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Croatian-Hungarian relations from the Middle Ages to the Compromise of 1868, with a special survey of the Slavonian issue

Ladislav Heka

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 232 Kb

str. 152-173

preuzimanja: 3.023



From 1102 to 1918 Croatia has been in a state union with Hungary. Croatian history and law are consequently a part of Hungarian state and law history and, of course, vice versa. Considering that almost a century has passed since the end of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, we may offer an objective analysis of Croatian and Hungarian relations, devoid of political and emotional tones. The question of the political and legal status of Slavonia is definitely one of the most controversial issues of Croatian and Hungarian historiography. Namely, after the Turkish incursion the center of the Croatian state was relocated to the territory between the rivers Drava and Sava, which began to be called Croatia instead of its earlier name Slavonia, while the name Slavonia began to pertain to the area of the Srijem, Virovitica and Požega Counties, which were restored by Empress Maria Theresa in 1745 and placed under the authority of the Croatian Parliament and Viceroy (Ban). The Hungarians fiercely opposed this, considering the three Slavonian counties as their historical territory, and called this region “Lower Slavonia” (“Alsó-Szlavónia”), as opposed to “Upper Slavonija” (i. e. Croatia). Legal article No. 1751:XXIII lays down that “Counties of Srijem, Virovitica and Požega shall be invited to the sessions of the Hungarian Parliament and have the right to vote, and otherwise they shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Croatian Viceroy and the Hungarian crown”. This act temporarily solved the problem of Slavonia’s legal status, but it once again came into focus during the public-legal dispute between 1790 and 1848. This dispute ended in an armed conflict in 1848, since the interests of the Hungarians, who were resolved to form a unified state that would include Croatia as well, clashed with the interests of the Croats, who strove to establish their own national state. After 1848 both states were subjected to an absolutistic regime, which was an additional reason to speed up the conclusion of the Croatian-Hungarian Compromise, which occurred in 1868 (Legal Article I of the Croatian Sabor and Legal Article XXX of the Hungarian Parliament). The Agreement stipulated that Hungary on one hand and Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia on the other formed a state union; their king was crowned with a single crown and in a single coronation act with a joint coronation charter issued about this event in two original copies in Croatian and Hungarian language. The Triune Kingdom was defined as “a political nation with a separate territory that has got its own legislation and government in its internal affairs”. Hungary recognized “Lower Slavonija” as a part of Croatia and thus the problem of Slavonia’s status was finally solved. As far as the territorial issue is concerned, the status of Rijeka remained unsolved, and Dalmatia was formally and legally a constituent part of the Hungarian and Croatian state union, but in fact it was a territory under Vienna’s control. After the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, in the newly formed Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Slavonia lost its distinctiveness and remained mainly just a native land’s name.

Ključne riječi

Croatian-Hungarian state union; „Croatian question”; Slavonia; „Lower Slavonia”; Triune Kingdom of Dalmatia; Croatian and Slavonia; Croatian and Hungarian royal councils; Croatian-Hungarian Compromise(1868)

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