Dalmatia 1805-1809 Ragusa 1660-1808 Croatia 1660-1789 Slovenia 1616-1790

The Illyrian Provinces, 1809-1813

The expression "Illyrian" as pertaining to a modern people, was first used by the Austrian administration in 1690, and applied for the Serbs settling in the military frontier area.
In 1809, after a brief war with France, Austria ceded Carinthia, Carniola, Croatia west of the Sava River, Gorizia, Trieste to France. These territories were amalgamated into the Illyrian Provinces (technically part of France), the capital of which was established at Lubiana (Laibach, Ljubljana, modern Slovenia). The hitherto Italian province of Dalmatia, with Ragusa (annexed 1808) was annexed into the Illyrian Provinces.

Among the impacts of French administration, headed by a GOVERNOR-GENERAL, were the introduction of the CODE CIVILE, a specific change to Western Croatia, which hitherto had been under Austrian Military Administration. In 1811 Illyria saw an administrative reorganization, the seat of the Governor General was Laibach (Ljubljana); the country was divided in 4 intendancies (Laybach, Carlstadt, Trieste, Zara) and 10 sub-intendancies; the number of intendancies was later that year extended to eight (Villach, Gorice, Fiume, Raguse elevated). Chambers of Commerce were established at Trieste and Ragusa. The ecclesiastical administration was reorganized in accordance with the actual political borders; two archdioceses were established with seat at Laybach and Zara, with suffragan dioceses at Gorice, Capo d'Istria, Segna, Spalato and Raguse (1811). The population (1811) was given at 460,116 for the intendancy of Laybach, 381,000 for the intendancy of Carlstadt, 357,857 for the intendancy of Triest and 305,285 for the intendancy of Zara, in total 1.504.258 for all of Illyria.
In 1810 a special French-language school was established at Carlstadt, the headquarters of the Croatian military. There were 25 gymnasia (i.e. high schools) in the Illyrian provinces. A French decree emancipated the Jews; in effect the decree abolished a Habsburg regulation which had forbidden Jews to settle within Carniola. Proclamations were published in French, German and 'Slavonian'; this elevation of a Slavic language to an official language had a great impact on the development of the modern Slovenian language.

Since the Treaty of Tilsit (July 1807), the British Navy imposed a blockade of the Adriatic Sea, bringing merchant shipping to a standstill, a measure most seriously affecting the economy of the Dalmatian port cities. A Franco-Italian attempt to seize the British-held Dalmatian island of Lissa failed Oct. 22nd 1810.

In August 1813, Austria declared war on France; Austrian troops invaded the Illyrian provinces (Gen. Tomassich); Croat troops enrolled in the French army switched sides; Zara surrendered to Austrian forces after a 34 day siege Dec. 6th 1813. At Ragusa an insurrection expelled the French and a provisorical Ragusan administration was established (hoping for the restoration of the Republic); it was occupied by Austrian troops Sept. 20th 1813. The Vienna Congress confirmed Austria in the possession of the former Illyrian Provinces. In 1816 they were reconstituted as a KINGDOM OF ILLYRIA (without Dalmatia) which was formally abolished only in 1849. Already in 1822, the civil asministration of the Croatian districts were placed under Hungarian administration.
Cattaro and environs werre occupied in 1813 by Montenegrin forces; only the appearance of an Austrian force in 1814 caused the Prince of Montenegro to turn over the territory to Austrian administration (June 11th). The British withdrew from the occupied Dalmatian islands in July 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo.

Dalmatia 1815-1848 Croatia 1813-1849 Slovenia 1815-1918

Article Illyria, from Catholic Encyclopedia
The Era of Bourgeois Revolutions, from Istra - History
DOCUMENTS Medal : Conquest of Dalmatia (1807), from Napoleonic Medals : 1st Austrian Campaign by Fortiter; scroll down
Medal : Conquest of Illyria (1809), from Napoleonic Medals : 2nd Austrian Campaign by Fortiter; scroll down
napoleonica.org has an extensive collection of online documents, 84 of them on Illyria. Click 'recherche', type 'illyrie'. most importantly Feb. 1st 1811 : Projet de Decret sur l"organisation de l'Illyrie (Project of a Decree on the Organization of Illyria), Nov. 16th 1809 : Projet relatif au Gouvernement des Provinces d'Illyrie (Project concerning the Government of the Illyrian Provinces). In French
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Giuseppe Praga, History of Dalmatia, Pisa : Giardini 1993
Nicolai Velimirovic, Französisch-Slavische Kämpfe in der Bocca di Cattaro 1806-1814 (1910), posted by Gutenberg Library Online, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 17th 2007

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