The Russian Intervention in Transylvania and its Consequences

  • Ian W. Roberts
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


One of the consequences of the Austrian government’s decision to reject the April Laws was the ending of the union between Hungary and Transylvania which the Emperor had ratified in June. The Austrian change in attitude towards Hungary only served to increase the confusion in a province where the diversity of races, languages and religions was one of the greatest in the Habsburg empire. Out of a population of about two million, more than half were Rumanians, the majority of whom were peasants under an obligation to work on the estates of their Hungarian landlords and who had no political rights. The Hungarians, who were the second largest group, were closely identified with their fellow Hungarian speakers, the Széklers, who were, however, of a different racial origin. The third largest group were the German-speaking Saxons whose settlements dated back to the fourteenth century. The Rumanians were Greek Orthodox or Uniate, but their church did not receive the same official recognition as the churches of the Catholic Hungarians, Lutheran Saxons and Calvinist or Unitarian Széklers. It was therefore hardly surprising that the Rumanians had bitterly opposed the union with Hungary and had made every effort to persuade the Emperor Ferdinand to grant them a measure of political freedom.


Mountain Pass Austrian Government Austrian Council Military Situation Russian Army 
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Copyright information

© Ian W. Roberts 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian W. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Slavonic and East European StudiesUniversity of LondonUK

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