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Ethnicity and politics in the Romanian space: the case of northwestern Transylvania

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Brie, Mircea

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Further Details
Corporate Editor Romanian Academy; Center for Transylvanian Studies
Abstract The ethnic structure of this region has been heavily influenced by the evolution of the various historico-geographical factors and policies. Most of this structure, however, is linked to the evolution of the denominational structure. Ethnicity in this case is closely related to religion. The political reality, the events with political overtones that occurred during these centurieshad a direct influence regarding the conduct of processes and phenomena related to the ethno-confessional evolution of the area subject to our research. In this period the region is part of the Austrian state (before 1867), Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867 to 1918), Hungary (1940-1944) and Romania (1918-1940, 1944 - present). This space is located in the western area and it is mainly inhabited by Romanians. The continuous presence of Romanians here is documented ever since its formation. The ethnic group of Romanians has been facing a considerable demographic pressure that came from the Hungarians (the neighbouring ethnic group) or from groups or immigrants settled in this space (we refer in this case mainly to the Germans, Slovaks, Gypsies and Jews). Major geopolitical changes of the twentieth century and political decisions, especially extremist dictatorial regimes (Horthyst-Hungarian and communist-Romanian) led to significant changes in the ethnic structure of the region northwest Transylvania. Policy decisions, especially those taken during the dictatorial political and extremist regimes during the twentieth centurywere able to seriously affect ethno-religious realities of the Romanian space, especially in Transylvania. Be it the Hungarian or Romanian authorities during the two world wars or the communist dictatorship, decisions were taken that changed the ethnic map of the Romanian space. Suffice it to recall the drama of the Jewish community of the Second World War or the „sale” of the Germans and the Jews by the Communists in the postwar period.
Keywords Romania; ethnicity; ethnic structure; demographical structure; diversity; Transylvania; historical development
Classification Population Studies, Sociology of Population; General History
Free Keywords Transylvania
Collection Title From periphery to centre: the image of Europe at the Eastern Border of Europe
Editor Şipoş, Sorin; Moisa, Gabriel; Cepraga, Dan Octavian; Brie, Mircea; Mateoc, Teodor
Conference Conference "From Periphery to Centre: The Image of Europe at the Eastern Border of Europe". Oradea, 2013
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Publisher Ed. Acad. Română
City Cluj-Napoca
Page/Pages p. 158-170
ISBN 978-973-7784-97-1
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution