History of Moldavia as described in Historic Encyclopedias



Meyer 1902





Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Moldau (excerpts)
On the oldest history of Moldavia as a part of Dacia, see under Romania. The establishment of Moldavia as a state most probably happened in the year 1360, when Bogdan, the son of Micul, the Voivod of the Vlachs in the Marmaros, with numerous warriors moved to Baia in Moldavia, forced the Slavic, Romanian and Tatar inhabitants into submission, took possession of the territory of Moldavia including the Bukovina and Bessarabia, as Voivod (c. 1365). The history of Moldavia emerges from the darkness [of a period without historical records] only with the accession of Alexander I. (1401-1432), who gave the country its administrative division, organized army and finances, founded schools and monasteries, issued a law code compiled of the basilicas, and because of his wisdom and mildness earned himself the byname "the good". Also as a military commander Alexander proved himself against Poles, Hungarians and Tatars. Since 1407 "Lord of the Moldavian Lands", in 1411 he concluded an alliance with King Vladislav Jagiello of Poland and married the latter's relative Ryngalla. His troops had fought against the Teutonic Order at Tannenberg in 1410. Also the rule of his grandson Stephan the Great (see there, 1457 to 1504) was glorious. Memorable is most of all his victory over the 120,000 Turks under Sulayman Pasha on January 10th 1473 near Racowa. In 1484 Stephen had to stand his ground in new fights against Bayezid II., who conquered Kilia on July 14th and Akkerman on August 4th. But in 1490 and 1502 he gained Pokutia and in 1498 he even appeared in front of Lemberg. He was succeeded by his son Bogdan III., the Blind (1504-1517). He signed the first capitulation with the Sultan in 1504, in which Moldavia obliged itself to pay a tribute to the Sublime Porte; according to younger sources, Turkey [!] in return treated Moldavia as not conquered country with the right of electing its own princes, have an autonomous administration and independent laws. This foundation of the position of Moldavia in relation to the sovereign power was renewed by Peter Raresch (1527-1546) under the walls of Ofen (1529). Raresch was succeeded until 1633 by a line of mostly unimportant rulers, under whom the Porte was able to considerably increase the tribute and to expend her influence in the interior and in the election of the prince. Johann II. (1571-1574) in vain resisted the ever-increasing claims of the Turks. A number of intrigues and ruin resulted in a quick succession of princes; to arbitrary interference by Turkey Polish influence further complicated the situation. Finally Basil Lupu (1634-1653) put a hold to decline and created charitable institutions, founded schools, favoured the emergence of a Romanian national literature. Under Lupus' successors the old spirit of independence gradually vanished, and with Nikolaus Maurokordatis (1712) the fatal period of Phanariot rule began, and with it the intellectual and political decline of Moldavia and Wallachia. During this period, Russia ever more resolutely interfered in the fates of the principalities. The Russian policy of protection expressed itself in numerous occupations of the country by large armies, and resulted in Moldavia being carved up, but the loss of Bukovina to Austria (1777; Gregor Giulka murdered) and of Bessarabia to Russia (1812). When the Porte became suspicious of the Greeks because of a Phanariot rebellion under Alexander Ypsilantis (1821), it decided no longer to force any foreign rulers on the country. Johann Sturdza, the elected indigenous prince, was confirmed by the Porte on July 19th 1822. His good intentions were foiled by the new protecting power, Russia, the representatives of which prevented any reform, and who practically governed the country since the Treaty of Adrianople (September 24th 1829) (Organization of Moldavia by General P. von Kisselev and his organic regulation of 1832). In 1834 the Porte appointed Michael Sturdza Prince of Moldavia, who was loyal to Russia. He tried, by a number of improvements, to cover his greed and the extortions conducted by his Russian favorites. This shameless maladministration in April 1848 resulted in the outbreak of the revolution. But at the same time Russian troops entered Moldavia, while a Turkish army occupied Wallachia. The National Movement soon fell victim to foreign bayonets. The Treaty of Balta-Liman (May 1st 1849) restored the old system. The new prince, Gregor Ghika, was inspired by good intentions; the implementation of curing measures was interrupted by the Crimean War 1853. The reoccupation of the country by Russian troops in 1854-1857 was followed by Austrian occupation. The Paris Treaty of 1856 terminated the history of suffering of the principalities, recognized their independence and, as neutral territory, placed them under the protection of the great powers. The Romanians understood to make use of the favorable situation, and to bring about the unification with Wallachia. For further events, see Romania.
See also : Iorga, Geschichte des rumänischen Volkes (Gotha 1905, 2 vols.), and von Wlislocki in the 5. volume of Helmolts "Weltgeschichte" (Leipzig 1905).

source in German, posted by Zeno




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First posted on March 5th 2009

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