Joseph George Strossmayer


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Strossmayer, Joseph George

 

(also Josip Juraj Strossmajer). Born Feb. 4, 1815, in Osijek; died Apr. 8, 1905, in Djakovo. Croatian political figure.

Strossmayer received a theological education; he became a doctor of philosophy in 1834 and a doctor of theology in 1842. In 1850 he was named bishop of Djakovo.

One of the leaders of the liberal Narodna Stranka (National Party) from 1860 to 1873, Strossmayer advocated an Austro-Slav program that included the federalization of the Hapsburg empire and the unification, with broad autonomy, of the Croatian lands. At the same time he was a supporter of Yugoslavism, a movement that called for the cultural and political union of the Slavic peoples and the creation of a united federated South Slavic state. Strossmayer hoped that Russia would liberate the South Slavs and defend them against German expansion.

In 1869 and 1870, at Vatican Council I, Strossmayer opposed the dogma of papal infallibility. Strossmayer helped organize the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1867 and the University of Zagreb in 1874.