Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/44

This page needs to be proofread.



remained. In 1867 it was necessary once more to summon, in some form or another, a common parliament for the whole of Austria, by which the settlement with Hungary could be ratified. This necessity brought to a decisive issue the struggle between the parties of the Centralists and Federalists. . The latter claimed that the new constitution must ists and be made by agreement with the territories; the Federal- former maintained that the constitution of 1861 ists ' was still valid, and demanded that in accordance with it the Reichsrath should be summoned and a “ constitutional ” Government restored. The difference between the two parties was to a great extent, though not entirely, one of race. The kernel of the empire was the purely German district, including Upper and Lower Austria, Salzburg, Tirol (except the south), and Yorarlberg, all Styria except the southern districts, and a large part of Carinthia. There was strong local feeling, especially in Tirol, but it was local feeling similar to that which formerly existed in the provinces of France; among all classes and parties there was great loyalty both to the ruling house and to the idea of the Austrian state; but while the Liberal party, which was dominant in Lower Austria and Styria, desired to develop the central institutions, there was a strong Conservative and Clerical party which supported local institutions as a protection against the Liberal influence of a centralized parliament and bureaucracy, and the bishops and clergy were willing to gain support in the struggle by alliance with the Federalists. Very different was it in the other territories where the majority of the population was not German—and where there was a lively recollection of the time when ^Slavonic ^ey were not Austrian. With Palacky, they said, lands. “We existed before Austria ; we shall continue to exist after it is gone.” Especially was this the case in Bohemia. In this great country, the richest part of the Austrian dominions, where over three-fifths of the population were Czech, national feeling was supported by the appeal to historic law. A great party, led by Palacky and Rieger, demanded the restoration of the Bohemian monarchy in its fullest extent, including Moravia and Silesia, and insisted that the emperor should be crowned in Prague as his predecessors had been, and that Bohemia should have a position in the empire similar to that obtained by Hungary. Not only did the party include all the Czechs, but they were supported by many of the great nobles who were of German descent, including Count Leo Thun, his brother-in-law Clam-Martinicz, and Prince Schwarzenberg, Cardinal Archbishop of Prague, who hoped in a self-governing kingdom of Bohemia to preserve that power which was threatened by the German Liberals. The feudal nobles had great power arising from their wealth, the great traditions of their families, and the connexion with the court, and by the electoral law they had a large number of representatives in the Diet. On the other hand the Germans of Bohemia, fearful of falling under the control of the Czechs, were the most ardent advocates of centralization. The Czechs were supported also by their fellow-countrymen in Moravia, and some of the nobles, headed by Count Belcredi, brother of the minister ; but in Brunn there was a strong German party. In Silesia the Germans had a considerable majority, and as there was a large Polish element which did not support the Czechs, the Diet refused to recognize the claims of the Bohemians. The Poles of Galicia stood apart from the other Slavonic races. The German-speaking population was very small, consisting chiefly of Government officials, railway servants, and Jews; but there was a large minority (some 43 per cent.) of Ruthenians. The Poles wished to gain as much


autonomy as they could for their own province, but they had no interest in opposing the centralization of other parts; they were satisfied if Austria would surrender the Ruthenians to them. They were little influenced by the panSlavonic agitation ; it was desirable for them that Austria, which gave them freedom and power, should continue strong and united. Their real interests were outside the monarchy, and they did not cease to look forward to a restoration of the Polish kingdom. The great danger was that they might entangle Austria in a war with Russia. The southern Slavs had neither the unity, nor the organization, nor the historical traditions of the Czechs and Poles ; but the Slovenians, who formed a large majority of the population in Carniola and a considerable minority in the adjoining territory of Carinthia and the south of Styria, demanded that their language should be used for purposes of government and education. Their political ideal was an “Illyrian” kingdom, including Croatia and all the south Slavonians in the coast district, and a not very successful movement had been started to establish a so-called Illyrian language, which should be accepted both by Croatians and Slovenians. There was, however, another element in the southern districts, viz., the Serbs, who, though of the same race and language as the Croatians, were separated from them by religion. Belonging to the Orthodox Church they were attracted by Russia. They were in constant communication with Servia and Montenegro; and their ultimate hope, the creation of a great Servian kingdom, was less easy to reconcile with loyalty to Austria. Of late years attempts have been made to turn the Slovenian national movement into this direction, and to attract the Slovenians also towards the Orthodox nonAustrian Slavs. In the extreme south of Dalmatia is a small district which had not formed part of the older duchy of Dalmatia, and had not been joined to the Austrian empire till 1814 ; in former years Soutj1 part of it formed the republic of Ragusa, and the rest na .ma ..,a belonged to Albania. The inhabitants of this part, " who chiefly belonged to the Greek Church, still kept up a close connexion with Albania and with Montenegro, and Austrian authority was maintained with difficult}’. Disturbances had already broken out once before; and in 1869 another outbreak took place. This district had hitherto been exempted from military service ; by the law of 1869, which introduced universal military service, those who had hitherto been exempted were required to serve, not in the regular army but in the militia. The inhabitants of the district round the Bocche de Cattaro (the Bocchese, as they are commonly called) refused to obey this order, and when a military force was sent it failed to overcome their resistance ; and by an agreement made at Knezlac in December 1869, Rodics, who had taken command, granted the insurgents all they asked and a complete amnesty. After the conquest of Bosnia another attempt was made to enforce military service ; once more a rebellion broke out, and spread to the contiguous districts of Herzegovina. This time, however, the Government, whose position in the Balkans had been much strengthened by the occupation of the new provinces, did not fear to act with decision. A considerable force was sent under Jovanowitch ; they were supported from sea by the navy, and after the taking of Crevoscia the rebellion was crushed. An amnesty was proclaimed, but the greater number of the insurgents sought refuge in Montenegro rather than submit to military service. The Italians of Trieste and Istria were the only people of the empire who really desired separation from Austria; annexation to Italy was the aim of the Italianissimi, as they were called. The feeling was less strong in Tirol, where, except in the city of Trent, they seem chiefly to have wished for separate local institutions, so that they should no longer be governed from Innsbruck. The Italian-speaking population on the coast of Dalmatia only asked that the Government should uphold them against the pressure of the Slavonic races in the interior, and for this reason were ready to support the German constitutionalists. The party of centralization was then the Liberal German party, supported by a few Italians and the Ruthenians,