Depiction of Republican Forces defending Trentin
The Tiroler Civil War was a civil war in Tirol between 1890 and 1893 fought to overthrow the Kingdom of Tirol and depose the House of Cerneu. The war was fought between the Republicans, divided between numerous groups with two central command structures under the Socialists and the Liberals, and the Monarchists who supported the status quo ante bellum under King Kristian. The Socialists were composed primarily of the working classes from the rapidly expanding urban centres of Tirol, they sought the abolition of the monarchy alongside the establishment of a socialist state. The Liberals had prior to the war throughout the 1880s supported the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, however, following the ascension of Kristian to the throne, and the illiberal and absolutist policy that accompanied his reign, the majority, who were primarily middle or upper class joined in advocating the abolition and the establishment of a free state.
In the years before the conflict, Tiroler society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialisation, and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement. The country's political and government systems were in an unstable phase of modernisation which was rapidly reversed with the ascension of the traditionalist Kristian. This combined with an economic downturn driven by high tariffs on Quebecshirite imports exacerbated discontent. Ultimately, on 16th May 1890 the Royal Diet petitioned the King with an ultimatum, demanding final legislative authority on matters of declaration of war, new taxes, tariffs and the judiciary. The King rejected the petition two days later, in a public address declaring it to be a mockery of the ideals Tirol was built upon
, subsequently declaring martial law. Violence would first break out in Trënt
where attempts to break up a miners' strike would result in the Tiroler Rifles
, the commanding Lieutenant
later claimed in response to a revolver in the crowd, firing upon the miners killing 12. The working classes of the city stormed the Rifles headquarters in Balsan hanging the local commander Colonel
Henric dl Appan from the window of the headquarters and beating the sixteen Rifles garrisoning the building to death. Read more...