Bukovina 1815-1849

Bukovina 1775-1815

In 1774, Austrian forces from GALICIA crossed into MOLDAVIA, at that time an OTTOMAN vassal, and occupied the Bukovina. In the TREATY OF CONSTANTINOPLE (1775), the Sublime Porte ceded the territory to Austria. The Bukovina first was placed under military administration.
A first census held in 1778 counted a population of about 100,000 - in an area of over 10,000 square km. The village of CZERNOVITZ (modern spelling, in transcribed Ukrainian, Chernovtsi), of little more than 2000 inhabitants, was selected to become the administrative center. In 1786 the military administration was terminated, the Bukovina administratively placed under GALICIA (seat in Lemberg / Lviv).
The Austrian administration pursued a policy of repopulating the wide wastelands. Immigration was encouraged; Joseph II.'s various patents granting religious toleration, in this aspect, attracted also non-Catholic settlers. The Northern Bukovina got a Ruthenian (Ukrainian) population majority, the southern Bukovina a Moldavian (Romanian) population. Significant numbers of German settlers, both Catholics and Protestants, came into the country; in the late 19th century Germans would form about 8 % of the population. The towns of the Bukovina, most of all Czernovitz, also became home to significant Jewish communities. The administration would continue to encourage immigration up to World War I.
While many of the immigrants were farmers, some of the German immigrants were miners; a mining industry emerged on the slopes of the Carpathian mountains. The Austrian administration, with regard to the Bukovina, also pursued a Mercantilist / Cameralist policy, which aimed at raising state revenue by the way of encouraging new trades to emerge in the territory. The language of administration, education and jurisdiction was German.

At the time of the Austrian acquisition, the population of the Bukovina was largely illiterate; even many of the (impoverished) nobles were; the large majority of the population, by status, were serfs. Boyar BASILIUS VON BALSCH was Austria's confidant in the early years of the Austrian administration of the Bukovina. In 1792 he was appointed Captain of the Bukovina (administrator). He attempted to alleviate the peasants' burden, interfered in the Greek Orthodox church organization; these policies alienated both indigenous nobility and clergy and even caused some to emigrate.
The Romanian population resented the attachment of the Bukovina to Galicia.
In 1774, the Bukovina had very few schools, no organized school system. The Austrian Military Administrations laid the foundations to such a school system, including elementary and secondary schools; the language of instruction in these schools was German, but lessons in Moldavian language were given. In the early days, few Romanians attended these schools.
A seminary for teachers was established at Czernowitz; here Moldavian Bukovinians were trained. The graduates then were employed at Trivial Schools established all over the country, where the language of instruction was Romanian.

In 1774, the Bukovina's cities were poorly developed. The Austrian administration encouraged immigration of craftsmen; in Czernowitz, guilds were organized in 1804. Among others, many Jews took advantage of the immigration policy.
In 1814, the first Romanian-language calendar was printed in the Czernowitz.

The Napoleonic wars had limited impact on the Bukovina; the VIENNA CONGRESS reaffirmed Austrian rule over the area.

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Bucovina, from the Jewish Web Index
Bukovina Info, a number of articles in German, on historical topics; many philatelic
History of the Bukovina, from 4th Moon
Bukovina Chronology in the Context of European History, by Sophie A. Welisch
History of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), from komkon.org
Article Bukovina, from Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 edition
Biography of Johann Amadeus Franz de Paula Thugut, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition; Austrian 1775 emissary to Constantinople
DOCUMENTS Coat of Arms, from International Civic Heraldry
World Rulers : Bukovina, by B. Cahoon
REFERENCE Erich Prokopowitsch, Die Rumänische Nationalbewegung in der Bukowina und der Dako-Romanismus (The Romanian National Movement in the Bukowina and Daco-Romanism), Köln : Böhlau 1965, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 19th 2002, last revised on November 8th 2004

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