Croatia 1526-1660 1813-1849

Croatia 1660-1789

In 1669 the Jesuit gymnasium at Zagreb was elevated into a university; Zagreb grew into the administrative center of Habsburg Croatia. In 1700 the seminary for theologian and philosophical studies at Lepogorje Monastery (Paulinian) was elevated to the rank of a monastic university. The Paulinian educational institutions, at a lower level operating in Croatia since 1503, stressed education in both Latin and the vernacular (Kajkav Croatian).
In 1671 a conspiracy of Hungarian and Croatian noblemen against Habsburg rule was uncovered; Croatian Ban PETER ZRINSKI, dissatisfied with the outcome of the Habsburg-Ottoman War of 1663-1664 first offered the Hungaro-Croatian crown to King Louis XIV of France, and after Louis rejected, to Poland and finally to the Ottoman Sultan. The conspiracy was uncovered, Zrinski and his fellow conspirators executed. Thus, the Croatian magnate families - the Zrinski and Frankopan families - were broken.
In 1683 the Ottoman Turks laid siege to Vienna a second time, and again without success. The siege was broken in the BATTLE OF KAHLENBERG, and subsequently the Habsburg army lead by Prince Eugene of Savoy, expelled the Turks from Hungary. In the TREATY OF KARLOWITZ 1699 Hungary with Transylvania and Slavonia became part of the Habsburg Empire.
In 1700, just one year after the Treaty of Karlowitz, Pavao Vitezovic, in Croatia Rediviva proposed the various parts of Croatia - Habsburg Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia - to be unified. In another Habsburg-Ottoman War 1716-1718 minor territorial gains were made, while the Habsburg-Ottoman War 1737-1739 resulted in Habsburg cessions to the Ottoman Empire, with little impact on Croatia.
The Adriatic trade was opened in 1717 (until then it was dominated by Venice); Triest and Fiume-Rijeka were declared free ports (the ports of Dalmatia were located on Venetian territory; the Viennese administration wanted to develop ports of their own), and a road was constructed connecting Rijeka and Karlovac, opened in 1726.
While Slavonia was secured, much of it was included in the Militärgrenze, now extended along the new frontier along the Sava and the Carpathian mountains. Settlement in the newly acquired, depopulated and therefore vulnerable regions of Hungary and Slavonia was encouraged, resulting in a colourful ethnic patchwork as the settlers came from all over, in Eastern Slavonia many of them being Serbs, granted freedom of religion. The population of the military frontier provided many soldiers for the Austrian Army, and an experimental ground for the Viennese administration - here the Habsburgs ruled absolute, were not limited by regional estates defending their privileges. In 1755 parts of Slavonia saw a peasants rebellion.

With the Treaty of Karlowitz 1699, the Ottoman Empire ceded Slavonia to Austria; the Muslims of Slavonia - at that time an estimated half of the entire population - chose emigration into what remaind of the Ottoman Empire. The population of Osijek, the most important city, fell from c.15,000 to less than 3,000. Many villages lay deserted; the Habsburg administration attempted to attract settlers. Most of the early incoming settlers were Croatians and Serbs, the latter called Wallachs or Raitzen in the sources. Osijek (in German : Esseg) functioned as the administrative center of Slavonia. In 1690 her status as a city was recognized; at tht time Grman was the language of administration.
The areas of Slavonia under civilian administration in 1745 were placed under Ban and Sabor of Habsburg Croatia; the Sabor of 1751 decided that Slavonia also would send representatives to the Hungarian diet, Slavonia thus forming part of both Croatia and Hungary. In 1776, Fiume and the littoral confiscated from the Zrinski and Frankopan families were integrated into the Kingdom of Croatia; in 1779 Fiume was made an autonomous city directly placed under the Hungarian crown. In 1767 Maria Theresia set up a Royal Council for Croatia, at Varasdin; in 1776 its seat was moved to Zagreb; in 1779 it was abolished, her functions transferred to the Hungarian Council of Regents.
The economic policies pursued by the Viennese administration under Maria Theresia (1740-1780) and Joseph II. (1780-1790) had less of an impact on Croatia-Slavonia, because of their location on the fringe of the Habsburg possessions. The fact that Croatia-Slavonia was split in areas under civilian and areas under military administration provided another obstacle. The many new regulations passed by the Viennese administration frequently caused unrest. In 1715 the custons border separating Habsburg Croatia from Habsburg Inner Austria was lifted; in 1719 Fiume was declared a free port. Beginning in 1732, the river Sava as regulated, in order to facilitate river navigation. A road was constructed to connect Fiume with the Croatian and Hungarian interior, the Karolina (1726). The fortress city of Karlstadt developed into an important junction, attracted business and settlers.
Ethnic Germans immigrated into the cities of Croatia; German language gained in importance, in education as well as in the administration. In 1773 the Jesuit order was suppressed, her property and revenue transferred to a school endowment. Elementary as well as secondary schooling was improved. In 1781 Joseph II. decreed the Patent of Religious Toleration which permitted both protestants and Jews to permanently settle in Croatia, applied since 1783; it also permitted for the establishment of Orthodox communities in Croatia-Slavonia under civil administration. The dissolution of convents and confiscation/rededication of their property began in Croatia in 1782.
Serfdom was abolished in 1785.
In 1783 Joseph II. decreed that Germans and other non-Croatians were to be admitted to public office (thus abolishing the indigenate). An administrative reform implemented in 1785 abolished Croatia-Slavonia as a territorial unit, replacing it by the districts of Pecs (Fünfkirchen, located in modern Hungary) and Zagreb (Agram). In 1784 Joseph II. decreed German to be introduced as the official language of administration, jurisdiction and education in 1786; judges, administrative officials etc. given a period of 3 years to learn the new language (German replaced Latin). This reform served to create national Croatian consciousness; the reform was rejected outside the German-speaking community. In 1789 Croatia-Slavonia and her Sabor were reestablished, most of the unpopular Josephinian reforms cancelled.

Croatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1914 edition, from Discover Croatia, from , from
Dalmatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914 edition
Yugoslavia, from Library of Congress, Country Studies
Croatian Humanists, Latinists, and Encyclopaedists, by Darko Zubrinic
The Croats under the Habsburgs, by Vicko Rendic
DOCUMENTS While Goldstein mentions Academies at Zagreb, the Scholarly Societies Project does not list any Croatian ones for the 17th and 18th centuries
Articles Croatien, Sclavonien, (1732), posted by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, in German, 18th century font
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Ivo Goldstein, Croatia - a History, (1999) McGill-Queen's UP 2001
Arnold Suppan, Zwischen Adria und Karawanken, Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas (Between Adria and Karawanken Mts., German History in Euope's East), Berlin : Siedler 1998, in German
Günter Schödl, Land an der Donau, Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas (Land on the Danube., German History in Euope's East), Berlin : Siedler 1995, in German

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First posted in 2000, last revised on November 7th 2004

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