Russia on the Danube: Empire, Elites, and Reform in Moldavia and Wallachia, 1812–1834
Central European University Press, 30 apr. 2021 - 430 sidor
One of the goals of Russia's Eastern policy was to turn Moldavia and Wallachia, the two Romanian principalities north of the Danube, from Ottoman vassals into a controllable buffer zone and a springboard for future military operations against Constantinople. Russia on the Danube describes the divergent interests and uneasy cooperation between the Russian officials and the Moldavian and Wallachian nobility in a key period between 1812 and 1834. Victor Taki's meticulous examination of the plans and memoranda composed by Russian administrators and the Romanian elite underlines the crucial consequences of this encounter. The Moldavian and Wallachian nobility used the Russian-Ottoman rivalry in order to preserve and expand their traditional autonomy. The comprehensive institutional reforms born out of their interaction with the tsar's officials consolidated territorial statehood on the lower Danube, providing the building blocks of a nation state. The main conclusion of the book is that although Russian policy was driven by self-interest, and despite the Russophobia among a great part of the Romanian intellectuals, this turbulent period significantly contributed to the emergence, several decades later, of modern Romania.
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