Mihai Ion Racoviţă

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Mihai Ion Racoviţă

Also Known As: "Mihail"
Birthplace: Racovitza Voda
Death: Died in Constantinople
Immediate Family:

Son of Ion (Ionita) Rakovita and Anastasia Rakovita
Husband of Safta Racoviţă and Ana Dediu Racoviţă
Father of Constantin Racovitza Voda; Roxana Costachi - Negel; Ion Racovitza; Mihai Racovitza; Prince of Wallachia, Stefan Racoviţă Voda and 2 others
Brother of Dimitrie Racovitza
Half brother of Anastasia PALADI; Tofana TIFESCU; Ecaterina CANTACUZINO-DELEANU; Maria COSTANDACHI; Dimitrie RACOVITA and 1 other

Occupation: Domnitor în Moldova 1703-1705, 1707-1709, 1715-1726 și în Ţara Românească 1730-1731, 1741-1744
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Mihai Ion Racoviţă

Mihai or Mihail Racoviţă (d. July 1744) was a Prince of Moldavia on three separate occasions (September 1703-February 23, 1705; July 31, 1707-October 28, 1709; January 5, 1716-October 1726) and Prince of Wallachia on two occasions (between October 1730 and October 2, 1731, and from September 1741 until his death). His rules overlapped with the accession of Phanariotes in the Danubian Principalities - he is considered himself a Phanariote for the duration of his last rule in Moldavia and his rules over Wallachia.

[edit] Biography

[edit] First rules

A local boyar of the Racoviţă House (and the father of Constantin Racoviţă), closely related to the Cantacuzino family and the son-in-law of Constantin Cantemir, Mihai Racoviţă was appointed ruler of Moldavia by Ahmed III, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but had to continue fighting off other candidates for the throne, as well as their boyar supporters. To counter these, the Prince relied on Greek supporters: notably, his allies were the first members of the Rosetti family.

These conflics brought an increase in taxation, as well as new fiscal demands. He was replaced by Antioh Cantemir, who, by contrast, was seen as an exceptional ruler. Again on the throne, Racoviţă was deposed on orders from the Sultan, and recalled to Istanbul on pressures from Russia's Peter the Great; he was replaced by Nicholas Mavrocordatos.

He was returned to rule in Iaşi upon the outbreak of the Austro-Turkish War, given his image as an enemy of the Habsburg Monarchy. When the Habsburg troops entered Moldavia, Racoviţă suffered heavy losses, and called on help from the Nogai Tatars in Yedisan. Subsequently, he was able to defeat the infiltrating forces, and had the Habsburg commander executed together with those boyars who had risen against him.

[edit] Transylvanian campaign and late rules

He was ordered by the Ottomans to pass into Transylvania with Nogai assistance, where he was to help Francis II Rákóczi in his anti-Habsburg rebellion; his campaign met fierce Habsburg resistance in Bistriţa, and his retreat was marked by another Habsburg invasion, as well as by the wide-scale plunder of boyar estates by the Nogais (allowed by Racoviţă as payment for their participation in combat). After the incident, he was ousted from the Moldavian throne after his rival Mavrocordatos appealed to the Sultan, was jailed and replaced with Grigore II Ghica.

In 1726, Racoviţă presided the Iaşi trial of four Jews from the Bessarabian borough of Oniţcani, who stood accused of having ritually murdered a five-year old child on Easter. The defendants were eventually acquitted following diplomatic protests (notably, the French ambassador to the Porte, Jean-Baptiste Louis Picon, remarked that such an accusation was no longer accepted in "civilized countries").[1]

His ascension to the throne in Bucharest came in the context of Patrona Halil's Ottoman rebellion, which had toppled Ahmed III and brought Mahmud I as Sultan; Halil's downfall in the following year almost brought about Racoviţă's, but he successfully furnished the Porte with income provided by raised taxes. He died in Istanbul.

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