Lascar Catargiu
Lascăr Catargiu (ˈlaskər katarˈd͡ʒi.u; November 1823 – April 11, 1899) was a Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 statesman born in Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

. He belonged to an ancient Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

n family, one of whose members had been banished in the 17th century by Prince Matei Basarab
Matei Basarab
Matei Basarab was a Wallachian Voivode between 1632 and 1654.-Reign:Much of Matei's reign was spent fighting off incursions from Moldavia, which he successfully accomplished in 1637, 1639, and 1653 - see Battle of Finta...

, and had settled in Moldavia.


Born in Iaşi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

, Catargiu rose to the office of prefect of police in the city under the rule of the Moldavian Prince Grigore Ghica
Grigore Alexandru Ghica
Grigore Alexandru Ghica or Ghika was a Prince of Moldavia between October 14, 1849 and June 1853, and again between October 30, 1854 and June 3, 1856...

  (1849–1856). In 1857 he became a member of the ad hoc Divan of Moldavia, a commission elected in accordance with the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1856)
The Treaty of Paris of 1856 settled the Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, Second French Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The treaty, signed on March 30, 1856 at the Congress of Paris, made the Black Sea neutral territory, closing it to all...

 (1856) to vote on the proposed union of Moldavia and Wallachia (the Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common...

). His strongly conservative views, especially on land reform
Land reform
[Image:Jakarta farmers protest23.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Farmers protesting for Land Reform in Indonesia]Land reform involves the changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. Land reform may consist of a government-initiated or government-backed property redistribution,...

, induced the Conservatives
Conservative Party (Romania, 1880-1918)
The Conservative Party was between 1880 and 1918 one of Romania's two most important parties, the other one being the Liberal Party...

 to support him as a candidate for the Romanian throne in 1859.

During the reign of Domnitor
Domnitor was the official title of the ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866....

Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza was a Moldavian-born Romanian politician who ruled as the first Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia between 1859 and 1866.-Early life:...

 (1859–1866), Catargiu was one of the Opposition leaders, and received much assistance from his kinsman, Barbu Catargiu
Barbu Catargiu
Barbu Catargiu was a conservative Romanian journalist and politician. He was the first Prime Minister of Romania in 1862 until he was assassinated on 20 June that year...

 (b. 1807), a noted journalist and politician, who was assassinated in Bucharest on the June 20, 1862. Lascăr Catargiu consequently took part in the so-called Monstrous Coalition that toppled Cuza, and, on the accession of Domnitor Carol I
Carol I of Romania
Carol I , born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was reigning prince and then King of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected prince of Romania on 20 April 1866 following the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup...

 in May 1866, became President of the Council of Ministers but, finding himself unable to cooperate with his Liberal colleagues, Ion Brătianu
Ion Bratianu
Ion C. Brătianu was one of the major political figures of 19th century Romania. He was the younger brother of Dimitrie, as well as the father of Ionel, Dinu, and Vintilă Brătianu...

 and C. A. Rosetti
C. A. Rosetti
Constantin Alexandru Rosetti was a Romanian literary and political leader, born in Bucharest into a Phanariot Greek family.In 1845, Rosetti went to Paris, where he met Alphonse de Lamartine, the patron of the Society of Romanian Students in Paris. In 1847, he married Mary Grant, the sister of the...

, he resigned in July.

After eight more ministerial changes, culminating in the anti-dynastic agitation of 1870–1871 (provoked by the Liberals in the context of the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

; see also Republic of Ploieşti
Republic of Ploiesti
The Republic of Ploiești was a revolt against the Romanian monarchy in the city of Ploiești, Romania, on August 8, 1870.-Background:Romanian liberal radicals of Ploiești and elsewhere were opposed to the new ruler of the country, Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen , and desired a republic to...

), Catargiu formed, for the first time in Romanian history, a stable Conservative cabinet, which lasted until 1876. His policy, which averted political violence and revived the popularity of the crown, was regarded as unpatriotic
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

 and reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 by the Liberals, who resumed office in 1876; and a proposal to impeach the whole Catargiu cabinet was only withdrawn in 1878.

Catargiu remained in opposition until 1889, when he formed another cabinet, taking the portfolio of the Interior; but this administration fell after seven months. In the Ion Emanuel Florescu
Ion Emanuel Florescu
Ion Emanuel Florescu was a Romanian army general who served as Prime Minister of Romania for a short time in a provisional government in 1876 and then in 1891 ....

 cabinet of March 1891 he occupied the same position, and in December he again became president of the Council, retaining office until 1895. During this period he was responsible for several important reforms, chiefly financial and commercial. He died in Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

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