Alexandru Vaida-Voevod

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Alexandru Vaida-Voevod
Vaida-Voevod.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania
In office
December 1, 1919 – January 9, 1920
Monarch Ferdinand
Preceded by Nicolae Mișu
Succeeded by Duiliu Zamfirescu
Prime Minister of Romania
In office
December 1, 1919 – March 12, 1920
Monarch Ferdinand
Preceded by Artur Văitoianu
Succeeded by Alexandru Averescu
Personal details
Born (1872-02-27)February 27, 1872
Bobâlna
Died March 19, 1950(1950-03-19) (aged 78)
Sibiu
Political party Romanian National Party (before 1926)
National Peasants' Party (after 1926)
Religion Greek-Catholic

Alexandru Vaida-Voevod or Vaida-Voievod (February 27, 1872 – March 19, 1950) was a Romanian politician who was a supporter and promoter of the union of Transylvania (before 1918 a part of Austria-Hungary) with the Romanian Old Kingdom; he later served three terms as a Prime Minister of Greater Romania.

Transylvanian politics[edit]

He was born to a Greek-Catholic family in the Transylvanian village of Bobâlna (known at the time as Olpret). Initially, Voevod was supportive of a plan to federalize the domains of the Habsburgs along the lines of a United States of Greater Austria, and was close to Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

In 1906, he joined a group of Romanian nationalists in the Budapest Parliament (the Romanian National Party of Transylvania and Banat), becoming an important opponent of the Hungarian governmental policy of forced Magyarization of Romanians, and fought for the right of Transylvania to self-determination. Disappointed by the Austrian cause after Franz Ferdinand's assassination in Sarajevo, and turned towards an advocacy of Transylvania's union with Romania; he and his party presented a demand for self-determination along Wilsonian principles to the Hungarian legislative in October 1918.

In December 1918, after Hungary surrendered in World War I, he was part of the Transylvanian council that proclaimed the union with Romania, and was, alongside Vasile Goldiș, Iuliu Hossu, and Miron Cristea, a member of the Transylvanian group of envoys that presented the decision to King Ferdinand I in Bucharest.

In Romania[edit]

Vaida-Voevod joined the Romanian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and was one of its most prominent members throughout the negotiations, as an organizer of press campaigns.[citation needed] During the conference, he joined the Masonic Grand Orient de France in order to secure a more advantageous position for his country.[1]

First Term as Prime Minister[edit]

The elections of November 1919 were successful for his party, and he replaced the National Liberal Ion I. C. Brătianu as Prime Minister and Nicolae Mișu as Foreign Minister. He secured the new borders by ordering Romanian troops to fight off the Hungarian Soviet Republic. However, his radical approach toward the land reforms made King Ferdinand dissolve his government in March 1920, to be replaced by one formed by General Alexandru Averescu's People's Party (a populist movement that had attracted Brătianu's conditional support). Vaida-Voevod's party emerged as the National Peasants' Party in 1926, and he served as its leader. He also served twice as Interior Minister (1928-1930 and 1932).

Second and Third Cabinet[edit]

Vaida-Voevod's second cabinet existed from 11 August until the 17 October 1932; he resigned and was succeeded by Iuliu Maniu. After Maniu resigned as Prime Minister in January 1933, Vaida-Voevod returned as Prime Minister. [2]

"Vaida and his supporters, who formed the party's [National Paeasant Party] right wing, were acting more like Liberals than Peasantists. They crushed strikes by oil workers in Ploiești and by railway workers in Bucharest in February 1933, dissolved Communist Party front organizations and all other 'anti-state' organizations, and proclaimed martial law in a number of cities."[2]

Nonetheless, the problems posed by his new cabinets (in 1932 and 1933) - the Legionary Movement's intimidation of the political scene, and Vaida-Voevod's own Anti-semitism (which began to manifest itself in measures of repression encouraged by the Legionaries), led to a split between the Prime Minister and his Party. His second government fell because of Armand Călinescu, who was a staunch opponent of the Legionary Movement.

Later[edit]

He began opening up to Fascism and Nazism, and on 25 February 1935 created his own movement, the Romanian Front, which survived through the increasingly authoritarian regime of Carol II, the National Legionary State, Antonescu's regime and most of World War II. It was dissolved after 1944 when Communist Party gained influence with Soviet backing. Nevertheless, the party never eluded obscurity in front of competition from the Legionaries, and its members were victims of the repression carried out by the communist regime after 1948. Vaida-Voevod was arrested on March 24, 1945. In 1946, he was put under house arrest in Sibiu, where he spent the remainder of his life.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Romanian) Remus Florescu, "Alexandru Vaida Voevod a intrat în masonerie pentru a ajuta România la Conferinţa de Pace de la Paris din 1919", Adevărul, November 7, 2013; accessed November 10, 2013
  2. ^ a b Hitchins, Keith (1994). Rumania 1866-1947. Oxford: Claredon Press. p. 417. ISBN 0198221266. 

Bibliography[edit]