« PreviousContinue »
Yes, we will go to Rome. Rome, politically severed from the rest of Italy, continue to be the centre of intrigue and conspiracy—a permanent threat to the public order? To go to Rome is for the Italians not merely a right, it is an inexorable necessity. But how are we to go there? The King's Government will be open and precise upon that even more than upon any other subject. We do not wish to go to Rome by insurrectional movements-unreasonable, rash, mad attempts-which may endanger our former acquisitions and spoil the national enterprise. We will go to Rome hand in hand with France."
Throughout the whole of the year, the Neapolitan portion of the dominions of the new King of Italy was in a very unsettled and unsatisfactory state. Brigandage was rife in the mountainous districts, and a system of perpetual agitation was kept up by Bourbon and Papal emissaries, who succeeded in creating serious disturbances in several places. It was necessary to use a strong military force to preserve order; and even at the end of the year the disaffection was so widely spread as to cause considerable apprehension for the future destiny of this part of the Kingdom of Italy.
AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY.-Imperial Ordinance creating a new Reichsrath-New Council of State-Promulgation of Provincial StatutesCircular with respect to Hungary-Opening of the Reichsrath and Speech of the Emperor-Address of the Upper House-Speeches of M. Deak and Count Andrassy in the Hungarian Diet-Address of the Diet rejected by the Emperor-Second Address and Imperial Rescript-Excitement in the Hungarian Diet-Address in Answer drawn up by M. Deak--Baron Vay resigns the Chancellorship of Hungary— Dissolution by the Emperor of the Diet-Resolution not to Pay Taxes -Hungary placed under a Military Dictatorship. RUSSIA.-Manifesto of the Emperor Alexander, declaring the Emancipation of Serfs.
N the 27th of February, several Imperial decrees were published at Vienna relative to the Constitution of the Empire. They were preceded by an ordinance, signed by the Emperor and his Ministers, which stated :
"1. The annexed law relative to the formation of the Reichsrath, which is to represent the Empire, we hereby sanction, and at the same time declare it to be a State and fundamental law in and for all our kingdoms and lands.
"2. In respect to the Kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia, and Slavonia, and to the Grand Principality of Transylvania, it is our intention that their former constitutions shall be restored in accordance with our above-mentioned diploma, and within the limits of the same. The necessary orders for such restoration were contained in our autograph letters of the 20th of October, 1860.
"3. For our Kingdoms of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Galicia, and Lodomeria, with the Grand Duchy of Cracow and the Duchies of Auschivitz and Zator; for our Archduchies of Upper and Lower Austria, for our Duchies of Carniolo and Bukovina, for our Markgravate of Moravia, for our Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, for our Markgravate of Istria, with Gorice, Gradiska, and Trieste, and for our Province of Voralberg, we have issued statutes and electoral ordinances, which we hereby declare to be State and fundamental laws. The law relative to Dalmatia cannot, however, be carried out until the relations between that kingdom and the Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia have been definitively settled.
"4. In order that Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, and the Tyrol may enjoy the same privileges
tocratic families which have very extensive landed property will be members of the Upper House. In such families the dignity will be made hereditary by the Emperor.
"4. All Archbishops and Bishops who have princely rank are members of the Upper House.
"5. The Emperor reserves to himself the right of making distinguished ecclesiastics, scholars, and scientific men members of the Upper House for life.
6. The House of Deputies will be composed of 343 members; that is, 85 for Hungary, 54 for Bohemia, 20 for the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, 5 for Dalmatia, 9 for Croatia and Slavonia, 38 for Galicia, and Lodomeria, 18 for Lower Austria, 10 for Upper Austria, 3 for Salzburg, 13 for Styria, 5 for Carinthia, 6 for Carniola, 5 for the Bukovina, 26 for Transylvania, 22 for Moravia, 6 for Upper and Lower Silesia, 12 for the Tyrol and Voralberg, and 6 for Istria, Gorice, Gradiska, and Trieste.
"7. The members of the Reichsrath are to be elected by the Provincial Diets. The elections to be direct. If, for any reason, the Diets should not send members to the Reichsrath, the Emperor will order the appointed number of members to be elected. by the districts, towns, and corporations.
"8. The Emperor will choose the President and Vice-Presidents of each Diet from among its members. All other functionaries are to be elected by the Diets.
9. The Reichsrath will be convoked annually.
"10. In accordance with Article 2 of the diploma of the 20th
of October, 1860, the following matters are to be within the sphere of action of the Reichsrath-(a) Matters connected with military conscription. (b) Matters connected with the currency, public credit, coinage, banks empowered to issue notes, customs, commercial matters, post, railroads, and telegraphs. (c) All those financial matters which concern the empire at large; such as the budget, the State balance-sheet, the results of the manipulations of the finance department, the raising of new loans, the conversion of State debts, the sale, change or mortgage of the real property of the State; the augmentation of the present taxes, and the imposition of new ones. The present taxes to be levied until repealed in a constitutional way. The National Debt is under the control of the Reichsrath."
15. The members of the House of Deputies are not to receive instructions from their constituents.
16. The members of the Reichsrath must give their votes in person.
17. The functions of the representatives of a province in the Reichsrath cease on the very day that a new Provincial Diet is formed, but such representatives can be re-elected. If a member dies, or becomes incapable of performing his duties as a member of the Reichsrath, a new member must be elected.
"18. The Reichsrath can be prorogued, or the House of Deputies dissolved by the Emperor. In case of a dissolution a new Chamber must be formed in accordance with the instructions contained in paragraph 7.
"19. The Ministers, Court Chancellors, and chiefs of central departments, have a right to take part in all debates, and to bring forward their propositions in person or by means of one of the deputies. They have also a right to make themselves heard on all occasions. They have also a right to vote if members of the one or the other House.
"20. The sittings of both Houses are public, but they can be held in secret if the President or 10 members demand the expulsion of the public, and the House, after the public has quitted the hall, agrees to the proposition."
By an IMPERIAL PATENT the Permanent and Enlarged Reichsrath were dissolved, and a Staatsrath (Council of State) was formed, with respect to which the following were the chief provisions:—
1. The Staatsrath is to be composed of a President and several Councillors.
"2. The President to have the rank of a Minister, and to be present at the Council of Ministers, but not to have a vote.
3. The Emperor will nominate the President and the Councillors.
"4. The Staatsrath will be formed of distinguished men, taken from the different provinces.
5. The Staatsrath will let the Emperor and his Ministers have the benefit of its special knowledge and experience.
"6. The opinion of the Staatsrath can either be taken by the Emperor or by his Ministers.
“7. The President has to decide whether all the members of the Staatsrath shall examine into and report on any given
At the same time, what were called "The Provincial Statutes were published, regulating the representation of the various Diets of the Empire, of which there were named 17; such as the Diet of Upper Austria, the Diet of Lower Austria, the Diet of Salzburg, the Diet of Dalmatia, the Diet of Bohemia, the Diet of Styria, &c. In the towns, with a few exceptions, the right of suffrage was given to persous paying yearly direct taxes to the amount of five florins, but in the rural districts where the elections were indirect, the franchise was lower.
The Chamber of Deputies was to be composed of persons elected by the Diets out of districts or circles in the various provinces, so that the different nationalities might be properly represented; and it was announced in a circular, which was issued by the Ministry, that
"In order that inatters which concern the empire at large may be managed in a constitutional way, the Hungarian, Croatian, and Transylvanian Diets will have to send representatives to the Reichsrath. When such matters are settled, the Hungarian, Croatian, and Transylvanian deputies will return to their respective Diets, and the smaller Reichsrath will legislate for the other (German and Sclavic) provinces of the empire.
It is the earnest wish of the Government that hyper-centralization may be avoided in the Sclavo-German provinces of the empire, and that the countries belonging to the Hungarian Crown may benefit by the concessions made to them on the 20th of October, 1860. In the statutes it is expressly said, 'that no new taxes shall be imposed and no new laws made without the formal consent of the Reichsrath.' It is also decreed that the employment of the Revenue shall be discussed' in the Reichsrath. In short, the Reichsrath has attributes which give to it the 'true character of a constitutional institution.' The arrangement that the interests of the nation are in future to be represented, was not made in opposition to the former Estates, but as a natural consequence of the changes which things have undergone in Austria during the last few years."
On the 1st of May the new Reichsrath was formally opened at Vienna by the Emperor, in the Rittersaal. He was surrounded by the members of the Imperial family and great officers of State, and read the following speech :