Who's Who - Ion IC Bratianu

Photograph of Ion IC Bratianu Ion IC Bratianu (1864-1927), born on 20 August 1864 in Florica in Romania, was six times prime minister of Romania - 1909, 1910-11, 1914-18, 1918-19, 1922-26, 1927 - and succeeded his father (of the same name) as leader of the Liberal party.

Bratianu served in 1907 as Minister of the Interior before assuming leadership of the Liberals and thereafter acting as prime minister.  His first two terms as prime minister saw Bratianu champion Romanian land reform in addition to arguing the case for the establishment of a Greater Romania.

Bratianu's period as premier saw Romania take part in two notable conflicts.  Having sat out the First Balkan War (1912-13) as a neutral, Romania joined Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey ranged against Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War (1913).  The Treaty of Bucharest (1913) brought an end to this conflict, although the much larger Great War was shortly to follow.  Under the provisions of the Treaty of Bucharest Southern Dobrudja became part of Romania.

With the outbreak of World War One in August 1914 Romania declared initially as a neutral.  However Romania entered the conflict on the side of the Allies in August 1916 by declaring war on Austria-Hungary, with the Allies promising support for the accomplishment of Bratniau's cherished Greater Romanian ideal (i.e. the union of the old Regat (Moldavia and Walachia) with the Romanian lands of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires).

After initial successes the Romanian army, under the combined pressure of the Transylvanian armies of Falkenhayn and Bulgarian forces (commanded by Mackensen), was forced to abandon parts of the country - including Bucharest - and withdraw to Moldavia.

The summer of 1917 saw a number of significant Romanian battles: at Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz; which as a consequence obliged the Central Powers to abort their attempt to defeat Romania outright by occupying the remainder of her territory, thereby forcing her out of the war.

Nevertheless Romania was driven to a settlement with the Central Powers with the decision of the Russians - following the Bolshevik revolution - to conclude a separate peace at Brest-Litovsk.  With the end of Russian operations on the Eastern Front the Romanians were left to fight the Moldavian front single-handed, a patently impossible task.

Cut off from its western allies Romania agreed an armistice with the Central Powers, culminating in the Treaty of Bucharest of May 1918.  Romania never formally ratified the treaty, finally denouncing it in October 1918 as a prelude to re-entering the war with the Allies.  The terms of the Allied-German armistice saw the Treaty of Bucharest formally revoked (along with the Russian Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).

Having resigned as premier in February 1918 Bratianu was recalled to office in December that year to lead Romania's negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference, where he consistently championed the Greater Romania ideal.  Bratianu again resigned in September 1919 rather than comprise on disputed territory with Yugoslavia.

Serving again as prime minister from 1992-26 Bratianu was responsible for the adoption of a new Romanian constitution and agrarian reform.  In June 1927 Bratianu presided over a final, short-lived, government.

Ion IC Bratianu died on 24 November 1927 in Bucharest.

A "gutzer" was slang for a stroke of bad luck.

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