CREATORS OF NEW ROMANIA
GHEORGHE POP DE BĂSEȘTI
Gheorghe Pop de Băsești
(b. August 1, 1835, Băsești, Romania – d. February 23, 1919, Băsești, Romania)
Gheorghe Pop de Băsești was the President of the Great National Assembly of Alba Iulia on December 1, 1918. A lawyer by profession, he was a strong supporter of the Romanians’ movement in Transylvania. In fact, his name is inextricably linked with the national struggle of Transylvanian Romanians.
His first contact with the political scene took place in 1863 as a Member of the Diet (regional Parliament) in Sibiu. He was thereafter elected a Deputy in the Parliament of Budapest (1872-1881). He became a founding member of the Romanian National Party in 1881 and from 1905 its President. As a supporter of the Memorandum movement, a political attempt to expand the rights of Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, he was sentenced and imprisoned at Vác (present day Hungary).
Consistency, dedication, and sustained activity over time to promote the interests of the Romanians in Transylvania propelled him as the President of the Great National Assembly of Alba Iulia on December 1, 1918. In his intervention, he concluded: ‘The unification of these Romanian provinces with the motherland and the other provinces of her sisters is for all ages sealed.’ 
 Ionela Mircea, Romania 1918-2008, op. cit., p. 18.