The year 2018 is one full of significance and events marking the Centennial of the Great Union. This year we celebrate 100 years since the accomplishment of the Great Union – the centuries-old dream of the Romanians, that of unifying all Romanians in a single state, which was achieved on December 1st 1918.
The process of formation of the Romanian national state began in 1600, when Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul) joins the three Romanian Countries for the first time, but only for a short period of time. This process is continued in 1859 when, by electing Alexandru Ioan Cuza as ruler of both Moldova and Wallachia, the Small union was achieved on January 24th.
The process of constituting the Romanian national state is completed in 1918 with the union of Bessarabia, Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Bucovina and Transylvania with Romania, in a single Romanian unitary state.
The Great Union of December 1st 1918 has remained a great achievement in Romanian history. The unified Romania was constituted within an extraordinary historical context, in three main successive historical moments.
The first moment is represented by the Union of Bessarabia, later of Bucovina and finally Transylvania to the motherland.
On March 27th 1918 according to the old calendar, the national council joined in formal sitting in Chisinau votes the union of Bessarabia with the motherland, Romania. The result is announced by the president of the National Council, Ion Inculet. The Romanian Prime Minister, Alexandru Marghiloman, together with other representatives of the Romanian government, is invited to the official tribune where he declares: “In the name of the Romanian people and of King Ferdinand the Ist, I take note of the union of Bessarabia with Romania, henceforth until the end of time, long live Great Romania!”
The second moment occurs on November 21st 1918 when the congress of Bucovina unanimously decides the unconditional and eternal union of Bucovina with the Kingdom of Romania.
The third moment we mentioned occurs on December 1st 1918 when, 1228 delegates of all social standings, and coming from all over the Transylvanian land gathered in the great hall of the military casino, later called Union Hall, to vote the union of Transylvania with Romania.
The place where the Union was proclaimed was Alba Iulia, a historical city that had witnessed the victory of Michael the Brave and where the martyrdom of Horea, Closca and Crisan took place. Until today, Alba Iulia remains a city where each visit seems like a voyage into the past, a city overflowing with history and wonderful buildings.
Here is how the historian Florin Constantiniu highlighted the event:
“It was not a military victory which stood at the foundation of the Great Romania, but the act of will of the Romanian nation, to become its territorial and institutional rebar that is the national state. A historical necessity – a nation has to live within a national state – it has proven stronger than any government or party guilty of selfishness or incompetence and, by setting the nation in motion, it has endowed it with the enormous strength to give life, beyond all adversity, to its aspiration: the national state.”