Archeological studies indicate that Romania was inhabited in prehistoric times. Dacians were one of the founding peoples. In 106 A.D. the Romans defeated the Dacian army and made the country a Roman province. Its boundaries were about the same as present-day Romania. Some of the Dacians migrated to the mountains and preserved their traditions and customs. The Romans brought Roman settlers to build roads, forts, towns and settlements. The ruins of many of these remain in Romania today.
Did you know?

The legendary Dracula, Prince Vlad Tepes, lived in Bran Castle in the Transylvania region of Romania.

The origins of the Romanian people can be traced to intermarriages between the settlers and Dacians. Over the centuries many invaders and settlers came to Romania, the most prominent among them being the Hunnish Magyars, who occupied Transylvania. During the 1300s, the Ottoman Turks extended their influence into Romania. Greeks came as officers of the Turkish Empire and established their influence in Romania. Russia and Austria also had territorial ambitions in Romania. The nobility resisted foreign intruders and set up their own principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, awakening a sense of nationhood among the Romanian people. Wallachia and Moldavia united in 1859 and was called Romania after 1862. The creation of Romania in its current form was accomplished in 1918, at the close of the First World War when Wallachia and Moldavia joined Transylvania.
In the 1920s the Romanian communist party was organized. With the backing of the Soviet Union during and after World War II, the communists took control of the country. They established a Soviet-style economy in Romania. In 1965 Nicolae Ceausescu became Romania's leader and the country followed an independent foreign policy.

In the last several years under the communist dictator Ceausescu, Romania reached a stage where both labour and raw materials were scarce and life became difficult. Angered by economic hardship and restrictions on their freedom, Romanians rioted in 1987 in the city of Brasov. The government crushed the riots. Finally Romanians rose up against the dictator and executed him in December 1989. They put the country on a course towards democracy and a market economy. The country now is ruled by democratically elected governments.