Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
brave ally who had saved her honour, if not the integrity of her empire?  Whatever she may think, the joy-bells would have rung throughout a great portion of Europe, and certainly the party then dominant in England would have rejoiced exceedingly, if she had been driven back over the Pruth, and had been compelled to busy herself with much-needed reforms in her own country instead of meddling with the affairs of her neighbours and seeking to extend her already overgrown possessions.

The war was never popular with the masses in Roumania, and although, at the opening of the Chambers in November 1877, the royal speech predicted that the fall of Plevna would mean a complete emancipation for Roumania, much uneasiness prevailed concerning the designs of Russia—­uneasiness which was justified by subsequent events.  On December 17, a load having been lifted from the mind of the nation by the surrender of Osman Pasha, there was great rejoicing at Bucarest on the occasion of the Czar’s visit.  He was on his way to St. Petersburg to receive the congratulations of his subjects, having left Plevna behind him, ‘full of horrors.’  He is dead now, but his son and all princes who live by the sword would do well to peruse and reperuse the accounts of the tragical scenes that the victors left upon the battle-field when they departed to receive the ovations of the fickle populace.  The Roumanians feted their victorious allies, to whom it must be admitted that we have here done ample justice in all their proceedings.  But they were the same Russians who, under Peter the Great, were reported to have stolen the boots from the feet of their sleeping hosts; the same whose hands the Roumanians had kissed when in 1829 they had released them from the Turkish yoke; who it 1853 overran the Principalities with a view to their permanent occupation, and who a few months after the events above recorded betrayed their allies, and, for the risk they had run of once more sacrificing their national existence, deprived them of Southern Bessarabia, a province inhabited almost entirely by Roumanians.

Still the war brought its compensating advantages.  The Dobrudscha which the Roumanians received in exchange for Bessarabia, is proving a more valuable acquisition both for trade and for strategical purposes than was at first anticipated.

The Treaty of San Stephano, which was executed between Russia and Turkey on February 19 [March 3], 1878, and was practically confirmed by the Berlin Conference, contained amongst its other provisions this one (part of Article V.):  ’The Sublime Porte recognises the independence of Roumania, which will establish its right to an indemnity to be discussed between the two countries;’ and (part of Article XII.):  ’All the Danubian strongholds shall be razed.  There shall be no strongholds in future on the banks of this river, nor any men-of-war in the waters of the Principalities of Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria, except the usual stationnaires and the small

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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