Dan Berindei points out that the cry, “We want to unite the country,” in Transylvania during the revolution of 1848 also implied Romania’s desire for independence, meaning no Russian interference and no Ottoman Porte. From the very first sentence of Independent Romania, 1877, Dan Berindei is adamant about proving, “The Romanian people made its entrance on the scene of history fighting for independence, for asserting itself as a distinct entity in South-East Europe.” The first chapter of his book focuses on the struggle of Romania in search of independence and recognition throughout its history. His second chapter describes the union of the Principalities as “a prelude to independence.” The election of Cuza in 1859 by the Principalities was recognized by Paris to mark the unification of the country, and this recognition, Berindei declares, proved itself a victory for the Romanian people. As a result of the unification, even the great powers of the East—Russia, Turkey, and Austria—recognized that they could potentially lose influence over Romania. Berindei argues that the possibility for Romanian social and national independence developed in the late eighteenth century as feudalism waned, the middle class developed, and the Romanian national consciousness became more prominent.
He also argues that by allowing Romanians have a taste of autonomy—allowing them to rule themselves—the Paris Convention left the possibility for independence open. Berindei barely touches on the interest that the great powers had in Romania during the Russo-Turkish War, describing only the reserve that the larger countries felt when Romanian independence was declared. Rather, he devotes a significant amount of attention on the war itself and the role of Romanian troops, a discussion which almost seems unnecessary given the overall study. While this discussion would prove valuable to a military historian, Berindei’s language makes it come off as if he’s merely looking to emphasize the valiance of Romanian troops as they fought for their cause. He seems determined to present these events from a Romanian perspective, which makes for a limited scope of study. Berindei does mention, however, that following the war, while Romania had thrown off the Ottoman yoke, it still found itself under the toe of the Russians.