World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Secularization of monastery estates in Romania

Article Id: WHEBN0008271751
Reproduction Date:

Title: Secularization of monastery estates in Romania  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Noul Neamţ Monastery, Crâng park, Wallachian Revolution of 1848, United Principalities
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Secularization of monastery estates in Romania

The law on the secularization of monastery estates in Romania was proposed in December 1863 by Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza and approved by the Parliament of Romania.[1] By its terms, the Romanian state confiscated the large estates owned by the Eastern Orthodox Church in Romania (which was in strict obedience to the Greek Orthodox Church at the time). One of the measures ensuring secularism and the separation of church and state, it was also designed to provide an arable land reserve for land reform, without raising the issue of boyar estates.

Probably more than a quarter of Romania's farmland was controlled by untaxed Eastern Orthodox "Dedicated Monasteries", which supported Greek and other foreign monks in shrines such as Mount Athos and Jerusalem.[1] These estates, which were mostly formed under Phanariote reigns in Wallachia and Moldavia respectively, had a low productivity and were also a substantial drain on state revenues.

The measure was unpopular among both Liberal and Conservative groupings, but it had both popular support and the support of Romania's suzerain, the Ottoman Empire. On December 23, the Ottoman Empire requested the intervention of the "guaranteeing powers" (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire, Italy, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and the Russian Empire — all had been overseeing Romania ever since the 1856 Treaty of Paris) to influence the country in passing the bill. However, Prime Minister Mihail Kogălniceanu did not wait for their intervention, and on December 25, 1863, he introduced the bill into Parliament, which voted 93 to 3 in favour.

In August 1863, Cuza offered compensation to the Greek Orthodox Church, but Sophronius III, the Patriarch of Constantinople, refused to negotiate; after several years, the Romanian government withdrew its offer and no compensation was ever paid. State revenues thereby increased without adding any domestic tax burden.




  • Keith Hitchins, The Romanians, 1774-1866, pp. 313-314. Oxford University Press, USA (1996). ISBN 0-19-820591-0

See Also

  • Suppression of Monasteries
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.