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In 1863 Franz Joseph convened the Transylvanian Diet. Hungarian deputies boycotted the session because Franz Joseph had not convened it in accordance with the 1848 laws, and Romanian and German deputies held the majority. The rump Diet passed laws that underscored Transylvania's autonomy and equal status for the Romanian, Hungarian, and German languages. Transylvania's Romanians at last joined the Magyars, Szeklers, and Germans as the fourth Transylvanian "nation," and the Romanian Orthodox Church became a received religion. Franz Joseph later permitted Transylvania's Orthodox Church to separate from the Serbian Patriarchate. Romanian literary figures soon founded the Association for the Cultivation of Romanian Language and Literature, which became a focal point of Romanian cultural life in Transylvania.
Romanians enjoyed equal status in Transylvania for only a short time. The need to shore up the weakening empire pressed Vienna toward compromise with Budapest. In 1865 Franz Joseph convened a second Transylvanian Diet, this time with a Hungarian majority, which abrogated the 1863 legislation and endorsed unification of Hungary and Transylvania. Defeat at the hands of Prussia in 1866 further revealed Austria's weakness, and in 1867 Franz Joseph agreed to the Ausgleich, a compromise whereby Austria and Hungary joined to form the Dual Monarchy--two sovereign states with a unified foreign policy.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress