Romania is a country located at the intersection
of Central and Southeast Europe, on the border with the Black Sea.
It borders Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova
to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. With 238 391
km2, Romania is the ninth largest country in the European Union by
area, and has the seventh largest population in the European Union
with more than 19 million inhabitants. Its capital and most populous
city is Bucharest, the tenth largest city in the European Union.
The United Principalities arose when the principalities of
Moldova and Wallachia joined under Prince Alexandru Joan Cuza in
1859. In 1881, Charles I of Romania was crowned, forming the Kingdom
of Romania. His independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on
May 9, 1877 and was internationally recognized the following year.
At the end of the First World War, Transylvania, Bucovina and
Bessarabia were annexed by the Kingdom of Romania, a circumstance
that began what the Romanian monarchy called Great Romania. During
the 1930s the government, with John Gigurtu as prime minister,
derived from an initial position prone to the United Kingdom and
France, towards a position aligned militarily and politically with
Nazi Germany, implementing anti-Semitism officially in the country.
In 1940, the region of Bessarabia, which had joined Romania in
1918, was annexed to the Soviet Union as a result of the Soviet
occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. During the operation
there was a confrontation of some Romanian divisions with the Red
Army, which defeated them severely, which led to the incorporation
of Bessarabia to the Soviet Union as an RSS of Moldova, including
the territory of Transnistria.
At the beginning of World War
II, the former Minister of War, Antonescu, implanted a fascist
military dictatorship, in which he aligned the Romanian army to the
Wehrmacht, allowing the cantonment of a large number of divisions
thereof, with a view to Operation Barbarrosa, of invasion of the
Soviet Union. From June 1941 to 1944, Romania participated in the
war on the side of the axis powers, under the military leadership of
Germany. In 1944, under the Soviet counteroffensive that penetrated
its territory, it changed sides and formally joined the Allies,
dropping the military dictatorship of Antonescu. At the end of the
war, some previously northeastern territories of Romania were
temporarily occupied by the Soviet Union; With Red Army units
stationed in Romanian territory, the country eventually became the
Socialist Republic of Romania and a member of the Warsaw Pact.
With the fall of the European socialist bloc and the so-called
Romanian Revolution of 1989, Romania began its transition to western
representative democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a
decade of problems due to the massive privatizations and the
so-called post-economic revolution, as well as the deterioration of
living standards that caused a massive emigration to the surrounding
countries, extensive reforms were carried out that boosted the
economic recovery. Since 2010, Romania is a relatively high-income
country, with a high human development index.
NATO on March 29, 2004, and the European Union on January 1, 2007.
It is also a member of the Latin Union, La Francophonie, the OSCE,
the WTO, the BSEC and the United Nations. Today, Romania is a
unitary state with a semi-presidential republic, in which the
executive branch is made up of the president and the Government.
Romania and Moldova are the only countries in Eastern Europe whose
languages are Romance.
Râșnov Castle is located 15 km from Braşov in the city of
Râșnov, Braşov County in Romania. It sits on top of one of
the peaks in the Carpathian mountains at an elevation of 650
feet above modern town of Rasnov or Rosenau in German.
Citadel is a historic town situated on the banks of Tarnava
River in Mures county in Romania. It was found in the 12th
century by the Saxon (German region) colonists under name of
Castrum Sex or Fortress Six.
Ancient history and antiquity On the territory
of modern Romania, one of the oldest remains of the Cro-Magnon man
(Pestera cu Oase), dating to about 42 thousand years ago, was
About 4 thousand years ago, a Neolithic culture
arose. During the Bronze Age in 1800-1000 BC, the Thracian-Phrygian
Dacian tribes arose. In the 7th century BC, Greek colonies appeared
on the territory of the modern Black Sea coast of Romania (Lesser
Scythia). The emergence of Dacian states dates back to the 3rd
At the end of the 1st - the beginning of the 2nd
century AD, Dacia was conquered by the Romans, gold mining and the
resettlement of the colonists took place here. The beginning of
intensive Romanization and the birth of Balkan Latin dates back to
In the 270s after the uprisings, the Romans were
forced to retreat beyond the Danube.
During the period of the
“great migration of peoples,” Dacia was devastated by the migrating
tribes of the Goths, Vandals, Huns, and several others. In the VI
century, the Slavs began to settle in the territory of modern
Middle Ages In the Middle Ages, the ancestors of
the Romanians lived on the territory of 3 principalities: Wallachia,
Moldavia and Transylvania.
Since the XI century, Transylvania
has autonomy within the Hungarian kingdom, and in the XVI century it
became an independent principality and remained until 1711.
In 1526, during the battle of Mojac, the Hungarian troops were
defeated, and Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania fell under the
vassalism of the Ottoman Empire, while maintaining internal autonomy
until the middle of the 19th century. This period is characterized
by the gradual withering away of the feudal system. Among the rulers
of the territories at this time, the most prominent are Stephen III
the Great, Vasily Lupu and Dmitry Kantemir in Moldova; Matei
Basarab, Vlad III Tepes (Dracula) and Konstantin Brynkovyan in
Wallachia; Janos Hunyadi and Gabor Betlen in Transylvania.
1600 Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania were united under the rule
of Mihai the Brave, but in 1601 Mihai was killed, and the
pro-Ottoman nobility seized real power in Wallachia and Moldova. The
whole XVII century is characterized by boyar fragmentation and
At the beginning of the 18th century, in alliance with
Russia, the rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia tried to get rid of
Ottoman rule, but the Prut campaign of Peter I, due to the betrayal
of the Wallachian ruler Konstantin Brynkovyan, ended in failure, and
the enslavement of territories by the Ottoman Empire intensified.
Romanian state The historical process of the creation of the
state of Romania began on the vassal Ottoman Empire lands of the
United Principality of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859, as a result
of the unification of the two principalities - Moldova and
Wallachia, by electing the prince of both principalities, Alexander
Kuza, who declared himself the prince of the united country. The
emancipation of the peasants and other reform projects provoked
strong opposition to the prince’s policies among the
ultra-conservative party. As a result of the conspiracy, which, in
turn, led to a palace coup of the pro-Russian and pro-Ottoman nobles
against his ruler, Kuza was overthrown, and the throne passed to the
Prussian protege from the Swabian branch of the Hohenzollern - Karol
I (Karl Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen). Another area of the modern
Romanian state - Transylvania - was then part of Austria-Hungary.
For the first time, the independence of the United Principality
of Moldova and Wallachia was proclaimed on May 21 (May 9), 1877 with
the declaration of these lands as the Principality of Romania in
connection with the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war; taking part
in this war, Romania, following the results of the Berlin treaty,
received northern Dobrudja with Constanta in return for the southern
regions of Bessarabia (Budjak) newly occupied by Russia. As an
independent state, Romania was recognized in the San Stefano and
Berlin treaties. The period from 1878 to 1914 is characterized by
relative stability. In 1881, on the basis of the United
Principality, the Kingdom of Romania was formed, headed by Carol I.
World War I During the First World War, Romania initially
maintained neutrality, but then entered on August 28, 1916 on the
side of the Entente under the influence of the victories of the
On August 15 (28), 1916, Romanian troops
entered Transylvania. At first, the offensive was successful for
Romania, but problems with logistical support quickly affected, and
after the transfer of German troops from the Western Front, the
situation became very complicated. The forces of the Central Powers
pretty quickly defeated the relatively weak Romanian army and by the
end of 1916 occupied Dobrudja and all of Wallachia, including the
capital Bucharest. The royal family, government and parliament moved
to Iasi. The army and a large part of the civilian population
retreated to Moldova.
Romania was saved from liquidation by the Russian
Empire, which allocated an army to support it, thereby expanding the
Eastern Front to the Black Sea. Active hostilities in his Romanian
sector were resumed only in the summer of 1917, when the Romanian
army managed to recapture a small territory in the south-west of
Moldova from the enemy, however, the revolutionary events of 1917 in
Russia led to the fact that the Russian units more often refused to
fight. The territories occupied by the troops of the Central Powers
almost completely surrounded the territory of Moldova under the
jurisdiction of the Romanian government, threatening Romania in the
long term with complete elimination.
The success of the
Entente on the Western Front and the Balkans in the autumn of 1918
led to a change in the balance of power, which allowed Romania to
re-enter the war.
As a result of the war, Romania acquired
Transylvania and annexed Bessarabia, which was previously the
Bessarabian province of Russia. In 1917, Sfatul Tsarii (roman.
Sfatul Ţării “Council of the Territory, the Council of the Country”)
- the pro-Romanian state authority in Bessarabia (formerly part of
the Principality of Moldova) - proclaimed the People’s Republic of
Moldova, from March 27, 1918 - the Moldavian Democratic Republic
(not recognized one state of the world) and recognized the accession
of Bessarabia to Romania.
Between two world wars After the
First World War, parliamentary democracy was proclaimed in the
In April 1938, parliament was dissolved and a royal
dictatorship was established.
In late June - early July 1940,
Soviet troops, according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, occupied
Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.
By a decision of the second
Vienna arbitration held by Germany and Italy on August 30, 1940,
Romania transferred Northern Transylvania to Hungary. South
Transylvania remained in Romanian hands.
On September 7,
1940, Romania ceded the South Dobrudja region to Bulgaria and both
parties to the agreement agreed to exchange populations (minorities)
in the territories adjacent to the new border. This happened as a
result of the Craiova Peace Treaty.
The Second World War
During World War II, Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany. Romanian
troops participated in the war against the USSR. Three new provinces
were created from the Soviet territories occupied by Romania:
Bessarabia, which included the right-bank part of the Moldavian SSR,
Izmail Oblast, Transnistria, which included the left-bank part of
the MSSR and parts of the Odessa, Nikolaev and Vinnitsa regions of
the Ukrainian SSR, and Bukovina, formed by the Romanian authorities
in the occupied territory Chernivtsi region of the Ukrainian SSR of
Until 1944, a limited military contingent of the
Wehrmacht was located on the territory of the country. The German
air defense units created a strong air defense system to protect the
oil fields of the Ploiesti region from an air attack by anti-Hitler
Throughout the war, the Ploiesti region
was the main supplier of oil for the economy of the Third German
Reich and was repeatedly subjected to aerial bombardment of the
allies of the anti-Hitler coalition and shelling from the sea by
warships of the Soviet Navy.
In August 1944, King Mihai I,
united with the anti-fascist opposition, ordered the arrest of
Antonescu and the pro-German generals and declared war on Germany.
After that, Soviet troops were brought into Bucharest, and the
allied Romanian army, together with the Soviet, fought against the
Nazi coalition on the territory of Hungary, and then in Austria.
After World War II, Romania fell into the sphere of influence of
the USSR, the Soviet system of legislative power was established in
the country, but controlled democracy was allowed in elections to
Post-war period Peace treaties with
Romania were signed in 1947 by the USSR, Great Britain, the USA,
Australia, the BSSR, Czechoslovakia, India, New Zealand, the
Ukrainian SSR, the Union of South Africa, and also Canada. The
treaties established the borders of Romania as of January 1, 1938
(decisions of the Vienna Arbitrations of 1938 and 1940 were declared
non-existent); The borders of Romania were established as of January
1, 1941, with the exception of the Romanian-Hungarian border, which
was restored as of January 1, 1938 (this border was changed in
accordance with the decisions of the Vienna Arbitration of 1940).
The political provisions of the treaties coincide
mainly with the corresponding provisions of the 1947 peace treaty
with Italy (dissolution of fascist organizations, restoration of
freedoms, democracy, etc.). Military provisions of the treaties
regulate the composition of the armed forces of these states. The
agreements set the volume of reparations paid by Romania. Romania
pledged to pay reparations to the Soviet Union. The right of the
aggressed countries to restitution of property removed from their
territory was recognized, as well as the right of the Soviet Union
to all German assets in Romania (later, the Soviet Union,
contributing to the economic development of Romania, refused a
significant part of the compensation for damage caused to it).
In 1947, Mihai I abdicated, Romania was proclaimed a people's
republic. In 1948, socialist reforms began, the nationalization of
private firms and the collectivization of agriculture were carried
In 1965, Nicolae Ceausescu came to power, who pursued a
more independent policy. In particular, he condemned the entry of
Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia in 1968, continued diplomatic
relations with Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, and established
diplomatic and economic relations with the Federal Republic of
Germany. In 1974, Bucharest was granted the most favored nation
treatment in trade with the United States. However, from 1977 to
1981, Romania’s foreign debt increased from $ 3 to $ 10 billion,
resulting in increased influence from international organizations
such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Austerity policies, as well as the beginning of perestroika in the
USSR, led to increased dissatisfaction with Ceausescu's policies.
Post-Socialist Romania In December 1989, the Romanian
Revolution took place, as a result of which Ceausescu was overthrown
and shot, and the power passed into the hands of the National
Salvation Front; an interim parliament was created - the Council of
In May 1990, the first free presidential and
parliamentary elections were held. Since 1990, Ion Iliescu, who
retired in 2004, occupied the presidency for three terms (with a
break in 1996–2000). During this time, the country managed to
overcome the consequences of the crisis of the mid-1990s, and the
government proclaimed its accession to the EU in 2007 together with
Bulgaria as the main goal of its policy.
Romania joined NATO
on March 29, 2004, and the EU on January 1, 2007.