15 February 2016

Der Franziszeische Kataster im Kronland Bukowina • The Land Register of Francis I in the Crownland of Bukovina


The Land Register of Francis I (1817 – 1861) is a comprehensive cartographical and statistical documentation of the natural, economic and social circumstances surrounding the Habsburg monarchy in the first half of the 19th century.  The measurement, soil assessment and earning power of all crown lands and the arrangement in tax districts and 30,556 land registry districts was a great technical and cultural-political achievement at a time after the Napoleonic Wars in which the Austrian monarchy had reached a new low. Since January of 2008 the Universities of Klagenfurt and Innsbruck have been working on a research project (funded with the support of the Austrian Scientific Fund – FWF) whose aim is to scientifically develop and examine the maps and records of the states of Carinthia and Bukovina. [...] 

The layout of the Land Register of Francis I (with its fiscal, judicial and political objectives) sought to bring together the provinces of the union of states into a uniform jurisdiction regarding soil assessment and taxation.  As a basic part of the development of a more or less unified economic area, the “Franziszeische Surveying Unit” in conjunction with the “land registry” and the “soil assessment” had the goal of viewing the “tax assessment” (which did not take place) as an undertaking to reshape a large region economically, administratively and judicially.  For this reason the “land registry” was an important step towards a “modern state” – in the case of the Habsburg monarchy this was definitely without and against the ideological support of nationalism taking place during the start of the 19th century. In its political meaning the research into the land registry has up until now been largely ignored. There has been almost no adequate consideration for the land registry in the overall view of the Austrian management, economic and social history. The missing editorial coverage of the land registry as a source for comparison studies is a drawback whose elimination should provide new impulse to the research with a middle European perspective.


Courtesy: OAPEN Open Access

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