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Moldavia

Moldavia (mŏldā´vēə), historic Romanian province (c.14,700 sq mi/38,100 sq km), extending from the Carpathians in Romania east to the Dnieper River in Moldova.

Land and Economy

Moldavia borders on Ukraine in the northeast and on Walachia in the south. In Romania it comprises roughly the modern administrative divisions of Bacău, Galaţi, and Iaşi. Suceava and Iaşi, its historic capitals, and Galaţi, its port on the Danube, are the chief cities. Moldavia, a fertile plain drained by the Siretul, is the granary of Romania. Besides farming there is livestock raising, and orchards and vineyards dot the countryside. Lumbering and petroleum extraction are the main industries.

History

The region was part of the Roman province of Dacia and has retained its Latin speech despite the centuries of invasion and foreign rule. Greek, Slavic, Turkish, Jewish, and other elements have influenced its culture. Moldavia was part of the Kievan state from the 9th to the 11th cent. In the 13th cent. the Cumans, who then held Moldavia, were expelled by the Mongols. When the Mongols withdrew, Moldavia became (early 14th cent.) a principality under native rulers. It then included Bukovina and Bessarabia. Like its sister principality, Walachia, it was torn by strife among the boyars—the great landowners and officeholders—and among rival claimants to the throne. The rural population was reduced to misery and virtual slavery (which lasted well into the 19th cent.) by the princes, who ruled with absolutism and cruelty.

Moldavia reached its height under Stephen the Great (1457–1504), who in 1475 routed the Turks, but in 1504 it became tributary to the sultans. Although it was frequently occupied by foreign powers in the continuous wars among the Ottoman Empire, Austria, Transylvania, Poland, and Russia, Moldavia remained under the Ottoman Empire. S Bessarabia early passed under the rule of the khans of Crimea. Early in the 18th cent. the Turks ended the rule by native princes—who had sided with the enemy as often as with Turkey—and appointed governors (hospodars), mostly Greek Phanariots (see under Phanar). The Greeks surpassed their predecessors in avarice, while the nobility fell into total decay and corruption.

Greek rule was ended (1822) after the Greek insurrection instigated by Alexander Ypsilanti, and native hospodars were appointed. Meanwhile, Bukovina was taken (1775) by Austria and Bessarabia by Russia (1812). After the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29, Moldavia and Walachia were made virtual protectorates of Russia (see Adrianople, Treaty of), although they continued to pay tribute to the sultan. A Romanian national uprising (1848–49) was suppressed by Russian intervention. In the Crimean War, Moldavia was again occupied by Russia, but in 1856 the two Danubian principalities, Walachia and Moldavia, were guaranteed independence under the nominal suzerainty of Turkey (see Paris, Congress of).

With the accession (1859) of Alexander John Cuza as prince of both Moldavia and Walachia the history of modern Romania began. In 1878, S Bessarabia was ceded to Russia following the Russo-Turkish War. Following World War I, Bessarabia, along with Bukovina, was reincorporated into Romania. In 1924 the USSR created the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic adjacent to true Moldavia. In 1947, the modern borders of Romania were established with the cession of Bessarabia and N Bukovina to the USSR. These two areas were joined with the Moldavian SSR and form what is now the Republic of Moldova. About 60% of Moldova's residents speak Romanian, and many Moldovans favor reunion with Romania.

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Moldavia

Moldavia Historic Balkan region, between the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and the Dnieper River in Moldova. Major cities in the Romanian portion include Galat̨ and Suceava. Moldavia is primarily an agricultural region. Under Roman rule, it formed the major part of the province of Dacia, and today's population is Romanian-speaking. In the 14th century, it became an independent principality ruled by the Vlachs; its lands included Bessarabia and Bukovina. In 1504, the Turks conquered Moldavia, and it remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century. In 1775, the Austrians gained Bukovina, and in 1815 Russia conquered Bessarabia. After the Russo-Turkish War (1828–29), Russia became the dominant power. In 1856, the twin principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia gained considerable autonomy. Three years later, they united under one crown to form Romania, but Russia re-occupied s Bessarabia in 1878. In 1920, Bessarabia and Bukovina incorporated into the Romanian state. In 1924, the Soviet republic of Moldavia was formed, which in 1947 enlarged to include Bessarabia and n Bukovina. In 1989, the Moldovans asserted their independence by making Romanian the official language, and in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Moldavia became the independent republic of Moldova.

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Moldavia

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