The territory of the modern Romania in the middle ages was captured by the Slavs (VI century), Bulgarians and Hungarians in the IX century, the Mongol-Tatars in the XIII century. In the XIV century, the territory of present-day Romania was formed by two feudal principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which were conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the XVI century. In the XVI century, the Transylvanian principality was founded, which has left the Hungarian authorities and recognized the suzerainty of the Turkish sultan. In comparison with other Balkan territories, captured by the Ottomans, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania retained greater autonomy. In 1600, Wallachia, Moldova, and Transylvania were united under the rule of Prince Michael the Brave, and after his murder were conquered by the soldiers of Austrian general Giorgio Basta. In 1699, 1718 and 1739 various parts of present Romania were divided between Austria and the Ottoman Empire. As in many European countries, in Romania, in the XIX century started the national liberation movement, aiming to unite Romanian principalities and to create a strong, independent nation-state. As a result, the united principality of Wallachia and Moldavia was proclaimed under Ottoman sovereignty, led by Alexandru Ioan Cuza with the title of domnitor. On the night of February 11, 1866, a group of officers burst into Cuza’s bedroom and forced the ruler to abdicate and leave the country. Carol I was elected as the new domnitor. According to the decision of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Romania has received international recognition as an independent state. In 1881, Romania was proclaimed a kingdom. December 30, 1947 the People's Republic of Romania was proclaimed, which took a course on the construction of socialism on the Soviet model. After the overthrow and the execution of Ceausescu, power passed to the National Salvation Front, an interim parliament was established - the Council of National Unity. In May 1990, the first free presidential and parliamentary elections were held. In 1991, a new Constitution of Romania was adopted.
Basarab I of Wallachia
Basarab I of Wallachia or Basarab I the Great - voivode (Prince) of the Muntenia, Oltenia and throughout Wallachia from 1330 to 1352. The first ruler of Wallachia, of which there is reliable historical information. In the middle of the XIII century, Voivodships began to form in Wallachia, dependent on the Hungarian kingdom. Subsequently, they began to fight for independence from Hungary. At the end of the reign of Arpad dynasty, Hungary suffered a hard political crisis. Around 1324, Basarab pleaded vassal of the Hungarian king Carl Robert and then began the war with Hungary and on November 12, 1330, he defeated the Hungarian army at the Battle of Posada. This event marked the end of the Hungarian rule and the appearance of the first independent Romanian state. Basarab became the founder of the Basarab dynasty, the first dynasty of Wallachia. Later, from this name occurred the name of Bessarabia.
Vlad III the Impaler
Vlad III Basarab, also known as Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler – the prince (ruler) of Wallachia in 1448, 1456-1462 and 1476. The nickname "the Impaler" he received for the brutality in dealing with enemies and citizens that were planted on stakes. Vlad was nicknamed Dracula because of his father's membership in the elite Dragon Order. In 1456, he became the Master of Wallachia using Hungarians and Wallachian boyars. At the beginning of his reign, under Vlad’s rule were about 500 thousand people; after 6 years of his reign (1456-1462) more than 100 thousand people were destroyed by personal order of Dracula, excluding victims. In the fourth year of the reign, Vlad stopped paying tribute to the Turks. Rebellious prince Vlad brought mortal danger from the Turks not only to Wallachia, but also to all its neighbors, particularly to the rich Transylvania, which supported trade ties with the Turks. In 1462, the Turks attacked Wallachia again. Vlad III did not have time to gather an army and was besieged in the castle Poenery. He managed to escape from the fortress, trying to get reinforcements, but it was too late. The Turks seized the castle and destroyed it completely. Vlad fled to Hungary, but King Dan put him in prison immediately. Twelve years Vlad spent in the captivity. Guided by political considerations, he accepted Catholicism. Believing in the obedience of the captured, the king freed him and agreed to Vlad’s marriage with his niece, helped to recruit an army to take over the throne of Wallachia. In 1476, the boyars’ army defeated Dracula and he was killed on the battlefield. Boyars, having found the body of Dracula, chopped it into pieces and scattered it around.
Michael the Brave
Michael the Brave (1558 -1601) – the representative of the Basarab dynasty, who briefly united under his rule all three Danubian principalities. In 1593, the Ottoman Sultan Murad III recognized him as the hospodar (governor) of Wallachia. In 1594, during the Austro-Turkish War, all three principalities (Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia) were dependent on the Turks but wanted to move to the side of the Habsburgs. In the early summer of 1595, representatives of the three sides signed an agreement on joint action against the Turks. In August 1595, a huge Turkish army crossed the Danube and moved to Bucharest. Michael the Brave, who commanded very small forces, intercepted the Turks. Thanks to the courage of Michael’s troops and his leadership talent, the Battle of Călugăreni was won and it was an important tactical victory, strengthening the spirit of Wallachians. For some time, the whole of Wallachia was liberated from the Turks. The change of power in Transylvania in 1599 caused discontent among the members of the anti-Turkish coalition. In the result, the united forces of the Habsburgs and Michael the Brave invaded Transylvania. In October 1599, these troops defeated the army of the enemy. Thus, Michael the Brave became the Prince of Transylvania. In May 1600, Michael the Brave, by then already famous for numerous victories, the ruler of the principalities of Wallachia and Transylvania, came out against Moldova. When the Wallachian troops were approaching, the Moldovans revolted, so the battle did not start. Now, under the rule of Michael the Brave were all three Danubian principalities. He was named as the hospodar (governor) of Wallachia, Transylvania and the whole territory of Moldova. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth put an end to the success of Michael the Brave in just a few months after the accession of Moldova. In September 1600, significant Polish forces entered Moldova. Troops, left by Michael, were defeated and the Poles soon expelled Michael from Wallachia. After that, he returned to Wallachia but was killed by a conspiracy on August 9, 1601.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza
Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1820 -1873) – the Prince of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, the first ruler of a united Romania. Came from a family of Moldavian boyar. Educated in Paris, as well as in the Universities of Bologna and of Pavia. In 1848, he took part in the liberation movement in Moldova. Cuza was elected to the Legislative Assembly; was at one time the War Minister of Moldavia. In January 1859, he was elected as the prince of Moldavia, on February 5, of the same year - the prince of Wallachia. Held a number of bourgeois reforms: agricultural, military, judicial, administrative, educational reform, the secularization of monastic lands and others. The approval of the sultan followed only in 1861, and on December 24, 1861, he declared himself the Prince of the united Romania. He was elected twice. Pursued an active foreign policy. The liberation of the peasants and other projects of reform aroused strong opposition in the ultra-conservative party. In 1866, after the military conspiracy of the so-called "monstrous coalition," Cuza was dethroned. He withdrew from the principality and died in 1873 in Heidelberg.
Carol I Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1839 - 1914) – the Prince of the United principality of Wallachia and Moldavia (1866-1881) and the first King of Romania (since 26 March 1881), from the German house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Prince Karl studied at the military academy in Berlin, was an officer in the Prussian army, and took part in the Danish war in 1864. He was elected to the throne of Romania after the anarchy caused by the overthrow of Alexander Ioan Cuza when Romania faced a danger of the decay and a new submission of Turkey. He signed Romanian constitution and after the constitutional reform took the title of king. His reign lasted around half a century. During that period, Carol gained the independence of Romania, raised its high international image, worked on the development of the economy, and founded Romanian royal dynasty. Having no direct heirs, Carol I appointed his nephew as the successor and built the elegant castle Pelishor nearby for the nephew’s family. He was an ally of Russia in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, the commander-in-chief in the battle of Plevna. During his reign, Romania gained full independence from the Ottoman Empire (1878) and acquired Dobruja – its bigger part in 1878 and a smaller part took from its former ally, Bulgaria. In 1907, a powerful peasant uprising was crushed. Carol died at the age of 75, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, in which Romania complied neutrality until 1916. His nephew Ferdinand succeeded him.
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