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Chapter XXVI, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 9 page 2


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Austria, with her armies shattered and her prestige departed, burdened with debt, and distracted by the demands of a dozen different nationalities, displayed in this year that wonderful tenacity of life which she has before exhibited on many a historic emergency. In Count Beust, the late Saxon Minister, the Emperor found a statesman of great capacity, astuteness, and perseverance, whom he appointed to the post of Foreign Minister at the end of October, 1866. At that time dismemberment was openly talked of; for the difficulties of the monarchy were so great that no one could see his way out of them. The other chief ministers were Prince Esterhazy and Count Belcredi, the authors of what was called the policy of " inhibition," under which, until a common and equal representation of the whole monarchy could be devised, the Constitution of February, 1861, giving a Parliament or Reichsrath to Western Austria, was suspended; the central power governed absolutely; and parliamentary life throughout the empire was confined within the walls of the provincial Diets. Hungary still held aloof from the rest of the empire, like a half- severed limb, having its own Parliament for local affairs, but unrepresented in the imperial councils, and sullenly obeying the administrative and executive dispositions of the central power. Count Beust placed two leading political aims before him - to effect a compromise with Hungary, and to revive constitutional and parliamentary life in Western Austria. To bring about the first, it was necessary to come to an understanding with M. Déak and the party which he represented, since he, above all other living men, possessed the confidence of the Hungarians. Now M. Déak was firmly convinced that a system of complete dualism between Austria and Hungary would alone meet the exigencies of the case - a system under which, certain common affairs being reserved and separately provided for, all Hungarian affairs should be managed by a separate administration, appointed indeed by the Emperor, but responsible to the Hungarian Parliament. At the opening of this Parliament, on the 19th November, an imperial rescript was read, holding out hopes of a responsible Ministry for Hungary, and of concessions to the views represented by M. Déak.

Ea vox audita laborum
Prima tulit finem:

and the Hungarian patriots, who had waited so bravely and so long, never renouncing their just rights, but never seduced into the paths of revolution, now saw the desired goal within their reach. The plans of Belcredi, who desired to convoke an " Extraordinary Reichsrath," representing all the other nationalities along with Austria, but excluding Hungary, were swept away; and lie himself was compelled to resign soon afterwards. Count Beust was then made Prime Minister. A deputation from the Hungarian Diet, headed by Count Andrassy, arrived in Vienna about the end of January, and proceeded to negotiate with Count Beust and the other Austrian ministers respecting the terms of the compromise. Early in February, 1867, the Emperor appointed Count Andrassy his Minister President for Hungary, and intrusted him with the formation of a Hungarian Ministry. At last, on the 17th February, appeared the imperial and royal rescript, restoring to Hungary her full parliamentary rights as they had existed before 1848. The terms of the compromise between Austria and Hungary were settled in the following manner: - " Common affairs " were defined to include the foreign policy of the empire, with its diplomatic representation abroad, and a joint army under the command of the Emperor. Both parts of the empire were to contribute proportionately to the cost of the ministry of foreign affairs and of the army; and this proportion was afterwards fixed at 70 per cent, for Austria and 30 per cent, for Hungary. Hungary was likewise to contribute to the payment of the interest of the state debt. All international treaties were to receive the sanction of both Legislatures. All other affairs requiring a joint consideration, such as the Customs duties, indirect taxes, and the currency, were to be regulated by treaties, subject to the approval of both moieties of the realm.

The common affairs were committed to the examination and determination of a body called " the Delegations." These consisted of two large committees, each containing sixty members, appointed annually by each of the two Legislatures, and sitting alternately at Vienna and at Pesth. The joint Austro-Hungarian ministers were made responsible to the Delegations, which also had to vote the budget for common affairs. All other matters of legislation not expressly defined as common affairs were to fall within the competency of the separate Parliaments. All these points of the compromise were ratified by the Hungarian Parliament at the beginning of April.

Hungary was thus satisfied; but Cis-Leithan affairs - that is, the affairs of the countries subject to the Imperial Crown that lie west of the river Leitha, the boundary between Austria and Hungary - were still in a state of confusion. Here also the astute and conciliatory genius of Count Beust was able in a short time to effect great ameliorations. The ordinary Reichsrath was convened, for the first time since 1865, to meet at Vienna on the 22nd May. A committee of this body, in conjunction with the Minister President (who in June received from the Emperor the distinguished title of Chancellor of the Empire), proceeded to settle the terms of the financial arrangement with Hungary. In what proportion it was agreed that the common expenses should be shared, has! been already mentioned; with regard to the debt, the discussion was long and thorny. A considerable portion of the Austrian state debt had been incurred in order to put down - unjustly as they would consider - the resistance of the Hungarians after the events of 1848; and it can cause no surprise if Hungary showed little readiness to take any part of the responsibility for a debt so incurred. On the other hand, the revenue in Austria was in the most unsatisfactory condition, and the taxpayers were burdened to the full extent that they could bear. The arrangement finally concluded - under which Hungary agreed to pay 30,200,000 florins annually towards the interest of the state debt - was certainly too favourable for Hungary, and Count Beust did not escape blame for having conceded so much; yet the political advantage of a reconciliation between the two halves of the empire was of such great and urgent importance, that Austrian statesmen may be excused for having consented to onerous terms on the financial side. But the burden which they undertook was too great for the revenue to bear; and it was found necessary, to the great annoyance of the foreign creditor, temporarily to reduce the interest on the debt.

In the Austrian Reichsrath much useful and earnest work was done in the session of this year, of which we can but briefly indicate the results. The Constitution of February, 1861, was modified in various important respects, in order to bring it into harmony with the arrangement made with Hungary. That constitution had provided that whatever affairs were not expressly reserved to the Provincial Diets should be considered to fall within the competency of the Reichsrath; as amended, it ordained the exact contrary - that whatever was not expressly reserved for the Reichsrath was to be decided by the autonomy of the Diets. Other amendments were introduced, all tending in the same federalist direction. The principle of the responsibility of the Emperor's ministers to the Reichsrath was adopted in Austria, as it had been in Hungary. A series of "Confessional Laws" were passed, which, without expressly rescinding the Concordat made with Rome a few years before, ignored it, so to speak, and passed it by; allowing marriage, which till now could only be solemnised by a priest, to be civilly contracted; and withdrawing public education from the exclusive control of the clergy. All this time the unhappy ex-Dictator, Louis Kossuth, was writing declamatory letters from Turin, idly reviling the noble- minded Déak as the betrayer of the rights of Hungary.

On the 24th December, 1867, the Emperor wrote with his own hand a flattering letter to Count Beust, relieving him, in view of the accomplishment of the great legislative and administrative tasks for the sake of which he had been appointed to the office, of the duties of Minister President, but retaining him in the office of Minister for Foreign Affairs.

On the 8th June, a memorable pageant graced the streets, the noble river, and the ancient cathedral of the double capital of Hungary. On that day, the Emperor Francis Joseph, who had never yet received the crown of St. Stephen, was solemnly crowned King of Hungary in the cathedral of Buda, amidst the joyful acclamations of a reconciled people. With him was crowned the beautiful Bavarian, the good and fair Empress Elizabeth. A stately procession wound through the streets after the coronation, and crossed the bridge over the Danube; ascending a hill on the eastern bank, the Emperor mounted his horse, and, in compliance with an ancient formulary, swore to defend against all comers the lands belonging to the crown of St. Stephen. On the 9th June, the Emperor published an unconditional amnesty for all political offenders; on the 10th, he received, with the Empress, the traditional presents of the nation, among which were two purses containing 50,000 ducats each, which their Majesties immediately made over for the relief of widows and orphans of former Honveds, and of invalids belonging to the same force. These Honveds, or Home Defenders, were Hungarian soldiers who had fought against Austria during the civil war of 1848-9.

In Italy, the autumn of 1867 witnessed the invasion of the Pontifical State by Garibaldian bands, and the victory of Montana. Signor Rattazzi, who had succeeded Ricasoli at the head of the Italian Government in April, 1867, was extremely desirous to bring Victor Emmanuel to Rome, and to abolish the temporal power. Every artifice that a subtle Italian brain could devise, in order to undermine the Papal power and outwit its French protectors, was put in requisition. Rattazzi complained loudly of the presence of the Antibes Legion in Rome, declaring that these troops were still borne on the rolls of the French army, and that their employment in Italy was therefore an infringement of the September Convention. There must have been truth in this remonstrance, for the Marquis do Moustier declared that no more troops should be employed on the Legion who were not entirely disconnected from the French army. In September, Garibaldi, who was weary of inaction, began to raise bands, and openly to declare his intention of invading the Papal territory. If Rattazzi had allowed him to proceed absolutely unmolested, he knew that France would immediately interfere; he therefore caused Garibaldi to be arrested at Sinalunga, near Arezzo (Sept. 24), as he was on his way to the Roman frontier; at the same time, he ordered Nigra to represent to the French Emperor that the attitude of the Roman population was so revolutionary as to threaten an insurrection hourly, implying that in such an event the Italian Government might be compelled to send its army to Rome to preserve order. This was just the policy which Cavour had employed a few years before with signal success in the case of the kingdom of Naples. But the French Emperor coolly replied that insurrections were of two kinds - manufactured and spontaneous; and that his line of action would vary, as it might be determined to which category an insurrection breaking out at Rome might belong. The arrest of Garibaldi brought down a torrent of censure and obloquy on the head of Rattazzi, and had not the effect which he had hoped for, of putting an end to the preparations for a French expedition which were being made at Toulon. He wished to send Italian troops into the Papal territory, as though to assure its protection under the September Convention; but to this the King would not consent. Rattazzi then had no choice but to resign; and, after experiencing great difficulty in filling his place, the King induced General Menabrea to accept the premiership. Meantime the movement for the invasion of the Roman territory had been carried forward in spite of the arrest of Garibaldi. On September 29 and 30, the Garibaldians crossed the northern frontier of the Pontifical State at four points. Their movements were conducted with little ability, and being attacked vigorously by the Papal Zouaves, at Bagnorea, Monte Libretti, Nerola, and other places, they were defeated on every occasion, and, before the 20th October, driven back over the Italian frontier.

Garibaldi, after being arrested at Sinalunga, was allowed to retire to Caprera; but he refused to give any pledge which would bind his future movements, and the Government was too much afraid of the clamour raised by his party to detain him longer in confinement. On the 15th i October he made his escape from Caprera; on the 22nd he was at Florence, haranguing the people, and urging the march on Rome. Accomplices in the city were busy in framing plots with a view to the destruction of the defenders of the Papacy. It is said that one of these plots contemplated the simultaneous explosion of mines under all the barracks of the Papal troops in Rome. If so, the other mines must have failed or been discovered; but a terrible explosion took place at the Serristori barracks, near the Vatican palace, on the 22nd October, killing between thirty and forty of the Papal Zouaves outright, and wounding many more. But the General commanding for the Pope, Von Kanzler, was a man of firmness, and put down without difficulty the insignificant attempts that were made to create a disturbance within the city. On the day following the explosion he made a great seizure of arms and ammunition in a house which had long been suspected by the police, and could, after that, turn his undivided attention to the progress of the Garibaldians on the frontier. The re-appearance of Garibaldi kindled the wildest enthusiasm among his adherents; bands began to multiply in every direction; the patriotic vigilance of the Italian troops, who were supposed to be guarding the frontier, suffered itself easily to be imposed upon; and in a short time thousands of Garibaldians were again on Roman soil. Unwilling to expose his small force to be overpowered in detail, through attempting to guard the frontiers against greatly superior numbers, General Kanzler concentrated all the forces under his command at Rome. Advancing therefore unopposed through the old hill country of the Sabines, Garibaldi descended upon the strong walled village of Monte Rotondo (perhaps the ancient Crustumerium) on the 26th October, and carried it after an obstinate resistance.

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Pictures for Chapter XXVI, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 9 page 2

Salzburg
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Naval review at Spithead
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International Exhibition at Paris, 1867
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Marshal Bazaine
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