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Formation of Nations (All European Nations)

Romania/Romanians: Development of a Nation
How Romania became Romania, and how the Romanians became Romanian.

RomaniaHow Romanians as a people, and the country of Romania as a nation-state, evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral bloodlines, the Romanian language, borders, culture, and even how they received their name.


Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Culture
Romania in 2008

 

Romanian Ancestral Background:
 

  1. 1500 BC – Romanian origins begin with the ancient Thracians that inhabited the eastern Balkan peninsula. They became a distinct nationality by around 1500 BC.
  2. 513 BC – Dacians, a Thracian tribe, expand to dominate the region of modern Romania and Bulgaria, forming a powerful kingdom.
  3. 106 – The Romans conquer the Dacians/Thracians (modern Romania and Bulgaria). Romans from other provinces (including Latin peoples out of Italy) would move into the region, intermixing with the existing Dacian inhabitants, an admixture that served as the basis as the ancestors to the modern Romanian people. Those in the region take upon themselves the name of the Roman Empire (Romanians).
  4. 271 – Rome pulled out of Romania due to ongoing Germanic invasions along the northern borders of this province, which bordered the Germanic territories. Germanic tribes would then share the region with the Romanians. Germanic peoples would eventually migrate out of Romania by 378, preventing a Germanic imprint on the Romanian genetic code. The Romanians would remain Latin, in culture and language, and would remain dominant force in region which is modern Romania. Unlike the rest of the Balkan peninsula north of Greece, they managed to resist assimilation into the Slavs, who were migrating into the region in massive waves. Huns shared the land with the Romanians beginning in the 4th century, but had evacuated by 435, leaving the region approximating modern Romania almost exclusively to the Romanians once again. The genetic composition of the Romanian nationality was now largely set.

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Development of Romanian Language:
 

  1. The Dacians and Thracians were conquered by the Romans in 106, followed by a period of intense Romanization after the territory was colonized by Roman citizens throughout other parts of the empire, including Latin peoples from Italy. Vulgar Latin (language of the Romans) became the predominant language, displacing the Dacian/Thracian languages in the region. This served as the basis from which the modern Romanian language evolved.
  2. After the departure of the Romans in 271, Romania became isolated from other Latin speakers, causing it to branch off of the Latin language of the Romans into its own distinct, the first of the Romance languages to do so.
  3. In the middle ages (7th to 10th centuries), Romanian was influenced by surrounding Slav languages, due to the massive Slav migration into the Balkan peninsula. It was also influenced by Greek during the years the Romanian region spent under Byzantine rule. A little bit of Hungarian and Turkish influence were added as well, from years under Hungarian rule, and then Ottoman rule.

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Formation of Romanian Borders:
 

  1. Romania and North Black Sea provinces1500 BC – Romanian origins begin with the ancient Thracians that inhabited the eastern Balkan peninsula. They became a distinct nationality by around 1500 BC.
  2. 513 BC – Dacians, a Thracian tribe, expand to dominate the region of modern Romania and Bulgaria, forming a powerful kingdom.
  3. 106 – The Romans conquer the Dacians/Thracians (modern Romania and Bulgaria). Romans from other provinces (including Latin peoples out of Italy) would move into the region, intermixing with the existing Dacian inhabitants.
  4. 271 – Rome pulled out of Romania due to ongoing Germanic invasions along the northern borders of this province, which bordered the Germanic territories. Germanic Hungarytribes would then share the region with the Romanians. Germanic peoples would eventually migrate out of Romania by 378. Unlike the rest of the Balkan peninsula north of Greece, the Romanians managed to resist assimilation into the Slavs, who were migrating into the region in massive waves. Resisting Slavic assimilation helped define the concept of Romania.
  5. Huns shared the land with the Romanians beginning in the 4th century, but had evacuated by 435, leaving the region approximating modern Romania almost exclusively to the Romanians once again.
  6. 813 – The First Bulgarian Empire expanded to cover all of modern Romania, Moldova, down to Adrianople (encompassing all of modern Bulgaria).
  7. 1001 – Hungarians converted to Christianity, gaining favor with pope, and ending barbaric raids against their neighbors. They proceed to conquer Transylvania in modern Romania. Other parts of Romania broke into independent kingdoms, including Moldavia (encompassing modern Moldova) and Wallachia, although they still intermittently fell under Hungarian control.
  8. 1330 – Romanians just east of Hungary revolted, forming the Kingdom of Wallachia.
    Ottoman Empire Conquests
  9. 1359 – A Romanian prince broke away from Hungary, forming Moldavia near the Black Sea shorelines.
  10. 1415 – Wallachia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire (a Muslim, Turkic people), before regaining independence again in 1422.
  11. 1476 – Wallachia fell under Ottoman reign again, but with the concession of self government (except for foreign policy).
  12. 1526 - Transylvania, which had also endured under the Hungarian crown since 1003, became a semi-autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire.
  13. 1538 – Moldavia falls under Ottoman reign, but with the right of self government (except for foreign policy).
  14. 1599 – An Austria general (within Austrian Habsburg Dynasty) gained control over Transylvania, brutally forcing Roman Catholicism upon the largely Protestant population, commencing a reign of terror lasting until 1604. The Protestants would then revolt, forcing a peace with Austria, where religious tolerance prevailed. The Ottomans still officially possessed the region, but failed to exert control.
  15. Balkans independence from Ottoman Empire1711 – After it was discovered that Moldavia was negotiating with the Russians during the Russo-Turkish Wars, the Ottomans instituted direct rule in Moldavia. The same fate befell Wallachia in 1714.
  16. 1848 – Romanians in Transylvania revolt against Hapsburg Austria, driving Austria out.
  17. 1859 – As part of the Crimean War, Moldavia gains the southern part of Bessarabia, then combining with Wallachia to form Romania, while still remaining a vassal to the Ottoman Empire.
  18. 1878 – After the Ottoman Empire was defeated by Russia in the final Russo-Turkish War, it agreed to hand Cyprus over to the United Kingdom. Romania then declared independence. Russia desired to annex Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria, but Balkans Campaignthe United Kingdom prevented it from doing so with a show of force. Following the war, Romania acquired Dobruja along its southeast border, but it was forced to cede southern Bessarabia to Russia.
  19. 1881 – With the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, and with Russia and Austria also weakened (both had long attempted to gain control of the region), Moldavia and Wallachia took the opportunity to declare independence, forming the Kingdom of Romania.
  20. 1917 – Bessarabia separated from Russia, joining its historical compatriots of Romania.
  21. 1918 – Austria and Germany are defeated in World War I, withdrawing from the Kingdom of Romania. Transylvania and Bessarabia elect to join the Kingdom of Romania, after being freed from Austria-Hungary control.
  22. 1940 – Pressured by the Russians, and weakened by German invasions from the west during World War II, Romania cedes territories that comprise modern Moldova to Russia (part of former Moldavia). It is formed as the Moldavian SSR, a client state to the USSR. Moldova was comprised of about 2/3 of Bessarabia, and about 1/3 of Romania proper. The USSR also partitioned Northern Bukovina and Budjak from Romania, assigning them to the Ukraine SSR. Romania would then join the Axis Powers later in World War II against Russia in an attempt to regain lost territory. Hungary also joined the fray, and annexed Northern Transylvania from Romania, but was forced to return it at the end of WWII.
  23. Soviet Union takes Moldova1940 (World War II) – Nazi sponsored the territorial gain of Southern Dobruja for Bulgaria, which had been taken by Romania during Balkan Wars. Bulgaria would then fall under Nazi occupation in 1941. After the war, the Allies would allow Bulgaria to keep Southern Dobruja, finalizing Bulgaria's and Romania's modern borders.
  24. The Soviet occupation after WWII led to a communist government in Romania.
  25. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, Romania became an independent, democratic republic.

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Etymology (How Name Received):

Romania was a Latin term meaning “Roman Realm”, after the region became highly Romanized following Roman conquest and colonization.

 

Romanian Culture:

Romanians historically identified closely with Roman culture, maintaining their version of the old Latin language, and perpetuating Roman customs. However, Romania would languish under foreign rule during most of its history, perhaps most notably under the Muslim Ottoman Empire, under which it remained for a period of more than four centuries.

Aside from the Latin language, which became influenced by a variety of other foreign languages, the tenets of Romanian culture were essentially lost, as the Romanians emerged from Ottoman rule in the 19th century with a clean slate, from a cultural point of view.

Romania turned its gaze westward, emulating Western European culture (French in particular) as it sought to reinvent itself as it entered the 20th century.

 

Romania in 2008:

Economy: Since becoming independent from USSR in 1990, suffered severe economic issues until after 2000, when growth began to increase steadily. Now at risk of inflation, as most European economies are (but especially those with less established/advanced economies, particularly in Eastern Europe). Economy now largely privatized.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Eastern Orthodox 87%, Protestant 7.5%, Roman Catholic 5%, Muslim less than 1%,
Demographics: Romanian 90%, Hungarian 7% (holdovers from past Hungarian rule), Roma 2.5%.
Foreign Policy: Joined NATO, EU. Friendly with all countries in the region. Shares common history and language as Moldova, which is historically part of Romania, but Moldova has resisted attempts to unify, or to integrate more closely with Romania, politically or economically.
Population: 22,246,862 (2008)

 
Formation of Nations (All European Nations)

 

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