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The Kingdom of Romania ( ro, Regatul României) was a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
that existed in Romania from 13 March ( O.S.) / 25 March 1881 with the crowning of prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as
King Carol I Carol or Charles I of Romania (20 April 1839 – ), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was the second monarch of Romania from 1866 to his death in 1914, ruling as Prince (''Domnitor'') from 1866 to 1881, and as King of Romania, King fro ...

King Carol I
(thus beginning the
Romanian royal family The Romanian royal family ( ro, Familia regală a României) was the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Romania, a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordan ...
), until 1947 with the abdication of King
Michael I of Romania Michael I ( ro, Mihai I ; 25 October 1921 – 5 December 2017) was the last King of Romania, reigning from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930 and again from 6 September 1940 until his forced abdication on 30 December 1947. Shortly after Michael's ...
and the Romanian parliament's proclamation of Romania as a putative socialist
people's republic#REDIRECT People's republic People's republic is an official title used by some currently or formerly communist or left-wing states. It is mainly associated with soviet republics, socialist states following people's democracy, sovereign state ...
. From 1859 to 1877, Romania evolved from a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
of two vassal principalities (
Moldavia Moldavia ( ro, Moldova, or , literally "The Moldavian Country"; in : or ; chu, Землѧ Молдавскаѧ; el, Ἡγεμονία τῆς Μολδαβίας) is a and former in and , corresponding to the territory between the and t ...

Moldavia
and
Wallachia Wallachia or Walachia (; ro, Țara Românească, lit=The Romanian Land' or 'The Romanian Country, ; : ', : ) is a and geographical region of . It is situated north of the and south of the . Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections ...
) under a single prince to an autonomous principality with a Hohenzollern monarchy. The country gained its independence from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
during the
1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War
1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War
(known locally as the
Romanian War of Independence Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southea ...
), when it also received
Northern Dobruja Northern Dobruja ( ro, Dobrogea de Nord or simply ; bg, Северна Добруджа, ''Severna Dobrudzha'') is the part of Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (, ; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobr ...
in exchange for the southern part of
Bessarabia Bessarabia (; gag, Besarabiya; ro, Basarabia; russian: Бессарабия, ''Bessarabiya''; tr, Besarabya; uk, Бессара́бія'', Bessarabiya''; bg, Бесарабия, ''Besarabiya'') is a historical region Historical regions (or ...

Bessarabia
. The kingdom's territory during the reign of King Carol I, between 13 ( O.S.) / 25 March 1881 and 27 September ( O.S.) / 10 October 1914 is sometimes referred as the
Romanian Old Kingdom The Romanian Old Kingdom ( ro, Vechiul Regat or just ''Regat''; german: Regat or ) is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central ...
, to distinguish it from "
Greater Romania The term Greater Romania ( ro, România Mare) usually refers to the borders of the Kingdom of Romania The Kingdom of Romania ( ro, Regatul României) was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 13 March (Adoption of the Gregorian ...

Greater Romania
", which included the provinces that became part of the state after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
(Bessarabia,
Banat Banat (, ) is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it ...

Banat
,
Bukovina Bukovina ro, Bucovina; german: Bukowina or ; pl, Bukowina; hu, Bukovina; uk, Буковина, ; see also other languages Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also re ...

Bukovina
, and
Transylvania Transylvania is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western R ...

Transylvania
). With the exception of the southern halves of Bukovina and Transylvania, these territories were ceded to neighboring countries in 1940, under the pressure of
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
or the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. Following the abolishment of the 1923 constitution by
King Carol II Carol II (3 October 18934 April 1953) reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until his abdication on 6 September 1940. He was the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Romania, Ferdinand I and became crown prince upon the death of his grand-uncle, Ki ...
in 1938, the Kingdom of Romania became a de facto
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
, only to become a
military dictatorship A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer. The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the m ...
under
Ion Antonescu Ion Antonescu (; ; – 1 June 1946) was a Romanian military officer and Mareșal (Romania), marshal who presided over two successive Romania during World War II, wartime dictatorships as Prime Minister of Romania, Prime Minister and ''Conducăt ...
in 1940 after the forced abdication of King Carol II, with his successor, King Michael I being a figurehead with no effective political power. The country's name was changed to Legionary Romania. The disastrous
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
campaign on the side of the Axis powers led to
King Michael's Coup King Michael's Coup was a '' coup d'état'' led by King Michael I of Romania during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It in ...
against Ion Antonescu in 1944, as a result of which the Kingdom of Romania became a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
again and switched sides to the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
, recovering
Northern Transylvania Northern Transylvania ( ro, Transilvania de Nord, hu, Észak-Erdély) was the region of the Kingdom of Romania that during World War II, as a consequence of the August 1940 territorial agreement known as the Second Vienna Award, became part of th ...
. The influence of the neighbouring Soviet Union and the policies followed by
Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
-dominated coalition governments ultimately led to the abolition of the monarchy, with Romania becoming a Soviet
satellite state A satellite state is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state ...
as the People's Republic of Romania on the last day of 1947.


Unification and monarchy

The 1859 ascendancy of
Alexandru Ioan Cuza Alexandru Ioan Cuza (, or Alexandru Ioan I, also anglicised as Alexander John Cuza; 20 March 1820 – 15 May 1873) was the first ''domnitor ''Domnitor'' (Plural, pl. ''Domnitori'') was the official title of the ruler of Romania between 1862 an ...
as prince of both Moldavia and Wallachia under the nominal
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized socia ...
of the Ottoman Empire united an identifiably Romanian nation under a single ruler. On 24 January ( O.S.) / 5 February 1862, the two principalities were formally united to form the
Principality of Romania The United Principalities Moldavia and Wallachia ( ro, Principatele Unite Moldova și Țara Românească), commonly called United Principalities, was the personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the s ...
, with
Bucharest Bucharest ( , ; ro, București ) is the capital and largest city of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), cente ...

Bucharest
as its capital. On 11 ( O.S.) / 23 February 1866 a so-called '' Monstrous coalition'', composed of Conservatives and radical Liberals, forced Cuza to abdicate. The German prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was appointed as Prince of Romania, in a move to assure
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
backing to unity and future independence. He immediately adopted the Romanian spelling of his name,
Carol
Carol
, and his cognatic descendants would rule Romania until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1947. Following the
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878
, Romania was recognized as an independent state by the
Treaty of Berlin, 1878 The Treaty of Berlin (formally the Treaty between Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland, Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire for the Settlement of Affairs in the East) was signed on 13 July 1878. In the aftermath of the Ru ...
and acquired
Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobruca) is a historical region in the Balkans that has been divided since the 19th century between the territories of Bulgaria and Romania. I ...

Dobruja
, although it was forced to surrender southern Bessarabia (
Budjak Budjak or Budzhak (Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (рос ...
) to Russia. On 15 March 1881, as an assertion of full sovereignty, the Romanian parliament raised the country to the status of a kingdom, and Carol was crowned as king on 10 May. The new state, squeezed between the Ottoman,
Austro-Hungarian Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a writte ...
, and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
Empires, with Slavic populations on its southwestern, southern, and northeastern borders, the Black Sea due east, and
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...

Hungarian
neighbors on its western and northwestern borders, looked to the West, particularly France, for its cultural, educational, and administrative models. Abstaining from the
Initial Balkan War
Initial Balkan War
against the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Romania entered the
Second Balkan War The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a coun ...

Second Balkan War
in June 1913 against the
Tsardom of Bulgaria The Tsardom of Bulgaria was the name of the Bulgaria, Bulgarian state from Simeon I of Bulgaria, Simeon's assumption of the title of Tsar in 913 until the Fatherland Front (Bulgaria), Fatherland Front's foundation of the People's Republic of Bulg ...
. 330,000 Romanian troops moved across the Danube and into Bulgaria. One army occupied Southern Dobrudja and another moved into northern Bulgaria to threaten Sofia, helping to bring an end to the war. Romania thus acquired the ethnically-mixed territory of Southern Dobrudja, which it had desired for years. In 1916 Romania entered
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
on the
Entente
Entente
side. Romania engaged in a conflict against Bulgaria but as a result Bulgarian forces, after a series of successful battles, regained Dobruja, which had been previously ceded from Bulgaria by the treaty of Bucharest and the Berlin congress. Although the Romanian forces did not fare well militarily, by the end of the war the Austrian and Russian empires were gone; various assemblies proclaimed as representative bodies in Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina decided on union with Romania. In 1919 by the
Treaty of Saint-Germain A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...
and in 1920 by the
Treaty of Trianon The Treaty of Trianon (french: Traité de Trianon, hu, Trianoni békeszerződés) was prepared at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920, Paris Peace Conference and was signed in the Grand Trianon, Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles on ...
most of territories claimed were assigned to Romania.


Romanian Old Kingdom (1881–1918)

The Romanian Old Kingdom ( ro, Vechiul Regat or just ''Regat''; german: Regat or ) is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romanian
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (news ...
, which was composed of the
Danubian Principalities in the mid 19th century Danubian Principalities ( ro, Principatele Dunărene, sr, Дунавске кнежевине, translit=Dunavske kneževine) was a conventional name given to the Principality, Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia ...
– Wallachia and Moldavia. It was achieved when, under the auspices of the
Treaty of Paris (1856) The Treaty of Paris of 1856 brought an end to the Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance made up of Second French Empire, Fra ...
, the
ad hoc Divans The two Ad hoc Divans were legislative{{cn, date=February 2017 and consultative assemblies of the Danubian Principalities in the mid 19th century Danubian Principalities ( ro, Principatele Dunărene, sr, Дунавске кнежевине, t ...
of both countries – which were under Imperial Ottoman
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized socia ...
at the time – voted for
Alexander Ioan Cuza
Alexander Ioan Cuza
as their prince, thus achieving a ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' unification. The region itself is defined by the result of that political act, followed by the inclusion of
Northern Dobruja Northern Dobruja ( ro, Dobrogea de Nord or simply ; bg, Северна Добруджа, ''Severna Dobrudzha'') is the part of Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (, ; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobr ...
in 1878, the proclamation of the Kingdom of Romania in 1881, and the annexation of
Southern Dobruja Map of Romania and Bulgaria with Southern Dobrudja or Cadrilater highlighted in yellow. Northern Dobruja is highlighted in orange. Southern Dobruja or South Dobruja ( Bulgarian: Южна Добруджа, ''Yuzhna Dobrudzha'' or simply Добруд ...
in 1913. The term came into use after World War I, when the Old Kingdom was opposed to
Greater Romania The term Greater Romania ( ro, România Mare) usually refers to the borders of the Kingdom of Romania The Kingdom of Romania ( ro, Regatul României) was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 13 March (Adoption of the Gregorian ...

Greater Romania
, which included Transylvania,
Banat Banat (, ) is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it ...

Banat
, Bessarabia, and Bukovina. Nowadays, the term is mainly of historical relevance, and is otherwise used as a common term for all regions in Romania included in both the Old Kingdom and present-day borders (namely: Wallachia, Moldavia, and Northern Dobruja).


Maps

File:Actul proclamarii Regatului Romania.jpg, Proclamation Act of the Kingdom of Romania File:Kingdom of Romania (1890).svg, The Kingdom of Romania in 1890 File:Romania1901.JPG, 1901 German map of Romania File:Kingdom of Romania (1914).svg, The Kingdom of Romania in 1914


World War I

Romania delayed in entering World War I, but ultimately declared war on the Central Powers in 1916. The Romanian military campaign ended in stalemate when the Central Powers quickly crushed the country's offensive into Transylvania and occupied Wallachia and Dobruja, including Bucharest and the strategically important oil fields, by the end of 1916. In 1917, despite fierce Romanian resistance, especially at Mărăşeşti, due to Russia's withdrawal from the war following the
October Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence ...

October Revolution
, Romania, being almost completely surrounded by the Central Powers, was forced to also drop from the war, signing the Armistice of Focșani and next year, in May 1918, the
Treaty of BucharestTreaty of Bucharest may refer to the following treaties signed in Bucharest: * Treaty of Bucharest (1812), between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire ending the 1806–1812 Russo-Turkish war * Treaty of Bucharest (1886), between Serbia and Bu ...
. But after the successful offensive on the
Thessaloniki Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica () is the second-largest city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in So ...

Thessaloniki
front which put Bulgaria out of the war, Romania's government quickly reasserted control and put an army back into the field on 10 November 1918, a day before the war ended in Western Europe. Following the proclamation of the union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania on 1 December 1918 by the representatives of Transylvanian Romanians gathered at
Alba Iulia Alba Iulia (; german: Karlsburg or ''Carlsburg'', formerly ''Weißenburg''; hu, Gyulafehérvár; la, Apulum), is a city that serves as the seat of Alba County Alba County () is a county (județ) of Romania located in the historic region of ...

Alba Iulia
, Transylvania was soon united with the Kingdom, as was
Bessarabia Bessarabia (; gag, Besarabiya; ro, Basarabia; russian: Бессарабия, ''Bessarabiya''; tr, Besarabya; uk, Бессара́бія'', Bessarabiya''; bg, Бесарабия, ''Besarabiya'') is a historical region Historical regions (or ...

Bessarabia
earlier in 1918, since the power vacuum in Russia caused by the civil war there allowed the ''
Sfatul Țării ''Sfatul Țării'' (Country Council; ) was a council that united political, public, cultural, and professional organizations in the greater part of the territory of the guberniya, Governorate of Bessarabia in the disintegrating Russian Empire, w ...
'', or National Council, to proclaim the
union of Bessarabia with Romania The union of Bessarabia with Romania was proclaimed on by Sfatul Țării, the legislative body of the Moldavian Democratic Republic. This state had the same borders of the region of Bessarabia, which was annexed by the Russian Empire following th ...
. War with the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 resulted in the occupation of Budapest by Romanian troops and the end of Béla Kun's Bolshevik regime.


Union with Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania

At the Paris Peace Conference, Romania received territories of
Transylvania Transylvania is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western R ...

Transylvania
, part of Banat and other territories from
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
, while as well Bessarabia (Eastern Moldavia between Prut and Dniester rivers) and Bukovina. In the
Treaty of Trianon The Treaty of Trianon (french: Traité de Trianon, hu, Trianoni békeszerződés) was prepared at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920, Paris Peace Conference and was signed in the Grand Trianon, Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles on ...
, Hungary renounced in favor of Romania all the claims of the
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe#Before World War I, Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with the Austro-Hunga ...
over Transylvania. The union of Romania with
Bukovina Bukovina ro, Bucovina; german: Bukowina or ; pl, Bukowina; hu, Bukovina; uk, Буковина, ; see also other languages Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also re ...

Bukovina
was ratified in 1919 in the
Treaty of Saint Germain The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (french: Traité de Saint-Germain-en-Laye) was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers were a coalition The term "coalition" i ...
, and in 1920 some of the Western powers recognized Romanian rule over Bessarabia by the Treaty of Paris. Thus, Romania in 1920 was more than twice the size it had been in 1914. The last territorial change during this period came in 1923, when a few border settlements were exchanged between Romania and
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts a ...
. The most notable Romanian acquisition was the town of Jimbolia, while the most notable Yugoslav acquisition was the town of Jaša Tomić. Although the country had no further territorial claims, it aroused the enmity of Bulgaria, and especially Hungary and the Soviet Union. It is worth noting, however, that the Treaty of Paris – recognizing the union with Bessarabia – never came into effect because one of its signatories, Japan, refused to ratify it. This meant that the union was not recognized by the international community, making it – unlike the other provinces – more of a ''de facto'' union than an official, ''de jure'' one. Furthermore, President Wilson left the peace conference to emphasize his disagreements earlier in 1919 and because the U.S. Congress did not ratify the
Treaty of Trianon The Treaty of Trianon (french: Traité de Trianon, hu, Trianoni békeszerződés) was prepared at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920, Paris Peace Conference and was signed in the Grand Trianon, Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles on ...
, the United States of America and the Kingdom of Hungary signed a separate peace treaty on 29 August 1921.
Greater Romania The term Greater Romania ( ro, România Mare) usually refers to the borders of the Kingdom of Romania The Kingdom of Romania ( ro, Regatul României) was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 13 March (Adoption of the Gregorian ...

Greater Romania
now encompassed a significant minority population, especially of
Hungarians Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has ...
, and faced the difficulty of assimilation. Transylvania had significant Hungarian and German population, and with a historically contemptuous attitude towards Romanians, they now feared reprisals. Both groups were effectively excluded from politics as the postwar Romanian regime passed an edict stating that all personnel employed by the state had to speak Romanian. The new Romanian state was also a highly centralized one, so it was unlikely that the Hungarian or German minorities would exercise political influence without personal connections in the government in Bucharest. The Romanian policy towards Hungarians and Germans was fairly balanced, and both were permitted to have schools in their respective languages and the freedom to publish written material. Judicial hearings would also be conducted in their native official languages. Lesser minorities were not as well treated because of their small numbers and because they had no outside power to support them. Jews in particular were highly unpopular. Romanian education was a mixed bag. While the nobility had a long tradition of sending their sons to Europe's finest schools, the educated were a tiny minority. Transylvania had the most educated population in Romania, while Bessarabia fared the worst. While all Romanian children were required to attend at least four years of school, few actually went and the system was designed to separate those who would go on to higher education from those who would not. While this was partially necessary due to limited resources, it also ensured that peasants had almost no chance of becoming educated. High school and college education in Romania was modeled after French schools. Students undertook a rigid curriculum based around the liberal arts and anyone who could pass was very well-educated. However, Romania suffered from the same problem as the rest of Eastern Europe, which was that most students preferred abstract subjects like theology, philosophy, literature, the fine arts, and law (in the philosophical rather than the applied sense) to practical ones like science, business, and engineering. The peasant population was among the poorest in the region, a situation aggravated by one of Europe's highest birth rates. As elsewhere, peasants everywhere were convinced that land reform would solve their problems, and after the war they began to clamor loudly for such action, which led to the 1921 land reform. But it did precious little to improve productivity, especially since the richness of Romania's soil was negated by a lack of modern farming techniques. Agricultural exports could not compete with those of Western Europe and North America, and the onset of the
Great Depression in Romania The Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it ...
caused the market for them to completely dry up. In 1919, a staggering 72% of Romanians were engaged in agriculture. And due to one of Europe's highest birth rates, as much as a quarter of the rural population was unnecessary surplus. Farming was primitive and machinery and chemical fertilizers almost unheard of. The Regat (prewar Romania) was traditionally a land of large estates worked by peasants who either had no land of their own or else dwarf plots. The situation in Transylania and Bessarabia was marginally better. After peasant calls for land reform snowballed into an avalanche, King Ferdinand had to oblige, especially once the Russian Revolution had encouraged peasants to take the matter in their own hands. In the end, it did nothing to remedy the basic problems of rural overpopulation and technological backwardness. The redistributed plots were invariably too small to feed their owners and peasants also could not overcome their tradition of growing grain over cash crops. Since draft animals were rare, to say nothing of machinery, actual agricultural productivity was worse than before. Despite the land reforms, landowners still controlled up to 30% of Romania's land, including the forests that peasants needed for fuel. Romania also had little opportunity to export agricultural products since the biggest ones like grain could not possibly compete with producers in the United States or elsewhere. Romanian industry was quite well developed due to an abundance of natural resources, especially oil. Lumber and various minerals were produced mainly for export, but most industry was owned by foreign companies, over 70% during the interwar period.


Economy

The 1938 Romanian GDP amounted to 387.204 billion lei, with a GDP per capita of 20,487 lei at an estimated population of 18.9 million. The 1938 average exchange rate was of 1 leu for 0.00732
USD The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragma ...

USD
. Romania's 1938 GDP thus amounted to $2.834 billion. Romania's public debt as of 1 April 1938 amounted to 112,267,290,144 lei, of which 78,398,078,964 lei consisted of external debt. Total public debt thus amounted to 29% of Romania's 1938 GDP, while public external debt amounted to just over 20%. Romania's 1913 GDP at the 1990 exchange rate amounted to $11.7 billion. However, the 1990 USD was 9.27 times weaker than the 1938 USD. Thus, Romania's 1913 GDP at the 1938 exchange rate amounted to $1.262 billion.


Industrial development


Pre-Kingdom Era to World War I

At the time of the proclamation of the Kingdom, there were already several industrial facilities in the country: The Assan and Olamazu
steam mill A steam mill is a type of grinding mill using a stationary steam engine in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the Ri ...
s, built in 1853 and 1862 respectively, a brick factory built in 1865, and two sugar factories built in 1873, among others. In 1857, the first oil refinery in the world was built at
Ploiești Ploiești (, , ), formerly spelled Ploești, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...
. In 1880, after several railways were built, the CFR was founded. After proclamation of the Kingdom, the pre-established industrial facilities began to be highly developed: 6 more, larger, sugar factories were built and the railway network was expanded more. Another, more modern brick factory was built in 1891. Despite all of these industrial achievements, the overwhelming majority of Romania's economy remained the agriculture.


Interwar years

Despite the destruction provoked by the First World War, Romanian industry managed significant growth, as a result of new establishments and development of the older ones. The MALAXA industrial engineering and manufacturing company was established in 1921 by Romanian industrialist
Nicolae Malaxa Nicolae Malaxa ( – 1965) was a Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It shares land borders with Bulg ...
and dealt especially with rolling stock maintenance and manufacturing. It developed rapidly, and by 1930 Romania had managed to cease importing locomotives altogether, all required rolling stock being supplied by the local industry. Industrial facilities acquired along with the new provinces, such as the Reșița works, also contributed to the rapid development of Romanian heavy industry. Other important establishments were the Copșa Mică works, producing non-ferrous metals and the Romanian Optical Enterprise. Construction also developed, as great monuments like the Caraiman Cross (1928),
Arcul de Triumf Arcul de Triumf is a triumphal arch located in the northern part of Bucharest, on the Șoseaua Kiseleff, Kiseleff Road. The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly, after Romania gained Romanian War of Independence, its independence (1 ...
(1936) and the Mausoleum of Mărășești (1938) were erected. The oil industry was also greatly expanded, making Romania one of the top oil exporters by the late 1930s, which also attracted German and Italian German–Romanian Treaty for the Development of Economic Relations between the Two Countries (1939), interest. In 1938, Romania produced 6.6 million tons of crude oil, 284,000 tons of crude steel, 133,000 tons of pig iron, 510,000 tons of cement and 289,000 tons of rolled steel.


Armament industry

Romanian military industry during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
was mainly focused on converting various fortification guns into field and anti-aircraft artillery. Up to 334 German 53 mm Fahrpanzer guns, 93 French 57 mm Hotchkiss guns, 66 Krupp 150 mm guns and dozens more 210 mm guns were mounted on Romanian-built Gun carriage, carriages and transformed into mobile field artillery, with 45 Krupp 75 mm guns and 132 Hotchkiss 57 mm guns being transformed into anti-aircraft artillery. The Romanians also 10.5 cm Feldhaubitze M.12, upgraded 120 German Krupp 105 mm howitzers, the result being the most effective field howitzer in Europe at that time. Romania even managed to design and build from scratch its own model of mortar, the 250 mm Negrei Model 1916. Other Romanian technological assets include the building of A Vlaicu III, Vlaicu III, the world's first aircraft made of metal. The Romanian Navy possessed the largest warships on the Danube. They were a class of 4 river monitors, built locally at the Galați shipyard using parts manufactured in Austria-Hungary, and the first one launched was ''Lascăr Catargiu'', in 1907. The Romanian monitors displaced almost 700 tons, were armed with three 120 mm naval guns in 3 turrets, two 120 mm naval howitzers, four 47 mm anti-aircraft guns and two 6.5 machine guns. The monitors took part in the Battle of Turtucaia and the First Battle of Cobadin. The Romanian-designed Schneider 150 mm Model 1912 howitzer was considered one of the most modern field guns on the Western Front. The Romanian armament industry was expanded greatly during the Interwar period and World War II. New factories were constructed, such as the Industria Aeronautică Română and Societatea Pentru Exploatări Tehnice aircraft factories, which produced hundreds of indigenous aircraft, such as IAR 37, IAR 80 and SET 7. Before the war, Romania acquired from France the licence to produce hundreds of Brandt Mle 27/31 and Brandt Mle 1935 mortars, with hundreds more produced during the war, and also the licence to produce 140 French 47 mm Schneider anti-tank guns at the Concordia factory, with 118 produced between 26 May 1939 and 1 August 1940 and hundreds more produced during the war;''Third Axis. Fourth Ally. Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945'', p. 75 these guns were to be towed by Renault UE Chenillette, Malaxa Tip UE armored carriers, built since late 1939 at the Malaxa factory under French licence, eventually 126 being built until March 1941. Czechoslovak licence was acquired in 1938 to produce the ZB vz. 30 machine gun, with 5,000 being built at the Cugir gun factory until the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.''Third Axis. Fourth Ally. Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945'', p. 29 Romania also acquired the licence to produce the R-1 tank, R-1 tankette, but ultimately only one prototype was built locally. German licence was acquired in 1938 to produce 360 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43, 37 mm Rheinmetall anti-aircraft guns, but only 102 were produced until May 1941. British licence was acquired to produce 100 Vickers Model 1931 75 mm anti-aircraft guns at the Reșița works, with the first battery of 6 guns entering service on 1 August 1939, and 100 more guns were built during the war for a total production of 200. On 14 June, Romania launched the first locally-built warship, the minelayer . During the war, Romania copied and produced hundreds of Soviet M1938 mortars, as well as designing and producing up to 400 75 mm Reșița Model 1943 anti-tank guns. Infantry weapons designed and produced by Romania during the war include the Orița M1941 sub-machinegun and the Argeș (flamethrower), Argeș flamethrower. Romania also built 30 Renault R-35#Romania, Vănătorul de care R-35,Steven J. Zaloga, ''Tanks of Hitler's Eastern Allies 1941-45'', p. 31 34 TACAM T-60, 21 TACAM R-2 tank destroyers and rebuilt 34 captured Soviet Komsomolets armored tractors. A few prototype vehicles were also built, such as the Mareșal tank destroyer, which is credited with being the inspiration for the German Hetzer, a Renault R-35 tank with a T-26 turret and an artillery tractor known as T-1 tractor, T-1. Warships built include the submarines and , Democrația-class minesweeper, a class of 4 minesweepers, 6 Dutch-designed torpedo boats and 2 gunboats.


The ''Interbellum'' (''inter-war'') years

The Romanian expression România Mare (literal translation "Great Romania", but more commonly rendered in English: "Greater Romania") generally refers to the Romanian state in the interwar period, and by extension, to the territory Romania covered at the time. Romania achieved at that time its greatest territorial extent (almost ). At the 1930 census, there were over 18 million inhabitants in Romania. The resulting "Greater Romania" did not survive World War II. Until 1938, Romania's governments maintained the form, if not always the substance, of a liberal constitutional monarchy. The National Liberal Party (Romania, 1875), National Liberal Party, dominant in the years immediately after World War I, became increasingly clientelism, clientelist and nationalism, nationalist, and in 1927 was supplanted in power by the National Peasants' Party. Between 1930 and 1940 there were over 25 separate governments; on several occasions in the last few years before World War II, the rivalry between the fascist Iron Guard and other political groupings approached the level of a civil war. Upon the death of king Ferdinand of Romania, Ferdinand in 1927, his son Carol II of Romania, Prince Carol was prevented from succeeding him because of previous marital scandals that had resulted in his renunciation of rights to the throne. After living three years in exile, with his brother Nicolae serving as regent and his young son Michael I of Romania, Michael as king, Carol changed his mind and with the support of the ruling National Peasants' Party he returned and proclaimed himself king. Iuliu Maniu, leader of the National Peasants' Party, engineered Carol's return on the basis of a promise that he would forsake his mistress Magda Lupescu, and Lupescu herself had agreed to the arrangement. However, it became clear upon Carol's first re-encounter with his former wife, Helen of Greece and Denmark, Elena, that he had no interest in a reconciliation with her, and Carol soon arranged for Magda Lupescu's return to his side. Her unpopularity was to be a millstone around Carol's neck for the rest of his reign, particularly because she was widely viewed as his closest advisor and confidante. Maniu and his National Peasant Party shared the same general political aims of the Iron Guard: both fought against the corruption and dictatorial policies of King Carol II and the National Liberal Party. The Great Depression, worldwide Great Depression that started in 1929 and Great Depression in Romania, was also present in Romania destabilised the country. The early 1930s were marked by social unrest, high unemployment, and strikes. In several instances, the Romanian government violently repressed strikes and riots, notably the 1929 miners' strike in Valea Jiului and the strike in the Grivița railroad workshops. In the mid-1930s, the Romanian economy recovered and the industry grew significantly, although about 80% of Romanians were still employed in agriculture. French economic and political influence was predominant in the early 1920s but then Germany became more dominant, especially in the 1930s. As the 1930s progressed, Romania's already shaky democracy slowly deteriorated toward fascism, fascist dictatorship. The constitution of 1923 gave the king free rein to dissolve parliament and call elections at will; as a result, Romania was to experience over 25 governments in a single decade. Increasingly, these governments were dominated by a number of anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist, and mostly at least quasi-fascist parties. The National Liberal Party (Romania, 1875), National Liberal Party steadily became more nationalistic than liberal, but nonetheless lost its dominance over Romanian politics. It was eclipsed by parties like the (relatively moderate) National Peasants' Party and its more radical Romanian Front offshoot, the National-Christian Defense League (LANC) and the Iron Guard. In 1935, LANC merged with the National Agrarian Party (Romania), National Agrarian Party to form the National Christian Party (NCP). The quasi-mystical fascist Iron Guard was an earlier LANC offshoot that, even more than these other parties, exploited nationalist feelings, fear of communism, and resentment of alleged foreign and Jewish domination of the economy. Already, the Iron Guard had embraced the politics of assassinations, and various governments had reacted more or less in kind. On December 10, 1933, Liberal prime minister Ion Duca "dissolved" the Iron Guard, arresting thousands; consequently, 19 days later he was assassinated by Iron Guard legionnaires. Throughout the 1930s, these nationalist parties had a mutually distrustful relationship with King Carol II. Nonetheless, in December 1937, the king appointed LANC leader, the poet Octavian Goga as prime minister of Romania's first Kingdom of Romania under Fascism, Fascist government. Around this time, Carol met with Adolf Hitler, who expressed his wish to see a Romanian government headed by the pro-Nazi Iron Guard. Instead, on 10 February 1938 King Carol II used the occasion of a public insult by Goga toward Lupescu as a reason to dismiss the government and institute a short-lived royal dictatorship, sanctioned seventeen days later by a new constitution under which the king named personally not only the prime minister but all the ministers. In April 1938, King Carol had Iron Guard leader Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (aka "The Captain") arrested and imprisoned. On the night of 29–30 November 1938, Codreanu and several other legionnaires were killed while purportedly attempting to escape from prison. It is generally agreed that there was no such escape attempt, but that they were murdered in retaliation for a series of assassinations by Iron Guard commandos. The royal dictatorship was brief. On 7 March 1939, a new government was formed with Armand Călinescu as prime minister; on 21 September 1939, three weeks after the start of World War II, Călinescu, in turn, was also assassinated by legionnaires avenging Codreanu's murder. In 1939, Germany and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which stipulated, among other things, the Soviet "interest" in Bessarabia. After the 1940 territorial losses and growing increasingly unpopular, Carol was compelled to abdicate and name general
Ion Antonescu Ion Antonescu (; ; – 1 June 1946) was a Romanian military officer and Mareșal (Romania), marshal who presided over two successive Romania during World War II, wartime dictatorships as Prime Minister of Romania, Prime Minister and ''Conducăt ...
as the new Prime-Minister with full powers in ruling the state by royal decree.


Monarchs

File:Carol I King of Romania.jpg,
King Carol I Carol or Charles I of Romania (20 April 1839 – ), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was the second monarch of Romania from 1866 to his death in 1914, ruling as Prince (''Domnitor'') from 1866 to 1881, and as King of Romania, King fro ...

King Carol I
(1881–1914) File:King Ferdinand of Romania.jpg, Ferdinand I of Romania, King Ferdinand I (1914–1927) File:1903Nicholas-09.jpg, Prince Nicholas of Romania, Prince Nicholas (Regent) (1927–1930) File:Carol al II-lea.jpg, Carol II of Romania, King Carol II (1930–1940) File:Mihai.jpg, Michael I of Romania, King Michael I (1927–1930; 1940–1947)


Demographics

According to the 1930 Romanian Census, Romania had a population of 18,057,028. Romanians made up 71.9% of the population and 28.1% of the population were Minorities of Romania, ethnic minorities.


Cities

Largest cities as per 1930 census: Notes: 1 - including 12 suburban communities. Two of Romania's seven largest cities in 1930 are currently located outside of Romania as a result of World War II border changes.


Administrative division

After Independence, the Romanian Old Kingdom was divided into 33 counties. After World War I, as a result of the 1925 administrative unification law, the territory was divided into 71 counties, 489 districts (''plasă, plăși'') and 8,879 communes. In 1938, Carol II of Romania, King Carol II promulgated a new 1938 Constitution of Romania, Constitution, and subsequently he had the administrative division of the Romanian territory changed. Ten ''ținuturi'' (approximate translation: "lands") were created (by merging the counties) to be ruled by ''rezidenți regali'' (approximate translation: "Royal Residents") - appointed directly by the King. This administrative reform did not last and the counties were re-established after the fall of Carol's regime.


Timeline (1859–1940)

File:Alegătorul liber 1875-01-23, nr. 001.pdf, ''Alegătorul liber'', January 23, 1875 File:Bukarester Tagblatt 1880-08-10, nr. 001.pdf, ''Bukarester Tagblatt'', August 10, 1880 (in German) File:Voința naționala 1884-11-01.pdf, ''Voința naționala'', November 1, 1884 File:Opinia 1913-08-22, nr. 01966.pdf, ''Opinia'', August 22, 1913


Kings of Romania (1881–1947)


Queens-consort of Romania


Pretenders to the Romanian throne


Timeline

This is a Bar chart, graphical lifespan timeline of Kings


Royal Standards

File:Royal standard of Romania (King, 1881 model).svg, Royal Standard (1881–1922) File:Royal standard of Romania (King, 1922 model).svg, Royal Standard (1922–1947)


See also

* Danubian Vilayet (1864–1878), Ottoman administrative division that included Northern Dobruja * Historical administrative divisions of Romania * Kingdom of Romania under Fascism


References


Further reading

* Great Britain. Admiralty. ''A handbook of Roumania'' (1920) primary source that focuses on prewar economy and societ
online free
* Treptow, Kurt W. ''A history of Romania'' (1996).


External links

* *

< National awakening of Romania, National Awakening , History of Romania , Socialist Republic of Romania, Communist Romania >
{{DEFAULTSORT:Kingdom of Romania Kingdom of Romania, Former kingdoms, Romania Former monarchies Former monarchies of Europe, Romania Former countries in the Balkans 20th century in Moldova States and territories established in 1881 1881 in Romania States and territories disestablished in 1947 1947 in Romania Romanian monarchy, * 1880s in Romania 1890s in Romania 1900s in Romania 1910s in Romania 1920s in Romania 1930s in Romania 1940s in Romania Fascist states, Romania Axis powers 1881 establishments in Romania 1947 disestablishments in Romania