Scurta Istorie a Romanilor

Scurta Istorie a Romanilor

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Civilizatia in spatiul carpato-danubiano-pontic    

Istoria romanilor este istoria unui popor statomic, asezat in una si aceeasi vatra in care si-a urmat fagasul  propriu de actiune si manifestare, de cultura materiala si spirituala, zamislind valori de originalitate si trainicie, intrate de mult in patrimoniul culturii universale. Plamadit ca popor unitar pe teritoriul carpato-danubiano-pontic, romanii si-au pastrat neintrerupt continuitatea de viata materiala, comunitatea etnico-lingvistica si cultural-spirituala, in pofida multor vicisitudini ce i-au confruntat. Subliniind acest aspect, marele istoric Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940) scria in 1938:

"Este vorba de un popor care prin stramosii sai isi are radacini de patru ori milenare; aceasta este mandria si aceasta este puterea noastra".

Stiri scrise despre teritoriul carpato-danubiano-pontic si oamenii care il locuiau dateaza numai de vreo 2500-2600 de ani. Primele informatii provin de la istoricul si geograful grec Hecateu (sec.VI inainte de Hristos) despre existenta a doua triburi getice in sudul Dobrogei - crobyzii si tirizii. De o deosebita insemnatate este insa stirea pe care o consemneaza marele istoric Herodot cu privire la getii care, tot in Dobrogea, s-au opus, in anul 514 t.Hr., uriasei armate a regelui persan Darius ce pomise impotriva scitilor ce locuiau la nordul Marii Negre.

Pentru o lunga perioada, anterioara primelor stiri scrise, asa-numita perioada Comunei primitive sau perioada preistorica, informatiile despre locuitorii acestor pamanturi le ofera numai cercetarile si descoperirile arheologice, care au scos la iveala urmele generatiilor ce au trait pe suprafata lui din vremuri imemoriale.

Asezari omenesti au existat pe teritoriul cuprins de Carpati, Dunare si Marea Neagra cu sute de mii de ani inainte; urme materiale ale acestor locuiri datand inca din paleolitic, de acum circa 2.000.000 de ani, au fost descoperite la Bugiulesti, com. Tetoiu, judo Valcea, dar si in numeroase alte locuri - in special pe valea raurilor -, din exteriorul si interiorul arcului carpatic.

In perioada mezoliticului (cca 10000-cca 5500 i.Hr.) si a neoliticului, adica a pietrei slefuite (5500 i.Hr.-cca 1800 i.Hr.), asezarile omenesti se inmultesc considerabil, iar urmele locuitorilor devin tot mai numeroase si mai variate. Sapaturile arheologice, precum si descoperiri intamplatoare, arata ca, in aceste epoci, pe tot intinsul pamantului romanesc au inflorit civilizatii remarcabile, ale caror realizari materiale, pastrate, dovedesc un inalt nivel de prelucrare a lutului si un deosebit simt artistic. Aceste arii culturale, cu aspecte si tipuri diverse, au fost denumite dupa numele zonelor sau localitatilor unde s-au facut descoperirile cele mai caracteristice. Astfel stra-stramosii romanilor au creat culturi precum: Cris (in zona raurilor Cris din vestul Transilvaniei - cel mai vechi tip neolitic din acest teritoriu), Turdas (in centrul arcului carpatic - cu o ceramica liniara; printre materialele apartinand acestei culturi se remarca tablitele de lut descoperite la Tartaria, pe raul Mures, acoperite cu o scriere arhaica, asemanatoare aceleia folosite in Mesopotamia acum 5000 de ani); Cucuteni (la nord-vest de Iasi - caracterizata printr-o admirabila ceramica pictata in rosu, alb si negru); Boian (in nordul Munteniei - ceramica cu omamente in forma de carlige  meandrice si incrustate cu alb), Vadastra (in jud.Olt - ceramica cu desenuri in alb si rosu), Gumelnita Gud.Ilfov - caracterizata prin statuete si figurine din lut si os reprezentand fiinta umana); Hamangia (din Dobrogea - producatoare a doua capodopere ale neoliticului, statuetele din lut negru descoperite aici: un barbat "Ganditorul" si o femeie sezand; aceste figurine, de o rara expresivitate, nu-si au pereche in toata arta neoliticului fiind cunoscute pe tot globul).

Creatoarele acestor civilizatii sunt populatiile autohtone preindoeuropene carora li se adauga, la sfarsitul mileniului 3 i.Hr., triburile de pastori indoeuropeni. Din simbioza acestor grupuri s-a format, intre 2500-1800 i.Hr., un grup carpato-balcanic, individualizat etnic, lingvistic si cultural.

Metalurgia aramei si a bronzului a contribuit, in secolele urmatoare, in chip decisiv la progresul comunitatilor umane prototrace si a favorizat crearea uniunilor tribale care au stabilit relatii economice stranse cu, culturile grecesti din sudul Peninsulei Balcanice.

Dacii : "cei mai viteji si cei mai drepti dintre traci"

In mileniul I i.Hr. are loc procesul de individualizare a triburilor geto-dace in cuprinsul grupului etnic, lingvistic si cultural nord-tracic. Populatiile autohtone din spatiul carpato-danubian au receptat, succesiv, in acest mileniu influente scitice (sec.VI i.Hr.), grecesti (sec.VII - VI I.Hr.) si celtice (300-280 I.Hr.), care au imbogatit cultura materiala si spirituala a autohtonilor geto-daci. Deosebiti doar prin zonele pe care le populau - getii in exteriorul arcului Carpatic, iar dacii in Podisul Transilvaniei si Banat - geto-dacii sunt amintiti pentru prima oara, in izvoarele scrise, in legatura cu expeditia lui Darius, regele persan, din anul 514 l.Hr. Istoricul Herodot care relateaza aceste fapte ii numeste pe geti "cei mai viteji si cei mai drepti dintre traci". In acea perioada, geto-dacii formau o mare si bine structurata unitate culturala, etnica si lingvistica, fapt ce a permis ulterior unirea lor intr-un putemic stat. Unificatorul formatiunilor politico-militare ale geto-dacilor a fost Burebista (cca 82-44 i.Hr.) care ill secolul I i.Hr. a pus bazele unui putemic stat dac ce se intindea din Boemia pana la Marea Neagra, avand centrul, probabil, la Argedava (undeva pe raul Arges). Dupa moartea lui Burebista (441.Hr.), statul dac centralizat s-a destramat temporar, dar in a doua jumatate a sec I d.Hr. dacii, sub conducerea lui Decebal (87-106), (initial purta numele Diurpaneus) isi reconstituie statul cu centrul politic, militar si religios in Muntii Orastiei din Transilvania, la Sarmizegetusa. Amenintati de expansiunea romana, dacii fac dese incursiuni la sud de Dunare, infrangand apoi la Tapae, in Banat, oastea romana ce le invadase teritoriul. In cele din urma, in cursul a doua razboaie (101-102 si 105-106), armata romana condusa de imparatul Traian a izbutit sa infranga armata regelui Decebal care, in final, s-a sinucis, si sa transforme o mare parte a Daciei in provincie romana. Colonizarea masiva si organizata, folosirea limbii latine si asimilarea civilzatiei romane, precum si intinsa urbanizare au dus la romanizarea autohtonilor si la constituirea, prin amestecul dacilor cu colonistii romani, a populatiei daco-romane, element principal in procesul de etnogeneza a romanilor. Populatia geto-daca, care traia in afara perimetrului provinciei romane, desi si-a pastrat libertatea, a fost si ea putemic influentata de cultura si civilizatia romana.

Formarea poporului roman si a limbii sale

Dupa retragerea trupelor romane din Dacia (271 d.Hr.), populatia daco-romana si-a continuat, neintrerupt, pe acelasi teritoriu vechile indeletniciri de agricultori si de pastori si a gravitat, din punct de vedere politic, economic si cultural in sfera de influenta a Imperiului Roman si, apoi, a Imperiului Bizantin, aflate la sud de Dunare si care, in anumite perioade, si-au extins vremelnic si stapanirea la nordul fluviului, pana spre Carpatii Meridionali. Dobrogea, teritoriul dintre Dunare si Marea Neagra, s-a aflat in continuare sub stapanirea si in sfera politica, economica si culturaIa a acestor imperii.

In aceste conditii, procesul de romanizare a populatiei  bastinase a continuat, fiind insotit, in acelsi timp, de raspandirea crestinismului predicat si practicat in limba latina. Pana la inceputul secolului al VII -lea se constituie in spatiul carpato-danubiano-pontic, in cadrul  romanitatii orientale, un popor romanic - straromanii -, distinct de celelalte popoare romanice, care se formasera sau se formau pe teritoriul Imperiului Roman, prin limba sa, a carei cea mai veche expresie pastrata "Torna, torna fratre!" dateaza din anul 587.  Migratia slavilor, la sfarsitul secolului al VI-lea, si dislocarea blocului compact al romanitatii carpato-balcanice izoleaza populatia  straromana de celelalte populatii surori si ii grabeste procesul de desavarsire a limbii. In secolele VII-IX, in conditiile trecerii peste teritoriul carpato-danubiano-pontic a popoarelor migratoare, are loc finalizarea procesului de formare a poporului roman si a limbii romane care, prin origine, structura gramatica si fondul principal de cuvinte, apartine limbilor romane, fiind singura succesoare directa a latinei vorbite in provinciile carpato-balcanice ale Imperiului Roman.

Romana - limba neolatina

Limba romana este, ca si italiana, sarda, franceza, spaniola, portugheza, catalana, provensala retoromana si dalmata (disparuta in secolul al XIX-lea), o continuatoare a limbii latine pe care romanii au dus-o in provinciile cucerite ale vestitului lor imperiu. Ca si acestea, romana este o limba neolatina, reprezentanta latinitatii orientale, singura care a supravietuit, izolata, intr-o masa slava. Limba romana a luat nastere si s-a dezvoltat atat pe teritoriul de la nord de Dunare, in Dacia, cat si spre sud pe un teritoriu ce se intindea pana in Muntii Pindului. Valurile succesive de popoare migratoare - goti, huni, gepizi, avari, slavi, bulgari, cumani, pecenegi etc. - care s-au scurs, incepand cu secolul al III-lea peste teritoriul de la nord si de la sud de Dunare, nu au influentat fundamental populatia romanica si apoi romana, ele lasand doar urme in toponimie.

Dialectul dacoroman s-a dezvoltat luand forma actuala a limbii romane care, potrivit marelui romanist Alf Lombard, constituie in randul limbilor romanice "al patrulea picior al mesei", alaturi de italiana, franceza si spaniola. Acelasi Alf Lombard scria in cartea sa "Destinul latinitatii orientale" ca latinitatea orientala, adica limba romana, "n-a supravietuit ca o epava aruncata la mal de valuri, nu ca un vestigiu sau ca o ramificatie, ci ca o limba dotata cu toata vitalitatea si forta evolutiva a marilor limbi nationale moderne, care constituie azi vehiculul gandirii a 22 de milioane de oameni".

Romanii - in trecut si astazi

In realitate, vorbitorii acestei limbi, romanii, sunt in prezent circa 35 de milioane de persoane. Majoritatea, peste 20 de milioane locuiesc in Romania de astazi, iar restul in jurul granitelor tarii, in special, in nord-est si est, in Republica Moldova si Ucraina (date 1998)

Spatiul de nastere al poporului roman, avand ca "miez" actualul teritoriu al Romaniei, s-a intins de la sudul Dunarii pana in nord, in Carpatii Padurosi; de la Tisa, in vest, pana peste raul Nistru, la est.

De-a lungul timpului, grupuri foarte mari s-au deplasat -cum a fost in Rusia tarista si, apoi, in URSS, unde prin deportari masive romanii din Moldova si Bucovina de Nord au fost dusi in Siberia ori au fost asimilati - ca in Ungaria unde, in epoca modema, exista o minoritate romaneasca de peste 300.000 de persoane, iar astazi ea s-a redus, in urma unui fortat proces de maghiarizare, la cca 25.000 de oameni, sau in "Vlahiile" (tarile romanilor) de la sud de Balcani. Enclavele sud-dunarene sunt, si azi, foarte mari (aromani, istroromani, meglenoromani), de cateva milioane, in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Grecia. Ei isi conserva datinile si limba, contactul cu cultura stramoseasca, neavand insa, din pacate, in tarile in care traiesc nici scoli, iar in unele nici recunosterea statutului de minoritari. In secolele XVII-XVIII, in nordul Greciei, in orasul Moscopole, exista o puternica enclava romaneasca. Romanii sud-dunareni vorbesc si azi dialectele lor (macedoromana, istroromana si meglenoromana), iar cei din estul, vestul si nordul tarii - romana literara, in graiul din care faceau parte: transilvanean si moldovean. Cei din Republica Moldova au avut, de-a lungul timpului, o soarta vitrega. Locuitori ai Basarabiei,parte integranta a tarii romanesti Moldova, au fost ocupati si dezmembrati din patria de origine, rand pe rand de turci si rusi. Ei si-au pastrat, insa, fiinta nationala neuitand niciodata ca apartin patriei romane.

Departe de granitele tarii, dusi de vicisitudini, s-au stabilit incepand din secolul al XIX-lea mari grupuri de romani: in Europa de Vest, in America de Nord si de Sud, in Australia. Multi din randul acestora au fost sau sunt personalitati importante in cultura, arta si stiinta lumii contemporane.

Toti acestia fac parte din marea familie a romanilor si, impreuna cu cei din tara, insumeaza aproximativ 35 de milioane de persoane.

Romanii in evul mediu, organizarea statala

In secolele X-XI, ca urmare a intensificarii procesului intern de dezvoltare a relatiilor feudale, pe intreg spatiul carpato-danubiano-pontic sunt semnalate mici formatiuni politice -cnezate si voievodate -, premergatoare marilor state medievale romanesti.

Formatiunile prestatale din Transilvania erau conduse de duci, cnezi sau voievozi ca Gelu, Glad, Menumorut, Ahtum, iar in Moldova, Valahia si Dobrogea de jupani, cnezi sau voievozi ca Dimitrie, Gheorghe, Sestlav, Satzaa, Tatu, Roman s.a. In secolul al XIII-lea, feudalii unguri incheie cucerirea Transilvaniei, inceputa in secolul al X-lea de triburile ungare care isi oprisera migratia fixandu-se in Campia Pannoniei. Voievodatul Transilvaniei va apartine, cu statut special, coroanei ungare pana la 1541, cand Ungaria va disparea ca stat.

In privinta zonelor extracarpatice, intr-un document de danie provenind de la regele Ungariei, din 1247, "Diploma cavalerilor ioaniti" (ordin religios si militar colonizat in Transilvania), sunt mentionate, la sud de Carpatii meridionali, pe valea raului Olt, voievodatele lui Litovoi si Seneslau si cnezatele lui loan si Farcas.

Aceste formatiuni prestatale, de la sud de Carpati, se vor uni, la sfarsitul secolului al XIII-lea si inceputul secolului al XIV-lea, sub Tihomir si fiul acestuia Basarab I (1324-1352). Dupa realizarea unificarii, Basarab reuseste, in urma bataliei de la Posada, din 1330, sa castige independenta voievodatului Valahia fata de regatul ungar. La est de Carpati, Bogdan I(1359-1365) intemeiaza marele voievodat al Moldovei. Ambii voievozi au consolidat independenta statelor lor, infrangand ostile Regatului Ungariei care, in mai multe randuri, au incercat sa-si pastreze dominatia asupra lor.

La sfarsitul secolului al XVI-lea, la Dunare apare pericolul expansiunii Imperiului Otoman, ale carui osti, inaintand din Asia Mica, au reusit, intr-o perioada scurta, sa ocupe statele crestine din Peninsula Balcanica: Taratul bulgar si Cnezatul sarb. In aceste conditii, cele trei tari romane, voievodatele Transilvania, Moldova si Valahia devin, pentru mai multe secole, bastion al apararii lumii crestine in fata inaintarii islamice. Voievozi ca Mircea cel Batran (1386-1418), lancu de Hunedoara (1442-1456), Vlad Tepes (1456-1462), Stefan cel Mare (1457-1502), Radu de la Afumati (1522-1529), Petru Rares (1527-1538; 1542-1548) au invins armatele unor sultani vestiti precum Baiazid I Ildaram (Fulgerul), Mahomed al II -lea (cuceritorul Constantinopolului) si Soliman Magnificul. In secolul al XIV-lea, insa, tarile romane au fost silite sa accepte suzeranitatea otomana, dar isi pastrau, totusi, autonomia. Domnitorul Valahiei, Mihai Viteazul (1593-1601), restabileste in 1595 independenta tarii si unifica pe toti romanii intr-un singur stat, realizand primul stat centralizat romanesc; el cuprindea Valahia, Transilvania si Moldova (1600-1601). Unitatea statelor romanesti a fost vremelnica, ea fiind desfacuta prin interventia Imperiului Otoman, Regatului Poloniei si Imperiului Habsburgic, nelinistite de prezenta in zona de confluenta a lor a unui stat romanesc putemic.

Fapta lui Mihai Viteazul a fost posibila datorita unitatii de neam si limba a tuturor romanilor, datorita constiintei nationale in curs de trezire si afirmare in intreg spatiul  romanesc. Actiunea sa a slujit ca exemplu pentru voievozii celor trei tari romane ce i-au urmat. 0 seama dintre acestia au tins sa recladeasca statul roman in hotarele vechiului regat al Daciei. Cel care a fundamentat ideologic doctrina unitatii poporului roman a fost domnitorul Moldovei, savantul de renume european, Dimitrie Cantemir (1693, 1710-1711), membru al Academiei din Berlin. Sub influenta iluminismului european, in Transilvania, devenita, de la 1661, voievodat sub suzeranitatea Imperiului Habsburgic, episcopul Inocentiu Micu si alti carturari romam ca Samuil Micu, Gheorghe Sincai, Petru Maior, loan Budai-Deleanu au cristalizat si ei ideologia nationala, pe care au sustinut-o cu argumente istorice, lingvistice si filosofice

Realizarea statului roman modern

Cu sprijinul marilor puteri europene, Franta si Prusia, la 24 ianuarie 1859 s-a infaptuit unirea Moldovei cu Valahia sub sceptrullui Alexandru loan Cuza (1859-1866). Acesta a luat masuri de unificare a armatei si a administratiei, a secularizat averile manastiresti, a promulgat o serie de legi avand acelasi rol unificator.

Tanarul stat a capatat recunoastere internationala sub numele de Romania. In anul 1866, domnitorul Cuza a abdicat, in locul lui fiind ales printul Carol din familia princiara germana Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, principe domnitor al tarii din 1866 pana in 1881, cand a fost incoronat rege. Carol I a domnit pana in 1914. La 9 mai 1877, statuI roman si-a proclamat independenta, iesind de sub suzeranitatea Portii; independenta a fost consfintita in lupta, pe fronturile razboiului ruso-romano-turc din 1877-1878 si a fost recunoscuta pe plan international prin Congresul de pace de la Berlin (1878).

De la "Romania Mica" la "Romania Mare"

Romania de la 1878 nu cuprindea insa in teritoriul sau decat fostele state feudale romanesti Valahia si Moldova - aceasta din urma fara partile sale din nord (Bucovina) si de rasarit (Basarabia) -, adica pamanturile romanesti extracarpatice. Transilvania, din interiorul arcului carpatic, continua sa fie sub ocupatie straina. Prin intelegerea din 1867 dintre Budapesta si Viena, cunoscuta ca "dualismul austro-ungar", intregul voievodat al Transilvaniei a intrat sub dominatia ungara anulandu-i-se autonomia. Dupa unirea din 1859 a celor doua tari romane si, mai ales, dupa ce Romania a devenit independenta (1877), guvernul ungar a intensificat politica de persecutare si de maghiarizare fortata a populatiei romanesti majoritare din Transilvania, existenta romanilor ca natiune nefiind recunoscuta.

Bucovina a fost rupta din trupul Moldovei in anul 1775 si a intrat in stapanirea Imperiului Habsburgic, in urma unei intelegeri cu Imperiul otoman. Si aici elementul romanesc majoritar a fost persecutat, s-a incercat deznationalizarea lui.

Jumatatea estica a Moldovei fusese, la 1812, anexata de Rusia. ln Basarabia, cum fusese "botezata" aceasta provincie romaneasca, autoritatile tariste au dus o  intensa politica de rusificare, incurajand, tot o data, emigrarea romanilor. ln schimb, au fost colonizati multi rusi, ruteni, ucrainieni, bulgari. Nu s-a admis nici o scoala romaneasca. Biserica ortodoxa a devenit si ea un instrument de rusificare, prin colonizarea unor preoti rusi si interzicerea liturghiei in limba romana. Abia dupa 1905 au inceput sa apara din nou cati romanesti, dar scrise cu alfabet chirilic. Ele au fost, insa, suprimate dupa 1910.

Existenta, in jurul statului national roman, a acestor teritorii romanesti, locuite, in pofida vicisitudinilor, la inceputul secolului al XX-lea, in majoritate de romani a determinat guvernul de la Bucuresti la o politica care sa favorizeze si sa grabeasca realizarea dezideratului national al romanilor: unirea lor intr-un stat national unitar. Prilejul l-a constituit prima conflagratie mondiala, izbucnita in 1914 si in care Romania a intrat la 15 august 1916.

Participarea Romaniei la primul razboi mondial a avut un singur scop: desavarsirea unitatii nationale, urmasul lui Carol I - Regele Ferdinand I (1914-1927) fiind unul dintre promotorii ei. Prabusirea in 1917-1918 a celor doua imperii multinationale -Austro-Ungar si Tarist- a creat posibilitatea ca romanii din Basarabia, Bucovina si Transilvania sa-si aleaga, in deplina libertate, destinul, hotarand unirea cu Romania. La 27 martie/9 aprilie 1918, Basarabia, la 15/28 noiembrie 1918, Bucovina si, la 1 decembrie 1918, Transilvania au decis unirea lor cu tara-mama - Romania. Reintregirea Romaniei a fost consfintita pe plan international prin tratatele de pace postbelice (1919-1920). ln statuI roman reintregit, stat national unitar -numit in epoca si Romania Mare -, regimul constitutional democratic instaurat prin Constitutia din 1923 a facilitat progresul general al natiunii in toate domeniile vietii economice, sociale, politice si culturale. Apogeul economic a fost atins in anul 1938.

Dar, la 23 august 1939, intre Germania hitlerista si Rusia sovietica a fost semnat Pactul Ribbentrop-Molotov, al carui art.3 din protocolul aditional secret se referea direct la destramarea teritoriala a Romaniei. Marile puteri democrate -Franta si Anglia - nu au mai putut garanta Romaniei securitatea. In vara anului 1940, Romania a fost obligam de catre Rusia sovietica, Germania hitlerista si Italia mussoliniana sa cedeze: Basarabia, Bucovina de Nord si Tinutul Herta - Rusiei;  Transilvania de Nord-Vest-Ungariei; Cadrilaterul (Dobrogea de Sud) - Bulgariei, ceea ce reprezenta peste un sfert din teritoriu si din populatie, majoritar romaneasca. Regimul politic in Romania a fost schimbat si tara a intrat in razboi impotriva URSS (iunie 1941), alaturi de Germania. Armatele romane au luptat pe frontul de est pana in vara lui 1944, dupa care, in urma loviturii de stat de la 23 august 1944, s-au alaturat Aliatilor si au luptat pe frontul de vest, contribuind la eliberarea Ungariei, Cehoslovaciei si Austriei. Tratatul de pace de la Paris (1947) a readus Transilvania de Nord-Vest intre granitele nationale; Basarabia, Bucovina de Nord, Herta si Cadrilaterul au ramas in afara granitelor Romaniei. Romanii aflati in teritoriile URSS au fost supusi unei deznationalizari brutale; sovieticii au masacrat, au inchis in lagare si au deportat in Siberia si Asia Centrala sute de mii de romani, incercand modificarea raportului demografic. Totodata, prevederile Tratatului de pace de la Paris au confirmat mentinerea Romaniei in sfera de influenta sovietica.

De la dictatura la democratie

Regimul comunist a fost instalat in Romania cu sprijinul ocupantului sovietic, dupa detronarea regelui Mihai I, la sfarsitul anului 1947. A urmat o perioada de sovietizare a tarii, cand s-a declansat represiunea impotriva celor ce reprezentau vechea democratie, impotriva intelectualitatii, impotriva spiritualitatii romanesti. Prin condamnari la ani de temnita grea, internari in lagare de munca fortata si executii sumare, oponentii si posibilii oponenti au fost exterminati. Au cazut, astfel, zeci de mii de oameni. In paralel, s-a actionat pentru introducerea modelului sovietic in economie, societate si cultura. S-a procedat, planificat, la nationalizarea mijloacelor de productie, cooperativizarea agriculturii, falsificarea istoriei nationale, abandonarea valorilor culturale si spirituale, la ingustarea, pana la inchidere, a accesului la valorile culturii si stiintei universale.  In 1955, Romania a fost primita in ONU. Pericolul transformarii Romaniei intr-o sursa de materii prime pentru statele membre ale CAER si chiar al dezmembrarii tarii a determinat conducerea comunista din Romania sa initieze desprinderea de sub hegemonia sovietica. Romania comunista a fost considerata de catre Occident aliatul rebel al Moscovei pentru ca, dupa 1957, a realizat o deschidere semnificativa spre tarile din vest si l-a determinat pe Hrusciov, in 1958, sa retraga din tara trupele sovietice de ocupatie. Incepand cu 1960, s-a trecut la industrializarea tarii, contrar vointei sovieticilor. In anii conflictului ruso-chinez, Romania a initiat o ostentativa actiune de derusificare, mai ales in cultura. In 1967, au fost reluate relatiile diplomatice cu RF Germania, iar, in 1968, Romania a condamnat interventia trupelor Pactului de la Varsovia in Cehoslovacia. Totusi in perioada 1967-1985, protectia sociala a cetateanului a fost accentuata si respectata, iar valorile nationale erau puse in lumina si respectate. Tot in aceasta perioada, tara a devenit membra a Fondului Monetar International si a Bancii Mondiale si s-a declarat ferm impotriva cursei inarmarilor, in special a inarmarilor nucleare.

Dupa 1970, insa, cultul personalitatii lui Nicolae Ceausescu si a sotiei sale, accentuat progresiv in deceniile opt si noua, dublat de regimul de dictatura comunista, a dus la o criza politica interna, la incalcarea brutala a drepturilor elementare ale omului, la o criza economica de mari proportii si a generat nemultumiri profunde in straturile societatii. In mai multe randuri, au avut loc revolte sociale, printre care revolta minerilor din Valea Jiului, in august 1977, si a locuitorilor orasului Brasov, in noiembrie 1987. Din ce in ce mai multi oameni, din medii sociale diferite, au cerut schimbari radicale in structurile politice si economice.  Intre 17 si 20 decembrie 1989, la Timisoara au avut loc mai multe demonstratii anticomuniste soldate cu interventia fotelor de represiune. La 21 decembrie 1989, au izbucnit tulburari puternice in Bucuresti. Sute de mii de bucuresteni au invadat strazile, au ocupat principalele cladiri oficiale si au alungat, la 22 decembrie 1989, cuplul dictatorial. O data cu el au fost inlaturati cei 45 de ani de regim comunist din Romania.

Puterea a fost preluata de Frontul Salvarii Nationale, care a anuntat desfiintarea structurilor comuniste, promovarea economiei de piata si alegeri libere. Intr-un interval de timp relativ scurt s-au reactivat partidele politice istorice din perioada interbelicii (national taranesc, liberal, social-democrat) si s-au infiintat altele noi- peste 200. Dupa intrarea in vigoare a Legii partidelor politice (aprilie 1996) isi continua activitatea aproape 50 de partide dintre care 11 reprezentate in parlament. In acelasi interval de 8 ani, au avut loc de doua ori alegeri administrative locale (in februarie 1992 si iunie 1996) si de trei ori alegeri parlamentare si prezidentiale (mai 1990, septembrie 1992 si noiembrie 1996); a fost votata si promulgata noua Constitutie a Romaniei (1991) cu prevederi democratice conform standardelor europene; a fost pusa in aplicare Legea fondului funciar (1991) prin care s-a retrocedat pamantul fostilor proprietari sau mostenitorilor lor; sectorul particular in economie s-a dezvoltat continuu; are loc marea privatizare a intreprinderilor industriale. Concomitent, a avut loc "0 explozie" a mass-media, ca urmare a dreptului la libera exprimare si asociere, incat Romania are in prezent cele mai multe publicatii, posturi de radio si posturi TV particulare (in raport cu numarul de locuitori) dintre tarile din Est, aflate in tranzitie. Ea este membra a Consiliului Europei din 1994 si de la 1 ianuarie 2007 membra UE. Romania s-a reintors definitiv la traditiile democratice.

Poporul ROMAN , un Popor Nascut CRESTIN 

Poporul roman este un popor care inca din perioada cristalizarii structurii sale etnice si lingvistice, secolele I-VI, a abandonat cultul idolilor si a imbratisat crestinismul.

In anul 62, Sfantul Apostol Pavel face precizarea ca Evanghelia a fast propovaduita "la toata faptura de sub cer" intre care si la neamurile scite, care in primul secol crestin locuiau, alaturi de bastinasi, in Dobrogea de astazi, numita pe atunci Scythia Minor. Cel care a primit, prin tragere la sorti, indatorirea de a propovadui Evanghelia la sciti a fost Sfantul Apostol Andrei. De altfel, conform istoriei ecleziastice, evanghelizarea locuitorilor din nordul Dunarii a fast facuta de Sf Apostol Andrei, unul dintre ucenicii lui Isus Hristos, si, apoi, si de discipolii sai in secolele I-III d.Hr. Inscriptiile si bazilicile paleocrestine, ca si vestigiile arheologice descoperite in numar impresionant in Dobrogea, Transilvania si in celelalte provincii romanesti, atesta existenta neintrerupta, inca din secolele II-III, a unei intense vieti crestine in toate tinuturile locuite de romani.

Asumandu-si rolul de brat secular al Bisericii Rasaritului, romanii au contribuit nu numai la dainuirea peste veacuri a crestinismului ortodox si a creatiilor lui de civilizatie si cultura, dar si la pastrarea constiintei nationale a popoarelor crestine aflate sub dominatie otomana, apoi la eliberarea lor si la formarea statelor modeme independente din aceasta parte a lumii.

Mitropoliile din Tara Romaneasca (Valahia) si Moldova, care au luat nastere in secolul al XIV-lea, au pastrat unitatea de credinta cu celelalte biserici ortodoxe, au tiparit carti de doctrina, cult si invatatura in limbile slavona, greaca, araba si georgiana pentru toti crestinii din Rasarit, au introdus in cult limba romana si au stimulat creatia original a in domeniul literaturii si artelor. Teritoriile romanesti fiind impartite in trei state, Bisericile lor nu au putut, insa, cere Patriarhiei Ecumenice autocefalia. Unirea Valahiei cu Moldova (24 ianuarie 1859) a creat premiza intreprinderii unor pasi in directia obtinerii autocefaliei. In 1885, la 25 Patriarhul loachim al lV-lea a semnat tomosul de recunoastere a autocefaliei Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane care, consfintindu-i egalitatea in drepturi cu celelalte Biserici Ortodoxe, o pastra totodata in interdependenta cu ele din punct de vedere dogmatic, canonic si liturigic.

La randul ei, ridicarea la rangul de Patriarhie a Bisericii Ortodoxe a fost o consecinta canonica a desavarsirii unitatii statului la 1 Decembrie 1918 si un rezultat al performantelor obtinute in lucrarea ei multiseculara: pastrarea si apararea fiintei nationale ca si a dreptei credinte in Tarile Romane si in cadrul unor foste provincii ale Imperiului Bizantin, pastrarea vietii spirituale a romanilor, ortodocsi in covarsituarea lor majoritate. Tomosul de recunoastere a Patriarhiei Romane de catre Patriarhia Ecumenica poarta data de 30 iulie 1925 si este semnat de Patriarhul Vasile al III-lea al Constantinopolului.

Cea mai inalta autoritate a Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane pentru toate problemele spirituale si canonice, precum si pentru cele bisericesti de orice natura date in competenta, este Sfantul Sinod. Acesta se compune din Patriarh ca presedinte, toti Mitropolitii, 6 Arhiepiscopi, 14 Episcopi, 2 Episcopi vicari patriarhali, 5 Episcopi vicari eparhiali si 2 Arhierei vicari pe care ii are BOR ca membrii.

Ca organ reprezentativ central al Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, pentru toate problemele administrative si economice si pentru cele care nu intra in competenta Sfantului Sinod, functioneaza Adunarea  Nationala Bisericeasca. Organul suprem administrativ pentru afacerile intregii Biserici si in acelasi timp, organul executiv al Sfantului Sinod si al Adunarii Nationale Bisericesti este Consiliul National bisericesc.

Sub raportul oranduirii canonice si administrative, Patriarhia Romana cuprinde 6 Mitropolii intre granitele tarii, la care se adauga Mitropolia Basarabiei (reactivata in decembrie 1992) siintre granitele actualei Republici Moldova, Mitropolia Romana a Germaniei si Europei centrale, Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxa Romana pentru Europa occidentala si Arhiepiscopia Romana Ortodoxa din America si Canada, pentru nevoile religioase ale romanilor stabiliti in strainatate.

Mitropoliile din tara au in total noua Arhiepiscopii, 14 Episcopii, 141 protopopiate, 9.208 parohii si 3.456 filii, fiind intr-o permanenta dezvoltare necesara enoriasilor zonali.

In afara hotarelor tarii, pe teritorii ale unor tari vecine, se afla cateva milioane de romani ortodocsi, organizati in unitati bisericesti. Cei mai multi se afla in Mitropolia Basarabiei si in partea de nord a Bucovinei. La 19 decembrie 1992, Sinodul Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane a aprobat cererea de reactivare si de primire sub jurisdictia sa canonica a Mitropoliei Basarabiei, autonoma si de stil vechi, cu sediulla Chisinau.

In diaspora exista circa 300 de comunitati religioase romanesti, din care 250 sunt ortodoxe. Celelalte 50 sunt greco-catolice, romano-catolice sau protestante. Majoritatea  comunitatilor ortodoxe tin de Patriarhia Romana.

Biserica Ortodoxa Romana are relatii permanente, sistematice si aprofundate cu toate celelalte Biserici Ortodoxe si, de asemenea, cu Patriarhia Ecumenica de la Constantinopol.

In ce priveste relatiile BOR cu celelalte Biserici si confesiuni crestine, acestea se desfasoara atat prin contacte bilaterale, cat si prin relatii de dialog Biserici Ortodoxe - Biserici crestine in general.

BOR este membra a Consiliului Mondial al Bisericilor si a Conferintei Bisericilor Europene.

In prezent, in Romania isi desfasoara activitatea 15 culte religioase recunoscute oficial: Biserica Ortodoxa Romana, Biserica Romana Unita cu Roma (greco-catolica), Biserica Romano-Catolica, Biserica Reformam, Biserica Evanghelica de Confesiune Augustana (CA.), Biserica Evanghelica Sinodo-Presbiteriana (S.P.), Biserica Unitariana, Biserica Armeana, Cultul Crestin de Rit Vechi, Cultul Musulman, Cultul Mozaic, Cultul Crestin Baptist, Cultul Adventist de Ziua a Saptea, Cultul Penticostal, Cultul Crestin dupa Evanghelie. Lor li se adauga peste 360 de asociatii religioase atat independente, cat si in cadrul cultelor.

In populatia Romaniei se evidentiaza preponderenta locuitorilor de religie crestina ortodoxa, care reprezinta 19.802.400 de persoane, adica 86,8 % din totalul populatiei. Cultele isi aleg singure organele de conducere si isi numesc deserventii, fara nici un amestec din partea statului.

Libertatea religioasa a cultelor in Romania este asigurata si din punct de vedere material. Statul le sprijina activitatea sub aspect financiar, acordand o contributie lunara la salarizarea personalului de cult si alocand anual fonduri pentru construirea unor noi lacasuri ca si pentru conservarea si restaurarea bunurilor de patrimoniu aflate in proprietatea cultelor.

Bisericile romanesti, jalonand un lung drum prin istorie, sunt superbe monumente de arta si arhitectura, vadind in diversitatea lor, constructiva si picturala, in spiritul unei stravechi culturi, filosofia, arta si tehnica unui popor cu personalitatea sa in civilizatia universala.



 

Brief History of the Romanians

The civilisation in the Carpathian-Danubian region                                                                                                                                                                 

The history of the Romanians is the history of a steadfast people that has followed its own course of action, of spiritual culture giving birth to genuine durable values which entered the patrimony of world culture. In spite of all the vicissitudes, the unitary people in the Carpathian-Danubian region has kept its continuance of the cultural and spiritual life, its ethnic and linguistic community. The great historian Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940) wrote in 1938:

"It is a people which, through its ancestors, has millennary roots not once, but four times; this is our pride and this is our power".

Written information about the Carpathian-Danubian territory goes back only 2500-2600 years ago. The first piece of information is given by the Greek historian and geographer Hecateus (the 6th century BC) and it refers to the existence of two Getic tribes in the south of Dobrogea. The note of the great historian Herodotus is of greater importance and refers to the Getae who, in 514 BC, fought the huge army of the Persian king Darius. The latter attacked the Scythians who lived in the north of the Black Sea. The so-called "Primitive commune" or the prehistoric period offered us information about the inhabitants of these lands only through archaeological researches and diggings, which proved the existence of the generations that had lived there since time immemorial. In the territory between the Carpathians, the Danube and the Black Sea, there had been human settlements a couple of thousands of years before. Traces going back to the Paleolithic, approximately 2,000,000 years ago; were discovered in Bugiulesti, Valcea county, on the river valley, inside or outside the Carpathian arch.

During the Mesolithic Age (10000 - 5500 BC) and during the Neolithic, the age of the polished stone (5500 - 1800 BC), the human settlements grew in number and the traces left by the inhabitants diversified. The archaeological researches, as well as the accidental findings, prove that on the Romanian land remarkable civilisations flourished in those times. The findings also show the high level of knowledge in the work of clay and a unique artistic sense. 

These cultural areas were named after the names of the regions where the most important discoveries have been made. The ancestors of the Romanians created cultures such as: Cris (in the River Cris area, in the West of Transylvania -the oldest neolithic type), Turdas (in the centre of the Carpathian arch - the linear ceramics is characteristic to that area; worth mentioning are the clay slates discovered at Tartaria, on the Mures; on these slates an archaic writing was found, resembling the one used in Mesopotamia 5000 years ago); Cucuteni (in the north-west of Iasi - an admirable pottery in red, white and black characterizes it); Boian (in the north of Wallachia; ceramics with ornaments in the shape of hooks, on white); Vadastra (in 0lt county - ceramics with white and red drawings); Gumelnita (Ilfov county -statues made of clay and bone, representing the human being); Hamangia (in Dobrogea) - gave birth to two masterpieces of the Neolithic - statuettes of black clay: a man, "The Thinker", and a woman, sitting down. These figurines are unique in the art of the Neolithic and are known all over the world.

The copper and bronze metallurgy contributed during the following centuries to the progress of the proto-Thracian communities. It also encouraged the appearance of tribal unions which established economic relationships with the Greek culture from the south of the Balkan Peninsula.

The Dacians:" he bravest and the fairest of all the Thracians"

During the first millennium BC, the individualizing process of the Geto-Dacians tribes, with regard to the ethnic linguistic and cultural groups, took place. The populations in the Carpathian-Danubian region were influenced during that millennium by the Scythians (the 6th century BC), by the Greeks (the 7th-6th centuries BC) and by the Celts (300-280 BC). They all emiched the spiritual culture of the native Geto-Dacians. The only difference between the Getae and the Dacians was the region where each of them lived; the first ones lived outside the Carpathian arch, while the latter occupied the Transylvanian Plateau in Banat. The Geto-Dacians are first mentioned in connection with the Persian King Darius expedition in 514 BC The historian Herodotus wrote about the Getae that they were "the, bravest and the fairest of all the Thracians". At that time, the Geto-Dacians were a well-structured cultural, ethnic and linguistic group, which led to their unification in a powerful state. Burebista (82-44) unified the political and military formations of the Geto-Dacians. In the first century before Christ he put the bases of a powerful Dacian state which occupied the area between Bohemia and the Black Sea, its centre probably being in Argedava (on the River Arges ). After Burebista's death (44 Be) the centralized Dacian state began decaying. Yet, in the second half of the first century A.D., the Dacians under the rule of Decebal (87-106 reorganised their political, military and religious centre in the Orastie Mountains, in Transylvania, at Sarmizegetusa. Menaced by the Roman invasion, the Dacians went on forays south of the Danube. They defeated the Roman army at Tapae, in Banat. Two wars followed (101-102 and 105-106) and the Roman army under the command of Trajan finally managed to defeat King Decebal's army. The latter commited suicide while Trajan transformed a major part of Dacia in a Roman province. The massive and organised colonization, the use of the Latin language and the assimilation of the Roman civilization led to the Romanization of the local inhabitants. This fact resulted in the formation a Dacian-Roman population, which is an essential element in the Romaniansâ€TM ethnogenesis process. The Geto-Dacian population did not lose its independence, but it was strongly influenced by the Roman cultur, and civilisation.

The formation of the Romanian people and its language 

After the retreat of the Roman army (271 A.D.), the Dacian- Roman population kept earning its existence the same way: by practising agriculture and shepherding. From a political, economic and cultural point of view, it was under the influence of the Roman Empire and, later on, under that of the Byzantine Empire. These two empires, which were in the south of the Danube, expanded their rule up north of the river, and up to the Meridional Carpathians. Dobrogea, the territory between the Danube and the Black Sea, remained under the political, economic and cultural; rule of the two empires. Under these circumstances, the Romanization process went on and at the same time the Christianity preached in the Latin language spread all over. At the beginning of  the 7th century in the Carpathian-Danubian-Black Sea area there was already a Roman people, different from the other Romance peoples formed or forming in the territory of the Romanic Empire. It was different through its language; its oldest idiom "Torna, torna fratre" goes back to the year 587. The migration of the Slavs at the end of the 6th century and the dislocation of the Carpathian-Balkan compact bloc of Romance peoples isolated that different population  accelerating the process oflanguage completion. Between the 7th and the 9th centuries the formation of the Romanian people and of the Romanian language was completed. The Romanian language, through origin, grammatical structure and essential words of the vocabulary, belongs to the Roman languages, being the only direct descendent of the Latin spoken in the Carpathian-Balkan provinces of the Roman Empire.

Romanian, a Neo-Latin language

The Romanian language is, along with the Italian, the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, a continuator of the Latin language which the Romans brought in the conquered provinces of the famous empire. The Romanian language is a Neo-Latin one, the representative of the oriental Latin and, in fact, the only one which survived in a Slavic enviromment. The Romanian language developed in the territory north of the Danube, in Dacia as well as in the southern territory where the Pind Mountains were. The waves of migratory peoples - the Goths, the Huns, the Slavs, the Bulgarians, the Cumans, the Petchenegs etc. - which invaded the territories north and south of the Danube starting with the 3rd century did not fundamentally influence the Romanic population, and later on the Romanian one, they only left traces in toponymy.

The Dacian-Romanian dialect developed taking the actual shape of the Romanian language. The great Romanist Alf Lombard wrote that the Romanian language is "the fourth foot ofthe table", together with the Italian, the French and the Spanish languages. The same Alf Lombard wrote in his book "The destiny of the oriental Latin" that the Romanian language "did not survive as a shipwreck thrown on the shore by waves, or as a vestige, as a remainder, but as a language endowed with all vitality and force, characteristic of the great modern national languages, which is today the expression of the  thoughts of 22 million people".

The Romanians - in the past and nowadays

Nowadays there are approximately 35 million people speaking Romanian. Most of them, more than 20 million, live in Romania as it is today and the others around the boundaries of the country, especially in the north-east and east, in the Republic of Moldova and in Ukraine.

The birth place of the Romanian people, having as kernel the present territory of Romania, extended south of the Danube to the north of the Carpathians, from the Tisa (in the west) and crossing the Dniester, in the east.

In time, large groups of people moved, for instance in the czarist Russia and then in the Soviet Russia. Romanians from Moldavia and North Bucovina were deported to Siberia. Other Romanians were assimilated, as for instance in Hungary. In the modem epoch, there was a Romanian minority of over 300,000 people which came down to 25,000 through an imposed process of Magyarization. Even now the Romanian enclaves south of the Danube are very big, of several millions of people (Macedo-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, Megleno-Romanians) in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Greece. They preserve their customs and their language, the contact with the ancestral culture. Unfortunately, they do not have schools in the countries where they live. In some countries they are not even recognized as a minority. In the 17th-18th centuries, in the north of Greece,  in Moscopole there was a very powerful Romanian enclave. The south-Danubian Romanians still speak their own dialects (the Macedo-Romanian, the Istro-Romanian, the Megleno-Romanian). In the east, in the west and in the north of the country those living there speak the literary Romanian, for instance the Transylvanian and the Moldavian. Those living in the Republic of Moldova did not have an easy life. Living in Basarabia, which was part of Moldavia, they were occupied and displaced from their native country by the Turks and by the Russians. Yet, they have kept their national identity, they have never forgotten that they belong to Romania.

Starting with the 19th century, large groups of Romanians left far behind the boundaries of the country because of the vicissitudes. They live now in Western Europe, in North and South America, in Australia. Many of them were or are prominent figures in the contemporary world culture, art and science.

They are all part of the big Romanian family and together with those living in Romania they sum up approximately 35 million people.

The Romanians in the Middle Ages, their state organization

During the 10th and the 11 th centuries, as a consequence ofthe development of the feudal relationships, in. the Carpathian-Danubian-Black Sea area small political organizations appeared: duchies or voivodates, the predecessorsl of the great medieval Rornanian states. In Transylvania these! organizations had as rulers voivodes or dukes such as Gelu, Glad, Menumorut, Ahtum. In Moldavia, Wallachia a Dobrogea, they were led by masters, "cnezi" or voivodes, fi instance: Dimitrie, Gheorghe, Sestlav, Satzaa, Tatu, Roman etc..  In the 13th century, the feudal Hungarians completed the conquering of Transylvania which had started in the 10 century through the Hungarian tribes. The Hungarian tribes had settled down in the Pannonia Plain. The Transylvanian voivodate belonged, under a special status, to the Hungarian Crown until Hungary disappeared as a state in 1541.

With regard to the extra-Carpathian areas, in a donation deed signed by the King of Hungary in 1247, there were mentioned the voivodates of Litovoi, of Seneslau, of loan and of Farcas in the south of the Meridional Carpathians and on the Olt Valley. The donation deed was called. "The Diploma of the Johannine Knights" (a religious and military order colonized in Transylvania). These prestate organizations south of the Carpathians unified at the end of the 13th century, under the rule of Tihomir and his son, Basarab I (1324-1352). Basarab managed to win the independence of Wallachia voivodate (which was subordinated to the Hungarian Kingdom) after the battle of Posada, in 1330.

East of the Carpathians, Bogdan I (1359-1365) established the great voivodate of Moldavia. Both voivodes consolidated the independence of their states, defeating more than once the armies of the Hungarian Kingdom.

At the end ofthe 16th century, at the Danube the danger of the invasion of the Ottoman Empire rises. It managed in a very short time to ocuppy the Christian states of the Balkan Peninsula. Under these circumstances, the Three Romanian Principalities - Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia - became the defending bastion of the Christian world facing the danger of  the Islamic expansion. Voivodes such as Mircea the Old (1386-1418), lancu de Hunedoara (1442-1456) Vlad the Impaler (1456-1462), Stephen the Great (1457-1504), Radu de la Afumati (1522-1529), Petru Rares (1527-1538; 1542-1548) defeated the armies of famous sultans such as Baiazid I Ildaram (the Lightning), Muhammed II (the conquerer of Constantino pole) and Soliman the Magnificent. In the 14th century, the Romanian countries were forced to accept the Ottoman suzerainty, nevertheless they kept their autonomy. The Prince of Walachia, Michael the Brave (1593-1601) won the independence of the country in 1595. He united all the Romanians in one single state, the first centralize Romanian state, comprising Wallachia, Transylvania an Moldavia (1600-1601). This union was temporary, being broken up through the interference of the Ottoman Empire, of the Polish Kingdom and of the Habsburgic Empire. They all worried the existence of a powerful Romanian state in their confluence area.  The union was possible due to the unity of language, due to the national conscience which began awakening in the Romanian territory. Having seen what Michael the Brave had achieved, the voivodes of the other three Romanian countries tried to do the same thing. The renowned scholar Dimitrie Cantemir (1693, 1710-1711) ruler of Moldavia and member of the Berlin Academy, laid the bases of the ideological doctrine regarding the unity of the Romanian people. Influenced by the European enlightenment, in Transylvania (which became voivodate in 1661, under the suzerainty of the Habsburgic Empire), the bishop Inocentiu Micu and other Romanian scholars, such as Samuil Micu, Gheorghe Sincai, Petru Maior, loan Budai-Deleanu, crystallized the national ideology, which they sustained through historical, lingvistic and philosophic reasons.

The accomplishment of the modern Romanian state

Supported by the European powers, France and Prussia, Alexandru loan Cuza (1859-1866) achieved the union of Moldavia with Wallachia on 24 January 1859. He unified the army and the administration, he secularized church properties, he promulgated laws for the same purpose: the unification. The new state was internationally recognized under the name of Romania. In 1866, Cuza abdicated. Prince Carol of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen royal family took his place. He was the hospodar of the country between 1866 and 1881, when he was crowned. Carol I was king for 23 years. On 9 May 1877, the Romanian state proclaimed its independence, getting out of the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire; independence was gained arms in hand, in the Romanian-Russo-Turkish war in 1877-1878. It was internationally recognized at the Peace Congress in Berlin (1878).

From the "Small Romania" to the "Greater Romania"

In 1878, Romania was made up of the ancient feudal Romanian States, Wallachia and Moldavia - the latter without Bucovina and Basarabia. Inside the Carpathian arch, Romania was still under foreign occupation. Through the agreement of 1867 between Budapest and Vienna, known as the "Austro-Hungarian dualism", the voivodate of Transylvania was under the domination of Hungary, having no autonomy. After the union of 1859, after independence was won in 1877, the Hungarian Government intensified its political persecution and imposed the Magyarization of the Romanians living in Transylvania. Moreover, the existence of Romanians as a nation was not recognized.

Bucovina was torn off Moldavia's body in 1775 and passed under the rule of the Habsburgic Empire, as a consequence of an agreement with the Ottoman Empire. The Romanians were persecuted here as well, an attempt being made to denationalize them. The eastern half of Moldavia had been annexed to Russia in 1812. In Basarabia, as this Romanian province had been "baptized", the czarist authorities pursued a policy of intense Russification and encouraged the emigration of the Romanians. However, there were colonized Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians. No Romanian school was adrnited. The Orthodox Church became an instrument of mystification, through the colonization of Russian priests and the interdiction of mass in Romanian. Only after 1905 Romanian books started appearing again, but in Cyrillic letters. After 1910 they were suppressed. The existence of these Romanian territories inhabited by a majority of Romanians at the beginning of the 20th century, in spite of all vicissitudes, made the Government in Bucharest embrace a political strategy meant to lead to the achievement of the national desideratum: the union of all Romanians in a unitary national state. The first World Conflagration which broke out 1914 was the opportunity they had been waiting for. Romania entered the World Conflagration on 15 August 1916.

Romania's participation in the First World War had only one target: the accomplishment of the national unity. King Ferdinand I (1914-1927), the descendent of Carol I, was one of its . The collapse of the two multinational empires (Austria-Hungary and Czarist) allowed the Romanians in Basarabia, Bucovina and Transylvania freely to choose their destiny and decide the union with Romania. On 27 March/9 April 1918 Basarabia, on 5/28 November 1918 Bucovina, and on 1 December 1918 Transylvania decided to unite with the mother-country-Romania. The reunification of Romania was internationally sanctioned through the postwar peace treaties(1919-1920). In the unitary national state - called the Greater Romania - the democratic constitutional regime brought in force through the Constitution of 1923 facilitated the general economic, social, political and cultural progress of the nation. The economic climax was attained in 1938. However on 23 August 1939 Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Russia signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. The secret additional protocol referred directly to the territorial dismemberment of Romania. The democratic powers - France and England - could no longer grant the security of Romania. In the summer of 1940, Soviet Russia, Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy forced Romania to cede Basarabia, northern Bucovina, and Herta region to Russia, the north-western Transylvania to Hungary, and southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria. All these territories represented more than a quarter of Romania and of the population which was Romanian in majority. Romania changed its political regime and started fighting the Soviet Russia together with Germany in June 1941. The Romanian armies fought on the east front until the summer of 1944. Following the coup d'etat of 23 August 1944, they joined the Allies and fought on the west front, making their contribution to the liberation of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria. The Paris Peace Treaty (1947) brought back north-western Transylvania within the national boundaries. Basarabia, northern Bucovina, Herta and southern Dobrogea remained outside the boundaries of Romania. The Romanians in the Soviet territories were brutally denationalized. The Soviets massacred, sentto concentration camps and deported to Siberia and Central Asia thousands of Romanians, trying to modify the demographic ratio. At the same time, the stipulations of the Paris Peace Treaty confirmed the maintainance of Romania under the Soviet influence.

From dictatorship to democracy

 The communist regim was installed in Romania with the aid of the Soviet occupant, after the forced abdication of King Michael I, at the end of 1947. Then a period of Sovietisation followed when the repression against those who represented the democracy, against the intellectuals, against the Romanian spirituality began. Through sentences of long years of emprisonment, by sending people to forced labour camps, the opponents or the potential opponents were exterminated. The new leaders tried to introduce the Soviet model in economy, society and culture. They nationalized the production means, they imposed agricultural cooperatives, they tried to falsify the national history, to make the Romanians give up their cultural and spiritual values, not to let them have access to world cultural and scientific values. In 1955 Romania was accepted in the UNO. The peril of becoming a raw materials source for the member states of Comecon determined the communist adminstration in Romania to initiate the breaking-up from the Soviet hegemony. The western world considered communist Romania as the rebellious ally of Moscow. In 1957 Romania turned to the Western countries and made Khrushchov withdraw his Soviet troops from Romania in 1958. Beginning with 1960, the industrialization of the country began against the Soviet will. During the years ofthe Russian-Chinese conflict Romania initiated the derussification, especially in culture. In 1967, the diplomatic relationships with the Federal Germany were resumed, while in 1968 Romania blamed the intervention of the Warsaw Pact troops in Czechoslovakia. During 1967-1985, however, social protection was emphasized and respected citizen and national values ​​were placed in the light and respect. Romania became a member of the IMF and of the World Bank and declared itself against the nuclear arming.

After 1970, the cult of Nicolae Ceausescu's personality and of his wife, along with the communist regime of dictatorship led to a political crisis, to the violation of the fundamental human rights, to an economic crisis. All this generated massive discontent in society. There were social revolts among which the miners' revolt in the Jiu Valley in August 1977 and the revolt of the inhabitants of Brasov, in November 1987. People from different social enviromments asked radical changes in political and economic structures. Between 17-20 December 1989, in Timisoara there were anticommunist demonstrations with the intervention of the repression forces. On 21 December 1989 powerful unrest broke out in Bucharest. The official buildings were occupied. On 22 December 1989 the dictatorial couple was overthrown and an end was put to 45 years of communist regime.

The National Salvation Front took over power and announced the abolishment of the communist structures, the promotion of a market economy and free elections. All the political parties that existed before World War II were revived (the National Peasant Party, the National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party) and over 200 new parties appeared. After the Law of the Political Parties came into force (April, 1996), almost 50 parties still carryon their activity, 11 being represented in Parliament. In eight years, there were two administrative local elections (in February 1992 and in June 1996), three Parliamentary and Presidential elections (May 1990, September 1992 and November 1996), the new Constitution of Romania was voted and promulgated in 1991, having democratic stipulations matching European standards; the Land Law was brought into force in 1991. The land was given back to their owners or to their descendents. The private sector in economy keeps developing. The privatisation of the industrial enterprises is on its way. Mass media developed unexpectedly due to the right to the free speech. Now Romania has the largest number of publications, of private radio and TV channels in the eastern countries in transition. Romania is a member of Council of Europe (1994) and member EU after 2007 January 01. Romania has turned back to democracy for good.

 The ROMANIAN People a CHRISTIAN Born People

The Romanian people abandoned the cult of idols and became Christian in the period of its ethnic and linguistic moulding, in the first four centuries. In the year 62 Saint Apostle Paul underlines the fact that the Gospel was preached "to all creatures under the sky", among which the Scythians, who in the first Christian century lived together with the aboriginal in Dobrogea, which was called Scythia Minor at that time. Saint Apostle Andrew was chosen, by drawing lots, to preach the Gospel to the Scythians. In fact, according to the ecclesiastic history, Saint Apostle Andrew was the first to evangelise the inhabitants north of the Danube. Then Jesus' disciples did the same thing between the first and the third century after Christ. The palaeo christian inscriptions and basilicas, as well as the impressive number of archaeological vestiges unearthed in Dobrogea, in Transylvania and in the other Romanian provinces, prove the existence of an intense Christian life in all lands inhabited by Romanians since the second and the third centuries.

Assuming the role of supporter of the Eastern church, the Romanians contributed to the survival of the Ortodox Christianity and of its creations of civilisation and culture. They also helped the Christian peoples subjugated by the Ottomans preserve their national conscience, then played an important part in their attempt to free themselves and, last but not least, they contributed to the foundation of the modern independent states in this part of the world.

The Metropolitan Seats in Wallachia and Moldavia, which emerged in the 16th century, acted in accordance with the other orthodox churches. They printed doctrine and cult books and teachings in Slavonic, in Greek, in Arabian and Georgian for all the Christians in the east. They also stimulated the original creation in literature and arts. Yet the Romanian territories were divided into three states, therefore  their churches could not ask for autocephalous status from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The unification of Wallachia with Moldavia (24 January 1859) was a step ahead towards gaining autocephaly. On 25 April, 1885, Patriarch Ioachim IV signed the recognition of the autocephalous status of the Romanian Orthodox Church which granted it equal rights with those of the other orthodox churches. At the same time, it dependedon the other churches from a dogmatic, canonic and liturgic point of view. The upgrading of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the rank of Patriarchate was a consequence of the completion of the state unity on 1 December 1918. It also meant the recognition of its century-old fight for the protection of national identity, for the survival of faith in the Romanian countries and in some ancient provinces of the Byzantine Empire, for the shepherding of the spiritual life of the Romanians, who were mostly orthodox.

The recognition deed of the Romanian Patriarchate was signed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 30 July, 1925, through the Patriarch Vasile III of Constantinopole. The Holy Synod is the highest authority of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod deals with spiritual and canon matters and with any other problem within its competence. It is made up of the Patriarch , as the chairman, of six metropolitan bishops, six archbishops, 14 bishops, 2 diocesan dean bishops and 2 dean bishops. The National Church Assembly is the representative central organ of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It deals with administrative matters and matters beyond the competence of the Holy Synod. The supreme administrative organ dealing with matters regarding the entire Church and, at the same time, the executive organ of the Holy Synod and of the National Church Assembly, is the National Church Council. From the point of view of administrative organisation, the Romanian Patriarchate is made up of five Metropolitan Seats, within the boundaries of this country, The Basarabian Metropolitan Seat (revived in December 1992)) within the boundaries of the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian Metropolitan Seat of Germany and of the Central Europe, the Romanian Archbishopric for the Western Europe and the Romanian Orthodox Archbishopric of the United States and Canada, for the needs of the Romanians living abroad.

The Metroplitan Seats have nine Archbishoprics, 14 Bishoprics, 141 rectories and 9,208 parishes.

Abroad, in the neighbouring countries, there are a couple of millions of Romanian Orthodox. Most of them are in the Basarabian Metropolitan Seat and in the north of Bucovina). On 19 December 1992, The Romanian Orthodox Church Synod sanctioned the entering of the Basarabian Metropolitan Seat under its jurisdiction. The Basarabian Metropolitan Seat is autonomous, of old style and it has its premises in Chisinau.

In Diaspora there are approximately 300 Romanian religious communities, of which 250 are Orthodox. The other 50 are Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic or Protestant. Most of the Orthodox communities are subordinated to the Romanian Patriarchate.

The Romanian Orthodox Church has permanent and systematic relations with the other Orthodox Churches and with the Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarchate. There are bilateral contacts between Orthodox Churches and other Christian Churches. The Romanian Orthodox Church is a member of the World Council of Churches and of the European Church Conference. There are 15 officially recognised religious denominations in Romania: the Romanian Orthodox Church, The Greek Catholic Church, the Reformed Church, the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession, the Armenian Church, the Synod-Presbyterian Evangelical Church, the Unitarian Church, the Old Rite Church, the Muslim Cult, the Mosaic Cult, the Christian Baptist Cult, the Seventh-day Adventist Cult, the Pentecostal Cult, the Church of Christ. There are also 360 religious associations, independent ones or belonging to the cults.

In Romania 19,802,400 persons (86.8% of the population) declared that they belonged to the Orthodox Church. Cults appoint their own ruling organs, without the interference of the state, having religious independence. The state supports them financially, allotting annual funds for the construction of new buildings and for the restauration of assets of national interest which are in the property of the cults.

The Romanian churches, witnesses of the history of this nation, are great architectural and art monuments. They embody the spirit of an ancient culture, the philosophy, the art and the technique of a people and its personality in the world civilisation.


Sursa:  Romania Turism - Pagini Nationale


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