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Young Roumanians. If they attain the power, the order of the day will be continual friction with all the neighboring States, and continual strife with every nationality in their midst that cannot trace its origin, as do they, to Latin roots. This radical party seems to delight in turmoil and destruction, and chooses to call itself "Red," in imitation of its French exemplars, who are the more acceptable to it because they also boast of their Latinism and declare enmity to other races, and most especially to the Teutonic and Saxon.
Their organ is the "Romanul," an incendiary sheet, whose pleasure seems to be to sow discord within and suspicion toward all foreign powers, whom it accuses of buying up every ministry that comes into power. These agitators present a splendid programme for the future, and thus tickle the fancy of a people who have not much to look to in the past. In this way they obtain a certain popularity which brings many to their ranks through fear of them, and not unfrequently gives them the balance of power. The result of this turmoil and unrest is seen in the continual change of the ministry, which makes a systematic and consistent administration impossible, and prevents the country from making any real progress in political life. These parties are ever working against the ministry, and endeavoring to overthrow it by a vote of want of confidence; for, although the Roumanian Constitution does not require it, tradition at Bucharest demands the retirement of a ministry under such circumstances. And with the ministers fall all the oflicers of the civil service, even to those in the post-office and telegraph departments, to say nothing of the entire judiciary and fiscal service. All these vacated places are filled with new and inexperienced men, simply because they are adherents of the new ministry.
The government starts again with a majority in Chambers, and with the determination, perhaps, to make great sacrifices to keep it. But the opposition grows at the passage of every measure that happens to displease some one, and the irreconcilables feed the flame of discord until the Chambers are again found in the opposition. Thus no Roumanian is sure of the morrow, and not a few, therefore, are constitutionally timid and hesitating. Thia condition of things is most deleterious to any true progress, and must be abolished before any thing good can be expected for the land. Nothing can be accomplished in Roumania until the government resolves to stand firm against the slander of cliques and the outcry of unprincipled journals. This effort Prince Charles has just endeavored to make by insisting on retaining a ministry notwithstanding the passage of an unfavorable vote by a small majority. It remains to be seen whether the malcontents can harass him enough to induce him to give up his purpose.
One means of doing this is by getting up some civil disturbance that will involve his government with other powers— either Turkey, that still claims a certain control, or the Great Powers, that guarantee its existence. The easiest method to effect this, and at the same time to gratify an envious and cruel spirit, is to start the periodical raids against the Jews, or make an attack on the Germans. These have now become so common and so notorious that the attention of the civilized world has been drawn to them, and we think it well to dwell a little on the motives to these outrages.
In earlier times, while Roumania was still under Turkish oppression, many Polish and Russian Jews fled from persecution in their native country and sought a home in Moldavia and Wallachia. In these provinces they found their opportunity in the fact that there was no middle class between the noble and the peasant, and thus the way was open to them to engage in industrial pursuits and the various branches of trade. In this way they soon made themselves useful if not indispensable to the country. When Roumania became independent, and adopted a liberal constitution, the Jews and the Germans came in greater numbers, under the guarantee of personal rights, and established in Bucharest and Jassy various industrial schools in which native children were taught the most necessary trades; but a certain indolence of disposition has prevented them from competing with the frugal and economical Jews and Germans, whom they now regard as obstacles in their way, and therefore heartily hate.
As the Jews became wealthy an effort was made to profit of their means. Some of their liberties were restricted, and oppressive laws were enacted against them. They were not allowed to own houses in the principal streets of Bucharest, not even to hire them for trading purposes; and still those who followed no occupation, unless they had certain possessions, were condemned as vagabonds and sent over the frontier. They were also forbidden to keep houses of public entertainment in cities and villages. But these laws were never put in force against them, because the Boyars owned the houses and needed the high rents that they could press out of the Jews if the laws were disregarded. They were again made liable to military duty; but this turned out to be only with a view to extort from them large sums to buy themselves free. . Notwithstanding all these oppressions, the Jews have flourished and acquired fortunes; some of the largest banking and commercial houses in the large cities of Roumania belong to them, and half the nobles in the country are in debt to them. Thus they become obnoxious to both classes; the Boyars hate them on account of the annual call for interest on mortgaged estates, and the peasants do the same because they are unpleasant competitors in all the ordinary pursuits of wealth. These animosities have frequently broken out into cruel persecutions, which have darkened the history of these provinces for a long course of years. In the beginning of the last century one of the hospodars of Moldavia led off in a persecution of the Jews which ended in the destruction of their temple, and they bought the permission to reconstruct it only with large sums of money.
The year 1814 is notorious in this connection on account of an attack which did not end in the destruction of their place of worship, but extended to their houses, which were terribly plundered, while about one hundred and thirty of the victims were killed. Similar bloody scenes were enacted in some of the towns immediately after the Crimean war, and a few years ago the capital, Bucharest, was disgraced by an attack on the new and beautiful synagogue. For some years the reports concerning violent excesses against the Jews have been periodical, the excitement regarding one scarcely dying away before we hear of another, and these have in large measure been stimulated by hostile measures of the government, although the authorities take good care to make a great show of indignation over the very outrages which they are largely responsible in instigating.
Old ordinances against the Jews are allowed to remain as dead letters for years because their execution would be contrary to the interests of the wealthy classes. In the meanwhile the peasants become uneasy and restless about the oppression of the nobles, and, to satisfy the former with some sort of revenge, they are stirred up to believe that the Jews and the foreigners, especially the Germans, are the cause of all their troubles, and are induced to believe that until these classes are expelled they can never expect real prosperity. Now it is a dangerous thing to attack the Germans, for they have consuls at their back to protect them, and of lateyears strong governments to protect the consuls. There is, therefore, nothing left on which the peasants may safely vent their spite but the poor Jews, who have no nationality as such, and accordingly the raid is as usual turned against them. And this is always easily effected under the cry that it is necessary to protect the unsophisticated peasant against the cunning and overreaching Jew.
But. what is most remarkable about the case is the fact that these persecutions are mostly set in motion by the leaders of the liberal party—the Young Roumanians. Even Prime Minister Bratiano, while holding his short lease of power, did not hesitate to oppose the removal of Jewish disabilities in his zeal for what he and his followers call the national element. He was ready to acknowledge that the despised and ill-treated Jew had performed a most important part in the regeneration of the material interests of the country, but the Jew had had his day, and must be dismissed.
These "Reds," as they delight to call themselves in imitation of their French exemplars, frequently find a means of annoying the government party, and of involving it with protecting Turkey and the Great Powers by getting up a raid against the Jews. These cruelties exasperate the world to such an extent that Christendom cries out against it; the powers appeal to Turkey to put an end to them ; Turkey threatens to interfere with her troops if the outrages do not cease; the home government explains and apologizes, and shows its weakness and actual inability to control these matters ; when, finally, the ministry will be so embarrassed that a vote of waut of confidence is gotten through the Chambers, and the ministry gives way for a new set. This confusion was just what the "Reds" wanted, and they gain their point.
In all the provinces under the protectorate of Turkey the European consuls have almost unlimited power over the subjects of their respective governments. If foreigners in these lands violate the local laws they are sent for trial to their own consuls, and not to Turkish or local authorities. But this provision is nearly always violated in regard to the Jews, unless these latter are wealthy and influential from their European connections, mercantile or otherwise. These poor wretches are therefore always given over to the tender mercies of their worst euemies, and the only protection they obtain is from the protest of the consuls of their home government, which occasionally effects release from punishment after the greatest part of their undeserved infliction has expired.
The prejudice against the Jews in Roumania is mcreased by the fact that the largest part of them are Germans. This heaps against them in the mind of the Young Roumanians the double charge of adverse nationality and despised religion. As bigoted Latiuists and euthusiastic admirers of the French radicals, the Roumanians have every reason to hate and attack these unwelcome guests, and it is no easy matter for the German powers to protect their subjects in a diplomatic way on account of the numberless subterfuges and apologies that rise to the surface when matters assume a serious aspect. To interfere with military force would so complicate affairs while a German prince is on the throne that it must be reserved as a last resort, for the first move on the part of Germany to send troops into Roumania would be followed by a terrible hue and outcry on the part of the French, who would like nothing better than the opportunity thus to show that Germany has sinister designs on the banks of the Danube.
If France would consent to use its influence to stop these persecutions, in conference with the other powers, the result might be effected. But this would be to aid the Germans in keeping Prince Charles on the throne, and to weaken the radical party in Roumania—who are all enthusiastic admirers of France and French policy—toward the Germans; So that in these singular political combinations and sympathies the Jews are the great sufferers. The misfortune for Roumania is the