Ionel Bratianu


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(b. 20 Aug. 1864, d. 26 Nov. 1927).

Prime Minister of Romania 1909–11, 1914–18, 1918–19, 1922–6 Born in Florica as the son of Ion C. Bratianu (b. 1821, d. 1891), a leading National Liberal Romanian politician, he became leader of the Romanian Liberal Party in 1909. At the outbreak of World War I he maintained neutrality, but in 1916 Bratianu was persuaded to enter the war on the side of the Allies in the hope of territorial gains. He miscalculated the strength of the Bulgarian and German forces, which entered Bucharest in December 1916. Nevertheless, he successfully represented his country at the Paris Peace Conference, where he gained most of the territory he demanded. Bratianu devised a new Constitution in 1923, which created a centralized state. He encouraged the often conflicting goals of protection, industrialization, and restrictions of foreign ownership. The country became one of the most protectionist states in Europe, with tariffs being used to finance industrialization. He hoped to strengthen the political system through forcing the abdication of Crown Prince Carol. However, his policies created strong discontent in the countryside, which became fertile ground for the support of the Fascist parties. He retired in 1926.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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