Croatia in the Habsburg Empire

Following the Battle of Mohács, in 1527 the Croatian (and Hungarian) nobles needed to decide on a new king. The bulk of the Croatians convened the Parliament on Cetin and chose the suzerainty to the Austrian king Ferdinand of Habsburg. Some of the nobles dissented and supported John Zápolya, but the Habsburg option prevailed by 1540, when Zápolya died.

The Ottoman incursion

The change of leadership was far from a solution to the war with the Turks, in fact, the Ottoman Empire gradually expanded in the 16th century to include most of Slavonia, western Bosnia and Lika.

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Nikola Šubić Zrinski fighting the Turks at Siget


Taking advantage of the growing conflict between Maximilian and Sigismund, Suleyman started his sixth raid of Hungary in 1565 with 150,000 troops. They successfully progressed northwards until 1566 when they took a small detour to capture the outpost of Siget (Szigetvár) which they failed to capture ten years previously. The small fort was defended by Count Nikola Šubić Zrinski and 2500 men. They were able to hold their ground for a month, and decimated the Ottoman army before being wiped out themselves. This siege, now known as the Battle of Szigetvár, bought enough time to allow Austrian troops to regroup before the Turks could reach Vienna.

By orders of the king in 1553 and 1578, large areas of Croatia and Slavonia adjacent to the Ottoman Empire were carved out into the Military Frontier (Vojna Krajina) and ruled directly from Vienna's military headquarters. Due to the dangerous proximity to the Ottoman armies, the area became rather deserted, so Austria encouraged the settlement of Serbs, Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks and Rusyns/Ukrainians and other Slavs in the Military Frontier, creating an ethnic patchwork.

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The execution of Matija Gubec at the square in front of St. Mark's Church in Zagreb


The negative effects of feudalism escalated in 1573 when the peasants in northern Croatia and Slovenia rebelled against their feudal lords over various injustices such as unreasonable taxation or abuse of women in the Croatian and Slovenian peasant revolt. Ambroz Matija Gubec and other leaders of the mutiny raised peasants to arms in over sixty fiefs throughout the country in January 1573, but their uprising was crushed by early February. Matija Gubec and thousands of others were publicly executed shortly thereafter, in a rather brutal manner in order to set an example for others.

After the Bihać fort finally fell to the army of the Bosnian vizier Hasan-pasha Predojević in 1592, only small parts of Croatia remained unconquered. The remaining 16,800 km² were referred to as the remnants of the remnants of the once great Croatian kingdom.

17th and 18th century

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Map of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Istria and the Republic of Dubrovnik


After the battle of Sisak in 1593, when the Ottoman army was successfully repelled for the first time on the territory of Croatia, the lost territory was mostly restored, except for large parts of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the 1700s, the Ottoman Empire was driven out of Ottoman Hungary and Croatia, and Austria brought the empire under central control.

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Execution of Petar Zrinski and Krsto Frankopan in Wiener Neustadt


The Austrian imperial army was victorious against the Turks in 1664 but Emperor Leopold failed to capitalize on the success when he signed the Peace of Vasvár in which Hungary and Croatia were prevented from regaining territory lost to the Ottoman Empire. This caused unrest among the Hungarian and Croatian nobility which plotted against the emperor, but they weren't powerful enough to actually do something about it, even though they negotiated with both the French and the Turks. Imperial spies uncovered the conspiracy and on April 30, 1671 executed four esteemed Croatian and Hungarian noblemen involved in it, Petar Zrinski, F. K. Frankopan, F. Nádasdy and E. Tatenbach, in Wiener Neustadt.

Croatia was one of the crown lands that supported Emperor Charles's Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and supported Empress Maria Theresia in the War of Austrian Succession of 1741-1748. Subsequently, the empress made significant contributions to Croatian matters, by making several changes in the administrative control of the Military Frontier, the feudal and tax system. She also gave the independent port of Rijeka to Croatia in 1776. However, she also ignored and eventually disbanded the Croatian Parliament and in 1779, Croatia was relegated to just one seat in the governing council of Hungary, held by the ban of Croatia.

With the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, its possessions in eastern Adriatic mostly came under the authority of France which passed its rights to Austria the same year. Eight years later they were restored to France as the Illyrian provinces, but won back to the Austrian crown by 1815. Though now part of the same empire, Dalmatia and Istria were part of Cisleithania while Croatia and Slavonia were under Hungary.

19th century up to World War I

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Croatian renaissance (curtain of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb)


The governments of Austria and Hungary each tried to colonize Croatia over a period of several centuries: they imposed their languages on the Croatian people and settled many Austrian and Hungarian colonists in Croatia. In the 19th century Croatian romantic nationalism emerged to counteract the non-violent but apparent Germanization and Magyarization. The Croatian national revival began in the 1830s with the Illyrian movement. The movement attracted a number of influential figures and produced some important advances in the Croatian language and culture. The champion of the Illyrian movement was Ljudevit Gaj who also reformed and standardized the Croatian literary language.



In 1840, an Austro-Hungarian population census was conducted in the crownland of Croatia and Slavonia. There were 1,605,730 people, of which:
  • 777,880 Croats (48%)
  • 504,179 Serbs (32%)
  • 297,747 Šokci (19%)
By the 1840s, the movement had moved from cultural goals to resisting Hungarian political demands. By the royal order of January 11, 1843, originating from the chancellor Metternich, the use of the Illyrian name and insignia in public was forbidden. This deterred the movement's progress but it couldn't stop the changes in the society that had already started.

In the Revolutions of 1848 in Habsburg areas, the Croatian ban Jelačić cooperated with the Austrians in quenching the revolution in Hungary by leading a military campaign into Hungary, successful until the Battle of Pakozd. Despite this contribution, Croatia was later subject to Baron Alexander von Bach's absolutism as well as the Hungarian hegemony under ban Levin Rauch when the Empire was transformed into a dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867.



Nevertheless, Ban Jelačić had succeeded in the abolishment of serfdom in Croatia, which eventually brought about massive changes in society: the power of the major landowners was reduced and arable land became increasingly subdivided, to the extent of risking famine. Many Croatians started emigrating to the New World countries in this period, a trend that would continue throughout the next hundred years and create a large Croatian diaspora.

The Illyrian movement was rather broad in scope, both nationalist and pan-Slavist. It would eventually develop into two major causes: The loss of Croatian domestic autonomy was rectified a year after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, when in 1868 the Hungarian-Croatian Settlement (hrvatsko-ugarska nagodba) was negotiated. However, the governor (ban) was appointed by Hungary, 55% percent of all tax money went to Budapest, and Hungary had authority over the biggest sea port of Rijeka (something that was reportedly not part of the Settlement actually agreed upon).

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Counties of Croatia-Slavonia within the Kingdom of Hungary, 1867/68


The crown land of Croatia-Slavonia was divided into eight counties or comitatus (with county centers in the parenthesis): The Croats from the coastal provinces also strove to unite with continental Croatia. As the Military Frontier was integrated back into the civic counties by 1881, the Croats and the Serbs from those provinces were also interested in the political strengthening of the country.

As part of the Hungarian-Croatian Settlement, the Triune Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia had retained some of its historical status. However, as Dalmatia was part of Cisleithania and Croatia and Slavonia were part of Transleithania, the Triune Kingdom's continued existence was at this point mostly a formality allowing the two entities to share a common flag among other things.

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Killings of Rakovica (Death of Eugen Kvaternik)


The country was again threatened by Magyarization under ban Khuen-Héderváry whose two decades of rule were marked by political and public demonstrations, and ended in 1903 with violent rioting.

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Triune kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia (red and pink) from 1868 to 1918


Struggle towards more independence within the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was interrupted by the World War I which started in 1914. In the Great War, Croatian territory was not the site of any major battles, but the Croatian soldiers did participate in the gruesome winter battles of the Eastern Front with losses numbered in tens of thousands. A notable individual was Svetozar Boroević, an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army who hailed from the areas of the former Military Frontier and who went on to become the first non-German field marshal in the Imperial army due to his successful defensive strategies. Also significant was Stefan Sarkotić, the last governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the highest-ranking Croats in the Dual Monarchy. He called for the unification of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Dalmatia and Croatia-Slavonia. However, the Austro-Hungarian officials did not see fit to grant any concessions until it was too late. Sarkotić later led the Croatian emigré resistance in Austria from Vienna.

See also

Battle of Mohács (Hungarian: mohácsi csata or mohácsi vész; Croatian: Mohačka bitka; Turkish: Mohaç Savaşı or
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15th century - 16th century - 17th century
1490s  1500s  1510s  - 1520s -  1530s  1540s  1550s
1524 1525 1526 - 1527 - 1528 1529 1530

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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The Kingdom of Croatia was an administrative division (kingdom) of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1527 to 1868. Its capital was Zagreb.

History

Until 18th century, the Habsburg Kingdom of Croatia included only small north-western part of present-day Croatia around Zagreb and a
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Kingdom of Hungary (short form: Hungary; Hungarian: Magyarország, long form Magyar Királyság) was a state in Central Europe that existed from 1000 to 1946 interrupted several times by short periods of anarchy or changes in form of government.
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Parliament on Cetin (Cetinski Sabor).

On January 1 1527 they elected Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria as the king of Croatia. The charter signed by Croatian nobles and representatives of Ferdinand of Habsburg (Pavao Oberstain, Nikola Jurišić, Ivan Katzianer
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Suzerainty (pronounced [ˈsuzəɹɪnti] or [ˈsuzəˌɹeɪnti]
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Anthem
Land der Berge, Land am Strome   (German)
Land of Mountains, Land on the River
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Ferdinand I (10 March 1503 – 25 July 1564) was an Austrian monarch from the House of Habsburg. He was first the Archduke of Austria from 1521-1564. After the death of Louis II, Ferdinand ruled as King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526–1564).
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Habsburg (commonly anglicised to "Hapsburg") and the successor family, Habsburg-Lorraine, were important ruling houses of Europe and are best known as the ruling Houses of Austria (and the Austrian Empire) for over six centuries.
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János Szapolyai or János Zápolya (Croatian: Ivan Zapolja) (2 February 1487 – July 22, 1540) was King of Hungary, he had a dispute with Archduke Ferdinand I, who also claimed the title King of Hungary between 1526 and 1540.
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15th century - 16th century - 17th century
1510s  1520s  1530s  - 1540s -  1550s  1560s  1570s
1537 1538 1539 - 1540 - 1541 1542 1543

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Ottoman Empire or Ottoman Caliphate (1299 to 1922) (Old Ottoman Turkish: دولت عالیه عثمانیه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish:
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As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 through 1600.

See also: 16th century in literature

Events

1500s

  • 1500s: Mississippian culture disappears.

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Slavonia (Croatian: Slavonija) is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia. It is a fertile agricultural and forested lowland bounded, in part, by the Drava river in the north, the Sava river in the south, and the Danube river in the east.
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Province of Bosnia or Pashaluk of Bosnia was a key Ottoman province, the westernmost one, mostly based on the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Lika is a mountainous region in central Croatia, roughly bound by the Velebit mountain from the southwest and the Plješevica mountain from the northeast. Today most of the territory of Lika is part of Lika-Senj county and some parts part of Karlovac county and Zadar county.
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Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (July 31, 1527 – October 12, 1576) was king of Bohemia from 1562, king of Hungary from 1563 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1564 until his death. He was a member of the of the House of Habsburg.
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Sigismund II Augustus (Polish: Zygmunt II August, Ruthenian: Żygimont III Awgust, Lithuanian: Žygimantas III Augustas
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Suleiman the Magnificent
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Suleiman I attributed to Titian c.1530
Reign 1520–1566 (46 years)
Coronation 1520
Full name Sultan Suleiman Khan
Titles Sultan of Sultans,
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15th century - 16th century - 17th century
1530s  1540s  1550s  - 1560s -  1570s  1580s  1590s
1562 1563 1564 - 1565 - 1566 1567 1568

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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15th century - 16th century - 17th century
1530s  1540s  1550s  - 1560s -  1570s  1580s  1590s
1563 1564 1565 - 1566 - 1567 1568 1569

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Battle of Szigetvár (in Croatian Battle of Siget) was a siege of the small fort located in Szigetvár, Hungary between 6 August and 8 September 1566, fought between the defending forces of the Habsburg Monarchy under the leadership of Croatian ban Nikola Šubić
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Vienna (German: Wien [viːn], see also ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city; with a population of about 1.
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16th century - 17th century
1520s  1530s  1540s  - 1550s -  1560s  1570s  1580s
1550 1551 1552 - 1553 - 1554 1555 1556

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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15th century - 16th century - 17th century
1540s  1550s  1560s  - 1570s -  1580s  1590s  1600s
1575 1576 1577 - 1578 - 1579 1580 1581

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Military Frontier (Military Border, Military Krajina, Vojna Krajina, Војна Крајина, Militärgrenze, Confiniaria militaria
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Serbs (Serbian: Срби or Srbi) are a South Slavic people who live mainly in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, to a lesser extent, in Croatia.
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Ethnic Germans (German: Volksdeutsche), also collectively referred to as the German diaspora, are those who are considered, by themselves or others, to be of German origin ethnically, do not live within the present-day
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15.0 million
Regions with significant populations
 Hungary
 Romania
 United States
 Slovakia
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Czechs (Czech: Češi) are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs live also in Slovakia, Austria, U.S.
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