The History Of Romania In Brief

by John Doyle

Romanian history refers to the history of Romanian land, as well as to the history of people, who inhabited this land and who offered it a specific identity. Besides, a brief Romanian history can refer to the history of the unitary Romanian state, which means the history of the Romanian modern state, Romanian kingdom and other intermediary organization forms, as well as the events, which lead to the national Romanian state.

The Romania of today was inhabited by people of Dacia, a Thracian tribe, at about year 200 B.C. The first state was formed in Romania during the reign of Burebista (82 - 44 B.C.). The infant state became involved in a series of conflicts with the Roman Empire, the dominant power of the time. It was ultimately annexed by that empire in the year 106 A.D. during the rule of the Roman Emperor Trajan.

When the power of the Roman Empire faded, Romania, like other countries of Central and Southern Europe, was vandalized by various normandic tribes. Between 10th and 12th centuries it was ruled by the Hungarians. Then the Ottoman Turks in their westward push occupied Romania and retained it till 1541. In the year 1600, the three separate states of Moldavia, Walachia and Transylvania were briefly united under the reign of Michael the Brave. The next foreign rulers to conquer Romania were the Austrians, who held on till 1775, and in 1812 the Russians occupied it.

1848 was a year of revolutions in the history of Europe, and there was a great revolution for independence in Romania as well. In 1859, the modern nation state of Romania came into existence when the states of Moldavia and Walachia merged under the leadership of Alexander John Cuza.

Romania gained independence in the year 1877. During the First World War it sided with the Allies in 1916. At the end of the War in 1918, Transylvania was added to it.

Great changes took place in Europe in 1918, at the end of the First World War. The Russian and the Austro-Hungarian empires disappeared, and the provinces of Bessarabia and Bucovina were gained by Romania.

Romania joined the Axis powers in 1938 in the run up to the Second World War. In 1940, the king of Romania abdicated. The alliance with Germany ended in 1944, when the Russian Army took control of the country. When the War ended, Romania still had Transylvania, but portions of Bucovina, Bessarabia and Dobrogea were taken from it.

Romania became a satellite state of the Soviet Union after the War, but followed more or less independent policies. However, with coming to power Nicolai Ceausescu, a dark period started in the history of the country. Romania was a socialist republic during his regime, with communism as the avowed policy of the state. Citizens of the country suffered from deprivation and hunger under his authoritarian rule. Countless restrictions were imposed, from television to freedom of worship. In fact, a number of churches were pulled down.

The reign of Nicolai Ceaucescu finally came to an end after the mass upsurge in 1989. He was executed after a hurried trial together with his wife, Elena. As Romania limped towards a democratic set up and the market economy, a lot of hardships were inflicted on the common man. In fact, some people felt that even the communist rule was better than the chaos its removal resulted in.

Romania has become a democratic republic. Three presidents - Ion Iliescu, Emil Constantinescu and the present president, Trajan Basescu have governed the country from 1990 onwards. Romania became a member of NATO in 2004 and joined the European Union in 2007.

This brief Romanian history can help you get a picture of events in this small area of the world.


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