King Carol Ii The country I chose for my internet project is Romania and the subject dealt with is the reign of King Carol II. In all my findings in the different web sites searched they all portrayed him as the most disputed among the four Kings of Romania. Although not a particularly good leader for Romania he played a very important part in Romania’s history during a very turbulent time period. His controversial reign ultimately gave rise to a personal, corporatist dictatorship. Much of his life was caught in turmoil and his domestic life was a constant source of scandal.
The oldest son of King Ferdinand I, Carol was born on October 3rd, 1893 at Sinaia, being the first Romanian King to be born in Romania. In his early years, King Carol I took care of his education, preparing him for his duties as heir of the throne. As a young man he proved to be an intelligent student with an overflowing personality. Troubles for the young man soon to be king were not in the too distant future however. Once King Ferdinand acceded to the throne, Carol at 21 became the heir of the throne. At this same age he becomes senator by law in the Romanian Parliament.
During WWI, while the government and the Royal Family were in refuge at Iasi, Carol deserts from the army and ran away with his mistress, Ioana Lambrino, daughter of an army major. They later secretly married in Odessa. A huge scandal soon followed and Carol was sent to the Horaita-Neamt Monastery and later the Court of Ilfov declared the marriage null. Despite all of this, Carol continued to see his lover, from this relationship Mircea the illegitimate son of Carol was born in 1920. Carol was sent away in a long trip to end the relationship with Ioana Lambrino. One year later, Carol met Elena, the daughter of King George and Queen Sofia of Greece. They married the same year and on October 25 their son Michael, future King of Romania, was born.
The relations between the two dissolved shortly after the birth of their son and they distanced themselves from each other. Soon after that Carol meets Elena Wolf Lupescu. He eventually falls in love with her. From then on Elena dominates Carol his entire life from then on. They ran to Paris to live together.
Carol takes the name of Carol Caraiman. Another scandal soon follows and King Ferdinand decides to withdraw Carol’s privileges and names Michael as his successor to the throne. In 1927 King Ferdinand dies, leaving Michael to become King of Romania. Being only four years old a Regency is formed to rule until Michael is 21. The Regency is formed of Prince Nicolae- Michael’s uncle, Miron Cristea- The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and Gheorghe Buzdugan- the president of the High Court of Justice. Not long after this Gheorghe Buzdugan passed away and George Sarateanu took his place. In 1930 Carol returns and just two days later, June 8 Carol is proclaimed King of Romania.
The return of Carol was facilitated by the political situation in the country. Under his reign King Ferdinand had introduced the universal vote. This led to a proliferation of political parties in Romania: the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. After WWI the situation changed. The Conservative Party ceased to exist and dozens of other parties took its place.
The Liberal Party that was responsible for the formation of this government, led by Ionel Bratianu opposed Carol’s return for a short time. But shortly after Ferdinand’s death, Bratianu passed away too. The government then lost its influence in the political arena, and the Regency had little influence in the political arena as well. In 1928 the Peasants Party took the power, against the liberals. It became a popular new form of government but despite this the new government could not do much to improve the political situation, being faced with the consequences of the world economic crisis. With the idea that Carol would be the person that could end the fights between the parties and the political instability.
On June 6, 1930 Carol returned to Bucharest and two days later the Parliament rids the laws that forbade Carol to become the heir of the throne. He became King Carol II of Romania. It was the first time in history that the father succeeded his son to the throne. Despite the promises Carol made to the Prime Minister, Carol doesn’t end the relationship with Elena Lupescu. He brings her back to Romania and forces Queen Elena to leave the country. Carol’s reign lasted for ten years, between 1930 and 1940.
In these years Carol’s rein brought strong economic growth to Romania. But it also brought the disintegration in 1938 of the parliamentarian democracy in Romania. The establishment of Carol’s Royal Dictatorship was facilitated by both the internal and international political situation. In the 1930’s dictators already ruled most of the countries in Europe. In Romania the people were very disappointed by the political parties.
In addition to this right wing extremist movements were flourishing in those times. The most important right wing movement was The Legionary Movement, led by Horia Sima and Corneliu Zelea-Codreanu. Violence was a popular practice to end political arguments during this time. Two Prime Ministers were killed by the legionnaires under the reign of Carol II. A new war was beginning to emerge in Europe at this time, WWII. In 1938 Carol established a personal dictatorship regime without much conflict because of the distractions created by the war.
He outlawed all of the political parties, establishing a new one. His dream to be The King of National Resurrection. This dream would not become a reality however. He then surrounded himself with a group of dubious persons, most of them introduce by his mistress Elena Lupescu. The following two years were filled with bad fortune for Romania. In 1940, following a treaty between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR, Romania lost Basarabia and Northern Bucovina to USSR and northwestern Transilvania to Hungary. All of this happened without any violence.
Carol was then left without any internal or external political support, facing rallies throughout the country militating against him. The people blamed his for the loss of these territories and for the violence in the political life in the country. In 1940 Carol gave up most of his decision-making powers in favor of General Ion Antonescu who later becomes the head of state. More bad fortune comes to Carol when on the next day Antonescu forces Carol to renounce his thrown and give it to Michael, who becomes for the second time King of Romania. Being only 19, Antonescu was still the actual new ruler of Romania.
Carol then leaves Romania for good on September 7, 1940 together with his mistress Elena Lupescu, in a special train. He took with him lots of treasures from Romania. He lived for several years in some South American countries. Later he came back to Europe where he settled in Portugal. During WWII and immediately after that he had some unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne, contacting great powers like the Soviets.
They only caused trouble to King Michael during negotiations with the allies. The Romanian political personalities did not give any support or attention to Carol on these attempts. In the end Carol marries Elena Lupescu in 1949. He then dies shortly after in 1953 of cancer. Elena Lupescu outlived him for almost 25 years and inherited his huge fortune.
In dates there were some minor disagreements between different websites but most were consistent. Carol was looked at I think as kind of cowardice in some ways. He was not a respected leader, but was very much realized as an important leader in Romanian history. Although his untamed living habits were obviously not doing good for the country they were still looked at with not so much respect but with some admiration for being able to lead himself out of trouble. King Carol II was easily the most disputed of the Kings but also had a precarious life style that stood out and made him probably get more attention then he really deserved. History Essays.