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the new minister could not possibly support that absolute bureaucratic policy which had so long stifled all national feelings and impeded all progress in Austria, and that he intended to strike

more into that constitutional path which represents the only form of government compatible with the dignity, interests, and destinies of a great nation. The reaction from Absolutism to Constitutionalism was very strong. Once freed from the supporters of the former system, the people looked with the greatest anxiety and con

fidence to the man who was to restore the latter, Appointment and with it political and religious freedom. Such Beust. were the sentiments which greeted Baron Beust on his appointment.

“ Liberal Constitutionalism” was inscribed on his shield when he entered the political arena; the many sharp blows aimed at him have not effaced this motto, and we trust and believe he will remain unshaken at his post so long as he continues the champion of such thoroughly English principles. Hungary afforded him almost the first field for his labours.

That country having already enjoyed a foretaste of constitutional independence, was unwilling, even in the face of

of Baron

so great a misfortune as Sadowa, any longer to delay the settlement of its claims; and the conviction became general that this should be effected immediately. Déak and his party were decided that the only possible arrangement was the institution of a complete dualistic government. They The “ dual

istic” policy. urged that both the history and geographical position of their country were in favour of such a system; that, by deputing certain members of both parliaments, to be chosen by the Austrian and Hungarian chambers (afterwards called the “delegations "), to meet alternately at Vienna and Pesth, questions of common interest to the whole empire could be discussed and settled as well as if a central general parliament existed; and the centralists eagerly favoured this idea, in the hope that the delegations would become the germs

new united parliament. Déak's dualistic policy rapidly gained ground. The National Party, and more especially the Czechs, strenuously opposed it, clearly foreseeing that with its adoption all hopes of a federal government would at once vanish. The German liberal party, on the other hand, approved of Déak's views,

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and held a meeting in Aussee, in which they accepted them in principle, and pledged themselves to prevent the provincial diets from entering upon useless discussions on the Hungarian question. They also recommended the concentration of their party in opposition to the policy of Count Belcredi.

The dismissal of Esterhazy now rendered Belcredis position more difficult than ever. himself compelled, at the very moment when the aspect of Hungarian affairs was becoming more favourable, to abandon his vacillating policy and proclaim a definite programme. Baron Beust, to whom the ground was entirely new, was obliged to proceed slowly and with the greatest circumspection; and thus was Belcredi enabled, though only for the time, to keep pace with him. It was evident to Baron Beust that the Hungarian question could no longer be shelved, and that its solution. must be attended with considerable sacrifices on the part of the western portion of the empire, for which the restoration of a parliamentary and constitutional government could alone compensate. This task of rehabilitation was what he proposed to accomplish. Three days after his assuming

office, the “ Wiener Abendpost ” (the evening

( edition of the official Austrian paper) published a sort of programme of the constitutional question, which, it asserted, “must rapidly advance on the path of liberty,” at the same time calling attention to the existence of many identical interests in the western half of the empire, and the necessity of a union of the various parties. The idea of a constitutional Reichsrath now A constitu

tional Reichs. began to assume a positive form, and it was clear rath. to all that Belcredi's famous “ legal representatives” would never be called into existence. Meanwhile, on the 19th November, 1866, the Hungarian parliament was opened, and the Imperial rescript read. It admitted that the project of a compromise originated by the Déak party afforded a suitable starting-point for further negotiations, and held out hopes of the appointment of a responsible Hungarian ministry; but, at the same time, it announced the resolve of the Crown to carry out the system of responsible government, not only in Hungary, but also generally throughout the empire.

Shortly after this, Baron Beust, accompauied

by the President of the Hungarian “ Chancellerie,” M. de Mailath, proceeded to Pesth, where he had a long conference with Deak. The result of this conference enabled the “ Pesti Naplo” (the Hungarian organ of the Déak party) to state, a few days before the close of the year, that Baron Beust had held out the positive assurance that the speedy nomination of a Hungarian ministry was contemplated. But no sooner did Belcredi see that the compromise with Hungary was likely to be carried out, than he endeavoured to oppose it by what he termed the “ Equipoising vote of the legal representatives,” in order at least to save this one political idea of his September policy. The positive dualistic form of government which the Germano-Austrian Diets had accepted in their addresses, rendered it clear to Belcredi that he needed a Sclavonic majority, in order to enable him to modify the concessions granted to Hungary, and, in case of need, to counteract them entirely. With this object he urged the convocation of an

assembly of the collective representatives of the The “Extra- Cis-Leithan division of the Empire. This body, Reichsrath.” called the “ Extraordinary Reichsrath,” was to be


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