Of The Immemorial Leafs
Antiquity and early middle ages
Moldova's territory was inhabited by Dacian tribes. Between the 1st and 7th
centuries AD, the south was intermittently under the Roman then Byzantine
Empires. Due to its strategic location on a route between Asia and Europe,
Moldova faced several invasions, including those by the Bastarns, Sarmatians, Goths, Huns,
Avars, Magyars, Kievan Rus�, Pechenegs, Cumans, and the Mongols.
In 1812, according to
the Treaty of Bucharest� between the Ottoman, whose vassal Moldova was, and the Russian Empires,
the former ceded the eastern half of the territory of the
Principality of Moldova, along Khotyn and old Bessarabia (modernBudjak),
despite numerous protest by Moldavians. At first, the Russians used the name
"Oblasti" of Moldavia and Bessarabia", allowing a large degree of
autonomy, but later (in 1828) suspended the self-administration and called it
Guberniya of Bassarabia, or simply Bassarabia, starting a process of
Rusiffication. The western part of Moldova (which is not a part of present-day Moldova)
remained an autonomous principality, and in 1859, united with Wallachia
to form theKingdom of Romania. In 1856, the Treaty of Paris saw three counties
of Bessarabia, Cahul, Bolgrad and Ismail, returned to Moldavia, but in 1878, the
Treaty of Berlin saw the Kingdom of Romania returning them to the Russian Empire.
The Tsarist policy in
Bessarabia was in part aimed at denationalization of the Romanian element by
forbidding after the 1860s education and religious mass in Romanian. However,
the effect was an extremely low literacy rate rather than a denationalization.
In the new political
conditions created after 1985 by the glasnost policy introduced by Mikhail
Gorbachev, in 1986, to support perestroika (restructuring), a Democratic
Movement of Moldova(Romanian: Mişcarea Democratică din Moldova)
was formed, which in 1989 became known as the pro-nationalist Popular Front of
Moldova (FPM; Romanian: Frontul Popular din Moldova). Along
with the other peripheral Soviet republics, from 1988 onwards, Moldova started
to move towards independence. On August 27, 1989, the FPM organized a mass
demonstration in Chişinău, that became known as the Great National
Assembly, which pressured the authorities of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist
Republic to adopt on August 31, 1989 a language law that proclaimed the
Moldavian language written in the Latin script to be the state language of the
MSSR. Its identity with the Romanian language was also established.
The Green Kingdom
The largest part of the country lies
between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. Moldova's rich soil and
temperate continental climate (with warm summers and mild winters) have made
the country one of the most productive agricultural regions since ancient
times, and a major supplier of agricultural products in southeastern Europe.
The country is very close to the Black Sea. While the northern part of the country
is hilly, elevations never exceed 430 meters (1,411 ft)�the highest point being
the Bălăneşti Hill. Moldova's hills are part of the
Moldavian Plateau, which geologically originate from the Carpathian Mountains.
Moldova is famous for its wines. For many years
viticulture and winemaking in Moldova were the general occupation of the
population. Evidence of this is present in historical memorials and documents,
folklore, and the Romanian spoken language.The country has a
well established wine industry. It has a vineyard area of 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres),
of which 102,500 ha (253,000 acres) are used for commercial production. Most of the country's
wine production is made for export. Many families have their own recipes and strands of grapes
that have been passed down through the generations.