The rule of Michael the Brave, with its break with Ottoman rule, tense
relations with other European powers and the leadership of the three
states, was considered in later periods as the precursor of a modern Romania, a thesis which was argued with noted intensity by Nicolae Bălcescu. This theory became a point of reference for nationalists, as well as a catalyst for various Romanian forces to achieve a single Romanian state. To Romanian Romantic nationalists, he was regarded as one of Romania's greatest national heroes.