Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 537383
Croatian Views on the Annexation Crisis
Croatian Views on the Annexation Crisis // 1908, l'annexion de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, cent ans après / Horel, Catherine (ur.).
Bruxelles: O.I.E. Peter Lang, 2011. str. 199-208
Croatian Views on the Annexation Crisis
Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Poglavlja u knjigama, znanstveni
1908, l'annexion de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, cent ans après
O.I.E. Peter Lang
Annexation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Politics
Croatian Views on Annexation The annexion crisis triggered off a series of questions regarding international politics and relations between the Great powers. This crises also influenced to a large extent political movements in the South Eastern parts of the Monarchy and the rest of the Balkans, giving rise to different reactions of Croatian politicians and public opinion balancing between hope and disappointment. Since nationalism was at that time the most important driving force in politics, the events concerning Bosnia and Hercegovina (B-H) had a tremendous meaning for political life because it strongly mobilized national feelings as it had done in 1878. At the beginning of the 20th century almost three million Croats were divided into three separate units within the Habsburg Monarchy. Banal Croatia and Slavonia belonged to the Hungarian part, Dalmatia and Istria to the Austrian. Croatia enjoyed a specific legal status within Hungary founded on the Croatian-Hungarian Compromise of 1868. The third part of the Croats lived within B-H, and made up appr. 22 % of the total population. Based on facts from literature, press, and archival documents one can conclude that the nature of this dualistic relations in the Monarchy did not satisfy Croatian politics, that strived towards national integration and a faster modernization. Relatively slow economic growth in comparison to more developed lands of the Monarchy frustrated different parts of Croatian society. Many Croatian politicians saw the annexion of B-H as an opportunity to reopen the question of territorial (re)integration, especially in the context of a trialistic or federalist reform of the Monarchy. It needs to be underlined that Croatian politicians did not share a common view, and did not share a similar political agenda regarding the national question. Different kinds of integrational concepts reflected different goals within the Habsburg Monarchy, or outside of it. These concepts were represented by the following main political parties in Banal Croatia: Croato-Serb Coalition, Starčević's Croat Party of (State) Law, Croat People's Peasent Party, and National Party. Only the latter (pro-Hungarian unionists) firmly supported the dualist system, confident it would help a sustainable economic development. During the annexion crisis, but even more during the following Balkan wars, for the first time a political group appeared that promoted a South Slav integration, i. e., a union between the Croats and Kingdom of Serbia under the rule of the royal dinasty Karadjordjevich, and striving towards the creations of a unified „Yugoslav nation“. In January 1908 the new regime of ban Pavao baron Rauch was appointed. Next month elections were held for the Croatian Diet. The Croat-Serb coalition gained majority seats. Rauch summoned the newly elected Diet in March, but it was immediatly dissolved by Francis Joseph I. Only two years later the Croatian Diet started to hold its sessions again. Under these circumstances of parliamentary suspension did the annexion crisis occur. In spite of this suspension, political life in Croatia did not die. Instead it simply moved from the benches of Diet to newspaper headlines and political rallies. In political circles, including Croats that made part of the Croat-Serb Coalition, the opinion prevailed that B-H had to be united with Croatia based on the interpretation of historical arguments and the assumption that Moslems were of Croatian descent. Geopolitical reasons were also put to use, stressing the importance of B-H as Dalmatia's hinterland. Differently, the Serbs in Croatia were not delighted with the annexion and supported the autonomy of B-H. The annexion once again proved that B-H was an apple of discord between the Croat and Serbian state idea. At the same time, it raised the question of national identity of Moslems. Were they Croats or Serbs? Therefore, did B-H „belong“ to Croatia or Serbia? In that sense the South Slav solution seemed the most palliative. In Croatia the annexation caused disadvantageous consequences for its internal relations, but also towards the neighbouring nations. Many interpreted the annexation as new proof of postponed Croatian reunion. In any case, it weakend loyalty to Habsburg dinasty and on the other side strenghtend the struggle against dualism. Since then centrifugal tendencies became stronger.