1867 Romanian general election

General elections were held in Romania in December 1867 (New Style: December 1867 – January 1868), and were won by a coalition of liberal-and-radical groups, or "Concordia Agreement", formed around incumbent Prime Minister Ștefan Golescu. Concordia brought together the left-leaning "Reds", the Free and Independent Faction, and a moderate liberal section under Mihail Kogălniceanu. The latter split the moderate vote, ensuring defeat for the opposition led by Ion Ghica, which came in third, after the conservative "Whites". The reconfiguration made the country more governable, at a time of financial crisis and riotous disputes over the issue of Jewish emancipation. Controversially, Concordia sought to win over and appease antisemitic voters, although it was itself divided between more and less pliable antisemites.

1867 Romanian general election

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(New Style: December 1867 – January 1868)
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All c. 60 eligible seats in the Senate
All 157 seats in the Assembly of Deputies
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Ștefan Golescu Dimitrie Ghica Ion Ghica
Party Concordia Agreement
(incl. Free and Independent Faction)
"Whites" Moderate liberals
Leader since 1867 1866 1866
Leader's seat Ilfov Ilfov Mehedinți/
Last election c. 40 D c. 60 D c. 20 D
Seats won 85 D 34 D 30 D
Seat change Increase c. 45 D Decrease c. 26 D Increase c. 10 D

Assembly composition, January 1868
Composition of the Assembly after the election; Factionalists (Concordia allies) in orange, other Independents in grey

The elections for the Assembly are often described as fraudulent, with the main culprit being Golescu's Interior Minister, Ion Brătianu; in the Senate race, the accusations of fraud were reciprocal. Despite the liberal sweep, "Reds" suffered significant defeats, for instance in Ilfov County, where their candidate Nicolae Haralambie failed to win against Dimitrie Ghica. The national campaign was also steeped in violence, with antisemitic riots in Tutova (following the mysterious death of electee Scarlat Vârnav) and Ialomița County. A far-reaching dispute involved the results in Prahova, where Concordia allegedly used military force to ensure its victory. Disputes over the validation of deputies and senators, including Manolache Costache Epureanu, Petru Grădișteanu and Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, continued into the early months of 1868.

Although victorious, Concordia was eventually brought down by the Factionalists, once Brătianu shunned their violent antisemitism. Reformed by General Nicolae Golescu, who succeeded his brother as Prime Minister, the "Reds" still secured a win in the Senate elections of July 1868. Eventually, however, they lost favor with Domnitor Carol I. The liberal ascendancy ended during the general election of March 1869, which placed the country under a "White" government.



In February 1866, Romania (as the United Principalities had been designated since 1864) was governed by a "monstrous coalition" of "Reds", "Whites" and moderates, chaired by Ion Ghica. Created by a coup which toppled the authoritarian Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza, it supervised the April elections—under the preordained assumption that Assembly seats would be evenly split between the "right" and the "left".[1] The Central Electoral Committee, presided upon by the radical doctrinaire C. A. Rosetti, attempted fraud in various regions (including Prahova County); however, the resulting Assembly was overall dominated by the "Whites".[2] At the time, separatism and Cuza loyalism flared up in Western Moldavia, where a riot—instigated by Calinic Miclescu, Nicu Ceaur-Aslan, Teodor Boldur-Lățescu, and Constantin Moruzi Pecheanu—was quelled by the Romanian Land Forces.[3]

In a parallel plebiscite, Romanians overwhelmingly voted to recognize Carol of Hohenzollern, a German prince, as their new hereditary Domnitor. The regime also instituted Parliament's upper chamber, by reestablishing Cuza's Romanian Senate. Ghica was reconfirmed as Prime Minister, his government claiming to be "neither right- nor left-wing".[4] His position was weakened by swing deputies and separatist nostalgia, and also by other hurdles: a financial crisis (which had the state borrowing from private bankers),[5] a cholera outbreak, and a localized famine.[6] Moreover, major disputes raged over constitutional details. One point of contention was the status of Romanian Jews, with various "Reds" and Moldavians emerging as the core opponents of emancipation and advocates of "ethnic protectionism".[7] Therefore, in its final form, the Constitution of July only granted citizenship to Christians, thus reverting a more tolerant Civil Code proclaimed under Cuza.[8]

There were repeat elections in November, producing a multicolored Assembly, ridiculed in liberal circles as a "tutti frutti" legislature.[9] According to one count of Assembly seats, the radicals shared about 40 seats with their Moldavian allies, or "Free and Independent Faction"; there was a conservative majority of approximately 60 seats, but segmented into competing blocs; Ghica's moderate liberals could only count on some 20 deputies.[10] Another count suggests that Ghica was backed by one third of the Assembly, while the liberals, as the loyal opposition, had another third. Those who rejected the system, be they Cuza loyalists or Moldavian separatists, shared between them the remainder.[11] Overall, "there were great clashes of vision between the Assembly majority and the cabinet, as well as between the minority and the cabinet."[12] The election was criticized from the liberal left as fraudulent in favor of the conservatives and moderates, but other contemporaries generally view it as free and fair.[13] Over the next months, however, disputes blocked the validation of various deputies, contributing to the uncertainty of governance.[14]

In March 1867 the radicals were able to seal the Concordia Agreement, allying them with the Free and Independent Faction, chaired by Nicolae Ionescu, and a group of moderate liberals under Mihail Kogălniceanu (who commended the allegiance of 25 deputies).[15] Tacitly endorsed by Domnitor Carol,[16] this new coalition was backed by a plurality of Assembly members, eventually pushing Ghica to resign.[17] His "Red" replacement, Constantin A. Crețulescu, was nominally a moderate,[18] but the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ion Brătianu, was a "Red" doctrinaire and power-broker, sometimes described as the cabinet's true leader.[19] Possibly pressured by his conditional allies, the antisemitic Factionalists, he also pushed orders to evict Jewish "vagabonds" from the countryside, which sparked an international scandal.[20]

November 1867 cartoon in Ghimpele, the "Red" magazine: the "White" party, represented by a rabbit-faced Manolache Costache Epureanu, taking Jewish bribes to "bring down the liberal Ministry"

By late May, Brătianu had to deal with "White" defiance, manifested when senator Petre Mavrogheni of Iași County handed in his resignation. Electors refused to turn up, and sent him a letter expressing contempt that he even organized a scrutiny.[21] The radicalism of government officials was also fomenting an international crisis, once it became apparent that Brătianu was backing the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee (BRCK) against the Ottoman Empire—which was still Romania's suzerain power. In April, when Panayot Hitov led a BRCK guerrilla force into the Danube Vilayet at Oltenița, the Ottomans began openly calling for Crețulescu to step down.[22] The Jewish evictions were especially unpopular within the French Empire, to which the liberals looked for guidance, and soon Brătianu's "demagoguery" was castigated by his allies, including Ștefan Golescu and Dimitrie Sturdza. The latter sought to have Brătianu removed by switching to Ghica's party, and eventually prompted his adversary to resign in July.[23]

During the parliamentary break, Brătianu's resignation continued to undermine political stability. In July, Factionalists Ceaur-Aslan and Nicolae Iamandi, alongside Grigore Sturdza, published an appeal for the establishment of a regional Moldavian caucus that would defy "Red" centralism (other signatories included Grigore Balș, Panait Balș, Grigore Vârnav, and Colonel Pavlov). This initiative was rejected by Crețulescu and Brătianu, who noted that it infringed on the Constitution.[24] Faced with the crumbling of his alliances, Crețulescu ultimately resigned in August.[25] Cuza loyalist Ion Emanuel Florescu was excited by this opportunity, writing to the exiled former Domnitor that anarchy would result in a regime change.[26] Instead, liberal-radicals formed a new governing coalition, which required them to encourage a maximalist version of Romanian nationalism, supporting "Greater Romania" or "Dacia"—namely, the incorporation of Transylvania and other Romanian-inhabited territories of Austria-Hungary. The cause was advanced by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu and Alexandru Candiano-Popescu, who put out the political newspaper Perseverența. In summer 1867, Hasdeu traveled across Transylvania to "assess the conditions for a probable insurrection."[27] He viewed himself as a future "Red" minister, noting in 1871 that the "Dacian ideal" was being more openly promoted by that party by 1868.[28]

In October, Golescu officially took over as Prime Minister, and Brătianu was able to regain influence, eventually resuming his position at Internal Affairs. After filibustering by the "White" deputy Manolache Costache Epureanu, Golescu agreed to dissolve the Assembly and called in new elections, noting that the slim majority he had could not support a government in the long run.[29] According to researcher Constantin Gane, Brătianu had actually wanted, and worked for, early elections. "The liberal party", he argues, "wanted a Chamber of its own, one that had eluded its grasp for six years, ever since 1862".[30] Golescu's message was followed on November 29 by Brătianu's circular letter to the prefects, carried in Monitorul Oficial. Claiming that government had put up no candidates of its own, it asked functionaries to exercise a "moral influence" over the electorate, to produce a result in accordance with the national interest—generally seen as code for an election fraud through intimidation.[31]

Campaign and results


Early rounds


The election was the second one in history to be held under the census suffrage (and weighted voting) law of July 1866, with a two-round system where simple majorities were not decided in one session. The First College comprised voters who owned more than 300 ducats in property, and the Second included those who declared 100–300 ducats; they each elected 33 deputies with direct elections.[32] The Third College corresponded roughly to a "third estate", specifically designed for urban constituencies, directly electing 58 deputies in proportion to the respective town population.[33] A Fourth College, representing taxpayers not comprised in the other categories, designated 33 of the total 157 deputies through electors. In 1866–1867, there was a 1:50 ratio of electors to registered voters.[32]

In the Assembly, where the main rounds took place on December 22–26 (Old Style: December 10–14),[34] the results were a landslide win for Concordia: Concordia men had 85 seats between them.[35] In particular, the election was a victory for "Red" hardliners, including Rosetti and Eugeniu Carada (elected in Ilfov's Third and Fourth College, respectively; Carada had 536 votes to 17), but also Gogu Cantacuzino (in Prahova's Fourth College, 550 votes to 9) and Perseverența's Candiano-Popescu (in Cahul's Fourth College, with 79 votes to 5).[36] In Prahova, where liberals were especially strong and well-organized, the liberal ascendancy was complete, with all seats going to "Reds": Anton I. Arion, industrialist Matache Nicolau, and Ploiești mayor Constantin T. Grigorescu were also returned by the Third College, as was Corneliu Lapati by the Second.[37] A "total triumph" for both houses of Parliament was also boasted by the liberal chapter of Argeș County, where George T. Brătianu and Constantin Hurmuzachi were sent to the Assembly.[38] In some locations, the contest was said to have been mired in dubious practices. One such case was the Fourth College of Vlașca, where the "Red" Grigore Serrurie faced the incumbent, Cezar Bolliac. Rumors recorded by Ghimpele suggest that Bolliac was treating peasant voters to bagels and shots of țuică; in addition, both candidates were alleged to have used ballot stuffing, with the final tallies showing more votes than there were registered voters.[39]

A complete "Red" victory was rendered impossible by several contributing factors, including Factionalist independence. According to one approximation by Ghimpele magazine, the Free and Independent Faction had 14 of the majority deputies: Ionescu, Anastasie Fătu, Alexandru Gheorghiu, Alecu D. Holban, Theodor Lateș, Dimitrie Tacu, Nicolae Voinov, Ianache Lecca, Dumitru Lupașcu, Ioan Negură, Mantu Rufu, Petre Suciu, I. Strejescu, and Dumitru Țanu Vidrașcu.[40] Three other winning candidates on the Tutova County list were a local "National Liberal Party", allied with the Faction.[41] Ghimpele viewed the Faction as distinct from either the left, right, or center of the resulting legislature, a party "with only captains, and no footmen."[42] The Factionalist newspaper Dreptatea celebrated a complete victory in the indirect election for Iași County's Fourth College—with "27 democrat delegates" elected, against just 2 "reactionaries".[43]

The topic of government interference was at the heart of a polemic in Ilfov. Here, the conservative paper Țérra presented evidence that policemen and firefighters had stormed into the Athenaeum Society polling station to harass "White" voters. This account was disputed by the "Red" editors of Romanulu, who noted that the authorities had only stepped in to curb vote-buying by conservative electioneers.[44] Nationally, Concordia experienced some major defeats: in the First College of Ilfov, government presented Nicolae Haralambie as a "National Party" candidate. He lost to the "White" leader Dimitrie Ghica, who took 94 votes (more than the absolute majority of 89); Haralambie had 67 votes, and a third-party candidate, Constantin Bosianu, only 15.[45] Similarly, the First College of Vaslui County propelled into office a debuting "White", Petre P. Carp, who was just organizing the party chapter in Moldavia,[46] In Dâmbovița, opposition candidates Ienache Văcărescu and Isaia Lerescu also won seats, but, according to Romanulu, both of them were unduly favored by the electoral commission.[47] Overall, 34 deputies were conservative "Whites", and 30 more were moderates, with 8 more elected as independents.[35]

The following is a list of Assembly election results as tabulated on December 31 (Old Style: December 19):[48]

County Fourth College Third College Second College First College
Argeș Costache Christescu Gheorghe Enescu, D. Micescu George T. Brătianu Constantin Hurmuzachi
Bacău C. Platon Constantin Dimonisie, Ioan Negură Dumitru Lupașcu Ianache Lecca
Bolgrad Alexandru Cociu Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu Apostol Mănescu Ad. Parussi (Parusief)
Botoșani Cassian Lecca Dimitrie Christea, Panait Gheorghiade,
Adam Hareto
Col. Gheorghe Adrian Anton Caruzi
Brăila Grigore Eliade Radu S. Campiniu, Trandafir Djuvara Alecu Giani Iosif Niculescu
Buzău Panait Iatropol Ghiță Dăscălescu Caloian Pleșoianu Ion "Iancu" Marghiloman
Cahul Alexandru Candiano-Popescu V. Șeicaru Al. Zeucianu Aristid Cilibidake (Celibidache)
Covurlui Dimitrie Tacu P. Popasu, Procopie S. Sgrumalla,
I. Strejescu
Mantu Rufu invalidated
Dâmbovița Gheorghie "Ghiță" Siercanescu Isaia Lerescu (Lorescu) Ienache (Ionache) Văcărescu Ion Emanuel Florescu
Dolj Elefterie Cornetti Gheorghe Chițu, Petru "Pera" Opran,
Anastase Stolojan
Grigore Arghiropol George Barbu Știrbei
Dorohoi Alexandru Văsescu Theodor Lateș Col. Gheorghe Adrian Turel Pisoschi
Fălciu Dumitru Castroianu Mihail Kogălniceanu Dumitru Berca Nicolae Rosetti-Bălănescu
Gorj Petre Roșianu undecided
(vacant by January 22)
Tache Moscu C. Săvoiu
Ialomița Pana Buescu Ioan Vasiliu invalidated N. Moscu
Iași Petre Suciu Constantin Corjescu, Alexandru Gheorghiu,
Dumitru Gusti, Alecu D. Holban
Anastasie Fătu Petre Mavrogheni
Ilfov Eugeniu Carada Dimitrie Brătianu, Ion Brătianu,
Dimitrie Culoglu, Nicolae Golescu,
T. Mehedințianu, C. A. Rosetti
Ștefan Golescu Dimitrie Ghica
Ismail George G. Fălcoianu Alexandru Cociu Dumitru Petre Economu August Treboniu Laurian
Mehedinți Nicolae Gărdăreanu C. Cârjeu (Chirgeu), G. Miculescu D. Genescu Ion Ghica
Muscel Sache Nicolau Alexandru G. Golescu Scarlat Turnavitu G. Iorgulescu
Neamț Vasile Zacharia Dumitru Gheorghiu Șoarecu Grigore Isăcescu Col. Gheorghe Ruset Roznovanu
Olt Radian Boicea Ion Titulescu
(vacant by January 22)
Gheorghe Văleanu Gheorghe A. Polizu
Prahova Gogu Cantacuzino Anton I. Arion, Constantin T. Grigorescu,
Matache Nicolau
Corneliu Lapati Ioan C. Cantacuzino
Putna Dumitru Pruncu Dumitru Țanu (Stanu, Ztinu) Vidrașcu,
Nicolae Voinov
Gheorghe Apostoleanu none
(Alecu Balș on January 22)
Râmnicu Sărat Constantin Niculescu Catia (Câță) Oprișian Iorgulescu I. F. Robescu Constantin Grădișteanu
Roman Ion Agarici Mihail Jora Leon Eraclide Vasile Alecsandri
Romanați Achil Teocharie Gen. Anton Berindei V. Obedianu Constantin Darvari
Suceava G. Ghițescu Constantin Morțun Gheorghe Racoviță none
(Dumitru Cozadini on January 22)
Tecuci Tache Anastasiu Anton Ciucă (Cicu) Constantin A. Racoviță Petre Ciucă
Teleorman Gheorghie Petrescu George D. Vernescu Petre Orbescu Ion Ghica
Tutova Scarlat (Father Sofronie) Vârnav
(vacant by January 6)
P. Chenciu (Kenciu), Ion (Iancu) Codrescu,
Andrei V. Ionescu
(none by January 22)
Vâlcea Stamati Budurescu Scarlat Călinescu Grigore Ioan Lahovari Alexandru Lahovary
Vaslui Iona Latif Col. Dumitru Miclescu Gheorghe Racoviță Petre P. Carp
Vlașca Grigore Serrurie Nicolae "Niță" Gogoașă (or Gogoașiă) Alexandru Lăzărescu-Laerțiu Nae Tătăranu

Senate race


In the race for Senate, which took place on December 30 – January 3 (Old Style: December 18–22),[34] the "Reds" faced significant difficulties. The liberal press aired allegations of fraud by the "Whites": in Olt County, a delegation of electors, including Ioan Căpitănescu, refused to cast their vote, as a sign of protest.[49] A separate scandal took hold in the largely non-Romanian constituency of Bolgrad, where Aristid Pascal, the eventual winner, published manifestos addressing Bessarabian Bulgarians in their native tongue.[39] Another controversy involved Romanulu, which published archive documents from the 1850s. These purportedly showed that Ioan Manu and Constantin N. Brăiloiu, both of whom ran for Senate as "Whites", had plotted a violent clampdown against liberal activists.[39]

The votes for Senate were still counted, and in some instances still cast, during January. By January 5, ballotage in the Second Senatorial College awarded mandates to Nicolae Crețulescu (for Ismail), Emil Casimir (Baia), Ion Pastia (Putna), and Iorgu Scorțescu (Roman); Factionalist leader Ionescu was senator for the University of Iași, and Alexandru Orăscu represented the one in Bucharest.[50] Bishop Filaret Scriban, who had initially refrained from running (only urging his fellow Factionalists to elect "good Christians and good patriots"),[51] ended up being voted in as a senator, both in Iași and Botoșani Counties.[52] In Bucharest, Haralambie also presented himself as a candidate in the senatorial race for the Second College, which was only held on January 8.[53]

Overall, in the upper chamber, the "Reds" lost to a thin majority formed by Ion Ghica's moderates and "White" conservatives.[54] Incomplete lists for the separate precincts and two colleges of Senate appeared in the press,[55] as follows:

County Senators
Argeș Dimitrie Dragoescu, Nicu Rosetti-Bălănescu
Bacău Ion Strat
Bolgrad Aristid Pascal, Col. S. Sabovici
Baia Emil Casimir
Botoșani Dumitru Mavrocordat, Filaret Scriban
Brăila Constantin A. Crețulescu, M. Mihăescu
Bucharest and Ilfov Nicolae Haralambie
Alexandru Orăscu (U. Buch.)
Buzău Col. Crasnaru, Nicolae Pâcleanu
Dâmbovița Nicolae Ghica-Comănești, Pana Olănescu
Dolj Constantin N. Brăiloiu, Nicolae S. Guranu
Dorohoi Panait Casimir, George Holban
Fălciu Scarlat Mavrogheni
Gorj Col. Crasnaru, Col. Teodor Călinescu
Ialomița Scarlat Crețulescu, Col. Ștefan Cristofor Stoika
Iași Nicolae Drossu, Filaret Scriban
Nicolae Ionescu (U. Iași)
Ismail Col. Alexandru Cernat, Nicolae Crețulescu
Mehedinți Ion Oteteleșanu
Muscel Gheorghe Costaforu, Anton Gugiu
Olt Gen. Constantin Năsturel-Herescu, C. Văleanu
Putna Costin Catargi, Ion Pastia
Râmnicu Sărat Alexandru Plagino, Costache Vernescu
Roman Iorgu Scorțescu, Grigore Vârnav
Romanați Grigore Jianu, Constantin Vlădoianu
Tecuci Panait Balș, Alexandru Teriachiu
Tutova Manolache Costache Epureanu[56]
Vâlcea Constantin Bosianu, Petru Munteanu
Vaslui Grigore Lăcusteanu, Nicolae Lahovari, C. I. Sturdza

Validation disputes

Cezar Bolliac (left) and Grigore Serrurie fighting over the Fourth College seat in Vlașca. Ghimpele cartoon of January 1, 1868

Parliament was eventually reopened on January 15 (Old Style: January 3),[34][57] with Gheorghe Enescu as de facto Assembly President. Ailing, the later relinquished office, and was replaced by General Nicolae Golescu (Ștefan's brother).[58] Although his own "Red" subgroup was by then dominant in the lower house, Brătianu allowed a Moldavian Factionalist, Anastasie Fătu, to replace President Golescu by January 27.[59] Senate also resumed proceedings on January 20,[58] and, on January 24, reelected Nifon Rusailă as its Chairman.[60]

By then, those who had their mandates confirmed were left to assess reports demanding the invalidation of other deputies and senators. Some, such as Candiano-Popescu, were very soon validated and able to take their seats;[61] although elected for Senate, Haralambie soon gave up, after revelations that he was not of the legal age to run.[62] Bishop Filaret, contested for legal reasons because he had been a monk, was nevertheless also accepted by Senate.[52] Kogălniceanu's ally Ion Emanuel Florescu was surprisingly removed from his seat following a vote by his lower-chamber colleagues.[42]

Long conflicts ensued over the early opening of ballot boxes in various precincts. Some, including Alexandru Văsescu and Theodor Lateș, were confirmed regardless of this procedural objection.[63] Another contentious case was litigated by Bolliac, who had lost Serrurie but still demanded to be recognized as a deputy, and had to be evicted from the Assembly; meanwhile, "Red" senator Anton Gugiu was confirmed by his peers in a special vote.[58] According to Ghimpele, Bolliac was denied an opportunity to defend himself from the parliamentary rostrum, despite submitting thirty requests.[42] Deputies voted 62 to 42 not to recognize his claim, but agreed to send in an investigative commission.[60]

Another controversy erupted in Tutova County, where, on February 5, virtually all elections were still undecided. The "White" candidate for First College, Manolache Costache Epureanu, asked to be recognized as the winner, but the "Red" majority called fraud, and the seat was left vacant.[42][64] His ouster was welcomed by Ghimpele as a defeat for the philosemitic camp, with Epureanu mockingly referred to as a "great rabbi of Moldavia".[42] A related issue was that of Factionalist Scarlat Vârnav: elected as a Fourth-College deputy, he had died in suspicious circumstances—allegedly poisoned by his Jewish adversaries. While a toxicological investigation was undertaken in Bucharest, at Bârlad the matter sparked riots, attributed by "Reds" to a Jewish provocation.[65][66]

In Prahova, "White" bosses Theodor C. Văcărescu and Ștefan Greceanu produced reports and telegrams alleging widespread intimidation by infantry troops and the police, including beatings and arbitrary arrests of opposition mayors and electoral agents; Văcărescu also refused to sign the procès-verbal validating Prahova's vote count, and urged the Assembly not to validate Gogu Cantacuzino's mandate.[67] However, he himself was being brought to trial by the local prefect, Andrei Dertman, who alleged that Văcărescu had colluded with the mayor of Popești to get himself fraudulently nominated as a Fourth-College elector.[68] Cantacuzino was finally confirmed on January 21, when the Assembly concluded that Th. C. Văcărescu's accusations were not certified by an electors' petition, as required by law. A petition signed by 21 Prahova electors was nevertheless registered on the same day. It blamed the local police chief, Stan Popescu, and "all police agents and footmen, the nightwatchmen, the subprefects with their assistants and the town-hall clerks", of conspiring to "reject and mistreat" known conservative voters.[69] The controversy continued in a more subdued form when deputies of the opposition, including D. Ghica and George D. Vernescu, alongside G. T. Brătianu, asked for an inquiry into the Prahova affair. Local prosecutors refused to assess the case, dismissing the petition as an attempt to filibuster in the Assembly, while some petitioners backed this by withdrawing their signatures.[70]

In Ialomița County, accusations of about blood libel, issued against the local Jews, were quickly dismissed by pathologists, and publicly refuted by the liberal press.[65][71] Here, the disputed place of deputy in the Second College was eventually awarded to Petru Grădișteanu by Assembly vote.[60] Procedural controversies still surrounded Ionache Văcărescu, who was considered elected, by a slim margin, only after the voters' census was updated,[72] and Tache Moscu, whose narrow win was contested by those who argued that a deciding write-in ballot was meant for his brother, Costache.[60][63] Other disputes regarded the validation of two deputies whose Romanian citizenship was questioned: Constantin Niculescu Catia (or Câță) and Procopie S. Sgrumalla.[42][63][64][73] Hasdeu's election was also contested by emissaries from the Lipovans and Greeks of Bolgrad—their petition was denied by the Assembly, since they had failed to write it in Romanian.[63][73] The Senate seats of Covurlui remained contested until another race in spring, when Costache Negri became Second College senator (he resigned shortly after).[74]



Brătianu's claim that the election had not been fixed, and that government had "no official candidates", was endorsed by accounts in the contemporary press—local and liberal (Românul) as well as Western (La France, Le Siècle).[57] Overall, the election was validated: in his address to the Assembly, Domnitor Carol congratulated government on running an orderly vote, and arguing that elections had been free, "only moderated by the people's own common sense."[75] Kogălniceanu also reaffirmed his party's adherence to the "Red" party line, praising Brătianu for having "transformed the country".[59] However, Parliament continued to host debilitating disputes, including over allegations that Golescu had sponsored "Bulgarian bands" of the BRCK to start a revolution in Danube Vilayet, as well as over the functioning of the Court of Cassation.[76] The former accusation, which focused suspicions on the Perseverența group, led to Romania being threatened with an international commission of inquiry.[77]

Slowly, a right-wing opposition was consolidating, revitalized by Carp and by Alexandru Lahovary, seen by Gane as "the two Benjamins of conservative politics".[78] Antisemitism soon returned as the core issue, when, in Britain, the Earl of Derby cabinet analyzed reports that Romanian Jews were persecuted and prevented from even practicing their religion. The claim was taken up in Romania by Carp, but categorically denied by Brătianu.[79] Government's relationship with the Factionalists was soon put the test when, on March 17, the latter introduced a harshly antisemitic bill, which was ultimately rejected by the mainstream "Reds". Asked by the Prime Minister not to voice his dissidence, Brătianu restated his ethnic nationalism, but agreed that any such xenophobic excess would ruin Romania's fragile relationship with the West.[80]

This change of attitudes alienated the Faction, and smaller riots erupted in Moldavia, this time specifically targeting both the Jews and Prime Minister Golescu.[81] On April 23, the latter resigned, officially for health reasons,[82] and was replaced by his brother, General Golescu, who took an even more moderate position on the "Jewish Question". Although faced with a motion of no confidence in Senate (where an alliance of Factionalists and "Whites" was formed), he and Brătianu were able to maintain their hold on power.[83] Their political survival was especially disappointing for a conservative hopeful, the Dolj deputy George Barbu Știrbei, who missed his opportunity to become Prime Minister, and left on self-imposed exile. Reportedly, his candidacy was rejected by Carol's father, the Prince Hohenzollern, who feared that Știrbei would use his status to usurp the Romanian throne.[84]

As noted by historian Silvia Marton, "the words 'moral influence' were destined to have an enviable presence in posterity." Brătianu unwittingly coined a euphemism for "the systematic government pressure that will characterize the [electoral] regime at the very least until World War I."[85] Gane also notes that the practice of "restricting voters" only had one precedent (the Moldavian elections of July 1857), but that, after 1867, it "made a name for itself".[86] During similarly organized elections in late July, the conservatives also lost the Senate, ensuring that "Reds" completely dominated Parliament to March 1869, when the "White" party returned in a landslide of its own.[87] The sudden fall of radicalism, the loss of favor with Domnitor Carol, and the breakup of Concordia pushed Brătianu and Candiano-Popescu into conspiratorial politics—leading to the rebellious episode known as "Republic of Ploiești".[88]


  1. ^ Marton, pp. 177–178
  2. ^ Marton, pp. 177–183
  3. ^ Gane, pp. 102–104; Marton, p. 146
  4. ^ Moroianu, p. 139
  5. ^ Gane, p. 100; Moroianu, pp. 136–138
  6. ^ Marton, pp. 183, 190
  7. ^ Marton, pp. 32, 103–104
  8. ^ Brătescu, p. 14
  9. ^ Marton, p. 183
  10. ^ Marton, pp. 183–184; Moroianu, pp. 134–135; Scurtu, p. 298
  11. ^ Moroianu, p. 135; Scurtu, p. 298. See also Giurescu, pp. 41–42
  12. ^ Nicolescu, pp. 23–24
  13. ^ Marton, pp. 184–185
  14. ^ Marton, pp. 185–190; Nicolescu, pp. 26–28
  15. ^ Scurtu, p. 298
  16. ^ Brătescu, pp. 14, 19
  17. ^ Marton, pp. 190–191
  18. ^ Brătescu, pp. 14–15
  19. ^ Marton, pp. 24, 191; Moroianu, p. 140
  20. ^ Brătescu, pp. 15–22; Gane, pp. 115–116; Marton, pp. 24–26, 104, 155
  21. ^ Notice and letter of protest in Romanulu, June 8, 1867, p. 470
  22. ^ Constantin N. Velichi, "Coaliția sacră româno–bulgară", in Magazin Istoric, August 1973, p. 77
  23. ^ Brătescu, pp. 16–20. See also Gane, pp. 114–117
  24. ^ "Principatele române unite", in Telegrafulu Romanu, Issue 56/1867, p. 224
  25. ^ Nicolescu, p. 25
  26. ^ Giurescu, p. 42
  27. ^ Maciu, pp. 25–26
  28. ^ Maciu, p. 24
  29. ^ Nicolescu, pp. 26–30. See also Marton, p. 191
  30. ^ Gane, pp. 114–115
  31. ^ Marton, pp. 191–192
  32. ^ a b Marton, p. 174
  33. ^ Marton, pp. 174–175
  34. ^ a b c Nicolescu, p. 30
  35. ^ a b Scurtu, p. 299
  36. ^ Marton, pp. 192–193
  37. ^ Marton, pp. 193, 199
  38. ^ George T. Brătianu, "Impaciurea spiriteloru in orașiulu Pitesci", in Romanulu, December 25–29, 1867, p. 1106
  39. ^ a b c Pipăruș, "Revista politică", in Ghimpele, Issue 47/1867, p. 2
  40. ^ "Revista politica", in Ghimpele, Issue 4/1868, p. 1
  41. ^ Iacov Antonovici, Un dascăl ardelean la Bârlad: Ioan Popescu, pp. XIV–XV. Huși: Atelierele Zanet Corlățeanu, 1928. OCLC 895494408
  42. ^ a b c d e f "Camera burgesilorŭ", in Ghimpele, Issue 49/1868, p. 2
  43. ^ "Principatele române unite", in Telegrafulu Romanu, Issue 101/1867, p. 402
  44. ^ "Bucurescĭ 14/26 Îndrea", in Romanulu, December 15, 1867, p. 1071
  45. ^ "Bucurescĭ 18/30 Îndrea", in Romanulu, December 18–19, 1867, p. 1080
  46. ^ Gane, pp. 117–118
  47. ^ "Bucurescĭ 15/27 Îndrea", in Romanulu, December 16, 1867, p. 1075
  48. ^ Comprehensive lists in Romanulu, December 15, 1867, p. 1071; December 16, 1867, p. 1075; and December 18–19, 1867, p. 1085; and Albina, Issues 6 and 7/1868. Additional details in Federatiunea, Issues 9, 10, 11, and 12/1868, and Ghimpele, Issue 47/1867, p. 1
  49. ^ "D–luĭ Redactore alŭ d̦iaruluĭ Românulŭ", in Romanulu, December 25–29, 1867, p. 1106
  50. ^ "Senatori Colegiului II.", in Romanulu, December 24, 1867, p. 1103
  51. ^ "Cuvĕntu. Rostitŭ de Prea sfinția Sea Arhiereulŭ Filaretŭ Scriban în a doua întrunire a cetățenilorŭ Iășianĭ, din 21 Noembrie 1867", in Romanulu, December 20, 1867, p. 1089
  52. ^ a b Nicolescu, pp. 30–31
  53. ^ "Candidatulu Partidei Naționale...", in Romanulu, December 18–19, 1867, p. 1080
  54. ^ Marton, p. 192; Scurtu, p. 299
  55. ^ Main list in Gazet'a Transilvaniei, Issue 3/1868. See also Romanulu, December 24, 1867, and Ghimpele, Issue 47/1867, pp. 1–2
  56. ^ Not tabulated in the contemporary press, but described in Laurențiu Chiriac, Mihai-Cristian Șelaru, "Manolache Costache Epureanu — omul epocii sale", in Acta Moldaviae Meridionalis, Vol. XXX, Part II, 2009, pp. 225, 236
  57. ^ a b "Bucurescĭ 2/14 Cărindariŭ", in Romanulu, January 1–3, 1868, p. 1
  58. ^ a b c "Romani'a", in Federatiunea, Issue 9/1868, p. 35
  59. ^ a b Brătescu, p. 21
  60. ^ a b c d "Romani'a", in Federatiunea, Issue 12/1868, pp. 43–44
  61. ^ Marton, p. 196
  62. ^ "Primarulŭ comunei Bucurescĭ", in Romanulu, January 1–3, 1868, p. 1
  63. ^ a b c d "Romania. Adunarea Deputatiloru. Siediniti'a de la 10 ianuariu", in Albina, Issue 6/1868, pp. 2–3
  64. ^ a b "Romani'a", in Federatiunea, Issue 13/1868, pp. 47–48
  65. ^ a b "Bucurescĭ 28 Îndrea 1867/9 Cărindariŭ 1868", in Romanulu, December 25–29, 1867, p. 1105
  66. ^ "D–luĭ Redactore alŭ d̦iaruluĭ Românulŭ", in Romanulu, January 1–3, 1868, p. 3; "Romani'a. In Barladu", in Gazet'a Transilvaniei, Issue 3/1868, p. 12
  67. ^ Marton, pp. 193–197
  68. ^ Marton, pp. 195–197
  69. ^ Marton, pp. 196–197
  70. ^ Marton, pp. 197–199
  71. ^ "Romani'a. Vuetulu", in Gazet'a Transilvaniei, Issue 3/1868, p. 12
  72. ^ "Romani'a", in Federatiunea, Issue 11/1868, p. 39
  73. ^ a b "Romani'a", in Federatiunea, Issue 10/1868, pp. 35–36
  74. ^ Valentin Bodea, "Viața și personalitatea lui Costache Negri", in Buletinul Fundației Urechia, Issue 10/2009, p. 147
  75. ^ Marton, p. 191
  76. ^ Gane, pp. 114–124; Nicolescu, pp. 31–33
  77. ^ Maciu, p. 26
  78. ^ Gane, p. 117
  79. ^ Gane, pp. 122–124; Nicolescu, pp. 33–35
  80. ^ Brătescu, pp. 22–25; Nicolescu, p. 35
  81. ^ Brătescu, pp. 24–25
  82. ^ Nicolescu, p. 34
  83. ^ Brătescu, pp. 25–26; Nicolescu, pp. 35–38
  84. ^ Gabriel Badea-Păun, "Gheorghe Știrbey, un diplomat pasionat de artă", in Muzeul Național, Vol. XX, 2008, p. 111
  85. ^ Marton, p. 192
  86. ^ Gane, p. 114
  87. ^ Marton, pp. 24, 192–193, 200; Nicolescu, pp. 37–38, 42–52; Scurtu, p. 299
  88. ^ Maciu, pp. 26–27; Marton, pp. 24–28, 32–34, 122–124, 166–173, 198sqq


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