In 1859 the Danubian principalities, deliberately left separate by the Congress of Paris, carried out their long-cherished design of union by electing Prince Cuza both in Moldavia and in Walachia, a contingency which the powers had not taken into account, and to which in the end they gave a grudging assent (see Rumania).
Michael Sturdza also attempted the secularization of monastic establishments, which was carried out by Prince Cuza in 1864, and the utilization of their endowments for national purposes.
Demetrius afterwards turned against Cuza, joined John Bratianu, and became a member of the so-called Liberal government.
In 1864, under the government of Prince Cuza, a new law was promulgated, conferring on each peasant family freehold property in lots varying from 72 to 15 acres, according to the number of oxen that they owned.
By the Land Act of 1889, the state domains, amounting to nearly one-third of the total area of Rumania (originally the property of the church and the convents, confiscated by Prince Cuza in 1866), were distributed among the peasantry.
In accordance with this convention the deputies of Moldavia and Walachia met in separate assemblies at Bucharest and Jassy, but the choice of both fell unanimously on Prince Alexander John Cuza (January 1859).
A new conference met in Paris to discuss the situation, and in 1861 the election of Prince Cuza was ratified by the Powers and the Porte.
Alexandria was named after its founder, Alexander John Cuza, prince of Rumania from 1859 to 1866.
Besides the university, founded by Prince Cuza in 1864, with faculties of literature, philosophy, law, science and medicine, there are a military academy and schools of art, music and commerce; a museum, a fine hall and a theatre; the state library, where the chief records of Rumanian history are preserved; an appeal court, a chamber of commerce and several banks.