Seen in itself, as a historical moment, the Union of the Romanian Principalities is an event of crucial importance in the process of fulfilling the ideal of the Union. At the same time, the Union of January 24, 1859 opens an era of foundation and edification of Modern Romania. Once seated on the throne of the country, Cuza thinks and triggers a process of national rebirth, a large-scale program, a real Country Project. The initiatives and reforms of the Cuza administration begin the reconstruction of the foundations of the country, a work of overwhelming difficulty: education reform, justice reform, agrarian reform, secularization of monastic wealth, tax reform, organization of the national army, etc. New laws and codes appear, which create a European framework for development in a country lagging behind due to historical conditions: the Law on Public Instruction, the Rural Law, the Fiscal Law, the Electoral Law, the Civil Code, the Criminal Code, etc. In a very short space of seven years, capital things happen: a new country is born – Romania – from the union of two countries separated by history, it changes fundamentally in front of a civilization, caught in the straps of an extremely slow evolution and a progress that has been difficult to notice for centuries due to a deeply hostile history. The process of modernizing Romania does not stop at the Era of Cuza’s rule. The movement of emancipation and progress, once triggered, cannot be stopped. The dethronement of Cuza by the palace coup, the abdication of February 11, 1866 and the bringing to the throne of the German prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen open a new era in an impetuous process of development and European assertion of the country.
158 years after the Union of Cuza, mirroring the past and the present, we have some meditation topics on the situation of Romania today. We discover some similarities and great differences. At least theoretically, we are still in an era of reconstruction of Romania, of its modernization and alignment with the European civilization. We are going through a period of reforms, in which, as from an inexhaustible source of legislation, laws, ordinances, government decisions, new codes appear. National reforms have been underway for a long time: education reform, health care reform, administration reform, and so on. On the agenda of the day, the months and the years, are the reform of the political class, the consolidation of the middle class, the European emancipation of the Romanian society. As in the past, the political scene is animated by conflicting visions, policies and interests, which sometimes erupt into large-scale scandals. Alliances and coalitions, monstrous or not, between political forces are made and broken even today, on the margins of the democratic game. Dissatisfied people gather in riots and public protests, popular anger wants to overthrow or overthrow governments, rumors of coups appear, large popular consultations are set up. Today, we are not yet fulfilled as a country from the perspective of unity and integrity, since the Prut remains a border that divides Stefan’s Moldova in two. For more than a century and a half, we are still settled as a democracy and a society. We are another state that, through its political class, corruption and poverty, stands on shifting sands. It seems that we do not have landmarks and ideals, we evolve more or less by chance, in the winds of European and world winds. We do not yet know, or cannot, assert our national identity, based on our history, civilization, culture and spirituality, we do not have the power to impose ourselves in Europe as a dignified and civilized country. We are not able to formulate a Country Project, which would synthesize Romania’s aspirations and ideals, which would express the country’s priority interests and its sense of development. We cannot stand together around any idea that is important for our evolution and destiny in Europe. On the contrary, we are a country torn by opposing interests, by a generalized discord, haunted by hatred and envy, by the inability to build something for the exaltation of Romania.
Looking back at the founders of the Union of Principalities, we see today that, despite their differences, they were animated and united by a common ideal: the Union, the assertion of the new country, called “Romania” (1862), in Europe, its emancipation, gradually, by the surrounding powers. Beyond divergent opinions and interests, they had the power to unite in a point of view that, in the end, prevailed: the election of Cuza in Bucharest as well. A brilliant coup of the Romanian political elite, which achieved the de facto and de jure Union, imposing a political and administrative reality on the great powers. The union of the two countries, Moldova and Wallachia, was the work of enlightened patriotic Romanian politicians, some vine boyars, thin people, educated in Paris, Vienna, Berlin and other European metropolises, who knew how to put the national interest and ideal above any. Looking at some of today’s politicians, from various doctrinal camps, we no longer find, unfortunately, the same high patriotic enthusiasm, the same desire to build, to build, to build a strong country, the same power of solidarity on behalf of the country, for common goals and projects, beyond differences, ideologies and interests. We see a deeply fragmented and divided scene, much more than democracy demands, torn and torn by hatred, insoluble rivalries, intractable adversity, populated Brownian, from the point of view of the ideological path, by authorized entities, hallucinated by power and thirst for domination. National interests, large-scale projects and programs, vital for the present and future of the country, the Country Project, genuine reforms, education, health, economy, modernization, unity, unity, all others remain themes and details overshadowed by the great and devastating thirst for power, which sets in motion those who understand today’s Romania as a deserted village, as an estate inherited by them from the Romanian people, for them and their families, as a territory of the struggle for seizure and domination.
On January 24, 2017, not only festive events and celebrations, not only patriotic songs and folk dances, not only gatherings, speeches and ribbon-cutting, not only the Union Choir must mark the memory of the Grace Event of 158 years ago. We must approach the Union not only through “feeling” but also through “thought.” More than necessary, it seems to us to be an act of reflection, of a deep look into the past, of an understanding of the processes at the dawn of Modern Romania, towards a better penetration of the evolutions and involutions in today’s Romania. The union of the Principalities took place in a glorious era of Europe, of the rise of the peoples, of the birth of Modern Romania. Providential personalities were involved in the great historical act, such as Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Enlightened Prince of the Union, prestigious figures of our history such as IC Brătianu, Alecsandri, Kogălniceanu, Costache Negri and many others. We are talking about an era and a golden generation of Romania. Politicians in the mid-nineteenth century knew how to put themselves in the service of the country, to put its interests and ideals above their personal ambitions. They have brilliantly demonstrated that history is not immutable, it is not destiny and fate, but a scenario that consists of walking, which is done by the will of the people and the intelligence of politicians. The union of January 24, 1859 stands before us today as a lesson in history. A lesson that teaches us, in essence, that history is made by people. And that in this struggle with the elements of time, with the hostile forces inside and outside, the human, intellectual and moral quality, education, intelligence, vision and patriotism of those invested by the people to lead their destinies are fundamental elements. Without them, nothing good can be done for the fate of a country. Let’s try, together, politicians and non-politicians, elites and ordinary people, in a first and essential exercise of solidarity, to learn something from the LESSON OF HISTORY.