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acres) decreased during the same period from 6.6 million holds (18.5 million acres) to 5.6 million holds (7.1 milion acres), or I millon holds decrease (1,430,000 acres.)
During this same period the large estates have increased sixfold from 463,000 holds to 2,400,000 holds, and the church. estates have doubled from 1,288,000 holds to 2,500,000 holds. These estates are in the hands of a few owners, who exact a good income, and they mainly hold such properties as are "limited" forever to single families and churches and cannot be sold or mortgaged. The whole area of these "limited" estates owned by corporations or aristocratic families are 18.8 million holds (34.9 million acres) or 35 per cent of the entire cultivated lands.
The consequence of this system of large estates the greater part of which is "limited" and can never be sold, is that agriculture is undeveloped in Hungary. The large land owners do not grow vegetables, fruits, poultry or truck; they do not raise cattle or hogs, or engage in flower gardening, but prefer to produce corn, the price of which is low. This extensive farming needs less work and is therefore much cheaper because of fewer laborers being necessary. Gardening industry would need. more work days, better work and more workers, but it would not pay for the present large estates. Therefore the landlords. stick to corn-growing; the consequence being that large numbers of agricultural laborers cannot find employment eight months out of the twelve.
The large estates being "limited," cannot be sold to peasants, nor can they be leased. The consequence of this fact is that even the peasant properties though few in number, follow the model of their superiors and do not attempt to introduce market gardening; the entire farming population hinders the growth of intensive farming, thus impending to a great extent the development of industry. Market gardening and manufacturing would raise the present low wages; and the higher the wages, the lower the profits of the landlord. The decrease of their profits would disturb their powerful reign and would ultimately force them to give up their lands which in Hungary, like all other countries, is the very structure and foundation of the rule of the aristocracy and the churches. Millions can perish, millions can emigrate, millions can hunger and thirst for justice, but the church and the aristocracy will not give up one jot or atom of their privileges because it would mean the destruction of their feudal regime.
By this method they are able, to prevent the development of the small peasant proprietors, of higher wages, of intense agricultural or manufacturing industry; all for the sake of their economic class interest. Thus Hungary, although a part of Europe, is really an "asiatic province."
The difference between Hungary and other countries, where
land-lords own immense tracts of land, for instance Great Britain, is that Hungary is an agricultural and not an industrial country, and that the system of land tenure is as feudal to-day as it was a century ago! The only change being the nominal destruction of serfdom; and even this change was greater benefit to the landlords than to the serfs, for it gives them cheaper 'bor power and at a cheaper price on the whole; there being no necessity for the landlord supporting the new serf who is without land:-i. e. the means of life. The political, economic and industrial structure of Hungary is that of a small and ignorant leisure class ruling by power of their privileges alone over the great majority of modern serfs, who are "dead to rapture and despair, a thing that breathes not and never hopes, stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox."
In Germany the transition from large extensive farms to intensive gardening by small peasant proprietors has taken place. Although we hear so very much of the great landlords of the country east of the Elbe, yet the latest statistics of 1895 show that although relatively large estates prevail, yet, 56 per cent, or more than one half of the area under cultivation is owned by the peasants. Taking the whole area under consideration, according to the most reliable data, the farms between 2 and 100 hectares (a hectare is nearly 212 acres) occupy more than two thirds of the agricultural area of the entire country. And what is more, 89 per cent of the land that peasant farmers occupy, is owned actually and directly by them. This system of alteration in the land tenure of Germany took place between 1880 and 1895. The Occupation Census of Germany in the years 1882 and 1895 gives the following results in the increase of peasant properties viz:
TOTAL NUMBER OF MEN ABOVE 20 YEARS.
According to the direct income
I. Wealthy Class Having 5 or more holds of land paying more than 10 Kronen tax on income.
III. The Working Class, mostly without property. Only 300,000 having garden or cottage poor.
1,370,060 31.7 795,628
II. The petty burghers, officials, having 2 to 5 holds land.
Taxes on income 6 to 10 Kronen. 773,492 17.9 127,102
Totals.... ·|4,322,960 |
2,179,408 50.4 48,111
Per cent of Classes voting.
IV. Number of voters (II) in the percent of total (I.
The results of these 13 years, though unexpected by many economists, show that during this period the peasant properties between 2 and 20 hectares (5 to 50 acres) have come to occupy both a larger amount and a larger proportion under cultivation. They actually occupied 659,258 hectares more land; the proportion of cultivated land held by the peasant class having increased 1.26 per cent. Of course during this same period the petty holdings under 2 hectares (5 acres) had slightly fallen off; while what is of greater importance, all the larger holdings, save the very largest, have fallen off considerably, namely: 1.33 per cent. The great estates, one tenth of all, have grown very slightly during this period. These tendencies towards the increase of farms of peasant proprietors from 2 to 50 hectares (5 to 125 acres) have since been well marked, especially in the Prussiar provinces, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg, and Alsace-Lorraine.
The contrary is true of Hungary. The petty farms have decreased one half-not in number, but in size. The farms of the petty owning class, that is to say farms between 2 and 50 hectares, have decreased by 6 million 'holds. The small peasant owners, who are so powerful in Germany, Denmark and France, have lost more than a million holds in Hungary during this period of a few years, while the landed aristocracy and the churches have increased by sixfold; and doubled the latters holdings.
In Germany of the land under cultivation; taking in consideration estates of over 500 hectares, we find that these large owners own only 10 per cent of the land, while in poor Hungary it is 35 per cent! To go further:
We find that in France the distribution of land is so well balanced, that the peasant proprietors who occupy under 2 hectares, own 10 per cent of the land:-the proprietors who own between 2 and 50 hectares own 55 per cent of the soil, and the estates above 200 hectares occupy but 16 per cent of the land under cultivation.
In Denmark, where 70 per cent of the entire population depends on the soil, we find that 30 per cent work their own farms against the miserable 10 per cent in Hungary. And it must also be noted here that 67 per cent of the cultivated surface of Denmark is in farms under 100 holds. In Hungary it is only 54 per cent of the total.
In the United States in 1880 farms under 100 acres covered* an area of 2,208,374 acres, or 55 per cent of the cultivated surface, and in 1900 the figures changed to 3,297,404 acres, or 58 per cent of the whole, an increase of 1,089.030 acres. But what is more important the large estates in the United States of over
1 In Hungarian, 5 to 100 holds.
2 494 acres.
3 147 acres.
1000 acres covered in 1900 only 0.82 per cent of the entire cultivated surface, as against 35 per cent in Hungary of this same size.
In all countries of the West, except Great Britain, land legislation has always sought to transfer the land to the real cultivators. Here in Hungary no efforts have been made in this direction. The effect of this system of expropriation on the part of the relatively small privileged class is to reduce agriculture, industry and finance to an "asiatic state of affairs." The peasant is attached to the land. He does not own it. The aristocrat owns the land. He does not work it. The aristocrat can only use the services of the peasant when it means profit, and this is only four months a year. The result being that the peasant is in a state of want, degradation and insecurity, in a country capable of supporting easily ten times its present population, where nature has given man such abundance of gold, ore, salt, lumber and land that if it were properly cultivated for the benefit of the people instead of for profit, it would yield more than enough for all the inhabitants of Europe.
As the normal development of an exploited class under the present system reflects the political power they possess, it would be well to investigate the electoral system of Hungary. Under the new electoral laws of Russia about one per cent of the total population is entitled to a vote. According to the census returns of Japan there are in round numbers some 47,200,000 people in 1905, of which only 757,000, or about two per cent are entitled to a suffrage. Great Britain with a restricted electorate and a population of 41,000,000 persons, has 7,200,000 eligible to a vote. France with a population of 40,000,000, has 10,000,000 voters. Germany with a population of 60,000,000, has 12,000,000 voters. The United States with 80,000,000 population has about 22,000,000 persons entitled to a vote. Now let us look at Hungary! In 1900 Hungary had 16.721,574 persons; Croatia and Slavonia 2,400,766 and a military force of 132,219, making a total population for Hungary proper of 19,254,559. In the election of 1905 just 1,056,818 persons were eligible as voters or about 6 per cent of the population!
There is no manhood suffrage in Hungary, only those who pay direct taxes on house property or land or an income varying with occupation being allowed to vote. The only exception being the intellectual class comprising 79.438 persons, such as teachers, physicians and all high school and university graduates who can vote, even if they are not in the tax-payers list to the necessary amount. The reason for this is apparent, as the government fear the intellectuals and tries to satisfy them with this morsel! The entire government is in the hands of the privileged class, who use the powers for their interest as is only to be expected.
The working class if they got possession of government, would also use it to their own interest as a class. The following figures produced from the official statistics of the Interior Department for 1905 is self explanatory:
Thus we see, that in Hungary according to the statistics of 1905 there are but 22.4 per cent or 970,841 persons out of a grown up population of 4,332,960 (excluding women) who are allowed to vote. The overwhelming population of grown up men 3.352,119 or 77.6 per cent, are deprived of citizenship! This in face of the fact that every grown up man is compelled to be a soldier. Every man, even the poorest, is contributing to the military budget, the principal income, it will be well to state once more, coming from taxes on meat, sugar, oil, wine and beer. Although the poor worker bears nearly all of the public expenses, directly or indirectly, and is part of the military for 12 years, yet he has no influence in public affairs, he cannot consent or object. to these high-handed proceedings-he is dumb-merely a blind man groping in the darkness. Out of 2,179,408 workers (50 per cent of the total) there is scarcely 4 per cent with a ballot. On the other hand the rich, who comprise only 18.4 per cent of the total number of grown up men in the above table, have 82 per cent of the votes of Hungary. It is no wonder that parliament is afraid to introduce universal suffrage although they have often promised this! Real manhood suffrage would mean the death of feudalism and the selfish regime of the aristocrats and the church, and it would be the birth of a new epoch in the life of Hungary. Have not the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister openly expressed it as their opinion that parliament, "should not qualify the enemies of the country, of church, and the sacred institution of private proverty?"
Hungarian schools are directly in line with agricultural progress! Count Apponyi, minister of education, declared before parliament that the most important part of the elementary in