Bucovina (German: Bukowina)

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Romanian majority areas after Austrian rule

Ukrainian migration into Moldavia

Germans in Bucovina

Hungarian villages in Bucovina
Ottoman rule
Habsburg rule

In the early 18th century the political status of Moldavia underwent changes. In 1711 the Moldavian ruler negotiated a treaty with Czar Peter I of Russia in which Russia guaranteed Moldavia's territorial integrity. Later in 1711 Russia were defeated in a conflict with the Ottomans in Moldavia and the Ottomans appointed Phanariot rulers (Greeks from the Panar district of Istanbul) which curtailed the political autonomy of Moldavia and increased economic obligations to the Ottomans.

In the late 18th century  the Austrian Hapsburg and Russian empires had expansionist aims in Europe, first taking Poland in 1772. The peace treaty at the end of the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74 required Russia to return Bessarabia and withdraw from Moldavia. Austria took advantage of the situation by using the pretext that Pocutsia had once held the northern regions of Moldavia, and following the partitioning of Poland, Pocutsia and Galicia were annexed to Austria. In 1774 Austrian troops took the northern counties of Cernăuti, Câmpulung and Suceava and in 1775 succeeded, with some bribery, to acquire the this of Moldavia from the Ottomans.

At first the lands were known as Austrian Moldavia, but soon was renamed Bukowina or Buchenland which means "Land of Beech Trees" in German, after the beech forests of Cosmin. From 1786 Bucovina was an administrative region of Galicia. In 1849 a degree of autonomy was given to Bucovina which lasted up to 1918 when it was returned to Moldavia. At the end of WW2 the northern half of Bucovina was acquired by Russia and now is part of the Ukraine including a minority Romanian population.

In 1775 the population was 63,700 Romanians, 8,400 Ukrainians, and 3,426 other nationalities. During the Austrian rule Ukrainians from Galicia, Hungarians from Transylvania (now known as Csango) plus Poles and Germans were settled in Bucovina taking the non-Romanian nationalities up to 25%. Most of the Germans, Hungarians and Jews have now returned to their homelands.


© Eliznik2005, Last updated Feb-08