321. “The Belt” #2
“In order to become internationalists, we must first become nationalists.” Austrian Empire (cont.)
Václav Jaroslav Klofáč 
“Young Czechs! I love Young Czechs! You know, brother, let's stop by the telegraph, and send them a telegram: "Old students, celebrating Tatiana's Day, wish you complete freedom of language." Oh my God, let's stop by! The Young Czechs will be happy! Very happy!”
V. Doroshevich, “Tatiana’s Day” 
“If we have enough food and wine, what else do we want? Why should Hungarian save money?"
Baron Lörinz Orzi
It is something in Hungarian and I have no idea what it means
Of course, while Vienna was beautiful and its coffee houses were just great, it did not mean that the empire was trouble free. And the main source of the internal troubles was Czechia. The lands of the Bohemian Crown were extremely important economically but, formally,
they were just absorbed into the Austrian Empire with FJI not even bothering to get crowned by the Crown of Saint Wenceslas . The Czechs had been represented in the imperial Reichstag and using the Czech language was legalized but, nonetheless, Czechia was something of a second class entity within the Empire and this was causing a considerable resentment. Rather fortunately for the monarchy, the nationalist parties had at least as strong dislike of each other as of the “Austrian oppression”.
The main Czech parties were:
- Staročeši (Old Czechs - from 1874), party founded in 1860 (as National Party) , had a wide support in pretty much all classes. Its platform was increasing the representation of Czech lands in the Reichsrat, expanding self-government, ensuring the equality of German and Czech languages in the Czech lands, legal confirmation of the civil and economic rights and freedoms. Leadership of the party was ready to compromise on the details to achieve its main goals. For several years, the party adhered to the tactics of passive opposition to the Viennese authorities by refusing to take seats in the Reichsrat, but in the mid-1870s it was decided to abandon this tactic. In 1879, the old man Pražek became Imperial Minister for Czech Affairs. His activities contributed to the dissemination of the Czech language in local administration and education. In 1890 the party signed an agreement regarding division of the empire into the German and Czech districts and lost a lot of its popularity.
- Mladočeši (Young Czechs), National Party of the Free Thinkers,  split from the main party in 1874. The party was getting active material support from large Czech industrialists and bankers. Did not demand independence but wanted national autonomy making empire a dual monarchy with economic unity, state support of the industry and export and nationalization of the railroads. Ah yes, also universal voting rights.
- In 1897 Česká strana národně sociální (Czech National Socialist Party). Its stress was on achieving a complete independence from the Hapsburg Empire. Do not confuse its socialism with marxism. The party was against the Marxist interpretation of internationalism as a complete denial of a national identity and was reformist rather than revolutionary: “collectivizing by means of development, surmounting of class struggle by national discipline, moral rebirth and democracy as the conditions of socialism, a powerful popular army, etc.”
- Sociálně Demokratická strana Českoslovanská v Rakousku (Social Democratic Czechoslavonic party in Austria) founded in 1878 was a regional wing of the Social Democratic Party of Austria and rather socialist than nationalist.
So far, the imperial government had been playing a balancing act trying to make a deal with the more conservative party and to get away with the just parliamentarian representation and autonomy but the nationalist pressure kept growing and it started looking like the dual monarchy will be a better option than a need to deal violently with the Czech independence movement. The preliminary discussions already had been going on regarding numerous specifics of a possible arrangement.
Being a close neighbor of the RE and occupying a strategic position on the Danube and between the Austrian and Ottoman empires, Hungary. would warrant a serious Russian attention even without the close family connection of its ruling family.
Hungary was the main food supplier for the Austrian Empire. Hungary had strategically important national resources (iron, copper, lead, gold, sulfur, etc.) in Slovakia and Transylvania and well-developed mining and metallurgical industries. As a result, the interest was not only on a geopolitical but also economic level. There was also a considerable commonality: both countries were still in a process of the intensive industrialization with the agricultural sector (and its export) still playing a very important role. Both countries were modernizing their agriculture and existing experience was of a mutual interest.
Of course, there were good and bad years but the national income was growing on average 3.8% annually with the industrial production growing on average by 6.2% annually and agricultural production 1.7 - 2.2%. Approximately 18% of the “working population” had been engaged in the industry (in Austria 25%, in France 30%) and it amounted only to 25% of the national income while agriculture - for 44%.
The government was facing serious problems with implementing industrialization program: shortage of the qualified cadres, inadequacy of a transportation system, Austrian competition, shortage of the domestic capital. Between 1881 and 1895 a number of laws had been introduced to stimulate the industrial development by providing the tax breaks, favorable railroad tariffs, state subsidies, state contracts, loans, etc. In 1890, the Government of Hungary established a special fund to promote the development of industry and trade in the country. This was good for jumpstarting the process but some experts had been warming that excessive dependency upon the state protection may backfire by limiting competitiveness and encouraging inefficient management.
The country was unable, due to objective and subjective factors, to carry out large-scale industrialization. Therefore, the efforts of the government and business were focused on creating a modern infrastructure (credit and financial system, transport, new means of communication) and industries focused on the processing of agricultural products, mining, metallurgy. The policy of “pointed industrialization” contributed to the development of certain high-tech industries (mechanical engineering, electrical, chemical, oil refining industries), which was stimulated by the country's government. Hungarian industry has produced and exported such high-tech products as vehicles (locomotives, cars, trams), electric incandescent lamps, transformers, medicines, etc.
The greatest success was in the railroads. By 1895 length of the railroad network reached 1,3947 km and kept growing. 95% of the goods had been carried by the rail. Travel from St. Petersburg to Budapest cost on a fast train 1 class 54 rubles, 2nd class - 37 rubles, on a passenger train - 26 rubles, 3rd class on a passenger train - 19 rubles.
Starting from 1890 40 - 50 new industrial enterprises had been open annually, partially due to the law of 1875 making easy to register a new company and allowing taking a capital out of the country, which was important for the foreign investors owning more than 10% of the industrial plants. In total, there were 4,047 enterprises with more than 20 employees.
The center of the country's economic life was Budapest. The city had the largest stock and commodity exchanges in Hungary, banks, insurance and transport companies. In 1894, out of 328 joint-stock companies in Hungary, 114 were located in Budapest. Almost half of all industrial capacities were also focused in Budapest, and in some sectors of industrial production this figure looked even higher. Thus, 85% of Hungarian machine manufacturers were located in the capital.
A specific feature of Hungary's industrial development was the exceptional importance of the flour milling industry in the country's economy. It wasn't accidental. Despite all the successes in the country's industrial development, the agricultural sector continued to play a dominant role in the people's economy of Hungary, so Hungary's economic situation largely derived from the availability of reliable markets for Hungarian agricultural products. With the growing competition from the American and Russian grain on the European markets Hungary got completely repriented toward the Austrian market: its consumption of the grain and flour grew from 67.8% and 60% of a total export in 1880 to 99.3% and 98% in 1900 with proportion of the flour (as being more profitable) steadily growing. At the end of the XIX century, more than 47,000 workers were employed in the flour milling industry of the country. More than 85% of the flour had been produced in Budapest. Success of the milling industry was defined by 2 factors: (a) high quality grain and (b) top notch milling equipment. Hungary produced from 3 million to 3.2 million tons of wheat flour per year, taking a leading position in the world in this indicator. The state of affairs in the flour milling industry has affecting other industries, in particular in mechanical engineering, coal mining, etc.
The next big item was sugar. From 1880 to 1905, sugar beet production in Hungary increased more than 10 times. By Hungarian standards, there were very large enterprises in the industry. Thus, the sugar factory in Serenche numbered more than 2,380 workers. In addition to meeting domestic needs, Hungary began exporting sugar to the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa and was competing with Russian sugar on some markets of Europe and Asia.
The rapid construction of railways that began after 1867, the need for agricultural machinery, equipment for the food industry led to the development of iron metallurgy, machine engineering, and mining. Despite a number of difficulties and, above all, competition from Austrian imports, Hungary's heavy industry gradually took a leading position in the country's national economy. From 1898 to 1900, the share of heavy industry in Hungary increased from 39.9 to 41.2% in the structure of industrial production. As pretty much everything else, most of the heavy industry was concentrated in Budapest. Hungarian locomotives and agricultural machinery had been exported into Russia and Russian capital was invested in some Hungarian enterprises. The Hungarian company “Mercury” started purchasing wheat, corn, millet, eggs in Southern Russia.
The national composition of the Hungarian workers was very diverse. About 63% of all workers were Hungarians, 15.4% were Germans, 10.1% were Slovaks. The largest percentage of Hungarian workers was in engineering and metalworking (69.1%), the lowest - in the mining industry (46.3%).
Capitalist class was growing but there was still a social wall between them and nobility. Nobles and bourgeois visited differnt clubs, casinos, restaurants, cafes.
Aristocrats and "gentry" preferred to build their country villas on the northern shore of Lake Balaton,
and the bourgeois on the southern shore. Jews received full equality in the country, they had close business contacts with German and Hungarian entrepreneurs and there were no external differences between the Jewish bourgeois and the rest of the elite of society, but an invisible watershed still existed. Bourgeois Jews, Germans, representatives of other non-Madyar peoples sought to imitate the aristocracy and "gentry", they made their names and surnames to sound “Hungrian”. To brighten up the "lowness" of origin, the bourgeois bought estates, land holdings, in clothes and behavior they also sought to imitate the nobility.
It should be noted that a number of important aristocratic families of the country sought to take their place in the industrialization of Hungary. Clans Andrashi, Palfi, Apponi, Zichi, etc. had their own mines, metallurgical enterprises, factories.
The political situation was in something like a never-ending low intensity crisis because the government had to deal with the minorities, big and small, and their demands regarding various forms of autonomy. Population reached 16,000,000 out of which the Hungarians amounted to slightly more than 51%. So far, the government was successfully navigating through the messy situation guaranteeing autonomies and representation in the Diet. The main issue, on which Hungarian government was working in a close cooperation with the Ottomans, was suppressing attempts for independence among the Serbs and Rumanians on both sides of the border. In the case of Hungary, even degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Ottoman Serbs and Rumanians was a no-no. Language, religion, local administration but nothing state-like. A “stimulus” was that with the lesser autonomy they still lived better in Hungary.
The Hungarians have set themselves the ambitious task of building a capital that is in no way inferior to Vienna and other European capitals. In the late XIX - early XX centuries, especially after unification in 1873 of Buda, Obuda and Pest into one city, the urban landscape of Budapest is completely changing. The city was permeated with new wide avenues, grandiose public buildings (parliament, stock exchange, etc.) bridges across the Danube are being built in it. In the 1880-90s more than 9,000 new buildings were built in Budapest, of which about 6,100 were residential buildings, the total amount spent on construction exceeded 360 million gouldens. The city was decorated with several parks with attractions, open to all citizens. Beautiful hotels were built in Budapest, which increased the flow of tourists to the city. An indicator of the improvement of the city was a decrease in mortality in it. In 1870, the mortality rate was 45 per 1,000 inhabitants, and in 1895 only 24.4.
Since the 1880s, the city has been experiencing a real transport revolution. 120 km of tram tracks were built in it. In 1896, for the first time in Europe, a subway electric road (metro) appeared in Budapest.
Ah, yes, Hungary also had an army…
 One of the founders of Česká strana národně sociální
(Czech National Socialist Party).
 The key words are “Tatiana’s Day” - the day of the traditional students’ (including the former ones) mass gatherings with speeches and drinking. The hero (a successful lawyer) is already completely drunk. FYI, V.Doroshevich was one of the leading journalists and satiric writers in the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire.
 Which was quite silly: look at all these huge saphires.
 Národní strana svobodomyslná.