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33: Religion and Social Conditions

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Religion. - Religious toleration was secured throughout the Habsburg dominions by the patent of the 13th of October 1781, but Protestants were not given full civil rights until the issue of the Protestantenpatent of the 8th of April 1861, after the promulgation of the imperial constitution of the 26th of February. The principle underlying this and all subsequent acts is the guarantee to all religious bodies recognized by law of freedom of worship, the management of their own affairs, and the undisturbed possession and disposal of their property. Though all the churches are, in a sense, "established," the Roman Catholic Church, to which the sovereign must belong, is the state religion. The reigning house, however, though strongly attached to the Roman faith, has always resisted the extreme claims of the papacy, an attitude which in Joseph II.'s time resulted, under the influence of Febronianism, in what was practically a national schism. Thus the emperor retains the right to tax church property, to nominate bishops, and to prohibit the circulation of papal bulls without his permission. By the concordat of August 18, 1855, this traditional attitude was to some extent reversed; but this agreement soon became a dead letter and was formally denounced by the Austrian government after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility.

Of the population of Austria in 1900, 23,796,814 (91 %) were Roman Catholics, including 3,134,439 uniate Greeks and 2096 uniate Armenians. There were 12,937 Old Catholics, in scattered communities, 606,764 members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, mainly in Bukovina and Dalmatia, and 698 Armenians, also mainly in Bukovina. The Protestants, who in the 16th century comprised 90 % of the population, are now only 1.9 %. In 1900, 365,505 of them were returned as belonging to the Augsburg Confession (Lutheran), 128,557 to the Helvetic (Reformed). Other Christian Confessions in Austria are Herrnhuters (Moravian Brethren) in Bohemia, Mennonites in Galicia, Lippovanians (akin to the Russian Skoptsi) in Bukovina, and Anglicans. The Jews compose 4.7 % of the population, and are strongest in Galicia, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Moravia and Bukovina. The Roman Catholic Church is divided into eight provinces, seven of the Latin rite - Vienna, Prague, Lemberg, Salzburg, Olmütz, Görz and Zara - with 23 bishoprics, and one of the Greek rite (Lemberg), with two bishoprics. The Armenian bishoprics of Lemberg and the Austrian part of the archdiocese of Burials are under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See. The Greek Orthodox Church has one archbishopric (at Czernowitz) and two bishoprics. There are 559 communities of the Jewish religion (253 in Galicia, and 255 in Bohemia). In 1900 there were, belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, 541 monasteries with 7775 monks, and 877 convents with 19,194 nuns; while the Greek Orthodox Church had 14 monasteries with 85 members. The Evangelical Church, according to the constitution granted by imperial decree on the gth of April 1861 (modified by those of January 6, 1866 and December 9, 1891), is organized on a territorial basis, being administered by 10 superintendents, who are, in their turn, subject to the Supreme Church Council (K.K. Oberkirchenrat) at Vienna, the emperor as sovereign being technically head of the Church. The small Anglican community at Trieste is under the jurisdiction of the Evangelical superintendent of Vienna.

Education. - The system of elementary schools dates from the time of Maria Theresa; the present organization was introduced by the education law of May 14 1869 amended in 1883). By this law the control of the schools, hitherto in the hands of the Church, was assumed by the state, every local community being bound to erect and maintain public elementary schools. These are divided into Volksschulen (national or primary schools) and Bürgerschulen (higher elementary schools). Attendance is obligatory on all from the age of six to fourteen (in some provinces six to twelve). Religious instruction is given by the parish priest, but in large schools a special grant is made or a teacher ad hoc appointed in the higher classes (law of June 17, 1888). Private schools are also allowed which, if fulfilling the legal requirements, may be accorded the validity of public primary schools. The language of instruction is that of the nationality prevalent in the district. In about 40 % of the schools the instruction is given in German; in 26 % in Czech; in 28 % in other Slavonic languages, and in the remainder in Italian, Rumanian or Magyar. In 1903 there were in Austria 20,268 elementary schools with 78,025 teachers frequented by 3,618,837 pupils, which compares favourably with the figures of the year 1875, when there were 14,257 elementary schools with 27,677 teachers, frequented by 2,050,808 pupils. About 88 % of the children who are of school are actually attend school but in some provinces like Upper Austria and Salzburg nearly the full 100 attend, while in the eastern parts of the monarchy the percentage is much lower. In 1900 62 % of the total population of Austria could read and write, and 2.9 % could only read. In the number of illiterates are included children under seven years of age. For the training of teachers of elementary schools there were in 1900 54 institutions for masters and 38 for mistresses. In these training colleges, as also in the secondary or "middle" schools (Mittelschulen), religious instruction is also in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church; but, by the law of June 20, 1870, the state must provide for such teaching in the event of the Protestant pupils numbering 20 or upwards (the school authorities usually refuse to take more than 19 Protestants in consequence).

Besides the elementary schools three other groups of educational establishments exist in Austria: "middle " schools (Mittelschulen); "high " schools (Hochschulen); professional and technical schools (Fachlchranstalten and Gewerbeschulen). The "middle " schools include the classical schools (Gymnasien), "modern" schools with some Latin teaching (Realgymnasien), and modern schools simply (Realschulen). In 1903 there were 202 Gymnasien, 19 Realgymnasien and 117 Realschulen, with 7121 teachers and 11,012 scholars. The "high" schools include the universities and the technical high schools (Technische Hochschulen). Of state universities there are eight: - Vienna, Gratz, Innsbruck, Prague (German), and Czernowitz, in which German is the language of instruction; Prague (Bohemian) with Czech; and Cracow and Lemberg with Polish as the language of instruction . Each university has four faculties - theology, law and political science, medicine and philosophy. In Czernowitz, however, the faculty of medicine is wanting. Since 1905 an ltalian faculty of law has been added to the university of Innsbruck. The theological faculties are all Roman Catholic, except Czernowitz, where the theological faculty is Orthodox Eastern. All the universities are maintained by the state. The number of professors and lecturers was about 1596 in 1903; while the number of students was 17,498.

Justice. - The judicial authorities in Austria are: - (1) the county courts, 963 in number; (2) the provincial and district courts, 74 in number, to which are attached the jury courts, - both these courts are courts of first instance; (3) the higher provincial courts, 9 in number, namely, at Vienna, Graz, Trieste, Innsbruck, Sara, Prague, Brünn, Cracow and Lemberg; these are courts of appeal from the lower courts, and have the supervision of the criminal courts in their jurisdiction; (4) the supreme court of justice and court of cassation in Vienna. The judicial organization is independent of the executive power. There are also special courts for commercial, industrial, shipping, military and other matters. There is also the court of the Empire at Vienna, which has the power to decide in case of conflict between different authorities.


Religion. - There is in Hungary just as great a variety of religious confessions as there is of nationalities and of languages. None of them possesses an overwhelming majority, but perfect equality is granted to all religious creeds legally recognized. According to the census returns of 1900 in Hungary proper there were:

Per Cent. of Population.
Roman Catholics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,198,497 or 48.69
Uniat Greeks¹. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,841,272 or 10.93
Greek Orthodox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,199,195 or 13.06
Evangelicals -
Augsburg confession, or Lutherans 1,258,860 or 7.48
Helvetian confession, or Calvinists 2,427,232 or 4.41
Unitarians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68,551 or 0.41
Jews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 831,162 or 4.94
Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,486 or 0.08

¹ i.e., Catholics of the Oriental rite in communion with Rome.

In many instances nationality and religious faith are conterminous. Thus the Servians are mostly Greek Orthodox; the Ruthenians are Uniat Greeks; the Rumanians are either Greek Orthodox or Greek Uniats; the Slovaks are Lutherans; the only other Lutherans are the Germans in Transylvania and in the Szepes county. The Calvinists are composed mostly of Magyars, so that in the country the Lutherans are designated as the "German Church," and the Calvinists as the "Hungarian Church." The Unitarians are all Magyars. Only to the Roman Catholic Church belong several nationalities. The Roman Catholic Church has 4 archbishops; Esztergom (Gran), Kalocsa, Eger (Erlau) and Zágráb (Agram), and 17 diocesan bishops; to the latter must be added the chief abbot of Pannonhalma, who likewise enjoys episcopal rights. The primate is the archbishop of Esztergom, who also bears the title of prince, and whose special privilege it is to crown the sovereigns of Hungary. The Greek Uniat Church owns besides the archbishop of Esztergom the archbishop of Gyulafehérvár (Carlsburg), or rather Balázsfalva (i.e., "the city of Blasius") and 6 bishops. The Armenian Uniat Church is partly under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic bishop of Transylvania, and partly under that of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Kalocsa. The Orthodox Eastern Church in Hungary is subject to the authority of the metropolitan of Carlowitz and the archbishop of Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt); under the former are the bishops of Bács, Buda, Temesvár, Versecz and Pakrácz, and under the latter the bishops of Arad and Karánsebes. The two great Protestant communities are divided into ecclesiastical districts, five for each; the heads of these districts bear the title of superintendents. The Unitarians, chiefly resident in Transylvania, are under the authority of a bishop, whose see is Kolozsvár (Klausenburg). The Jewish communities are comprised in ecclesiastical districts, the head direction being at Budapest.

Education. - Although great improvements have been effected in the educational system of the country since 1867, Hungary is still backward in the matter of general education, as in 1900 only a little over 50 % of the population could read and write. By a law passed in 1868 attendance at school is obligatory on all children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. The communes or parishes are bound to maintain elementary schools, and they are entitled to levy an additional tax of 5 % on the state taxes for their maintenance. In 1902 there were in Hungary 18,729 elementary schools with 32,020 teachers, attended by 2,573,377 pupils, figures which compare favourably with those of 1877, when there were 15,486 schools with 20,717 teachers, attended by 1,559,636 pupils. In about 61 % of these schools the language used was exclusively Magyar, in about 20 % it was mixed and in the remainder some non-Magyar language was used. In 1902, 80.56 % of the children of school age actually attended school. Since 1891 infant schools, for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years, have been maintained either by the communes or by the state.

The public instruction of Hungary contains three other groups of educational institutions: middle or secondary schools, "high schools" and technical schools. The high schools include the universities, of which Hungary possesses three, all maintained by the state: at Budapest (founded in 1635), at Kolozsvár (founded in 1872), and at Zágráb (founded in 1874). They have four faculties: of theology, law, philosophy and medicine. (The university at Zágráb is without a faculty of medicine.) There are besides ten high schools of law, called academies, which in 1900 were attended by 1569 pupils. The Polytechnicum in Budapest, founded in 1844, which contains four faculties and was attended in 1900 by 1772 pupils, is also considered a high school. There were in Hungary in 1900 forty-nine high theological colleges, twenty-nine Roman Catholic; five Greek Uniat, four Greek Orthodox, ten Protestant and one Jewish. Among special schools the principal mining schools are at Selmeczbánya, Nagyág and Felsõbánya; the principal agricultural colleges at Debreczen and Kolozsvár; and there are a school of forestry at Selmeczbánya military colleges at Budapest, Kassa, Déva and Zágráb, and a naval school at Fiume. There are besides an adequate number of training institutes for teachers, a great number of schools of commerce, several art schools - for design, painting, sculpture, music, &c. Most of these special schools are of recent origin, and are almost entirely maintained by the state or the communes.

The richest libraries in Hungary are the National Library at Budapest; the University Library, also at Budapest, and the library of the abbey of Pannonhalma. Besides the museums mentioned in the article Budapest, several provincial towns contain interesting museums, namely, Pressburg, Temesvár, Déva, Kolozsvár, Nagyszeben, further, the national museum at Zagrám, the national (Székely) museum at Marós-Vásárhely, and the Carpathian museum at Poprád should be mentioned.

At the head of the learned and scientific societies stands the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1830; the Kisfaludy Society, the Petõfi society, and numerous societies of specialists, as the historical, geographical, &c., with their centre at Budapest. There are besides a number of learned societies in the various provinces for the fostering of special provincial or national aims. There are also a number of societies for the propagation of culture, both amongst the Hungarian and the non-Hungarian nationalities. Worth mentioning are also the two Carpathian societies: the Hungarian and the Transylvanian.

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