1859-1881 1914-1918

Romania in 1881-1914

Administration . King Carol I. ruled from (1866) 1881 to 1914; he was succeeded by his son King Ferdinand I. (1914-1927).
General elections were held in 1884, 1888, 1892, 1895, 1899, 1902, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1914 (twice). Voters, for elections of the deputees, were divided in three classes; "all persons with an income of (an equivalent to) 50 Pound Sterling vote in the first; all residents in an urban commune who pay taxes amounting to sixteen shillings yearly, with those who have been through the primary course of education, and all members of the liberal professions, retired officers and state pensioners, vote in the second. The third college is formed of the remaining taxpayers. Those who can read and write vote directly, the rest indirectly. Every fifty indirect electors choose a delegate, who votes along with the direct electors. The naturalization of Jews and Moslems is hedged about by many technical difficulties, and requires a separate vote of the legislature in every individual case. Deputies must be not less than twenty-five years of age" (EB 1911).
From 1881 to 1914, Romania had 18 prime ministers; Ion C. Bratianu (Liberal, 1881-1888, Lascar Catargiu (Conservative, 1891-1895), Dimitrie A. Sturdza (Liberal, 1901-1906) held the office for more than a couple of months.

Foreign Policy . In 1883 Romania joined the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
In 1913 Romania participated in the Second Balkan War, in alliance with Serbia and Greece against Bulgaria. Romania annexed the Southern Dobruja.

Political History . Much of Romania's arable land was still owned by large landowners, most of whom lived in the cities, having their lands administrated by intermediaries, often Jews or Greeks, who leased parcels out for high rents. In 1907 peasants rose in revolt.

The Economy . In 1881, Romania had a combined length of 951 km of railroad tracks, in 1914 3,588 km (IHS p.659).
In 1886, Romania produced 12.2 million hectolitres of wheat, in 1906 40.1 million. In 1909 Romania produced 1.6 million metric tons of wheat, in 1913 2.1 million (IHS p.293).
In 1891, Romania produced 0.1 million metric tons of crude petrol, in 1914 1.8 million (IHS p.426).

Social History . Jan Lahmeyer gives Romania's population of 1880 as 4.54 million, of 1890 as 5.52 million, of 1900 as 6 million, of 1910 as 6.92 million.

Ethnic, Religious Minoritiies . The Bratianu administration (1881-1888) passed a law permitting Jews and Muslims (the latter living in the Northern Dobruja) to apply for citizenship. The percentage of Turks, of the overall population of the Northern Dobruja, fell from 13 % in 1880 to 5.3 % in 1913, that of the Tatars from 21 % to 5.6 %, the relative decrease of the Turks more a result of the immigration of ethnic Romanians, as absolute figures increased; the absolute figures of the Tatars decreased, indicating emigration.
The transition of Romania from a feudal to a capitalist economy provided career opportunities, of which certain ethnic or religious groups made better use than others. Jews and Greeks, who made up a tiny fraction of the overall population, dominated functions such as estate administrators; the Romanian Peasants' Revolt of 1907 was anti-Semitic and anti-Greek, blaming these minorities as a group for the misery of the (mostly Romanian-Orthodox) peasants; both the Conservative and Liberal Party were largely anti-Semitic.

Cultural History . The Romanian Atheneum (concert hall) in Bucharest was opened in 1888.
Romanian athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Paris 1900. Romania did not sent teams to the Summer Olympics at Athens 1896, St. Louis 1904, London 1908 and Stockholm 1912.

Articles List of Prime Ministers of Romania, Elections in Romania, Kingdom of Romania, Carol I. of Romania, Northern Dobruja, History of Dobruja, Ion C. Bratianu, Lascar Catargiu, Dimitrie Sturdza, 1907 Romanian Peasants' Revolt, History of Bucharst, Romania at the 1900 Summer Olympics, from Wikipedia
The Early Oil Industry of Poland and Romania, from SJGS
History of the Romanian Academy of Sciences
The History of Romanian Railways, from CFR
History, from University of Bucharest
A Global History of Currencies : Romania
Bucharest, from Romania Tourism
Independent Romania, from Jewish Virtual Library
DOCUMENTS List of Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Romania, from Population Statistics, Univ. Utrecht
Rumanian banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
REFERENCE IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
Article : Romania, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913 pp.1035-1037 on events of 1912) [G]
Article : Roumania, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 pp.844-850 [G]
Article : Rumania, in : Statesman's Year Book 1898 pp.844-851, 1901 pp.944-954, 1905 pp.1034-1046, 1910 pp.1131-1140 [G]
Article : Roumania, in : International Year Book 1899 pp.705-706, 1900 pp.796-797 [G]
Article : Rumania, in : New International Year Book 1907 pp.692-693, 1908 pp.622-623, 1909 pp.626-627, 1913 pp.605-607, 1914 pp.612-414 [G]
Article : Roumania, in : Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 1894 p.703 [G]
Algernon Bastard, The Gourmet's Guide to Europe (1903), posted by Gutenberg Library Online, chapter XII pp.207-210 on Roumania

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 9th 2006, last revised on October 17th 2007

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