Romania in the Middle Ages

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Romania in the Middle Ages

Post  kosovohp on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:16 am

In the Middle Ages, Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia (Romanian: Ţara Românească—"Romanian Land"), Moldavia (Romanian: Moldova) and Transylvania. By the 11th century, Transylvania became a largely autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary,[33] and became independent as the Principality of Transylvania from the 16th century,[34] until 1711.[35] In Wallachia and Moldavia many small local states with varying degrees of independence developed, but only in the 14th century did the larger principalities of Wallachia (1310) and Moldavia (around 1352) emerge to fight the threat of the Ottoman Empire.[36][37]

By 1541, the entire Balkan peninsula and most of Hungary became Ottoman provinces. Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania were under Ottoman suzerainty, preserving partial-full internal autonomy until middle of the 19th century (Transylvania to 1699). During this period the Romanian lands were characterised by the slow disappearance of the feudal system. A few rulers of present-day Romanian territories distinguished themselves: these rulers include Stephen the Great, Vasile Lupu, and Dimitrie Cantemir in Moldavia; Matei Basarab, Vlad III the Impaler, and Constantin Brâncoveanu in Wallachia; and John Hunyadi (Ioannes Corvinus) and Gabriel Bethlen in Transylvania.[38]
Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania were united under the rule of Michael the Brave.

In 1600, the principalities of Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania were simultaneously headed by the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), Ban of Oltenia, but the chance for a unity dissolved after Mihai was killed, only one year later, by the soldiers of Austrian army general Giorgio Basta. Mihai Viteazul, who was prince of Transylvania for less than one year, intended for the first time to unite the three principalities and to lay down foundations of a single state in a territory comparable to today's Romania.[39] After his death, as vassal tributary states, Moldova and Wallachia had complete internal autonomy and external independence, which was finally lost in the 18th century. In 1699, Transylvania became a territory of the Habsburgs' Austrian empire following the Austrian victory over the Turks in the Great Turkish War. The Habsburgs in turn expanded their empire in 1718 to include an important part of Wallachia, called Oltenia (which was only returned in 1739) and in 1775 over the north-western part of Moldavia, later called Bukovina. The eastern half of the Moldavian principality (called Bessarabia) was occupied in 1812 by Russia

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