Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/51

This page needs to be proofread.


AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 23 agitation. In the same year they won the majority in the among the Czechs, and the greater migration from the town council of Laibach, which had hitherto been German. country to the towns; partly the result of the romantic They were able, therefore, to introduce Illyrian as the and nationalist movement which had arisen about 1830, official language, and cause the names of the streets to be and partly the result of establishing popular education and written up in Illyrian. This question of street names is, parliamentary government at the same time. As soon as as it were, a sign of victory. Serious riots broke out in these races which had so long been ruled by the Germans some of the towns of Istria when, for the first time, received political liberty and the means of education, Illyrian was used for this purpose as well as Italian. In they naturally used both to reassert their national Prague the victory of the Czechs has been marked by the individuality. removal of all German street names, and the Czechish It may be suggested that the resistance to the German language town council even passed a bye-law forbidding private is to some extent a result of the increased national feeling among individuals to have tablets put up with the name of the the Germans themselves. They have made it a matter of principle. street in German. In consequence of a motion by the In the old days it was common for the children of German parents Bohemia to learn Czechish ; since 1867 this has ceased to be the Slovenian members of the Reichsrath and a resolution in case. It may almost be said that they make it a point of honour of the Diet of Carniola, the Government also declared not to do so. A result of this is that, as educated Czechs are Slovenian to be a recognized language for the whole of generally bilingual, it is easier for them to obtain appointments in Carniola, for the district of Cilli in Styria, and for the districts where a knowledge of Czechish is required, and the therefore regard every order requiring the use of Czechish Slovenian and mixed districts in the south of Carinthia, Germans as an order which excludes Germans from a certain number of and determined that in Laibach a Slovenian gymnasium posts. This attitude of hostility and contempt is strongest among should be maintained as well as the German one. the educated middle class ; it is not shown to the same extent the clergy and the nobles. The Germans complain that in many cases the Government byThe influence of the Church is also favourable to the Slavonic acted very unfairly to them. They constantly refer to the case of races, not so much from principle as owing to the fact that they Klagenfurt. This town in Carinthia had a population of 16,491 supply more candidates for ordination than the Germans. There German-speaking Austrians; the Slovenian-speaking population is no doubt, however, that the tendency among Germans has been numbered 568, of whom 180 were inhabitants of the gaol or the to exalt the principle of nationality above religion, and to give it hospital. The Government, however, in 1880 declared Slovenian an absolute authority in which Roman Catholic Church cannot a customary language, so that provision had to be made in public acquiesce. In this, as in other the the Germans in Austria have offices and law courts for dealing with business in Slovenian. It been much influenced by the ways, course of events in the German must be remembered, however, that even though the town was empire. This hostility of the Church to the German nationalist German, the rural population of the surrounding villages was movement led in 1898 to an agitation against the Roman Catholic chiefly Slovenian. Church, and among the Germans of Styria and other territories numbers left the Church, going over either to Protestantism It was in Bohemia and Moravia that the contest was large or to Old Catholicism. This “Los von Rom” movement, which fought out with the greatest vehemence. The two races was caused by the continued alliance of the Clerical party with the were nearly equal, and the victory of Czechish would Slavonic parties, is more of the nature of a political demonstration mean that nearly two million Germans would be placed than of a religious movement. in a position of subordination; but for the last twenty [There is a very extensive literature on the question of languages years there had been a constant encroachment by Czechish and nationality in Austria. The best statement of the legal on German. This was partly due to the direct action of question will be found in Ulbrich and Mischler, Oesterrcichisches Staats- Worterbuch. See also Dummreicher, Sudostdeutschc Betrachthe Government. An ordinance of 1880 determined that tungen. Leipzig, 1893.—Hainisch. Die Zukunft der Deutsch. henceforward all business which had been brought before Oestcrrcicher. Vienna, 1892.—Herkner. Die Zukunft der Deutsch. any government office or law court should be dealt with, Oesterreicher. Vienna, 1893. — Schlesinger. Die Nationalitdts within the office, in the language in which it was intro- VerhcUtnisse Bbhmens. Prague, 1886.—Linger. La Save, le Danube ct le Balkan. Paris, 1884.—Bressnitz von Sydacoff, Die Panduced ; this applied to the whole of Bohemia and slavistische Agitation. Berlin, 1899.] Moravia, and meant that Czechish would henceforward The Germans, so long accustomed to rule, now saw have a position within the Government service. It was another step in the same direction when, in 1886, it was their old ascendency threatened, and they defended it ordered that “to avoid frequent translations” business with an energy that increased with each defeat. introduced in Czechish should be dealt with in the same In 1880 they founded a great society, the language in the high courts of Prague and Brunn. Then Deutscher Schul-Verein, to establish and assist not only were a large number of Czechish elementary German schools. It spread over the whole of the empire ; schools founded, but also many middle schools were given in a few years it numbered 100,000 members, and had an to the Czechs, and Czechish classes introduced in German income of nearly 300,000 gulden; no private society in schools; and, what affected the Germans most, in 1882 Austria had ever attained so great a success. In the classes in Czechish were started in the university of Reichsrath a motion was introduced, supported by all the Prague—& desecration, as it seemed, of the oldest German German Liberal parties, demanding that German should be declared the language of state and regulating the conuniversity. The growth of the Slavonic races was, however, not ditions under which the other idioms could be recognized ; merely the result of Government assistance; it had begun it was referred to a committee from which it never long before Taaffe assumed office; it was to be seen in emerged, and a bill to the same effect, introduced in 1-886, the census returns and in the results of elections. Prague met a similar fate. In Bohemia they demanded, as a was no longer the German city it had been fifty years means of protecting themselves against the effect of the before; the census of 1880 showed 36,000 Germans to language ordinances, that the country should be divided 120,000 Czechs. It was the same in Pilsen. In 1861 the into two parts ; in one German was to be the sole language, Germans had a majority in this town; in 1880 they were in the other Czech was to be recognized. A proposal to not a quarter of the population. This same phenomenon, this effect was introduced by them in the Landtag at the which occurs elsewhere, cannot be attributed to any laxity end of 1886, but since 1882 the Germans had been in a of the Germans. The generation which was so vigorously minority. The Czechs, of course, refused even to consider demanding national rights had themselves all been brought it; it would have cut away the ground on which their up under the old system in German schools, but this had whole policy was built up, namely, the indissoluble unity not implanted in them a desire to become German. It of the Bohemian kingdom, in which German and Czech was partly due to economic causes—the greater increase should throughout be recognized as equal and parallel