01 January 2015

"A Sanguine Bunch" • Regional Identification in Habsburg Bukovina, 1774-1919

Abstract: In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the small and easternmost crownland of Bukovina was exceptional in many ways. It was a new addition to the Imperial territory and very much a Habsburg creation: never before had the area been a separate entity. Colonisation efforts added a large number of immigrants to the uneducated peasant population. During the final decades of the Empire’s existence, Bukovina was consciously deployed as a pars pro toto for a utopian Austria in which interethnic harmony and tolerance prevailed: both in- and outside the crownland, the commonplace of ‘Little Austria’ with its Viennese orientation and its vibrant cultural life gained ground. During and after the Habsburg era, numerous studies have appeared on the ethnical composition of Bukovina, the dominance of nationalist theory has led to separate analyses of Habsburg Bukovina’s ‘nationalities’. Ironically, the binding element, the ‘Bukovinianness’ of the crownland and its inhabitants is thus ignored. This particular study focuses on the different identification processes at work and on the question what ‘Bukovinianness’ really encompassed.

Courtesy: University of Amsterdam - Digital Academic Repository