(b. c. 1780, Vladimiri, Walachia [now in Romania]--d. June 7, 1821, Târgoviste), national revolutionary hero, leader of the popular uprising of 1821 in Walachia.
A former officer in the Russian army, Vladimirescu was influenced by the autonomist movement in Serbia. He initially allied himself with the Greek revolutionary society -- the Philikí Etaireía ("Friendly Brotherhood")--that sought to overturn Turkish rule throughout the Balkans. With the Etairist rising in Moldavia under Prince Alexander Ypsilantis (March 1821), however, he disavowed the Greek leadership of the revolution in the Romanian principalities. He organized a popular rising in Walachia to evict the predominantly Greek administration of the Turkish government and end the spoliations of the native Romanian aristocracy (boieri). His eventual accommodation to the provisional aristocratic government at Bucharest, however, eroded his considerable initial support. When Ypsilantis suspected Vladimirescu of conspiring with the Turks to cut off the retreat of the Greek revolutionary forces from the Bucharest region, he ordered the arrest of the Romanian leader, who was court-martialed and executed.
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