The Romanian Revolution

The Fight Against Communism

Opening Paragraph

In Romania, 1989, communism controlled the country and it's people. The leader of the communist party and the president of the country was Nicolae Ceausescu. A series of events caused the uproar of revolution and the end of communism. The revolution started the transition to democracy with Ion Iliescu as president.

The government went too far

The events leading up to the revolution angered the Romanian people.

  • In March, 1988, President Ceausescu called on the government to start "systemization".
  • This involved half the country's peasants being moved into new "agro-industrial" complexes and their villages being bulldozed.
  • The 2.5 million Hungarians that lived in Romania saw this as a further attack against the minority.

International debt

Things got out of hand when, in April 1989, Ceausescu said that the international debt that the country was responsible for was more than 10 billion dollars. In an attempt to lessen the debt, it is said that citizens lacked food and heat, which caused many work shortages and strikes.

The first protests

The first accounted protest was in the western city if Timisoara and many of the protesters were Hungarian.

  • Ceausescu sent in the Securitate, the secret police, that the government had assess to.
  • The Securitate attempted to deport Laszlo Toekes, a clergy man and the spokesperson from local Hungarians.
  • Many Hungarians protested and more troops had to be summoned to keep them under control. Thousands of Hungarians were killed.
  • More protests followed, partly provoked by the massacre in Timisoara.

A promise that couldn't be upheld

As other countries surrounding Romania were getting rid of communism, Nicolae Ceausescu promised that he would preserve communism in Romania. That was a promise he couldn't uphold.

The end of nicolae ceausesco

As protests continued to spark, the president realized that he was no longer safe. Ceausescu, who had only a month earlier boasted about the achievements of socialism, fled the country with his wife, Elena. The pair was caught and killed by a firing squad on December 25th 1989. Before Ceausescu's death, he tried to contain the order by ordering troops to fire on a large crowd of protesters. This action only angered the Romanians more and further inspired them to protest.
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Ion Iliescu takes over

The president of the National Council of Salvation was declared as the temporary president and he quickly repealed some of the most hated laws that Ceausescu had passed during his time. In February 1990, Iliescu increased the council of the government from 145 to 241 people.

  • "Ion Iliescu. Fragmente de viață și de istorie trăită" is Romanian for Ion Iliescu, Fragments of life and living history

after the revolution

Even though communism had ended there were still more protests and worries.

  • Violent clashes happened continuously between pro-democracy students and pro-government coal miners, but they weren't as major as the protests of the revolution.
  • Later crackdowns on anti-communist protesters worried some that the new government wasn't that different from the old pro-communist government.

How the participants demonstrated their belief system through their protests

The participants demonstrated their belief system by protesting and continuing to do so after thousands had died. After the first real protest in Timisoara and the thousands that were killed, the citizens didn't back down. Protests spurred across the country until, eventually, president Ceausescu felt threatened and fled. His death when he was captured marked a new time for the Romanians. The people of Romania lost many citizens but achieved what they wanted. They didn't let the loss of friends and family stop them, but rather it gave them a new source of inspiration for protesting.

Romania Marks 25th Revolution Anniversary: Romanians remember Communist dictator Ceausescu overthrow

Works cited

"Romania." Compton's by Britannica. 01 Aug. 2011: n.p. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Romania." Reviewed by Edward W. Walker. Lands and Peoples.

Grolier Online, 2016. Web. 9 May. 2016.

"Romania." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Ed. Timothy L. Gall and Derek M. Gleason. 13th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 May 2016.