Croat-Serb Coalition

The Croat-Serb Coalition (Serbo-Croatian: Hrvatsko-srpska koalicija/Хрватско-српска коалиција) was a major political alliance in Austria-Hungary during the beginning of the 20th century that governed the Croatian lands (crownlands of Croatia-Slavonia and Dalmatia). It represented the political idea of a cooperation of Croats and Serbs in Austria-Hungary for mutual benefit. Its main leaders were, at first Frano Supilo and then Svetozar Pribićević alone.

The Coalition governed the Croatian lands from 1903 until the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy in 1918 and the Yugoslav unification, when it was by large integrated into the Yugoslav Democratic Party.

Croat-Serb Coalition

Hrvatsko-srpska koalicija
LeaderFrano Supilo
Svetozar Pribićević
Founded1905
Dissolved1918
HeadquartersZagreb
Political positionCentre-right
Colours    

Origins

The previous incarnation of Croat-Serb cooperation in the historical Croatian lands under Austro-Hungarian rule had happened sixty years earlier in the Illyrian movement, but that idea came to an abrupt end with the revolution of 1848.

The underlying reason for the formation of the Coalition in the early 1900s was the mass realization that the Hungarian and Austrian governments as well as the Italian irredentists all profit from the divisions between the Croats and the Serbs. This became particularly apparent following the popular demonstrations against the Croatian ban Khuen Hedervary in 1903, where the masses of Croat peasants were joined by Serb peasants, and achieved a greater effect.

The Coalition itself originated in the Resolutions of Rijeka and Zadar of October 1905, wherein the groups of individual Croat and Serb parliamentary representatives formulated requests for the improvement of Croat and Serb national interests, respectively, focused on the integration of Dalmatia with Croatia-Slavonia and the elevation of the country's position within the monarchy.

Work

The parties which joined the Coalition initially included:

By this time, the Croatian Party of Rights had also included members of the Independent People's Party, who had previously split from the Magyarized mainstream faction. The Social-Democrats and Radicals would later break away from the Coalition, while in 1910 Croatian Party of Rights and progressists (liberals) merged into the Croatian Independent Party

On December 11, 1905, the Coalition representatives published their political programme. In the Croatian parliamentary election, 1906 they won a majority of seats in the Croatian Parliament.

In 1908, the Coalition won the election again, but it also came under attack from the Vienna Imperial Court, which accused its leadership of grand treason. In 1909, 53 members of the Serb Independent Party were actually put on trial for collaboration with Serbia in a conspiracy to unite all South Slavs into a single state. In this politically motivated trial, known as the Agram Trial, with the main witness a police agent provocateur, the defendants were found guilty with flimsy evidence and given extended prison sentences. However, after the Coalition decided to form a political alliance with the Austro-Hungarian authorities, their members were all pardoned. This came at a cost of having to marginalize their leader Frano Supilo and having to temper their criticism of the government in the Kingdom of Hungary. Svetozar Pribićević became the new leader and closed a formal agreement with the government in 1913.

The Coalition continued to win elections in 1910 and 1913. It dominated Croatian politics throughout World War I while continuing to support the state of Austria-Hungary. Nevertheless, the leaders of the Coalition participated in the Yugoslav Committee during World War I.

When the war ended and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was formed, the Coalition fielded 12 representatives in the National Council of the State.[1]

Later the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed, and the party dissolved and its former members mostly became advocates of the new government in Belgrade.

Legacy

The Peasant-Democratic Coalition led by Stjepan Radić and Svetozar Pribićević (later Vladko Maček alone) during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is generally seen as a recreation of the idea, from 1927 until the country's destruction in World War II in 1941.

References

  1. ^ Štambuk-Škalić, Marina; Matijević, Zlatko, eds. (2008-11-14). "Narodno vijeće Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba u Zagrebu 1918-1919. Izabrani dokumenti". Fontes (in Croatian). Croatian State Archives. Retrieved 2010-12-08.

Sources

1906 Croatian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia on 3, 4 and 5 May 1906. 45,381 people were entitled to vote in the elections. People's Party gained 37 seats, Croat-Serb Coalition 32 seats, and Starčević's Party of Rights of Josip Frank won 19. On 30 April Nikola Tomašić, leader of the People's Party, renounced his candidature and left politics for a short time.

1908 Croatian parliamentary election

Early parliamentary elections were held in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia on 27 and 28 February 1908, after being called by Ban Pavao Rauch.

1910 Croatian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections to the Croatian Parliament were held on October 28, 1910. The elections were called by ban Nikola Tomašić after the adoption of a new Law of the Electoral Order of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

1911 Croatian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Croatia-Slavonia in December 1911. Despite efforts of Ban Nikola Tomašić to coerce voters to vote for pro-government parties, the result was unfavourable as the government won only 21 seats. Elections in 4 districts were suspended and in 1 district the results were challenged. On the last day of the elections Josip Frank, former leader of the Starčević's Party of Rights, died in Zagreb.

1913 Croatian parliamentary election

Croatian parliamentary elections were held on 16 and 17 December 1913. There were 209,618 eligible male voters. According to the census of December 31, 1910, the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia had a population of 2,621,954.

The Croatian parliament had been dissolved by ban Slavko Cuvaj on 27 January 1912. On April 4 Cuvaj suspended the constitution and the following day was proclaimed commissioner of the Kingdom. Over the course of the following year two assassination attempts were made on Cuvaj, leading to his withdrawal as commissioner. Ivan Skerlecz was proclaimed ban on November 27, 1913 and called elections for 16 and 17 December.

1913 in Croatia

Events from the year 1913 in Croatia.

Agram Trial

The Agram Trial or Zagreb Trial (known as the "High treason trial" in Serbo-Croatian, veleizdajnički proces) was the trial of 53 Serbs in Austria-Hungary, accused of high treason – conspiracy to overthrow the state and place Croatia-Slavonia under Serbian rule. The Austro-Hungarian government had discredited the Croat-Serb Coalition and created an internal discussion accusing Serbs of massive conspiracy. The Pure Party of Rights, led by Josip Frank, participated in attacks on the accused Serbs (most supporters of the Serb Independent Party) and also the Croat-Serb Coalition, with government directives. Arrests were made during the Bosnian crisis, made to justify the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some of the accused were held under bad circumstances, until the trial began in March 1909. The trial caused sensation across Europe, and was viewed as a blatant attempt to crush Serb minority politics in Croatia-Slavonia. Austria-Hungary pursued Trialism, which clashed with the popular Yugoslavism. Minister János Forgách forged documents against the accused Serbs. 31 were convicted and given 184 years in October 1909. The obvious bias and unreliable evidence led to the defendants' later release after appeal.

Democratic Alliance of Serbs

The Democratic Alliance of Serbs (Croatian: Demokratski savez Srba or DSS, Serbian Cyrillic: Демократски савез Срба, ДСС) is a social democratic political party of Serbs in Croatia.

Dušan Popović (1877–1958)

Dušan Popović (1 October 1877 – 25 June 1958) was a lawyer and politician in Croatia. He was a leading member of the Croat-Serb coalition in the Croatian Parliament and a delegate to the Hungarian House of Representatives.

Frano Supilo

Frano Supilo (30 November 1870 – 25 September 1917) was a Croatian politician and journalist. He opposed the Austro-Hungarian domination of Europe prior to World War I. He participated in the debates leading to the formation of Yugoslavia as a member of the Yugoslav Committee. The author, R. A. Stradling, calls him "one of the most capable Croatian politicians ever."

High School Dalj

High School Dalj is a public high school in Dalj, Erdut municipality, Croatia. The school offers the students the following educational programs: Economist, Commercial Officer (in Serbian), Agricultural Technician and Agricultural Technician General. In accordance with rights derived from Erdut Agreement Serbian minority in this school use right of education in minority language. For this reason, students can attend classes in Croatian or Serbian language and Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.

Hinko Hinković

Dr. Hinko Hinković (born Heinrich Moses; 11 September 1854 – 3 September 1929) was Croatian lawyer, publisher and politician.

Hinković was born in Vinica on 11 September 1854 to a Croatian Jewish family as Heinrich Moses. He was the member of Party of Rights, one of the closest associates of Ante Starčević and member of the Freemasonry Scottish Rite. Hinković was editor of the party paper "Sloboda" (Freedom).

In November 1879, he published an article "Fiat lux!" in which he advocated a political rapprochement with the Serbs. In 1884, Hinković was elected as the Party of Rights representative in the Croatian Parliament. In the parliament, Hinković addressed King Franz Joseph I of Austria. He emphasised the sovereignty of the Croatian people, condemned the Austro-Hungarian dualism, waived the legality of the Croatian-Hungarian settlement, called for the unification of all Croatian lands (Croatia and Slavonia, Military Frontier, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Slovenia countries), protested against the excessive fortune and other abuses and condemned civil servants who turned into blind Hungarian government agitators and sowed discord among the Croatian and Serbian population.

In 1886, he came into conflict with Starčević and later left the party. In 1905, Hinković was one of the founders of the Croat-Serb Coalition. During World War I, he resided in exile and worked as a member of the Yugoslav Committee. During his time in the United States, Hinković has developed a strong propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and for the creation of the state of Yugoslavia. He authored numerous anticlerical brochures, spiritualist papers and anti-Austrian brochures, which were printed both in French and English. Although he converted to the Roman Catholic faith, he identified with Judaism until the day he died.Hinković died on 3 September 1929 in Zagreb and is interred at the Mirogoj Cemetery.

Independent Democratic Serb Party

The Independent Democratic Serb Party (Croatian: Samostalna demokratska srpska stranka or SDSS, Serbian Cyrillic: Самостална демократска српска странка, СДСС) is a social democratic political party of Serbs of Croatia.

Ivan Lorković

Dr. Ivan Lorković (17 June 1876 – 24 February 1926) was a Croatian politician from Zagreb. He was a prominent member of the Croat-Serb coalition, a supporter of the Republican organization and member of the United Croatian and Serbian academic youth organization. Between 1926 and 1929 he became the leader of the Croatian Federalist Peasant Party.

Pavao Rauch

Baron Pavao Rauch de Nyék (20 February 1865, Zagreb – 29 November 1933, Martijanec) was a Croatian politician who served as Ban (viceroy) of Croatia-Slavonia between 1908 and 1910.

Serb Independent Party

Serb Independent Party (Serbian Latin: Srpska samostalna stranka, SSS, German: Serbische selbständige Partei), also known as Serb Autonomous Party or simply Serb Autonomists, was an ethnic Serb political party in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was established in August 1881, in Ruma, by Pavle Jovanović and other affluent Serbs. In 1903 Svetozar Pribićević (1875–1936) became the party leader. They published Srbobran, which was the party organ. The party advocated for the unification of Lika, Kordun, Banija, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia to form a Greater Serbia. It was later one of the key members of the Croat-Serb coalition (formed in 1905).

It was formed by the Serbs of Croatia in response to the merging of the Military Frontier, inhabited by the Serbs, back into the Kingdom of Croatia.The party at first worked in concert with the Hungarian interests in Croatia, led by ban Károly Khuen-Héderváry. In 1903, however, under its new leader Svetozar Pribićević it started to collaborate with Croatian parties. It eventually merged into the Croat-Serb Coalition in 1905.

After the 1908 Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia, a lesser known Bosnian party of the same name was formed, which participated in the Diet of Bosnia. In 1909 it was involved in the scandalous Agram Trial.

After World War I, in 1919 its members mostly joined the Yugoslav Democratic Party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, created by a merger of a wide range of political parties and coalitions, the one from Croatia being the Croato-Serb coalition. The individualism of the SNSS members, though, was never fully erased, and in 1924 most of the former members left JDS and formed the Independent Democratic Party, under the same leadership of the SNSS (president Svetozar Pribicevic).

Slana concentration camp

Slana concentration camp was a concentration and extermination camp on the Croatian island Pag.

The camp was established in June 1941 in Metajna. It was established by Mijo Babić and controlled by the Ustaše, who had been installed as rulers of the puppet state of Croatia by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Slana was a men's camp. Most prisoners were Jews, Serbs and Croatian communists. The commander of the camp was Ivan Devčević, who was also a commander of the 13th Ustaša battalion which was garrisoned in the camp.The camp was closed in August 1941 by the Italian military, who feared that the brutality of the Ustaše would provoke unrest in the region. Historians have estimated the death toll in Slana and the women's camp Metajna to be between 4,000 and 12,000. During the first weeks the inmates mainly died of physical abuse, exhaustion, hunger and thirst. When the transports became more frequent and the camp lacked space, the Ustaše began to execute many prisoners. The Author Ante Zemljar wrote a book about what happened in Slana in 1941: Charon and Destinies.

State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs

The State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (Serbo-Croatian: Država Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba / Држава Словенаца, Хрвата и Срба; Slovene: Država Slovencev, Hrvatov in Srbov) was a political entity that was constituted in October 1918, at the end of World War I, by Slovenes, Croats and Serbs resident in what were the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although internationally unrecognized, this was the first incarnation of a Yugoslav state founded on the Pan-Slavic ideology. Thirty-three days after it was proclaimed, the State joined the Kingdom of Serbia to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Teodor Pejačević

Count Teodor Pejačević of Virovitica (24 September 1855 – 22 July 1928) was a Croatian politician, member of Pejačević family, who served as Ban of Croatia-Slavonia between 1903 and 1907.

He was born in Našice as the eldest son of Ladislav Pejačević, a Ban of Croatia (1880–1883). His mother was the Hungarian baroness Gabrijela /Gabrielle/ Döry de Jobaháza.

He served as a long-term župan of Virovitica County.

At the beginning of the 20th century, he was faced with a new direction of Croatian policy marked by political alliance between Croats and Serbs in Austria-Hungary for mutual benefit. A Croat-Serb Coalition was formed in 1905 and it governed the Croatian lands from 1906 until the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy in 1918. As Pejačević supported the ruling Coalition in its resistance towards the Hungarian quest in 1907 to introduce the Hungarian language to be the official language on railways in Croatia, he was forced to resign.

He also took part as the Minister for Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia in the Hungarian Government from 1913 to 1916. However during World War I he was interned in France on 22 August 1914. After that he was substituted by the Prime Minister István Tisza.

Pejačević died in Vienna. Among his children, the best known is his daughter Dora, a Croatian composer.

In Croatian film Countess Dora (1993) he is played by Tonko Lonza.

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