Online Encyclopedia

RUMANIA, or ROUMANIA [Romdnia]

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 831 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
RUMANIA, or ROUMANIA [Romdnia], a kingdom of south-eastern Europe, situated to the north-east of the Balkan Peninsula,' and on the Black Sea. Pop. (1910, estimate) 6,85o,000; area, about 50,720 sq. m., or about 65oo sq. m. less than the combined areas of England and Wales. Rumania begins on the seaward side with a band of territory called the Dobrudja (q.v.); and broadens westward into the form of a blunted crescent, its northern horn being called Moldavia, its southern Walachia. Physical Features.—Along the inner edge of this crescent run the Carpathian Mountains, also called, towards their western extremity, the Transylvanian Mountains (q.v.) or Transylvanian Alps; and the frontier which marks off Rumania from Hungary is drawn along their crests. The eastern boundary is formed by the river Pruth (Prutu), between Moldavia and Russia; farther south by the Kilia mouth of the Danube (Dunarea), between the Dobrudja and Russia, and by the Black Sea. In the extreme south-east, an irregular line, traced from Ilanlac, to m. S. of Mangalia, on the coast, as far as the Danube at Silistria, 85 m. inland, separates the Dobrudja from Bulgaria. Otherwise, the Danube constitutes the whole southern frontier; its right bank being Bulgarian for 290 m., and Servian, in the extreme west, for 50 M. The Danube (q.v.) enters Rumania through the Verciorova or,Kazan 2 Pass. It here resembles a long lake, overshadowed by precipitous mountains, which vary from moo to 2000 ft. in height, and are covered by birches and pines. In this neighbourhood the channel contracts to about 116 yds. in width, with a depth of 30 fathoms. At the eastern end of the pass are the celebrated Iron Gates, a rapid so named by the Turks, not from the surrounding heights, which here descend gradually to the river, but from the number of submerged rocks in the waterway. As it flows eastward from the frontier, the Danube gains in breadth and volume. Islands are frequent; the banks recede and become lower until, after 5o in., they stand almost level with the water. Henceforward, for 290 m., the Rumanian shore is a desolate fen-country, varied only by a few hills, by cities, and by lagoons often 15 m. long. East of Bucharest, a chain of lagoons and partially drained marshes stretches inland for 45 M. At Silistria the river bends N.N.E. for no m. with the Dobrudja on its right, and a barren plain, called the Baragan Steppe, on its left. It here encloses two large swampy. islands, the upper being 57 in., the lower 43 M. long. Both have an average breadth of so m. Beyond Galatz, the river again turns eastward, branching out, near Tulcea, into three great waterways, which wind through a low-lying alluvial delta to the sea. The northern estuary is named the Kilia Mouth; the central, the Sulina; the southern, the St George's. Between Verciorova and the Sulina Mouth, the Danube traverses 540 M. Its current is rapid, and supplies the motive t In 1904, in a lecture read before the Rumanian Geographical Society, M. A. Sturdza showed that Rumania should not be included in the Balkan Peninsula, where it is placed by many writers and cartographers. This view was accepted by the Society, and a copy of the lecture was forwarded to all similar associations in Europe. See A. Sturdza, La Roumanie n'apparttient pas a la peninsula balkan'ique (Bucharest, 1904). 2 I.e. Cauldron. awc*r m.Ita m power for thousands of floating watermills, which lie moored in the shallows. It is fed by many tributaries, which rise in the Carpathians as mountain torrents, growing broad and sluggish as they flow south-eastward through the central Rumanian plain. In Walachia, it is joined by the Jiu (or Schyl) opposite Rahova; by the Olt (ancient Aluta) at Turnu Magurele; by the united streams of the Dimbovitza (Damboviia) and Argesh (Arge.f) at Oltenitza; by the Jalomitza (Ialomiia.) opposite Hirsova. The Olt pierces the Carpathians, by way of the Rothenthurm Pass, and forms the boundary of Little (i.e. western) Walachia, or Oltland. The Sereth (Sirelu or Seret.,) flows for about 340 M. from its Transylvanian source through Moldavia, and meets the Danube near Galatz, after receiving the Moldova, Bistritza (Bistrila), Trotosh (Trotocu), Milcovu, Putna, RSmnicd and Buzeu on the west; and the Berlad (B:Irladu) on the east. The Milcovu was the former boundary between Walachia and Moldavia. The Pruth rises on the northern limit of Moldavia, forms the eastern frontier for 330 m., and falls into the Danube to m. E. of Galatz. Its chief Rumanian tributaries are the Basheu (Ba.feu) and Jijia, rivers of the north. The Dobrudja (q.v.) or Dobrogea covers about 2900 sq. m. between the Black Sea and the lower reaches of the Danube. Its high crystalline rocks, covered with sedimentary formations, descend abruptly towards the delta, but more gradually towards the south, where the Bulgarian steppes encroach upon Rumanian soil. The few small rivers which drain the hills generally flow seaward, but those of the delta and steppes belong to the Danubian system. The coast is a low-lying region of sandhills, meres and marshes with one lagoon. 42 M. long, connected by a short stream with the St George Mouth. Its outlet on the sea is named the Portidje Mouth (Gura portilii) of the Danube. North of this, the lagoon is called Lake Razim; while its southern half, shut off by three long islands, is the Blue Lake (Sinoe Osero, in Bulgarian). Apart from the Dobrudja, the whole of Rumania is included in the northern basin of the lower Danube. It consists of a single inclined plane stretching upwards, with a north-westerly direction, from the left bank of the river to the summits of the Carpathians. It is divided into three zones—steppe, forest and alpine. The first begins beyond the mud-flats and reed-beds which line the water's edge, and is a vast monotonous lowland, sloping so gently as to seem almost level.. The surface is a yellow clay, with patches of brown or dark grey, outliers of the Russian " black earth. " Cereals, chiefly maize, with green crops and fields of gourds, alternate with fallow land overgrown by coarse grasses, weeds and stunted shrubs. Amongthe scanty trees, willows and poplars are commonest. The second zone extends over the foothills and lower ridges of the Carpathians. This region, called by Rumans " the district of vines, " is the most fertile portion of the country. In it grow most fruits and flowers which thrive in a temperate climate. Oaks, elms, firs, ashes and beeches are the principal forest trees. The third zone covers the higher mountains on their southern and eastern sides, whose violently contorted strata leave many transverse valleys, though usually inclining laterally towards the south-east. The birch and larch woods of this zone give way to pine forests as the altitude increases; and the pines to mosses, lichens and alpine plants, just below the jagged iron-grey peaks, many of which attain altitudes of 6000 to 8000 ft. Geology.—The axis of the Transylvanian Alps consists of sericite schists and other similar rocks; and these are followed on the south by Jurassic, Cretaceous and Early Tertiary beds. The Jurassic and Cretaceous beds are ordinary marine sediments, but from the Cenomanian to the Oligocene the deposits are of the peculiar facies known in the Alps and Carpathians as Flysch. Farther north, the Flysch forms practically the whole of the Rumanian flank of the Carpathians. Along the foot of the Carpathians lies a broad trough of Miocene salt-bearing beds, and in this trough the strata are sometimes horizontal and sometimes strongly folded. Outside the band of Miocene beds the Sarmatian, Pontian and Levantine series, often concealed by Quaternary deposits, cover the great part of the Danube plain. Even the Pontian beds are sometimes folded. In the Dobrudja crystalline rocks, presumably of ancient date, rise through the Tertiary and recent deposits and form the hills which lie between the Danube and the Black Sea.' Climate.—The Rumanian climate alternates between extreme cold in winter, when the thermometer may fall to–'2o° Fahrenheit and extreme heat in summer, when it may rise to too° in the shade. Autumn is the mildest season; spring lasts only for a few weeks. Spring at Bucharest has a mean temperature of 53°; summer, i See L. Teisseyre and L. Mrazec, Apergu giologique sur les formations saliferes et les gisements de sel en Roumanie, Moniteur des intirets petroliferes roumains (1902), pp. 3–51; S. Stefanescu, Etude sur les terrains tertiaires de Roumanie (1897) ; J. Bergeron, " Observations relatives a la structure de la haute vallee de la Jalomita (Roumanie) et des Carpathes roumaines, " Bull. Soc. Geol. France, ser. 4, vol. iv. (1904), pp. 54–77. 72.5°; autumn, 65°; winter, 27.5° For about 155 days in each year, Rumania suffers from the bitter north-east wind (trivets) which sweeps over south Russia; while a scorching west or south-west wind (austru) blows for about 126 days. Little snow falls in the plains, but among the mountains it may lie for five months. The frosts are severe, the Danube being often icebound for three months. The rainfall, which is heaviest in summer, averages about 15–20 in. Fauna.—In its fauna, Walachia has far more affinity to the lands lying south of the Danube than to Transylvania, although several species of Claudilia, once regarded as exclusively Transylvanian, are found south of the Carpathians. Moldavia and the Baragan Steppe resemble the Russian prairies in their variety of molluscs and the lower kinds of mammals. Over 40 species of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) have been observed in the Rumanian rivers. The lakes of the Dobrudja likewise abound in molluscs; parent forms, in many cases, of species which reappear, greatly modified, in the Black Sea. Insect life is somewhat less remarkable; but besides a distinctive genus of Orthoptera (Jaquetia Hospodar), there are several kinds of weevils (Curculionidae) said to be peculiar to Rumania. Birds are very numerous, including no fewer than 4 varieties of crows, 5 of warblers, 7 of woodpeckers, 8 of buntings, 4 of falcons, and 5 of eagles; while among the hosts of waterfowl which people the marshes of the Danube are 9 varieties of ducks, and 4 of rails. Roe-deer, foxes and wolves find shelter in the forests, where bears are not uncommon; and chamois frequent the loftiest and most inaccessible peaks. Minerals.—The mineral wealth of Rumania lies chiefly in the mountains. Petroleum, salt, lignite and brown coal are largely worked. Deposits of rock-salt, a valuable government monopoly, stretch from the department of Suceava in northern Moldavia to that of Gorjiu in Walachia, and are mined in the departments of Bacau, Prahova and Ramnicti Sarat. The presence of petroleum, indicated by many ancient workings in the shape of shallow hand-dug wells, can be traced continuously at the foot of the Transylvanian Alps, from Turnu Severin into Bukovina. Rumans claim for their product a higher percentage of pure oil than is found in the American, Galician and Caucasian wells; and, although American competition nearly destroyed this industry between 1873 and 1895, improved methods and legislation favouring the introduction of foreign capital enabled it to recover. At the beginning of the loth century the Rumanian petroleum deposits were among the most important in the world. The industry is carried on by private producers as well as by the state, the American Standard Oil Company being largely interested. The total output, coming chiefly from the departments of Bacau, Buzeu, Dimbovitza and Prahova, was 250,000 metric tons in 1900, 615,000 in 1905, and 1,300,000 in 1909. Associated with petroleum is ozokerite, converted by the peasantry into candles. Lignite is used as fuel on the railways. The chief anthracite beds, those in the Gorjiu department, are leased until 1975 to an English capitalist, who has the right to construct railways. Extensive coalfields exist in the Dobrudja, and the Dimbovitza, Mehedintzi, Muscel, Prahova and Valcea departments. Iron, copper, lead, mercury, cinnabar, cobalt, nickel, sulphur, arsenic and china clay also occur. Among the mountains, gold was perhaps worked under Trajan, who first appointed a Procurator Metallorum, or overseer of mines, for Dacia; certainly in the 14th century, when immigrant Saxon miners established a considerable trade with Ragusa, in Dalmatia. Under the Turks, gold-washing was carried on by gipsy slaves, but it has long been abandoned as unprofitable. Until 1896 building materials were chiefly imported; but, after that year, many quarries were opened to develop the native resources of limestone, sandstone, serpentine, red, yellow and green granite, and marbles of all colours, including the white marble from Dorna in Suceava, said by Rumans to rival that of Carrara in Italy. Clear amber is found beside the Buzeu and its affluents, with brown and grey clouded amber, and a blue fluorescent variety, of considerable value. Rumania has long been noted for its mineral springs. Ruins of a Roman bath exist near Curtea de Argesh. In the Valcea department, besides many other iodine, sulphur and mud baths, there are the state-supported spas of Calimanescil, Caciulata and Govora, situated among some of the finest Carpathian scenery. Most famous of all is Sinaia (q.v.), the summer residence of the Court; while important springs exist at Lake Sarat, near Braila; at Slanic, in the Prahova department, where flooded and abandoned salt-mines are fitted up as baths; at the Tekir Ghiol mere, near Constantza; and at Baltzatesti (Bal4atetii), in the Neamtzu (Neamfu) department, a favourite resort of invalids from many parts of eastern Europe. Agriculture.—That, in 1900, Rumania ranked third? after the United States and Russia, among the grain-growing countries of the world, is due partly to the fertile soil, whose chemical constituents are the same as in the " black earth " region of Russia, though even IThe relative Importance of Rumania was afterwards lessened by the development of wheat-culture in Canada, Argentina and elsewhere.richer in nitrates; partly also to the improved methods and appliances introduced in the last quarter of the 19th century. The frail wooden ploughs with a lance-headed share that only scratched the surface soil, were then superseded by iron ploughs; steam threshers replaced the oxen which trod out the corn, and modern implements were widely adopted. Vast harvests of wheat and maize ripen on the plains and lower hills. Apart from cereals, the principal crops are beans, potatoes, beetroot and tobacco. Among the wine-producing countries of Europe, Rumania stood fifth in 1900, despite the ravages of phylloxera, old-fashioned culture, lack of storage and other drawbacks. The red wines of Moldavia, especially the brand known as Piscul Cerbului, resemble Bordeaux. The best white wines came from Cotnar in the Jassy department, but here phylloxera ruined the vineyards. Golden Cotnar was akin to Tokay. To combat the phylloxera, the government ordered the destruction of all infected vines, distributed immune American stocks and established schools of viticulture. On the upland fruit farms, although apples, pears, medlars, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and melons thrive, the chief attention is given to damsons, from which is extracted a mild spirit (tsuica), highly esteemed throughout Rumania. This industry began to decline after 1860, but revived with the establishment of government schools of fruit-culture in many villages. Further instruction was given at various horticultural institutes in the towns, notably the Botanic Gardens and Institute of Bucharest, where the experiments in planting figs, almonds, hops and cotton yielded favourable results. Tobacco is largely cultivated, under state supervision. There are three breeds of Rumanian oxen, besides the peculiar black buffaloes, with horns lying almost flat along their necks. Cheap transit enables the Rumanian farmers to compete success-fully in the meat-markets of Austria, Germany and Holland. The southern Dobrudja and the Baragan Steppe, with the mountain pastures of Argeh, Buzeu, Dimbovitza, Muscel and Prahova, are occupied by large sheep-runs; 1200 farms were created in the Baragan by the Land Act of 1889. In winter the flocks are driven from the highlands to the plains. Cheeses of ewe's milk, packed in sheepskins or bark, are in great demand. Swine and pork are largely exported to Russia and Austria-Hungary. Besides the Moldavian and Servian breeds, thousands of so-called " swamp hogs " run wild among the marshes and on the islands of the Danube. Silkworm-rearing, once an important household industry, had been almost abandoned, when, in 1891, the government established mulberry nurseries, and distributed silkworms free of. charge. Silkworm-rearing is taught in the monasteries and agricultural schools, especially in the College of Agriculture and Sylviculture, at Ferestrlu, near Bucharest. Similar measures were adopted to check the decline of bee-keeping, and a model apiary was founded in 1890, under government control. Forests.—The forests of Rumania were long either neglected or exploited in the most reckless fashion. Large tracts of woodland were cleared near the railways, and the communal rights of grazing and gathering firewood destroyed the aftergrowths. Nevertheless, in 1910 there were 2,760,000 acres under forests, chiefly in the mountains of north-western Moldavia. More than 1,000,000 acres are state property. Under King Charles, an ardent forester, the wholesale destruction of timber was arrested, and new plantations met with success. Lumber is floated down the rivers of the Carpathian watershed to the Danube, and so exported to Turkey and Bulgaria; casks, shaped planks and petroleum drums go chiefly to Austria and Russia. Wood-carving is taught in many schools, and a special school of forestry exists at Branesci in the Ilfav department. Estates in private hands are liable to state control, under the Forests Act of 1886. Land Tenure.—The Rumanian system of land tenure dates from 1864, when most of the land was held in large estates, owned privately, or by the state or by monasteries. There was also a small class of peasant proprietors, called mocheneni in Walachia, risechi in Moldavia, living and working in family communities; but the great mass of the peasantry cultivated the lands of the large proprietors, giving a certain number of days' work to their manorial lord, in addition to a tithe of the raw produce. They received in return a plot of ground proportionate to the number of animals they owned, and had also rights of grazing and of collecting fuel in the forests. In 1864, under the government of Prince Cuza, a new law was promulgated, conferring on each peasant family freehold property in lots varying from 71 to 15 acres, according to the number of oxen that they owned. The man with no cattle received the minimum; the owner of 2 oxen got to acres, and the possessor of 4 received 121 to 15 acres. The price of the land, which was calculated on the basis of the value of the forced labour to which the landlord had been entitled, was about Li, 16s. per acre, paid to the landlord by the state as compensation, and subsequently recovered from the peasants in fifteen annual instalments. In the first distribution, which took place almost immediately after the law was passed, 280,000 families in Walachia and about 127,000 in Moldavia became freeholders, holding nearly 4 million acres or one-third of the cultivated area of the country. These peasant plots were all declared inalienable for thirty years. The law of emancipation, although passed with the best of motives, did not to any great extent benefit the peasantry. The limited size of their farms, and the necessity for buying wood and paying for pasturage, both of which were formerly free, prevented them from obtaining complete independence of the large proprietors, on whose estates they still had to work for payment in money or kind, while their improvidence soon got them into the hands of Jewish money-lenders, who, fortunately for the peasants, were by law unable to become proprietors of the soil. In 1866 and 1872 laws were passed for still further improving the position of these small proprietors; and in 1879 a measure was carried for allotting lands to 48,000 recently married couples, and for restoring to many peasant families lands which had been alienated. By the Land Act of 1889, the state domains, amounting to nearly one-third of the total area of Rumania (originally the property of the church and the convents, confiscated by Prince Cuza in 1866), were distributed among the peasantry. The land was divided into lots of 121, 25 and 371 acres. Peasants having no land might purchase the smaller lots on very easy terms. Those who already held less than 122 acres might purchase up to that amount. When a change of residence became necessary to enable the peasant to take up the new allotment, the state advanced £6 to each family to defray expenses. The price to be paid for the land differed in different districts, and was to be paid to the state in small annual instalments. If any land remained after satisfying the wants of the peasants, it was to be sold by public auction in lots of 50 to 621 acres. All lots in both cases were declared inalienable for thirty years. The sale of the larger lots gave rise to so many abuses that in 1896 a law was passed abolishing their further sale. As a result of these measures the majority of Rumans are peasant proprietors; but the smallness of the holdings renders scientific farming difficult except by co-operation, and many proprietors can only live by working for the owners of large estates. Thus, though the average value of agricultural land increased by 6o% between 1870 and 1900, the position of the peasantry is far from satisfactory, and the resultant discontent was the chief cause of the agrarian rising in 1907. Fisheries.—Among European freshwater fishing-grounds, the Danube is only surpassed by the Volga; the most valuable fish being sturgeon and sterlet, mostly netted in the St George mouth; carp, often weighing 50 lb; pike, perch, tench and eels. By an act of 1895, a close period was instituted, the lakes and rivers restocked, and the state fisheries, which are either farmed by private companies or directly administered, were set in order. The coarse-grained grey Rumanian caviare is forwarded to Berlin, and there blended with Russian caviare. Flounders and mullet are caught in the Black Sea, and there are oyster-beds in the delta and on the Dobrudja littoral. The principal markets for Rumanian fish are Turkey, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Fish of inferior quality is imported, chiefly from Russia. Manufactures and Commerce.—The native mines, fields and forests provide raw material for most of the few factories which exist. These include petroleum refineries, iron foundries, distilleries, flour mills, sugar refineries, sawmills, paper mills, chemical works, glass works, soap and candle works, &c. A law passed in 1887 pre =3ed that any one undertaking to found an industrial establishment with a capital of at least £2000, or employing at least 25 workmen (of whom two-thirds should be Rumanians), should be granted 12 acres of state land, exemption for a term of years from all direct taxes, freedom from customs dues for machinery and raw material imported, exemption from road taxes, reduction in cost of carriage of materials on the state railways, and preferential rights to the supply of manufactured articles to the state. The following table shows the value of Rumanian imports and exports for five years: Year. Imports. Exports. 1904 . ££2,455,000 £10,475,000 1905 . 13,510,000 18,284,000 1906 . 16,885,000 19,654,000 1907 17,220,000 22,157,000 1908 . 16,563,000 15,158,000 The principal imports are metals and machinery (£5,510,000 in 1908), textiles, silk, wool, hair and hides. Grain (££1,297,000 in 1908), petroleum (££,543,000) and timber (£1,059,000) are by far the most important exports, the remainder consisting of live-stock the animal products, fruit, vegetables and mineral waters. In 1908 the chief consumers of Rumanian goods were (in order) Belgium, Great Britain and Italy; the chief exporters to Rumania were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain and France. The wide fluctuations in Rumanian commerce are largely due to the dependence of the country on the grain harvest. Finance.—The state revenue is derived from customs; from public works and public land; from indirect taxes in the shape of stamp, inheritance, beer, spirit, petroleum and other duties; from direct taxes on land and buildings, with road-tolls, licences for the sale of alcohol and traders' registration fees; from the tobacco, salt, match, playing-card and cigarette-paper monopolies; and from the postal, telegraphic and telephonic services. The chief items of expenditure are interest on the national debt, and the cost of defence, public works and education. The following table shows the estimated revenue and expenditure for five years: Year. Revenue. Expenditure. 1906-7 £9,557,000 £9,509,000 1907-8 10,099,000 9,979,000 1908-9 16, 440,000 16,390,000 1909-10 17,427,000 17,146,000 1910-11 18,443,000 18,443,000 The great increase after 1907-8 is due to the inclusion of railway receipts and expenditure, with some other items not previously enumerated. In May 1905 the outstanding public debt, which amounted to about £54,000,000, mainly placed in Germany and bearing interest at an average rate of 5 %, was converted into a uniform 4% stock. Besides this reductions of interest, the state secured an extension of fourteen years in each of the various periods allotted for repayment of the component loans. But a considerable increase in the total debt was involved, because a bonus of Io2 % in new 4% stock, issued at par, was offered to induce bondholders to convert, while, to cover the bonus, an additional 4 % loan was riased at 90.70, amounting to £4,000,000, redeemable in 1945. At the beginning of the fiscal year 1909-10 (March 31st, O.S.) the total outstanding debt was £58,367,000, and the debt charges for the year were estimated at £3,518,080. Banks and Currency.—Apart from the General Bank of Rumania (capital £200,000), which is owned by a syndicate mainly of Germans, the largest credit establishments belong to the state. They include the National Bank (capital and reserves in 1910, £1,560,000), founded in 188o; the Agricultural Loan Bank, founded in 1894; the Rural and Urban Land Credit Institutes, which lend money on agricultural and building land respectively; the Cassa Rurala, which buys estates for resale in small lots; savings banks in all the principal towns; and the Deposit and Trust Fund, which takes charge of estates left vacant through intestacy, surplus departmental and communal funds, securities given by contractors for public works, &c. After the Crimean War, a bimetallic currency was adopted, with the leu (franc) of too bani (centimes) as the unit of value. But after 1878 the Russian silver rouble was rated so highly as to drive the native coins out of circulation; and in 1889 Rumania joined the Latin Monetary Union and adopted a• gold standard. Besides the silver pieces worth 1, I, 2 and 5 lei, gold coins of 5, 10 and 20 lei are used. Silver is legal tender only up to 50 lei. All taxes and customs dues must be paid in gold, and, owing to the small quantities issued from the Rumanian mint, foreign gold is current, especially French 20-franc pieces (equal at par to 20 lei), Turkish gold lire (22.70), Old Russian Imperials (20.60) and English sovereigns of (25.22). Besides bronze coins of less value than 1 lei's, nickel pieces worth 5, to and 20 bans were authorized by a law of 1900. The French decimal system is in use for weights and measures, together with Turkish standards. On the railways and in post offices the Gregorian calendar is employed; elsewhere the Julian remains in use. Chief Towns.—The chief towns, with their estimated population in 1910, are Bucharest, the capital (300,000) ; Jassy, the capital of Moldavia (8o,00o) ; Galatz (66,000), Braila (60,000), Ploesci (50,000), Craiova (46,000), Botoshani (34,000), Berlad (25,000), Focshani (25,000), Tulcea (20,000), Constantza (16,000), Giurgevo (15,000). Other towns which, like the foregoing, are described in separate articles are Alexandria, Babadag, Bacau, Buzeu, Calafat, Calarashi, Campulung, Caracal, Curtea de Argesh, Dorohoi, Dragashani, Falticeni, Hushi, Manalia, Neamtzu, Oltenitza, Piatra, Pitesci, Ramnicu Sarat, Ramnicu Valcea, Roman, Sinaia, Sulina, Tirgu Jiu, Tirgu Ocna, Tirgovishtea, Tecuci, Turnu Magurele, Turnu Severin and Vaslui. Communications.—Until the 19th century, traffic was carried on in Rumania chiefly by means of ox-wagons, over the roughest df roads. After 183o, however, many highways were opened, these being usually excellent among the mountains but deteriorating as they descend into the lowlands, where stone is dear. Highways are maintained by the state, department or commune, according to their size and importance. In 1869, the first Rumanian railway was opened, between Bucharest and Giurgevo, its port. Other lines followed rapidly; some built by private enterprise, others by the state, which by 1888 had bought the entire system. This centres in one main line, carried southwards from Suczawa in Bukovina through the whole length of Moldavia, and turning westwards through Walachia to meet the Hungarian frontier at Verciorova. Branch lines extend, on one side, up the lateral valleys of the Carpathians, and, on the other, to Jassy and the principal Danubian ports. A direct line connects Jassy with Galatz; another traverses the Dobrudja from Constantza to Cernavoda, where it crosses the Danube and proceeds north-west to join the main line. The double bridge of Cernavoda, with the viaducts leading to it, stretches for 122 m. across the river and surrounding marshes. Besides the junctions at Suczawa and Verciorova, the Rumania system meets the Hungarian through the Gyimes, Rothenthurm and Vulkan Passes; the Russian by lines from Jassy and Galatz to Kishinev in Bessarabia; the Bulgarian and Servian by means of numerous ferries. Rumania has no canals, and the canalization of its rivers is impeded by drought and floods. The Pruth and Sereth are navigable for a short distance by small sailing craft; the conservancy of the Danube (q.v.) is controlled by a European commission, which sits at Galatz. Besides river services, the state maintains lines of sea-going ships from Constantza to Constantinople and the Aegean Islands, and from Braila to Rotterdam. In 1908 the ports of Rumania were entered by 32,888 vessels of 9,269,000 tons, of which 30,504 of 6,529,000 tons belonged to the river (Danubian) trade. The merchant navy of Rumania comprised about 495 vessels of 145,000 tons, including 88 steamers. Population.—The population of Rumania numbered 5,912,520 in 1899, and about 6,850,000 in 191o. Fully 6,000,000 of these were Rumans or Vlachs (q.v.). The population of foreign descent comprises many Jews, Armenians, gipsies, Greeks, Germans, Turks, Tatars and Magyars, Servians and Bulgarians. The Jews increase more rapidly than any of these peoples except the Armenians. They usually congregate in the larger towns, though in northern Moldavia there are a few purely Jewish villages, recalling those of Poland. The bitter feeling against them in Rumania is not so much due to religious fanaticism as to the fear that if given political and other rights they will gradually possess themselves of the whole soil. In many towns in northern Moldavia the Jews are in a majority, and their total numbers in Rumania are about 300,000, i.e. about one-twentieth of the entire population, a larger ratio than exists in any other country in the world. In many places they have the monopoly of the wine and spirit shops, and retail trade generally; and as they are always willing to advance money on usury, and are more intelligent and better educated than the ordinary peasant, there is little doubt that in a country where the large landowners are proverbially extravagant, and the peasant proprietors needy, the soil would soon fall into the hands of the Jews were it not for the stringent laws which pre-vent them frdm owning land outside the towns. When in addition it is considered that the Moldavian Jews, who are mostly of Polish and Russian origin, speak a foreign language, wear a distinguishing dress and keep themselves aloof from their neighbours, the antipathy in which they are held by the Rumanians generally may be understood. The gipsies, who are mostly converts to the Orthodox Church, still, as a rule, cling to their vagabond existence, though their skill at all handicrafts finds them ready employment in the towns. During their centuries of slavery, they were organized into castes, as musicians, metal workers, masons, &c.; but after about 1850 the bonds of caste were gradually relaxed and gipsies began to intermarry with Rumans. The Greeks form a floating population of merchants and small traders, anxious to amass a fortune and return home. German and Austrian business men visit the country in large numbers, and colonies of German farmers flourish among the mountains of Little Walachia. In central Moldavia there is a large population of Magyar descent, and the Servian and Bulgarian elements are strong near the Danube. The interior of the Dobrudja is occupied largely by Turks and Bulgarians, with Tatars, Russians and Armenians, but here the Ruman steadily gains ground at the expense of the alien. At Megidia, a flourishing town of about ro,000 inhabitants, which sprang up after 186o between Cernavoda and Constantza, the Tatars predominate. Russians of the Lipovan sect live in exile in Bucharest and other cities, earning a livelihood as cab-drivers, and wearing the long coats and round caps of their countrymen. National Characteristics.—Two dissimilar types are noticeable among the Rumans. One is fair-haired, florid and blue-eyed; the other, more frequent among the Carpathians, is dark, resembling the southern Italians. Both alike are hardy, though rarely tall; both, when of the peasant class, frugal and inured to toil amid the rigours of their native climate. Proud of their race and country, they acquired, with their independence, an ardent sense of nationality; and they look forward to the day which will reunite them to their kinsmen in Transylvania and Bessarabia. They have been taught, originally in the interests of Transylvanian Roman Catholicism,to regard themselves as true descendants of the Romans. The peasants retain their distinctive dress, long discarded, except on festivals and at court, by the wealthier classes. Men wear a long linen tunic, leather belt, white woollen trousers and leather gaiters, above Turkish slippers or sandals. The lowlanders' head-dress is generally a high cylindrical cap of rough cloth or felt, while the mountaineers prefer a small round straw hat. Sundays and holidays bring out a sleeveless jacket, embroidered in red and gold; and both sexes wear sheepskins in cold weather. The linen dresses of women are fastened by a long sash or girdle, wound many times round the waist: the holiday attire being a white gown covered with embroideries, one or more brightly coloured aprons and necklaces of beads or coins. The standard of comfort is lowest along the Danube and in parts of the Dobrudja. As the land becomes higher, the dwellings improve; but, despite the presence of a doctor in each commune, disease is everywhere rife. Many villages are wholly built of timber and thatch, especially amongst the Carpathians, the floors being frequently raised on piles, several feet above the ground. The inner walls are often hung with hand-woven tapestries, which harmonize well with the smoke-blackened rafters, the primitive loom and the huge Dutch stove characteristic of a prosperous Rumanian farm. Many pagan beliefs linger on in the country, where vampires, witches and the evil eye are dreaded by all. The peasants reassure themselves by the use of charms and spells, and by a strict observance of the forms which their creed prescribes. A cross guards every well or spring; every home has its ikons or sacred pictures. Church festivals and fasts are kept with equal- care. For months together a Ruman will subsist on vegetables and mamaliga, the maize porridge that forms his staple -diet. Beef and- mutton are rarely touched, and in some districts pork is only eaten on St Hilary's day (the loth of December, O.S.). Veal is the one kind of meat generally consumed Wine and plum-spirit, or the more powerful brandy distilled from grain, are drunk in great quantities by the townsfolk, more sparingly by countrymen; Rumans generally being more sober than the western Europeans. The ceremonies which accompany a wedding preserve the tradition of marriage by capture; a peasant bride must enter her new home carrying bread and salt, and in parts of Walachia a flower is painted on the outer wall of cottages in which there is a girl old enough to marry. Young men swear eternal brotherhood; girls, eternal sister-hood; and the Church ratifies their choice in a service at which the feet of the pair are chained together. This relation-ship is morally and legally regarded as not less binding than kinship by birth. The dead are borne to the grave with uncovered faces, and a Rumanian funeral is a scene of much barbaric display. All classes delight in music and dancing. Women hold spinning-parties at which the leader begins a ballad, and each in turn contributes a verse. A number of satirical folk-tales (largely of Turkish origin) are current at the expense of Jew, gipsy or parish priest. The Rumanian folk-songs, sung and often improvised by the villagers, or by a wandering guitar-player (cobzar), are of exceptional interest and beauty (see Literature, below). The national dances and music closely resemble those of the Southern Slays (see MONTENEGRO and BULGARIA). Constitution.—In 1866, Prince Charles of Hohenzoliern-Sigmaringen was chosen prince of Rumania. by a constituent assembly elected under universal suffrage. This body at the same time drew up a constitution, which remains in force, though modified in 18i9 and 1884. In 1881, Prince Charles was proclaimed king. As he proved childless, the succession was accepted by his brother, Prince Leopold, on behalf of his son William; and in 1888 William renounced his claim in favour of Ferdinand his younger brother. Thus the monarchy became hereditary in the family of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. No woman may ascend the throne; and, in default of a male heir, the representatives of the people can choose a king among the royal families of western Europe. Parliament consists of a senate, elected for eight years, and a chamber of deputies, elected for four years. Senators must be forty years old and possess an income of 9400 lei (£376). They are chosen by two colleges of electors; one composed of citizens with an income of £80; the other, of citizens with incomes varying from £32 to £80. The heir-apparent, the two arch-bishops, the six bishops and the rectors of both universities, sit ex officio in the senate. For the chamber of deputies, all citizen taxpayers of full age may vote, being organized for the purpose into three colleges. All persons with an income of £5o vote in the first; all residents in an urban commune who pay taxes amounting to sixteen shillings yearly, with those who have been through the primary course of education, and all members of the liberal professions, retired officers and state pensioners, vote in the second. The third college is formed of the remaining taxpayers. Those who can read and write vote directly, the rest indirectly. Every fifty indirect electors choose a delegate, who votes along with the direct electors. The naturalization of Jews and Moslems is hedged about by many technical difficulties, and requires a separate vote of the legislature in every individual case. Deputies must be not less than twenty-five years of age. Both senators and deputies receive 20 lei for each day of actual attendance, and travel free on the railways. The king may temporarily veto any measure passed by parliament. Executive power is vested in a council under the presidency of a prime minister, and representing the ministers of foreign affairs; justice; the interior; religion and education; war; finance; agriculture, trade, industry and public domains; and public works. Entire liberty of speech, assembly and the press is guaranteed by the constitution, by which also the titles and privileges of the boiars or nobles were abolished. For purposes of local government, Rumania is divided into 32 departments, each controlled by a prefect, and subdivided into sub-prefectures and communes. The sub-prefectures (plasii) correspond with the French arrondissements. Prefects and sub-prefects are appointed by the state, but the chief civic officials are elected. Very heavy octroi duties provide the means of municipal administration. Law and Justice.—Until the 17th century justice was administered according to custom and precedent, or, in ecclesiastical cases, by the rules of an ill-defined canon law. The first change was introduced by Matthew Bassaraba, prince of Walachia (1633–54), and by Basil the Wolf, prince of Moldavia (1634-53). Basil drew up a criminal code, on the principle of " an eye for an eye." Thus, a man guilty of arson was burned alive. No idea of equality before the law as yet existed: nobles might only be beheaded or banished. Bassaraba, besides reforming the canon law, issued a similar criminal code, with a number of civil enactments, based on Roman law, and regulating testaments, guardianship, &c. The next great advance began with the Russian protectorate over Rumania (1828–56), when magistrates were made irremovable, and new tribunals created, including a petty court in each rural commune. But nothing was yet done to modify the relative positions of noble and serf. The growth of the present system dates from the union of Moldavia and Walachia in 1859. The main provisions of Rumanian law are drawn from the codes of western powers, especially the Code Napoleon. Besides the communal courts, there are quarter-sessional or circuit courts, where simple cases are decided. An appeal from these lies to the departmental courts, which sit in every capital of a department, and in which sessions are held, at stated times, for the trial by jury of serious offences. Any appeal from the departmental courts is brought before the appeal courts of Bucharest, Craiova, Galatz or Jassy; and thence, if necessary, to the supreme tribunal, or court of cassation (Curtea de Casatie), which sits in Bucharest. Defence.—At the accession of Prince Charles, the Rumanian army consisted of raw levies, led by adventurers from any country, provided with no uniform, and, in many cases, armed only with pikes or sabres. Under Prince Charles universal and compulsory service was introduced. The present system, in which his reforms culminated, rests upon a law of 1891, modified in 1900 and 1908. By this law the forces are divided into three sections. The first is composed of men between the ages of 21 and 30, enrolled in the field army and its reserves. Every citizen capable of bearing arms must serve from his 30th to his 36th year in the second section, or territorial militia, which musters in spring for shooting-practice and in the autumn for field manmuvres. In the militia are included soldiers who have served their time in the ranks, and recruits chosen by lot from the yearly contingent of conscripts but not immediately summoned for duty in the field army. Finally, every citizen between the ages of 36 and 46 belongs to the third section, called the Gloats (Landsturm), which can only be called upon forhome service in war. In time of peace the field army consists of four complete army corps, with headquarters at Craiova, Bucharest, Jassy and Galatz; besides an independent brigade in the Dobrudja, and a separate cavalry division with headquarters at Bucharest. Its peace strength in 1909–10 was 4415 officers, 89,227 non-commissioned officers and men, and 18,920 horses. The infantry was armed with the Mannlicher magazine rifle (model 1893), the cavalry with the Mannlicher carbine, the horse and field artillery with Krupp quick-firing guns. On a war footing the field army would contain 225,000 combatants. It was estimated that the militia should ultimately furnish an additional force of ioo,000 men, but up to 1910 this branch of the service was not completely organized. The arrangements for mobilization are otherwise very complete, and the field army is maintained in a high state of efficiency. The war budget for 1909–10 was £2,271,300. The fortifications designed in 1882 by the Belgian engineer, General Brialmont, and completed at a cost of more than £4,000,000, form the keystone of the national defences. They consist of the Sereth Line, an entrenchment extending over a front of 45 M. from Galatz to Focshani, and intended to cover an army of defence against invaders from the north-east, and of the outworks which make Bucharest the largest fortified camp in the world, except Paris. All these fortifications, including the additional works at Galatz and Focshani, are strongly armed with Krupp and Gruson guns. The Rumanian navy is divided into two squadrons; one for the Danube, with headquarters at Galatz; one for the Black Sea, with headquarters at Constantza. In 1909–*.o the fleet comprised one cruiser, seven gunboats, eight torpedo-boats, six coastguard vessels, a training-ship, a despatch-boat, a ship for the mining service and numerous vessels for naval police. The state possesses a floating dock and a marine arsenal at Galatz. Religion.—The State Church of Rumania, which is governed by a Holy Synod, professes the Orthodox Oriental creed. Its independence was formally recognized by the oecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, in 1885. The Rumanian Church had claimed its independence from very ancient times, but under the Turkish suzerainty and Phanariote hospodars Greeks were generally elected as bishops, and the influence of the Greek patriarch at Constantinople came to be more and more felt. In 1864 it declared itself independent of all foreign prelates. In 1872 a law was passed by which the bishops were elected by the senate, the chamber of deputies, and the synod sitting as an assembly (the only other occasion on which provision is made for such an assembly is in the event of the throne becoming vacant without any apparent heir). It was subsequently decided to consecrate the holy oil in Rumania instead of procuring it from Russia or Constantinople; but the Greek patriarch protested. Secret negotiations were entered into which came to a successful issue. The patriarch feared on the one hand that the growing influence of the Russian Church would give a colour of Slavism to the whole church, and that a Russian might eventually be appointed oecumenical patriarch at Constantinople, while the Rumanians hoped by means of the independence of their church to deprive the Russians of all excuse for interfering in their internal affairs under the pretext of religion. The Rumanians, although obtaining complete independence, agreed to recognize the patriarch at Constantinople as the chief dignitary of the Orthodox Church. The metropolitan archbishop of Bucharest, officially styled metropolitan primate of Rumania, presides over the Holy Synod; the other members being the metropolitan of Jassy (primate of Moldavia), the six bishops of Ramnicu Valcea, Roman, Hushi, Buzeu, Curtea de Argesh and the Lower Danube (Galatz) ; together with eight bishops in partibus, their coadjutors. Metropolitans and bishops are elected by the senate and deputies, sitting together. In Hungary there are a uniate metropolitan and three bishops be-longing to the Rumanian church. The secular clergy marry before ordination; and only regular clergy (kalugari) are eligible for high preferment. Although many convents had been closed and utilized for secular purposes, there were in 1910 no less than 168, including nunneries. The older convents are usually built in places difficult of access and are strongly fortified; for in troublous times they served as refuges for the peasants or rallying-places for demoralized troops. The sequestration of the monastic estates, which in 1864 covered nearly one-third of Rumania, was due to flagrant abuses. Many estates were held by alien foundations, such as the convents of Mount Athos and Jerusalem; while the revenues of many more were spent abroad by the patriarch of Constantinople. Religious liberty is accorded to all churches, Jews, Moslems, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Armenians and Lipovans having their own places of worship. Education.—Primary education is free and compulsory, " where schools are available," for children between seven and eleven years of age. At the close of the19th century, however, the accommodation was insufficient, the attendance limited in consequence, and the percentage of illiterates high; reaching 88.5 % in some of the rural communes. Great improvements were effected between 1900 and 1907, the number of schools increasing from 3643 to 4463, and the pupils from 298,000 to 515,000. The state contributes to the maintenance of elementary schools, for the Vlachs in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Transylvania. Secondary and higher education are also free. There are gymnasia, or grammar schools of four classes, roughly corresponding with the German sub-gymnasia; and lyceums of eight classes, which answer to the German gymnasia. Up to the fourth class all pupils are taught alike in the lyceums; in the fifth, however, they are divided into a literary or " humanist " section, and a scientific or " realist " section. The four upper classes are taught French and German; English and Italian being added for the " realists," Greek and Latin for the " humanists." Technical instruction is given in the agricultural schools; in various arts and crafts institutes, such as those of Bucharest and Jassy; in the veterinary and engineering colleges of Bucharest; in numerous commercial schools, and in schools of domestic economy for girls. In 1909–10 there were four ecclesiastical seminaries, seven training schools for teachers and eight military schools. The cost of education is largely borne by the communes, as well as by the state. At Bucharest and Jassy there are universities with faculties of law, philosophy, science and medicine and theology. Antiquities.—The history of primitive civilization in Rumania can be traced back to the Neolithic Age; numerous remains of this period have been found at Vodastra in the Romanatzi department. Roman rule left a deep imprint on the country. The following Roman towns have been identified: (1) in the Dobrudja, Cius (Hirsova), Troesmis (Iglitza), Arrubium (Machin), Viodunum (Isakcha), Istrus (Karaharman), Tropaeum (Adam Klissi), Kallatis (Mangalia), Tomi (Constantza) ; (2) in Moldavia, Dinogetia (Tiglina) ; (3) in Walachia, Drobetae (Turnu Severin), Malva (Celeiu), Castra Nova (Craiova), Romula (Resca), Sorium (Roshiori de Vede), Pelendava (Bradesci), Acidava (Jenuseshti), Rusidava (Dragasani), Castra. Traiana (Ramnicu Valcea), Arutela (Bivolari), Pons Vetus (Caineni), Komidava (Petroasa), Ramidava (Buzeu). A great military road encircled the Dobrudja hills and skirted the Bulgarian shore of the Danube. It was linked by a ferry at Celeiu to two lesser roads; one striking northwards into Transylvania, up the Olt valley, the other bending westwards until it reached the Jiu, and there diverging southwards to Turnu Severin, and northwards to the Vulcan Pass. The plains near the Olt and Jiu estuaries are rich in Roman remains, notably in the towns of Caracal, Grodjibod and Islaz. Ruins and inscriptions may be seen at Resca, a temple at Slaveni, villas and a statue of the emperor Commodus (A.D. 161–92) at Celeiu. All these lie within a radius of 6o m. Two ramparts, known as Trajan's wall, can be discerned, one on either side of the railway from Cernavoda to Constantza; and there were bridges over the Danube at Turnu Severin and Turnu Magurele. The Tropaeum Trajani, or Adam Klissi monument (found near Rassova in the Dobrudja and removed to Bucharest museum), is a round stone structure of too ft. circumference and 40 ft. high, carved in low relief with scenes representing Trajan's conquest of Dacia. (See G. Tocilescu, Das Monument von Adam Klissi, Vienna, 1895.) Few monuments were left by the barbarian invaders who ravaged Rumania from the 3rd eentury to the 14th save some vestiges of Gothic culture at Buzeu, and at Petroasa, close by. The celebrated treasure of Petroasa (commonly written Petrossa), preserved in Bucharest museum, consists of embossed and jewelled gold plate, and probably dates from the 6th century (see PLATE). Medieval tapestries, with ecclesiastical vestments, ornaments and some fine pieces of early woodwork, are also preserved in Bucharest museum. The attempt to create a national style of architecture, based on Greek and Byzantine models, began under Stephen the Great of Moldavia (1457–1504), lasting until the 17th century, when it wa_ arrested, first by political disorders, and, later, by the commercial development which caused a demand for cheap and rapid building. Its chief accomplishment is the cathedral of Curtea de Argesh (q.v.). Painting and sculpture, like modern Rumanian architecture, are still in their infancy. BmI,IOCRAPHY.—A list of the numerous statistical and other official publications issued at Bucharest in Rumanian or French is given yearly in Annual statistic al Romaniei. The final results of the census of 1899 were published by the ministry of agriculture in 1905, with introduction by Dr L. Colescu. See also G. J. Lahovari, Marele dicitonar geografic al Romaniei (vols. 1-5, Bucharest, 1899–1902); A. de Gubernatis, La Roumanie et les Roumains (Florence, 1898) ; E. de Martonne, La Valachie, essai de monographie geographique; J. Samuelson, Rumania, Past and Present (London, 1882); G. Beuger, Rumania in 1900 (trans. from the German by A. H. Keane (London, 1901)); A. Bellessort, La Roumanie conte;nporaine (Paris, 1905); L. Colescu, Progres economiques . . . realises sous la regne de Sa Majeste le Roi Carol I. (Bucharest, 1907) ; G. D. Creanga, Grundbesitzverteilung and Bauernfrage in Rumanien (Leipzig, 1907) ; C. Baicoianu, Histoire de la politique douaniere de la Roumanie de 1870–1903 (2 vols., Bucharest, 1904). (X.) HISTORY (I) Introduction.—The earliest record of the lands which constitute the kingdom of Rumania begins with the period immediately preceding their conquest by the Romans. For information upon this period, and upon the subsequent centuries of Roman or Byzantine rule, see
End of Article: RUMANIA, or ROUMANIA [Romdnia]
[back]
RUMANIA
[next]
RUMELIA, or ROUMELIA (Turkish Rumili, " the land of...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.