UNION OF THE ROMANIAN PRINCIPALITIES, 160 YEARS

On the anniversary of Moldavia with Wallachia Union, in 1859, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamp issue Union of the Romanian Principalities, 160 years.

The perforated souvenir sheet of the issue, with a face value of 28.50 lei, is illustrated with a lithography showing the opening of the works of the Legislative Assembly of the United Principalities (February 29th, 1860), in the presence of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, along with a portrait of the ruler and the coat of arms of Moldavia and Walachia. The star between the horns on the Moldavia coat of arms is made by perforation as a security element of the stamp.

The Union of the Principalities was the first country project achieved by the Romanian patriots. The desideratum of the union was stated by the political and intellectual elites educated in the greatest Western European cities, at the beginning of the 19th century. The first concrete steps were taken during the Revolution of 1848, when a customs union between Moldavia and Wallachia took place during the reigns of Mihail Sturdza, respectively Gheorghe Bibescu.

In August 1858, at an international conference in Paris, a Convention was signed allowing the reorganization of Moldavia and Wallachia, which were dealt unitarily in international relations, provided two Rulers, two Assemblies and two Governments were elected in each Principality. However, there were also two joint institutions, headquartered in Focsani, namely the Central Commission and the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

The elections that took place in accordance with the provisions of the Convention resulted in the appointment of ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza on 5 January in Iasi and then on January 24 in Bucharest.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza was born on March 20th, 1820, in Barlad, in a family of Moldavian dignitaries (“dregator” in Romanian). He completed his studies in Iasi, where he has been colleague with Mihail Kogalniceanu and Vasile Alecsandri. In 1835 he was granted the high-school degree in Paris, then studied Law and Medicine, but he did not finish any of the faculties. In 1848 he has been among the speakers who took part in the assembly of revolutionaries at the Petersburg Hotel in Iasi, demanding democratic reforms.

After the Union, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, supported by Mihail Kogalniceanu, initiated the first reforms to modernize the country. Under his reign, the Union was recognized by the Great Powers, the first unitary Parliament and the first unitary Government were created, and the electoral reform, the secularization of fortunes belonging to monasteries, the agrarian reform, the education reform, etc. were adopted.

Because he established an authoritarian regime, the Ruler was removed on February 11th, 1866 by the “monstrous coalition”, a group of liberal and conservative politicians, as well as militaries or merchants. Cuza was forced to leave the country, living in Vienna, Paris and Florence. He died on May 15th, 1873, aged 53, while undergoing treatment in the German city of Heidelberg.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza is one of the most appreciated leaders in the Romanian history. He is also a personality illustrated in philatelic issues, starting with the “Cuza” issue in 1864, with the face values of 2, 5 and 20 pennies (penny, or “para” in Romanian), which had the effigy of the Ruler in the circle.

The “first day” cover renders Alexandru Ioan Cuza’s Proclamation to the Elective Assembly of Wallachia (February 10th, 1859), in which the ruler refers to the significance of the Union. The document is validated with the seal of the United Principalities and the holograph signature of the ruler.

The “first day” postmark reproduces the elements of the (1862) “United Principalities” postage stamp issue, namely the coat of arms of Moldavia and Muntenia and the post horn.

The postage stamp issue Union of the Romanian Principalities, 160 years will be available on Wednesday, January 23th 2019, in Romfilatelia’s shops network in Bucharest, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara and online on http://romfilatelia.ro/store/. The postage stamp issue is completed by a single “first day” cover, as page composition of one perforated souvenir sheet.

Romfilatelia thanks to the management of the National Archives of Romania and the Bucharest Municipality Museum for the documentary support granted for the achievement of this postage stamp issue.

For further information, please contact the Public Relation Office:

Tel: 021 / 337 24 42

pr@romfilatelia.ro