Danubian Principalities


Danubian Principalities
   Moldavia and Wallachia, located astride the mouth of the Danube River where it empties into the Black Sea, were known as the Danubian Principalities. They were provinces of the Ottoman Empire from the thirteenth century, were occupied by Russia during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, but were recovered in the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainardji in 1774. The Porte nonetheless acknowledged Russia’s right to intervene in the principalities on behalf of the Christian peoples living there. This Russian protectorate over Danubian Christians led to occupation from 1829 to 1834 and had the effect of making them autonomous. Russia intervened again in 1848 to put down a nationalist vote in Wallachia and in 1853 reoccupied them to apply pressure on the Ottoman Empire during the diplomatic dispute that ultimately led to the Crimean War.
   From 1854 to 1857, the Principalities were occupied by Austria to keep peace on the Lower Danube between the Ottoman and Russian Empire s. Russia sought to make the provinces formal protectorates, but in 1856 the Treaty of Paris gave a Great Power guarantee to their continuing autonomy. In 1858, they merged into Rumania yet remained within the Ottoman Empire until the Treaty of San Stefano concluding the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 made them fully independent.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Duggan, Stephen. The Eastern Question: A Study in Diplomacy. New York: AMS Press, 1970;
    Hitchins, Keith. Rumania, 1866-1947. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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