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On January 24, Romanians celebrate Union of the Romanian Principalities

The union of the Principalities was a process that began in 1848, based on the strong cultural and economic rapprochement between the two countries. In 1848, the customs union between Moldavia and Wallachia was established, during the reigns of their respective rulers, Mihail Sturdza and Gheorghe Bibescu

January 24, 1859 is a special day in the heart of every Romanian as the day when the so-called “The Little Union” took place, the union of the Romanian Principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia) under the leadership of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. The Little Union of 1859 was the first important step on the way of forming the unified Romanian national state.

The union of the Principalities was a process that began in 1848, based on the strong cultural and economic rapprochement between the two countries. In 1848, the customs union between Moldavia and Wallachia was established, during the reigns of their respective rulers, Mihail Sturdza and Gheorghe Bibescu.

On January 5, 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was unanimously elected ruler of the Principality of Moldavia and on January 24, 1859, the Assembly of Wallachia elected Cuza as the ruler of Principality of Wallachia, as well. The act of 24 January 1859 was initially considered by the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire as a violation of the Paris Convention, but the text of the convention adopted in 1858 did not stipulate that the rulers elected in the two Principalities should be 2 different persons. Thus, Alexandru Ioan Cuza became ruler of the two Romanian Principalities and the Unification was later recognized by all European Powers.

In 1862, with the help of the unionists from the two countries, Alexandru Ioan Cuza unified the Parliament and the Government, thus achieving the political union. The reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, although short (1859-1866), was a period of maximum development of modern Romania. By recognizing the full Union, creating the first Parliament of Romania and the first unitary government, through its reforms – adoption of the first Romanian Constitution, electoral reform, secularization of monastic wealth, agrarian reform, education – the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza laid the foundations of modern development of Romania.

The development of the country further continued after Cuza’s removal from power in 1866. The country was strengthened by bringing Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen to the throne of Romania. The constitution adopted on July 1, 1866, enshrined the official name of the newly formed state, Romania.

On December 1, 1918, the rest of Romanian provinces, Transylvania, Banat, Crisana and Maramures also joined Romania. This second union event is commemorated as ”The Grand Union”, the embodiment of the long-sought dreams and hopes of the Romanian people and represents the National Day of Romania.






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