The Romanian Constitution of 1866. Modernism and European Spirit Cover Image

Constitutia Romanesca de la 1866. Modernism si Spirit European
The Romanian Constitution of 1866. Modernism and European Spirit

Author(s): Marius Hriscu
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Editura Lumen, Asociatia Lumen
Keywords: Constitution; Romania; national sovereignty; separation of power in the state; European spirit

Summary/Abstract: On the 29th of June / 11th of July 1866 the Constituent Assembly passed a new Constitution, inspired by the Belgian Constitution of the 7th of February 1831. The Constitution was promulgated by Carol the 1st on the 30th of June 1866 and entered into force on the 1st of July 1866. It was the first internal Romanian Constitution, regarded as one of the most liberal of Europe, but adapted to the realities of the Romanian life. The document sanctioned the indivisible character of the Romanian state, which from now was named Romania. Since it embodied the principle of national sovereignty, the Constitution of 1866 stood for the political and juridical form of manifestation of the Romanian independence in the framework of the international relationships. Romania was transforming from an elective monarchy to a hereditary monarchy. The separation of power in the state is another important principle. The means of recruiting and creation of the electoral organization was based on censitary and capacitary vote. The electorate was divided into four boards, depending on the income, job and office, system predominating in the European countries of those times. The Constitution was based on another principle of European inspiration according to which “the sovereign rules but does not govern”. Another important fact was to promulgate the Constitution without the approval of the Guaranteeing Powers. Furthermore, it did not mention the subordination to the Ottoman Empire, and the official name of the United Principalities was replaced by that of Romania. On the basis of the Constitution of 1866, a sustained parliamentary life carried out in Romania. The Constitution gradually contributed to the democratization of the state and society institutions and to the cultivation of the individuals’ civic spirit, facilitating, at the same time, the open confrontation of the political views both within the parliamentary debates and through the printed media. The fundamental act of 1866 caused the appearance and consolidation of the Romanian parliamentary political parties and groups.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 05
  • Page Range: 346-354
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Romanian