Hungarian-Croatian Compromise

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The Hungarian-Croatian Compromise(Croatian Hrvatsko-Ugarska nagodba, Hungarian horvát-magyar kiegyezés) in 1868 regulated the autonomy of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia within the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Dual Monarchy. It came about as a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise concluded in 1867.

Representation of the connection between Hungary and Croatia under the Hungarian crown of St. Stephen (Julije Huhn, around 1860)

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This was preceded in the revolutionary year of 1848 by the severance of relations with the Kingdom of Hungary by the Croatian Ban Joseph Jelačić of Bužim, who fought on the side of the Austrian Emperor against the Hungarian rebels. Jelačić had ordered that all Croatian institutions should no longer follow orders from the Hungarian government. After the end of the revolution in 1849, Croatian autonomy was also restricted again in the following years, the Diet was closed and Croatia-Slavonia was directly subordinated to Vienna. The constitutional position of the country within the Danube Monarchy remained unresolved. Beginning with the October Diploma of 1860, years of negotiations ensued between the Emperor, representatives of Hungary, and the Croatian Diet concerning Croatia-Slavonia’s autonomy. Most Croatian politicians wanted at all costs to prevent a renewed subordination to Hungary and to achieve recognition of their country as an independent constituent state of the monarchy.

After a visit by Emperor Franz Joseph to Pest in 1865, a clarification of the relationship between Hungary and the Viennese centre began to emerge. The leaders of the old conservative party in Hungary, Count György Majláth and Baron Paul Sennyey, formed a government on behalf of the emperor, and on December 14 the Hungarian Diet was reopened. The royal speech from the throne promised the restoration of the integrity of the Hungarian crown, which was understood by the Hungarians to mean that all the lost territories (in addition to the Banat and Transylvania, Croatia-Slavonia) should be rejoined to Hungary. The negotiations on this and on the determination of the common affairs of the entire monarchy had not yet come to a conclusion when, because of the war against Prussia, the Diet was temporarily closed on 26 June 1866.

Austro-Hungarian Compromise

In the dispute that broke out in Austria after the Peace of Prague over the reorganization of the empire, the Hungarians, under the leadership of Ferenc Deák, took a clear, determined position from the outset and ultimately successfully prevailed. In order to prevent the dissolution of the monarchy into five kingdoms and the associated gain in power by the Slavic peoples, the leading minister von Beust, with the approval of the German Liberals, opted for dualism, for the division of the empire into a western half, where the Germans, and an eastern half, where the Magyars were to have the preponderance

In this treaty Hungary was recognized as an independent state, bound to Austria by certain common affairs, and entered into a customs and trade alliance with her for an initial period of ten years. Of the recognized national debts and of the common expenditures for foreign affairs, army and navy, Hungary assumed only 30 percent, but stood on an equal footing with the Austrian half of the empire in the delegations. With all the pomp of earlier centuries, the solemn coronation of the king took place in Budapest on June 8, 1867, and thus the reconciliation of the Magyars with the dynasty was sealed.

Hungarian-Croatian Compromise

Since the Austro-Hungarian Compromise restored the territorial status quo of 1848, Croatia-Slavonia also had to return under the umbrella of the Crown of St. Stephen. Unlike Transylvania and the Serbs in the Banat, however, the Croats were given the opportunity to negotiate with the Hungarian government about partial autonomy for their country within the Hungarian state.

The Hungarian-Croatian Compromise came into being on 20 September 1868. The autonomy agreed upon in 1868, which was interpreted by the Croatian side as a treaty between two states, but which the Hungarians regarded as special treatment of a province, stipulated that Croatia-Slavonia should have an independent regional administration and judicial organization, while the Sabor received legislative sovereignty in the areas of culture and education. The language of administration was Croatian, but whether this language could also be used in dealings with Budapest remained a matter of dispute between the two sides. In the areas of taxation and military affairs, Croatia-Slavonia had no powers of its own. The ban at the head of the Croatian provincial government was not elected by the Sabor, but appointed by the Hungarian government. He was responsible to both the Sabor and the Hungarian Ministry for the Triune Kingdom.[1]


The Nationality Act of 29 November 1868 stipulated that all the inhabitants of Hungary should form the unified and indivisible Hungarian nation, and that the Hungarian language should be the state language. The Croats resisted the application of this law to their country and the conflicts with Budapest shaped Croatian history in the following decades. From 1879 onwards, the increasing Magyarisation policy in the Hungarian part of the empire led to considerable tensions, which only came to an end at the end of the First World War with the disintegration of the Habsburg monarchy and Croatia’s secession from Hungary in 1918.

See also

  • Croatia in the Danube Monarchy


  • Gerhard Seewann: Ausgleich, ungarisch-kroatischer. In: Konrad Clewing, Holm Sundhaussen (eds.): Lexikon zur Geschichte Südosteuropas. Böhlau, Vienna et al. 2016, ISBN 978-3-205-78667-2, pp. 101-103.

Web links

Individual references

  1. Wolf Dietrich Behschnitt: Nationalismus bei Serben und Kroaten, 1830-1914: Analyse und Typologie der nationalen Ideologie, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 1980, pp. 33ff.