National Liberal Party (Romania, 1875)

For other uses, see National Liberal Party.

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National Liberal Party
Partidul Național Liberal


Ion C. Brătianu
Ion Ghica
Mihail Kogălniceanu
C.A. Rosetti

24 May 1875 (1875-05-24)


Românul (1875–84)
Voinţa naţională (1884–1914)
Viitorul (1914–38, 1944–45[a])
Liberalul (1946–47)[a]
Drapelul (1944–48)[b]

Youth wing
National Liberal Youth

Political position

Prin noi înșine!
(Through ourselves!)

Politics of Romania
Political parties

^ a b c Brătianu faction
^ a b Tătărescu/Bejan faction

The National Liberal Party (Romanian: Partidul Național Liberal, PNL) was the first organised political party in Romania, a major force in the country’s politics from its foundation in 1875 to World War II. Established in order to represent the interests of the nascent local bourgeoisie, until World War I it contested power with the Conservative Party, supported primarily by wealthy landowners, effectively creating a two-party system in a political system which severely limited the representation of the peasant majority through census suffrage. Unlike its major opponent, the PNL managed to preserve its prominence after the implementation of universal male suffrage, playing an important role in shaping the institutional framework of Greater Romania during the 1920s. Though initially opposed to the restoration of deposed King Carol II, it became increasingly supportive of his authoritarian policies, with PNL governments paving the way to a royal dictatorship in the late 1930s. Formally disbanded along all political parties in 1938, party structures were preserved unofficially, with many party members also enlisting in Carol’s National Renaissance Front. Tolerated by the totalitarian government of Ion Antonescu, it eventually joined King Michael I and the Communist, National Peasants’ and Social Democratic parties in overthrowing the dictator in the closing phase of World War II, enabling the reorganisation of the party in 1944. Part of the first post-war grand coalition governments, it lost its importance as the new Communist-led coalition government used the denazification