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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the forty-seventh Congress, 1880-'81

Roumania [Romania],   pp. 979-990 PDF (4.9 MB)

Page 980

  Yesterday, Mr. Maioresco and other Conservatives made a violent at-
tack upon the government, 'propos of the recent arrest of some Nihilists
at Jassy, and accused the Liberal party of being always connected
with revolutions and of protecting Nihilism and Socialism. Feelings
were so excited by this discussion that the Liberals held a party meet-
ing in the evening and informed the prime minister that they consid-
ered the immediate proclamation of the kingdom necessary as a clear
proof to all the world that they sincerely wished for a constitutional
monarchy, and had no sympathy with revolutionists. In case the min-
istry were unwilling, they threatened to pass the measure in spite of
them. After some hesitation, Mr. Bratiano agreed to the proposition
and went to the prince at midnight to obtain his approval.
  This morning early a council of ministers was held, in which the presi-
dent of the Senate and the president of the Chamber of Deputies took
part, and the mode of procedure was determined upon.
  When the Chamber met at noon General D. Leca moved that--
  In view of existing circumstances and conformably to the persistent and
manifested desire of the nation, in order to confirm stability and internal
order, and
at the same time to give a guarantee that the Roumanian monarchy, being in
the same
condition as other states of Europe, can inspire greater confidence, the
Chamber of
Deputies, in virtue of the national right of sovereignty, prociames his royal
Prince" Charles I, as King of Roumania.
  Mr. Carp, one of the most distinguished men of the opposition, warmly
approved this motion, and a bill was then brought in establishing Rou-
mania as a kingdom, giving its sovereign the title of King, and to the
heir to the throne that of prince royal. After enthusiastic speeches by
prominent men on both sides of the house, the bill was passed unani-
mously, 99 being present out of a total of 140 members.
  Meantime, after the first acclamation, the president of the Chamber
of Deputies sent a telegram to the president of the Senate informing
him of what had happened. The Senate at once broke out into loud and
hearty applause, and adjourned until the bill from the Chamber should
be brought in. On resuming its sitting, after short speeches from Mr.
George Cautacuzeno, Mr. Lascar Catargi, the leader of the Conservatives,
and Mr. Vasili Alecsandri, the Roumanian poet, the law was passed by
the unanimous vote of all present, 40 out of 68. Together with several
of the diplomatic body, I was present at this meeting.
  The Senate and the Chamber then walked to the palace, where, after
reading the report of the council of ministers (a translation of which I
inclose marked 1), the bill was signed by the prince and countersigned
by the ministers.
  In reply to the felicitations of the Senators and Deputies the King
made a short speech (a translation of which I inclose, marked 2). Their
majesties then appeared on the balcony of the palace and acknowledged
the acclamations of the crowd. The buildings are covered with flags,
the principal streets are illuminated and thronged with people, and the
greatest enthusiasm reigns.
   The universal feeling here is that by this act greater stability has
been given to the independence and the institutions of the country. As-
a principality, Roumania has always been more or less subject to the
encroachments of its neighbors. By this it is hoped that its independ-
ence will be more marked, and therefore respected. In the eyes of the
world a kingdom is always of more consequence than a principality, and
Roumania, in point of population, is larger than Sweden, Portugal, Hol-
land, Denmark, .Norway, or Greece, all kingdoms, and about equal to
Belgium, while in size it is the twelfth state in Europe.

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