Presentation on theme: "Alexandru Ioan Cuza (20 March 1820 – 15 May 1873) was a Romanian politician who ruled as the first Prince of the United Principalities of Wallachia and."— Presentation transcript:
Alexandru Ioan Cuza (20 March 1820 – 15 May 1873) was a Romanian politician who ruled as the first Prince of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866. He remained in our history as an important figure also for the series of reforms he initiated that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and of state structures.
Cuza was elected independently by popular vote in both Moldavia (on the 5th January 1859) and Wallachia (on the 24th, which is celebrated today as the day of the Union of the two Principalities). The name of the new country became Romania and the capital was set in Bucharest. This became the basis for the Romanian nation-state.
This is whatRomania looked like after the Union of the Two Principalities. (the section in WHITE)
Cuza’s name can be associated with a series of reforms realized among the seven years under his reign that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and state structures. The 1864 Land Reform was the first one in Romania. It came on the heels of the secularization of monastery estates, achieved in December 1863 at Mihail Kogălniceanu's initiative and taking over a quarter of the land owned by the Orthodox Church. The question of Land Reform was an essential point of Cuza's political program, and he and Kogălniceanu had wider aims: the abolition of compulsory labour and the establishment of private small holdings.
Cuza's reforms also included the adoption of the Criminal Code and the Civil Code based on the Napoleonic code (1864), a Law on Education -establishing tuition-free-, compulsory public education for primary schools (1864; the system, nonetheless, suffered from drastic shortages in allocated funds). He founded the University of Iaşi (1860) and the University of Bucharest (1864), and helped the development of a modern European-style Romanian Army, under a working relationship with France. His reforms had a modern and European character.
There are two pictures by Theodor Aman, The Union of the Principalities (1857) on the left side and Proclamation of the Moldo-Wallachian union on the right side.
In our city, we have a museum known as Cuza Voda House. It’s a memorial house hosting a permanent exhibition dedicated to the prince, which has the quality of reconstructing the Galati ambience at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Alexandru Ioan Cuza lived in this building between 1844 and 1859, while he was the president of the Court of Justice.
Cuza remained in the conscience of his epoch not only due to his qualities, his dedication, skills and patriotism shown in administrating the country and fulfillment of the national program, but mostly because of the importance of the Union, and of the period which, beyond doubt, ranks among the most beautiful pages of the national history.