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Austria]

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY

imperial warrant; the Hungarians only giving their assent to this in return for considerable financial concessions. The main points of the agreement were: (1) the Bank Charter was to be renewed till 1910, the Hungarians receiving a larger share in the direction than they had hitherto enjoyed ; (2) the Customs Union so far as it was based on a reciprocal and binding treaty lapsed, both sides, however, continuing it in practice, and promising to do so until 31st December 1907. Not later than 1901 negotiations were to be begun for a renewal of the alliance, and if possible it was to be renewed from the year 1903, in which year the commercial treaties expire. If this is done, then the tariff is to be revised before any fresh commercial treaties are made. If it is not done, then no fresh treaties are to be made extending beyond the year 1907, so that if the Commercial Union of Austria and Hungary is not renewed before 1907, each party will be able to determine its own policy unshackled by any previous treaties. These arrangements in Hungary received the sanction of the Reichstag; but this could not be procured in Austria, and they were therefore proclaimed by imperial warrant; first of all, on 20th July, the new duties on beer, brandy, and sugar; then on 23rd September the Bank Charter, &c. In November the Quota Deputations at last agreed that Hungary should henceforward pay 33^. a very small increase, and this was also in Austria proclaimed in the same way. The result is that a working agreement has been made, by which the Union is preserved for a few years ; the fact that this was done, notwithstanding the political difficulties, being the best proof of the great importance which the financial and commercial union has for the whole monarchy.

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determine the method by which these territories* were henceforth to be governed. It was the misfortune of the country that there was no clear legal basis on which new institutions could be erected. Each of the territories was a separate political unit with a separate history, and some of them had a historic claim to a large amount of selfgovernment ; in many the old feudal estates had survived till 1848. Since that year the empire had been the subject of numerous experiments in government; by the last, which began in 1860, Landtags or Diets have been instituted in each of the territories on a nearly uniform system and with nearly identical powers, and by the constitution published in February 1861 (the February Constitution, as it is called), which is still the The ultimate basis for the Government, there was February instituted a Reichsrath or parliament for the Coastltuwhole empire; it consisted of a House of 0 Lords, in which sat the archbishops and prince bishops, members of the imperial family, and other members appointed for life, besides some hereditary members, and a chamber of deputies. The members of the latter for each territory were not chosen by direct election, but by the Landtags. The Landtags themselves were elected for six years; they were chosen generally (there were slight local differences) in the following way: (a) a certain number of bishops and rectors of universities sat in virtue of their office; (b) the rest of the members were chosen by four electoral bodies or curice,—(1) the owners of estates which before 1848 had enjoyed certain feudal privileges, the so-called great proprietors; (2) the chambers of commerce; (3) the towns; (4) the rural districts. In the two latter classes all had the suffrage who paid at least ten gulden in direct taxes. The districts were so arranged as to give the towns a very large representation in proportion to their populations. In Bohemia, e.g., the Diet consisted of 241 members: of these five were ex-officio members; the feudal proprietors had seventy; the towns and chambers of commerce together had eighty-seven; the rural districts seventy-nine. The electors in the rural districts were 236,000, in the towns 93,000. This arrangement seems to have been deliberately made by Schmerling, so as to give greater power to the German inhabitants of the towns; the votes of the proprietors would moreover nearly always give the final decision to the court and the Government, for the influence exercised by the Government over the nobility would generally be strong enough to secure a majority in favour of the Government policy. This constitution had failed; territories so different in size, history, and circumstances, were not contented with similar institutions, and a form of self-government which satisfied Lower Austria and Salzburg did not satisfy Galicia and Bohemia. The Czechs of Bohemia, like the Magyars, had refused to recognize the common parliament on the ground that it violated the historic rights of the Bohemian as of the Hungarian crown, and in 1865 the constitution of 1861 had been superseded, while the territorial Diets

In Austria all classes regard with the most serious discontent an arrangement by which their share of the common expenses is so great. Even in such matters as the management and opening up of new railways, the Hungarians generally make terms very advantageous to themselves, e.g., in Bosnia the first railways built are those which open up Hungarian traffic, though Austria provides two-thirds of the capital. All protests on the part of the Austrians are, however, unavailing because of the weakness arising from the political quarrels between the different races. Experience shows that the Hungarian ministers can generally depend on the united support of all parties in their discussions with Austria; in Austria this is not the case, for while all parties comTbe plain of the unfair burdens laid upon them, they not Austria j°*n to suPPor^ ministry. It is this

  • political disunion which brings it about that in

determining the policy of the joint state the Hungarians have more influence than the Austrians; on those occasions when the Delegations have been unable to agree, and a common meeting has been held, the Hungarian view has always prevailed, for all the Hungarian Delegation vote for the proposals of their own side, while the minority in the Austrian Delegation has voted against the proposals which have been adopted by the majority. This has happened because the political principle on which the dual monarchy is founded does not correspond with facts. It was assumed that in the Austrian half of the empire the Germans would be sufficiently powerful to rule and control the other races as the Magyars do in the other; but experience has shown that they are unable to do so, while in attempting the task they have brought about a condition of political disorganization bordering on civil 2 war, and making them helpless in their relations with It is impossible to avoid using the word “ Austria to designate Hungary. For the causes of this state of things we must these territories, though it is probably incorrect. Officially the word turn to the history of Austria. “ Austria ” is not found, and though the sovereign is emperor of Austria, an Austrian empire appears not to exist; the territories are spoken of in official documents as “the territories represented in the Reichsrath.” 2. Austria Proper. The Hungarians and the German party in Austria have expressed their As explained at the opening of the geographical section desire that the word Austria should be used, but it has not been on the Whole Monarchy, the name Austria is used for gratified. On the other hand, expressions such as “ Austrian citizens, convenience to designate those portions of the possessions “ Austrian law,” are found. The reason of this peculiar use is probably of the house of Hapsburg, which were not included by i twofold. On the one hand, a reluctance to confess that Hungary is longer in any sense a part of Austria ; on the other hand, the the settlement of 1867 among the lands of the Hungarian no refusal of the Czechs to recognize that their country is part of Austria. crown. The separation of Hungary made it necessary to Sometimes the word Erbldnde, which properly is applied only to the older ancestral dominions of the house of Hapsburg, is used for want 1 Jdherbuch fur gesetzgebung des deutschen Reichs. January 1900. of a better word.