Seaports of the World
Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I.
In the 18th century, the harbour towns of Trieste and Rijeka began to develop very rapidly.
Trieste became the principal port of the Hapsburg monarchy, where all major eastern Adriatic steamshipping companies had their seats. With the development of Trieste, Slovene territory became an important intersection of trade routes. Trieste and other coastal towns were being increasingly inhabited by Slovenes, who sought jobs in dockyards and shipping trade as well as in the merchant navy as officers and sailors.
Some of them invested—on their own or together with partners—into the purchase of ships.
Barques, brigs, brigschooners and brigantines were owned by Danijel Polak, Nikolaj Valušnik, Marija, Leopold and Valentin Dolenec, Matej Gasser, Franc Jelovšek, Ivana Muha née Gorup, Anton and Peter Mašera, the Miklavčič family, Henrik and Angel Jazbec, Josip Gorup, and others.
The 19th century brought about development of not only the merchant navy but also the military navy in the Austrian and Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The Austrian military navy was in the 18th century still in a rather poor shape and was systematically developed only after the defeat of the French Napoleon army in 1814.
The centre of the military development was at the beginning in Venice but after the proclamation of the Independent Venetian Republic in 1848 it was moved to Trieste where the Military Navy Academy was active for the period of ten years.
Alta California, San Francisco
August 16, 1849
HUNGARIAN FEMALE SOLDIERY.—The Evening Post has the following communication: By the last steamer I received some particulars of the glorious success achieved by the Hungarian nation in the war with the Austrians--a war conducted with all the genius of the Hungarian leaders. A German paper, the Didaskalia of Frankfort, informs us that Hungarian ladies are fighting with the same enthusiasm for freedom as their countrymen. Among one hundred and forty Hungarian captives taken by Gen. Simouish, there were nineteen Hungarian ladies, with muskets in
their hands and dressed in military uniform. A countess of the highest rank has raised a regiment at her own expense, and her sister is the commander of this regiment.
After 1856 Pulj became the most important Austrian military port. The ports of Šibenik and Boka Kotorska also hosted military navy bases. Among the seamen of different nations serving in the military navy there were also the Slovene seamen. Most of them were drafted in the navy as national servicemen but some of them also decided to attend navy schools for the non-commissioned officers and military navy academies.
When Gábor Baross was appointed Minister of Trade and Transportation in 1883, and then again in 1886, a new era began in Hungarian transport policy, which entailed favorable changes for the railway and navigation. The modernization of Hungary's sea port in Fiume (Rijeka) began in this period. The regulation of the Upper Danube resumed in 1886, followed by that of the Iron Gate in 1890. Baross established the Navigation Company of the Hungarian State Railways in 1888 in order to "extend the tracks of MÁV to the water" and to at least partly fulfill the country's public transportation needs on water.
This company shipped 166,000 passengers, 1,200 wagons of swine and nearly two million tons of bulk cargo in 1893, using 12 steamboats and 40 barges.
Act 36 of 1894 was passed regarding the establishment and government sponsoring of a Hungarian river and ocean shipping company. The law, which governs the relationship between the new shipping company and the state, as well as the obligations of the company due to Hungarian national interests, the Hungarian River and Sea Shipping Co. (MFTR) held its founding general meeting on January 24, 1895. The founding of the company was sponsored with equity capital of HUF 10 million, half of the amount in shares and the other half in preference bonds, by the Hungarian General Credit Bank and the Hungarian Clearing and Currency Exchange Bank.
July 25, 1899, The Daily Journal
Freeport, Illinois, U.S.A.
Hungarian Gypsy Minstrels.
The gypsy minstrels form a caste by themselves. Their appearance is always more swarthy than that of other Hungarian musicians, their dress is sometimes purposely fantastic, and their manner of life is far more Bohemian than tho most liberal minded artist would care to own to. Every hotel and restaurant in Budapest possesses its gypsy band, and the method of payment is as free and easy as the music itself aud their life. The hotel keeper is not bound by any contract, but at various intervals throughout the performance one of his gypsies takes a dinner plate and goes round among the various guests in the hall from table to table, receiving in the plate what the latter like to put there. The favorite coin deposited there is the nickel 10 kreutzer piece, answering to our twopence. I have not often seen a florin or a kronen (half a florin). Tho whole collection is, as a rule, made up of two pences.—Good Words.
The 20-year contract the company signed with the government provided it with HUF 400,000 in state subsidies each year. The ships of MÁV were transferred to MFTR, which also gradually acquired the boats of several smaller companies - including the Győr Steamboat Company, established in 1865 - and was also building its own boats at a fast pace, mainly in shipyards in Újpest. The company launched a series of boat lines and soon expanded its activities to the entire Danube and its navigable tributaries, emerging as a serious competitor to market leader DDSG. The boats of MFTR shipped 595,000 passengers and 557,000 tons of goods a year on average in the period between 1895 and 1917. The company owned a fleet of 38 passenger boats, 54 cargo steamboats, 389 barges and two tankers in 1918.
The uninterrupted growth of the company slowed down during World War I and was broken entirely following Hungary's defeat.
As a result of the economic crisis at the end of the 19th century, until the outbreak of World War I, more than three million people emigrated from the territory of the Austro–Hungarian Monarchy to America, hundreds of thousands of whom were Hungarians. The emigration-fever reached Hungary as early as the beginning of the 1880s. According to statistical accounts, between 1899 and 1913, 1,390,525 persons emigrated from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, among them 400,000 Hungarians, mostly through the seaports of Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia) and Hamburg. More than 86% of the emigrants settled down in the USA.
Eastern European History
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