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Imposed duality: foundation of the free military community in Vinkovci (1765-1787)

Damir Matanović

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 177 Kb


str. 183-193

preuzimanja: 827



In this paper we aim to analyze the foundation of the noncombatant institution of the military community in the command center of the Military Border regiment. Vinkovci was the command center of the Brod Military Border regiment, which was declared a free military community in 1765. The same occurred in Mitrovica, the center of command for the Petrovaradin military border regiment, and in Nova Gradiška, the command center of the Gradiška military border regiment. However, unlike the communities established in the Slavonian military border in 1748 and 1753, which were completely extracted from the military-administrative hierarchy, the communities founded in 1765 resulted from an administrative division of one community into two parts. In the case of Vinkovci this division is clearly evidenced by the relevant number of inhabitants. Namely, prior to the division, census showed that the population of Vinkovci numbered around 1300 people, whereas after this division in the military community, Vinkovci registered less than 500 inhabitants. Analyzing this administrative division of inhabitants occupying the same space, we came to the conclusion that this division occurred as a consequence of the failure of the project aimed at creating military communities in the Slavonian part of the Military Border. Namely, the inability to meet financial objectives, which had been set before the communities in 1753, forced the military authorities of the Slavonian Military Border to establish new military communities. As the slavonian Military Border did not have urban centers wherein nonagrarian activities would account for a larger portion of activities, the only choice for the new communities was to establish them as military command centers for the regiments. Unlike other places in the Slavonian Military Border, the inhabitants of the command centers were not overburdened with military duties. All the time, guard was kept by soldiers from the remainder of the regiment so that the permanent inhabitants of what became the command center never had to perform this duty. This had left enough room for the inhabitants of Vinkovci, Mitrovica and Nova Gradiška to dedicate their time and energy to the development of crafts, trades and agricultural activities. Yet, despite the good prospects that such centers enjoyed in view of the enlarged market emerging from constant fluctuations of soldiers and civilians in the command centers, not one of the communities founded in 1765 managed to justify its existence. None managed to achieve any significant results for the war treasury. Why was that so? The reason clearly lies in the fact that they had not been offered a new or at least a different functional concept, but they had to cope within the inadequate conceptual framework of the “old communities”. This eventually led to their abolishment in 1787.

Ključne riječi

Slavonian Military Confines; free military communities; town of Vinkovci

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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