In 1863 Rumania was a principality ruled since 1859 by the hospodar Alexandra Ioan Cuza (overthrown in 1866) under nominal Turkish suzerainty. It consisted of the two principalities of Wallachia (capital, Bucharest) and Moldavia (capital, Jassy), which in 1861 had been united under the name of Rumania. The combined legislative assemblies had met on 5 Feb. 1862 as the first diet of Rumania. A new constitution, adopted by plebiscite in May 1864, and liberal agrarian laws tried to curb the power of the boyars. The area of Rumania was 44,520 sq. miles, the population numbered slightly over 4m., including 400,000 Jews and 200,000 gipsies; the first census held in Wallachia in 1860 gave 2,400,921, including 124,734 inhabitants of Bucharest. The finances were in complete disorder, although the budget nominally balanced at about 164m. piastres (£2·4m.); the public debt was increasing at an alarming rate. The annual tribute to the Turkish Sultan was 8,000 purses (£40,000).
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Books of Reference
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