Carol I

Carol I, 1839–1914, prince (1866–81) and first king (1881–1914) of Romania, of the house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. He is also called Charles I. A Prussian officer, he was elected to succeed the deposed Alexander John Cuza as prince of Romania. He reformed the Romanian constitution and laid the groundwork for the country's monetary system, military organization, and railroad network. Exploitation of Romanian oil fields began in his reign. Economic development, however, did not improve the lot of the peasants, and an uprising in 1907 was cruelly suppressed. Carol sided with Russia in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and obtained at the Congress of Berlin (see Berlin, Congress of) full independence for Romania, which he declared a kingdom in 1881. Carol's wife was Princess Elizabeth of Wied. He was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Romanian History: Biographies