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force within the frontiers of aggressive expansionist states.

These unfavourable circumstances left their mark upon the Romanian peo- ple's history in general and, quite naturally, on its military component as well. Essentially, Romanian history is but a never - ending array of battles of defence, a permanent, tenacious, uninterrupted resistance against invaders, aiming at safeguarding unity, liberty and independence 2

I do not intend to present at large the concrete historical aspects of the Romanian people's struggle against foreign domination and for winning national independence, as they are dealt with in numerous scientific works.3 However, allow me to bring to your attention some general matters implied by the subject of this paper.

A first question would be how did the Romanian people manage to pre- serve its national being and assert its right to free existence within the concert of the world's people? In my opinion, the answer is provided by the analysis of the following factors:

First, there has been the wish of liberty of the Romanian people, which, no matter how numerous and powerful the aggressors and their military capacity, has always been determined to defend its land, wealth and independence at the cost of every sacrifice. Its belief that, sooner or later, justice will prevail upon the brutal force of the aggressors helped it not to lose courage, not even in the most difficult epochs, when parts of its territory were overrun and conquered, or when it fell under the rule of one or another of the empires. This wish and this confidence have been handed down from generation to generation, particularly through the progressive forces of the time, providing a fertile soil for the devel- opment of the patriotic features and military qualities defining the Romanian people.

A second element would be the Romanians' capacity to concentrate, at moments of serious external danger, all its forces, irrespective of the temporary state frontiers or of social structures specific to various historical epochs. During the Middle Ages, the Romanian countries - Moldavia, Wallachia (Muntenia) and Transylvania - often made common front against invaders, no matter what direc- tion they were coming from, and irreversibly strove for their merging into a sin- gle independent state. Later on, during the modern age, the co-nationals in the Romanian provinces at the time still under foreign domination gravitated to- wards the Romanian unitary state, which had been achieved through the free union of Moldavia and Muntenia in 1859, until the accomplishment of state unity in 1918, when these provinces likewise came back to their motherland.

An important aspect of this capacity to concentrate forces in the face of foreign threat was the participation of all social classes and categories in the

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