Constitutional and Legal Framework
Once again a Habsburg emperor became king of Hungary,
compromise strictly limited his power over the country's
affairs, and the Hungarian government assumed control over
domestic affairs. The Hungarian government consisted of a
minister and cabinet appointed by the emperor but
a bicameral parliament elected by a narrow franchise.
Austro-Hungarian affairs were managed through "common"
of foreign affairs, defense, and finance. The respective
ministers were responsible to delegations representing
Austrian and Hungarian parliaments. Although the "common"
ministry of defense administered the imperial and royal
the emperor acted as their commander in chief, and German
remained the language of command in the military as a
compromise designated that commercial and monetary policy,
tariffs, the railroad, and indirect taxation were "common"
concerns to be negotiated every ten years. The compromise
returned Transylvania, Vojvodina, and the military
At Franz Joseph's insistence, Hungary and Croatia
similar compromise in 1868, giving the Croats a special
Hungary. The agreement granted the Croats autonomy over
internal affairs. The Croatian ban would now be
by the Hungarian prime minister and appointed by the king.
of "common" concern to Hungarians and Croats included
currency matters, commercial policy, the post office, and
railroad. Croatian became the official language of
government, and Croatian representatives discussing
affairs before the Hungarian diet were permitted to speak
The Nationalities Law enacted in 1868 defined Hungary
single nation comprising different nationalities whose
enjoyed equal rights in all areas except language.
non-Hungarian languages could be used in local government,
churches, and schools, Hungarian became the official
the central government and universities. Many Hungarians
the act too generous, while minority-group leaders
rejected it as
inadequate. Slovaks in northern Hungary, Romanians in
Transylvania, and Serbs in Vojvodina all wanted more
and unrest followed the act's passage. The government took
further action concerning nationalities, and discontent
Anti-Semitism appeared in Hungary early in the century
result of fear of economic competition. In 1840 a partial
emancipation of the Jews allowed them to live anywhere
certain depressed mining cities. The Jewish Emancipation
1868 gave Jews equality before the law and effectively
all bars to their participation in the economy;
informal barriers kept Jews from careers in politics and
Data as of September 1989