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Carol II


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(b. 15 Oct. 1893, d. 4 Apr. 1953).

King of Romania 1930–40 As crown prince, he was forced by a liberal regime to renounce the succession to the throne on the pretext of his relationship with a mistress, but in reality because of his anti‐liberal views. He returned from exile in 1930 and was accepted as king by the new right‐wing government of Iuliu Maniu (b. 1873, d. 1953), albeit with considerable reluctance. In response to the co‐operation of the popular National Peasants' Party and the Iron Guard, he argued that constitutional rule had become practically impossible, and created a royal dictatorship in 1937. His new constitution, which abolished all political parties and created a corporatist state, was accepted in a plebiscite in 1938. Carol ventured to keep the country out of World War II, restricting the country's role to that of Nazi Germany's major supplier of oil. To maintain this policy, he acquiesced in Stalin's demands and ceded Bessarabia and Bukovina to the Soviet Union on 28 June 1940. A few weeks later, as a result of the second Vienna Award, Romania lost the most important areas of Transylvania to Hungary. On 7 September 1940 the territorial carnage came to an end with the cession of southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria. Nationalist opinion was unable to stomach this, and he was forced to abdicate. He died in exile in Lisbon.

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