Romania Modern History Part VI

By | December 23, 2021

Faced with the opposition of the assembly, Cuza made a kind of coup d’état and on May 2, 1864 dissolved the assembly and submitted to the vote of the people a new statute and a new electoral law that greatly enlarged suffrage and restricted power. of the assembly, establishing a “weighting body” and that is a kind of second chamber. The constitutional reform was approved by the Porta and by the guaranteeing powers. The new assembly passed on August 14, 1864 the agrarian law by which the peasants were given the ownership of that territory that the organic regulation had given them as a work camp; the peasants had to pay more than modest compensation in ten years. For Romania history, please check ehistorylib.com.

This law was the most important of the time of the Cuza government. Then followed the codes (1864-65) translated and reduced from the French and Belgian ones, the laws on education, etc. Even the reforms, however, perhaps too rapid, and especially the coup of 1864, created a certain discontent; the constitution satisfied neither the “whites” (reactionary conservatives), nor the “reds” (radical liberals). In the summer of 1865, revolutionary uprisings broke out in Bucharest. Cuza, who had sent away the Kogălniceanu out of jealousy, he understood that he was no longer supported by popular unanimity and in the opening speech from the chamber he clearly said: “I do not want a power that is based only on force. Both at your head and at your side, I will always be with the country, certainly purpose, apart from the will of the nation and the great interests of Romania “. But, with this speech, Cuza further weakened its position and fomented the aspirations of its enemies. A movement, at the head of which was Lascar Catargiu, hatched a conspiracy, partly made up of officers; on the night of 11-23 February 1866, Cuza was surprised by the conspirators in his palace; he abdicated without difficulty and retired abroad, from where he never returned (he died in 1873 in Heidelberg). A provisional government was then formed, with a three-member regency (General Nicolae Golescu, Lascar Catargiu and Colonel Nicolae Haralambie) and a ministry headed by Ion Ghica. However, on the day of the abdication, the provisional government had already thought about the election of a new prince, of a foreign dynasty. The assembled legislative bodies had unanimously chosen Philip Count of Flanders, brother of King Leopold of Belgium. But this election was in contradiction with the Paris convention of 1858, which stipulated that the prince must be a national; la Porta protested immediately, calling for separate elections in the two principalities, as in 1859; Russia was hostile and even Napoleon III was not in favor of the newly elected. In this way Philip was forced to give up. Meanwhile, on March 10, the conference of the guaranteeing powers met in Paris, requested by Turkey. The Romanian government sent Scarlat Fălcoianu and Ion Brătianu as its delegates. In it, Turkey and Russia were decidedly opposed to the appointment of a foreign prince; France, England and Italy, on the other hand, supported the Romanian aspirations; Prussia and Austria were confidential.

Shortly after the opening of the conference, the candidacy of Charles Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was presented who, on his mother’s side, was a relative of Napoleon III (see IX, pp. 50-51); the candidacy was supported by England and France; On March 26, the diplomatic agent of the principalities in Paris, Ion Bălăceanu and Ion Brătianu telegraphed the candidacy of the German prince to the council of ministers, which was received with great enthusiasm. On 30 March Ion Brătianu went to Düsseldorf to meet with the prince and on 1 April he telegraphed from Berlin the unconditional acceptance of the crown by Prince Charles. A few days later, the plebiscite called by the lieutenancy elected the prince himself as “domnitor al Românilor” with 685,969 votes in favor against 224 against. But the Paris conference did not accept the fait accompli, referring to the rules of 1858. The national assembly, however, confirmed the will of the Romanian people with 109 votes in favor, 6 abstentions and not even one vote against. Prince Charles, in order not to be stopped on his journey, went incognito to Romania; disguised as a modest traveler, he took a ticket to Odessa in the second class of an Austrian steamer of Danube navigation; passed the Romanian border at the Iron Gates, got off at Turnu-Severin and was accompanied to Bucharest (May 10, old style). On 11 May a ministry was appointed chaired by Lascar Catargiu and with Ion Brătianu in charge of finance. Three days after the prince’s entry into Bucharest, the Paris conference, following the protest of Turkey, declared this act illegal and warned the diplomatic agents residing in Bucharest from carrying out any act that might sound recognition of Prince Charles. The sultan even refused to receive the prince’s letters threatened an armed occupation by concentrating troops on the Danube. In this situation, Romania had to arm quickly for a possible defense. But in the meantime the war had broken out between Austria on the one hand and Prussia and Italy on the other. The Italo-Prussian victory on the one hand, and the pressure of the French ambassador in Constantinople on the other, succeeded in making the horizon more serene. Turkey ended up accepting the fait accompli, only by retaining its right to suzuraineté.

Romania Modern History Part VI