Statuta Valachorum

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Statuta Valachorum (English: Vlach Statute, Croatian: Vlaški zakon) was the name for a number of laws (statutes) enacted in the 17th century both by the king of the Habsburg Monarchy as well as the Croatian Parliament (Sabor), whose purpose was to define rules on the taxation and tenancy rights of Vlachs in the Military Frontier.[1]

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.

In 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 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 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]

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, without actual legal basis.[1] In the 18th century, the nobility was finally formally deprived of all Frontier land when it was declared an imperial fief.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Neven Budak (2002). "Habsburzi i Hrvati". Kolo (Matica hrvatska). Retrieved 2011-08-05. 


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