Moldavia 1512-1812

Moldavia 1812-1861

In 1812 the Russian occupation force withdrew, but the Moldavian territory to the east of the River Pruth (Bessarabia) was ceded to Russia. In 1821, Moldavian prince ALEXANDER YPSILANTI, a Greek Phanariot, began a rebellion against Ottoman rule. He found little support among the Moldavian peasants; the rebellion had a Greek character and is regarded an episode in the Greek struggle for independence rather than an event in Moldavian history; it was suppressed.
Ypsilanti, as Prince of Moldavia, was succeeded by indigenous Johann Sturdza, who intended to implement a number of reforms, but was prevented to do so by the Russians who interfered in Moldavian affairs; since the Treaty of Adrianople 1829 the Russians practically ruled the country. In 1834 Michael Sturdza was appointed prince; he leaned on Russia and pursued a policy of enriching himself at the expense of the state.
In 1835 Galati was declared a free port, and steam navigation on the Danube connected the Black Sea with Belgrade, Vienna and beyond.
In 1848, a revolution erupted in Moldavia's capital IASI, spreading over both Moldavia and Wallachia. The revolutionaries propagated the concept of a ROMANIAN NATION. The revolution was not expressedly anti-Ottoman, but aimed at the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia, and demanded a written constitution, freedom of the press etc. The revolutionaries in Iasi, among them ALEXANDER CUZA, were arrested; the revolution in neighbouring Wallachia was suppressed by combined Turko-Russian forces - by the Turks in Wallachia, by the Russians in Moldavia. The Treaty of Balta-Liman restored the pre-revolutionary conditions.
Britain was worried about Russian influence in the Romanian principalities and about Russian expansion in general; in 1853-1856 British and French forces fought the CRIMEAN WAR; Moldavia was placed under Russian military administration Oct. 1853-Sept. 1854. Negotiations were held with the aim to merge Wallachia and Moldavia; on January 5th ALEXANDER JOHN CUZA was elected both prince of Moldavia and of Wallachia. From 1854 to 1857, Moldavia and Wallachia were occupied by an Austrian force (Austria being neutral in the Crimean War). In 1856 Russia ceded a strip of land along the lower Pruth and lower Danube, referred to as Bessarabia, to give the combined principalities access to the sea. In 1861 both principalities were formally merged (ROMANIA). They remained under Ottoman suzerainty until the Berlin Congress of 1878.

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Timeline, from
Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Romania, from Kirken i Norge
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Romania
Brief History of Romania, from Rom Club; Romanian History, from European Cultural Centre, Bucharest, posted by Rotravel; History of Romanians, by Ion Calafeteanu, on Government of Romania Website; History of Romania, posted by FEEFHS
Illustrated History of Romanians, from Government of Romania
History of Iasi, from
The International Status of the Romanian Lands in 1848, from Encyclopedia of the 1848 Revolutions
National Revival in Romania, 1848-1866, from Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History by S.W. Sowards
Biography of Alexander John Cuza, from infoplease
Moldau, Geschichte von (Moldavia, History of), 1350-1834, 1834-1857, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1888-1890 edition, in German
The Danube as a Major Route of Transport : Steam Navigation, from Donauschiffahrt
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Romania, by Ben Cahoon; scroll down for Moldavia; Rulers : Romania, by B. Schemmel, scroll down for Moldavia; Rulers from Vallachia and Molgavia till 1859; from Romania - Encyclopedic Survey; Regnal Chronologies : Eastern Balkans, scroll down for Berlad, Bihar, Moldavia, Romania, Transylvania, Wallachia

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 20th 2002, last revised on November 8th 2004

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