Conservative Party (Romania, 1880–1918)

Conservative Party
Partidul Conservator
Leaders Epureanu (February–September 1880)
Catargiu (18801899)
Cantacuzino (18991907)
Carp (190713)
Maiorescu (191314)
Marghiloman (191425)
Founded 1880
Dissolved 1918
Ideology Conservatism

The Conservative Party (Romanian: Partidul Conservator) was between 1880 and 1918 one of Romania's two most important parties, the other one being the Liberal Party.[1] The party was the party of government for a total of 14 years, more than a third of its existence.

It was founded on 3 February 1880 in Bucharest, although the doctrines and various groups of conservatives had already existed for some time. Precursors to the party had included the political grouping "Juna Dreaptă" (November 1868), and the newspaper Timpul (founded March 1876).[1]

The party relied on the support of the great landowners, the bourgeoisie as well as some intellectuals. Their economic policy was to encourage light industry and crafts, but they did not oppose investments in heavy industry.

The 1907 Romanian Peasants' Revolt showed that some reforms needed to be made in the Romanian social and political scene. That is why in 1913 the Conservatives accepted some reforms, such as the universal suffrage promoted by the Liberals. In 1917, under pressure from the Liberals, rather than oppose modifications to the Constitution, the Conservatives did not accept the changes and tried to adapt. However, after the union of Romania with Transylvania, they never played an important role in the politics of Romania.

In the early 20th century, the party underwent several schisms. In January 1908, Take Ionescu left to found the Conservative Democratic Party (Partidul Conservator-Democrat, PCD). In May 1915, Nicolae Filipescu led a group out of the party that favored joining World War I on the Entente side; in October 1916, the Filipescu and Ionescu groups fused as the Conservative Nationalist Party (Partidul Conservator Naţionalist).[2]

In 1918–19 the party split into the Partidul Conservator-Democrat (which, in 1922, fused with the National Party) and the short-lived Partidul Conservator-Progresist.[3]

Party presidents

Source: Scurtu 1982.[1]

Other important members

Governments formed

Party publications

  • Timpul (15 March 1876 – 17 March 1884; 13 November 1889 – 14 December 1900)
  • Epoca (16 November 1885 – 14 June 1889; 2 December 1895 – 13 February 1901)
  • Conservatorul (15 December 1900 – 15 November 1914)
  • Steagul (14 November 1914 – July 1922)

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 Scurtu 1982, p.41n; for the founding of the party, this source gives February 1880, doesn't specify day of month.
  2. Scurtu 1982, p. 42.
  3. Ioan Scurtu, Theodora Stănescu-Stanciu, Georgiana Margareta Scurtu, footnote Archived 10 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine. from Istoria Românilor Între Anii 1918–1940. On the site of the University of Bucharest. This is a citation for the 1922 fusion. Accessed online 11 October 2006.

  • Ioan Scurtu, Viața politică din România 1918–1944, Albatros, 1982.

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