Alexandru Ioan Cuza was one of the great leaders of the Romanian nation. He carried out many modern reforms in various sectors of the state, remaining in history as a visionary. However, his personal life was one of controversy, with multiple extramarital affairs, one of which brought the end of his reign.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was born on March 24, 1820, in Bârlad, in Moldova. He was the first ruler of the United Principalities (1859-1862) and of the national state of Romania (1862-1866). Initially, he took part in the revolutionary movement from 1848, in Moldova, and later, in the one for the Union of the Principalities. After things calmed down, on January 5, 1859, he was elected ruler of Moldavia, and on January 24, the same year, also of Romania, thus bringing about the Union of the two countries.
What was Cuza’s reason for disguising himself?
Many times, Cuza used to disguise himself and walk among people without being recognized. The reason was a simple one, checking how the laws imposed by him were respected. Moreover, numerous texts have been written on this subject, the ruler’s life being carefully studied by historians.
Cuza Vodă had the habit of going out very often during the day and even at night disguised as he saw fit, and he walked around the city alone or with a friend, also disguised. He often entered taverns and drank with the common people, insistently asking to be given wine on Cuza’s occasion. One day, passing a sentry, he stops and whispers the following dialogue to the soldier who was eating a radish with bread: “Do you know me? / No, sir / I’m in the army too / A cook? / No, older / Foreman?/ No, bigger/ Sergeant?/ Bigger/ Second Lieutenant?/ I’m bigger!/ Captain?/ Something higher/ Major?/ Bigger/ Colonel?/ And bigger/ General?/ And bigger, boy/ Aoleo, won’t it be Vodă-Cuza?/ Even him/ If that’s the case, let me hold the bread and the radish so I can present you the weapon, wrote Dumitru Teleor, in the book “Anecdote from the life of Cuza-Voda” .
What reforms did Cuza undertake?
Cuza issued a decree in 1864 that abolished serfdom in the United Principalities (Moldova and Wallachia), freeing peasants from servitude and giving them civil and agricultural rights. Following the abolition of serfdom, Cuza promoted an agrarian reform that redistributed the land from the big landowners to the peasants. This measure had a significant impact on the social and economic structure of the United Principalities.
The ruler reorganized the local and central administration, creating a modern and efficient administrative system. He introduced public offices based on competence and professionalism, replacing the system of nepotism and corruption that was prevalent before the reform. He promoted public education and laid the foundations of a modern education system in the United Principalities. He opened schools, introduced updated curricula, and encouraged education for all social classes.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza reorganized the judicial system to make it more independent and efficient. He introduced a modernized Criminal Code and Civil Code, which served as the basis for the further development of Romanian legislation. These reforms had a significant impact on the society and economy of the United Principalities of Moldova and Wallachia and contributed to the modernization of these territories.
- Orthodox Christian newspaper: http://ziarullumina.ro
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