Libmonster ID: MD-902

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Danubian Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia continued to be heavily dependent on the Ottoman Empire. Considering the sub-vassal principalities as a source of tribute, livestock and food, Turkey ravaged and devastated the Romanian lands, constrained their productive forces and hindered economic development. Wallachia and Moldavia were deprived of independent trade relations with the outside world, isolated from the European market. The Turks closed the Black Sea route to the foreign trade of the principalities and did not allow the export of grain to other countries. The export of goods by land was very long and met with great obstacles from the Turkish authorities. Turkish merchants-farmers arrived in the principalities with firman 1 Ports and, with the help of Turkish officials, took hundreds of thousands of sheep, grain, wool, cheese, lard, honey, smoked meat and other products, paying for all this at their own will. Such a trade was barely concealed robbery.


At the end of the XVIII century. The Ottoman Empire was in a state of deep crisis caused by the rapid development of commodity-money relations and the extreme backwardness of the prevailing military-feudal system. The crisis of the Ottoman Empire was also a consequence of the Russo-Turkish wars of the XVIII and early XIX centuries. These wars dealt heavy blows to Turkish rule in the Balkans and contributed to the weakening of Turkish oppression in the enslaved lands. The Romanian principalities were faced with opportunities to expand their foreign trade relations, especially as a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1774, which ended with the conclusion of the Kucuk-Kainardzhi Peace Treaty.


An important consequence of the Kuchuk-Kaynardji Peace treaty was the removal of Turkish fugitive merchants from the territories of the principalities. However, the Turks continued to receive tens of thousands of heads of cattle, sheep and horses, agricultural products, construction timber, etc. from the population of Moldavia and Wallachia by force.


The long-term isolation of Moldavia and Wallachia from the outside world and the Turkish monopoly on grain were the reasons for the weak development of agriculture. "Cultivation and selection of land," wrote a traveler of the late eighteenth century. Carr - they don't know very well there. At least the fortieth of the perelogues is made an arable field. The peasant barely gets what he needs out of it, fearing that the Lord will be taken away from him, who want these poor people to have exactly what they need, so as not to starve to death."2 Vast tracts of fertile land remained uncultivated. The English consul Wilkinson noted in his travel notes that in Moldavia and Wallachia, barely one-sixth of the fields were sown, and mainly corn, oats, and hemp were cultivated. Total annual wheat production reached approximately 10 million kilos3 . Of these, 1.5 million kilos4 were delivered to Turkey at fixed prices. The main wealth of the principalities during this period was cattle. In 1822, 32,000 head of cattle were exported .5


The Kuchuk-Kainardzhi Treaty contributed to some revival of foreign trade. In addition to cattle sent to Turkey, Austria, Poland, Russia, as well as sheep and horses, which were almost completely taken away: Turkey, Moldavia sold abroad in 1822 1 million oca 6 of butter, 2.5 million tons of grain. oka of beef fat, 1.5 million tons. oka brynza, 2.2 million rubles. oka wool, 8 mln. the eye of salt. From Wallachia in the same year it was exported

1 Firman - an order of the Sultan personally signed by him.


2 "The history of Moldavia and Wallachia with a discussion of the present state of these two principalities..." G ... K ... SPB. 1791, p. 149.


3 W. Wilkinson. Voyage dans la Valachie et la Moldavie. Paris. 1831, p. 68. Kilo is an old Turkish measure of weight, equal to approximately 11.5 kg.


4 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente privitoare la istoria romanilor. Bucuresti. 1887-1942. Vol. X. Foreword by N. Iorga, p. XX.


5 Ibid., p. XXII.


6 Oka is an old measure of weight and liquids, equal to 2.272 grams.


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22 million rubles. okali, 50 thousand pigs, up to 450 thousand. oka wax, rabbit skins and other products 7 .


The growth of commodity-money relations affected the formation of the domestic market. The peasants began to show some demand for handicrafts. The number of workshops for the production of industrial goods increased; the division of labor was introduced. At the manufactory enterprises, the labor of serfs prevailed, but there were already hired workers - foreign craftsmen and townspeople. Manufacturing enterprises still produced a small part of the goods that were traded on the market; production and" was characterized by extreme technical backwardness.


The feudal agricultural economy of the principalities was entering a stage of decay, but corvee remained the basis for the exploitation of peasant labor. The Code of Gospodar Karadzha (1817) confirmed that "... corvee is a common form of labor in Wallachia, the amount of which is determined by the landowner when a corvee peasant is admitted to the estate " 8 .


As commodity-money relations developed, the boyars sought to extract more and more products from their estates in order to sell them for money on the domestic and especially foreign markets. In the pursuit of profit, the boyars increased the number of corvee days, imposed new duties on the peasants, and the lords legalized them. According to the calculations of the first Romanian economist Nicolae Sutso, it took at least 36 - 40 days in a year9 to fulfill the corvee defined in 1790 by the decree of the Lord of Moruzz .


"Corvee," wrote Marx,"combined in the Danubian principalities with in-kind rents and other attributes of serfdom, was, however, a large tribute paid to the ruling class." 10


Everything that a peasant would earn by hard labor from land, forests, rivers, and lakes was subject to taxation. Boyar and monastic tithes were widely used. It extended to mown bread and straw, cut down firewood, collected acorns, fished fish, etc. With the development of commodity-money relations, a number of in-kind duties were replaced and supplemented by monetary levies, monetary rent, which, according to V. I. Lenin, is "a simple change in the form of in-kind rent" 11 . The methods of squeezing money out of the peasants were extremely diverse. The landlords assumed the exclusive right to produce and sell wine and vodka, and the peasants were forced by various measures to buy these alcoholic beverages in the manor shops. Mills could also belong only to the boyars. The Code of Karaj forbade peasants to grow grapes, sell wine and other alcoholic beverages, build mills, and maintain butchers ' shops without the landowner's permission. If the farmer did not buy a certain amount of alcoholic beverages, he was refused to grind grain. Residents of the village of Syrulesti (Ilfov county) paid tribute for the right to water cattle and wet flax and hemp in the monastery lake Codreni 12 .


The growth of corvee and other feudal duties took place in the conditions of constant reduction of land plots of serfs and the expansion of landlords ' land in this way.


At the same time, there was a process of forcible seizure of land that had been in the hereditary possession of free Rezesh peasants for centuries. Landless Rezeshs increasingly joined the ranks of forced vechin peasants.


Three-quarters of the total land ownership of the principalities belonged to landlords and monasteries, and only one-fourth belonged to the so-called free peasants. This latter part was reduced every day due to the growth of boyar and church lands13 .


The most gloomy page in the history of Turkish rule was the rule of the Russian Empire.

7 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. X, p. XXII, XXVI.


8 "Acte si documente relative la istoria renasterei Romaniei", publicate de Q. Petrescu, D. A. Sturdza si D.C. Sturdza. Vol. III. Bucuresti. 1889, p. 82.


9 См. V. Slavescu. Viata si opera economistului Nicolae Sutu. Bucuresti. 1941, p. 295.


10 K. Marx. Kapital, T. I. Gospolitizdat. 1955. p. 24?.


11 V. I. Lenin, Soch. Vol. 3, p. 143.


12 V. Urechia. Istoria Romanilor. Bucuresti. 1891 - 1901. Vol. V, p. 453; Vol. VIII, p. 71.


13 Ch. Perthusier. La Valachie, la Moldavie et de l'influence politique Grecs du Fanal. Paris. 1822, p. 26.


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of the Phanariot Gospodars, which lasted for more than a hundred years 14 .


Mark Philippe Zalovi, who lived among the Phanariots for many years and had the opportunity to thoroughly study their methods of government, wrote: "And if there is a firm, impartial hand that would undertake to write the history of Moldavia and Wallachia, then the pages of this history under the rule of the Phanariots will be filled with nothing but the arbitrariness of these new despots. The unfortunate inhabitants of the principalities should tremble at the very name of Phanars and Phanariots. " 15 Obtaining the lordship required enormous expenses. Only from the day of the proclamation of the new ruler in Constantinople until his arrival in the capital of the principality, he spent 300 thousand piastres on the preparation of his departure and mainly on gifts to Turkish dignitaries. 16 The phanariot lords, who were appointed for three years, were in a hurry to recover their expenses and enrich themselves at the expense of the subject population.


Large boyars quickly adapted to the rule of the Phanariots, in alliance with them oppressed the masses and served as the support of the sultan within the principalities. Usually, a whole retinue of phanariots arrived in the principality together with the gospodar. Along with the local boyars, they were appointed to the highest positions and thereby also became boyars. All of them had one single goal in the principalities - to enrich themselves as much as possible and faster. The Phanariots brought with them to the principalities a buyout system, in which all administrative positions from top to bottom and lucrative positions were openly sold and bought. A foreign traveler who visited Moldova in the first quarter of the 19th century calls this system a social gangrene that begins in the highest levels of government .17


The budget of the principalities was not yet separated from the personal budget of the gospodar , 18 and the lion's share of State revenues was placed at his disposal. The state revenues of Moldavia, which amounted to 2,400 thousand lei at the beginning of the 19th century, were distributed as follows: 600 thousand lei - tribute to the Turkish sultan, 930 thousand lei - for the maintenance of the gospodar, 550 thousand lei - for the highest dignitaries-boyars, and 320 thousand lei, allocated to cover various state expenses, were also spent in large part on needs of the gospodar court 19 .


General Langeron of the Russian army, a participant in the Russo-Turkish wars, tells about the deep decomposition of the ruling elite of Wallachia. In his war diary, he writes: "The words: order, justice, honesty, honor are completely forgotten in Wallachia, where all employees are bribed, that is, they pay for the right to commit all crimes with impunity... Embezzlement of the treasury, theft, and the brutality of officials are not only not hidden, but even encouraged. " 20 The police officer who headed the district government paid a certain amount for his position to the boyar, who, in turn, paid bribes to members of the Divan 21 . Each peasant family had to pay a certain rather large tax to the Divan, but the police commissioner arbitrarily increased it by two, four, or ten times and divided the amount received with the members of the Divan.


The command of the Russian troops that occupied the territory of Moldavia and Wallachia during the Russo-Turkish wars, trying to ensure a reliable rear, repeatedly tried to improve the management system. P. I. Bagration, who commanded the Moldavian army in the war of 1806-1812, wrote in proposals addressed to the class of first-class boyars of the principality of Wallachia: "Complaints, - the documents that have come down to me, my personal identification and the research carried out by people entrusted to me, have confirmed to me that the people, on whom alone all the burden falls, are completely ruined... ...Collection of fixed taxes... the commission became arbitrary. They were collected in other cases.

14 Phanariots-Greek gospodars (Phanara - a quarter of Constantinople), who arrived in Wallachia in 1716 and replaced the local gospodars.


15 "Essai sur les Fanariotes", par Marc-Filipp Zallony. Marseille. 1824, p. 249 - 250.


16 From the report of the French Consul Tasoigne to Paris by E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XVI, p. 108


17 См. "Souvenirs de Moldavie". Scarlat Kallimachi. Pagini inedite despre Moldova. Bucuresti. 1947, p. 33.


18 Ch. M. Dobrovici. Istoricul desvoltarii economice si financiare a Romaniei. Bucuresti. 1934, p. 21.


19 "History of Moldavia", Vol. I. Edited by A.D. Udaltsov and L. V. Tcherepnin. Chisinau. 1951, p. 400.


20 See "Notes of Count Langeron". "Russian antiquity". 1908, No. 7, p. 168.


21 Divan-Boyar Council for Administrative and Judicial Affairs.


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in some places three times, in others five times, and in others even ten times against the previously existing measure. To further increase the misfortunes that fall upon the poor people, it is especially the fact that all the positions of internal administration of the earth, from the first to the last, are being sold and have become a source of enrichment for those who have the greatest share in the distribution of seats."22


Turkish-Phanariot and boyar oppression led to an absolute decline in the population due to its large mortality rate and mass flight from the principalities. Hundreds of thousands of peasants left for neighboring regions of Russia, Serbia and Bulgaria. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were no more than 900,000 inhabitants in Wallachia and 400,000 in Moldavia .23


The resistance of the peasants to boyar exploitation was also expressed in covert sabotage of the performance of duties, in refusal to work, in the growth of Haiduk detachments, and especially in violent uprisings. According to Balchesku, in 1775, more than 10,000 peasants abandoned their fields and plundered the estates of landlords .24 In 1793, demonstrations took place in the village of Rusavetsu, in the area of Buzau and in Karakol, where peasants set fire to and destroyed the manager's house. 25 The chronicler Dragich wrote about the peasant unrest of 1804-1805: "There were so many troubles in the country that people stopped cultivating the land, lost their heads and, excited, went from place to place." The peasants of numerous villages belonging to the great boyar Grigore Brinkovian stopped paying levies and performing corvee duties .26 In 1819, several villages in the Upper Jiu district revolted ."..because people didn't want to work in the corvee any more than they did before." A year later, in 1820, five other villages of the Mekhedintsi uyezd rose up to fight .


Haiducism has taken on a wide scale. The Hajduk detachments consisted of peasants who fled to the forests and fought with weapons in their hands against the Turkish-boyar oppression. They attacked the landlords ' estates, sacked and set them on fire, killed the most hated boyars and Turkish proteges. The Haiduks inspired fear and terror in the boyars, but the people looked upon them as their avengers, gave them secret support and sang in songs. At the beginning of the 19th century, a group of Haiduks was very popular, headed by Iancu Gianu, a native of the small-scale" nobles".


Hatred of the Turkish enslavers and their servants united people of different nationalities in the Carpathian Mountains and forests of Wallachia. There is evidence of a Haiduk detachment of more than 300 people, created in 1817 and existing until the beginning of the Wallachian uprising in 1821. The group, led by Kirdjali, an Albanian, Shvedko, a Serbian, and Michalake, a Romanian, seized the goods of Turkish merchants, boldly attacked the estates of Phanariots and local boyars, took the loot from the people there and returned it to the peasants .28 References to the growing Hajduk movement are found in documents from 1812-181829 .


Numerous performances took place in the first quarter of the XIX century and in cities. In 1811, there were riots in Bucharest among merchants and artisans. 800 people went to the finance department, protesting against the introduction of new taxes 30 . In 1818, there were street battles in Yassage. The indignant people destroyed the Gospodar palace, and the gospodar was forced to hide. 30 people were killed during the clashes .31


The leading men of Wallachia and Moldavia were becoming increasingly aware that an organization capable of leading the liberation movement was necessary for an effective struggle against Turkish-Phanariot oppression and boyar exploitation. In 1816, the first, rather large-scale secret revolutionary organization was discovered and destroyed by the authorities in Wallachia.-

22 "Bagration in the Danubian Principalities". Collection of documents. Chisinau. 1949, pp. 77-78.


23 Ch. Perthusier. Edict. op. pp. 26, 46.


24 N. Balcescu. Opere. Vol. I. Bucuresti. 1953, p. 258.


25 "Istoria RPR". Bucuresti. 1952, p. 244.


26 D. Xenopol. Istoria partidelor politice in Romania. Vol. I. Bucuresti. 1910, p. 41.


27 S. Stirbu. Legaturile intre rascoala din 1821 cu miscarile de eliberare. Studii si referate. Ed. Acad. RPR. Vol. II. Bucuresti. 1952, p. 953.


28 See E. Regnaull. Histoire politique et sociale des principautes danubiennes. Paris. 1856, p. 119 - 120.


29 Gh. Georgescu-Buzau. Descom-punerea feudalismului si inceputurile capitalismului in tara Romaneasca si Moldova. Bucuresti. 1949, p. 37.


30 N. Jorga. Istoria Comertului romanesc. Vol. II. Bucuresti. 1925, p. 131.


31 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XVI, j. 1030.


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It was headed by Mikhail Gross. From the materials of the investigation it follows that "the organization had 150 members, and its task was not to plunder, but to actually liberate this principality from tyranny" 32 . The verdict of the court over the leaders of the organization stated: "The accused set themselves the task of organizing a terrible murder of the boyars, incited the people to completely overthrow the existing political system, to revolt against the local government, against the clergy, boyars and rich merchants; under the pretext of liberation from extortion and serfdom, they wanted to throw the country into the abyss of anarchy and sought to Serbia from an all-powerful power " 33 . This document suggests that the Wallachian organization was associated with revolutionary elements in Serbia.


Mikhail Gross and other Austrian citizens convicted by the Wallachian court were handed over to the Austrian authorities to continue the investigation, and Nikolai Petrovich from Mogilev and Radu Balog from Bucharest were executed. They were, as the Romanian professor S. Stirbu correctly writes, "the first martyrs of the Wallachian underground revolutionary movement that began to organize in the early 19th century." 34


The discovery of an underground revolutionary organization seriously disturbed the ruling elite. Along with the physical destruction of the participants in the struggle, measures were taken to mercilessly defeat the remnants of organizations and persecute all "untrustworthy" ones. In 1816-1818, Gospodar Karadzha issued numerous orders to strengthen surveillance of all "suspicious" elements, to thoroughly check all those who carry weapons, and to identify places where meetings are held. But the revolutionary struggle continued to grow and escalate. The most striking manifestation of the people's struggle against Turkish oppression, Phanariot gospodars, and noble boyars was the largest uprising of the Romanian people in 1821 under the leadership of Tudor Vladimirescu.


The uprising of 1821 began simultaneously with the armed struggle waged on the territory of the principalities by the organization of Greek patriots - Hetaeria. Tudor Vladimirescu, the leader of the Wallachian rebels, and Alexander Ypsilanti, the head of the Greek liberation movement, were linked before the uprising began. The common goal of the Greek and Wallachian rebels was to liberate their countries from Turkish enslavement.


An armed popular uprising in Wallachia was prepared long and carefully. Some evidence suggests that Tudor Vladimirescu was involved in the revolutionary organization mentioned above, which was discovered in 1816 .35


Tudor Vladimirescu was originally from Sele, kiya Vladimir, Gorj county (Oltenia). A native of the peasants, he was engaged in trade, became rich and was associated with small-scale boyars. From a young age, he hated Turkish oppression and saw in the Russian army a natural ally in the fight against the enslavers of his homeland. In 1806, during the Russo-Turkish war, he persuaded the Pandurs of Oltenia to fight against the Turkish army, expelled the Turks from Oltenia, and held out there for six months until the arrival of Russian troops led by General Isaev. Having joined the Russian army as a volunteer, where he was awarded the rank of lieutenant, he commanded a detachment of Wallachian Pandurs in it; for his bravery, he was awarded the Order 37 . After the end of the war, Tudor Vladimirescu enjoyed the support of the Russian embassy in Bucharest, was appointed to various administrative positions, having armed pandurs and Arnauts at his disposal .38 In January, 1821. Tudor Vladimirescu and 25 Arnauts left Bucharest for Oltenia to raise the people to revolt. Several hundred panduras joined him. The Pandurs, among whom the traditions of fighting against the Turks were still alive, also showed dissatisfaction with the fact that, contrary to the customs of the country, they were imposed with various taxes. They formed the armed core of the uprising.


The atmosphere in the country was so tense that within a few days the uprising spread to all the counties of Oltenia.

32 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XX, p. 289.


33 Ibid.


34 S. Stirbu. Op. ed., p. 955


35 See ibid., p. 957.


36 Pandurs-infantry soldiers of Oltenia.


37 See I. P. Liprandi. A brief sketch of the ethnographic, political, moral and military state of the Christian regions of the Turkish Empire, Moscow, 1877, p. 12.


38 Arnauts-hired soldiers, mainly from Albanians, in the service of the gospodar.


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The peasants gave their support to the Pandurs, and many enthusiastically joined them. Only in the Kloshan district 600 people joined the rebels, and in the village of Chernets - 1500 people.


The rebels were joined by groups of Haiduks who came out of the woods. The French historian Renol tells about the joining of the Kirjali-Shvedko-Mahalake detachment mentioned above to the national liberation struggle. Kirdjali gathered his Haiduks and addressed them with the following words:: "Brothers, for 4 years now we have shared all the dangers and joys of the struggle. But the time has come to make a decision that may divide us, for the hour of Christian independence from Turkey has come. Ypsilanti is approaching Focsani, and Teodor is in Craiova, heading for Bucharest. Who do you want to follow?..Two hundred men, led by Kirjali and Mahalake, went to Ypsilanti, and the remaining hundred, led by Shvedko, joined Vainresk .39


Tudor Vladimirescu, by promising the Pandurians freedom from extortion, the peasants relief from their plight, and the entire people reprisals against local oppressors and the expulsion of criminal rulers, managed to raise the whole of Oltenia to its feet and create an army that could not be resisted by any local force .40


Numerous foreigners, including Russians, who were in Wallachia at that time, were amazed by the scale of the movement and its rapid spread. On February 15, 1821, Ignatius Yakovenko, an official at the Russian Embassy in Bucharest, wrote:: "The events in Wallachia Minor are becoming more important day by day. The crowds of people led by Teodor Vladimiresko have greatly increased, and although their exact strength is not yet known, judging from the success of their enterprise, it must be assumed that they cannot be dispersed by the Arnautas gathered by the government in Craiova. " 41


Tudor Vladimirescu's program was set out in his address to the Divan, in which he demanded to replace the Phanariote Gospodars with local Gospodars, to create a representative assembly with the participation of all segments of the population, to organize a national army, to carry out tax reform and to exempt Wallachia from paying tribute for three years .42 ""All the way to Oltenia, from Cerneci to the Motru monastery," wrote a contemporary, " the people enthusiastically welcomed Tudor as their deliverer, savior. His troops were growing by the day. Tudor spoke to the peasants and assured them that he would free them from the tyranny of the boyars and heavy duties. " 43


The appeals written by Vladimirescu had a great impact on the people. These proclamations were read aloud at mass gatherings of peasants. The first proclamation, which set out the reasons and goals of the uprising, addressed to all the inhabitants of Wallachia, read:: "No matter what tribe you belong to, nothing prevents you from responding evil to evil. If you meet a snake on the way, you hit it with a club and destroy it, because otherwise it can kill you with its bite. And what about the dragons, our rulers, both ecclesiastical and political, who are devouring us alive. How long will we let them drink our blood?


...Come immediately, all of you... Whoever has a weapon, let him come with a weapon, and whoever does not have one, let him go with an iron pitchfork and stakes... But Vladimirescu immediately warned: "... let everyone know that no one should touch a single grain, should not encroach on the property of urban or rural merchants, as well as other residents, except only on the ill-gotten fortune of tyrant boyars. This property, however, should not be appropriated by you personally, but should be used for the benefit of the whole society, for this is what we have promised to do. " 44


Attempts by the Boyar Divan to eliminate the uprising at its very beginning failed. Special missions were sent from Bucharest twice, the first time led by Boyar Vacarescu, the second - with Boyar Samurkas. They were given the task of ending the uprising by any means: military force, negotiations, bribery of leaders, etc.But both missions did not yield any results. Arnauts that are pytaed-

39 E. Regnault. Op. ed., pp. 120-121.


40 A. Otetea. Tudor Vladimirescu si miscarea eterista in farile romanesti 1821 - 1822. Bucuresti. 1945, p. 155.


41 "Moldavia and Wallachia from 1820 to 1829 in the letters of Ignatius Yakovenko". St. Petersburg, 1834, p. 13.


42 См. E. Vartosu. 1821. Date si fapte noui. Bucuresti. 1932 p. XIX-XX.


43 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XX, p. 544.


44 See N. Jorga. Isvoarele conternporane asupra miscarii lui Tudor Vladimirescu. Bucuresti. 1921, p. 6 - 7.


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They refused to move against the rebels, refused to obey orders, saying that "...they will not fight against their brothers." Some evidence suggests that Samurkash himself was a member of the Hetaeria and used the assignment he received from Divan to delay negotiations and allow Vladimirescu to gain time .45 Tudor Vladimirescu replied to all proposals to end the struggle that "the people demand nothing more than the return of what the government has looted from them in the collection of taxes and other things." 46


The first appeals and speeches of Vladimirescu were directed mainly against the "tyrant boyars". Although the demands set forth in them did not raise the most pressing, vital questions of peasant life: the abolition of feudal duties and the allocation of land to the peasants, they met with a deep response in the countryside. The peasant masses believed that the uprising would bring them deliverance from boyar oppression, and unconditionally supported the Pandurs, sending a large number of new fighters to their army and providing it with carts, horses, and food. "With one accord, all the peasants of the Mehedinci district hurried to Theodore and brought him everything necessary for moving forward on oxen and horses." 47 Events stirred up the Wallachian villages. In many places, the massacre of the hated landlords and their proteges began. Some documents from this period indicate that Vladimirescu's speeches ignited in the hearts of the peasants "an enthusiasm for revenge" and "everything in the principalities rose to its feet, everything staggered" 48 . In a number of villages in Oltenia, peasants revolted before the Pandurs arrived. The Diwan of Craiova sent a well-armed detachment of 60 people to fight the rebellious villages of Bailesti-Syrulesti, Bailesti-Romanesti and Coroyu, Dolz County. The uprising broke out in the Targoviste area "to a much stronger extent than before." More than 400 people went to Bucharest to seek the return of their documents to the lands taken from them by the landlords. 49 Near the Motru monastery, the boyar estate was completely destroyed, in Gorj county, the house of the landowner Broshteanu was damaged, and in Mehedinci county, many tenants were stripped naked and 50 were beaten .


As the "enthusiasm for revenge" grew, Vladimirescu, in the name of order and discipline in his ranks, intensified the fight against unrest and arbitrariness over the boyars and mercilessly punished those responsible. Very characteristic is the case in the estate of Benesti landowner Iordache Otetelesanu, which sheltered 8 boyar families who fled from Bucharest. Having learned about the place of hiding of the boyars, a detachment of Arnauts in 73 people, along with a crowd of peasants from the surrounding villages, armed with axes and clubs, broke into the estate, intending to destroy the boyars who were there. But at this time Vladimirescu suddenly appeared with his guards. He saved all the boyars, took them under his protection, and declared that anyone who touched any of them would be sentenced to death. All the Arnauts who were besieging the estate were arrested and sent under heavy guard to Slatina. On Vladimirescu's orders and in his presence, two Arnaut commanders, Job and Ieniciu, were hanged, their heads placed on stakes and displayed at the crossroads for "an example to others." 51 In other cases, Vladimirescu also mercilessly punished those responsible for arbitrary reprisals against boyars and officials.


On March 1, 1821, the rebels occupied the capital of Oltenia, Craiova. Representatives of the new government were appointed throughout the region. Major boyars and officials left Craiova and Bucharest in a panic. Many of them fled to neighboring Transylvania and settled in Brasov. On March 16, the rebel army, which numbered more than 6 thousand foot Pandurs and 2500 mounted Arnauts, approached Bucharest 52 . This army, armed with rifles and six cannons, was a significant force for that time, capable of waging a long and successful struggle. Upon entering Bucharest, it opened up great opportunities for replenishing its numbers and armament.


According to the report of the Prussian Consul Kreischler, in Bucharest at this time on-

45 See A. Otetea. Op. ed., p. 167.


46 See Ignatius Yakovenko. Op. ed., p. 113.


47 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente. Vol. XX, p. 150.


48 A. Otetea. Op. ed., p. 150.


49 Ignatius Yakovenko. Op. ed., p. 17.


50 A. Otetea. Op. ed., p. 150.


51 C. Aricescu. Istoria revolutiunii romane de la 1821. Vol. II. Craiova. 1874, p. 34, 47.


52 N. Jorga. Isvoarele contemporane asupra miscarii lui Tudor Vladimirescu. Bucuresti. 1921, p. 80.


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There were 20,000 fugitive peasants, artisans, and workers who were ready to support the struggle against Turkish-boyar oppression .53 It is possible that the frightened consul somewhat exaggerated the size of this category of Bucharest's population. But the data provided certainly indicates a favorable atmosphere for the rebels in the capital. In an appeal to the population of Bucharest, Vladimirescu invited representatives of artisans to his camp to negotiate with them for help. Before entering Bucharest, he again issued an appeal to the population of the capital, in which he explained the reasons that led him to take up arms: the loss of the old privileges that the country had enjoyed before the Phanariots, and the robbery of the people by the authorities. He called on the population to assist him in establishing "universal happiness". Not a single word was said against the boyars in this appeal.


The Pandurs, who were enthusiastically received by the majority of the population, entered Bucharest on March 21. With the capture of the capital, the conquest of power was to be completed and the decisive implementation of the promised changes would begin. But it was different. Tudor Vladimirescu made a number of mistakes that proved fatal for the outcome of the uprising and for him personally. One of the major mistakes was the refusal to fight together with the Greek People's Liberation Forces.


The secret society of Greek patriots, Hetaeria, which was formed in Odessa in 1814, prepared for a number of years an armed struggle for the liberation of Greece. The leader of this movement was Alexander Ypsilanti, the son of a former Wallachian hospodar-Phanariot, and in recent years a general in the service of the Russian army. In early March 1821, Ypsilanti arrived in Iasi and raised the banner of the national liberation struggle against Turkey. On March 27, Ypsilanti troops approached Bucharest to meet with the Wallachian rebels and organize coordinated actions with them. But after encountering Vladimirescu's wavering position and learning that the Russian tsar had publicly disowned him, Ypsilanti soon pulled back his troops and stopped at Targoviste.


Tudor Vladimirescu's behavior was strongly influenced by the attitude of the Russian tsar to the events on the territory of the Romanian principalities, on whose help the leader of the rebellious Wallachians naively pinned his hopes. While forming an alliance with Ypsilanti and maintaining ties with Hetaeria, Vladimirescu believed that the Greek patriot movement enjoyed the help of the tsarist government. But by the time the Ypsilanti army reached Bucharest, on March 26, it became known that Alexander I, who was at that time in Leibach for the congress of the Holy Alliance, had firmly renounced Vladimirescu, as well as Ypsilanti. Deprived of the support of the tsarist government, Ypsilanti proved too weak and inconvenient an ally for Vladimirescu. In a conversation with the head of the Austrian agency in Bucharest, Udritsky, Vladimirescu said that he did not want to shed the blood of Romanians for the Greek cause, and demanded that Ypsilanti stay out of Bucharest .54 Ypsilanti also made mistakes about the Romanian movement. Stationed in Targoviste, he replaced many of the authorities appointed by Vladimirescu with his own men, tried to capture the fortresses in Oltenia that were in the hands of the Pandurs, gave orders that all the Arnauts from Vladimirescu's troops should go under his banner, and demanded excessive supplies .55 Vladimirescu was dissatisfied with the fact that the Greek forces were delayed in the country, and their command even tried to settle in Bucharest. Vladimirescu previously stated: "We will make it easier for Prince Ypsilanti to cross the Danube so that he can go to liberate his homeland." 56 Vladimirescu also took into account the fact that there was a great hatred among the people against the Gospodars of Greek origin, and the alliance with the Greek movement in the current conditions may not be understood by the people, and the presence of the Ypsilanti in Bucharest may be interpreted as the return of Greek rule. It is quite obvious, however, that the struggle of the Greek patriots who raised the banner of the national liberation war in the entire Balkan Peninsula could have nothing in common with the Greek servants of the Porte-the Phanariots.


The Tsarist government, trying in every possible way to weaken the Ottoman Empire and expand its influence in the Balkan region.

53 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. X, p. 113.


54 См. N. Jorga. Domnul Tudor din Vladimir. Bucuresti, 1921, p. 90.


55 See A. Otetea. Op. ed., pp. 245-248.


56 C. Aricescu. Edict. soch. Vol. II, p. 91.


page 101

on the peninsula, it was ready to support the struggle that had begun against Turkey. But the tsar was the most ardent enemy and strangler of the revolutionary movement of the peoples. The armed struggle of the Hetaerists was being prepared on the territory of Russia, it was headed by a former general of the Russian army, and the tsarist government could not have been unaware of him. When the liberation movement of the Greek patriots unfolded with great force, rousing the Balkan peoples to a revolutionary struggle that threatened to sweep away the local feudal lords along with the Turkish enslavers, tsarism was afraid of its scope and consequences, renounced it and allowed the defeat of the Greek rebels by the Turks. The attitude of the tsarist government towards the uprising in Wallachia was the same. Some facts indicate that Tudor Vladimirescu visited the Russian consulate in Bucharest during the preparation of the armed action .57 When the action took on the character of a nationwide revolutionary struggle, the tsarist government's support for it was out of the question. In addition, the uprising on the territory of the Romanian principalities coincided with the revolution in Italy and other revolutionary movements that were suppressed by the Holy Alliance. Tsarism publicly denounced the struggle of the Balkan peoples against Turkish oppression and contributed to the suppression of the uprising.


The attitude of the advanced Russian people towards the national liberation struggle of the Balkan peoples was different. In Odessa and other cities of southern Russia, the advanced public openly welcomed the beginning of the national war against the Turks, collected money and gifts for Greek patriots; many volunteered for the Romanian and Greek national liberation forces. Among Tudor Vladimirescu's closest supporters were the Russian officers Brothers of Macedon. Orlov, Rayevsky, Okhotnikov, and Liprandi, who were in Chisinau at that time, did their best to support the national liberation movement. They received the news of the beginning of the uprising with enthusiasm; proclamations of welcome were distributed in the city .58


P. I. Pestel closely followed the course of the uprising and informed the Chief of Staff of the Moldovan Army, Adjutant General P. D. Kiselev, in detail about it. In a letter dated March 3, 1821, he reported on the progress of the uprising and on the proclamation issued by Tudor Vladimirescu. In this letter, Pestel says with obvious displeasure about the actions of the Russian consul: "Our consul, General Pini, also wrote to Vladimirescu, reproaching him for organizing the uprising. The reply was very brusque, and among other things it says that M. Pini takes the side of the oppressors of Wallachia only because he shared with them, and especially with the last ruler, the plundered goods of the people. Then Mr. Pini sent a dispatch to Leibach, in which he called Vladimirescu a carbonari. " 59 A. S. Pushkin, who was in exile in Chisinau at that time, followed the national liberation struggle with sympathy and hope. He reported to B. L. Davydov (the future Decembrist) about the performance of Vladimirescu and the Greek uprising, assessing these events as incidents "that will have consequences that are important not only for our region, but for the whole of Europe." 60 The struggle that unfolded on the territory of Wallachia against Turkish oppression really caused active responses. The uprising led by Tudor Vladimirescu hastened the start of the Greek national liberation movement in neighboring Moldova. In the above-mentioned letter, Pestel speaks about the influence of the Wallachian uprising on events in Moldavia. "When the events of Wallachia became known in Moldavia," wrote Pestel, " the Arnauts and Greeks living in that region opened a voluntary subscription, promising to arm themselves and be ready to march at the first call."61 . The uprising caused a rise in the liberation struggle outside the principalities as well. On February 17, 1821, the French Consul in Bucharest wrote:: "It seems that the unrest is happening not only in Wallachia. It is said that in Albania the Greeks drove the Turks out of Ioannina... On the island of Kondi, Pasha, along with the entire Turkish garrison, was destroyed by local residents. " 62

57 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XX, p. 569.


58 In Bazanov. Decembrists in Chisinau Chisinau. 1951, pp. 51, 52, 64.


59 See A. P. Zablotsky-Desyatovsky. Count P. D. Kiselyov and his time. Vol. IV. SPB. 1882, pp. 10-11.


60 A. S. Pushkin. Soch. T. X. M.-L. 1951, p. 22.


61 See A. P. Zablotsky-Desyatovsky. Op. ed., pp. 10-11.


62 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XVI, p. 1033 - 1034.


page 102

But the forces of the national liberation movement were dispersed, and the front of the anti-Turkish struggle was split and weakened. The revolt of the Romanian people, having reached its highest point on the outskirts of Bucharest, went to its rapid defeat. After entering Bucharest, Tudor Vladimirescu, having lost an ally in the face of Heteria, made another major mistake. He became close to the most ardent enemies of the people's liberation struggle, the boyar Divan, to whom he had written only the day before: "You are not patriots and fathers of the fatherland, as you call yourselves... but enemies of the fatherland, as you have always been." 63 Vladimirescu fell for the tricks of the boyars, accepting on faith their promises to recognize his program and political power.


Increasingly subject to the influence of the boyars, Vladimirescu recognized the remaining boyar provisional administration of the country in Bucharest and called on all those who took up arms to fight for liberation to submit to this administration and the boyars. On August 23, he swore an oath to the boyar Divan, to which he solemnly declared that he had never thought of encroaching on the life, honor and fortune of any of his compatriots, pledged to stop the massacre of his people with the boyars and persuade the people of the whole country to submit to the temporary administration .64


There is no doubt that the deterioration of Vladimirescu's relations with Hetaeria and his break with it was due to the increased influence of the boyars on him at this time. They pursued a cunning policy of disuniting the revolutionary forces in order to weaken them and make it easier to defeat each of them individually.


After the rapprochement with the boyars, Vladimirescu, in accordance with his oath, intensified the fight against the Pandurs and Arnauts, who encroached on the lives and fortunes of landowners. At the same time, he did not stop at the most drastic measures for the slightest violation of his orders. In early April, he announced that he would allow all Bucharest residents to destroy, if necessary, the pandurs and Arnauts seen in the looting .65


On the way from Bolintini to Gaesti, 22 pandurs were hanged and shot for minor offenses .66 Vladimirescu tried to impose iron discipline in the ranks of his army by such drastic measures and at the same time protect the boyars from popular anger, which caused a deep murmur not only among the soldiers, but also among the command staff. At the same time, Vladimirescu shot Captain Ion Urdureanu, who refused to support his policy of punishing Pandurs.


The boyars did not skimp on false promises, delaying time to prepare a counterattack, From the very beginning of the uprising, they together with the church nobility begged the Turks for help, asked to send troops to pacify the people. In February 1821, when the uprising was still raging, Viddin Pasha, in response to the request of the boyars of Craiova to send Turkish troops, wrote that "...due to the strength of the treatises with Russia, he could not agree to their request."67 More than three months later, the same treatises did not prevent the Turkish janissaries from breaking into Wallachia to crush the people's liberation struggle with fire and sword.


On May 16, 1821, Turkish troops approached Bucharest without encountering resistance from either the Pandurs or the Hetaerists. Without giving a fight, Vladimirescu decided to leave the capital. As he left Bucharest, he seemed to realize his mistake in breaking with the Greek patriots. In an address to the Pandurs, he said that he was going to join up with other "our Christian brothers", but if the enemy attacked, "it was necessary to empty their guns into Turkish meat" 68 . Vladimirescu withdrew his troops north of the capital towards Pitesti. But on the way, he was captured by his own supporters, led by Captain Iordage, who were dissatisfied with the policy of breaking with Hetaeria and suspected Vladimirescu of having ties with Turkey. The arrested Vladimirescu was brought to the Ypsilanti camp. Demoralized by inaction, largely disappointed by the refusal to resolve the issue of the abolition of feudal duties, and dissatisfied with Vladimirescu's harsh measures against those who tried to seize the landlords ' lands and deal with their owners, the Pandurs did not prevent the reprisal of their yesterday's leader-

63 "Istoria RPR". Bucuresti. 1952, p. 295.


64 See C. Aricescu. Op. ed., vol. II, pp. 129-131.


65 E. Hurmuzaki. Documente... Vol. XX, p. 603.


66 N. Jorga. Isvoarele contetnporane... p. 290.


67 Ignatius Yakovenko. Op. ed., p. 14.


68 J. Neacsu. Oastea pandurilcr condusa de Tudor Vladimirescu la 1821 Studii si referate, Vol. II. Bucuresti. 1954, стр. 1039.


page 103

On May 27, Tudor Vladimirescu was sentenced to death by the Hetaerist headquarters on charges of criminal association with the enemy and secret activities against the Hetaerists. He was taken to the outskirts of Targoviste and executed.


Marx wrote about this murder that the Russian tsar sent Ypsilanti, "the leader of the sacred squad of the Hellenes," to Wallachia and through the same Ypsilanti betrayed this squad, treacherously killed Vladimirescu, the leader of the Wallachian rebels .69


With terrible cruelty, the Turks attacked the Romanian people. Ignatius Yakovenko wrote about the atrocities committed in Bucharest: "In Wallachia Minor, they began to exterminate not one person at a time, but whole families; they set villages on fire and carried out general robberies. The Turks who came out of Brailov committed the most terrible atrocities: a significant part of the city of Fokshan was burned down by them under the pretext that this or that house was occupied by troublemakers. " 70 Fearing the ousting of Turkey from the principalities and the strengthening of Russia, the British government, through its ambassador to Turkey, Lord Strangford, developed during this period increased diplomatic activities aimed at accelerating the military intervention of Turkish troops in Wallachia. 71 After the suppression of the uprising, the Wallachian boyars were quick to express their gratitude to Strangford for "saving the country from ruin and anarchy and opening the way for it to happiness and prosperity."72


The popular uprising led by Tudor Vladimirescu was the first attempt at an armed national liberation struggle on a Wallachian-wide scale during the period of disintegration of feudal relations and the emergence of new, capitalist relations in the Romanian lands. The uprising was clearly a struggle against national and social oppression.


Bourgeois historians of Romania, who sought to forget the tradition of the Romanian people's struggle for national liberation, strongly denied the anti-Turkish character of the 1821 uprising. At the same time, they usually referred to Tudor Vladimirescu's first appeals, in which he declared that he was not going to fight the Turks. These historians did not want to see that the tactics of the leader of the uprising were quite flexible. At this stage of the struggle, it was to lull, as far as possible, the vigilance of the Porte, without immediately calling out its fire against itself.


During the uprising, the Pandurs repeatedly fought with the superior forces of the Turkish troops and inflicted sensitive blows on them. Armed clashes between Pandurs and Turks took place on May 26 near the village of Zavideni, when 800 Pandurs attacked a 3,000-strong Turkish detachment, near the village of Dragashani, near the Tisman Monastery, and in a number of other localities .73 The anti-Turkish orientation of the uprising from the very first days to its completion is absolutely indisputable. The alliance of the Romanian movement with Hetaeria had only one goal - a common struggle against Turkish dependence. After Vladimirescu's assassination, most of his army defected to the Ypsilanti to continue the same struggle.


The national anti-Turkish character of the struggle of the people of Wallachia, however, was primarily reflected in their struggle against the Phanariots. By turning against the Phanariots, the people of Wallachia turned against the Turkish enslavers. The Phanariots were not an independent force, but only proteges of the Sultan, they represented the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the principalities. The struggle against the Phanariots meant a struggle against Turkish oppression, and that is why the Turkish authorities so fiercely suppressed it.


In our opinion, the point of view of Professor A. Ocet is also incorrect, considering in his interesting and informative work "Tudor Vladimirescu and the Hetaerist movement in the Romanian lands" (published in 1945) the uprising of 1821 as a simple appendage, as an "episode" of the Greek revolution.


The struggle against Turkish oppression at that time was objectively a struggle for the development of new, capitalist relations. The overwhelming majority of the population was interested in developing these relations.-

69 See K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch. Vol. XII, part I, p. 363.


70 Ignatius Yakovenko. Op. ed., pp. 49-50.


71 See Jean Filitti. Les principautes roumaines sous l'occupation russe (1828 - 1834). Bucuresti. 1904, p. 16.


72 "Documente engleze 1782 - 1821". Vol. 1, p. 451. Цит. по S. Stirbu. Uneltirile agentilor englezi impotriva lui Tudor Vladimirescu. "Studi", N 1, p. 41.


73 J. Neacsu. Op. ed., pp. 1043-1044.


page 104

research institutes of the Romanian principalities. Even a part of the noble boyars contributed to the birth of new relations, seeing in them the way of their further enrichment. In a memorandum to the Russian government on the question of reorganizing the principalities, a group of boyars who were in exile in Brasov, among other things, asked "that trade be free, that they be able to open various factories and trade in their products, and that they be able to find out how much metal the land can produce and use it through free trade." In their efforts to develop bourgeois relations, however, the boyars were not inclined to give up their feudal privileges in any way. Moreover, they sought to strengthen the feudal duties of the peasants. In the same memo, they asked the Russian tsar for assistance in increasing the number of corvee days from 12 to 24 .74


The main and decisive force of the uprising was the Wallachian peasantry, which everywhere supported the movement started by Tudor Vladimirescu. The peasants formed the overwhelming majority of the armed rebel forces. The active and decisive participation of the peasants in the insurrection gave it, along with the national liberation character, acute forms of the class struggle against feudal exploitation. The peasants fought for the complete elimination of boyar privileges, for the abolition of excessive corvee and numerous duties for land. They went much further than the leaders of the uprising, who demanded not the complete abolition of boyar privileges, but the introduction of these privileges into the norms of law and order. This is clearly stated in a letter from the boyars who fled to Brasov during the uprising to the Russian consul Pini. The boyars pointed out, not without reason, that " the peasants perceived the first proclamations of Tudor as a war of the poor against those they considered rich." After the suppression of the uprising, the same boyars in their letter to the Port dated August 10, 1821. they thanked the "most gracious emperor" "for the boundless mercy shown to the country by freeing it from the hands of the robber peasants, who fell upon it with great hostility and bitterness, like wild poisoned animals" 75 .


Urban workers and artisans also actively participated in the uprising, but they were so few that they could not influence the outcome of the struggle.


The leading role in organizing the uprising belonged to people from the trade circles, as well as from small and medium-sized boyars, who were closely associated with the developing trade. These segments of the population were also dissatisfied with the existing situation. Their attempts to expand foreign trade were met with Turkish barriers. Internal trade was subject to heavy taxes, which were mainly used for the payment of Turkish tribute, for the maintenance of phanariot lords and high dignitaries. Enjoying all the privileges and completely exempt from paying taxes, the big boyars often cut down and seized the lands of the small boyars. It is no coincidence that the uprising began in Oltenia, where economic life developed relatively faster than in other areas.


Vladimirescu and his associates were motivated by patriotic feelings. He sought to liberate Wallachia from Turkish oppression, curb the greed and arbitrariness of the big boyars, and carry out some transformations in the interests of the people. This is his great historical merit. But because of the class limitations of his views, he did not understand the need to solve the most important issue - the abolition of serfdom and the allocation of land to the peasants.


The uprising of 1821 was a harbinger of the first bourgeois-democratic revolution in the Romanian principalities, which took place in conditions of severe foreign oppression and extreme backwardness in the development of economic relations in the country. It showed the readiness of the masses to fight against national oppression and feudal enslavement. Despite the fact that this uprising was brutally suppressed by Turkish troops, the struggle of the masses of Wallachia did not pass without a trace. The direct consequence of the uprising was the elimination of the power of the Phanariot gospodars and the establishment of local boyar gospodars from 1822, which led to a further weakening of the Turkish yoke.

74 См. Emil Vartosu. 1821. Date si fapte noi. Bucuresti. 1932, p. 125, 126, 129.


75 C. Aricescu. Edict. soch. Vol. II, pp. 169-170.


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