This chapter shows the diversity of Romania, and the Roma, as a structural characteristic of a Balkan country, determined by its historical roots at the crossroads between three Empires, and by its agrarian economic foundations. The post-emancipation period, in particular the interwar period, shows how, under late seigniorial domination and with an overwhelming majority of the population being peasants, agrarian reforms were decisive in shaping the status of the Roma. A second key period opened with the Communist takeover and the subsequent reshaping of society, characterised by the collectivisation of production units (state farms, etc.). The approach taken in the chapter is informed by the framework known as 'new social history', and by historical anthropology. The goal of this is not to criticise existing studies of Romanian Roma but rather to bring them into a general, analytical framework of nineteenth- and twentieth-century social history.