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Chapter 10

The Austro-Hungarian Experiment


After the signing of the Ausgleich, the compromise of 1867 that transformed the Austrian Empire into the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, the most immediate question that arose concerned the issue of nationalities. It was far from clear that the compromise would fulfill the expectations and aspirations that the ethnic minorities had expressed so violently in 1848-49. The question was the object of interminable controversy within, as well as without, the Dual Monarchy.

Within the Empire, there were those who believed that the compromise of 1867 was only the first step of a process that would lead to a true federalist system, with dualism evolving logically to include a third, and perhaps even a fourth, element. Others, however, particularly Hungarians with nostalgic memories of Kossuth, saw the compromise as nothing more than a temporary expedient, to be followed sooner or later by complete independence. It should be noted that these viewpoints corresponded more with the opinions of the intelligentsia and the politically aware than with the opinions of the typical citizen. Generally speaking, the various populations of the Dual Monarchy tended to remain faithful to the person of the sovereign himself as representative of the state, rather than to the prevailing constitutional system.

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Attitudes differed outside the Empire. German nationalists were hostile to the concept of dualism from the beginning, and strongly opposed any evolution towards a federal system that would weaken the position of the Germans within the Empire. Instead, Pan-German proponents within Germany, with the strong support of politicized German-Austrians, envisioned integrating the Habsburg Empire -- either with or without the Hungarian territories -- into the framework of a vast Mittel-Europa governed from Berlin. For their part, the Russian court was well aware of the great number of Slavs in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Russians were also conscious of the advantages to be reaped should they succeed in separating the Slavs from Austria-Hungary, and at least in theory were willing to use ethnic ties to attract the young Slavic states of the Balkans. Pan-Germanism in the west was thus paralleled by Pan-Slavism in the east.

In France, a strict neutrality on Austria-Hungary was maintained in official circles, but academics such as Ernest Denis and Ernest Lavisse, such leftist politicians as Gambetta and Clemenceau, and anticlerical groups and freemasons considered the Habsburg monarchy to be a conservative and clerical state. Accordingly, they did not hesitate to denounce the Dual Monarchy, focusing on real as well as contrived oppression of the Slavic and Rumanian peoples. The Franco-Russian Alliance of 1892 reinforced anti-Austro-Hungarian sentiments. Now aligned against Austria-Hungary by the need for military support from Russia in the case of a new Franco-German conflict, France embraced the principles of St. Petersburg concerning Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. In the name of Franco- Russian friendship, the point that the most oppressed nationalities of the early 1900s in eastern Europe were located in Russia was rather pointedly ignored. In Russia, the Polish, Baltic, Ukrainian, and Caucasian peoples were already subject to a policy of intense Russification, which was to worsen in the communist era.

In the years between World Wars I and II, French historians severely judged the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. History textbooks used in secondary and higher-level education systematically oversimplified and caricaturized the Habsburg monarchy. A typical example is the remark alleged to the Austrian chancellor, Beust, on the subject of dividing peoples of the Empire in 1867; "Gardez vos hordes, nous garderons les notres". Beust is quoted as saying to Andrassy, president of the Hungarian Council. Translated as "Keep your hordes and we will keep ours" this oft-cited quote has never been documented and is used in conflicting forms by historians. Some believe Beust addressed these words to Andrassy, but others insist they were directed at Deak, the Hungarian chief negotiator of the Ausgleich of l 867. Recently, however, competent historians have been treating the issue with more care and accuracy. Regarding the treatment of ethnic

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minorities, V. L. Tapie writes in his Monarchies et Peuples du Danube:

"On the whole, conditions were reasonably tolerable, although they

could not be expected to remain stable as national awareness within each

ethnic group continued to grow... Marriages and migrations within the

monarchy often meant a change of nationality, and although language

remained the basic indicator of nationality, even that was not always

conclusive. Foreign observers and members of the press only reluctantly

acknowledged these subtleties that were revealed through direct contact

with life in Austria-Hungary..."

In L'Europe Central, J. Droz comments on the attitude of the different nationalities during the first World War:

"To the amazement of a number of politicians, an authentic Austrian

patriotism was clearly displayed in all strata of the population, and in all

the ethnic groups of the Empire: the Slavs did their military duty just as

willingly as the Germans and Magyars."


The Austrian part of the Empire contained the greatest variety of nationalities and with it the greatest confusion. Due in part to the diverse territorial acquisitions of the Habsburgs over centuries, the potpourri was also caused by population migrations within the territories themselves.

The populations of certain areas were all German; the Vorarlberg, the province of Salzburg, and the duchies of Upper and Lower Austria are examples. Other provinces contained German-speaking majorities, such as the German-speaking Tyrol, where the German-speaking population extended far beyond the present day Austro-Italian border to the town of Bozen (Bolzano). While Carinthia and Styria both possessed German majorities, they also hosted significant numbers of Slovenes -- 20 percent of the population in Carinthia and 29 percent in Styria. The capital city of Vienna was, of course, mainly German, but because of its role as the nexus of the Empire, all nationalities were represented. Of the approximately 2,000,000 inhabitants enumerated by the census of 1910, nearly 15 percent were Slavs, consisting mainly of 200,000 Czechs and over 100,000 Poles. Vienna was also home for about 200,000 Jewish refugees from rampant anti-Semitism in the Russian Empire and Rumania. To the south were the Italian and southern Slavic areas. Trentino was purely Italian with a population of 119,000, while the province of Gorizia boasted 154,000 Slovenes and 90,000 Italians. In Istria, 168,000 Croats coexisted with 147,000 Italians and 55,000 Slovenes. Dalmatia, acquired by Austria in 1815 from the French Napoleonic Empire (which in turn had acquired it from the Republic of Venice), was populated by 501,000 Serbo-Croatians and a

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minority of approximately 16,000 urban-based Italians. In general, the urban areas of the southern provinces were dominated by Italians and the countryside by Slavs, but this balance was in flux; the rural exodus caused by increasing industrialization was bringing a larger Slavic population into the urban areas.

The provinces north of Austria proper, the provinces of St. Wenceslas' crown, as they were called, contained a majority German population grouped in compact settlements throughout the mountainous country, along the borders with Austria and Germany, and in the cities of Karsbad, Marienbad, Reichenberg, Znajm, and Budweiss. However, in examining Bohemia- Moravia, it was discernible by the end of the 19th century that the Germans did not possess the majority that they had forty years before. In 1855, Germans made up 40 percent of the population in Prague, but by 1910 they were no more than seven percent. In the Moravian capital of Brno, their numbers declined in a similar fashion, as Czechs became the majority population throughout the Bohemian-Moravian basin in both rural and urban areas. And in the Teschen area of Silesia, Germans were included in a multi-ethnic society of Poles, Czechs, and Germans.

In western Galicia, the Poles held a slight majority, while they shared the east with a large Ruthenian minority. Jews were distributed nearly everywhere throughout Galicia, but the largest concentrations were found in cities such as Lemberg (Lvov). Similarly, the population of Bukovina was very mixed: it consisted of 300,000 Ruthenians, 273,000 Rumanians, 168,000 Germans, a large Jewish population for which no figures exist, and small minorities of Poles and Magyars.

Regarding religion in the Dual Monarchy and its provinces, over four-fifths of the inhabitants were Roman Catholics, an element which provided significant cohesion. The Roman Catholic majority was followed in declining order by the Uniates, the Orthodox, and the Protestants. Particularly numerous in Vienna and in the large cities as well as in Galicia and Bukovina, the Jews made up about five percent of the total population.

Ethnic distribution was more harmonious in the Hungarian Kingdom. Excluding Croatia-Slavonia because of its special status, the Magyars made up 54 percent of the population, and lived throughout the region. They dominated the plains on both sides of the Danube and Tisza rivers far beyond the present borders of Hungary. In 1910, 80 percent of Budapest was Magyar, followed by a fairly large German population of 97,000, as well as numerous Slovaks. The Magyars were a majority in all Hungarian cities except Pozsony (Pressburg), where the Germans slightly outnumbered the Hungarians by 38 percent to 35 percent.

Numbering about 2,000,000 in Hungary, the Germans were present in all of the cities, although in the urban setting they assimilated so well with

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the Magyar population that the German-speaking proportion began to shrink: it declined from 13.6 percent in 1880 to 10.4 percent in 1910. Some closely-knit islands of Germans existed in various regions of the country. These were concentrated in the far west, in what is today the Austrian Burgenland, in Transdanubia, in the Banat, in the mining country of the northern Carpathians, and finally in southeastern Transylvania.

Some 3,000,000 strong in Hungary, the Rumanians made up about half of the populations of Transylvania and the Banat. They lived mainly in rural areas and small towns. Gradually, however, they became part of the rural exodus, and by the end of the l9th century had become significant minority groups in the larger towns of Transylvania.

Most of the 2,000,000 Slovaks in Hungary lived in the northwest mountains, although demographic pressure had been pushing them into the Danubian valleys from the mid-19th century onward. The Ruthenian population was concentrated in rural areas in the northern Carpathians, and like the Slovaks they began moving down toward the plains of the Tisza during the last half of the 19th century. In the Ruthenian districts, numerous Russian Jews also settled in the Magyar towns, with whom they tended to assimilate. The Serbs had settled on the Banat at the end of the 1 7th century, and were still living in the southern arm of the Hungarian Kingdom in closely knit groups. The Serbs shared the territory with an amalgam of Germans and Magyars.

The population of Croatia-Slavonia was more homogenous than that of Hungary proper. The Croats were a majority everywhere, except on the eastern side of the plain where the Drava and Sava rivers joined. There they were outnumbered by the Serbs, who came as refugees during the 18th century. For demographic and political reasons, the port of Fiume, called Rijeka by the Croats, was designated a corpus separatum (separate entity) from Hungary. Although the Croats attempted to claim it on the grounds that the population was originally Croatian, so many Italians from Istria and Trieste had moved there since the mid-1800s that the census of 1910 counted 24,000 Italians, as compared to 13,00Q Croats and some 600 Magyars. The Kingdom of Hungary and the province of Croatia-Slavonia boasted a wide diversity of religions. Roman Catholics were in the majority with 52.1 percent, followed by the Lutheran and Calvinist Protestants, and the followers of the Orthodox and Uniate churches. The Jews came in increasing numbers from Russia throughout the l9th century, and by 1910 represented five percent of the population. Many of them settled in Budapest -- satirically termed "Judapest " in several anti-Semitic pamphlets -- and in the rural areas of Ruthenia and northwestern Transylvania.

The annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908 greatly increased the number of Slavs in the Dual Monarchy. Of the 1,800,000 inhabitants of this

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province, 96 percent were Serbo-Croatian and the remaining four percent was divided between Germans and Hungarians, consisting mainly of civil servants and their families. The Orthodox religion held a slight majority there of 51 percent, followed by a large Moslem minority of 30 percent and a smaller Catholic minority of 15 percent.


The Ausgleich of 1867 dividing the Habsburg Empire into two separate states each with extensive authority over its own territory was an interesting experiment in national sovereignty. In spite of linguistic and religious diversity, the Dual Monarchy managed enough coherence to function fairly well for half a century. The unity of the system was due first to the personality of the sovereign. No one could deny that, despite the events of 1848-1849 and the repression that followed, the emperor-king, Franz Joseph, knew how to evoke feelings of loyalty to the dynasty, feelings that lasted until his death on November 21, 1916. His long reign and his personal tragedies -- he death of his only son and heir, Archduke Rudolph, in 1889 at Mayerling, followed by the assassination of his wife, Empress Elizabeth, by an Italian anarchist in 1898 -- earned him the respect and even the affection of his people. Loyalty to the dynasty was far from a mere rhetorical formula.

Another element providing unity was the Catholic religion, which brought together such diverse groups as Germans, Poles, Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, and the majority of Hungarians and Czechs. It grouped them around the emperor-king, whose ancestors had been considered defenders of the Catholic faith since the time of Charles V. With nearly 40,000 lay priests and some 20,000 monks and nuns, the Catholic church was an important spiritual leader whose influence could be put at the disposal of the sovereign. High officials of the other Christian religions could play similarly influential roles, and served as representatives in the parliamentary assemblies.

The Imperial and Royal Army also served as a unifying factor in the Dual Monarchy. As the sole official language, German was understood by both officers and common soldiers alike, reinforcing cohesion among the soldiers and officers from different regions and of different nationalities. The officers, corps was considered a means of social advancement, since unlike the German army, access to the higher ranks was not an aristocratic monopoly. The army accelerated the process of assimilation and resulted in a sort of archetypical Austro-Hungarian, who, while not renouncing his own ethnic origins, felt more a part of the monarchy as a whole rather than of a particular region. This attitude was encouraged by opening up the higher command posts to all nationalities, not only the "dominant" ones. Officially, promotions were granted solely on competence and aptitude for

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responsibility. General Potiorek, governor of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1914, was of Czech origin, and Admiral Horthy, last commander-in-chief of the Austro-Hungarian navy, was Hungarian. The Polish generals Sikorski and Rozwadowski, the Croatian Field Marshal Boroevic, and even a Rumanian like General Boeriu all held high commands during the First World War, and all were decorated with the Order of Maria Theresa -- the military's highest honor.

A comparatively efficient and honest civil service with its numerous bureaucrats further reinforced the Empire's cohesion. Here also anyone who was competent and willing to take part in the system could hope for a brilliant administrative career. At least in principle, all ethnic groups were placed on equal footing. The state did not ask anyone to give up his national language or culture, but in addition to his own language, a candidate was required to know the official state language: German in the Austrian Empire and Hungarian in the Kingdom of Hungary. The Czechs took full advantage of the opportunities offered, and by 1914 filled a third of the posts in the joint ministries -- a much higher proportion than they represented in the general population.

Unity was further served by common interests that the various nationalities shared in daily life as well as in economic matters. First, the population was fairly mobile, moving from region to region, and from the countries to the cities. This resulted in a cultural mingling; the Slovak peasant who moved to Budapest became Magyarized, while the Sudeten German who went to Prague became more Czech. A change of nationality within one or two generations was a frequent phenomenon, and such changes were accelerated by intermarriage. One example among thousands is the family of the composer, Franz Lehar. His family originally came from Moravia, and the composer's ancestors spoke Czech. His father was a military band leader, and as such was sent to Hungary where he adopted Magyar ways and married a Magyarized German. Lehar's brother, Anton, also moved to Hungary, married a Viennese woman, and had a brilliant military career leading to the rank of general, which he received in 192 1 . The composer himself moved to Vienna early in his career.

Economic explanations are just as relevant in accounting for stability and cooperation in Austria-Hungary. The various parts of the Empire and their inhabitants also had common economic interests. The Dual Monarchy functioned remarkably well as an economic unit, with different regions furnishing complementary agricultural and industrial resources. Grains came from the Puszta (the Hungarian plain), livestock from the Alps and the Carpathians, and sugar beets and hops from Bohemia. Coal came from Bohemia and Transylvania, iron from Austria and some mountainous ores of Bohemia, gold and silver from the Carpathians, bauxite and copper from

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Croatia and Hungary, and so on. A well developed network of overland and river transport provided easy access to different parts of the Dual Monarchy, and the ports of Trieste and Fiume opened the way to Mediterranean and overseas destinations. The era of Franz Joseph was a time of economic prosperity for Austria-Hungary, as the growth and embellishment of Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Zagreb, and other cities attest. Finally, in a century marked by sharp national conflicts, it must be noted that the Austro-Hungarian monarchy fostered the coexistence of different ethnic groups through an organization flexible enough to allow them each a place in the sun. Austria-Hungary was never a racist state: while Germans and Hungarians were the two dominant groups, other nationalities enjoyed much broader freedoms than their racial counterparts across the borders. Illiteracy was lower among the Rumanians and Serbs in Hungary than in Rumania and Serbia. All nationalities were protected equally by the law, and the Ausgleich guaranteed freedom of conscience and of religion. Most local government problems were settled by the provincial diets in the local languages, and each nationality had its own complete system of education. The Czechs had their university at Prague, while the Poles had theirs at Krakow and Lemberg, where Polish students from Russia came to study. In Hungary, the state provided primary and secondary schools in which the local languages were used, and churches were allowed to and often did open schools. All education was subsidized by the state. The only provision which can be interpreted as anti-ethnic in the Kingdom of Hungary was that all non-Hungarians in the Hungarian schools had to receive three hours of instruction in Hungarian a week. And, in contrast to the practice in Austria, higher education was almost exclusively in German or Hungarian. In the Hungarian provinces, only the Croats had their own university at Zagreb. On the whole, education was less liberal in Transylvania than in Austria proper, especially during the period between 1906 and 1910 when the nationalist Independence party, Kossuth's spiritual heir, governed the country.


Between 1867 and 1914, the two halves of the Dual Monarchy underwent a period of political instability.

The Austrian Empire

In the Austrian Empire, sometimes called Cisleithania, the major problem was interethnic relations. Although each province had its local diet which sent deputies to the Reichsrat in Vienna, it was only after the electoral reform of 1873 that these delegates were elected by universal suffrage. At the beginning of the Dual Monarchy, many deputies from Cisleithania hoped the

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Empire would evolve into a three-state system. Hohenwart, the conservative president of the Austrian Council, conducted secret negotiations with the Bohemian Diet, and, with the agreement of Franz Joseph, drew up a proposal for reform that would have given Bohemia a status similar to that of Hungary. Such a reform was what Palacky, head of the Czech National party, had always desired. The proposal stipulated that Franz Joseph was to be crowned King of Bohemia in Prague. When the project was unveiled in October, 1871, however, it ran up against the opposition of Bohemian Germans who were afraid of becoming a minority. It was also opposed by Hungarian leaders such as Andrassy, who worried about the effects of such a project on the various ethnic groups: he foresaw Slovenes, Ruthenians, and others demanding similar status for themselves. Bowing to the opposition, Franz Joseph renounced the project, and Hohenwart resigned on October 30, 1871. Czech politicians were universally extremely disappointed, and different opinions on how to counter it caused a rift in the National party. The "old Czechs," centered around Palacky's son-in-law, Rieger, continued to search for a settlement with Vienna, seeing benefit for Bohemia in following a policy of cooperation with the government of Eduard Taaffe (1879-1893). This policy did bear results; the Language Act of 1880 made Czech the official language in areas with a German majority, where local government was bilingual. In 1882, Prague gained a Czech-language university alongside the older German-language one.

The Young Czechs, on the other hand, stubbornly resisted compromise with Vienna, and following the mounting of an active verbal opposition won the elections of 1891. Political activity increased with the laws of 1896 and 1906, which progressively introduced universal suffrage. Of the numerous parties that began to form, the National Catholics and the Social Christians were loyalists, while the Agrarians were fence-sitters. The National Socialists, however, as well as the Realists, favored an alliance with the Slovaks and other Slavic peoples. They were under the influence of Thomas Masaryk, a professor at the University of Prague, who led them to a position of systematic opposition that did not, however, completely reject the advantages of the system. The older parties, the dwindling Old Czechs, and the Young Czechs under Charles Kramarj, maintained a strong following in the business community because they favored Bohemian autonomy and an orderly conservatism. The Bohemian Social Democratic party had long been a branch of the Austrian Social Democratic party, and spoke for the rapidly growing industrial working class. In 1897, the various branches of this party became autonomous in their own countries, and in the 1911 elections, the Czech Social Democrats won 37 percent of the vote in Bohemia-Moravia. Their return placed them second to Kramarj's Young Czechs; they were clearly now a force to be considered. Demands for Bohemian autonomy

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intensified in the final years of the 19th century, and as tempers rose, a physical training society with nationalist tendencies, the sokols (hawks), began to turn to violence.

Faced with increasing Czech nationalism, German Bohemians worried about eventual domination by the Czech majority and resisted reform by every means possible. National rivalries often surfaced in skirmishes between student groups, despite the central government's goal of avoiding violence at any cost. It worked towards this objective by guaranteeing equal rights to both populations in Bohemia, but both populations did much to render reform difficult. When in 1897, for example, the government proposed a measure requiring all civil servants in Bohemia to be bilingual, the Germans systematically opposed it, as the measure favored the German-speaking Czechs. In the end, civil servants were required to know the languages of the area where they worked.

The Poles in Galicia presented far fewer problems. They enjoyed broad autonomy in local government and cultural affairs, and were grateful to a regime that guaranteed them equal right, much coveted by their compatriots in Prussia and Russia. Polish deputies to the Reichsrat were consistently part of the majority supporting the government, and Poles were often appointed to important posts. Two of them, Count Potocki in 1870-1871 and Count Badeni from 1895-1897, became presidents of the Austrian Council. In Badeni's cabinet were also two other Polish ministers. At the same time, another Pole, Count Goluchowski, served as joint foreign minister from 1895 to 1906. In early 1900, however, alongside the traditional conservative and populist Polish parties appeared two new parties inspired by ideas born in Polish Russia. They formed as the Polish Socialist party, under Joseph Pilsudski, and the National Democratic party, each having its counterpart in Polish Russia and Polish Prussia.

The generous treatment of Poles in the Austro-Hungarian system aroused the envy of the Ukrainians in Galicia and Bukovina, where the intelligentsia began demanding similar privileges, especially in cultural matters. In 1902, violent demonstrations took place in Lemberg for the creation of a Ruthenian university. Violence accompanied Ruthenian opposition during the next several years and in 1908, the Polish governor of Galicia was assassinated by a Ruthenian student. On the whole, though, the peasant masses did not sympathize with such extremist actions.

Among the southern Slavs, Slovene and Dalmatian politicians continued to search for development within the framework of the Empire. For cultural and religious reasons, they felt little attraction to the Orthodox Serbs, but what they feared most was Italian infiltration of the coastal region and Slovene towns. Thus, most of the ethnic groups in the Austrian part of the Dual

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Monarchy saw their future and that of the Habsburgs as inextricably linked. Paradoxically, some of the Dual Monarchy's most vocal opponents were German, preferring instead the concept of a "greater Germany" directed from Berlin.

The Kingdom of Hungary

Although Hungary possessed a long tradition of active parliamentary rule, it did not have universal suffrage. Since the electorate was made up only of financially qualified voters, the parliament reflected only a segment of the general mood of the country. In 1913, despite the lowering of property qualifications for the franchise, only a third of the adult male population was allowed to vote. Political thought was divided into two main currents, represented by the Liberal party and the Independence party. The Liberal party was led by Count Kalman Tisza, head of government from 1875 to 1890, and by his son Istvan, head of government from 1902 to 1905, and from 1910 to 1917. Both were disciples of Ferenc Deak, and were devoted to the principle of dualism. The Independence party was led by Ferenc Kossuth, son of the famous revolutionary leader of 1848-1849. Kossuth was later joined by such Liberal party dissidents as Counts Apponyi and Karolyi, who wanted total independence for Hungary. The Independence party governed the country from 1906 to 1910; its ultra-nationalist policies angered the non-Magyar nationalities and caused a conflict with the crown over the army. As in Bohemia, several new parties appeared alongside these in the late 19th century. The Christian People's party of Count Janos Zichy was opposed to the lay laws of 1892- 1 893; the Agrarian party sought to defend the interests of those in the agricultural sector; and the Social Democratic party championed the industrial workers. Due to the traditional parties refusal to introduce universal suffrage, however, these parties were unable to gain more than a few seats in parliament.

The official policies of the Hungarian state toward its non-Magyar minorities were closely tied to that country's domestic politics . In general, the Liberal party was more open-minded regarding minority rights than was the Independence party. As soon as dualism was adopted, Deak negotiated the Hungaro-Croatian Compromise of 1868 with the delegates of the Zagreb Diet, granting the Croats broad autonomy regarding their own affairs. During the same year, Deak encouraged Hungarian parliament to pass a law on nationalities which kept Hungarian as the official state language, but which provided for equal opportunity for employment. The law also stipulated that "the parishes, churches, and local associations should select their own language of administration," and that "in the parish, town, and country councils, everyone may use his native language."

Taking advantage of the liberal provisions of this law, in 1881

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Transylvanian Rumanians founded the National Rumanian party. Its immediate platform was a demand for Transylvanian autonomy, and for a separate Rumanian civil service in the areas populated by Rumanians. The leaders of the party petitioned Franz Joseph to the effect in 1892, using not his title of king of Hungary, but of emperor of Austria. Prosecuted by the Hungarian state not for their demands but for addressing them to the em- peror, thereby denying that Transylvania belonged to Hungary, their 1894 trial received considerable attention abroad. George Clemenceau and Ernest Lavisse took the part of the accused, and were scandalized by the prison sentences given them. The petitioners were granted clemency the following year, but the Rumanian National party was banned until 1905. In the elections of 1905, 14 Rumanians were elected to the parliament. At their head was Jules Maniu, a lawyer who was to play an important role in Rumanian politics during the interwar period.

Among the Slovaks, political unrest appeared in the early years of the 20th century, instigated mainly by the intelligentsia and activist members of the lower clergy. A populist party was set up by a priest, Father Andreas Hlinka, who made cultural and administrative autonomy for Slovak areas a part of his program. Hlinka and his cohorts organized demonstrations against Apponyi's education policies, which increased Magyar language instruction in minority schools. These demonstrations degenerated into riots in October, 1907, and the military intervened in the small town of Csernova.

A different interest group favoring closer ties with Prague grew up around Milan Hodza and his newspaper, Hlas (The Voice). Protestant Slovak intellectuals gave it their support in favor of the overtly flamboyant clericism of Hlinka's followers. Slovak national protesters were relatively few in number, however, and Hlinka himself was disowned by his superiors. The ideal for many Slovaks vas to become part of Hungarian society through assimilation, as did Father John Csernoch, who became Archbishop of Esztergom and Prince Primate of Hungary on the eve of World War I. The last king of Hungary was crowned by Cardinal Csernoch in December, 1916. Despite the autonomy given them by the Compromise of 1868, the Croats had become strongly nationalistic, especially in political and intellectual circles. Since 1873, a movement to unite all the southern Slavs of the Dual Monarchy had been growing, and was given new impetus during the term of Ban Khun-Hedervary (1883-1893), whose mishandling of Croatian nationalists by supporting the Serbian minority against them only increased their fervor. The most outspoken proponents of this new Illyrism, as Croatian nationalism was termed, were Bishop Joseph Strossmayer and the historian Frano Ratzki. Another nationalistic movement, the Party of the Rights also appeared, led by Eugene Kvaternik. All agreed that Croatia should be a sovereign state, but within the Habsburg monarchy. The

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Croatian nationalists also agreed that Croatia should join forces with the Slovenes, as the two shared the bond of a common religion. They disagreed, however, over uniting with the Serbs, due to the issue of the Serb's Eastern Orthodox faith. On this, no agreement was reached. At the Congress of Fiume in 1905, however, the partisans of Yugoslavism prevailed. It was not to Belgrade that they turned, but to Vienna and the heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand.



In 1914, no established group in Austria-Hungary thought seriously about destroying the Empire from the inside; the protesters only wanted to transform and modernize the system. They were aware of the advantages that a viable and coherent Habsburg Empire could offer its inhabitants. No one questioned the legitimacy of the dynasty represented by the strong yet aging Franz Joseph, even though Czech intellectuals such as Thomas Masaryk and Eduard Benes would have preferred a presidential system similar to the American one. The great majority of the people were sincerely attached to the imperial and royal family.

What the political leaders of the minority nationalities desired was a federalism evolving from dualism, toward first a tripartite and then a quadripartite system. They were opposed by others with a vested interest in the status quo. Even the socialists held similar views: Karl Renner, later to be president of the Republic of Austria, was quoted as saying "existing nations are forced to lead a common existence." For him, the transformation of the Empire was still the preferred solution.

A whole series of projects to reform the Empire were worked out in the years immediately before the war. In 1906, Aurel Popovici, a Transylvanian Rumanian, published The United States of Greater Austria, in which he advocated subdividing the Empire into autonomous provinces according to nationalities. Archduke Franz Ferdinand made no secret of his intent to transform the Empire when he succeeded his uncle. He intended first to restore the Kingdom of Bohemia, and then to coalesce the southern Slavs into an Illyrian state. In Belvedere Palace, his Viennese residence, the prince received numerous representatives of the various nationalities. His visitors included Charles Kramarj, head of the Young Czechs, the Slovak Milan Hodza, the Rumanians Jules Maniu and Aurel Popovici, the Croatian Frank, and also representatives of Austrian and Hungarian Social-Christian parties. The prince was trying to strengthen the ideological and spiritual ties that could unite the various peoples. In his opinion, social Christianism could provide a vehicle for rapprochement of the various ethnic groups, while for

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Karl Renner, only an Austro-Marxism was capable of settling the question of nationalities properly -- on the basis of class-consciousness. The archduke was particularly unhappy with German nationalists and the Magyars of the Independence party, whose excessive nationalism threatened stability and reform. Franz Ferdinand wished to ensure all the peoples of the Empire the freedom to expand culturally in a more equitable society, organized along the principles of social Christianism and within the framework of a decentralized state. To achieve these objectives, he opted for a policy of peace, which led to occasional clashes with the chief of the general staff, Konrad von Hotzendorf. The prince knew that without a lengthy period of peace, the Empire could not be transformed or even maintained, particularly in the face of the combined covetous designs of Germany and Russia. It is not difficult to see why Franz Ferdinand had become the man to eliminate in 1914.

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