Miodrag Milin

Sârbii la 1848–1849, în Banat şi Vojvodina / The Serbs from Banat and Vojvodina in 1848–1849

1 Ianuarie 2011

Cuvinte cheie:
Illyrian privileges
civil war



The topic discussed in the paper deliberately selects a timeframe (1848 – 1849) and not the reference to the generally approached process called “Revolution”, though for European historiography it is tempting to label events and processes rather than mere periods. In the particular case of the Serbs in Banat and Vojvodina, the historical period encounters several distinctive features. The Serbs were committed from the beginning to the national liberation movement, with antagonism to the emerging reborn Hungarian state which, in its turn, had its own antagonism towards the Habsburg Empire. Therefore, the movement of Serbs (who were deeply conservative) supported by the claims contained in the “Illyrian privileges” developed by the Habsburg Crown, vehemently challenged the new Hungarian statehood. When the legitimate March government tried, in its first six months, to maintain at least a formal compromise with the Empire, the Serbs found themselves in a state of “rebellion” both against Budapest and against the Crown. When the secession of Hungary became fait accompli, the status of Serbs in the civil war between the Crown and the Hungarian rebels, improved significantly. Already in December of 1848 the camarilla of the new Emperor in Innsbruck showed some signs of encouragement for the cause of the Serbs (e. g. the Patriarchate and Vojvodina organization, in the spirit of the old privileges). Such aspirations, which the Serb borderland guards nurtured dearly, had been systematically fed by such actions as the systematic recruitment and equipping of the military amongst the “volunteers” to the Government in Belgrade, which vigorously pursued its own objective, described in the Načertanije plan in 1844. This plan stated as objectives the liberation of the Balkan region and the regeneration of a large Serbian state (Yugoslavia). The new state structure of Vojvodina, born out of the political will of the Empire combined with the war effort of the land guards (more precisely, due to the decisive support of “volunteers” of the Prime Minister Ilija Garašanin in Belgrade), did not reflect the reality of the alleged corporate beneficiaries. It was more a passing whim of Vienna, a provisional state, meant to punish the “betrayal” of Hungarian magnates. It is no surprise, therefore, that it ended, unexpectedly, quite soon, due to new different reasons of state.