Kronland (Austria)

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Crown lands were called the lands of the Habsburg monarchy from the late 18th century , from 1804 the territorial parts of the Austrian Empire as a unitary state and from 1867 the western half of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy .

It was the historical lands that the Habsburgs had acquired in Central Europe over the centuries and ruled in personal union. Beginning in the 16th century, the Habsburg countries were subject to a progressive process of integration and state-building , in which the designation was initially a kind of honorary position within the monarchy, then a real administrative division and at the end of the monarchy an initial formation of - still little federally sovereign - states .


Structure until 1861

In contrast to the members of today's federal states ( Canada , Republic of Austria , USA , Switzerland , Federal Republic of Germany ), the crown lands of the Danube Monarchy had no constitutionally established rights to participate in the politics of the empire as a state; this participation was granted by the emperor or not. Their own state parliaments and state offices with historically grown political and legal peculiarities still came from the feudal system dominated by the aristocracy . The inhabitants were subjects of the sovereign, not citizens in the modern sense. Due to their independent history spanning centuries, the crown lands were more than just administrative districts. For this purpose, Austrian political science coined the term historical-political individualities in the 19th century .

The state organization that was cultivated from Maria Theresa and Joseph II onwards - still absolutist , but still pointing in the direction of more modern state structures - experienced a setback after the revolution of 1848/49 : with the creation of the local congregations, the local self-governing structure, the state parliaments, was strengthened Until 1848 traditional assemblies of the estates were, however, abolished and for more than ten years the states were completely subordinated to the sovereign governor (the state chiefs) , who were directly bound by the instructions of the emperor and the kk government.

Structure from February patent 1861 on

In 1861 the emperor issued the constitution mentioned in the history of the February patent , in the appendix of which a separate state order was determined for each crown land (some state constitutions were already proclaimed with the October diploma of 1860). After Hungary left the Austrian Empire through the Compromise of 1867 , the constitutional structure in the December constitution was adjusted, but the state regulations issued in 1861 remained essentially in force until 1918.

The state parliaments were convened in a new form on the basis of the February patent in 1861. Since then, some members have had their seat by office (e.g. bishops), others have been elected. There was no universal and equal suffrage, but a mixture of privilege and census suffrage for men. One example is the Dalmatian Parliament .

Structure 1867-1918

After the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, which placed the constitution of the Habsburg Monarchy on a new basis, the Kingdom of Hungary (including the Grand Duchy of Transylvania, which was fully united with Hungary in 1866 ) and the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia, which belonged to the Hungarian crown, were no longer regarded as crown lands. The term was only used in Cisleithanien .

The countries of the holy Hungarian crown, called Transleithania for short , now formed their own state, which with the rest of the Austrian Empire ( Cisleithania for short , officially: the kingdoms and countries represented in the Imperial Council , Austrian countries from 1915 ) in the sense of a real union until 31. October 1918 the monarch, the army , the navy , foreign policy and the currency had in common.

In December 1867, Cisleithanien received the so-called December constitution , which was the legal basis of the state until 1918. The Cisleithanian crown lands were according to the law of 19 May 1868 setting up the political administrative authorities, which adapted the previous usage of the new constitution and the functions defined precise legal state chiefs who were appointed by the monarch as a representative of his person and the imperial government (Section 2 of the Act).

In Salzburg , Carinthia , Carniola , Austrian Silesia and Bukowina , the provincial chiefs held the title of provincial president in accordance with Section 5 of the law and presided over a provincial government, in the other crown lands they held the title of ( k. K. ) Governor and presided over a governorship. The function was the same: to lead the administrative apparatus and to implement the policy of the government in Vienna, by whose instructions the regional leaders were bound.

Under the supervision of the head of the state , the state committee (the executive committee of the state parliament) carried out the autonomous agendas of the state in agreement with the state parliament.

Restructuring plan not implemented in 1918

As part of the "Bread Peace" of Brest-Litovsk concluded with Ukraine on February 9, 1918 , Austria-Hungary had undertaken to separate the eastern part of Galicia, inhabited by Ukrainians (then called Ruthenians ) and Bukovina , by July 31, 1918 to summarize the autonomous crown land. The plan was not implemented. Austria-Hungary terminated the agreement on July 4, 1918.

The Austrian crown lands since 1849

The constitutional charter of March 4, 1849 lists the following crown lands: Archduchy of Austria above and below the Enns, Duchy of Salzburg, Duchy of Styria, Kingdom of Illirien (“consisting of the Duchy of Carinthia, the Duchy of Carniola, the princes of Görz and Gradiska, the margraviate Istria and the city of Trieste with their territories "), the princes of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Margraviate of Moravia, the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator and the Grand Duchy of Krakow, the Duchy of Bukowina, kingdoms Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia with the Croatian coastal region, the city of Fiume and the associated areas, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Grand Duchy of Transylvania with the epitome of the Saxon region and the reincorporated counties of Krászna, Central Szolnok and Zárand, "then the districts of Kövar and the city of Ziláh ( Zillenmarkt), the military border areas and the Lombardy-ve Netian kingdoms. "

This list leaves the exact number of crown lands and their demarcation in the dark. It is not clear what was intended for the two parts of the Archduchy of Austria. Also in the IX. Additional determinations made in section of the constitution do not shed any final light on the Court's ideas. From § 73 of the constitution it can be inferred that a connection between Dalmatia and Croatia and Slavonia to form a common crown land was favorably viewed. Paragraph 72 of the constitution was disappointing for the non-Hungarian residents of Vojvodina and Banat, according to which these areas were initially denied the status of crown lands.

It only emerged from the organization laws that were subsequently passed that

  • Austria under the Enns and Austria whether the Enns were independent crown lands;
  • the components of the Kingdom of Illirien, namely Carinthia, Carniola, Görz / Gradiska with Istria, make up a total of three crown lands (October 1849). Gorizia / Gradiska, Istria and the imperial city of Trieste with its area were established as an Austrian coastal land until 1861 as a crown land;
  • the kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia form a common crown land (April / June 1850);
  • the Kingdom of Dalmatia is also established as a special crown land (August 1850) and
  • the Lombardy-Venetian kingdom forms a crown land.

Including Hungary and Transylvania, there were a total of 19 crown lands.

In November 1849, a separate administrative area was set up under the name "Voivodeship of Serbia and Temeser Banat", which was treated almost like a crown land in the following years, but its status remained open.

The 17 Austrian Crown Lands from 1867 to 1918

1. Kingdom of Bohemia
2. Duchy of Bukovina
3. Duchy of Carinthia
4. Duchy of Carniola
5. Kingdom of Dalmatia
6. Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
7. Coastal land:
a) Princely county of Gorizia and Gradisca
b) Margraviate of Istria
c) Trieste, an imperial city
8. Archduchy of Austria under the Enns
9. Margraviate of Moravia
10. Duchy of Salzburg
11. Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia
12. Duchy of Styria
13. Princely County of Tyrol
14. Archduchy of Austria above the Enns
15. State of Vorarlberg
(Order or numbering only related to the card)
Austria-Hungary map

Number 7 on the map summarizes the three crown lands formed in 1861, which had previously formed the Austrian coastal region since 1852 ; From 1868 on, only the governor, who resided in Trieste, and the state law gazette published by him, which contained the (also different) laws of the three crown lands, remained together here. Since these were relatively small crown lands, the collective term coastal land was used until 1918.

Vorarlberg had its own state parliament since 1861, but was co-administered by Tyrol as crown land.

The Kingdom of Hungary (on map number 16) and the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia (on map number 17) were no longer Austrian crown lands from 1867.

The city ​​of Fiume with territory (between 7 and 17) was considered a corpus separatum in the Kingdom of Hungary.

The territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (on map number 18), which was administered by Austria and Hungary from 1878 to 1918 through the joint Reich Ministry of Finance and was annexed in 1908 , also did not belong to the Austrian crown lands.

See also


  • Wilhelm Brauneder: Austrian constitutional history . Manz, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-214-14873-7 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b RGBl. No. 44/1868 (= p. 77)