Croatian Royal Council, Dual Monarchy, Empress Maria Theresa, Illyrian Movement, Pragmatic Sanction, Queen of Croatia, War of the Austrian Succession, Zagreb
The Ottoman wars drove demographic changes. During the 16th century, Croats from western and northern Bosnia, Lika, Krbava, the area between the rivers of Una and Kupa, and especially from western Slavonia, migrated towards Austria. Present-day Burgenland Croats are direct descendants of these settlers. To replace the fleeing population, the Habsburgs encouraged Bosnians to provide military service in the Military Frontier.
The Croatian Parliament supported King Charles III’s (Emperor Charles VI) Pragmatic Sanction and signed their own Pragmatic Sanction in 1712. Subsequently, the Emperor pledged to respect all privileges and political rights of the Kingdom of Croatia, and Queen Maria Theresa made significant contributions to Croatian affairs, such as introducing compulsory education. Croatia also supported Maria Theresa during the War of the Austrian Succession 1740-48.
In 1767 Queen Maria Theresa founded the Croatian Royal Council as the royal government of Croatia and Slavonia, with seat in Varaždin, later in Zagreb, presided by the ban, but it was abolished in 1779 when Croatia was relegated to just one seat in the governing council of Hungary held by the ban of Croatia. The Empress Maria Theresa, as Queen of Croatia, also gave the independent port of Rijeka to Croatia in 1776. However, she also ignored the Croatian Parliament.
Empress Maria Theresa, Queen of Croatia
With the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, its possessions in eastern Adriatic mostly came under the authority of France which passed its rights to Austria the same year. Eight years later they were restored to France as the Illyrian Provinces, but won back to the Austrian crown by 1815.
In the 19th century Croatian romantic nationalism emerged to counteract the non-violent but apparent Germanization and Magyarization of Croatia. The Croatian national revival began in the 1830s with the Illyrian movement. The movement attracted a number of influential figures and produced some important advances in the Croatian language and culture. The champion of the Illyrian movement was Ljudevit Gaj who also reformed and standardized Croatian culture. The official language in Croatia was Latin until 1847 when it became Croatian.
By the 1840s, the movement had moved from cultural goals to resisting Hungarian political demands. By the royal order of January 11, 1843, originating from the chancellor Metternich, the use of the Illyrian name and insignia in public was forbidden. This deterred the movement’s progress but it couldn’t stop the changes in the society that had already started.
Springtime of Nations – 1848
In the revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire, the Croatian Ban (Governor) Jelačić cooperated with the Austrians in quenching the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 by leading a military campaign into Hungary, successful until the Battle of Pákozd.
From 1848 to 1850 Croatia was governed by the Ban’s Council appointed by the Ban and the Parliament or the Croatian-Slavonian Diet (Croatian: Sabor) in 1848 first Diet with the elected representatives was summoned.
In 1850 the Ban’s Council was transformed into Ban’s Government which, after the introduction of the absolutism (December 31, 1851), Croatia was under the direct control of the Austrian Imperial Government in Vienna.
Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, King of Croatia-Slavonia
Dual Monarchy Period
Despite Croatian contribution during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Croatia was later subject to Baron Alexander von Bach’s absolutism as well as the Hungarian hegemony under ban Levin Rauch when the Empire was transformed into a dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867.
The loss of Croatian domestic autonomy was rectified a year after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, when in 1868 the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement was negotiated, which combined Croatia and Slavonia into the autonomous Kingdom of Croatia–Slavonia.
On Monday I will discuss the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.