Napoléon III, Europe and the formation of the Romanian national state (1853-1870) Cover Image
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Napoléon III, L’Europe et la formation de l’État National Roumain moderne (1853-1870)
Napoléon III, Europe and the formation of the Romanian national state (1853-1870)

Author(s): Iulian Oncescu
Subject(s): History
Published by: Editura Cetatea de Scaun
Keywords: Napoleon III; France; Europe; Romania; Alexandru Ioan Cuza; Carol I

Summary/Abstract: The reopening of the Oriental Crisis, with the launching of the Crimean War (1853-1856), brought the Romanian Principalities situation on the close-up of the European attention. The Peace Congress from Paris (1856), besides the fact that discussed the Romanian Principalities situation as a component of the Oriental Crisis solution, it revealed a new disposal in the alliance system initiated during the Crimean War. Between 1856 and 1859, the Principalities Unification remained in the attention of the European diplomacy and public opinion. France and its Emperor Napoleon III, supported it on the European stage, as a terminus objective of his policy in South-East Europe. The gratitude of the Romanians, officially expressed by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, was real and strong, and Napoleon III its first beneficiary. The Unification of the Romanian Principalities appeared as his first great act in applying the nationalities principle. In the same time, France was the European power that constantly supported the Union and the Romanian Nation elected in the period 1859-1866. It represented the most significant moral and material support in the edification process of the modern Romanian national state. At the beginning of the year 1866, the Oriental politics of France was still effective and consistent. Carol I was obviously more decided to do some independence gestures, even though his enthroning in Romania had the support of Napoleon III. The rising of Prussia on the European stage in 1866 reoriented the French policy toward Austria. At the beginning of the year 1867, the attitude of the unfavorable circles from Paris was visible, and with the year 1868, the crisis in the relations with France reached its culminant point. The estrangement of France from Romania constituted a fact, while the Romanians were finding out, in 1867, that in his orientation toward Austria, Napoleon III, in order to counterbalance Prussia’s influence, offered at the meeting from Salzburg the United Principalities (Romania) to Austro-Hungary, as compensation for strengthening the alliance with Vienna. Due to prudence, as long as the European situation remained mostly unchanged, the efforts and the concessions of the Romanian officials to maintain the good relations with France, did not have the expected results. At the beginning of 1870, the French policy became unpredictable. It proved to be rather inactive after 1871 in Orient. In Romania’s case, it was full of reproaches, suspicions, because Paris did not pursued future objectives and stakes anymore. Its own internal problems, but also the influences of Austro-Hungary, Russia and Germany on external plan, regarding Orient until 1878, encouraged France to abandon the Oriental zone, and implicitly the former interests regarding Romania.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 15-34
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: French