The Land and the Peasant Reform in Rumania

In This Review

The Land and the Peasant Reform in Rumania

By David Mitrany
Yale University Press, 1930
661 pp. $5.00
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No student of Balkan affairs, indeed no student of European politics, can afford to overlook this recent volume, one of the most enlightening in the whole Carnegie series. Rumania has been much in the public eye of late, and the hopeless confusion of its political life has undoubtedly obscured some of the more vital factors in her recent development. In examining the peasant and land problem, Mitrany strikes at the root of the whole situation. Not content with a review of the land legislation since the World War, he begins by studying the evolution of serfdom and the growth of the large estates in Rumania. These introductory chapters are of great interest and help to an understanding of the social effects of the Turkish régime throughout the Balkans. As the author says, these effects were by no means all bad. Indeed, the agrarian problem in Rumania became acute only as the ties that bound the provinces to Turkey were relaxed and the country, under Russian influence, was turned over to the boyars. The discussion of the post-war land settlement is very full and critical throughout. It will enable the reader to recognize the real nature of this reform and its shortcomings as well as its advantages. Here is the explanation for the rise of the Peasant Party in Rumanian politics and for the stormy developments that have followed on the collapse of the outworn Bratianu régime.