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Interpretations, definitions, conflicts: 1821 in the historiography of the communist period in Romania



Interpretations, definitions, conflicts: 1821 in the historiography of the communist period in Romania


16 June 2022


From the 1830s the events of 1821 occupied the political thought of Romanian intellectuals and scholars, who attached special importance to them in the process of forming the Romanian nation. Subsequently, historical science dealt intensely with the revolutionary events that took place in the Danubian Principalities, producing a plethora of texts on the subject, a production that contributed to the 1821 culmination of the Romanian nation's collective national past, alongside that of the unification of the Principalities, up to the Second World War. The establishment of the socialist regime in Romania, as well as the progress of historical research, nonetheless, gave a new dimension to the events and created new interpretations of the Tudor Vladimirescu movement and its character, the Philiki Etaireia, the role of tsarist Russia and the impact they had on the present and future of the Danubian Principalities, interpretations that radically changed the narrative around the decisive first half of 1821.

“What was the Tudor Vladimirescu movement, a revolution or an uprising? The problem is not can be solved only with the help of the Marxist-Leninist theory of their struggle,” Romanian historian Andrei Oțetea wrote in 1967, aptly summarizing the reflections – but also the ideological starting points – of the Romanian historiography of the socialist period about 1821. The presentation aims to present the dominant narratives for the revolutionary events of 1821 in the period 1946-1989, a critical and interesting period of ideological conflict that marked the course of 1821 in the pages of Romanian literature.

(Edited and translated description from organiser’s website)

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