Romania - istoria si geografia Romaniei in limba Engleza






Romania, republic in southeastern Europe, bounded on the north by Ukraine; on the east by Moldova; on the southeast by the Black Sea; on the south by Bulgaria; on the southwest by Serbia; and on the west by Hungary. Bucharest is its capital and largest city.

Though rich in culture and natural resources, Romania has long been one of Europe's poorest and least developed nations. Foreign powers, including the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, controlled the country for much of its history. In 1948 Communists took control of Romania and modeled the government and economy after those of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). However, in the 1960s Romania's Communist leaders began to distance themselves from the USSR and develop their own domestic and foreign policies. Romania's economy grew during the 1960s and 1970s, but by the 1980s most Romanians were suffering from food shortages and other economic hardships. In 1989 Romanians revolted against the repressive dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, the country's president and Communist Party leader. Ceausescu was executed, and a non-Communist government was installed. The first free multiparty elections took place in Romania in 1990.

Land and Resources

Romania has a total land area of about 237,500 sq km (about 91,700 sq mi). The country is roughly oval in shape, with a maximum distance from east to west of about 720 km (about 450 mi) and a maximum distance from north to south of about 515 km (about 320 mi). A long chain of mountain ranges curves through northern and central Romania. The Danube River forms much of the country's southern and southwestern borders with Bulgaria and Serbia, and the Prut River divides Romania from its northeastern neighbor Moldova.

Natural Regions

Transylvania, an extensive elevated plateau region that reaches a maximu m height of about 600 m (about 2000 ft), occupies most of central and northwestern Romania. Transylvania is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, a large mountain system of central and eastern Europe. The Eastern Carpathians extend from the northern border to the center of the country and contain the forested region of Bukovina; the Southern Carpathians, also known as the Transylvanian Alps, stretch westward from the Eastern Carpathian range; and the Western Carpathians traverse the western portion of Romania. The Southern Carpathians contain the country's highest peak, Moldoveanul, which reaches an elevation of 2543 m (8343 ft). The geological structure of the Carpathians has given rise to severe earthquakes: in 1977 an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale inflicted serious damage on Bucharest and claimed more than 1500 lives. Another earthquake measuring 6.0 was registered in 1990.

The areas stretching outward from Romania's mountainous interior contain hills and tablelands full of orchards and vineyards, and flat lowlands where cereal and vegetable farming takes place. Western Romania is dominated by the Tisza Plain, which borders both Hungary and Serbia; the section of the plain that borders Serbia is generally known as the region of Banat, while the section that borders Hungary is commonly referred to as Crisana-Maramures. To the east of central Romania, stretching from the Carpathians to the Prut River along the Moldovan border, lies the region of Moldavia. Southern Romania contains the region of Walachia, which stretches from the southernmost mountains to the Danube and contains the city of Bucharest. The small region of Dobruja, located in the extreme southeast between the Danube River and the Black Sea, is an important tourist center.

Rivers and Lakes

The most important river of Romania is the Danube. Its lower course forms a delta that covers much of northeastern Dobruja. Most of Romania's major rivers are part of the Danube system; these include the Mures, the Somes, the Olt, the Prut, and the Siret. Romania has many small, freshwater mountain lakes, but the largest lakes are saline lagoons on the coast of the Black Sea; the largest of these is Lake Razelm.

Plant and Animal Life

Wooded steppe, now largely cleared for agriculture, dominate the plains of Walachia and Moldavia. Fruit trees are common in the foothills of the mountains. The lower slopes have forests with such deciduous trees as birch, beech, and oak. The forests of the higher altitudes are coniferous, consisting largely of pine and spruce trees. Above the timberline (approximately 1750 m/5740 ft), the vegetation is alpine.

Wild animal life is abundant in most parts of Romania. The larger animals, found chiefly in the Carpathian Mountains, include wild boar, wolves, lynx, foxes, bears, chamois, roe deer, and goats. In the plains, squirrels, hare, badgers, and polecats are common. Many species of birds are abundant; the Danube delta region, now partly a nature preserve, is a stopover point for migratory birds. Among species of fish found in the rivers and offshore are pike, sturgeon, carp, flounder, herring, salmon, perch, and eel.

Natural Resources

The principal resources of Romania are agricultural, but the country also has significant mineral deposits, particularly petroleum, natural gas, salt, hard coal, lignite (brown coal), iron ore, copper, bauxite, chromium, manganese, lead, and zinc. Timber is also an important natural resource.

About 43 percent of land in Romania is cultivated, and the soils in most parts of the country are fertile. In Banat, Walachia, and Moldavia, soils consist mainly of chernozem, or black earth, highly suited for growing grain. Soils in Transylvania are generally lower in nutrients.

Climate

Romania has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Temperatures are generally cooler in the mountains, while the hottest areas in summer are the lowlands of Walachia, Moldavia, and Dobruja. The average daily temperature range in Bucharest is -7° to 1° C (19° to 34° F) in January and 16° to 30° C (61° to 86° F) in July. Rainfall is heaviest during the months of April, May, June, September, and October. Yearly rainfall averages about 650 mm (about 25 in), ranging from about 500 mm (about 20 in) on the plains to about 1020 mm (about 40 in) in the mountains. The climate of Dobruja is extremely dry.

Environmental Issues

Since 1989 measures have been taken to reduce air and water pollution in Romania. One of the country's most polluted areas is the city of Giurgiu on the northern bank of the Danube, where a Soviet-designed chemical plant was built in 1984; the plant has produced serious air pollution in both Giurgiu and the Bulgarian city of Ruse, located on the other side of the Danube. The town of Copsa Micà also has severe air pollution problems, stemming from the industrialization policies of the Communist period. Soil erosion is also a significant problem in Romania.

The People of Romania

Population and Settlement

At the 1992 census, Romania had a population of 22,760,449. The 1995 estimated population is about 23,505,000, yielding an average population density of about 96 persons per sq km (about 246 per sq mi). At the time of the 1992 census the population was about 54 percent urban.

Principal Cities

Bucharest, the capital and largest city of Romania, had a population of 2,064,474 in 1992; Bucharest is the commercial and industrial center of the country. Other major cities include Constanta (350,476), the principal Romanian port on the Black Sea; Iasi (342,994), a cultural and manufacturing center; Timisoara (334,278) a textile, machinery, and chemical manufacturing center; Cluj-Napoca (328,008), a commercial and industrial center; Galati (325,788), a naval and metallurgical center; Brasov (323,835), a transportation and industrial center; and Craiova (303,520), a center of food processing and locomotive manufacturing.

Ethnic Origins

Ethnic Romanians, who constitute about 89 percent of the population, are descendants of the inhabitants of Dacia, an ancient land roughly equivalent to modern Transylvania and Walachia. Dacia was conquered by the Romans and incorporated into the Roman Empire in the early 2nd century. The largest minority groups are Hungarians, who comprise about 8 percent of the population and are settled chiefly in Transylvania; Roma (or Gypsies), who constitute about 1.5 percent of the population; and Germans, who make about 0.5 percent of the population. Romania's German population has declined since the 1980s as many Germans have emigrated to Germany. Romania also has communities of Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Russians, Serbs, Croats, Turks, Bulgarians, Tatars, and Slovaks.

Language

Romania's official language is Romanian (see Romanian Language), a Romance language derived mainly from Latin. Minority languages include Hungarian, German, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, and Romani (the language of the Roma). English and French are taught in many schools and are the most common second languages spoken in Romania.

Religion

The principal religion of Romania is Christianity. About 70 percent of the population belongs to the Romanian Orthodox Church, the largest religious organization in the country. Approximately 5 percent of inhabitants (including much of the Hungarian population) belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The country also contains Protestant churches of various denominations and significant numbers of Muslims and Jews.

Education

The literacy rate in Romania is about 97 percent. Before 1989 the educational system heavily emphasized practical and technical studies; in recent years, however, management, business, and social sciences have become more popular. Primary education in Romania is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16; most children choose to continue their education beyond primary school. There are five types of secondary schooling available: general education schools, which prepare students to continue at the university level; vocational schools, which emphasize technical training; art schools, which provide general education with an emphasis on art and music; physical education schools, which provide general education with an emphasis on physical fitness and training; and teacher-training schools.

Romania has eight general universities: the University of Bucharest (founded in 1694; refounded in 1864); the Al. I. Cuza University of Iasi (founded in 1860); the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (1919); the University of Craiova (1966); the University of Ploiesti (1948); the Dunarea de Jos (Lower Danube) University of Galati (founded in 1948; given university status in 1974); the University of Timisoara (founded in 1962), and the Transylvania University of Brasov (1971). There are also eight technical universities and a number of other institutions of higher education.

Way of Life

The political and economic changes that have taken place in Romania since the 1980s have made daily life difficult for many ordinary citizens. Food prices are high relative to the country's low minimum wage, and few Romanians can afford luxuries. One-family houses are common in Romania's villages, while most city dwellers live in one-family apartments. Most apartment buildings were built during the Communist period and are cramped with minimal facilities. In Romania there are about 15 cars and 120 telephones for every 1000 inhabitants. Popular Romanian foods include mititei (seasoned grilled meatballs) and màmàligà (a cornmeal porridge that can be served in many different ways). Wine and a plum brandy called tuica are popular beverages among Romanians, and plàcintà (turnovers) are a typical dessert. Soccer is the favorite national sport.

Social Problems

The most serious social problem in Romania is the high rate of unemployment and low standard of living resulting from the country's transition from a state-run to a market economy. Other social problems surround the rights and treatment of Romania's minority populations. Since the end of Communism, the Roma minority has been a target of harassment and hostility. In the early 1990s a large number of Roma left Romania for Germany, but the German government sent many of them back the following year. Conflicts have also occurred between ethnic Hungarians and Romanians in Transylvania, as Hungarians' demands for greater autonomy and linguistic rights have provoked responses from nationalist Romanian groups.

Culture

Castelul Bran

Romanian culture is largely derived from the Roman, with strains of Slavic, Magyar (Hungarian), Greek, and Turkish influence. Poems, folktales, and folk music have always held a central place in Romanian culture. Romanian literature, art, and music attained maturity in the 19th century. Although Romania has been influenced by divergent Western trends, it also has a rich native culture.

Literature

Romanian literature has a rich and varied history. Between the 15th and 18th centuries the national literature was primarily religious. In the late 18th century historical writing became the dominant literary form; a number of major works from this period considered the origins and history of the Romanian people. In the century before World War I (1914-1918), Romanian literature reached maturity and reflected national unity. A major figure of this period was the poet Mihai Eminescu, whose work was influenced by German Romanticism. Other authors who distinguished themselves were the narrative poet and dramatist Vasile Alecsandri and the dramatist Ion Luca Caragiale, whose plays satirized middle-class life in late 19th century. Between 1921 and 1945 symbolism became important in Romanian poetry; important poets of that period were Lucian Blaga, who was also a philosopher, and Tudor Arghezi. The novel also came into prominence at this time, and Mihail Sadoveanu was widely considered to be Romania's most important novelist. From the late 1940s through the 1980s, while Romania was under Communist control, the country's literature was characterized by socialist realism, except for a brief period in the late 1960s when cultural controls were relaxed. The Romanian-born playwright Eugène Ionesco became famous after World War II (1939-1945) while living in France.

Art and Music

Romanian art, like Romanian literature, reached its peak during the 19th century. Among the leading painters were Theodor Aman, a portraitist, and the landscape painter Nicolae Grigorescu. Between 1945 and 1989 Romanian art was dominated by socialist realism, a school of art that was officially sponsored by the Communist government, and through which socialist ideals were promoted and advanced. A notable contribution to modern concepts of 20th century art was the work of the Romanian-born French sculptor Constantin Brancusi.

A number of Romanian musicians achieved international recognition in the 20th century. Most notable among them were Georges Enesco, a violinist and composer who is perhaps best known for his Romanian rhapsodies, and pianist Dinu Lipatti.

Libraries and Museums

Romania's principal libraries are the National Library (founded in 1955) and the Library of the Academy of Romania (1867), both in Bucharest. The Romanian National Museum of Art (1950), in Bucharest, contains fine collections of national, Western, and Asian art. Other important museums include the Historical Museum of Bucharest (1984) and the Museum of Romanian Literature (1957), also located in Bucharest.

Economy

Before World War II, the Romanian economy was primarily agricultural. In 1948 the Communist government came to power and took control of nearly all aspects of the economy. Through a series of five-year plans, the Communists transformed Romania into an industrial nation. The economy grew considerably during the first part of the Communist period, but by the 1980s it had slid into decline, and shortages of consumer goods and degradation of the environment had become widespread. After the Communist government was overthrown in 1989, the Romanian economy virtually collapsed. In the early 1990s the new non-Communist government began taking steps to reform the economy. These included devaluing the national currency, removing government subsidies on most consumer goods, and converting state-owned companies to private ownership.

The Romanian economy declined considerably in the early 1990s. In recent years, however, it has improved slightly. After several years of decline, the gross domestic product (GDP) increased by about one percent in 1993. In May 1994 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the Romanian government a $700 million loan, which helped to lower the country's inflation rate from more than 200 percent to about 60 percent in January 1995. Although Romania's private sector has grown considerably, especially in the area of services, most of the country's industrial production remained in state hands in 1995. This provoked concern among international lenders and hindered Romania's efforts to attract foreign investment. In June of that year the Romanian parliament passed a mass privatization program with the goal of transferring more than 2000 companies to private ownership.

Romania is currently a member of the IMF, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In February 1993 the Romanian government signed an association agreement with the European Union (EU), which was expected to lead to EU membership for Romania. A free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association came into effect in May 1993.

Labor

Unemployment has been a significant problem in Romania since the collapse of Communism in 1989; in 1995 about 11 percent of the population was unemployed. Approximately 36 percent of the labor force was employed in agriculture in the early 1990s; about 26 percent was employed in manufacturing, and about 3 percent was employed in mining; services employed much of the remainder.

The regulations governing trade unions were liberalized after the collapse of the Communist government, and significant labor unrest occurred in the early 1990s, particularly among miners. Approximately 22 percent of the working population belongs to one of a number of new trade organizations in Romania. The largest such organization is the National Free Trade Union Confederation of Romania (or, CNSLR-Fratia), which was formed by a merger in 1993 and has headquarters in Bucharest.[1]

Transylvania (Romanian Transilvania), region in central Romania, before 1918 a part of Austria-Hungary. The region is an elevated plateau entirely surrounded by the Transylvanian Alps, a range of the Carpathian Mountains. The mountains curve around the region like a wall and in various places spread over the land. The chief rivers are tributaries of the Tisza. The terrain is suitable for growing fruits, cereal grains, and sugar beets. Wine is also produced, and livestock is raised. Transylvania is rich in minerals, including gold, silver, salt, and coal.

Part of the Roman province of Dacia, the region became part of the kingdom of Hungary in 1003. In 1526, after the defeat of Hungary by the Turks, Transylvania became a separate principality under the protection of the Turkish sultan. Austria, which had previously claimed Transylvania, obtained possession of the region by the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, which concluded war between Austria and Turkey. In 1765 the region was made a grand principality of Austria and in 1849 an Austrian crown land, but it was reunited with the Hungarian Kingdom in 1867 upon the formation of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Transylvania became a part of Romania in December 1918 following World War I. Hungary persisted in claiming the area because of its large population of Magyars, who form the major ethnic group in Hungary. In 1940, during World War II, by the Italo-German award of August 30, the northern part of Transylvania, including 44,030 sq km (17,000 sq mi) with a population of 2,700,000, was given to Hungary. Following the war the ceded area was returned to Romania. Today, the majority of ethnic Hungarians in Romania live in the region of Transylvania. Area, about 62,160 sq km (about 24,000 sq mi).[2]



[1]'Romania,' Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[2]'Transylvania,' Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.









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