Wallachia
Overview
 
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical
Historical regions of Romania
At various times during the late 19th and 20th centuries, Romania extended over the following historical regions:Wallachia:*Muntenia or Greater Wallachia: as part of Wallachia, joined Moldavia in 1859 to create modern Romania;...

 and geographical region of Romania
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...

. It is situated north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and south of the Southern Carpathians
Southern Carpathians
The Southern Carpathians or the Transylvanian Alps are a group of mountain ranges which divide central and southern Romania, on one side, and Serbia, on the other side. They cover part of the Carpathian Mountains that is located between the Prahova River in the east and the Timiș and Cerna Rivers...

. Wallachia is sometimes referred to as Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

(Greater Wallachia), through identification with the larger of its two traditional sections; the smaller being Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

(Lesser Wallachia).

Wallachia was founded as a principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 in the early 14th century by Basarab I
Basarab I of Wallachia
Basarab I the Founder was voivode or prince of Wallachia . His rise seems to have taken place in the context of the war between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Orthodox states in the north of the Balkan Peninsula...

, after a rebellion against Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

, although the first mention of the territory of Wallachia west of the river Olt
Olt
Olt may refer to:* Olt Online Taxes, a tax website for USA Taxpayers* Olt County, a county of Romania* Olt Defile, a defile that has been cut into the Transyvanian Alps in south-central Romania by the Olt River* Olt River, a river in Romnia...

 dates to a charter given to the voievod Seneslau
Seneslau
Seneslau, also Seneslav or Stănislau, was a Vlach voivode mentioned in a diploma issued by king Béla IV of Hungary on 2 July 1247; the diploma granted territories to the Knights Hospitaller in the Banate of Severin and Cumania...

 in 1246 by King Bela IV of Hungary.
Timeline

1462    Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

1476    Vlad III Dracula defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

1599    Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeats the Army of Andrew Bathory in the Battle of Şelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.

1821    Decisive defeat of the Philikí Etaireía by the Ottomans at Drăgăşani (in Wallachia).

1856    Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei abolishes slavery in Wallachia.

1859    Political union of Moldavia and Wallachia; Alexandru Ioan Cuza is elected as ruler.

Encyclopedia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical
Historical regions of Romania
At various times during the late 19th and 20th centuries, Romania extended over the following historical regions:Wallachia:*Muntenia or Greater Wallachia: as part of Wallachia, joined Moldavia in 1859 to create modern Romania;...

 and geographical region of Romania
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...

. It is situated north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and south of the Southern Carpathians
Southern Carpathians
The Southern Carpathians or the Transylvanian Alps are a group of mountain ranges which divide central and southern Romania, on one side, and Serbia, on the other side. They cover part of the Carpathian Mountains that is located between the Prahova River in the east and the Timiș and Cerna Rivers...

. Wallachia is sometimes referred to as Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

(Greater Wallachia), through identification with the larger of its two traditional sections; the smaller being Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

(Lesser Wallachia).

Wallachia was founded as a principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 in the early 14th century by Basarab I
Basarab I of Wallachia
Basarab I the Founder was voivode or prince of Wallachia . His rise seems to have taken place in the context of the war between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Orthodox states in the north of the Balkan Peninsula...

, after a rebellion against Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

, although the first mention of the territory of Wallachia west of the river Olt
Olt
Olt may refer to:* Olt Online Taxes, a tax website for USA Taxpayers* Olt County, a county of Romania* Olt Defile, a defile that has been cut into the Transyvanian Alps in south-central Romania by the Olt River* Olt River, a river in Romnia...

 dates to a charter given to the voievod Seneslau
Seneslau
Seneslau, also Seneslav or Stănislau, was a Vlach voivode mentioned in a diploma issued by king Béla IV of Hungary on 2 July 1247; the diploma granted territories to the Knights Hospitaller in the Banate of Severin and Cumania...

 in 1246 by King Bela IV of Hungary. In 1415, Wallachia accepted the suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

; this lasted until the 19th century, albeit with brief periods of Russian occupation between 1768 and 1854. In 1859, Wallachia united with Moldavia
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...

 (as United Principalities
United Principalities
The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, also known as the Romanian Principalities, was the official name of Romania following the 1859 election of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as prince or domnitor of both territories...

), to form the basis of the modern state of Romania, with Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 joining 59 years later (1918) to form the new Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 which was first established 1881.

Etymology

The name Wallachia, generally not used by Romanians themselves (but present in some contexts as Valahia or Vlahia), is derived from the word "walha
Walha
Walhaz is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic word, meaning "foreigner", "stranger", "Roman", "Romance-speaker", or "Celtic-speaker". The adjective derived from this word can be found in , Old High German walhisk, meaning "Romance", in Old English welisċ, wælisċ, wilisċ, meaning "Romano-British" and in...

" used by Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 to describe non-Germanic speaking "foreigners". In northwest Europe this gave rise to Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, Wallonia, among others, while in Southeast Europe it evolved into the ethnonym Valach
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

, used to designate Germanic speakers' Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

-speaking neighbours, and subsequently taken over by Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

-speakers to refer to Romanians, with variants such as Vlach, Blach, Bloc, Bloh, Boloh etc.—see also: History of the term Vlach
History of the term Vlach
Vlach is a Slavic-derived term , which is used to designate the Romance speaking peoples of South-Eastern Europe: Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians and Istro-Romanians....

.

In the early Middle Ages, in Slavonic texts, the name of Zemli Ungro-Vlahiskoi (Земли Унгро-Влахискои)or "Hungaro-Wallachian Land") was also used. The term, translated in Romanian as "Ungrovalahia", remained in use up to the modern era in a religious context, referring to the Romanian Orthodox
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 Metropolitan seat of Hungaro-Wallachia, in contrast to Thessalian Wallachia, or Great Wallachia
Great Wallachia
Great Wallachia , also Thessaly Wallachia, was a medieval state of the Aromanians , which included the region of Thessaly in Greece, the southern and central ranges of Pindus and extending over part of Macedonia.Anna Komnene in the second half of the eleventh century was the first author to write...

 in Macedonia, a medieval state, or Small Wallachia (Mala Vlaška) in Serbia. Official designations of the state were Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

 (The Land beyond the Mountains) and Țeara Rumânească (Terra Romana, or The Romanian Land).

For long periods after the 14th century, Wallachia was referred to as Vlaško (Влашко) by Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

 sources, Vlaška by Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 sources and Walachei or Walachey by German-speaking (Transylvanian Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

) sources. The traditional Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 name for Wallachia is "Havasalföld", or literally "Snowy Lowlands" (the older form is "Havaselve", which means "Land beyond the snowy mountains"). In Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

 and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, "Eflâk", افلاق, a word derived from "Vlach", is used.

From Roman rule to the state's establishment

In the Second Dacian War (105 AD) western Oltenia became part of the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 of Dacia
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

, with parts of Wallachia included in the Moesia Inferior province. The Roman limes
Limes
A limes was a border defense or delimiting system of Ancient Rome. It marked the boundaries of the Roman Empire.The Latin noun limes had a number of different meanings: a path or balk delimiting fields, a boundary line or marker, any road or path, any channel, such as a stream channel, or any...

 was initially built along the Olt River (119), before being moved slightly to the east in the 2nd century—during which time it stretched from the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 up to Rucăr
Rucar
Rucăr is a commune in the north-eastern part of Argeş County, Romania. At the 2002 census, the population of the commune was 6,207. It is composed of two villages, Rucăr and Sătic....

 in the Carpathians. The Roman line fell back to the Olt in 245, and, in 271, the Romans pulled out of the region.

The area was subject to Romanization
Romanization (cultural)
Romanization or latinization indicate different historical processes, such as acculturation, integration and assimilation of newly incorporated and peripheral populations by the Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire...

 sometime during the Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

, when most of present-day Romania was also subject to the presence of Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 and Sarmatian peoples known as the Mureș-Cerneahov
Chernyakhov culture
The Sântana de Mureș–Chernyakhiv culture is the name given to an archaeological culture which flourished between the 2nd and 5th centuries in a wide area of Eastern Europe, specifically in what today constitutes Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and parts of Belarus...

 culture, followed by waves of other nomadic peoples. In 328, the Romans built a bridge
Constantine's Bridge
Constantine's Bridge was a Roman bridge over the Danube. It was completed or rebuilt in 328 and remained in use for no more than four decades. With an overall length of 2437 m, 1137 m of which spanned the Danube's riverbed, Constantine's Bridge is considered the longest ancient river bridge and...

 between Sucidava (Celei) and Oescus
Oescus
Oescus, or Palatiolon Palatiolum, was an ancient town in Moesia, northwest of the modern Bulgarian city of Pleven, near the village of Gigen. It is a Daco-Moesian toponym. Ptolemy calls it a Triballian town, but it later became Roman...

 (near Gigen
Gigen
Gigen is a village in northern Bulgaria, part of Gulyantsi Municipality, Pleven Province. It is located near to the Danube River, close to the place where the Iskar River empties into it, opposite the Romanian town of Corabia....

) which indicates that there was a significant trade with the peoples north of the Danube. A short period of Roman rule in the area is attested under Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

, after he attacked the Goths (who had settled north of the Danube) in 332. The period of Goth rule ended when the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 arrived in the Pannonian Plain, and, under Attila, attacked and destroyed some 170 settlements on both sides of the Danube.

Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 influence is evident during the 5th to 6th century, such as the site at Ipoteşti-Cândeşti, but from the second half of the 6th century and in the 7th century Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 crossed the territory of Wallachia and settled in it, on their way to Byzantium, occupying the southern bank of the Danube. In 593, the Byzantine commander-in-chief Priscus defeated Slavs, Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 and Gepid
Gepid
The Gepids were an East Germanic tribe who were closely related to the Goths. The Gepids were recorded in the area along the southern Baltic coast in the 1st century AD, having migrated there from southern Sweden some years earlier...

s on future Wallachian territory, and, in 602, Slavs suffered a crucial defeat in the area; Flavius Mauricius Tiberius
Maurice (emperor)
Maurice was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602.A prominent general in his youth, Maurice fought with success against the Sassanid Persians...

, who ordered his army to be deployed north of the Danube, encountered his troops' strong opposition.

Wallachia was under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 from its establishment in 681, until approximately the Magyar conquest of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 at the end of the 10th century. With the decline and subsequent fall of the Bulgarian state to Byzantium (in the second half of the 10th century up to 1018), Wallachia came under the control of the Pechenegs (a Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 people) who extended their rule west through the 10th and 11th century, until defeated around 1091, when the Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 of southern Russia took control of the lands of Moldavia and Wallachia. Beginning with the 10th century, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and later Western sources mention the existence of small polities, possibly peopled by, among others, Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

/Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 led by knyaz
Knyaz
Kniaz, knyaz or knez is a Slavic title found in most Slavic languages, denoting a royal nobility rank. It is usually translated into English as either Prince or less commonly as Duke....

es
and voivodes.

In 1241, during the Mongol
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 invasion of Europe
Mongol invasion of Europe
The resumption of the Mongol invasion of Europe, during which the Mongols attacked medieval Rus' principalities and the powers of Poland and Hungary, was marked by the Mongol invasion of Rus starting in 21 December 1237...

, Cuman domination was ended—a direct Mongol rule over Wallachia was not attested, but it remains probable. Part of Wallachia was probably briefly disputed by the Hungarian Kingdom and Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 in the following period, but it appears that the severe weakening of Hungarian authority during the Mongol attacks contributed to the establishment of the new and stronger polities attested in Wallachia for the following decades.

Creation

One of the first written pieces of evidence of local voivodes is in connection with Litovoi
Litovoi
Litovoi, also Litvoy, was a Vlach voivode in the 13th century whose territory comprised northern Oltenia .He is mentioned for the first time in a diploma issued by king Béla IV of Hungary on 2 July 1247...

 (1272), who ruled over land each side of the Carpathians (including Hațeg Country in Transylvania), and refused to pay tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

 to the Hungarian King Ladislaus IV. His successor was his brother Bărbat
Barbat
Bărbat was the brother and successor of voivode Litovoi whose territory had comprised northern Oltenia .In 1277 , Litovoi renounced fealty to king Ladislaus IV of Hungary when the king claimed lands for the crown, but Litovoi refused to pay tribute for them...

 (1285–1288). The continuing weakening of the Hungarian state by further Mongol invasions (1285–1319) and the fall of the Árpád dynasty
Árpád dynasty
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the federation of the Hungarian tribes and of the Kingdom of Hungary . The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the tribal federation when the Magyars occupied the Carpathian Basin, circa 895...

 opened the way for the unification of Wallachian polities, and to independence from Hungarian rule.
Wallachia's creation, held by local traditions to have been the work of one Radu Negru
Radu Negru
Radu Negru also known as Radu Vodă , Radu Negru, or Negru Vodă, was a legendary ruler of Wallachia....

, is historically connected with Basarab I (1310–1352), who rebelled against Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

 and took up rule on either side of the Olt River
Olt River
The Olt River is a river in Romania. It is the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. Its source is in the Hăşmaş Mountains of the eastern Carpathian Mountains, near the village Bălan. It flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Covasna, Braşov, Sibiu, Vâlcea and Olt...

, establishing his residence in Câmpulung
Câmpulung
Câmpulung , or Câmpulung Muscel, is a city in the Argeş County, Wallachia, Romania. It is situated among the outlying hills of the Transylvanian Alps, at the head of a long well-wooded glen traversed by the Râul Târgului, a tributary of the Argeş.Its pure air and fine scenery render Câmpulung a...

 as the first ruler in the House of Basarab
House of Basarab
The Basarabs were a family which had an important role in the establishing of the Principality of Wallachia, giving the country its first line of Princes, one closely related with the Muşatin rulers of Moldavia...

. Basarab refused to grant Hungary the lands of Făgăraş
Fagaras
Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Braşov County . Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language word for "partridge" . A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water...

, Amlaş and the Banat of Severin
Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Drobeta-Turnu Severin is a city in Mehedinţi County, Oltenia, Romania, on the left bank of the Danube, below the Iron Gates.The city administers three villages: Dudaşu Schelei, Gura Văii, and Schela Cladovei...

, defeated Charles in the Battle of Posada
Battle of Posada
The Battle of Posada was fought between Basarab I of Wallachia and Charles I Robert of Hungary.The small Wallachian army led by Basarab, formed of cavalry, foot archers, as well as local peasants, managed to ambush and defeat the 30,000-strong Hungarian army, in a mountainous region near the...

 (1330), and extended his lands to the east, to comprise lands as far as Kilia
Kilia
Kilia may refer to:* Kilia, a town in Ukraine* Chilia Veche, a town in Tulcea County, Romania* Chilia branch, a distributary of the Danube.* 470 Kilia, an asteroid.* Kilia, an English transliteration of Χηλή, the Greek name for the town of Şile in Turkey...

 (in the Bujak
Buják
-References:...

, as the origin of Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

); rule over the latter was not preserved by following princes, as Kilia fell to the Nogais
Nogais
The Nogai people are a Turkic ethnic group in Southern Russia: northern Dagestan and Stavropol Krai, as well as in Karachay-Cherkessia and the Astrakhan Oblast; undefined number live in Chechnya...

 ca.1334.

Basarab was succeeded by Nicolae Alexandru, followed by Vladislav I
Vladislav I of Wallachia
Vladislav I of the Basarab dynasty, also known as Vlaicu-Vodă, was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia . He was a vassal of the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Alexander. In 1369 Vladislav I subdued Vidin and recognised Louis I of Hungary as his overlord in return for Severin, Amlaş, and Făgăraş...

. Vladislav attacked Transylvania after Louis I occupied lands south of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, conceded to recognize him as overlord in 1368, but rebelled again in the same year; his rule also witnessed the first confrontation between Wallachia and the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 (a battle in which Vladislav was allied with Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria
Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria
Ivan Shishman ruled as emperor of Bulgaria in Tarnovo from 1371 to 3 July 1395. The authority of Ivan Shishman was limited to the central parts of the Bulgarian Empire. His indecisive and inconsistent policy did little to prevent the fall of his country under Ottoman rule. In 1393 the Ottoman...

). Under Radu I
Radu I of Wallachia
Radu I was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia, ....

 and his successor Dan I
Dan I of Wallachia
Dan I was a voivode of the principality of Wallachia . During the war with Bulgaria he perished in battle against the troops of Tsar Ivan Shishman...

, the realms in Transylvania and Severin continued to be disputed with Hungary.

Mircea the Elder to Radu the Great

As the entire Balkan Peninsula became an integral part of the emerging Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 (a process which concluded with the fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 to Sultan
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

 Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 in 1453), Wallachia became engaged in frequent confrontations and, in the final years of Mircea the Elder's reign, became an Ottoman tributary state. Mircea (reigned 1386–1418), initially defeated the Ottomans in several battles (including that of Rovine
Battle of Rovine
The Battle of Rovine took place on 17 May 1395 between the Wallachian army led by Voivod Mircea cel Bătrân against the Ottoman invasion led by sultan Bayezid I. The Ottoman army, numbering approximately 40,000 men, faced the much smaller Wallachian army, which was about 10,000 men...

 in 1394), driving them away from Dobruja
Dobruja
Dobruja is a historical region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast...

 and briefly extending his rule to the Danube Delta
Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania , while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine . The approximate surface is...

, Dobruja and Silistra
Silistra
Silistra is a port city of northeastern Bulgaria, lying on the southern bank of the lower Danube at the country's border with Romania. Silistra is the administrative centre of Silistra Province and one of the important cities of the historical region of Southern Dobrudzha...

 (ca.1400–1404). He oscillated between alliances with Sigismund of Hungary
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund of Luxemburg KG was King of Hungary, of Croatia from 1387 to 1437, of Bohemia from 1419, and Holy Roman Emperor for four years from 1433 until 1437, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg. He was also King of Italy from 1431, and of Germany from 1411...

 and Jagiellon Poland
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

 (taking part in the Battle of Nicopolis
Battle of Nicopolis
The Battle of Nicopolis took place on 25 September 1396 and resulted in the rout of an allied army of Hungarian, Wallachian, French, Burgundian, German and assorted troops at the hands of an Ottoman force, raising of the siege of the Danubian fortress of Nicopolis and leading to the end of the...

), and accepted a peace treaty with the Ottomans in 1415, after Mehmed I
Mehmed I
Mehmed I Çelebi was a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1413 to 1421. He was one of the sons of Bayezid I and Valide Sultan Devlet Hatun Mehmed I Çelebi (Ottoman: چلبی محمد, Mehmed I or Mehmed Çelebi) (1382, Bursa – May 26, 1421, Edirne, Ottoman Empire) was a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire...

 took control of Turnu
Turnu Magurele
Turnu Măgurele is a city in Teleorman County, Romania . Developed nearby the site once occupied by the medieval port of Turnu, it is situated north-east of the confluence between the Olt River and the Danube....

 and Giurgiu
Giurgiu
Giurgiu is the capital city of Giurgiu County, Romania, in the Greater Wallachia. It is situated amid mud-flats and marshes on the left bank of the Danube facing the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the opposite bank. Three small islands face the city, and a larger one shelters its port, Smarda...

 — the two ports remained part of the Ottoman state, with brief interruptions, until 1829. In 1418–1420, Mihail I
Michael I of Wallachia
Michael I was a voivode of the principality of Wallachia .In 1418–1420, Mihail I defeated the Ottomans in Severin, only to be killed in battle by the counter-offensive...

 defeated the Ottomans in Severin, only to be killed in battle by the counter-offensive; in 1422, the danger was averted for a short while when Dan II
Dan II of Wallachia
Dan II was a voivode of the principality of Wallachia in the 15th Century, ruling an extraordinary five times, and succeeded four times by Radu II Chelul, his rival for the throne...

 inflicted a defeat on Murad II
Murad II
Murad II Kodja was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1421 to 1451 ....

 with the help of Pippo Spano
Pipo of Ozora
Pipo of Ozora was an Italian condottiero, general, strategist...

.
The peace signed in 1428 inaugurated a period of internal crisis, as Dan had to defend himself against Radu Prasnaglava
Radu II of Wallachia
Radu II Prasnaglava was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia in the 15th century, ruling for 4 terms, each time preceded by Dan II, his rival for the throne, and each time succeeded by him. Of those 4 periods on the throne of Wallachia, all were within a period of only 7 years, and 3 terms...

, who led the first in a series of boyar
Boyar
A boyar, or bolyar , was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Moscovian, Kievan Rus'ian, Bulgarian, Wallachian, and Moldavian aristocracies, second only to the ruling princes , from the 10th century through the 17th century....

 coalitions against established princes (in time, these became overtly pro-Ottoman in answer to repression). Victorious in 1431 (the year when the boyar-backed Alexandru I Aldea
Alexandru I Aldea
Alexander I Aldea was Prince of Wallachia .Alexandru I was the brother of Vlad II Dracul, father to Mircea II and Vlad Tepes . He came to rule Wallachia during an extremely turbulent time, when rule of the country changed hands by violence eighteen times during the 15th century...

 took the throne), boyars were dealt successive blows by Vlad II Dracul
Vlad II Dracul
Vlad II , known as Vlad Dracul , was a voivode of Wallachia. He reigned from 1436 to 1442, and again from 1443 to 1447...

 (1436–1442; 1443–1447), who nevertheless attempted to compromise between the Porte and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

The following decade was marked by the conflict between the rival houses of Dăneşti
Danesti
Dăneşti may refer to several places in Romania:* Dăneşti, a commune in Gorj County* Dăneşti, a commune in Harghita County* Dăneşti, a commune in Vaslui County* Dăneşti, a village in Frăsinet Commune, Călăraşi County...

 and Drăculeşti, the influence of John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

, Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, and, after the neutral reign of Vladislav II
Vladislav II of Wallachia
Vladislav II was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia, from 1447 to 1448, and again from 1448 to 1456.Vladislav assassinated Vlad II Dracul, ruler of Wallachia, and was subsequently placed on the throne by John Hunyadi. On July 22, 1456, Dracul's son, Vlad III Dracula killed Vladislav in...

, by the rise of Vlad III Dracula. Vlad, during whose rule Bucharest
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....

 was first mentioned as a princely residence, exercised terror on rebellious boyars, cut off all links with the Ottomans, and, in 1462, defeated Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

's offensive during The Night Attack
The Night Attack
The Night Attack of Târgovişte was a skirmish fought between forces of Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia and Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire on Thursday, June 17, 1462. The conflict initially started with Vlad's refusal to pay the Jizya to the Sultan and intensified when Vlad Ţepeş invaded...

 before being forced to retreat to Târgovişte
Târgoviste
Târgoviște is a city in the Dâmbovița county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. , it had an estimated population of 89,000. One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.-Name:...

 and accepting to pay an increased tribute. His parallel conflicts with his Muslim brother Radu III the Fair and Laiotă Basarab led to the conquest of Wallachia by Radu III who would rule it for 11 years until his death. Radu the Great
Radu cel Mare
Radu IV the Great was a Voivode of Wallachia from September 1495 to April 1508. He succeeded his father, Vlad Călugărul, who was one of the three brothers to Vlad III the Impaler . He was married to Princess Catalina Crnojević of Zeta, and was succeeded by his first cousin Mihnea cel Rău, son to...

 (1495–1508) reached several compromises with the boyars, ensuring a period of internal stability that contrasted his clash with Bogdan the Blind
Bogdan III cel Orb
Bogdan III the One-Eyed or Bogdan III the Blind Voivode of Moldavia from July 2, 1504 to 1517.-Family:He was born in Huşi as the son of Voivode Ştefan cel Mare and his wife Maria Voichiţa...

 of Moldavia.

Mihnea cel Rău to Petru Cercel

The late 15th century saw the ascension of the powerful Craioveşti
Craiovesti
The Craiovești , later Brâncovenești , were a boyar family in Wallachia who gave the country several of its Princes and held the title of Ban of Oltenia for ca...

 family, virtually independent rulers of the Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

n banat
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

, who sought Ottoman support in their rivalry with Mihnea cel Rău
Mihnea cel Rau
Mihnea cel Rău , the son of Vlad III Dracula , and his first wife, was Voivode of Wallachia from 1508 to 1509, having replaced his first cousin Radu cel Mare. During his reign, he ruled alongside his son Mircea III Dracul in the year 1509...

 (1508–1510) and replaced him with Vlăduţ; after the latter proved to be hostile to the bans, the House of Basarab formally ended with the rise of Neagoe Basarab
Neagoe Basarab
Neagoe Basarab was the Voivode of Wallachia between 1512 and 1521. Born into the boyar family of the Craioveşti as the son of Pârvu Craiovescu or Basarab Ţepeluş cel Tânăr, Neagoe Basarab, who replaced Vlad cel Tânăr after the latter rejected Craioveşti tutelage, was noted for his abilities and...

, a Craioveşti. Neagoe's peaceful rule (1512–1521), noted for its cultural aspects (the building of the Curtea de Argeş Cathedral
Curtea de Arges Cathedral
The Cathedral of Curtea de Argeș is a church in Curtea de Argeș, Romania, located in the grounds of a monastery. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas....

 and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 influences), also saw an increase in influence for the Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 merchants in Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

 and Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

, and Wallachia's alliance with Louis II of Hungary
Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
Louis II was King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1516 to 1526.- Early life :Louis was the son of Ladislaus II Jagiellon and his third wife, Anne de Foix....

. Under Teodosie, the country was again under a four-month-long Ottoman occupation, a military administration which seemed to be an attempt to create a Wallachian Pashaluk
Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire
The subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire were administrative divisions of the state organisation of the Ottoman Empire. Outside this system were various types of vassal and tributary states....

. This danger rallied all boyars in support of Radu de la Afumaţi (four rules between 1522 and 1529), who lost the battle after an agreement between the Craioveşti and Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent; Prince Radu eventually confirmed Süleyman's position as suzerain, and agreed to pay an even higher tribute.

Ottoman suzerainty remained virtually unchallenged throughout the following 90 years. Radu Paisie
Radu Paisie
Radu Paisie also known as Petru de la Argeş was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia in the 16th century. He reigned from September 1534 to November 1534, and again from June 1535 to March 1545....

, who was deposed by Süleyman in 1545, ceded the port of Brăila
Braila
Brăila is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County, in the close vicinity of Galaţi.According to the 2002 Romanian census there were 216,292 people living within the city of Brăila, making it the 10th most populous city in Romania.-History:A...

 to Ottoman administration in the same year; his successor Mircea Ciobanul
Mircea Ciobanul
Mircea the Shepherd was the Prince of Wallachia three times: January 1545 –16 November 1552; May 1553–28 February 1554 ; and January 1558–21 September 1559.-Biography:He was the fifth son of Radu cel Mare...

 (1545–1554; 1558–1559), a prince without any claim to noble heritage, was imposed on the throne and consequently agreed to a decrease in autonomy (increasing tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

es and carrying out an armed intervention in Transylvania—supporting the pro-Turkish John Zápolya). Conflicts between boyar families became stringent after the rule of Pătraşcu cel Bun
Pătraşcu cel Bun
Pătraşcu cel Bun was the Prince of Wallachia . He was the son of Radu Paisie and the father of Michael the Brave; he was a member of the House of Drăculeşti...

, and boyar ascendancy over rulers was obvious under Petru the Younger (1559–1568; a reign dominated by Doamna Chiajna
Chiajna
Chiajna is a commune in the south-west of Ilfov County, Romania, immediately west of the capital, Bucharest. It is composed of three villages: Chiajna, Dudu and Roşu.-Etymology:Chiajna is a Romanian female name, being a feminine version of "cneaz" ....

 and marked by huge increases in taxes), Mihnea Turcitul
Mihnea Turcitul
Mihnea II Turcitul was Prince of Walachia between September 1577 and July 1583, and again from April 1585 to May 1591....

, and Petru Cercel
Petru Cercel
Petru II Cercel was a Voivode of Wallachia from 1583 to 1585, bastard son to Pătraşcu cel Bun and alleged half-brother of Mihai Viteazul. A polyglot and a minor figure as a poet, Petru is noted for having written his verses in Tuscan...

.

The Ottoman Empire increasingly relied on Wallachia and Moldavia for the supply and maintenance of its military forces
Military of the Ottoman Empire
The history of military of the Ottoman Empire can be divided in five main periods. The foundation era covers the years between 1300 and 1453 , the classical period covers the years between 1451 and 1606 , the reformation period covers the years between 1606 and 1826 ,...

; the local army, however, soon disappeared due to the increased costs and the much more obvious efficiency of mercenary
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 troops.

17th century

Initially profiting from Ottoman support, Michael the Brave ascended to the throne in 1593, and attacked the troops of Murad III
Murad III
Murad III was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 until his death.-Biography:...

 north and south of the Danube in an alliance with Transylvania's Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory was Prince of Transylvania.-Biography:Hailing from the Báthory family's Somlyó branch, he was the son of Christopher Báthory, Voivod of Transylvania, and nephew of Stephen Báthory, King of Poland...

 and Moldavia's Aron Vodă (see Battle of Călugăreni
Battle of Calugareni
The Battle of Călugăreni was one of the most important battles in the history of medieval Romania. It took place on 23 August 1595 between the Wallachian army led by Michael the Brave and the Ottoman army led by Sinan Pasha...

). He soon placed himself under the suzerainty of Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

, the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

, and, in 1599–1600, intervened in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 against Poland
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

's king Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, a monarch of the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599...

, placing the region under his authority; his brief rule also extended to Moldavia
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...

 later in the following year. For a brief period, Michael the Brave unified all the territories where Romanians lived, rebuilding the mainland of the ancient Kingdom of Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

. Following Michael's downfall, Wallachia was occupied by the Polish-Moldavian army of Simion Movilă
Simion Movila
Simion Movilă, a boyar of the Movileşti family, was twice Prince of Wallachia and Prince of Moldavia on one occasion ....

 (see Moldavian Magnate Wars
Moldavian Magnate Wars
The Moldavian Magnate Wars refer to the period at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century when the magnates of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth intervened in the affairs of Moldavia, clashing with the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire for domination and influence over the...

), who held the region until 1602, and was subject to Nogai
Nogais
The Nogai people are a Turkic ethnic group in Southern Russia: northern Dagestan and Stavropol Krai, as well as in Karachay-Cherkessia and the Astrakhan Oblast; undefined number live in Chechnya...

 attacks in the same year.

The last stage in the Growth of the Ottoman Empire
Growth of the Ottoman Empire
The Growth of the Ottoman Empire is the period followed after the Rise of the Ottoman Empire in which the Ottoman state reached the Pax Ottomana. In this period, the Ottoman Empire expanded southwestwards into North Africa and battled with the re-emergent Persian Shi'ia Safavid Empire to the east...

 brought increased pressures on Wallachia: political control was accompanied by Ottoman economical hegemony, the discarding of the capital in Târgovişte
Târgoviste
Târgoviște is a city in the Dâmbovița county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. , it had an estimated population of 89,000. One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.-Name:...

 in favour of Bucharest
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....

 (closer to the Ottoman border, and a rapidly-growing trade center), the establishment of serfdom
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 under Michael the Brave as a measure to increase manorial
Manorialism
Manorialism, an essential element of feudal society, was the organizing principle of rural economy that originated in the villa system of the Late Roman Empire, was widely practiced in medieval western and parts of central Europe, and was slowly replaced by the advent of a money-based market...

 revenues, and the decrease in importance of low-ranking boyars (threatened with extinction, they took part in the seimeni
Seimeni
Seimeni designates the group of flintlock-armed infantry mercenaries charged with guarding the hospodar and his Court in 17th and 18th century Wallachia and Moldavia. They were mostly of Serb and other Balkan origin....

rebellion of 1655). Furthermore, the growing importance of appointment to high office in front of land ownership brought about an influx of Greek
Greeks in Romania
There has been a Greek presence in Romania for at least 27 centuries. At times, as during the Phanariote era, this presence has amounted to hegemony; at other times , the Greeks have simply been one among the many ethnic minorities in Romania.-Ancient and Medieval Period:The Greek presence in what...

 and Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

ine families, a process already resented by locals during the rules of Radu Mihnea
Radu Mihnea
Radu Mihnea was Voivode of Wallachia between September 1601 and March 1602, and again between March and May 1611, September 1611 and August 1616, August 1620 and August 1623, and Voivode of Moldavia in 1616-1619, 1623-1626...

 in the early 17th century. 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...

, a boyar appointee, brought a long period of relative peace (1632–1654), with the noted exception of the 1653 Battle of Finta
Battle of Finta
The Battle of Finta was a confrontation between Matei Basarab's Wallachian army and a combined Moldo-Cossack force under Vasile Lupu and Tymofiy Khmelnytsky...

, fought between Wallachians and the troops of Moldavian prince Vasile Lupu
Vasile Lupu
Vasile Lupu was a Moldavian Voivode between 1634 and 1653. Vasile Coci surnamed "the wolf" who ruled as Prince of Moldavia had secured the Moldavian throne in 1634 after a series of complicated intrigues and managed to hold it for twenty years. Vasile was of Albanian origin and Greek education...

—ending in disaster for the latter, who was replaced with Prince Matei's favourite, Gheorghe Ştefan
Gheorghe Stefan
Gheorghe Ştefan was Voivode of Moldavia between April 13 and May 8, 1653, and again from July 16, 1653 to March 13, 1658; he was the son of boyar Dumitraşcu Ceaur; Gheorghe Ştefan was Chancellor during the reign of Vasile Lupu.-Biography:Citing Vasile's reliance on his Greek and Levantine retinue,...

, on the throne in Iaşi
Iasi
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...

. A close alliance between Gheorghe Ştefan and Matei's successor Constantin Şerban
Constantin Serban
Constantin Şerban was Prince of Wallachia between 1654 and 1658, illegitimate son to Radu Şerban .-Reign:...

 was maintained by Transylvania's George II Rákóczi
George II Rákóczi
György Rákóczi II , a Transylvanian Hungarian ruler, was the eldest son of George I and Susanna Lorantffy....

, but their designs for independence from Ottoman rule were crushed by the troops of Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV Modern Turkish Mehmet was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1648 to 1687...

 in 1658–1659. The reigns of Gheorghe Ghica
Gheorghe Ghica
George Ghica March 3, 1600 – November 2, 1664), founder of the Ghica family, was Prince of Moldavia in 1658-1659 and Prince of Wallachia in 1659–1660....

 and Grigore I Ghica
Grigore I Ghica
Grigore I Ghica, a member of the Ghica family, was Prince of Wallachia between September 1660 and December 1664 and again between March 1672 and November 1674....

, the sultan's favourites, signified attempts to prevent such incidents; however, they were also the onset of a violent clash between the Băleanu and Cantacuzino
Cantacuzino family
The Cantacuzino or Cantacuzène family is an old boyar family of Wallachia and Moldavia, a branch of Greek Kantakouzinos family, allegedly descended from the Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus. No definite genealogical links between Byzantine Greek and Romanian Cantacuzinos have been established...

 boyar families, which was to mark Wallachia's history until the 1680s. The Cantacuzinos, threatened by the alliance between the Băleanus and the Ghicas
Ghica family
The Ghica family were a Romanian noble family, active in Wallachia, Moldavia and in the Kingdom of Romania. In the 18th century, several branches of the family went through a process of Hellenization...

, backed their own choice of princes (Antonie Vodă din Popeşti
Antonie Voda din Popesti
Antonie din Popeşti was ruler of Wallachia from March 1669 to 1672.Antonie din Popeşti, a member of a boyar family, came to power with the assistance of the Cantacuzino family, who had supported Radu Leon, the previous ruler, until he turned against them in late 1668...

 and George Ducas
George Ducas
Voivode George Ducas was three times Prince of Moldavia and one time Prince of Wallachia .He was married to Anastasia, the daughter of Eustratie Dabija, and later to Dafina Doamna; George Ducas...

) before promoting themselves—with the ascension of Şerban Cantacuzino
Serban Cantacuzino
Șerban Cantacuzino was a Prince of Wallachia between 1678 and 1688.He took part in the Ottoman campaign ending in their defeat at the Battle of Vienna...

 (1678–1688).

Russo-Turkish Wars and the Phanariotes

Wallachia became a target for Habsburg
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 incursions during the last stages of the Great Turkish War
Great Turkish War
The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.-1667–1683:...

 ca.1690, when the ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu was Prince of Wallachia between 1688 and 1714.-Ascension:A descendant of the Craioveşti boyar family and related to Matei Basarab, Brâncoveanu was born at the estate of Brâncoveni and raised in the house of his uncle, stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino...

 secretly and unsuccessfully negotatied an anti-Ottoman coalition. Brâncoveanu's reign (1688–1714), noted for its late Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 cultural achievements (see Brâncovenesc style
Brâncovenesc style
Is a type of architecture developed in Wallachia during the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu in the 17th and 18th century.Examples of buildings with this style:*Horezu Monastery*Văcăreşti Monastery**Brâncoveanu Monastery*Surpatele Monastery...

), also coincided with the rise of Imperial Russia under Tsar Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

—he was approached by the latter during the Russo-Turkish War of 1710–1711
Russo-Turkish War, 1710-1711
The war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire erupted after the Russians had defeated Sweden in the Battle of Poltava. With help from the Austrian and French diplomats, the wounded Charles XII of Sweden escaped from the battlefield to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III, whom he persuaded to...

, and lost his throne and life sometime after sultan Ahmed III
Ahmed III
Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV . His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja...

 caught news of the negotiations. Despite his denounciation of Brâncoveanu's policies, Ştefan Cantacuzino
Stefan Cantacuzino
Ştefan Cantacuzino , was a Prince of Wallachia between April 1714 and January 21, 1716, the son of stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino.-Life:Ştefan was involved in his father's intrigue against Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, denouncing him to the Ottoman Empire , and surrendering Brâncoveanu's secret...

 attached himself to Habsburg projects and opened the country to the armies of Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy , was one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris to aristocratic Italian parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV...

; he was himself deposed and executed in 1716.

Immediately following the deposition of Prince Ştefan, the Ottomans renounced the purely nominal elective
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

 system (which had by then already witnessed the decrease in importance of the Boyar Divan over the sultan's decision), and princes of the two 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...

 were appointed from the Phanariotes
Phanariotes
Phanariots, Phanariotes, or Phanariote Greeks were members of those prominent Greek families residing in Phanar , the chief Greek quarter of Constantinople, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is situated.For all their cosmopolitanism and often Western education, the Phanariots were...

 of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. Inaugurated by Nicholas Mavrocordatos
Nicholas Mavrocordatos
Nicholas Mavrocordatos was a Greek member of the Mavrocordatos family, Grand Dragoman to the Divan , and consequently the first Phanariote Hospodar of the Danubian Principalities - Prince of Moldavia, and Prince of Wallachia...

 in Moldavia after Dimitrie Cantemir
Dimitrie Cantemir
Dimitrie Cantemir was twice Prince of Moldavia . He was also a prolific man of letters – philosopher, historian, composer, musicologist, linguist, ethnographer, and geographer....

, Phanariote rule was brought to Wallachia in 1715 by the very same ruler. The tense relations between boyars and princes brought a decrease in the number of taxed people (as a privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

 gained by the former), a subsequent increase in total taxes, and the enlarged powers of a boyar circle in the Divan.

In parallel, Wallachia became the battleground in a succession of wars between the Ottomans on one side and Russia or the Habsburg Monarchy on the other. Mavrocordatos himself was deposed by a boyar rebellion, and arrested by Habsburg troops during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18
Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18
The Austro-Turkish War was fought between Austria and the Ottoman Empire.The Treaty of Karlowitz was not an acceptable long-standing agreement for the Ottoman Empire...

, as the Ottomans had to concede Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

 to Charles VI of Austria
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles VI was the penultimate Habsburg sovereign of the Habsburg Empire. He succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia , Hungary and Croatia , Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711...

 (the Treaty of Passarowitz
Treaty of Passarowitz
The Treaty of Passarowitz or Treaty of Požarevac was the peace treaty signed in Požarevac , a town in Ottoman Empire , on 21 July 1718 between the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria and the Republic of Venice on the other.During the years 1714-1718, the Ottomans had...

). The region, subject to an enlightened absolutist
Enlightened absolutism
Enlightened absolutism is a form of absolute monarchy or despotism in which rulers were influenced by the Enlightenment. Enlightened monarchs embraced the principles of the Enlightenment, especially its emphasis upon rationality, and applied them to their territories...

 rule that soon disenchanted local boyars, was returned to Wallachia in 1739 (the Treaty of Belgrade
Treaty of Belgrade
The Treaty of Belgrade was the peace treaty signed on September 18, 1739 in Belgrade, Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia , by the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy on the other....

, upon the close of the Austro-Turkish War of 1737-39). Prince Constantine Mavrocordatos
Constantine Mavrocordatos
Constantine Mavrocordatos was a Greek noble who served as Prince of Wallachia and Prince of Moldavia at several intervals...

, who oversaw the new change in borders, was also responsible for the effective abolition of serfdom
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 in 1746 (which put a stop to the exodus of peasants into Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

); during this period, the ban
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

 of Oltenia moved his residence from Craiova
Craiova
Craiova , Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is situated near the east bank of the river Jiu in central Oltenia. It is a longstanding political center, and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians and the River Danube . Craiova is the chief...

 to Bucharest
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....

, signalling, alongside Mavrocordatos' order to merge his personal treasury
Treasury
A treasury is either*A government department related to finance and taxation.*A place where currency or precious items is/are kept....

 with that of the country, a move towards centralism
Centralized government
A centralized or centralised government is one in which power or legal authority is exerted or coordinated by a de facto political executive to which federal states, local authorities, and smaller units are considered subject...

.

In 1768, during the Fifth Russo-Turkish War
Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774
The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was a decisive conflict that brought Southern Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, and Crimea within the orbit of the Russian Empire.-Background:...

, Wallachia was placed under its first Russian occupation (helped along by the rebellion of Pârvu Cantacuzino
Pârvu Cantacuzino
Pârvu or Pîrvu Cantacuzino was a high-ranking Wallachian boyar, ban of Oltenia, and anti-Ottoman rebellion leader who also briefly served as an officer in Russia's Imperial Army during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774...

). The Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca
Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca
The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca was signed on 21 July 1774, in Küçük Kaynarca , Dobruja between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in the...

 (1774) allowed Russia to intervene in favour of Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Ottoman subjects, curtailing Ottoman pressures—including the decrease in sums owed as tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

—and, in time, relatively increasing internal stability while opening Wallachia to more Russian interventions.

Habsburg troops, under Prince Josias of Coburg
Prince Josias of Coburg
Prince Frederick Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was a general in the Austrian service.-Biography:...

, again entered the country during the Russo-Turkish-Austrian War, deposing Nicholas Mavrogenis in 1789. A period of crisis followed the Ottoman recovery: Oltenia was devastated by the expeditions of Osman Pazvantoğlu
Osman Pazvantoglu
Osman Pazvantoğlu was a Bosnian Ottoman soldier, a governor of the Vidin district after 1794, and a rebel against Ottoman rule...

, a powerful rebellious pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

 whose raids even caused prince Constantine Hangerli
Constantine Hangerli
Constantine or Constantin Hangerli was a Prince of Wallachia between 1797 and the time of his death. He was the brother of Alexander Hangerli, who served as Prince of Moldavia in 1807....

 to lose his life on suspicion of treason (1799), and Alexander Mourousis
Alexander Mourousis
Alexander Mourousis was a Great Dragoman of the Ottoman Empire who served as Prince of Moldavia and Prince of Wallachia. Open to Enlightenment ideas, and noted for his interest in hydrological engineering, Mourousis was forced to deal with the intrusions of Osman Pazvantoğlu's rebellious troops...

 to renounce his throne (1801). In 1806, the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–1812
Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812
The Russo-Turkish War was one of many wars fought between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire.- Background :The war broke out in 1805–1806 against the background of the Napoleonic Wars...

 was partly instigated by the Porte's deposition of Constantine Ypsilantis
Constantine Ypsilantis
Constantine Ypsilantis , was the son of Alexander Ypsilanti, a key member of an important Phanariote family, Grand dragoman of the Porte , hospodar of Moldavia and Walachia , and a Prince through marriage to the daughter of Alexandru Callimachi.-The Liberation of Greece from the Ottoman...

 in Bucharest—in tune with the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, it was instigated by the French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

, and also showed the impact of the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca (with its permissive attitude towards Russian political influence in 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...

); the war brought the invasion of Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich
Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich
Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich , spelled Miloradovitch in contemporary English sources was a Russian general prominent during the Napoleonic Wars. He entered military service on the eve of the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–1790 and his career advanced rapidly during the reign of Paul I...

.

After the Peace of Bucharest
Treaty of Bucharest, 1812
The Treaty of Bucharest between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, was signed on 28 May 1812, in Bucharest, at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812....

, the rule of Jean Georges Caradja, although remembered for a major plague epidemic, was notable for its cultural and industrial ventures. During the period, Wallachia increased its strategic importance for most European states interested in supervising Russian expansion; consulates
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 were opened in Bucharest, having an indirect but major impact on Wallachian economy through the protection they extended to sudiţi
Suditi
For the commune in Ialomiţa County, see Sudiţi, Ialomiţa. For the villages in Buzău County, see Gherăseni and Poşta Câlnău.The Sudiţi were inhabitants of the Danubian Principalities who, for the latter stage of the 18th and a large part of the 19th century...

traders (who soon competed successfully against local guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s).

Early 19th century

The death of prince Alexander Soutzos in 1821, coinciding with the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, established a boyar regency
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 which attempted to block the arrival of Scarlat Callimachi
Scarlat Callimachi (hospodar)
Scarlat Callimachi was Grand Dragoman of the Sublime Porte 1801–1806, Prince of Moldavia between August 24 1806 – October 26 1806, August 4 1807 – June 13 1810, September 17 1812 – June 1819 and Prince of Wallachia between February 1821 – June 1821.A member of the Callimachi family, he was the son...

 to his throne in Bucharest. The parallel uprising in Oltenia
Wallachian uprising of 1821
The Wallachian uprising of 1821 was an uprising in Wallachia against Ottoman rule which took place during 1821.-Background:...

, carried out by the Pandur
Pandurs
The Pandurs were Croatian Austrian frontier soldiers, who inhabited the areas of the Kingdom of Croatia and Military Frontier, and fought not only in the East-Turkish front, but also in the West-European front. They were a non-linear army, made out mainly of Croats...

 leader Tudor Vladimirescu
Tudor Vladimirescu
Tudor Vladimirescu was a Wallachian Romanian revolutionary hero, the leader of the Wallachian uprising of 1821 and of the Pandur militia. He is also known as Tudor din Vladimiri or — occasionally — as Domnul Tudor .-Background:Tudor was born in Vladimiri, Gorj County in a family of landed peasants...

, although aimed at overthrowing the ascendancy of Greeks
Greeks in Romania
There has been a Greek presence in Romania for at least 27 centuries. At times, as during the Phanariote era, this presence has amounted to hegemony; at other times , the Greeks have simply been one among the many ethnic minorities in Romania.-Ancient and Medieval Period:The Greek presence in what...

, compromised with the Greek revolutionaries in the Filiki Eteria
Filiki Eteria
thumb|right|200px|The flag of the Filiki Eteria.Filiki Eteria or Society of Friends was a secret 19th century organization, whose purpose was to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece and to establish an independent Greek state. Society members were mainly young Phanariot Greeks from Russia and local...

 and allied itself with the regents, while seeking Russian support (see also: Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
The rise of the Western notion of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire eventually caused the break-down of the Ottoman millet concept...

).

On March 21, 1821, Vladimirescu entered Bucharest. For the following weeks, relations between him and his allies worsened, especially after he sought an agreement with the Ottomans; Eteria's leader Alexander Ypsilantis
Alexander Ypsilantis (1792-1828)
Alexander Ypsilantis, Ypsilanti, or Alexandros Ypsilantis was a member of a prominent Phanariot Greek family, a prince of the Danubian Principalities, a senior officer of the Imperial Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars, and a leader of the Filiki Eteria, a secret organization that...

, who had established himself in Moldavia and, after May, in northern Wallachia, viewed the alliance as broken—he had Vladimirescu executed, and faced the Ottoman intervention without Pandur or Russian backing, suffering major defeats in Bucharest and Drăgăşani
Dragasani
Drăgăşani is a city in Vâlcea County, Romania, near the right bank of the Olt river, and on the railway between Caracal and Râmnicu Vâlcea. The city is well known for the vineyards on the neighboring hills that produce some of the best Wallachian wines....

 (before retreating to Austrian
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 custody in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

). These violent events, which had seen the majority of Phanariotes siding with Ypsilantis, made Sultan
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

 Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 place the Principalities under its occupation (evicted by a request of several European powers), and sanction the end of Phanariote rules: in Wallachia, the first prince to be considered a local one after 1715 was Grigore IV Ghica
Grigore IV Ghica
Grigore IV Ghica or Grigore Dimitrie Ghica was Prince of Wallachia between 1822 and 1828. A member of the Ghica family, Grigore IV was the brother of Alexandru Ghica and the uncle of Dora d'Istria....

. Although the new system was confirmed for the rest of Wallachia's existence as a state, Ghica's rule was abruptly ended by the devastating Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829
Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829
The Russo–Turkish War of 1828–1829 was sparked by the Greek War of Independence. The war broke out after the Sultan, incensed by the Russian participation in the Battle of Navarino, closed the Dardanelles for Russian ships and revoked the Akkerman Convention....

.
The 1829 Treaty of Adrianople
Treaty of Adrianople
The Peace Treaty of Adrianople concluded the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829 between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. It was signed on September 14, 1829 in Adrianople by Russia's Count Alexey Fyodorovich Orlov and by Turkey's Abdul Kadyr-bey...

, without overturning Ottoman suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

, placed Wallachia and Moldavia under Russian military rule, awarding them the first common institutions and the semblance of a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 (see Regulamentul Organic
Regulamentul Organic
Regulamentul Organic was a quasi-constitutional organic law enforced in 1834–1835 by the Imperial Russian authorities in Moldavia and Wallachia...

). Wallachia was returned ownership of Brăila
Braila
Brăila is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County, in the close vicinity of Galaţi.According to the 2002 Romanian census there were 216,292 people living within the city of Brăila, making it the 10th most populous city in Romania.-History:A...

, Giurgiu
Giurgiu
Giurgiu is the capital city of Giurgiu County, Romania, in the Greater Wallachia. It is situated amid mud-flats and marshes on the left bank of the Danube facing the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the opposite bank. Three small islands face the city, and a larger one shelters its port, Smarda...

 (both of which soon developed into major trading cities on the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

), and Turnu Măgurele
Turnu Magurele
Turnu Măgurele is a city in Teleorman County, Romania . Developed nearby the site once occupied by the medieval port of Turnu, it is situated north-east of the confluence between the Olt River and the Danube....

. The treaty also allowed Moldavia and Wallachia to freely trade with countries other than the Ottoman Empire, which signalled substantial economic and urban growth, as well as improving the peasant situation. Many of the provisions had been specified by the 1826 Akkerman Convention
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is a city situated on the right bank of the Dniester Liman in the Odessa Oblast of southwestern Ukraine, in the historical region of Bessarabia...

 between Russia and the Ottomans (it had never been fully implemented in the three-year interval). The duty of overseeing of the Principalities was left to Russian general Pavel Kiselyov
Pavel Kiselyov
Count Pavel Dmitrievich Kiselyov or Kiseleff is generally regarded as the most brilliant Russian reformer during Nicholas I's generally conservative reign.- Early military career :...

; this interval was marked by a series of major changes, including the reestablishment of a Wallachian Army (1831), a tax reform
Tax reform
Tax reform is the process of changing the way taxes are collected or managed by the government.Tax reformers have different goals. Some seek to reduce the level of taxation of all people by the government. Some seek to make the tax system more progressive or less progressive. Some seek to simplify...

 (which nonetheless confirmed tax exemption
Tax exemption
Various tax systems grant a tax exemption to certain organizations, persons, income, property or other items taxable under the system. Tax exemption may also refer to a personal allowance or specific monetary exemption which may be claimed by an individual to reduce taxable income under some...

s for the privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

d), as well as major urban works in Bucharest and other cities. In 1834, Wallachia's throne was occupied by Alexandru II Ghica
Alexandru II Ghica
Alexandru II or Alexandru D. Ghica , a member of the Ghica family, was Prince of Wallachia from April 1834 to 7 October 1842 and later caimacam from July 1856 to October 1858....

—a move in contradiction with the Adrianople treaty, as he had not been elected by the new Legislative Assembly; removed by the suzerains in 1842, he was replaced with an elected prince, Gheorghe Bibescu
Gheorghe Bibescu
Gheorghe Bibescu was a hospodar of Wallachia between 1843 and 1848. His rule coincided with the revolutionary tide that culminated in the 1848 Wallachian revolution.-Early political career:...

.

1840s–1850s

Opposition to Ghica's arbitrary and highly conservative
Conservatism
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...

 rule, together with the rise of liberal and radical
Radicalism (historical)
The term Radical was used during the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement. It later became a general pejorative term for those favoring or seeking political reforms which include dramatic changes to the social order...

 currents, was first felt with the protests voiced by Ion Câmpineanu (quickly repressed); subsequently, it became increasingly conspiratorial
Conspiracy (political)
In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. Typically, the final goal is to gain power through a revolutionary coup d'état or through assassination....

, and centered on those secret societies
Secret society
A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their...

 created by young officers such as Nicolae Bălcescu
Nicolae Balcescu
Nicolae Bălcescu was a Romanian Wallachian soldier, historian, journalist, and leader of the 1848 Wallachian Revolution.-Early life:...

 and Mitică Filipescu.
Frăţia, a clandestine movement created in 1843, began planning a revolution to overthrow Bibescu and repeal Regulamentul Organic in 1848 (inspired by the European rebellions of the same year
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

). Their pan-Wallachian coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

was initially successful only near Turnu Măgurele
Turnu Magurele
Turnu Măgurele is a city in Teleorman County, Romania . Developed nearby the site once occupied by the medieval port of Turnu, it is situated north-east of the confluence between the Olt River and the Danube....

, where crowds cheered the Islaz Proclamation (June 21); among others, the document called for political freedoms
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

, independence, 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,...

, and the creation of a national guard. On June 11–12, the movement was successful in deposing Bibescu and establishing a Provisional Government. Although sympathetic to the anti-Russian goals of the revolution, the Ottomans were pressured by Russia into repressing it: Ottoman troops entered Bucharest on September 13. Russian and Turkish troops, present until 1851, brought Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei
Barbu Dimitrie Stirbei
Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei , a member of the Bibescu boyar family, was a Prince of Wallachia on two occasions, in 1848–1853 and in 1854–1856.-Early life:...

 to the throne, during which interval most participants in the revolution were sent into exile.

Briefly under renewed Russian occupation during the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

, Wallachia and Moldavia were given a new status with a neutral Austrian
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 administration (1854–1856) and 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...

: a tutelage shared by Ottomans and a Congress of Great Power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

s (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, the Second French Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, and, albeit never again fully, Russia), with a kaymakam
Kaymakam
Qaim Maqam or Qaimaqam or Kaymakam is the title used for the governor of a provincial district in the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and in Lebanon; additionally, it was a title used for roughly the same official position in the Ottoman...

-led internal administration. The emerging movement for a union of 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...

 (a demand first voiced in 1848, and a cause cemented by the return of revolutionary exiles) was advocated by the French and their Sardinian allies, supported by Russia and Prussia, but was rejected or suspicioned by all other overseers.

After an intense campaign, a formal union was ultimately granted: nevertheless, elections for the ad-hoc divans of 1859 profited from a legal ambiguity (the text of the final agreement specified two thrones, but did not prevent any single person from simultaneously taking part in and winning elections in both Bucharest and Iaşi
Iasi
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...

). 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:...

, who ran for the unionist Partida Naţională
Partida Nationala
The Partida Naţională was a liberal Romanian political party active between 1856 and 1859. It was a loose group which supported the union of the Danubian Principalities....

, won the elections in Moldavia on January 5; Wallachia, which was expected by the unionists to carry the same vote, returned a majority of anti-unionists to its divan.

Those elected changed their allegiance after a mass protest of Bucharest crowds, and Cuza was voted prince of Wallachia on February 5 (January 24 Old Style
Old Style and New Style dates
Old Style and New Style are used in English language historical studies either to indicate that the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January even though documents written at the time use a different start of year ; or to indicate that a date conforms to the Julian...

), consequently confirmed as Domnitor
Domnitor
Domnitor was the official title of the ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866....

of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia
United Principalities
The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, also known as the Romanian Principalities, was the official name of Romania following the 1859 election of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as prince or domnitor of both territories...

 (of Romania from 1862). Internationally recognized only for the duration of his reign, the union was irreversible after the ascension of 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 1866 (coinciding with the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

, it came at a time when Austria, the main opponent of the decision, was not in a position to intervene).

Slavery

Slavery
Slavery in Romania
Slavery existed on the territory of present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 13th–14th century, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves were of Roma ethnicity...

  was part of the social order
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 from before the founding of the Principality of Wallachia, until it was abolished
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves were of Roma
Roma minority in Romania
The Roma constitute one of the major minorities in Romania. According to the 2002 census, they number 535,140 people or 2.5% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians...

 (Gypsy) ethnicity. The very first document attesting the presence of Roma people in Wallachia dates back to 1385, and refers to the group as aţigani (from, athiganoi a Greek-language
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word for "heretics
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

", and the origin of the Romanian term ţigani, which is synonymous with "Gypsy").

The exact origins of slavery are not known. Slavery was a common practice in Europe
Slavery in medieval Europe
Slavery in early medieval Europe was relatively common. It was widespread at the end of antiquity. The etymology of the word slave comes from this period, the word sklabos meaning Slav. Slavery declined in the Middle Ages in most parts of Europe as serfdom slowly rose, but it never completely...

 at the time, and there is some debate over whether the Romani people came to Wallachia as free men or as slaves. In the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, they were slaves of the state and it seems the situation was the same in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 until their social organization was destroyed by the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 conquest, which would suggest that they came as slaves who had a change of 'ownership'. Historian Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder of the Democratic Nationalist Party , he served as a member of Parliament, President of the Deputies' Assembly and Senate, cabinet minister and briefly as Prime Minister...

 associated the Roma people's arrival with the 1241 Mongol invasion of Europe
Mongol invasion of Europe
The resumption of the Mongol invasion of Europe, during which the Mongols attacked medieval Rus' principalities and the powers of Poland and Hungary, was marked by the Mongol invasion of Rus starting in 21 December 1237...

 and considered their slavery as a vestige of that era, the Romanians taking the Roma from the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 as slaves and preserving their status. Other historians consider that they were enslaved while captured during the battles with the Tatars. The practice of enslaving prisoners may also have been taken from the Mongols. While it is possible that some Romani people were slaves or auxiliary troops of the Mongols or Tatars, the bulk of them came from south of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 at the end of the 14th century, some time after the foundation of Wallachia
Foundation of Wallachia
The foundation of Wallachia , that is the establishment of the first independent Romanian principality, was achieved at the beginning of the 14th century, through the unification of smaller political units that had existed between the Carpathian Mountains, and the Rivers Danube, Siret and...

. The arrival of the Roma made slavery a widespread practice.

Traditionally, Roma slaves were divided into three categories. The smallest was owned by the hospodars, and went by the Romanian-language
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 name of ţigani domneşti ("Gypsies belonging to the lord"). The two other categories comprised ţigani mănăstireşti ("Gypsies belonging to the monasteries"), who were the property of Romanian Orthodox
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 and Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

 monasteries, and ţigani boiereşti ("Gypsies belonging to the boyars"), who were enslaved by the category of landowners.

The abolition of slavery was carried out following a campaign by young revolutionaries who embraced the liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 ideas of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. The earliest law which freed a category of slaves was in March 1843, which transferred the control of the state slaves owned by the prison authority to the local authorities, leading to their sedentarizing and becoming peasants. During the Wallachian Revolution of 1848
Wallachian Revolution of 1848
The Wallachian Revolution of 1848 was a Romanian liberal and Romantic nationalist uprising in the Principality of Wallachia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the unsuccessful revolt in the Principality of Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by...

, the agenda of the Provisional Government included the emancipation (dezrobire) of the Roma as one of the main social demands. By the 1850s the movement gained support from almost the whole of Romanian society, and the law from February 1856 emancipated all slaves to the status of taxpayers (citizens).

Geography

With an area of approximately 77000 km² (29,729.9 sq mi), Wallachia is situated north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 (and of present-day Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

), east of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and south of the Southern Carpathians
Southern Carpathians
The Southern Carpathians or the Transylvanian Alps are a group of mountain ranges which divide central and southern Romania, on one side, and Serbia, on the other side. They cover part of the Carpathian Mountains that is located between the Prahova River in the east and the Timiș and Cerna Rivers...

, and is traditionally divided between Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

 in the east (as the political center, Muntenia is often understood as being synonymous with Wallachia), and Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

 (a former banat
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

) in the west. The division line between the two is the Olt River
Olt River
The Olt River is a river in Romania. It is the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. Its source is in the Hăşmaş Mountains of the eastern Carpathian Mountains, near the village Bălan. It flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Covasna, Braşov, Sibiu, Vâlcea and Olt...

.

Wallachia's traditional border with Moldavia
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...

 coincided with the Milcov River for most of its length. To the east, over the Danube north-south bend, Wallachia neighbours Dobruja
Dobruja
Dobruja is a historical region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast...

 (Northern Dobruja
Northern Dobruja
Northern Dobruja is the part of Dobruja within the borders of Romania. It lies between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, bordered in south by Bulgarian Southern Dobruja.-Geography:...

). Over the Carpathians, Wallachia shared a border with Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

; Wallachian princes have for long held possession of areas north of the line (Amlaş, Ciceu
Ciceu
Ciceu , or colloquially Csicsó, Hungarian pronunciation:) is a commune in Romania, located in Harghita County. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania...

, Făgăraş
Fagaras
Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Braşov County . Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language word for "partridge" . A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water...

, and Haţeg
Hateg
Hațeg is a town in Hunedoara County, Romania with a population of 12,507. Three villages are administered by the town: Nălațvad, Silvașu de Jos and Silvașu de Sus.Țara Hațegului is the region around Hațeg town...

), which are generally not considered part of Wallachia-proper.

The capital city changed over time, from Câmpulung
Câmpulung
Câmpulung , or Câmpulung Muscel, is a city in the Argeş County, Wallachia, Romania. It is situated among the outlying hills of the Transylvanian Alps, at the head of a long well-wooded glen traversed by the Râul Târgului, a tributary of the Argeş.Its pure air and fine scenery render Câmpulung a...

 to Curtea de Argeş
Curtea de Arges
Curtea de Argeș is a city in Romania on the right bank of the Argeş River, where it flows through a valley of the lower Carpathians , on the railway from Pitești to the Turnu Roşu Pass. It is part of Argeș County. The city administers one village, Noapteș...

, then to Târgovişte
Târgoviste
Târgoviște is a city in the Dâmbovița county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. , it had an estimated population of 89,000. One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.-Name:...

 and, after the late 17th century, to Bucharest
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....

.

Current population

According to the latest 2002 census
Demographics of Romania
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Romania, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

 data, the region has a total population of approximately 8,750,000 inhabitants, distributed among the ethnic groups as follows: Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 (97%), Roma
Roma minority in Romania
The Roma constitute one of the major minorities in Romania. According to the 2002 census, they number 535,140 people or 2.5% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians...

 (2.5%), others (0.5%).

Cities

The largest cities (as per last census) in the Wallachia region are:
  • Bucharest
    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....

     (1,926,334)
  • Craiova
    Craiova
    Craiova , Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is situated near the east bank of the river Jiu in central Oltenia. It is a longstanding political center, and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians and the River Danube . Craiova is the chief...

     (302,601)
  • Ploieşti
    Ploiesti
    Ploiești is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located north of Bucharest....

     (232,527)
  • Brăila
    Braila
    Brăila is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County, in the close vicinity of Galaţi.According to the 2002 Romanian census there were 216,292 people living within the city of Brăila, making it the 10th most populous city in Romania.-History:A...

     (216,292)
  • Piteşti
    Pitesti
    Pitești is a city in Romania, located on the Argeș River. The capital and largest city of Argeș County, it is an important commercial and industrial center, as well as the home of two universities. Pitești is situated on the A1 freeway connecting it directly to the national capital Bucharest,...

     (168,458)
  • Buzău
    Buzau
    The city of Buzău is the county seat of Buzău County, Romania, in the historical region of Wallachia. It lies near the right bank of the Buzău River, between the south-eastern curvature of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowlands of Bărăgan Plain.The city's name dates back to 376 AD when the name...

     (133,116)
  • Râmnicu Vâlcea
    Râmnicu Vâlcea
    Râmnicu Vâlcea is the capital city of Vâlcea County, Romania .-Geography and climate:Râmnicu Vâlcea is situated in the central-south area of Romania...

     (107,656)
  • Drobeta-Turnu Severin
    Drobeta-Turnu Severin
    Drobeta-Turnu Severin is a city in Mehedinţi County, Oltenia, Romania, on the left bank of the Danube, below the Iron Gates.The city administers three villages: Dudaşu Schelei, Gura Văii, and Schela Cladovei...

    (104,035)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK