Mažuranić served as Ban of Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia between 1873 and 1880. Mažuranić is best remembered for his contributions in development of the Croatian law system, economics, linguistics and poetry. He became a man of many abilities: he spoke 9 languages and was well versed in astronomy and mathematics.
Politics and economy Mažuranić was the first Croatian ban not to hail from old nobility, as he was born a commoner.
Mažuranić has modernized Croatia"s educational system by forming a public school network and reducing the importance of denominational schools. A process seen by some later Serbian ideologues as an intentional blow to the integrity of Serbdom in Croatian lands.
Others consider this to have been a necessary step in modernization and secularization of Croatian society. Linguistics His linguistic work is remarkable for its enormous influence.
Mažuranić"s "German-Illyrian/Croatian Dictionary", 1842 (coauthored with Josip Užarević) is at the very heart of modern Croatian civilization, since in this 40,000-entry dictionary the principal author Mažuranić had coined words that have become commonplace in standard Croatian—for instance, Croatian words for bank accountancy, rhinoceros, sculptor, ice-cream, market economy, high treason or metropolis.
He was much more than "language-recorder". "language-shaper" would be a better description. Poetry Mažuranić"s portrait is depicted on the obverse of the Croatian 100 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2002.
Ivan Mažuranić Square in Zagreb is named in his honor.
During the Croatian accession to the European Union, Nova television has launched a campaign "I believe in Croatia" referring to the introduction of Mažuranić"s famous speech that he gave on 13 December 1886 in front of Sabor which he began with these words: "I believe in Croatia, in its past, in its present and its future.".
His realistic assessment of strengths and weaknesses of Croatia"s position between the hammer of Austrian bureaucracy and the anvil of Hungarian expansionist nationalism served his country invaluably in times of political turmoil.
Following in the steps of Croatian poets like Kačić and Ivan Gundulić (his chief national influence, whose main epic Osman Mažuranić completed), Mažuranić closed the era of Romanticism and of classic epic poetry in Croatian literature.
He was a member of the People"s Party.