Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
In the Senate, out of seventy-six members only about sixteen or eighteen are in opposition.  This is not altogether to be regretted; such disparities do not last long, and whilst on the one hand criticism of the mistakes or misconduct of Government officials (and more particularly against sub-officials, who are often charged with grave offences) is now confined chiefly to the press, on the other hand a little constitutional despotism is very much needed, not only to correct such abuses promptly, but also to hasten the necessary reforms and to ameliorate the condition of the country.  This is the result of personal observation and contact with official life, and not a mere speculative opinion.]

II.

Let us now consider the circumstances which lately enabled Roumania to throw off the last traces of her vassalage, and to take her place in the comity of European nations; and with a brief narrative of those events we must bring this imperfect outline of her past history to a close.  The story of the last Russo-Turkish war must be within the memory of all our readers who take the slightest interest in Oriental politics.  How Russia, chafing under the restrictions which had been put upon her by the Treaty of Paris, had succeeded in obtaining a modification of that treaty, which gave her once more the right of entrance into the Black Sea; how, resuming her favourite role of protectress of the Christian inhabitants of Turkey, she intervened in the affairs of those nations who stood between her and Constantinople; how the Servians and Montenegrins, incited by her, rose in revolt, and the Bulgarians followed suit; how the European Powers, sympathising with Turkey on the one hand, in consequence of the renewed machinations and transparent designs of her powerful northern enemy, and on the other despairing of her on account of the barbarities with which she endeavoured to quell the rising in her vassal provinces, the inherent weakness of her rule, and the bankrupt condition of her finances, they were compelled at length to leave her at the mercy of her foe.  To repeat the narrative of these would be telling an oft-told tale.  But when, after the final break-up of the Conference of Constantinople in January 1877, the Cross and the Crescent were once more opposed to each other, and when the Russian forces were massed on the eastern bank of the Pruth, then came the moment at which it behoved the newly-liberated nation, which had so often been the victim of the ‘holy’ strife, to decide on which side it would array itself.  Indeed, Roumania had little choice in the matter; the critics who have censured her policy, and have charged her with breach of faith towards her suzerain the Porte (and we know there are many such in this country), cannot have carefully considered her past history; nor have reflected upon the position in which she was placed.[173] As a matter of preference, the young nation which was about being dragged into

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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