Slavery In Romania
Slavery (Romanian: robie) existed on the territory of present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 13th–14th century, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves were of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity. Particularly in Moldavia there were also slaves of Tatar ethnicity, probably prisoners captured from the wars with the Nogai and Crimean Tatars.
The slaves were owned by the boyars, the Christian Orthodox monasteries or the state. Initially, they were used only as smiths, gold panners and as agricultural workers, but when the principalities became more urbanized, increasingly more of them were used as domestic workers.
The abolition of slavery was carried out following a campaign by young revolutionaries who embraced the liberal ideas of the Enlightenment. Notable among them was Mihail Kogălniceanu, who drafted the legislation related to the abolition of slavery in Moldavia. In 1843, the Wallachian state freed the slaves it owned and by 1856, in both principalities, all the categories of slaves had been freed.
Following the abolition, there were attempts (both of the state and private initiatives) to sedentize the nomads and to integrate the Roma people into the Romanian society, but they had a rather limited success.
Read more about Slavery In Romania: Origins, Presence in Neighboring Regions, Estimates For The Slave Population, Emergence of The Abolitionist Movement, Laws On Abolition, The Condition of The Roma After The Abolition, Legacy
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