Margraviate of Moravia
|Common languages||Moravian dialects of Czech, German, Polish and Slovakian|
• 1182–1191 (first)
|Conrad II of Bohemia|
• 1916–1918 (last)
|Charles I of Austria|
|Today part of|
The Margraviate of Moravia (Czech: Markrabství moravské; German: Markgrafschaft Mähren) was one of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown within the Holy Roman Empire and then Austria-Hungary, existing from 1182 to 1918. It was officially administrated by a margrave in cooperation with a provincial diet. It was variously a de facto independent state, and also subject to the Duchy, later the Kingdom of Bohemia. It comprised the historical region called Moravia, which lies within the present-day Czech Republic.
The Margraviate lay east of Bohemia proper, with an area about half that region's size. In the north, the Sudeten Mountains, which extend to the Moravian Gate, formed the border with the Polish Duchy of Silesia, incorporated as a Bohemian crown land upon the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin. In the east and southeast, the western Carpathian Mountains separated it from present-day Slovakia. In the south, the winding Thaya River marked the border with the Duchy of Austria.
Moravians, usually considered a Czech people that speak Moravian dialects, made up the main part of the population. According to a 1910 Cisleithanian census, 27.6% identified themselves as German Moravians. These ethnic Germans would later be expelled after the Second World War. Other ethnic minority groups included Poles, Roma and Slovaks.
See also: History of Moravia
After the early medieval Great Moravian realm had been finally defeated by the Árpád princes of Hungary in 907, what is now Slovakia was incorporated as "Upper Hungary" (Felső-Magyarország), while adjacent Moravia passed under the authority of the Duchy of Bohemia. King Otto I of Germany officially granted it to Duke Boleslaus I in turn for his support against the Hungarian forces in the 955 Battle of Lechfeld. Temporarily ruled by King Bolesław I Chrobry of Poland from 999 until 1019, Moravia was re-conquered by Duke Oldřich of Bohemia and ultimately became a land of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas held by the Přemyslid dynasty.
In 1182, the Margraviate was created at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa by merger of the three Přemyslid appanage principalities of Brno, Olomouc and Znojmo, and given to Conrad II, the son of Prince Conrad of Znojmo. As heir apparent, the future King Ottokar II of Bohemia was appointed Moravian margave by his father Wenceslaus I in 1247. Along with Bohemia, Moravia was ruled by the House of Luxembourg from the extinction of the Přemyslid dynasty until 1437. Jobst, nephew of Emperor Charles IV inherited the Margraviate in 1375, ruled autonomously and was even elected King of the Romans in 1410. Shaken by the Hussite Wars, the Moravian nobles remained loyal supporters of the Luxembourg emperor Sigismund.
In 1469, Moravia was occupied by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, who had allied with the Catholic nobility against the rule of George of Poděbrady and had himself elected rival king of Bohemia at Olomouc. The rivalry with King Vladislaus II was settled in the 1479 Peace of Olomouc, whereby Matthias renounced the royal title but retained the rule over the Moravian lands.
With the other lands of the Bohemian Crown, the Margraviate was incorporated into the Habsburg monarchy upon the death of King Louis II in the 1526 Battle of Mohács. Moravia was ruled as a crown land within the Austrian Empire from 1804 and within Cisleithanian Austria from 1867.
During the foundation of Czechoslovakia after World War I, the Margraviate was transformed into "Moravia Land", later "Moravia-Silesia Land" in 1918. This autonomy was eliminated in 1949 by the communist government and has not been re-established since.
The margrave held ultimate authority in Moravia, throughout the history of the margraviate. This meant that as its margraves became more foreign, so too did governance of the margraviate.
Moravia possessed a legislature, known as the Moravian Diet. The assembly has its origins in 1288, with the Colloquium generale, or curia generalis. This was a meeting of the upper nobility, knights, the Bishop of Olomouc, abbots and ambassadors from royal cities. These meetings gradually evolved into the diet.
The power of this diet waxed and waned throughout history. By the end of the margraviate, the diet was almost powerless. The diet consisted of three estates of the realm: the estate of upper nobility, the estate of the lower nobility, and the estate of prelates and burghers. With the February Patent of 1861, the diet was reformed into a more egalitarian body. It still retained the same structure, but the members changed. It consisted of assembly seats for landowners, city-dwellers, and rural farmers. This was retained until the diet was abolished after the fall of the Dual Monarchy.
The coat of arms of Moravia is charged with a crowned silver-red chequered eagle with golden claws and tongue. It first appeared in the seal of Margrave Přemysl (1209–1239), a younger son of King Ottokar I of Bohemia. After 1462, the Moravian eagle was gold-red chequered, but was never accepted by the Moravian assembly.
In the mid 14th century Emperor Charles IV, also King of Bohemia and Margrave of Moravia, established administrative divisions called kraje (Kreise in German). These subdivisions were named for their capitals:
After the 1848 revolutions, political districts (politický okres, politische Bezirke; formally Bezirkshauptmannschaften) were established, which were organised into two Kreise/kraje – Brünn and Olmütz.
In Bach's reforms of 1854 the former kraje were restored (albeit with some minor border changes and with Nový Jičín (Neutitschein) replacing Přerov) and the political districts were replaced by 'office districts' (Amtsbezirke), subordinate to the kraje which distributed some of their authority. The Moravian capital Brno/Brünn acted as the seat for Kreis Brünn/Brněnský kraj but as a statutory city was directly subordinate to Moravia.
Political districts were re-established in the December Constitution following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and remained in place until Austria-Hungary's dissolution. They were largely retained by the Czechoslovak administration after 1918:
The region experienced rapid population growth when it was part of Austria-Hungary. From 1890 to 1900 alone there was an increase of 7.1%. The population development from 1851 to 1900 was as follows:
In terms of ethnicity, the population was predominantly divided between Czechs and Germans. The German minority mostly lived on the borders with Lower Austria and Silesia, and in various language islands (around Brünn, Olmütz, Iglau and Zwittau), as well as in some larger cities. The ethnic distribution according to the census was as follows:
|Judicial district||Czech name||Political district (Politischer Bezirk)||Population||Germans||%||Czechs||%||Others||%||Foreigners||%|
|Brünn Umgebung||Brno okolí||Brünn (Landbezirk)||125,828||14,702||11.7%||110,457||87.8%||80||0.1%||589||0.5%|
|Bystřitz||Bystřice||Neustadtl in Mähren||21,762||39||0.2%||21,700||99.7%||0||0.0%||23||0.1%|
|Bystřitz am Hostein||Bystřice pod Hostýnem||Holleschau||21,944||144||0.7%||21,687||98.8%||8||0.0%||105||0.5%|
|Iglau||Jihlava||Iglau (Landbezirk), Iglau (Stadt)||53,513||27,886||52.1%||25,380||47.4%||14||0.0%||233||0.4%|
|Kremsier||Kroměříž||Kremsier (Land), Kremsier (Stadt)||42,496||893||2.1%||41,388||97.4%||49||0.1%||166||0.4%|
|Mährisch Altstadt||Staré Město||Mährisch Schönberg||15,511||15,429||99.5%||38||0.2%||0||0.0%||44||0.3%|
|Mährisch Budwitz||Moravské Budějovice||Mährisch Budwitz||25,839||169||0.7%||25,639||99.2%||0||0.0%||31||0.1%|
|Mährisch Kromau||Moravský Krumlov||Mährisch Kromau||26,911||11,595||43.1%||15,259||56.7%||1||0.0%||56||0.2%|
|Mährisch Ostrau||Moravská Ostrava||Mährisch Ostrau||111,186||43,246||38.9%||52,254||47.0%||12,906||11.6%||2,780||2.5%|
|Mährisch Schönberg||Šumperk||Mährisch Schönberg||50,348||38,179||75.8%||11,814||23.5%||59||0.1%||296||0.6%|
|Mährisch Trübau||Moravská Třebová||Mährisch Trübau||29,996||27,926||93.1%||1,943||6.5%||7||0.0%||120||0.4%|
|Mährisch Weißkirchen||Hranice||Mährisch Weißkirchen||35,465||8,701||24.5%||26,345||74.3%||141||0.4%||278||0.8%|
|Namiest an der Oslawa||Náměšť nad Oslavou||Trebitsch||15,711||67||0.4%||15,636||99.5%||0||0.0%||8||0.1%|
|Neustadtl in Mähren||Nové Město na Moravě||Neustadtl in Mähren||22,297||31||0.1%||22,246||99.8%||1||0.0%||19||0.1%|
|Olmütz||Olomouc||Olmütz (Land), Olmütz (Stadt)||103,280||30,987||30.0%||70,645||68.4%||934||0.9%||714||0.7%|
|Rožnau am Radhorst||Rožnov pod Radhoštěm||Wallachisch Meseritsch||20,178||29||0.1%||20,118||99.7%||0||0.0%||31||0.2%|
|Saar||Žďár||Neustadtl in Mähren||14,383||30||0.2%||14,330||99.6%||1||0.0%||22||0.2%|
|Stadt Liebau||Město Libavá||Bärn||17,347||17,285||99.6%||28||0.2%||0||0.0%||34||0.2%|
|Ungarisch Brod||Uherský Brod||Ungarisch Brod||36,954||706||1.9%||35,929||97.2%||11||0.0%||308||0.8%|
|Ungarisch Hradisch||Uherské Hradiště||Ungarisch Hradisch (Land), Ungarisch Hradisch (Stadt)||41,354||100||0.2%||41,129||99.5%||1||0.0%||124||0.3%|
|Ungarisch Ostra||Uherský Ostroh||Ungarisch Hradisch||46,528||469||1.0%||45,846||98.5%||7||0.0%||206||0.4%|
|Wallachisch Klobouk||Valašské Klobouky||Ungarisch Brod||26,419||101||0.4%||25,784||97.6%||41||0.2%||493||1.9%|
|Wallachisch Meseritsch||Valašské Meziříčí||Wallachisch Meseritsch||24,657||319||1.3%||24,224||98.2%||15||0.1%||99||0.4%|
|Znaim||Znojmo||Znaim (Land), Znaim||61,866||42,253||68.3%||18,339||29.6%||52||0.1%||1,222||2.0%|
|10 January 1055||Moravia||Judith of Schweinfurt
|Son of Ulrich of Bohemia. First separation of Moravia from Bohemia. His father usurped his place for a year. After his own death, his sons shared the inheritance.|
|Ulrich I||975||1033–1034||9 November 1034||Moravia||Unknown
|After his death, his son was replaced in Moravia.|
|6 September 1092||Brno||Wirpirk of Tengling
|Children of Bretislav I, divided their inheritance:
The division was made ineffective by their other brother Spytihnev (1055), who had inherited Bohemia and extended his rule to Moravia, uniting the whole Premyslid domain under his control. However, after Spytihnev's death (1061), the landless brothers recovered the inheritance and divided it differently, as Vratislav had inherited Bohemia:
|Vratislaus I||c.1035||1055–1056||14 January 1092||Olomouc||Maria|
Adelaide of Hungary I
Świętosława of Poland
|Otto I the Fair||1045||1055–1056||9 June 1087||Znojmo||Euphemia of Hungary|
|Znojmo annexed to Brno (1056-92)|
|Spytihněv I||1031||1056–1061||28 January 1061||Moravia||Ida of Wettin
|Brother of the three above, ended briefly the division of Moravia, uniting Bohemian and Moravian lands. After his death, his brothers re-split the land.|
|Boleslaus||1062||1087–1091||11 August 1091||Olomouc||Unmarried|
|Svatopluk I the Lion||1075||1091–1109||21 September 1109||Olomouc||Unknown
|Brother of Boleslaus.|
|Luitpold I||?||1092–1112||15 March 1112||Znojmo||Ida of Austria
|Children of Conrad I, divided the inheritance:
Despite having heirs, Luitpold's land came to Ulrich's possession after his death. Conrad II, Luitpold's heir, would come to power in 1123.
|Ulrich II||?||1092–1113||5 January 1113||Brno
(with Znojmo since 1112)
|Sobeslaus I||c.1075||1113–1123||14 February 1140||Brno
|Adelaide of Hungary II
|Son of Vratislaus I, ruled in Brno and Znojmo, which split after his resign:
|Conrad II||c.1075||1123–1161||14 February 1140||Znojmo||Maria of Serbia
|Son of Vratislaus I.|
|Otto II the Black||1085||1109–1123||18 February 1126||Olomouc
(with Brno since 1123)
|Sophia of Berg
|Ruled in Olomouc, since 1091 with his brother Svatopluk. Acquired Brno in 1123.|
|Wenceslaus Henry||1107||1126–1130||1 March 1130||Olomouc||Unmarried||Son of Svatopluk, inherited Olomouc.|
|Vratislaus II||c.1111||1126–1146||1146||Brno||A Russian princess
|Son of Ulrich II, inherited Brno.|
|Luitpold II||1102||1130–1137||1143||Olomouc||Unmarried||Son of Bořivoj II, Duke of Bohemia.|
|Vladislaus||?||1137–1140||1165||Olomouc||Unmarried||Son of Sobeslaus I.|
|Otto III||1122||1140–1160||12 May 1160||Olomouc||Durancia
|Son of Otto II.|
|Spytihněv II||?||1146?–1182||1199||Brno||Umarried||In 1182 abdicated for Conrad III.|
|Brno annexed to Znojmo|
|Frederick I||1142||1160–1173||25 March 1189||Olomouc||Elizabeth of Hungary
|Son of Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia.|
|Ulrich III||1134||1173–1177||18 October 1177||Olomouc||Cecilia of Thuringia
Sophia of Meissen
|Son of Soběslav I, Duke of Bohemia.|
|Wenceslaus||1137||1177–1178||after 1192||Olomouc||Unmarried||Son of Sobeslaus I. Abdicated for Conrad III.|
|Olomouc annexed to Znojmo|
|Conrad III Otto||c.1136||1161–1182||9 September 1191||Znojmo||Hellicha of Wittelsbach
|Son of Conrad II. United Znojmo and Olomouc. Brno joined in 1182, when he also became the first Margrave of Moravia.|
united with Bohemia 1189–1197
directly held by King Rudolph I of Germany 1278–1283
Under the united rule of the Bohemian kings from 1611 (see List of rulers of Bohemia).