King Michael and Nicolae Ceausescu, top personalities of the past century preferred by the Romanians, study says

Almost half of Romanians consider that the inter-war period (1918-1938) was the most beneficial for Romania in the past 100 years, reads a study conducted for History TV channel.

As for the personality with the greatest positive impact on the Romanians in the past century, most of the respondents pointed to King Michael I, but also to former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

According to the survey, the best times in Romania’s history were the inter-war period (42%) and the communist one from 1968 until the Revolution of December 1989 (18.2%). Only 11.6% of Romanians consider the period from 2007 up to present the most beneficial, while the percentage is even lower (7.8%) when it comes to the period before the EU accession (1990-2007).

The study reveals the power of the history myths and the selective effects of the social memory. The recent demise of King Michael of Romania has probably made him reach the top of the ranking (…) The myth of the inter-war period, Romania’s golden age, is also persisting, enabled by the fact that no respondents have actually lived back then. As a paradox, the most positive events in the past 100 years are the most recent ones, although the more or less faraway periods are considered the best in history. It’s easier to forget the problems of the past and to remember only the real or imaginary glory days, while the current moments are still fresh in memory, both with the good and the bad. A last paradox: communism has proved to be wrong, yet one in five respondents is nominating Ceausescu as the remarkable positive figure of the past century, ” anthropologist Radu Umbres commented.

So, among the top personalities who had a positive impact on the Romanians’ lives since 1918 onwards, King Michael has been voted by 41.7%, but he is followed by Nicolae Ceausescu (21%), while other personalities have got less than 10% of the votes (Iuliu Maniu – 9,7%, Corneliu Coposu – 5,1%, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej – 3,4%, Ion Iliescu – 1.8%). Over 11% of the respondents nominated another person.

In the year of centennial, 41.9% of Romanians consider the Great Union as the historical event with the greatest positive impact on the country. 22.8% think that this greatest event has been the Revolution of 1989 and 20.4% point to the EU accession.

On the other hand, over a fifth of the Romanians (21.3%) consider that the migration in the EU is the economic event with the greatest positive impact over the Romanian society in the past 100 years.

The study has been conducted by iSense Solutions for History Romania, on 1,051 respondents in the urban environment aged from 16 to 65, in a move to celebrate the Romanian Centennial.

100 yearscentennialgreta unionHistory Romaniainter-war periodisense solutionsKing MichaelNicolae CeausescuRomaniansstudytop personalitiesTV channel
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  • Arjan H. Melger

    There has never been a revolution in 1989; it was just a coup d’etat