an identifiably Romanian nation under a single ruler. On February 5, 1862( January 24Old Style) the two principalities were formally united to form Romania, with Bucharestas its capital.
February 23, 1866a so-called "Monstrous coalition", composed of Conservatives and radical Liberals, forced Cuza to abdicate. The German prince Carol (Charles) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was appointed as Prince of Romania, in a move to assure German backing to unity and future independence. His descendants were to rule as the kings of Romaniauntil the rise of the communists in 1947.In 1877, following a Russian-Romanian-Turkish war, Romania was recognized as independent by the Treaty of Berlin, 1878, and acquired Dobruja, although she was forced to surrender southern Bessarabia ( Budjak) to Russia. Charles was crowned as Carol, the first King of Romania, in 1881.
The new state, squeezed between the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires, with Slavic populations on its southwestern, southern and northeastern borders, the Black Sea due east, and Magyar neighbors on its western and northwestern borders, looked to the West, particularly
France, for its cultural, educational and administrative models.
Abstaining from the Initial Balkan War against the Ottoman Empire, Romania entered the
Second Balkan Warin June 1913 against Bulgaria. 330,000 Romanian troops moved across the Danube and into Bulgaria. One army occupied Southern Dobrudja and another moved into northern Bulgaria to threaten Sofia, helping to bring an end to the war. Romania thus acquired the ethnically-mixed territory of Southern Dobrudja, which it had desired for years.
In 1916 Romania entered
World War Ion the Entente side, but was quickly defeated and occupied by German and Austro-Hungarian forces. Romania engages in a conflict against Bulgaria but as a result Bulgarian forces, after a series of successful battles, regain Dobruja that was previously taken from Bulgaria by the treaty of Bucharest and the Berlin congress. Although the Romanian forces did not fare well militarily, by the end of the war the Austrian and Russian empires were gone; governing bodies created in Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina chose union with Romania, upheld in 1919 the Treaty of Saint-Germainand in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon.
Romanian Old Kingdom (1881-1918)
The Romanian Old Kingdom (Romanian: "Vechiul Regat" or just "Regat"; German: "Regat" or "Altreich") is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romanian
nation state, which was composed of the Danubian Principalities— Wallachia and Moldavia. It was achieved when, under the auspices of the Treaty of Paris (1856), the ad hoc Divansof both countries - which were under Imperial Ottoman suzeraintyat the time - voted for Alexander John Cuzaas their prince, thus achieving a " de facto" unification. The region itself is defined by the result of that political act, followed by the inclusion of Northern Dobrujain 1878, the proclamation of the Kingdom of Romaniain 1881, and the annexation of Southern Dobrujain 1913.
The term came into use after World War I, when the Old Kingdom was opposed to
Greater Romania, which included Transylvania, Banat, Bessarabia, and Bukovina. Nowadays, the term mainly has a historical relevance, and is otherwise used as a common term for all regions in Romania included in both the Old Kingdom and present-day borders (namely: Wallachia, Moldavia, and Northern Dobruja).
World War I
The Romanian military campaign ended in disaster for Romania as the
Central Powersconquered two-thirds of the country and captured or killed the majority of its army within four months. Nevertheless, Moldovaremained in Romanian hands after the invading forces were stopped in 1917. Since by the war's end, Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire had collapsed, Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania were ceded to the Kingdom of Romania in 1918.
Union with Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina
After World War I, during 1918, Transylvania, part of Banat, Bessarabia (Eastern Moldavia between Prut and Dniester rivers) and Bukovina unite with Romania. Except for some territories across the
Dniester river, all these territories were united in a single state.
By the 1920
Treaty of Trianon, Hungaryrenounced in favour of Romania all the claims of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchyover Transylvania. [citeweb|url=http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Treaty_of_Trianon|title=Text of the Treaty of Trianon|publisher=World War I Document Archive|accessdate=2007-12-07] The union of Romania with Bukovinawas ratified in 1919 in the Treaty of Saint Germain, [citebook|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ox_gXq2jpdYC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=treaty+of+st+germain+text+bukovina&source=web&ots=naxO-x01Oy&sig=JK8wTD6USXqEM_L_1yqw7C_f6wM#PPA162,M1|title=Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia|author=Bernard Anthony Cook|page=162|isbn=0815340575|year=2001|publisher=Taylor&Francis|accessdate=2007-12-07] and with Bessarabia in 1920 by the Treaty of Paris. [citejournal|title=The Legal Status of the Bukovina and Bessarabia|author=Malbone W. Graham|journal=The American Journal of International Law|month=October | year=1944|volume=38|issue=4|pubisher=American Society of International Law|url=http://www.jstor.org/view/00029300/di981654/98p0431z/2?frame=noframe&userIDfirstname.lastname@example.org/01c0a80a6a00501cd629c&dpi=3&config=jstor|accessdate=2007-12-08|format=dead link|date=June 2008 – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=author%3A+intitle%3AThe+Legal+Status+of+the+Bukovina+and+Bessarabia&as_publication=The+American+Journal+of+International+Law&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=Search Scholar search] ]
The interregnum years
The Romanian expression România Mare (literal translation "Great Romania", but more commonly rendered "Greater Romania") generally refers to the Romanian state in the
interwar period, and by extension, to the territory Romania covered at the time (see map). Romania achieved at that time its greatest territorial extent (almost 300,000 km² [ro icon [http://media.ici.ro/history/ist08.htm STATUL NATIONAL UNITAR (ROMÂNIA MARE 1919 - 1940)] ] ).
Second Balkan Warand World War Ibut were lost after World War II, and rose indicates areas that joined Romania after World War I and remained so after World War II.]
The resulting "Greater Romania" did not survive World War II. Until 1938, Romania's governments maintained the form, if not always the substance, of a liberal constitutional monarchy. The National Liberal Party, dominant in the years immediately after World War I, became increasingly clientelist and nationalist, and in 1927 was supplanted in power by the
National Peasant Party. Between 1930 and 1940 there were over 25 separate governments; on several occasions in the last few years before World War II, conflict between the Iron Guardand other political groupings approached the level of a civil war.Upon the death in 1927 of his father Ferdinand, Prince Carol was prevented from succeeding him because of previous marital scandals that had resulted in his renunciation of rights to the throne. After serving three years in exile, with his brother Nicolae serving as regent and his young son Michael as king, Carol changed his mind and with the support of the ruling National Peasant Party he returned and proclaimed himself king. Iuliu Maniu, leader of the National Peasant Party, engineered Carol's return on the understanding that he would forsake his mistress Magda Lupescu, and Lupescu herself had agreed to the arrangement. However, it became clear upon Carol's first re-encounter with Elena that she had no interest in a reconciliation, and Carol soon arranged for Lupescu's return to his side. Her unpopularity in Romania, no doubt due in large part to her having a Jewish father, was to be a millstone around Carol's neck for the rest of his reign, particularly because she was widely viewed as his closest advisor and confidante.
The 1929 economic crisis greatly affected Romania and the early 1930s were marked by social unrest, high unemployment, and strikes. In several instances, the Romanian government violently repressed strikes and riots, notably the 1929 miners' strike in
Valea Jiuluiand the strike in the Griviţa railroad workshops. In the mid-1930s, the Romanian economy recovered and the industry grew significantly, although about 80% of Romanians were still employed in agriculture.
As the 1930s progressed, Romania's already shaky democracy slowly deteriorated toward fascist dictatorship. The constititution of 1923 gave the king free rein to dissolve parliament and call elections at will; as a result, Romania was to experience over 25 governments in a decade.
Increasingly, these governments were dominated by any of a number of anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist, and mostly at least quasi-fascist parties. The National Liberal Party steadily became more nationalistic than liberal, but nonetheless lost its dominance over Romanian politics. It was eclipsed by parties like the (relatively moderate) National Peasant Party and its more radical
Romanian Frontoffshoot, the League of National-Christian Defense(LANC) and the Iron Guard. In 1935 LANC merged with the National Agrarian Partyto form the National Christian Party(NCP). The quasi-mystical fascist Iron Guard was an earlier LANC offshoot that, even more than these other parties, exploited nationalism, fear of communism, and resentment of alleged foreign and Jewish domination of the economy.
Already, the Iron Guard had embraced the politics of assassination and various governments had reacted more or less in kind. On
December 10, 1933, Liberal prime minister Ion Duca"dissolved" the Iron Guard, arresting thousands; 19 days later he was assassinated by Iron Guard legionnaires.
Throughout the 1930s, these nationalist parties had a mutually distrustful relationship with King Carol II. Nonetheless, in December 1937, the king appointed LANC leader (and poet)
Octavian Gogaas prime minister. Around this time, Carol met with Adolf Hitler, who expressed his wish to see a Romanian government headed by the Iron Guard. Instead, on February 10, 1938King Carol II used the occasion of a public insult by Goga to toward Lupescu as a reason to dismiss the government and institute a short-lived royal dictatorship, sanctioned seventeen days later by a new constitution under which the king named not only the prime minister but "all" ministers.
February 10, 1938, in order to prevent the formation of a government that would have included Iron Guard ministers, and in direct confrontation to Adolf Hitler's expressed support of the Iron Guard, King Carol II dismissed the government and instituted a short-lived royal dictatorship, raising the stakes on both sides. In April 1938, Carol had Iron Guard leader Corneliu Zelea Codreanuarrested and imprisoned. On the night of November 29-30, 1938, Codreanu and several other legionnaires were killed while purportedly attempting to escape from prison. It is generally agreed that there was no such escape attempt, but that they were murdered in retaliation for a series of assassinations by Iron Guard commandos.
The royal dictatorship was brief. On
March 7, 1939a new government was formed with Armand Călinescuas prime minister; on September 21, 1939, three weeks after the start of World War II, Călinescu, in turn, was assassinated by legionnaires avenging Codreanu.
In 1939 Germany and the
Soviet Unionsigned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which stipulated, among other things, the Soviet "interest" in Bessarabia.
Timeline (1859 - 1939)
1859 Alexander John Cuzaunites Moldaviaand Wallachiaunder his personal rule. 1862 Formal union of Moldavia and Wallachia to form principality of Romania. 1866 Cuza forced to abdicate and a foreign dynasty is established. Carol I signed the first modern Constitution. 1877 16 April. Treaty by which the Russian troops are allowed to pass through Romanian territory 24 April. Russia declares war to the Ottoman Empire and its troops enter Romania 9 May. Romanian independence declared by the Romanian parliament, start of Romanian War of Independence 10 May. Carol I ratifies independence declaration 1878 Under Treaty of Berlin, Ottoman Empire recognizes Romanian independence. Romania ceded southern Bessarabia to Russia. 1881 Carol I was proclaimed King of Romaniaon March 26. 1894 Leaders of the Transylvanian Romanians who sent a Memorandum to the Austrian Emperor demanding national rights for the Romanians are found guilty of treason. 1907 Violent peasant revolts crushed throughout Romania, thousands of persons killed. 1914 Death of Carol I, succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand. 1916 (August) Romania enters World War Ion the Ententeside.
Romanian Treasuresent to Russia for safekeeping, but was not returned after the war. 1918 Greater Romaniais created. By the Treaty of Versailles, Romania agreed to grant citizenship to the former citizens of Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires living in the new Romanian territories. 1919 A military conflict occurs between Romania and Hungarian Soviet led by Béla Kun. The Romanian Army takes over Budapeston August 4, 1919. The city is ruled by a military administration until November 16, 1919. 1920 The Treaty of Trianonupholds Romanian unification. 1921 A major and radical agrarian reform. 1923 The 1923 Constitution is adopted based on a National Liberal Party project. Christian National Defense League(LANC) founded. 1924 LANC member (later Iron Guardfounder) Corneliu Zelea Codreanuassassinates the Prefect of Police in Iaşi, but is acquitted. 1926 Liberal Electoral Law adopted.
Little Entente" with Czechoslovakiaand Yugoslavia and Franco-Romanian Treaty. 1927 The National Peasant Party takes over the government from the National Liberal Party.
The Legion of the Archangel Michael, later the Iron Guard, splits from LANC.
Michael (Mihai) becomes king under a regency regime.
1929 Beginning of the Great Depression. 1930 Carol II crowned King. 1931 First ban on Iron Guard. 1933 (February 16) Griviţa Railcar Workshops strike violently put down by police.
(December 10) Prime Minister
Ion Duca"dissolves" the Iron Guard, arresting thousands; 19 days later he is assassinated by Iron Guard legionnaires. 1935 LANC and National Agrarian Party merge to form the fascist National Christian Party (NCP). 1937 Electoral "non-aggression pact" between National Peasant Party and Iron Guard, later adding the Agrarian Union. Romanian Communist Party denounces pact, but, in practice, supports the National-Peasants.
LANC forms government, but is rapidly in conflict with Carol II over his Jewish mistress.
1938 February 10. Royal dictatorship declared. New constitution adopted February 27.
(November 29-30) Iron Guard leader Codreanu and other legionnaires shot on the King's orders.
1939 March 7. Armand Călinescuforms government. August 23. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pactstipulates Soviet "interest" in Bessarabia. September 1. Germany invades Poland. Start of World War II. September 21. Călinescu assassinated by Iron Guard legionnaires.
* Lampe, John R. [http://books.google.com/books?id=OtW2axOSn10C&pg=PA350&ots=BTEb2k1FVt&dq=%22Romanian+Old+Kingdom%22&sig=9DgjwUEA_GdVbFoRnWh1wO-G2FQ Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950: From Imperial Borderlands to Developing Nations] , 1982, ISBN 0253303680.
Romanian War of Independence
* [http://www.the-map-as-history.com/demos/tome03/index.php Video with the redrawing of the borders after the First World War]
< National Awakening |
History of Romania| Greater Romania>
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