No. 597.
Mr. Schuyler to Mr. Blaine.

No. 50.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, by a unanimous vote of both chambers to-day, Roumania has been proclaimed a kingdom, and the prince has taken the title of King.

In my dispatch No. 46, dated March 12, I spoke of the probability of this act taking place soon. The government contemplated it for the 22d of May. Some deputies wished it sooner, but the mourning for the late Emperor of Russia, followed by Passion week, made this a matter of difficulty. The manner of its occurrence to-day was wholly unexpected.

[Page 980]

Yesterday, Mr. Maioresco and other Conservatives made a violent attack upon the government, à propos of the recent arrest of some Nihilists at Jassy, and accused the Liberal party of being always connected with revolutions and of protecting Nihilism and Socialism. Feelings were so excited by this discussion that the Liberals held a party meeting in the evening and informed the prime minister that they considered the immediate proclamation of the kingdom necessary as a clear proof to all the world that they sincerely wished for a constitutional monarchy, and had no sympathy with revolutionists. In case the ministry were unwilling, they threatened to pass the measure in spite of them. After some hesitation, Mr. Bratiano agreed to the proposition and went to the prince at midnight to obtain his approval.

This morning early a council of ministers was held, in widen the president of the Senate and the president of the Chamber of Deputies took part, and the mode of procedure was determined upon.

When the Chamber met at noon General D. Leca moved that—

In view of existing circumstances and conformably to the persistent and constantly manifested desire of the nation, in order to confirm stability and internal order, and at the same time to give a guarantee that the Roumanian monarchy, being in the same condition as other states of Europe, can inspire greater confidence, the Chamber of Deputies, in virtue of the national right of sovereignty, prociames his royal highness Prince Charles I, as King of Roumania.

Mr. Carp, one of the most distinguished men of the opposition, warmly approved this motion, and a bill was then brought in establishing Roumania as a kingdom, giving its sovereign the title of King, and to the heir to the throne that of prince royal. After enthusiastic speeches by prominent men on both sides of the house, the bill was passed unanimously, 99 being present out of a total of 140 members.

Meantime, after the first acclamation, the president of the Chamber of Deputies sent a telegram to the president of the Senate informing him of what had happened. The Senate at once broke out into loud and hearty applause, and adjourned until the bill from the Chamber should be brought in. On resuming its sitting, after short speeches from Mr. George Cautacuzeno, Mr. Lascar Catargi, the leader of the Conservatives, and Mr. Vasili Alecsandri, the Roumanian poet, the law was passed by the unanimous vote of all present, 40 out of 68. Together with several of the diplomatic body, I was present at this meeting.

The Senate and the Chamber then walked to the palace, where, after reading the report of the council of ministers (a translation of which I inclose marked 1), the bill was signed by the prince and countersigned by the ministers.

In reply to the felicitations of the Senators and Deputies the King made a short speech (a translation of which I inclose, marked 2). Their majesties then appeared on the balcony of the palace and acknowledged the acclamations of the crowd. The buildings are covered with flags, the principal streets are illuminated and thronged with people, and the greatest enthusiasm reigns.

The universal feeling here is that by this act greater stability has been given to the independence and the institutions of the country. As a principality, Roumania has always been more or less subject to the encroachments of its neighbors. By this it is hoped that its independence will be more marked, and therefore respected. In the eyes of the world a kingdom is always of more consequence than a principality, and Roumania, in point of population, is larger than Sweden, Portugal, Holland, Denmark, Norway, or Greece, all kingdoms, and about equal to Belgium, while in size it is the twelfth state in Europe.

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It is thought, too, that the establishment of the kingdom will be a guarantee to Europe that the country will profess no opinions subversive of the institutions of its neighbors, Internally this act will doubtless do much to strengthen the dynasty. There are several persons in the country, sons and descendants of former princes. One of them, Gregory Sturdza, son of the last prince of Moldavia before the union, has been openly agitating and posing as a pretender to the crown. While many families thought their members had rights to be princes, no one can have the pretension to be King.

Most remarkable in this connection is the adherence of Mr. Rosetti, president of the Chamber of Deputies, who has always been a Liberal of the most pronounced type, who was in exile for several years in consequence of his connection with the insurrection of 1848 against Russian domination, and who has sympathized with if not taken part in the revolutions of other countries. The leaders of the Liberal party have certainly done great things for the country. They procured the union of the principalities after the Crimean war, they obtained the independence of the country, and they now have the credit of the proclamation of the kingdom, which last would more naturally have been expected from the Conservatives. Against such advantages the Conservatives find it difficult to struggle.

I sent to you to-day a telegram informing you of the proclamation, of which I inclose a copy, marked 3.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 50.—Translation.]

Report of the council of ministers.

Your Highness: The legislative bodies, the faithful echo of the unanimous will of the nation so often expressed, have taken the initiative and have to-day voted unanimously and without distinction of party, the project of law by which Roumania is proclaimed a kingdom, and your royal highness as well as your successors take the title of King of Roumania.

The ministers of your royal highness, penetrated by the same sentiments as all Roumanians, have adhered to and have united in this great act.

Roumania constituted as a kingdom completes and crowns the work of its regeneration. It gives itself the name which is in accord with the position which it has gained as an independent state. The Lord (Domnul, usually translated Prince) of Roumania is its soverign, and this sovereign, by taking the title of King, does nothing but continue to exercise the sovereignty of lord.

By the new name and title which is more precise and better defined, much greater strength will be given to stability and order in Roumania. Your highness has no need of laurels or of aureoas, for these laurels and this aureoa you, together with our brave soldiers, have gained on the field of battle, and you have added an illustrious page to the history of the Roumanian race. You have renewed the ancestral glory of the Roumanian realm, and if the nation wills it that you take the title of King it is because you have gained the place and title of an independent sovereign, and have conquered their hearts by practicing virtue and respecting law and liberty.

The Roumanian kingdom, your highness, is thus the continuation of the Roumanian sovereignty (principality). It has no other programme, no other aspirations, no other tendencies. It is a consecration, a stronger confirmation which Roumanians give to the monarchical principle which your highness has so deeply planted in the soil of Roumania. The moral and material force of the new kingdom we shall seek where it exists, in the exact practice of constitutional government, in the development of our resources, in completing our social and economical organization, in fine in the continuation of a loyal and honest policy, maintaining the best relations with all powers, and inspiring the same confidence as in the past.

This is the significance, this is the intention of the Roumanian kingdom. Thus have the legislative bodies understood it, thus have they voted it with a unanimity [Page 982]of which the Roumanians have very often given proof when they have accomplished a great national act.

These are the considerations which cause the council of ministers to humbly beg you to deign to sanction the project of law.

We are, with the profoundest respect, very exalted lord, your highness’ most humble and obedient servants,

The president of the council and minister of finance:

The minister of foreign affairs:

The minister of the interior:

The minister of war:

The minister of agriculture, commerce, and public works:
Colonel N. DABIJA.

The minister of worship and public instruction:

The minister of justice:

No. 276.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 50.—Translation.]

Speech of the King.

Grand and solemn is the moment in which the representatives of the nation have presented themselves before me to submit to me the unanimous decision of the legislative bodies. It begins a new page of the book in which is written the life of the Roumanian people and closes a period full of struggles and difficulties, but rich in virile efforts and heroic deeds. In this moment I shall repeat what I have always said, that the national will has always been the guide of my reign. For fifteen years I have been prince, surrounded by the love and confidence of the nation. These happy days have gladdened, sad days have strengthened these feelings between us. I have therefore been proud to be your Prince. Dear to me has been this name on which have been cast so many rays of glory and greatness.

But for the future Roumania has believed it necessary to conform to its extent, to its importance, and to its power acquired and manifested by indubitable acts which have raised and exalted its name to proclaim itself a kingdom. It is not for me personally, but for the greatness of my country that I accept the title which expresses the strong desire which has burned so long in the breast of every Roumanian, but which changes in nothing the bonds so closely drawn between the nation and myself, and the strength of which has been proved by the events that we have passed through together.

May the first King of Roumania enjoy the same love that has been given and is given to-day to its Prince; for the love of this noble and brave people, to which I have given my heart and my soul, is dearer and more precious to me than all the grandeur which surrounds the crown.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 50.]

Mr. Schuyler to Mr. Blaine.

Secretary Blaine, Washington District of Columbia:

Prince Charles proclaimed King of Roumania. Please telegraph instructions for recognition.