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The Romanian Revolution of 1989

A summary of the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
by

Adelaide Zhang

on 30 October 2012

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Transcript of The Romanian Revolution of 1989

Eric Gordon, Andy Granese, Julie Landy, Adelaide Zhang The Romanian Revolution of 1989 Background In the 1980s, Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu introduced an austerity program that was supposed to pay off the country's national debt of $10 billion.
Part of the program included the rationing of basic goods, which increased malnutrition and the infant mortality rate, and caused fuel shortages and frequent loss of electricity.
These conditions continued after the debt was paid off, even though the plan had succeeded sooner than even Ceausescu had expected.
Meanwhile, the secret police force (the Securitate) which had been instituted during the communist regime, grew in strength and brutality.
People felt that they were being watched during every aspect of their lives. The Beginning: The first protests occurred in the city of Timisoara, on the 16th of December, 1989.
They began in response to an attempt by the government to evict a Romanian church pastor, Laszlo Tokes.
Many passers-by, including students, randomly joined in.
The mayor would not confirm his statement against the eviction in writing; rioters became impatient and started chanting anticommunist slogans.
Securitate showed up, things got ugly – there were fights, tear gas use, water jet use, and many arrests.
Riots resumed the next three days and on the 19th workers in city factories refused to work. December 21st On the 21st of December, Ceauşescu addressed a crowd of 100,000 people at the capital.
The people did not respond well -- a few minutes in, many began to boo.
Ceauşescu tried then to bribe the crowd with student scholarship and worker salary increases, but his words were unsuccessful.
Riots broke out once more and the Securitate fired into the crowds. There were again beatings and arrests. Ceausescu's Fall: Ceauşescu's minister of defense, Vasile Milea, died under "mysterious circumstances" and a large portion of the military went over to the revolution.
Ceauşescu then appointed Victor Stănculescu as the new minister of defense. Stănculescu convinced Ceauşescu to flee, essentially making the dictator a fugitive.
When angry protesters began storming the Communist headquarters, Stănculescu and his soldiers did not oppose them. Sources http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/574200.stm

http://www.aeinstein.org/organizationse3a7.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124051894535749519.html

http://countrystudies.us/romania/72.htm

http://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/

http://www.academia.edu/190349/Romania_protest_and_revolution_20th_century#outer_page_1>. Romania has become committed to Democratic change after Ceausescu's reign.
Extravagant gifts received from World Powers by the Ceausescu regime have been auctioned off in an attempt to bury their megalomania
All the same, feelings of mistrust and secrecy have remained in the Romanian people.
Even though the regime was over, there was still the notion that nobody ever questions what they are told by superiors. In a way, Ceausescu still had power over the Romanian people, even from the grave. The Aftermath of the Revolution The Aftermath of the Revolution Ion Iliescu, of the National Salvation Front, succeeded Ceauşescu.
He had been a former Communist Party Member and Ceauşescu supporter, before falling into disfavor in the early 1980s.
A new economic system, free of Communists and supporters of Ceausescu was necessary, but difficult to implement
There was much turmoil and tension between traditionalists and reformists following the revolution.
Even after the revolution was over, there was extensive deceit, especially amongst the
military.

Timisoara December 22nd Trial and Execution Ceausescu's Fall Ceausescu's Fall: Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu were captured and arrested soon after their escape.
On the 25th of December, the two were tried by a military tribunal and charged with genocide, damage to the national economy, and abuse of power.
The trial lasted about two hours, and after being found guilty and given death sentences, the Ceauşescus were executed.
Fighting continued even after Ceauşescu's fall. A series of terrorist attacks were carried out after his death, and continued until the 27th of December, when they mysteriously stopped.
No one is sure who ordered the attacks or their termination, but there is some suspicion that those still loyal to Ceauşescu were to blame.
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