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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.