1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Croatia-Slavonia
CROATIA-SLAVONIA (Serbo-Croatian Hrvatska i Slavonija; Hung. Horvát-Szlavonország; Ger. Kroatien und Slawonien), a kingdom of the Hungarian monarchy; bounded on the N. by Carniola, Styria and Hungary proper; E. by Hungary and Servia; S. by Servia, Bosnia and Dalmatia; and W. by the Adriatic Sea, Istria and Carniola. Until 1881 Croatia, in the N.W. of this region, was divided from Slavonia, in the N.E., by a section of the Austrian Military Frontier. This section is now the county of Bjelovar, and forms part of the united kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. The river Kulpa, which bisects the county of Agram, is usually regarded as the north-eastern limit of the Balkan Peninsula; and thus the greater part of Croatia, lying south of this river, falls within the peninsular boundary, while the remainder, with all Slavonia, belongs to the continental mainland. According to the official survey of 1900, the total area of the country is 16,423 sq. m. The Croatian littoral extends for about 90 m. from Fiume to the Dalmatian frontier. A narrow strait, the Canale della Morlacca (or della Montagna), separates it from Veglia, Arbe, Pago and other Istrian or Dalmatian islands. The city and territories of Fiume, the sole important harbour on this coast, are included in Hungary proper, and controlled by the Budapest government. Westward from Warasdin, and along the borders of Styria, Carniola, Istria, Dalmatia and north-western Bosnia, the frontier is generally mountainous and follows an irregular course. The central and eastern region, situated between the Drave and Danube on the north, and the Save on the south, forms one long wedge, with its point at Semlin.
Physical Features.—Croatia-Slavonia is naturally divided into two great sections, the highlands of the west and the lowlands of the east.
The plateau of the Istrian Karst is prolonged in several of the bare and desolate mountain chains between the Save and the Adriatic, notably the Great and Little Kapella (or Kapela), which link together the Karst and the Dinaric Alps, culminating in Biela Lažica (5029 ft.); the Plješevica or Pliševica Planina (5410 ft.), overlooking the valley of the river Una; and the Velebit Planina, which follows the westward curve of the coast, and rises above the sea in an abrupt wall, unbroken by any considerable bay or inlet. As it skirts the Dalmatian border, this range attains its greatest altitude in the adjacent peaks of Sveto Brdo (5751 ft.), and Vakanski Vrh (5768 ft.). Large tracts of the Croatian highlands are well-nigh waterless, and it is only in the more sheltered hollows that sufficient soil collects for large trees to flourish. In northern Croatia and Slavonia the mountains are far more fertile, being often densely wooded with oaks, beeches and pines. They comprise the Uskoken Gebirge, or Uskoks Mountains, named after the piratical Uskoks (q.v.) of Zengg, who were deported hither after the fall of their stronghold in 1617; the Warasdin Mountains, with the peak of Ivansciča (3478 ft.); the Agram Mountains, culminating in Sljeme or Slema (3396 ft.), and including the beautiful stretches of Alpine pasture known as the Zagorje, or “land beyond the hills”; the Bilo Gebirge, or White Mountains, a low range of chalk, and, farther to the south, several groups of mountains, among which Psunj (3228 ft.), Papuk (3217 ft.) Crni Vrh (2833 ft.), and the Ravna Gora (2808 ft.) are the chief summits. All these ranges, except the Uskoken Gebirge, constitute the central watershed of the kingdom, between the Drave and Save. In the east Slavonian county of Syrmia the Fruška Gora or Vrdnik Mountains rise to a height of 1768 ft. along the southern bank of the Danube, their picturesque vineyards and pine or oak woods contrasting strongly with the plains that surround them.
The lowlands, in the valleys of the Drave, Danube, Save and Kulpa, belong partly to the great Hungarian Plains, or Alföld. Besides the sterile and monotonous steppes, valuable only as pasture, and so sparsely populated that it is possible to travel for many hours without encountering any sign of human life except a primitive artesian well or a shepherd’s hut, there are wide expanses of fen-country, regularly flooded in spring and autumn. The marshes which line the Save below Sissek are often impassable except at Brod and Mitrovica, and the river is constantly scooping out fresh channels in the soft soil, only to abandon each in turn. The total area liable to yearly inundation exceeds 200 sq. m. But along the Drave and Danube the plains are sometimes strikingly fertile, and yield an abundance of grain, fruit and wine.
The main rivers of Croatia-Slavonia, the Danube, Drave and Save, are fully described under separate headings. After reaching Croatian territory 13 m. N.W. of Warasdin, the Drave flows along the northern frontier for 155 m., receiving the Bednja and Karasnica on the right, and falling, near Esseg, into the Danube, which serves as the Hungaro-Slavonian boundary for an additional 116 m. The Save enters the country 16 m. W. of Agram, and, after winding for 106 m. S.E. to Jasenovac, constitutes the southern frontier for 253 m., and meets the Danube at Belgrade. It is joined by the Sotla, Krapina, Lonja, Ilova, Pakra and Oljana, which drain the central watershed; but its only large tributaries are the Una, a Bosnian stream, which springs in the Dinaric Alps, and skirts the Croatian border for 40 m. before entering the Save at Jasenovac; and the Kulpa, which follows a tortuous course of 60 m. from its headwaters north of Fiume, to its confluence with the Save at Sissek. The Mrežnica, Dobra, Glina and Korana are right-hand tributaries of the Kulpa. In the Croatian Karst the seven streams of the Lika unite and plunge into a rocky chasm near Gospić, and the few small brooks of this region usually vanish underground in a similar manner. Near Fiume, the Recina, Rjeka or Fiumara falls into the Adriatic after a brief course. There is no large lake in Croatia-Slavonia, but the upland pools and waterfalls of Plitvica, near Ogulin, are celebrated for their beauty. After a thaw or heavy rain, the subterranean rivers flood the mountain hollows of the Karst; and a lake thus formed by the river Gajka, near Otočac, has occasionally filled its basin to a depth of 160 ft.
Minerals.—The mineral resources of the kingdom, though capable of further development, are not rich. They are chiefly confined to the mountains, where iron, coal, copper, lead, zinc, silver and sulphur are mined in small quantities. Warm mineral springs rise at Krapina, at Toplice near Warasdin, at Stubica near Agram, and elsewhere.
Climate.—The climate of Croatia-Slavonia varies greatly in different regions. In the Karst it is liable to sudden and violent changes, and especially to the bora, a fierce N.N.E. wind, which renders navigation perilous among the islands off the coast, and, in winter, blocks the roads and railway-cuttings with deep snowdrifts. The sheltered bays near Fiume enjoy an equable climate; but in all other districts the temperature in mid-winter falls regularly below zero, and the summer heats are excessive. Earthquakes are common among the mountains, and the eastern lowlands are exposed to the great winds and sandstorms which sweep down the Alföld. At Agram, during the years 1896–1900, the mean annual temperature was 52° F., with 34.6 in. of rain and snow; at Fiume, the figures for the same period were 57° and 71 in.
Agriculture.—The agricultural inquiry of 1895 showed that 94.5% of the country consisted of arable land, gardens, vineyards, meadows, pastures and forests; but much of this area must be set down as mountainous and swampy pasture of poor quality. The richest land occurs in the Zagorje and its neighbourhood, in the hills near Warasdin and in the northern half of Syrmia. The Karst and the fens are of least agricultural value. Indian corn heads the list of cereals, but wheat, oats, rye and barley are also cultivated, besides hemp, flax, tobacco and large quantities of potatoes. The extensive vineyards were much injured by phylloxera towards the close of the 19th century. The Slavonian plum orchards furnish dried prunes, besides a kind of brandy largely exported under the name of sliwowitz or shlivovitsa. Near Fiume the orange, lemon, pomegranate, fig and olive bear well; mulberries are planted on many estates for silkworms; and the heather-clad uplands of the central region favour the keeping of bees. Large herds of swine fatten in the oak and beech forests; and dairy-farming is a thriving industry in the highlands between Agram and Warasdin, where, during the last years of the 19th century, systematic attempts were made to replace the mountain pastures by clover and sown grass. The proportion of sheep to other live-stock is lower than in most of the South Slavonic lands, and the scarcity of goats is also noteworthy. Horsebreeding is a favourite pursuit in Slavonia; and between 1900 and 1902 many thousands of remounts were shipped to the British army in South Africa. The local administration endeavours to better the quality of live-stock by importing purer breeds, distributing prizes, and other measures; but the native farmers are slow to accept improvements.
Forests.—Forests, principally of oak, pine and beech, covered 3,734,000 acres in 1895, about one-fifth being state property. Especially valuable are the Croatian oak-forests, near Agram and Sissek. Timber is exported from Fiume and down the Danube.
Industries.—Apart from the distilleries and breweries scattered throughout the country, the rude flour-mills which lie moored in the rivers, and a few glass-works, saw-mills, silk-mills and tobacco factories, the chief industrial establishments of Croatia-Slavonia are at Agram, Fiume, Semlin, Buccari and Porto Ré. Only 8.3 of the population was, in 1900, engaged in industries other than farming, which occupied 85.2%. The exports mainly consist of foodstuffs, especially grain, of live-stock, especially pigs and horses, and of timber. The imports include textiles, iron, coal, wine and colonial products; with machinery and other finished articles. Goods in transit to and from Hungary figure largely in the official returns for Fiume and Semlin, which are the centres of the foreign trade. In 1900 Croatia-Slavonia possessed 253 banking establishments.
Communications.—The commerce of the country is furthered by upwards of 2000 m. of carriage-roads, the most remarkable of these being the Maria Louisa, which connects Karlstadt with Fiume, and the Josephina, which passes inland from Zengg. Many excellent highways were built for strategic purposes before the abolition of the Military Frontier in 1881. The railways, which are all owned and managed by the Hungarian state, intersect most parts of the country except the mountains south of Ogulin, where there is, nevertheless, a considerable traffic over the passes into Dalmatia and Bosnia. Agram is the principal railway centre, from which lines radiate S. W. to Fiume, W. into Austria, N.N.E. to Warasdin and into Hungary, and S.E. into Bosnia by way of Kostajnica. The main line eastward from Agram passes through Brod, where it meets the Bosnian system, and on to Belgrade; throwing out two branch lines to Brčka and Šamac in Bosnia, and several branches on the north, which traverse the central watershed, and cross the Hungarian frontier at Zákány, Barcs, Esseg, Erdar and Peterwardein. Above Agram the Save is used chiefly for floating rafts of timber; east of Sissek it is navigable by small steamboats, but, despite its great volume, the multitude of its perpetually shifting sandbanks interferes greatly with traffic. Steamers also ply on the Una, the Drave below Barcs, and the Danube. The marshes of Syrmia are partially drained by the so-called “Canal of Probus,” the one large artificial waterway in the country, said to have been cut by the Romans in the 3rd century.
Chief Towns.—The principal towns are Agram, the capital, with 61,002 inhabitants in 1900; Esseg, the capital of Slavonia (24,930); Semlin (15,079); Mitrovica (11,518); Warasdin (12,930); Karlstadt (7396); Brod (7310); Sissek (7047); Djakovo (6824); Karlowitz (5643); Peterwardein (5019); Zengg (3182); and Buccari (1870). These are described in separate articles. The centre of the coasting trade is Novi, and other small seaports are San Giorgio (Sveto Juraj), Porto Ré (Kraljevica) and Carlopago. Agram, Gospić (10,799), Ogulin (8699), Warasdin and Bjelovar (6056) are respectively the capitals of the five counties which belong to Croatia proper,—Agram (Hung. Zágráb), Modruš–Fiume, Lika-Krbava, Warasdin (Varasd) and Bjelovar (Belovár-Körös); while the capitals of the three Slavonian counties, Virovitica (Veröcze), Požega (Pozsega) and Syrmia (Szerém), are Esseg, Požega (5000) and Semlin.
Population and National Characteristics.—The population rose from 1,892,499 in 1881 to 2,416,304 in 1900, an increase of little less than one-third, resulting from a uniformly low death rate, with a high marriage and birth rate, and characterized by that preponderance of male over female children which is common to all the South Slavonic lands. More than 75% of the inhabitants are Croats, the bulk of the remainder being Serbs, who predominate in eastern Slavonia. Outside Croatia-Slavonia, the Croats occupy the greater part of Dalmatia and northern Bosnia. There are large Croatian settlements in the south of Hungary, and smaller colonies in Austria. The numbers of the whole nation may be estimated at 3,500,000 or 4,000,000. The distinction between Croats and Serbs is religious, and, to a less extent, linguistic. Croats and Serbs together constitute a single branch of the Slavonic race, frequently called the Serbo-Croatian branch. The literary language of the two nations is identical, but the Croats use the Latin alphabet, while the Serbs prefer a modified form of the Cyrillic. The two nations have also been politically separated since the 7th century, if not for a longer period; but this division has produced little difference of character or physical type. Even the costume of the Croatian peasantry, to whom brilliant colours and intricate embroideries are always dear, proclaims their racial identity with the Serbs; their songs, dances and musical instruments, the chief part of their customs and folk-lore, their whole manner of life, so little changed by its closer contact with Western civilization, may be studied in Servia (q.v.) itself. In both countries rural society was based on the old-fashioned household community, or zadruga, which still survives in the territories that formed the Military Frontier, though everywhere tending to disappear and be replaced by individual ownership. The Croatian peasantry are least prosperous in the riverside districts, where marsh-fevers prevail, and especially beside the Save. Even in many of the towns the houses are mere cabins of wood and thatch. As in Servia, there is practically no middle class between the peasants and the educated minority; and the commercial element consists to a great extent of foreigners, especially Germans, Hungarians, Italians and Jews. Numerically this alien population is insignificant. The Italians are chiefly confined to the coast; the Germans congregate at Semlin and Warasdin; the Slovenes are settled along the north-western frontier, where they have introduced their language, and so greatly modified the local dialect; the gipsies wander from city to city, as horse-dealers, metal workers or musicians; there are numerous Moravian and Bohemian settlements; and near Mitrovica there is a colony of Albanians. It is impossible to give accurate statistics of the alien population; for, in the compilation of the official figures, language is taken as a test of nationality, an utterly untrustworthy method in a country where every educated person speaks two or three languages. Croatian nationalists also maintain that official figures are systematically altered in the Hungarian interest.
Constitution and Government.—By the fundamental law of the 21st of December 1867 Austria-Hungary was divided, for purposes of internal government, into Cisleithania, or the Austrian empire, and Transleithania, or the kingdoms of Hungary and Croatia-Slavonia. In theory the viceroy, or ban of Croatia-Slavonia is nominated by the crown, and enjoys almost unlimited authority over local affairs; in practice the consent of the crown is purely formal, and the ban is appointed by the Hungarian premier, who can dismiss him at any moment. The provincial government is subject to the ban, and comprises three ministries—the interior, justice, and religion and education,—for whose working the ban is responsible to the Hungarian premier, and to the national assembly of Croatia-Slavonia (Narodna Skupština). This body consists of a single chamber, composed partly of elected deputies, partly of privileged members, whose numbers cannot exceed half those of the deputies. There are 69 constituencies, besides the 21 royal free cities which also return deputies. Electors must belong to certain professions or pay a small tax. The privileged members are the heads of the nobility, with the highest ecclesiastics and officials. As a rule, they represent the “Magyarist” section of society, which sympathizes with Hungarian policy. The chamber deals with religion, education, justice and certain strictly provincial affairs, but even within this limited sphere all its important enactments must be countersigned by the minister for Croatia-Slavonia, a member, without portfolio, of the Hungarian cabinet. At the polls, all votes are given orally, a system which facilitates corruption; the officials who control the elections depend for their livelihood on the ban, usually a Magyarist; and thus, even apart from the privileged members, a majority favourable to Hungary can usually be secured. The constitutional relations between Hungary and Croatia-Slavonia are regulated by the agreement, or nagoda, of 1868. This instrument determines the functions of the ban; the control of common interests, such as railways, posts, telegraphs, telephones, commerce, industry, agriculture or forests; and the choice of delegates by the chamber, to sit in the Hungarian parliament. See also below, under History.
For administrative purposes Croatia-Slavonia is divided into 8
rural counties, already enumerated; besides the 4 urban counties,
or municipalities of Agram, Semlin, Warasdin and Esseg.
These are subdivided into rural and urban communes,Local adminis-
tration. each with its representative council. The affairs of each rural county are managed by an assembly chosen for 6 years, which comprises not only elected members, but delegates from all the cities except Agram and Esseg, with certain high ecclesiastics and officials.
The highest judicial authority is the supreme court or Septemviral Table, which sits at Agram, and ranks above the royal courts of appeal, the county courts of first instance,Justice. and the district courts or magistracies.
Fully four-fifths of the population belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which has an archbishop at Agram and bishops at Zengg and Djakovo. There are about 12,000 Greek Catholics, with a bishop at Kreuz (Križevac). The Serb congregations,Religion. who had previously been classed as Orthodox Greek, were officially recognized as members of the Orthodox Church of Servia after 1883. Their episcopal sees of Karlowitz and Pakrac depend upon the metropolitanate of Belgrade; but from 1830 to 1838 Karlowitz was itself the headquarters of the Servian Church.
During the 19th century strenuous efforts to better the state of education were made by Bishop Strossmayer (1815–1905) and other reformers; but, although some success was achieved, only one-third of the population could read and write in 1900. Foremost among the educational institutions is the South Slavonic AcademyEducation. of Sciences and Arts (Jugoslavenska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti), founded by Strossmayer and others in 1867, as an improvement on a learned society which had existed since 1836. The academy is the headquarters of the nationalist propaganda. Its numerous publications, though sometimes biased by political passion, throw much light on Serbo-Croatian history, law, philology and kindred topics. Agram University, founded in 1874, possesses three faculties—theology, philosophy and law; but, unlike other Hungarian universities, it lacks a faculty of medicine. Its average number of students varies from 300 to 350. In 1900 there were also 19 real-gymnasia, teaching science, art and modern languages, as well as classics and mathematics; 1400 elementary schools; and a few special institutions, such as the naval and military academies of Fiume, ecclesiastical seminaries and commercial colleges. In almost every case the language of instruction is Serbo-Croatian. The development of higher education, without a corresponding advance of technical education, has created an intellectual class, comprising many men of letters, and several painters, musicians and sculptors, though none of great eminence; it also tends to produce many aspirants to official or professional careers, who find employment difficult to obtain. The want of a strong native middle class may partly be traced to this tendency.
Medieval historians did not use the terms Croatia and Slavonia in their present sense. The Croatia of the middle ages comprised north-western Bosnia, Turkish Croatia, and the region now known as Upper Croatia. The whole country between the Drave and Save, thus including a large part of modern Croatia, was called in Latin Slavonia, in German Windisches Land, and in Hungarian Tótország, to distinguish it from the territories in which the Croats were racially supreme (Horvátország). At the time of their conquest by the Romans (35 B.C.) both these divisions were occupied by the Pannonians, who in Slavonia had displaced an older population, the Scordisci; and both were included in the Roman province of Pannonia Inferior, although Slavonia had the distinctive name of Pannonia Savia (see Pannonia). When the Roman dominions were broken up in A.D. 395, Croatia-Slavonia remained part of the Western empire. The Ostrogoths overran it in 489; in 535 it was annexed by Justinian; in 568 it was conquered by the Avars. These were in turn expelled from Croatia by the Croats, a Slavonic people from the western Carpathians, who, according to some authorities, had occupied the territories of the Marcomanni in Bohemia, and been driven thence in the 6th century by the Czechs. The main body of the Croats, whose tribal and racial names respectively are perpetuated in the names of Croatia and Slavonia, entered Croatia between 634 and 638, and were encouraged by the emperor Heraclius to attack the Avars. Smaller bodies had led the way southwards since 548. The Croats formed the western division of the great migratory horde of Serbo-Croats which colonized the lands between Bulgaria and the Adriatic. Contemporary chroniclers called them Chrobati, Belochrobati (“White Croats”), Chrovati, Horvati, or by some similar Latin or Byzantine variant of the Slavonic Khrvaty. The Croats occupied most of the region now known as Croatia-Slavonia, Dalmatia, and north-western Bosnia, displacing or absorbing the earlier inhabitants everywhere except along the Dalmatian littoral, where the Italian city-states usually maintained their independence, and in certain districts of Slavonia, where, out of a mixed population of Slavonic immigrants, Avars and Pannonians, the Slavs, and especially the Serbo-Croats, gradually became predominant. The Croats brought with them their primitive tribal institutions, organized on a basis partly military, partly patriarchal, and identical with the Zhupanates of the Serbs (see Servia); agriculture, war and hunting were their chief pursuits. Although they at first acknowledged no alien sovereign, they passed gradually under Italian influence in the extreme west, and under Byzantine influence in the south and south-east. In 806 the northern and north-eastern districts were added to the empire of the Franks, and thus won for the Western Church. Frankish predominance was long commemorated by the name Francochorion, given by the Byzantines to Syrmia; it is still commemorated by the name Fruška Gora, “Mountains of the Franks,” in that province.
The Croatian Kingdom:c.910–1091.—In 877 the Croats were temporarily subdued by the Byzantine emperor, but after successive insurrections which tended to centralize their loosely knit tribal organization, and to place all power in the hands of a military chief, they regained their independence and founded a national kingdom about 910. It is probable that Tomislav or Timislav, who had led their armies to victory, assumed the title of king in that year. Some authorities, however, state that Tomislav only bore the title of veliki župan or “paramount chief,” and was only one in a long line of princes which can be traced without interruption back to 818. On this view, Držislav (c. 978–1000) was the first king properly so called. But Tomislav, whatever his official style, was certainly the first of a series of independent national rulers which lasted for nearly two centuries. The records of this period, regarded by many Croats as the golden age of their country, are often scanty, and its chronology is still unsettled. Little is known of Trpimir, who preceded Držislav, or of Stephen I. (1035–1058), but a few of the kings gained a more lasting fame by their success in war and diplomacy. Among these were Krešimir I. (c. 940—946), his successor Miroslav, and especially Krešimir II., surnamed the Great (c. 1000–1035), who harried the Bulgarians, at that time a powerful nation, and conquered a large part of Dalmatia, including some of the Italian cities. Already, under his predecessors, the Croats had built a fleet, which they used first for piracy and afterwards for trade. Their skill in maritime affairs, exemplified first in the 9th century by the pagan corsairs of the Narenta (see Dalmatia: History), and later by the numerous Dalmatian and Croatian sailors who served in the navies of Venice and Austria, is remarkable in a Slavonic people, and one which had so recently migrated from central Europe. At the end of the 10th century they even for a short period exacted tribute from Venice, but their power was temporarily destroyed in 1000, when the Venetians captured and sacked Biograd or Belgrade, the Italian Zaravecchia. This Dalmatian port was not only the Croatian arsenal, but the seat of the kings, who here sought to enhance their dignity by borrowing the grandiose titles and elaborate procedure of the Byzantine court. Krešimir II. and Krešimir Peter (c. 1058–1073), the hero of many national legends and lays, restored the naval power of the Croats. After the death of Krešimir Peter, Slavic or Slaviža reigned until 1076, when he was succeeded by Zvonimir (Svinimir or Zvoinimir) Demetrius. Zvonimir was crowned by the legate of Pope Gregory VII, and appears to have been regarded as a vassal of the papacy. Both he and Stephen II., a nephew of Krešimir II., died in 1089.
Hungarian Supremacy: 1091–c. 1526.—Amid the strife of rival claimants to the throne, Helena, the widow of Stephen, appealed for aid to her brother Ladislaus I., king of Hungary. Ladislaus took possession of the country in 1091. He founded the bishopric of Agram and introduced Hungarian law. His death in 1095 was the signal for a nationalist insurrection, but after two years the rebels were crushed by his successor Coloman. This monarch reorganized the administration on a system which has been maintained, with modifications in detail, by almost all subsequent rulers. He respected the existing institutions of the conquered territory so far as to leave its autonomy in domestic affairs intact; but delegated his own sovereignty, and especially the control of foreign affairs and war, to a governor known as the ban (q.v.). This office was sometimes held by princes of the royal house, often by Croatian nobles. Coloman also extended his authority over Dalmatia and the islands of the Quarnero, but the best modern authorities reject the tradition that in 1102 he was crowned king of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. In 1127 Syrmia, which had been annexed to Bulgaria from about 700 to 1018, and to the Eastern empire from 1019, was united to Slavonia. The Hungarian government left much liberty to the Croatian nobles, a turbulent and fanatical class, ever ready for civil war, rebellion or a campaign against the Bosnian heretics. Their most powerful leaders were the counts of Zrin and Bribir (or Brebir), whose surname was Šubić. This family played an important part in local politics from the 13th century to 1670, when Peter Šubić was its last member to hold the office of ban. Paul Šubić (d. 1312) and Mladen Šubić (d. 1322) even for a short period united Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia and part of Dalmatia under their own rule. From 1322 to 1326 the Croatian nobles successfully withstood the armies of Hungary and Bosnia; from 1337 to 1340, instigated by the Vatican, they carried on a crusade against the Bosnian Bogomils; and in the Krajina (Turkish Croatia) hostilities were resumed at intervals until the Turkish conquest.
The Turkish Occupation:c.1526–1718.—Here, as elsewhere, the Ottoman invasion was facilitated by the feuds of the Christian sects. When King Matthias Corvinus undertook to defend Slavonia in 1490 it was too late; Matthias lost Syrmia and died in the same year. His successor Ladislaus of Poland (1490–1516) added Slavonia to the kingdoms named in the royal title, which now included the words “King of Dalmatia and Croatia and Slavonia” (Rex Dalmatiae et Croatiae et Slavoniae). But he failed to repel the Turks, who in 1526 destroyed the power of Hungary at the battle of Mohács. In 1527 the Croats were compelled to swear allegiance to Ferdinand I. of Austria, who had been elected king of Hungary. Ferdinand founded the generalcy of Karlstadt and thus laid the foundation of the military frontier. The provinces of Agram, Warasdin and Kreutz, previously included in Slavonia, were added to Croatia, to counterbalance the loss of territory in the Krajina. Throughout the century the Turks continued to extend their conquests until, in 1606, the emperor retained only western Croatia, with the cities of Agram, Karlstadt, Warasdin and Zengg. During the same period the doctrines of the Reformation had spread among the Croats; but they were forcibly suppressed in 1607–1610. The military occupation by the Turks left little permanent impression; colonization was never attempted; and the continuous wars by which the victors strove to secure or enlarge their dominions north of the Save left no time for the introduction of Moslem religion or civilization among the vanquished. Thus in the reconquest of Croatia-Slavonia there was none of the local opposition which afterwards hindered the Austrian occupation of Bosnia. The successes of Prince Eugene in 1697 led two years later to the peace of Carlowitz, by which the Turks ceded the greater part of Slavonia and Hungary to Austria; and the remainder was surrendered in 1718 by the treaty of Passarowitz. Only Turkish Croatia henceforth remained part of the Ottoman empire.
Austrian and French Supremacy: 1718–1814.—Austrian influence predominated throughout Croatia-Slavonia during most of the 18th century, although Slavonia was constitutionally regarded as belonging to Hungary. Despite Magyar protests the misleading name “Croatia” was popularly and even in official documents applied to the whole country, including the purely Slavonian provinces of Virovitica, Požega and Syrmia. From 1767 to 1777 Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia were collectively named Illyria, and governed from Vienna, but each of these divisions was subsequently declared a separate kingdom, with a separate administration, while the military frontier remained under military rule. In 1776 the Croatian seaboard, which had previously been under the same administration as the rest of the Austrian coast, was annexed to Croatia, but three years later Fiume was declared an integral part of Hungary. These administrative changes, and especially the brief existence of united “Illyria,” stimulated the dormant nationalism of the Croats and their jealousy of the Magyars. In 1809 Austria was forced to surrender to Napoleon a large part of Croatia, with Dalmatia, Istria, Carinthia, Carniola, Görz and Gradisca. These territories received the name of the Illyrian Provinces, and remained under French rule until 1813. All the Croats capable of service were enrolled under the French flag; their country was divided for administrative purposes into Croatie civile and Croatie militaire. In 1814 Dalmatia was incorporated in Austria, while Istria, Carinthia, Carniola, Görz and Gradisca became the Illyrian kingdom of Austria, and retained their united government until 1849. Croatia and Slavonia were declared appanages of the Hungarian crown—partes adnexae, or subject provinces, according to the Magyars; regna socia, or allied kingdoms, according to their own view. Each phrase afterwards became the watchword of a political party: neither is accurate. The Croats preserved their local autonomy, the use of their language for official purposes, their elected diet and other ancient institutions, but Hungarian control was represented by the ban.
The National Revival.—The Croats acquiesced in their position of inferiority until 1840, when the Magyars endeavoured to introduce Hungarian as the official language. A nationalist or “Illyrist” party was formed under Count Drašković and Bishop J. Strossmayer (q.v.) to combat Hungarian influence and promote the union of the “Illyrian” Slavs, i.e. the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Ljudevit Gaj, the leading Croatian publicist, strongly supported the movement. The elections of 1842 were marked by a series of sanguinary conflicts between Illyrists and Magyarists, but not until 1848 were the Illyrists returned to office. One of their leaders, Baron Josef Jellachich, was appointed ban in 1848. He strongly advocated the union of Croatia with Carinthia, Carniola and Styria, but found his policy thwarted as much by the apathy of the Slovenes as by the hostility of the Magyars. A Croatian deputation was received at Innsbruck by Ferdinand V., but before its arrival the Hungarians had obtained a royal manifesto hostile to Illyrism. But failure only increased the agitation among the southern Slavs; all attempts at mediation proved unsuccessful, and on the 31st of August the Croats claimed to have convinced the king that justice was on their side. On the 11th of September the advance-guard of their army crossed the Drave under the command of Jellachich. On the 29th they were driven back from Pákozd by the Hungarians, and retired towards Vienna; they subsequently aided the Austrian army against the Hungarian revolutionaries (see Jellachich, Josef, and Hungary: History). The constitution of 1849 proclaimed Croatia and Slavonia separated from Hungary and united as a single Austrian crownland, to which was annexed the Croatian littoral, including Fiume. Austrian supremacy lasted until 1867; no ban was appointed, and owing to the suspension of local autonomy from 1850 to 1860 this period is known as “the ten years of reaction.” It was ended by the celebrated “October Diploma” of the 20th of October 1860, which promised the restoration of constitutional liberty. But the so-called “Constitution of February” (21st February 1861) placed all practical power in the hands of an executive controlled by the government at Vienna. The newly elected diet was soon dissolved for its advocacy of a great South Slavonic confederation under imperial rule, and no other was elected until 1865.
From 1865 to 1867 Strossmayer and the nationalists endeavoured to secure the formation of a subordinate Austrian kingdom comprising Dalmatia, Croatia-Slavonia and the islands of the Quarnero. The Magyars had, however, resolved to subject Croatia-Slavonia to the crown of St Stephen, and in 1867 had secured control of the finances and electoral machinery. The office of ban was revived, and its holder, Baron Levin Rauch, was an ardent Magyarist. At the elections of December 1867 a majority of Hungarian partisans was easily obtained, and on the 29th of January the diet passed a resolution in favour of reunion with Hungary. The whole Opposition refused to take any part in the proceedings, as a protest against the alleged illegality of the elections; but by the 25th of June the Croatian commissioners and the Hungarian government had framed a new constitution, which was ratified in September. Besides substituting Hungarian for Austrian sovereignty, it provided that the diet and the ban should control local affairs, subject to the Croatian minister in the Hungarian cabinet, and that Croatia-Slavonia should pay 55% of its revenue to Hungary for mutual and imperial expenses, but should be represented in the Hungarian parliament by thirty-six delegates, and should continue to use Serbo-Croatian as the official language. Hungary guaranteed that the 45% retained by the territorial government should be not less than two and a half million gulden (£250,000). In May 1870 Fiume was annexed to Hungary, but in 1873 the Croats received as compensation an increase of their guaranteed revenue to £350,000, an addition of seven to the number of their representatives at Budapest, and a promise that the military frontier should be incorporated in the existing civil provinces. In 1877 a convention with Hungary regulated the control of public estates in the military frontier, and on the 15th of July 1881 the frontier, including the district of Sichelburg claimed by Carniola, was handed over to the local administration.
Meanwhile the events of 1875–1878 in the Balkans, culminating in the Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, revived the agitation for a “Great Croatia.” A party separate from the regular Opposition, and known as the “Party of the Right,” was formed to oppose the Magyarists. Its activity resulted in the riots of 1883, which were with difficulty quelled; in 1885 its leader, N. Starčević, was condemned to imprisonment for the violence of his speeches against the ban, Count Khuen-Héderváry. In 1888 the moderate Opposition also lost its leader, Bishop Strossmayer, who was censured by the king on account of his famous Panslavist telegram to the Russian Church (see Strossmayer). In 1889 the financial agreement with Hungary was revised and the contribution of Croatia-Slavonia to the expenses shared with Hungary or common to the whole of the Dual Monarchy was raised by 1%. This added burden combined with bad harvests, a fall in the revenue and a deficit in the budget to heighten popular discontent. Count Khuen-Héderváry was responsible for several administrative improvements, but the prosperity of the country declined from year to year. The government was accused of illegal interference with the elections, with the use of the Hungarian arms and language in official documents, and with undue harshness in the censorship of the press. In May 1903 there were outbreaks of rioting in Agram, Sissek and other towns, besides serious agrarian disturbances directed against the Magyarist landowners; in a debate in the Reichsrath (18th May) an Austrian deputy named Bianchini unsuccessfully attempted to induce the imperial government to intervene. At the end of June Count Khuen-Héderváry was made Hungarian prime minister; Count T. Pejačević succeeded him as ban, and restored quiet by promising freedom of assembly and greater liberty of the press. Since 1898 the financial agreement had only been renewed from year to year. But the estimates for 1904 revealed another heavy deficit; and this was only paid by Hungary on condition that the agreement should be renewed until the 31st of December 1913, and the contribution of 56% maintained.
The constitutional crisis of 1905 in Hungary stimulated the nationalist agitation. A congress of Croatian and Dalmatian deputies met at Spalato to advocate Serbo-Croatian unity, and in 1906 the municipality of Agram endeavoured to petition the king in favour of union with Bosnia and Herzegovina. This propaganda was severely discouraged. Baron Rauch, appointed ban in 1908, refused to summon the diet, in which he could not command a single vote, and much excitement was caused in 1909 by the trial of 57 nationalist leaders for high treason. The policy of the nationalists, who now aimed at the political union, under the king-emperor, of all Serbo-Croats in Austria-Hungary—upwards of 4,500,000—was less visionary than the older Illyrism, and less aggressively Panslavist. It no longer sought to include Carinthia, Carniola and Styria in the proposed “Great Croatia.” It was opposed by Austria as tending to create a new and formidable Slavonic nation within the Dual Monarchy, and by Hungary as a menace to Magyar predominance in Transleithania.
Language and Literature.
For the place of the Croatian dialects among Slavonic languages generally, see Slavs. The Croatian dialects, like the Servian, have gradually developed from the Old Slavonic, which survives in medieval liturgies and biblical or apocryphal writings. The course of this development was similar in both cases, except that the Croats, owing to their dependence on Austria-Hungary, were not so deeply influenced as the Serbs by Byzantine culture in the middle ages, and by Russian linguistic forms and Russian ideas in modern times. The Orthodox Serbs, moreover, use a modified form of the Cyrillic alphabet, while the Roman Catholic Croats use Latin characters, except in a few liturgical books which are written in the ancient Glagolitic script. As the literary language of both nations is now practically the same, and is, indeed, commonly known as “Serbo-Croatian,” the reader may be referred to the article Servia: Language and Literature, for an account of its history, of its chief literary monuments up to the 19th century and inclusive of Dalmatian literature, and of the principal differences between the dialects spoken in Servia and Croatia-Slavonia.
The three most important Croatian dialects are known as the Čakavci, Čakavština or, in Servian, Chakavski, spoken along the Adriatic littoral; the Štokavci (Štokavština, Shtokavski), spoken in Servia and elsewhere in the north-west of the Balkan Peninsula; and the Kajkavci (Kajkavština, Kaykavski), spoken by the partly Slovene population of the districts of Agram, Warasdin and Kreuz. This classification is based on the form, varying in different localities, of the pronoun ča, što, or kaj, meaning “what.”
The Cakavci literature includes most of the works of the Dalmatian writers of the 15th and 16th centuries—the golden age of Serbo-Croatian literature. Its history is indissolubly interwoven with that of the Štokavci, which ultimately superseded it, and became the literary language of all the Serbo-Croats, as it had long been the language of the best national ballads and legends.
Kajkavci had from about 1550 to 1830 a distinctive literature, consisting of chronicles and histories, poems of a religious or educational character, fables and moral tales. These writings possess more philological interest than literary merit, and are hardly known outside Croatia-Slavonia and the Slovene districts of Austria.
Apart from the Kajkavci dialect, the whole body of Serbo-Croatian literature up to the 19th century may justly be regarded as the common heritage of Serbs and Croats. The linguistic and literary reforms which Dossitey Obradovich and Vuk Stefanovich Karajich carried out in Servia about the close of this period helped to stimulate among the Croats a new interest in their national history, their traditions, folk-songs and folk-tales. One result of this nationalist revival was the unsuccessful attempt made between 1814 and 1830 to raise the Čakavci dialect to the rank of a distinctive literary language for Croatia-Slavonia; but the Illyrist movement of 1840 led to the adoption of the Štokavci, which was already the vernacular of the majority of Serbo-Croats. Ljudevit Gaj (1809–1872), though he failed to create an artificial literary language by the fusion of the principal dialects spoken by Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, was by his championship of Illyrism instrumental in securing the triumph of the Štokavci. Gaj was a poet of considerable talent, and one of the founders of Croatian journalism. Among other writers of the first half of the 19th century may be mentioned Ivan Mažuranić (1813–1890), whose first poems were published in the Danica ilirska (“Illyrian Dawnstar”), a journal founded and for a time edited by Gaj. In 1846 Mažuranić published his Smrt Smail Aga Čengića (“Death of Ismail Aga Čengić”), called by Serbo-Croats the “Epos of Hate.” This remarkable poem, written in the metre of the old Servian ballads, gives a vivid description of life in Bosnia under Turkish rule, and of the hereditary border feuds between Christians and Moslems. In later life Mažuranić distinguished himself as a statesman, and became ban of Croatia from 1873 to 1880. Other writers representative of Croatian literature before 1867 were the lyric poet Stanko Vraz (1810–1851) and Dragutin Rakovac (1813–1854), the author of many patriotic songs.
With the foundation of the South Slavonic Academy at Agram, in 1867, the study of science and history received a new impetus. Under the presidency of Franko Rački (1825–1894) the academy, with its journal the Rad jugoskovenske Akademije, became the headquarters of an active group of savants, among whom may be mentioned Vastroslav Jagić (b. 1838), sometime editor of the Archiv für slavische Philologie; the historians Šime Ljubić (1822–1896) and Vjekoslav Klaić, author of several standard works on Croatia and the Croats; the lexicographer Bogoslav Šulek (1816–1895); the ethnographer and philologist Franko Karelac (1811–1874). In Dalmatia, where the Ragusan journal Slovinac has served, like the Agram Rad, as a focus of literary activity, there have been numerous poets and prose writers, associated, in many cases, with the Illyrist or the nationalist propaganda. Among these may be mentioned Count Medo Pučić (1821–1882), and the dramatist Matija Ban (1818–1903), whose tragedy Meyrimah is considered by many the finest dramatic poem in the Serbo-Croatian language.
Authorities.—For the topography, products, inhabitants and modern condition of Croatia-Slavonia, see Bau und Bild Österreichs, by C. Diener, F. E. Suess, R. Hoernes and V. Uhlig (Leipzig, 1903); Die österreich-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild, vol. xxiv., edited by J. von Weilen (Vienna, 1902); Führer durch Ungarn, Kroatien und Slawonien, by B. Alföldi (Vienna, 1900); Reiseführer durch Kroatien und Slawonien, by A. Lukšić (Agram, 1893); Vegetationsverhältnisse von Kroatien, by A. Neilreich (Vienna, 1868); “Die Slowenen,” by J. Šuman, and “Die Kroaten,” by F. Staré, in vol. x. of Die Völker Österreich-Ungarns (Vienna, 1881–1882); Die Serbokroaten der adriatischen Küstenländer, by A. Weisbach (Berlin, 1884); and the map Zemljovid Hrvatske i Slavonije, by M. Katzenschläger (Vienna, 1895). The only detailed history is one in Serbo-Croatian, written by a succession of the highest native authorities, and published by the South Slavonic Academy (Agram, from 1861). It is largely based on the following works: Vetera monumenta historica Hungariam sacram illustrantia, containing documents from the Vatican library edited by A. Theiner (Rome, 1860); Vetera monumenta historiam Slavorum meridionalium illustrantia, published by the South Slavonic Academy (Agram, 1863, &c.); Jura regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae, et Slavoniae cum privilegiis, by J. Kukuljević (Agram, 1861–1862); Monumenta historica Slavorum meridionalium, by V. Makushev, in Latin and Italian, with notes in Slavonic (Belgrade, 1885); De regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae, by G. Lucio (Amsterdam, 1666; see Dalmatia, under bibliography); Regno degli Slavi, by M. Orbini (Pesaro, 1601); and, for ecclesiastical history, Illyricum sacrum, by D. Farlatus and others (Venice, 1751–1819). See also Hrvatska i Hrvati, by V. Klaić (Agram, 1890, &c.); and Slawonien vom 10. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert, translated from the Serbo-Croatian of Klaić by J. von Vojničić (Agram, 1882). (K. G. J.)
- Also written Sirmia and Sirmium; Serbo-Croatian Sriem; Hungarian Szerém.
- It is impossible to exclude Fiume from any survey of Croatian trade, although Fiume belongs politically to Hungary proper, and is the main outlet for Hungarian emigration and maritime commerce.
- It is important to notice the value of the following letters and signs, which recur frequently:—c = ts; č = ch (hard); ć = ch (soft); j = y, or j in German; š = sh; ž = zh, or j in French.