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But for the backbone of the nation, the middle and smaller nobles, the times were ruinous. The compensation paid to the former landlords (certain aulic favourites excepted) was not only niggardly, but paid only after long delays. Money cost 30-40 per cent. Some 20,000 foreclosures were made in under twenty years. A large part of this class fell into destitution. Such wealth as the country now produced flowed largely into the coffers of the Viennese holding banks. General taxation was crushingly heavy; the yield of direct taxation before 1848 had been 4,280,000 florins, and of indirect, 5,300,000; the corresponding figures in 1857 were 41,500,000 and 65,600,000.

These burdens weighed as heavily on the nominal beneficiaries of the regime as on its avowed victims, and so, for that matter, did the Germanisation and the centralised bureaucracy. 'What you are getting as punishment,' a Croat once remarked to a Magyar, 'we are getting as reward.'

Thus almost every class and every nationality in Hungary was soon chafing against the absolutist regime, but until its grip relaxed, they did no more than chafe. The exiled Kossuth sought tirelessly for an international situation which should give Hungary back the full independence which she had bestowed on herself in 1849, but although some foreign Powers were willing to use Hungary as a tool, none was prepared to risk a new policy of adventure, and, no less important, it had been by no means all the nation that had wanted full separation in 1849, or wanted it now. At least as numerous were those who desired an accommodation with the Crown, provided that it did justice to Hungary's historic rights and her needs.

As time went on, the adherents of the latter view gradually fell into line behind Deák, who now emerged from the retirement into which he had withdrawn early in 1849. Deák had disapproved of the dethronement of the Habsburgs, in which he had had no hand, and believed in the necessity of agreement with Austria. He maintained with complete firmness that the April Laws were legally

valid, and that any subsequent modification of the situation created by them, unless made by agreement with Hungary's lawful parliament, was legally null and void, and unacceptable. But he recognised that the laws regulating Hungary's relationship with the rest of the Monarchy were in truth imperfect, and agreed that a modification of them by consent would be acceptable.

An important point in Deák's thesis was that while recognising no negotiating partner save Hungary's own crowned king, he was prepared that the agreement when negotiated should contain provision for consultation with the constitutional representatives of Austria; he even thought such provision essential, for, like Kossuth, he was convinced that constitutionalism in Hungary would not be safe if the monarch was absolute elsewhere. An unacknowledged corollary was that Hungary, while legally uninterested, was in reality vitally concerned with what form the Austrian constitutional settlement took: it was very important for her that it should be one which rested on factors whose interests coincided with her own.

In return for an acceptable settlement, Deák offered Hungary's loyalty; so long as it was refused, he advised the nation to practise passive resistance to all illegal demands made by the regime and its agents.

The possibility of an accommodation became real after Austria's defeat at Solferino in 1859 had convinced Francis Joseph that the centralist forces in the Monarchy were not strong enough to hold down simultaneously all the elements of national and social opposition. It was, however, Only slowly that he came to recognise the inevitability of making concessions precisely towards Hungary, the bete noire of Austrian absolutism and centralism. He began by inviting notables from his various dominions to form a 'Reinforced Imperial Council', but the Hungarians who accepted the invitation, although all belonging to the extreme aulic aristocracy, yet combined with their Bohemian colleagues to insist on the restoration of the `historic constitutions'. The 'October Diploma' of 1861 in fact reinstated these on paper, but half-heartedly, for while restoring the chancellery and the Consilium, it still provided for a strong central executive and a Reichsrat with competence extending to all questions affecting the Monarchy as a whole. Hungary's separate status was recognised only in a provision that questions relating only to the western half of the Monarchy were to come before a 'Restricted Reichsrat', to which the Hungarian Diet might be regarded as a partner. Then, four months later, came the 'February Patent' of 1861, nominally an elucidation of the Diploma, and this in fact carried the centralisation a long step further. The competences of the local legislatures were severely reduced, while the Reichsrat blossomed into a genuine central bi-cameral legislature, to which Hungary was required to send its representatives, to meet on an equal footing those of the other Lands. Hungary would thus have been degraded to the position of one Land among the others, and, to add to the grievance of principle, placed in a permanent minority, being allotted only 85 seats out of the 343 in the Reichsrat. Further, although the Voivody, which had satisfied no one, had been dissolved under the Diploma, Transylvania and Croatia continued to figure as separate Lands, and the Military Frontier was maintained.

Elections (on the 1848 franchise) were held, but the Diet which then met flatly refused, under Deák's guidance, to recognise the legality of the Diploma or the Patent; the only difference between its members related to the form in which the refusal should be expressed. Francis Joseph replied by dissolving, first the Diet, then the county congregations, and reinstating a new Provisorium, chiefly military in character. Deák, however, stuck to his point with quiet persistence, and by this time Hungary was not alone. Every political factor in the Monarchy was in arms against absolutism, and while the aims of most of these were mutually incompatible, Hungary found a valuable ally in the German 'Constitutional Party' in Austria (very powerful because of its connections with Viennese finance), as which saw in the realisation of the Hungarian wishes the best guarantee against the Slavs gaining the overweight in Austria.

In 1865 Francis Joseph abolished the Provisorium and suspended the February Patent. In December the Diet was re-convoked, and in January 1866 the reunion of Transylvania with Hungary was in effect sanctioned by an order permitting the Transylvanian Diet to attend that of Pest. Negotiations for a settlement now opened seriously. They were interrupted by the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian war, whose disastrous course for Austria put the Crown in a position in which it could not easily have refused much more extravagant demands - for which, indeed, the more extreme Hungarian nationalists pressed. Deák, however, as he had not abated his terms when Hungary was weak, refused to raise them in her hour of advantage. Agreement was reached at the beginning of 1867. Hungary recovered her integrity and her complete independence in internal affairs. Foreign affairs and defence were designated as questions common to Austria and Hungary, each being placed under a `common' minister; the unitary nature of the defence services was further safeguarded by a stipulation that 'all questions relating to the unitary command, control and internal organisation of the whole army, and consequently also of the Hungarian army, as a constituent part of the whole army, are recognised as falling within the competence of His Majesty'. A third 'common' minister was in charge of the finance for these two portfolios. The problems relating to these portfolios were discussed by delegations from the two parliaments. The proportion of the common expenditure to be born by the two halves of the Monarchy was initially fixed at 70-30, but was to be re-discussed, by the Delegations, every ten years, as were questions relating to commercial and tariff agreements; for a start, the whole Monarchy formed a single customs unit.

On 17 February, after this had been agreed, a responsible Hungarian ministry was formed under Count Gyula Andrássy, who had been Deák's principal assistant in the negotiations. On 29 March parliament accepted the 'Compromise', and on 8 June Francis Joseph was crowned and gave royal assent to the laws. The Crown had throughout made its consent to its concessions to the Hungarians conditional on their reaching agreement with Croatia and enacting legislation to safeguard in Hungary the principle of national equality which had been cardinal in Austria since 1848. Negotiations on both points had been proceeding, and on the former a committee appointed by the 1861 Diet had produced a remarkable interim report. Now the discussions were resumed, and laws on both subjects were sanctioned in 1868. Under the Hungaro-Croat Compromise (Nagodba), the Croats were forced to renounce the hope of making theirs a wholly distinct polity within the Monarchy: it remained linked with Hungary, and although the wording carefully described it as the theoretical equal of Hungary proper, the Ban of Croatia was nominated by the Hungarian Minister President. Its territorial claims were, on the whole, generously treated: it received the Slavonian Counties and, in theory, also Dalmatia, although not Fiume or the Muraköz. It was represented on the Delegations when Austro-Hungarian 'common' affairs were discussed. Questions left to Hungary as interna under the main Compromise were divided again into Hungaro-Croat 'common' affairs and Croat interna; the chief of the former were coinage and currency, commercial policy, and communications, while all cultural affairs and local administration and justice were Croat interna. Croatia sent representatives to the Hungarian Diet for the discussion on 'common' affairs; they were allowed to speak in Croat. Other affairs were dealt with in the Croat Sabor. The official language for Croat interna was Croat. Croatia's contribution to the common expenditure was fixed at a figure which made full allowance for its low taxable capacity.

The Nationalities Law began with a remarkable preamble which stated that all citizens of Hungary formed, politically, a single nation, the indivisible, unitary Hungarian nation, and that their equality of rights could be qualified only in respect of the official usage of the various languages and that only so far as necessitated by the unity of the country, the demands of administration and the prompt execution of justice. To meet these requirements, the language of parliament, administration, and the courts, and of the university, was Magyar, but non-Magyar languages were offered ample scope in the administration and justice, from the county level down. The lowest level officials were bound to use the language of the members of the public with whom they were dealing. In principle, every schoolchild was to receive instruction in his own mother-tongue up to the point where higher academic instruction began. The churches had the right to prescribe the language of instruction in the schools controlled by them. The free use of any language in private life was guaranteed.

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