Born June 29, 1819, in Bucharest; died Nov. 28, 1852, in Palermo. Rumanian revolutionary democrat, historian, and publicist.
Bălcescu was arrested in 1840 for participation in a republican conspiracy and detained in prison until 1843. In 1843 he cofounded the secret society Brotherhood and from 1845 to 1847 was a copublisher of the journal Magazin istoric pentru Dacia. In March 1848 he headed the radical wing of the revolution in Wallachia. Bălcescu was a member of the provisional government set up during the revolution and fought for universal suffrage and the allotment of land to the peasants. After the defeat of the revolution he immigrated to Transylvania, where he advocated the unification of the Hungarian and Rumanian revolutionary movements. Bălcescu spent the last days of his life in France and Italy, engaging in literary activity. His historical works, such as The Social Conditions of Farm Laborers in the Rumanian Principalities at Different Epochs and The Economic Question in the Danubian Principalities express Bălcescu’s opposition to the autocratic rule of the hospodars and boyars. Bălcescu’s ideal was the creation of an independent democratic republic.
WORKSOpere, vols. 1-2, 4. Bucharest, 1953-62.
Question économique des Principautés danubiennes. Paris, 1850.
REFERENCESBaskin, Iu. A. “K voprosu o formirovanii filosofskikh i obshchestvenno-politicheskikh vzgliadov Nikolaia Belchesku.” Uch. zap. In-ta istorii Moldavskogo filiala AN SSSR, 1959, vol. 1 (10).
Berindei, D. Nicolae Bălcescu (1819-1852). Bucharest, 1969.
IU. A. BASKIN