Wekerle, Alexander

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Alexander Wekerle (vĕ´kĕrlĕ), 1848–1921, Hungarian premier. He became minister of finance in 1889 and retained that post during his first two terms as premier (1892–95, 1906–10). In his first term civil marriage was made obligatory, and the power of the church was lessened as a result. His second cabinet was a coalition of parties; it carried out financial reforms and supported the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Werkerle headed four successive cabinets in 1917–18. On Oct. 16, 1918, he declared the dissolution of all bonds between Hungary and Austria except the personal union of the two countries under the same monarch. He resigned shortly afterward.