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HISTORY]
35
AUSTRIA–HUNGARY

settled, parliament was dissolved. The result of the elections of 1897 was the return of a House so constituted as to make any strong government impossible. On both sides the anti-Semitic parties representing the extreme demagogic elements were present in considerable numbers. The United German Left had almost disappeared; it was represented only by a few members chosen by the great proprietors; in its place there were the three parties—the German Popular party, the German Nationalists, and the German Radicals—who all put questions of nationality first and had deserted the old standpoint of the constitution. Then there were the fourteen Social Democrats who had won their seats under the new franchise. The old party of the Right was, however, also broken up; side by side with forty-one Clericals there were twenty-eight Christian Socialists led by Dr Lueger, a man of great oratorical power, who had won a predominant influence in Vienna, so long the centre of Liberalism, and had quite eclipsed the more modest efforts of Prince Liechtenstein. As among the German National party, there were strong nationalist elements in his programme, but they were chiefly directed against Jews and Hungarians; Lueger had already distinguished himself by his violent attacks on Hungary, which had caused some embarrassment to the government at a time when the negotiations for the Ausgleich were in progress. Like anti-Semites elsewhere, the Christian Socialists were reckless and irresponsible, appealing directly to the passions and prejudices of the most ignorant. There were altogether 200 German members of the Reichsrath, but they were divided into eight parties, and nowhere did there seem to be the elements on which a government could be built up.

The parliamentary situation is best explained by the following table showing the parties:—


German Liberals 1897.   1901.  
    Constitutional Landed Proprietors 28   28  
    German Radicals 49   41  
    German Popular Party 42   51  
    Schoenerer Group 5   21  
    Kronawetter 1   . .  
    Democrat 1   . .  
  126 141
Social Democrats   14   10
German Conservatives
    German Clericals 30 } 37  
    German Popular Party 15
    Christian Socialists 28   23  
  73 60
Federalist Great Proprietors   16   16
Czechs
    Young Czechs 60   53  
    Radical Young Czechs 1   4  
    Clerical Czechs 1   2  
    Agrarian Czechs 1   6  
  63 65
Poles
    Polish Club 59   60  
    Stoyalovski Group 6   . .  
    Popular Polish Party 3   11  
    68 71
Slovenes
    Clerical Slovenes 11   . .  
    Radical    " 5   . .  
  16 16
Italians
    Liberal Italians 14   . .  
    Clerical    " 5   . .  
  19 19
Croatians   11   9
Serbs   2   2
Ruthenes
    Ruthenes 6   . .  
    Young Ruthenes 5   . .  
  11 11
Rumanians
    Rumanians 5   . .  
    Young Rumanians 1   . .  
  6 5
    ——   ——
Total            425   425


The most remarkable result of the elections was the disappearance of the Liberals in Vienna. In 1879, out of 37 members returned in Lower Austria, 33 were Liberals, but now they were replaced to a large extent by the Socialists. It was impossible to maintain a strong party of moderate constitutionalists, on whom the government could depend, unless there was a large nucleus from Lower Austria. The influence of Lueger was very embarrassing; he had now a majority of two-thirds in the town council, and had been elected burgomaster. The emperor had refused to confirm the election; he had been re-elected, and then the emperor, in a personal interview, appealed to him to withdraw. He consented to do so; but, after the election of 1897 had given him so many followers in the Reichsrath, Badeni advised that his election as burgomaster should be confirmed. There was violent antipathy between the Christian Socialists and the German Nationalists, and the transference of their quarrels from the Viennese Council Chamber to the Reichsrath was very detrimental to the orderly conduct of debate.

The limited suffrage had hitherto prevented socialism from Socialism. becoming a political force in Austria as it had in Germany, and the national divisions have always impeded the creation of a centralized socialist party. The first object of the working classes necessarily was the attainment of political power; in 1867 there had been mass demonstrations and petitions to the government for universal suffrage. During the next years there was the beginning of a real socialist movement in Vienna and in Styria, where there is a considerable industrial population; after 1879, however, the growth of the party was interrupted by the introduction of anarchical doctrines. Most's paper, the Freiheit, was introduced through Switzerland, and had a large circulation. The anarchists, under the leadership of Peukert, seem to have attained considerable numbers. In 1883-1884 there were a number of serious strikes, collisions between the police and the workmen, followed by assassinations; it was a peculiarity of Austrian anarchists that in some cases they united robbery to murder. The government, which was seriously alarmed, introduced severe repressive measures; the leading anarchists were expelled or fled the country. In 1887, under the leadership of Dr Adler, the socialist party began to revive (the party of violence having died away), and since then it has steadily gained in numbers; in the forefront of the political programme is put the demand for universal suffrage. In no country is the 1st of May, as the festival of Labour, celebrated so generally.

Badeni after the election sent in his resignation, but the emperor refused to accept it, and he had, therefore, to do the best he could and turn for support to the other nationalities. The strongest of them were the fifty-nine Poles and sixty Young Czechs; he therefore attempted, as Taaffe had done, to come to some agreement with them. The Poles were always ready to support the government; among the Young Czechs the more moderate had already attempted to restrain the wilder spirits of the party, and they were quite prepared to enter into negotiations. They did not wish to lose the opportunity which now was open to them of winning influence over the administration. What they required was further concession as to the language in Bohemia. The language ordinances of 1897. In May 1897 Badeni, therefore, published his celebrated ordinances. They determined (1) that all correspondence and documents regarding every matter brought before the government officials should be conducted in the language in which it was first introduced. This applied to the whole of Bohemia, and meant the introduction of Czech into the government offices throughout the whole of the kingdom; (2) after 1903 no one was to be appointed to a post under the government in Bohemia until he had passed an examination in Czech. These ordinances fulfilled the worst fears of the Germans. The German Nationalists and Radicals declared that no business should be done till they were repealed and Badeni dismissed. They resorted to obstruction. They brought in repeated motions to impeach the ministers, and parliament had to be prorogued in June, although no business of any kind had been transacted. Badeni had not anticipated the effect his ordinances would have; as a Pole he had little experience in the western part of the empire. During the recess he tried to open negotiations, but