History of Wallachia as described in Historic Encyclopedias



Meyer 1902





Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Walachei (excerpts)
For the older history of Wallachia as a part of Dacia, see under Romania. After the Romanians on the lower Danube had lived through the Great People's Migration, the invasion of Slavs, Mongols, Hungarians and Tatars, on the territory of Wallachia in 1247 the Principality of Seneslav emerged, east of the Aluta River. In the struggles against Hungary namely Ivanco Tihomir (Tocomerius, until about 1330) stood out. His son Basarab I. (1330 until about 1340) founded the Basarab Dynasty, which ruled with short interruptions until its extinction (1659). First contact with the Ottomans took place in 1367, the second contact in 1385, when Dan I. and Mircea I., sons of the pious Radu I., competed with each other for the crown. Mircea (1386-1418) is the proper organizer of the principality, which at that time included the Transylvanian duchies Amlasch and Fogarasch, a part of Bulgaria with Silistria and the Dobruja with Kilia. After the Battle of Kossovo (1389) Mircea took from the victorious Ottomans the territories beyond the Danube, and in 1394 near Rovine in the Aluta Valley he defeated Bejezid I., but after Emperor Siegmund's defeat at Nicopolis (1396) in 1411, ostensibly, he concluded a treaty which secured the independence of Wallachia under domestic princes, forbade the settlement of Turks in Wallachia, and promised the Turks a tribute in return for the peace guaranteed by the latter. In 1417 the dependence of Wallachia on the Sublime Porte was intensified. Under Vlad III. Tepesch (1456-1462) and his brother Radu III. the Beautiful (1462-1474) the Turks repeatedly invaded Wallachia, in order to cut a trail into Hungary and Western Europe. Under Radu IV. the Great (1495-1508) the first failed attempt of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (Patriatch Nison) was made to submit the Church of Wallachia. The pious Basarab IV. Neagoe (1512-1521) in 1517 constructed the beautiful church of Curtea de Argesch (restorated by King Carol in 1886). After the death of Radu VI. de la Asumalzi (1521-1529) Wallachia's ability to resist collapsed; until 1593 the Sublime Porte installed and deposed princes as it pleased.
By his efforts to secure the independence of his fatherland, Michael the Courageous (Viteazul, 1593-1601) became the most celebrated national hero. From November 1594 to February 1595 he cleansed Wallachia of Turks and Tatars, on August 23rd 1595 at Calugaremi he dealt a severe defeat to a superior Turkish army under Sinan Pasha, and then penetrated deep into Turkish territory. On June 9th 1598 he concluded a treaty with Emperor Rudolf II. directed against Transylvania. On October 28th 1599 Michael was victorious over Andreas Bathori on the Schellenberg near Hermannstadt, and at the beginning of 1600 over Jeremias Mogila of Moldavia in three battles. On July 1st 1600 in Karlsburg he had himself proclaimed Prince of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania, on September 18th that year he lost the Battle of Mirislau, and after a visit to Prague (December 25th), with the Imperial general Georg Basta, he was victorious over Siegmund Bathori on August 3rd 1601 at Goroslau, but on August 19th in the camp of Thorda was murdered at the order of Basta. Wallachia's last important prince was Matthias Basarab (1632-1654). He improved the administration, codified a civil and penal code (1652), founded schools, churches and monasteries, printed Romanian church books, deprived the Athos monasteries on many lands taken from domestic monasteries, concluded secret treaties against the Turks with the German Emperor, the King of Poland and the Prince of Transylvania. With Konstantin Basarab (Cirnul, 1654-1658) and Mihnea III. (Michael Radu, 1658-1659) the Basarab Dynasty ended.
Scherban Kantakuzenos (1678-1688) was present in the Turkish camp during the siege of Vienna, and in 1688 had the bible, translated into the Romanian by the brothers Greceanu, printed. Konstantin Brankowan (Brincoveanu, 1688-1714) for his relations with Czar Peter the Great paid, in addition to the loss of 4 sons and his adviser Jen. Vacarescu, with his own life.
With his successor Stephan Kantakuzenos (1714-1715) Wallachia lost the last remnants of independence; the Sublime Porte from 1716 to 1822 appointed the highest bidder among the Greek Phanariot families to Prince of Wallachia; an era, by intrigues, greed and lack of patriotism devastating in material and moral aspect. The domestic nobility was replaced by corrupt Greek, Armenian etc. parvenus from Istanbul. From 1769 to 1774 and from 1806 to 1812 the principality was in Russian hands, from 1789 to 1791 in Austrian hands, from 1821 to 1822 in Turkish hands. Every Russo-Turkish treaty (1774 in Kuchuk-Kainardji, 1779 in Constantinople, 1792 in Iasi, 1812 in Bucharest, 1826 in Akkerman, 1829 in Adrianople, 1834 in St. Petersburg) Russian power [in Wallachia] was expanded, while that of the Porte was diminished and that of the principalities was annihilated. In 1832 Count Paul Kisselev (during the third Russian occupation 1828-1834) forced the "Reglement Organique" as a constitution on the country. The Hospodar Alexander Ghilka (1834-1842) and Georg Bibescu (1843-1848) were nothing else than Russian stadholders, which even in internal matters received their orders from Saint Petersburg.
Still, under the influence of the newly invigorated Romanian schools, a literary and political movement emerged, which developed glowing hatred against foreign rule. The younger generation sprung from the people, educated in Western Europe, sharper and sharper took a stand against the Grecicized and Russificized Boyars; but the Russians just before 1848 had the national schools in Iasi and Bucharest closed. When the February Revolution caused fermentation in Europe, Prince Bibescu on June 23rd granted a liberal constitution, but abdicated on June 25th. Under a provisional government (June 26th until July 10th and July 12th until August 9th) the hated "Reglement Organique" was burnt in front of the Russian consulate in Bucharest, but on September 25th 1848 the Russians and Turks restored the old order. The Treaty of Balta Liman of May 1st 1849 worsened the situation of the Princes of Moldavia and Wallachia, which were placed under the supervision and command of a Russian and Turkish commissioner. The Prince of Wallachia appointed under such conditions was Barbu Stirbey (see Bibesco I.). Russians and Turks hardly had evacuated the principality in 1850, when the Russians moved in their troops again at the end of October 1853. Then the Crimean War broke out, which on July 31st 1854 resulted in the withdrawal of the last Russian occupation, and resulted in the Paris Treaty of March 30th 1856, the consequence of which was the unification of the Principalities Moldavia and Wallachia to the state of Romania (1859). Further see Romania (History).
See : de Martonne, La Valachie, essai de monographie geographique (Paris 1903); Iorga, Geschichte des rumänischen Volkes (Gotha 1905, 2 vols.); von Wlislocki in vol. 5 of Helmolt's "Weltgeschichte" (Leipzig 1905).

source in German, posted by Zeno




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First posted on March 5th 2009

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