Romania History: From The Middle Ages to The Crimean War

The term Romeni, to indicate the populations of the neo-Latin language and of the Greek-Orthodox religion settled in the Danubian plains, is late: the most ancient sources do not date back beyond the century. XIII. Nor is it easy to establish the reasons why they ended up prevailing and absorbing the barbarian component (Slavic, Germanic, Mongolian, Turkish) which for approx. a millennium, between the century. III and XIII, he stopped or passed through those regions. Culturally isolated, dedicated to subsistence agriculture, the Romanians of the plain gave life, between the sec. IX and XI, to small feudal principalities, while in Transylvania they suffered, emigrating in large part, the forced invasion of Magyar and Saxon tribes wanted by the kings of Hungary.

But the Hungarian threat was created in the century. XIV the catalyst element of the Romanian peoples;he beat the Hungarians of Carlo Roberto and created the principality of Wallachia; shortly after Bogdan (1359) liberated Moldavia. The birth of the two states (voivodships or gospodati) of Romanian language but of Slavic tradition (a few large boyars, many small owners, all the rest gleba) did not mean the end of the struggle for independence. In the sec. XV Polish expansionism was added to the Hungarian aims, forcing Moldavia and Wallachia to burn all their best energies in a hard struggle to contain the ambitious adversaries. On the other hand, the particularism of the two states prevented the elaboration and implementation of a common strategy by which in the sixteenth century, despite the splendid Wallachian resistance and the victory of Stephen III the Great at the head of the Moldovan troops on Mohammed II at Rahova (1475), the two principalities fell tributaries of a new formidable enemy, the Ottoman Empire. Vano proved to be the generous attempt of Michael the Valiant (Mihai Viteazul, 1593-1601) to restore independence, united in a single state, the Romanian people: Wallachia and Moldavia became provinces of the Porta while Transylvania entered the Habsburg orbit. However, the greedy and corrupt Turkish administration was not, at least initially, very hard or totally negative. In fact (the Turks were very tolerant in religious matters) was established a singular form of collaboration between the patriarch of Constantinople and the sultan for which the former appeared not only as the spiritual leader of the Orthodox population but also as the spokesman for political power. Under the aegis of patriarchy and with the permission of the sultan came down on the Romanian provinces Phanariots (from Fanàr, district of Constantinople): officials, employees (but also merchants, bankers, lawyers) with the task of administering them. It was an era of abuse, robbery, deep economic depression. Only the rich monasteries, boyars and influential ecclesiastical authorities were saved from misery.

But it was also, culturally, a very interesting era because the external contribution (substantially Greek, but also French and Italian) favored the emergence of a national culture: the Cyrillic it was replaced by the Latin alphabet; Romanian entered the liturgy by right; the Bible was translated (1688) into Romanian. The first timid literature was born, not surprisingly of historical content. But this awakening of the independence spirit was blocked, for the whole century. XVII, by the decline of the Turkish power (which led to an accentuation of repressive measures mainly by the local authorities) and by the external pressures of neighboring powers, notably Austria and Russia in their slow but inexorable advance in the Balkans. In 1699, at the end of yet another Austro-Turkish war, Transylvania was definitively incorporated into the Habsburg Empire; now become a frontier land (“the two eyes of the gate turned towards Europe”), for the whole century. XVIII Moldavia and Wallachia were taken, lost, taken back, divided between the three greats in an intricate game of balances and counterweights: in 1775 the Austrians annexed Bucovina, while in 1812 it was the turn of Bessarabia to be annexed by the Russian Empire.

According to usprivateschoolsfinder, the spirit of the French Revolution, spread throughout Europe by the Napoleonic armies, did not spare Romania where, in 1821, there were the first episodes of revolt (Tudor Vladimirescu and Alessandro Ypsilantis). It was then that Turkey, already committed to stifling the Greek revolt and to prevent it from being caught between two fires, granted limited autonomy to the two former principalities under two different gospodari (1822). But shortly after Russia (occupying power from 1828 to 1834) took a further and fundamental step forward by issuing the “Organic Regulations” (1831-32) which, faced with the feudal and chaotic Turkish administrative system, represented not only a major reform value, but also a profoundly unifying element, for example, with the institution of “public assemblies” – embryonic representative bodies – which were fundamental for the spread of the spirit of independence. At the birth of a unitary Romanian state, therefore, only formal recognition by the Powers seemed to be lacking; but the obstacles were still many. In 1848 Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia rose up demanding freedom, but the voice of the patriots was drowned in blood and the assemblies suspended. Crimean war, the Russians were replaced by the Austrians. But, another disappointment, the Treaty of Paris (1856) returned the two regions to the Ottoman Empire.

Romania History

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