Romania Territory and Government

By | December 23, 2021

Present-day Romania is a state of 18 million residents, spread over a territory of 294,967 sq. Km., Which essentially occupies the entire lower basin of the Danube. It reached this extension for the peace treaties that followed the war of 1914-18; previously, the populations, mostly Romanian, gathered within the present borders, had lived for long periods under different regimes.

Territory. – The core of Romania was made up of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, still vassals of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the century. XIX. The struggles of the Turks with their neighbors had cost Moldavia the loss of Bessarabia, ceded to Russia in 1812, and that of Bucovina annexed by Austria in the century. XVIII. Wallachia, on the other hand, had lost Dobruja even earlier. The conflicts known as phases of the “question of the East” determined new events, for which the physiognomy of Romania was finally fixed as it was to remain until 1918. The principalities, united under a single sovereign, took the name of Romania and conquered their complete independence in 1878, following the Berlin congress; they received Dobruja at the same time.

During 40 years, this Romania of the Berlin congress made great progress, sheltering the ruins accumulated by wars and mismanagement. However, it remained an imperfect political formation, with badly defensible borders, with poorly regulated economic life, at the mercy of the whims of a climate on which the grain harvest depended, only article of international trade: it also suffered from the contiguity of provinces with Romanian populations., where the national consciousness was awakened under foreign sovereignties: Transylvania, Hungarian, Bessarabia, Russian.

The upheavals of the world war brought unexpected satisfactions to the Romanian aspirations. For the treaties of S. Germano, Trianon and Neuilly, Austria had to give up Bucovina; Hungary, Transylvania and part of Banat, Bulgaria, the region known as the “quadrilateral” of Dobruja; furthermore, the London conference recognized the incorporation of Bessarabia in 1920 (although Russia was not consulted).

The new state has a singularly more advantageous configuration than pre-war Romania, having its borders a minimum length relative to the surface, in all 2869 km., Ie 1 km. every 100 sq. km.; natural borders also predominate: 616 km. along the Danube, 731 along the Dniester, 446 along the Black Sea.

The extension of the territory has doubled and so has the population. It should be noted, however, that the incorporation of almost all the populations of Romanian nationality (a principle that has been a guide in establishing the borders) has caused, due to ethnic mixes, also the inclusion of nuclei of foreign nationalities, Slavs, Germans and especially Hungarians. An inconvenience to which we must add the other of the difficulty of adapting to life in common regions which for centuries have undergone such different governments, and which find themselves in such disparate social and economic conditions.

Government. – The first Romanian constitution dates from 1866. It reproduces almost entirely the Belgian constitution of 1831, but also consecrates some desired of the patriots of the national Risorgimento (revolution of 1848; union of principalities, 1859). It proclaims the following principles: national sovereignty, representative government, separation of powers, hereditary monarchy, inviolability of the monarch, responsibility of ministers, supremacy of the constitution over other laws, proclamation of all public rights enshrined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of citizen of 1789. The constitution was then modified in 1879 and 1884, to be made aware of the new international situation created by the Treaty of Berlin, with which the Romanian-Russian-Turkish war ended and in which Romania conquered its complete independence, then proclaiming itself a kingdom in 1881. Another modification was made in 1917, in view of the attribution of land to peasants and the institution of universal suffrage, etc. In 1923 a new constitution was promulgated: it is a remake of the constitution of 1866, and reproduces it ad litteram large number of articles, while also dictating different provisions. Some principles established in the constitution or in various laws of public law are the following: the constitutional regime of 1923 provides, in addition to a political responsibility of the ministers, also their civil and criminal liability, which falls within the competence of the joint sections of the Court of Cassation acting as a high court of justice. The constitutionality of the laws can only be judged by the joint sections of the cassation. The acts of government and those of the military authority do not fall within the competence of the judiciary. Differences in religion, ethnicity or linguistics do not constitute an obstacle to the achievement and exercise of civil and political rights. Electoral matters are regulated by the 1926 law. For Romania political system, please check

Romania political system