Bogdan of Cuhea was the founder of Moldova. He was a Vlach voivode from Maramureş who had fallen out with the Hungarian king. He then crossed the Carpathians in 1359, and took control of Moldavia, where he succeeded in removing Moldavia from Hungarian control. After this Bogdan managed to expand Moldova northward to the Cheremosh River. He was succeed by Lațcu, who under pressure from Angevin Poland, converted to Catholicism. This conversion would lead to a series of disputes with the Patriarchy of Constantinople, over appointments to the Moldovan Metropolitan Seat. The conversion however did not mange to disintegrate the cultural and religious ties most Moldovans shared with the Romans of Constantinople. In 1387 Petru I pledged vassalage to the Poles, and he expanded his realm southward, creating a border with Wallachia. His brother Roman I also managed to capture an outlet on the Black Sea, Cetatea Albă in 1392, providing Moldova with a port. After a period of conflict with Hungary, and the disappearance of Stephen I, Alexandru I acceded the throne. He swore vassalage to Poland in 1400, and also ended the disagreement with the Patriarchy of Constantinople. Alexandru I managed to secure an alliance with Poland and lead a prosperous and long lasting reign. However he was the first to face the Turkish threat in battle.
After Alexandru's reign Moldova would enter a period of civil war as his successors fought for supremacy. Bogdan II and Peter III Aron were locked in a struggle for the throne, and it was during this time that Vlad Tepes resided in Moldova after being exiled from Wallachia. Peter III Aron emerged victorious, however he was deposed by the Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus, a man famous for his role in preventing Ottoman occupation of Romania. The reign of Peter also marks the beginning of a period of Ottoman dominance, as Peter agreed to pay the Ottoman Sultan tribute. Following this Stephen the Great ascended the Moldovan throne, where he assisted Vlad Tepes and the Hungarians in the liberation of Wallachia. This invasion marked the end of Ottoman intervention in Moldovan affairs. After a occupying the territories of Hotin (Khotyn) and Pokuttya, Stephen secured a small Moldovan foothold in Transylvania which would lead to decades of conflict with Hungary. Bogdan III, Stephen the Greats successor engaged Hungary in several destructive wars, during which Moldova defended the provinces acquired by Stephen. Bogdan was able, with Polish aid, to hold several key passes and defeat a Hungarian army. This victory allowed Moldova to keep its hold on a small portion of Transylvania.