Karl Ludwig von Bruck, Trieste and Slovenes

  • Peter Vodopivec Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Kongresni trg 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: railway, foreign trade, modernization, the seaport, hinterland, Trieste, Slovenes


The author draws attention to the Slovenian expectations that arose after the construction of its southern railway. The new railways and the vicinity of the Port of Trieste were expected to accelerate significantly the economic development of the Slovenian provinces. He also points out that the economic strategists in the provinces of Trieste and Carniola based their plans on the discussions on Austrian foreign trade and the future of the Port of Trieste. These discussions were running in Trieste in the 1840s, on the pages of the Italian and German editions of the journal of Lloyd's of Austria. The man behind these journals was believed to be Karl Ludwig von Bruck, Director of Lloyd's of Austria, who was to become Austrian Trade and Finance Minister in the 1850s. He supported the idea of a Greater Germany and that of a great central European, Austro-German customs union, with Trieste as its main Adriatic and Mediterranean port. However, von Bruck's ideals, as well as the expectations of Trieste and Slovenia, never materialized. Until the beginning of the Twentieth century, the southern railway remained Trieste's only link with the hinterland, with its port serving mainly the central and the southwestern Cislaitania. Trieste thus remained commercially and shipping dependent on the development in the hinterland and was unable to make any significant contribution to its modernization.