Fiendish Facts and Fabrications
Imagine for a moment what it would be like knowing that your country is saddled with most of the civilized world believing that its most famous resident is also the most nefarious renowned vampire in history. What most of us are likely unaware of is that to the people of his homeland in Romania, the legacy of Vlad Dracula is generally considered to be symbolic of national pride and patriotism. Although Dracula was a harsh and unforgiving monarch, he vented most of his wrath on the enemies of his principality of Wallachia, as well as the richest and most dominant nobles in the country. Traditional wealth and influence was treated with utter disdain and contempt by the unorthodox prince, and he despised the traditional corruptions of commerce and power that bled his beloved homeland dry.
During Vlad Dracula's relatively brief rule that totaled only seven years, he abolished the economic privilege and power of the German merchants in Transylvania, whose stranglehold on trade and merchandise from the more industrialized western countries of Europe prospered there, primarily because Transylvania was a far more compliant vassal state of the Hungarian Empire.
Eliminating criminal behavior of any sort was also a primary objective of Vlad Dracula, who hated corruption in any form or perpetrated by anyone — be they petty thieves and pickpockets or wealthy noblemen with their own legacies of political and economic power in Wallachia. Dracula treated malefactors with the his consistent and universal death sentence of impalement, no matter whose life was — quite literally — at stake. Many of the legends that followed him through the centuries support the conclusion that his efforts were feared, respected, and effective. For his brief reign, Wallachia experienced less criminal behavior than any other principality in eastern Europe.
There's also the valid counterpoint that Vlad Dracula may have been a cruel and despotic ruler, just as were so many rulers of the medieval era who followed traditional patterns of abusing their power in order to maintain complete authority. Some of the legends of Vlad Dracula suggest that he had little respect for any life other than those who loyally supported his desire for total control. Still, it can be argued that Dracula had clear-minded political and idealistic opinions of how his country should be run in the midst of the voracious opposing powers on the doorstep of every border. The extreme measures that Dracula employed to establish his dominance over Wallachia made him a figure of fear and a fair target as the instigator of a litany of legendary atrocities.