CREATORS OF NEW ROMANIA
ION I.C. BRĂTIANU
Ion I.C. Brătianu
(b. August 20, 1864, Florica, now Ştefăneşti, Romania – d. November 24, 1927, Bucharest, Romania)
Ion I.C. (Ionel) Brătianu was an engineer, politician, the President of the National Liberal Party, and an honorary member of the Romanian Academy from 1923. With studies completed in Bucharest and Paris, at the famous School of Roads and Bridges, he became a specialist engineer in the construction of railways. As such, the Romanian Railways hired him in October 1889, as a subordinate of the famous engineer Anghel Saligny.
As heir to one of the most influential political families in the country, Brătianu was prepared for a political career since his youth. He was appointed Minister at the tender age of 33 and in 1909 became the leader of the National Liberal Party. When he took over party leadership, Brătianu outlined his foreign policy objectives, including Romania’s detachment from the Triple Alliance and its orientation towards the Entente. It was, in his opinion, the only measure meant to achieve the unification of all Romanians in one state. As head of the government at the end of the First World War, he was the decisive force in the creation and international recognition of united Romania.
After the Resolution of Union of Transylvania with Romania, on December 1, 1918, a new government, led by Brătianu, was soon established. Ministers hailing from all Romanian historical provinces became part of the cabinet for the first time in Romanian history. This government ratified the act of union of Transylvania with Romania (Decree-law of 13 December 1918 for the unification of Transylvania and the other lands in Hungary inhabited by Romanians with the Kingdom of Romania) and of the union of Bukovina with Romania (Decree-law of 19 December 1918).
Dominating Romania’s political life for two decades with authority and vision, Ionel Brătianu was one of the most complex personalities in Romanian history. His entire career was guided by the principle that the greatest duty of the political man was to defend the interests of the people he represented.