Diet of Dalmatia
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The Diet of Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmatinski sabor, Italian: Dieta della Dalmazia) was the regional assembly of the Kingdom of Dalmatia within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was founded in Zadar in 1861 and last convened in 1912, before being formally dissolved in 1918, with the demise of the Empire.
Since the founding of the Dalmatian diet, the pro-Italian Autonomist Party held the parliamentary majority until 1870, when the (Croatian) People's Party won the parliamentary election. Croatian then became the official language of the diet in 1883.
Under the constitutional reforms promoted by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, under an imperial decree dated 20 October 1860, the Empire underwent a form of "federalization", following the majority opinion of the Board Empire. According to these determinations, many legislative and judicial powers were conferred onto every province in the kingdom through the reconstitution of the powers—or the creation of new powers—as part of the formation of a proper Diet.
In Croatia, the imperial law, accompanied by the first convocation of the local diet, was warmly welcomed. An imperial autograph in Vienna on 5 December 1860 created: a 'courtly department' (ministry) for Croatia-Slavonia; introduced the Croatian language in the administration of these territories; and declared that the demands of rebuilding the ancient tiara-Slavonia-Croatian Dalmatian be accommodated, thereby postponing a final decision, when Dalmatia—still lacking a provincial assembly—was able to express its political will. An agreement was also made, whereby a political representation of Dalmatia was sent to Zagreb to discuss the issue at a conference chaired by the Ban of Croatia, the highest political authority in the territory of Croatia-Slavonia.
The imperial autograph produced various representations in Dalmatian cities. It was particularly the city of Split congregation—led by Antonio Bajamonti—that was distinguished by the bitterness of protests. The protestors appealed to Francis Joseph to convene the provincial assembly of Dalmatia before taking a decision on the constitutional arrangements of the province within the Empire.
On the basis of Split, most of the Dalmatian municipalities refused to send their representatives to Zagreb; instead, these municipalities decided to form a delegation that went to Vienna to argue the case that the annexation of Croatia should not proceed. Meanwhile, the imperial court began to fear that the granting of overly broad powers to the diets would facilitate the unleashing of domestic forces, thereby reducing the authority of the emperor.
In February 1861, several meetings of the Council of Ministers of Austria were held, in which the attendees discussed, at length, the problem of Dalmatia and a possible meeting with Croatia. Ivan Mažuranić, chairman of the department courtly for Croatia-Slavonia, pleaded in support of the cause, supported by Foreign Minister Bernhard von Rechberg; von Rechberg considered the need for the union to counter an alleged "Italian threat" against the Dalmatian as necessary. Rechberg further claimed that such action would strengthen the Slavic element in Dalmatia that was loyal to Austria. The positions of the Dalmatian separatists were supported by Liberal Party politicians, who managed to persuade the emperor to postpone the decision; a provincial Dalmatian assembly was subsequently set up and it would later negotiate with Croatian representatives in regard to the possibility of unification.
The creation of the DietEdit
On the recommendation of the German-speaking Liberals, Francis Joseph issued a license by 26 February 1861 that created an Imperial Parliament (composed of the House and Senate) with extensive legislative powers—this drastically reduced the powers that were previously planned for the provincial assembly. Within this patent, 15 were approved statutes of the reconstituted provincial assembly, with its Sabor regulations, and this provided for an electoral system that only granted voting rights to those who could pay a minimal fee.
The electoral system was based on four curiae that represented various social bodies (the seat of the Diet was Zara):
- The high census (elected by ten representatives in Dalmatia)
- The cities (elected by eight representatives in Dalmatia)
- The chambers of commerce (elected by three representatives in Dalmatia)
- The rural municipalities (elected by twenty representatives in Dalmatia)
The electoral system favoured the bourgeois and aristocratic classes, as well as the urban population over people in rural areas.
The first Diet of 1861Edit
Between 24 March 1861 and 30 March 1861, the first elections for the provincial assembly of Dalmatia were held—the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1861. The separatists won 29 seats out of 41.
- Vittorio Bioni
- Cosimo de Begna Possedaria
- Vincenzo Duplancich
- Antonio Smirich (from 1863: Giovanni Salghetti-Drioli)
- Antonio Bajamonti
- Spiro Petrović
- Natale Filippi
- Giacomo Ghiglianovich
- Francesco Borreli
- Leonardo Dudan
- Giorgio Giovannizio
- Luigi Lapenna
- Vincenzo degli Alberti
- Antonio Galvani
- Giacomo Vucovich
- Giovanni Radmilli
- Luigi Serragli
- Giovanni Smerchinich
- Girolamo Macchiedo
- Giovanni Macchiedo
- Girolamo Vusio
- Simeone Bujas
- Giovanni Marasović
- Melchiorre Difnico
- Antonio Radman
- Antonio Fanfogna
- Josip Dešković
- Anton Buljan
- Niccolò Mirossevich
- Miho Klaić
- Marino Giorni
- Josip Gjurović (from 1863 Kosta Vojnović)
- Bernardo Verona (from 1863 Josip Banović-Damianović)
- Petar Radulović
- Pane Sablić
- Krsto Kulišić
- Miho Pavlinović
- Djure Pulić
- Krsto Jerković
President of the Diet: Spiro Petrović (Autonomist Party)
On 18 April 1861, the Diet passed a motion submitted by Baiamonti and Galvani to reject the request for a unification of Dalmatian with Croatia and Slavonia—only two dissenting votes were submitted.
Diet of 1864Edit
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1864:
Girolamo Alesani (1864–1866), Antonio Bajamonti, Cosimo de Begna Possedaria, Vittorio Bioni, Orsatto Bonda, Giuseppe Descovich (1866–1867), Melchiorre Difnico, Pietro Doimi, Stefano Doimi, Giovanni Fanfogna, Natale Filippi (1866–1867), Antonio Galvani, Giacomo Ghiglianovich (1866–1867), Nicola Lallich, Francesco Lanza, Luigi Lapenna (1864–1866), Giovanni Battista Macchiedo (or Machiedo), Pietro Doimo Maupas, Luigi Mery, Simeone Michieli Vitturi, Andrea Nicolich, Spiridione Petrovich, Giuseppe Piperata, Valerio Ponte, Giovanni Radmilli, Simeone Rossignoli, Luigi Serragli, Antonio Stermich, Giacomo Vucovich, Vincenzo Vuletich, Giovanni Zaffron and Francesco Zanchi.
President of Diet: Spiro Petrović (Autonomist Party)
Diet of 1867Edit
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1867:
Girolamo Alesani (1869–1870), Antonio Bajamonti, Cosimo de Begna Possedaria, Vittorio Bioni, Agostino Cindro, Giuseppe Descovich (1867–1868), Stefano Doimi (1867–1869), Giovanni Fanfogna, Gaetano Frari, Luigi Frari, Giacomo Ghiglianovich, Giorgio Giovannizio, Stefano Knezevich (Croatian People's Party), Luigi Lapenna, Enrico Matcovich, Pietro Doimo Maupas, Andrea Nicolich, Spiridione Petrovich, Giuseppe Piperata, Antonio Radman, Antonio Rolli, Simeone de Rossignoli, Giovanni Salghetti-Drioli, Luigi Serragli, Giacomo Vucovich, Vincenzo Vuletich and Giovanni Zaffron.
President of Diet: Spiro Petrović (Autonomist Party)
Diet of 1870Edit
President of the Diet: Stjepan Mitrov Ljubiša (People's Party)
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1870:
Vincenzo Alesani, Antonio Bajamonti, Cosimo de Begna Possedaria (1870–1873), Natale Filippi (1870–1873), Gaetano Frari, Matteo Gligo, Stefano Knezevich, Andrea Krussevich (1872–1873 e 1875-1876), Francesco Lanza (1870–1874), Luigi Lapenna (1872–1873), Pietro Doimo Maupas, Luigi Mery, Francesco Milcovich (1874–1876), Giuseppe Mladineo (1871–1874), Luigi Nutrizio (1875–1876), Giuseppe Piperata (1871–1873), Valerio Ponte (1870-1870), Giuseppe Radman (1874–1876), Simeone Rossignoli (1874–1876), Niccolò Trigari (1874–1876) and Vincenzo Vuletich (1871–1876).
For the first time, the People's Party won the Dalmatian election; however, the Croat majority did not recognise the validity of the election of many representatives from the Autonomist Party and this resulted in a series of resignations and replacements, in addition to a tense political environment. The Diets held power over the schools within the Empire and, due to the political situation of the time, closed all of the Italian schools in Dalmatia, with the exception of those in Zadar. It was during this period that Miho Klaic, the head of the National Party (from Dubrovnik), delivered a speech to the Diet in which he spoke of the increase in the population of Dalmatian Italians in Dalmatia.
Diet of 1876Edit
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1876:
Pietro Abelich, Antonio Bajamonti, Cosimo de Begna Possedaria (1878–1880), Giovanni Botteri, Gustavo Ivanich, Stefano Knezevich, Pietro Doimo Maupas, Cesare Pellegrini Danieli, Giovanni Smerchinich and Niccolò Trigari.
President: Đorđe Vojnović (People's Party—renamed "Serb Party" after 1879)
Diet of 1883Edit
|Croatian National Party||26|
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1883:
Antonio Bajamonti (1888), Gustavo Ivanich (1883–1885), Michele Kapovich (1883-1889), Pietro Doimo Maupas, Giuseppe Messa, Giuseppe Pezzi, Antonio Radman (1885–1886), Luigi Serragli (1883–1885), Leopoldo Stermich and Niccolò Trigari.
President: Đorđe Vojnović (Serb Party) Vice president: Michele Kapovich (Autonomist Party)
The Dalmatian Slavs were divided for the first time in a Diet election and the People's Party became the Croatian National Party known also as the People's Croatian Party (Narodna hrvatska stranka), while Serbs formed the Serbian Party (Srpska stranka).
Diet of 1889Edit
|Croatian National Party||26|
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1889:
Antonio Bajamonti (end to 1891), Lorenzo Benevenia, Pietro Doimo Maupas (end to 1891), Baldassarre Podich, Ercolano Salvi (dal 1891), Antonio Smirich, Niccolò Trigari and Niccolò de' Vidovich.
President: Đorđe Vojnović (Serbian Party)
Diet of 1895Edit
|Party of Rights||3|
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1895:
President: Miho Klaić (People's Party—until 1896) and Gajo Bulat (People's Party—from 1896 to 1901)
Diet of 1901Edit
|Party of Rights||9|
|Pure Party of Rights||2|
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1901:
President: Vicko Ivčević (People's Party—from 1905 the Croatian Party formed as a fusion of the Croatian National Party and the majority of the Dalmatian Party of Rights)
Diet of 1908Edit
|Party of Rights||8|
Elected from the Autonomist Party in the Dalmatian parliamentary election of 1908:
Roberto Ghiglianovich, Natale Krekich, Luigi Pini (1910–1918), Ercolano Salvi, Stefano Smerchinich and Luigi Ziliotto.
President: Vicko Ivčević (Croatian Party)
Presidents of the DietEdit
The first, second and third Diet presidents were Serbian, while latter three were Croatian.
- Špiro Petrović (1861–1870) - Autonomist Party
- Stjepan Mitrov Ljubiša (1870–1876) - People's Party
- Đorđe Vojnović (1877–1895) - People's Party (from 1879 the Serbian People's Party or the Serbian Party formed by the Serbs from the People's Party)
- Miho Klaic (1896) - Croatian People's Party or Croatian National Party formed by the Croatians from the People's Party in 1883, formally in 1889
- Gajo Bulat (1896–1900) - Croatian People's Party or Croatian National Party
- Vicko Ivčević (1900–1918) - Croatian People's Party or Croatian National Party (from 1905 the Croatian Party)
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- L.Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia. 1914-1924, Le Lettere, Firenze 2007
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