Development of a Nation
How Moldova became
and how the Moldovans became Moldovan.
Moldovans as a people, and the country of Moldova as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Moldovan language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Moldova in 2008
Romanian, but with a slightly more evident Slavic component, due to
its position at the edge of Russia.
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Development of Moldovan Language:
Romanian until the establishment of the Principality of Moldavia
(encompassing modern Moldova) in 1359. This separated the region
somewhat from the Wallachia and Transylvania regions (the other two
primary Romanian regions). As a result, the Moldavians developed their
own variation of the Romanian language, marking the first separation of
the two languages. Some Russian influence became embedded during the
Russian rule during 19th and 20th centuries.
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Formation of Moldovan
- Essentially part of
Romania, although on the outskirts of the Romanian region. It
was often considered part of Wallachia. It came under Tatar
influence during reign of the Golden Horde in the 13th century,
separating it from Wallachia, and forever creating a distinction
between Moldavia (as it was known) and Wallachia.
- 1342 – With the weakening of Tatar
(Turkish/Horde) rule in modern Moldova, Hungary sent a force to the
area to establish it as a buffer against the nomadic warriors from
the east, conquering the region.
- 1359 – A Romanian prince breaks away from
Hungary, forming the Principality of Moldavia.
- 1538 – Moldavia falls under Ottoman reign (a
Muslim, Turkic empire), but with the right of self government
(except for foreign policy).
– After it was discovered that Moldavia was negotiating with the
Russians during the Russo-Turkish Wars, the Ottomans instituted
direct rule in Moldavia. Same with Wallachia in 1714.
- 1812 – The Ottomans, an ally of France, went
to war with Russia in 1806. Russia gained the territory of
Bessarabia (constituting the majority of modern Moldova).
- 1859 – As part of the Crimean War, Moldavia
gained the southern part of Bessarabia fro, combining with Wallachia
to form Romania, which remained a vassal to the Ottoman Empire.
- 1878 – After the Ottoman Empire was defeated
by Russia in final Russo-Turkish War, it agreed to hand Cyprus over
to the United Kingdom. Russia desired to annex
Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria, but the United Kingdom prevented it
from doing so with a show of force. Following the
war Romania was forced to cede southern Bessarabia to Russia.
Bessarabia constituted about 2/3 of modern Moldova.
- 1917 – Bessarabia was separated from Russia
during its struggles in World War I, joining its historical
compatriots of Romania.
- 1940 – Pressured by the Russians, and weakened
by German invasions from the west during World War II, Romania ceded
territories that would make up Moldova to Russia (part of former
Moldavia). It was formed as Moldavian SSR, a client state to the
- Moldova declared independence from the USSR
during the coup d’etat deposing Gorbachev in 1991.
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The Principality of
Moldavia, which originated in the 14th century, was named
after the nearby Moldova River. The name has remained associated with
the region ever since, becoming the name of the Republic of Moldova,
when the region gained independence in 1991 upon the collapse of the
Moldovan culture is a combination between Romanian and Russian cultures.
Romanian culture was originally rooted in Roman/Latin culture, but after
more than four centuries of Muslim Ottoman Empire rule, its Roman
cultural ties were mostly severed, and it began with a clean cultural
slate after liberation in 1878.
Moldova came under Soviet rule during World War II. It had long been
a rural outback, and remained so during the Soviet era. Moldovan culture
was suppressed during the Soviet years, but has been rejuvenated since
gaining independence since 1991.
Moldova in 2008:
Economy: One of the poorest
countries in Europe. Favorable climate and terrain/soil for farming, but
no natural energy sources. In which case, must import all energy
supplies, therefore highly dependent upon Russia. Dispute with Russia in
2005/2006 over pricing resulted in economic sanctions against Moldova.
Brought about economic slow down during these years, from which it is
just recovering. Illustrates overdependence on Russia.
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: Eastern Orthodox 98%
Demographics: Moldovan 78%, Ukrainian 8% (fluctuating borderlands
with Ukraine throughout history), Russian 6% (as part of USSR –
Foreign Policy: Historically a Romanian people/nation, but broken
off by Russia after WWII. Romania still interested in Moldova, possibly
even interested in eventually absorbing Moldova. Many Moldovans may
actually welcome such an outcome, while the current government is very
resistant of such a possibility. Russians maintain troops in turbulent
Transnistria region (eastern edge of Moldova), against the will of the
Moldovan government. Moldova also tries to maintain a delicate balance
with Russia, upon which it is overly dependent for energy, while trying
to establish relations with the rest of Europe.
Population: 4,324,450 (2008)
For females, use maiden name
(last name before marriage)