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Ferdinand (czar of Bulgaria)

Ferdinand, 1861–1948, czar of Bulgaria (1908–18), after being ruling prince (1887–1908). A grandnephew of Ernest I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, he was chosen prince of Bulgaria after the enforced abdication of Prince Alexander. He was, however, opposed by Russia, and it was not until 1896 that he was recognized by the European powers. In 1908, taking advantage of the Young Turk revolution in Constantinople and the annexation of nominally Ottoman Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, Ferdinand proclaimed the full independence of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire and proclaimed himself czar. Having then gained Russia's favor, Ferdinand concluded (1912) an alliance with Serbia, later joined by Greece and Montenegro. The four allies, attacking the Ottomans, were victorious in the first of the Balkan Wars (1912–13), but in the second Balkan War (1913) Bulgaria suffered a humiliating defeat by Serbia, Greece, Romania, and the Ottomans. In the hope of recovering most of Macedonia, lost to Serbia and Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest (1913), Ferdinand in 1915 joined the Central Powers in World War I. In 1917 the tide of war turned against Bulgaria, and in 1918, Ferdinand was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Boris III. Ferdinand left Bulgaria to spend most of the rest of his life at Coburg, Germany.

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Ferdinand

Ferdinand (1861–1948) Prince (1887–1908) and Tsar (1908–18) of Bulgaria. In 1908, he declared Bulgaria independent of the Ottoman Empire and himself tsar. He allied Bulgaria with Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the first Balkan War (1912–13), but largely lost Bulgaria's territorial gains to its former allies in the second war (1913). This led Ferdinand to join the Central Powers in World War I. After the defeat, Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his son, Boris III.

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Ferdinand

Ferdinand

Ferdinand (1865-1927) was king of Romania from 1914 to 1927. He presided over the expansion of Romania and the implementation of important reforms.

The second son of Prince Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Princess Antonia of Portugal, Ferdinand von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was born on Aug. 24, 1865, at Sigmaringen, Prussia. Adopted as heir to the Romanian throne by his childless uncle, Carol I, in March 1889, Ferdinand married Princess Marie, the strong-willed granddaughter of both Queen Victoria and Czar Alexander II, on Jan. 15, 1893. The marriage produced six children, of whom the eldest, Prince Carol (1893-1953), assumed the throne in 1930.

As crown prince, Ferdinand reorganized Romania's armed forces, which he commanded in the Second Balkan War against Bulgaria in 1913. Upon the death of King Carol I, Ferdinand became king of Romania on Oct. 14, 1914. Although a Hohenzollern, Ferdinand declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1916 to gain the Hapsburg Romanian-inhabited territories and to join all Romanians to their national state. The Austro-German forces, under Gen. August von Mackensen, occupied Bucharest in December 1916, forcing the royal family to flee to lasi, in Moldavia. The Romanian forces were defeated, an armistice was signed on Dec. 6, 1917, and the Peace of Bucharest was concluded on May 7, 1918. After the Allied victory of 1918, however, the dream of "Greater Romania" was realized by Romania's acquisition of Bessarabia, Bucovina, a portion of the Banat of Temesvar, and Transylvania. Ferdinand was crowned king of Greater Romania at Alba lulia on Oct. 15, 1922.

The most important reform measure enacted during Ferdinand's reign was the land reform promised his peasant soldiers during the war to reward them for their sacrifices and to prevent a peasant revolt such as had occurred under Carol I in 1907. Ferdinand himself set a notable example by being the first great landholder to give over his estates for distribution among the peasants.

The land reform measure and the decree of universal suffrage strengthened the National peasant party, strong in Romania's Transylvanian areas, but because of the party's demands for further radical land redistribution, the King refused its members entry into the government. Ferdinand also busied himself with extending full civil and military rights to all Romanian-born Jews and with reorganizing the army.

During Ferdinand's reign, Romania adhered to the Little Entente (including Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia), concluded to oppose Hungarian revisionism; backed by France, entered a treaty with Poland to defend against Soviet attack; and followed a pro-French foreign policy. Ferdinand died in the royal palace near Bucharest on July 20, 1927. Because his heir, Carol, had renounced the succession in 1925 to live abroad with his mistress, Magda Lupescu, Ferdinand was succeeded by his young grandson, Michael, under a regency lasting until Carol's return to Romania in 1930.

Further Reading

Perhaps the most useful discussions of Ferdinand's career and his influence are contained in Robert William Seton-Watson, A History of the Roumanians (1934), and Henry Lithgow Roberts, Rumania: Political Problems of an Agrarian State (1951). Princess Marthe L. Bibesco, Royal Portraits (1928), includes a chapter on Ferdinand. □

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Ferdinand

Ferdinandand, band, bland, brand, expand, firsthand, gland, grand, hand, land, manned, misunderstand, offhand, rand, righthand, Samarkand, sand, stand, strand, thirdhand, underhand, undermanned, understand, unplanned, untanned, withstand •graduand • hatband • armband •headband • neckband • sweatband •waistband • waveband • wristband •broadband • showband • noseband •saraband • backhand • chargehand •farmhand • deckhand • stagehand •freehand • millhand • behindhand •longhand •beforehand, forehand •shorthand • gangland • Lapland •flatland • no-man's-land • Saarland •farmland • grassland • marshland •fenland • wetland • Sudetenland •wasteland • dreamland • peatland •Matabeleland • Ngamiland •fairyland • Dixieland • Swaziland •Thailand • Rhineland • swampland •washland • homeland • Heligoland •Basutoland •clubland, scrubland •timberland • borderland •wonderland • Nagaland • Helgoland •Bechuanaland, Gondwanaland •Mashonaland • Damaraland •Nyasaland • platteland • hinterland •fatherland • motherland •Namaqualand • Öland • allemande •confirmand • ordinand • Ferdinand •Talleyrand • firebrand • Krugerrand •honorand • Witwatersrand •greensand • quicksand • analysand •Streisand • ampersand •bandstand, grandstand, handstand •hatstand • kickstand • inkstand •washstand • hallstand • news-stand

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