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150 YEARS SINCE THE UNIFICATION OF THE ROMANIAN PRINCIPALITIES – JANUARY 24th, 1859

Unire_150_M2009 marks the anniversary of one and half century since the Unification of the Romanian Principalities, occasion on which, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue “150 YEARS SINCE THE UNIFICATION OF THE ROMANIAN PRINCIPALITIES – JANUARY 24th, 1859”. 2009 marks the anniversary of one and half century since the Unification of the Romanian Principalities, occasion on which, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue “150 YEARS SINCE THE UNIFICATION OF THE ROMANIAN PRINCIPALITIES – JANUARY 24th, 1859”.
The concept of the Unification has always been present in the hearts and thoughts of the inhabitants of the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic (Carpathians Mountains, Danube River, Pontus Black Sea) region in Central Europe.
Accordingly, during the reign of King Burebista (82-44 BC), he managed to unify, for the first time in the history of these lands, the Geto-Dacian tribes, thus creating a powerful and expanded kingdom.
During centuries of history succeded sometimes in unearthly cycle, these lands were transformed from Dacian kingdom to Roman province, war-worn by the herds of conquerors out of the province, voivodeships emerged and later on, the three Romanian Principalities.
The idea of the Unification of these territories has however always been present in the hearts and thoughts of the Romanian citizens until the ruler Mihai Viteazul managed, in 1600, to put forth the outmost wish of all the people: the Unification of Transylvania, Moldavia and Walachia under the same royal scepter.
Time had however not come to be united, being surrounded by so many empires… too early for Romanian citizens, for the country and even too early for the history…
Almost 150 years had to pass for coming „the Spring of the People“ – the 1848 Revolution which spread to the entire Europe and revived the beautiful dream of the Unification of all Romanian people in the Romanian Principalities.
Such names as Ion Eliade Radulescu, Mihail Kogalniceanu, Nicolae Balcescu, Simion Barnutiu are just few of those that played a crucial role in the political evolution of the country at that time, bringing a new breath of renewal of the Romanian society.
The conflicts that were to arise between the great European powers after 1850 have revealed the importance of the Romanian Principalities, due to their strategic position, the Danube and the Black Sea.
The Congresses in Vienna in 1855 and in Paris in 1856 were the first steps taken for the long way of the Unification of the two Romanian Principalities through acceptance of the organization of the Ad-hoc Gatherings that would decide the future organization of the two Romanian Principalities.
Afterwards, in 1858, during a new Conference held in Paris, the great powers decided a formal union for the Romanian Principalities, ruling a separately elected Ruler for each of the two capitals (Bucharest and Jassy), with different governments and sharing just few common institutions.
But the ideal of the Unification was much powerful in the souls of the Romanian people than the decisions taken during the European Congresses and thus, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was designated Ruler of Moldavia on January 5th, and Ruler of Walachia on January 24th, 1859, thus making Europe face the accomplished deed: an unique Ruler bringing a de facto Unification for the two Principalities.
After two months from his election, Cuza was officially acknowledged by the Great Powers as sole Ruler of the Principalities, whereas Turkey acknowledged the full Unification in 1861 and only for the time that ruler A.I.Cuza lived.
The national Romanian state emerged on January 24th, 1862, its name being Romania and the capital of the country was established in Bucharest.
Through his reforms, Alexandru Ioan Cuza brought his essential and definite contribution to the modernization of the Romanian society and its structures.
The document concluded on January 24th, 1859, was the stepping stone not only for Romania’s Independence but also for the complete Unification of the country, a dream that finally became reality on December 1st, 1918.

The postage stamps issue is composed of one souvenir sheet and one postage stamp.
The background of the souvenir sheet represents the map of the United Romanian Principalities, having the Moldavian and the Walachian coats of arms dating before the Unification from 1859.
In the same time, next to the lyrics of the poem “Hora Unirii” (The Unification Round Dance) by
V. Alecsandri it is pictured the commemorative medal “24th of January 1859 – The First Chamber of the United Principalities”, made up in 1864 by minting method, at Bucharest.
The postage stamps illustrate different coats of arms of the United Romanian Principalities.

We bring here special thanks to the National History Museum of Romania for the images offered and also to Mr. Tudor R. Tiron (The National Commission of Heraldry, Genealogy and Seals’ Science of the Romanian Academy) for his assistance in heraldry.

Issue date: 2009-01-24

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