Moldova History


According to Andyeducation, Moldovans are descendants of the Romanized peoples of southern Eastern Europe. The Byzantine chronicler Juan Skilitsa mentioned the volojos as their predecessors in AD 976. In the middle of the fourteenth century the volojos of the northeast formed their state, independent of the Hungarian kingdom, in the territory of South Bukovina. The first gospodar (ruler) of the Moldovan principality was Bogdan (1356 – 1374), although legend attributes its founding to Dragos.

Liberation from Hungarian rule and expansion

In the second half of the 14th century, the Moldovans freed themselves from Hungarian rule and the Tatar khans, and expanded their territory. At the beginning of the 15th century Moldova had the western border, on the Dniester (Dnestr) river, the southern border on the Black Sea and the Danube River, and the western border on the Carpathian Mountains.

The small principality, within the orbit of interests of larger states, was dependent on Hungary, Poland and the Ottoman Empire. The official religion was Orthodox. The official language, called Church Slavonic, was not only used for religious celebrations but also in official documentation and teaching.

Moldavia achieved its greatest political and economic successes in the reign of the gospodars Alejandro Dobri El Bueno (1400 – 1432) and Esteban III El Grande (1457 – 1504). In that period he fought against Hungary, Poland and the Crimean Khanate. But the greatest danger was the expansionism of Turkey, which in 1484 seized key territories from it, gave it the Turkish name of Akerman and created the rayá, enclaves ruled by the Turks.

Under turkish power

At the beginning of the 16th century, Moldova lost its state independence and recognized the power of the Turkish Sultan, although it retained autonomy under the Ottoman Empire. Bukovina was under Turkish power until 1775, Bessarabia until 1812 and the rest of the principality of Moldova until 1878. Turkey was taking one territory after another from Moldova, and by the middle of the 18th century, the latter had lost more than half of its territories, between the Prut and Dniester rivers.

Territorial losses, increased tributes paid to the sultans, and invasions by Turkish and Tatar troops, which ravaged Moldovan towns and villages, served as a stimulus to the anti-Turkish struggle. The Gospodars Petra Rares (1527 – 1538, 1541 – 1546), Ioann Voda Liuti (1572 – 1574) and Dmitri Kantemir (1710 – 1711) faced Turkey. Moldova was forced to ally itself with the great powers that opposed Turkey (Hungary, Austria, Poland and especially Russia). In 1711 Dmitri Kantemir joined the forces of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great with his Moldovan army.

Russian-Turkish wars

All the wars between Russia and Turkey in the 18th and 19th centuries were related to Moldova. The Ottomans, distrusting the Moldovans, began to enthrone in Moldova the Phanariot Greeks (from Fanar, a suburb of Istanbul), whose reigns lasted until 1821. There were bloody Russo-Turkish wars on Moldovan territory (1735 – 1739, 1768 – 1774, 1787 – 1791) and many Moldovans fought in the Russian army.

According to the Jassi Peace Treaty (1791), the left bank of the Dniester south of the Yagorlik River, which then did not belong to the Principality of Moldova (today Moldovan territory), passed to Russia. During the second division of Poland(1793), between Russia, Prussia and Austria, Russia was left with another part of the left bank of the Dniester. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1806 – 1812 and the Peace of Bucharest, Russia seized the territory between the Prut and the Dniester (Bessarabia). The Muslim population was exiled and thus ended the Turkish invasions of Bessarabia.

Throughout the 19th century, Bessarabia’s population grew from 250,000 to 2.5 million. At the end of the century, Moldovans were half the population of that province. There were also a significant number of Ukrainians and Russians, as well as Bulgarians, Germans, Jews, Gagauz (Muslims). In the period of the Russo-Turkish wars of 1828 – 1829, 1877 – 1878 and in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856), of Russia against Turkey, England and France, Bessarabia was the rear of the Russian army. According to the Treaty of Peace of Paris (1856) part of South Bessarabia adjacent to the Danube and the Black Sea was incorporated into the Principality of Moldova, which in 1859 was unified with Wallachia and formed the State of Romania. In 1878, according to the Treaty of Berlin, that territory was returned to Russia.

Influence of the Russian Revolution

From 1866 the Moldovan language stopped being taught. After the Russian Revolution of 1905 his teaching was authorized again. The 2 as December as 1917 the Republic of Moldova was proclaimed and entered Bessarabia Romanian troops who overthrew the local Soviet power. Between December of 1917 and January of 1918, Soviet power was restored in Moldova. In December Bessarabia was incorporated into Romania, and at the end of January the independence of the Moldavian Republic was proclaimed.

In the 1920s and 1930s the territory of present-day Moldova was divided into two unequal parts. Bessarabia was part of the Romanian Kingdom, the left bank of the Dniester belonged to the USSR. In October of 1924 the Moldavian Autonomous Republic was formed in Ukraine. In Moldova, successes were achieved in the development of industrialization and culture, while Bessarabia, as part of Romania, remained stagnant.

Foundation of the Moldovan SSR and World War II

In June of 1940, Bessarabia was incorporated back to the USSR. In August, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian RSS) was founded in the USSR, as a result of the union of the central part of Bessarabia and the Autonomous Republic of Moldova. The northern and southern parts of Bessarabia, together with the eastern part of the Autonomous Republic of Moldova, remained in Ukraine. In June 1941, German troops entered the USSR; Romania made an alliance with Hitler and recovered all of Bessarabia, up to Dniester and Odessa. Three years later, as Germany weakened, the Red Army recaptured Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.

Leonid Brezhnev began his political career in Moldova, who after serving as leader of the local Communist Party came to occupy the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and then, simultaneously, until 1983, the presidency of the USSR.

After the opening initiated by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, political and ethnic problems arose in Moldova. Since 1988, the Democratic Movement in Support of Perestroika began to demand the return to the Latin script of the Romanian-Moldovan language. Moldovan nationalists demanded an end to the privileges of Russian residents, or openly that they go to their homeland. The October as November as 1989, Parliament approved the Official Language Law in a climate of great tension. The separatist tendencies were sharpened in the Dniester, with a high proportion of Russians, and in Gagaucia, inhabited by the Gagaúzos. The law proclaimed Moldovan as the official language for political, economic, social and cultural affairs, while relegating Russian only for the media.

Moldova History