Bunjevci, Šokci, Habsburg dynasty, southern Hungary, political legitimacy, myth, fidelity, national movements, collective identity
When south Hungarian Bunjevci and Šokci are in question, the idea of political legitimacy of sovereignty in Austro-Hungarian Monarchy experienced great changes in the period from 1790 to 1918. The changes in the concept of the sources of sovereignty and political legitimacy both show how political modernization built national identity. No matter how great the influence of the Court, the dynasty or the Emperor was in the series of practical acts that constricted the idea of national sovereignty in the Monarchy, in their literature and newspapers Bunjevci and Šokci spread the awareness that monarch’s rule derived from their will and that it was firmly connected to their will. Most of the ethnic communities, including Bunjevci and Šokci, built their collective identity with no essential connection to the Habsburgs. In the moment of the collapse of their empire, these communities made an open declaration on their fate, because they were ideologically prepared for the idea of national self-determination.