HISTORY From about 200 B.C., when it was settled by the Dacians, a Thracian tribe, Romania has been on the path of a series of migrations and conquests. Under the emperor Trajan early in the second century A.D., Dacia was incorporated into the Roman empire, but was abandoned by a declining Rome less than two centuries later. Romania disappeared from recorded history for hundreds of years, to reemerge in the medieval period as the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Heavily taxed and badly administered under the Ottoman empire, the two Principalities were unified under a single native prince in 1859, and had their full independence ratified in the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. A German prince, Carol of Hohenzollern, was crowned first King of Romania in 1881. The new state, squeezed between the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires, with Slav neighbors on three sides, looked to the West, particularly France, for its cultural, educational, and administrative models. Romania was an ally of the Entente and theU.S.in World War I, and was granted substantial territories with Romanian populations, notably Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina, after the war. Most of Romania's pre-World War II governments maintained the forms but not the substance of a liberal constitutional monarchy. The quasi-mystical, fascist Iron Guard movement, exploiting nationalism, fear of communism, and resentment of alleged foreign and Jewish domination of the economy, was a key factor in the creation of a dictatorship in 1938. In 1940-41, the authoritarian General Antonescu took control. Romania entered World War II on the side of the Axis Powers in June 1941, invading the Soviet Union to recover Bessarabia and Bukovina, which had been annexed in 1940.