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3 Race Theory in Habsburg Croatia, 1900–1918

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Chapter Summary

One of the most significant racial ideas that found widespread acceptance in both popular and intellectual circles in fin-de-siècle Austria-Hungary was the notion that the Slavs had historically been incapable of forming and/or maintaining states on their own. Therefore, all the Slavic states known to history were actually founded by Germanic or Turkic martial castes, which succeeded in establishing their rule over a mass of Slav subjects. The first Croatian intellectual to devote a detailed study to the question of race in the western Balkans was the noted archaeologist and historian Ćiro Truhelka. A lawyer by profession, Ivo Pilar completed his magnum opus, Die südslawische Frage under the German pseudonym of Ludwig von Südland in 1917/18, just before the collapse of the Monarchy. In spite of the intellectual efforts of Truhelka and Pilar, racial Yugoslavism is a major ideological plank of most Croatian political parties in the early twentieth century.

Keywords: Austria-Hungary; Croatian political parties; Die südslawische Frage; Germanic martial castes; Ivo Pilar; Ludwig von Südland; Slav subjects; Turkic martial castes; Yugoslavism



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