Each year, on December 1st, we celebrate the National Day of Romania by commemorating the Constitutive Act of Greater Romania signed on December 1st, 1918 in Alba Iulia. With this document, Romania reunited within its borders all the territories which were inhabited by Romanians, where the same customs and traditions were followed and the same language (Romanian) was spoken.
Before joining the World War I in 1916, Romania was a state with an agrarian economy. In 1915 it was considered the 5th oil producer at worldwide level. Liberating itself from the Ottoman occupation and being victorious in the Balkan Wars, Romania strives to retrieve its real borders. After a time frame in which Romania remains neutral, in 1916 it declares war to the Ottoman Empire to regain control over the historical Romanian provinces, Transylvania, Banat, Maramureș and Bukovina. In order to support the Romanian attack, the Allies (France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire and in 1917, the United States) agree to attack the Bulgarian-German front. Bulgarian and Austro-Hungarian troops manage however to enter Bucharest and the Government is forced to retreat in Moldova (Iasi). In 1917, France and England help the two Romanian armies reorganize by participating with 400 000 soldiers and modern armament.
In the spring of 1918, Bessarabia is attached to Romania. Between November 15th and November 28th, 1918 the General Congress in Cernăuți decides the union of Bukovina with Romania. Romania joins the war again together with the Allies and on November 16th, 2018 enters Hungary.
On December 1st, 1918 the Royal Family and the French General Berthelot makes its triumphal entry in Bucharest. Meanwhile, at Alba Iulia, in Transylvania, the National Assembly votes the union of Transylvania, Banat, Maramureș and Szatmár with Romania, in front of more than 100 000 Romanians who chanted “On our flag it stays written: Union!”
“…The Great Union of 1918 was and will remain the most transcendent page in the Romanian history. It’s Greatness comes from the fact that the completion of national unity is not the creation of any politician, government or party; it is the historical deed of the entire Romanian nation, performed in an ardor which sprang forcefully from the bottom of the conscience for the unity of kin, ardor controlled by political leaders to guide them with a remarkable political intelligence to the desired goal. […]”
Constantiniu Florin – O istorie sincera a poporului roman (An honest history of the Romanian people), an edition of Univers Enciclopedic, 1997, page 301. Jurnal de razboi, 1914-1918 (War Journal 1914-1918)