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West Galicia (Twilight of a New Era)

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West Galicia
(Państwa) Galicja Zachodnia
— State Austria-Hungary
Timeline: Twilight of a New Era
Alternative Flag of West Galicia POL województwo krakowskie II RP COA
Civil State Flag Eagle of Lesser Poland
Location West Galicia A-H (TNE)
Location West Galicia
Capital
(and largest city)
Krakow
Other cities Tarnów, Rzeszów and Bielsko-Biała
Language
  official
 
Polish
  others German and Ukrainian
Religion
  main
 
Secular state
  others Roman Catholic and Judaism
Ethnic groups
  main
 
Polish
  others German and Ukrainian
Demonym West Galician
Government Parliamentary State
  legislature Seym of Galicia (Diet of Galicia)
Representative King-Emperor Gubernator
State government Minister-President and Rada Państwa (Executive Committee)
Population aprox. 4,8 million 
Established 1920-1926
Currency korona
Time zone Central European Time (UTC+01:00)
  summer Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00)

West Galicia (Galicja Zachodnia) was a federal state of Austria-Hungary. After the West Galician Crisis of 1926 it became part of Poland.

It was bordered by Poland, Ukraine, and the states of East Galicia, Slovakia and Bohemia.

Government

West Galicia was parliamentary representative democratic state. The State Constitution declared West Galicia a part of the Polish Nation and recognized its historical and cultural links with historical or any future Polish states. The State Constitution also provided for referenda to approve or reject constitutional reforms.

According to the State Constitution, West Galicia is organized as follows:

  • The head of state was the Governor (Gubernator), named by the Emperor-King on advice of the Seym of Galicia.
  • Executive power lied with the head of government, the Minister-President, who was usually the leader of the winning party, but he needed to form a majority coalition in the parliament. The Minister-President was appointed by the Governor. The remainder of the Executive Committee (Rada Państwa) was appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister-President. The Minister-President was accountable to the Seym.
  • West Galicia's highest legislative body was the 100-seat unicameral Seym of Galicia (Sejm Krajowy). Delegates were elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation. The Seym approved domestic legislation, constitutional laws, and the annual budget.
  • The judiciary was independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest judicial body was the Supreme State Court, whose judges were elected by the Seym. A Constitutional Court, that ruled on constitutional issues. The seven members of this court were appointed by the Governor from a slate of candidates nominated by parliament.

Politics

The main parties are:

  • National Democratic Party (NDP, more commonly called Endecja), the main nationalist party.
  • National Party of Galicia, conservative
  • Polish People's Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL), agrarian interest
  • Polish Social Democratic Party of Galicia (Polska Partia Socjalno-Demokratyczna Galicji, PPSDG)
  • Jewish Social Democratic Party (Żydowska Partia Socjalno-Demokratyczna, ŻPS)
  • Po‘ale Tsiyon (Workers of Zion)
  • Bloc of Polish Unity (Blok Jedności Polskiej, BJP) formed in 1923 from nationalist members of the conservative, agrarian and social democratic parties. Affiliated and ally of the Endecja.

Administrative division

West Galicia was subdivided administratively into counties (powiats), and these in turn are divided into communes (gminas). Krakow had status of both gmina and powiat. Self-government fell within the jurisdiction of elected county and commune councils.

Education and culture

The main higher education institution were the Jagiellonian University, Academy of Mining, Academy of Music in Kraków, Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. Many students and professors migrated from the Lviv University, after Polish was declared, along German, an auxiliary language and Ukrainian promoted to official language in 1921. Also the majority of the Polish language books of the library were moved to the Jagiellonian University.

The Academy of Learning (Akademia Umiejętności; AU) of Krakow, was the center of Polish scholars and scientists.

In 1924, Radio Krakow was given the concession and monopoly to broadcast within the territory of West Galicia. It services are in its majority in Polish, with limited programming in German and Ukrainian.



Economy

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