From the 14th century most of today’s Moldova was part of the Principality of Moldavia. Bogdan I became the first independent prince of Moldavia after rejecting Hungarian authority in 1359. The greatest Moldavian prince was Ştefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) who ruled the Principality of Moldavia from 1457-1504. With his army of boyars and retainers, Stephen fought off invasions from the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Poland and the Crimean Tatars.
By the Treaty of Bucharest following the Russo-Turkish War (1806-1812), Moldavia lost Bessarabia – the Eastern part of the principality – to Russia and Bukovina to Austria. In 1859, Moldavia and Wallachia formed the Kingdom of Romania, including the Southern part of Bessarabia in 1866.
The Independence of the Democratic Republic of Moldova was proclaimed in January 1918. On March 27, 1918 the Sfatul Ţării, the National Council, voted for the unification with Romania. On August 2, 1940, as a consequence of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact the Soviet government created the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR), with its capital Kishinev (Chişinău in Romanian). After the vicissitudes of WW II the Soviet Union incorporated the Moldavian SSR, with its parts Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and Transnistria in 1947.
On August 27, 1991 the Republic of Moldova became an independent and sovereign state. As a consequence of inner political conflicts Gagauzia became an autonomus province. The situation in Transnistria is more complex and still not solved.