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Why Did the Socialist Movement Fail in Modern Romania?


After the 23rd of August 1944, one of the decisive moments on addressing the change of the contemporary Romanian policy course, became evident that the new political power was to be legitimated by supporting the thesis of the secular fight that the peasants had been involved in for their social rights, meaning that, in 1944, the Romanian working class was not even a century old, the industrialisation developing in Romania after 1878, and progressing after the Great Depression from 1929-1933.

There was mentioned in a previous article (Nacu, 2017: 22-24) that the socialist movement in Romania began at the end of the 19th century, the socialists managing to obtain even few mandates in the 3rd College of the Deputy Assembly.

The newspaper "Adevarul", led by Constantin Mille had preserved ample space for the advice on addressing the health of the people living in villages, especially the women and children. Thus, the women were advised to air and clean the rooms, to whitewash the walls. Moreover, there was recommended the keeping of the hygiene by washing, especially in the summer, when the water was easier warmed. In the yards, there was recommended the planting of fruit bearing trees, and in the small gardens vegetables.

The workers from the industry had received the recommendation to drink milk, although it was difficult to obtain it from the markets, the workers labouring, many times, even 12-14 hours per day (Hitchins, 1994: 363- 364).

Nonetheless, these newspapers did not have much influence in the world of the Romanian village. First of all, the illiteracy had reached high rates (the reform of education, imposed by Cuza, knew the first attempt of amendment at the end of the 19th century, through Spiru Haret), the money was scarce, in the rural areas the exchange was in the form of the barter (a product for another product), thus very few people could afford a newspaper subscription (Scurtu, 2001:55).

Changes in the world of the Romanian village and in the incipient Romanian industry

Furthermore, the agrarian reform of Cuza and its later regulations on addressing the regime of the landed property had maintained the peasants basically in economic dependence on the landholders from the nearby regions. The plots of land received during the ruling of Cuza had to be paid by indemnification, the lack of money determining the peasants to resort either to loans, or the work on the boyars' estates (Nacu, 2013: 9). Those who had been able to pay for the plots, even if they could not sell them for a period of time, halved them, or reduced them in thirds or quarters, according to the number of their children (the average family, in the modern age was made of 6-8 people- mother, father, four children and two older people), the land being the type of dowry especially desired when the marriages were contracted, even for peasants, not only for boyars.

The industrial development had absorbed an important share of the landless peasants, who had left to the city, but many of them intended to return when they would have earned enough money to buy a plot of land and agricultural implements.

The emerging of the rural credits had not enjoyed the presumed success, therefore the money lenders had thrived, owing to the fact that they gave credits easier, but in case the peasants did not pay their debts and the interest, they lost the land (Berindei, 2003: 57-65).

Moreover, while the economy was evolving, the boyars who had a certain style and conception on life, investing in the acquisition of land (the extensive agriculture was dominating the intensive agriculture) and less the mechanised farming inventor, were resorting to the seasonal work (generally, the peasants who used to come from the mountain areas where the land was scarce), while for the administration of the estates they would request the help of the leaseholder. The leaseholder was either a man educated in the field, either a money lender who had decided to offer the lease (rent) requested for the specific estate.

In general, the sons of the boyars were opting for liberal professions that would ensure a careless living in the urban centres, only few of them would choose agronomical studies. And even if a young boyar would come up with ideas on addressing the mechanisation of the agriculture, he would face the opposition of his father, who would depend much on the badly paid work of the peasants from the areas where he owned the estates (Nacu, 2013: 10). Furthermore, many boyars had seen their officer sons, in the Army, Gendarmerie, magistrates, and, if inheriting the wealth after the death of the parents, they would not have been able to manage the business, preferring a leaseholder, instead of depending on a personal administrator, who would need a boyar, in case of any decision that needed to be made (Berindei, 2003: 51-53).

Yet, the increase in size of the leaseholders category was also caused by the fact that the boyars, most of the times, in order to provide the dowry of the girls or the education of the boys, used to borrow money from the money lenders, basing their decision on the abundance of the future wheat or corn crops, but sometimes the weather would impede with their former plan, leading to delays when paying the debts, or the interest. The rising of the debt would make the boyar surrender easily in front of the leaseholder's pressure, a money lender himself, or previously making an arrangement with a money lender. Thus, the boyar would agree with leaving the estate to be administrated by the leaseholder, instead of the debt. There ought to be mentioned the fact that some boyars had become addicted to gambling, had initiated temporary relationships with young models, artists, show girls, new worlds that were merely at their beginning, and, from the desire to make a strong impression, they would resort to loans, sometimes uncovered. Followed by the money lenders and the banks, many of them would lease the estates on almost nothing, or even sell them for very little money.

Obviously, the most affected category was that of the peasants, because the owners, who had the right to vote for the Parliament, or could even be elected or appointed in positions of mayors, prefects, deputy prefects, were directly or indirectly legislating according to the interest of their social category. Thus, having the law on their side, the owners and the leaseholders could manoeuvre the legislative and administrative environment according to their wishes, which transformed the peasants in sure victims.

The boyars (and less the leaseholders) were preoccupied to create on their estates the feeling of connection with the peasants, occurring more from the medieval tradition of the ruler, "the father of the nation". Thus, the boyars, besides the donations to the village church (they were gaining the respect of the peasants), used to be the godparents of the poor peasants, giving their blessing for the marriages, even between men and women from neighbouring estates (in agreement with the other owner), used to help the rural schools (primary education was free, but the books would sometimes lack, and the teachers, most of the times, used to buy them for the poor children, who proved willing to learn).

The factory owners also used to attract the well prepared apprentices and the journeymen to put them in school, in the country or abroad, in order to increase the quality of the production (Berindei, 2003: 65-69).

Thus, these situations were not predominant, there was created a de facto, moral alliance between the boyar/owner and their peasants/workers. The priest of the village was also acting as a mediator (obviously more on the side of the boyar), teaching the people at the church about the fact that, respecting the boyar, they would show respect to God.

It must not be forgotten that there was a hierarchy in the world of the village, there were the first, the average and the last peasants. In the village world, many of them had attended, at the most, four primary classes, as a consequence of the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza's reform. The only ones who would hope for education over this level were, first of all, the sons and the daughters of the village teachers, who were usually following the footsteps of their parents. The gendarmes who would ensure the public order, the military men from the units of the Army would direct their children towards the military schools, generically called "Schools of the officers' sons. The priests and the parish clerks would send their children to the theological seminary schools. There were also cases, few nonetheless, of hard-working children, both from poor and wealthy families who would send their children to the schools outside the village, to theological seminary schools, to military schools. As a rule, the boys had more advantages, because the girls, after the age of 13-14, had to marry, the wealthier peasants wishing, in this way, to unite their assets through marriage, the sons and the daughters of boyars could attend high-school classes, pension schools, and even faculties, including abroad. There were many families of boyars from the rural areas who would prefer to bring a private teacher on their property, who would teach their children basic scientific knowledge, but especially foreign languages, French, and also English and German being at the top of their preferences (Berindei, 2003: 32-36).

The great mass of the peasant children had to work the land, the skilful ones being able to do a job (as a mason, carpenter, lumber, tailor, furrier, brandy maker, inn keeper, trader). The apprenticeship period was carried out "for profit", that is the young people were sent to the proprietors of inns, shops, workshops, having an apprenticeship period full of privations. The same fate were expecting the children of the workers from the cities too, the boys going to the factories, and the girls to schools of housewifery, tailoring, sanitary schools.

Many times, the apprentices were running from their masters, going to factories or to the railroad company, a permanently developing area, where there was earned more money, although the work was harder.

The parliamentary failure of the Romanian socialists (1888-1903)

The right to vote was based on qualifications, the Constitution from 1866 provisioning that people could vote in the four electoral colleges, the last colleges, III and IV (united through the electoral reform from 1884 as college III) being made of the small proprietors, respectively the peasants with land, who would vote indirectly, choosing delegates.

Evidently, when the socialist circles appeared, at the end of the 19th century, the activists had a very wide public that could be lured. Only that, this public, active in their work, could not be active politically, lacking their right to universal voting. The socialists had developed, especially after the revolt from 1888, which did not have the amplitude of that from 1907.

The Romanian socialists had not yet left the high spheres of the elitism. Having as models the occidental socialist fight (even in the Russian Narodism), the socialists resorted only to press campaigns, publishing newspapers, leaflets (the pressmen being able to print, clandestinely, these publications, collecting their own money, or using, without having the right, the raw material from the newspapers contracted by the owners of the presses). "Tipograful roman", in 1865, can be considered the first socialist newspaper (Staiculescu, 2005:1-3). By 1914, the number of the publications, as mentioned previously, had increased. There was also a tendency, among some of the press owners, who would publish these newspapers and leaflets, when the liberals were opposing, in order to put pressure on the conservatives, and without implying them directly, but even then, the owners would charge the few socialists with potential.

Socialist views, and somehow hostile to the Russian Narodism, had also numerous activists from Bessarabia, such as Constantin Stere, one of the founders, along Garabet Ibraileanu (considered the father of populism), of "Viata Romaneasca" magazine. There appeared literary currents, following the model of "junimismului" (youth): "gandirismul" (thinkers), "samanatorismul" (semanantorism), "poporanismul" (populism). Yet, Nicolae Iorga, a young historian, promotor of "samanatorism" current, evolved from an intellectual with Marxist views, towards a promotor of the nationalism, even with extreme tendencies, accentuated in the inter-war period.

In the period July 1881-May 1891, Ioan Nadejde and Vasile G. Mortun led "Contemporanul" literary magazine (Hitchins, 1994: 363- 364).

In 1887, at Iasi, it took place an ample manifestation, organised by the Conservative Opposition, whose target was King Carol I. Vasile G. Mortun appealed to few socialist students, to the workers from the industrial areas of Iasi, Tatarasi and Nicolina, organising a counter-demonstration, therefore supporting the King Carol I, and publishing a manifest in which there was justified this political option. From here, there seemed to always be a close relation between the Romanian socialists and liberals.

Vasile G. Mortun and Ioan Nadejde had succeeded in obtaining the mandates of deputies at College II from Roman (1888, 1891, 1895), and respectively College III. And yet, why once arrived on the desks of the Deputy Assembly, their discourse did not convince? First of all, the peasant voters were lured, by the landlords from the area, towards a specific delegate, who was the "man of the boyar". The same was happening with the small proprietors from the urban areas, because the production network was uniting them with the interests of the great proprietors and bankers. Thus, the conservatives, in the rural areas, and the liberals in the urban areas, had the monopole of the reformative initiatives, which, although they were scarce and were advancing with difficulty towards the form of laws, did not lack. Ioan Nadejde and Vasile G. Mortun militated for the introduction of the universal vote (Ibraileanu, 1968: 335-337).

In 1895, the governmental rotation, that is the assuming of the governing, successively, by the liberals and conservatives, was reserving the act of governing to the two movements, which, although opposed, did not lack associations with some other currents. Thus, Junimists would present the progressive side of the conservatives, while the "honest liberals were adopting certain socialist principles.

The law of the Sunday rest (1897, remodified in 1910), Missir law (the law of professions - 1902), which provoked an international scandal, after the accusations that it discriminated the Jew craftsmen, certain laws from the educational range (Spiru Haret reform), agricultural (Agricultural Credit), economic (the law of subsoil resources) and medical (the care of injured workers) were opening the way for the economic categories, significant in number, but without economic potential, towards an improvement of the situation (Nacu, 2017:22-26).

Another problem for the socialists was that, permanently, the conservatives and the liberals were accusing them of relating to the socialist agitators, expulsed from Russia, Constantin Dobrogeanu Gherea, doctor Russel and others.

Zamfir Arbore (a Romanian intellectual and fighter from Bessarabia) unmasked and published in "Telegraful" newspaper, in 1887, very conclusive data on the Russian espionage agency that was acting in the Russian Legation from Bucharest, led by M.A. Hitrovo, publishing in the newspaper the list with the names, addresses, conspiring houses and the sums of money that each influential Russian agent was receiving.

Practically, this major misunderstanding hurried the end of the short socialist parliamentary life. As mentioned before, the Social-Democrat Party of the Workers from Romania was created on the 31st of March 1893, they people who laid the foundation being practically from two groups, one of the "generous": Vasile G. Mortun (chief of "the group of the generous since 1895"), Ioan Nadejde, Sofia Nadejde (sister of the painter Octav Bancila and wife of Ioan Nadejde) and one of the "radical activists" (many of them from Russia: Constantin Dobrogeanu Gherea, Cristian Rakowski, Ilie Moscovici, Ion C. Frimu, Dimitrie Marinescu, Gheorghe Cristescu, Mihail Gheorghiu-Bujor (Nacu, 2013: 315). The first category preferred to migrate towards the liberals: "the Generous" of Vasile G. Mortun reached the liberal party on the 9th of February 1899, and Ioan Nadejde in 1903.

The second category (except for Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea and Ion C. Frimu, who died in prison in 1919) wished to adopt the socialist model from Russia, which was embracing the idea of revolution, the overthrowing of order, including through anarchist movements. Rakowski reached after 1918 "the banner of Bolshevism" (Mitican, 1983:184,185), and Gheroghe Cristescu-Plapumarul and Mihai Bujor laid the foundation of the Communist Party from Romania, on the 8th of May 1921, as a section of the Socialist International, respecting the indications of the Bolshevik Party from Moscow, which was aiming including the dismemberment of Romania (declared illegal in 1921).

The Romanian elite started, helped by the encouragements of the Romanian Royal Family, to promote certain folk traditions, to portray the Romanian peasant in art, literature, Princess Mary, the future Queen Mary of Romania, promoting the Romanian traditional costume, for her and for the ladies of her entourage. Alexandru Vlahuta published "Picturesque Romania", a work written as a travelling journal, but in a profoundly literary style.

The surviving of the socialist ideas and actions (1903-1918)

Left in 1899 from PSDMR (Social Democratic Workers Party from Romania), Vasile G. Mortun permanently communicated with his friend and "fight comrade" Ioan Nadejde. Vasile G. Mortun had taken drama courses in Paris, literature courses at Brussels, although he did not take the licence degree exam.

In 1901, helped by Nadejde, he managed to obtain a new mandate in College II Roman, on the lists of PNL (National Liberal Party). Vasile G. Mortun obtained, due to the results of PNL, the position of vice-president of the Deputy Chamber. In 1907, on the 12th of March, Vasile G. Mortun became the Minister of Public Works, a dignity that he had until the 28th of December 1901. Thus, during the revolt, when the conservatives ran for the mandate, the liberals entrusted a former PSDMR the mandate of minister in the field in which Ion I C Bratianu had started his career as a minister. The actions of minister Vasile G. Mortun were directed towards the modernisation of the transport legislation, on roads, but also on railways and water. Ioan Nadejde, also coming from PNL, was appointed representative of the Romanian Government, at the resort ministries from France, Switzerland and Germany, in order to study the legislative systems of transports from the countries where the railway, road and navigable canals networks were extended. The two managed to impose in Romania the resting homes for the railway workers (the German model) and the medical and social insurances for the workers (the Swiss model).

The revolt from 1907 represents the moment in which the end of the incipient before-war Romanian socialism was hurried (Nacu, 2017:27-29). The socialist militants accused Bratianu government (Ionel Bratianu also had the Internal Affairs portfolio) of extreme repression, the socialist press publishing that there had been 10,000 dead people among the peasants, more than in the official version (under 500 dead). King Carol I himself, who, in 1906, had celebrated 40 years of ruling ("The Royal Jubilee"), declared that there had been "several thousands".

Beyond the interpretation of the 1907 moment, it is clear that the socialist teachings had been spread in villages by many socialist students. At Pascani, in Moldova, a train with arrested peasants was stopped by the railway workers, who freed the prisoners and tries to oppose the forces of order.

Certainly, some measures, lacking substance and being taken by the liberals and conservatives after 1907, were present nonetheless, but in 1910 Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea was talking about the "new-serfdom" (Dobrogeanu-Gherea, 1988, III: 498), resulted from the manoeuvring of agricultural agreement contracts, in the interest of the proprietors.

Orleanu Law (or "the villainous law") introduced the interdiction of the protest movements, in 1910, touching in this way the socialist activism (Dohotaru, 2013:1-4).

In the same year, on the 31st of January 1910, the socialists founded a new party, the Romanian Democrat Social Party (PSDR), made of Ion C. Frimu, Mihail Gheorghiu-Bujor, Cristian Rakowski, Dimitrie Marinescu, Constantin Vasilescu.

The leaseholders continued to prosper, associating with the people who managed the capitals, corn dealers, being interested in laws favourable to raw material exports, and less the processing of it in the country.

In 1912, Vasile G. Mortun tried, successfully, to guide many industrial workers towards the Liberal National Party, due to the fact that the socialists had oriented towards anarchism and the revolutionary spirit that began to gain even greater importance in the Tsarist Russia.

Although of a quiet old age, when Romania declared war to Bulgaria, in 1913, Vasile G. Mortun enlisted voluntarily within a military unit from Roman (Regiment 14 Roman), being promoted by King Carol I, on the battle field, to the rank of sergeant. He also obtained mandates of member of the parliament, including member of the Romanian Senate.

Vasile G. Mortun obtained an important portfolio in the Romanian Government, Minister of the Internal Affairs, on the 4th of January 1914, a position that he held until the 10th of December 1916. His name is among the participants to the famous Crown Councils from the 21st of July 1914 (neutrality) and the 14th of August 1916 (participation to war).

In the refuge from Iasi, Vasile G. Mortun occupied the position of President of the Deputy Chamber, and in 1916-1917 he presided at the Constituent Assembly, formed with the purpose of adopting the electoral and agrarian reforms, which were exactly the reforms for which he fought all his life, as a socialist.

His death, which occurred prematurely on the 30th of July 1919, did not allow him to see these reforms materialised, after the war, in 1919, respectively 1921 (Berindei, 2003: 59).

Thus, on the 6th of December 1918, although few days since the entering in Bucharest of the Romanian Army (1st of December 1918), the typographers from "Sfetea" and "Minerva" workshops organised a strike, expressing wage and social claims. It was obvious that the internal economic situation was disastrous, after the two years of systematic plunder of the German and Bulgarian occupation troops, which led to the rejection of the list of claims. Ion C. Frimu, Gheorhe Cristescu, Cristian Rakowski (political activists), Iancu Luchwig (typographer), Sami Steinberg (typographer), Marcus Iancu (shoe-maker), Marcel Blumenfeld (compositor), Ilie Moscovici, D. Pop (political activists) were credited as being the authors of the general strike of the 13th/26th of December 1918. Almost 600 workers (besides the typographers who came, and other workers from Bucharest) shouted slogans against the King, requesting a republic, while marching towards the National Theatre Square. The Prime Minister Ionel Bratianu answered the report of general Margineanu, giving authorisation to the minister of the Internal Affairs, George Marzescu, to open fire. The manifestation was precluded with gunfire, 16 workers died, other 100 being wounded. The socialists declared later that the number of the dead was of 102, and the wounded of few hundreds (Mamina&Scurtu, 1996: 29).

The following investigation brought forward much evidence, according to which, the manifestation of the typographs would have been transformed towards a Bolshevik revolution, because, among the demonstrators, there were seen Alecu Constantinescu, Jacques Konitz, I.S. Dimitriu, Alexandru Bogdan, well-known Bolshevik agitators, and the policemen and the agents of Security would have discovered, in one of the socialists' main headquarters, a manifest that was instigating to violent overthrowing of the Government. There were arrested the agitators and hundreds of workers. In February 1919, the agitators received 5 years of detention, and the rest of the workers were amnestied, for not aggravating the situation, due to the worsening of the economic situation of Romania, after the war. Constantin Titel Petrescu, Toma Dragu, N.D. Cocea, Constantin Mille, Radu Rosetti, famous socialists became advocates of the workers, managing to fight against the royal prosecutor, meaning that the charge of conspiracy could be considered only in the case of the communist agitators, and not of the arrested workers.

Ion C. Frimu, badly wounded, beaten as instigator in the Police arrest, died on the 6th/19th of February 1919, in Vacaresti prison. He became the first great socialist martyr, his tomb was positioned in the exterior semi-circle of the Communist Heroes Mausoleum, built after 1944, in Park Carol from Bucharest. I.C. Frimu borrowed his name to a factory from Sinaia, and several streets from Romania (Mamina&Scurtu, 1996: 30-31).

Lawyer Constantin Titel Petrescu was remarked as a socialist solicitor, defending the socialist militant Alexandru Nicolau, in 1911, and criticising the incompetence from the Romanian Army (the military campaign from 1913 cost the lives of 5,500 military men, who had died not in combat but because of the dysentery epidemic outbreak), which was giving a clue about the deficiencies that led to the defeat from 1916. He defended the workers who had been arrested after the strike from the 13th of December 1918.

Constantin Mille was one of the publicist participants who militated in favour of the human rights, with strong socialist opinions.

Radu Rosetti, deputy of Falciu, College III, after 1891, prefect of Roman, Braila, director of the prisons in 1895, chief of "Special and historical works" department of the Ministry of External Affairs, member of the frontier regulation commission with Hungary, despite his noble origin, supported the cause of the socialists, writing papers on the peasant problem, defending, as lawyer, the socialists workers, in 1981.

N. D. Cocea, publicist, lawyer, was also an active supporter of the Romanian socialists that he defended in December 1918, declaring himself an admirer of Vladimir Ilici Lenin.

What did the communists preserve in historiography within the period 1944-1989?

The historiography from the communist period, as it was shown in an already published book, overrated the importance of class conflict, in the modern age. The significant personalities of the modern era, such Tudor Vladimirescu, Nicolae Balcescu, Alexandru Ioan Cuza were "brushed-up" by removing any allusion to their noble (bourgeois) origin. The presence in the modern Romanian Parliament of the first socialists was seen as the result of success within the class conflict, the accent falling on the moments from 1888 and 1907, purged of anything that represented a subversive foreign influence that could aim at weakening Romania (Maciu, 1973: 343). It should not be forgotten that, although the alliance of Romania with Austro-Hungary was a secret one, the closeness to Germany and Austro-Hungary was a quite visible one, and the Tsarist Russia was trying to attract Romania on its side, using a variety of means (there had been tried the marriage of prince Carol (a king after 1881) with a Russian princess, and there was a partial success in the case of the prince heir Ferdinand, married with the British-Russian princess Maria de Edinburgh n.n.)

Obviously that the merits of the socialist activists, with communist views, were much exaggerated, over the real ones that the socialists who did not wish to choose the revolutionary way had, making alliances with NLP, considered by the communist historiography a "bourgeois party".

In the period of the German military occupation (1916-1918), the socialist militants were included among those who fought in the anti-German resistance movement. The communist historiography almost limited the role of the Tsarist army in the military success from Marsti, Marasesti, Oituz, from the summer of 1917, which cannot be contested. It was when Russia left the War on the 3rd of March 1918 that we found ourselves unprotected before Germany, Bulgaria, Austro-Hungary, and made us conclude the peace from Buftea-Bucharest, on the 7th of May 1918.

The socialist leader, Ion C. Frimu, corresponded, in 1911, with Vladimir Ilici Lenin, a fact that brought him, besides the glorification from the communist period, his attendance, in September 1917 at Stockholm, in Sweden, to the 3rd Conference of the Socialist International that condemned the war, which was at its highest point (Mamina&Scurtu, 1996: 30-31).

PSDR adopted the Russian policy line, the union of Bessarabia, Bukovina, Transylvania being condemned as "actions of conquering" of Romania, as the Russian directives were mentioning, whose messenger was doctor Cristain Rakowski. There were mentioned, in a previous article, his attempts to overthrow the Romanian government from Iasi and to assassinate King Ferdinand.

Even if after 1947, in the years of the "national communism", there were no talks about Bessarabia, the union with Transylvania became an important topic. Owing to the distancing from Moscow, the idea about Transylvania was taken as a major objective of the socialist fight, for the Romanian unitary national state, especially that, in 1944, the Romanians fought for the liberation of North-West Transylvania from the Horthysts who were allied with the Nazis.

In this period, the accent fell exclusively on the class conflict. Today, numerous streets are called "December 13", and many streets and a factory, as mentioned before, were called I. C. Frimu.

The electoral and the agrarian reform became a reality in 1919 and 1921, but the socialist movement was totally seized by the activists inspired by the Marxist-Leninist direction.

There is another aspect that has not been yet discussed enough. The socialists, and especially the adepts of the Marxist-Leninist direction, were adversaries of religion, while the majority of the modern Romania population was educated "in the church porch", both from the point of view of the school, culture, customs, social and moral attitude and health (the fasting in different periods of the year was contributing, in the view of the Church, to the strengthening of the spirit and body n.n.). It ought not to be forgotten that the Romanian right extreme, promoting the Christian values of the Romanian people, in a radical manner (the even violent resistance of the Christian autochthonous Christians against the non-Christian allogeneous people, going to the chasing of the latter ones, n.n.), was much more popular in the rural and urban areas from the inter-war Romania.

As it was seen, among the socialist militants, and their defenders, there were numerous people with noble or bourgeois origin, willing to reform the society in which they were living.

Initially, in the period 1944-1958, they could not even be mentioned, the public, interested in history, paying attention to them after 1964, but especially after 1974, because some of them perished in the Romanian camp system after 1945.


As we have tried to show in the other studies published so far, the socialist movement has not been for a long time approached using historical objectivity. The historians from the first half of the 20th century insisted on the baneful influence of the Marxist-Leninist Russian line, ignoring some merits of the Romanian socialists. On the contrary, the historiography from the period 1944-1989 exaggerated the role of the socialists and the social movements, on one side ignoring the socialists and their bourgeois origin friends, in favour of the rigid, revolutionary line adepts, and, on the other side, in the years of the national communism, excluding, from the socialist movement, the subversive elements that wanted even the destruction of Romania, they were opposing the war for the national unity (Nacu, 2015:89-92). Yet, there should be mentioned, that a part of the socialist activists, without being adversaries of this war, which ended with the constituting of Great Romania, noticed, the same as Constantin Titel Petrescu, the major lack of endowment, tactics, specialised training of the militaries from the Romanian Army, sanitary protection against epidemics, deficiencies that weighed in the disastrous defeat from the winter of 1916, a defeat that was only overcame by the heroism of the Romanian soldiers from Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz, in the summer of 1917.

Thus, the socialist movement from Romania, with the both components, the constructive-reforming, national line and the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line were well-represented in Romania, although, in different ages, they were not treated unitarily (Nacu, 2017:29-31).

The great disadvantage of the socialist movement in modern Romania was because the political message failed to penetrate from the source to its receptors in the rural and urban areas. The vote based on qualification, the censorship, the limitation of access to basic education, the perpetuation of the medieval economic relations between proprietors and producers, press control expressed by the two important political forces, the liberals and the conservatives, limited the spreading of the reforming message. Some elements of reform were introduced by the liberals, under the influence of the socialist leaders. The ascension of the Marxist-Leninist current, started before 1918 and culminating with the founding of PCDR in 1921, contributed to the dissociation of a great part of the population from the socialist movement.


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Florin Nacu (*)

(*) PhD, ,,CS Nicolaescu Plopsor" Social Humanistic Research Institute, Craiova; Phone: 0040761617067, Email:

Article Info

Received: March 10 2019

Accepted: April 05 2019
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Title Annotation:ORIGINAL PAPER
Author:Nacu, Florin
Publication:Revista de Stiinte Politice
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXRO
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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