According to the language in common use, 95% of the population was German, 4.66% was Czech, and the remainder was composed of Poles, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Croatians and Italians.
Of the emigrants in 1906, 52,121 were Magyars, 32,904 Slovaks, 30,551 Germans, 20,859 Rumanians and 16 0 016 Croats.
The Sla y s, the most numerous race after the Magyars, are divided into several groups: the Slovaks, mainly massed in the mountainous districts of northern Hungary; the Ruthenians, established mainly on the slopes of the Carpathians between Poprad and Maramaros Sziget; the Serbs, settled in the south of Hungary from the bend of the Danube eastwards across the Theiss into the Banat; the Croats, overwhelmingly preponderant in Croatia-Slavonia, with outlying settlements in the counties of Zala, Vas and Sopron along the Croatian and Styrian frontier.
Of these the Slovaks are the most important,, having an overwhelming majority in seven counties (94'7% in Arva, 66.1% in Saros), a bare ma j ority in three (Szepes, Bars and Poszody) and a considerable minority in five (40.6% in Gomor, 22.9% in Abauj-Torna).
Another important fact is that these races are all in direct contact with kindred peoples living outside Hungary: the Rumanians in Transylvania and Banat with those in Rumania and Bukovina; the Serbs and Croats with those on the other bank of the Danube, the Save and the Unna; the Germans in western Hungary with those in Upper Austria and Styria; the Slovaks in northern Hungary with those in Moravia; and lastly the Ruthenians with the Ruthenians of Galicia, who occupy the opposite slopes of the Carpathians.
Thus the Servians are mostly Greek Orthodox; the Ruthenians are Uniat Greeks; the Rumanians are either Greek Orthodox or Greek Uniats; the Slovaks are Lutherans; the only other Lutherans are the Germans in Transylvania and in the Zsepes county.
Documents, mainly concerned with the Slovaks; Rene Gonnard, La Hongrie au XX e siecle (Paris, 1908), an admirable description of the country and its people, mainly from the point of view of economic development and social conditions; Geoffrey Drage, Austria-Hungary (London, 1909), a very useful book of reference; P. Alden (editor), Hungary of To-day, by members of the Hungarian Government (London, 1909); see also " The Problem of Hungary " in the Edinburgh Review (No.
Croats, Vlachs, Serbs and Slovaks resented Magyar domination - a domination which had been carefully secured under the revolutionary constitution by a very narrow franchise, and out of the general chaos each race hoped to create for itself a separate national existence.
They also laid stress on the fact that Magyar was not, any more than German, the language of many Hungarian regiments, consisting as these did mainly of Slovaks, Vlachs, Serbs and Croats.
Its result, had it passed, would have been to strengthen the representation of the Magyar and German elements, to reduce that of the Slovaks, and almost to destroy that of the Rumans and other non-Magyar races whose educational status was low.
Seton-Watson (Scotus Viator), Racial Problems in Hungary (London, 1908), a strong criticism of the Magyar attitude towards the Slav subject races, especially the Slovaks, with documents and a full bibliography.
In 1900 the population included 1,386,115 persons of German nationality, 102,974 Czechs and Slovaks, 4346 Poles, 805 Ruthenians, 1329 Slovenes, 271 Serbo-Croatians, and 1368 Italians, all Austrian subjects.
The Italians and Ladins, treated as separate in Switzerland, were in the Austrian official statistics treated as a single national group (like the Czecho-Slovaks and Serbo-Croats), but even then only totalled together 2.75% of the population of the empire.
The prevailing element is that of the Czechs (7 millions), with whom the Slovaks (22 millions) form one people; indeed as long ago as the 9th century the kingdom of Great Moravia, with frontiers roughly identical with the present boundaries of the Czechoslovak Republic, was the creation of the Slav people, who occupied in common a territory stretching from W.
The Czechs and the Slovaks, or, to give them their united name, the Czechoslovaks, are a branch of the great Slav family of which the Russians are the most numerous and the most important member and to which the Serbo-Croats with the Slovenes, the Poles, the Bulgarians and the Wends of Germany also belong.
Even after the conquest of Slovakia by the Hungarians, which resulted in Slovak territory being separated from Czech territory till they were reunited in 1918, an intellectual connexion between the two branches of the one family was always maintained, and some of the foremost names in Czech literature are those of writers who were Slovaks by birth.
In Slovakia the Slovaks were subjected to a similar system of Magyarization.
The Hungarian census of 1910 purported to show that in Slovakia there were 1,697,552 Slovaks and 901,793 Hungarians.
The correct figures, however, were shown by the census of 1919 to be Slovaks 2,141,000, Hungarians 665,000.
When in July 1914 Austria commenced hostilities against Serbia, thus bringing about the World War, this act of aggression took place against the will of the Czechs and Slovaks, at that time subject to Austrian and Hungarian rule respectively.
Whenever opinions did happen to be expressed which could be construed as criticism of Austria or Germany the offenders were speedily punished, and it was not long before the political leaders of the Czechs and Slovaks found themselves in confinement, some of them under sentence of death, while the Czech and Slovak press was subjected to a rigorous censorship and many of its organs prohibited from appearing.
The persecutions, sometimes revolting in their cruelty, to which (on account of their pro-Ally sympathies) the Czechs were subjected during the first two years of the war, had the effect of uniting all the different political parties into one single national block; and when the Austrian Parliament was at length convoked in May 1917 the Czech parties made a unanimous declaration that it was their aim to work for the union of Czechs and Slovaks as one people in an independent state.
The activities of Prof. Masaryk in Russia, England and America, enthusiastically supported by his compatriots living abroad, and especially by the Czechs and Slovaks who had emigrated to the United States, the self-sacrificing valour of the Czechoslovak legions on the French, Italian and Russian fronts, and the work of the Czechoslovak Council with its headquarters at Paris, moved the Allies to acknowledge the last-named body as the de facto Provisional Government of the Czechoslovak State.
Two days after the declaration of the independence of the Czechoslovak State, which had been signed also by the representatives of Slovakia, the Slovak National Council issued a "Declaration of the Slovak nation," wherein it was solemnly set forth that the Slovaks in blood, in language and civilization form part of the Czechoslovak nation.
The Hungarians (Magyars) declined to surrender the territories inhabited by Slovaks, and it was necessary to call in the military help of the Czechs before the last Hungarian troops, who had initiated a reign of terror in Slovakia, could be driven out of the land.
The Slovaks under the Hungarian regime were kept in a backward state - they did not possess a single Slovak school - while still worse conditions prevailed in Russinia, some 75% of the population being unable to read or write.
Of the total population, civil and military, 578,458 were Magyars, 104,520 were Germans, 25,168 were Slovaks, and the remainder was composed of Croatians, Servians, Rumanians, Russians, Greeks, Armenians, Gypsies, &c. According to religion, there were 445,023 Roman Catholics, 5806 Greek Catholics, 4422 Greek Orthodox; 67,319 were Protestants of the Helvetic, and 38,811 were Protestants of the Augsburg Confessions; 168,985 were Jews, and the remainder belonged to various other creeds.
Pop. (1900) 37,108, mostly Slovaks and Lutherans, who form the largest Lutheran community in Hungary.