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Academician Ionel Haiduc


Modernization and/or Westernization

in Romania during the Late 19th Century
and the Early 20th Century
Ctlin Turliuc
The Agrarian Reforms Introduced
at the Middle of the 19th Century:
Their Effects Upon the Modernization
of Transylvanian Society (18501880)
Iosif Marin Balog
Modernisation du discours didactique
dans lenseignement primaire roumain
de Transylvanie au milieu du XIXe sicle
Rodica Iano
Aspects Concerning the Modernization
of Primary Education during
the Second Half of the 19th Century
Cristina Gudin
tudiants roumains lUniversit Libre
de Bruxelles : Les titulaires dun doctorat
s sciences politiques et administratives
Laureniu Vlad
Modernit et tradition dans la politique
trangre du Vieux Royaume :
Structures et mcanismes de dcision
Rudolf Dinu


Academician Camil Mureanu



Prof. Ioan-Aurel Pop, Ph.D.,
Corresponding member
of the Romanian Academy






Les rformes concernant la division

politico-administrative de la Transylvanie
dans la dcennie no-absolutiste
Lornd Mdly

No. 1
Spring 2008


On the cover:
Angles of Vision (2007),
personal technique
on silk,
1501506 cm

Economic and Political Aspects Pertaining

to the Romanian National Movement
from Transylvania
Vasile Dobrescu
Aspects Concerning the Nationalization
of Denominational and Private Schools
from Bihor County (19481949)
Ion Zainea
Italian Companies in Transylvania:
A Multicultural Approach
Adina-Maria Cornea





The Ethnic Map

tefan Borbly


Fine Arts

Margarete Depner (1885-1970)

eine fast vergessene bildende Knstlerin
Gudrun-Liane Ittu


Book Reviews




Transylvanian Review continues the

tradition of Revue de Transylvanie,
founded by Silviu Dragomir, which
was published in Cluj and then in Sibiu
between 1934 and 1944.
Transylvanian Review is published
4 times a year by the Center for
Transylvanian Studies and the
Romanian Academy.
Facolt di Scienze della Formazione, Istituto
di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea,
Universit Cattolica, Milan, Italy
Institut fr donauschwbische Geschichte
und Landeskunde, Tbingen, Germany
Bundesinstitut fr Kultur und Geschichte
der Deutschen im stlichen Europa,
Oldenburg, Germany
Institut fr Geschichte, Graz, Austria
Huntington University, Indiana, USA
Chairman of the History Section of the
Romanian Academy, Director of the A. D.
Xenopol Institute of History, Jassy, Romania
Ioan-Aurel Pop
Nicolae Bocan
Ioan Bolovan
Raveca Divricean
Maria Ghitta

Rudolf Grf
Virgil Leon
Daniela Mrza
Vasile Sljan
Nicolae Sucal-Cuc

Translated by
Bogdan AldeaEnglish
Liana LpdatuFrench
Desktop Publishing
Fogarasi Edith
Cosmina Varga
Graphic design
tefan Socaciu

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Modernization and/or
Westernization in
Romania during the Late
19th Century and the Early
20th Century

In the case of the first

decades following the
establishment of the modern
nation-state we can talk
about a dominant process
of Westernization, rapidly
followed, in a second stage,
by the process
of modernization.
Ctlin Turliuc
Researcher at the Romanian Academys
A. D. Xenopol Institute of History of
Jassy, a specialist in modern and contemporary history, nationalism and
minorities, and international relations.
Author, among others, of the book
Interwind Destinies: Modern Romania
and Its Ethnic Groups (2003).

MANIFESTLY theoretical discussion seeking to define and relate two

fundamental concepts of the past one
and a half century, namely, modernization and Westernization, might be
seen as a mere game or as a trivial rhetorical pursuit to those less familiar with
the topic, or to the staunch supporters of factual history. Therefore, we shall
begin by pointing out that without a
precise understanding of the paradigm
underlying our modernity, the explanations provided by a histoire historisante
lack all perspective. In more concrete
terms, in the absence of a suitable perspective on modernization and Westernization we find it difficult to understand Maiorescus idea (theory) of the
forms without substance shaped in the
environment of the Junimea cultural
association, and also the unique relationship between sectarian liberalism
and society, Moldavian and Wallachian
socialism, democratic or progressive


conservativism, mention only these major ideological, doctrinarian

and political trends of the second half of the 19th century and of the early 20th century. Furthermore, the main aspects pertaining to social-economic development, the thorny agrarian issue, the institutionalization of political power in
the new framework of the nation-state, the relations between Church and state,
the judicial and legislative systemincluding the exceptional legislation regarding agricultural agreementsthe trends of smntorism (agriculturalism)
and poporanism (nativism), alongside other forms of cultural manifestation, can
be understood only partially and incompletely unless related to the process of
modernization and/or Westernization.
Since the middle of the previous century, historians and also other researchers
in the fields of humanities and social sciences have shown a manifest interest in
the issue of modernization. Part of the fertile tradition of social evolutionism
itself rooted in the ideas of the Enlightenment and of European rationalism
and emerged in the aftermath of World War II as a theory meant to account
for the gaps existing between various parts of the world, the theory of modernization gradually took the center stage with several categories of researchers
interested in social, economic, political, and historical phenomena, reaching a
peak at the time when the issues of de-colonization and development gained a
prominent place on the international agenda. The most visible side of the theory of modernization was the one related to social and economic aspects, which
came to overshadow its political and also its cultural-spiritual components. Of
course, sporadic concerns in this respect did also exist before the moment in question, but they failed to reach and gain prominence in the public perception.
The theory of modernization has usually been associated with the theory of development and deemed the precise opposite of the theory of dependence, at least
in the manner in which it was devised by Immanuel Wallerstein.1 What is, therefore, modernization? The question has not yet been given a generally accepted answer, but the majority of opinions indicate that modernization includes
the comprehensive transformations suffered by European society and culture since
the Renaissance and which continue even today on a planetary scale. The concept and the theory of modernization are in direct opposition to the theory of
a cyclic history of mankind, they are positivist and see human history as a history
of progress. Modernization involves an intellectual, technological, and social revolution, altering the fundamental relationship between the human individual and
time, nature, and humankind. For instance, time is no longer seen as cyclic or
repetitive, but rather as a process, as a matrix of coherent change. Modern man
sees nature as intelligible and defined by an inherent order. Scientific research
is meant to decipher this order, while technology is called upon to subdue nature.
Science and technology are expected to provide human individuals with a new
place in nature and society, by way of social engineering and of the division of


labor. Understood in this fashion, modernization appears to be an ethically

neutral term. However, the interpretation of modernization, its dissemination
and uniformity did raise a number of questions and led to clearly political disputes and arguments.
The theory of modernization had many sources and many interpretations,
all deriving from the Eurocentric perspective whereby a process that began in
Western Europe became the alternative and the model for the rest of the world.
One of the fathers of this concept was the reputed sociologist Talcott Parsons2
who, in keeping with social evolutionism and with functionalism, defined and
elaborated upon the concept.
Among the theorists of modernization we find the so-called evolutionists,
people like Walt W. Rostow,3 Alex Inkeles,4 Myron Weiner,5 etc., who claim
that the Western experience must be imitated by developing countries. Another
significant group of theorists includes those who claim that full imitation is
not the way to modernization, because there are substitutes, shortcuts, alternatives, because there is a possibility to condense modernization or to cut corners. However, all theorists of modernization see industrialization as the central
component of this process, sometimes completely disregarding other factors.
Their reasoning is quite simple, determinist and linear in nature: technology began
to have an increasingly sizable effect upon the food supply, the living conditions, and the life expectancy of all Westerners. It gained a central place, it became
a commodity desired by everybody and appreciated both by the masses and by
the elites. The countries that possessed this technology became advanced, civilized, while those that did not have it became backward, primitive, or uncivilized. This labeling stemmed from the search for a justifying principle, in
light of which the beneficiaries of the new technological civilization equated their
success with moral virtue and became ready to interpret the others failure to
develop an industry and discard traditional economy as a sign of moral deficiency.
In keeping with this reasoning, Western nations became the equivalent of the
ruling class, especially since the obvious implications of capitalist industrialization persuaded those who had failed to achieve it to accept the theories born
in that environment. Thus, inequality gained a more complex legitimacy, and
became difficult to challenge. A typical example in this respect is that of David
Apter,6 who, in the mid-1960s, investigated political systems and the history of
democracy from the vantage point of the theory of modernization. He propounded
a triptych which still lingers in the collective mentality: democracy good governance efficiency and modernity. David McClelland7 approached the issue of
modernization from the vantage point of social psychology and of motivation
theory. He bluntly stated that modernization can only occur if a society gives due
recognition to innovation, individual success, and to entrepreneurial spirit. To
draw a quick conclusion, despite the obvious risk of reductionism, we could


say that the policy of modernization was meant to ensure not only the adoption of technology and of the means of production, but also of the liberal discourse and of Western institutions.
The theories of economic development, and especially the theory of modernization in its original form, failed to achieve a satisfactory internal coherence, largely because of their Eurocentric perspective, namely, because of the fact
that they were infested with the norms and the axiological criteria typical for
Western Europe. Commenting upon this aspect, Immanuel Wallerstein, one of
the fiercest critics of the theory of modernization, pointed out that the entire dispute around this issue had been a painful moment of the 1960s.8
Today, however, although the theory of modernization has become somewhat
obsoleteamid the changes occurred after 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe,
it came to be covered and sometimes subsumed to the theory of transition ,
we find it necessary to approach the concept and the theory of modernization
from the broader perspective provided by the recent developments in the field of
socio-human sciences. Among those who continued to reflect upon the theories of modernization in the 21st century we shall mention here the Americans
David C. Engerman9 and Nils Gilman,10 the German Peter Wagner,11 or Waltraud
Schelkle.12 Generally speaking, the new supporters and theorists of modernization can be seen as belonging to two trends: some believe that the limits of
technology shape human interactions, setting the pace and the intensity of the
modernization process; others consider that modernization is merely the outcome of deliberate human planning.
Generally speaking, most historians took into account modernization in
their interpretation of the great historical changes: the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, etc. Economists saw modernization as the transition from an autarchic to a market or competition-based economy, accompanied by the accumulation of capital and by large-scale industrial production. Legal
experts took into account the moment when written contracts became the main
expression of social liability, legal equality replaced statutory law, and consuetudinal law became less relevant in current practice. Historians of mentalities and
of culture understood modernization as the separation from the sacred and the
secularization of thought, as the transition from speculative metaphysics to empirical science. Sociologists and social anthropologists interpreted modernization as
the transition from the extended to the nuclear family. Finally, political scientists saw modernization in the development of bureaucracies, in the political ascent
of the masses, in the disappearance of empires and in the emergence of nationstates. However, in everyday life all of these aspects, pertaining to various field
of socio-human research, are intertwined and interdependent. In one word, modernization includes all that which we call industrialization, rationalization, secularization, and bureaucratization. Alongside these processes we also witness a process


of urban development, social assimilation and leveling, the (sometimes illusory) simplification of social structures, and the transfer of individual rights and liberties
from the field of law to the sphere of politics and ideology. The fundamental
feature of modernity is its reflexivity, as argued by Anthony Giddens.13 It is not
limited to an interpretation and clarification of traditions, constantly seeking
to set up new institutions and social practices based on the new knowledge
and information. In other words, modernity takes shape on the basis on rationally developed and assessed knowledge. Another dimensionsignificant for
the modernization process in its entiretyinvolves the relationship between modernization and democratization, the fundamental element defining the democratic
liberal organization of the state in the Western understanding of it.
Westernization is a concept that describes a mimetic model involving the adaptation of certain values, principles, and norms, which are transplanted with
varying degrees of success to areas and societies where the process of historical
development would not have normally allowed for their emergence within the
same temporal sequence as in the Western ones. Probably to a larger extent
than modernization, Westernization involves a phenomenon of rapid acculturation, including the adoption of habits related to the private sphere of the individual and of the community. Of course, this adoption is nearly always achieved
in a sui generis manner, with varying results and initially affecting only certain
islands in the host society. Westernization has complex implications, beginning,
in almost all cases, with a shock phase, as argued by Philip Conrad or by
J. M. Roberts. The concept of Westernization is closely related to that of Europeanization, and, more recently, of globalization. Quite obviously, just like
modernization, Westernization carries an ethical and an axiological load. Westernization was usually associated with the nearly always violent colonialism
and expansion of the Western world towards various regions of the planet. As
opposed to Westernization, modernization is essentially non-ideological in nature.
It essentially has to do with cultural and economic interdependence, rather
than with cultural and economic domination, it involves diversification and
synchronization rather than integration and unification.
The theoretical debates around these concepts, while no longer dominant in
the discourse of social sciences, are still relevant and of current interest, especially
for the historians seeking to provide factual data for the models likely to explain
the present state of the world.

as turn of the 20th century Romania is concerned, the whole modernization and/or Westernization debate is extremely important, starting
precisely from the reality of the second and currently ongoing European
integration. The manner in which modern Romania adopted European models in the century of nations, as well as the pace and the manner in which these


changes were effected, are very relevant examples for what is currently happening. It is enough to mention here well-known phrases such as Romaniathe
Belgium of the East, Romaniaa European Japan, Bucharestthe Little
Paris, frequent stereotypes highlighting the importance of such a discussion.
The modern framework of Romanian society and of the Romanian state,
whose centrality has always been seen as a sine qua non prerequisite of development, emerged and gained contour in an environment and at a time when concepts such as modern and civilized had already gained strong axiological connotations. The frequent references to Europe in the parliamentary debates and
in the press of that time indicate not only a manifest interest in the manner in
which the continent and Romania were moving ahead, but also a certain concern
of the Romanian elite about the manner in which the modernizing efforts were
perceived beyond the borders of the country.
Romanias modernization was not a steady process, reaching impressive heights
but also experiencing unjustified delays, especially in the agricultural sector, which
employed most of the active population of the country. The violent outbursts
of 1888 and especially of 1907 revealed the presence of deep fractures within society. During the period in question, the agrarian issue would be part of
any major political debate in Romania. As it was a structural problem of society, the situation in this field was the least affected by the process of Westernization
and modernization and would remain a source of social tension. The structure
and the distribution of agricultural lands represented the core of the matter,
and the possible solutions envisaged (land tenure, rural credit, sales of public
lands, the newlyweds law, the agricultural insurance law, peasant associations, etc.) failed to be efficient and to have lasting effects. The unfavorable weather conditions present in certain years and the crises experienced by European agriculture proved the weakness and the vulnerability to the hazards of nature and
of the market that defined the fundamental and dominant sector of the Romanian
economy of that time.
The increasingly rapid industrialization seen during the period in question
must also be taken into account whenever we seek to quantitatively assess the
process of Romanian modernization. Statistical data indicates that the true industrial revolution was only just beginning, alongside the more tentative integration
of the social capital market. If the censuses and the records from the middle of
the 19 th century list about 100 professions which involved roughly 25,000
people from the two Principalities,14 right before the First World War the industry generated approximately 22% of the GDP and 14% of the national revenue,15 employing more than 200,000 people.16 Nevertheless, despite the rapid
pace of industrial development, especially starting with the 1880swhen economic nationalism took the form of protectionism and of state involvement in


industrial developmentmost industrial ventures were merely craftsmens workshops. Romanian modernization and industrial development cannot be properly understood unless we take into account the fundamental role of the state,
of its policies and institutions, in this sustained effort made by Romanian society. Below we include an eloquent statistical chart, illustrating the dynamics
and the magnitude of the industrialization process, its rapid pace, and the role
played by the state17:





Total number of industrial ventures,

of which









Companies supported by the state

We notice that industrial companies were established at an average rate of

8.2 a year between 1866 and 1887, 14 a year in 18871893, and 18 a year in
18931906. During the period in question, communications and infrastructure also began to quickly catch up with their Western counterparts.
The forms and the manner in which democratization accompanied the process
of modernization and Westernization also require considerable attention from
the part of todays researchers. As much as it was indeed possible, the democratization of Romanian society was achieved exclusively within a top to bottom approach, having state authority as its main nucleus.
The legal field also saw a process of rapid Westernization, with the sometimes
superficial implementation of Western norms and values. The Constitution of
1 July 1866, preceded by the civil and criminal codes and by the codes of criminal and civil procedure, as well as the Commercial Code of 1887, were Western
in nature and aimed at Westernizing Romanian society along the European model.
In what concerns cultural life, Westernization is more obvious in the early
years of the period under investigation. Later on, the pressure of tradition limited the excesses of exaggerated imitation. Mass media and the still fledgling public opinion began to resemble those of Western and of Central Europe.

opinion, in the case of the first decades following the establishment of the modern nation-state we can talk about a dominant process of
Westernization, rapidly followed, in a second stage, by the process of modernization. Obviously, in Romania the processes of Westernization and modernization operated in a rather specific manner, with a first stage dominated by
Westernization and with a second one dominated by modernization. Chronologically speaking, the second stage could be said to begin in the early 1890s.
In each stage of the aforementioned processes, we notice the presence of a


competent opposition, which challenged the official modernization policy

embraced by the Romanian authorities. The adopted paradigms were closely
related to external stimuli, creatively digested by the Romanian elites. A
thorough analysis of the relationship between modernization and Westernization
in the Romanian space might provide a better understanding of the manner in
which our modernity emerged and gained contour, with all of its particular
and distinct features.

1. See Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the
Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, 2 vols. (New York:
Academic Press, 1974).
2. Talcott Parsons, The Social System (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951).
3. Walt W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960).
4. Alex Inkeles, Becoming Modern (New York: Collier, 1974); id., Making Man Modern,
American Journal of Sociology 75 (1969): 208225 sqq.
5. Myron Weiner, ed., Modernization: The Dynamic of Growth (New York: Atherton
Press, 1966).
6. David Apter, The Politics of Modernization (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
7. David McClelland, The Achieving Society (New York: Harper and Row, 1967).
8. Immanuel Wallerstein, statement made during the Voices feature of the BBC Channel
4, 25 April 1986, quoted in William Bloom, Personal Identity, National Identity
and International Relations (CambridgeNew York: Cambridge University Press,
1990), 3.
9. David C. Engerman, Staging Growth: Modernization, Development and the Global Cold
War (Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003).
10. Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).
11. Peter Wagner works at the European Institute in Florence and is the author of important books, such as: A Sociology of Modernity (1994) and Theorizing Modernity:
Inescapability and Attainability in Social Theory (2001).
12. Waltraud Schelkle, Wolf-Hagan Krauth, Martin Kohli, and Georg Elwert, Paradigms
of Social Change: Modernization, Development, Transformation, Evolution (Frankfurt:
Campus, St. Martins Press, 2000).
13. Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press,

14. See, for instance, the Moldavian census of 1845, which recorded 8,530 craftsmen
and apprentices in 101 professions.
15. N. P. Arcadian, Industrializarea Romniei: Studiu evolutiv istoric, economic i juridic,
2nd ed. (Bucharest: Imprimeria Naional, 1936), 141.
16. V. Axenciuc and I. Tiberian, Premise economice ale formrii statului naional unitar
romn (Bucharest: Ed. Academiei RSR, 1979), 241.
17. Ibid., 238.
Modernization and/or Westernization in Romania
during the Late 19th Century and the Early 20th Century
The paper highlights the importance of the concepts of modernization and Westernization for
any investigation of the situation of Romania in the late 19th century and at the beginning of the
20th century. After a detailed analysis of the concepts of modernization and Westernization, as
they appear in the specialized literature, with the specific interpretations given to each and with the
differences between them, the paper briefly surveys the fields in which these processes were
manifest in Romania during the period in question, from industry to law and culture.


Westernization, modernization, turn of the century Romania, industrialization

The Agrarian Reforms

Introduced at the Middle
of the 19th Century

Their Effects Upon the

Modernization of Transylvanian
Society (18501880)

Serfdom has been abolished

once and for all and shall
never return again.

Iosif Marin Balog

Researcher at the Romanian Academys
George Bari Institute of History of
Cluj-Napoca, a specialist in economic
and social history. Author of the book
Dilemele modernizrii: Economie i
societate n Transilvania 1850-1875
(The dilemmas of modernization:
Economy and society in Transylvania,
18501875) (2007).

HE END of serfdom and the restruc-

turing of agricultural ownership in EastCentral Europe were complex and gradual processes which cannot be associated
with a precise moment in time, but which
occurred in close connection to the political and economic phenomena that
marked the middle of the 19th century.
The liberation of the peasants also involved the transition to a new agrarian policy, a product of economic liberalism, creating the premises for the
adoption of a new system of production, in the absence of which no increase
in productivity would have taken place.1
The agrarian reforms introduced in
Central and Eastern Europe generated
a considerable historiographical debate.2
Without examining in detail the historiography on this topic, in its multiple and complex approaches, we shall
nevertheless mention the fact that the
paradigms of historical analysis deemed
fashionable at one point or another
are fully illustrated also when it comes


to the agrarian issue. Aware of the fact that agrarian relations developed in different manners in the eastern and in the western part of our continent, historians sought to explain the nature of these processes, and most of them contended that in Eastern Europe the system of agrarian relations served to increase
the gap and caused the relative backwardness of Eastern Europe during the
19th century and during the period that followed.3 The old interpretation whereby during the 16th and the 17th centuries the regions situated east of the Elbe River
saw a reintroduction of serfdoma second serfdomwas discarded, and the
processes in question were considered to be the economic response produced
by Eastern Europe to the attraction exerted by the Western produce markets, a
response which began with the increased subservience of the peasantry.4 In its
turn, Eastern Europe experienced different developments in terms of its agrarian relations between its western areas (Bohemia, Hungary, Western Poland,
Lithuania) and the eastern ones (Eastern Poland, Russia, the Romanian Principalities, the Balkans). The factor responsible for these differences were the
market relations established and facilitated by geographic proximity and by the
possibility to ship agricultural products by water (the Baltic Sea, the Vistula,
the Elbe).5
The increased political influence of the nobles also played a crucial role in
the introduction of feudal serfdom in Eastern Europe. In exchange for services
to the central power, the nobles were given free rein in their dealings with the
peasants. The state gradually ceased to interfere in the relations between nobles
and peasants, but beginning with the 18th century it sought to regain its authority over the relations in question. Still, the non-interference of the state was
not the only factor that strengthened serfdom. The increased market demand for
farm produce came once peasants began to pay their obligations in money and
paid labor became widespread, at a time of changes in production techniques and
of increased pressure to grow those crops that were in higher demand. These
measures generated huge profits for the great landlords, especially in the areas
accessible by water, which were the first to become part of the greater market.6
In the eastern parts of Central Europe, this phenomenon occurred much later,
in the 18th19th centuries, and on a smaller scale, generating significant gaps
and leading to a different type of relations between nobles and peasants, relations
essentially grounded in constraints that were not economic in nature.7
The agrarian reforms implemented during the second half of the 18th century brought little change, as the intention of enlightened monarchs to improve the
situation of the peasants was undermined by the nobles and by the local officials.
The nobles received financial compensation for the lost lands and serfs, at a
time when the low level of the economy and the lack of capital would have ruined
both the peasants and the production system itself.


The emergence of reformist movements at the middle of the 19th century

and the increasingly vocal group of those who believed that revolution was the
only way to bring about modernization turned the agrarian issue into the main
objective to be achieved. In fact, both reformists and revolutionaries understood that one needed more than just a few measures concerning agrarian policy. Given the complexity of the agrarian issue they realized the need for a deep
political, economic, and social transformation of the state. In those places
where there already was a certain production of goods in agriculture and where
money was already circulating, the emancipation occurred earlier. Decisive for
the success of the agrarian reforms were the initial circumstances in each country or region. Where ownership structure before the reforms allowed for a
rapid clarification of the judicial situation, the new initiatives had favorable results.
On the other hand, where ownership structures were unclear and a lot of time
was needed in order to eliminate ambiguities, mostly through a recourse to the
courts, the reforms proceeded with difficulty and in a halting manner. For instance,
in the Habsburg Empire and in western and central Poland, peasants were
allotted larger sections of the land they had once worked as serfs. In the Romanian
Principalities and in Russia, where lands had never been legally and clearly divided among peasants and the great landlords, the question was whether the peasants should be given land and how much land they could get.8
Of all the legislative measures taken by the Austrian state in the 1850s, the
one that most affected Transylvania and had a decisive impact upon the modernization of rural society as a whole was the urbarial patent of 1854, later
completed by other similar laws. In the case of Central and Southeastern Europe,
historians are nearly unanimous in saying that a solution to the agrarian issue was
a precondition for economic modernization, in the sense of a transition from the
feudal to the modern bourgeois ownership system, thus creating the premises for
the development of a market-oriented agriculture. Here, the liberation of peasants was one of the measures that had a decisive impact upon the social developments of the 19th20th centuries. The measures taken in order to put an end
to the old agrarian system and which are now designated by the phrase the
liberation of peasants were called at that time regulation, redeeming of the
serfs or property relief.9 It was a complex, gradual process, and legislation only
provided the necessary framework.
As early as 1850, the authorities in Vienna began to analyze the premises
required by the future agrarian law of Transylvania. The bill was drafted by some
of the most distinguished jurists of that time (Romanians, Saxons, and Hungarians):
Paul Dunca, Ion Brad, Dionisie Cozma, Ferencz Kemny, Jnos Gal, Simon
Schreiber, supervised by the referent for urbarial issues Josef Ritter von Grimm.
The bill was drafted over a period of four years, after the investigation of jurisdictional systems and of the petitions submitted by the peasants and by the land-


lords. This was not a case of procrastination, but rather a mature reflection
upon the circumstances in which the new legislation could be drawn up and implemented, an attempt to find the best solutions at a time when Transylvania
lacked a clear registration of the various categories of property and had no
land records.10 Urbarial commissions were set up within the local administrative units, coordinated by the central commission in Sibiu (Haupt Landescommission). They were also responsible for setting the amounts to be paid as
compensations and sought to broker free agreements concerning paid work
and labor obligations between landlords and the former serfs, even before the
law was adopted.11
Apart from the pacification of the province, the mission of Transylvanias
Governor Ludwig von Wohlgemuth (18491851) also involved its economic
reorganization.12 It is in these terms that we must understand the text of Ordinance
no. 35 of 27 November 1849, which assured the population that labor obligations and serfdom would never return again.13 The main principle of the urbarial law of 1848 is reiterated in Article 7 of the Constitution adopted on 4
March 1849, which clearly stated that any form of personal dependence or serfdom is hereby forever abolished. Any servitudes and obligations deriving from
real estate ownership are hereby abolished and banned under any form.14 It must
also be said that these provisions were reconfirmed and included in the Constitutional Principles of January 1852, which inaugurated the comprehensive
reconstruction of the empire in keeping with the principles of centralism and neoabsolutism.15 Measures had to be taken in order to restore agricultural production, which had been dismal during the previous two revolutionary years, and
the former serfs were asked to show responsibility and dedication in their work.
There was also a desire to pacify the peasants who, in many places, would not
even hear about any obligations towards the landlords and had begun dividing
up their estates, in total disregard of the state authorities. Under these circumstances, the text of the ordinance of November 1849 gains new meaning, and
equally relevant is the moderate but straightforward tone: Sloth is the worst
enemy of the peasants; to conceal it, peasants frighten themselves with the alleged
reintroduction of serfdom, and fail to reap the fruits of a toil that would help
them a lot in lean years. So that everyone know the truth and cease to believe
in rumors, I once again declare that serfdom has been abolished once and for
all and shall never return again . . . Be industrious and use the time not spent
working for yourselves whenever someone offers you additional work, and
you will be able to save some money for your children.16
The rural peasant society gradually changed under the influence of the reforms,
the effects being deep and irreversible. At least in a first stage, the modernization
of the rural world was brought about not so much by the radical nature of the
changes that occurred, but rather by their rapid pace. If under the Old Regime


change had been slow and an innovation required at least one generation before
it was accepted within the system, under the new circumstances changes became
much faster. The end of the old system of ownership, brought about in Transylvania
by the agrarian reforms of 1854, led to significant changes in the social relations within the rural world, but also when it came to the economic relations
between the rural world and the urban environment. Nevertheless, the economic
legacy of the period from before 1848 left a deep imprint upon the rural world
of Transylvania. This first generation had to put behind the nefarious effects of
serfdom,17 which required a difficult process of material and mental adaptation. The two components of the adaptation process operated in parallel, but not
at the same pace. From the very beginning, we see a considerable gap between
the production system, technology, market and the mentalities, in the sense
that the latter failed to adapt quickly enough to the new economic reality. This
situation had serious consequences, deeply affecting the process of modernization.

HE RURAL world was faced with two fundamental problems: one was related to the low technical level of the agriculture, which could offer only low
levels of production, while the other, deriving from the first, was the need
to expand the surface of cultivated land. Overall, between 1850 and 1870, the
surface of arable land increased by 293,609 jugera, from 2,161,345 in 185118
to 2,454,954 in 1870.19 Similarly, hayfields increased by 185,661 jugera. The
expansion of arable lands was achieved, on the one hand, because the price of
certain produce had grown, and, on the other, because the population itself grew
and plots were divided up. Where population density was higher, arable lands
were extended mainly at the expense of pasturelands, but also in keeping with
the structure of land ownership: the largest increases were recorded in the areas
where smaller plots, ranging between 5 and 15 jugera, were dominant. Generally
speaking, the process did not favor the poor peasants owning little arable land,
as prior to the division of pasturelands and forests they had supplemented their
income by raising more cattle on the commons. After the division of the commons, every peasant received a plot of pastureland in direct proportion to the
surface of arable land he had, but was allowed, at least in theory, to plant anything he wanted on it. While the statistical data for the 1850s do not reflect
the magnitude and the pace at which cultivated surfaces expanded, it is certain
that after 1867 we can talk about an average overall expansion of arable lands
by 9.71%.20
At the same time, the transition was made from three-field to continuing agriculture. This process had numerous effects which often went beyond the strictly economic field, reaching the sphere of human relations within the rural communities. The magnitude of this phenomenon is difficult to assess with statistical
precision in the case of Transylvania. It is certain, however, that its dynamics


was affected by individual interests and by the strength of the community. 21

Gradually, individual interests became more important, as dictated by economic imperatives. Sometimes, isolated individuals acted without the consent of their
communities, and even against the will of the latter, making necessary the intervention of state authorities. Documents speak of many cases in which wealthier members of the community tried to enclose their lands and grow crops, and
were opposed by their poorer neighbors, interested in defending the pasturelands.
The transition to a continuing type of agriculture was first achieved by the former landlords, interested in growing crops for the market.
We witness a gradual change in the peasants attitude towards the land: land
is no longer seen as a means of dominating others, but rather as a source of
gain. The new nature of ownership feelings are also revealed by the tendency
of some peasants to buy more and more land. The Transylvanian peasants from
the middle of the 19th century saw the purchase of additional lands as a way to
increase their wealth. As demand increased and peasants believed they could work
more without incurring additional expenses, they sought to purchase more
land. The 1850s and the 1860s saw an increase in the number of plots bought
and sold. The value of arable land fluctuated considerably. While before the agrarian reforms the average price of one juger of land (about a quarter of a hectare,
or three fifths of an acre) rarely exceeded 3040 florins,22 in the 1870 its price
reached an average of 6070 florins. The classification adopted with the introduction of the land tax defined four quality categories of lands, and the price varied accordingly. The proximity to the main thoroughfares or to the marketplaces was also an increasingly significant factor determining the value of one
piece of land or another. The expansion of the railway network had a major influence in this respect, in the sense that prices were 2050% higher in the areas
situated close to a railway. Climate conditions, especially the unfavorable ones,
such as the drought of 18631865, led to drastic decreases in land prices, as
landowners found it impossible even to obtain enough produce for their own
consumptionanother indication of the fact that the crises of the Old Regime
in agriculture influenced Transylvania until the 1860s and the 1880s.
The development of a more modern and market-oriented agriculture was fundamentally conditioned by the introduction in efficient agricultural machinery
and implements. This process was also tortuous and hardly coherent, influenced by countless local factors. Still, in general terms, we can say that first
and foremost we are dealing with an improvement in the old agricultural implements, to the extent in which that was possible: wooden and iron ploughshares,
wooden harrows on iron frames, the widespread use of standardized factorymade agricultural implements, largely imported from Austria, such as scythes and
iron pitchforks. The development of agricultural technologies was conditioned
by a large number of factors, some of them economic in nature, such as the avail-


ability of cheap iron, and others less so, as in the case of the social constraints:
generally speaking, across the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, the intention was to introduce cheaper and more labor-intensive technologies likely to
increase the productivity of manual labor, amid an increase in the rural population which automatically created a labor surplus.23 The periods of heightened
agricultural activity demanded, on the one hand, more efficient labor and increased
speed in the performance of agricultural tasks, and, on the other hand, they granted the constantly expanding rural proletariat access to revenues likely to keep
them safe from famine. This comes to explain why, more often than not, the opposition to the introduction of new tools and techniques likely to speed up agricultural work was greater in those areas where there existed a labor surplus. Then
came the countless local peculiarities related to climate and soil, each region
responding in its own fashion and at its own pace to the new challenges. For
instance, wooden ploughshares remained longer in use in the mountain areas,
and where the soil was sandy they were only replaced in 18801890. 24 The
same happened in France, where these ploughshares were replaced sometime
between 1850 and 1890.25 In Transylvania we see the same fluctuating tendency to replace wooden ploughshares with iron ones, reaching its peak in the late
1860s and the early 1870s. Although in 1878 wooden ploughshares were still
dominant in Transylvania, iron ones were gradually introduced, especially in
the regions where the soil was favorable to such changes (Braov, Trei Scaune,
Sibiu) and where horse traction was also increasingly used. Statistical data from
the mid-1870s indicate the gradual introduction of agricultural machinery but,
as opposed to the other regions of Hungary, in Transylvania this phenomenon
coincided with the second wave of technological improvements in agriculture (scythes for the harvesting of grain, iron ploughshares and iron harrows).26
We believe that, in a first stage, rural society was most affected by the advent
of modern agricultural techniques at a mental level, in that peasants began to
understand the value of time and implicitly of the possibility to gain more by
making their work easier and more efficient. To give only two examples meant
to illustrate the difficulty of this process, we shall mention that, in 1873, 19 of
the 36 counties, districts, and seats of Transylvania had no steam-powered agricultural machines whatsoever,27 and that iron ploughshares, rarely used around
1850, were found in only 30% of the farms 30 years later.28
Agricultural machinery was first used on the medium and large estates, which
could afford such an investment in response to the higher cost of labor. Other
reasons had to do with the increased efficiency and with the shorter time required
by agricultural activities, because the expansion of arable lands demanded more
work than what had been needed at the time when part of the revenue was
generated by the livestock raised on the common pastures. Mechanization also
came with the transition from three-field agriculture to continuing agriculture.


The landowners who first introduced modern techniques and machinery also
adopted a new attitude, changing from self-sufficient farmers into small producers
and acquiring a new understanding of the market. The individuals and the communities that chose to respond to these challenges managed to improve their living conditions in the space of only a few years. Nevertheless, in more ways
than one the inertia of tradition and the pervasive feeling of mistrust proved to
be stronger than the factors of progress.
It would be, however, a mistake to believe that the changes occurred in rural life derived exclusively from the introduction of new technologies and of modern production methods. Equally significant was the change at the level of collective mentalities, which saw the gradual emergence of a new work ethic. The
change of generations also played a fundamental part. 29 The generation of the
1850s, familiar with both systems, began to be replaced in the 1870s and the
1880s by a new generation, born after 1848, familiar with the new values and
more willing to embrace novelty. In a village, the reputation of a young man came
not only from the size of his familys assets, as in the past, but also from his farming skills. The role of women also changed: the increased cultivation of vegetables and the introduction of new agricultural techniques led to a higher division of labor, and women became busier and busier. Hence the relative decline
in folk art, explained by folklore scholars and ethnographers by the advent of
cheap industrial products. In fact, there was simply no time to make such artifacts in the household. The agrarian reforms created competition among the rural
households, not for capitalist reasons but rather for reasons that had to do with
a heightened sense of ownership and with the belief that one had to do ones job.
This competition first became obvious in the areas with a mixed ethnic composition and where the heritage of serfdom was less present: Romanians picked
up a lot of good habits from the Saxons and the Hungarians. Then came the
former serfs or free men, the yeomen or the landless peasants of yesteryear,
who had never done any real work and had not learned the basics of agricultural work, being instead a bunch of no-goods. This difference could be seen
in the villages where these different categories lived in close proximity to each
other and enjoyed similar conditions.30 We see, thus, that a significant contribution to the technological modernization of the agriculture was also brought
by the spirit of imitation and by the work ethic developed by each of Transylvanias
ethnic groups.
Animal husbandry also felt the effects of the agrarian reforms introduced at
the middle of the 19th century. The modern legal concept of property and its new
economic significance changed the manner in which land was cultivated and also
the manner in which livestock was raised. Extensive animal husbandry would still
be practiced for many years to come, and productivity remained low, even when
compared to other provinces in the empire: if in Lower Austria a cow gave


1,0001,200 liters of milk every year, in Transylvania it gave no more than 425570
liters a year.31 Until the late 1870, dominant in Transylvania were the so-called
steppe cows, great as beasts of burden but with a low yield.32 In 1871, the
first cows of the Tyrolean breed known as Pinzgau were imported by the Sibiu
Agricultural Association, which had also received 2,000 florins in state subsidies.
Only towards the end of the century do we see a systematic concern with the
improvement of animal breeds, high yield breeds being imported from Switzerland
and from the western provinces of Austria. The changes in animal husbandry
required the cultivation of fodder plants on additional areas. In a first stage,
the lands scheduled to lie fallow were used for this purpose. Continuing agriculture was thus right around the corner. The surface of hayfields increased by
185,661 jugera between 1850 and 1870, while pasturelands covered an additional 200,000 jugera. On average, there were 2,5 jugera per peasant farm and
159 jugera for each large estate. Gradually, a cattle market developed, run by
entrepreneurs specializing in cattle trade across the whole empire. The most
significant advantage enjoyed by Transylvania was the possibility to export animal produce to the imperial markets, protected from foreign imports. As a result,
between 1850 and 1875 the number of livestock increased by more than 100,000,
amid a steady increase in the price of animal produce. Thus, between 1851
and 1867, the average price of a hundredweight of beef was 21,16 florins,33 reaching 23,74 florins in 18671870, and 24,68 florins in 18711875.34
Sheep raising fared less better, and between 1850 and 1875 the number of
sheep went down by 18.71%. The most profitable period for the raising of sheep
had lasted until the middle of the 19th century,35 as indicated by the statistical data
concerning wool trade in the empire: if in the early 19th century it stood at
6065,000 hundredweight, in the 1830s it doubled, reaching 140,000 hundredweight in the 1840s. In the following decade however, the figure was reduced
by half.36 Especially in the case of Transylvania, the reasons behind these changes
reveal a number of interesting aspects pertaining to the modernization process,
amid changes in the legal definition of ownership, in the value of arable lands,
presently more lucrative in the context of a market-oriented economy. As we
know, for centuries Transylvanian shepherds had used to take their flocks south
of the Carpathians, to the Danube, and even as far as Dobruja, southern Bessarabia,
or Crimea. Thus, the shepherds from the region of Sibiu and those from the Land
of Brsa would gain considerable revenue from sheep breeding and enjoyed
the possibility to graze their flocks in wintertime in the areas located south of the
Carpathians, in exchange for a moderate fee. However, the changes that appeared
in the 1850s triggered the irreversible decline of this migration of flocks, reducing the number of those practicing it. Gradually, the legislation and the economic
constraints introduced by the state restricted the movement of shepherds towards
their wintering places and made it difficult to find pastures at reasonable prices.


With money exchanges becoming increasingly important in the general economy, the taxes and the customs duties paid by the itinerant shepherds saw an
unprecedented increase. When the tenants, the civil servants, or the landowners in Wallachia realized that they could gain considerable revenue from these
Transylvanian shepherds-merchants, they introduced many customs duties and
other taxes. The customs regulations of 1852 consecrated the same state of affairs.37
Equally restrictive was the law of 1865, which introduced a fixed deadline for the
return of the flocks to Transylvania. If the deadline was not respected, the
flocks were considered to have been exported and taxed accordingly. The fiscal
nature of this law is quite obvious, and it came to complete the law of 1864 which
had given a modern legal definition to the concept of land ownership. While
in Hungary sheep raising declined as the demand for wool decreased and the cultivation of wheat became increasingly appealing,38 in Transylvania the decline was
essentially caused by the restrictions affecting the aforementioned migration of
flocks. Besides, in Transylvania the traditional breeds were replaced very slowly. In this case, the process of modernization was determined by two categories
of factors: on the one hand, the developments on the Hungarian market, on
the other, the legislation and the administrative measures adopted in Wallachia,
which directly affected the activity of Transylvanian shepherds.
The changes in the price of produce occurred in the empire between 1850 and
1875 reveal another facet of modernization and of the transition to a market-oriented economy, favored by the general economic context but, to a large extent,
also by climate conditions. Practically, throughout the whole period in question, the climate was the dominant factor determining the price of produce, at
a time when the limited transportation facilities failed to deliver the produce
where it was mostly needed. If we look at grain prices in Transylvania between
1850 and 1875, we see two main stages, determined by the political context
but also by climate conditions. Between 1851 and 1860, 39 prices saw an average growth of 1415%, just like in Hungary. While on the Danube Plain production levels had increased significantly even prior to the agrarian reform, in
direct connection to the beginning of Austrian industrialization, in Transylvania
the general increase in grain prices between 1854 and 1856 was caused by the
movement of the Austrian troops in the direction of the Danube Principalities.
The price of wheat saw a most significant increase, from 3,39 florins in 1853
to 4,15 florins in 1854 and 4,5 florins in 1855.40 It must also be said that between
1854 and 1856 Galicia and Bukovina experienced repeated crop failures.
The increase in the price of grain has often been seen as the reason behind
the expansion of cultivated lands and the increase in production. In fact, statistical data fail to demonstrate such a connection: while that the law of offer and
demand did keep the prices up, this happened because of the limited supply available.41 In 1853, a cold and wet year, just like 1859,42 the price remained high


as even in the Romanian Principalities crops were rather poor and there were limited possibilities to supply Transylvania with the produce it actually needed.
On the other hand, 18541856 turned out to be very good years, long mentioned in the press as the best years since the liberation.
Then came three years of terrible drought in Transylvania, between 1861
and 1864, and entire communities experienced a famine similar to those that had
predated the modern era. Until 1864 the price of grain and of other produce
remained very high, and it began to decrease only after 1866, with excellent crops
obtained in 1869 and 1871.43 Practically, between 1861 and 1870, the grain price
index increased by 21%, far more than in previous years because of the aforementioned climate conditions, while towards the end of the interval in question the reason had to do with higher demand on the market. Furthermore, as
in the 19th century transportation costs could represent as much as 80% of the
asking price for produce, we see differences in prices between the various regions
of the province. As the transportation system was modernized, the very mechanisms of the market experienced a process of fragmentation. While previously
prices had been influenced by the access to markets and implicitly by transportation
costs and by the arrival of wagon convoys, when transportation became cheaper the law of offer and demand began to gain the dominant position it deserved.44
Participation in market exchanges was certainly conditioned by the size of ones
lands and by the proximity to the urban areas likely to absorb a greater or smaller volume of farm produce. Statistics show clear differences in this respect.45 In
the regions located farther away from the major urban centers, only the medium and large farms (30 jugera or more) produced for the market. In areas
such as the district of Braov, more than 30% of the 29,430 landowners who possessed between 1 and 15 jugera of land systematically sent their produce to the
market. Similarly, in the case of Cluj county, 25% of the medium farms systematically produced for the market.46
The increased purchasing power and the demand for merchandise in the rural
world led to the arrival of merchants in the Transylvanian villages. More and more
shops opened alongside the village pubs, and these merchants also became involved
in the trade in farm produce.47 Villagers no longer waited for a market day to buy
commodities like candles, soap, sugar, frankincense, salt, etc., but turned to the
merchants whose shops were open all day long and who would sometimes sell
on credit. Shops diversified constantly and reached even the small, remote villages.48 The rural world was turning bourgeois, as land ownership increased
and new attitudes were adopted. At least until 1875, statistics unfortunately
fail to reflect the social mobility of the peasantry, as the investigative methods and
the format of records differed considerably between one census and the next.
In fact, existing sources tell us that in the first two decades after 1850, the


main coordinates of modernization had their origin in the rural world, superseding all external influences. In the new context, the violent competition triggered by the desire to make more money, but also by the threat of famine, was
a permanent stimulus in the direction of adaptation and survival.

obstacle preventing the development of Transylvanias agriculture was not so much low productivity, but rather the structure of land
ownership, still anchored in the feudal past. Just like in the rest of Central
and Eastern Europe, in Transylvania the process of modernization operated
differently in the rural and in the urban world. The rural households and the
urban environment evolved at a different pace from one another.49 On the other
hand, the slow pace of industrialization failed to keep up with rural overpopulation. Then came the failure to put to good use the labor surplus available in the
rural environment, whose pressure led to the slow adoption of modern technologies. Seen from this angle, the thesis whereby the increase in agricultural productivity is a prerequisite of industrialization no longer holds water.
The agrarian reforms significantly altered ownership structures. The Urbarial
Patent of 1854 granted more than 1.6 million jugera of land to the former
serfs, bringing an average 9,5 jugera to each former serf. The first three decades
following the agrarian reforms altered existing ownership structures, amid the
new economic context and the practice of the equal division of assets among peasants and small nobles, leading to a proliferation of the small estates and complicating the emergence of a rural landowning middle class. It must be said
that during this period the large estates were never divided and sold as small plots
(this occurred only around the turn of the century), and consequently little
land was put up for sale. Whatever sales did exist were limited to small plots.
At this level, the greatest effect was that of the enclosure of the common lands
(forests and pastures), because after the liberation many families of poor landowners, who had a maximum of 10 jugera, found themselves in a new economic
situation, some being forced to work as daily laborers. There occurred a natural and eventually necessary selection process, determined by the new economic
context, similar to that in other regions of Central and Eastern Europe, where
we see the same increase in the number of small and very small farms. For instance,
in Lower Saxony, in the course of one hundred years the number of estates smaller than 5 hectares increased from 9,000 to 32,000.50
A first estimate concerning the new ownership structure was made in late 1849
and in early 1850, in an attempt to introduce a provisional tax on land, but it
is largely incomplete and does not allow for a precise classification, by category, of ownership structures in Transylvania.51 However, later data reveals considerable regional differences in terms of land ownership, as dictated by local


peculiarities. For instance, in Cluj county the small estates (less than 5 jugera)
accounted for 44.07% of the land, below the Transylvanian average. On the other
hand, in the seat of Sibiu, they represented no less than 77.2% of all the land,
which does not mean that the landowners belonging to this category were in a
precarious situation. On the contrary, the communities living in this region
were among the most prosperous, as they obtained revenue also from other sources
and practiced a more efficient kind of farming. In fact, the very small estates were
dominant across the whole of southeastern Transylvania, representing no less than
70% of the total number of farms, far above the average for Transylvania. Farms
ranging between 5 and 15 jugera of land accounted for 20% of all the land,
and those between 15 and 30 jugera for 6.5%.
Generally speaking, in order to ensure acceptable living conditionsthat is,
to be safe from famine, in keeping with soil productivity and with local possibilities, a household needed between 10 and 15 jugera of land. Even if in
many regions peasants felt oppressed by the presence of large estates, the truth
is that across most of the province the majority of lands were in peasant hands
(in the former border regions more than 75% of the land consisted of small individual plots, the figure reaching 90% in the Sachsenland). However, the small
estates were seriously affectedand the effects were already felt 2030 years after
the agrarian reformsby their excessive fragmentation between the successive
generations of heirs, which generated an agricultural proletariat working as
day laborers and who depended on the small income generated by seasonal
agricultural activities, remaining outside the modest process of industrialization and urbanization that occurred during this period. Their increase by more
than 55% in the space of less than 20 years (18571870)52 gave the impression
of demographic pressure in the rural world, even if the population increase recorded during this period was not so significant as to exceed the availability of land.
Alongside the developments experienced by the small estates, which, as we
have seen, turned out to be the most vulnerable during this period, we witness
a number of changes affecting the medium estates, as wealthier landowners
appeared following the sale and purchase of land.
In conclusion, we could say that the changes affecting the nature of property relations in agriculture and the new tendencies they set in motion altered
the general dynamics of the agricultural sector in the direction of modernization,
despite the inertia and the fractures that accompanied it. It was a vacillating
but gradual development, which gave agriculture a dominant role within the
emergence of a new type of society, as the rural world accounted at the time
for the majority of Transylvanias population.


1. Gertraud Haag, Die Bauernbefreiung in sterreich: Ihre Entwicklungsgeschichte, konomische und soziale Bedeutung (Vienna, 1961), 217.
2. Emil Niederhauser, The Emancipation of the Serfs in Eastern Europe, in Eight
International Economic History Congress (Budapest, 1982), section B7, Agrarian
Reforms: Comparative Studies, 1928.
3. Werner Rsener, ranii n istoria Europei, trans. (Bucharest, 2003), 141.
4. The 33rd Meeting of the International Economic History Association held in 1973
in the United States was dedicated to discussions concerning ownership rights and
their implications for the economic developments of the past three or four centuries.
See in this respect Journal of Economic History 33, 1 (March 1973), devoted entirely to this matter, and especially Arcadius Kahan, Notes on Serfdom in Western
and Eastern Europe, 86100.
5. Peter Gunst, Sistemele agrare ale Europei Centrale i de Est, in Originile napoierii
n Europa de Est: Economie i politic din Evul Mediu pn la nceputul secolului XX, ed.
Daniel Chirot, trans. (Bucharest, 2004), 103.
6. Arnost Klma, Probleme der Leibeigenschaft in Bhmen, Vierteljahrschrift fr
Wirtschafts und Sozialgeschichte 62 (1975): 214224; a somewhat older approach
in Jerome Blum, The Rise of Serfdom in Eastern Europe, The American Historical
Review 62, 4 (July 1957): 807836.
7. Jerome Blum, Land and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century
1961), 575600.
8. M. Druzinin, Die Agrarreformen der sechziger Jahre des 19. Jahrhundert und ihr
Einfluss auf des russische Dorf, in Studien zu den Agrarreformen des 19. Jahrhundert
in Preussen und Russland, ed. Rudolf Berthold (Berlin, 1978), 117288.
9. Rsener, 194195.
10. No. 134, Ministerkonferenz.... Entwurf eines Ah. Patentes wegen Durchfhrung
der Ah. Anordungen ber die Aufhebung des Urbarialverbandes und des Zehentrechts,
dann die Grundentlastung im Grofrstenthum Siebenbrgen, in Die Protokolle
des sterreichischen Ministerrates 18481867. Abteilung III: Ministerium BuolSchauenstein, vol. 2, 15 Mrz 18539 Okt. 1853, ed. Waltrud Heindl (Vienna, 1979),
11. Karl Freiherr von Czoernig-Czernhausen, sterreichs Neugestaltung (Stuttgart
Augsburg, 1858), 494496.
12. Iosif Kovcs, Despre politica agrar a guberniului transilvan n perioada 1849-1854,
Acta Musei Napocensis (Cluj) 8 (1971): 645.
13. Ordinance no. 35 of 27 November 1849, in Buletinul guberniului provincial pentru
Marele Principat al Transilvaniei, 99.
14. Constitution of 4 March 1849, in Reichgesetzblatt (Vienna), no. 152/1849. For
the Romanian translation, see T. V. Pcian, Cartea de aur, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Sibiu,
1904), 523534.
15. Grundstze fr organische Einrichtungen in den Kronlndern des sterreichischen
Kaiserstaates, in Reichsgesetzblatt, no. 4/1852.


16. Ordinance no. 35 of 27 November 1849.
17. Simion Retegan, Aspecte ale stratificrii sociale n satul romnesc din Transilvania
la mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie Cluj 23 (1980):
311 sqq.
18. Tafeln zur Statistik der sterreichischen Monarchie fr die Jahre 18521854 (Vienna,
1855), VII. Heft, Tafel 36.
19. Magyar Statisztikai Kzlemnyek, 1874 (Budapest, 1875), 128129.
20. Bericht der Handels- und Gewerbekammer in Kronstadt an das hohe k.k. Ministerium fr
Handel Gewerbe und ffentliche Bauten ber den Zustand der Gewerbe, des Handels
und der Verkehrsverhltnisse des Kammerbezirks in die Jahre 18781879 (Kronstadt,
1881), 1878, 10.
21. Simion Retegan, Mutaii economice n satul romnesc din Transilvania la mijlocul
veacului al XIX-lea, 18481867, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie i Arheologie (ClujNapoca) 21 (1978): 192.
22. Bericht...., 1853-1856, 215.
23. E. L. Jones and S. Wolf, Agrarian Change and Economic Development: The Historical
Problems (London, 1969), 78.
24. A. Vrs, Rural Transformation in Hungary in XIXth Century (Budapest, 1980), 101.
25. Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 18701914
(Stanford, 1976), 115118.
26. L. Thompson, The Second Agricultural Revolution, 18151880, Economic History
Review 20 (1968): 71.
27. Magyar Statisztikai vknyv, vol. 2, 1873 (Budapest, 1874), 154155.
28. I. I. Adam, Agricultura Transilvaniei in ajunul Primului rzboi mondial, Revista
de istorie 37, 4 (1984): 319.
29. In his book on the modernization of rural Hungary, J. Held gives great importance to this development. Cf. J. Held, The Modernization of Agriculture: Rural
Transformation in Hungary, 18481975 (New York, 1980).
30. G. Maior, Politica agrar la romni (Bucharest, 1906), 272.
31. Magyar Statisztikai Kzlemnyek, 1872, 142.
32. Thomas Ngler and Joseph Drotleff, Geschichte der siebenbrgisch-schsischen Landwirtschaft (Bucharest, 1984), 98.
33. Magyar Statisztikai vknyv, 1870, 44.
34. Magyar Statisztikai Kzlemnyek, 1875, 2: 17.
35. Peter Gunst, Agrarian Development and Social Change in Eastern Europe, 14th19th
Centuries (Hampshire, 1996), 15.
36. Ibid.
37. C. Constantinescu-Mirceti, Pstoritul transhumant i implicaiile lui n Transilvania
i ara Romneasc n secolele XVIIIXIX (Bucharest, 1976), 6364.
38. Gunst, Agrarian Development, 3738.
39. Statistische Monatsschrift. Herausgegeben vom Bureau der K. K. Statistischen CentralComission, III Jahrgang (Vienna, 1877), 365366.
40. Statistisches Handbchlein fr die sterreichische Monarchie von der k.k. Direction der
administrativen Statistik (Vienna, 1861), 5859.

41. John Komlos, Austro-Hungarian Agricultural Development 18271877, Journal
of Economics and Human Biology 8, 1 (Spring 1979): 5159.
42. Beitrge zur Geschichte der Preise (Vienna, 1873), LIV.
43. Statistische Monatsschrift, 366.
44. Egyed kos, Transformri n structura societii rurale din Transilvania n a doua
jumtate a secolului al XIX-lea, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie Cluj 17 (1974):
45. Magyar Statisztikai vknyv, harmadik vfolyam, 1874 (Budapest, 1875), 96107.
46. Ibid.; see also Egyed, 321.
47. Retegan, Mutaii, 200201.
48. Adressbuch der protocolirten und nicht protocolirten Kaufleute, Fabrikanten und Gewerbsleute
von Ungarn, Siebenbrgen, Croatien, Slavonien, Dalmatien, Galitien und Bukowina
(Nuremberg, 1869).
49. Andrzej Wyczan ski and Jerzy Topolski, Peasant Economy Before and During the
First State of Industrialization, in Sixime Congrs International dHistoire conomique
(Copenhagen, 1974), 1131.
50. See, in this respect, Hans Morgen, Zur Frage der bervlkerung lndlicher Rume
(Berlin, 1912), 19.
51. E. A. Bielz, Beitrag zur Geschichte und Statistik des Steuerwesens in Siebenbrgen
(Hermannstadt, 1861), 94 sqq.
52. Recensmntul din 1857: Transilvania, 2nd ed., ed. Traian Rotariu (Cluj, 1997),
511; see also I. Bolovan, Transilvania ntre Revoluia de la 1848 i Unirea din 1918:
Contribuii demografice (Cluj-Napoca, 2000), 227.
The Agrarian Reforms Introduced at the Middle of the 19th Century:
Their Effects Upon the Modernization of Transylvanian Society (18501880)
The changes affecting the nature of property relations in agriculture and the new tendencies they
set in motion altered the general dynamics of the agricultural sector in the direction of modernization, despite the inertia and the fractures that accompanied it. The paper examines, through a
comprehensive recourse to the statistical records of the time, the changes occurred in the ownership structure of Transylvanian lands following the Patent of 1854. The modernization process that
followed is investigated in light of the effects of the aforementioned agrarian reform, attention
being paid to the introduction of new agricultural methods and machinery, to the changes occurred
at the level of collective mentalities, and to the developments on the produce market.


19th century Transylvania, agriculture, agrarian reforms, modernization, land ownership


Modernisation du
discours didactique dans
lenseignement primaire
roumain de Transylvanie
au milieu du XIXe sicle

Le but ultime
de lenseignement
est la notion de vertu.

Rodica Iano
Doctorante en histoire lUniversit
Babe-Bolyai de Cluj-Napoca,
spcialiste de lhistoire de
lenseignement au XIXe sicle.

didactique europen au XIXe sicle sest
ralise par deux voies : introduction de
notions de psychologie en pdagogie et
laboration de mthodes destines faciliter lapprentissage et remplacer la
mmorisation mcanique par la comprhension. Ces modifications rvolutionnaires sont trs bien refltes dans
la littrature transylvaine du milieu du
XIXe sicle.
Pour reconstituer le discours didactique vhicul en Transylvanie au milieu
du XIXe sicle on sest servi de trois types
de sources : ouvrages de pdagogie,
livres de mthode et manuels employs
dans lenseignement primaire. Ltude
ci-prsente vise un intervalle compris
entre 1785 parution du premier compendium de pdagogie en roumain et
1870-1872 publication des ouvrages
de mthode de Vasile Petri, Ioan Popescu et tefan Pop, tablissant les principes
de lenseignement de lcriture et de la
lecture qui seront en usage jusqu lentre-deux-guerres. Bien que cette re-


cherche soit destine surprendre le processus de modernisation de lenseignement roumain au milieu du XIXe sicle, nos investigations remontent jusquau
XVIIIe sicle, et cela pour au moins deux raisons. Premirement, les sources rvlent quen 1850 deux discours pdagogiques circulaient paralllement, vhiculant tant les modles rvolutionnaires que les ides premires de la pdagogie ;
pour comprendre la complexit du changement, on doit donc ncessairement
se rapporter au pass, qui du fait dtre ractualis travers ses ides tait
ressenti ce moment plutt comme un prsent. Deuximement, on remarque
une relative synchronisation entre la littrature pdagogique de langue roumaine
et celle de langue allemande, aspect qui nest pas spcifique quau milieu du
XIXe sicle et qui a rendu possible lexistence dune pdagogie roumaine originale aprs 1850.

Laventure dune nouvelle science : la pdagogie

acquit son statut de science aprs avoir parcouru un long

chemin, qui commence par la Didactica magna de Comenius (1628).
Le pdagogue tchque fut le premier signaler la ncessit dtablir les
lois de lducation, quil nona partir des lois naturelles ; les similitudes entre
la croissance de lhomme et celle des plantes lont aid viter les digressions
contre-nature dans lart de lducation, tel quil avait t conu avant lui, et
dfinir les principes, les mthodes et les objectifs fondamentaux du processus
instructif-ducatif sous une forme valable de nos jours encore. Cette analogie avec
les lois de la nature savra cependant un cul-de-sac pour lvolution de la pdagogie, puisque la vision organiciste sur le processus susmentionn ne put plus
subir des amendements. Les principes didactiques de Comenius, bien que repris
par la plupart des ouvrages ultrieurs de pdagogie, ne furent parfaitement
compris et rellement mis en pratique quau XIXe sicle, grce Johann Friedrich
Herbart (1776-1841). Ce vritable fondateur de la pdagogie comme science
nona les lois de lducation en partant de ltude des processus psychiques.
Les ouvrages dessein ducatif parus en Transylvanie peuvent fidlement retracer le chemin qua parcouru cette discipline au fil du temps.
La premire tape, pr-scientifique , de la pdagogie, est reprsente par
une srie de conseils pratiques lis lactivit du matre en classe ; on lappelle
pr-scientifique puisquelle ntablit pas de principes ducationnels, se limitant offrir des solutions aux problmes scolaires qui apparaissent rgulirement.
Linfluence de la didactique de Comenius y est minime. Les premiers ouvrages
de pdagogie en roumain se rattachent cette catgorie : Carte trebuincioas pentru dasclii coalelor de jos romneti neunite n chiesaro-crietile ri de motenire


(Livre lusage des matres des coles primaires roumaines non-unies des pays
hrditaires de la Couronne) (Vienne, 1785), traduit daprs Ignaz von Felbiger1,
et Pedagogia i metodica (Pdagogie et mthode), daprs Peter Villaume2 (1818).
Le livre de Felbiger tait au fond la traduction dun manuel que le pdagogue
allemand avait publi en 1774 Vienne, et qui jouit dun grand succs en Transylvanie. Le texte roumain, labor daprs une version slavonne, adapte aux
coles serbes par Teodor Iancovici, connut plusieurs versions3, dont la seule
rsister dans le temps est Carte trebuincioas pentru dascli (Livre lusage des
ce moment lducation tait conue comme une somme dhabitudes pratiques, normes morales et connaissances standard sur Dieu, le monde et lhomme,
quon devait transmettre aux coliers afin de les prparer occuper la place exige
par la position sociale de leurs parents. Les bnfices de lducation scolaire se
multipliaient, aux yeux des pdagogues, proportionnellement au degr de fidlit de la reproduction des informations reues. De ce point de vue, lenseignement idal avait deux acteurs : un enseignant dpositaire de la sagesse et un
lve ignorant qui concentrait son attention et exerait sa mmoire afin de pouvoir suivre son mentor. Ce systme de communication une fois mis en pratique rvlait son imperfection, fait dont tous les thoriciens de lducation taient
conscients. Ctait la nature humaine qui se rendait coupable de ce brouillage, car
du fait du pch originaire elle tait encline au dsordre : Les hommes du monde
entier sont de par leur nature avilie par les pchs dit le Livre lusage des
matres plus penchs demander et vouloir ce qui leur est interdit. Et puisque
leurs matres sy opposent, on doit les obliger faire le bien et les empcher de
faire le mal. 5 Pour amliorer lacte ducatif, le matre doit essayer de corriger
le penchant naturel de lenfant ne pas observer les normes de conduite. Faire
obir lenfant, cest la condition sine qua non de tout acte ducationnel, conu
la fois comme processus sensoriel et activit comportementale.
Cette pdagogie primaire dirige tous ses efforts mthodologiques vers llaboration de stratgies destines inhiber la tendance des coliers au dsordre. Le
matre a le rle dterminant en ce sens, sa peine tant essentielle pour loptimisation de la communication. numrer les chapitres de la premire partie
du Livre lusage des matres, on constate que lenseignant est le seul sujet de lacte
didactique ; on y parle de richesses utiles au matre (ses qualits), de ses
sciences (connaissances pdagogiques), ses devoirs (ce quil doit faire avant
et pendant la classe), dautres choses quil se doit de dfendre . Toute la
pdagogie thorique du XIXe sicle, qui a connu des mises en pratique, se place
sous le signe dun type de relation matre-colier o le matre omniscient guide
llve incapable de distinguer entre le bien et le mal. La modernisation ne signifie pas changement de ce rapport, mais dplacement de lintrt de lanalyse
de lenseignant vers llve, au moyen de notions de psychologie destines


modifier les stratgies de travail avec llve. Dans le Livre lusage des matres,
les seuls processus psychiques importants sont lattention ( la prise en compte ,
avec son contraire, linattention ou lparpillement de la pense ), qui revient
comme un leitmotiv de lapprentissage, et la volont, subordonne toujours lattention. En ce qui concerne la personnalit de lenfant, le livre de Felbiger offre
une gamme varie de types humains et de conseils visant la manire de lenseignant
de se conduire avec chacun de ses lves. Selon leur nature et leurs aptitudes , les enfants sont : vifs desprit ; moyens comme talents ; mauvais, voire simples desprits et les soi-disant petites ttes ; ttes sages ;
peureux ; paresseux et endormis ; enclins la colre, la vanit et la
mchancet . Selon leur conduite, ils sont bons, moyens et mauvais .6 La
valeur scientifique de ces classifications est minime, tant le rsultat plutt de
la sagesse populaire que dune observation pdagogique attentive.
Louvrage de Villaume contient des apprciations issues de lexprience personnelle de lauteur, qui le conduisent vers une prsentation pragmatique et
une manire moins rigide denvisager la relation matre-colier. Sa pdagogie
proclame ltablissement de rapports personnels entre lenseignant et ses lves,
bass sur des rgles prcises, valables pour les deux parties, sur lamour du matre
envers ses lves (soulign maintes fois au fil des pages) et sur le respect de
ceux-ci envers leur enseignant, sur la suppression des corrections humiliantes
et la rduction au minimum des chtiments corporels. La relation affective de
Villaume avec ses lves se construit par ladoption dune srie de valeurs et
symboles qui assurent la cohsion de la classe, impose la discipline et, ce qui
est plus important encore, cre une identit de groupe. Le matre nest pas que
le mentor du groupe, celui qui tablit les rgles, accorde les rcompenses et applique
les corrections ; il est aussi membre de ce groupe, le premier respecter le rglement, celui qui doit toujours tre de bonne humeur afin de crer un climat
propice ltude : les enfants ne sont vraiment bons que lorsquils accomplissent avec joie leurs devoirs 7 ; le matre ne pourra se faire obir par les enfants
sil se montre toujours en colre .8
Au tout premier plan des symboles qui assurent la cohsion du groupe dcoliers on retrouve un code de rgles formules de manire claire et concise ;
accroch au mur pour tre connu et respect par tout le monde, ce code qui
sappelle tabl de legi (code de lois) ressemble en quelque sorte au dcalogue
biblique. Les rgles sont analyses et expliques au dbut de chaque mois, en partant des manquements enregistrs entre temps.9 Il y a ensuite les rcompenses
symboliques qui vont graduellement depuis les simples paroles dencouragement
aux flicitations et finalement aux petits billets sur lesquels est crit assidu
sa tche . Ces derniers deviennent la rcompense la plus convoite quun colier puisse obtenir au cours dun semestre.10 Les corrections recommandes par
Villaume trahissent une bonne comprhension de la personnalit de lenfant, sp-


cifique du XXe sicle : si un enfant trane faire une chose par paresse, quon
lui interdise toute activit pendant la journe, et ce sera pour lui la punition
suprme ; si lenfant joue, quon lui ordonne de jouer plus tard, et alors il perdra toute envie de jouer ; sil a un comportement infantile, quon le mette en
classe avec de petits enfants.11 Malheureusement, Villaume ne parvient pas donner ses apprciations un caractre de principes, ce qui fait quelles nont pas
de consquences en pdagogie et en psychologie, leur auteur demeurant seulement un fin observateur et un excellent praticien dans le champ de lducation.
La deuxime tape dans lvolution des crits pdagogiques est reprsente
par lintroduction de notions de psychologie pour expliquer certains aspects du
processus ducatif. Si la psychologie a puis dans la physique, les mathmatiques
et la mdecine un savoir qui lui a servi se transformer en science, la pdagogie allait faire de mme en utilisant des concepts psychologiques. Dans la littrature didactique roumaine cette tape de la pdagogie est illustre par le
Manuductor12 de 1818, une compilation anonyme o les sources utilises sont
mentionnes la fin de chaque chapitre : il sagit douvrages de pdagogie et
de mthode rcemment parus en allemand, dont surtout luvre dAuguste
Hermann Niemeyer (1754-1828). Le Manuductor de 1818 fait un pas important en matire de modernisation de la littrature pdagogique, car, la diffrence
de Felbiger et Villaume, lducation scolaire ny est plus conue comme un acte
unilatral qui dpend de la diligence de linstituteur en classe, mais comme un
processus complexe qui exige de la part de lenseignant une formation la fois
mthodologique et psychologique. Le changement de paradigme se voit tout
dabord dans lvolution de la terminologie : on ny parle plus de matre, qui doit
faire, mais de croissance, passant ainsi de lvnement au processus. La conception
associationniste est vidente dans le chapitre Sur la croissance de lme : toutes
nos ides (suppositions) naissent du contact avec les objets extrieurs nos sens ;
la quantit et la perfection de ces ides dpendant de la perfection des organes
sensoriels qui nous permettent dacqurir les ides. 13
La croissance, voire lducation, a deux volets : la croissance du corps et la
croissance de lme (qui, a son tour, est intellectuelle et morale). La croissance du
corps comporte les principales normes dhygine, quon rencontre en quelque
sorte dans les deux autres choses mentionnes, mais ici leur importance est mieux
mise en vidence. Les processus psychiques sont appels pouvoirs de la
connaissance et sont les suivants : la sensualit (la sensation, la perception), la
prise de connaissance (lattention), la facult de se reprsenter des images (limagination), la facult de conserver et de se rappeler (la mmoire), la langue (le langage). Sans nier les bonnes intentions de lauteur, on doit toutefois remarquer
quil explique la psychologie de lenfant dune manire beaucoup trop sommaire pour avoir des consquences pratiques sur le processus ducatif. Le Ma-


nuductor comporte aussi des aspects de la pdagogie scolaire, contribuant ainsi

la diffusion dune image complexe du phnomne ducationnel.
La troisime tape du discours ducatif est ouverte par luvre de Johann
Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), grce laquelle la pdagogie devient vraiment
une discipline distincte dans le champ scientifique. Son systme pdagogique
repose sur le principe selon lequel lducation doit commencer par la formation de reprsentations claires et distinctes ; son but est dlargir tout le temps
le cercle dides de llve par laperception, cest--dire par lintgration de
nouvelles connaissances dans les anciennes. Grce Herbart, lenseignement intuitif, nonc pour la premire fois par Comenius et transform en mthode pratique par Pestalozzi, parvient ses consquences ultimes. En suivant le chemin
parcouru par la constitution des connaissances en un systme, depuis les reprsentations aux notions et ensuite aux ides haut degr de gnralisation, il tablit
quatre oprations de lapprentissage : la clart, lassociation, le systme et la
mthode14 ; ses disciples feront de ces quatre oprations les tapes psychologiques
de lapprentissage.
Un autre principe clbre nonc par le pdagogue allemand concerne lducation travers linstruction : le but ultime de lenseignement esthtique, littraire ou scientifique est de former le caractre de llve et donc son ducation morale, grce linfluence que ces formes denseignement ont sur la gense
de la volont. Pour Herbart, la connaissance, la volont et la sensibilit ne sont
pas de facults ou forces indpendantes, elles sont le fruit de lesprit ; la force
de la volont et la constance du comportement sexpliquent par la stabilit des
structures cognitives.15 La thorie de lintrt est un autre concept que Herbart
a introduit en pdagogie. Lintrt est, tout comme le dsir, une activit spirituelle ; lintrt se forme au moment o le sujet peroit une multitude de
sujets en profondeur et tablit des connexions entre eux.16 Pour atteindre
son but ultime, qui est la formation de la vertu, lducation doit former lintrt multilatral.
Le systme pdagogique de Herbart a t dominant en Transylvanie dans la
seconde moiti du XIXe sicle. Parmi ses reprsentants marquants on doit mentionner Ioan Popescu, premier auteur transylvain dun compendium de pdagogie (1868)17 et dun ouvrage de psychologie (1881)18 en roumain. Popescu
avait fait ses tudes de spcialit Leipzig (1859-1861), avec le professeur Tuiskon
Ziller, lun des plus clbres disciples de Herbart. Le compendium de pdagogie quil a publi fait le passage un niveau suprieur de dveloppement de
la littrature didactique roumaine ; il ne sagit plus dun simple recueil dides
et principes appartenant divers auteurs, mais dun ouvrage unitaire qui fait la
critique des thories prsentes.19 Linfluence de Herbart y est dcelable au niveau
des conceptions plutt psychologiques que pdagogiques. Ce qui le distingue de


la littrature didactique antrieure, cest justement la tentative dexpliquer la

formation des processus psychiques partir de notions complexes de physiologie et de mdecine.
Aprs avoir dfini dans lintroduction du compendium la pdagogie comme
science de lducation, Ioan Popescu insiste sur la nature duale de ltre humain,
form du corps et de lesprit. Cette dualit, qui ne nglige pas pour autant la
dimension matrielle de lhomme, a deux consquences rvolutionnaires pour
le discours pdagogique roumain dans la seconde moiti du XIX e sicle. Premirement, on estime les phnomnes de la vie physique comme dterminants
pour lexplication du psychique humain ; aussi lauteur ne fait-il pas lanalyse
des processus psychiques quaprs avoir brivement prsent le systme nerveux
laide de notions de physiologie et mdecine. Secondement, lducation physique
nest plus conue comme un simple code de rgles dhygine, elle suppose ncessairement des exercices de gymnastique. Ioan Popescu a aussi le mrite davoir
tabli la terminologie de spcialit de la psychologie roumaine au XIXe sicle.
Selon lui, les phnomnes de la vie spirituelle sont les ides, les sentiments et
les aspirations. Les processus psychiques la mmoire, loubli, limagination
(la fantaisie), la pense, lintelligence, lattention font partie de la classe des ides
et sont expliqus conformment aux conceptions de lassociationnisme. Les
sentiments sensuels (les sensations) et intellectuels (la vrit, lhonneur, le sens
esthtique, les sentiments moraux, les sentiments religieux, etc.) appartiennent
la deuxime classe, alors que la classe des aspirations inclut les envies, les passions, les affects et les idaux. son tour, le dveloppement spirituel comprend
la culture de la raison et la culture du cur ; la culture de la raison signifie la clart et la multitude dides cristallises dans lesprit la suite de limpact avec les
impressions extrieures20, tandis que la culture du cur suppose le dveloppement de sentiments et aspirations moraux.21 Les principes, les moyens et les rgles
de lducation sont ainsi prsents dans un cadre scientifique afin daider les instituteurs mieux les comprendre et intrioriser. Ioan Popescu conoit lducation comme un processus complexe, fruit de la contribution de plusieurs facteurs :
les qualits personnelles de lenseignant, sa qualification professionnelle, la personnalit et lge de llve, le milieu social et la famille. Dans le sillage de Herbart,
il fait de la moralit le but suprme de lducation : Le but ultime de lenseignement est la notion de vertu 22, disait le pdagogue allemand ; si lducation commence par faire avancer le dveloppement naturel de lenfant, elle
sachve par guider llve au cours de son dveloppement vers la vertu, laccomplissement du bien moral, la moralit 23, prcisait le professeur transylvain. Ioan Popescu nest pas seulement le premier auteur roumain douvrages
de pdagogie et psychologie en Transylvanie, mais surtout lun des pdagogues
les plus importants et un nom de rfrence dans la psychologie roumaine du XIXe


Lecture phontique, criture et lecture simultanes,

enseignement intuitif

pdagogie est une discipline dont lapplicabilit tient plutt de la vocation de lenseignant que dune bonne connaissance de ses principes, ce
qui rend difficile den intrioriser les prceptes, la mthode, par contre, a
un aspect beaucoup plus pratique, ce qui facilite lvaluation de son acceptation et application. Aussi pensons-nous que la vritable rvolution dans lenseignement roumain eut lieu au moment de lintroduction des mthodes modernes de transmission des connaissances fait visible tant dans les ouvrages
de mthode que dans les manuels du cycle primaire. Pour comprendre en quoi
consiste cette rvolution produite dans lenseignement en 1850, on doit faire une
prsentation succincte de la manire dont la lecture et lcriture taient enseignes
dans les coles roumaines de lpoque. Il faut dabord prciser quon utilisait
lalphabet cyrillique, qui avait 40 signes, et que la lecture tait enseigne avant
lcriture. Pour apprendre lire, les lves se servaient dun panneau (tabela de
slovnire) accroch au mur, qui contenait toutes les lettres, et de labcdaire (bucoavna), o, sur la premire page, ils trouvaient tout lalphabet. Le Livre lusage
des matres indique lenseignant quels sont les pas suivre pour aider les enfants reconnatre les lettres : nommer une lettre, lindiquer sur le panneau et
finalement la dessiner au tableau noir en mettant en vidence ses parties composantes.24 La Scriptolegie (lcriture) de Vasile Petri rvle cependant que les
choses taient beaucoup plus simples dans la pratique : Le matre appelait les
coliers tour de rle sa table, leur montrait dans lAbcdaire les lettre dans
lordre alphabtique et les rptait autant de fois quil tait ncessaire pour que
les coliers parviennent les reproduire par cur, tant dans leur succession quisolment. Ctait un travail lent, et il arrivait souvent que certains coliers passent
dans ce dpartement [de la lecture] deux ou plusieurs annes. 25
Aprs avoir appris la forme et le nom des lettres, les lves passaient ltape suivante de la lecture : la syllabation. Les leons prsentes dans les manuels
contenaient diffrentes combinaisons de voyelles et consonnes (une voyelle et une
consonne, une voyelle et deux consonnes, une consonne et une diphtongue etc.),
dans des structures dnues de sens, formes selon un critre strictement alphabtique. Ces structures taient lues machinalement, conformment au langage de
lpoque : ba, be, bi, bo, bu, b, b ; ab, b, eb, ib, b, ob, ub ; stra, stre, stri, stro,
stru, str, str etc. Selon la rgle, on devait prononcer dabord les noms des lettres de chaque syllabe et ensuite le son correspondant. Aprs quelques semaines
dexercices de ce genre, on commenait lire des mots, en respectant le mme
modle, et, plus tard, mme des propositions. Ces leons de syllabation pouvaient
durer tout lhiver, sans que les lves parviennent lire un texte. Vu la mthode
utilise et compte tenu de labsentisme lev, ce nest pas tonnant qu la fin


de lcole un grand nombre dlves ne sachent pas lire et peu dentre eux parviennent apprendre crire. Selon Zaharia Boiu, dans une cole de 50-60 garons,
cinq ou six seulement avaient la chance dapprendre crire .26 La mthode quon
employait dhabitude pour enseigner lcriture, ctait de donner llve un
soi-disant formulaire ou preuve, quil devait copier par imitation, lenseignant
se limitant le corriger. Ctait la mthode la plus utilise en Europe, jusquau
dbut du XIXe sicle, pour enseigner la lecture et lcriture. Dans son ouvrage
Scriptolegia, Vasile Petri passe en revue les mthodes denseignement de la lecture et de lcriture, sans oublier de mentionner les initiateurs des rformes de
modernisation dans ce domaine. La mthode de la lecture phontique, qui
vient remplacer la mthode littrale, fut homologue par le pdagogue allemand Stefani, en 1803. Lenseignement de la lecture et de lcriture simultanes eut plusieurs prcurseurs, partir du XVIIe sicle, mais ce sont les Anglais
Bell et Lancaster qui allaient limposer, aprs 1789. Dans lespace allemand
cette mthode fut introduite en 1817, par le conseiller scolastique de Bavire,
J. B. Graser, ce qui la fit entrer dans la littrature du domaine sous le nom de
la mthode de Graser.27
Au XIXe sicle, la stratgie didactique subit un changement majeur par lintroduction de la soi-disant mthode intuitive, mthode universelle denseignementapprentissage qui devient le signe distinctif de la rvolution produite dans la
pdagogie transylvaine aprs 1850. Propos dj par Comenius, lenseignement
intuitif devint clbre grce au pdagogue helvtique Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
(1746-1827), qui en expliqua tant laspect thorique que la dimension pratique.
Les principes de la pdagogie de Comenius (lducation daprs la nature, lapprentissage graduel et concentrique, du simple au complexe, du concret labstrait) ne seront mis en pratique quaprs la diffusion de la mthode intuitive
de Pestalozzi. Lenseignement devait dornavant se raliser partir de la perception des objets par lintermdiaire des cinq sens et non pas de la mmorisation des dfinitions, comme on lavait fait auparavant. Par lenseignement intuitif, Pestalozzi mettait au premier plan un principe trs simple, mais ignor
avant lui : la clef de lapprentissage tait de respecter lordre naturel de trois types
dactivits fondamentales : regarder, rflchir et parler. En Transylvanie, la rformation de lenseignement visa plusieurs aspects en mme temps : mthode
intuitive au lieu de mmorisation ; alphabet latin pour remplacer lalphabet
cyrillique ; apprentissage simultan de la lecture et de lcriture la place de
lapprentissage spar ; mthode phontique dans lapprentissage de la lecture au
lieu de syllabation.


Ouvrages de mthode et manuels utiliss en Transylvanie

au milieu du XIXe sicle

ouvrages de mthode destins lenseignement de lcriture,

de la lecture et de larithmtique selon les mthodes susmentionnes
sont publis en Transylvanie aprs 1850. Il sagit dun ouvrage anonyme,
Metodica calculaiunii n cap (La mthode du calcul dans la tte), paru en 185628,
du livre que Zaharia Boiu publia en 1862, Manuducere la ntrebuinarea abdarului (Guide dutilisation de labcdaire)29 et dune uvre complexe de mthode pour lenseignement de larithmtique, Computul n coala popular (Le calcul lcole populaire), sign Ioan Popescu et paru en 186430. Ioan Popescu31,
Vasile Petri32 et tefan Pop33 publirent dailleurs de 1870 1872 plusieurs guides
mthodologiques destins lenseignement de labcdaire et conus comme des
auxiliaires indispensables leurs manuels. Tous ces ouvrages de mthode offraient
des explications dtailles sur la manire denseigner chaque leon en se servant
de la mthode intuitive. Les manuels darithmtique et les guides affrents promouvaient, outre la nouvelle mthode, lapprentissage par des exercices varis
au lieu de la mmorisation de dfinitions. Avant 1850, les manuels darithmtique contenaient une succession de dfinitions, chacune illustre par un seul exercice, titre dexemple. Aprs 1850, les exercices et les problmes taient prsents,
ct de dfinitions, mme dans les ouvrages de mthode, laide dune terminologie moderne et prenant comme point de dpart les ralits concrtes.
Les manuels typiques pour lcole lmentaire furent, avant 1850, Bucoavna
(Abcdaire aux lettres cyrilliques), Ceaslovul (Le livre dheures), Octoihul (LOctoque), Catehismul (Le Catchisme), ce qui confrait lenseignement un caractre exclusivement religieux. Bien quil soit difficile de distinguer entre Bucoavna
et Abcdaire, ces deux types de manuels reprsentrent des poques diffrentes
dans lhistoire de lenseignement roumain. Bucoavna classique tait un livre
utilis pour apprendre lire et exercer le culte religieux. La premire partie devait
dhabitude familiariser les lves avec les lettres cyrilliques majuscules : sur la premire page on trouvait lalphabet, suivi dun nombre variable dexercices de
syllabation ; la seconde partie comprenait des prires, des enseignements liturgiques
et, souvent, les vpres et la messe. LAbcdaire classique du XIXe sicle diffre
fondamentalement de la Bucoavna : il diversifie les exercices dapprentissage de
la lecture, comprend aussi lapprentissage de lcriture, contient surtout des lectures laques contenu scientifique et pourvues dune morale chrtienne ou
civique ; les textes qui retracent des vnements bibliques sont adapts au niveau intellectuel des enfants, alors que la partie de culte est rduite quelques
prires. La priode de transition entre ces deux types de manuels dura de 1850
1870 et se superposa lutilisation de lalphabet de transition ou civil, qui
tait un alphabet cyrillique simplifi, trs proche de celui latin. Ce changement


radical du plus important livre scolaire ne constitua pas la seule rvolution produite dans lenseignement roumain de lpoque. Lapparition, aprs 1866, des
premiers manuels de gographie, histoire et histoire naturelle lusage des coles
populaires fut une autre rvolution, que nous allons brivement illustrer dans
ce qui suit.
Les premiers abcdaires apparaissent en Transylvanie en pleine re des bucoavne :
le premier appartient lauteur valaque Grigore Pleoianu, tant la traduction
dun abcdaire franais (1833)34, le deuxime est crit par D. Jianu (1836).35 Les
changements mthodologiques quils proposent sont presque insignifiants. Ce
nest quen 1851 que commence lpoque de rformation dans ce domaine, grce
la parution, Sibiu, de deux manuels qui, jusquau milieu des annes 60,
connatront dj trois et respectivement quatre ditions : il sagit de Abdar
pentru folosu colarilor de lege greco-rsritean (Abcdaire lusage des coliers
de confession grecque orientale)36, publi aux Imprimeries piscopales, et de louvrage de Georgie Clozius, Abecedariu cu slove cirilice i cu litere romane (Abcdaire
crit en lettres cyrilliques et romanes).37 Bien que publis la mme anne, leur
contenu est tout fait diffrent, refltant deux points de vue antagonistes sur
lducation : le premier contient des textes religieux pour la plupart (histoires
de lAncien et du Vieux Testament, choisies en fonction du but ducatif envisag par les auteurs), alors que le second a un caractre exclusivement lac, voire
scientifique. Ce dernier ralise dailleurs plusieurs premires dans la littrature
didactique de Transylvanie : il introduit les lettres latines ct des lettres cyrilliques
religieuses et civiles, contient des exercices en lettres minuscules ainsi que des
textes de gographie et de sciences naturelles. Du point de vue du contenu, il
est une vritable encyclopdie lusage plutt des enfants de gymnase que de ceux
de lcole primaire. Cest le premier abcdaire paru en Transylvanie au XIXe
sicle ne pas faire de lducation morale son but prioritaire ; lducation religieuse
sy rduit quelques prires, introduites dans la partie crite en lettres cyrilliques.
Si les premiers abcdaires ne se distinguaient des bucoavne que par leur
contenu, Elementariul spre ntrebuinare n scoalele poporene (Abcdaire lusage
des coles populaires), paru Vienne en 185838, nous met devant lenseignement
intuitif ds les premiers textes, qui nous prsentent les cinq sens et leur utilit.
Suivant la mthode de Pestalozzi, les mots sont groups par genres et espces,
pour permettre aux enfants de se familiariser avec les dnominations prcises
des choses et den connatre les traits distinctifs et les proprits.
En 1861, Zaharia Boiu ouvre avec son Abecedariul pentru scolele populare romne39
(Abcdaire pour les coles populaires roumaines) lpoque de labcdaire
dauteur, moderne, qui remplace la syllabation par la lecture phontique et o
la lecture et lcriture son enseignes simultanment. Dans le sillage de Pestalozzi,
Boiu envisage un enseignement qui va de la perception lintuition dans la
connaissance des choses et de la comprhension la prononciation correcte et


claire dans le parler. Aprs avoir observ une chose laide des sens, lenfant
apprend en parler en rpondant des questions concernant ses traits distinctifs : nombre, forme, proprits. On trouve ainsi des textes sur les parties du corps
humain, sur la division du temps, lorientation dans lespace, les formes et les
couleurs, la classe et ses objets, la communaut (village, ville, pays) etc. Outre les
ouvrages de Ioan Popescu, les manuels de Vasile Petri 40 ont connu, jusquau
XXe sicles, le plus grand nombre de rditions. Ils se font remarquer, du point
de vue du contenu, par les premires leons patriotiques prsentes dans un abcdaire (Je suis Roumain, Je suis une fille de Roumain) et les premiers textes parler de lhistoire des Roumains (Trajan, Les Roumains).
Ioan Popescu, le plus important pdagogue transylvain du XIXe sicle, fit
paratre en 1870 un abcdaire41 que personne ne saurait galer, au moins en
ce qui concerne les procds graphiques, jusqu lentre-deux-guerres. Cest le premier abcdaire illustr et le premier commencer par le dessin au lieu de lcriture (il prsente les modalits de raliser des figures gomtriques simples
partir de lignes droites, obliques et courbes), en mettant en pratique un postulat de la mthode intuitive de Pestalozzi : lenfant apprend dabord dessiner
et ensuite crire. Cette rgle, prsente dans tous les ouvrages de mthode des
pdagogues transylvains, tait laisse au choix des instituteurs, ne figurant pas
dans les manuels. Les lectures valeur descriptive alternent avec les leons morales
ou esthtiques, mais cest trs rarement quon y trouve des textes dessein expressment moral. Labcdaire de Ioan Popescu est un exemple loquent de synchronisme entre la littrature didactique transylvaine et la pdagogie europenne.
La cristallisation dun nouveau modle ducatif dans lenseignement transylvain commence ds les annes 50 du XIXe sicle, et il sera valable jusquaprs
la Premire Guerre mondiale. Mme si dans cette priode lcole roumaine dut
faire face une multitude de problmes pratiques, le discours didactique tait dj bien intgr dans celui europen, en se rapportant aux uvres des illustres
reprsentants de la pdagogie du XIXe sicle, Pestalozzi et Herbart.

1. Felbiger, moine et pdagogue allemand, se fit remarquer en tant que rformateur
de lenseignement prussien. Rpondant la sollicitation de Marie-Thrse de rorganiser lenseignement dans lEmpire habsbourgeois, il labora de nombreux manuels
de mthode et dinstructions scolaires. Voir P. Radu et D. Onciulescu, Primul compendiu de pedagogie i metodic n limba romn, 1776/85, 2 vols., Timioara, Casa
Corpului Didactic, 1979, p. 131.
2. Naum Petrovici, Pedagogia i metodica pentru nvtorii scoalelor oreneti i steti
de Villom, Buda, Tipografia Universitii Ungariei (Imprimeries de lUniversit de





Hongrie), 1818. Peter Villaume (1746-1825) fut un pdagogue allemand issu dune
famille dmigrs huguenots franais. Son uvre pdagogique parut dans les annes
80 et 90 du XVIIIe sicle. Voir http// Peter_Villaume,
En ce qui concerne les problmes poss par les versions en roumain de ce texte et
de leurs auteurs, voir Victor rcovnicu, 200 de ani de la apariia primului manual de pedagogie pentru nvtorii romni din Transilvania , in Revista de pedagogie, XXXIV, 1985, no 12, pp. 56-60, et Radu et Onciulescu, Studiu introductiv .
P. Radu et D. Onciulescu ont intgralement publi ce livre, paralllement aux fragments conservs des autres versions (dont la plus importante est De lips crticea pentru nvtoriu a neuniilor rumneti mai mici coale, Vienne, 1785), sous le titre
susmentionn (Primul compendiu). Cest cette dition critique que nous avons utilise dans la prsente tude.
Radu et Onciulescu, I, p. 233.
Ibid., pp. 271-307.
Petrovici, p. 52.
Ibid., p. 8.
Ibid., pp. 14-28.
Ibid., pp. 60-62.
Ibid., pp. 54-57.
Manuductor pentru nvtorii sholasticesti sau ndreptare ctr cuviincioasa mplinire
a diregtoriei nvtoreti, Buda, Tipografia Universitii Ungariei, 1818.
Ibid., pp. 107-108.
Voir Johann Friedrich Herbart, Prelegeri pedagogice, trad., Bucarest, Ed. Didactic
i Pedagogic, 1976, pp. X-XV.
Norbert Hilgenheger, Johann Friedrich Herbart , p. 3, herbartf.pdf, 20.05.2007, texte extrait du Perspectives :
revue trimestrielle deducation compare, Paris, UNESCO, vol. XXIII, no 3-4, 1993.
Ibid., p. 6.
Ioan Popescu, Compendiu de pedagogie pentru prini, educatori, nvtori i toi
brbaii de coal, Sibiu, Tipografia Arhidiecesan, 1868.
Ioan Popescu, Psichologia empiric sau tiina despre suflet ntre marginile observaiunei,
Sibiu, Tipografia lui S. Filtsch (W. Krafft), 1881.
Ion Albulescu, Istoria gndirii i practicii pedagogice romneti, Cluj-Napoca, Casa
Crii de tiin, 2005, p. 217.
Popescu, Compendiu, p. 105.
Ibid., p. 122.
Herbart, p. 22.
Popescu, Compendiu, p. 55.
Radu et Onciulescu, II, pp. 35-41.
Vasile Petri, Scriptolegia sau modul de a nva cetitul-scriindul, Sibiu, Editura Librriei
lui Iuliu Spreer, 1872, p. 11.
Zaharia Boiu, Manuducere la ntrebuinarea abdariului, Sibiu, Tipografia Diecesan,
1862, p. 34.
Petri, pp. 8-34.

28. Metodica calculaiunii n cap,Vienne, Editura de Cri Scolastice, 1856.
29. Voir note 26.
30. Ioan Popescu, Computul n coala popular (manual pentru nvtori), Sibiu, Tipografia
Diecesan, 1864.
31. Ioan Popescu, Manuducere pentru aplicarea Antaiei cri de lectura invetiatura, Sibiu,
1870. Il nexiste plus dans les bibliothques publiques.
32. Voir note 25.
33. tefan Pop, Metodul pertractrii legendarului, Blaj, Tiparul Seminariului Arhidiecesan,
34. Grigore Pleoianu, Abeedar moral i religios sau lecii scoase din sfnta scriptur, s.l.,
35. Onisifor Ghibu, Din istoria literaturii didactice romneti, Bucarest, Ed. Didactic i
Pedagogic, 1975, p. 121.
36. Abdar pentru folosu colarilor de lege greco-rsritean, Sibiu, Tipografia Episcopeasc,
37. Abecedariu cu slove cirilice i cu litere romane, Sibiu, Tipografia lui Georgie Clozius,
38. Elementariu spre ntrebuinare n scoalele poporene, Vienne, Editura de Cri Scolastice,
39. Zaharia Boiu, Abecedariu pentru scolele populare romne, Sibiu, Tipografia Diecesan,
40. Vasile Petri, Elementariu sau Abecedariu pentru scoalele romanesci, Sibiu, Tipografia lui
S. Filtsch, 1864.
41. Ioan Popescu, Antaia carte de lectura s invetiatura, pentru scoalele poporali romane,
Sibiu, Tipografia lui S. Filtsch, 1871.

The Modernization of Didactic Discourse in Transylvanian Primary Education
at the Middle of the 19th Century
The study is a succinct presentation of the Romanian pedagogical thought of that time, which is
compared to European pedagogy in general. The paper also analyzes the textbooks used in primary
education, as well as the first Romanian books on pedagogy and teaching methodology. The
pedagogic discourse used in mid-19th century Transylvania reveals the attempts made by the
local intellectual elites to lay the foundations of a modern education system, different from the
Church-dominated one of the past and oriented towards practicality, in order to train citizens capable of improving or surpassing their inherited social status.


pedagogy, primary (elementary) education, textbooks (primers)


Aspects Concerning
the Modernization of
Primary Education during
the Second Half of the
19th Century

Schools do not manufacture bureaucrats and

pen-pushers, coming instead
to prepare our people
for a practical life,
for everyday life.

Cristina Gudin
Lecturer at the Faculty of History
belonging to Bucharest University,
specializing in the history of Romanian
education in the modern era. Author of
the book Evoluia nvmntului primar n oraul Bucureti (18641899)
(The evolution of primary education
in the city of Bucharest, 18641899)

second half of the 19th century, the field of education experienced

a process of constant change, under the
imperatives of modernization. Notable
for the changes occurred in the whole
education sector, the interval which began with the 1864 Law of Public Education was an important period in the
history of the education system, a period which saw an increased secularization of the education process, combined
with a shift of focus from the classical,
theoretical education towards a more
utilitarian one which put together theory and practice.
In keeping with the new law, elementary education was based on modern
liberal principles, meant to increase
access to education, diversify training
programmes, and make citizens more
responsible with regard to the state, the
community, and even their own existence. One of the most significant provisions, meant to significantly alter
primary education, involved the introduction of mandatory primary educaN THE


tion for all children between 8 and 12 years of age, regardless of their gender,
who were not being educated in private schools or by tutors and home. The introduction of this principle brought the Romanian Principalities among the first
states that sought to educate their population within a coherently structured
system, supported and controlled by the state. Thus, in terms of the adopted legislation, the Principalities got ahead of countries such as Britain, Italy, and France,
where mandatory primary education was introduced in 1870, 1877, and 1882,
According to the politician M. Costache-Epureanu, the most welcome development involved the introduction of free mandatory primary education for all
children, regardless of their nationality. This favored the integration of foreign
ethnic groups, as otherwise, being educated only in their schools [they would
find it impossible to] blend with the other generations, and the chasm between
these two elements of our society would become even deeper, to our great disadvantage.2
In what concerns the infringement of the mandatory nature of primary education, the law provided for fines or days of community service, necessary because
just like a parent must provide his children with bread, so must he provide them
with education, and just like a parent is punished when he fails to respect the natural and legal obligation of feeding his children, so must he be punished for
failing to provide them with the moral nourishment which is education. 3 The
practical implementation of the right to education was also facilitated by the
ban on the employment of those children under 12 years of age who did not have
a primary education certificate. Employers who disobeyed this law were to pay
a fine, enroll the child in a school, and monitor that childs attendance of classes until the age of 14.
The free nature of primary education was another modern provision, indicating the states active involvement in the promotion of culture. In fact, the elimination of tuition fees was also accompanied by the states willingness to provide teaching materials and pay the wages of teachers. Still, given the high cost
of building new schools, of training and paying the teachers, of properly endowing the schools, village authorities were also involved in supporting primary education and were requested to provide a building for the school, furnish it, and
supply it with firewood.
In order to increase the quality of the teaching staff, the law required that
primary school teachers be trained in dedicated normal schools with an adequate
curriculum, focused on the disciplines taught in primary education, without
forgetting things like agriculture and veterinary medicine, requested by the
very nature of rural economy. Furthermore, the law provided for refresher courses for the teachers who were already in activity, in the form of conferences held
by the school inspectors and their deputies and which featured model lessons and


some notions of pedagogy and methodology. The improvement of the teaching staff was also achieved by way of a new selection procedure, and after 1864
employment became competition-based. The selection had to be fair and objective, so jury members were randomly selected from among the secondary education teachers, final decisions required unanimity, test subjects were themselves randomly selected from among several proposals, test lessons were open
to the public, and written tests were also made public, without revealing the name
of the author.
Other positive aspects of the aforementioned law include curricular harmonization between rural and urban education units and the introduction of
school inspectors meant to identify and solve all problems related to the primary schools.
Nevertheless, the 1864 law had some limitations, disregarding or superficially
approaching issues likely to play a major role in the implementation of the
modern principles otherwise embraced. Among other things, insufficient attention was given to the training of tutors, as the normal schools presented in this
law were meant to train only schoolteachers. Also, the small number of school
inspectors made it nearly impossible to systematically supervise the activity of
public and private schools, while the article concerning the doubling of teachers wages after 12 years of activity was impossible to implement in the absence
of precise payment regulations.
Once again, these elements demonstrated that the law of 1864 required some
improvement, and several attempts in this respect were actually made. Thus, worthy of attention is the bill submitted in 1883 by P. S. Aurelian and concerning
the payment of wages to the members of the teaching staff. The bill came in
response to an acute problem, as in the absence of a precise payment algorithm
it was impossible to precisely determine the amounts needed in order to pay
the wages, to the considerable dissatisfaction of the teaching staff. The law
regulating the payment of the teaching staff had to facilitate the delicate task
of setting the initial wages and the later increases, while taking into account
the level of education and the const of living in the places where the schools
were located. Thus, if we consider only primary education, wages varied between
80 lei per month for a teacher with a normal school certificate and 180 lei per
month for a tutor, while the increases came with seniority: a 50% increase after
10 years on the job, a 75% one after 15 years, while after 20 years the initial
wages came to be doubled.4
Another law passed while P. S. Aurelian served as minister of public education was the law for the creation of the House for the Assistance of Schools,
practically an attempt to provide financial assistance to schools. The institution
in question was meant to receive private donations, manage the funds and
direct the money towards the schools that needed additional funding. Operating


with the involvement of highly competent people (the minister for denominations, the chairman of the High Court of Cassation, the governor of the National
Bank of Romania, the rectors of the universities, the chairman of the Academy
and the director of the Savings Bank), the activity of the House proved to be
beyond reproach, and it played an important part in securing the additional funding needed for the modernization and the expansion of the education system. 5
There were high expectations concerning the activity of the House, as it was called
upon to assist in the radical transformation of the education system, to the
point where there would not be a single hamlet without a well-organized school,
or a single person unable to develop their intellect and feed their hearts and
spirits with ideas.6
The magnitude of the results obtained by the House for the Assistance of
Schools clearly depended on the size of the secured funds and on the skills of
its administrators, but the need for such an institution cannot be denied, and
the law in question remained in force until the middle of the 20th century. Furthermore, the institution played an important part in the modernization of the
school network, as villages received the financial support they needed in order to
erect proper buildings for their schools.
Take Ionescu, the politician who first proposed a comprehensive amendment to the 1864 Law of Education, sought to reorganize primary education
in its entirety. His 1893 law concerning primary and normal-primary education made primary education free and mandatory for all Romanian children,
but the age group in question was no longer 8 to 12, but rather 7 to 14 years
of age. Also, the youths aged 14 who had failed to complete their primary
education had to go to school for an additional year. The longer interval during which primary education could be completed reflected the desire to generalize education as much as possible, as well as an understanding of the disconnect between a legal text and the actual situation in society. We know that,
given the insufficient number of schools, priority in enrollment was given to older
children, and we also know that in rural areas the education process was far from
what it should have been, graduates of primary education rapidly forgetting all
that they had learned during the years spent in school. Also, the law of 1893 made
a few distinctions when it came to the mandatory nature of primary education.
Thus, priority in enrollment was given to Romanian children voluntarily enrolled
at the beginning of the academic year, as well as to the children who lived in close
proximity to the school. Still, even if when it comes to the mandatory nature
of primary education the law reflected a new approach, based on rational arguments, as the principle could not be applied in the villages that did not have a
school, it also included a discriminatory provision, priority in enrollment being
given to the boys. The provision illustrates the manner in which the education
of girls was seen at that time.


The law included other discriminatory provisions, alongside the aforementioned one. In its new organization, the system was to include several types of
primary schools and implicitly several types of primary education. Thus, we
see the introduction of hamlet schools, of lower primary schools, higher primary
schools, complementary primary classes and repeats. Furthermore, the main
criterion for opening a school in a village was the size of the potential school population, and higher schoolsteaching the full curriculum over 5 years of studiescould only be established in villages with more than 80 children. The lower primary schools, with 4 years of studies, taught only two thirds of the primary
education curriculum. At the same time, the hamlets located more than 3 km
away from a larger village hosted schools that operated only sporadically and
where classes were taught only on certain days by a teacher dispatched from
the neighboring villages, by errant teachers, or by graduates of primary education, and taught merely one third of the curriculum.7
The system proposed for the rural communities ended the previous uniformity of primary education and limited the access of some pupils to secondary
education, as the latter uniformly required full completion of primary education.
Still, one must not disregard the desire to meet the educational needs of the poor
children who lived far from the larger villages with regular schools and would
have otherwise received no education at all. This is the reason why we can say
that Take Ionescu sought to adapt the law to existing circumstances, at a time
when there were not enough teachers and when villages had little money and
were incapable of providing a suitable location for every school. Also in order
to reduce the gap between legal requirements and the real situation, the minister, fully aware of the flaws manifest within the education system, introduced the
so-called complementary education for the graduates of lower and higher primary schools who were still under the age of 14. Complementary education
involved the repetition in a little more detail of the lessons taught in primary
school, and it took place in winter, lasting for 2 hours every week.
Also, the law of 1893 provided for the institutions required for the training
of the teaching staff, namely, the primary normal schools for teachers and tutors. During the five years of studies, trainees acquired new knowledge and combined specialized information with practical lessons in teaching. It must be
said that priority in the granting of scholarships for primary normal schools
was given to the sons and daughters of peasants, to orphans or to the sons of war
veterans, to the children of schoolteachers, who were all given the chance to reach
a social status superior to that of their parents, to learn a reputed profession,
or to continue the family tradition of a didactic career. Other positive aspects
of the law involve the establishment of practical schools operating alongside
the normal schools and meant to facilitate the pedagogic internships of normal
school students, the expanded curriculum of the primary normal schools, and the


stimulated employment of women, especially as second teachers in the rural areas.

More attention was also given to the practical side of primary education, and
in rural areas schools received vegetable gardens, tended by the children, while
in the urban areas they had workshops teaching a variety of crafts. Such initiatives came to confirm the fact that schools do not manufacture bureaucrats
and pen-pushers, coming instead to prepare our people for a practical life, for
everyday life.8
In his turn, determined to modernize primary education, in April 1896 P. Poni
proposed a bill amending the law of primary and normal primary education of
1 September 1893. According to the report drawn up by Spiru Haret, the intention was to bring uniformity to primary education, increase the possibility
of teachers receiving promotions, improve the situation of teachers and tutors,
who could henceforth be fired only with the approval of the Standing Committee
(avoiding the situation in which teachers could lose their jobs at the intervention
of mayors or other influential leaders of the community), and transfer full responsibility for the payment of wages to the state. At the same time, the law consolidated the position of teachers, who could be fired, suspended, or transferred only following the decision of an academic court. The defining principle
for the law of 1896 is the elimination of the various categories of primary schools,
replaced by a single category, present in both rural and urban areas. The return
to a unified curriculum for primary education reflected the desire to bring uniformity to this first level of education, as suggested by P. Poni himself: It is
not in the interest of the state to put to good use all of the living resources of this
nation, all of its intellects, based on their value, and not on the accident of
their birth, in urban or in rural areas, in smaller or in larger villages?9
Thus, the proposal included a single type of school with a unified curriculum,
divided into three tierslower, middle, and higherwhich included all the knowledge corresponding to primary education. This training was to take place in
primary schools, but it also included the complementary primary classes and
the repeat classes for adult learners. Complementary classes were part of the
late primary education which introduced learners to various activities, according to the nature of the local economy. While the curriculum became uniform,
the law of 1896 conditioned the employment of teaching staff on the opening of
new schools and on the size of the student population. Thus, in the villages,
the presence of 40 children of school age required the presence of a proper school,
while a lesser number demanded only a hamlet school.10
Another legislative initiative belonging to the same minister is the Law for the
construction of primary schools and for the establishment of the House of Schools,
in an attempt to overcome the shortage of proper locations, seen as one of
the most significant factors preventing all progress in the field of primary education.11 The fundamental principle behind this law was not a Romanian inno-


vation, as state subsidies, in the form of loans extended by an institution specialized in financing the construction of schools, had already been introduced
in France. The importance of such an institution is indicated by its achievements,
as until the year 1899 the House extended loans for the construction of 211
schools and, between 1897 and 1910, it assisted in the building of more than
2,000 educational establishments, massively increasing the number of locations suitable for didactic activities.12
As we have seen, these laws brought considerable progress in the field of education, leading to a larger number of schools, to a higher percentage of children receiving schooling, to increased attendance and to lower failure rates,
and to a more competent teaching staff. However, there are other things we need
to take into account when we speak about the modernization of primary education in the second half of the 19th century. Thus, we must also take into account
the changes affecting primary education occurred at other levels than the purely legislative one. Significant in this respect is the radical mutation occurred in
the very understanding of the education process and of the role played by the
children themselves. The new approach would leave an indelible imprint upon
teaching activities. All credit for the accurate perception of the underage individuals involved in the learning process must be given to pedology, an auxiliary pedagogic science that studies the individuality of children.
The transition to an education centered on children, its main beneficiaries, led
not only to a relationship between students, teachers, and parents, a relationship grounded in the need to assess the needs of children, but also to a new manner in which teachers conveyed the knowledge associated with primary education. Among other things, pedagogy expert J. H. Pestalozzi deserves credit for
the new content and methodology for primary education. He introduced new
disciplines (arithmetic and geometry, drawing, music, physical education, geography and history, natural science and handicrafts) and adapted the primary
education curriculum to the level of the pupils. Especially in the second half of
the century in question, the attempts to modernize teaching came to place
intuition at the very foundation of the learning process in primary schools.
The method gave its name to the entire primary education, making it so that
practical lessons replaced abstractions and words with concrete realities, as a first
exercise of the intellectual and moral faculties.13
In order to make teachers familiar with the intuitive method, meetings were
held presenting examples of the application of the method to a variety of lessons.
Also, textbooks began to be devised in keeping with the requirements of the intuitive method, and the simple presentation of definitions was replaced by questions for each of the lessons, guiding students towards the most important aspects
and towards the general rule. Furthermore, in the case of primary education, and
especially of the first grade, we see a manifest tendency to present the informa-


tion in a very accessible manner. Thus, alongside proverbs and sayings, the authors
of textbooks and the teachers resorted to fairytales in the attempt to shape a
substratum favorable to the emergence of moral judgments. It is a well-known
fact that fairytales contain, alongside miraculous events, numerous aesthetic
and ethical principles relevant for the empirical world.
New criteria for textbook design were also introduced during this period, turning them into proper working tools. Thus, textbooks ceased to be mere useless
objects featured in the inventory lists of one library or another. The competitions
for the selection of textbooks, essential to the attempt to provide suitable teaching material for primary education, as an alternative to the manifestly flawed
books already in existence, were always accompanied by guidelines concerning
the form and the content of the submitted manuscripts, forcing all participants
to observe the same criteria.
Among the mandatory qualities of a textbook we find: straightforward language, with terms familiar to all children; the observance of grammatical, orthographical, and punctuation rules, as a reading of the textbooks was also meant
to increase the language proficiency of students; the selection of information
in favor of the absolutely essential and scientific material, the purpose being
not to provide comprehensive information, but rather to convey the knowledge needed in real life; the inclusion of appealing topics coming from the
specific universe of the children, suitable for their age and having moral relevance;
the development of thought patterns and of imagination by way of intuitive exercises, etc. The implementation of these guidelines improved the quality of textbooks, as demonstrated by the successive republication of some of them.
There was a manifest tendency to provide each discipline with a textbook of
its own, and the first grade was the only one that used a single book, the primer,
with writing lessons and with reading texts on a variety of topics, pertaining to
a number of fields (geography, history, natural sciences), not forgetting the
exercises meant to introduce the first notions of arithmetic.
During the period in question, reputed writers were involved in the development of textbooks, enriching them and making them more appealing. I. Creang,
A. Vlahu, G. Cobuc, A. Odobescu, V. Alecsandri, G. Alexandrescu, D. Bolintineanu, A. Donici, and I. Slavici are but a few of the cultural personalities of that
time who contributed to the development of primary education textbooks with
magnificent prose and poetry pieces, rich in moral teachings and conveying a
patriotic message through a revival of past deeds and legends.
In order to assist teachers in the selection of textbooks, as the offer was
quite rich and diverse in terms of content, quality, and price, towards the turn
of the century systematic attempts were made in order to impose common
textbooks, certified by special commissions approved by the ministry. In fact,
in order to identify which of the teachers favored cheap but also pedagogically


and scientifically inferior textbooks, school inspectors and their aides were systematically told to assess the quality of the books used in the respective schools,
while at the beginning of each academic year headmasters had to submit a list
of the textbooks that were to be used. The promotion of books suitable for the
age and consonant with the interests of children involved prize books given to
the best students, which thus became part of the learning circuit.
The purchase of authorized textbooks was also facilitated by the customs
tax regulations, which favored domestic books, as well as by the decrease in
the price of textbooks, as printing costs became significantly lower. Thus, teachers were no longer the only ones to have textbooks, the latter being also issued
to the students themselves. Cheaper printing paper also led to the replacement
of writing tablets by copybooks, which were a lot more practical in that they
stored for a longer period the work of students and the corrections made by
the schoolteachers. The progress achieved in the field of textbook design is
also illustrated by their format, as textbooks began to feature illustrations that
facilitated intuitive learning.
In what concerns the offer of textbooks, the second half of the 19th century
saw considerable progress as compared to earlier times, when imported books
were dominant and were mostly used in private schools, seconded by translations from Western textbooks which were almost always written in a forbidding language, contained vast amounts of information, and lacked the logical
structure that would have allowed students to relate one piece of information
to another.
The improvement in the quality of textbooks also required a new curriculum, for the curriculum dictated the structure of the textbooks used by both
students and teachers. Curricular reform is a delicate undertaking, meant to
preserve a balance between the fundamental objectives of primary education,
which were to educate and instruct, as well as to provide for informational and
methodological continuity, so that the adoption of the new curricula should
not disrupt didactic activities. Even if the changes thus operated were far from
radical, they were gradually introduced so that by the turn of the century we
see a manifest tendency to replace the dominantly theoretical education with one
that combined theory and practice.
Children were presently called upon to discover, to intuitively assess and
analyze the surrounding world and the knowledge transmitted in school; they
were expected to identify and formulate general rules through problem-solving; children were also involved in activities meant to develop skills and abilities (development of teaching materials, activities in the school workshops, the
solving of problems inspired by everyday life, etc.).
During the last decades of the 19th century, primary education became increasingly practical in nature, reflecting a more accurate understanding of the eco-


nomic imperatives facing Romanian society at that time. It was a well-known

fact that most primary school graduates did not continue their education in
secondary schools, content with what they had learned during the four years
of mandatory schooling. For this reason, but also because of the high demand
for skilled laborers in various economic sectors, the primary education curricula were devised in order to introduce the young students to the occupations
they were likely to embrace after graduation.
The agricultural fields and the workshops that became part of the schools
assets, teaching students how to work in wood, iron, with hides, wicker, and rope,
became a reality at the end of the century, reflecting to a certain extent the
principles stated in the 1899 Law of Vocational Training submitted by Spiru
Haret. Increasingly manifest is the idea whereby primary education must be essentially utilitarian, laying stress on the capacity to synthesize information, on the
logical approach to the new knowledge, and on the involvement of students in
the learning process.

the aforementioned aspects come to confirm the progress made

in the field of primary education during the second half of the 19th century. They were the practical outcome of the solutions devised by the education specialists to the problems facing the school system, and at the same
time they were based on the expertise in the field gained by the advanced Western
states. Original or not, and regardless of the extent in which they actually met
the demands of Romanias schools, these solutions were clearly meant to modernize the education system by way of a suitable legislative framework, through
the hiring of qualified and responsible teachers, by providing the necessary
facilities, competitive curricula, and textbooks, and by adapting the whole education process to the intellectual, physical, and emotional level of its students.

1. Istoria nvmntului din Romnia: Compendiu (Bucharest, 1971), 119; see also
P. Chevallier, Levolution de lenseignement primaire en France de 1850 1963,
in La Scolarisation en France depuis un sicle, ed. P. Chevallier (Paris, 1974), 32;
M.-M. Compre, Histoire du temps scolaire en Europe (Paris, 1997), 175.
2. I. M. Costache-Epureanu, Reforma nvmntului primar i normal primar: Discurs
rostit n edina Adunrii Deputailor n ziua de 2 martie 1893 (Bucharest, 1893), 8.
3. Dezbaterile Adunrii Legislative a Romniei, meeting of 11 March 1864, p. 1287.
4. Dezbaterile Adunrii Deputailor, 1882/1883, meeting of 30 November 1882, pp.
5. Dezbaterile Senatului, meeting of 15 January 1883, pp. 718719.


6. Dezbaterile Adunrii Deputailor, 1882/1883, meeting of 13 December 1882, p. 463.
7. Lege asupra nvmntului primar i normal primar din martie 1893 (Bucharest, 1893),
8. I. Cosmescu, Trei cuvntri instructive pentru orice romn i foarte potrivite pentru
rostit la ntruniri i distribuiri de premii: Chestiuni de nvmnt (Bucharest, 1901),
9. Lege asupra nvmntului primar: Cuvntrile rostite i amendamentele propuse n
Senat la proiectul guvernului de D. A. Sturdza i P. Poni (Bucharest, 1893), 29.
10. C. Gudin, Problematica modernizrii nvmntului primar n Parlamentul romn
n timpul ministeriatelor lui Petru Poni, Analele Universitii Bucureti (Istorie) 53
(2004): 56.
11. D. Alexandru, Petru Poni (Bucharest, 1958), 92.
12. Statistica localurilor de coale rurale construite n toat ara de la nfiinarea Casei coalelor
pn n prezent (18971910) (Bucharest, 1910), 35.
13. coala primar 1, 5 (1889): 1.

Aspects Concerning the Modernization of Primary Education
during the Second Half of the 19th Century
During the second half of the 19th century, education experienced a process of constant change,
gradually integrating modern elements into its organization. Notable for the changes occurred
in the whole education sector, the interval which began with the 1864 Law of Public Education
saw the consecration of firm principles such as secularization and the focus on the practical side
of the training process. Developed and supported by people highly familiar with the schools of that
time, these principles were implemented to the extent in which the resources, human and financial, and especially the legal framework, made it possible. Of course, one must not overlook here
the other developments which helped modernize this field, from the new understanding of student
roleswith pupils presently playing an active part in the learning processto the prominent
place given to intuition in primary education. These aspects would have major consequences upon
both curricula and school textbooks.

education system, modernization, primary education, normal schools, curricula, textbooks

tudiants roumains
lUniversit Libre
de Bruxelles

Les titulaires dun doctorat

s sciences politiques
et administratives (1885-1898)

Le texte ci-prsent ne fait

que signaler un chapitre
particulier de nos recherches
portant sur les relations
roumano-belges entre le
milieu du XIXe sicle et la
premire moiti du sicle
Laureniu Vlad
Chercheur scientifique lInstitut des
tudes Sud-Est Europennes de lAcadmie Roumaine, chef de la Chaire
dtudes europennes et relations
internationales de la Facult des
Sciences politiques de lUniversit de
Bucarest, directeur excutif et secrtaire
scientifique de lInstitut dtudes politiques conservatrices. Auteur, entre
autres, du vol. Conservatorismul
romnesc (concepte, idei, programe)
(Le conservatisme roumain concepts,
ides, programmes) (2006).


ONSTANTIN C. Angelescu publi-

ait en 1943 un article relatif aux

Roumains qui jusquen 1884
avaient dj pass un doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives, en
droit, en philosophie, en mdecine, en
mathmatique, en physique, lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles.1 Il tait question,
selon son inventaire, de 83 jeunes tudiants qui avaient reu 88 diplmes de
doctorat (ils taient aussi licencis de
lcole Polytechnique), quelques-uns en
obtenant mme deux (en droit et s sciences politiques et administratives). La
source de Constantin C. Angelescu tait
la statistique de la population estudiantine que lhistorien belge Lon
Vanderkindere avait attache au volume
rendant hommage aux 50 premiers ans
dexistence de cette universit.2
Une variante en roumain de cet article, plus
restreinte et contenant quelques diffrences
de chronologie, a paru in Studia Politica.
Romanian Political Science Review, VI, 3,
2006, pp. 635-640.


Larticle mentionn constitue lune des rares approches relatives la prsence

roumaine dans lespace universitaire belge. Il sagit principalement de ltude
de Nicolae Brbu et Nicolae Bocan (parue en roumain et en franais) sur les
licencis roumains de lInstitut Suprieur de Commerce dAnvers entre 186819143, mais aussi de quelques notes incluses dans dautres recherches ddies soit
la prsence roumaine aux universits europennes (Lucian Nastas, Cornel
Sigmirean) soit lvolution de llite politique autochtone (Mihai Sorin
Si linvestigation de Constantin C. Angelescu sarrtait en 1884, nous
continuons sa dmarche, insistant surtout sur la priode 1885-1898 et seulement
sur les titulaires dun doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives. La source
de nos informations est lannuaire pour 1919-1920 dit par lUnion des Anciens
tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles, qui prsente tous les titulaires
dun doctorat obtenu cette institution de 1884 1914, dans diffrents domaines :
philosophie, lettres, droit, sciences politiques et administratives, sciences (mathmatiques, physiques, naturelles ou chimiques), mdecine etc. 5 Nous avons
trouv cet annuaire dans la bibliothque de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles, en
fvrier 2006, lors dun stage de recherche gr par la Facult des Sciences politiques de lUniversit de Bucarest et lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec la Dlgation de la Communaut de Wallonie-Bruxelles et de lAgence
Universitaire de la Francophonie Bucarest.
Le texte ci-prsent ne fait que signaler un chapitre particulier de nos recherches portant sur les relations roumano-belges entre le milieu du XIXe sicle et
la premire moiti du sicle suivant. Notre intention est de continuer approfondir les donnes prsentes, en insistant sur les carrires embrasses par les
jeunes Roumains titulaires dun doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives
lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles. Cette recherche apparat donc comme une
section distincte, peu connue, dun champ dtude assez important lhistoire des
intellectuels et des lites , o se sont surtout remarqus, part les personnes dj
mentionnes, D. C. Amzr, Dan Berindei, Pompiliu Eliade, V. Grozav, Nicolae
Iorga, Nicolae Isar, Stelian Mndru, Vasile Prvan, Elena Siupiur, Maria Stan etc.

Quelques donnes sur le systme universitaire belge

A FONDATION de lenseignement suprieur belge remonte 1425, lorsque

la premire universit ouvrait ses portes Louvain, o elle allait fonctionner jusquen 1797.6 Vers 1816-1817, au temps de lunion entre la
Belgique et les Pays Bas, les premires universits dtat apparaissaient Gand,
Lige et toujours Louvain, formes chacune de quatre facults : droit, philosophie et lettres, mdecine et sciences.7


Le monopole dtat sur lenseignement universitaire prit fin assez vite. Lacte fondamental belge de 1831 non seulement ratifiait un nouveau rgime politique mais proclamait formellement la libert de lenseignement, par son article
17, en vertu duquel se craient, en 1834, tant lUniversit Catholique de Louvain
(en fait une re-fondation de celle de 1425) que sa rivale, lUniversit Libre de
Bruxelles.8 Cette dernire inclut au fur et mesure quatre facults (droit, philosophie et lettres, mdecine et sciences) et quatre coles (commerce, pdagogie, polytechnique, sciences politiques et sociales).9
La loi belge de 1835 concernant lattribution des grades acadmiques de licence
ou de doctorat instituait un jury central qui examinait la fois les licencis des
universits dtat et ceux des institutions libres denseignement suprieur.10 Cette
situation dura jusquen 1876, lorsque les universits, peu importe leur nature,
reurent le droit doctroyer des grades acadmiques leurs propres licencis.11 Les
lois de 1876 et 1890-1891 rglementaient les statuts juridiques des institutions
libres denseignement suprieur et des universits dtat, qui recevaient des droits
et des responsabilits acadmiques similaires. Outre le jury central, une commission spciale, dont les membres taient nomms par le roi, validait les titres
acadmiques confrs par les universits, tout en vrifiant sils taient conformes la loi.12
Nous tenons prciser en fin de compte que tout candidat une universit
belge devait tre titulaire dun diplme dtudes moyennes dans le domaine choisi
ou dans des domaines connexes.13 La priode suivante, appele candidature, pouvait durer deux, trois ou mme quatre ans, en fonction du domaine choisi.14 Le
programme doctoral proprement dit se prolongeait pendant deux ans (droit)
et trois ans (mdecine), les autres domaines (philosophie et lettres, sciences
politiques et administratives, sciences etc.) devant respecter presque les mmes

Docteurs s sciences politiques et administratives

lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles

seconde moiti du XIXe sicle, plus prcisment jusquen 1884

priode que Constantin C. Angelescu avait analyse dans son article
de 1943 27 Roumains (dun total de 107 enregistrs de 1850 188416)
ont obtenu le titre de docteur s sciences politiques et administratives lUniversit
Libre de Bruxelles (titres obtenus de 1863 188417). En voici les noms : Grigore
Vulturescu (Bucarest, 1863), tefan endrea (Hui, 1866), Emanoil Protopopescu
(Bucarest, 1867), Romulus Opreanu (Gotile, 1867), Nicolae Furculescu (Furculeti, 1869), Dimitrie oimescu (Bucarest, 1870), Alexandru Niculescu (Bucarest,
1872), Constantin Dnescu (Ploieti, 1873), Nicolae Oncu (Rica Hongrie,


1873), Grigore Ioan Petroni (Bucarest, 1873), Vasile Lazu (Jassy, 1875), Constantin
Sordony (Bucarest, 1874), Ullyse Ilie Boldescu (Botoani, 1875), Gheorghe Em.
Bogdan (Jassy, 1875), Anastase Simu (Brila, 1880), Victor Athanasiu (Bucarest,
1881), Eugen Uhrynowski (Dersca, 1881), Alexandru Cuza (Jassy, 1882), tefan
Mrgritescu (Bucarest, 1883), Theodor Mndru (Dorohoi, 1882), Eugen Cuca
Pariano (Trgu-Jiu, 1882), Mihail Rodocalat (Galai, 1883), Constantin tefnescu (Bucarest, 1883), Alexandru Tabr (Dorohoi, 1883), Emil Vulpe (Brlad,
1883), Gheorghe Crlova (Bucarest, 1884) et Dimitrie Zarifopol (Jassy, 1884).
Comme on peut aisment le remarquer, la plupart dentre eux provenaient de
Quatre de ces 27 Roumains, plus prcisment Grigore Ioan Petroni (1873),
Vasile Lazu (1874), Constantin Sordony (1876) et Theodor Mndru (1881)
taient dj ou allaient aussi devenir docteurs en droit. Cette situation respecte
strictement les donnes consignes par Constantin C. Angelescu ; cependant lannuaire de lUnion des Anciens tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles
mentionne parmi les docteurs en droit de cette universit trois autres personnes (Gheorghe Crlova, Alexandru Cuza et Eugen Cuca Pariano), qui ont
obtenu ce titre en 1884 ou peu de temps aprs.18
Parmi les 107 docteurs s sciences politiques et administratives prsents sur
les listes officielles publies par Lon Vanderkindere figuraient, part les 27
Roumains, six personnes originaires de Brsil, cinq de Prou, quatre de Varsovie
et autres villes polonaises, trois de France, trois de Portugal, deux de Grce et une
dAutriche, donc 51 au total qui ne venaient pas de Belgique.19
Les remarques de Constantin C. Angelescu relatives la carrire des Roumains
devenus docteurs s sciences politiques et administratives sarrtent Alexandru
C. Cuza et Emanoil Protopopescu-Pake, les autres tant considrs sans notorit.20
ces deux noms nous pourrions en ajouter celui du ministre libral de la Justice
(1896-1897), tefan endrea21, ou ceux des dputs conservateurs, Ullyse Boldescu
(1850-1908), qui avait aussi t maire de Craiova22, et Anastase Simu (1854-1935),
dput de Brila23, connu aussi comme un grand collectionneur dobjets dart.
Quelle tait la situation aprs 1884 ? Lannuaire de lUnion des Anciens
tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles mentionnait, pour les annes 19191920, 92 titulaires dun doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives. Comme
nous lavons dj dit, ces diplmes avaient t obtenus entre 1884-1899.
Parmi ces 92 docteurs s sciences politiques et administratives il y avait 14
Roumains de Bucarest (4), Jassy (2), Braov, Brila, Buzu, Clrai, Cmpulung,
Craiova, Galai et Turnu-Severin (1 de chacune de ces villes) qui avaient obtenu
ce titre de 1885 1898. En voici la liste des noms : Gheorghe Costache Sturdza
(Jassy, 1885), Nicolae Ilie Idieru (Jassy, 1886), Constantin Maltezianu (Clrai,
1886), Christu Negoescu (Bucarest, 1886), Petre Prianu ou Prianu (Craiova,
1886), Dimitrie Neniescu (Galai, 1888), Xenofon Eustratiades (Brila, 1889),


Constantin Nicolaescu (Bucarest, 1893-1894), Ernan Cplescu (Bucarest, 18951896), Nicolae Popovici (Braov, 1895-1896), Dimitrie Teianu (Buzu, 1896),
Dimitrie Vldescu (Cmpulung, 1897), Vasile Iovanovici (Turnu-Severin, 18971898) et Dimitrie Rusovici (Bucarest, 1897-1898).24
Cinq des personnes numres obtenaient aussi le titre de docteur en droit
lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles : Constantin Maltezianu (1887), Xenofon
Eustratiades (1889), Petre Prianu ou Prianu (1888), Dimitrie Neniescu
(1893) et Dimitrie Rusovici (1899)25.
Nous prcisons aussi que 51 de ces 92 docteurs s sciences politiques et administratives mentionns dans lannuaire provenaient dautres pays que la Belgique.
Outre les 14 Roumains il y avait donc 21 Bulgares (y compris de la Roumlie
orientale), 4 Japonais, 2 Serbes, 2 Turcs (dont le premier avait un nom bulgare
et lautre juif), et une personne de chacun des pays suivants : Angleterre, Brsil,
Costa Rica, France, Italie, Allemagne, la zone arabe ou la Macdoine.
On na pour linstant aucune donne sur les carrires que ces Roumains avaient
embrasses au fil du temps. Comme nous lavons dj dit, cet aspect formera le
sujet dune recherche ultrieure. On peut tout de mme donner quelques exemples. Dimitrie Neniescu (1861-1930) sest fait remarquer comme un important membre du Parti Conservateur, tant plusieurs reprises lu dput de
cette formation politique et devenant mme ministre de lIndustrie et du Commerce
dans le gouvernement Petre P. Carp (1910-1912) ; il fut aussi secrtaire gnral
au Ministre de lIntrieur et directeur de la Banque Nationale de la Roumanie.26
Quant Constantin Maltezianu, il appartenait une rpute famille de politiciens
de Clrai.27

En guise de conclusions

OTRE ARTICLE ci-prsent tient donc souligner quelques dtails, moins

ou partiellement connus jusqu prsent dans lhistoriographie roumaine,
relatifs aux 14 jeunes Roumains, dont 13 provenant du Vieux Royaume
de Roumanie et un de la Monarchie dualiste (presque la moiti dentre eux
tant originaires de Bucarest ou Jassy) qui avaient obtenu le doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles de 1885
1898 (plus dun quart dentre eux taient aussi docteurs en droit). Il nous semble utile dans ce contexte de rappeler que parmi les 92 titres de docteurs obtenus
entre 1884-1899, les Roumains occupaient la position secondaire dans une hirarchie formelle de ceux qui avaient une origine autre que belge. Le classement
des trangers (51 au total) tait domin par les Bulgares (avec 21 diplmes), alors
que la troisime place tait occupe, grande distance, par les Japonais (avec 4


On peut aussi remarquer que la plupart des titres de docteur obtenus par les
Roumains lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles taient en droit, suivis grande
distance par ceux s sciences politiques et administratives.28

Sciences politiques
et administratives
Philosophie et

roumains de

Nombre de titres
de docteur
confrs par lULB

(titulaires de
doctorat ULB)

77 (78)




13 (14)




4 (5)
5 (6)
103 (107)




Nombre de titres
de docteur
obtenus par les

Nos donnes, associes celles que Constantin C. Angelescu avait prsentes ds 1943 offrent un tableau complet de la prsence roumaine lUniversit
Libre de Bruxelles de 1863 1898. Pendant cette priode, 41 Roumains avaient
obtenu le doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives (12 taient aussi
docteurs en droit de la mme universit), sur un total de 199 titres confrs de
1850 1899. Cest le nombre le plus lev de titres de docteurs obtenus par
des tudiants de lextrieur de la Belgique, presque le double des titres confrs
aux Bulgares, qui occupaient la seconde place dans cette hirarchie formelle.
Dans un classement des lieux de provenance de ces titulaires de doctorat, la
ville de Bucarest occupe la premire place (avec 14 titres), suivie de Jassy (6 titres),
Brila, Dorohoi et Galai (avec 2 titres chacune).
Quant aux domaines dans lesquels les Roumains avaient obtenu le titre de
docteur Universit Libre de Bruxelles, la situation se prsente comme il suit29 :

Sciences politiques
et administratives
Philosophie et

Nombre de titres
de docteur
obtenus par les

roumains de

Nombre de titres
de docteur
confrs par lULB

(titulaires de
doctorat ULB)

124 (125)




39 (41)




5 (7)
7 (8)
187 (193)





Les donnes actuelles ne nous permettent pas de prciser les carrires quavaient
embrasses ces 41 titulaires de doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives. Nous nous sommes borns voquer, selon les suggestions de Constantin
C. Angelescu, Stoica Lascu et Mihai Sorin Rdulescu, quelques exemples affirms dans la vie politique, tels Alexandru C. Cuza, Ullyse Boldescu, Dimitrie
Neniescu, Constantin Maltezianu, Emanoil Protopopescu-Pake, Anastase Simu
ou tefan endrea. Il reste analyser dans un autre article la manire dont ceux
que nous navons pas nominaliss avaient gagn ou non une certaine notorit
parmi les politiciens.

1. Constantin C. Angelescu, Studenii romni n strintate : Universitatea din
Bruxelles , in Studii i cercetri istorice, XVIII, novembre 1943, pp. 119-126.
2. Lon Vanderkindere, LUniversit de Bruxelles, 1834-1884 : Notice historique, Bruxelles,
P. Weissenbruch, 1884, pp. XCIX-CCXVIII.
3. Nicolae Bocan et Nicolae Brbu, Contribuii la formarea elitelor economice
romneti : Studeni din Romnia i din Transilvania la Institutul Superior de Comer
din Anvers (1868-1914) , in Itinerarii istoriografice : Profesorului Leonid Boicu la
mplinirea vrstei de 65 de ani, volume coordonn par Gabriel Bdru, Jassy, 1996,
pp. 471-488 et Nicolae Bocan, Contributions la formation des lites conomiques
roumaines : tudiants de Roumanie et de Transylvanie lInstitut Suprieur de
Commerce dAnvers (1868-1914) , in Colloquia : Journal of Central European History,
III-IV, 1-2, 1996-1997, pp. 167-183.
4. Lucian Nastas, Le rle des tudes ltranger dans la carrire des professeurs
duniversit roumains (1878-1944) , in Lenseignement des lites en Europe Centrale
(19e-20e sicles), sous la direction de Victor Karady et Mariusz Kulczykowski, Cracovie,
Maison des Sciences de lHomme Instytut Historii Uniwersytetu Jagiellon skiego,
1999, pp. 149-158/pp. 151, 152, 153, 156 ; Cornel Sigmirean, Istoria formrii
intelectualitii romneti din Transilvania i Banat n epoca modern, Cluj-Napoca,
Presa Universitar Clujean, 2000, pp. 157, 711; Mihai Sorin Rdulescu, Sur llite
du Parti Conservateur Roumain , in Revue Roumaine dHistoire, XXXVII, 1-2,
janvier-juin 1998, pp. 61-72/pp. 64, 67 (une version en roumain chez Mihai Sorin
Rdulescu, Genealogia romneasc : Istoric i bibliografie, Brila, Muzeul Brilei Istros,
2000, pp. 227-239), et Elita liberal romneasc (1866-1900), Bucarest, ALL, 1998,
pp. 113, 116, 118.
5. Union des Anciens tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles : Annuaire, 1919-1920,
Imprimerie Oscar Lamberty, s.a. La liste des titulaires de doctorat s sciences politiques et administratives pp. 87-88.
6. Camille Ligeois et Fernand Kraentzel, Organisation de lenseignement suprieur
en Belgique , in Lorganisation de lenseignement suprieur, II, Institut International
de Coopration Intellectuelle Socit des Nations, 1938, pp. 22-58/p. 22.


7. Ibid., pp. 22, 24-25. Les autres institutions denseignement suprieur dtat fondes
au XIXe sicle sont les suivantes : lcole de Mdecine Vtrinaire de Bruxelles (1832),
lcole Militaire de Bruxelles (1834), lInstitut Suprieur de Commerce dAnvers
(1852), lInstitut dAgronomie de Gembloux (1860), lcole de Guerre de Bruxelles
(1868), lcole Suprieure de Textiles de Verviers (1894), lInstitut Suprieur de
Commerce de Mons (1899).
8. Ibid., pp. 22-23, 26-27. Les autres institutions denseignement suprieur libres fondes
au XIXe sicle sont les suivantes : Le Collge Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix de Namur
(1832), lInstitut Suprieur de Commerce Saint-Ignace dAnvers (1852, 1901),
lInstitut Saint-Louis de Bruxelles (1858), lInstitut Belge de Hautes tudes de
Bruxelles (1894), lcole de Hautes tudes Commerciales et Consulaires de Lige
9. Ibid., pp. 26-27.
10. Ibid., p. 45.
11. Ibid., pp. 23, 45.
12. Ibid., pp. 41-42. Cette commission tait forme de deux conseillers de la Cour de
Cassation, deux membres de lAcadmie de Mdecine, deux reprsentants des
classes des sciences et deux des classes des lettres de lAcadmie Royale des Sciences
et des Beaux-Arts.
13. Ibid., p. 38.
14. Ibid., pp. 39-40. Paul Harsin, LUniversit de Lige, 1817-1935, Gembloux, Imprimerie
J. Duculot diteur, 1936, pp. 84-85.
15. Harsin, pp. 84-85.
16. Calcul selon Vanderkindere, pp. CXXXIX-CXLIII.
17. Angelescu, p. 125. On indique entre parenthse le lieu de provenance et lanne/les
annes dobtention de ce titre.
18. Pour ce dtail voir Union des Anciens tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles :
Annuaire, 1919-1920, pp. 72, 73, 82.
19. Calcul selon les annexes de Vanderkindere, pp. CXXXIX-CXLIII.
20. Angelescu, p. 121.
21. Voir, par exemple, Rdulescu, Elita liberal romneasc, pp. 116, 118, 160.
22. Une biographie de Ullyse Boldescu chez Ana-Maria Rdulescu, Conservatorii n
Oltenia. Dolj, 1899-1913, Craiova, Aius, 2004, pp. 193-195.
23. Voir, par exemple, Stoica Lascu, Partidele politice la Brila n perioada 1875-1914 :
Mrturii de epoc, Brila, Istros Muzeul Brilei, 1998, pp. 14, 23, 301, 311.
24. Calcul selon Union des Anciens tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles : Annuaire,
1919-1920, pp. 87-88. On indique entre parenthses le lieu de naissance et lanne/les
annes dobtention de ce titre (comme lannuaire le prcise la page 69). Nous avons
trouv deux autres noms pouvant appartenir des Roumains ns Paris (Horia
Rosetti, 1885) ou Bruxelles (Mircea Pillat, 1896).
25. Ibid., pp. 76, 80, 81, 83.
26. Voir, par exemple, Albumul Partidului Conservator din Romnia, soign par George
D. Eremia, Bucarest, Imprimerie Dor. P. Cucu et Atelier de reliure de livres Dr
Athanasiu-Vergu, 1912, ou rcemment Ioan Mamina et Ion Bulei, Guverne i guver-

nani, 1866-1916, Bucarest, Silex, 1994, p. 222. Dans Albumul Partidului Conservator
din Romnia figure aussi un certain Tase M. Athanasiu, n Bucarest en 1857, devenu
docteur s sciences politiques et administratives aprs des tudes aux universits de
Lige et de Gand.
27. Voir, par exemple, Stoica Lascu, Activitatea organizaiilor din Clrai ale partidelor
politice (pn la Primul Rzboi Mondial) , in Cultur i civilizaie la Dunrea de
Jos (Clrai), V-VII, 1988-1989, pp. 235-257/pp. 237, 246-248, 251-253.
28. Calcul selon Union des Anciens tudiants de lUniversit Libre de Bruxelles : Annuaire,
1919-1920, pp. 67-88, 98-130. Nous tenons prciser que quatre Roumains de
Bessarabie et de Transylvanie avaient fait un doctorat cette institution de 1884
1914, ce qui explique les diffrences marques entre parenthses.
29. Calcul selon ibid., Vanderkindere, pp. XCXIX-CI, CXXXIX-CXLIII, CLI-CC et
Angelescu, pp. 123-126. Nous prcisons que six Roumains de Bessarabie et de
Transylvanie avaient fait un doctorat cette institution de 1863 1914, ce qui explique
les diffrences marques entre parenthses.
Romanians at the Free University of Brussels:
Doctoral Students in Political Science and Administration (18851898)
The study is based upon a few pieces of informationso far little known or ignored by Romanian
historiographyconcerning the 14 Romanian youths (13 from the Kingdom of Romania and one
from Austria-Hungary) who obtained doctoral titles in political science and administration at
the Free University of Brussels in 18851898. Between 1863 and 1898, a total of 41 Romanians
successfully defended here their doctoral theses in political science and administrationthe
largest number of doctoral titles awarded to non-Belgian students.


Free University of Brussels, doctoral students of Romanian origin, political science and administration, elites, intellectuals


Modernit et tradition
dans la politique
trangre du Vieux

Structures et mcanismes de dcision

Dans les questions extrieures la politique reste

ncessairement restreinte,
ferme, jalouse, sotrique,
telle quelle ltait
lpoque de Richelieu

Rudolf Dinu
Charg de cours la Facult dHistoire
de lUniversit de Bucarest, spcialiste
de lhistoire des relations internationales
(XVIIe-XIXe sicles) et des tats occidentaux modernes (XVe-XVIIe sicles).
Auteur du volume Studi italo-romeni :
Diplomazia e societ, 1879-1914

A DIPLOMATIE fut, tout au long du

XIXe sicle et jusqu la Premire Guerre
mondiale, un domaine rserv dans tous
les tats europens.1 La stratgie de scurit et la politique trangre dpendirent
et furent le produit dun groupe restreint
de facteurs de dcision. Le schma des
instances dcisionnelles comme dailleurs les mcanismes usits dans le decision making process fut, avec les nuances
inhrentes, presque le mme pour la plupart des acteurs du systme international
europen, notamment dans les pays monarchiques, tant circonscrit lintrieur
dun triangle form du monarque/prsident, du Premier ministre et du ministre des affaires trangres. Loin dtre
rigide, cette formule comporta toute
une srie de variations dun tat lautre
et mme lintrieur de chacun dentre eux : la hirarchie apparemment inexistante du schma italien contraste avec
la chane de commande , visible surtout aprs 1888, dans le cas roumain ;
les nombreux moments de contraction du centre dcisionnel roumain,
depuis le tripolarisme au bipolarisme,


diffrent radicalement de la constance qui caractrisent la formation tripartite

belge, italienne, britannique etc.
Dans presque tous les pays monarchiques, Berlin, Saint-Ptersbourg, Rome,
Londres, Vienne, Bruxelles ou Bucarest, les souverains ont reprsent les facteurs
de dcision de premier rang. En vertu dune tradition qui remontait la modernit prcoce, les souverains du XIX e sicle continurent prter une importance toute particulire aux prrogatives de ce domaine. Rien ne fait la diffrence
sous cet aspect entre les puissances exceptionnelles (tels le tsar de la Russie ou
le sultan de lEmpire ottoman) et les monarques constitutionnels (lempereur
Franois-Joseph de lAutriche-Hongrie, les empereurs allemands Guillaume Ier et
Guillaume II, les reines et les rois de la Grande-Bretagne, de Victoria douard
VII et George VI, le roi de la Belgique, Lopold II etc.2). Cest ce qui fit que tout
au long du XIXe sicle, jusque vers 1914, les relations internationales ont gnralement t des relations inter-dynastiques.3
En Roumanie davant la guerre, la diplomatie constitua le domaine rserv du
roi (Charles Ier), le monarque tant considr dans les conditions de la vie
parlementaire et comme dans nombre dautres pays europens comme le seul
garant de la continuit de la politique trangre. Larticle 93 de la Constitution
de 1866 dfinit, de manire un peu confuse, les prrogatives du souverain en
matire de politique trangre : cest le roi (le prince-rgnant, avant 1881)
qui fait les nominations et les rvocations de ses ministres, [] qui dsigne
ou confirme dans toutes les fonctions publiques, [] qui est la tte de larme,
[] qui conclut avec les tats trangers les conventions ncessaires au commerce,
la navigation et autres de ce genre ; cest cependant le pouvoir lgislatif qui
approuve tous ces actes et leur confre lautorit suprme .4 Du fait que cet
acte constitutionnel avait t labor un moment o la Roumanie ntait pas
encore indpendante et afin dviter les complications internationales , les
conventions politico-militaires ne furent pas mentionnes dans cet alina. Vu les
conditions, le roi de la Roumanie se retrouva dans la situation paradoxale de ne
pouvoir ni revendiquer une telle prrogative (puisquelle ne figurait pas dans la
Constitution) ni tre contrl par le parlement dans le cas o, interprtant au sens
large larticle 93, il laurait exerce. tant donn les possibilits de manoeuvre que
cette formulation confuse offrait au roi et au gouvernement dans la sphre de
la politique trangre, on peut aisment comprendre pourquoi le contenu de larticle 93 resta inaltr au moment de la rvision de la Constitution (en 1884).5
Avec ou sans prrogative, la diplomatie constitua le domaine rserv du roi
Charles Ier, le seul garant dans les conditions de la vie parlementaire de la
continuit de la politique trangre. P. P. Carp, lun des quelques initis de
lpoque et ce moment-l ministre des affaires trangres, nhsitera pas, en
1888, le dclarer devant le parlement : La politique trangre nappartient pas
au pays, elle appartient au roi [], la politique trangre doit avoir un but bien


dfini, bien tabli et une continuit qui soit lcart des fluctuations politiques
de parti ; or, cette continuit cest la Couronne qui la reprsente, cest elle larbitre suprme entre les partis et celle qui est au-dessus du chef des conservateurs et du chef des libraux [] Le souverain reprsente la souverainet du pays. 6
On doit prciser quentre lIndpendance et la Premire Guerre mondiale, la
Roumanie a connu une institution issue des rigueurs du rgime de la monarchie parlementaire, ayant seulement un rle consultatif et fonctionnant dans la
sphre de la politique trangre : il sagit du Conseil de Couronne. 7 Vu son
fonctionnement sporadique (il ne se runit que deux fois : le 2 avril 1877 et le
21 juillet 1914), ce serait un peu forc que de linclure parmi les instances de dcision rle effectif dans llaboration et la coordination de la stratgie de politique
trangre du pays.
La manire dont le souverain de la Roumanie et ses ministres avaient gr
les affaires trangres fut donc, au moins jusqu la Premire Guerre mondiale,
rationnelle et illumine , issue de lide darcana imperii et chappant au
contrle des instances parlementaires. Ce sont cette laxit et cette confusion des stipulations constitutionnelles du domaine qui ont finalement conduit,
notamment aprs 1880, latrophie de la fonction du parlement de co-associ
dans la gestion des affaires trangres. Il continua, videmment, exercer un certain droit dinformation et contrle dans ce secteur par le biais du vote, votant
certaines lois, par exemple le budget du Ministre des Affaires trangres, discutant les Livres Verts8, interpellant le ministre des affaires trangres etc. Llaboration des lignes directoires de politique trangre, la conduite diplomatique et
mme la dcision finale dans certaines priodes de crise lui restrent cependant
inconnues.9 Il sagit notamment du trait dalliance avec les Puissances centrales, du mois doctobre 1883, constamment ni par les reprsentants du gouvernement lors des interpellations dans le parlement. Les questions de politique
trangres ne concernent pas le parlement dclarait en 1888 le mme ministre
des affaires trangres, P. P. Carp. Les questions de ce genre nappartiennent pas
aux partis ; cest le roi qui reprsente le pays dans son ensemble et cest toujours lui qui doit diriger la politique trangre, car elle a besoin de continuit
et exclut toute improvisation. 10
Le roi Charles Ier fut, son rgne durant, une prsence constante dans le domaine
des affaires trangres, le centre de dcision en la matire se dfinissant en
fonction de sa volont.11 Les termes de la charte fondamentale obligrent en permanence le souverain soigneusement choisir ses collaborateurs dans le cadre
du gouvernement, tant donn que larticle 92 stipulait que nul acte du roi
na de valeur sil nest contresign par un ministre, qui en devient ainsi responsable.12 Or, le rgime de la responsabilit ministrielle nencourageait pas un ministre poser aisment sa signature sur un trait, notamment si ce trait
contrevenait la volont dune partie du grand public (tel le cas de 1883). Aussi


la collaboration du monarque avec un pareil groupe savra-t-elle parfois extrmement risque dans des conditions dinstabilit gouvernementale (tel le cas du
gouvernement Lascr Catargi, accd au pouvoir le 29 mars 1889, o ni le
chef du cabinet ni le ministre des affaires trangres ne connaissaient les engagements extrieurs assums auparavant, plaidant devant le parlement en faveur
de la neutralit !13).
Le schma du groupe roumain de dcision connut une grande mobilit, surtout
en ce qui concerne sa structure, qui sera trs fluctuante au fil du temps : le
bipolarisme (notamment dans la formule roi-prsident du Conseil, mais aussi roiministre des affaires trangres) allait remplacer le tripolarisme (roi-prsident
du Conseil-ministre des affaires trangres). Ses dimensions de plus en plus rduites
et, indirectement, sa mobilit, taient dues au dsir exprs du souverain, dont lun
des plnipotentiaires italiens Bucarest, Carlo Fasciotti, allait plus tard expliquer le substrat dans les termes suivants : Votre Excellence aura certainement
remarqu la jalousie du roi Charles garder le secret sur les accords qui rallient
cet tat la Triple-Alliance [] Deux sont les raisons ayant dtermin le sage
et prudent souverain roumain garder un secret aussi rigoureux : dune part,
le dsir de ne pas exposer inutilement son pays la haine et aux reprsailles
russes et, dautre part, lobligation de tenir compte de lhostilit quune grande
partie de lopinion publique roumaine manifeste lgard de la Triple-Alliance en
gnral et de la Hongrie en particulier. 14
Le centre de dcision en matire de politique trangre eut, videmment,
un soi-disant moment zro, correspondant du point de vue thorique lobtention de lindpendance et du point de vue pratique la sortie de la Roumanie
de lpoque de neutralit : cest le moment o elle ngocia et conclut lalliance
avec les Puissances centrales, en juin-octobre 1883. La dcision effective en a
appartenu au prsident du Conseil, Ion C. Brtianu, au roi Charles I er et au
ministre des affaires trangres, D. A. Sturdza, lordre de lnumration ntant, comme le dmontrent les documents darchives, nullement alatoire.15 Juste
au-dessous on retrouve un nombre tout aussi rduit d excutants ou/et
initis : le ministre plnipotentiaire Vienne, P. P. Carp, dont lactivit dpassa parfois de beaucoup les cadres dun simple ngociateur et excutant des
dcisions venues du centre (il avait, ds lhiver de 1882 dj, forc la mise en
discussion de lhypothse dune alliance avec les Puissances centrales), le ministre
plnipotentiaire Berlin, Gheorghe Vrnav-Liteanu, le chef de la Division politique du Ministre des Affaires trangres en juillet 1883, Alexandru Beldiman
(grant de la Lgation Berlin en t de la mme anne et attach auprs du Premier ministre, I. C. Brtianu lors des ngociations de Gastein, jusquen octobre
188316) et non en dernier lieu la reine Elisabeth, la confidente du souverain mme
dans des questions de politique trangre, qui tait certainement au courant
des ngociations dadhsion et avait, semble-t-il, mme inspir une certaine ligne


de conduite pendant ces pourparlers.17 Aprs ce moment zro, le roi Charles

eut tendance geler la composition du groupe de dcision et mme restreindre le cercle des initis, dans les conditions o, par exemple, pas un des envoys
extraordinaires ayant succd Carp Vienne, aprs 1884, ne fut inform du
trait dalliance conclu avec les Puissances centrales. La Lgation royale Berlin
se retrouva dans une situation similaire entre 1888-1896, cest--dire entre le
dpart de Vrnav-Liteanu et linstallation du dernier titulaire davant la guerre,
Alexandru Beldiman. Celui-ci sera dailleurs, partir de 1888, le seul diplomate et partir de 1896 le seul plnipotentiaire roumain accrdit auprs dune
puissance allie connatre, officiellement, le sens et lampleur des engagements internationaux de la Roumanie.
Sa Majest Charles Ier comme le ministre italien Beccaria allait plus tard expliquer son ministre des affaires trangres pourquoi il ne pouvait pas avoir,
dans la question du trait secret dalliance, un interlocuteur en la personne de lenvoy roumain Rome veut informer (mettere in segreto) un nombre aussi
restreint que possible de personnes, et trs peu dhommes dtat roumains en
sont initis. Tous les documents relatifs cet accord, ma dit le roi Charles,
sont renferms dans le coffre-fort de son bureau .18
Lexistence dun groupe de dcision, tendance permanente de contraction
au sommet et moins dispers au niveau du spectre institutionnel, fut possible
grce certains artifices techniques issus finalement des mmes raisons exposes
ci-dessus. Le prsident du Conseil des Ministres cumula plusieurs reprises, ad
interim ou pendant toute la priode de gouvernance, le portefeuille des affaires
trangres. De telles situations en on rencontre souvent aprs 1895. D. A. Sturdza,
par exemple, lun des artisans constants de la stratgie de politique trangre
partir de 1882, se rserva, pendant les quatre gouvernements quil a dirigs, la
tte du Ministre des affaires trangres (y fait partiellement exception le troisime
cabinet, lorsquil cda les affaires trangres, lors du remaniement du 18 juillet
1902, Ionel Brtianu).19 Il y a aussi des situations bizarres lorsque, sans avoir
cumul les affaires trangres, le prsident du Conseil fut le seul membre du
cabinet associ au souverain dans la gestion des relations trangres. De telles
situations sont le rsultat de labsence de normes crites ou, au moins, tacitement
accepts au niveau du gouvernement, qui obligent que dans des situations-limite
la dcision en matire de politique trangre soit le produit dun consensus ou
dune consultation entre le prsident du Conseil et le ministre des affaires trangres.
La gouvernance de Ion C. Brtianu, de 1881 1888, est illustrative en ce sens.
Les ministres des affaires trangres qui ont succd D. A. Sturdza il sagit
de Ion Cmpineanu (2 fvrier 27 octobre 1885) et Mihail Pherekyde (16 dcembre 1885 20 mars 1888) nont dlibrment pas t informs de lorientation
relle de la politique trangre roumaine, de sorte quils continurent affirmer,
de manire officielle, et dans le parlement et dans la relation avec le corps diplo-


matique accrdit Bucarest etc., la neutralit de la position internationale de

la Roumanie. Au moment o le ministre allemand Bucarest lui demanda des
explications au sujet de certaines dclarations prononces la fin de 1886, dans
le contexte de laggravation des tensions austro-russes aprs la crise bulgare,
Brtianu allait dclarer que Jai laiss faire les dclarations sur la politique extrieure par Monsieur Phrkyde, qui ne sait rien et dont les paroles ne tirent pas
consquence. 20
Deux dcennies plus tard, lexistence dune pareille configuration du groupe
roumain de dcision tait accueillie avec stupfaction dans les milieux diplomatiques occidentaux. En 1910, par exemple, le tlgramme de lenvoy italien
Bucarest, Beccaria, plongea le ministre italien des affaires trangres dans la
plus profonde perplexit : il linformait que son homologue roumain ntait
pas au courant des traits secrets dalliance. Pensant une quivoque, San Giuliano
demandait la re-confirmation des informations transmises : Rserv vous.
Pour expliquer votre tlgramme no 47, je vous prie de me tlgraphier si ce ministre des affaires trangres [Alexandru G. Djuvara, 1er novembre 1909 28
dcembre 1910] ne sait rellement rien des accords conclus entre la Roumanie
et la Triple-Alliance, naturellement, sans linterroger. 21
Lhypostase vraiment paradoxale concernait les gouvernements o aucun membre ntait inform de la stratgie relle. On peut mentionner au moins trois gouvernements de ce genre avant la Premire Guerre mondiale : le gouvernement
Lascr Catargi (29 mars 3 novembre 1889) ; le gouvernement du gnral
I. Em. Florescu (21 fvrier 26 novembre 1891), quand le premier trait dalliance avec lAutriche-Hongrie toucha sa fin, de mme que les accords dadhsion allemand et italien ; le gouvernement P. S. Aurelian (21 novembre 1896
26 mars 1897), un gouvernement de transition qui justement pour ignorer
les engagements extrieurs allait tre guid de lombre par Dimitrie A.
Sturdza, de manire ce que la ligne de politique trangre reste immuable.22

NTRE LA crise des annes 1882-1883 et la Grande Guerre, le groupe de

dcision eut presque tout le temps une composition philo-allemande et,
dans une moindre mesure, russophobe. Outre le souverain, de la Maison
de Hohenzollern, qui tait sentimentalement attach lAllemagne, le decision
making process impliqua aussi des hommes politiques et des diplomates, forms
gnralement lcole allemande, qui admiraient la force militaire et lconomie
dynamique de cette grande puissance (D. A. Sturdza, ministre des affaires trangres,
devenu par la suite prsident du Conseil ; Petre P. Carp, ministre Vienne de
1882 1884 et ensuite ministre des affaires trangres et prsident du Conseil)
ou taient mme les adeptes du modle allemand de dveloppement (P. P.
Carp).23 Cest toi crivait Petre P. Carp son beau-frre, D. A. Sturdza,
lautomne de 1883, la fin des ngociations avec lAutriche-Hongrie et lAl-


lemagne quen revient lhonneur, car peu de choses auraient t accomplies

sans toi, et quand je pense quel point les moindres dtails sont importants au
cours de pourparlers aussi dlicats que ceux qui durent depuis neuf mois, je me
demande vraiment quel aurait t laffaire si ta place avait t un homme
lducation franaise, et sans (notre) Knig. 24
Ce qui, ct de la structure du systme international de lpoque, explique
pourquoi ce groupe de dcision litiste, ayant en permanence sa tte le roi Charles
Ier, trouva une modalit au moins originale de se renseigner sur les volutions
europennes. Autrement-dit, sa carte mentale se prcisa la suite de
contacts directs, presque exclusifs, avec les officiels de Berlin et Vienne, tablis
et entretenus par les membres du groupe, le roi, le prsident du Conseil ou le
ministre des affaires trangres (parfois mme au moment o ces derniers taient
temporairement dpouills de leur qualit officielle tel le cas de Sturdza), en
vertu des liens dynastiques directs avec la famille impriale allemande, des relations personnelles que Charles avait noues avec lempereur austro-hongrois
Franois-Joseph, grce la vaste correspondance que le roi entretenait avec certains membres de la Maison impriale allemande (le prince, devenu ensuite Kaiser
Frdric-Guillaume), avec les membres de sa propre famille, son pre CharlesAntoine en particulier, ou sur la base des renseignements que les reprsentants
diplomatiques envoyaient lextrieur lexception de la correspondance personnelle que les ministres roumains Berlin Vrnav-Liteanu (1880-1888) et
Beldiman (1896-1916) entretenaient directement avec le souverain. Le comte
Tornielli consignait en ce sens, dans un rapport de 1885, que lorientation de
la politique trangre de la Roumanie [] se fait, dans les circonstances les
plus difficiles, Berlin .25 Cest toujours lui qui prcisait en 1887 : Ainsi que
je lai crit plusieurs reprises, lorientation de la Roumanie, dans les moments
critiques, se forme principalement sur les informations, parfois de nature trs
intime, qui parviennent ici de Berlin directement au Roi. 26
De 1883 1888, par exemple, les facteurs de dcision roumains, quil sagisse
du prsident du Conseil, I. C. Brtianu, du ministre des affaires trangres,
D. A. Sturdza (devenu aprs 1885 ministre des Cultes et de lInstruction27) ou
du roi Charles Ier, se rendirent tous les ans Berlin et Vienne en mission dinformation et consultation, cette collaboration prfrentielle tant essentielle pour
llaboration de la stratgie politico-diplomatique du gouvernement de Bucarest.
Cest un fait incontestable quattestent dailleurs les notes de D. A. Sturdza le
seul habitu rdiger de telles occasions des rapports dinformation adresss au
roi , notes qui font parfois in extenso le rsum de ses entretiens avec les officiels allemands et austro-hongrois. 28 Tout ce va-et-vient Berlin et Vienne
contraste visiblement avec labsence de communication effective lchelon suprieur
entre Bucarest et Rome, le seul entretien officiel du souverain roumain, Charles


Ier, avec le roi dItalie, Umberto Ier (Monza, octobre 1891), et la seule visite
officielle Rome dun ministre roumain des affaires trangres (Ion I. C. Brtianu,
en janvier 1910) pouvant difficilement tre considrs collaboration au sommet !
Les pourparlers dadhsion de lItalie au trait austro-roumain passrent toujours
par les cabinets de Berlin et Vienne, un contact direct entre Bucarest et Rome
ne stablissant que vers la fin des ngociations (quand le nouveau ministre plnipotentiaire italien, Francesco Curtopassi, arriva Bucarest). Cest toujours
cette absence de communication informelle qui marqua les relations entre Bucarest
et Londres, mme aprs la conclusion de lalliance matrimoniale en 1893, qui
aurait d rapprocher les deux maisons impriales.
Ces visites, quon ne doit ncessairement pas prendre pour des invitations
ad audiendum verbum, mais plutt pour des modalits de saisir le pouls
international un moment donn, vtirent progressivement laspect de rgles
quont respectes presque tous les initis aux secrets de la politique trangre
roumaine. Ils sont les indicateurs prcis de lorientation du centre de dcision.
Plus tard, quand ces moments tenaient dj dun temps rvolu, I. G. Duca allait prsenter cette pratique, dun ton qui trahissait le parti pris politique, comme
tant propre seulement aux chefs conservateurs, nullement aux libraux.
cet gard, Maiorescu appuyait lopinion de Carp, qui disait : Moi, dans la
politique trangre, je me guide daprs Vienne et Berlin, cest l le centre de gravit de notre politique trangre, et non Bucarest. Voil donc comment ces
gens entendaient notre participation la Triple-Alliance. 29 Mme si aprs 19091910, la lumire ne venait plus exclusivement de Berlin et Vienne, au moins
pour le nouveau chef du Parti National Libral, Ionel (Ion I. C.) Brtianu, la tradition des contacts prfrentiels avec les officialits austro-allemandes continua
presque inaltre jusqu la veille de la Premire Guerre mondiale.
Vu lintention du roi de ne permettre laccs aux secrets de la politique trangre
qu un groupe restreint dinitis, le personnel diplomatique autochtone eut un
rle assez marginal dans la gestion des relations dalliance except les priodes o P. P. Carp fonctionna Vienne et Vrnav-Liteanu et Alexandru Beldiman
Berlin. Par consquent, la fonction dentretenir et dvelopper ces relations revint
invitablement aux ministres plnipotentiaires des Grandes Puissances allies,
celui allemand en particulier. Bernhard von Blow, par exemple, devint, entre
1888-1893, grce aussi ses qualits personnelles, un vritable conseiller personnel du roi, avec qui Charles aimait discuter plus quavec tout autre officiel
roumain de lpoque.30 Les ministres de la Triple-Alliance parvinrent ainsi dpasser leur statut dobservateurs des ralits roumaines, de simples excutants des
directives envoyes du centre, interfrant parfois avec le decision making process
et mme inspirant certaines attitudes ou dcisions de la Couronne en relation directe avec la politique trangre. Le rapport du ministre italien Curtopassi


concernant la position adopte par les plnipotentiaires de la Triple-Alliance

lors de linvestiture du cabinet conservateur Lascr Catargi est loquent en ce
sens :
Hier, avant que les dcrets de nomination des nouveaux ministres fussent signs,
Sa Majest invita au Palais le reprsentant de lAllemagne [] Questionn sur
les garanties mme de rassurer et, peut-tre, de satisfaire les trois Cours allies,
celui-ci les rsuma comme il suit : 1 lassurance que le ministre des affaires
trangres avait offerte aux trois reprsentants de la Ligue centrale de ne rien
changer en matire de politique trangre ; 2 lengagement du nouveau gouvernement de continuer surveiller et expulser, le cas chant, les missaires et les
instigateurs russes ; 3 le parachvement du systme de fortifications autour de
la capitale et sur la ligne du Siret ; 4 lacclration de larrive en Roumanie
du Prince hrditaire. Le souverain promit de ne pas signer les dcrets en cause
et ne pas accepter le serment de ses nouveaux conseillers avant de sassurer de leur
assentiment aux points ci-dessus exposs [] la fin mon collgue fut appel
rpter [] devant les reprsentants de lItalie et de lAutriche-Hongrie le colloque quil avait eu avec lui.31
Sans nier ces interfrences, on doit toutefois prciser que le souverain roumain
fut loin de se plier volontairement et toute occasion aux recommandations
venues de Berlin, Vienne ou Rome et que par sa rsistance il suscita maintes
fois lirritation du chancelier Bismarck, il pro tempore padron del mondo .
Le Chancelier rapportait De Launay, lambassadeur italien Berlin, au printemps de 1889 a pass sous silence la Roumanie. Mais je sais par le Secrtaire
dtat quici lon est peu difi lgard de Son Souverain. Il sattribue de grandes
qualits qui lui sont contestes ; il est plein de suffisance, ncoute pas les
conseils qui lui sont donns dans son propre intrt. 32

du roi au sein du groupe de dcision volua constamment

partir des annes 80, devenant prpondrante vers 1888-1892. Sous la
grande gouvernance librale des annes 1881-1888, cest plutt le tandem Charles Ier I. C. Brtianu qui a fonctionn et, quelles que fussent les perceptions des contemporains, lancien rpublicain et conspirateur de 48 et 66
semble avoir donn le ton lintrieur du groupe de dcision au moins dans
les moments-cl. Ce nest pas tonnant, tant donn la personnalit et limmense autorit quune longue activit politique confrait au prsident du Conseil.
Le vieux Brtianu tait sans doute lun des grands architectes de la Roumanie
moderne. Cest lui qui avait ngoci en 1866 lavnement au trne de la Roumanie
du futur roi, Charles Ier de Hohenzollern ; cest toujours lui qui avait accompagn le jeune prince dans son voyage incognito en Roumanie.33 La relation de


I. C. Brtianu avec le souverain fut, au moins aprs 1881, plutt un inter pares
quune relation hirarchique. Aucun autre ministre aprs lui nallait jouir dun
traitement semblable de la part du roi, ni de la mme estime. En matire de
politique trangre sa parole compta parfois plus que celle du roi. Cest
vous de juger et de prendre une dcision 34, crivait le ministre des affaires
trangres, D. A. Sturdza, en aot 1883, la fin dune lettre personnelle o il
exposait les circonstances qui poussaient la Roumanie vers une alliance avec les
Puissances centrales. La dcision finale appartint, videmment, Charles I er, mais
cest la dcision de Brtianu qui rendit possible la matrialisation de lalliance.
Ce qui a indiscutablement caractris, pendant lintervalle dlimit par la grande
gouvernance librale et le retrait de Ion C. Brtianu en 1888, tant le premier
ge de la politique trangre roumaine que le mcanisme dcisionnel autochtone,
cest la construction collective de la dcision. Ce nest pas par hasard que le
ministre italien Bucarest, le comte Tornielli, consignait en 1885 en se rfrant
au groupe dcisionnel roumain, que le roi Charles a une part directe et continue
dans la gestion de la politique trangre de la Roumanie 35
Aprs le retrait de Brtianu de la tte du gouvernement, le rle du roi au
sein du groupe dcisionnel devint prpondrant, allant jusqu la subordination
des autres ples de dcision. Cette ralit est largement atteste par les sources
du temps, quelles soient diplomatiques ou dautre type. Nos exemples concernent exclusivement des diplomates trangers. Le ministre franais Bucarest,
Jules Henrys dAubigny, concluait en septembre 1896, la fin dune enqute
sur les facteurs responsables et les directions de la politique trangres roumaine :
La vrit, cest quau-dessus les partis il y a le Roi, le seul diriger la politique trangre du pays. Depuis plusieurs annes, faisant preuve dune tnacit
infatigable, il se situa au-dessus des ministres, quils fussent libraux, conservateurs ou junimistes, poursuivant le mme objectif, savoir lentente avec le
Gouvernement de Vienne sous les auspices de celui de Berlin 36 En 1909, le
ministre italien Beccaria Incisa, le doyen du corps diplomatique (il tait en
Roumanie depuis 14 ans), crivait plus fermement encore sur le fonctionnement de ce secteur : ce que jai pu rvler plusieurs reprises dans ma correspondance avec ce Ministre [des Affaires trangres], le meilleur garant de stabilit de la politique trangre roumaine est Sa Majest le Roi Charles, qui dtient
la direction suprme effective et ne permettrait pas la modification des principes
essentiels sans son consentement entier 37 Il parat dailleurs que le souverain ne cachait pas la manire dont il pensait grer la politique trangre, manire
de nature, comme nous lavons dj prcis, illumine, fonde sur lide darcana
imperii, et ressemblant beaucoup celle de son frre et alli, Franois-Joseph.38
Il parat que le Roi Charles rapportait de Bucarest en 1909 le duc Caracciolo
di Castagneta est extrmement jaloux en ce qui concerne la gestion de la politique trangre, et en fait il me rpta lautre jour que la politique extrieure


exige tre dirige du Haut, puisque le parlement et lopinion publique sont

troppo suscettibli a morbosit per avere una direttiva. 39 Le souverain comme
avouait le prsident du Conseil des Ministres, Titu Maiorescu, au charg daffaires
italien, Auriti, lautomne de 1913 veut que ses ministres soient en matire
de politique trangre plutt excutants quinspirateurs, et par de tels arguments [tenant des affaires internationales] dmontrer quils veulent plutt limiter
quagrandir leur action .40
Cest Lascr Catargi qui, dans un discours prononc dans la Chambre des
Dputs en 1889, peu de temps aprs son installation la tte du gouvernement,
contesta ouvertement pour la premire fois la suprmatie de la Couronne dans
le secteur des affaires trangres: Rpondant hier monsieur Carp crivait
le ministre italien Curtopassi en avril 1889 qui demandait des explications sur
la politique internationale envisage par le nouveau cabinet, monsieur Catargi
sexprima dans les termes suivants : La politique extrieure que monsieur Carp
voulait promouvoir est tellement antinationale que, sil avait jamais os lavouer,
il lui aurait t impossible de continuer rester en Roumanie. Le gouvernement Rosetti-Carp, tout comme celui du monsieur Brtianu, fut un gouvernement personnel du Roi ; cest au Parlement que revient le droit de renverser
tout gouvernement personnel et, si le pays naccepte pas que la Couronne fasse
une politique personnelle, il [le Parlement] doit carter tous les gouvernements
de ce genre. 41 Loption de la Roumanie en matire de politique trangre aurait
d tre, aux yeux des conservateurs, la neutralit au sens vrai . Nous, en
tant que petite nation affirmait le mme Catargi le 30 mars 1889 qui
devons tre reconnaissants toutes les puissances, viterons de les provoquer
ou mcontenter et ferons de notre mieux pour prserver la neutralit au sens
vrai et pour la dfendre contre tous ceux qui voudront lattaquer [] Une politique pacifique et amicale lgard de toutes les puissances, une attitude nettement impartiale et sincrement neutre est la seule utile notre pays. Jai
condamn la politique extrieure du gouvernement antrieur [Rosetti-Carp], tantt servile, tantt provocatrice et jamais correcte. 42
Le roi eut besoin de deux ans pour dmolir cette vision des conservateurs
en ce qui concerne le rle de la Roumanie sur la scne internationale, avec le
prix de laisser venir leur fin, en novembre 1891, les premiers accords qui liaient
la Roumanie la Triple-Alliance. La vhmence du chef des conservateurs sapaisa progressivement sous leffet de laction calcul du souverain43 de convertir
les conservateurs de la politique de neutralit celle dalliance avec les Puissances
centrales. Catargi parvint mme se faire fliciter par le roi Charles Ier, en juin 1892, aprs avoir consenti la reprise de lalliance avec les Puissances centrales : Vous tes un bon patriote, et dornavant je Vous place dans mon
esprit sur la mme ligne que fut Jean Bratiano 44 cest--dire sur la mme


ligne avec ce Brtianu que Catargi accusait en 1889 davoir dirig un gouvernement personnel du roi ! cette mme occasion, Al. Lahovari dclarait au ministre allemand von Blow : Il ne sagit plus de la politique de tel ou tel chef
de parti, mais de la seule politique trangre que la Roumanie puisse suivre, la
politique nationale, qui est consigne dans les stipulations secrtes que nous adoptons. 45 On doit toutefois remarquer que cette fois-ci le syntagme politique
nationale indiquait une politique tout fait diffrente de celle dont parlait
Lahovari en mars 1889, en se servant de la mme formule.
Cependant ce nest qu la veille de la Premire Guerre mondiale quon parviendra rellement parler de la ncessit dlargir le groupe de dcision, par linsertion de nouveaux lments, et surtout du transfert de responsabilit, ne ftce que partiellement, du souverain vers le cabinet. Certaines personnalits
politiques consignait, par exemple, le duc di Castagneta en 1909 critiquent
et qualifient danticonstitutionnel le demi-monopole que le roi Charles a lhabitude de faire de la politique extrieure de la Roumanie. 46 Le ministre Fasciotti,
dans une analyse pertinente qui prenait en compte les manifestations de quelques
secteurs importants de lopinion publique, devenus de plus en plus hostiles la
politique dalliance avec les Puissances centrales, de mme que lextension invitable
du suffrage et le prestige mineur du successeur du roi Charles Ier, Ferdinand, anticipait une double finalit :
En supposant que aprs lavnement du nouveau roi comme je mentionnais dans mon rapport cit auparavant, la politique extrieure ne continue pas
tre, comme elle lest prsent, le privilge exclusif de la Couronne, je dois
remarquer que rien ne dmontre que la Roumanie continuera sorienter
vers lAutriche-Hongrie et lAllemagne. En dpit de ce quon appelle ici lenlvement de la Bessarabie , les sympathies du peuple roumain vont plutt vers
la grande puissance orthodoxe [la Russie] que vers ltat quil prend pour loppresseur de ses frres de Transylvanie. Et, au-del des sympathies, on doit tenir
compte aussi des intrts ou, mieux dit, des besoins de ltat roumain, qui
devra probablement essayer un moment donn de sagrandir, sil veut continuer exister [] Des personnages des plus dvous la dynastie remarquent
quil serait bien que la politique extrieure soit faite par le cabinet et non pas
exclusivement par le souverain. Le nouveau roi disent-ils devra user
plus discrtement de son influence lgitime et laisser au gouvernement une
plus grande libert daction et, par consquent, une responsabilit plus grande,
diminuant la fois la responsabilit excessive qui grve maintenant sur le souverain. 47


Ces auspices allaient se prsenter lautomne de 1914, suite la disparition

de Charles Ier.

de conclusions, il est vident que les lments de modernit de

la politique trangre roumaine ne sont pas retrouver dans la zone de
dcision, mais plutt dans la sphre des structures bureaucratiques dimplmentation en plein processus de diversification ds la fin de la 9e dcennie
(en particulier au niveau de llite diplomatique qui, partir des annes 80 du
XIXe sicle, commence progressivement saligner aux standards occidentaux
en ce qui concerne les normes de recrutement, la formation intellectuelle etc.).
Labsence de modifications substantielles dans la zone de dcision au sens
dj mentionn de transfert de responsabilit nisolait toutefois pas le Vieux
Royaume du reste du continent, la diplomatie secrte, dynastique, continuant
constituer la marque gnrale de lpoque : Si dans les questions de politique intrieure crivait un journaliste italien en 1906 le parlement, le
suffrage universel, lopinion publique ou les choristes et les coryphes comptent
normment depuis longtemps, dans les questions extrieures la politique reste
ncessairement restreinte, ferme, jalouse, sotrique, telle quelle ltait lpoque
de Richelieu proprement parler, le nombre de personnages qui contribuent
simultanment la rglementation des affaires mondiales est infrieur 25. 48

1. Cf. Ren Girault, Diplomatie europenne et imprialisme, 1871-1914, Paris, 1979, p.
13 ; Harold Nicolson, Storia della diplomazia, Milan, 1995, pp. 49-54 ; Lord GoreBooth, d., Satows Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 5e dition, Londres-New York, 1979,
pp. 3-9, 27-36 ; Roderick R. Mclean, Royalty and Diplomacy in Europe, 18901914,
Cambridge, 2001, passim.
2. Girault, p. 13.
3. Cf. R. A. Kann, Dynastic Relations and European Power Politics, 18481918 ,
in Journal of Modern History, XLX, 1973, pp. 407-408 ; T. G. Otte, The Winston
of Germany : The British Foreign Policy lite and the Last German Emperor ,
in Canadian Journal of History, XXXVI, dc. 2001, pp. 471-504, 472.
4. Monitorul : Jurnal oficial al Romniei, partie officielle, no 142, 1/13 juillet 1866, p.
637 sqq. ; en ce qui concerne la loi pour la rvision et la modification de certains
articles de la Constitution (8 juin 1884), cf. Monitorul oficial, no 51, 8/20 juin 1884,
pp. 1041-1048.
5. Cf. Monitorul oficial, no 51, 8/20 juin 1884, p. 1043 ; Ion Mamina, Monarhia constituional n Romnia : Enciclopedie politic, 1866-1938, Bucarest, 2000, pp. 29-35.
6. Dezbaterile Adunrii Deputailor (par la suite : DAD), no 14, 8 dcembre 1888, pp.

7. Cf. Ion Mamina, Consiliile de Coroan, Bucarest, 1997, pp. 7-51.
8. Cf. Ministerul Afacerilor Strine (Ministre des Affaires trangres), Documente
oficiale : Neutralitatea Dunrei. Diverse, Bucarest, 1876 ; id., Documente oficiale din
corespondena diplomatic de la 5/17 octombrie 1877 pn la 5/17 septembrie 1878, prezentate corpurilor legiuitoare n sesiunea anului 1880-81, Bucarest, 1880 ; id., Documente
oficiale din corespondena diplomatic de la 2/14 septembrie 1878 pn la 17/29 iulie 1880,
prezentate corpurilor legiuitoare n sesiunea anului 1880-81, Bucarest, 1880 ; id.,
Cestiunea Dunrei : Acte i documente, Bucarest, 1883.
9. lexception de la priode des guerres balkaniques lorsque, pour des raisons objectives, le parlement est appel donner son accord la politique trangre du gouvernement. Le texte du Protocole de Saint-Ptersbourg lui sera prsent, le 11-13
mai 1913, en sance secrte, document qui sera adopt avec majorit de voix dans
les deux chambres. Le mme parlement sera convoqu le 3 juillet en sance extraordinaire, afin de voter lentre de la Roumanie en guerre et la loi concernant ltat
de sige. Cf. Anastasie Iordache, Parlamentul Romniei n anii reformelor i ai primului rzboi mondial, 1907-1918, Bucarest, 2001, p. 95.
10. Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Roma (par la suite :
ASDMAE), Serie Politica A (1888-1890), Romania, busta 107, fasc. 1 ; Rudolf Dinu
et Ion Bulei, ds., 35 anni di relazioni italo-romene, 1879-1914 : Documenti diplomatici
italiani, Bucarest, 2001, p. 243, no 206, R. 498/165, Curtopassi Crispi, Bucarest,
le 18 dcembre 1888. Bien que le leader roumain ft de son mieux pour attnuer le sens de ces mots en ajoutant que Le roi ne doit pas agir et nagira jamais
contre la volont de la nation , ce nest pas moins vrai que sa thorie correspond
trs peu la doctrine constitutionnelle, constituant un prcdent dangereux en ce qui
concerne lirresponsabilit du souverain.
11. Pour la politique trangre du roi Charles Ier voir aussi Gheorghe I. Brtianu, La politique extrieure du Roi Charles I de Roumanie, Bucarest, 1940.
12. Mamina, Monarhia constituional, p. 23.
13. ASDMAE, Serie Politica A (1888-1890), Romania, busta 107, fasc. 6 : T. 963, Curtopassi
au ministre intrimaire des affaires trangres, Crispi, Bucarest, 12 avril 1889,
13 h.
14. ASDMAE, Archivio di Gabinetto (1910-1920), casella 27, titolo III, fasc. 359 : lettre
personnelle no 5, rserve, par courrier, Fasciotti San Giuliano, Bucarest, 26 dcembre 1912.
15. Cf. Arhivele Naionale Istorice Centrale (Archives Nationales Historiques Centrales)
(par la suite : ANIC), Casa Regal, dossier 19/1883, passim.
16. Cf. Anuarul Ministerului Afacerilor Strine al Romniei pe 1897, Bucarest, 1897,
pp. 70-71.
17. ANIC, Casa Regal, dossier 19/1883 : 56-57, lettre personnelle, Liteanu Sturdza,
Berlin, 4 septembre 1883 : Ayez lextrme bont de dire la Reine que lentrevue de Gastein est un commencement dexcution des recommandations que Sa
Majest a daign me faire Sinaia et Predeal, et que jy ai travaill avec cur et
confiance, parce que jai reconnu que, dans les affaires diplomatiques o la finesse
jouait un si grand rle, la collaboration dune femme valait autant que lappui dun
grand Cabinet.






ASDMAE, Archivio Riservato, 1906-1911, casella V, fasc. 192/I (Austria-Ungheria ;

Progetto dalleanza austro-turco-germanico e turco-romeno) : T. s. n., Biancheri
San Giuliano, Rome, 29 septembre 1910, 15 h (copie pour Sa Majest).
Ion Mamina et Ion Bulei, Guverne i guvernani, vol. I (18661916), Bucarest, 1994.
Biblioteca Academiei Romne (Bibliothque de lAcadmie Roumaine) (par la suite :
BAR), mss., CDA, portefeuille XLIII : 67, Heidler Kalnoky, SP, Bucarest, 26 dcembre 1886.
ASDMAE, Archivio Riservato, 1906-1911, casella V, fasc. 192/I (Austria-Ungheria ;
Progetto dalleanza austro-turco-germanico e turco-romeno) : T. s.n., San Giuliano
Beccaria, Rome, 28 septembre 1910, 18 h ; ibid., T. 47, Beccaria San Giuliano,
Bucarest, 26 septembre 1910, 11 h30. Pour vous servir en rgle de conduite, ni
ce ministre des affaires trangres ni le ministre de la Roumanie [ Rome] ne
savent rien des accords avec la Triple-Alliance. Ibid., T. s.n., Biancheri San Giuliano,
Rome, 29 septembre 1910, 15 h (copie pour Sa Majest). Le ministre du roi
Bucarest tlgraphie les suivants : no 48 Rserv vous Au moment o Djuvara
prit le portefeuille des affaires trangres, en novembre 1909, Brtianu ma averti
pour toute ventualit que celui-ci ne savait rien des accords conclus entre la Roumanie
et la Triple-Alliance et que ce ntait pas dans lintention du roi de len informer .
ASDMAE, Serie P. Politica, 1891-1916, Romania, pacco 285 : T. 2726, Beccaria Visconti
Venosta, Bucarest, 4 dcembre 1896, 15 h30.
Cf. Andrei Corbea, Cu privire la critica modelului german al Junimii , in
Al. Zub, d., Cultur i societate : Studii privitoare la trecutul romnesc, Bucarest, 1991,
pp. 242-253.
ANIC, Casa Regal, dossier 19/1883 : 94-95, lettre personnelle, Carp Sturdza,
Vienne, 30 septembre 1883.
Dinu et Bulei, p. 180, no 123, Tornielli Di Robilant, Bucarest, 17 dcembre 1885.
Les termes de mes rapports personnels avec monsieur Brtianu me permettaient de
linterroger sans gne pour ce qui concernait son voyage Vienne et Berlin de la
fin septembre, immdiatement aprs le dclenchement du mouvement unioniste en
Roumlie orientale et en Bulgarie. [] Rentr dans ses tats ds les premires
nouvelles arrives de Filippopoli, Sa Majest mit aussitt en route le prsident de son
Conseil des Ministres pour aller rencontrer le prince Bismarck. Monsieur Brtianu
avait les dernires annes rendu de nombreuses visites chez le prince chancelier. Ses
impressions actuelles avaient donc un terme de comparaison dans les prcdentes.
ASDMAE, DP, Rapporti in arrivo, Romania, busta 1398 : annexe chiffre R. 856,
Tornielli Crispi, Bucarest, 13 aot 1887.
la grande furie du titulaire des affaires trangres, Ion Cmpineanu qui, aprs
une telle mission accomplie par Sturdza, en juin 1885, menaait avec la dmission.
Cf. Apostol Stan, Ion C. Brtianu, un promotor al liberalismului n Romnia, Bucarest,
1993, p. 432.
Cf. par exemple, BAR, Arhiva D. A. Sturdza, IV mss. 137 : 1-22, Convorbirile ce
am avut cu M. Sa mpratul Austro-Ungariei, cu Comitele Kalnoky i cu Comitele Herberth
Bismarck(Lemberg-Berlin-Vienne-Pest, 11-12 septembre 1886).

29. Cf. I. G. Duca, Amintiri politice, vol. I, Munich, 1981, p. 15. [Ion I. C.] Brtianu
ne pouvait partager une telle conception et, aprs avoir fermement protest contre
le renouvellement de lAlliance, dclara formellement au roi quil ne pensait pas quun
gouvernement ft capable dappliquer une alliance prolonge dans des conditions
pareilles. Son parti et lui ajouta Brtianu ne pourraient pas mettre en pratique
ce trait en cas de guerre.
30. Cf. Georges Fotino, Les Missions de Goluchowski et de Blow auprs du Roi Carol
I-er de Roumanie , in Revue dHistoire Diplomatique, 46, 1932, pp. 275-279 ;
Dan Berindei, Bucureti 1888 : Blow raporteaz lui Bismarck. n capitala Romniei
independente , in Magazin istoric, 1983, XVII, no 11, pp. 17-21, no 12, pp. 7376 ; id., Bernhard von Blow und Rumnien in der ersten Jahren seiner Mission
in Bukarest , in Deutsche Frage und europisches Gleichgewicht : Festschrift fr Andreas
Hillgruber zum 60. Geburtstag, Cologne-Vienne, 1985, pp. 47-66.
31. ASDMAE, Gabinetto Crispi, cartella no 3, fasc. 6b, Romania : Curtopassi Crispi,
Bucarest, 11 avril 1889, 21h50 ; ibid., R. 300/73, segreto, Bucarest, 12 avril 1889.
32. Ibid., Gabinetto Crispi, Serbia, cartella 3, fasc. 6c (XXIX): R. 326/128, De Launay
Crispi, Berlin, 16 mars 1889.
33. Cf. Stan, p. 166.
34. ANIC, Casa Regal, dossier 19/1883, D. A. Sturdza I. C. Brtianu, Sinaia, 4/16 aot
35. ASDMAE, DP (1867-1888), Rapporti in arrivo, Romania, busta 1398 ; Dinu et Bulei,
p. 180, no 123, R. 593, Tornielli Di Robilant, Bucarest, 17 dcembre 1885.
36. Cf. V. F. Dobrinescu et I. Ptroiu, Carol I vzut de un diplomat francez , in Omagiu
istoricului Ioan Scurtu, Focani, 2000, p. 128.
37. ASDMAE, Serie P. Politica, 1891-1916, Romania, pacco 287 ; Dinu et Bulei, pp. 477478, no 425, R. 254/26, par courrier, Beccaria Tittoni, Bucarest, 9 fvrier 1909.
38. Cf. Jean-Paul Bled, Franz Joseph, Bucarest, 2002, pp. 21, 449-457.
39. ASDMAE, Archivio Riservato, 1906-1911, casella I, fasc. 19/VIII Balcani (Serbia-RomaniaBulgaria) ; Dinu et Bulei, p. 482, no 429, R. 1427/144, confidentiellement, le charg
daffaires Bucarest, Caracciolo, Tittoni, Sinaia, 9 juillet 1909. Cf. ASDMAE, Archivio
di Gabinetto (1910-1914), pacco 9 bis, Romania, no 12/2, fasc. 12 (Notizie sulla Corte
Rumena) ; Dinu et Bulei, pp. 512-513, no 456, lettre personnelle, no 83, rserve,
par courrier, Fasciotti San Giuliano, Bucarest, 29 fvrier 1912. Comme on le sait,
le Roi Charles a assum de manire presque exclusive la politique trangre et celle
militaire et, pour le reste, il rgne et en mme temps exerce la gouvernance avec le
concours dune oligarchie restreinte.
40. ASDMAE, Archivio di Gabinetto, 1910-20, casella 27, titolo III, fasc. 348 : R. 1728/411,
Auriti San Giuliano, Bucarest, 15 septembre 1913.
41. ASDMAE, Serie Politica A. 1888-1891, Romania, busta 107, fasc. 6 : Curtopassi Crispi,
Bucarest, 14 avril 1889.
42. Cf. DAD, no 70, sance du 30 mars 1889, pp. 1281-1282.
43. Cf. I Documenti Diplomatici Italiani, Rome, 2e dition, vol. XXIII, 46-47, no 61,
Curtopassi Crispi, Bucarest, 10 octobre 1889.


44. Die Grosse Politik der europischen Kabinette, 1871-1914, vol. VII, Berlin, 1926, p.
180, no 1485, R. 60, secret, Blow Caprivi, Sinaia, 15 juin 1892.
45. Ibid.
46. ASDMAE, Archivio Riservato, 1906-1911, casella I, fasc. 19/VIII : R. 1427/144 Caracciolo
Tittoni, Sinaia, 9 juillet 1909, cit.
47. Dinu et Bulei, pp. 512-513, no 456, Fasciotti San Giuliano, Buteni, 6 juin 1912,
cit. Ds ce moment une chance plus ou moins courte lextension du suffrage est invitable et, avec les nouveaux et beaucoup plus nombreux lecteurs et
profitant du prestige personnel mineur du nouveau souverain, les limites de lautorit
royale seront beaucoup restreintes.
48. Cf. C. Placci, Le chiacchere diplomatiche (A proposito delle Memorie del principe
Hohenlohe) , in Il Marzocco, 21 octobre 1906, cit daprs E. Decleva, Fra
raccoglimento e politica attiva . La politica estera nella stampa liberale italiana,
1870-1914 , in id., Lincerto alleato : Ricerche sugli orientamenti internazionali dellItalia
unita, Milan, 1987, p. 16.

Modernity and Tradition in the Foreign Policy of the Old Kingdom:
Decision-Making Structures and Mechanisms
In pre-war Romania, diplomacy remained the exclusive province of King Carol I. Just like in many
other European states, the monarch was seen here as the single most important factor likely to
ensure the continuity of foreign policy. Until the First World War, the king and his ministers
managed foreign affairs in keeping with the principle of arcana imperii, allowing the legislative
no power of oversight. In matters of foreign policy, the king cooperated only with the chairman
of the Council of Ministers and/or with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. An equally limited number of executants and initiates came on the immediately inferior level. During the long period of liberal supremacy, which ended with I. C. Brtianus resignation in 1888, decisions were made
collectively within this group, but after that moment the king assumed a dominant position.
The members of the diplomatic corps, the MPs, most cabinet members, and even some ministers
of foreign affairs found themselves excluded from the making of the countrys foreign policy.


foreign policy, pre-war Romania, King Carol I, diplomacy, I. C. Brtianu



Les rformes
concernant la division
de la Transylvanie dans la
dcennie no-absolutiste

En Transylvanie on doit,
selon les possibilits, se montrer justes et convenables
envers tout le monde []
cest par cette voie quon
parviendra lunit et
la rconciliation
(Alexander von Bach)
Lornd Mdly
Chercheur scientifique lInstitut dHistoire
George Bari (Cluj-Napoca) de lAcadmie
Roumaine, spcialiste de lhistoire des
Saxons (1850-1860) et du mouvement
national roumain transylvain dans la
seconde moiti du XIXe sicle. Auteur du
volume Vierhundertfnfzehn Tage in
Wien : Das Tagebuch der siebenbrgisch-schsischen Nationaldeputation
(1850-1851) (2007).

la structure administrative-territoriale de la Transylvanie

lpoque moderne fut marque par des
changements radicaux et des processus de cristallisation long terme. Si
le Moyen ge est reprsentatif du processus de renforcement progressif du
systme des comitats, qui deviendra un
vritable modle pour les poques
suivantes, la dcennie no-absolutiste
inaugure la fin de la Rvolution de
1848-1849 et consacre par la dissolution de la Constitution rvolutionnaire
de 1849 et linstauration dun systme
absolutiste signifiera pour la Transylvanie
historique une succession de rformes
destines non seulement liminer les
anciennes rgles de souche fodale, mais
aussi et surtout moderniser cette province de priphrie qui avait normment rcuprer par rapport au reste
de la monarchie.
Pour mieux comprendre les phnomnes de la priode no-absolutiste on


doit dabord identifier les traits de la priode antrieure le Vormrz et souligner limportance de la Rvolution quarante-huitarde. Avant la Rvolution, la
Transylvanie avait une structure administrative-territoriale de type fodale : elle
tait forme de plusieurs comitats et de deux rgions exemptes le Pays
des Sicules et la Terre royale ; cette dernire constituait la juridiction traditionnelle des Saxons transylvains, tait divise en siges (sedes) et administre, tant
dans les affaires publiques que civiles, selon le droit statu en 1583. Lengrenage
administratif tait extrmement lourd cette poque et la noblesse contrlait la
plupart des affaires publiques. Cest toujours elle qui, selon la coutume fodale,
avait le rle de premire instance, ce qui revenait au fait que les sujets taient pratiquement dans limpossibilit de faire entendre leur voix.
partir du XVIIIe sicle Vienne imposa un vaste programme de rformation,
premier pas vers la modernisation de la Transylvanie. La noblesse, hongroise pour
la plupart, sy opposa, manifestant ouvertement son mcontentement et renforant
ainsi le mouvement deffervescence nationale qui visait rtablir le Royaume
de Hongrie sous la forme dun tat national desideratum qui saccordait au
Zeitgeist. Ce sont les lments qui, en 1848-1849, ont mis en opposition les
insurgs hongrois, les adeptes du mouvement royal comme on le rencontre dans certains documents et les autorits autrichiennes. Si lon y ajoute la
situation spcifique de la Transylvanie, on peut comprendre pourquoi on est
arriv une escalade des tensions et finalement une vritable guerre civile.
Pendant les annes troubles 1848-1849 la Transylvanie avait au moins sur
le plan thorique et dans la mesure o la situation de guerre le permettait prserv
son ancienne division territoriale. partir de lautomne de 1849, le nouveau type
de rgime mis en place exigea une nouvelle division territoriale. Lintention, au
niveau central, tait de raliser une unification administrative, base sur le pouvoir lgislatif de lempereur assist par le Reichsrat (le Conseil dtat) ; la direction centrale appartenait aux ministres, au fisc et la police, alors que ladministration publique du territoire tait subordonne aux ministres.1 Les autorits
militaires ne perdaient rien de leur importance, notamment dans le contexte de
la dfaite de la rvolution. Le Premier ministre, Flix comte de Schwarzenberg,
tait le favori des militaires de carrire, qui ce moment tenaient en main le
sort de lAutriche.2 La Constitution du printemps de 1849 venait consacrer lunit de lempire, stipule y compris par le paragraphe 7 relatif la dissolution des
postes de douane et de toutes les barrires intrieures.3 La langue allemande
devenue officielle et la fonction de lglise romaine-catholique de liant spirituel
taient censes remplir le mme rle unificateur. Cependant cette division administrative de la Transylvanie, tablie et applique travers des ordonnances,
allait vite dvoiler, tout comme le temps daprs la Rvolution, son caractre


La nouvelle structure de la province labore lautomne de 1849 respecte en

quelque sorte la structure ethnique de la population transylvaine, chacun des
six districts militaires crs pouvant tre considr soit roumain, soit saxon ou
hongrois. Les Saxons transylvains taient privilgis, puisque les documents
impriaux du 21 et 22 dcembre 1848, certifis par les stipulations de la Constitution de 1849, lgitimaient lorganisation spcifique de la Terre royale, qui se
voyait mme arrondie de nouvelles localits. Le district de Cluj tait hongrois,
celui dOdorhei sicule, alors que les districts dAlba Iulia, Reteag et Fgra taient
en grande majorit roumains le dernier conservant son statut en raison de
lincapacit du gouverneur Ludwig von Wohlgemuth de prendre une dcision4,
puisque, selon ses propos, ladministration du district de Fgra sest tellement
bien affirme quelle garderait ses attributions .5 Plusieurs propositions furent
prises en compte dans la mise en place de cette nouvelle division territoriale, dont
la plus importante, faite en septembre 1849 par Wohlgemuth, fut dbattue
Vienne le 8 octobre de la mme anne. 6 On commence par numrer les six
districts et prciser dans chaque cas la superficie et le nombre dhabitants (le
district de Sibiu tait tout simplement appel le district militaire saxon ou
Sachsenland), sans oublier de mentionner que cette division a tenu compte
des rapports nationaux et administratifs du pays et que, tant donn son caractre provisoire, une rectification ultrieure ntait pas exclure. On parle
aussi de raisons militaires et on fait des propositions pour llection des chefs
de chaque district. Outre la Terre royale, mentionne dans les documents sous
le nom de Sachsenland, o les anciennes subdivisions sont restes en vigueur,
les autres districts militaires, dirigs par un commandant militaire assist par
un commissaire civil, furent diviss en cercles. Il rsulte que, par-dessus les raisons
dordre national qui lont dtermine, cette division resta tributaire un critre
militaire, explicable par ltat prolong de sige subi par la Transylvanie.7
La priode daprs la Rvolution fut provisoire sous tous les aspects depuis
la nomination des fonctionnaires sur lordres du gouverneur de la Transylvanie,
Ludwig von Wohlgemuth, lui-mme militaire de carrire. Les anciens rvolutionnaires furent arrts, jugs et condamns par les tribunaux mobiles et
les commissions de purification crs cette fin. Dautres mesures visrent
la fondation de circonscriptions de police (Stadthauptmannschaften), lorganisation de la gendarmerie8 et la suppression des postes de douane intrieurs, afin
de faciliter la circulation des marchandises et des personnes. Les Saxons transylvains, en vertu des documents de dcembre, firent des dmarches en vue de
la fondation dun Kronland province spare et autonome sur la Terre royale,
ce qui dclencha des disputes acerbes. Dautres mesures devaient stabiliser la
situation conomique et sociale, telle la patente fiscale (le provisorat fiscal) du 20
octobre 1849, qui statuait lgalit de tous les citoyens devant limposition.


Lannulation des billets Kossuth fut une action de nature plutt politique et
sentimentale qui provoqua de graves prjudices toute la population, rduite
de toute faon a un tat dappauvrissement aprs la guerre civile. Les emprunts
publics engags plusieurs reprises, lautomne de 1849, en 1850 et 1854,
devaient cependant couvrir les dficits.9
La justice ne commena tre dfinitivement rorganise quen juillet 1850,
grce aux lments fondamentaux relatifs la constitution juridique de la
Transylvanie, y compris de Sachsenland , bass sur les principes de lorganisation provisoire. Les discussions au sein du Conseil des Ministres soulignrent
lexistence de plusieurs nations en Transylvanie, qui vivaient les unes ct des
autres, ce qui rendait impossible une division territoriale sur ce critre.10 Ces stipulations furent par la suite compltes de celles relatives la division administrative entreprise au printemps de 1851.11 Le Haut Tribunal de Vienne organis en aot 185012, la Haute Commission de Justice (Oberlandesgerichts-Kommission)
cre lautomne de lanne suivante et le Tribunal dappel de Sibiu taient les
signes vidents du progrs enregistr dans lorganisation dfinitive de la Transylvanie.
Cependant ce nest qu partir de lautomne de 1852 que les nouveaux organes
de justice commencrent fonctionner sur le territoire de toute la province.13
Quant aux aspects plus profonds des rformes prconises, on doit mentionner
lavertissement du comes de la nation saxonne, qui dans un rapport dtaill relatif la Terre royale (Verwaltungsbericht), du 31 mars 1851, prcisait que les changements administratifs ne sauraient pas exclure les frictions , puisque la dlimitation des juridictions tait mme thoriquement difficile raliser. Ctait une
allusion la Terre royale, sujette ce moment de grandes controverses.14

grand pas dans la direction de rformation du systme administratif et juridique de la Transylvanie fut la nouvelle organisation territoriale du 12 mai 1851, fonde sur des principes diffrents de la division provisoire de 1849. La composition ethnique avait cette fois une importance
secondaire, laccent tant mis sur la division civile et quitable, en consensus avec
le principe de lgalit de droits entre les nations, fait trs bien saisi par le ministre
de lIntrieur, Alexander von Bach : En Transylvanie on doit, selon les possibilits, se montrer justes et convenables envers tout le monde [] cest par
cette voie quon parviendra lunit et la rconciliation 15 Cette nouvelle
organisation, trs controverse lpoque, fut labore sur la proposition du
ministre de lIntrieur et tait le fruit dun long dbat men, durant le mois de
mai 1851, au sein dune commission ministrielle (forme des ministres de
lIntrieur et de la Justice, du commissaire civil douard Bach et deux conseillers
ministriels spcialiss dans les affaires transylvaines) ; la proposition de lancien gouverneur, Wohlgemuth, y fut, elle aussi, trs apprcie : elle concernait
une division gale et uniforme, qui ne tenait compte daucune spcificit terriE PREMIER


toriale et nacceptait donc pas lide dune autonomie saxonne. 16 Selon cette
nouvelle organisation, la Transylvanie tait divise en cinq districts (Kreise), dirigs
par un prsident (Kreisprsident) ; ces districts devaient, leur tour, tre diviss
en 36 cercles et sous-cercles (Bezirkshauptmannschaften). Le district de Sibiu
(moins tendu) pouvait, pour un certain temps, garder le nom de Sachsenland
(qui serait par la suite interdit dans les documents officiels) et tait dirig par
le comes des Saxons. Cette nouvelle division ne fut pas compltement mise en
place, attendant ladoption de normes supplmentaires dorganisation territoriale.17 La nomination dun nouveau gouverneur en Transylvanie, en la personne
de Karl comte de Schwarzenberg, aprs la mort subite du gouverneur Wohlgemuth
pendant un voyage Vienne, donnera une nouvelle impulsion au programme
de rformation. Schwarzenberg, un des proches de la Maison impriale, suprieur
en rang son prdcesseur, bnficiera dune plus grande autorit et se montrera moins tolrant en matire de spcificit locale (notamment dans le cas des
Saxons transylvains), tant ladepte de luniformisation et de lordre. 18 Tout
privilge tait, selon lui, un obstacle devant lorganisation politique rationnelle
et une injustice envers les autres nations. Schwarzenberg nagrait pas la division par districts, qui avaient, ses yeux, une forte colorature nationale, et prfrait
une organisation plus centralise.19 Lun de ses proches, Josef Ritter von Grimm,
caractrisait Schwarzenberg, lhomme qui a marqu le no-absolutisme en
Transylvanie la manire dont le ministre Bach lavait fait dans tout lempire,
comme il suit : Le prince tait un centraliste, il se montrait donc favorable
lunit de lempire et en fin de compte une gouvernance centrale [] il tait
constitutionnel au bon sens de ce mot [] libral dans la mesure o il se dclarait
ladepte dun tat droit, puissant et libre ; conservateur puisquil militait pour un
organe gouvernemental fond sur le droit et la justice. 20 Lors du premier voyage entrepris en Transylvanie aprs sa nomination, le nouveau gouverneur se
dclara content de ladministration de la province.21
Le 7 dcembre 1851, Schwarzenberg envoyait Vienne ses observations lies
la nouvelle division de la Transylvanie. Il y soulignait que les modifications
du 12 mai taient conformes la Constitution et que les changements du cadre
politique survenus aprs le mois daot 1851 faciliteraient une nouvelle rforme
en ce sens. Il sattaquait principalement lexistence de sous-units htrognes,
qui provoquaient une rupture du pays, contraire aux principes gnraux de ladministration , et donc des difficults dans ladministration de la province. Ctait,
videmment, une allusion directe au district de Sibiu, qui ne formait pas une unit
arrondie , comme le voulait le gouverneur ; le district dAlba Iulia ntait
pas, lui non plus, bien organis, car on lui avait arrondi le Fgra, situ 18 miles
du centre du district.22 Le nouveau gouverneur tait manifestement drang
par la position privilgie des Saxons transylvains, considrant que cette division fragmente du pays, qui ne favorise que le principe de la nationalit saxonne,


sera une permanente source de conflit et de mcontentement ; aussi se prononaitil contre les efforts autonomistes des Saxons transylvains, contredisant ainsi les
voix qui parlaient dune certaine sympathie du gouverneur envers cette ethnie.23 Schwarzenberg napprouvait pas la division de la Transylvanie par districts, du fait de maintenir la colorature nationale et de constituer ainsi une
permanente source de conflits, et la jugeait incompatible avec une petite province.
Par contre, il tait daccord avec les sous-divisions et proposait mme de les
multiplier, mme si cela signifiait une hausse des cots administratifs.24 Le gouverneur proposait en bref une nouvelle division de la Transylvanie, mise sous la
direction dun supplant (Statthalter) ; elle devait inclure 20 districts politiques
correspondant autant de tribunaux (Bezirks-Kollegialgerichte), diviss leur tour
en 79 sous-districts (Unterbezirke) correspondant autant de tribunaux civils
(Bezirks-Einzelgerichte). Il proposait aussi la cration de quatre districts militaires :
Sibiu, Cluj, Bistria et Trgu-Mure. Son avis tait que, vu la situation de Transylvanie, marque par le niveau bas de culture et la position hostile des nationalits , il serait impossible dy introduire la cour de jurs ; quant la question de la capitale, ctait encore discuter, si elle restait Sibiu ou non.25
la fin de 1851, le fameux Sylvesterpatent annula la Constitution de 1849,
changeant dun coup lvolution politique et reprsentant, jusquau mois doctobre 1860, la seule lgislation caractre constitutionnel de lempire. 26 La
modification du rgime politique par la rduction du rle des organes dlibratifs en faveur de la volont de lempereur fut sujette de nombreuses discussions et consultations inities, sur un ordre imprial, ds le mois daot de la
mme anne. La division territoriale nchappa, elle non plus, ce dbat, devant
se raliser avec le respect du principe monarchique. On proposait aussi de renoncer, dans la dnomination des provinces, la notion de Kronland , qui tait en
contradiction avec le titre imprial et lesprit national, et de revenir au nom
historique de chaque province, utilisant la notion de Kronland titre gnrique
pour les parties composantes de lempire. Quant au Royaume de Hongrie, il devra
rester spar de la Croatie, la Slavonie et la Transylvanie.27 Loin dtre une nouveaut, lacte de dcembre 1851 constituait pour la plupart des contemporains
une consquence prvisible des volutions entames en 1849.28 Le comes des Saxons
transylvains fut envoy Vienne, sans nulle possibilit dtre remplac, alors
que les travaux de lUniversit saxonne, runie ds le 17 dcembre 1849, furent
suspendus, ce qui privait cette communaut de ses droits politiques collectifs.29
Lannihilation des prtentions et des privilges des Saxons devait contrecarrer une
ventuelle sollicitation venue de la part des autres nations transylvaines roumaines
en principe de former, en vertu de larticle 74 de la Constitution, leurs propres pays de couronne. Il sagissait donc de mesures destines maintenir lunit administrative de la Transylvanie.30


Le mmoire31 que Schwarzenberg, le gouverneur de la Transylvanie, envoya

au ministre de lIntrieur, le 11 septembre 1852, portait les germe des nouvelles rformes administratives quon devait implmenter sur la Terre royale ;
aprs une brve prsentation des diffrentes rorganisations administrativesterritoriales subies par la principaut de Transylvanie, il y insistait sur le caractre compliqu et inopportun dune organisation propre de la Terre royale et
sur la ncessit dy introduire des autorits dtat (landesfrstliche Behrden). Il
parlait aussi du manque de fonctionnaires, car la plupart avaient abandonn le
service politico-administratif pour celui judiciaire, ce qui rendait ncessaire
lembauchage de fonctionnaires trangers ( galiciens ).
Les changements survenus ouvrirent la voie lintroduction dune organisation uniforme en Transylvanie et sur la Terre royale ; le district de Sibiu allait tre
divis en huit cercles (politische Bezirken) et 16 sous-cercles.32 Le nouveau systme
administratif entra en vigueur ds le 1er janvier 185333, et serait accompagn de
lembauchage, sur la Terre royale, dun grand nombre de fonctionnaires arrivs
de diffrentes parties de lempire.
La visite de lempereur Franois-Joseph en Transylvanie en t de 1852 suscita des espoirs en Transylvanie et donna lieu dautres changements politicoadministratifs. Le billet de main quil mit Sibiu, le 27 juillet, modifiait la structure des instances et imposait la cration de 11 tribunaux de districts (Landesgerichte)
et 62 tribunaux de cercles (Bezirksgerichte).34 Lintroduction, durant les annes
1852-1853, de codes de lois autrichiens dans la pratique des tribunaux transylvains signifia une autre tape dans la modernisation de la justice, remplaant
les anciennes lgislations de souche fodale.
Le rapport administratif du district dAlba Iulia pour lan 1853 dvoile des
aspects symptomatiques de la situation de ce dpartement et gnralement de
toute la Transylvanie. Le rseau administratif se confrontait un manque accru
de personnel, rendant ncessaire lembauchage de fonctionnaires trangers qualifis, notamment aux niveaux suprieurs.35
Vienne se montra proccupe pendant toutes ces annes de llaboration dun
systme dorganisation uniforme et dfinitive de lempire. La proposition du baron
Krieg, le prsident du Reichsrat, simposa en fin de compte, et sa nouvelle division, incarnant ce Definitivum tellement attendu, reprsenta une volution nette
par rapport lorganisation provisoire ralise lautomne de 1849. Les inconsquences inhrentes tout provisorat nont toutefois pas manqu : on arrta
toute mise en pratique des mesures prises dans les annes 1851-1852, pour
passer lapplication des stipulations du Definitivum.36 La nouvelle structure,
dcide le 10 janvier 1853, reposait sur une prmisse lmentaire : rompre la tradition de souche fodale, qui consacrait des structures htrognes, et instituer
des sous-divisions territoriales, judiciaires et fiscales communes. Loffice mixte


de cercle (gemischte Bezirksbehrde), qui remplissait toutes ces fonctions, allait

devenir linstitution reprsentative dans le territoire.37 Des commissions charges
de la mise en place de ce nouveau systme furent constitues pour chaque province.
En Transylvanie ce processus dura plus longtemps, ne sachevant quen 1854.
Le gouverneur devait dornavant porter le nom de supplant (Statthalter),
tant aid par six conseillers et huit secrtaires ; aprs les nominations pour ces
fonctions suprieures en fvrier 1854, et pour les fonctions infrieures quelques
semaines plus tard, le systme commena fonctionner ds la fin mai de la mme
anne.38 La Transylvanie fut divise en dix districts, forms de 79 cercles et pourvus
de dix circonscriptions judiciaires. La dnomination de Sachsenland disparut compltement des documents. La mise en place dune division qui devait constituer
un premier pas vers luniformisation et qui ne respectait plus les anciennes spcificits signifiait aussi la fin des tendances saxonnes ou roumaines de crer des
administrations propres en Transylvanie. 39 Cette nouvelle organisation fut
considre implmente la fin de 1854, concidant avec la leve de ltat de sige,
le 30 novembre 1854.40
La cristallisation dune organisation dfinitive de lempire signifia aussi le dbut
du dclin du rgime no-absolutiste. Les immenses pertes matrielles causes par
la Guerre de Crime se sont ajoutes aux frais administratifs exagrs, obligeant le rgime contracter un emprunt, en t de 1854, signe vident de la crise
quil traversait. La premire concession se produisit le 3 juillet 1855, lorsquon
dcrta, par un billet de main, la runion de conseilles consultatifs dans chaque
province, qui devaient envoyer au Conseil des Ministres leurs propositions damlioration de la situation. En Transylvanie, cette commission forme des reprsentants des tats, des glises et des hauts fonctionnaires convoqua huit runions,
occasion de remarquer limportance de laristocratie hongroise, entre en une
phase dascension aprs la dfaite subie en 1849. Les dcisions de cette commission, dont un statut de la Transylvanie (Landesstatut), furent totalement
ignores.41 La seule modification concernait lutilisation, partir de 1856, de lancienne dnomination de gouverneur, qui remplaait ainsi le titre de supplant
(Statthalter) institu lors de lorganisation dfinitive.42
Le fait quun rgime instaur la suite dune guerre (1848-1849) commena sbranler cause dune autre (la Guerre de Crime) et trouva sa fin toujours aprs une guerre (contre la Sardaigne, en 1859) est assez logique au fond.
Les pertes humaines, territoriales, matrielles et morales subies pendant la dernire
anne dterminrent finalement la faillite du rgime no-absolutiste ; lempereur promettait, ds le mois de juillet dj, des rformes conformes au temps .
Cette promesse fut suivie par le licenciement du ministre de lIntrieur, Bach,
et du comte Grnne, autre minence grise du rgime no-absolutiste.43 Le Diplme
doctobre 1860 mettait fin ce rgime et inaugurait une politique dont le mot


dordre serait la restitutio . La Chancellerie aulique, le Gubernium (gouvernement) transylvain et lorganisation sous forme de comitats allaient renatre
de leurs cendres.

E RGIME no-absolutiste, instaur en tant que systme rpressif aprs la

dfaite du mouvement rvolutionnaire hongrois, a offert des conditions
excellentes la mise en place dun programme de rformes, rappelant
en quelque sorte labsolutisme de lempereur Joseph II et faisant de cette dcennie une petite poque rformiste. Le dsir dinstitution dune organisation dfinitive tait logique, vu les conditions de provisorat permanent , de mme que
la confiance dans le nouveau rgime. Si le programme de rformes fut vite mis
en place dans dautres provinces de la monarchie, en Transylvanie, par contre,
il enregistra une certaine lenteur, due la perptuation, jusqu la Rvolution
de 1848-1849, des pratiques de souche fodale. Il ne faut pas oublier non plus
que la Transylvanie tait une rgion o cette rvolution avait laiss des traces profondes et douloureuses. Si lorganisation provisoire contenait des lments de
souche fodale (prservation des privilges des Saxons) aussi bien que les germes
de la modernit (respect de la proportionnalit et galit de droits entre les nations),
lorganisation dfinitive a statu un systme uniformisant et galitariste, tant
aussi un signe de lvolution politique et administrative de la Transylvanie de

1. Zsolt K. Lengyel, Siebenbrgen im Neoabsolutismus 1849-1860 : Betrachtungen
zu den staatsorganisatorischen Prinzipien , in Siebenbrger Archiv, vol. 34 (Siebenbrgen in der Habsburgermonarchie), Graz, 1999, p. 95.
2. Harm-Hinrich Brandt, Der sterreichische Neoabsolutismus : Staatsfinanzen und Politik,
1848-1860, vol. I, Gttingen, 1978, p. 247.
3. H. Friedjung, sterreich von 1848 bis 1860, vol. I, Stuttgart-Berlin, 1908, p. 160.
4. E. v. Friedenfels, Joseph Bedeus von Scharberg : Beitrge zur Zeitgeschichte Siebenbrgens
im 19. Jahrhundert, vol. II, Vienne, 1877, p. 142 ; F. Teutsch, Geschichte der Siebenbrger
Sachsen fr das schsische Volk, vol. III, Hermannstadt, 1910, p. 294 ; I. Martius,
Grosssterreich und die Siebenbrger Sachsen 1848-1859, Munich, 1957, pp. 37-38.
5. Magyar Orszgos Levltr (par la suite : MOL) D-3, Akten Siebenbrgen, doc. no
20080/1849, f. 9. Pour la division prcise, voir Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv (par
la suite : HHStA), Ministerrat-Akten, 4946/1849 (15 septembre).
6. MOL D-3, Akten Siebenbrgen, doc. no 20080/1849 ; HHStA, Kabinettskanzlei,
Ministerrat-Akten, 4945/1849.
7. Friedjung, p. 318.


8. Friedenfels, p. 151.
9. Teutsch, p. 295.
10. Protokolle des sterreichischen Ministerrates, section II (ministre Schwarzenberg), vol.
3, Vienne, 2005, p. 88. Cest lassertion du ministre Schmerling.
11. Martius, p. 56.
12. Friedjung, p. 314.
13. Martius, p. 66.
14. Allgemeines Verrwaltungsarchiv (par la suite : AVA), Ministerium des Innern, Prsidial
Akten, bote 67, dossier no 2714/1851 MI, document no CZ 1752/1851. Un autre
aspect soulign dans ce rapport est laugmentation de huit fois par rapport la
priode antrieure du volume de documents que devait solutionner le gouvernement
civil et militaire.
15. Friedjung, p. 416.
16. AVA, Ministerium des Innern, Prsidial Akten, bote 67, no 2223/1851.
17. R. Biebrecher, Unter dem Absolutismus , in Hundert Jahre schsischer Kmpfe,
Hermannstadt, 1896, p. 216 ; Friedjung, pp. 415, 419.
18. M. Heydendorff, Unter 5 Kaisern : Tagebuch 1786-1856, Munich, 1978, pp. 146147 ; Martius, p. 60 ; Friedenfels, p. 215.
19. Carl Gllner, Die Siebenbrger Sachsen in den Jahren 1848-1918, Cologne-Vienne,
1988, p. 108 ; Martius, p. 61.
20. Josef Ritter von Grimm, Carl Frst zu Schwarzenberg, Gouverneur von Siebenbrgen,
Vienne, 1861, p. 8.
21. AVA, Ministerium des Innern, Prsidialakten, bote 237, doc. no 2885/26 mai 1851.
22. HHStA, Kabinettsarchiv, Geheimakten, bote 8, f. 3.
23. Grimm, p. 3.
24. HHStA, Kabinettsarchiv, Geheimakten, bote 8, f. 7, 28.
25. Ibid., f. 34-36.
26. Lengyel, p. 92.
27. HHStA, Kabinettsarchiv, Geheimakten, Nachlass Schwarzenberg, fasc. XI, bote 14,
f. 6-7. Le document est dat Vienne, le 27 novembre 1851.
28. Friedenfels, p. 217 ; Teutsch, p. 307 ; Der Satellit, no 71 du 3 septembre 1851.
29. Martius, p. 63 ; Teutsch, p. 307.
30. HHStA, Kabinettskanzlei, Ministerrat-Akten, doc. no 4618/1850, f. 800.
31. AVA, Ministerium des Innern, Prsidialakten, Landesfrstliche Behrden, bote no 67,
doc. no 5471/1852.
32. Friedenfels, p. 244 ; AVA, Ministerium des Innern, Prsidialakten, Landesfrstliche
Behrden, bote no 67, doc. no 6130/1852. On y trouve aussi les approbations des
montants sollicits par le gouverneur pour les frais administratifs.
33. Martius, p. 66.
34. Friedenfels, pp. 243-244.
35. E. Cernea et I. Botezan, Un document inedit privind situaia politico-administrativ a Transilvaniei din anii 1850-1853 , in Apulum, X, 1972, pp. 485-486.
36. Friedenfels, p. 246.
37. Ibid., p. 253.


Ibid., p. 270.
Lengyel, p. 105.
Martius, p. 68.
Friedenfels, pp. 293-295 ; Teutsch, p. 315 ; Grimm, p. 9.
Lengyel, p. 107.
Teutsch, p. 324.

Reforms Concerning the Political and Administrative Organization
of Transylvania during the Neo-absolutist Decade
The neo-absolutist regime set up following the defeat suffered by the Hungarian Revolution of
18481849 effected a number of political and administrative reforms in Transylvania, introducing a centralized and uniform system based on proportional representation and on the equal
rights of all Transylvanian nations, as well on the coincidence between the territorial and the fiscal and judicial units. The new organization of the Austrian Empire also brought with it the decline
of the neo-absolutist regime, as the late 1850s saw a revival of provincial political autonomy, in the
spirit of liberalism.


political and administrative organization, neo-absolutism, reforms


Economic and Political

Aspects Pertaining
to the Romanian
National Movement
from Transylvania

Each nation has its needs,

its own special features,
and therefore every nation
plays an important and
significant role as an
economic factor.
(Vasile C. Osvad)

Vasile Dobrescu
Professor at Petru Maior University of
Trgu-Mure, specializing in the modern
history of Transylvania. Author, among
others, of the books Elita romneasc
n lumea satului transilvan (1867
1918) (Romanian elite in the Transylvanian rural world, 18671918) (1996)
and Sistemul de credit romnesc din
Transilvania (18721918) (The Romanian credit system in Transylvania,
18721918) (1999).

HE RELATIONSHIP between the institutionalized national political movementswhich began with the activity
of the national Churches and continued
with the initiatives of the Astra Cultural Association and especially of the
Romanian National Partyand the economic situation of Transylvania has long
been in the attention of specialists, and
the social-economic history of the modern era has seen the publication of many
studies dedicated to general or more
particular aspects concerning these realities, accompanied or not by statistical
From various doctrinarian or ideological angles, and in various forms, Romanian historiography has highlighted
the manner in which political and cultural goals combined with the need for
economic progress among the Transylvanian Romanians. Quite often, this
interaction sought to produce a distinct
network of economic relations defined
along national lines. The political agen-


da of the Romanian National Partyset out in the programs adopted at the

national conferences of 1881 and 1905, in the Memoranda of 1882 and 1892,
and in the statements and the initiatives of Romanian members of parliament
between 1905 and 1918indicated considerable concern with the economic situation of the Romanians, and especially with the agricultural sector, since the
rural world was being dominated by an overwhelming Romanian majority.
The actions taken in various sectors of the modern capitalist economy by the
members of the Romanian political elite considerably expanded and enriched the
objectives and the initiatives of the national movement. For instance, the establishment of the national banking system,1 coordinated by a center such as the
Solidaritatea,2 the movement for the creation of rural cooperative associations,3
or, in the urban environment, the desire to promote trade and manufacturing
by way of professional associations 4 saw the active involvement of political
leaders and therefore came to shape the very nature of the national movement.
Indeed, the major theorists of the national movement, Viceniu Babe, Alexandru
Mocioni, Aurel C. Popovici or Vasile Goldi included material values among
the values that define all nations in general and the Romanian nation in particular.5 Also, intellectuals known for the role they had played in public life, but who
were also active in the industrial or financial sector, considered that economic
activities were the cornerstone of the national edifice (George Bariiu) or
the most important agent of progress, in whose absence all political struggle
is but in vain (self-taught politician and economist Visarion Roman). Similarly,
in 1913, Vasile C. Osvad, a specialist in cooperative organization and in crediting, associated the idea of economic progress with that of national specificity:
Each nation has its needs, its own special features, and therefore every nation
plays an important and significant role as an economic factor.
The presence among the leaders of the Romanian National Party of people
who had also played a major role in economic life, such as George Bariiu, Visarion
Roman, Partenie Cosma, Eugen Brote, George Pop de Bseti, Ioan Mihu, Aurel
Vlad, Amos Frncu, etc., supported by a sizable number of economists, engineers, technicians, priests or schoolteachers, driven by the desire to build a national economy through their own efforts and means,6 comes to perfectly illustrate
the development and the features of the modern national movement. Within this
movement, economy and politics became complementary rather than mutually
exclusive, with one dimension supporting the other, in a binomial relationship
that shaped the organic development of the Romanian nation.
The first authors to speak about the relationship between economy and politics within the Romanian national movement were in fact the very promoters of
national ideas. They were both involved in the social and political struggle
and, at the same time, judges of their own actions, which made it so that some


of their contributions or value judgments were later called into question. Among
them we find the intellectuals of the generation associated with the Revolution
of 1848 and its aftermath, their most illustrious representative being George
Bariiu, whose syntheses and numerous solutions proposed for the modernization of Transylvanian economy remained unparalleled at that time. G. Bariiu
analyzed the transition of Transylvanian society from the Old Regime to a capitalist economy, and published his observations in the periodicals he led, Gazeta
de Transilvania (The Transylvanian Gazette) and Observatorul (The Observer).
His studies and articles opened a debate surrounding the need for the Romanian
intellectual elite to become involved not only in the public and cultural life,
but also in the economic one. It was called upon to stimulate the development
of trades, manufacturing (paper, textiles, wood, metallurgy, etc.), to encourage
a reorganization of peasant farms along rational and efficient models, to assist
in the establishment of financial institutions and become aware of the importance
played by a modern economy in the pursuit of political and national goals.7 As
the press of that time was publishing hundreds of articles with a precise and pragmatic economic content, in 1876 G. Bariius Gazeta de Transilvania introduced a series called The best policya national economy, meant to explain the
importance of industrialization within the process of Romanian national emancipation. As a historian, in his Pri alese din istoria Transilvaniei: Pre dou sute
de ani n urm (Aspects of Transylvanian history: The past two hundred years),
G. Bariiu focused on various social-economic structures, especially those pertaining to the field of agriculture.8 In the same pieces, he indicated the present
and future significance of the new credit institutions, and especially of the Albina
bank, to whose establishment he had directly contributed by way of sustained
His contemporaries, specialists in agriculture or in economic science, approached
various sectors of the modern Transylvanian economy, comparing the Romanian
social and economic structures to those of the other nations living in the province
and offering solutions meant to help modernize the former. Thus, George Maior,9
a specialist in agronomy, performed a first synthesis of Romanian agricultural
organization by drawing on the data found in official statistics. Eugen Brote10
analyzed the economic situation of Romanian society in the larger framework
of the national political movement associated with the Memorandum. Other specialists interested in agrarian relations discussed the reorganization of the entire
economic system of the Romanian rural world, in keeping with the principles
of a market economy, arguing that traditional methods had to be changed so that
small and medium-sized farms could become more productive. The most interesting contributions in this respect are those of tefan Pop,11 Demetriu Coma,12
Ioan F. Negruiu,13 Ioan Georgescu,14 Aurel Cociuc,15 Romul Simu,16 Eugen


Brote,17 etc. Among the solutions and the alternatives proposed by them for
the economic revival of the Romanian village we find the associative models
and the various forms of agrarian cooperation, ranging from credit institutions
and production and commercialization units to the means of obtaining livestock and agricultural equipment and machines. Among the promoters of the
cooperative model we find Visarion Roman,18 Aurel Brote19 and Eugen Brote,20
Vasile C. Osvad,21 Victor Tordanu,22 and Cornel Aisner.23
The role and the importance of credit institutions for the economic and political life of the Transylvanian Romanians were well understood and highlighted
by those advocating the establishment of national credit institutions, from selftaught specialist Visarion Roman24 to Nicolae Petra-Petrescu,25 Eugen Brote,26
Pompiliu Cioban,27 Constantin Popp,28 Corneliu Diaconovici,29 and to financial
expert Ion I. Lapedatu.30 The theoretical and practical observations from the pieces
dedicated to the development of the national banking system until the year 1918
were not limited to quantitative aspects, but also highlighted the importance
of financial and banking institutions in the economic life of the Transylvanian
Romanians, indicating the advantages of the transfer of assets from the large
Hungarian feudal estates to the small farmer holdings.

N SPITE of the positive developments occurred in the fields of Transylvanian

agriculture and banking, the authors of studies in the fields of economic
analysis and policy or of economic history never completed the investigations concerning the political impact of economic phenomena. Their conclusions,
albeit pertinent, remained rather general in nature, failing to fully indicate the
significance of economic initiatives for the political activity of the Romanian elites
prior to 1918. This restraint can be somewhat understood if one thinks of the
aggressive economic literature and policies cultivated by the Budapest authorities, worried by the economic progress of the Transylvanian Romanians, seen
as directly connected to the revival of a national-cultural movement that advocated a separation from the political and economic structures of the AustrianHungarian state.
After the Great Union of 1918, during the interwar period and continuing
even as late as 19471948, economic historiography approached with new methods and from a different angle the interrelation between economic progress
and the objectives of the national movement in the modern era, focusing on
the unitary economic development of Greater Romania. The authors of such
studies came from the fields of general, agrarian, or financial political economy, and to a lesser extent from among the major historians of that period. In spite
of the fact that most attention was being given to political initiatives, there
were writings dedicated to economic aspects, writings which essentially high-


lighted the Transylvanian orientation towards the economic life of the Old
Romanian Kingdom. For instance, Ioan Moga published a study31 concerning
the disastrous effects which the customs war of 18871891 between Romania
and Austria-Hungary had had over the industry and the agriculture of Transylvania,
suddenly isolated from their trading partners in the Romanian provinces. Towards
the end of that period, the historian Ioan Lupa analyzed the economic and financial policies pursued by the Transylvanian Romanians,32 and also completed the
manuscript of a sizable study dedicated to the activity of the Albina bank
from Sibiu.
The investigations concerning the economic life of the Transylvanian Romanians
prior to 1918 were mainly carried out by economists such as Ion Luca Ciomac,
Petru Suciu, Gheorghe Drago, Nicolae N. Petra, Alexandru Brbat, Victor
Slvescu and Victor Jinga, etc. Drawing on new sources of information, they
broadened the scope of the debate concerning the relations between economy
and politics within the Romanian national movement, making comparisons
and correlations with the contemporary economic situation of the Hungarians
and the Germans. Landmark studies, of interest even today, such as the ones
devoted to the financial and banking system (Nicolae N. Petra,33 Victor Slvescu34),
to the initiatives and the results of rural cooperation (Gheorghe Drago,35 Nicolae
Ghiulea36), to social and real estate structures (P. Suciu,37 I. L. Ciomac38), indicate the involvement of the Romanian elite in the development of a national economic life, of a national economic body, representative within the structures of
the Austrian-Hungarian state. These achievements were completed by the interdisciplinary investigations of Victor Jinga, published under the title Probleme fundamentale ale Transilvaniei (Fundamental problems concerning Transylvania).
Jinga analyzed the demographic, economic, cultural and political development
of the Transylvanian Romanians from the creation of the Romanian people to
the Second World War. The book was written under the impact of the territorial losses suffered by Romania in 1940, and his main arguments concerned
the idea of unity across the entire Romanian space, also reflected by the synchronous economic development of Transylvania within the same space.39
The ideology of the communist period made it so that the investigation of
such matters was conducted on the basis of an artificial set of values and criteria, assigning a central role to economic factors by twisting and distorting the
Marxist dogma and by completing it with Leninist and Stalinist elements. Between
1948 and 1960, the entire Romanian historythe modern history of Transylvania
includedwould be mutilated in this fashion. The role played by the political
elites was not only questioned, but actually condemned, and the activity of political leaders was approached selectively, the only criterion being the convergence between their interests and those of the classes deemed to have been exploit-


ed and oppressed by the capitalist regime. Furthermore, the very word national and the ideas of national spirit and national movement were often disparaged and criticized as belonging to the bourgeois capitalist society.
The exaggerated importance given to the social significance of economic
elements led to artificial, inaccurate, excessively general and indiscriminating conclusions. Thus, the Romanian Transylvanian elites, especially those active in
the economic field, were included under the generic label of capitalist exploiters
belonging to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. They were seen as a negative
factor influencing the economic and social situation of the masses, in their turn
perceived as a homogeneous social organism, knowing no material, cultural,
demographic, and national differences. According to such interpretations, the
social-economic movement of the exploited groups and classes was defined as the
source of the general progress that had led to the major moments in history, such
as the one marking the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
The reduction of ideological constraints in the 1960s and the 1970s allowed
for a return to the interwar historiographical investigations concerning the national movement from Transylvania. It was not so much a renewal in terms of
concepts and ideas, but rather in what concerned the investigated topics and
the historiographical style itself. The main moments in the modern history of the
Transylvanian Romanians were thus described in the light of more comprehensive information, but also by means of new comparative, structuralist, and even
interdisciplinary approaches, requiring the involvement of economists, sociologists, and specialists in historical demography. The analysis and the interpretation of the social-economic realities of Transylvania became thus more detailed
and minute, gradually revealing the important role played by the Romanian intellectuals in the modernization of Transylvanian social structures and in the promotion of national interests. Quite notable are the writings of historians Bujor
Surdu,40 Iosif Kovcs,41 Liviu Botezan, Simion Retegan,42 Hilde Murean, Aurel
Rduiu,43 Nicolae Cordo, Mihai Drecin44 and others. They highlighted the role
played by the elites in the national movement, in spite of the fact that the official censorship sought to suppress the references to a number of personalities targeted by the communist regime, especially the former political prisoners who
were deemed enemies of the new order.
At the same time, through the efforts of specialists noted for their studies in
the field of economic thought, a new life was given to the investigations dedicated to those elements of economic history and doctrine that were directly related to the importance of the Romanian Transylvanian elite in the modern era.
Costin Kiriescu,45 Costin Murgescu,46 and especially Gheorghe Zane,47 historians of economic relations, turned towards the Transylvanian society of the modern era and discussed either the emergence of an economic literature of nation-


al relevance, or the economic and financial achievements of the Romanian elite

prior to 1918. The investigations carried out in the field of economic history
in Cluj and Bucharest focused on the contribution brought by reputed economists belonging to the national movement from Transylvania. Such are the
studies of Nicolae Ivanciu-Vleanu,48 Toader Ionescu,49 Ioan Tiberian, Victor
Axenciuc,50 etc., who sought to identify the beneficial influence of economic
progress over the political actions aimed at achieving the unity of Romanian
The radical shift occurred in our national historiography after 1989, when
new topics were approached and the old ones were revisited from an entirely new
perspective, with the help of the methods and techniques currently used in Europe,
opened unlimited horizons to the researchers working in the field of history.
Under these circumstances, the analysis of the elements that defined the Romanian
Transylvanian national movement in the modern era once again highlighted
the value of the national elites, outlined the ideas and the ideologies of that time,
the social and economic doctrines, and the mentalities of various social groups.
The history of the institutionalized forms and of the various aspects pertaining
to the economic life of Transylvania deserve to be investigated from the vantage point of the new economic models and doctrines, which take into account
the role played by individuals and nations as dynamic and innovative producers of new assets, in support of societies experiencing a process of political
integration and economic globalization.

1. Nicolae N. Petra, Bncile romneti din Ardeal i Banat (Bucharest, 1936).
2. Mihai D. Drecin, nfiinarea Uniunii bancare Solidaritatea n sistemul bancar romnesc din Transilvania, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie i Arheologie (Cluj-Napoca)
20 (1977): 221238.
3. Victor Jinga, Dinamica economiei cooperatiste (Braov, 1941).
4. Bartolomeu Baiulescu, Despre necesitatea promovrii meseriilor la romni (Sibiu, 1884).
5. Nicolae Bocan, Ideea de naiune la romnii din Transilvania i Banat: Secolul al
XIX-lea (Reia, 1997).
6. Gheorghe Zane, Studii (Bucharest, 1980), 287360; Vasile Dobrescu, Elita romneasc
n lumea satului transilvan (18671918)(Trgu-Mure, 1996), 3392.
7. From the considerable bibliography on this matter, see Radu Pantazi, Viaa i ideile
lui George Bariiu (Bucharest, 1964); Toader Ionescu, Probleme ale dezvoltrii economice n opera lui G. Bariiu, in Din gndirea economic progresist romneasc
(Bucharest, 1967), 285340; Vasile Netea, George Bariiu, viaa i activitatea sa




(Bucharest, 1966); Ioan Lumperdean, Romanian Economic Journalism in Transylvania

in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century (Cluj-Napoca, 2005).
George Em. Marica, Studii de istoria i sociologia culturii romne ardelene din secolul
al XIX-lea, vol. 3 (Cluj-Napoca, 1980).
George Maior, Politica agrar la romni (Bucharest, 1906).
Eugen Brote, Chestiunea romn n Transilvania i Ungaria (Bucharest, 1895).
tefan Pop, Economia rural (Sibiu, 1873); Teodor Pavel, Economulprimul periodic economic al romnilor din Transilvania, Studii (Cluj-Napoca), Series Historia,
1967, fasc. 1: 6576.
Demetriu Coma, Pomritul (Sibiu, 1887); id., Prsirea pomilor (Sibiu, 1890);
Dobrescu, 8086.
Ioan F. Negruiu, mprirea, lucrarea i ngrijirea unei moii (Sibiu, 1905); id., Cultura
i ngrijirea grului (Braov, 1909).
Ioan Georgescu, Cartea plugarilor (Gherla, 1899).
Aurel Cociuc, Nutrirea animalelor de cas (Sibiu, 1909).
Romul Simu, Cartea stuparilor steni (Sibiu, 1897).
Eugen Brote, inerea vitelor (Sibiu, 1888); id., Trifoiul (Sibiu, 1890).
Vasile Netea, Noi contribuii la cunoaterea vieii i activitii lui Visarion Roman
(Bucharest, 1942); Bujor Surdu, Societatea de pstrare i mprumut din Rinari,
Acta Musei Napocensis 3 (1966): 317328.
nsoirile de credit mpreunate cu nsoiri de consum, de vnzare, de vineri, de lptrie i
instruciunile trebuitoare . . . de F. W. Raiffeisen, trans. Aurel Brote (Sibiu, 1895).
Eugen Brote, nsoirile de credit Raiffeisen (Sibiu, 1891).
Vasile C. Osvad, Micarea cooperatist (Sibiu, 1912); id., Legea tovriilor (Sibiu,
Victor Tordanu, Agoniseala bneasc (Sibiu, 1918).
Cornel Aisner, Reuniunile agricole i nsemntatea lor (Braov, 1902).
I. N. Ciolan and Vasile V. Grecu, Visarion Roman pedagog social (Bucharest, 1971).
Nicolae Petra-Petrescu, Monografia Institutului de credit i de economii Albina
18721897 (Sibiu, 1897); id., Societatea financiar la romnii din Ungaria (Chiinu,
Eugen Brote, Organizaiunea creditului prin bncile romneti (Arad, 1909).
Pompiliu Cioban, Creditul nostru: Studiu financiar (Arad, 1912).
Constantin Popp, Bncile romne din Transilvania i Ungaria (Sibiu, 1905).
C. Diaconovici, Problemele reformei bncilor (Sibiu, 1901).
Ioan I. Lapedatu, Monografia Institutului de credit i de economii Ardeleana societate pe acii n Ortie, 18851910 (Ortie, 1913); id., Finanele private n Ardeal,
in Transilvania, Banatul, Criana, Maramureul 19181928, vol. 1 (Bucharest, 1929),
I. Moga, Rzboiul vamal dintre Austro-Ungaria i Romnia n lumina intereselor
economice ale Transilvaniei, in Frailor Alexandru i Ion I. Lapedatu (Bucharest,
1936), 503549.
Ioan Lupa, nfptuiri romneti n viaa economic, social i financiar din Transilvania
n veacul al XIX-lea (Sibiu, 1945).


33. Nicolae N. Petra, Bncile romneti din Ardeal i Banat (Sibiu, 1936).
34. V. Slvescu, Banca Albina din Sibiu, cea mai nsemnat ntreprindere financiar din
Transilvania: Cu o privire general asupra bncilor comerciale din Ardeal i Banat
(Bucharest, 1919).
35. Gh. Drago, Cooperaia n Ardeal: Istoric, situaia actual i perspective (Bucharest,
36. Nicolae Ghiulea, Cooperaia din Ardeal: Regimul juridic n care a trit i s-a dezvoltat, Buletinul seciei de studii cooperative de pe lng Institutul social romn (Bucharest)
1 (1928): 175211.
37. P. Suciu, Proprietatea agrar n Ardeal: Scurt istoric al dezvoltrii ei (Cluj, 1931).
38. I. L. Ciomac, Despre strile agrare n Transilvania sub regimul maghiar i cercetri asupra
situaiei exploatrilor agricole dup reforma agrar (Bucharest, 1931).
39. Victor Jinga, Problemele fundamentale ale Transilvaniei, 2 vols. (Braov, 1945);
from the writings published by the same author, see also Dincolo de burghezie i
capitalism (Braov, 1944); Dinamica economiei capitaliste (Braov, 1941).
40. Bujor Surdu, Aspecte privind rolul bncilor n consolidarea burgheziei romneti
din Transilvania, pn la primul rzboi mondial, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie din
Cluj 5 (1962): 179202.
41. I. Kovcs, Desfiinarea relaiilor feudale din Transilvania (Cluj, 1973).
42. Simion Retegan, Structura social-economic a burgheziei romneti din Transilvania
n anii regimului liberal, Acta Musei Napocensis 8 (1971): 275286; id., Contiin
i aciune naional n satul romnesc din Transilvania la mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea
(18601867) (Cluj-Napoca, 1983).
43. Aurel Rduiu, Incursiuni n istoriografia vieii sociale (Cluj, 1973).
44. M. Drecin, Banca Albina din Sibiu (Cluj-Napoca, 1980).
45. Costin C. Kiriescu, Sistemul bnesc al leului i precursorii lui, 3 vols. (Bucharest,
46. Costin Murgescu, Mersul ideilor economice la romni: Epoca modern, 2 vols. (Bucharest,
47. Zane, 287360.
48. N. Ivanciu-Vleanu, Toader Ionescu, and Iuliu Pinczs, Gndirea economic din
Transilvania (Bucharest, 1981).
49. Toader Ionescu, Ideea unitii naionale reflectat n gndirea economic din Transilvania
(18481918) (Bucharest, 1983).
50. Victor Axenciuc and Ioan Tiberian, Premise economice ale formrii statului unitar
naional romn (Bucharest, 1979).

Economic and Political Aspects Pertaining
to the Romanian National Movement from Transylvania
From various doctrinarian or ideological angles, and in various forms, Romanian historiography
has highlighted the manner in which political and cultural goals combined with the need for
economic progress among the Transylvanian Romanians. Quite often, this interaction sought to
produce a distinct network of economic relations defined along national lines. The radical shift
occurred in our national historiography after 1989, when new topics were approached and the
old ones were revisited from an entirely new perspective, with the help of the methods and techniques currently used in Europe, opened unlimited horizons to the researchers working in the field
of history.


Romanian national movement in Transylvania, Romanian historiography, economy and politics


Aspects Concerning
the Nationalization
of Denominational
and Private Schools from
Bihor County (19481949)

We are proud to have been

chosen to put our modest
efforts in the service of the
great reform of our
national education.

Ion Zainea
Associate professor at the Faculty of
History, Geography, and International
Relations belonging to the University of
Oradea. Author, among others, of the
book Economie i societate n Bihor:
De la Marea Unire la Dictatul de la
Viena (Economy and society in Bihor:
From the Great Union to the Vienna
Diktat) (2007).

S WE know, during the early postwar years Romanian society experienced

a series of profound and far-reaching
mutations. The establishment of the
communist regime, which marked the
beginning of Sovietization, was followed, among other things, by a comprehensive process of nationalization,
which rapidly and dramatically increased
the volume of assets owned directly by
the Romanian state and which, according to its initiators, was precisely meant
to end the Sovietization process.
One aspect of this process that had
most dire consequences was the nationalization of denominational and private
schools, amid the general reorganization of the Romanian education system.
The legal framework was provided by
the legislation regulating education and
religious affairs passed in the summer
of 1948. Thus, Decree 159 of 22 July
1948 introduced a ban on all schools
set up and supported either by a foreign
government, or by a foreign institution,1


while Ministerial Decision No. 191653 of 2 August 1948 consecrated the governments ownership of those assets formerly belonging to various denominations, congregations, communities, and private individuals, and which had
been used by general, technical, or vocational education institutions.2
Reform Decree 175 of 3 August 1948 stipulated that education was to become
secular and the exclusive province of the state, and that denominational or private schools of any kind should become state property (article XXXV).3 Published
the same day, Decree 176 transferred to the state those assets formerly belonging to various denominations, congregations, communities, and private individuals, and which had been used for education purposes.4 The provisions of said
Decree applied to school buildings, with their complete inventory, including those
used as residences by the teaching or administrative staff, as well as the student
boarding houses, dormitories, and canteens. It also affected those trust funds
reserved for the upkeep or support of educational activities, and the school
agricultural farms or other units involved in the upkeep and maintenance of
schools, boarding houses, dormitories, canteens, or staff residences. At the
same time, Decree 177 of 4 August 1948 regulated the status of religious denominations in the Romanian Popular Republic, failing to grant recognition to the
Roman and Greek-Catholic Churches.5
Bihor county was home to a large number of denominational and private
schools, largely because a sizable fraction of its population belonged to other ethnic groups than the Romanian one. For instance, in 1938, 70% of Oradeas inhabitants belonged to minority groups, while 76 other towns and villages in the
county had a non-Romanian majority, which accounted for more than 90% of
the population in 41 of them and for practically 100% of the population in 8
cases.6 In the same year, the county had 95 private denominational schools (60
of the Reformed Church, 31 of the Roman-Catholic one, 3 Mosaic, and one
Lutheran), a private school (Notre-Dame de Sion Institute) and 7 kindergartens (5 private denominational and 2 private).7
On the 60 Reformed schools, one operated in Oradea and the others in various parts of the county; 50 had Hungarian as the language of instruction, while
the others had both Hungarian and Romanian. Seven of the 31 Roman-Catholic
schools were located in Oradea, and the others in the rest of the county; 18
had Hungarian as the language of instruction, 10 used both Hungarian and
Romanian, one had Romanian, one had both Romanian and Slovak, and one
German (Palota). Two of the Mosaic schools, one Neolog and one Orthodox,
were found in Oradea, with a third in Beiu. All of the seven denominational and
private kindergartens were located in Oradea, 5 of them belonging to the RomanCatholic Church (Immaculata, St. Vincents, St. Josephs, Ursuline, and


Apart from these private denominational and private schools, Bihor county
also had 499 state-run schools67 kindergartens and 432 elementary schools
a large number of them belonging to the Greek-Catholic and Orthodox Churches
(state-run denominational schools).
The teachers for the denominational schools were appointed by the County
School Inspectorate at the proposal of the respective denomination, and their students usually belonged to the denomination that managed the school. There were,
however, exceptions: of the 39 students enrolled for the 19401941 academic year
in the Reformed denominational elementary school of Beiu, only 27 were of
the Reformed faith, 11 being Roman-Catholic and 1 a Baptist.8 Denominational
schools drew income from the lands they owned, from the contribution paid to
the Church by community members, and from enrollment fees, which was enough
to cover the payment of teachers and other necessary expenses.
Decree 176 also included a number of tables, for every county, listing the
denominational and private schools of all levels that were to be taken over by the
state. For Bihor county, which belonged to the Cluj School District, their number reached 109: 55 of the Reformed Church, 47 Roman-Catholic, 3 GreekCatholic, 3 Mosaic, and 1 OrthodoxEmanuil Gojdu Theoretical High School
of Oradea.9 Their vast majority, 93 of them, were elementary schools, and the
rest were kindergartens, secondary schools, normal schools, high schools, and
boarding schools. 29 were located in Oradea: the Roman-Catholic kindergartens
Immaculata, St. Vincents, Ursuline, and OradeaVelena, the Roman-Catholic
elementary schools of OradeaOlosig, OradeaOraul Nou, OradeaVelena, St.
Vincents, Ursuline, and Immaculata, the Reformed schools 1, 2, and 3, the
Evangelical School, St. Vincents Roman-Catholic secondary school for girls and
Zsuzsanna Lorntffi Reformed secondary school for girls, high schools such as
Emanuil Gojdu, the Roman-Catholic boys high school of the Premonstratensian
Order, the Roman-Catholic girls high school, St. Vincents Roman-Catholic
industrial high school for girls and the coeducational Jewish high school, the
Greek-Catholic normal school for boys and the Immaculata Roman-Catholic normal school for girls, as well as the Nicolae Jiga boarding school of the homonymous foundation and the Greek-Catholic boarding school. The remaining 80
were found in 59 localities of the county, 16 of them (Aled, Biharea, Cetariu,
Diosig, Episcopia-Bihor, Marghita, Mica, Petreu, Sniob, Scuieni, Suplacu
de Barcu, Trguor, Tileagd, Tinca, Uileacu de Munte, and Salonta) being home
to both Roman-Catholic and Reformed schools.
The list featured in the decree was not complete. Even if it failed to include
the vast majority of Greek-Catholic and Orthodox denominational schools, many
of them, especially those from Oradea and Beiu, were nonetheless taken over
when the nationalization of schools began. Among them, we find the Theological
Academy and the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Oradea, the boys and girls Greek-


Catholic high schools of Beiu, the Orthodox elementary schools of Gepiu and
Tmada, as well as the Normal School of Institutrices and the Orthodox boarding school from Beiu. It is hardly possible that their fate had not yet been decided by the time the list was published. Still, it is also true that until April 1948
two School Inspectorates operated in Bihor county, at Beiu and Oradea, the latter needing some time to take over the whole county after the former had been
closed down.
The collection of documents we investigated in the Bihor County Division of
the National Archives and which includes a considerable number of volumes
allowed us to draw a number of conclusions regarding the manner in which
the authorities proceeded with the nationalization of the schools belonging to
the Roman-Catholic, Reformed, Mosaic, Greek-Catholic, and Orthodox denominations from Bihor county.

IRST OF all, we see that the takeover occurred between July 1948 and
July 1949, in three major stages: 2628 July 1948, JanuaryFebruary and
JuneJuly 1949. The first stage essentially saw the nationalization of
Roman-Catholic, Protestant, and Mosaic denominational schools belonging to
the ethnic minorities. As the nationalization decrees 175 and 176 had not yet
been published, the transfer of asserts took place on the basis of Decree 159/1948,
of Order No. 4318 of 24 July 1948 issued by the Bihor County School Inspectorate,
and as per the instructions sent by the Ministry of Education to those appointed to effect the transfer during the 25 July 1948 Conference held at the County
Prefecture.10 In the following stages, the nationalization took place in keeping
with article 51 of Decree 266 of 25 September 1949 regarding the organization of the Ministry of Public Education,11 with Order No. 1345 of 15 January
1949 issued by the Bihor County School Inspectorate,12 and with the instructions communicated during the meetings between headmasters and territorial
inspectors held in the regional centers on 1517 January 1949.13
It was not by accident that the massive takeovers coincided with the school
holidays. Those appointed by the Ministry or by the School Inspectorate to oversee the transfer were themselves members of the teaching staff, professors or
schoolteachers. Besides, the absence from schools of students and teaching
staff ensured a smooth transfer, made it easier to prepare the inventories and
reduced the risk of a reaction coming from the former owners.
Some takeovers also occurred between the aforementioned main stages, according to the nature of the school or to travel arrangements, and therefore we
could see the process as a continuing, uninterrupted action. The two elementary schools from MarghitaReformed and Roman-Catholicwere taken over
on 8 October 1948, the Reformed school from Chea on 24 November the same
year, the Orthodox one from Gurbediu on 31 December 1948, and the Greek-


Catholic school from Mociar was transferred to the state on 15 May 1949.
Most of the school buildings located in Oradea, largely owned by the City,
were also taken over between April and May of 1949.
In late July 1948, at the request of the Ministry of Public Education, the Bihor
School Inspectorate submitted a list of nationalized schools in the county, 14
with the exception of those located in the towns of Oradea, Beiu, and Salonta,
which were featured on separate lists. Of the 82 denominational elementary school
located in rural areas, 51 were Reformed,15 26 were Roman-Catholic,16 3 were
Orthodox (Cefa, Bicaciu, and Tmada), one was Mosaic-Orthodox (Cefa),
and one was Greek-Catholic (Satu Negru).
In Oradea, Beiu, and Salonta, the first stage in the nationalization process
brought with it the takeover of 29 denominational education institutions (kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, high schools and boarding schools):
18 in Oradea, 9 in Beiu,17 and two elementary schoolsReformed and RomanCatholicin Salonta. 21 other education institutions from Oradea were taken
over between March and May of 1949: elementary schools nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7,
10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 17, Normal School No. 1 for girls, the technical school
of economic administration and its boarding house, Notre-Dame Institute, the
boarding house of the boys Normal School, the Greek-Catholic Seminary, the
buildings on Pavel and Karl Marx streets, as well as the Oancea House, located on Dezs Fehr street, used by one class of elementary school no. 15.18 Most
of these facilities were City property.
The last stage in the transfer of such assets included, as we have already indicated, the schools belonging to the Orthodox Church and located in the
rural environment. The takeover was sometimes delayed, as the dispositions sent
by the School Inspectorate sometimes reached their destination with considerable difficulty. Mihai Pcal, teacher and headmaster of the elementary school
from Cuad, effected the takeover a month later than originally planned, on 1
March 1949, as the order sent on 29 January 1949 had become lost among other
letters received by the mayors office. On other occasions, such as, for instance,
in the case of the Greek-Catholic school from the village of Mociar, the delay was
caused by the conversion of the Greek-Catholic population to the Orthodox faith;
as the former priest had left the village, there was no one to sign over the assets. There were also situations when the School Inspectorate delayed sending
the relevant dispositions, and the schools were taken over in the absence of
such documents. Gheorghe Mihoc, headmaster of the elementary school from
Giriu Negru, received his orders on 15 May 1949, at a time when he had already
taken over the school and the pieces of land belonging to the school. Upon receiving his orders, he inquired as to whether another takeover was necessary. Gheorghe
Potlog, the headmaster of the Batr village school, Ioan Panaite from Miersig,
and Dumitru Turla from Oand requested written dispositions from the School


Inspectorate after having effected the takeover, rendering the action legally null
and void. In Crasu, the land belonging to the Orthodox denominational school
was transferred to the Ministry of Public Education as early as 6 June 1948,
through a ruling of the Tinca Popular Court that also transferred the ownership over the school buildings.
The transfer of school buildings also included the related assetscourtyards,
gardens, farms, arable land, pastures, vineyardswhose total value was quite considerable. The Roman-Catholic high school of the Premonstratensian Order, located in Oradea, had two buildings, both several stories high. One, property of
the Order since 1690 and with a total surface of 5,349 square meters, was
being used for didactic activities. The other property, just as old, had a surface
of 1,919 square meters, and was used by the nuns of the Order of St. Vincent.
The same high school owned a hayfield and a vineyard on Calea Izvorului,
with a total surface of nearly 3 hectares. The elementary school and the Hebrew
high school, property of the Orthodox Jewish community of Oradea, had two
buildings: Ulmann Palace, on Mr Fuchs street, and the Girls School on CuzaVod street, the constructions and the surrounding plots totaling 7,075 square
meters. The Immaculata Institute belonging to the homonymous order had three
buildings, one on Vyshinsky street, with a surface of 11,505 square meters,
and two others on Tudor Vladimirescu street, of 2,145 square meters and
3,185 square meters, respectively. The nationalized fixed assets formerly belonging to St. Josephs Institute of the Roman-Catholic Bishopric consisted of three
buildings, one located on Eminescu street and used as a boarding house, with a
surface of 7,211 square meters (construction plus the adjoining plot), a residential one with a surface of 510 square meters and located on Orfelinatului street,
and a last one, also used as a residence, located on Bla Breiner street and with a
surface of 244 square meters, plus a vineyard that covered 1.5 hectares of land. Both
the buildings and the vineyard were featured in real estate records as donations
made by various bishops, from Jzsef Salamon (1773) to Gyrgy Kovcs (1928),
who had donated to the bishopric the residential buildings and the vineyard.
The boarding house of the coeducational Greek-Catholic high school from
Beiu had a constructed area of approximately 16,000 square meters, a farm covering 3.5 cadastral jugera and 14.2 jugera of arable land, while the Orthodox
boarding house from the same town had a constructed area of approximately
4,500 square meters, plus vacant plots amounting to roughly 8,000 square meters.
Apart from the large constructed area, of approximately 62,000 square meters,
Samuil Vulcan Greek-Catholic high school from Beiu also owned the houses
belonging to the Bishop Pavel and Bishop Radu Estates, administered by the
Diocesan Chapter and rented out to the teachers of the high-school. An exception was the headmaster, Nicolae Fluera, exempt from the payment of rent, as
the bishopric had considered that the salary paid by the state was too small.


Even though they had been significantly damaged during the war, and some
of them had only been partially repaired, most of the urban constructions used
for educational purposes were suited to the task. They had wiring for electric
lighting, plumbing, heating systems; they included cooperatives and school workshops, printing presses, libraries, bakeries, laundries, etc. The building of the
Premonstratensian Roman-Catholic high school was fully suitable for school
activities, according to the takeover documents, while Samuil Vulcan Uniate
high school from Beiu had industrious teachers who expanded its assets.
The Beiu Uniate high school for girls had a new building, erected in 1940,
featuring a medical office, a gym, a festivity hall, laboratories for physics, chemistry, and natural science, music and drawing rooms. The natural science museum of Emanuil Gojdu high school from Oradea had more than 10,000 pieces,
a considerable headache for those who prepared the takeover inventories.
Not all buildings were adequate for didactic purposes. According to a note sent
by the Oradea Education Division to the Ministry of Public Education, the
two residential buildings belonging to St. Josephs Institute and located on Orfelinatului and Bla Breiner street, respectively, were old, in poor condition, unsuitable for educational activities. In fact, they had been donated to St. Josephs Institute by A. Kren, and the terms of the contract indicated that the institute had
to pay a pension to his widow. As this was likely to complicate the tasks of the
Ministry, in the aforementioned note the Education Division requested that they
be exempt from nationalization and returned to the Roman-Catholic Bishopric,
so that the latter could meet its contractual obligations to the widow, Mary Kren.
Very different were the buildings belonging to village schools, most of them
made of wood and daub and having one or two classrooms, at most, plus the
house of the teacher-headmaster and a few additional facilities: courtyard, flower/vegetable garden, stables and coops, woodshed, hayloft. Their assets sometimes included a pasture, a hayfield, the schools plot of arable land and that of
the teacher, the latter sometimes being quite considerable: 80 hectares for the
Diosig school, 16 for that in Cubulcut, 14.6 hectares for the one in Belfir, and
9 hectares for the Sniob school, all of them Roman-Catholic; 9.5 hectares for
the Reformed school of Parhida, 9.5 for the one in Vaida (arable land and hayfield), 8.5 hectares for the Boiu school, 8.08 hectares for the one in Niuved.
The Orthodox denominational schools held smaller arable plots, first being the
school from Gepi, with 4 hectares, the one from Fonu, with 3.88 hectares, and
the one from Olcea, with 3.2 hectares.
Many school buildings had been more or less damaged during the war. The
boys Roman-Catholic school from Seleu burned down, leaving just a few
walls standing, but the location was deemed appropriate for the construction
of a new school. Still, the funds allocated by villages or churches for the repair
or construction of schools were far from sufficient. Even furniture was scarce,


and the existing inventory was hardly suitable for didactic activities. Although
school cooperatives existed in most town and villages, these were rather modest, poorly organized and considerably hit by the currency devaluation. Under
these circumstances, it is little surprising that the value of school buildings
also estimated in the newly denominated currency, as requested in the dispositions concerning the inventorying of state assetswas quite modest. The value
of the buildings of Orthodox denominational schools was set at 24,928 lei for
the village of Batr, at 70,000 lei for Holod, at 105,000 lei for Oand, and at
113,000 for Cplna. At the opposite end we find the schools from Fonu,
with a value estimated at 1,041,350 lei, and from Cuad, estimated to be worth
992,000 lei. It must be said that the currency value was estimated only for the
buildings and the inventory of Orthodox schools, as the fixed and movable assets
of Roman-Catholic, Reformed, and Greek-Catholic schools were simply rated as
being in good, average, or bad condition, or according to the degree of wear and
tear. Some schools were in a really good situation, such as, for instance, the three
Reformed schools from Diosig, built in 1930 and 1936 in brick over a stone
foundation, or the three Reformed schools from Episcopia-Bihor, merged into
one following the nationalization.
A report sent by the Bihor County Inspectorate to the Ministry of Public
Education with regard to the situation of Bihor education in the 19471948 academic year highlighted, among other things, the dire living conditions of village schoolteachers, who were frequently very isolated and the only educated persons in their respective villages, without any access to newspapers, magazines,
books, or radio, and therefore unable to stay in touch with the rapid changes
affecting the country.
The takeovers followed a standard procedure. They were the work of a commission, usually comprised of a delegate of the Ministry of Education appointed by the County School Inspectorate, one or two delegates representing the
Romanian Workers Party/ RWP (county and local organizations), and sometimes delegates sent by the State Security or by the Gendarmerie. The commissions sent to take over the major schools from the urban areas also included delegates of the County Economic Oversight Office or, in the case or rural
areas, representatives of the mayors office. When it came to the denominational schools owned by the village community, the takeover was effected by
the school committee, as it happened at Sititelec, Talpo, or Briheni, and sometimes in the presence of delegates sent by the Hungarian Popular Union, as
with the Reformed school from Chea.
The commission that took over the coeducational high school from Beiu,
previously part of the Pavelian Estate of the Greek-Catholic Diocese of Oradea,
included Gza Walkovsky, the delegate of the Beiu section of the RWP, I. Munteanu,
the delegate of the Oradea section of the RWP, Nicolae Fntnaru, representing


the Ministry of Public Education, and I. Deleanu, representing the Beiu office
of the State Security. The commission that took over Emanuil Gojdu high school
from Oradea consisted of Professor Emilian Roescu, delegated by the Ministry
of Public Education, and Mihai Sime, delegated by the RWP organization, the
commission from St. Vincents Roman-Catholic secondary school for girls included Clara Sonnenwirth, delegated by the Ministry of Public Education, and
Lajos Markus, delegated by the RWP organization, while the Institutes kindergarten and elementary school were signed over to a commission consisting of
Maria Leitner, delegated by the Ministry of Public Education, and Jzsef Imre,
the party representative. The Reformed girls secondary school and boarding
house from Oradea were taken over by a commission consisting of Petru Cicorta,
delegated by the Ministry of Public Education, and Alexander Markovics, delegated by the RWP organization, and the elementary school and the Hebrew
high school were taken over by Gyula Izsk, delegated by the Ministry of Public
Education, and Antal Feldmann, representing the RWP. The boys pedagogic
school of the Greek-Catholic Bishopric was taken over by Victor Rusu, delegated
by the Ministry of Public Education, and by Dumitru Dumitrescu, delegated
by the RWP, Immaculata normal school for institutrices by Adalbert Olmacher,
delegated by the RWP, and by Irina Morariu, delegated by the Ministry of Public
Education, St. Josephs Institute by Maria Varga and Alexander Markovics, while
Samuil Vulcan high school from Beiu was handed over to a commission that
included Ioan Clugru, sent by the Ministry, Ladislau Binnet and Pavel Oal,
sent by the Oradea and the Beiu organizations of the RWP, Octavian Deleanu,
representing the State Security, and Ioan Florua, representing the county Economic
Similar commissions oversaw the handover of elementary schools located in
rural areas. The Reformed school from the village of Ghiorac was taken over
by a commission consisting of Lajos Csozs, teacher and headmaster of the school,
Sndor Jak, the village mayor, Imre Varga, secretary of the local RWP organization, and schoolteacher Rozlia Nagy, while the Roman-Catholic school from
Aled was taken over by a commission comprised of Zoltn Orbn, sent by
the Inspectorate, Jnos Kovcs and Ioan Ban, representing the RWP. The Reformed
school from Petreu was nationalized by Petru Lazu, RWP delegate, Eugen Catona,
delegated by the School Inspectorate, and by Ioan Munteanu, representing the
Teachers Union, the Roman-Catholic school from the same village by Alexander
Rosenberg and Mrton Ostereich, representing the School Inspectorate, Traian
Hurgoiu, sent by the mayors office, Mary Baronthy, representing the state-run
elementary school, and by Tiberiu Braun of the RWP, while the Reformed school
from Boiu was nationalized by Teodor Andor, sent by the Inspectorate, accompanied by three party representatives, Ioan Iercan, Kroly Simon, and Lajos Nagy.


The schools were handed over by their headmasters, representatives of the

respective denominations. In the case of Roman-Catholic, Reformed, and GreekCatholic schools, most of the headmasters were replaced, and the delegates of the
Ministry of Education took provisional charge of the schools. In the case of
Orthodox schools located in the rural environment, the handover and the takeover
were much simpler, occurring between the delegates of the Church, the village
priest, and sometimes the church committee, on the one hand and, on the other,
the teachers-headmasters of the schools in question, now delegated by the Ministry/School Inspectorate, who kept their old positions. Sometimes, as with the
schools from Cplna and Olcea, present were the mayor, the notary, the RWP
representative, or the chairman of the Farmers Union.
The procedure was the same everywhere and was implemented in keeping with
the received instructions. After presenting its written dispositions, the commission would place a seal on the telephone, the safe, the offices, the library, the archive,
the classrooms, laboratories, etc. Gendarmes guarded the entrance, so that no one
could enter or leave the building during the handover. Then, the commission
would inventory the fixed and movable assets, and in the case of the major schools
this stage actually took several days to complete. Making the inventory was rendered difficult by the absence of old inventories, allegedly on account of the
damages caused by the war, even if the Ministry of Public Education, in its Decision
7849 of 20 February 1948 and Order 166369/1948 had requested that all private
and denominational schools make and submit by 25 July 1948 a copy of the inventory. The inventories had to include the fixed and the movable assets held and used
by the school on 1 September 1947 and those received or taken over after this
date, following which no sale or acquisition of assets was permitted without the
prior consent of the Ministry of Public Education.19
Other difficulties stemmed from the fact that, in view of maintenance work,
the furniture had been crammed into the larger rooms, and there were no available specialists who could check the books and accounting records, the specialized laboratories, and the libraries. The latter could be inventoried only after
the teachers returned from their holidays, while the safes were sealed and the
funds frozen. As libraries were inventoried, they were also purged of all remaining chauvinistic, revisionist, fascist, or anti-Semitic books. Approximately 20,000
volumes have been thrown into a pile that also includes religious books, to say
nothing about the fascist press, many examples of which could be found, wrote
Adam Cupe, delegated to take over the Premonstratensian high school, in the
report submitted to the School Inspectorate on 31 July 1948. In the basement
of the boarding house of Zsuzsanna Lorntffi Reformed high school for girls
from Oradea, the commission found a closet filled with purged books which
had not been destroyed. The inventory of the library belonging to Immaculata
Institute, used both by the secondary school and by the normal school, was com-


pletely remade, with new catalog numbers and following a new purge conducted under the supervision of the inventory commission. In the space of six
long days, working from dawn till dusk, the commission making the inventory
of Samuil Vulcan high school from Beiu managed to discover, in the drawing
room, the private correspondence of teacher Ioan Buia, which it handed over
to the RWP organization of Beiu.
There were very few attempts to hide various assets from the commission. For
instance, the headmistress of the Reformed secondary school for girls from Oradea,
Erzsbet Galbory, tried to stash away money and food. Also, at St. Josephs
Institute, headmaster Victor Wallner led the commission to one cellar, while
the building actually had two. The abuses, however, were quite numerous. Except
for the items used during the religious service, all the other assets were requisitioned. Ulmann Palace was nationalized in its entirety, even though the ground
floor had never been used for education purposes. The ground floor had hosted Jewish shops, and the Orthodox Jewish Community petitioned the School
Inspectorate in order to spare it from nationalization.20
Some school buildings belonged to private individuals, who had rented them
out. The boarding house of the girls technical school of economic administration from Oradea belonged to the Boto family estate, that of the Reformed
elementary school from Oradea was the property of one Istvn Sos, rented by
the Hungarian Popular Union for the school, and that of elementary school
no. 1 belonged to Lszl Rimanotzy. The buildings that hosted elementary schools
nos. 12, 14, and 17 of Oradea were owned by Floare Lucaci, Bla Ritter, and
Jzsef Erdlyi, while the building of Notre-Dame de Sion Institute, used by
the vocational school of Romanian Rail, belonged to Istvn Lipcsei.21 The building of the school from Cplna was the property of Nicolae Florea, who had purchased it in 1939 from M. Friedmann and had leased it to the school in 1941.
The building was listed in the real estate record as belonging to the school following a ruling of the Tinca Popular Court and subsequently nationalized. In
Seleu, where the building of the Roman-Catholic school for boys had been
destroyed during the war, they nationalized the house used by the school, property of the Winkler Foundation, as well as the wooden beams and the roof
tiles purchased in order to repair the village church.22
There were also cases when the handover took place in the absence of the
former owners, as it happened with the building of school no. 14 from Oradea
whose owner, Bla Ritter, lived in Paris, or with elementary school no. 5 from
the same city, where school inspector Ioan Liber signed the inventory over to
himself. The same happened at the Roman-Catholic elementary school for girls
from Seleu, where the handover only involved the delegate of the School Inspectorate, schoolteacher Nicolae Negruiu, and the RWP delegate, Sndor Lrincz.23


The takeovers and the inventories were accompanied by written reports and
minutes, usually in five copies, three for the county School Inspectorate, one
for the local RWP organization, and one for the school archive. Their investigation allows us to identify the commissions that took over each of these schools,
the inventory of fixed and movable assets that were nationalized, the responses
to the processoften in the form of fake enthusiasm or of resignation in front
of an unavoidable fate, the thoroughness and the dedication with which the
commissions make the inventories, listing even the most insignificant of items.


the reports of the commissions that took over the schools

in question indicate that the authorities never feared a reaction coming
from the dispossessed, the latter generally receiving the news with resignation. Article 37 of Decree 175, which stated clearly that those who would
in any way attempt to obstruct the takeover would be sentenced to between 5
and 10 years of hard labor and have their assets confiscated,24 ensured that the
process proceeded unimpeded. On the historic occasion of the nationalization
of denominational schoolsstated the report submitted to the Inspectorate
by Dumitru Vanea and Mihai uteu, who had overseen the takeover of the GreekCatholic Seminary from Oradeathe administration of the aforementioned
institution demonstrated complete understanding, cooperation, and goodwill.
No instances of animosity or opposition were noticed.25 The representatives
of the Reformed Church Community from Oradea, Kroly Kiss, chairman and
priest, and Lajos Szab, chairman of the school council, demonstrated complete
understanding during the takeover of Reformed school nos. 1, 2, and 3 from
the city, according to those who had nationalized the schools, I. Bancsic, delegated by the Ministry of Education, and Ferenc Nagy, the RWP delegate.26
No incidents are mentioned, but it is difficult, if not downright impossible,
to imagine that the representatives of the various church communities were pleased
with the nationalization, as some reports suggest. Equally unrealistic is the statement whereby the takeover was effected in a fair manner, . . . humanely and justly, as it is stated in the report signed by the commission which nationalized
Immaculata normal school of Oradea.27 Most likely, to quote the report concerning the nationalization of the Beiu Greek-Catholic boarding house for boys,
they understood the situation, surrendering everything and putting up no resistance whatsoever.
Some proved to be quite eager, offering their full assistance to the commissions, but others showed quiet opposition. According to the aforementioned
report, while the commission was inventorying the assets of the Beiu GreekCatholic boarding house, the Assumptionist monks who managed the facility, led by father Bernard tef, remained isolated in the house. Furthermore,


at the Roman-Catholic school for girls from Aled, the teacher nuns refused to
sign the inventory, which did nothing to prevent the takeover.
On the opposite side, that of the takeover commissions, we see mild enthusiasm and satisfaction with a job well done, but there were also some exaggerated reactions. We are proud to have been chosen to put our modest efforts
in the service of the great reform of our national education. Knowing that we
have indeed done our duty, we thank the distinguished Government and the
Central Committee of the Romanian Workers Party for the trust they put in
our modest abilities, states the report signed by Stephen Neim and Emerich
Blau, members of the commission which nationalized the Roman-Catholic elementary school for boys from the village of Seleu.

1. Repertoriul general al legislaiei n vigoare publicat pn la data de 1 ianuarie 1957,
pe materii-cronologic-alfabetic (Bucharest: Ed. tiinific, 1957), 541.
2. Coleciune de legi, decrete i deciziuni, vol. 26, 1948, 131 August (Bucharest: Ed.
de Stat, 1948), 1779.
3. Monitorul oficial, no. 177, 3 August 1948: 63236324.
4. Ibid., 6324.
5. Coleciune de legi, decrete i deciziuni, 1778.
6. National Archives, Bihor County Division (hereafter cited as NABCD), fund Revizoratul
colar Bihor, file 11, f. 146147.
7. Ibid., file 12, f. 150153.
8. Ibid., file 20, f. 104.
9. Monitorul oficial, no. 177, 1948: 6324.
10. NABCD, fund Inspectoratul colar Bihor, file 68, f. 109.
11. Monitorul oficial, no. 221, 27 September 1948: 78337836.
12. NABCD, fund Inspectoratul colar Bihor, file 124, f. 163.
13. Ibid., file 124, f. 247.
14. Ibid., file 75, f. 331347.
15. Albi, Ant, Arpel, Balc, Biharea, Boiu, Bor, Buduslu, Cadea, Cauaceu, Ceica,
Cetariu, Cherechiu, Che, Ciocaia, Cubulcut, Episcopia-Bihor, Fini, Ghiorac, Mica,
Niuved, Niuved-Ctun, Olosig, Oorhei, Paleu, Parhida, Petreu, Poolaca, Remetea,
Roiori, Scuieni, Sldbagiu de Munte, Sniob, Snnicolaul de Munte, Santul Mare,
Santul Mic, Sntion, Satu Negru, Siterea, Suplacu de Barcu, Tmada, Tmeu,
Trcaia, Trguor, Tileagd, Tinca, Uileacu de Beiu, Uileacu de Cri, Uileacu de
Munte, Urvind and Vaida.
16. Aled, Belfir, Beliu, Biharea, Cefa, Ceica, Cetariu, Diosig, Episcopia-Bihor, Gurbediu,
Mica, Oorhei, Palota, Petreu, Scuieni, Sniob, auaieu, Seleuwith two schools,




one for boys and one for girls, Trguor, Trian, Tutelec, Tileagd, Tinca, Uileacu de
Samuil Vulcan Greek-Catholic high school for boys, the Greek-Catholic high school
for girls, the Orthodox boarding school for boys, the Orthodox boarding school
for girls, the Greek-Catholic boarding school for boys, the Pavelian Greek-Catholic
boarding school for girls, the Reformed and Roman-Catholic elementary schools.
NABCD, fund Inspectoratul colar Bihor, file 91, f. 1300.
Buletinul Inspectoratului colar Regional Romn Cluj, no. 2324, 14 July 1948: 7.
NABCD, fund Inspectoratul colar Bihor, file 68, f. 607.
Ibid., file 91, f. 13, 21, 160, 191, 253 and 260.
Ibid., file 75, f. 221222.
Ibid., file 75, f. 231.
Monitorul oficial, no. 177, 1948: 6324.
NABCD, fund Inspectoratul colar Bihor, file 91, f. 145.
Ibid., file 68, f. 178.
Ibid., file 68, f. 646.

Aspects Concerning the Nationalization of Denominational and Private Schools
from Bihor County (19481949)
The nationalization process which began on an unprecedented scale in the early postwar years
did not spare the education institutions under private or ecclesiastical administration. In Bihor
county, the nationalization proceeded in three stages: 2628 July 1948, JanuaryFebruary, and
JuneJuly 1949. First to be nationalized were the Roman-Catholic and the Reformed schools,
followed by those of the Greek-Catholic and of the Orthodox denominations. Numerous documents present in the county archives come to shed light on the nature of the various assets that
were nationalized, on the standard procedure employed, and on the membership of the commissions which implemented the nationalization directives. Also, the reports submitted by these
commissions suggest that the responses to the process ranged between false enthusiasm and resignation or tacit opposition.


nationalization of schools, Bihor county, Roman-Catholic schools, Greek-Catholic schools, Reformed

schools, Orthodox schools


Italian Companies
in Transylvania
A Multicultural Approach

Beside this phenomenon of

the Italian delocalization in
Romania, there is a process
that is taking place the
other way round: the
Romanian migration
to Italy for work.

Adina-Maria Cornea
Teaching assistant, specializing in
translation studies, communication
techniques, and international relations.
Ph.D. of the University of Trieste, Italy.
Author of several books and articles,
among which: Le Rle des universits
dans lEurope de la connaissance
traduction commente et glossaire
(2005), and Transylvania and FriuliVenezia Giulia in the Present
European Context: A Comparative
Study on History, Administration
and Delocalization (2008, in print).

specialists, Italian
investments in Transylvania are based
on several fundamental reasons,1 such
as low labour costs and low costs of
natural resources, the strategic position
as compared to other countries from
Central and Eastern Europe, and the
number of inhabitants.2 Moreover, they
take into account the lower production
costs or the size of the sales market.
However, there are additional reasons
for the delocalization of the Italian companies in Transylvania. They will be further discovered by analysing the set of
questionnaires we sent to the representatives of these firms.

1. Case Study: Italian

Companies in Transylvania

S WE have already mentioned,

for the purposes of our research,
we decided to make a questionnaire for the representatives of the Italian
companies that are delocalizing in Romania. Given the fact that this article
is part of a comparative study on two
regionsTransylvania and Friuli-Vene-


zia Giulia, we found it useful to research only on the situation of the Italian
companies in Transylvania and not on the whole Romanian territory.
As in the case of any empirical research, we followed all of its three main steps:
preparation, collection of data, and interpretation of results. We will further
describe each step we took with our questionnaire.
1.1. Preparation

HE PREPARATION for our research consisted in dealing with theoretical

aspects, methodological aspects, and research organisation. The theoretical
aspects refer to the object of our research and our hypotheses. The object
of our research is to prove the cultural similarities (traditions, habits, language,
ethnic minorities, traces left by the Habsburgs, etc.) of the populations living
in the two abovementioned regions. We sought to investigate the possible noneconomic reasons that make the Italian investors delocalize in Transylvania. We
drafted the questionnaire in keeping with the following hypothesis: although the
economic situation of the two regions is different, it seems that there are some
common elements related to the Latin roots of the two peoples. Italian investors
delocalize in Transylvania for economic reasons, but also because they feel good
here and like the Romanian food, language, mentalities, and culture. The same
goes for the Romanians that leave their country in order to go to work in Italy.
The methodological aspects are related to the research techniques, the drafting of the questionnaire, and the sample. The research technique we chose was the
written inquiry. We went on the field and gave the questionnaires to the representatives of the Italian companies in Transylvania. They filled them in after
having understood the explanations we provided. When drafting the questionnaire, we took into account both form and content. The first category refers to
the number of questions, their order and page setup, the way of registering
the answers, and illustrating possible answers. Thus, our questionnaire is made
up of 59 questions, divided into 8 subcategories: 1. Socio-demographic Variables,
2. Social Identity, 3. Social Capital, 4. Business in Italy, 5. Business in Romania,
6. Reasons for Coming in Romania to Do Business, 7. Supporting Bodies, 8.
Social Relations in Romania. The second category refers to the choice of words,
the types of questions (closed or open), and the possible answers. We tried to use
a language accessible to every person in the category we chose, with clear questions and answers. Furthermore, we used both closed (46) and open (13) questions. From the total of 46 closed questions, 12 are Yes/No questions. Moreover,
we provided answers for 46 questions, while 13 questions required an elaborate answer from the subject. Our sample was made up of 40 persons, either man-


agers or administrators of Italian companies in Transylvania. Geographically speaking, our sample covers 9 Transylvanian counties: Alba, Arad, Bihor, Cluj,
Hunedoara, Maramure, Slaj, Sibiu, and Timi.
The research organisation contained the following elements: drafting of the
research calendar, providing all necessary means and instruments for the field trip,
and solving of the problems met on the field. The research was done during a
period of two months in all the abovementioned Transylvanian counties.


A. Socio-demographic Variables
1. Gender:
a. masculine

b. feminine

2. Age: _______ years old

3. Marital status:
a. married
b. cohabitation
c. divorced
d. separated
e. single
f. widower/widow
4. Do you have children?
a. No
b. Yes. How many? _________
5. Citizenship:
a. Romanian b. Italian
d. Other __________
6. Nationality:
a. Italian
b. Romanian
7. Religion:
a. Catholic

b. Protestant

c. double Romanian-Italian

c. Other __________
c. Orthodox

d. Other __________

8. Where do you live in Romania?

a. town/city ____________________ b. county ____________________

9. What is your residence of origin? (city, province and region in Italy)
a. city ____________________b. province ____________________
c. region ____________________
10. Education:
a. secondary school
degree, Ph.D.)

b. high school

c. university

d. postgraduate (masters

B. Social Identity
11. According to your information, how many Italians are living in Romania today?
a. less than 3,000 b. 3,0005,000 c. 5,0008,000 d. 8,00010,000
e. more than 10,000
12. In your opinion, the number of the Italians living in Romania today is:
a. small
b. big
13. If you have chosen the latter, what would be the reasons for this choice in your
a. low business costs b. low living costs c. less bureaucracy d. a favourable
political situation
e. they feel at home here (traditions, language, peoples, culture similar to those in Italy)
14. Which are, according to their importance, the first five words that come to your
mind when you think of Italy?

15. Which are, according to their importance, the first five words that come to your
mind when you think of Romania?


16. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Having been born in
Totally agree

Rather agree

Rather disagree

Totally disagree

a. Makes my life more difficult

b. Makes me feel ashamed
c. Makes my life easier
d. Makes me feel proud

17. What are, in your opinion, the 3 most important things for someone to be considered Italian? Please choose from the list above and fill in the table according to
their importance; I is the most important characteristic, while III is the least important one:

a. have Italian as mother tongue

b. have Italian citizenship
c. be Catholic
d. live in Italy
e. respect Italian traditions
f. having been born on the Italian territory
g. feel Italian
18. What are, in your opinion, the 3 most important things for someone to be considered Romanian? Please choose from the list above and fill in the table according to their importance; I is the most important characteristic, while III is the least
important one:

a. have Romanian as mother tongue

b. have Romanian citizenship
c. be Orthodox
d. live in Romania
e. respect Romanian traditions
f. having been born on the Romanian territory
g. feel Romanian

19. How do you think Romanians see the Italians in Romania? Choose 3 variants.
Hard-working Thieves
Old-fashioned Intelligent Hypocrite
Welcoming Religious
a. __________ b. __________ c. __________ d.


20. Do you think that Romanians see differently the Italians in Romania as compared
to the Italians in general?
a. Yes
b. No
c. DK/DA
21. How do you think the Italians in Romania see the Romanians? Choose 3 variants.
Hard-working Thieves
Old-fashioned Intelligent Hypocrite
Welcoming Religious
a. __________ b. __________ c. __________ d.


22. Do you think that the Italians in Romania see differently the Romanians as compared to the Italians in general?
a. Yes
b. No
c. DK/DA

C. Social Capital
23. Do you think we can trust most of the people?
a. Yes
b. No
24. How much do you trust
Very much



Very little

At all


a. The Italians in Italy

b. The Italians in Romania
c. The Romanians in Italy
d. The Romanians in Romania

25. Have you had any relation with one of the following institutions during the last 6


26. How much do you trust the following institutions in Romania?



Very little

At all

a. Yes

b. No

a. Police
b. City hall
c. Church
d. NGOs
e. Chamber of Commerce
f. The Italian Cultural Centre
g. Embassy, Consulate
h. Media

27. In your opinion, how much do Romanians trust the Italians in Romania?
a. Very much
b. Much
c. Little
d. Very little
e. At all
28. What is your proficiency in Romanian?
Very good

Fairly good



a. Comprehension
b. Speaking
c. Writing, reading

29. Did you take Romanian lessons when you came to Romania?
a. Yes
b. No
30. How efficient those courses proved to be for you?
a. very efficient
b. efficient
c. not very efficient

d. not at all efficient

31. Do you think it is important for an Italian living in Romania to know Romanian
very well?
a. Yes
b. No
c. DK/DA
32. How often do you write letters to people in Italy?
Several times
a year
a. Family
b. Friends
c. Business partners
d. Ancient colleagues
or other relatives

Once a

Several times
a month

Every week

Every day

33. How often do you contact Italy by e-mail?
Several times
a year

Once a

Several times
a month

Every week

Every day

Every week

Every day

a. Family
b. Friends
c. Business partners
d. Ancient colleagues
or other relatives

34. How often do you make phone calls to people in Italy?

Several times
a year

Once a

Several times
a month

a. Family
b. Friends
c. Business partners
d. Ancient colleagues
or other relatives

D. Business in Italy
35. What was your job in Italy before coming to Romania? ____________________
36. Were you an employee or an employer in Italy?
a. employee
b. employer
37. Do you or your family have your own business in Italy?
a. Yes
b. No
38. If yes, what kind of activity do you perform? ____________________
39. What was your monthly income in Italy? ____________________ (euro)

E. Business in Romania
40. When did you come to Romania for business? ____________________
41. What was your first job in Romania? ____________________
42. Did you come to Romania for financial reasons?
a. Yes
b. No


43. Do you or your family have your own business in Romania?
a. Yes
b. No
44. If yes, what kind of activity do you perform? ____________________
45. What is your monthly income in Romania? ____________________ (euro)
46. The name of your company in Romania: ____________________

F. Reasons for Coming to Romania to Do Business

47. Please fill in the table, according to their importance, with your reasons. Choose
among those listed above or, if you think there are others, please name them,
too. (I) is the most important reason, while (VIII) is the least important.
I. low costs
II. less bureaucracy
III. a favourable political situation
IV. Latin traditions
V. a language easy to learn
VI. welcoming people

G. Supporting Bodies
48. Who supported you to start your business and to what extent?

a. in Italy


a lot



At all



a lot



At all

I. Formal public bodies

a. public institutions
b. Chamber of Commerce
and Industry
II. Formal private bodies
a. NGOs
III. Informal private bodies
a. friends
b. relatives

b. in Romania

I. Formal public bodies

a. public institutions
b. Chamber of Commerce
and Industry
II. Formal private bodies
a. NGOs
III. Informal private bodies
a. friends
b. relatives

49. Your coming to Romania was supported by:

a. Your relatives that had already been here
b. Italian friends or people that had already been here
c. Work contract
d. Tourist visa
e. Others. Who/What exactly?
50. Are you alone or with your family in Romania?
a. Alone
b. With some members of my family
c. With my whole family
d. Other situation. Which exactly? ____________________

H. Social Relations in Romania

51. What was your first impression when coming to Romania?
a. Positive b. Negative


52. If your first impression was positive, please give details:
53. If your first impression was negative, please give details:
54. How do you feel now in Romania?


I am still
accommodating to
the country

I will never
accommodate to the


a. From a bureaucratic and

institutional point of view
b. From the point of view of
the business environment
c. From the linguistic point
of view
d. From the point of view of
private relations

55. How do get along with the Romanians?

a. very well
b. well
c. bad
56. Do you have Romanian friends?
a. Yes
b. No
57. Fill in the table, according to their importance(I) the most important, (VIII) the
least importantthe similarities or differences between the Romanian and Italian
culture. Please choose from the list above, or, if you think there are others, please
insert them, too.


I. mentality
III. language
V. the political system

II. traditions
IV. gastronomy
VI. the bureaucratic system

58. For the next two or three years do you intend to do the following?


a. Redecorate your house/change your lodgings for a better one

b. Enrol in a Romanian public or private educational institution
or participate in certain courses

59. If your answer was positive, give details about the types of courses you would
like to attend and why


a. Change your marital status (by getting married, for example)

b. Have one or more children
c. Change your job or the field of your activity

1.2. Collection of Data

collected the questionnaires from the subjects, we started

to process the data and extract the percentages. First of all, we checked
if all questionnaires were complete, exact and uniform. We read all the
answers and tried to see if they were coherent and did not contradict one another. In some cases we found out that the subjects had not correctly understood the
questions and, consequently, had provided unclear answers. Our decision in
these cases was not to take into account those questionnaires. Thus, we could
easily see the result for each question and make the corresponding comments
on them.

1.3. Interpretation of Results

the results of our questionnaire, we will present the

percentages obtained. We should mention that the questionnaires filled
in by the subjects were either in Italian or in Romanian, as our sample
was made up of Italian people, some of whom knew Romanian very well. That
is why we will insert those versions with some interesting answers in the
Appendices.4 However, given the fact that our thesis is written in English, we
considered it useful to attach also an English version of the questionnaire.5


After having collected all data, we obtained the following results:

A. Socio-demographic Variables
1. a. 95%
b. 5%
2. 27%
2535 years old
3645 years old
4660 years old
more than 60 years old
3. a. 57.5% b. 7.5%
c. 7.5%
d. 5%
e. 22.5% f. 0%
4. a. 45%
b. 55% of which
52.5%: 13 children
2.5%: more than 4 children
5. a. 7.5%
b. 87.5% c. 5%
d. 0%
6. a. 97.5% b. 2.5%
c. 0%
7. a. 95%
b. 0%
c. 2.5%
d. 2.5%
8. a. b.
45% Cluj
12.5% Bihor
7.5% Alba
10% DA
7.5% Slaj
5% Hunedoara
5% Maramure
2.5% Sibiu
2.5% Arad
2.5% Timi
9. a. b.
10% Bologna
7.5% Padua
5% Vicenza
77.5% others
20.5% Emilia-Romagna 20.5% Veneto
12.5% Lombardy
12.5% Tuscany
7.5% Abruzzo
26.5% others
10. a. 15.4% b. 59%
c. 23%
d. 2.6%
B. Social Identity
11. a. 22.5% b. 15%
c. 15%
d. 20.5%
e. 27%
12. a. 23.1% b. 76.9%
13. a. 66.7% b. 8.3%
c. 8.3%
d. 0%
e. 0%
The remaining 16.7% dont think the number is big.
14. a. family 41.5%
b. home 20%
c. traditional food 18.3%
d. friends 10.2%
e. culture 10%
15. a. fun 25%
b. opportunities 22.5%
c. beautiful women 20.3%
d. intelligent people 16.2%
e. Dracula 16%


Totally agree

Rather agree


Rather disagree


Totally disagree



17. I. have Italian as mother tongue 31%

II. respect Italian traditions 20.5%
III. feel Italian 8.5%
other 40%
18. I. have Romanian as mother tongue 19%
II. respect Romanian traditions 16.2%
III. have Romanian citizenship 13.8%
other 51%
19. a. civilised 32%
b. hard-working 31.3%
c. proud 21.7%
d. DK/DA 15%
20. a. 55.6%
b. 44.4%
c. 0%
21. a. welcoming 28.9%
b. proud 26.6%
c. religious 20%
d. DK/DA 24.5%
22. a. 73.5%
b. 26.5%
c. 0%
C. Social Capital
23. a. 43.2%

b. 56.8%

Very much



Very little

At all





















Very much



Very little

At all



























27. a. 0%

c. 56.8%

d. 8.1%

e. 5.4%

Very good

Fairly good











29. a. 17.5%
30. a. 5%
31. a. 95%
Several times
a year

b. 29.7%


b. 82.5%
b. 5%
b. 0%

c. 7.5%
c. 5%

d. 82.5%

Once a month

Several times
a month

Every week

Every day






Several times
a year


Once a month

Several times
a month

Every week

Every day




Several times
a month

Every week

Every day



Several times
a year


Once a month


D. Business in Italy
35. 36. a. 31.6%
b. 68.4%
37. a. 60%
b. 40%
38. 39. E. Business in Romania
40. 2.7% before 1989
36.8% between 1996 and 2000
41. 42. a. 56.4%
b. 43.6%
43. a. 82.5%
b. 17.5%
44. 14.8% retailers
11.1% ready-made clothes and shoes
7.4% constructions
45. 46. -

between 1990 and 1995

between 2001 and 2006

14.8% real estate

11.1% food industry
40.8% others

F. Reasons for Coming to Romania to Do Business

47. I. low costs 75.8%
II. less bureaucracy 52.4%
III. a language easy to be learned 46.7%
IV. Latin traditions 40.5%


V. a favourable political situation 37.5%

VI. welcoming people 28.1%
VII. VIII. G. Supporting Bodies
48. a. b.
Very much


49. a. 11.4%
50. a. 67.5%


Quite a lot

Rather little


At all






c. 11.4%
c. 7.5%

d. 14.3%
d. 7.5%

b. 45.7%
b. 17.5%

e. 17.2%

H. Social Relations in Romania

51. a. 61.5%
b. 38.5%
52. 53. 54.




I am still
to the country

I will never
accommodate to
the country







55. a. 35%
56. a. 90%

b. 65%
b. 10%

c. 0%




language 40%

mentality 35%


traditions 20%

gastronomy 30%


the bureaucratic system 15%

the political system 18%


the political system 15%

the bureaucratic system 15%

gastronomy 5%

traditions 2%


mentality 5%

language 0%


















We should start by saying that there are ten questions7 that have no answer.
This is because the subjects did not want to answer or they misunderstood the
question. Consequently, we considered that the sample that provided valid answers
was not representative for the final interpretation of the results.
Moreover, three questions8 have only partial answers. In the case of questions 47 and 57 this was due to the fact that subjects were allowed to choose from
six answers only and to add some other two if they could. Consequently, the
box contained eight possible answers, while they filled in only six. As far as question 48 is concerned, we refer only to point a. Our subjects did not answer
this question, as it refers to the help they were given in order to start their
business in Italy. As the questionnaire was mainly referring to their business in
Romania, they decided not to answer in this case.
We will further analyse some of the answers provided for each section: A,
B, C, D, E, F, G, and H. Of course, we will refer only to those questions that
are the most representative for the aims of our research.


Section A:
Question 1. The results of our questionnaire proved that 95% of the subjects
are men. This shows a greater flexibility in the case of male subjects when it comes
to living and working abroad. Women tend to be closer to their family and home.
Question 2. 42.5% of the subjects were 4660 years of age. This category is
followed by those between 25 and 35 years of age, with 27%. This might mean
that older investors go to foreign countries after having already led a business
in their own country. In this case their experience pushed them to risk by investing on new markets with the aim of obtaining bigger profits. On the contrary,
the second category contains young people whose inexperience and desire of
adventure brought them to Romania.
Question 3. 57.5% of the answers refer to married people. There might be two
possibilities: either they are married to Romanian citizens, or they had already
married in Italy and brought their family in Romania. In both cases it is obvious that the Italians were attracted by this country and its culture, as it is similar to theirs. The second category (22.5%) is represented by single people. Of
course, there is no doubt that it is easier to go and work in a foreign country
when one does not have a family and obligations.
Question 8. As the questionnaire was applied exclusively to Italian investors
in Transylvania, it is obvious that they all live in Transylvanian countries. According
to the results, the order is the following: Cluj (45%), Bihor (12.5%), Slaj
and Alba (7.5% each), Hunedoara and Maramure (5% each), Sibiu, Arad and
Timi (2.5% each).
Question 9. Veneto and Emilia-Romagna (20.5% each) are first on the list
of Italian regions of origin of our subjects. They are followed by Lombardy
and Tuscany (12.5% each), and Abruzzo (7.5%).
Section B:
Question 12. 76.9% of our subjects think that the number of Italians living in
Romania today is large. This shows that they are all aware of the important Italian
presence on the Romanian territory and they are part of it.
Question 13. Out of the abovementioned subjects 66.7% think that the large
number of Italian investors in Transylvania is due to low business costs. 8.3%
speak about low living costs, while another 8.3% about less bureaucracy.
Consequently, we can easily see that the main reasons for the Italian presence
in Transylvania are the economic ones.
Questions 14 and 15. When they think about Italy, 41.5% of the subjects
refer to their family, 20% to their home, 18.3% to their traditional food, 10.2%
to their friends, while 10% to their culture. This shows clearly the Italian personality characterised by strong links with origin, customs, and traditions. When


they think about Romania, 25% of the Italian investors refer to fun, 22.5% to
opportunities, 20.3% to beautiful women, 16.2% to intelligent people, while
16% to Dracula. This means that, beside the economic reasons for their coming to Transylvania, there are also other reasons related rather to cultural and traditional aspects. Romanian women are well known for their beauty, Romanian
people for its intelligence, while Dracula has become the symbol of Transylvania
for the foreigners.
Questions 17 and 18. In the opinion of our subjects, language (31% and 19%)
and traditions (20.5% and 16.2%) are the two most important things for
someone to be considered Italian or Romanian, respectively. This proves once
again the similarities between the two countries, mostly related to their common
Latin roots.
Question 21. The fact that 28.9% of the subjects think that Romanians are considered welcoming by the Italian investors is a clear proof that the latter feel at
home in Transylvania.
Question 22. 73.5% of the answers refer to the difference in perception when
it comes to the way in which the Italians in Romania see the Romanians as
compared to Italians in general. This proves that, after having lived and worked
in Romania for a while, Italians impressions change. They start to see the
Romanians as their friends.
Section C:
Question 24. 37.8% of our subjects trust much the Romanians in Romania, which
is a sign of the friendly and sincere relationship they have with the latter.
Question 28. The fact the Italian and Romanian are two very similar Romance
languages is underlined once again by the answers provided to this question.
Thus, 53.8% of those who filled in the questionnaire understand Romanian very
well, while 60.5% speak it fairly well.
Question 29. Most Italian investors did not take Romanian lessons when
they came to Romania, which proves how easy Romanian seemed to them
from the very beginning.
Question 31. 95% of the subjects agree with the fact that it is important for
an Italian living in Romania to know Romanian very well. It is a sign of the
respect the Italians show for the language and the authorities of this country.
Questions 32, 33 and 34. The answers to these questions prove that the new
means of communication are gaining ground also in the case of the Italian investors
in Transylvania. 35.5% send daily e-mails to their family in Italy, while 40.6%
send e-mails to their business partners in Italy. 45.9% make daily phone calls
to their family, while 48.6% call their business partners. This means that both
family and business are important for them. Nonetheless, letters have become


obsolete lately, as most of our subjects use them only several times a year (56%
to their family, 58.3% to their friends, 32% to their business partners, and 79.2%
to ancient colleagues or other relatives).
Section D:
Question 36. 68.4% of the subjects were employers in Italy before coming to Romania.
This means that not only professional subordination determine people to invest
abroad, but also the need to become more prosperous as an employer.
Section E:
Question 40. Most of the Italian investors who answered our questionnaire (73.6%)
came to Transylvania between 1996 and 2006. During this period Romania developed very much in all fields. That is why it is a market appropriate for competition.
Question 42. When asked about the reasons for their coming to Romania,
56.4% of our subjects admitted that these were financial reasons.
Section F:
Question 47. Among the most important reasons of the Italian presence in Romania
there are low costs (75.8%), less bureaucracy (52.4%), and language (46.7%).
Section G:
Question 49. Most of the Italian investors (45.7%) were supported by Italian
friends or people that had already been in Romania at that moment. This shows
how important it is to have someone to support you when starting your business abroad.
Question 50. 67.5% of our subjects are alone in Romania, 17.5% are with some
members of their family, while 7.5% came here with the whole family. As we have
already mentioned, it is easier to come alone to a foreign country for a person
who has no family obligations. However, those who have a family try to bring
all its members in the foreign country. In the case of Romania this proved easier, given the similar mentalities, traditions, customs, and language.
Section H:
Question 51. As for their first impression when coming to Romania, this was positive in 61.5% of the cases. Once more, we can see that Italians felt comfortable in Romania from the very beginning.
Question 54. Private relations and language prevail over bureaucracy and business in the case of the Italian investors in Romania. Thus, 32.5% feel perfectly
accommodated from the point of view of private relations against 7.5% in the


case of bureaucracy and 30% in the case of the business environment. Furthermore,
57.5% feel they have accommodated to the language against 40% with bureaucracy and 47.5% with the business environment.
Question 56. As we had expected, 90% of our subjects declare to have Romanian
friends. We can easily understand that common roots bring people together.
Question 57. Language (40%) and traditions (20%) are considered the most
similar elements of the Romanian and Italian culture. As far as differences are
concerned, gastronomy (30%), the political system (18%) and bureaucracy (15%)
1.4. Problems Encountered with the Research

to face several problems while doing the research with the questionnaires. We will further present a list of them. First of all, it was
difficult to make the questionnaire itself, given the fact that we are not
a sociologist. It seemed quite problematic to define the sections and the number of questions. So we thought of both form and content. We read theoretical
aspects about the sociological inquiry and we also asked the advice of a specialist. Then we decided on the length of the questionnaire, the types of questions
and the representative sample. The final version of the questionnaire contains
59 questions that we were supposed to present to 100 persons.
Second, we hesitated on what language to choose for the questionnaire. Of
course, as our thesis is written in English, it is obvious that the version included in the paper is in English. However, given the fact that our subjects were Italian
people, we also drafted an Italian version of the questionnaire. Moreover, some
of the Italian investors in Transylvania already know Romanian very well, so
we have a third version in Romanian. Both the Italian and the Romanian version
of the questionnaire are attached in the appendices.
Furthermore, another big problem that we would classify as the most important of all was the fact that people did not want to answer our questions. This
happened because they had neither the time nor the will to do it. Consequently,
our sample was reduced to only 40 persons.
Finally, in some cases people did not understand properly the questions.
That is why they gave only partial answers that were either incomplete or unclear.
This rendered our task of interpreting the results even more difficult. We decided then not to take into account some of those answers.


2. Conclusions

studied the phenomenon of delocalization of the Italian

companies in Transylvania, we can draw some conclusions in this respect.
The fall of the communist regime and Romanias evolution towards
democracy and a market economy allowed the strengthening of Romanian-Italian
economic relations and especially the Italian investments in Romania. In December
1990, the Romanian and Italian governments signed the Agreement on the Mutual
Promotion and Protection of Investments. This Agreement entered into force
starting March 1995. Moreover, in August 2002, Romania and Italy signed
the Memorandum of Agreement on the Cooperation in the field of Small and
Medium-Sized Enterprises.9
From the point of view of the investment strategy adopted by the Italian companies abroad, delocalization plays a particular role. It is a characteristic of the
Italian industrial system and a predominant activity of the Italian companies in
countries of Central and Eastern Europe, such as Romania. We could see that the
most important delocalization movement took part between 1996 and 2006, that
is, during the last ten years.
In fact, the term delocalization refers mainly to the companies from northeastern Italy, which invest abroad and it refers to the decentralisation of production and services by the total or partial organisation of their activity outside
Italy.10 The Italian companies that come to Transylvania for business usually come
from the northeastern, northwestern and the central parts of Italy. The Italian
investors mostly settle their business in counties such as Arad, Timi, Bihor, Cluj,
Alba, Sibiu, etc.
Beside this phenomenon of the Italian delocalization in Romania, there is a
process that is taking place the other way round: the Romanian migration to Italy
for work. Practically speaking, it is a circular movement based on economic matters but also on a common cultural background, Latin traditions and mentalities,
and a Romance language.
Moreover, studying the long history of the Italian-Romanian relations we
found out that they started in the Middle Ages and continued up to the present. Nowadays, Italy is Romanias first commercial partner, a place that it has
constantly occupied since 1997.11 An example of this long tradition was given by
Italys Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who was the first EU minister that has come
to Romania after its accession to the European Union on 1 January 2007.
It seems that the interest of the Italian investors in Romania will last also after
the year 2007, given the complementary tendencies of the Romanian economy
based on a traditional structure and the Italian economy based on the intensive
use of the labour force. Probably, Italians will also become interested in the


sector of services, under the circumstances of the development of the banking

system and even the agricultural sector.12
As far as the questionnaire is concerned, we found it useful to introduce
such an instrument in our research despite the difficulties we encountered with
its drafting and filling in. It was interesting to learn how to combine open and
closed questions in a quantitative research in order to obtain the expected results.
All in all, it was a real challenge for us to study this very interesting topic of
the Italian-Romanian relations.

1. Paolo Lemma, vice-president of the Institute for Foreign Trade in Bucharest.
2. Romania comes second in this part of Europe, with about 22 million people, after
3. Dont know/No answer.
4. See Appendices 2 and 3.
5. See Appendix 1.
6. No answer.
7. Questions nos. 8, 9, 35, 38, 39, 41, 45, 46, 52, and 53.
8. Questions nos. 47, 48, and 57.
9. Anca Stngaciu, Romnia n contextul integrrii n structurile Uniunii Europene: Relaiile
economice romno-italiene (Cluj-Napoca: EFES, 2007), 56.
10. Ibid., 82.
11. Ibid., 59.
12., Italienii propun o strategie special de dezvoltare a IMM-urilor romneti, accessed on 12 November 2007.

Chelcea, S. 1975. Chestionarul n investigaia sociologic. Bucharest: Ed. tiinific i
. 1996. Cunoaterea vieii sociale: Chestionarul i interviul n ancheta sociologic.
Bucharest: Ed. INI.
Delli Zotti, G. 2004. Introduzione alla ricerca sociale: Problemi e qualche soluzione. 4th
ed., rev. and enl. Milan: Franco Angeli.
Gasparini, B. 2005. Le imprese italiane e la RomaniaDelocalizzazioni e localizzazioni produttive. Cluj-Napoca: Eikon.
Marica, G. Em. 1997. Studii sociologice. Cluj-Napoca: Fundaia Cultural Romn, Centrul
de Studii Transilvane.


Rotariu, T. and P. Ilu. 2001. Ancheta sociologic i sondajul de opinie: Teorie i practic. Iai:
Stngaciu, A. 2007. Romnia n contextul integrrii n structurile Uniunii Europene: Relaiile
economice romno-italiene. Cluj-Napoca: EFES.

Italian Companies in Transylvania: A Multicultural Approach
This article focuses on the Italian companies that invest in Romania, chiefly in Transylvania. We
sought to investigate the possible non-economic reasons that make Italian investors delocalize in
Transylvania. By analysing a set of questionnaires that we sent to the representatives of those
companies, we drew several conclusions concerning this phenomenon. Practically speaking, it is
a circular Italian-Romanian movement based on economic matters but also on a common cultural background, Latin traditions and mentalities, and a Romance language.


Italian companies, Transylvania, delocalization, questionnaire, cultural aspects, Latin roots


The Ethnic Map

As a Romanian, it is very
difficult to be objective when
it comes to the peoples that
surround you.

tefan Borbly
Professor of comparative literature
at the Faculty of Letters, Babe-Bolyai
University, Cluj-Napoca, essayist and
translator. Author, among other titles,
of the volumes De la Herakles la
Eulenspiegel (From Herakles to
Eulenspiegel) (2001), Proza fantastic
a lui Mircea Eliade: Complexul gnostic
(The fantastic fiction of Mircea Eliade:
The Gnostic complex) (2003).

HILE AVOIDING hasty generalizations, as a preliminary working hypothesis we would like to consider an
essential syntactic difference between
Romanian and Hungarian traditional
ethnicity. Romanian ethnicity is predefined by a certain space, by the simple and organic geography of the community, while Hungarian ethnicity looks
back in time towards its august and noble origins located in the Middle Ages
and in the Renaissance period. The outcome of this asymmetry is manifest at
the social and cultural level on which
the two identity constructs operate: Hungarian identity is dominantly urban and
associated with the sophisticated refinements of civilization, while Romanian
identity is deeply rooted in the rural
The very manifestations of these identities also differ: Hungarian nationalism is political in nature, sanguinary and
often suicidal, drawing on the Renaissance equations of power (culminating
in the glorious portrayal of King Matthias), while Romanian nationalism
is essentially retractile, typical for a
people always ready to withdraw in front
of the enemy and seek shelter in the
mountains or in the woods. In geo-


graphic terms, the morphological difference leads to two distinct representations

of space: the symbol of Hungarian identity is the puszta, with its implicit infinity, while Romanian identity gains contour, in a utopian fashion, within the
confines of a closed human and geographic environment. We see this in Nicolae
Blcescus Ardealul (Transylvania), where the land beyond the forest is
presented as a fortress protected by high, impassable mountains, offering potential shelter in front of any danger.
In his classic 1942 text titled Etnicul romnesc (Romanian ethnicity), 1
C. Rdulescu-Motru examined the syntax of this retractile nationalism, defined
along a process of evolutiondeemed classic by the authorfrom the awareness of the common origin to the awareness of the common language and
finally to the awareness of the common destiny, the latter representing, of course,
the spiritual fulfillment of the first two functional premises. While language
and geography are organic realities inherited from tradition, the awareness of
a common destinysaid the authortakes shape in time (namely, in history),
amid a defensive, belligerent anxiety: The nations whose existence was threatened by war had to secure their future by developing a new common awareness, the awareness of a common destiny. This does not mean that origin and language were henceforth forgotten, but they were relegated to a secondary position:
first came a nations will to survive by facing the war.2
It is interesting to compare this concept of a defensive identity with the definitions of ethnicity found in the classical literature of political sciencethe pieces
collected, for instance, in the volume called Ethnicity.3 The differences become
instantly obvious: for example, Paul R. Brass, quoting George De Vos (Ethnic
Pluralism, 1975), also argued that the transition from ethnicity to community
occurs by way of differentiating identity strategies (one community defines itself
in relative or radical contrast to another), but contended that the means thereby employed are not the simple tools of belligerence, coming instead from the
arsenal of religion, of spiritual symbols, of the cultural archetypes which a community employs in defining itself in relation to its neighbors. This approach made
it possible for the author to include the intellectual elite among the mechanisms
that shape the identity of a community, and he argued that this elite usually functions as an agent of modernization, as opposed to the diffuse influence exerted
by the awareness of a common space, language, or destiny.4
When it comes to the awareness of the Romanian identity, dominant are, however, the withdrawal behind the confines of the community and the sense of
vulnerability that accompanies it. The most bitter text devoted to the issue of the
Romanian identity, Emil Ciorans Schimbarea la fa a Romniei (The transfiguration of Romania), contends that Romanian nationalism is in fact barracks
nationalism: How can we blame the poor fellow [the Romanian soldier, our
note] for the fact that Romania has no ideal, that its historic dimension is insigni-


ficant, despite its thousand years of existence? He hears only one thing: we
must defend our borders. And that is all he can hear. Because Romania has
identified its ideal with a factual situation: its physical and moral borders. Romania
exists, and that is enough. Lacking the passion of frantic becoming, it implanted the acceptance of its own existence in all consciences.5
The psychosis of the permeable, unsafe borderargued Cioran elsewhere
makes the Romanian awareness of identity fatally subjective, especially in relation to its geographic neighbors: As a Romanian, it is very difficult to be objective when it comes to the peoples that surround you.6 From among them, the
most incomprehensible are the Hungarians, whom Ciorandeeply Nietzschean
in the syntax of his interpretation, and as a matter of fact in his entire book,
inspired by Keyserlingadmired for their collective energy, unbound, frantic, telluric and decanted in suffering, claiming that this is the only people in Europe
still keeping alive the tradition of Dionysian exaltation. 7 However, he could
not become attached to Hungarian history, to the identity ideology of the
Hungarian people, and to the exacerbated political manifestations of this ideology, seeing them as a strategy of converting the defeat suffered at Mohcs
into a proud, eruptive, nosily melancholic sadness: The Hungarians are an island
in Europe. Although they participated as best they could in the events that
troubled Europe, their involvement was never honest. Spenglers theory of the
original soul of cultures is best illustrated by the case of Hungary. The initial
impulses lie underneath every cultural form developed by them. There is too
much blood in the Hungarian spirit for Hungary to be anything else than soul.8
There is an essential difference between the manner in which the Hungarians
and the Romanians with an existential, ontological perspective understand
Pannonian identity. For the formeras manifest especially during the Romantic
periodthe Hungarians stand for a high level of civilization, defined during
the Renaissance period and later turned into a general axiological norm, also leading to the later political alliance with Vienna. For Emil CioranMircea Eliade,
while on his diplomatic mission to Portugal, voiced the same opinionthe
Hungarians are, in Spenglers terms, a culture that is yet to become a civilization. The reduction is most intriguing, as the Hungarians are thus located on
the organic, cultural level where the Romanians traditionally position themselves,
eliminating from the dialogue between cultures the intrinsic spirit of axiological competition. Indeed, regardless of the commentatorCrainic, RdulescuMotru, Blaga, or one of the biased protochronists of Ceauescus period, in all
Romanian texts dealing with the issue of identity we find no references to the
fact that our neighborsRussians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Serbs, etc.ever managed to surpass us in terms of culture and civilization. Gaps are ignored and
attention is paid only to similarities, fundamental in this agglutination being the
dominant Orthodoxy of the Balkans and the similar openness towards the East.


Considering the dominant importance given to borders in the definition of

Romanian identity, it is not by accident that the ethnic map got to play a central role in the Romanian-Hungarian dispute, especially in the years following
the Union of December 1918, when history proved to both nations that maps
could indeed be revised. In 1919, Count Paul Teleki published an interesting
geopolitical study, called La carte ethnographique de la Hongrie base sur la densit de la population, in which he naturally included both Transylvania and Banat,
with Lugoj as a city of reference. In drawing up an accurate demographic map,
argued the author, one must start from the general feature of the civilization present over a certain area. Thus, traditional Hungary, where life is symbolically concentrated in aristocratic nuclei and revolves around the dominant city of Budapest,
operates in a manner different from that of the organic demographic regions
located elsewhere, where the dominant structures are the rural ones. One can easily make a mistake when drawing an ethnic map without paying due heed to
this dominant urban concentration, because the territorial representations thus
obtained could lead to simple mathematical disproportions, more pertinently
approached from a civilizational perspective focused on quality. Consequently,
suggested Count Paul Teleki, the only criterion employed in the preparation of
an accurate ethnic map must be the criterion of the qualitative density of population, and simple arithmetic should not take precedence over elements like access
to schooling and social advancement. In other words, it should focus on the manner in which a cultural ethnic group seeks to become a civilization.
This approach, with its underlying political agenda, was challenged by
E. de Martonne (Carte de la densit et la rpartition des nationalits en Roumanie,
19209), who returned to the conventional mathematical criteria, eliminating
the political factor from the ethnic map. Apart from the large number of Hungarians living in Transylvania, E. de Martonne mentioned a significant number
of Jews, Roma, Russians, and Ukrainians, statistically conveying the image of
a multiethnic region that came to contradict the psychotic iteration of an undifferentiated, organic unity so common with Romanian scholars.
In methodological terms, the issue was more subtly approached only in 1941,
when Vintil Mihilescu published his Harta etnic a Romniei transcarpatice (The ethnic map of Transcarpathian Romania),10 a relatively late evaluation of the 1930 population census, whose results had only been published in
1940. This is the reason why the author stated that until today, we have not seen
the publication of an ethnic map of Romania drawn up by a Romanian on the
basis of a unitary scientific census. According to the same author, processing the
data of the 1930 census had taken so long also because those involved had had
to face considerable criticism: the Hungarians claim that the number of their
fellow nationals was diminished too much, the Romanian critics: the num-


ber of Jews is too small and the number of Russians too high, and a nearly canonical accusation: no distinction was made between Hungarians and Szeklers.
The methodology of the 1930 census provided for the development of questionnaires based on three criteria: ethnicity, language, and religion. The first
category was, of course, dictated by birth: ethnicity was biologically determined and derived from the ethnicity of ones father. The third category, religion,
was ultimately of secondary importance, as it could be a matter of individual
choice, free from community constraints: the criterion was relative enough and
failed to stir any controversy. The most interestingand implicitly the most
vulnerable to political interpretationswas the language criterion, understood
by the authors of the questionnaires to mean not only an instrument of communication among people, but also the sum total of the cultural symbols and
beliefs employed by individuals in the definition of their identity. You are born
as part of a nation, you choose your religion (or let others make that choice
for you), but you embrace a language and a culture. Language became thus
the main variable of identity mobility. As Vintil Mihilescu contended, ones
ethnicity is a matter of individual self-determination and is decided on the basis
of the spiritual bond with the chosen nation.11
Modern political scientists would say that the criterion of the volitional
spiritual bond is relative enough to define an ethnic identity, especially since
emotional ties are a culminating point and not a premise, as opposed to free choice
or economic constraints, educational mobility orwhy not?the all too human
political opportunism, so useful in the acquisition of symbolic values. The spiritual bond comes to account for the dynamic mechanism of ethnic assimilation,
which paved the way for the social engineering systematically cultivated during
all the censuses taken in Romania after 1930.

Below are the statistical data communicated by Vintil Mihilescu:
According to ethnic origin

more than 728,000

According to language









more than 409,000






1. C. Rdulescu-Motru, Etnicul romnesc: Comunitate de origine, limb i destin. Naionalismul: Cum se nelege. Cum trebuie s se neleag, edited with an introduction and
notes by Constantin Schifirne (Bucharest: Albatros, 1996). The first text was initially published by Casa coalelor, in 1942; the second appeared much earlier
(Bucharest: Lumen, 1909).
2. Ibid., 15.
3. John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith, eds., Ethnicity (OxfordNew York: Oxford
University Press, 1996).
4. Paul R. Brass, Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Identity Formation, in Hutchinson
and Smith, 8490.
5. Emil Cioran, Schimbarea la fa a Romniei (Bucharest: Humanitas, 1990), 137.
6. Ibid., 197.
7. Ibid., 199.
8. Ibid., 198.
9. Annales de Gographie 29 (1920).
10. Buletinul Societii Regale Romne de Geografie 59 (1941).
11. Ibid., 4.

The Ethnic Map
The study focuses on the different mechanisms and criteria involved in the definition of Hungarian
and Romanian ethnic identities, surveying a number of contrasting elements such as space, history,
and the level of culture and civilization. The conclusions of the analysis come to account for the
various approaches to the issue of an accurate ethnic map and for the interpretations given to
the results of the 1930 census of Romanias population.


ethnic identity, political bias, ethnic map, language, religion, census




Margarete Depner
(1885-1970) eine fast
vergessene bildende

Tnzerin, abgebildet in Klingsor,

November-Dezember 1939, S. 339.

Gudrun-Liane Ittu
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am
Institut fr Gesellschaftswissenschaften
der Rumnischen Akademie, Hermannstadt. Fachbereich: Bildende Kunst und
Kultur der Deutschen aus Rumnien im
18.-20. Jahrhundert. Autorin von:
Cultura germanilor din Romnia
reflectat n publicaii (Die Kultur der
Deutschen aus Rumnien im Spiegel der
Verffentlichungen) (2004).

N DEN Jahren vor dem Ausbruch des

Ersten Weltkrieges und whrend der
nchsten Jahrzehnte, bis die Welt erneut
von einem Krieg erschttert wurde,
war Kronstadt/Braov ein bedeutendes
Kunstzentrum unseres Landes, in dem
bildende Knstler der verschiedensten
Kunstrichtungen ttig waren, Kunstrichtungen die sich von der Avangarde
bis hin zur idyllischen Heimatkunst erstreckten. Zu den bekannten Kronstdter Knstlern zhlen Hans Mattis
Teutsch (1884-1960), Hans Eder
(1883-1955), Fritz Kimm (1890-1979),
Ernst Honigberger (1885-1974), Eduard Morres (1884-1980), Heinrich
Schunn (1897-1984), Hans Hermann
(1885-1980). Hermannstadt/Sibiu, im
stndigen Wettstreit mit Kronstadt,
konnte sich in der gleichen Zeitspanne
nicht mit so bedeutenden Knstlern
rhmen, dafr jedoch mit einer ansehlichen Gruppe von Berufsmalerinnen.
In Kronstadt waren die weiblichen
bildenden Knstler eher eine Ausnahme.
Der Entwicklungsweg Margarete
Depners zur Knstlerin verlief hnlich


wie bei anderen Frauen jener Zeit, die aus grobrgerlichem Milieu stammten.
Margarete Depner hat bei mehreren Professoren Privatunterricht genossen und
in verschiedenen Knstlerateliers gearbeitet. Nach Abschluss der Ausbildung hat
sie ihre Kunst nicht zum Broterwerb ausgebt, sondern zum Zeitvertreib und
aus Liebe zum Schnen. Anfangs hat sie gemalt und verschiedene grafische
Techniken ausprobiert und hat erst spter den Weg zur Bildhauerei gefunden, ein
Genre, dem sie sich dann fast ausschlielich widmete. Die Knstlerin fand
somit zu einer Kunstgattung zurck, die in Siebenbrgen bereits seit einigen
Jahrhunderten nicht mehr ausgebt worden war.
Margarete Depner, geboren 1885, war die Tochter des Kronstdter Tuchfabrikanten Wilhelm Scherg und der Juliane Scherg.1 In ihrer Geburtsstadt hat
sie eine grndliche Allgemeinbildung erhalten und hat diese in einem Mdchenpensionat in Weimar in der Zeit von 1901 bis 1902 vervollstndigt. Der Unterricht
in der Stadt Schillers und Goethes war musisch ausgerichtet, vor allem auf Literatur und bildende Kunst. Weimar war vermutlich auch der Ort, an dem die
junge Kronstdterin sich ihrer Begabung bewusst geworden war und den Entschluss
fasste, den Knstlerberuf zu erlernen.
In ihre Heimat zurckgekehrt, erhielt sie zwischen 1903 und 1905 Zeichenunterricht bei Professor Ernst Khlbrandt, dem bekannten Kunsterzieher am
Honterusgymnasium, in dessen Atelier zahlreiche begabte junge Leute erste
Anleitungen in Hinblick auf den Beruf eines bildenden Knstlers erhielten.
Von Oktober 1905 bis Oktober 1906 besuchte sie die Privatschule des Malers
Wilhelm Jordan in Berlin, ein Knstler, der besonderes Gewicht auf akribisches Zeichnen nach der Natur legte.
Im nchsten Jahr (1907) heiratete Margarete den berhmten Chirurgen Dr.
Wilhelm Depner (1873-1950), der 1912 ein Sanatorium grndete, das weit ber
Kronstadt hinaus bekannt wurde. Das Depnersche Sanatorium entwickelte
sich zur modernsten onkologischen Klinik des Landes, die als erste Einrichtung
ihrer Art in Rumnien mit Radium und Roentgenstrahlen behandelte. Nach dem
Ersten Weltkrieg gehrte Dr. Depner zu den Veranstaltern der rztlichen Hochschulkurse, zu denen bekannte rzte aus dem deutschsprachigen Ausland als
Vortragende eingeladen wurden. Im Juli 1919 trat er auch ins politische Leben
ein, da er zum Obmann des Burzenlnder schsischen Kreisausschusses gewhlt
wurde, ein Amt, das er fast zwanzig Jahre lang bekleidet hatte.
1916 hielt sich Margarete Depner in Budapest auf und besuchte die Zeichenschule von Professor Rti. Nach Kriegsende war sie in ihrer Heimatstadt im
Atelier des Malers Friedrich Mie (1854-1935) und des Zeichners Fritz Kimm
(1890-1979) anzutreffen. Leider konnte sie sich der Kunst nur bedingt widmen,
da sie zahlreiche andere Aufgaben zu erfllen hatte: die Erziehung ihrer drei
Kinder sowie ihrem Mann bei der Verwaltung des Sanatoriums zur Hand zu


Grabmal Lotte Binder, 1934, Zentralfriedhof Hermannstadt/Sibiu

gehen. Auerdem war sie auch sozial engagiert. Sie setzte sich fr die Erziehung
von Waisenkindern ein und war Vorsteherin des ersten Heimes zur Betreuung
von Kindern, deren Mtter Fabriksarbeiterinnen waren.2
1925 und 1927 reiste sie nach Mnchen, um sich die neuesten Entwicklungen
in der deutschen Kunst anzusehen, und 1928 nach Berlin. In der Hauptstadt
Deutschlands konnte die Kronstdterin feststellen, dass nun die Skulptur sehr
geschtzt war. Nach dem Berliner Aufenthalt kam es in ihrem Schaffen zu einer
Zsur, in dem Sinne, dass sie sich nun fleiig der Bildhauerei widmete, die sie
sich beinahe autodidaktisch aneignete. Zu jenem Zeitpunkt war sie die einzige
siebenbrgisch-schsische Knstlerin, die diese schwierige Kunstart pflegte.
Sechsundvierzigjhrig fand sie im Jahre 1931 erneut die Mue nach Berlin zu
reisen, um in dem Atelier von Joseph Thorak, einem damals sehr geschtzten
Bildhauer, zu arbeiten. Thorak war anscheinend nicht bemht, seiner reifen
Schlerin viel beizubringen. Dieser wiederum missfielen die berdimensionierten
Projekte ihres Lehrers. Enttuscht verlie Margarete nach nur zwei Monaten
Thoraks Atelier. Was sie trotz unterschiedlicher Sichtweise von Thorak gelernt hatte, war die realistische, naturgetreue Wiedergabe des Modells. In Berlin
hatte Margarete Depner Gelegenheit, auch expressionistische Skulpturen zu sehen,


sie kaufte sogar eine Arbeit Ernst Barlachs.3 Von besonderer Bedeutung waren
fr die Knstlerin die Bekanntschaften mit Kthe Kollwitz und dem Bildhauer
Georg Kolbe, die whrend dieses Aufenthalts zustande gekommen waren. 1931
war fr Margarete auch in ihrer Heimat ein ertragreiches Jahr, da sie im Herbst
zum ersten Mal im Bukarester Schwarz-Wei Salon Naional ausstellte und
fr die Zeichnung Mdchen mit Kandelaber einen Preis erhielt. Den Durchbruch
in der Kronstdter Kunstszene erlebte sie erst zwei Jahre spter (1933), als sie
zusammen mit dem Bildhauer Hans Guggenberger (1902-1987) der in der
Zeitspanne von 1931 bis 1945 in Kronstadt lebte eine Ausstellung veranstaltete. Margarete Depner war mit vierzig lbildern und zwlf Skulpturen vertreten,
darunter auch das Grabmal Lotte Binders (1880-1930). Der Hermannstdter
Frauenverein hatte einen Wettbewerb fr die Erstellung einer Grabplastik fr die
bekannte schsische Frauenrechtlerin ausgeschrieben, ein Wettbewerb, den Margarete Depner gewonnen hatte.4 Das Grabmal, eine der wenigen Grabplastiken
des Hermannstdter Zentralfriedhofs, steht auch heute noch auf der (ursprnglich)
evangelischen Seite des Ortes der Ruhe. Leider ist die Inschrift inzwischen fast
unlesbar geworden, whrend das gesamte Kunstwerk restaurierungsbedrftig ist.
1934 fhrte die letzte Studienreise der Knstlerin nach Paris, ins Atelier des
Bildhauers Gimond, wo sie zwei Monate lang intensiv arbeitete. Danach folgten Jahre regen knstlerischen Schaffens und Beteiligungen an zahlreichen
Ausstellungen. 1935 waren Arbeiten von Margarete Depner erneut im Bukarester
Salon Oficial anzutreffen5, wonach sie 19376, 19387, 1941/19428 und 1943/19449
in Kronstadt und Hermannstadt in den sogenannten Gesamtausstellungen deutscher Knstler aus Rumnien zu sehen waren. Die zwei letztgenannten Ausstellungen
waren als Wanderausstellungen geplant und wurden in mehreren Stdten des
Reiches gezeigt. In der ersten Gesamtschau deutscher Knstler aus Rumnien,
die in Stuttgart, Berlin und Saarbrcken zu sehen war, stellte Margarete Depner
fnf Skulpturen aus, von denen die Stadt Stuttgart eine in Marmor gearbeitete
ankaufte. Die zweite Auslandtournee der deutschen Knstler aus Rumnien fhrte
im Laufe des Jahres 1944 nach Wien, Salzburg, Graz und Breslau (heute Wroclaw).
Am 20. Juni 1944 wurde die Ausstellung im Breslauer Schloss erffnet, konnte jedoch infolge des Kriegsgeschens (dem Frontwechsel Rumniens) nicht mehr
nach Rumnien zurckgebracht werden, was dazu fhrte, dass viele Kunstwerke
verloren gingen. In den letzten Jahren sind einige davon aufgefunden worden,
darunter auch Margarete Depners Skulptur Die Sinkende, die einen wrdigen Platz in der Siebenbrgischen Bibliothek in Gundelsheim/Neckar (Deutschland) gefunden hat.10
Nach dem Krieg hat die Knstlerin trotz des Verlusts des Sanatoriums
und den Demtigungen, die ihre Familie erleiden musste den Weg zu den
Knstlervereinigungen der Rumnischen Volksrepublik gefunden und sich die-


sen angeschlossen, anfangs dem

Syndikat der bildenden Knstler (Sindicatul Artitilor Plastici), und 1951
dem neugegrndeten Verband der
bildenden Knstler (Uniunea Artitilor Plastici). Als Mitglied dieser
Verbnde konnte sie sich zwischen
1949 und 1970 an allen regionalen
Ausstellungen (bis 1968) und danach an denen des Kreises Kronstadt beteiligen. 1953, 1954 und
1959 beschickte sie auch die Ausstellungen der Republik (expoziii republicane) in der Landeshauptstadt.
Margarete Depner starb am 2.
September 1970 und hatte kurz
zuvor noch den Wunsch geuert,
sich fortan einer anderen Kunstgattung, dem Relief, zu widmen.
Wie bereits aufgezeigt, beinhaltet das Oeuvre Margarete Depners
Alte Frau mit Kopftuch, 80,260 cm,
Grafiken, lgemlde und Skulptunicht signiert, nicht datiert,
ren. Die Arbeiten, die diesen drei
Brukenthalmuseum, Inv. Nr. 2676
Gattungen angehren, hneln einander so wenig, dass Nichtkenner annehmen knnten, dass sie von verschiedenen Knstlern ausgefhrt wurden. Obwohl sich die Knstlerin nicht der schsischen Frauenbewegung angeschlossen hatte, ist das von ihr geschaffene Universum
ein fast ausschlielich feminines. Sie zeigt immer wieder Frauen in den verschiedensten Hypostasen. Ihre Modelle trauern, sind schmerzerfllt oder in Gedanken
versunken, sie sind jedoch nicht von jener Verzweifelung ergriffen, die so oft in
den Werken expressionistischer Knstler zum Ausdruck kommt.
Die grafischen Arbeiten Margarete Depners Zeichnungen und Lithografien
vom Ende des zweiten Jahrzehnts des 20. Jahrhunderts sind vom Expessionismus,
der Stilrichtung der Zeit, von der die meisten Kronstdter Knstler beeinflusst
waren, geprgt. Im Kupferstichkabinett des Brukenthalmuseums in Hermannstadt werden mehrere dieser Bltter verwahrt, das aussagekrftigste trgt den Titel
Die Betrogene und behandelt das Thema der verfhrten und verlassenen
jungen Frau. Die Dargestellte, eine anmutige, schlanke Frau, verbirgt ihr weinendes Gesicht vor dem Betrachter, sieht aber auf ihr wahrscheinlich uneheliches


Kind herab. Die Tatsache, dass dieser Steindruck zusammen mit dem Portrt
eines Verwundeten in der Nummer 3 vom 15. November 1919 der Zeitschrift
Das neue Ziel verffentlicht wurde, lsst darauf schlieen, dass es sich hier um
zwei verschiedene Kategorien von Kriegsopfern handelt.

ER KUNSTHISTORIKER Mihai Nadin spricht in seinem Bchlein Pictori

din Braov11 von der Annherung Margarete Depners zu einem gewissen Zeitpunkt an Kthe Kollwitz, ohne jedoch zu erklren, was man
darunter verstehen soll. Tatsache ist, dass nur die frhen grafischen Bltter der
Kronstdterin eventuell an Kthe Kollwitz erinnern, dass diese jedoch nicht
auf die Begegnung der beiden Knstlerinnen zurckzufhren ist, da sie viel spter
stattgefunden hat. Daher ist es viel plausibler, nicht von einer direkten Beeinflussung
auszugehen, sondern davon, dass Margarete Depner whrend ihrer Studien- und
Bildungsreisen im deutschen Sprachraum expressionistische Kunstwerke gesehen
und sich einige ihrer Charakteristiken angeeignet hat. In den lbildern kommt
es Margarete Depner anders als den Expressionisten in erster Linie auf die
Form an, der sie die Farbe unterordnet. Dank dieses ausgeprgten Formgefhls,
hat ihr der bergang von zweidimensionalen Darstellungen zur Skulptur keine
Schwierigkeiten bereitet. Die Mehrheit ihrer lbilder sind Frauenportrts, deren
Modernitt in der groflchigen Farbgebung, in der grozgigen Pinselfhrung
sowie in der dick aufgetragenen Farbpaste, die den Eindruck der Reliefgestaltung
erweckt, zu suchen ist. Hervorzuheben wre auch, dass Margarete Depner auch
einige gelungene Versuche unternommen hat, hnlich wie die Kubisten, Darstellungen zu zerlegen. Leider hat sie diese Malweise, die fr Siebenbrgen zu gewagt
war, bald aufgegeben. In der Brukenthalsammlung gibt es ein interessantes, nicht
datiertes und signiertes Bild aus der besagten Zeit Weiblicher Halbakt12, das weil
restaurierungsbedrftig noch nie ausgestellt war.
In Kronstadt, im Nachlass der Knstlerin, den ich 1997 einsehen durfte (wofr
ich Prof. Kurt Philippi, dem Enkel der Knstlerin, sehr dankbar bin), befanden
sich noch einige (zum Teil unfertige) Portrts, die in der gleichen Art ausgefhrt waren. Vermutlich hatte Margarete Depner 1934 whrend ihres Pariser
Aufenthalts Gelegenheit, sich mit der kubistischen Kunsttheorie und -praxis
auseinander zu setzen und sie selbst auszuprobieren.
In Bezug auf die Skulptur, in der sie Erfllung gefunden hatte, lehnte sie
alle Modeerscheinungen der Zeit ab. Expressionismus, Dadaismus und Konstruktivismus lagen ihrem Schnheitsideal ebenso fern wie die monumentalen, hyperrealistischen Standbilder ihres Lehrers Thorak, einem Vorreiter nationalsozialistischer sthetik. Sie liebte schlichte, klassische Formen und fertigte zunchst
zahllose Portrtbsten an, ehe sie sich an grere Arbeiten wie z. B. Grabplastiken


heranwagte. Verglichen mit den Skulpturen Hans Guggenbergers, die kalt und
steif wirken, sind die Arbeiten Margarete Depners lebendig und expressiv; sie
zeugen von der Empathie der Knstlerin mit ihren Modellen. Kinderportrts
sind ein besonderes Kapitel ihres vielseitigen Schaffens. Sie liebt die Kleinen, die
sie mit groen, neugierigen Augen in die Welt blicken lsst, in der diese tglich
Neues entdecken.
Es ist interessant zu unterstreichen, dass die Knstlerin, die ihre Skulpturen aus den verschiedensten Materialien geferigt hat Marmor, Bronze, Gips,
Terracotta niemals in Holz gearbeitet hat, ein Werkstoff, der sich bei den
rumnischen Bildhauern (denken wir nur an Brncui) groer Beliebtheit erfreute.
Margarete Depner war auch eine eifrige Sammlerin siebenbrgischer Kunst
und hatte sogar vor, in ihrem Haus ein Museum zeitgenssischer Kunst zu erffnen. Der Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkrieges hat jedoch ihren Plan vereitelt.
Um den Kronstdter Knstlerkollegen, von denen die meisten an dauerndem
Geldmangel litten, zu helfen, kaufte sie deren Werke. Nach dem Tod der Knstlerin haben ihre Erben zahlreiche Stcke ihrer Kunstsammlung den wichtigsten Kunstmuseen des Landes, dem Brukenthalmuseum und dem Nationalen
Kunstmuseum in Bukarest angeboten. Diese haben die Gelegenheit wahrgenommen und ihre Sammlungen siebenbrgischer Kunst bereichert. Auch das
Kunstmuseum in Kronstadt besitzt Werke der Sammlung Depner.
Ich hoffe, dass es mir gelungen ist, ein facettenreiches Portrt der Knstlerin
Margarete Depner zu entwerfen, ein Portrt, das die Neugierde der Leser
Fachleute und Laien wecken soll, sich mit dem Werk der Knstlerin auseinander zu setzen, es neu zu werten und bekannt zu machen. Sie verdient es, in
einer Knstlermononografie gewrdigt zu werden, so wie es krzlich mit ihren
Zeitgenossen Trude Schullerus (1889-1981)13 und Eduard Morres (1884-1980)14
geschehen ist.

1. Joachim Scharffader, Sinnvolle Schnheit. Betrachtungen zum bildhauerischen
Schaffen von Margarete Depner, in: Neuer Weg, 12. Nov. 1966, S. 3; Joachim
Wittstock, Realismus als Grundlage und Leistung. Zum 85. Geburtstag der
Kronstdter Bildhauerin Margarete Depner, in: Hermannstdter Zeitung, Nr.
117, 24. Mrz 1970, S. 9; Margarete Depner gestorben, in: ebenda, Nr. 142, 18.
Sept. 1970, S. 7; Manfred Wittstock, Schnheit der humanen Werte, in: Neuer Weg,
Nr. 8254, 26. Nov. 1975; Rohtraut Wittstock-Reich, Erhabene Schnheit in gegen-







stndlicher Form. Vor 100 Jahren wurde die Bildhauerin Margarete Depner geboren,
in: ebenda, Nr. 11142, 23. Mrz 1985, S. 3-4; O. Richter, Gedanken zum 100.
Geburtstag der Margarete Depner, in: Sdostdeutsche Vierteljahresbltter, 34. Jg.,
Mnchen 1985, S. 200-203.
Arzt und Volksmann, in: Jahrbuch 1969. Siebenbrgisch-schsischer Hauskalender,
14. Jg., Mnchen, S. 37-42.
Mitteilung ihres Enkels, Joachim Wittstock.
Ein Grabmal fr Lotte Binder, in: Siebenbrgisch-deutsches Tageblatt, Nr. 18335,
1. Juni 1934, S. 7.
G. E. Ott, Schwarz-Wei Ausstellung des Salon oficial, in: Siebenbrgisch-deutsches
Tageblatt, Nr. 18781, 23. Nov. 1935, S. 3-4.
Aufruf an alle bildenden Knstler Rumniens, in: Siebenbrgisch-deutsches Tageblatt,
Nr. 19145, 10. Febr. 1937, S. 5; Die erste Gesamtausstellung deutscher Knstler
Rumniens, in: ebenda, Nr. 19206, 30. Apr. 1937, S. 5; Fr. v. Killyen, Erffnung
der ersten Gesamtschau deutscher Knstler in Rumnien, in: ebenda, Nr. 19212,
9. Mai 1937, S. 3.
Die Kronstdter Gesamtschau der deutschen Knstler, in: ebenda, Nr. 19673, 20.
Nov. 1938, S. 8; Herman Roth, Die zweite Gesamtschau deutscher Knstler Rumniens, in: ebenda, Nr. 19664, 10. Nov. 1938, S. 7.
Deutsche Kunst in Rumnien. Vorschau der Berliner Ausstellung heimischer Werke,
in: Sdostdeutsche Tageszeitung, Folge 224, 6. Dez. 1941, S. 4; Von der Berliner
Ausstellung Deutsche Knstler in Rumnien, in: ebenda, Folge 231, 14. Dez. 1941,
S. 5; Marianne Weingrtner, Ausstellung deutscher Knstler aus Rumnien, in: ebenda, Folge 120, 28. Mai 1942, S. 5; Josef Strobach, Die Tren zum Mutterland
geffnet. Die Ausstellung Deutsche Knstler aus Rumnien in Berlin ein voller Erfolg,
in: ebenda, Folge 176, 1. Aug. 1942, S. 5; Unsere Kunstausstellung in Stuttgart, in:
ebenda, Folge 191, S. 1; Ein Gru Saarbrckens an den Volksgruppenfhrer, in:
ebenda, Folge 234, 8. Oct. 1942, S. 2.
Kunstausstellung der Deutschen Volksgruppe. Vorschau der Ausstellung im Reich,
in: ebenda, F. 296, 21. Dez. 1943, S. 5; Die Kunstausstellung der Deutschen
Volksgruppe in Rumnien in Wien erffnet, in: ebenda, F. 64, 17. Mrz 1944, S.
3; Unsere Kunstausstellung in Breslau, in: ebenda, F. 147, 29. Juni 1944, S. 6.
Manfred Wittstock, Bildende Knstler, Kunsthandwerker und Kunstgewerbler der
Siebenbrger Sachsen in der Zwischenkriegszeit und ihre Beziehungen zum
Nationalsozialismus, in: Zeitschrift fr Siebenbrgische Landeskunde, 2/2001, S.
Mihai Nadin, Pictori din Braov, Bucureti 1975, S. 17.
Weiblicher Halbakt, l / Leinwand, 90,5 70,3 cm, monnogrammiert, nicht datiert,
Brukenthalmuseum, Inv. Nr. 2677.
Trude Schullerus 1889-1981. Eine siebenbrgische Malerin, hg. von Andreas Mckel
und Gerhard Mckel, hora Hermannstadt/Sibiu, AKSL Heidelberg 2005.
Brigitte Stephani, Eduard Morres. Ein siebenbrgischer Knstler (1884-1980),
Zeidner Nachbarschaft und AKSL e. V. Heidelberg 2006.


Margarete Depner (18851970): An Almost Forgotten Artist
Born in a good bourgeois family of Braov, a city with a considerable artistic life during the
interwar period, Margarete Scherg studied with various local artists and, after her marriage to
the reputed doctor and surgeon Wilhelm Depner, in the Budapest drawing school led by Professor
Rti. Between 1925 and 1928, she resided in Munich, studying the developments experienced
by German art, and in 1931 we find her in Berlin, in the studio of sculptor Joseph Thorak.
Then came a last study trip to Paris and, until 1944, a number of participations to official sculpture exhibitions in Bucharest. Rejecting both the experimental and the triumphalistic models,
Margarete Depner's sculpture favored the classical forms, which she transposed in creations
ranging from small busts to funeral monuments.


classical forms, sculpture, portraitist, gatherer, funeral art


Stpnirea bizantin la Dunrea de Jos
n secolele X-XII
(La domination byzantine au Bas Danube
aux Xe-XIIe sicles)
Media, Samuel, 2005

ouvrage ci-prsent est le premier dans lhistoriographie roumaine

du dbut du XXIe sicle approcher,
sur les positions de lhistoire positiviste et se servant dune riche documentation, les relations de Byzance
avec les peuples sud-est europens.
Dans sa qualit dhistorien et politologue, lauteur entreprend une dmarche interdisciplinaire qui russit
surprendre le caractre et les implications internationales de la domination byzantine au Bas Danube entre
le Xe et le XIIe sicles. Cette entreprise
vient complter les proccupations
scientifiques constantes de Vasile
Mrcule dans ce domaine, matrialises par plusieurs tudes squentielles publies dans des revues de
spcialit ou dans des volumes
Structur en six chapitres, ce livre
tmoigne dune bonne matrise de la
thmatique en discussion, le discours
mthodologique de lauteur sur-

prenant les formes spcifiques de

constitution de la domination byzantine au Bas Danube et son impact sur
les questions petchengue et bulgare.
Le premier chapitre retrace le
moment de renaissance urbaine
de lEmpire byzantine, qui a rendu
possible, en 971, lextension de sa
suprmatie jusquau Bas Danube.
Loffensive militaire et politique que
les empereurs Nicphore II Phocas
(936-969), Jean Ier Tzimisks (969976) et Basile II (976-1025) avaient
dclenche en Asie Mineure, dans les
bassins orientaux de la Mditerrane
et de la mer Noire ainsi que dans la
Pninsule Balkanique tait destine
rtablir sa suprmatie sur le plan
politique europen.
Le deuxime chapitre est un modle
dillustration rigoureuse et minutieuse
des consquences de la victoire byzantine remporte en t de 971.
Les territoires reconquis au Bas
Danube ont t organiss en une
unit administrative-territoriale
appele thme de la Msopotamie de
lOccident, dont la rsidence, DistraDorostolon, tait un important point
stratgique et urbain au Bas Danube.
Ce nouveau thme de la Msopotamie
de lOccident intgrait les rgions de
la Bulgarie de lEst et du Nord-Est,
confines par le Danube, en amont


de Drista et jusqu ses embouchures,

par les Balkans et la mer Noire. En ce
qui concerne la domination byzantine
au nord du fleuve, Vasile Mrcule est
davis que lautorit de lempire sest
limite quelques ttes de pont
fortifies, excluant toute autre domination sur les territoires limitrophes
du fleuve. La crise politique qui a
marqu le dbut du rgne de lempereur Basile II le Macdonien a
eu des consquences nfastes sur le
conflit ouvert entre lEmpire byzantin
et le Tsarat bulgare.
Dans le troisime chapitre, lhistorien
dpeint le succs de loffensive
byzantine pendant les dernires
annes du Xe sicle (aprs 997),
lorsque lEmpire byzantin a rinstall
sa suprmatie au Bas Danube. Il
expose les mcanismes de formation
de la nouvelle unit administrativeterritoriale ainsi que les rformes
entreprises durant les VIIe-Xe sicles,
qui ont rendu lempire sa vitalit
et sa capacit militaire. Lauteur est
davis que la campagne byzantine
de lan 1000 a ramen lest de la
Bulgarie et le sud de la Dobroudja
sous lautorit byzantine. Les nouvelles provinces byzantines de
Silistrie, associes celles plus anciennes du nord du Danube et de la
mer Noire, forment une seule unit
administrative-territoriale. La
conqute de la Bulgarie en 1018 par
lempereur Basile II renforce lautorit de Byzance, lempereur byzantin devenant le principal leader du
monde chrtien.

Le quatrime et le cinquime chapitres entreprennent une analyse

minutieuse de lvolution des rapports entre lEmpire byzantin et les
tats de la rgion. Aprs la conqute
et la dissolution du Tsarat de Bulgarie, le processus dorganisation administrative-territoriale des rgions du
Bas Danube connat une nouvelle
tape. Elle se prolongera jusqu la
fin du XIIe sicle, qui marque
dailleurs la fin de la domination
byzantine dans cette zone.
De 1026 1185, la politique byzantine au Bas Danube est surtout
domine par ses relations avec les
peuples turaniens : les Petchengues,
les Ouzes et les Coumans. L o la
diplomatie chouait, lempire byzantin nhsitait pas recourir la force
des armes. La victoire de lempereur
Alexis Ier Comnne en 1091
Lebounion contre les Petchengues
constitue une priode faste dans
lexistence de lEmpire byzantin.
Dans le sixime chapitre, lauteur
approche la question de la formation
du Tsarat valaquo-bulgare. La crise
dclenche par la disparition de
lempereur Manuel Ier Comnne
(1180) samplifie, culminant par la
conqute de Constantinople (1204).
Les factions politiques ont sap
lautorit centrale, les tendances
scessionnistes des populations
assujetties ainsi que les privilges
commerciaux octroys Venise et
Gnes ont aggrav la crise de lempire
et, finalement, la 4e Croisade (avril


1204) a marqu la disparition temporaire de lEmpire byzantin.

Louvrage de lhistorien Vasile
Mrcule, trs bien structur et
argument, ses sources solides, son
style moderne et lgant font de ce
livre un repre important pour tout
lecteur passionn de lhistoire de
lEmpire byzantin et de ses relations
avec les peuples du Sud-Est europen.


Globus. Zeitschrift fr deutsche

Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland
Heft 3/2007. VDA Verlags- und Vertriebs

AS HEFT 3/2007 der Vierteljahresschrift Globus hat die Deutschen

in Rumnien im Blickpunkt, und das
angesichts des krzlichen EU-Beitritts
Rumniens, dessen 18 anerkannte
Minderheiten geschtzt und parlamentarisch vertreten sind, und angesichts der Brsseler Auswahl von
Luxemburg und Hermannstadt als
Kulturhauptstdte fr das Jahr 2007.

Deshalb fragt Bodo Bost in einem

Beitrag, ob aus den beiden Sprachverwandten auch Seelenverwandte werden
knnten. Das wird wohl kaum geschehen, trotz der Casa Luxemburg

im Hermannstdter Roten Haus,

in dem das Kulturjahr koordiniert
wurde und trotz des berhmten
Spruchs Mir wlle bleiwe, wat mir sinn
(Mir wollen bleiben, was wir sind)
auf dem Luxemburger Fischmarkt
und in einem schsischen Volkslied.
Die gemeinsamen Wurzeln konnten
nicht verhindern, dass seit 1989
mehr als 80% der Siebenbrger
Sachsen von Rumnien nach Deutschland und nicht nach Luxemburg
aussiedelten. Doch angesichts der
zunehmenden Migration und der
sich stabilisierenden kleinen
deutschen Ethnie in Rumnien
bietet der gemeinsame Staatenbund
Europa heute die Mglichkeit
vieler gemeinsamer Ttigkeiten
fr Rumnien, Luxemburg und
Die Wissenschaftlerin Anneli
Ute Gabany bezieht sich in einer
synthetischen Prsentation der
Deutschen in Rumnien, insbesondere der Siebenbrger Sachsen und
der Banater Schwaben, auf den
Fortbestand der deutschen Minderheit nach einer wechselvollen
800-jhrigen Geschichte und ihrer
Diskriminierung von 1945-1989.
Das Titelbild des Heftes zeigt den
deutschen Bundesprsidenten Horst
Khler mit dem Hermannstdter
Oberbrgermeister Klaus Johannis
auf dem Gang zum Bischofspalais,
wo er sich mit Vertretern des DFDR
traf und seine Sympathie mit seiner
Herkunftsregion (seine Eltern kom-


men aus der Bukowina) und mit den

Deutschen in Rumnien bekundete.
Lars Halter berichtet von der 50.
New Yorker German-American
Steuben-Parade (nach dem preuischen General von Steuben benannt,
der General Washington untersttzte). Der aus Frth stammende
Henry Kissinger begleitete dieses
Jahr (an der Seite des deutschen
Botschafters) den Freundschaftszug
als Grand Marshal auf dieser wirtschaftlich-kulturellen Prsentation
Hans Barth erwhnt eine wissenschaftliche Tagung in Hermannstadt/Sibiu, in der an die Pioniere der
Raketentechnik Conrad Haas und
Hermann Oberth, aber auch an
Wernher von Braun gedacht wurde.
Das Oberth-Gedenkhaus in Mediasch
und das Hermann-Oberth-Raumfahrts-Museum Feucht kamen hier
zusammen, tauschten Erfahrungen
und planten gemeinsame
Swantje Volkmann vom Donauschwbischen Zentralmuseum Ulm
beschreibt den Banater Kirchenbau
im 18. Jahrhundert, der sich in den
erhaltenswerten drflichen Barockkirchen (zumeist aus der Regierungszeit Maria Theresias) und
der Wallfahrtskirche Maria Radna
darstellt. Die Dorfanlagen und
der Kirchenbau prgen die Architektur und die Kulturlandschaft

des Banats bis heute, die nur eine

staatlich gefrderte Denkmalpflege
fr die Zukunft erhalten kann.
Der Wiener Hans Dama stellt den
sptromantischen Freiheitsdichter
Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850) vor,
der im Banater Lenauheim geboren
wurde und in Oberdbling bei Wien
starb. Dama zitiert die Inschrift auf
dem Lenau-Denkmal: Mchte
wieder in die Gegend/ Wo ich einst
so selig war,/ Wo ich lebte, wo ich
trumte/ Meiner Jugend schnstes
Jahr. (Einst und jetzt) Aus Lenaus
Pendelfahrten von Wien zu seinen
schwbischen Dichterfreunden in
Stuttgart und Tbingen stammt sein
Gedicht Die Wurmlinger Kapelle
(die auch Ludwig Uhland besingt).
Seinen Erfahrungen in Ungarn und
in Amerika entspringen viele Dichtungen, die in den Poemen Faust,
Savonarola und Die Albigensern
gipfeln. Ebenso wichtig sind die
zahlreichen Zyklen seiner Naturgedichte. Obwohl Lenau heute aus
Schulbchern hufig fehlt, findet er
dennoch Eingang in neue Lyrikanthologien.
Horst Fassel prsentiert das Deutsche
Staatstheater aus Temeswar, das wie
die brigen auslandsdeutschen
Berufsbhnen (etwa in Bozen,
Szekszrd, Almaty und Hermannstadt) ohne staatliche Finanzierung
und entsprechende Zuschauerzahl um
sein berleben kmpft, aber dennoch
an seine Zukunft glaubt. Es begann


1953 als Tourneetheater, spielte nach

dem Beispiel des Wiener Volkstheaters Banater Volksstcke neben
deutschen Klassikern, Stcken aus
der Weltliteratur und dramatisierten
Mrchen. Trotz politischer Zensur
in der Ceauescu-Zeit und massiver
Abwanderung der deutschen
Zuschauer hielt sich das Theater bis
heute. Es erhielt Preise bei internationalen Festivals, setzt auf die
geschrumpfte deutsche Zuschauergruppe, hlt die Kontakte zu
deutschen und europischen
Theaterliebhabern aufrecht und
gewinnt deutsche Schauspieler
von Uni-Absolventen.
Wenngleich die Sathmarer Schwaben
gar nicht erwhnt werden, beschreibt
Josef Sallanz die Deutschen in der
Dobrudscha. Sie waren in der Mitte
des 19. Jahrhunderts als Ackerbauern
(und wenige Handwerker) aus
Bessarabien und Sdrussland eingewandert und hatten nur teilweise
deutsche Lehrer und Pfarrer; nicht
selten unterrichteten Landwirte die
Kinder. Ihre Umsiedlung wurde in
Berlin beschlossen und 1942 kamen
rund 14.000 Dobrudschadeutsche
in den Warthegau. Nach Kriegsende
flohen die meisten nach Sddeutschland und sterreich, viele in den Landkreis Heibronn. Nach 1989 wurde in
Konstanza die Vereinigung der (blo
400) Deutschen in der Dobrudscha
gegrndet. Man will in den Siedlungsorten Gedenksteine an ihren
100-jhrigen Aufenthalt errichten.

Ulrich Uhlmann bietet potenziellen

Rumnientouristen eine DVD mit
Reisen nach Siebenbrgen und
Kurmglichkeiten in Salzorten um
Sovata und Trgu-Mure (Neumarkt
am Mieresch) mit zahlreichen
Informationen an. Im Zentrum
stehen Sehenswrdigkeiten von
Schburg/Sighioara, dem siebenbrgischen Rothenburg, mit seinen
36.000 rumnischen, ungarischen
und deutschen Einwohnern. Erwhnt
werden der Stund(en)turm, das VladDracul-Haus und der Raumfahrtpionier Hermann Oberth, der hier
gewohnt und 1917 eine Rakete
(mit Alkohol und Sauerstoff) entworfen hat.
Martin Schmidt denkt an die Zukunft
der deutschen Sprache und Kultur im
Elsa, die sich auf ein elsssisches
Sonderbewusstsein, auf zweisprachige
Vereine und die Ren-SchickeleGesellschaft sttzen kann. Dennoch
hat sie im zentralistisch orientierten
Frankreich einen schweren Stand.
Es wird in dem Heft auch mitgeteilt,
dass der Verein fr deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland (VDA)
knftig mit dem Verein Deutsche
Sprache (VDS) kooperieren wird.
Dieser Verein zhlt 27.000 Mitglieder, von denen 14.000 nicht
in Deutschland leben. Er will erreichen, dass die Brger von Firmen
mtern und Behrden in deutscher
Sprache (ohne unntigen Anglizismen englische Wortgegfge)


angesprochen werden und dass die

deutsche Sprache im Grundgesetzt
verankert wird.
Es wird auch mitgeteilt, dass Ernst
Meinhardt, Hrfunkjournalist bei der
Deutschen Welle Berlin den Frderpreis des Donauschwbischen Kulturpreises 2007 fr seine Reportagen
gewonnen hat. Man erfhrt weiter-

hin, dass erfolgreiche Schleraustausche zwischen Chile und

Saarbrcken stattfinden die
es auch zwischen Deutschland und
Rumnien sowie Deutschland und
Ungarn gibt.



Researcher at the Romanian Academys George

Bari Institute of History
11 Napoca St., Cluj-Napoca 400088, Romania



Lecturer at the Faculty of History of Bucharest

412 Regina Elisabeta Blvd., Bucharest 030018,

Professor at the Faculty of Letters of Babe-Bolyai

31 Horea St., Cluj-Napoca 400038, Romania

RODICA IANO, Ph.D. candidate







Teaching assistant at the Faculty of Letters

of Babe-Bolyai University
31 Horea St., Cluj-Napoca 400038, Romania
Professor at the Mihai Viteazu Gymnasium
57 George Bariiu St., Cmpia Turzii 405100,
Lecturer at the Faculty of History of Bucharest
412 Regina Elisabeta Blvd., Bucharest 030018,


Professor at Petru Maior University

1 Nicolae Iorga St., Trgu-Mure 540088, Romania


23 Elly-Heuss-Knapp St., Tbingen 72072,


Faculty of History of Babe-Bolyai University

1 Koglniceanu St., Cluj-Napoca 400084, Romania
Researcher at the Socio-Human Institute
of Romanian Academy
24 Victoriei Blvd., Sibiu 550024, Romania
Researcher at the Romanian Academys George
Bari Institute of History
11 Napoca St., Cluj-Napoca 400088, Romania
Researcher at the Romanian Academys
A. D. Xenopol Institute of History
15 Lascr Catargi St., Iai 700107, Romania


Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences,

Bucharest University
412 Regina Elisabeta Blvd., Bucharest 030018,


Associate professor at the University of Oradea

1 Universitii St., Oradea 410087, Romania