In the era of emerging nations, the Romanian language group had to deal with numerous disadvantages. Its belated development as a nation was due to the absence of a social and economic leader class. The national emancipation from political control by other language elites therefore went hand in hand with social demands.
An important role in this regard was played by the clergy, which in the rural milieu of the mainly peasant Romanian society represented an authority. The pioneers of the Romanian cultural identity came from their ranks.
The growing national awareness demanded the bringing together of the Romanian settlement areas scattered throughout the Habsburg Monarchy in a number of crown lands. The rallying point for the Romanian national leaders was their opposition to the Magyarization measures by the Hungarian authorities in Transylvania, the most important Romanian settlement area in the Dual Monarchy.
During the First World War, there was an increased demand for unification with Romania, which had separated from the Ottoman Empire to become an independent nation state during the nineteenth century and encouraged irredentism of the frustrated Hungarian Romanians.