History of Romania

Brief history of Romania summarized

Brief and pleasant walk in the history of Romania, the country of Count Dracula.

Old Romania

The first inhabitants of Romania were stone age hunters who lived around 8,000 BC Over time, the people of Romania learned to farm and then learned to make bronze tools. They eventually learned to use iron. From about 600 BC the ancient Greeks traded with the people they called Getae. They founded settlements on the coast of Romania.

The Romans called the people of Romania Dacians. In 101-102 AD the Roman Emperor Trajan led a campaign against the Dacians. A new campaign was fought in 105-106 AD and the Romans crushed the Dacians at the Battle of Sarmizegetusa. Later Dacia became a Roman province. Settlers from other parts of the Roman Empire were brought in and the local population became ‘Romanized’.

They began to speak Latin. However, Roman rule was short-lived. In the third century the cost of defending Dacia from the “barbarians” became too great. In the year 271 the Emperor Aurelian withdrew the Roman Empire south of the Danube.

Waves of immigrants arrived in Romania. In the 5th century the Huns arrived. In the 6th century they were followed by the Avars and in the 7th century by the Slavs. Romania was gradually established and a feudal order emerged.

Meanwhile, in the 10th century, a fierce people called the Magyars (ancestors of modern Hungarians) arrived in Transylvania. In the 13th century the Hungarians ruled Transylvania although they were allowed some autonomy and the Hungarian kings persuaded the Germans to move there. However, although the inhabitants of Transylvania were Magyars or Germans, the majority of the population were Romanian peasants.

In the 14th century, Radu Negru (1310-1352) united some Romanians and formed the first Romanian principality, Wallachia. Later, in the 14th century, another principality, Moldavia, was formed. Most of the peasants became serfs (halfway between slaves and free men). They were ruled by aristocrats called boyars.

Then, during the 15th century, a new threat came from southern Romania: the Turks. Both Wallachia and Moldavia fought against the Turks and the famous Vlad the Impaler lived at that time.

In the 16th century Transylvania became part of the Ottoman Empire (although it was still allowed some autonomy). However, for a time Wallachia and Moldavia managed to remain independent from Turkey.

In 1593, Michael the Brave became the ruler of Wallachia. In 1595 he fought and defeated the Turks. In 1599 he defeated the Transylvanians and became Prince of Transylvania. In 1600 he conquered Moldavia and became its prince. However, Michael was assassinated in 1601 and the union ended.

In the 17th century, Wallachia and Moldavia came under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. In the 18th century they had puppet rulers under Turkish control.

In 1683 the Turks were defeated at Vienna and in 1687 the Habsburgs (rulers of Austria) took Transylvania. Although some of its inhabitants were Magyars or Germans, the majority were Romanian peasants. His harsh treatment led to a rebellion led by three serfs named Horea, Cloxa, and Crisán. The rebellion failed, but in 1785 the Habsburg Emperor abolished serfdom in Transylvania.

In the early 19th century, Turkey continued to dominate Wallachia and Moldavia. However, Turkish power was weakening. In 1859 the two principalities were united under a single prince named Alexander Ioan Cuza. In 1862 the new state was called Romania. Finally, in 1877, Romania declared its independence from Turkey.

Cuza carried out reforms in Romania, including the abolition of serfdom. However, he was unpopular with the Conservatives and in 1866 he was overthrown. Prince Carol replaced him. In 1881 Romania became a kingdom with Charles I as king.

Modern Romania

In 1916 Romania joined Great Britain, France and Russia against Germany and AustriaHungary. In 1918, Romania took Transylvania from Hungary. Bessarabia, which was taken over by the Russians in 1812, became part of Romania again.

As a result, the size of Romania increased considerably and its population increased from around 7.5 million to around 12 million inhabitants. In 1920 the Western powers recognized the changes by the Treaty of Trianon.

In 1927, the Archangel Michael Legion, better known as the Iron Guard, was formed in Romania. The 1930s were a time of political instability in Romania with many different governments. Finally, in 1938, the king banned political parties and introduced a royal dictatorship in Romania.

In 1940 Stalin forced Romania to hand over the eastern province of Bessarabia to Russia. Furthermore, Hitler forced the Romanians to give northern Transylvania to Hungary and to give other territory to Bulgaria. As a result of giving away so much territory, King Carol became very unpopular and was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Michael.

However, Michael had little power. Marshal Ion Antonescu became the fascist dictator of Romania and called himself director or leader. In June 1941, under Antonescu, Romania joined the German invasion of Russia, in part to recapture Bessarabia.

During World War II, Jews and Gypsies from Romania were deported and killed.

However, as of 1943 Germany was losing the war. Finally, on August 23, 1944, Antonescu was removed from office in a coup. Romania changed sides and declared war on Germany. At the end of October 1944, Germans and Hungarians were expelled from Transylvania, which became part of Romania again.

However, after the war, Russian troops were stationed in Romania, making a communist takeover inevitable. (The Russians also took Bessarabia back).

In November 1946 elections were held in Romania and the left parties did well. The communists took key positions and in December 1947 the king was forced to abdicate. In February 1948 other leftist parties merged with the Communist Party and a totalitarian regime was introduced in Romania. The industry was nationalized.

Meanwhile, Antonescu was shot as a war criminal in 1946. Thousands of other Romanians suffered the same fate.

Russian troops withdrew from Romania in 1958 and after 1960 Romania adopted an independent foreign policy. In 1965 Nicolae Ceausescu became the ruler of Romania.

Although Ceausescu had an independent foreign policy, he ruled Romania with a rod of iron. Ceausescu was determined to increase heavy industry in Romania, but ordinary people suffered from extreme poverty. They also suffered terrible repression.

The communist regime in Romania suddenly collapsed in 1989. Demonstrations took place in Timisoara in December. On December 21, Ceausescu was booed by a crowd in Bucharest, which was followed by demonstrations.

The next day, Ceausescu appeared on the balcony of the Central Committee building, but was forced to escape by helicopter. Ceausescu’s fellow communists deserted him and he was arrested. He and his wife were shot on December 25, 1989.

Romania then faced a difficult transition from communism to democracy and a market economy. A body called the National Salvation Front took control and in May 1990 won the elections. He won new elections in 1992.

However, in 1996, Emil Constantinescu, head of the right-wing Democratic Convention in Romania, won the presidential election. He was replaced by Ion Iliescu in the year 2000.

Romania joined NATO in 2004. Romania also joined the EU in 2007. Romania suffered a lot in the recession of 2009. However, Romania recovered from 2011. Today the economy is growing steadily. Today the population of Romania is 21.5 million inhabitants.

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