Imágenes de páginas

a long step to be accomplished in the task of uniting the many-tongued Sclaves of the Hungarian kingdom in that harmonious union of sentiment and feeling which could only be effected by constant intercommunication, and expressed in a common language. Between the Sclovac and Rusniak-Sclaves of Carpathia, and the disunited tribes of the south, there was no communication; and in language there were dialectic differences so marked, that each was and is to the other as a foreign tongue. Besides, as we shall presently show, the antagonism of Croatia, or rather of Jellachich's Croats, to the Hun

old feudal title of the Ban. It differed ma- | Sclavonia and Croatia shared in these dayterially from Hungary proper in respect to dreams of the national ambition of a conreligious freedom; for Croatia would toler-quered race, we do not deny; but there was ate no public Protestant worship. There were some disturbances, a few years ago, on the subject of the language of official life. When the Magyar tongue was substituted in Hungary proper in 1830 for the Latin, in the legislature and courts of law, the Croatians demanded the use of the Sclavonian dialect of Croatia. That there was hostility of feeling between Croat and Magyar, was as undoubted as that antagonism is felt by the Celt to the Saxon within our own realm. It is, however, erroneous to suppose that the warlike attitude assumed by Croatia under Jellachich, last year, had any peculiar connection with the general Sclavonic move-garian government, was an isolated tempoment commenced by the Protestant pastor, Kollar, of Buda, in 1828, and which has been designated Panslavism.* The prime object of that movement was an intellectual communion between the scattered nations and tribes of the race, and to establish a literary reciprocity amongst all the Sclavonic nations. Later, it acquired a political complexion, in which boundless aspirations were breathed of Sclavonian empire. That

[blocks in formation]


29. The ministers are to obey the summons of each of the Chambers, and are obliged to give all

the information asked of them.

32. The ministers may be impeached:
A. For any acts or decrees prejudicial to the
independence of the country, to her con-
stitutional guaranties, to existing laws,
to individual liberty, or to private pro-
perty, which may have been published
by them in their capacity of ministers;
B. For dereliction of duty, fraud, or misappli-
cation of the money which may be en-
trusted to them;

C. For neglect in the execution of the laws, or
in the maintenance of the public tran-
quillity and security, as far as the powers
which have been entrusted to them are

33. The impeachment of ministers can only be decreed by the absolute majority of the Chamber of Representatives.

* For information on this subject, see the interest ing work of Count Valerian Krasinski-entitled

“Panslavism and Germanism." London: Newby,


rary movement the impulse of an hour, stirred up and excited by the Austrian court. In the wise policy of the Hungarian Diet, they extended to Croatia all the blessings of freedom and of equal laws, which they had given to Hungary in the widest sense of the term. Distinction of races was abolished; the Sclave was as free as the Magyar. But the Diet went beyond this. While the old feudal offices of the State were abolished in Hungary, the dignity and power of the Ban of Croatia were preserved. The influence of Croatia in the Diet was increased by giving eighteen instead of three representatives. Croatians were called to fill the State employments of Croatia. The use of the Sclavonian language of Croatia was guaranteed in the official business of the country; and Hungary undertook to examine all demands which the Croats might otherwise prefer. But Hungary, in her liberality, even went a step beyond justice, and ministered to the religious intolerance of her province, by maintaining the former supremacy and exclusive domination of the Roman Catholic Church. Away, then, with the flimsy mass of argumentative assertion, and the affectations of sympathy expressed by the oligarchical writers, that Jellachich and his barbarian Croats were fighting for the independence of an oppressed nation, against a small but dominant faction.

The reader may remember that, about the time that the emperor-king expressed his assent to the unanimous voice of the nation, despotism seemed prostrate in Vienna. It soon breathed again, and reaction was animated by its respiration. But Austria was not daring enough openly and at once to put down the newly-developed and extended

liberties of Hungary; between the assent of the king to the reforms of the Diet of 1847-48, and the convocation of a new Diet, according to the new suffrage, in the beginning of July, Austria magnanimously set herself to work to stir up a civil war in Hungary, and to excite Croat and Serb against Magyar, that the Imperial power might step in and overthrow the liberties of the Hungarian nation. Louis Gay, a Croat journalist, devoted to Austria, was sent down by the government to Agram, to create an agitation in favor of Austria, and against the Hungarian government; and so faithfully did he discharge his mission, that a military chief was speedily required to head the revolt. A leader was found in the person of Baron Joseph Jellachich, the represent ative of a family who had rendered considerable military service to the empire, and colonel of a Croat regiment, who was raised to the dignity of the Ban of Croatia, without the consent of the Hungarian ministry.

The character of the Ban has been misrepresented by friend and foe; senseless lavish adulation on the one hand, and unmitigated vituperation on the other, have been poured forth in the journals on both sides. In truth, Jellachich possesses many personal qualities to endear him to friends. A poet, scholar, and wit; a bold chivalrous and generous officer, he was highly popular amongst soldiers ;* but on the other hand his devotion to Vienna was a soldier's-he has scanty notions of popular liberty, and he has proved himself by no means scrupulous in the exercise of the right of the sword. Up to this time he has neither displayed genius in strategy, nor in council. In medieval times the Ban might have been a gallant and adventurous knight for the troubadour's lay or for romance to praise; but he has not yet displayed the powers to found the Sclavonic Empire which floats in the teeming imaginations of his injudicious panegyrists. The appointment of Jellachich was Austria's first breach of faith with the Hungarian government. Anxious to avoid all conflict, at a time when internal peace and good will were of so much importance, the government did not protest against this nomination of the Ban, but invited him to put himself in communication with them, in order to fix a day for convoking the General Assembly of Croatia, in which he was to be officially in

*Jellachich's songs are very popular in the Austrian service, especially his "Garrison's-lied," or garrison song.

stalled. At the same time, they addressed the population of the military and civil districts of Croatia, to get them to make known their wishes through the medium of special delegates. The Ban elect replied to this friendly invitation by forbidding the Croat magistrates to hold any intercourse whatever with the Hungarian government, and by declaring martial law against those who should make any reference to the legal connection between Hungary and Croatia. The Hungarian ministry called upon the Ban to retract these orders; and the Palatine ordered an inquiry into his conduct. A commissioner was accordingly sent down into Croatia, but his entrance was violently opposed by Jellachich, who boldly declared that he in no way recognized the authority of the Hungarian ministry. On his own authority, and in violence to the constitution, because the act was without the authority of the king, he convoked the General Assembly for the 5th of June. The CroatViennese agitators having declared, in the name of the Ban, that the King encouraged the Croat revolt, the Hungarian ministry called upon the sovereign for a formal contradiction of these reports. On the 29th of May, the king, in an autograph letter, forbad Jellachich to convoke an Assembly, and summoned him to Inspruck to confer with the Hungarian government. Jellachich, apparently, having a desire to play the despot on his own account, put the letter aside, and opened the General Assembly, consisting of his own nominees, under the title of the Croato-Sclavo-Dalmatian Diet.* This daring outrage against the central authority of Hungary, produced a strong remonstrance on the part of the Hungarian ministry at the Imperial Court; and the King was forced, on the 10th of June, to issue an ordinance suspending Jellachich from all his functions, civil and military. That this was what, in vulgar parlance, is termed “a sham," is abundantly evident in the succeeding transaction. Jellachich's Assembly was at the same time declared illegal, and a royal commissioner was sent into the country for the purpose of convoking a new Assembly. Jellachich did not submit, but declared that, in consequence of the changes that had occurred in the government of Hungary,

* In the month of August, an influential party of the Croat provinces issued a manifesto against this pretended Assembly, and the policy of Jellachich. This important document will be found in the Appendix to Count Tekeli's statement.

Croatia no longer wished to be united to that kingdom, but to the empire of Austria. In the mean time, the partial revolt of Croatia was aided and abetted by a conspiracy against Hungary in the Banat; and in the komitats of Bacs and Szerem, in concert with the Serbs of Serbia.

"The population of these countries," says Count Tekeli, "of the Greek religion, and of the Serb race, took refuge in Hungary at different periods, to escape Turkish oppression. At the time of their settling in the country they obtained the same rights as Hungarians; but the Imperial Government, the enemy of religious liberty, and which at that time persecuted the Hungarian Protestants, did not allow them the free enjoyment of their form of worship. The States of Hungary succeeded, by different efforts, in ameliorating the lot of the members of the Greek church; but it was the Diet of 1848, to which it

was granted to diffuse liberty universally, which assured their legitimate rights by pronouncing the perfect equality of all creeds. The Hungarian Government, in order to become acquainted with the further demands that the Greek church might put forward, convoked a meeting of the Greek clergy for the 27th of May, which was to be charged with the investigation of the questions of instruction and religion. The Serbs, grateful for what the Diet had done for them, declared themselves perfectly satisfied, and testified their attachment to the Hungarian people. But, after a little, the influence which had agitated and divided Croatia, commenced to re-act upon them also. Stephen Suplikacz, colonel, like Jellachich, of a frontier regiment, put himself at the head of the Serb movement. Under the pretext of holding a meeting preparatory to that which was to take place on the 27th of May, the Serbs convoked a National Assembly for the 13th, to which a great number of the Ottoman Serbs were called. The Assembly, opened first at Ujvidek, was moved afterwards to Carlowitz.

and authorized an indictment against him for high treason, these two deputations were formally received by the King, and the Archduke Francis composed them were received as private individuCharles, his brother. Still the members who als, not as delegates. It was yet impossible to brave Hungary openly. The Croats and the Serbs were also obliged to hear a few words of blame. But, at the same time, and by a contradiction which betrayed it, the court addressed their demands to the Hungarian ministry, in order that they should become the base of new negotiations."

The Croats and Serbs having been favorably received by various members of the royal family at court, it was generally believed in Croatia, that the imperial house of Austria encouraged the insurrections against HungaJellachich, indeed, on the 4th June, ry. wrote to that effect, in a letter addressed to

the frontier regiments stationed in Italy. The result was, that the Croat movement displayed itself every day under a more threatening aspect. The murder and pillage committed by the Serbs on the lower Danube, newspapers; but description can hardly were faintly stated at the time in some of the convey an idea of the atrocity of these disciplined marauders. Villages and towns were burned, and the inhabitants put to the sword, with an atrocity only equalled in the most barbarous times. The Hungarian government had only at its disposal a few troops hastily assembled, and for the most part foreign or national guards, badly equipped, and most of them not armed at all; for the Hungarian troops of the line were then distributed through the different provinces of Austria. The continued refusal of the Imperial court to send back these troops to the country, is additional evidence that the court favored the Croato-Serbian rebellion, and its atrocities. The Hungarian government, therefore, resorted to the creation of new battalions.

"The Serbs named patriarch Joseph Rajacsis, Archbishop of Carlowitz, and elected Suplikacz as Vayvode. Putting forward the most illegiti-party mate pretexts, they formed their Vayvodat of the Banat and the military frontiers, with the counties of Bacs, Szerem, and Baranya; thus being the first to violate the rights of nationality which they invoked, inasmuch as a considerable portion of this territory is principally peopled by Hungarians, Wallacks, and Germans. They decreed that the Serb Vayvodat should from an alliance with Croatia, and nominated a permanent committee to govern it. Finally, a deputation was commissioned to make these determinations known to the king.

"The two deputations, the Croat and that of the Serbs, the first under the direction of Jellachich, the second under that of Rajacsis, met at Inspruck. Notwithstanding the murders of Hungarians which had been committed by the Serb insurgents, and in defiance of the royal decree, which a few days before had dismissed Jellachich,

As the Servian insurgents continued to push forward their cause in the name of the Emperor-King, the Hungarian ministers requested his majesty to come in person to Pesth, on the occasion of the approaching opening of the Diet, in order, by his presence, to give a positive contradiction to the enemies of Hungary. But the invitation had no effect.

duke John to address himself directly to the They also requested the ArchCroats, declaring that the king disapproved and disavowed all insurrection; but with no better success.

On the 2nd of July, the new National As


lachich should take a part in the conferences and that all preparations for war should cease on both sides. Finally, in this same document, a communication was made to the Hungarian ministry, of a note from the Austrian government, on the subject of the relations to be established between Austria and Hungary. It was stated in it, that the provisions of the law of 1848, by which the Archduke Palatine had been appointed depository of the royal authority, and chief of the executive power in the absence of the

sembly of Hungary, founded for the first time on the real suffrage of the nation, was opened at Pesth. At the opening of the session, in the king's speech, pronounced in his name by the Palatine, the king expressed his unalterable determination to maintain the integrity of the kingdom of Hungary, and of her laws, particularly those that he had sanctioned in the last Diet at Presburg. He stigmatized as revolts and as hostile to these laws, the Serb and Croat movements, and declared that all the members of the Imperial dynasty participated in his determination.king, and by which a responsible ministry had The Diet sent a deputation to beg the king to come to Pesth, to prove to the insurgent population that he spoke sincerely, but his majesty declined to do so.

At last the Austrian ministry, in a communication to the Hungarian ministry, dated the 29th of June, declared that it was about to put an end to the neutrality it had observed hitherto, and to support Croatia openly. Hungary then began to see that the cause of national independence and integrity must be defended by arms.

been conceded to Hungary, detaching from the central government of Vienna the administration of war, finance, and commerce, were contrary to the Pragmatic Sanction, opposed to the legal relations between Austria and Hungary, and detrimental alike to the interests of Hungary and Austria. These concessions were declared illegal and of none effect, under the pretext that they had not been consented to by the responsible Austrian ministry; and although they had been sanctioned by the royal word on the 11th of The Diet accordingly decreed a levy to April, and again formally recognized in the increase the army to the number of 200,000 speech from the throne on the 2nd of July, troops, and opened the credit this measure it was announced that these laws were to be required. Two laws were passed to this ef- considerably modified, in order that a central fect one as to the enlistment, the other as power might be established in Vienna. On to the issue of bank-notes to cover the the 4th of September the Austrian ministry deficits. The two enactments were present-made the Emperor-King withdraw the deed for the royal sanction by the prime minister and the minister of justice. A long period having elapsed without reply, and the position of affairs on the frontier being every day more critical, the Diet sent a deputation to the king, demanding the sanction of those laws which were requisite to save the country, the recall of the Hungarian troops, and that the foreign troops appointed to defend Hungary should be ordered to discharge their duty faithfully. Lastly, they again requested the king to come into his kingdom, to restore peace and order.

The deputation received an evasive reply. But at the same time, and while the two ministers were at Vienna, the king, without acquainting them, dispatched, on the 31st of August, a letter to the Palatine, directing him to send several members of the Hungarian ministry to Vienna, to concert measures with the Austrian ministry, to consolidate and ensure the unity of the government of the monarchy, and to open negotiations with the Croats, in order to conciliate their interests with those of Hungary. The king declared it as an indispensable preliminary condition of any such arrangements, that Jel

cree which suspended Jellachich from all his dignities, as a person accused of high treason, on the ground that all the accusations against the Ban were false, and that he had exhibited an unflinching fidelity to the house of Austria.*

Jellachich was reinstated in all his offices, although he was actually encamped with his army on the frontiers of Hungary, ready to invade her. The Hungarian ministry thereupon resigned, and the Diet decided, that the two laws presented in vain for the royal consent, should be put in force provisionally. At the same time the Count Louis Bathyanyi, president of the ministry

*If true the plea, what a pleasant notion it gives one of Austrian justice! In olden times there was a rude kind of tribunal on the Scottish border, which offender was suspended by a halter to the first conexecuted what was called "Jeddart justice"-the

venient tree, and tried at leisure.

A deputation was also sent to the National Assembly of Austria, to propose that the two countries should mutually guaranty to each other their constitution and independence, and to declare that Hungary was ready to negotiate for the common interests of Austria and Hungary, upon a footing of liberty and justice. But the Diet did not receive the deputation.

The next step of the Court was to nominate Count Adam Recsey as president of the Hungarian ministry, to dissolve the Hunga

which had just resigned, having received the | tle was fought within twelve miles of Buda, orders of the Palatine to form a new minis- and the Austrio-Croat rebels were defeated. try, was charged with the legal government Jellachich obtained an armistice and fled; of the country, and he accepted the trust on and the rear-guard, 10,000 strong, which condition that Jellachich should be ordered was marching to his aid, fell into the hands to retire beyond the Hungarian boundary. of the Hungarians, with Generals Roth and The king parried the condition by demanding Philippovïts. Jellachich, pursued by the the list of the ministry before he replied to Hungarians, took refuge in the Austrian terthe demand; and the cunning of his fence ritory. was manifest, for Jellachich passed the Drave, with his Croat and Austrian regiments, and advanced to the lake Balaton. The Diet then gave the command of the Hungarian Diet, annul its decrees, and to appoint rian forces to the Palatine, as Captain General of the country, who joined the army then retiring towards Buda-Pesth. But ter attempting to effect an arrangement, which failed by Jellachich breaking his appointment, he quitted the camp, passed through Buda to Vienna, and forwarded his resignation to the Hungarians! At the same. time, the Court intimated to Bathyanyi that his ministry was not accepted, and that the Baron Nicholas Vay had been called on to form a ministry. On the 25th of September a royal ordinance, without the signature of any minister, placed all the troops stationed in Hungary under the command-inchief of the Count Lamberg. But the Diet were not dispirited; two days after the publication of the ordinance, they declared that the appointment was illegal under sect. 3 of the third article of the constitution of 1848; and they called upon the authorities, the citizens, the army, and Count Lamberg himself, to obey the decree under pain of high treason. They finally resolved to oppose the violence of Austria and her rebel allies by force.

Jellachich royal commissioner of the executive power in Hungary, with the commandaf-in-chief of all the Hungarian troops. The country was also declared under martial law. Jellachich announced his appointment to all the military authorities, to all the commanders of corps, as well as to the chief of the Serb revolt, Joseph Rajacsis, and directed that all the troops that could be spared should be sent towards Buda-Pesth. Taking their stand upon the constitution, the Diet declared the self-styled royal ordinance, which invested Jellachich with the executive power, null and void; and the measures that accompanied this ordinance illegal and unconstitutional both in form and substance. The Diet further decided that it would continue its sittings, and would persist in the fulfilment of its duties. It declared Joseph Jellachich, and all those who aided him, traitors to their country; and decreed that Ádam Recsey, guilty of having countersigned an illegal ordinance, should be brought to trial, in accordance with the constitution. Finally, in the absence of a ministry, the country not being able to remain without a government, the

mittee of defense, which had been previously executive power was entrusted to a comformed to assist the administration of Louis Bathyanyi, and which from that time was invested with the extraordinary power that circumstances might render necessary. Louis Kossuth, representative of the people, and until then Minister of Finance, was named president of this committee.

"To oppose the danger, the Diet appealed to the heroism of the nation. The people rose en masse; defenders of their country flocked from all quarters; their ranks swelled from day to day, from hour to hour. The Hungarian regiments of the line, until then shaken by the intrigues of the reactionary party, were carried away by the universal enthusiasm. The resistance was organized with surprising rapidity under the impulse of the Diet, collecting all its energies. It was in consequence of this unanimous excitement, occasioned by so many treacheries, that the Count Francis Lamberg, who had braved the decree issued against him, unfortunately fell a victim to an unjustifiable attack. His death, however, should be considered as a fact by itself; for the Diet having understood its duties, and having ordered the murderers to be brought to trial, the pub-gary on the side of Syerem; Colonel Blomlic peace and security have not been again dis- berg invaded the Banat, and General Simoturbed in the capital of Hungary." nich the Gallician frontier, Count Latour, the minister of war, having directed Baron PuckOn the 29th of September a decisive bat- ner to send all the battalions at his disposi

In this position of affairs, Jellachich retired to Vienna, and was there joined by the Austrian regiments stationed in Hungary. On the western frontier Suplikacz simultaneously occupied the Serb country in the name of the emperor; Colonel Meyerhofer attacked Hun

« AnteriorContinuar »