39 events in the past four centuries that defined the course of Romania’s history

Ioana Erdei 28/10/2018 | 10:41

Romania’s history is full of war and foreign invasion. Throughout the past centuries, Romanians had to fight for their independence several times. First time that the country was united for a brief amount of time was in 1600. At that time, the principalities was under Ottoman and Habsburg domination. This moment is actually from where our journey through history starts.

A chronology of key events:

1600-1601 – The three historic principalities of Romania – Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia – are briefly united under one ruler, Michael the Brave. They had been under Habsburg and Ottoman domination.

1683 – The Habsburgs recapture Transylvania from the Ottoman Empire.

1715 – Phanariot Greek governors begin to rule Moldavia and Wallachia on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, and launch administrative reforms.

1600-1601 – The three historic principalities of Romania – Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia – are briefly united under one ruler, Michael the Brave. They had been under Habsburg and Ottoman domination.

1683 – The Habsburgs recapture Transylvania from the Ottoman Empire.

1715 – Phanariot Greek governors begin to rule Moldavia and Wallachia on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, and launch administrative reforms.

1881 – Romania becomes a kingdom.

1904 – The oil industry takes off with the opening of the first refinery.

1914 – King Carol’s death ends Romania’s alliance with the Central Powers – Germany and Austria. His nephew Ferdinand takes Romania into World War I on the Allied side in 1916.

1918 – As part of the peace settlement at the end of the war, Romania virtually doubles in size and population.

1930s – Rise of fascist “Iron Guard” mass movement.

1940 – General Ion Antonescu seizes power, and allies Romania with Nazi Germany.

1944 – Romania switches sides as Soviet forces close in. A Soviet-backed government is installed the following year.

Communist takeover

1947 – Romania regains Transylvania under peace treaty but loses some territory to Soviet Union. King Michael is forced to abdicate and Soviet-style people’s republic is formed.

1965 – Nicolae Ceausescu becomes Communist leader and pursues a foreign policy that often runs counter to Moscow’s lead, while increasing repressive rule and personality cult at home.

1975 – United States grants Romania most-favoured-nation status.

1977 – Bucharest earthquake kills around 1,500 people.

1985-86 – Austerity programme aimed at reducing foreign debt leads to food shortages and widespread power cuts.

Revolution

1989 December – Demonstrations in city of Timisoara spread nationwide in a bloody national uprising that leads to the execution of Nicolae Ceasescu and his wife.

Former Ceausescu ally Ion Iliescu forms a government pledged to democracy

1990 May – Government embarks on economic and political reform programme.

1990 June – Student and opposition protests against ex-communist leadership crushed when 20,000 miners are brought in to stage a counter demonstration.

1991 – Riots by miners on strike over soaring prices force Prime Minister Petre Roman’s resignation. 1996 – Centre-right election victory sweeps aside former communists. Emil Constantinescu elected president, Victor Ciorbea becomes prime minister.

1997 – Economic reform programme announced. Securitate Communist-era secret police files opened.

1999 January – Security forces prevent 10,000 miners striking over pay from entering Bucharest.

2000 November-December – Ion Iliescu defeats far-right rival Corneliu Vadim Tudor to retake presidency. Leftist Adrian Nastase becomes prime minister in minority government.

Path to EU membership

2004 March – Romania admitted to Nato.

2004 November-December – Centrist alliance leader Traian Basescu elected president. Ally Calin Tariceanu becomes prime minister with agenda of speeding up EU-oriented reforms.

2005 April – Romania signs EU accession treaty.

2007 January – Romania and Bulgaria join the European Union.

2008 February – European Commission warns Romania over high-level corruption.

Financial crisis

2009 March – The International Monetary Fund and other lenders agree to provide Romania a rescue package worth 20bn euros.

2012 January-February – Clashes over austerity and corruption prompt resignation of Prime Minister Emil Boc.

2012 May – Victor Ponta becomes prime minister when his left-wing Social Liberal Union alliance topples the interim government.

2014 November – Conservative Klaus Iohannis beats Victor Ponta in presidential run-off election.

2015 November – Victor Ponta resigns as prime minister after months of scandal, culminating in mass street protests over lax safety regulations at a nightclub where 32 people died in a fire.

2016 May – A Nato missile defence system is installed in the face of Russia opposition.

2017 January – Social Democrats form government after winning December 2016 elections.

2017 February – Some 200,000 people protest over government attempts to water down corruption measures, in largest demonstrations since fall of Communist regime in 1989.

2018 October – Referendum to ban gay marriage fails because of a low turnout.

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Ioana Erdei | 29/11/2022 | 10:17

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