The foundation of the feudal ‘Danubian Principalities’ of Wallachia and Moldavia in the late 13th and early 14th centuries marks the beginning of modern Romania. The nobility acted as the Turks’ agents until 1711 when, suspected of pro-Russian sentiments, they were replaced by Greek merchant adventurers, the Phanariots. The Phanariot period of ruthless extortion and corruption was ameliorated by Russian influence. Between 1829 and 1834 the foundations of the modern state were laid but Russian interference soon became repressive. The Moldavian and Wallachian assemblies were fused in 1862. In 1866 Carol of Hohenzollern came to the throne and a constitution adopted based on that of Belgium of 1831. Romania was formally declared independent by the Treaty of Berlin of 1878.
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