Officers and Romanian Civil Society in Transylvania (1790–1867)
This study aims to offer a summarizing view on the relationship between the Romanian officers of the Habsburg Army and the civil society, from late eighteenth century to the Compromise of 1867. Although few in numbers compared to other
Romanian elite socio-professional categories, the officers became involved in various civic actions, mainly petitions, which maintained, until the revolution of 1848, a pronounced political character. After the dissolution of the border guard regiments,
their activity in the civil environment intensified, and they played an important role in organizing the civil society institutions of the previously militarized area. The establishment of an increasing number of Romanian associations during the 1850s and 1860s, together with the development of the Romanian press also created a framework for the officers’ involvement. In a province where the institutionalized civil society was mostly ethnically pillarized, Romanian officers seem to have been actively involved in supporting Romanian associative life through donations, membership fees, or by organizing events – sometimes even with discreet political aims.
army officers, Habsburg Army, civil society, Transylvania, nineteenth century.