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280

BOHEMIA

together with about 860 other state, municipal, and private languages obligatory upon all officials in Bohemia and educational establishments, mostly technical. The pro- Moravia, did not merely gratify Czech national sentiment, portion of illiterates, the lowest in Austria, sank from 8 15 but were of considerable material advantage to that per cent, in 1880 to 5-8 per cent, in 1890. In 1898 there nationality, inasmuch as they almost created a monopoly was a total of 618 periodicals (384 Czech, 220 German, for the bilingual Czech claimants. The grant of the German demand for administrative separation of the 2 English, and 12 polyglot). Despite its great industrial development, about 45*25 German and Czech districts of Bohemia and Moravia, per cent, of the population is still engaged in agriculture with the official use of German in the former and of and forestry, 39*65 being occupied in mining and other Czech in the latter, would not only have constituted a industries and in trade. Bohemia produces 64*20 per hindrance to ultimate autonomy, but would have increased cent, of the whole Austrian beetroot crop (Moravia coming the competition and diminished the number of appointnext with 30 per cent.), in addition to the largest crops of ments open to Czech official aspirants. This last conceswheat, rye, barley, oats, and potatoes, and considerable sion to their opponents was regarded by the Germans as quantities of other agricultural produce. Nearly 49 per evidence that the centralistic constitution was in serious cent, in value of the entire yield of the Austrian mines danger, and that the Czechs and their allies were within falls to Bohemia, whose principal products are lignite, coal, measurable distance of realizing their aims. These were, iron ore, together with smaller quantities of gold, silver, first, the restoration to the provincial diets of the right of and other metals, several of which are only mined in this electing the Beichsrath or central parliament (a privilege crown-land. Its wealth of coal (40 million metric centals abolished in 1873), and, ultimately, a purely federal concoal and 169 million m.c. lignite in 1897), together with stitution. A compromise between the nationalities has the improvements in the refining process, have made it the hitherto proved impossible. The struggle, accompanied at chief centre of the iron industry, in which it has now times by violence involving destruction of life and probegun to compete with Germany. Sugar-refining is of perty and repeated suspensions of constitutional rights, growing importance, as is also the manufacture of railway had at one time nearly destroyed the Austrian parliarolling-stock, while the old staple industries show a marked mentary system and even threatened the integrity of the advance. In 1890 it possessed 35 per cent, of all the dual monarchy. The withdrawal of the last of the series factories in Austria, 38 per cent, of the entire motive of language ordinances (September 1899) only replaced power, and 41 per cent, of the factory hands figures German obstruction by that of the Czechs, which upset the which show that it holds the first place for industrial enter- ministry and again rendered parliamentary government prise on the largest scale. Between 1870 and 1890 there impossible. The truce brought about by the Korber has been an increase in the number of horned cattle, ministry in 1901 permitted the passage through the 2,022,305 ( + 420,290); pigs, 514,367 ( + 286,187); Beichsrath of an important economic scheme, comprising horses, 215,729 ( + 25,392); and goats, 334,417 a large extension of railways and canals, a,nd seemed ( + 140,144); and a reduction in the number of sheep, to furnish the basis of an eventual political com423,602 (-682,688). Bohemia is the most favoured promise. The remarkable growth of Czech influence has been portion of the monarchy in the matter of communications, possessing (in 1897) 5228 kilometres of railway, 30 per cent, promoted by the rapid increase of the Czech population in of the total length in Austria ; 28,156 kilometres of roads, the towns, whither they are attracted by higher wages. and 1160 kilometres of navigable rivers and canals, which This increase is coincident with and one of the conse(yid the Elbe) afford it cheap access to the sea. In 1895 quences of the development of industry on a large scale in 2,535,000 tons of goods were forwarded in both direc- Austria, which is the work of the past quarter of a centuij. tions on the Elbe by 21,200 vessels, of which nearly 3000 The establishment of factories created a demand for hands, were steamers. There are 134/ post and 118 telegraph which the German population alone was unable to supply. offices, with 7351 kilometres of line and 20,227 kilometres Indeed, where a German proletariat existed, it was at a disadvantage in the competition with the Czechs and I oles of wire. Political Importance.—As the situation in Bohemia is owing to its higher standard of living. Moreover, the the pivot upon which Austrian domestic politics turns, and cheaper and more docile Slav labourers are less attached has turned for a generation past, it may be well to recall to their native place than r are the Germans, and they some of the principal factors in the problem. The national marry at an earlier age—tw o circumstances that still conmovement among the Czech people, revived in 1848, has tinue to promote their relative increase in the industrial made immense progress since the Czech representatives centres. This tendency has been welcomed by the State abandoned their policy of parliamentary abstention in and the Church for different reasons. Apparently in view 1879. During the term of office of Count Taaffe (1879-93) of the rooted discontent of the German population with the position of a minority in a country where they had they secured in detail a series of important concessions the language ordinances of 1880 and 1886, which ulti- been accustomed to rule, the State has consistently and mately established Czech predominance in the public successfully strengthened the Slav element as a precaution service, the founding of a Czech university (1882) and of against a possible Germania irredenta agitation, so that numerous Czech gymnasia, together with the State support now the Czechs are all-powerful in the administration of for the Czech Academy of Science at Prague, &c. They at Bohemia and Moravia, including the German districts on the same time so consolidated their position in the Czech the frontier. The Germans occupy a broad belt of the provinces and the Reichsrath that the Government found western and northern border adjoining Bavaria and itself constantly obliged to purchase their support by fresh Saxony, while the Czechs are settled in the centre and the concessions. After the failure of Count Taaffe s effort to southern districts of Bohemia. There are several grounds overcome the nationality deadlock by a heroic electoral for the action of the Roman Catholic Church in the same reform nearly equivalent to universal suffrage, and the direction. The clergy, as well as the reactionary nobles, breakdown of the German-Polish-Clerical coalition that regard the nationality struggle as a useful means of divertfollowed his fall, the Czechs won their greatest triumph in ing attention from their own privileges. Like the large the issue by the Badeni ministry of the notorious language manufacturers, the priests find the Slavs more docile to their ordinances of April 1896. These ordinances, which ren- teachings and more tolerant of their pretensions. Moredered a thorough knowledge of the Czech and German over, the bulk of the priests are themselves of the Slav