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The Socialist Republic of Romania (Romanian: Republica Socialistă România, RSR) was a Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state that existed officially in Romania from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian People's Republic (Republica Populară Romînă, RPR). The country was an Eastern Bloc state and a member of the Warsaw Pact with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. Geographically, RSR was bordered by the Black Sea to the east, the Soviet Union (via the Ukrainian and Moldavian SSRs) to the north and east, Hungary and Yugoslavia (via SR Serbia) to the west, and Bulgaria to the south.
Romanian People's Republic
Republica Populară Română (1947–1958)
Republica Populară Romînă (1958–1965)
Socialist Republic of Romania
Republica Socialistă România
|Motto: Proletari din toate țările, uniți-vă!|
("Proletarians of all countries, unite!")
Te slăvim, Românie
E scris pe tricolor Unire
|Status||Warsaw Pact and Comecon member|
and largest city
one-party socialist republic (1947-1971)
Unitary one-party socialist republic under a totalitarian dictatorship (1971-1989)
|Head of state|
• 1947–1952 (first)
|Constantin Ion Parhon|
• 1967–1989 (last)
|Head of government|
• 1947–1952 (first)
• 1982–1989 (last)
|Legislature||Great National Assembly|
|Historical era||Cold War|
|30 December 1947|
|13 April 1948|
|24 September 1952|
|22 April 1964|
|21 August 1965|
|22 December 1989|
• Name changed to "Romania"
|28 December 1989|
|8 December 1991|
|HDI (1990 formula)||0.863|
|Part of a series on the|
|Socialist Republic of|
Relations with other states
As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member which had overthrown the Axis, was occupied by the Soviet Union as the sole representative of the Allies. On 6 March 1945, after mass demonstrations by communist sympathizers and political pressure from the Soviet representative of the Allied Control Commission, a new pro-Soviet government that included members of the previously outlawed Romanian Workers' Party was installed. Gradually, more members of the Workers' Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were steadily eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael I was forced to abdicate and the People's Republic of Romania was declared.
At first, Romania's scarce post-war resources were drained by the "SovRoms," new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romania's major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union. However, during the 1950s, Romania's communist government began to assert more independence, leading to, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958. Overall, from the 1950s to the 1970s, the country exhibited high rates of economic growth and significant improvements in infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy, urbanization, and women's rights, but then stagnated in the 1980s.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party (1965), Chairman of the State Council (1967), and the newly established role of President in 1974. Ceaușescu's denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression led to a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid economic growth fueled in part by foreign credits gradually gave way to an austerity and political repression that led to the violent fall of his totalitarian government in December 1989.
Many people were executed or died in custody during communist Romania's existence, most during the Stalinist era of the 1950s. While judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Others were arrested for political, economical, or other reasons and suffered imprisonment or torture.
The 1965 Constitution remained in effect after its dissolution and was amended to reflect Romania's transition to democracy. It was replaced by the current constitution on 8 December 1991, after a nationwide referendum abolished the socialist system of government completely and replaced it with a semi-presidential system.