The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms. It states that people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference; the concept was first expressed in the 1860s, spread thereafter. During and after World War I, the principle was encouraged by both Vladimir Lenin and United States President Woodrow Wilson. Having announced his Fourteen Points on 8 January 1918, on 11 February 1918 Wilson stated: "National aspirations must be respected, it was recognized as an international legal right after it was explicitly listed as a right in the UN Charter. The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, nor what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, protection, some form of autonomy or full assimilation.
Neither does it state what the delimitation between peoples should be—nor what constitutes a people. There are conflicting definitions and legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination. By extension, the term self-determination has come to mean the free choice of one's own acts without external compulsion; the employment of imperialism, through the expansion of empires, the concept of political sovereignty, as developed after the Treaty of Westphalia explain the emergence of self-determination during the modern era. During, after, the Industrial Revolution many groups of people recognized their shared history, geography and customs. Nationalism emerged as a uniting ideology not only between competing powers, but for groups that felt subordinated or disenfranchised inside larger states; such groups pursued independence and sovereignty over territory, but sometimes a different sense of autonomy has been pursued or achieved. The world possessed several traditional, continental empires such as the Ottoman, Austrian/Habsburg, the Qing Empire.
Political scientists define competition in Europe during the Modern Era as a balance of power struggle, which induced various European states to pursue colonial empires, beginning with the Spanish and Portuguese, including the British, French and German. During the early 19th century, competition in Europe produced multiple wars, most notably the Napoleonic Wars. After this conflict, the British Empire became dominant and entered its "imperial century", while nationalism became a powerful political ideology in Europe. After the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, "New Imperialism" was unleashed with France and Germany establishing colonies in Asia, the Pacific, Africa. Japan emerged as a new power. Multiple theaters of competition developed across the world: Africa: multiple European states competed for colonies in the "Scramble for Africa"; the Ottoman Empire, Austrian Empire, Russian Empire, Qing Empire and the new Empire of Japan maintained themselves expanding or contracting at the expense of another empire.
All ignored notions of self-determination for those governed. The revolt of New World British colonists in North America, during the mid-1770s, has been seen as the first assertion of the right of national and democratic self-determination, because of the explicit invocation of natural law, the natural rights of man, as well as the consent of, sovereignty by, the people governed. Thomas Jefferson further promoted the notion that the will of the people was supreme through authorship of the United States Declaration of Independence which inspired Europeans throughout the 19th century; the French Revolution was motivated and legitimatized the ideas of self-determination on that Old World continent. Within the New World during the early 19th century, most of the nations of Spanish America achieved independence from Spain; the United States supported that status, as policy in the hemisphere relative to European colonialism, with the Monroe Doctrine. The American public, organized associated groups, Congressional resolutions supported such movements the Greek War of Independence and the demands of Hungarian revolutionaries in 1848.
Such support, never became official government policy, due to balancing of other national interests. After the American Civil War and with increasing capability, the United States government did not accept self-determination as a basis during its Purchase of Alaska and attempted purchase of the West Indian islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John in the 1860s, or its growing influence in the Hawaiian Islands, that led to annexation in 1898. With its victory in the Spanish–American War in 1899 and its growing stature in the world, the United States supported annexation of the former Spanish colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, without the conse
Șimleu Silvaniei is a town in Sălaj County, Romania with a population of 16,066 people. Is located near the ancient Dacian fortress Dacidava. Three villages are administered by the town: Bic and Pusta. Before the Roman conquest of Dacia, Șimleu was a political and administrative Dacian centre, of high importance. Seven Dacian fortresses, some with associated settlements, were arranged in an arc shape around the hills of Șimleu, they had a strategic role in the supervising the trade along the salt road coming from areas around Napoca and modern Dej, heading to Pannonia. The centre of an early Gepidia, on the plains northwest of the Meseș Mountains, appears to have been located around Șimleu Silvaniei, where early 5th-century precious objects of Roman provenance have been unearthed. In 1258 it was mentioned as Wathasomlyowa; the name means "Wata's mountain". The town belonged to the Báthory family; the castle was built by Miklós, voivode of Transylvania in the early 13th century and was first mentioned in 1319.
After the Báthory family built a mansion in the town in 1592, the castle became deserted and today lies in ruins. The Catholic Church was built in 1534 by Transylvania's voivode Báthory István and his wife Telegdy Katalin with the occasion of their son's birth. Holy Trinity Statue was built in 1772. Reformed Church was rebuilt between 1729 and 1736; the synagogue was built in 1876. The mansion was occupied by Giorgio Basta from Zsigmond Báthory in 1600, it was occupied by the Ottomans in 1660 and was part of Varat Eyalet until 1692. In 1703 it was occupied by Kurucs. From 1876 to 1920, Șimleu Silvaniei was part of the Szilágy County of the Kingdom of Hungary; the Greek Catholic Vicariate of Șimleu Silvaniei was formed in 1910 and in 1817 the vicariate opened its own school. George Tatu, Georgiu Abraham, Isidor Alpini, Alexandru Sterca-Șuluțiu, Demetriu Coroianu, Alimpiu Barboloviciu, Alexandru Ghetie, Emil Bran, Petru Cupcea, Cornel Darabant, Gheorghe Țurcaș served as vicars of Șimleu Silvaniei.
The old Greek Catholic church was destroyed by a storm in 1866. Notre Dame Church was built between 1871 and 1873. In 1919, Simion Bărnutiu Național College, the first Romanian language high school in Sălaj County was founded here, today the town is home to three high schools. In 1940, Șimleu Silvaniei, along with the rest of Northern Transylvania, was given to Hungary through the Second Vienna Award imposed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy; the Cehei ghetto operated within the town's administrative area. The ghetto was one of the Nazi-era ghettos for European Jews during World War II, it was active following Operation Margarethe. The deportations from Cehei took place in three transports: May 31, June 3 and June 6, with a total of 7,851 Jews sent to Auschwitz; some 1,200 Sălaj Jews survived the Holocaust but emigrated from Romania, so that by the 2000s, under fifty Jews remained in the county. Since 1997, inside Bic Monastery, there is the wooden church from Stâna. According to the last census from 2011 there were 13,200 people living within the city.
Of this population, 66.77% are ethnic Romanians, while 22.87% are ethnic Hungarians, 9.82 ethnic Romani and 0.51% others. The Șimleu Silvaniei Council, elected in the 2012 local government election, is made up of 17 councilors, with the following party composition: 7-Democratic Party, 4-Social Democratic Party, 3-Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, 2-National Liberal Party, 1-People's Party – Dan Diaconescu; the mayor Septimiu Țurcaș was elected in the second round of 2008 local government election. The mayor Septimiu Țurcaș was elected for the first time in 2004 local government election as a member of the Democratic Liberal Party and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. József Udvari Octavian Guțu was elected in 2000. Septimiu Țurcaș was elected in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Cehei Pond Nature Reserve is a protected area with aquatic vegetation and fauna within the town's administrative area. Cehei Pond Castle ruins Báthory mansion Roman Catholic church Northern Transylvania Holocaust Memorial Museum Liviu Antal Andrew Cardinal Báthory Christopher Báthory Sophia Báthory Stefan Batory György Bölöni Elly Gross Joe Pasternak Șimleu Silvaniei is twinned with: This article is based on a translation of the equivalent article from the Hungarian Wikipedia on 18 March 2007.
Şimleu Silvaniei, Romania at JewishGen
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, with a population of 147,245. Located some 275 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. Now the capital of Sibiu County, between 1692 and 1791 and 1849–65 Sibiu was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania. Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg; the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's 8th-most idyllic place to live" by Forbes in 2008. The city administers the village of Păltiniș, a ski resort located 35 kilometres to the south. Sibiu was a Daco-Roman city called Cedonia; the town was refounded by the Saxons settlers brought there by the king Géza II of Hungary. The first reference to the area was Cipin and Cibinium from 1191 when Pope Celestine III confirmed the existence of the free prepositure of the Saxons in Transylvania, the prepositure having its headquarters in Sibiu.
In the 14th century, it was an important trade centre. In 1376, the craftsmen were divided in 19 guilds. Sibiu became the most important ethnic German city among the seven cities that gave Transylvania its German name Siebenbürgen, it was home to the Universitas Saxorum, a network of pedagogues, intellectuals, city officials, councilmen of the German community forging an ordered legal corpus and political system in Transylvania since the 1400s. In 1699, after the Ottomans withdrew to his base of power in Hungary and Transylvania, the town became capital of Principality of Transylvania. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the city became the second- and the first-most important centre of Transylvanian Romanian ethnics; the first Romanian-owned bank had its headquarters here, as did the ASTRA. After the Romanian Orthodox Church was granted status in the Habsburg Empire from the 1860s onwards, Sibiu became the Metropolitan seat, the city is still regarded as the third-most important centre of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Between the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and 1867, Sibiu was the meeting-place of the Transylvanian Diet, which had taken its most representative form after the Empire agreed to extend voting rights in the region. After World War I, when Austria-Hungary was dissolved, Sibiu became part of Romania. Starting from the 1950s and until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany and Austria. Among the 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, the current President of Romania. Sibiu is situated near the geographical center of Romania at 45.792784°N 24.152069°E / 45.792784. Set in the Cibin Depression, the city is about 20 km from the Făgăraș Mountains, 12 km from the Cibin Mountains, about 15 km from the Lotru Mountains, which border the depression in its southwestern section; the northern and eastern limits of Sibiu are formed by the Târnavelor Plateau, which descends to the Cibin Valley through Gușteriței Hill. The Cibin river as well as some smaller streams runs through Sibiu.
The geographical position of Sibiu makes it one of the most important transportation hubs in Romania with important roads and railway lines passing through it. The following districts are part of Sibiu; some were villages annexed by the city but most were built as the city developed and increased its surface. The Southern part, including the ASTRA National Museum Complex and the Zoo falls within the city limits. Sibiu's climate is humid continental with average temperatures of 8 to 9 °C; the average rainfall is 627 l/m2, there are about 120 days of hard frost annually. As of 2011 census data, Sibiu has a population of 147,245, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census, making it the 14th-largest city in Romania; the ethnic breakdown was as follows: Romanians 95.9% Hungarians 1.6% Germans 1.1% Roma 0.4%A 2017 estimate placed the population at 169,316, a 14.98 percent increase since 2011. This increase brings Sibiu's population close to the numbers observed in 1992 when the highest population was recorded.
Today, most of the population is Romanian Orthodox. Protestants and Roman Catholics represent about 5% of the population. Despite the fact that nowadays ethnic Germans make up less than 2% of Sibiu's total population, Klaus Johannis, the former president of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania and current president of Romania, served as mayor of the city between 2000 and 2014. Johannis was overwhelmingly reelected in 2004 and 2008 and his party gained an absolute majority in the city council during that same year. After the 2014 presidential elections, the ad interim function for the seat of the mayor of the city was filled by deputy mayor Astrid Fodor. Fodor subsequently gained a permanent mayor seat at the 2016 local elections. Sibiu is an important economic hub for Romania, with a high rate of foreign investments, it is an important hub for the manufacturing of automotive components and houses factories belonging to ThyssenKrupp Bilstein-Compa, Takata Corporation, Continental Automotive Systems, NTN-SN
Hungarians known as Magyars, are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary and historical Hungarian lands who share a common culture and language. Hungarians belong to the Uralic-speaking peoples. There are an estimated 14.2–14.5 million ethnic Hungarians and their descendants worldwide, of whom 9.6 million live in today's Hungary. About 2.2 million Hungarians live in areas that were part of the Kingdom of Hungary before the Treaty of Trianon and are now parts of Hungary's seven neighbouring countries Slovakia, Romania, Croatia and Austria. Significant groups of people with Hungarian ancestry live in various other parts of the world, most of them in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Argentina. Hungarians can be classified into several subgroups according to local linguistic and cultural characteristics; the Hungarians' own ethnonym to denote themselves in the Early Middle Ages is uncertain. The exonym "Hungarian" is thought to be derived from Oghur-Turkic On-Ogur. Another possible explanation comes from the Old Russian "Yugra".
It may refer to the Hungarians during a time when they dwelt east of the Ural Mountains along the natural borders of Europe and Asia before their conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Prior to the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895/6 and while they lived on the steppes of Eastern Europe east of the Carpathian Mountains, written sources called the Magyars "Hungarians", specifically: "Ungri" by Georgius Monachus in 837, "Ungri" by Annales Bertiniani in 862, "Ungari" by the Annales ex Annalibus Iuvavensibus in 881; the Magyars/Hungarians belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance, it is possible that they became its ethnic majority. In the Early Middle Ages, the Hungarians had many names, including "Węgrzy", "Ungherese", "Ungar", "Hungarus"; the "H-" prefix is a addition of Medieval Latin. The Hungarian people refer to themselves by the demonym "Magyar" rather than "Hungarian". "Magyar" is Finno-Ugric from the Old Hungarian "mogyër". "Magyar" derived from the name of the most prominent Hungarian tribe, the "Megyer".
The tribal name "Megyer" became "Magyar" in reference to the Hungarian people as a whole. "Magyar" may derive from the Hunnic "Muageris" or "Mugel". The Greek cognate of "Tourkia" was used by the scholar and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII "Porphyrogenitus" in his De Administrando Imperio of c. AD 950, though in his use, "Turks" always referred to Magyars; this was a misnomer, as while the Magyars had adopted some Turkic cultural traits, they are not a Turkic people. The historical Latin phrase "Natio Hungarica" had a wider and political meaning because it once referred to all nobles of the Kingdom of Hungary, regardless of their ethnicity or mother tongue. During the 4th millennium BC, the Uralic-speaking peoples who were living in the central and southern regions of the Urals split up; some dispersed towards the west and northwest and came into contact with Iranian speakers who were spreading northwards. From at least 2000 BC onwards, the Ugrian speakers became distinguished from the rest of the Uralic community, of which the ancestors of the Magyars, being located farther south, were the most numerous.
Judging by evidence from burial mounds and settlement sites, they interacted with the Indo-Iranian Andronovo culture. In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the Hungarians moved from the west of the Ural Mountains to the area between the southern Ural Mountains and the Volga River known as Bashkiria and Perm Krai. In the early 8th century, some of the Hungarians moved to the Don River to an area between the Volga and the Seversky Donets rivers. Meanwhile, the descendants of those Hungarians who stayed in Bashkiria remained there as late as 1241; the Hungarians around the Don River were subordinates of the Khazar khaganate. Their neighbours were the archaeological Saltov Culture, i.e. Bulgars and the Alans, from whom they learned gardening, elements of cattle breeding and of agriculture. Tradition holds; the names of the seven tribes were: Jenő, Kér, Keszi, Kürt-Gyarmat, Megyer, Nyék, Tarján. Around 830, a rebellion broke out in the Khazar khaganate; as a result, three Kabar tribes of the Khazars joined the Hungarians and moved to what the Hungarians call the Etelköz, the territory between the Carpathians and the Dnieper River.
The Hungarians faced their first attack by the Pechenegs around 854, though other sources state that an attack by Pechenegs was the reason for their departure to Etelköz. The new neighbours of the Hungarians were the eastern Slavs. From 862 onwards, the Hungarians along with their allies, the Kabars, started a series of looting raids from the Etelköz into the Carpathian Basin against the Eastern Frankish Empire and Great Moravia, but against the Balaton principality and Bulgaria. In 895/896, under the leadership of Árpád, some Hungarians crossed the Carpathians and entered the Carpathian Basin; the tribe called Magyar was the leading tribe of the Hungarian alliance that conquered the centre of the basin. At the same time, due to their involvement in the 894–896 Bulgaro-Byzantine war, Hungarians in Etelköz were attacked by Bulgaria and by their old enemies the Pechenegs; the Bulgarians won the decisive b
Iuliu Maniu was a Romanian politician. A leader of the National Party of Transylvania and Banat before and after World War I, he served as Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933, with Ion Mihalache, co-founded the National Peasants' Party. Maniu was born to an ethnic Romanian family in Austria-Hungary, he finished the Calvinist College in Zalău in 1890, studied Law at the Franz Joseph University at the University of Budapest and that of Vienna, being awarded the doctorate in 1896. Maniu joined the Romanian National Party of Transylvania and Banat, became a member of its collective leadership body in 1897, represented it in the Budapest Parliament on several occasions, he settled in Blaj, served as lawyer for the Greek Catholic Church. Maniu was influenced by the activity of a maternal uncle of his father, Ioan Maniu. After serving as an advisor for Archduke Franz Ferdinand, counseling on the latter's projects to redefine the Habsburg states along the lines of a United States of Greater Austria, Maniu moved towards the option of a union with the Romanian Old Kingdom when the Archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914.
Together with such figures as Vasile Goldiș, Gheorghe Pop de Băsești, the Romanian Orthodox cleric Miron Cristea, Alexandru Vaida-Voevod, he engaged in an intensive unionist campaign, leading to the Alba Iulia gathering on December 1, 1918. On December 2, Maniu became head of Transylvania's Directory Council - a position equivalent to interim governorship. After the creation of Greater Romania, the PNR formed the government in Bucharest—a cabinet led by Al. Vaida-Voevod and allied with Ion Mihalache's Peasants' Party, it entered in competition with one of the traditional parties of the Romanian Kingdom, the National Liberal Party, with its leader Ion I. C. Brătianu, when the Peasants' Party deadlocked the Parliament of Romania with calls for a widespread land reform. After King Ferdinand I dissolved the Parliament, Iuliu Maniu found himself at odds with the national leadership after the new Prime Minister Alexandru Averescu dissolved the Transylvanian Council in April 1920. Maniu refused to attend King Ferdinand's Crowning ceremony as King of Greater Romania, seeing it as an attempt to tie multi-religious Transylvania to Orthodoxy.
At the same time, the PNR rejected the centralization imposed by the 1923 Constitution favored by Brătianu, demanded that any constitutional reform be passed by a Constituent Assembly, not by a regular vote in Parliament. Citing fears that the PNL had ensured a grip over Romanian politics, the PNR and the Peasants' Party united in 1926, Maniu was the President of the new political force, the National Peasants' Party, for the following seven years, again between 1937 and 1947. Despite its success in elections, the PNȚ was blocked out of government by the Royal Prerogative of King Ferdinand. Maniu publicly protested, attempted to organize a peasants' march on Bucharest as a public show of support modeled on the Alba Iulia assembly, he showed himself open to deals proposed by Viscount Rothermere regarding a review of the Treaty of Trianon and, as King Ferdinand's death approached, started negotiations with the disinherited Prince Carol, proposing that the latter bypass the Constitution and crown himself in Alba Iulia.
Talks with Carol were ended abruptly after the Romanian authorities called on the United Kingdom to expel the Prince from its territory. The PNȚ first came to power in November 1928, after both King Brătianu had died. In 1930, Maniu manoeuvered against the Constitution, together with Gheorghe Mironescu, brought about Carol's return and deposition of his son Michael. However, Carol did not respect the terms of his agreement with Maniu, refusing to resume his marriage to Queen Elena. After alternating governments of Maniu and Vaida-Voevod that had brought the party into conflict with the King's inner circle and with his lover Magda Lupescu, during its tenure his government was faced with a strike by coal miners in the Jiu Valley and major social and economic problems caused by the Great Depression. Maniu resigned for the third and final time on 13 January 1933, due to his ongoing conflict with King Carol; the country moved towards an authoritarian regime formed around Carol and prompted by the rapid growth of the fascist Iron Guard.
In 1937, Maniu agreed to sign an electoral pact with the Iron Guard's Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, in the hope that this would block the monarch's maneuvers. The king instead sought an agreement with other members of the political class, including the National Liberal Ion Duca and the former PNȚ politician Armand Călinescu, while clamping down on the Iron Guard—leading to a wave of similar actions in reprisal. With the loss of Northern Transylvania and Southern Dobruja in 1940, Carol conceded power and exiled himself, leading to the creation of the National Legionary State around the Iron Guard and General Ion Antonescu, a regime which aligned Romania with Nazi Germany and the Axis; the PNȚ survived in semi-clandestinity and, after Antonescu purged the Guard, achieved some unofficial status when Maniu began holding talks with the general over several issues (notably
Serfdom is the status of many peasants under feudalism relating to manorialism. It was a condition of debt bondage, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century; as with slaves, serfs could be bought, sold, or traded, abused with no rights over their own bodies, could not leave the land they were bound to. Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the lord of the manor who owned that land. In return they were entitled to protection and the right to cultivate certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were required not only to work on the lord's fields, but in his mines and forests and to labor to maintain roads; the manor formed the basic unit of feudal society, the lord of the manor and the villeins, to a certain extent serfs, were bound legally: by taxation in the case of the former, economically and in the latter. The decline of serfdom in Western Europe has sometimes been attributed to the widespread plague epidemic of the Black Death, which reached Europe in 1347 and caused massive fatalities, disrupting society.
The decline had begun before that date. Serfdom became rare in most of Western Europe after the medieval renaissance at the outset of the high Middle Ages. But, conversely it grew stronger in Central and Eastern Europe, where it had been less common. In Eastern Europe the institution persisted until the mid-19th century. In the Austrian Empire serfdom was abolished by the 1781 Serfdom Patent. Serfdom was abolished in Russia in the 1860s. In Finland and Sweden, feudalism was never established, serfdom did not exist. According to medievalist historian Joseph R. Strayer, the concept of feudalism can be applied to the societies of ancient Persia, ancient Mesopotamia, Muslim India and Japan during the Shogunate. James Lee and Cameron Campbell describe the Chinese Qing dynasty as maintaining a form of serfdom. Melvyn Goldstein described Tibet as having had serfdom until 1959, but whether or not the Tibetan form of peasant tenancy that qualified as serfdom was widespread is contested by other scholars.
Bhutan is described by Tashi Wangchuk, a Bhutanese civil servant, as having abolished serfdom by 1959, but he believes that less than or about 10% of poor peasants were in copyhold situations. The United Nations 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery prohibits serfdom as a practice similar to slavery; the word serf was derived from the Latin servus. In Late Antiquity and most of the Middle Ages, what are now called serfs were designated in Latin as coloni; as slavery disappeared and the legal status of servi became nearly identical to that of the coloni, the term changed meaning into the modern concept of "serf". Serfdom was coined in 1850. Serfs had a specific place in feudal society, as did barons and knights: in return for protection, a serf would reside upon and work a parcel of land within the manor of his lord, thus the manorial system exhibited a degree of reciprocity. One rationale held that a serf "worked for all" while a knight or baron "fought for all" and a churchman "prayed for all".
The serf was the worst fed and rewarded, but at least he had his place and, unlike slaves, had certain rights in land and property. A lord of the manor could not sell his serfs. On the other hand, if he chose to dispose of a parcel of land, the serfs associated with that land stayed with it to serve their new lord; this unified system preserved for the lord long-acquired knowledge of practices suited to the land. Further, a serf could not abandon his lands without permission, nor did he possess a saleable title in them. A freeman became a serf through force or necessity. Sometimes the greater physical and legal force of a local magnate intimidated freeholders or allodial owners into dependency. A few years of crop failure, a war, or brigandage might leave a person unable to make his own way. In such a case he could strike a bargain with a lord of a manor. In exchange for gaining protection, his service was required: in labour, produce, or cash, or a combination of all; these bargains became formalized in a ceremony known as "bondage", in which a serf placed his head in the lord's hands, akin to the ceremony of homage where a vassal placed his hands between those of his overlord.
These oaths bound the lord and his new serf in a feudal contract and defined the terms of their agreement. These bargains were severe. A 7th-century Anglo Saxon "Oath of Fealty" states: By the Lord before whom this sanctuary is holy, I will to N. be true and faithful, love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns, according to the laws of God and the order of the world. Nor will I with will or action, through word or deed, do anything, unpleasing to him, on condition that he will hold to me as I shall deserve it, that he will perform everything as it was in our agreement when I submitted myself to him and chose his will. To become a serf was a commitment
The Romanians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania, that share a common Romanian culture and speak the Romanian language, the most widespread spoken Eastern Romance language, descended from the Latin language. According to the 2011 Romanian census, just under 89% of Romania's citizens identified themselves as ethnic Romanians. In one interpretation of the census results in Moldova, the Moldovans are counted as Romanians, which would mean that the latter form part of the majority in that country as well. Romanians are an ethnic minority in several nearby countries situated in Central Eastern Europe in Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Today, estimates of the number of Romanian people worldwide vary from 26 to 30 million according to various sources, evidently depending on the definition of the term'Romanian', Romanians native to Romania and Republic of Moldova and their afferent diasporas, native speakers of Romanian, as well as other Eastern Romance-speaking groups considered by most scholars and the Romanian Academy as a constituent part of the broader Romanian people Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, Vlachs in Serbia, in Croatia, in Bulgaria, or in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Inhabited by the ancient Dacians, part of today's territory of Romania was conquered by the Roman Empire in 106, when Trajan's army defeated the army of Dacia's ruler Decebalus. The Roman administration withdrew two centuries under the pressure of the Goths and Carpi. Two theories account for the origin of the Romanian people. One, known as the Daco-Roman continuity theory, posits that they are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous peoples living in the Roman Province of Dacia, while the other posits that the Romanians are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous populations of the former Roman provinces of Illyria, Moesia and Macedon, the ancestors of Romanians migrated from these Roman provinces south of the Danube into the area which they inhabit today. According to the first theory, the Romanians are descended from indigenous populations that inhabited what is now Romania and its immediate environs: Thracians and Roman legionnaires and colonists. In the course of the two wars with the Roman legions, between AD 101–102 and AD 105–106 the emperor Trajan succeeded in defeating the Dacians and the greatest part of Dacia became a Roman province.
The colonisation with Roman or Romanized elements, the use of the Latin language and the assimilation of Roman civilisation as well as the intense development of urban centres led to the Romanization of part of the autochthonous population in Dacia. This process was concluded by the 10th century when the assimilation of the Slavs by the Daco-Romanians was completed. According to the south-of-the-Danube origin theory, the Romanians' ancestors, a combination of Romans and Romanized peoples of Illyria and Thrace, moved northward across the Danube river into modern-day Romania. Small population groups speaking several versions of Romanian still exist south of the Danube in Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, but it is not known whether they themselves migrated from more northern parts of the Balkans, including Dacia; the south-of-the Danube theory favours northern Albania and/or Moesia as the more specific places of Romanian ethnogenesis. Small genetic differences were found among Southeastern European populations and those of the Dniester–Carpathian region.
Despite this low level of differentiation between them, tree reconstruction and principal component analyses allowed a distinction between Balkan–Carpathian and Balkan Mediterranean population groups. The genetic affinities among Dniester–Carpathian and southeastern European populations do not reflect their linguistic relationships. According to the report, the results indicate that the ethnic and genetic differentiations occurred in these regions to a considerable extent independently of each other. During the Middle Ages Romanians were known as Vlachs, a blanket term of Germanic origin, from the word Walha, used by ancient Germanic peoples to refer to Romance-speaking and Celtic neighbours. Besides the separation of some groups during the Age of Migration, many Vlachs could be found all over the Balkans, in Transylvania, across Carpathian Mountains as far north as Poland and as far west as the regions of Moravia, some went as far east as Volhynia of western Ukraine, the present-day Croatia where the Morlachs disappeared, while the Catholic and Orthodox Vlachs took Croat and Serb national identity.
Because of the migrations that followed – such as those of Slavs, Bulgars and Tatars – the Romanians were organised in agricultural communes, developing large centralised states only in the 14th century, when the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia emerged to fight the Ottoman Empire. During the late Middle Ages, prominent medieval Romanian monarchs such as Bogdan of Moldavia, Stephen the Great, Mircea the Elder, Michael the Brave, or Vlad the Impaler took part in the history of Central Europe by waging tumultuous wars and leading noteworthy crusades against the continuously expanding Ottoman Empire, at ti