The Romanian National Movement in Transylvania and the Romanian Principalities

The intellectuals destined to defend the interests of Transylvania's Romanians were caught unprepared by the political storm that broke in the 1830s. The reactionary conservatism that came to prevail in the empire had a stultifying effect on the political and cultural life of Romanians; the so-called 'Transylvanian School,' which embodied 18th century Romanian Enlightenment, was snuffed out. The 'triad' of Samuil Micu-Klein, Gheorghe Şincai, and Petru Maior fell out with the conservative bishop of Balázsfalva, Ion Bob, and went off to work at the university press in Buda. That city became the principal source of Romanian publications, and served as a rich cultural fountainhead even for Romanians who lived in the principalities. Prosperous Wallachian and Moldavian boyars who wished to champion their countries' independence were eager to sponsor the publication of literary and political works in Buda. An entrepreneurial publisher, Zaharia Carcalechi, sought their backing when, in the 1820s, he launched the first Romanian periodical in Buda. In that journal, he often evoked the example of Széchenyi and other Hungarian nobles to persuade the principalities' boyars that national culture deserved their active support. Carcalechi later moved to Bucharest.

In Hungary, well-educated Romanian priests and teachers had come to form a purposeful Romanian intelligentsia dedicated to the national cause. They made repeated attempts to liberate the Romanians' {3-151.} Church from the grip of the Serb hierarchy. Meanwhile, some other Transylvanian Romanians who might have followed the lead of above-noted threesome chose instead to settle in the Romanian principalities; they thus formed a bridge between new generations and the original Transylvanian School, among whose members only Ioan Piuariu-Molnár had ventured beyond the Carpathians. The latter left a lesser impact than Gheorghe Lazăr, who moved to Bucharest in the late 1810s and engineered the introduction of Romanian-language instruction in upper schools, eventually to the exclusion of Greek. In fact, his emigration owed to the fortuitous circumstance of a serious quarrel with his bishop. A few years later, the Metropolitan of Iaşi took the initiative of inviting several Transylvanian-Romanian teachers. As cultural activities intensified in the principalities, and as the Romanian intelligentsia in Transylvania and Hungary grew in number, more and more of the latter were drawn to Wallachia and Moldavia.

In the aftermath of the Greek revolt of 1821, and the related revolt, led by Tudor Vladimirescu, in Wallachia, the Porte suspended its practice of naming Phanariot Greeks to rule over the Romanian principalities. As a result of Russo–Turkish War of 1828, Moldavia and Wallachia came under Russian occupation, which lasted for some five years. The Russian commander, General Kiseliov, modernized the constitution to the extent that it allowed the feudal Estates to be represented. These were the circumstances in which the Romanian nobles, or boyars, developed an interest in the promotion of national culture. The immigrant teachers possessed a strong sense of ethnic identity, but they had also absorbed a dose of puritanism before leaving Transylvania or Hungary, and they must often have felt like strangers amidst principalities' colourful mix of eastern and western culture and extremes of wealth and poverty. However, their missionary zeal met with fewer obstacles there than in the Habsburg empire. The newcomers propagated the Daco–Roman theory of history; it was enthusiastically {3-152.} adopted, and combined with elements of French and German liberalism, by the local nationalists. Petru Maior's history of the Romanians, published at Buda in 1812, became the bible of the new generation; a Moldavian Boyar paid for a second edition, also at Buda, in 1834. In 1838, at Bucharest, Ion Eliade-Rădulescu, a popular Wallachian poet and cultural trend-setter, put out a new edition of the work of a Banat poet, Dimitrie Ţichindeal (originally published at Buda in the 1810s). In his introduction, Eliade-Rădulescu observed that 'it was people from beyond the Carpathians who conveyed to us the new and illuminating elements of German philosophy.'[156]156. Quoted in Al. Papiu-Ilarian, Istoria romanilor din Dacia Superiora II (Vienna, 1852), p. 220.

By the 1840s, most educated Romanians had become familiar with the names of the 'first apostles of Romanianism,' such as the Banat's Iorgovici and Ţichindeal and Transylvania's Maior, Şincai, and Klein, 'illustrious people who laid the foundations of Romanian nationhood by establishing schools and cultivating language and history, and who propagated the idea of a single Romanian nation.'[157]157. N. Bălcescu, 'Mişcarea Românilor din Ardeal la 1848,' in Bălcescu, Opere I (Bucharest, 1953), p. 331. Romanians thus came to look upon Transylvania as an 'eternal haven of Romanian nationhood.'[158]158. N. Bălcescu, 'Mersul revoluţiei în istoria Românilor,' in Bălcescu, Istoria, p. 309. A teacher in Bucharest, Transylvanian-born Florian Aaron, published in 1835–38 a series of textbooks on the history of Wallachia, and became one of the first to exploit the theory of Roman origins for purposes of nation-building; he regarded Mihai Viteazul — who briefly held Transylvania as well — as the greatest ruler in Wallachian history. It was also Aaron who coined a new name for the country, when, in 1837–38, he published a journal bearing the title România. At the time, 'Dacia' was the term more widely used to denote the Romanian-language territory that was believed to have once enjoyed political unity, but which was now divided up among several states.

The divisions within the Hungarian national movement were inspired largely by different ideological approaches to the issue of change, and even the less differentiated policies pursued in Transylvania fell within the general outlines of the movement. The {3-153.} Romanian national movement, by contrast, suffered from fragmentation, and there were sharp differences between its regional variants.

In 18th century Transylvania, the political interests of Romanians were promoted mainly by their traditional leading institutions, the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches. The political status of the Greek Catholic bishop was enhanced by the fact that he could attend the diet as a regalist. In the early 1830s, Ioan de Leményi was chosen to succeed in that office to the ninety-one-year-old Ion Bob. The new bishop was not a natural militant. Since he was born into the landed nobility, he might have been expected to join the civil service; however, he felt the call and, after converting to Greek Catholicism, entered the priesthood. Leményi had been nurtured in the quiescent period that followed the turbulent 1790s. It was a time when cultural activism, however muted, took precedence over politics, and when Romanian nobles were less rebellious and more disposed to enjoy their status as full-fledged members of the Hungarian feudal 'nation.' Leményi enjoyed and had a high regard for Hungarian culture; he compromised no principles when, at the funeral of his predecessor, he delivered the eulogy in Hungarian, or when he encouraged students at Balázsfalva to speak Hungarian. In politics, he was disposed to continue where his predecessors had left off.

In 1834, Leményi and the Greek Orthodox bishop, Vasile Moga, took the advice of the two royal commissioners and submitted a petition to the monarch asking that he recognize Romanians as the 'fourth nation.' The chancellery gave its customary response to this oft-repeated request, to wit, Transylvania's constitution did not allow for a fourth nation, and Ferdinand Estei saw no point in pressing the matter. The two bishops thereupon effected a tactical shift and focused their demand on the Szászföld. In 1837, Moga turned to the diet with a list of Orthodox grievances. He requested that Orthodox Romanians be allowed to pay tithes to their own {3-154.} priests rather than to the Saxon Lutheran ministers, that they be eligible for public office in their villages, and that the Orthodox Church be given a proportionate share of the village's public funds.

Although these initiatives led nowhere, the joint action of the two bishops did have a significant impact on Romanian society, for it helped to bring about a rapprochement between the Orthodox and Greek Catholic intelligentsias. In fact, the Hungarian opposition had already cleared the way when it induced several counties to block the Greek Catholic Church's aggressive campaign — backed by the Gubernium — to win converts from Orthodoxy. That campaign extended to a hundred villages and generated between 400 and 4000 conversions a year, for a total of some 30,000 in the period 1821–1833. The Hungarian opposition's initiatives led the government to suspend its support for the conversion campaign, and relations between the two Churches began to improve.

An important change, and one that promised to improve the cohesiveness of Romanian society, was the disposition of better-educated villagers to discard their deep-rooted religious prejudices. A growing number of Orthodox young people came to study at Balázsfalva. Bishop Leményi applied funds accumulated over a long period by his predecessor to establish chairs of history, philosophy, physics, and mathematics, and thereby transformed the famous high school-seminary into a 'lyceum;' he also modernized the equipment of the school's long-established publishing house. Thus Balázsfalva continued to serve as the Romanians' leading institution of higher education in all of Transylvania and Hungary. Their educational network included an Orthodox seminary and teacher-training school at Arad; a new, six-month training program for priests and teachers, at Nagyszeben; a high school and a seminary, both of good repute, at Nagyvárad; and a new secondary school at Belényes. Meanwhile, Balázsfalva, sometimes referred to as 'Rome on the banks of Küküllő,' became a flourishing centre of education; over 150 students attended high school classes, and {3-155.} another hundred were enrolled in the 'lyceum.' The student body had doubled in size since the turn of the century, and its social composition changed as well. Among the thousand students who passed through the school in the first decade of the 1800s, only fifty came from serf families, and another 250 from families that enjoyed free (libertinus) status. By contrast, between 1835 and 1848, these two groups accounted for 475 of the 2,500 students. Comparing the same two periods, the number seminarians' and cantors' children enrolled at the school rose from 470 to 1,200, of soldiers' children from 8 to 130, and of orphans from 19 to 350; meanwhile, the number of nobles' children rose only slightly, from 120 to 140. Many Romanians chose to pursue their studies elsewhere, mostly in one of the thirteen Roman Catholic high schools offering instruction in Latin; in 1847, Romanians (270 Greek Catholics and 120 Orthodox) accounted for a third of the 1,200–1,300 students en-rolled at those schools. There were years when Romanians (mainly Greek Catholic) accounted for over half of the students in a particular class at Marosvásárhely or Kolozsvár. At the Brassó high school — which had been financed in no small part by generous Romanian merchants — most of the Romanian students were Orthodox. The publicist Iacob Mureşianu and the poet Andrei Mureşianu both earned their living by teaching at that school, which was presided over by Antal Kovács, a titular abbot who enthusiastically promoted Hungarian culture but also respected others' national sensibilities. Although a few Romanian boys went on to Protestant colleges, most of them found it more practical and convenient to pursue higher studies at Balázsfalva and then at Kolozsvár. In 1847, Romanians accounted for almost a quarter of the 250 students enrolled in philosophy, law, and surgery courses at Kolozsvár, compared to a fifth in the early 1830s; in some years, as many as a dozen Orthodox students were enrolled in the philosophy program, a significant increase over the earlier period. A few Romanians went on to higher studies at Vienna and Selmecbánya. {3-156.} There were, in 1839, some thirty Romanians among the two hundred lawyers-in-training at the royal court of appeal in Marosvásárhely.

Although the Romanian intelligentsia was still comparatively small, its members had even greater difficulty in finding suitable employment than their Hungarian or Saxon counterparts. Only thirty to forty Romanians held jobs in the civil service, mostly at the treasury. Although the Romanian clergy included as many as 1,400 Greek Catholic and 1,100 Orthodox priests, most of the vacancies were filled not with college graduates but with the local priests' sons. The latter — derided by better-educated Romanians as the 'apostles of darkness'[159]159. [S. Bărnuţiu], 'Balázsfalvi iskolai ügyekről,' Vasárnapi Újság, 4 December 1842, no. 448. — took a six-month course at Nagyszeben or a two-year course at Balázsfalva. Armed with a diploma, they returned to their villages and made a deal with the parishioners, accepting a relatively low emolument in exchange for a secure contract; the episcopacy could not intervene, for each parish had the right to pick its priest. To be sure, the problem of unemployment among graduates remained of modest scale. A survey, conducted in 1849 to identify minor officials and unemployed graduates who might be qualified for a civil service appointment, found only three hundred high school graduates, and 45 percent of them were aged thirty or younger.

According to a reliable source, around a fifth of what was called the 'sizeable Vlach intelligentsia' had found some professional employment; another fifth 'completed legal studies' but, having failed to find a job in an office or as a priest, made a living on their estates and 'attended county assemblies'; two-fifths emigrated to the Romanian principalities; and the remaining fifth became assimilated Hungarians.[160]160. George Bariţ to Count Samu Wass, Brassó, 10 December 1861, Biblioteca Academiei, Bucharest, MS 973, pp. 263-264. Thus there was ample reason to promote Romanian national identity; at the same time, educated Romanians had to tread carefully, for if they were too insistent on airing grievances and social problems, they risked provoking a hostile backlash from the other ethnic communities.

{3-157.} Whatever their financial problems, educated young Romanians had to bear a psychological burden heavier than that of their Hungarian counterparts: the Approbatae constitutiones had confirmed that their ethnic group was merely tolerated. The purposefully nurtured notion that they were descended from Romans fed their sense of self-worth (as had been the case with the preceding generation); it also allowed them to share, as Romanians, the cult of mother tongue and nationality that was being promoted by Széchenyi and Wesselényi. Sándor Bölöni Farkas's report on North America unveiled a new world for them as well. Like the Hungarian college students, they tried their hand at dramatic productions, planned to publish their own periodical, and set about collecting folk songs. No such initiatives had been taken by Romanian students in the preceding century. The leading figures of the Transylvanian School had looked to folklore mainly for evidence of their Roman origin, and, inspired by rationalism, rejected many folk customs as harmful and superstitious; in contrast, the new generation took a more scholarly and respectful approach in appraising Romanian folk traditions and customs.

They believed that promotion of the mother tongue and mother-tongue culture paved the way to nationhood. To be sure, the importance of education had been emphasized by earlier generations as well, but their successors modified the content by gradually introducing contemporary notions of liberalism and nationalism. A fundamental shift occurred in the national outlook of Romanians in Transylvania (and in Hungary as well). As before, they were conscious of belonging to a broader linguistic community; but they gradually came to realize that the main thrust of nation-building would come from the Romanian principalities. Although the latter remained in a state of dual subjection, to Russia and the Ottoman Empire, they were clearly destined — as both Széchenyi and Wesselényi predicted — to take the path of modern national development.

{3-158.} The creation of a Romanian press in Transylvania can be credited to the initiative of Brassó's Romanian merchants as well as to the vision of young people in Balázsfalva, all of whom recognized the need to consolidate the national movement. Like two pilgrims, George Bariţ and Timotei Cipariu travelled in 1836 to Bucharest, where they became acquainted with the political and cultural elite. Bariţ had a standing invitation to teach physics at Balázsfalva, but, upon his return, he chose to go to Brassó, a prosperous, trilingual town that was also a centre of Orthodoxy. He accepted a teaching position at an elementary school founded by local Romanian merchants, as well as the editorship of a literary weekly, also financed by merchants, that had been launched the previous year. The former editor, Ioan Barac, also served as Romanian interpreter for Brassó's chief magistrate; he had earned great popularity among Wallachian boyars with his narrative poems, and especially with his adaptation of the legend of a Hungarian prince, Argirus. Under his guidance, the paper had acquired a trivial, entertaining tone and was losing money, but the situation changed for the better when George Bariţ took over the reins. The publisher was Johann Gött, a printer who had recently moved from Frankfurt am Main to Brassó; he was so encouraged by Bariţ's performance that he decided to launch a Romanian political weekly, modelled on an existing German- language paper. The initiative was backed by Ferdinand Estei, who anticipated that the paper could serve political ends, notably by shaping public opinion in the Romanian principalities.

In the 1830s, the two developments that had the greatest impact on Romanian cultural life were the expansion of the Balázsfalva school and the publication, in Brassó, of a Romanian-language newspaper, Gazeta de Transylvania, along with its supplement, Foaie pentru minte. The number of subscribers hovered between five and eight hundred, and over half of them resided in the principalities; by comparison, the Romanian paper that had been launched in 1829 at Iaşi initially had two hundred subscribers, {3-159.} and Bucharest's two newspapers each had around three hundred subscribers in the 1840s. The significance of the new Romanian press in Transylvania was enhanced by the changing pattern of book publishing. Of the 1,500 Romanian books that appeared in the 1830s and 1840s, barely 50–60 were published in Transylvania, or, on average, two to three books a year. Earlier in the century, Transylvanian publishers had found a ready market in the principalities, notably for the narrative poems of Ioan Barac and Vasile Aron; but now, publishers in Nagyszeben and Brassó had a hard time selling their books south of the Carpathians. Meanwhile, works printed in the principalities had to undergo a strict inspection by the authorities before being allowed into Transylvania, for the ban on Orthodox publications, instituted in the 18th century to protect Greek Catholicism, remained in force.

Romanian publishing in Transylvania was clearly oriented to the didactic tasks of popular education and culture. Even Bariţ would editorialize about the danger of novels — 'it is better not to read than to lose one's innocence by reading' — although, upon occasion, he would publish translations of shorter pieces by popular French authors whom he ostensibly detested.[161]161. G. Bariţ, 'Literature spurcată,' Gazeta de Transilvania, 25 June/6 July 1845, no. 51. Indeed, in this period, no Romanian writer produced a work of significant literary merit in Transylvania. Literary life was far more active in Moldavia and Wallachia, and some of its products, poems and narratives that came to be rated as Romanian classics, were published in Brassó's newspapers, which thereby helped to break down the artificial barriers to the dissemination of culture.

Meanwhile, the keen interest and creative spirit of students and teachers at Balázsfalva gave rise to a modicum of literary activity. In 1838, they launched a home-made literary journal, Aurora. Its editor, Iosif Many, specialized in the translation of works by Hungarian as well as French, German, and English authors, and his own Hungarian short stories and ballads were published in Kolozsvár and Pest. Brassó's Andrei Mureşan appealed in verse for {3-160.} a national awakening, and thus qualified for the title of national poet, although his first collection of poems was published only after 1849.

The record of Romanian publishing was more impressive with regard to school texts and religious works. Between 1835 and 1838, eleven works were published at Balázsfalva, including a Roman-alphabet speller whose appearance was hailed as a major cultural event; in 1840–1843, a further seven religious works and four elementary school texts were published. Although Bishop Leményi made some early attempts to ensure that each parish had a school, there was little demand for books; in 1841, a speller was published in three thousand copies, and after three years fewer than a thousand had been sold. The priests were reluctant to buy the more expensive books. The publication of a short catechism proved profitable, but only a few copies were sold each year of an edition of the Gospels that had a print run of a thousand. The pressures weighing on the Orthodox Church may have contributed to the fact that it generated a greater demand for books; although the Orthodox educational network was smaller than that of the Greek Catholic Church, it was concentrated in the comparatively prosperous districts of southern Transylvania. Of the nine Orthodox, religious and school books that were in print at the time, two to three hundred copies were sold each year. Meanwhile, the State Printing Office at Vienna tried to make profitable use of its modernized facilities by cornering the market for Orthodox books in Transylvania.

Textbook publishing contributed to the popularization of scientific knowledge. Responding to the demand, Pavel Vasici, the quarantine doctor at Tömös, compiled a collection of health hints and basic information on biology, entitled Macrobiotica, and had it published in two thousand copies — the biggest print-run of any Romanian book in Transylvania. Ion Rusu, a teacher at Balázsfalva, published Icoana pămîntului (The Depiction of the Earth), a geography text that highlighted both the dispersal and the unity of the Romanian {3-161.} people; once again, its appearance was greeted by Romanians in Transylvania and Hungary as a major cultural event.

With regard to philosophy, it was more expedient to teach and study from lecture notes the grounding of Romanian national endeavours in natural law. As will be seen, philosophical enquiry was reaching a high standard, whereas the study of history showed more promise than concrete results. Timotei Cipariu, a teacher of theology and an exceptionally versatile intellectual, momentarily concentrated on the collection of documents, an activity that brought him into contact with József Kemény. But such activities paled in significance beside the work of the original Transylvanian School. Although some Transylvanian Romanians encouraged Alexandru Gavra, a teacher at Arad, in his effort to arrange the unabridged publication of Şincai's chronicle, the project failed to take off. They had greater success with another project, the publication of the first Romanian encyclopedia of history, by the University Press at Buda (although that press was no longer preeminent in the dissemination of Romanian works). An even more important initiative was taken, in Bucharest, by Nicolae Bălăşescu (later to play a key political role) and the Transylvanian-born August Treboniu Laurian: in 1845, they published (in 1500 copies) the first volume of an annual collection of historical sources, entitled Magazin istoric pentru Dacia (A Historical Magazine for Dacia). Their avowed aim was to bolster 'the patriotism and courage of Romanians' with a 'good and widely available National History.'[162]162. Magazin istoric pentru Dacia I (Bucharest, 1845) p. 1.

In these circumstances, Brassó's Romanian press had to bear the lion's share of disseminating and popularizing knowledge. To reach a wide audience, Bariţ maintained a judiciously balanced tone and avoided the terminological excesses of literary Romanian. One who did cultivate a new literary language was Ion Eliade-Rădulescu, a poet and newspaper editor who enjoyed great popularity in Bucharest and wanted to shape Romanian on the model of {3-162.} Italian. Another was Laurian, a Transylvanian who, in a book published at Vienna in 1840, tried to demonstrate that the Romans settled in Dacia by Emperor Trajan spoke Romanian, and proposed a renovated version of Romanian that was only intelligible to people who were conversant with Latin.

Brassó's Romanian press owed much of its popularity to a political partisanship that was perceptible even in its cultural objectives. It largely succeeded in its efforts to focus public opinion on common national objectives and, by giving coherence to Romanian cultural endeavours, to propagate a sense of national solidarity. Its reports on current affairs also served to expose readers to new ideas. In Hungary and Transylvania, the issue of serfdom had been on the agenda since the early 1830s, but in the principalities, nothing significant was published before 1847 on the misery of the peasantry and the necessity of social reform. Bariţ also showed a disposition to promote greater autonomy for the Romanian principalities. His reminders that religion and nationality are not necessarily congruent were designed to undermine sympathy for an Orthodox monarch. (It was the Gazeta that introduced into common usage the term naţionalitate, meaning nationality.) Russia's influential consul managed to get Brassó's Romanian newspapers banned in Wallachia. In fact, Transylvanian Romanians and their press had little opportunity to become active participants in the early efforts to forge political unity. These sporadic efforts were essentially conspiratorial and initiated for the most part by people in the principalities.

In the 1830s, the possibility that the scattered communities of Romanians might become politically united was evoked by a group of Polish émigrés, led by Prince Czartoryski, who had sought refuge in Paris after the rebellion of 1830, as well as by western journalists close to this group. Their various schemes coincided on one point: the necessity of drawing the small and oppressed nations of central Europe into a confederacy that could resist, with or without {3-163.} the help of the Habsburg empire, the expansionist pressure of czarist Russia. Agents of the Polish group in Paris pursued talks simultaneously with the Hungarians and the Romanians, but since they tended to emphasize the promotion of ethnic rights, they found the latter more amenable.

The first tangible initiative was taken in 1838, when the 'Eastern Question' took a turn for the worse. Egypt had launched an offensive against the Porte, and there was a chance that Russia would come to the former's assistance by taking control of the Dardanelles — a step which, in the view of Western states, would upset the balance of power. European newspapers were evoking, not for the first time, the possibility of war between Russia and the western powers. Czartoryski's group prepared to renew the struggle in Poland and made approaches to a popular Wallachian public figure, Ion Câmpineanu; the latter promised that if the uprising was properly planned, he would rally the Romanians in support. Wishing to assess the prospects for political union between the two principalities, and perhaps other Romanian-inhabited regions as well, Câmpineanu set off on a diplomatic tour that was planned to encompass Constantinople, Paris, London, and Vienna. In the event, he got no farther than a prison cell in a Wallachian monas-tery; upon his release, he foreswore further opposition activities and joined the government. Notwithstanding this spectacular 'act of contrition,' Câmpineanu and his followers had given a foretaste of the direction to be taken by the Romanian national movement. More and more people were coming to the conclusion that if the principalities merged under an appropriately liberal constitution, the new state could earn the sympathy of Western powers, and that the latter, given their political and economic interests, might help Romanians to resist Russian expansionism.

In Transylvania, some younger members of the lesser landed nobility and intelligentsia responded enthusiastically to Câmpineanu's initiative and tried to follow it up. One noteworthy {3-164.} figure among them was the Banat-born Eftimie Murgu, who had won early renown as a philosophy teacher at Iaşi and now acted as legal counsel for merchants in Brassó. They debated the feasibility of an uprising and drafted a manifesto promising armed assistance to the principalities. Some apparently toyed with the possibility of uniting Romanians within the framework of the Habsburg empire. However, the ruling circles in Vienna were not prepared to encourage such notions, for fear of damaging relations with Russia. Only in Western Europe would an occasional publicist openly urge the principalities to link up with the Habsburg empire.

The Eastern crisis subsided and, in 1840, Wallachia's ruler moved to have the dissidents convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Meanwhile, the Transylvanian-Romanians' manifesto prompted the imperial government to order an extensive inquiry, which, in the event, produced no evidence of collusion with foreign elements.

The campaign for national unification did not revive until the mid-1840s. Murgu had been expelled from Wallachia and was working as a lawyer in the Banat when, in 1845, he was arrested on charges of 'Daco–Romanism' and incitement to rebellion. He had been agitating in favour turning the Banat into an autonomous Romanian region and seeking to make a common front with the Moldavians. Further, he and a Hungarian opposition delegate to the Pozsony diet had drafted a petition that implicitly dismissed Metternich's cautious and ineffectual attempts to contain Russian expansionism by calling for full autonomy of the principalities.

The efforts to forge cultural links were more fruitful. Mihail Kogălniceanu was a Moldavian boyar who, in 1840, had published a short-lived periodical bearing the name Dacia Literară (Literary Dacia). In 1843, he was named to the chair of history at Iaşi's academy, and in his inaugural address, which was later published in Brassó's Romanian newspaper, he declared: 'I consider any region where Romanian is spoken as part of my homeland, and the history {3-165.} of our kinsfolk in Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania as part of our national history.'[163]163. M. Kogălniceanu, 'Bevezetés a nemzeti történelemről szóló előadásokhoz,' in A román irodalom kistükre I, trans. by M. Gafiţa and L. Lőrincz (Bucharest, 1961), pp. 405-6. However, it was only in Paris that the young Nicolae Bălăşescu, who had participated in the 1840 movement, felt free enough to tell Romanian students (in 1847) that 'our goal should be nothing less than the national unification of all Romanians. First we must create a unity of minds and hearts; over time, this will unify us politically.'[164]164. Quoted in C. Bodea, Lupta românilor pentru unitatea naţională 1843-1849 (Bucharest, 1967), p. 87.

For the moment, Romanians in Transylvania could do little more than observe with a mixture of sympathy and concern the developments south of the Carpathians. Information about the principalities was relayed by Brassó merchants, as well as by boyars who, since the 1820s, made it a habit to visit Transylvania's spas. In fact, Transylvanian Romanians had closer links with the Romanians in Wallachia than with those in the Banat or Bihar County. To be sure, the Romanian middle class was stronger in Hungary proper than in Transylvania; Romanians served as chief magistrates in Arad (pop. 20,000) and Lugos (pop. 10,000), and some great land-owners, notably the Mocsonyis, affirmed their Romanian identity. A few Romanians figured prominently in struggles between liberals and conservatives at the county level, but, apart from Murgu's group, this middle class did not seem disposed to play an auto-nomous, national-political role. In Transylvania, by contrast, the Romanian intelligentsia emerged in the early 1840s as a potent political force, at times in collaboration, at other times in competition with the leaders of its Churches.