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The Centralization of the State Administration through the Establishment of Counties and the Building of Relationships with Manorial Self-governance – the Example of the Syrmia County and the Ilok Manor in the 18th Century

Marta Ivković
Darko Vitek ; Fakultet hrvatskih studija, Sveučilište u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 183 Kb

str. 89-115

preuzimanja: 384



This paper analyses the relation between the newly established Syrmia County and the central state administration in the context of the absolutist court policy.
The Habsburg Monarchy as a typical composite monarchy of the modern period pursued the policy of strengthening the power of the central state institutions which is in historiography mainly referred to as absolutism. Through this policy it developed relations with particular state formations and institutions, which can be discussed as the relation between the centre and the periphery. This policy in the Kingdom of Hungary-Croatia, a peripheral region of the Habsburg Monarchy, was expressed through numerous attempts to reduce the impact and the power of autonomous state institutions. In this sense it is necessary to conduct a historiographic valorisation of the process of the establishment of Ilok Manor and Syrmia County. Ilok Manor was established in the late 17th century in the circumstances of the exhausting war against the Ottoman Empire and as such it was an example of manorial arbitrariness and manorial weakness at the same time. By selling the manor and granting the family Odescalchi extensive powers, Leopold I, in the manner of an absolutist ruler, completely neglected the requirements of the Croatian strata and at the same time renounced considerable prerogatives of kingship in favour of the new owner of the manor. This confrontation proved to be an issue almost half a century later during the establishment of Syrmia County. The newly established Syrmia County with its organisational structure and financial system was an expression of the absolutist policy of Leopold’s granddaughter Maria Theresa. In order to fulfil its role in full, the County had, apart from the organisational structure, to resolve the issue of considerable manorial prerogatives and particularities. Accordingly, a long-lasting conflict between the county and the manorial representatives arose, the county people being intent on reducing the influence of the seigniors and their administrators.
In conclusion, the analysis has, with reference to this, shown that one of the significant roles of the newly established counties, thus also of Syrmia County, was the implementation of absolutist directives of the Habsburg policy and the reduction of the autonomy of manorial prerogatives.

Ključne riječi

Ilok manor; Syrmia County; absolutism; 18th century

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