The Romanian Revolution (1989)

By: Kelly Shao

The Government

Starting in the 1950's, The government was ruled by the Romania Communist Party. The Party came to rule after overthrowing King Michael. This party was heavily influenced and controlled by the Soviet Union, a big communist group in Europe. The Soviet Union controlled the Romanian government and did things that would benefit them. Sometimes, the party would secretly kill off opponents to gain power. The government controlled almost everything in the country. The country was basically ruled by dictatorship and this made people very unhappy.

Command Under Communist Rule

The Communist government controlled many things. some things are;
  • Jobs
  • Schools
  • Businesses
  • Farms
  • Religeon
Almost everything was controlled by the government, so most people "worked" for the government. The government also got rid of the original agricultural based economy. The government set up factories to refine things such as oil. This destroyed the economy and many farmers. The government also placed heavy laws on citizens like not being able to leave the country without the permission from the government. Since the government was also a communist group, many other countries, mostly in the west had bad relationships with Romania and didn't support them.

The Start of a Revolution

Between December 16 and 17 1989, People revolted against the government. These people protested and acted violently towards government forces. Most of the protests took place in the city of Timisoara. The revolts were against the communist government and how they had too much power and destroyed the lives of people in Romania.
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During the Revolution. Street fights and bloody riots broke out against the government forces. About 1,500 people were killed in these fights. During a protest, police opened fired, killing civilians. The surviving protesters were arrested, unfairly judged by the government, and executed. This only showed people what extent their corrupted government had become and how they dealt with things.
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The Revolution Ends

During the Revolution, the current Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife tried to flee. People eventually caught them. They were tried in court against the country of Romania and executed. The Communist government was overthrown and a new temporary government was set up by voting on a president and party. over 200 new parties joined the running. in 1990, Ion Iliescu of the National Salvation Front Party became the new President of Romania.
Romanian revolution 1989
A video depicting the chaos of the Romanian Revolution

Changes After the Revolution

After the Revolution ended, the new government started to fix many things in the country. The government lifted many of the laws that restricted the people of Romania. During Communist rule, the government owned most of the land and farms. The new government started to give back land to people who lost it and distribute it out to private owners. The government also started to try and get Romania and Western Countries to have a better relationship.

How did the participants demonstrate their belief system through their protests?

The Romanian citizens believed in freedom. They were able to roam around, own personal property, and could speak out and practice their beliefs. The main church for Romanians is the Romanian Orthodox Church. When the communist group started to take away it's citizens freedom practices, and turn their government into a dictatorship, that angered the citizens. They revolted in protest, standing up for themselves and trying to take down the current government, and bring back the government that would allow them freedom and peace. They stood up for themselves and tore down the communist group, allowing a better government to rise and grant the cite zens what they believed in.