In ancient times the territory of present day Romania was inhabited mainly tribes, which were a remarkable, although not very well known, culture. The Dacian kingdom reached the height of its power in the 1st century BC, when their king Burebista ruled from his power base in the Carpathian Mountains over a vast territory stretching from Central Europe to the Black Sea. The intriguing network of fortifications and shrines built around the Dacian , in today's south-western Transylvania, has been relatively well preserved through the ages and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In 106 AD the Dacians were defeated by the Romans and most of their homeland became part of the Roman Empire. Being very rich in natural resources (especially gold), the region prospered under the Roman administration: cities developed rapidly, important roads were built and people from all over the Empire settled here. That's why, despite the fact that Roman rule lasted less than 200 years, a population with a distinctive Latin character and language emerged, which was however influenced by the Slavic peoples with whom it later came in contact.
In the Early Middle Ages Hungarians began to settle in the area today known as Transylvania, which would eventually become part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Germans also settled in that area (in several waves), some coming as early as the 12th century. In order to protect themselves from the frequent Tartar and Turkish invasions they set about building fortified cities and castles, many of which remain to this day. South and east of the Carpathians the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were created in the 14th century. Starting with the 15th century, both of them (and for a while Transylvania too) fell under the domination of the Ottoman Empire.
A Romanian national revival movement started in Transylvania in the late 1700's and swept across the Carpathians, inspiring the 1859 union of Moldavia and Wallachia, thus creating modern Romania. In 1917-1919 Transylvania and Eastern Moldavia were united with Romania.
"Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a Communist "peoples republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king. Between 1947 and 1965, Romania was led by Gheorghiu Gheorghiu-Dej, who led the country with a pro-Soviet stance throughout most of his administration. In 1965, he was succeeded by Nicolae Ceausescu who was less enthusiastic towards the Soviet Union and maintained a more neutral foreign and domestic policy than his predecessor while, during the 1980s, the Securitate secret police became a strong force. The leader was overthrown and executed in late 1989."(CIA World Factbook). Former Communists, regrouped around the Front of National Salvation and the Romanian Party for Social Democracy dominated the government until the 1996 elections, when they were swept from power by a fractious coalition of centrist parties but after failed reforms were replaced by the Social Democratic Party. Both groups attempted to amend ties with Hungary, which were deeply fractured in the 1980s, when Ceausescu either encouraged the large Hungarian community to leave the country or exile them outright (5.000 Hungarians left Romania per year). The 2004 elections brought to power an alliance formed by the National Liberal and Democratic parties. They currently govern with the support of most minority parties in Romania. In 2008 Romania held its legislative elections with the right wing party of the PDL (Democratic Liberal Party) won the national elections by a small margin against the PSD (Social Democratic Party). The current Prime Minister is Emil Boc while the Deputy Prime Minister is Dan Nica of the Social Democratic Party.
As of the year 2009 the Romanian Government has decided to implement a massive infrastructure investment programme which will benefit the whole country. The Romanian Government hopes to successfully implement the massive infrastructure program by the end of their mandate in 2012.
When the economic, social and political development is concerned Romania is doing well in comparison to other countries in the Western Balkans region and other surrounding countries in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine and Moldova. However when compared to Western Europe, Romania still has some ways to go to reach that level of development that is enjoyed by the Western Europeans. However Romania's membership in the European Union will help in closing the gap in the years to come