Galicia 1867-1890 World War I
Congress Poland
Grand Duchy of Posen

Galicia 1890-1914

A.) Galicia's Position within the Double Monarchy

Since 1867 Galicia enjoyed a high degree of political autonomy within the Austrian half of the DOUBLE MONARCHY. In return, the Galician representatives in the Vienna REICHSRAT usually supported the government. Between 1895 and 1897, Polish nobleman CASIMIR FELIX COUNT VON BADENI, was prime minister of the Austrian half of Austria-Hungary.
The Austrian army modelled PRZEMYSL in Galicia into what was believed to be an impenetrable fortress.

B.) Domestic Policy

Because of the franchise which favoured the owners of large estates, the Galician diet, and consequently the Galicuan administration, was dominated by ethnic Poles. While Western Galicia was ancient Polish territory, in which ethnic Poles formed an overwhelming majority, the peasants of Eastern Galicia were mostly RUTHENIANS (today referred to as Ukrainians). The Polish administration attempted POLONIZATION, planned and partially forced assimilation of the Ukrainians into the Polish community.
The Galician diet, still organized in estates (clergy, high nobility, low nobility, third estate = city representatives) in an 1895 reform added a 5th estate in which peasants and workers were represented. Against the resistance of the Polish Reichsrat representatives, in 1907 the Austrian parliament introduced UNIVERSAL ADULT MANHOOD SUFFRAGE in Reichsrat elections; in Galicia, the arrangement of electoral districts secured ethnic Poles the clear majority of the seats, at the expense of the Ruthenians.

C.) The Emergence of Political Organizations

In 1892 a GALICIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC PARTY was established, lead by IGNACY DASCYNSKI.. In 1895 a POLISH PEOPLE'S PARTY (SL) was founded, which defended the interests of the farmers.
In 1897 the Galician Social-Democratic Party split; the Ukrainians formed a social-democratic party of their own. The ethnically Polish half merged with the social democrats of Russian Poland to form a nationwide Polisch Social-Democratic Party. The National Democratic Party, already a major (though still illegal) force in Russian Poland, in 1904 established a branch organization in Galicia.
In 1908-1911 military organizations, most notably the ZWC (Association for Active Struggle), emerged. In 1912 the political parties active in Galicia form a Preliminary Commission of the Federated Independence Parties; they evade conflict with the Austrian administration by refering to the aspired future independence of Russian-Poland.

C.) The Economy

As Galicia was less affected by the industrial revolution than other regions of Poland or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, overpopulation of the rural areas was a problem, emigration to the U.S. high.
The population of Cracow rose from 75,000 in 1890 to 91,000 in 1900 and 150,000 in 1910; the figures for Lvov (Lemberg, Lviv) were 128,000 in 1890, 160,000 in 1900, 206,000 in 1910.

D.) Intellectual Life

Russian PANSLAVIST AGITATION found little resonance among the ethnic Poles, a much better resonance, however, among the Ruthenians (Ukrainians) who were subject to a policy aiming at assimilating them into the Polish civilization.

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

Article Galicia, from Wikipedia
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 Glag of the Kgd. of Galicia and Lodomeria, from FOTW
Maps : Galicia 1882, from Blackie & Sons Atlas (Edinburgh, 1882), posted by FEEFHS
Jan Slomka: The Life of a Polish Peasant, c. 1900, from Modern History Sourcebook
List of Polish statesmen, from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
Catalog of Polish Banknotes : Austrian Poland
Article Galicia, from EB 1911
REFERENCE Enno Meyer, Grundzuege 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 May 8th 2006

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz