Representation of the Romanian Political Elite in the Bukovina Diet (1861–1914)
The main objective of the Bukovina Romanian elite’s political programme during 1848-1849 was to achieve provincial autonomy. At that time, the dominant idea in the Romanian political leaders’ mind was that their national interests and language could only be better protected and promoted through Bukovina’s separation from the Slavic province of Galicia, into which it had been incorporated in 1786 as a simple administrative county, and though provincial autonomy. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Romanian political elite, recruited mainly from the noble landlords and the Orthodox clergy, highly culture and civilized, wished to play a much greater role in provincial political power structures, corresponding to the economic importance, social position and demographic preponderance of the nation they represented. Consequently, all political actions during those years, and especially, all the petitions addressed to the ruling powers in Vienna, first and foremost the Emperor, would prioritise provincial autonomy.1
In the wake of these endeavours by the Romanian political elite, with the Hurmuzaki family at the fore, and support from representatives of the other nationalities in the province, the Constitution of March 4th 1849 included Bukovina among the autonomous provinces that formed the Empire, thereby gaining the rank of duchy, self-administration and its own Diet. Under the provisions stipulated in Article 11 of the Constitution, the Emperor added to his sovereign titles also that of Duke of Bukovina.2 After acquiring the status of an autonomous province within the Monarchy, the Bukovina political elite extensively debated...
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