The Private Law of Transylvania Integrated into the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1690–1918)


  • Mária Homoki-Nagy University of Szeged, Faculty of Law


Habsburg Monarchy, dual monarchy, Transylvania, reform of feudal law, modernization


This study follows the transformation of feudal institutions of civil law applicable in Transylvania and the modernization of Transylvanian civil law from the end of the 17th century to the end of the 19th century, when this region was under the influence of the Habsburg monarchy, in its absolutist (imperialist) and then dualistic (constitutional) forms. During this period, the rules of law of medieval origin were transformed as a result of repeated reforms to allow the abolition of feudal institutions, such as feudal ownership or restriction of women’s capacity to exercise their rights. The author presents the significant elements of these transformations, from the point of view of private law, which finally resulted in creating the conditions for the development of modern civil and commercial exchange in the last decades of the 19th century, following the Austro-Hungarian compromise. The rules of private law that were adopted in Transylvania following the reunification of this territory with the Kingdom of Hungary, as a result of this compromise are also presented. The study also presents some specific civil law rules, applicable only to certain ethnic groups, ethnic and normative diversity being specific to this region.