Romania: History

  1. 1881

    Romania gains independence from the Ottoman Empire and becomes a kingdom with a German prince, Carol Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, crowned as the first king.

  2. 1904

    Drilling of oil begins in Romania, quickly becoming a big industry in the country.

  3. 1918

    After the end of World War I, Romania is given new territories with substantial Romanian populations, almost doubling the country in size and population.

  4. 1930s

    The fascist and anti-Semantic Iron Guard movement gains support across the country, eventually leading to the creation of a royal dictatorship in 1938 led by King Carol II.

  5. 1940

    Authoritarian General Antonescu takes control of the country, replacing King Carol. He pursues pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic policies similar to those advocated by the Iron Guard. Romania enters World War II on the side of the Axis powers.

  6. 1945

    A Soviet-backed government is installed and two years later, the Romanian People’s Republic is proclaimed.

  7. 1955

    Romania joins the Warsaw Pact.

  8. 1985-1986

    Austerity measures are taken after the economy weakens, leading to food shortages and power cuts.

  9. 1989

    Large protests against the government turn into a national uprising. Nicolae Ceausescu, leader of the country since 1965 and known for his brutal repression of Romanians, is executed and the Communist Party is dissolved.

  10. 1990

    Following elections, many of Ceausescu’s unpopular measures are repealed, such as bans on private commercial entities and independent political activity and other cautious free market reforms are implemented.

  11. 2004

    Romania joins NATO.

  12. 2005

    The new Leu (RON) is introduced as the country’s currency, taking place of the old Leu (ROL), where 1 RON is the equivalent of 10,000 ROL.

  13. 2007

    Romania joins the European Union.

  14. 2009

    The International Monetary Foundation agrees to try to help Romania avoid the financial crisis by giving the country a 20 billion Euro package.

  15. 2010

    A package of austerity measures are announced by the government, cutting public sector wages by 25% as the financial crisis in the European Union worsens.


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