The Habsburg Empire amid the challenges of nationalism
Plans and conceptions for remodelling the Empire
The Habsburg Empire before 1848 was an exemplar of old-type, dynastic empires. While the nation-state was becoming the increasingly accepted organ-izing principle of states, the Empire remained a conglomerate of pepoples. The revolutionary and national movements of 1848-1849, in addition to triggering a crisis of the imperial government, threatened the very existence of the Empire since they erupted with unprecedented force, striving, in the name of modern nationalism, to make the priciple of nationality the basis, or at least one of the decisive tenets, of political organization, and demanding the reform of the or-ganization of the Empire. The paper surveys the programs drawn up in Austria in 1848-1849 and attempts to present the Hungarian revolution and war of in-dependence of 1848-49 not only as a duel between the imperial government and the Habsburg court on the one hand, and the Hungarian liberal political elite on the other, but as embedded in the complicated matrix of the programs of the nations that made up the Empire. Savage pamphlets were written, still in the name of constitutionality in 1848-1849, by proponents of imperial centralism, the adherents of assorted types of federal reorganization, and the representatives of the plan of a Hungarian personal union against each other; the real emphasis for these pamphlets was of course provided by the actual battles fought against Hungary. The paper offers a summary of these polemies.
A tanulmány a Central European University Research Support Scheme programjának támogatásával készült. Köszönöm Dr. Univ.-Prof. Horst Haselsteinernek (Universität Wien) szakmai támogatását és segítségét.
The government's position on putting the question of the operata on the agenda (1830-1832)
The paper examines the position of the government concerning the work of a national committee delegated by the 1827 Art. 8. These so called operata were originally to be put on the agenda of the Hungarian Diet planned for October 2, 1831. The session where the main point of the agenda was to discuss the work of the commission was finally summoned by the monarch for December 16, 1832. The paper claims that the reason for this delay was not only the pandemic of cholera, which broke out in the summer of 1931, but the deliberate postponing tactics of the government as well.
The government, i.e. the Hungarian chief officers such as the comes palatinus, the chancellor, and the personalis praesentiae regiae, and the conference of ministers, recognized the necessity of discussing the operata, but also wanted to wait until it was clear what instructions had been drawn up for the county deputies so that it could make the order of the parlamentary debates on the operata with that knowledge.
The other important goal of the government was to avoid the simultaneous summoning, long overdue, of the Hungarian and Transylvanian Diets. The Diet of Pozsony in 1832-1834 was in session longer that the government would have wished, but the conditions in Transylvania obliged the king to summon the Transylvanian estates for a Diet in 1934. The second goal thus failed. Handling Hungarian and Transylvanian affairs at the same time surpassed the abilities of the government, and the grave political conflicts emerging at the turn of 1834 and 1835 would be impossible to cope with by traditional means.