Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

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Futurist
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Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Futurist » 21 Feb 2018 23:20

How much separatist sentiment was there in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I? Indeed, was the break-up of Austria-Hungary the result of the stresses and pressures of World War I or would it have eventually occurred in any case even without World War I?

Any thoughts on this?

ljadw
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 22 Feb 2018 09:31

Austria and Hungary were already de facto two separate states . The only things who were preventing the breakdown of AH were

1) The presence of the old Emperor who had an enormous prestige

2) The Russian and especially Romanian threat :if Hungary was independent it would still be faced by the Romanian demands about the Romanian minority in Transsylvania .
The "Austrians" constituted a minority of 37 % in "Austria" ,the Hungarians were 52 % in "Hungary " .

Everyone knew that the evolution of the Ausgleich could not be stopped and that the present situation could not last (that's why Franz-Ferdinand wanted to reform the Empire) and everyone feared the future .

War was only speeding up what would happen .

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Feb 2018 18:09

Hi ljadw,

I think you mean Romanian "majority" in Transilvania. The Romanians were certainly a minority in pre-WWI Hunngary, but not in Transilvania. There were also Ukrainian, Slovak and Croat majorities in other provinces of pre-WWI Hungary.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... g_1920.png

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Gooner1 » 23 Feb 2018 13:06

There was quite a lot of separatist sentiment in Austria-Hungary but it's hard to see the Empire breaking-up without the catastrophe of the Great War

Image

How do you split that up without making things worse for most people?

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Feb 2018 17:47

Hi Gooner1,

I would suggest that WWI only speeded up the process, much as WWII speeded up the dissolution of the British Empire.

Nationalism had been on the rise in the 19th Century and threatened all multi-national states in the long run.

You ask, "How do you split that up without making things worse for most people?". It rather depends on whether it is done by mutual consent or not. Czechoslovakia broke up through the "Velvet Divorce". Yugoslavia's break up was rather less smooth.

Cheers,

Sid.

Gooner1
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Gooner1 » 23 Feb 2018 18:12

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Gooner1,

I would suggest that WWI only speeded up the process, much as WWII speeded up the dissolution of the British Empire.

Nationalism had been on the rise in the 19th Century and threatened all multi-national states in the long run.
Yet several multi-national states remain and thrive to this day.

You ask, "How do you split that up without making things worse for most people?". It rather depends on whether it is done by mutual consent or not. Czechoslovakia broke up through the "Velvet Divorce". Yugoslavia's break up was rather less smooth.

Cheers,

Sid.
That was Czechoslovakia's second break-up, or third if you're picky, so they had some practice in it.
In the event, the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire mostly created smaller empires rather than nation states.

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Feb 2018 12:12

Hi Gooner,

Most importantly, there is considerable truth when you say that, ".....the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire mostly created smaller empires rather than nation states."

However, this misses the point that there were rather fewer people living under foreign rule after the break-up of Austria-Hungary than before. The big difference was it was often the former masters, Austrians and Hungarians, who now found part of their population cut off as minorities in neighbouring states.

In writing, "Yet several multi-national states remain and thrive to this day", which states do you mean? India?

Cheers,

Sid.

ljadw
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2018 15:49

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

I think you mean Romanian "majority" in Transilvania. The Romanians were certainly a minority in pre-WWI Hunngary, but not in Transilvania. There were also Ukrainian, Slovak and Croat majorities in other provinces of pre-WWI Hungary.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... g_1920.png

Cheers,

Sid.
For the Hungarians, they were a minority .

ljadw
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2018 15:52

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Gooner,

Most importantly, there is considerable truth when you say that, ".....the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire mostly created smaller empires rather than nation states."

However, this misses the point that there were rather fewer people living under foreign rule after the break-up of Austria-Hungary than before. The big difference was it was often the former masters, Austrians and Hungarians, who now found part of their population cut off as minorities in neighbouring states.

In writing, "Yet several multi-national states remain and thrive to this day", which states do you mean? India?

Cheers,

Sid.
USA ? 8-)

UK ? 8-)

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 24 Feb 2018 16:15

About the number of Romanians and Hungarians in Transylvania :

The 1910 Hungarian census (based on the very vague criterion of "primary used language) gave the following result: population : 5, 262,495 of which 53, 8 % Romanians and 31, 6% Hungarians . But Hungarian nationalists said that a lot of these Romanians were ethnic Hungarians who spoke Romanian .

As we can expect, the 1919 Romanian census gave a totally different result : 5,259,918 inhabitants and 57,1 % Romanians and only 26,5 % Hungarians .

5 % Hungarians had disappeared : where were these 260000 people ? Following Romanian nationalists, they were ethnic Romanians who were oppressed by Budapest and forced to learn Hungarian .

The same "arguments " were used in Poland, CZ, Spain (what is a catalan ? ),in Belgium (since 1830 ), etc, etc.....

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2018 17:05

Hi ljadw,

The USA is more multi-ethnic than multi-national.

India, by contrast, still has many discrete cultures and languages with age old traditions still living in conslidated groups in the same areas where many of them previously had independent states.

Given that for half a century before WWI Hungary had been deliberately Magyarizing its non-Magyar populations by restricting entry into higher education and government service to Hungarian-speakers, it is unlikely that there were significant number of Romanian-speakers who were originally Hungarian. Indeed, given Hungarian dominance of the Romanians of Transilvania for centuries past, it is more likely the reverse was the case - that numbers of Hungarian-speakers originally came from non Magyar populations. Perhaps it was these who re-emerged after WWI?

Cheers,

Sid.

ljadw
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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 25 Feb 2018 17:37

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

The USA is more multi-ethnic than multi-national.

India, by contrast, still has many discrete cultures and languages with age old traditions still living in conslidated groups in the same areas where many of them previously had independent states.

Given that for half a century before WWI Hungary had been deliberately Magyarizing its non-Magyar populations by restricting entry into higher education and government service to Hungarian-speakers, it is unlikely that there were significant number of Romanian-speakers who were originally Hungarian. Indeed, given Hungarian dominance of the Romanians of Transilvania for centuries past, it is more likely the reverse was the case - that numbers of Hungarian-speakers originally came from non Magyar populations. Perhaps it was these who re-emerged after WWI?

Cheers,

Sid.
Magyarization is a fact,but that does not prove that there was a Romanian majority . The problem is that the method used to classify the population (primary used language) does not fit : people who spoke mostly Romanian, could consider themselves still as Hungarians,for economic reasons .

And we don't know what method the Romanians used in their census (there was never a referendum asking the population if they wanted remain in Hungary or become a part of Romania).

I suspect that there was no clear majority ,but a Hungarian and a Romanian minority and the remaining part unwilling, not knowing, unable to tell if they were Hungarians or Romanians ; example : the Jews . In 1940 the north of Transsylvania returned to Hungary , including 150000 Jews . There were also Jews in the other part . Which ones were Hungarians and which ones were Romanians ?

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2018 17:46

Hi ljadw,

I don't know where you are getting your information from.

As I understand it from the Hungarian 1910 census, 31.6% of the population of Transilvania were Hungarian, but 53.8% were Romanian. And this was after 50 years of state-sponsored Magyarization. Germans, Jews, etc., made up the difference.

It was because of this that Hitler only gave Northern Transilvania back to Hungary in 1940 - but even then the Hungarian majority was disputable in this more limited area.

Of course, there was also a reciprocal Romanization process whenever the area was under the control Bucharest, and the Hungarian majority areas within Transilvania have been further eroded since WWII.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by ljadw » 25 Feb 2018 18:04

The Hungarian census and the Romanian census were unreliable : people were asked : what is your primary used language and their answer was used to classify them as Hungarian or Romanian . That there were more people who spoke Romanian was used by Budapest to increase the Magyarisation and by Bucarest to claim that the majority was Romanian .

About the 150000 Jews who returned to Hungary in 1940 : there is no proof that they considered themselves as Hungarians, the same for the Jews who remained in Romania : were they Romanians ?

If X had a Hungarian father and a Romanian mother and spoke mostly ROmanian , he would still be claimed by the Hungarian nationalists as Hungarian , the same for Y with a Romanian father and Hungarian mother but speaking mostly Hungarian: he would be ckaimed by Romanian nationalists as a Romanian .
And what about the opportunists who after the war claimed to be Romanians ?

During the German occupation of Poland, a lot of Poles discovered suddenly ,for obvious reasons, that one or more of their ancestors spoke German ,and were classified as Germans (of a low class ) .

The census gave no proof for a Hungarian or Romanian majority ;this was not the aim of the census,and it was also not possible .

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Re: Separatism in Austria and Hungary before the start of World War I?

Post by henryk » 25 Feb 2018 20:11

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/national ... ote]Polish Parties/Movements

The most complicated Slav movement within the Empire was the Polish movement. Poland endured three different partitions in 1772, 1793, and finally in 1795 when Russia, Austria, and Prussia completely absorbed the Polish lands into their realms.

Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/m1156enz.gif

Thus, the Polish movement depended on what the separate countries could offer Polish politicians in return for their support. As Arthur J. May proclaims, “Poles under the rule of Russia or of Prussia envied their compatriots in Austria, for they possessed considerable measure of local self-government and political domination in Galicia.”[28] So even though the ultimate goal of Poles was the reunification of their historic homelands and to once again be represented by the Polish people, there really was no anti-Habsburg movement in the years leading up to and during the First World War. But when the nationality weapon was initiated against the Empire the Allies started offering more incentive to the Poles (considered the most loyal Slav subjects even by Germans) to betray their ruler. The Polish National Democratic Party in Russia led by Roman Dwowski offered in his manifesto, “Autonomy for a re-united Poland under the scepter of Nicholas II,”[29] and many Poles in Austria accepted this offer.

But still many Poles feared being under the rule of the Eastern Orthodox Russians and preferred to bide time by continuing to support the Empire until a fully independent Polish state was announced as an Allied war aim. The Polish National Committee which represented the Poles of Prussia, Austria, and Russia had little participation in anti-Habsburg movement. The Committee was possibly the most disorganized of all the Slav nationality movements and for the committee the difficulty was choosing the least of three evils when considering which oppressive country to align with. Ironically, the Polish movement became the most successful because the Allies vigilantly pledged, “The creation of a united and independent Poland as one of the conditions of a solid and just peace,”[30] a statement that was more reluctantly done later for Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. With a guarantee of a Polish homeland under the Polish flag all that the nationalists had to do was wait for the Allies to win and redistribute the Habsburg lands in their favor.
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