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The first period of organized colonization of Banat began in the autumn of 1717 and ended in 1740. It is known as the Caroline Colonization [Karolinische Ansiedlung/in German] after the emperor Charles/Carol/Karl VI.
This period of time1 can be subdivided in three parts:
   a. 1717-1721
   b. 1722-1726 [also known as "erster Schwabenzug"; in 1722 the first West-Europeans peasants settled in Banat]
   c. 1733-1740.
Each period had his own specificity2. In this period [1717-1740]
approximately 29.500 German colonists [7.000 families and 1.500 persons] and some "non-German" colonists [Serbs, Bulgarians, Italians [in 1733 the first Italians came for the silk industry], Spaniards & Romanians] came to Banat. The number [29.500] is very controversial and each author/historian gives another number [from 15.000 up to 40.000]. The colonists where settled in 59 villages [12 are in today Yugoslavia]. From these, 46 village could be found in the first imperial statistics from 1717 as already existing. In this period of time were established, exclusively by west-europeans colonists: Lamgerdorf, Freudenthal, Dognecea, Hauerdorf, Salhausen, Suchenthal, Muhlenbanc, Freidorf, Moldova Noua, Peciul Nou.

The second period
of organized colonization occurred between 1744-1772 and is known as the Theresian Colonization [Theresianische Ansiedlung or zweiter Schwabenzug].

This period of time can be subdivided in:
   a. 1748-1753 [the early theresian colonization/~625 families or 2.500 people]
   b. 1753-1763 [a stagnation period/only 300 families]
   c. 1763-1772 [the late theresian colonization] with 3 different periods:
       c1. 1763-1767 [7.736 families or ~31.000 people]
       c2. 1767-1769 [a stagnation period]
       c3. 1769-1772 [4.400 families or 17.000 persons between 1768-'71]
In this period of time [1744-1772] approximately 11.000 families [~40.000 people] where officially colonized.
All these figures are very disputed; for example, in 1770 are colonized:
-3.276 families [10.594 persons] after K. Schunemann [in "Die Einstellung der theresinischen Impopulation", in Jahrbuch des Wiener Ung Hist. Institutes, 1931, page 170];
-3.214 families [10.292 persons] after R. F. Kaindl [page 216 in " Geschichte der Deutschen in der Karpatenlandern", Gotha, 1911];
-13.933 persons after F. Stanglica [page 38 in "Die Auswanderung der Lothringer in das Banat und die Batschka im 18. Jahrhundert", Fankfurt a. M., 1934]].
As you can see, each historian gives other numbers for a single year. And the differences are substantial!

Until Emperor Josef II's tolerance patent for Protestants [issued in 1781], no Protestants were allowed to settle in Banat.

In the period 1744-1768, twice a year, the "undesirables" [vagrants, poachers, smugglers, prostitutes, peasants in conflict with their landlords, etc.] where colonized by force in Banat using the "Temeswarer Waserschub" system [ie transport on water/with ships to Timi
soara/Banat. On 8.04.1722, the Banat Administration will sign the first contract with Thomas Ott, master rafter/Flossmeister from Lechbruch/Germany regarding the transport on Danube of the colonists from all the Empire, which were gathered in Marksheim, to Banat].
In fact, the forced colonization [in a much easier form] started earlier, between 1733-1736, when the "pensioners" came to Banat; these where Spaniards and Italians civilians or military which where released from the Austrian army after the lost of the Italians possessions during the war to the succession of Poland. These remain loyal to Carol VI and the imperial recompensing was to colonize them, against their will, to Banat. If they refused to come in Banat, they were in danger to lose their pension or the monthly maintenance.

In 1774, after 50 years of colonization, only approximately 53.200 [14,11% of the total population] colonists/Germans were living in Banat.
The rests were:
   -Romanians 220.000 [58,55 %]
   -Serbs and Aromanians 100.000 [26.61 %]
   -Hungarians & Bulgarians 2.400 [0,64 %]
   -Jews 340 [0,09 %]
[numbers given by Johann Jakob Ehrler in his 1774 report on Banat].

Between 1772-1776 is a stagnation period; only 67 families with 264 members are officially colonized.

The third period of organized colonization took place under the emperor Joseph II, between 1782-1787, and is named the Josephine Colonization [in German language: Josephinische Ansiedlung]. In this period of time ~3.000 families were officially colonized.
After 1785 the colonization conditions are very strict; the colonists must prove that they have at lest a capital of 200 florini.

The XIX Century colonization: in the 1820's are colonized [with germans from Boemia] the Semenic Mountains and several villages are formed: Wolfsberg, Weidental, Lindenfeld. Only in Banater Bergland are still coming pemi from Bohemia and germans from Austria. Starting with the middle of XIX Century, czech and slovaks are settled here also.

Starting 1780 and up to the middle of the XIX Century, existed also a Private Colonization [for example, as in the case of Sannicolau Mare where in 1790, by initiative of the Nako family, colonists (mainly from Charlottenburg3) are brought in order to work on their estate. In Sannicolau Mare's case, the official colonization was made in 1752, when the first 42 German families are colonized in the German Sannicolau Mare and between 1764-1765 when other German families [from Köln, Sauerland and Brandenburg] are colonized in the village.

Nobody knows for sure the number of the settlers coming to Banat by Individual Colonization. In this case, the settlers where coming by their own "strength", mainly to join their families or for work opportunities.  


The colonization at N of Mures River was done completely different as the colonization at S of Mures River [i.e. Banat]. The biggest difference is that at N of Mures the landlords from the Hungarian Aulic Chamber were the "agents" of colonization's and not the Imperial Administration. Please do not forget that this region at N of Mures River was liberated from the Turks after the 1687-1688 war and after the Pace Treaty from Karlowitz [1699] the entire region at N of Mures River will became part of the Empire and was incorporated to Hungary. So, the Comitatense Administration was enforced quickly at N of Mures River [although existed, starting 1699 - until 1741/29.10.1750, a Military Border on Mures River with 24 villages and approximately 9.000 frontier guards/manly Serbs/ which will emigrate almost all to Russia between 1750-1760, after the repeal of the Military Border]. Only 20 years latter the Banat Region will became part of the Empire and after other 60 years of hard "pressures" from the hungarian nobility the Banat will have the same destiny [starting 1778-1779] and will be incorporated to Hungary. At N of Mures River was enforced the "restitutio in integrum" policy4 which was never accepted by the Imperial's for Banat.

The origin of the settlers from the region situated at N of Mures River is not quit well studied but in their language are to be found elements of dialect from "upper Germany", so they came from other regions than the svab's.




This comment deals only with the colonization of settlers coming from Western Europe.
[1] almost each historian has his own opinion [regarding the period years and the subdivisions] on this subject.
this specificity refers to the concrete conditions of colonization: area from where the colonists come; travel conditions; area of settlement; endowments; numbers of years in which they were tax-free; etc.
in general, the settlers came directly from Western Europe. The number of the colonists coming from Hungary, where they stayed for 1-2 generations, is rather insignificantly up to the end of XVIII Century.
Until 1782 in Banat did not existed landlords [beside the Emperor!] and hungarian estates. Starting with his first visit/inspection in Banat [in 1768; the others two were in 1770 and 1773], the future Emperor Josef II launched the idea of selling of the cameral domains. Between 1779-1780, a complete inventory was made [mainly in Cenad, Timisoara, Panciova and Becicherecul Mare districts]: 127 estates with 225 villages and 39.418 households. On 1.08.1781 was published the auction for all the estates in Banat [Temes and Torontal Counties]. In the first stage of the public auction, which took place in Vienna and Timisoara, 73 estates were sold. The second stage was started in 1797. Totally, 127 estates were sold. But 78,73% of the agricultural land in Temes County and 72,12% in Torontal County will never became "private" property.