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Elena Dragomir


University of Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute - Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, E-mail:


This paper has been presented at the First International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies in Romania:Romania and Lithuania in the Interwar International Relations: Bonds, Intersections and Encounters hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Târgoviste, May 19-21, 2010.



In economic terms, the interwar European periphery was limited to underdeveloped, poor, and non-industrialized states. According to this definition, both Romania and Lithuania belonged between the two world wars to the periphery of the continent. The two countries approached the economic problem using similar instruments: radical agrarian reform, stress on exports, industrialization. Despite the industrial developments that Romania and Lithuania witnessed during the interwar years, they remained, throughout the period, essentially agrarian economies. Although both states had to start from a very under-developed agriculture that shared many similarities,Lithuania’s interwar agriculture was eventually considered ‘one of the most efficient in Eastern Europe’, while Romania’s remained highly ‘inefficient and peasant’. Using the comparative historical analysis method and a similar-systems approach, this paper compares their problems, evaluates steps taken towards their solutions and reveals the different outcomes.  



Periferia europeana interbelica a fost limitata, din punct de vedere economic, la statele subdezvoltate, sarace si neindustrializate. Conform acestei definitii, atât  România, cât si Lituania, în perioada interbelica, au apartinut periferiei Europei. Afectate de probleme economice similare, cele doua state au raspuns cu masuri similare: reforme agrare radicale, atentie deosebita acordata exporturilor, industrializare. În ciuda dezvoltarii industriale pe care au experimentat-o atât România, cât si Lituania, în perioada dintre cele doua razboaie mondiale, amândoua au ramas state cu economii preponderent agrare. Masurile luate în domeniul dezvoltarii agriculturii în aceste doua state au avut însa rezultate semnificativ diferite. Spre sfârsitul perioadei interbelice, agricultura Lituaniei era caracterizata drept „una dintre cele mai eficiente din Europa de Est”, în vreme ce agricultura României a ramas „ineficienta si taraneasca”. Folosind metoda analizei istorice comparative, acest studiu compara, evalueaza si analizeaza evolutia agriculturilor României interbelice si Lituaniei interbelice, cu scopul identificarii acelor variabile care explica esecul celei dintâi si succesul, chiar daca „succesul relativ”, al celei din urma.


Keywords: interwar, Romania, Lithuania, agriculture, development, comparison

07. Dragomir.pdf

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Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Romania
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