Croatia 1849-1867 1890-1918

Croatia 1867-1890

The AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN AUSGLEICH of 1867 recreated a strong autonomous administration in Budapest, dominated by Hungary's landowning nobility. A similar Hungaro-Croatian agreement, the NAGODBA, was signed in 1868. The Croatian Sabor maintained her responsibilities; however, formally Croatia formed a part of the Hungarian Kingdom; the Hungarian diet emphasized Croatia being a part of (Greater) Hungary and later used the opportunities provided by the peculiar constitution of Croatia to promote MAGYARIZATION.
Croatian nationalists felt betrayed by Vienna in a double sense - not only were they not rewarded for their loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty in 1848/49, when they helped suppress the Hungarian revolt, but now they were subjected to a Magyar administration in a way they had never been before in history, throughout 7 and a half centuries of dynastic union with Hungary. In addition, Dalmatia was treated as an annex to Austria. In 1871 EUGEN KVATERNIK lead a rebellion of Croat and Serbian peasants centered in Rakovica in the Croatian sector of the Militärgrenze; it was suppressed within a few days.
In the 1870es numerous reforms were implemented, in the field of elementary education (mandatory 4 years); education was placed under state supervision; remnants of feudalism were removed, hospitals built, the decimal system introduced (1874). This period of reforms mark the transition to a 'middle class society' (Goldstein p.86).
In 1878, Austro-Hungarian troops occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Sandjak of Novipazar. Western Herzegovina, with it's Catholic Croatian population majority, now also came under Habsburg rule. In 1881/1886 the MILITÄRGRENZE was dissolved, the Croatian sector reintegrated into Croatia.
Croatian nationalists and liberals strove for a Croatian Ausgleich which would restore Croatia's territorial union with Dalmatia and would grant them the political autonomy, save their cultural identity from the Magyar threat. However, the chances to achieve these seemed remote. A number of Croatian patriots saw the only hope of Croatian independence in a Croatian-Serb federation - YUGOSLAVISM.
The most eminent supporter of Yugoslavism was Bishop STROSSMAYER; he resisted Magyarization by promoting the establishment of Slavic (i.e. Croatian) literature and cultural institutions : the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences was established at Zagreb in 1867, the University of Zagreb in 1874 (both conceived as Yugoslav institutions).
But there were also extreme Croat nationalists which were anti-Serbian. The Serbian population element of Croatia considerably increased when the Militärgrenze was incorporated in 1881/1886, and in 1881 the extreme nationalists formed the STRANKA PRAVA (Party of the Right). From time to time, anti Serb riots broke out.
In organizations under Hungarian administration, for their branches within Croatia, in the 1880es Hungarian was introduced as the official language (state railroads, finance administration); after tumults broke out, the Hungarian Diet appointed a complacent nobleman, Count Khuen Hedervary, Ban of Croatia (1883).

Croatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1914 edition, from Discover Croatia, from , from, illustrated
Dalmatia, History of, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914 edition
Yugoslavia, from Library of Congress, Country Studies
DOCUMENTS Historical Maps of Croatia, from, bilingual
The Hungaro-Croatian Compromise of 1868 (the Nagodba), posted by Habsburg Net
Article Kroatien-Slawonien, P.1 (238), P.2 (239), P.3 (240), from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
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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