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"A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

The Settlement Policies at the Time of the Great Swabian Migration

by Josef Hoben
Translated by Henry Fischer

  Before the first phase of the Great Swabian Migration took place (1723-1727) the Hungarian Estates meeting at the Landtag  (parliament) in Pressburg from 1722-1723, passed a series of Statutory Articles to promote trade and industry and above all the re-population of the Kingdom of Hungary with colonists from the Holy Roman Empire.  Article 103 of 1723 can be looked upon as the basic constitutional law that lies behind the Danube Swabian colonization operation that follow. 

  The Emperor was thereby called upon to undertake the re-settlement of his Hungarian Kingdom with the assumption that it would be done with settlers from his extensive far flung Empire.  In response, Charles VI wrote to the various German princes on three occasions and requested that they co-operate "right neighbourly" and "like a kind uncle" in a generous handling of the emigration proposal he offered to their subjects.  The newly established "Neoaquistica Commissio" (New Acquired Territories Commission) in Vienna was charged with carrying out the colonization programme. 

  At this point in time, the first and earliest phase of the Danube Swabian colonization effort was overwhelmingly focussed on the private estates and domains of the nobles in Hungary and had a rather random and sporadic character.  In contrast, the next major colonization efforts were State sponsored and organized.  During the First Great Swabian Migration under Charles VI, about 10,000 to 15,000 persons were brought to Hungary.  The Second under Empress Maria Theresia numbered 45,000 persons (between 1763-1768 there were 25,000 and between 1769-1773 another 20,000).  In the Third, under the direction of Joseph II, he settled another 40,000 emigrants between 1782-1787.  During the reign of Francis I another 7,000 colonists came to Hungary.  It is estimated that during the 18th century around 115,000 emigrants left south-western Germany, of which 100,000 went to Hungary and the remainder went to Galicia. 

Next: Claudius Florimundus Count Mercy and the Hӧgyész Domains

[Published at DVHH.org 12 Sep 2011 by Jody McKim Pharr]

 


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Updated: 03 Mar 2018