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With oil production of 7.2 million tons in 1937, Romania ranked second in Europe and seventh in the world.
On several occasions in the last few years before World War II, the democratic parties were squeezed between conflicts with the fascist and chauvinistic Iron Guard and the authoritarian tendencies of King Carol II.
It has an area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi) and a temperate-continental climate.
This period featured several prominent rulers such as: Stephen the Great, Vasile Lupu, Alexander the Good and Dimitrie Cantemir in Moldavia; Vlad the Impaler, Mircea the Elder, Matei Basarab, Neagoe Basarab and Constantin Brâncoveanu in Wallachia; and Gabriel Bethlen in the Principality of Transylvania, as well as John Hunyadi and Matthias Corvinus in Transylvania, while it was still a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.
In 1600, all three principalities were ruled simultaneously by the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), who was considered, later on, the precursor of modern Romania and became a point of reference for nationalists, as well as a catalyst for achieving a single Romanian state.
Nationalistic themes became principal during the Wallachian uprising of 1821, and the 1848 revolutions in Wallachia and Moldavia.
In the other parts, many small local states with varying degrees of independence developed, but only under Basarab I and Bogdan I the larger principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia would emerge in the 14th century to fight the threat of the Ottoman Empire.
By 1541, the entire Balkan peninsula and most of Hungary had been conquered and integrated into the Ottoman Empire.