Wallaciiia (Ger. Walachei; Wallach. Tzare Romanesca; Turk. Ak-Iflalc), a country of S. E. Europe, constituting with Moldavia the principality of Roumania, of which it is the larger part, tributary to Turkey. It is situated between lat. 43° 38' and 45° 48' N., and Ion. 22° 20' and 28° 12' E., and is bounded N. by Transylvania and Moldavia, E. and S. by Bulgaria, and W. by Servia and Hungary; area, 28,373 sq. m.; pop. about 3,000,000, of whom about four fifths are Wallachs or Roumans, and the remainder include Greeks (chiefly at Braila), Germans (chiefly at Bucharest), Armenians, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, gypsies, and Jews. The Carpathian mountains separate it from Hungary and Transylvania, and the Danube from Bulgaria and Servia. It is divided into Great and Little Wallachia, which are subdivided into 17 districts. The capital is Bucharest, which is also the capital of Roumania. Braila is the chief port, and among other larger towns are Ployeshti, Giurgevo, and Krayova. The Danube forms five eighths of the frontier, and the whole country is drained by its tributaries, of which the principal are the Sereth, Buseo, Yalomitza, Arjish, Vede, Aluta, which divides Little (or western) from Great Wallachia, and Shyl, all navigable.
In the lower portion of the country are marshy lakes, formed by branches of the Danube. Spurs of the Carpathian mountains stretch toward the Danube with wide valleys between. On approaching that river the country becomes flat and is subject to inundation. The mountains are palaeozoic; the country lying in the basin of the Danube belongs to the tertiary series. The soil, except on the mountains, is of extraordinary fertility and well adapted to grain. The mountainous districts afford excellent pasturage for sheep, good timber abounds in the forests, and the level lands yield a rich grass. The temperature is subject to great and sudden changes. There are properly but two seasons, a winter of five months, during which the ground is almost constantly covered with snow, and a summer of seven months, intensely hot. The cold of winter is sometimes as low as - 20° F., and the heat of summer nearly as high as 100°. The vegetable productions inelude wheat, barley, flax, hemp, rye, maize, peas, beans, and tobacco. The vine flourishes, and some of the wine is excellent. The species of buckthorn yielding the French or yellow berry (rhamnus infectorius) grows abundantly, and the berries are exported for dyeing.
Copper, mercury, gold, silver, iron, lead, rock salt, alum, bitumen, and marble abound; but the great mineral resources are little developed. Among animals are the wild boar, bear, badger, marten, wolf of great ferocity, fox, wild cat, several species of hare, beaver, squirrel, fallow deer, antelope, and chamois. There are many varieties of singing birds, on the rivers wading and aquatic birds, and in the mountains the partridge, buzzard, and other game birds. Fish are plentiful. Grain, cattle, sheep, goats, and horses are largely exported. The Greek church predominates, and is under the authority of the metropolitan at the capital and of a bishop in each province. The state university is at Bucharest, and there are in Wallachia numerous schools, education being much improved. The completion in 1869 of the railway from Bucharest to Giurgevo, which connects with the Bulgarian line from Rustchuk to Varna, was followed by other lines connecting with Moldavia, Austria, and Russia. The entrances at Braila in 1874 were 3,629 vessels, of 634,657 tons, and the clearances 3,517, of 618,304 tons.
In 1876 the Roumanian legislature provided for the establishment of an exchange at the capital. - The early history of Wallachia is almost identical with that of Moldavia (see Dacia, and Moldavia) till near the close of the 13th century, when Radii the Black of Transylvania gradually became master of the country, and it remained a separate state despite Hungarian encroachments. Under Marcus I. (Mircea), hospodar or prince from 1383 to 1416, the Turks were pursued to the walls of Adrianople; but in 1391 he was obliged to acknowledge Sultan Bajazet as his suzerain, "Wallachia retaining under the capitulation its autonomy as a tributary state of Turkey. Vlad III. concluded in 1460 a second series of capitulations with Mohammed II., and the two compacts formed the main basis of subsequent treaties affecting the regulations with, the Porte down to those of Paris of 1858. Michael the Brave (1593-1601) united Wallachia with Moldavia and invaded Transylvania, but was assassinated during his negotiations with Austria aiming at the foundation of a Dacian realm of the extent of the ancient Roman province; and his successor retained only Wallachia. The hospodars were elected by the people in accordance with the capitulations till the close of the 17th century, when the Porte began to make arbitrary appointments, first of Roumans and after 1716 of Fanariotes, who remained in power till 1821, except during the Russian occupations of 1770-'74, 1788-'91 (jointly with Austria), and 1809-'12. The deplorable rule of the Fanariote hospodars, whose appointment was generally venal, was not broken up until the outbreak in 1821 of the movement projected by the Hetaeria, the secret society for promoting Greek independence, which began in the Danubian principalities.
Alexander Ypsilanti, whose father and grandfather had been hospodars of Wallachia, was the leader of this movement. His principal follower in Wallachia was Theodore Vladimiresco, who however opposed both Russian and Greek supremacy, and advocated national independence. His enemies put a violent end to his life, and the Porte, after quelling the insurrection, appointed a Wallachian as hospodar in 1822, to reconcile the people. The Russians reoccupied Wallachia in 1828 during their war with Turkey; they evacuated it in 1829, but the treaty of Adrianople, which fully restored the ancient capitulations, gave to Russia a protectorate over the country. A constitution was framed under Russian auspices, but its provision for the popular election of a prince was set aside in 1834, when Alexander Ghika was selected. He was deposed in 1842, on account of his complicity with Russian reactionary measures. His successor, George Demetrius Bibesco, was overthrown by the rising in 1848, when Bratiano and other patriots attempted to form a government; but the movement was suppressed by Russian and Turkish forces. The constitution was abolished from 1849 to 1856, and Bibesco's brother, Barbo Demetrius Stirbey, appointed hospodar.
He withdrew from Bucharest during the Russian invasion of 1853-'4, and Alexander Ghika directed affairs until the speedy organization of a committee of three members for the formation of a government and the election of a prince, in accordance with the terms of the convention of Paris of Aug. 19, 1858. Alexander Cuza, then minister of war, and since Jan. 17, 1859, prince of Moldavia, became on Feb. 5 also prince of Wallachia and the first ruler of the united principalities, under the title of prince of Roumania. (See Alexandee John I.) The union, recognized by the Porte in 1860, was proclaimed by Prince Alexander, Dec. 23, 1861. (See Roumania.) - See Engel, Geschichte der Moldau und Walachei (2 vols., Halle, 1804); Dickinson, "Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia " (London, 1820); Neigebaur, Lie Donaufarstenihumer (3 parts, Breslau, 1854'6); Edgar Quinet, Les Roumains, reorganisation des provinces danubiennes (Paris, 1857); and Rosier, Die Anfänge des ualachischen Furstenthums (Vienna, 1867).