Croatia 1660-1789 1849-1867

Croatia 1815-1849

During the Napoleonic years, Dalmatia and western Croatia had been part of France's ILLYRIAN PROVINCES and seen many of the benefits of the French Revolution. Zagreb itself with eastern Croatia and Slavonia had remained under Austrian rule.
In 1813 the French were expelled and Habsburg rule restored. The Vienna Congress allocated previously Venetian Dalmatia, including Ragusa, to Austria.
As elsewhere in Europe, the French Revolution had awakened the spirit of nationalism and liberalism. Croat nationals demanded that Croatia-Slavonia (an annex to Hungary), Dalmatia and Istria would be joined (1825) to recreate the historical Kingdom of Croatia, a step the Austrian administration in Vienna was keen to avoid.
In 1825 the Diet of Hungary and Croatia was assembled after 13 years of absolute Habsburg rule; the Hungarian nobility (dominating the diet) demanded the introduction of Hungarian as language of education in all lands of the Hungarian crown - which included Croatia, a measure fiercely opposed by the Croatians.
In 1829 a group of intellectuals from various national background emphasized the common basis of the languages of the southern Slav peoples (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians), in the language of the time referred to as Illyrian. The most prominent figure was LJUDEVIT GAJ. Due to the historical development and complex geography, there were three regional, distinct dialects of the Croatian language alone. Gaj and his soulmates developed an orthography based on the Stokavski dialect, written in the Latin alphabet. While the concept of a standard language for all the south Slavs failed to gain the acceptance of the Serbs, Bulgarians and Macedonians, who stuck to the Cyrillic alphabet, and of the Slovenes, the 'Illyrian' grammar and orthography gained acceptance in Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and thus formed the foundation of modern Croatian.
The Hungarian diet questioned the existence of a separate Croat state, regarding it rather an annex to, part of, the Kingdom of Hungary. This position provoked publications emphasizing Croatian statehood (1830ff). A political ILLYRIAN MOVEMENT emerged in Croatia, which promoted the establishment of an Illyrian Kingdom within the Habsburg Monarchy, which would not only include Croatia-Slavonia and Slovenia, but also (still Ottoman) Bosnia (Draskovic 1832). The movement gained strong support in Croatia-Slavonia; opponents formed the Croatian-Hungarian Party (1841), proponents the Illyrian Party (1841). In 1843 the use of the word 'Illyrian' was banned by the Viennese administration; in the names of political and scientific organizations and publications it was replaced by 'Croatian'. When Croatian representatives in the Hungarian diet were barred from speaking in Latin (the diet had adopted Hungarian as the official language) they left the assembly in protest; the diet then decided on the introduction of Hungarian as the official language in Croatia.
The National (formerly Illyrian) Party won the elections of 1845; the Croatian Sabor decided to merge Croatia-Slavonia and Dalmatia (a decision which was not implemented), to separate the country from Hungary (not formally implemented), to elevate the Zagreb Academy to university, the Diocesis of Zagreb to Archdiocesis. In 1847 the Sabor decided to replace Latin as official language by Croatian.
In 1848 the Hungarians rose against Habsburg rule. Lead by LUDWIG KOSSUTH, they dreamt of the reestablishment of a strong Magyar Kingdom. The Croat Sabor answered by proclaiming Croatian independence from Hungary (which did not take effect); the Emperor responded by dismissing Ban JOSIP JELACIC, only to reappoint him soon afterwards. The position Ban and of a National Assembly (to be distinguished from the traditional, feudal Sabor; the National Assembly represented the Croatian middle class) then took was that they wished for a united Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia to remain loyal to the Habsburg dynasty and to stay within the Hungarian Kingdom, but with political and cultural autonomy. Demands further included a reformed Sabor, a modern cabinet, abolition of serfdom, universal suffrage, civil liberties. The National Assembly also adopted the Croatian flag. Ban Jelacic proclaimed the abolition of serfdom.
Jelacic enlisted Croatian troops which served alongside the Austrians when the Hungarian rising was suppressed in 1849.
During the war, Jelacic dealt with the opposition - the Croatian-Hungarian Party, which held the majority in a number of municipal councils, a.o. Zagreb.

In the 1830es, steamships plowed the Sava and Drava Rivers and the Adriatic Sea; the ports of Senj and Rijeka (Fiume) developed; the road network was improved, especially a road connecting Zadar (Zara) and Zagreb (Agram) constructed, improving communication with Dalmatia. The population of Croatia increased considerably in the early decades of the 19th century.

Croatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1914 edition, from Discover Croatia, from , from, illustrated
Dalmatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914 edition
Biography of Ban Josip Jelacic, from Encyclopedia of the 1848 Revolutions
Yugoslavia, from Library of Congress, Country Studies The Year 1848 in Croatia, from Croatian History Museum, (extensive text), short, illustrated text
Biedermeier in Croatia, by Vladimir Malecovicz
DOCUMENTS Croatia, Historical Flags, by Zeljko Heimer
J. Chr. Nelkenbrecher, Allgemeines Taschenbuch der Münz-, Maass- und Gewichtskunde für Banquiers und Kaufleute (General Manual on Coinage, Measurement and Weights, for Bankers and Merchants) Berlin 1832, in German, entries Fiume, posted by DTBSWS
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

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 7th 2004

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