1846-1867 1890-1914
Congress Poland
Grand Duchy of Posen

Galicia 1867-1890

A.) Galicia's Position within the Double Monarchy

In the year of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise (1867), Galicia was granted a similarly far-reaching autonomy within the Austrian half of the Double Monarchy (1868). The Viennese administration was responsible for foreign policy and defense, all other areas were handled by the Galician diet and administration. In return, the Galician representatives in the Viennese Reichstag were loyal supporters of the government. Their number was increased by a franchise reform in 1871. Numerous Poles entered K.u.K. service and rose to high ranks.
In their granting autonomy to Galicia, the Viennese government may have drawn their conclusion of the uprising of 1863 in Russian Poland. In 1871 Vienna appointed a Minister for Galician Affairs.

B.) Domestic Policy

Because of the franchise that limited the voting right to property owners, ethnic Poles, many of them landowning nobles, dominated the Galician diet; the administration was distinctly Polish, although Poles formed the population majority only in the smaller western half, while the overwhelming peasants of Eastern Galicia was Ruthenian (Ukrainian). In 1890 the diet consisted of 3 archbishops, 2 bishops, the deans of two universities, 44 representatives of the owners of large estates, 20 representatives of cities and townships, 74 representatives of rural communities (Meyers).
In administration (1869), the justice system (1869) and in education (1867), Polish was declared official language. The universities of Lwow and Cracow were polonized (1870), a Polish Academy of Sciences established at Cracow (1872). The Polish administration of Galicia attempted to Polonize Eastern Galicia's Ruthenian (Ukrainian) population, which met resistance.

C.) The Emergence of Political Organizations

In 1877 Catholic priest Stefan Stojalowski founded the Farmers' Association.

D.) The Economy

Galicia remained a predominantly agricultural region. Galician mines produced salt and coal; in the 1880es petroleum production and refining grew in importance (near Kolomea, at Boryslaw in Eastern Galicia); between 1890 and 1910 Austrian Galicia was the world's third largest oil producer. At Biala, on the border to Silesia, textile industry developed.

E.) Demography

In 1880, Galicia had a population of 5,958,907 inhabitants, 51.5 % Poles, 42.9 % Ruthenians, 686,596 Jews (2/3 of the Jewish population of Austria-Hungary); by religion 2,714,977 Catholics, 2,510,408 Greek Catholics.(Meyers). The population of Cracow, 42,000 in 1860, rose to 50,000 in 1870, 68,000 in 1880, 75,000 in 1890; the figures for Lvov (Lemberg, Lviv) were 70,000 in 1860, 87,000 in 1870, 110,000 in 1880 and 128,000 in 1890. The combination of a high birth rate and a relatively slow process of industrialization resulted in rural overpopulation and poverty and in high emigration rates. Galicia suffered a Cholera epidemic in 1872-1873, a Diphteritis epidemic 1878-1879 (Meyers). Since 1882 Galicia saw the influx of Russian Jewish refugees; many of whom moved on to Vienna, Berlin, the U.S.

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A Brief History of Poland during the last 200 years, from genpoland , encyclopedic, many maps
The Awakening of the Polish Nation, 1870-1914, ch.11 from Henry Bogdan, From Warsaw to Sofia
Article Poland, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition
Halychina - Galicia, by Roman Zakhari (focussing on (Ruthenian) Eastern Galicia
Little Poland, Halicka Province, posted by Paul Havers, Polish Perspective
Review of A.F. Frank, Oil Empire. Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia, posted on H-net
History of the (Polish) Oil Industry, from PGNiG
Petroleum in Galicia, by V. Schatzker
DOCUMENTS Flag of the Kgd. of Galicia and Lodomeria, from FOTW
Maps : Galicia 1882, from Blackie & Sons Atlas (Edinburgh, 1882), posted by FEEFHS
List of Polish statesmen, from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
Article Galizien, from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
REFERENCE Enno Meyer, Grundzüge der Geschichte Polens (Main Features of Polish History), Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgemeinschaft 1977
A.J.P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918, Univ. of Chicago Press 1983
Manfred Hellmann, Daten der Polnischen Geschichte (Dates in Polish History), München : dtv 1985
Triloyalism and the National Revival : Austrian Poland, pp.8-26 in : R.F. Leslie (ed.), The History of Poland since 1863, Cambridge : UP (1980) 1989 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000. last revised on March 27th 2007

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