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Carol II

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1893–1953), King of romania (1930–40). Because of his rakish lifestyle, he seemed unlikely to inherit the throne. During World War I he deserted to abscond with a lover whom he married in secret, causing a scandal. Divorced in 1921, he remarried, only to elope to Paris with yet another woman. In 1925 he was forced to renounce succession to the kingship in favor of his son, Michael, who came to the throne two years later. In 1930 Carol returned from exile, supplanted the regency council governing in Michael's name, and appointed himself king. Although in some respects he appeared the best man to end political infighting and alleviate the effects of the great depression [2], his political incompetence did little to rejuvenate parliamentary democracy and instead helped the rise of the fascist iron guard . A violent power struggle ensued, which forced Carol to institute a royal dictatorship in 1938. By then, he was being drawn into a vexed relationship with hitler's Germany, on which Romania depended for economic aid and security against the Soviet Union. This failed to preserve his country's territorial integrity. In June 1940, the Germans pressured Carol into yielding Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to stalin , as previously plotted through the nazi-soviet pact . Further land was sacrificed to Hungary and Bulgaria. Overall, a third of Romania was lost, together with three ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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