Grand Principality of Transylvania
Marele Principat al Transilvaniei (ro)
Großfürstentum Siebenbürgen (de)
Component of Greater Austria
Flag Coat of arms
Limba noastră
Our Language
Capital Klausenburg
Languages Romanian, German, Hungarian
Government Province (1711-1918)
Constitutional monarchy, personal union with the House of Habsburg (1918-1941)
Grand Prince
 •  1711–1740 Carol III
 •  1922–1941 Otto I
 •  1918–1919 Gheorghe Pop de Băsești
 •  1939–1940 Georg Wassilko von Serecki
Legislature Diet
 •  Rákóczi's Revolt crushed 1711
 •  Incorporated into Hungary 8 June 1867
 •  Independence within Greater Austria 1 December 1918
 •  Dissolution of Greater Austria 13 March 1941
Currency Gulden (1772–1892)
Krone (1892–1925)
Schilling (1925–1941)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
wikipedia:Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen
Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen
Kingdom of Romania
Today part of Flag of Romania.svg Romania

The Principality of Transylvania, from 1765 Grand Principality of Transylvania, was a crown land of the Habsburg Monarchy, a constituent land of the Austrian Empire, and later an autonomous nation of Greater Austria.

History[edit | edit source]

File:Austria-Hungary map.svg


Backround[edit | edit source]

Due to external and internal problems, reforms seemed inevitable to secure the integrity of the Habsburg Empire. Major Austrian military defeats (such as the 1866 Battle of Königgrätz) forced Austrian emperor Franz Joseph to concede internal reforms. To appease Hungarian separatism, the emperor made a deal with Hungary (the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, negotiated by Ferenc Deák) by which the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary came into existence. The two realms were governed separately by two parliaments from two capitals, with a common monarch and common external and military policies. Economically, the empire was a customs union. The first prime minister of Hungary after the Compromise was Count Gyula Andrássy. The old Hungarian Constitution was restored, and Franz Joseph was crowned as King of Hungary.

The era saw considerable economic development, with the GNP per capita growing roughly 1.45 percent annually from 1870 to 1913. That level of growth compared favorably with that of other European nations, such as Britain (1.00 percent), France (1.06 percent), and Germany (1.51 percent). Technological growth accelerated industrialization and urbanization. Many state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period. However, as a result of the Compromise the special status of Transylvania ended; it became a province under the Hungarian diet. While part of Austria-Hungary, Transylvania's Romanians were oppressed by the Hungarian administration through Magyarization; German Saxons were also subject to this policy. During this time, Hungarian-administered Transylvania consisted of a 15-county (Hungarian: megye) region, covering 54,400 km² in the southeast of the former Kingdom of Hungary.

The peace treaty signed between the Central Powers and the Kingdom of Romania, to replace the five-month-old armistice. Romania recovered its pre-war territory occupied by the Central Powers in December 1916, except for Dobruja and the mountain regions which were attatched to Transylvania. The Executive Committee of the National Romanian Party of Austria-Hungary, the major party in Transylvania, takes place in Oradea on 12 October 1918. A declaration is passed, demanding the creation "in virtue of the national right of every nation to decide its own fate" of a Central National Romanian Council, a provisional governing body for Transylvania. To this end the National Romanian Party formed an Action Committee, seated in Arad, and presided by Vasile Goldiş.

Alba Iulia National Assembly[edit | edit source]


The National Assembly in Alba Iulia (December 1, 1918)


First page of Transilvania newspaper from December 1918, referring to the event

On 1 December 1918, the National Assembly of Romanians of Transylvania and Hungary, consisting of 1,228 elected representatives of the Romanians in Transylvania, Banat, Crişana and Maramureş, convened in Alba Iulia and decreed (by unanimous vote)


The Resolution voted by the National Assembly stipulated also the "fundamental principles for the foundation of the new Romanian State":

  1. Full national freedom for all the co-inhabiting peoples. Each people will study, manage and judge in its own language by individual of its own stock and each people will get the right to be represented in the law bodies and to govern the country in accordance with the number of its people.
  2. Equal rights and full autonomous religious freedom for all the religions in the State.
  3. Full democratic system in all the realms of public life. Suffrage universal, direct, equal, secret, in each commune, proportionally, for both sexes, 21 years old at the representation in communes, counties or parliament.
  4. Full freedom of the press, association and meeting, free propaganda of all human thoughts.
  5. Radical agrarian reform. All the assets, above all the big ones, will be inscribed. The wills by which the heir consigns the land to a third party will be abolished; meanwhile, on the basis of the right to cut down estates freely, the peasant will be able to his own property (ploughing land, pasture, forest), at least one for him and his family to labour on. The guiding principle of this agrarian policy is promoting social evening, on the one hand, and giving force to production, on the other.
  6. The industrial workers will be granted the same rights and privileges that are in force in the most advanced western industrial states.

The union was conditional, and demanded the preservation of a democratic local autonomy, the equality of all nationalities and religions.

File:Alba Iulia Resolution.jpg

The Resolution of the National Assembly

The Assembly also formed from 200 of its members, plus 50 co-opted members a High National Romanian Council of Transylvania, the new permanent parliament of Transylvania.

The next day, on 2 December 1918 the High National Romanian Council of Transylvania formed a government under the name of Directory Council of Transylvania (Consiliul Dirigent al Transilvaniei), headed by Gheorghe Pop de Băsești.

On 11 December 1918, Emperor Karl signed the Law regarding the Union of Transylvania, Banat, Crişana, the Satmar and Maramureş under the Habsburg monarchy, decreeing that


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