The New Student's Reference Work/Rumania
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Ruma′nia or Rouma′nia, an independent kingdom of southeastern Europe, composed of the two former principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. It was a part of Roman Dacia, and its people proudly claim to be Romans. It is bounded on the west and north by Austria, on the east by Russia and the Black Sea and on the south by Bulgaria, from which it is separated by the Danube. Its area is 50,720 square miles, and its population 6,865,739. The capital of Rumania is Bucharest in Wallachia (300,000), and the chief town of Moldavia is Jassy (80,000), not far from Pruth River. A remarkable feature in the agricultural system is the ownership of lands by the peasantry, which was introduced about 1864. The peasants had been robbed of their lands during long ages of feudal oppression, and at this time it was determined to restore a portion by permitting them to purchase small tracts by means of a loan from the government. The result was that in 1880 there were in Rumania nearly 500,000 holdings, averaging 10½ acres each, with the greater part of the debt discharged by the owners. In 1859 the two principalities elected Prince Couza as their ruler but in 1866 he was deposed and was succeeded by Prince Charles of Hohenzollern. In 1881 Prince Charles was invested with the kingly dignity as Carol I (q. v.), with the consent of the European powers, and since that time the Rumanians have practically freed themselves from both Russian and Turkish interference and have taken their place among independent nations. King Carol’s wife is the well-known Carmen Sylva of literature. See Samuelson’s Rumania and Miller’s The Balkans in The Story of the Nations Series.