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In 1601, on the great medieval rulers of Romania passed away. Michael the Great was prince of Walachia between 1593 and 1601 and also prince of Transylvania between 1599 and 1600 and finally prince of Moldavia in 1600.

In order to become prince of Walachia, Michael was forced to pay a large sum of money to the Ottoman emperor. In response to this, he summoned the creditors to his palace and had them massacred. This was imitated through Walachia and many Ottoman creditors were killed. In fact this happened so often it was known as the Walachian Vespers.

Michael frequently defeated the Ottoman's that came in response to this activity along with the help of Sigismund Bathory, the current prince of Transylvania. In order to pay for this battle, Michael taxed his people ruthlessly. However in 1596 the sultan sued for peace making Walachia free and independent.

Michael next turned his sights on Bathory and conquering Transylanvia. After defeating Bathory he gained control of the area in 1599 and also the support of the Holy Roman Empire under Rudolf II. This support allowed him to unite all of Romania under one leader. This support did not last too long, the emperor thought Michael was becoming a threat to his power base and wanted him disposed of.

A group of Transylvanian nobles revolted against their leader and support for the rebels came from the HRE. General George Basta came to their aid and defeated Micheal and his troops. Micheal the Great fled to the court in Vienna where he was pardoned and reinstated as governor of Transylvania. Micheal was assassinated shortly after on the order of General Basta. After his death Walachia and Moldavia returned to their previous owners, the Ottomans and Transylvania returned to Austrian dommination. Michael the Great became a national hero as he inspired the idea of the three areas becoming united.


Information from this node came from varios websites including http://www.bartleby.com/65/mi/MichaelB.html and http://www.slider.com/enc/35000/Michael_the_Brave.htm