Andrassy Note

Andrassy Note:

In September 1875, the rebellious people of Turkey placed their demands before the envoys of European states. They refused to live under the atrocious regime of Turkey and wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to be granted autonomy under Turkey and a Christian ruler to be appointed there or the two provinces to be placed under the control of European states until some other arrangement was made for them. The Sultan of Turkey promised to introduce reforms but the revolt continued and the Turkish troops had to recede. With a view to putting an end to the war and making the Sultan of Turkey accept the scheme of reforms Andrassy, the foreign minister of Austria prepared a proposal with the help of Russia and Germany. This is known as the Andrassy Note. On November 30, 1875, Andrassy sent this ‘note’ together with a description of the problem of that area and an outline of their proposed solution to all the parties concerned. He complained that the Sultan was apathetic towards the scheme of reforms and suggested that pressure be mounted on him to introduce some reforms as soon as possible. The Andrassy Note dealt with the following five points:

(1) To grant complete religious freedom to Christians.

(2) To improve the condition of farmers.

(3) To eradicate the contract system for the realization of taxes.

(4) To use the local tax revenue for local works.

(5) To appoint a commission with an equal number of Christian and Muslim members to implement the above reforms.

The British government and other countries supported this Note which was sent to the Sultan of Turkey on January 31, 1876. The Sultan accepted all the conditions except the use of local taxes, but the rebels did not feel satisfied with the assurances given by the Sultan and wanted a firm guarantee that the reforms would be implemented. This effort of Andrassy came to naught and now Bosnia also joined the War. This problem seemed to grow worse. On May 6, 1876, the Mulsim killed the consuls of France and Germany and the situation further deteriorated.

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