Statuta Valachorum

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Statuta Valachorum (English: Vlach Statutes, Croatian: Vlaški statuti) was a decree issued by Emperor Ferdinand II of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1630 that defined tenancy rights of the Vlachs in the Military Frontier in a way that it placed them under direct rule by Vienna, removing the jurisdiction of the Croatian Parliament. This was one of three major laws enacted in the early 17th century on the taxation and tenancy rights of the Vlachs, together with the earlier 1608 decree by Emperor Rudolf II (Croatian: Vlaški zakon, lit. the Vlach Statute) and a 1627 decree by Ferdinand.


In 1608, Austrian emperor Rudolf II instituted such a law, under which the Vlachs of the Military Frontier, regardless of their faith, owed one tenth of their income to the Bishop of Zagreb, and 1/9th to the feudal lords whose land they occupied. This law had little practical effect, but it appeased the Croatian nobility at the time.[1]

In 1627, emperor Ferdinand II passed a decree allowing the Frontier Vlachs land use regardless of the land's ownership, in an effort to make the Grenzer independent of the Croatian nobility, and more willing to wage wars for him.[1]

In 1629, Sabor also passed such a law in order to calm the Vlachs who were revolting and were refusing to pay taxes to Croatian gentry, blackmailing them by threatening to enter into an alliance with the Ottomans. By persuasion of military command of Croatian Military Frontier and Christian Orthodox Church, Vlachs refused that law and they demanded confirmation of royal benefits from 1627.

The 1630 Statutes[edit]

On October 5, 1630, despite of decision made by Sabor, Ferdinand II had enacted Statuta Valachorum according to which Vlachs would freely settle in the military captaincies of Križevci, Koprivnica and Ivanec and keep privileges they had in the Ottoman Empire. Territorialization of area which was under Varaždin Generalat, respectively Slavonian Military Frontier i.e. formation of delineation was also included in Statuta Valachorum. Until then, Varaždin Generalat had not been delimited.

The decree laid out the rights and obligations of the settlers that stabilized their status for years after.[2] These rights assumed free land given to the settlers, their civil administration based on the settlers' traditional law. All the rights were given in return for the settlers' military service to the Austrian Emperor.[3]

The goal of Statuta Valachorum was to bring the Vlachs under supervision of the imperial court, giving them an appearance of autonomy, despite the fact that the level of self-government they had before them was actually decreased.[1]


The 1630 Statuta Valachorum applied only to Vlachs in the area of Varaždin Generalat, located between Drava and Sava, but later, all Vlachs used that statute.[1]

The Statute created a separate region at the expense of the Croatia-Slavonia province.[4] Ferdinand II did not include matters of land ownership in the statute, so that he wouldn't upset Croatian nobility.[1]

When Ferdinand III came to power, the ownership of Croatian Military Frontier land was transferred to the imperial court.[1] In the 18th century, the nobility was finally formally deprived of all Frontier land when it was declared an imperial fief.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Budak 2002
  2. ^ Ferdinand II, Counter-Reformation Emperor, 1578-1637 by Robert Bireley,Cambridge University Press, Nov 17, 2014, page 163
  3. ^ Familie und Verwandtschaft auf dem Balkan: Analyse einer untergehenden Kultur by Karl Kaser, Böhlau Verlag Wien, 1995 page 111
  4. ^ A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia's Disintegration by Ana S. Trbovich, Oxford University Press, USA, 2008 page 85


External links[edit]