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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Issue no. 2 / 2005  

Authors:  PÁL JUDIT.
  Abstract:  Plans to Reorganise Transylvania before and after the Compromise of 1867. Starting with the second half of the eighteenth century, that is, with the apparition of modern states, the concept of sovereignty has changed. After the French model, European states through policies of centralisation have given the territory considered national a political significance. In Transylvania in the era of the principality (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) the system was forged, having older roots in the three political nations and four receptae (accepted) religions, which have partly survived after 1848. The three political nations have divided power in territorial ways as well: the counties were considered the land of the Hungarian nobility, the Szekler region was the land of the Szeklers, and the so-called Crown land was considered to belong to the Saxons. In the present study, I have touched upon two complementary issues: on the one hand, the issue of the internal administrative restructuring of Transylvania in midnineteenth century, on the other the change of the status of the province itself from the great autonomous principality within the Habsburg Empire to the loss of autonomy and its integration into Hungary. In 1848 the privileges of the estates were dissolved, so theoretically also those of the three political nations, but in time, instead of these nations of the estates, the modern nations have developed, which on the basis of juridical continuity have requested the restitution in part of the old privileges. The biggest issue was the integration of the Romanians in the specific Transylvanian political system. The Hungarian political elite from Transylvania felt this to be a threat and increasingly saw the solution in the union with Hungary-even at the cost of renouncing the autonomy of Transylvania- which they have attempted to accomplish in 1848. After the revolution of 1848 the Romanians have rounded their older desires with a new request of a territorial nature: they wished to create a land of the Romanians after the model of the Crown lands and respectively of the Szekler lands. The Saxons, on the contrary have wished to separate the Crown lands from the Transylvanian political system and to transform it into a ‘Kronland’ directly dependent on Vienna. However, these plans have not been approved at Vienna. After the compromise of 1867, the administrative system inherited from before 1848 was no longer suitable for a modern efficient administration, hence the need to reorganise which was almost unanimously accepted. The government could appeal to the argument of modernisation when it argued for a simpler and more unitary administration to replace the various autonomies of medieval origin. One of these autonomies-perhaps the most developed in Transylvania- was the autonomy of the Crown Lands. In the last section of this study, I have presented the attempts to reorganise the Crown lands in the first years of the dualist regime and the controversies connected to it. The projected laws drafted after all these disputes in 1871 have been placed ad acta by the government, while the restructuring of the Crown Lands has been achieved within the great administrative reforms of 1876, when, in the process of rendering the administration uniform, the Crown Lands and the Szekler Lands were dissolved.  
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