1526-1660 1797-1805

Dalmatia 1660-1797

Late in the Fifth Venetian-Ottoman War (1645-1669), the war in Dalmatia was fought on a low scale. Venice kept only a small force of mercenary soldiers in the country, c. 3,600 men (to which the local force, consisting of Morlachs, has to be added). In the Treaty of Candia Sept. 6th 1669, Venice formally ceded the island of Crete to the Ottoman Empire, and held on to the fortress of Clissa (Klis), but returned most of her other conquests in Dalmatia.
Venetian Dalmatia now had a population of 48,000. Further groups of Morlachs and refugees from Macarsca entered Venetian Dalmatia; some were permitted to settle, others settled in Venetian Istria.
In 1683 a large Ottoman army was defeated by an Imperial-Polish force, outside Vienna. In 1684 Venice entered into an alliance with the Emperor and Poland, against the Ottoman Empire ( Sixth Venetian-Ottoman War, 1684-1699). The population of areas adjacent to Venetian Dalmatia, mainly christian Morlachs, rose in rebellion and expelled their Turkish masters, then requesting to be allowed to enter into Venetian service. They were organized and conducted raids into Ottoman territory. A Venetian army conquered the Morea (Peloponnese) and central mainland Greece. In Dalmatia, the fortress of Sign was conquered in 1686, By 1688, Dalmatia was cleared of Ottoman forces. Ragusa, which pursued a policy of neutrality benevolent to the Ottoman Empire, faced a Venetian blockade lasting for two years; so the Ottoman forces were deprived of a vital supply base.
In the Treaty of Carlowitz 1699 Venice gained the Morea and the Dalmatian hinterland. On 1714 the Ottoman Empire began the Seventh Venetian-Ottoman War (1714-1718); Ottoman forces retook the Morea. In Dalmatia, however, the Venetians took the offensive. In 1716, Austria and the Papal State declared war on the Ottoman Empire; an Austrian force took Belgrade in 1717; Dalmatia became a side show in the war theatre. The Treaty of Passarowitz 1718 froze the military positions; the Morea remained Ottoman, but held on to her conquests in Dalmatia except for the hinterland of Ragusa. In the newly acquired territory, farmland was granted free of charge to settlers, with the right to pass it on to their heirs. These settlers to a considerable extent were Morlachs, people of Latin descent (relatives of the Moldavians and Walachians) who were Orthodox christians. The Venetian administration was sensitive to their religious identity and allowed these communities to be placed under the vicar of the Patriarch of Constantinople residing in Venice (1762). At his residence, scholars studied Slavo-Serbian studies.
In 1718, Dalmatia had a population of 108,090; in 1781 the census counted 263,674; in 1795 the number was 288,320. During the 18th century, measures of land reclamation (drainage of marshland) and the settlement of immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, the improvement of roads had facilitated such a development. The economic production of Dalmatia increased in almost every aspect, grain harvests, vine production, animal herds, salt production etc. New enterprises were begun - coal mining (1757), iron mining (1777); the administration undertook measures to protect the Dalmatian forests (1776). Institutions of higher education were established at Zara (1779) and Trau (1796).
The abdication of Venice's Grand Council in concordance with Napoleon's demand, the end of the Venetian Republic on May 12th 1797 came as a surprise to Dalmatia. Only on August 23rd, the Venetian flag was taken down in Dalmatia.

Chronology of Dubrovnik, by Josip Lucic
Split, History of, from dalmacija.net
History of Sitno, Dalmatia, from Sitno
Arbanasi History of Zadar, from Zadar History and Tourism
DOCUMENTS Article Dalmatien, from Zedlers Universallexikon (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
Giuseppe Praga, History of Dalmatia, Pisa : Giardini 1993

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

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