Ioan Sturdza

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Ioan Sandu Sturdza (or Ioniţă Sandu Sturdza) was a Prince of Moldavia from 21 June 1822 to 5 May 1828.


Sturdza is considered the first indigenous ruler with the end of Phanariote rule (as a move the Ottoman Empire undertook after seeing the political disadvantages of Greek domination after the troubles in the Greek War of Independence).

Immediately after the Greek revolution, Prince Ioan Sturdza took an active part in subduing the roving bands of Eterists in Moldavia; he transformed the Greek language elementary schools into Romanian language ones and laid the foundation for that scientific national development which Prince Mihai Sturdza continued after 1834, especially after his founding of an upper school in the Trei Ierarhi Cathedral complex in Iaşi. Although his project for the confiscation of some Church properties was initially blocked by Russia, Sturdza opted not to revise his position.

Contested by the boyars who had taken refuge in Imperial Russia during Ypsilanti's military rule over the country, and threatened to lose his throne after the 1826 Russo-Turkish Akkerman Convention that established a seven-year term in office for Princes elected by the Divan (confirmed by the Ottomans, with Russia's approval), Sturdza agreed to many boyar demands, including tax cuts and exemptions from conscription. However, Sturdza ensured meritocratic criteria in access to public offices. At the same time, a conflict became apparent between high- and low-ranking boyars, after the proposed constitution of Ionică Tăutu was rejected by most of the former (a vocal minority under the leadership of Mihail Sturdza). In 1828, the Russians entered the country during the War and took Prince Ioan prisoner. He died while being kept in Bessarabia and was later buried in Iaşi.

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Preceded by
Turkish occupation
Prince of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Russian occupation