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  • William Tyler

ROMANIA: Origins of The Modern State. Part One

To decide where the modern story of Romania begins is very much an individual choice.

Some would take the European Year of Revolutions,1848, when national sentiments broke the surface. Others 1878, when The Great Powers recognised an independent Romanian state. Some would take the story back to 1711 when a war of independence was lost in Transylvania against the Habsburg Empire. Others would go even further back in history to 1541 when the three constituent parts of Romania, Transylvania - Wallachia - Moldavia, were incorporated within The Ottoman Empire.

I would plump for the last date, 1541, as this is the period taken as the time Europe moved from The Middle Ages to The Modern Period.

The key point to take from the above is that over these centuries Romania was often at the mercy of three competing Empire of Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Ottoman.

The story of Romania can seem a complex one viewed from outside but that is largely down to the fact that ir is an unknown history. Yet it is an important one as Romania today finds itself, as ever, in a strategic position between the three worlds of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Turkey. Today, after post war Communism, Romania is both a member of NATO and a member of The EU. Besides Communism Modern Romania has also suffered under Fascism.

There is much to learn, much to to deplore, especially its anti-Semitism, and much which is relevant to the Europe of the 21st century.

Further Reading

A Concise History of Romania by Keith Hitchins. Pub by CUP

The Lost Romans by Miscea Davidescu. A discussion of the origin of Romanians

The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning. Fiction.

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