Currency: Leu (RON)
Calling Code: 40
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.
Romania joined 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.
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 discovered.
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 century BC.
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 this time.
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 Romania.
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.
In 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 feuds.
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.
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 Russian army.
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 country.
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 the USSR.
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 coalition aircraft.
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 local authorities.
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 out.
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.
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 National Unity.
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.