1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hungary
HUNGARY (Hungarian Magyarország), a country in the south-eastern portion of central Europe, bounded E. by Austria (Bukovina) and Rumania; S. by Rumania, Servia, Bosnia and Austria (Dalmatia); W. by Austria (Istria, Carniola, Styria and Lower Austria); and N. by Austria (Moravia, Silesia and Galicia). It has an area of 125,402 sq. m., being thus about 4000 sq. m. larger than Great Britain and Ireland.
I. Geography and Statistics
The kingdom of Hungary (Magyarbiradolom) is one of the two states which constitute the monarchy of Austria-Hungary (q.v.), and occupies 51.8% of the total area of the monarchy. Hungary, unlike Austria, presents a remarkable geographical unity. It is almost exclusively continental, having only a short extent of seaboard on the Adriatic (a little less than 100 m.). Its land-frontiers are for the most part well defined by natural boundaries: on the N.W., N., E. and S.E. the Carpathian mountains; on the S. the Danube, Save and Unna. On the W. they are not so clearly marked, being formed partly by low ranges of mountains and partly by the rivers March and Leitha. From the last-mentioned river are derived the terms Cisleithania and Transleithania, applied to Austria and Hungary respectively.
General Division.—The kingdom of Hungary in its widest extent, or the “Realm of the Crown of St Stephen,” comprises Hungary proper (Magyarország), with which is included the former grand principality of Transylvania, and the province of Croatia-Slavonia. This province enjoys to a large extent autonomy, granted by the so-called compromise of 1868. The town and district of Fiume, though united with Hungary proper in respect of administration, possess a larger measure of autonomy than the other cities endowed with municipal rights. Of the total area of the kingdom Hungary proper has 108,982 sq. m. and Croatia-Slavonia 16,420 sq. m. In the present article the kingdom is treated mainly as a whole, especially as regards statistics. In some respects Hungary proper has been particularly dealt with, while special information regarding the other regions will be found under Croatia-Slavonia, Transylvania and Fiume.
Mountains.—Orographically Hungary is composed of an extensive central plain surrounded by high mountains. These mountains belong to the Carpathians and the Alps, which are separated by the valley of the Danube. But by far the greater portion of the Hungarian highlands belongs to the Carpathian mountains, which begin, to the north, on the left bank of the Danube at Dévény near Pressburg (Pozsony), run in a north-easterly and easterly direction, sway round south-eastward and then westward in a vast irregular semicircle, and end near Orsova at the Iron Gates of the Danube, where they meet the Balkan mountains. The greatest elevations are in the Tátra mountains of the north of Hungary proper, in the east and south of Transylvania (the Transylvanian Alps) and in the eastern portion of the Banat. The highest peak, the Gerlsdorf or Spitze or Gerlachfalva, situated in the Tátra group, has an altitude of 8700 ft. The portion of Hungary situated on the right bank of the Danube is filled by the Alpine system, namely, the eastern outlying groups of the Alps. These groups are the Leitha mountains, the Styrian highlands, the Lower Hungarian highlands, which are a continuation of the former, and the Bakony Forest. The Bakony Forest, which lies entirely within Hungarian territory, extends to the Danube in the neighbourhood of Budapest, the highest peak being Köröshegy (2320 ft.). The south-western portion of this range is specially called Bakony Forest, while the ramifications to the north-east are known as the Vértes group (1575 ft.), and the Pilis group (2476 ft.). The Lower Hungarian highlands extend between the Danube, the Mur, and Lake Balaton, and attain in the Mesek hills near Mohács and Pécs an altitude of 2200 ft. The province of Croatia-Slavonia belongs mostly to the Karst region, and is traversed by the Dinaric Alps.
Plains.—The mountain systems enclose two extensive plains, the smaller of which, called the “Little Hungarian Alföld” or “Pressburg Basin,” covers an area of about 6000 sq. m., and lies to the west of the Bakony and Mátra ranges, which separate it from the “Pest Basin” or “Great Hungarian Alföld.” This is the largest plain in Europe, and covers about 37,000 sq. m., with an average elevation above sea-level of from 300 to 350 ft. The Pest Basin extends over the greater portion of central and southern Hungary, and is traversed by the Theiss (Tisza) and its numerous tributaries. This immense tract of low land, though in some parts covered with barren wastes of sand, alternating with marshes, presents in general a very rich and productive soil. The monotonous aspect of the Alföld is in summer time varied by the déli-báb, or Fata Morgana.
Caverns.—The numerous caverns deserve a passing notice. The Aggtelek (q.v.) or Baradla cave, in the county of Gömör, is one of the largest in the world. In it various fossil mammalian remains have been found. The Fonácza cave, in the county of Bihar, has also yielded fossils. No less remarkable are the Okno, Vodi and Deményfalva caverns in the county of Liptó, the Veterani in the Banat and the ice cave at Dobsina (q.v.) in Gömör county. Of the many interesting caverns in Transylvania the most remarkable are the sulphurous Büdös in the county of Haromszék, the Almás to the south of Udvarhely and the brook-traversed rocky caverns of Csetate-Boli, Pestere and Ponor in the southern mountains of Hunyad county.
Rivers.—The greater part of Hungary is well provided with both rivers and springs, but some trachytic and limestone mountainous districts show a marked deficiency in this respect. The Mátra group, e.g., is poorly supplied, while the outliers of the Vértes mountains towards the Danube are almost entirely wanting in streams, and have but few water sources. A relative scarcity in running waters prevails in the whole region between the Danube and the Drave. The greatest proportionate deficiency, however, is observable in the arenaceous region between the Danube and Theiss, where for the most part only periodical floods occur. But in the north and east of the kingdom rivers are numerous. Owing to its orographical configuration the river system of Hungary presents several characteristic features. The first consists in the parallelism in the course of its rivers, as the Danube and the Theiss, the Drave and the Save, the Waag with the Neutra and the Gran, &c. The second is the direction of the rivers, which converge towards the middle of the country, and are collected either mediately or immediately by the Danube. Only the Zsil, the Aluta and the Bodza or Buzeu pierce the Transylvanian Alps, and flow into the Danube outside Hungary. Another characteristic feature is the uneven distribution of the navigable rivers, of which Upper Hungary and Transylvania are almost completely devoid. But even the navigable rivers, owing to the direction of their course, are not available as a means of external communication. The only river communication with foreign countries is furnished by the Danube, on the one hand towards Austria and Germany, and on the other towards the Black Sea. All the rivers belong to the watershed of the Danube, with the exception of the Poprád in the north, which as an affluent of the Dunajec flows into the Vistula, and of a few small streams near the Adriatic. The Danube enters Hungary through the narrow defile called the Porta Hungarica at Dévény near Pressburg, and after a course of 585 m. leaves it at Orsova by another narrow defile, the Iron Gate. Where it enters Hungary the Danube is 400 ft. above sea-level, and where it leaves it is 127 ft.; it has thus a fall within the country of 273 ft. It forms several large islands, as the Great Schütt, called in Hungarian Czallóköz or the deceiving island, with at area of nearly 1000 sq. m.; the St Andrew’s or Szent-Endre island; the Csepel island; and the Margitta island. The principal tributaries of the Danube in Hungary, of which some are amongst the largest rivers in Europe, are, on the right, the Raab, Drave and Save, and, on the left, the Waag, Neutra, Gran, Eipel, Theiss (the principal affluent, which receives numerous tributaries), Temes and Cserna. The total length of the river system of Hungary is about 8800 m., of which only about one-third is navigable, while of the navigable part only one-half is available for steamers. The Danube is navigable for steamers throughout the whole of its course in Hungary. Regulating works have been undertaken to ward off the dangers of periodical inundations, which occur in the valley of the Danube and of the other great rivers, as the Theiss, the Drave and the Save. The beds of these rivers, as well as that of the Danube, are continually changing, forming morasses and pools, and rendering the country near their banks marshy. Notwithstanding the work already done, such as canalizing and regulating the rivers, the erection of dams, &c., the problems of preventing inundations, and of reclaiming the marshes, have not yet been satisfactorily solved.
Canals.—Hungary is poorly supplied with canals. They are constructed not only as navigable waterways, but also to relieve the rivers from periodical overflow, and to drain the marshy districts. The most important canal is the Franz Josef canal between Bécse and Bezdán, above Zombor. It is about 70 m. in length, and considerably shortens the passage between the Theiss and the Danube. A branch of this canal called Uj Csatorna or New Channel, extends from Kis-Sztapár, a few miles below Zombor, to Ujvidék, opposite Petervárad. The Béga canal runs from Temesvár to Nagy-Becskerek, and thence to Titel, where it flows into the Theiss. The Versecz and the Berzava canal, which are connected with one another, drain the numerous marshes of the Banat, including the Alibunar marsh. The Berzava canal ends in the river Temes. The Sió and the Kapos or Zichy canal between Lake Balaton and the Danube is joined by the Sárviz canal, which drains the marshes south of Sopron. The Berettyó canal between the Körös and the Berettyó rivers, and the Körös canal along the White Körös were constructed in conjunction with the regulation of the Theiss, and for the drainage of the marshy region.
Lakes and Marshes.—Hungary has two large lakes, Balaton (q.v.) or Platten-See, the largest lake of southern Europe, and Fertö or Neusiedler See. The Fertö lake lies in the counties of Moson and Sopron, not far from the town of Sopron, and is about 23 m. in length by 6 to 8 m. in breadth. It is so shallow that it completely evaporated in 1865, but has filled again since 1870, at the same time changing its configuration. It lies in the marshy district known as the Hanság, through which it is in communication with the Danube. In the neighbourhood of this lake are very good vineyards. Several other small lakes are found in the Hanság. The other lowland lakes, as, for instance, the Palics near Szabadka, and the Velencze in the county of Fehér, are much smaller. In the deep hollows between the peaks of the Carpathians are many small lakes, popularly called “eyes of the sea.” In the puszta are numerous small lakes, named generally Fehér Tó or White Lakes, because they evaporate in the summer leaving a white crust of soda on their bed. The vegetation around them contains plants characteristic of the sea shores. The largest of these lakes is the Fehér Tó situated to the north of Szeged.
As already mentioned large tracts of land on the banks of the principal rivers are occupied by marshes. Besides the Hanság, the other principal marshes are the Sárrét, which covers a considerable portion of the counties of Jász-Kun-Szolnok, Békés and Bihar; the Escedi Láp in the county of Szatmár; the Szernye near Munkács, and the Alibunár in the county of Torontál. Since the last half of the 19th century many thousands of acres have been reclaimed for agricultural purposes.
Geology.—The hilly regions of Transylvania and of the northern part of Hungary consist of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks and are closely connected, both in structure and origin, with the Carpathian chain. The great Hungarian plain is covered by Tertiary and Quaternary deposits, through which rise the Bakony-wald and the Mecsek ridge near Pécs (Fünfkirchen). These are composed chiefly of Triassic beds, but Jurassic and Cretaceous beds take some share in their formation. Amongst the most interesting features of the Bakony-wald are the volcanic and the igneous rocks.
The great plain itself is covered for the most part by loess and alluvium, but near its borders the Tertiary deposits rise to the surface. Eocene nummulitic beds occur, but the deposits are mostly of Miocene age. Five subdivisions may be recognised in the Miocene deposits, corresponding with five different stages in the evolution of southern Europe. The first is the First Mediterranean stage of E. Suess, during which the Hungarian plain was covered by the sea, and the deposits were purely marine. The next is the Schlier, a peculiar blue-grey clay, widely spread over southern Europe, and contains extensive deposits of salt and gypsum. During the formation of the Schlier the plain was covered by an inland sea or series of salt lakes, in which evaporation led to the concentration and finally to the deposition of the salts contained in the water. Towards the close of this period great earth movements took place and the gap between the Alps and the Carpathians was formed. The third period is represented by the Second Mediterranean stage of Suess, during which the sea again entered the Hungarian plain and formed true marine deposits. This was followed by the Sarmatian period, when Hungary was covered by extensive lagoons, the fauna being partly marine and partly brackish water. Finally, in the Pontian period, the lagoons became gradually less and less salt, and the deposits are characterized especially by the abundance of shells which live in brackish water, especially Congeria.
Climate.—Hungary has a continental climate—cold in winter, hot in summer—but owing to the physical configuration of the country it varies considerably. If Transylvania be excepted, three separate zones are roughly distinguishable: the “highland,” comprising the counties in the vicinity of the Northern and Eastern Carpathians, where the winters are very severe and continue for half the year; the “intermediate” zone, embracing the country stretching northwards from the Drave and Mur, with the Little Hungarian Plain, and the region of the Upper Alföld, extending from Budapest to Nyiregyháza and Sárospatak; and the “great lowland” zone, including the main portion of the Great Hungarian Plain, and the region of the lower Danube, where the heat during the summer months is almost tropical. In Transylvania the climate bears the extreme characteristics peculiar to mountainous countries interspersed with valleys; whilst the climate of the districts bordering on the Adriatic is modified by the neighbourhood of the sea. The minimum of the temperature is attained in January and the maximum in July. The rainfall in Hungary, except in the mountainous regions, is small in comparison with that of Austria. In these regions the greatest fall is during the summer, though in some years the autumn showers are heavier. Hail storms are of frequent occurrence in the Carpathians. On the plains rain rarely falls during the heats of summer; and the showers though violent are generally of short duration, whilst the moisture is quickly evaporated owing to the aridity of the atmosphere. The vast sandy wastes mainly contribute to the dryness of the winds on the Great Hungarian Alföld. Occasionally, the whole country suffers much from drought; but disastrous floods not unfrequently occur, particularly in the spring, when the beds of the rivers are inadequate to contain the increased volume of water caused by the rapid melting of the snows on the Carpathians. On the whole Hungary is a healthy country, excepting in the marshy tracts, where intermittent fever and diphtheria sometimes occur with great virulence.
The following table gives the mean temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall (including snow) at a series of meteorological stations during the years 1896–1900:—
Fauna.—The horned cattle of Hungary are amongst the finest in Europe, and large herds of swine are reared in the oak forests. The wild animals are bears, wolves, foxes, lynxes, wild cats, badgers, otters, martens, stoats and weasels. Among the rodents there are hares, marmots, beavers, squirrels, rats and mice, the last in enormous swarms. Of the larger game the chamois and deer are specially noticeable. Among the birds are the vulture, eagle, falcon, buzzard, kite, lark, nightingale, heron, stork and bustard. Domestic and wild fowl are generally abundant. The rivers and lakes yield enormous quantities of fish, and leeches also are plentiful. The Theiss, once better supplied with fish than any other river in Europe, has for many years fallen off in its productiveness. The culture of the silkworm is chiefly carried on in the south, and in Croatia-Slavonia.
Flora.—Almost every description of grain is found, especially wheat and maize, besides Turkish pepper or paprika, rape-seed, hemp and flax, beans, potatoes and root crops. Fruits of various descriptions, and more particularly melons and stone fruits, are abundant. In the southern districts almonds, figs, rice and olives are grown. Amongst the forest and other trees are the oak, which yields large quantities of galls, the beech, fir, pine, ash and alder, also the chestnut, walnut and filbert. The vine is cultivated over the greater part of Hungary, the chief grape-growing districts being those of the Hegyalja (Tokaj), Sopron, and Ruszt, Ménes, Somlyó (Schomlau), Béllye and Villány, Balaton, Neszmély, Visonta, Eger (Erlau) and Buda. Hungary is one of the greatest wine-producing countries in Europe, and the quality of some of the vintages, especially that of Tokaj, is unsurpassed. A great quantity of tobacco is also grown; it is wholly monopolized by the crown. In Hungary proper and in Croatia and Slavonia there are many species of indigenous plants, which are unrepresented in Transylvania. Besides 12 species peculiar to the former grand-principality, 14 occur only there and in Siberia.
Population.—Hungary had in 1900 a population of 19,254,559, equivalent to 153.7 inhabitants per square mile. The great Alföld and the western districts are the most densely populated parts, whereas the northern and eastern mountainous counties are sparsely inhabited. As regards sex, for every 1000 men there were 1011 women in Hungary, and 998 women in Croatia-Slavonia. The excess of females over males is great in the western and northern counties, while in the eastern parts and in Croatia-Slavonia there is at slight preponderance of males.
The population of the country at the censuses of 1880, 1890 and 1900 was:—
From 1870 to 1880 there was little increase of population, owing to the great cholera epidemic of 1872–1873, and to many epidemic diseases among children towards the end of the period. More normal conditions having prevailed from 1880 to 1890, the yearly increase rose from 0.13% to 1.09%, declining in the decade 1890–1900 to 1.03.
If compared with the first general census of the country, decreed by Joseph II. in 1785, the population of the kingdom shows an increase of nearly 108% during these 116 years. Recent historical research has ascertained that the country was densely peopled in the 15th century. Estimates, based on a census of the tax-paying peasantry in the years 1494 and 1495, give five millions of inhabitants, a very respectable number, which explains fully the predominant position of Hungary in the east of Europe at that epoch. The disastrous invasion of the Turks, incessant civil wars and devastation by foreign armies and pestilence, caused a very heavy loss both of population and of prosperity. In 1715 and 1720, when the land was again free from Turkish hordes and peace was restored, the population did not exceed three millions. Then immigration began to fill the deserted plains once more, and by 1785 the population had trebled itself. But as the immigrants were of very different foreign nationalities, the country became a collection of heterogeneous ethnical elements, amid which the ruling Magyar race formed only a minority.
The most serious drain on the population is caused by emigration, due partly to the grinding poverty of the mass of the peasants, partly to the resentment of the subject races against the process of “Magyarization” to which they have long been subjected by the government. This movement reached its height in 1900, when 178,170 people left the country; in 1906 the number had sunk to 169,202, of whom 47,920 were women. Altogether, since 1896 Hungary has lost about a million of its inhabitants through this cause, a serious source of weakness in a sparsely populated country; in 1907 an attempt was made by the Hungarian parliament to restrict emigration by law. The flow of emigration is mainly to the United States, and a certain number of the emigrants return (27,612 in 1906) bringing with them much wealth, and Americanized views which have a considerable effect on the political situation. Of political importance also is the steady immigration of Magyar peasants and workmen into Croatia-Slavonia, where they become rapidly absorbed into the Croat population. From the Transylvanian counties there is an emigration to Rumania and the Balkan territories of 4000 or 5000 persons yearly.
This great emigration movement is the more serious in view of the very slow increase of the population through excess of births over deaths. The birth-rate is indeed high (40.2 in 1897), but with the spread of culture it is tending to decline (38.4 in 1902), and its effect is counteracted largely by the appalling death-rate, which exceeds that of any other European country except Russia.
In this respect, however, matters are improving, the death-rate sinking from 33.1 per thousand in 1881–1885 to 28.1 per thousand in 1896–1900. The improvement, which is mainly due to better sanitation and the draining of the pestilential marshes, is most conspicuous in the case of Hungary proper, which shows the following figures: 33.3 per thousand in 1881–1885, and 27.8 per thousand in 1896–1900.
At the census of 1900 fifteen towns had more than 40,000 inhabitants, namely: Budapest, 732,322; Szeged, 100,270; Szabadka (Maria-Theresiopel), 81,464; Debreczen, 72,351; Pozsony (Pressburg), 61,537; Hódmezö-Vásárhely, 60,824; Zágráb (Agram), 61,002; Kecskemét, 56,786; Arad, 53,903; Temesvár, 53,033; Nagyvárad (Grosswardein), 47,018; Kolozsvár (Klausenburg), 46,670; Pécs (Fünfkirchen), 42,252; Miskolcz, 40,833; Kassa, 35,856.
The number and aggregate population of all towns and boroughs in Hungary proper having in 1890 more than 10,000 inhabitants was at the censuses of 1880, 1890 and 1900:—
Thus the relative increase of the population living in urban districts of more than 10,000 inhabitants amounted in 1900 to nearly 4% of the total population. In Croatia-Slavonia only 5.62% of the population was concentrated in such towns in 1900.
Races.—One of the prominent features of Hungary being the great complexity of the races residing in it (see map, “Distribution of Races,” in the article Austria), the census returns of 1880, 1890 and 1900, exhibiting the numerical strength of the different nationalities, are of great interest. Classifying the population according to the mother-tongue of each individual, there were, in the civil population of Hungary proper, including Fiume:—
|Census. ||Hungarians |
|i.e. in percentages of the total population:|
The censuses show a decided tendency of change in favour of the dominating nationality, the Magyar, which reached an absolute majority in the decade 1890–1900. This is also shown by the data relating to the percentage of members of other Hungarian races speaking this language. Thus in 1900 out of a total civil population of 8,132,740, whose mother-tongue is not Magyar, 1,365,764 could speak Magyar. This represents a percentage of 16.8, while in 1890 the percentage was only 13.8. In Croatia-Slavonia the language of instruction and administration being exclusively Croat, the other races tend to be absorbed in this nationality. The Magyars formed but 3.8%, the Germans 5.6% of the population according to the census of 1900.
The various races of Hungary are distributed either in compact ethnographical groups, in larger or smaller colonies surrounded by other nationalities, or—e.g. in the Banat—so intermingled as to defy exact definition. The Magyars occupy almost exclusively the great central plain intersected by the Danube and the Theiss, being in an overwhelming majority in 19 counties (99.7% in Hajdu, east of the Theiss). With these may be grouped the kindred population of the three Szekel counties of Transylvania. In 14 other counties, on the linguistic frontier, they are either in a small majority or a considerable minority (61.6% in Szatmár, 18.9% in Torontál). The Germans differ from the other Hungarian races in that, save in the counties on the borders of Lower Austria and Styria, where they form a compact population in touch with their kin across the frontier, they are scattered in racial islets throughout the country. Excluding the above counties these settlements form three groups: (1) central and northern Hungary, where they form considerable minorities in seven counties (25% in Szepes, 7% in Komárom); (2) the Swabians of southern Hungary, also fairly numerous in seven counties (35.5% in Baranya, 32.9% in Temes, 10.5% in Arad); (3) the Saxons of Transylvania, in a considerable minority in five counties (42.7% in Nagy Küküllö, 17.6% in Kis Küküllö). The Germans are most numerous in the towns, and tend to become absorbed in the Magyar population. The Slavs, the most numerous race after the Magyars, are divided into several groups: the Slovaks, mainly massed in the mountainous districts of northern Hungary; the Ruthenians, established mainly on the slopes of the Carpathians between Poprád and Máramaros Sziget; the Serbs, settled in the south of Hungary from the bend of the Danube eastwards across the Theiss into the Banat; the Croats, overwhelmingly preponderant in Croatia-Slavonia, with outlying settlements in the counties of Zala, Vas and Sopron along the Croatian and Styrian frontier. Of these the Slovaks are the most important, having an overwhelming majority in seven counties (94.7% in Árva, 66.1% in Sâros), a bare majority in three (Szepes, Bars and Poszody) and a considerable minority in five (40.6% in Gömör, 22.9% in Abauj-Torna). The Ruthenians are not in a majority in any county, but in four they form a minority of from 36 to 46% (Máramaros, Bereg, Ugocsa, Ung) and in three others (Sâros, Zemplén, Szepes) a minority of from 8.2 to 19.7%. The Serbs form considerable minorities in the counties of Torontál (31.2%), Bács-Bodrog (19.0%) and Temes (21.4%). Next to the Slav races in importance are the Rumanians (Vlachs), who are in an immense majority in ten of the eastern and south-eastern counties (90.2% in Fogaras), in eight others form from 30 to 60% of the population, and in two (Máramaros and Torontál) a respectable minority.
The Jews in 1900 numbered 851,378, not counting the very great number who have become Christians, who are reckoned as Magyars. Their importance is out of all proportion to their number, since they monopolize a large portion of the trade, are with the Germans the chief employers of labour, and control not only the finances but to a great extent the government and press of the country. Owing to the improvidence of the Hungarian landowners and the poverty of the peasants the soil of the country is also gradually passing into their hands.
The Gipsies, according to the special census of 1893, numbered 274,940. Of these, however, only 82,000 gave Romany as their language, while 104,000 described themselves as Magyars and 67,000 as Rumanians. They are scattered in small colonies, especially in Gömör county and in Transylvania. Only some 9000 are still nomads, while some 20,000 more are semi-nomads. Other races, which are not numerous, are Armenians, Greeks, Bulgars, Albanians and Italians.
The ethnographical map of Hungary does much to explain the political problems of the country. The central plains, which have the most fertile soil, and from the geographical conditions of the country form its centre of gravity, are occupied almost exclusively by the Magyars, the most numerous and the dominant race. But all round these, as far as the frontiers, the country is inhabited by the other races, which, as a rule, occupy it in large, compact and uniform ethnographical groups. The only exception is formed by the Banat, where Magyars, Rumanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Croats and Germans live mixed together. Another important fact is that these races are all in direct contact with kindred peoples living outside Hungary: the Rumanians in Transylvania and Banat with those in Rumania and Bukovina; the Serbs and Croats with those on the other bank of the Danube, the Save and the Unna; the Germans in western Hungary with those in Upper Austria and Styria; the Slovaks in northern Hungary with those in Moravia; and lastly the Ruthenians with the Ruthenians of Galicia, who occupy the opposite slopes of the Carpathians. The centrifugal forces within the Hungarian kingdom are thus increased by the attraction of kindred nationalities established beyond its borders, a fact which is of special importance in considering the vexed and difficult racial problem in Hungary.
Agriculture.—Hungary is pre-eminently an agricultural country and one of the principal wheat-growing regions of Europe. At the census of 1900 nearly 69% of the total population of the country derived their income from agriculture, forestry, horticulture and other agricultural pursuits. The agricultural census taken in 1895 shows the great progress made in agriculture by Hungary, manifested by the increase in arable lands and the growth of the average production. The increase of the arable land has been effected partly by the reclamation of the marshes, but mostly by the transformation of large tracts of puszta (waste prairie land) into arable land. This latter process is growing every year, and is coupled with great improvements in agricultural methods, such as more intensive cultivation, the use of the most modern implements and the application of scientific discoveries. According to the agricultural census of 1895, the main varieties of land are distributed as follows:—
|By area in acres—|
|By percentage of the total area—|
The remainder, such as barren territory, devastated vineyards, water and area of buildings, amounts to 5.1% of the total.
The chief agricultural products of Hungary are wheat, rye, barley, oats and maize, the acreage and produce of which are shown inthe following tables:—
|Cereal.||Average per Annum.||1900.||1907.|
|Cereal.||Average per Annum.||1900.||1907.|
In Croatia-Slavonia no crop statistics were compiled before 1885. Subsequent returns for maize and wheat show an increase both in the area cultivated and quantity yielded. The former is the principal product of this province. Certain districts are distinguished for particular kinds of fruit, which form an important article of commerce both for inland consumption and for export. The principal of these fruits are: apricots round Kecskemét, cherries round Körös, melons in the Alföld and plums in Croatia-Slavonia. The vineyards of Hungary, which have suffered greatly by the phylloxera since 1881, show since 1900 a tendency to recover ground, and their area is again slowly increasing.
Forests.—Of the productive area of Hungary 26.60% is occupied by forests, which for the most part cover the slopes of the Carpathians. Nearly half of them belong to the state, and in them forestry has been carried out on a scientific basis since 1879. The exploitation of this great source of wealth is still hindered by want of proper means of communication, but in many parts of Transylvania it is now carried on successfully. The forests are chiefly composed of oak, fir, pine, ash and alder.
Live Stock.—The number of live stock in Hungary proper in two different years is shown in the following table:—
In Croatia-Slavonia the live stock was numbered in 1895 at: horses, 309,098; cattle, 908,774; sheep, 595,898; pigs, 882,957. But the improved quality of the live stock is more worthy of notice than the growth in numbers.
The small Magyar horse, once famous for its swiftness and endurance, was improved during the Turkish wars, so far as height and beauty were concerned, by being crossed with Arabs; but it degenerated after the 17th century as the result of injudicious cross-breeding. The breed has, however, been since improved by government action, the establishment of state studs supported since 1867 by annual parliamentary grants, and the importation especially of English stock. The largest of the studs is that at Mezöhegyes (founded 1785) in the county of Csanád, the most extensive and remarkable of those “economies,” model farms on a gigantic scale, which the government has established on its domains. In 1905 it had 2224 horses, including 27 stallions and 422 blood mares. The next most important stud is at Kisber (founded 1853), with 731 horses; others are at Babolna (founded 1798), with 802 horses, and Fogaras (founded 1874), with 400 horses. Besides these there are several large depôts of state stallions, which are hired out or sold at moderate rates; but buyers have to guarantee not to export them without permission of the government. Large numbers of horses are exported annually, principally to Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Rumania.
Owing to its wide stretches of pasture-land Hungary is admirably suited for cattle-raising, and in the government “economies” the same care has been bestowed on improving the breed of horned beasts as in the case of horses. The principal breeds are either native or Swiss (especially that of Simmenthal). The export trade in cattle is considerable, amounting in 1905 to 238,296 head of oxen, 56,540 cows, 23,765 bulls and 19,643 breeding cattle, as well as a large number of carcases.
Sheep are not stocked so extensively as cattle, and are tending rapidly to decrease, a result due to the spread of intensive cultivation and the rise in value of the soil. They are not exported, but there is a considerable export trade in wool.
Pigs are reared in large quantities all over the country, but the principal centres for distribution are Debreczen, Gyula, Barcs, Szeged and Budapest. They are exported in large numbers (408,000 in 1905), almost exclusively to Austria. There is also a considerable export trade in geese and eggs.
Minerals.—Hungary is one of the richest countries in Europe as regards both the variety and the extent of its mineral wealth. Its chief mineral products are coal, nitre, sulphur, alum, soda, saltpetre, gypsum, porcelain-earth, pipe-clay, asphalt, petroleum, marble and ores of gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, lead, zinc, antimony, cobalt and arsenic. The principal mining regions are Zsepes-Gömör in Upper Hungary, the Kremnitz-Schemnitz district, the Nagybánya district, the Transylvanian deposits and the Banat. Gold and silver are chiefly found in Transylvania, where their exploitation dates back to the Roman period, and are mined at Zalatna and Abrudbánya; rich deposits are also found in the Kremnitz-Schemnitz, and the Nagybánya districts. The average yearly yield of gold is about £100,000, and that of silver about the same amount. The sand of some of the rivers, as for instance the Maros, Szamos, Körös and Aranyos, is auriferous. Coal is extensively mined in the region of Budapest-Oravicza, Nagybánya, Zalatna, at Brennberg near Sopron, at Salgó-Tarján, Pécs, in the counties of Krassó-Szörény, and of Esztergom, and in the valley of the river Zsil. Iron is extracted in the counties of Zsepes, Gömör and Abauj-Torna. The production of coal and iron trebled during the period 1880–1900, amounting in 1900 to 6,600,000 tons, and 463,000 tons respectively. The principal salt-mines are in Transylvania at Torda, Parajd, Deésakna and Marós-Ujvár; and in Hungary at Szlatina, Rónazsék and Sugatag. The salt-mines are a state monopoly. Hungary is the only country in Europe where the opal is found, namely at the famous mines of Vörösvágás in the county of Sáros, and at Nagy-Mihály in that of Zemplin. Other precious stones found are chalcedony, garnet, jacinth, amethyst, carnelian, agate, rock-crystals, &c. Amber is found at Magura in Zsepes, while fine marble quarries are found in the counties of Esztergom, Komárom, Veszprém and Szepes. The value of the mining (except salt) and smelting production in Hungary amounted in 1900 to £4,500,000, while in 1877 the value was only £1,500,000. The number of persons employed in mining and smelting works was (1900 census) 70,476.
Mineral Springs.—Hungary possesses a great number of cold, and several hot mineral springs, some of them being greatly frequented. Among the principal in Hungary proper except Transylvania are those of Budapest, Mehádia, Eger, Sztubnya (Turócz county), Szliács (Zólyom county), Harkány (Baránya county), Pistyán (Nyitra county) and Trencsén-Teplitz, where there are hot springs. Cold mineral springs are at Bártfa, with alkaline ferruginous waters; Czigelka, with iodate waters; Parád, with ferruginous and sulphate springs; Koritnicza or Korytnica, with strong iron springs; and the mineral springs of Budapest. Among the principal health resorts of Hungary are Tátrafüred in the Tátra mountains, and Balatonfüred on the shores of Lake Balaton.
Industrial Development.—Efforts to create a native industry date only from 1867, and, considering the shortness of the time and other adverse factors, such as scarcity of capital, lack of means of communication, the development of industry in the neighbouring state of Austria, &c., the industry of Hungary has made great strides. Much of this progress is due to the state, one of the principal aims of the Hungarian government being the creation of a large and independent native industry. For this purpose legislation was promoted in 1867, 1881, 1890 and 1907. The principal facilities granted by the state are, exemption of taxation for a determined period of years, reduced railway fares for the goods manufactured, placing of government contracts, the grant of subsidies and loans and the foundation of industrial schools for the training of engineers and of skilled workmen. The branches of industry which have received special encouragement are those whose products are in universal request, such as cotton and woollen goods, and those which are in the service of natural production. In this category are the manufacture of agricultural machines, of tools and implements for agriculture, forestry and mining; such industries as depend for their raw material on the exploitation of the natural resources of the country, viz. those related to agriculture, forestry, mining, &c. Lastly, encouragement is given to all branches of industry concerned with the manufacture of articles used in the more important Hungarian industries, i.e. machinery, or semi-manufactured goods which serve as raw material for those industries. For the period 1890–1905, an average of 40 to 50 industrial establishments with an invested capital of £1,250,000 to £1,750,000 were founded yearly.
The principal industry of Hungary is flour-milling. The number of steam-mills, which in 1867 was about 150, rose to 1723 in 1895 and to 1845 in 1905. Between 3,000,000 and 3,200,000 tons of wheat-flour are produced annually. The principal steam-mills are at Budapest; large steam-mills are also established in many towns, while there are a great number of water-mills and some wind-mills. The products of these mills form the principal article of export of Hungary. Brewing and distilling, as other branches of industry connected with agriculture, are also greatly developed. The sugar industry has made great strides, the amount of beetroot used having increased tenfold between 1880 and 1905. Other principal branches of industry are: tobacco manufactories, belonging to the state, tobacco being a government monopoly; iron foundries, mostly in the mining region; agricultural machinery and implements, notably at Budapest; leather manufactures; paper-mills, the largest at Fiume; glass (only the more common sort) and earthenwares; chemicals; wooden products; petroleum-refineries; woollen yarns and cloth manufactories, as well as several establishments of knitting and weaving. The various industrial establishments are located in the larger towns, but principally at Budapest, the only real industrial town of Hungary.
In 1900 the various industries of Hungary (including Croatia-Slavonia) employed 1,127,730 persons, or 12.8% of the earning population. In 1890 the number of persons employed was 913,010. Including families and domestic servants, 2,605,000 persons or 13.5% of the total population were dependent on industries for their livelihood in Hungary in 1900.
Commerce.—Hungary forms together with Austria one customs and commercial territory, and the statistics for the foreign trade is given under Austria-Hungary. The following table gives the foreign trade of Hungary only for a period of years in millions sterling:—
Of the merchandise entering the country, 75-80% comes from Austria, and exports go to the same country to the extent of 75%. Next comes Germany with about 10% of the value of the total exports and 5% of that of imports. The neighbouring Balkan states—Rumania and Servia—follow, and the United Kingdom receives somewhat more than 2% of the exports, while supplying about 1.5% of the imports. The principal imports are: cotton goods, woollen manufactures; apparel, haberdashery and linen; silk manufactures; leather and leather goods. The exports, which show plainly the prevailing agricultural character of the country, are flour, wheat, cattle, beef, barley, pigs, wine in barrels, horses and maize.
With but a short stretch of sea-coast, and possessing only one important seaport, Fiume, the mercantile marine of Hungary is not very developed. It consisted in 1905 of 434 vessels with a tonnage of 91,784 tons and with crews of 2359 persons. Of these 95 vessels with a tonnage of 89,161 tons were steamers. Fifty-four vessels with 84,844 tons and crews numbering 1168 persons were sea-going; 134 with 6587 tons were coasting-vessels, and 246 with 353 tons were fishing vessels.
At all the Hungarian ports in 1900 there entered 19,223 vessels of 2,223,302 tons; cleared 19,218 vessels of 2,226,733 tons. The tonnage of British steamers amounted to somewhat more than 11% of the total tonnage of steamers entered and cleared.
Railways.—Hungary is covered by a fairly extensive network of railways, although in the sparsely populated parts of the kingdom the high road is still the only means of communication. The first railway in Hungary was the line between Budapest and Vácz (Waitzen), 20 m. long, opened in 1846 (15th of July). After the Compromise of 1867, the policy of the Hungarian government was to construct its own railways, and to take over the lines constructed and worked by private companies. In 1907 the total length of the Hungarian railways, in which over £145,000,000 had been invested, was 12,100 m., of which 5000 m. belonged to and were worked by the state, 5100 m. belonged to private companies but were worked by the state, and 2000 m. belonged to and were worked by private companies. The passengers carried in 1907 numbered 107,171,000, the goods traffic was 61,483,000 tons; the traffic receipts for the year were £16,420,000. The corresponding figures for 1880 were as follows: passengers carried, 9,346,000; goods carried, 11,225,000 tons; traffic receipts, £4,300,000. The so-called zone tariff, adopted for the first time in Europe by the Hungarian state railways, was inaugurated in 1889 for passengers and in 1891 for goods. The principle of this system is to offer cheap fares and relatively low tariffs for greater distances, and to promote, therefore, long-distance travelling. The zone tariff has given a great impetus both to passenger and goods traffic in Hungary, and has been adopted on some of the Austrian railways.
In 1907 the length of the navigable waterways of Hungary was 3200 m., of which 2450 m. were navigable by steamers.
Seaports.—On the Adriatic lies the port of Fiume (q.v.), the only direct outlet by sea for the produce of Hungary. Its commanding position at the head of the Gulf of Quarnero, and spacious new harbour works, as also its immediate connexions with both the Austrian and Hungarian railway systems, render it specially advantageous as a commercial port. As shipping stations, Buccari, Portoré, Selče, Novi, Zengg, San Giorgio, Jablanac and Carlopago are of comparative insignificance. The whole of the short Hungarian seaboard is mountainous and subject to violent winds.
Government.—Hungary is a constitutional monarchy, its monarch bearing the title of king. The succession to the throne is hereditary in the order of primogeniture in the male line of the house of Habsburg-Lorraine; and failing this, in the female line. The king must be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. The king of Hungary is also emperor of Austria, but beyond this personal union, and certain matters regulated by both governments jointly (see Austria-Hungary), the two states are independent of each other, having each its own constitution, legislature and administration. The king is the head of the executive, the supreme commander of the armed forces of the nation, and shares the legislative power with the parliament.
The constitution of Hungary is in many respects strikingly analogous to that of Great Britain, more especially in the fact that it is based on no written document but on immemorial prescription, confirmed or modified by a series of enactments, of which the earliest and most famous was the Golden Bull of Andrew III. (1222), the Magna Carta of Hungary. The ancient constitution, often suspended and modified, based upon this charter, was reformed under the influence of Western Liberalism in 1848, the supremacy of the Magyar race, however, being secured by a somewhat narrow franchise. Suspended after the collapse of the Hungarian revolt in 1849 for some eighteen years, the constitution was restored in 1867 under the terms of the Compromise (Ausgleich) with Austria, which established the actual organization of the country (see History, below).
The legislative power is vested in the parliament (Országgyülés), which consists of two houses: an upper house or the House of Magnates (Förendiház), and a lower house or House of Representatives (Képviselöház). The House of Magnates is composed as follows: princes of the royal house who have attained their majority (16 in 1904); hereditary peers who pay at least £250 a year land tax (237 in 1904); high dignitaries of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches (42 in 1904); representatives of the Protestant confessions (13 in 1904); life peers appointed by the crown, not exceeding 50 in number, and life peers elected by the house itself (73 altogether in 1904); members ex officio consisting of state dignitaries and high judges (19 in 1904); and three delegates of Croatia-Slavonia. The House of Representatives consists of members elected, under the Electoral Law of 1874, by a complicated franchise based upon property, taxation, profession or official position, and ancestral privileges. The house consists of 453 members, of which 413 are deputies elected in Hungary and 43 delegates of Croatia-Slavonia sent by the parliament of that province. The members are elected for five years and receive payment for their services. The parliament is summoned annually by the king at Budapest. The official language is Magyar, but the delegates of Croatia-Slavonia may use their own language. The Hungarian parliament has power to legislate on all matters concerning Hungary, but for Croatia-Slavonia only on matters which concern these provinces in common with Hungary. The executive power is vested in a responsible cabinet, consisting of ten ministers, namely, the president of the council, the minister of the interior, of national defence, of education and public worship, of finance, of agriculture, of industry and commerce, of justice, the minister for Croatia-Slavonia, and the minister ad latus or near the king’s person. As regards local government, the country is divided into municipalities or counties, which possess a certain amount of self-government. Hungary proper is divided into sixty-three rural, and—including Fiume—twenty-six urban municipalities (see section on Administrative Divisions). These urban municipalities are towns which for their local government are independent of the counties in which they are situated, and have, therefore, a larger amount of municipal autonomy than the communes or the other towns. The administration of the municipalities is carried on by an official appointed by the king, aided by a representative body. The representative body is composed half of elected members, and half of citizens who pay the highest taxes. Since 1876 each municipality has a council of twenty members to exercise control over its administration.
Administrative Divisions.—Since 1867 the administrative and political divisions of the lands belonging to the Hungarian crown have been in great measure remodelled. In 1868 Transylvania was definitely reunited to Hungary proper, and the town and district of Fiume declared autonomous. In 1873 part of the “Military Frontier” was united with Hungary proper and part with Croatia-Slavonia. Hungary proper, according to ancient usage, was generally divided into four great divisions or circles, and Transylvania up to 1876 was regarded as the fifth. In 1876 a general system of counties was introduced. According to this division Hungary proper is divided into seven circles, of which Transylvania forms one. The whole country is divided into the following counties:—
(a) The circle, on the left bank of the Danube contains eleven counties: (1) Árva, (2) Bars, (3) Esztergom, (4) Hont, (5) Liptó, (6) Nógrád, (7) Nyitra, (8) Pozsony (Pressburg), (9) Trencsén, (10) Turócz and (11) Zólyom.
(b) The circle on the right bank of the Danube contains eleven counties: Baranya, Fejér, Györ, Komárom, Moson, Somogy, Sopron, Tolna, Vas, Veszprém and Zala.
(c) The circle between the Danube and Theiss contains five counties: Bács-Bodrog, Csongrád, Heves, Jász-Nagykún-Szolnok and Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun.
(d) The circle on the right bank of the Theiss contains eight counties: Abauj-Torna, Bereg, Borsod, Gömör-és Kis-Hont, Sáros, Szepes, Ung, Zemplén.
(e) The circle on the left bank of the Theiss contains eight counties: Békés, Bihar, Hajdu, Máramaros, Szabolcs, Szatmár, Szilágy and Ugocsa.
(f) The circle between the Theiss and the Maros contains five counties: Arad, Csanád, Krassó-Szörény, Temes and Torontál.
(g) Transylvania contains fifteen counties: Alsó-Fehér, Besztercze-Naszód, Brassó, Csík, Fogaras, Háromszék, Hunyad, Kis-Küküllö, Kolozs, Maros-Torda, Nagy-Küküllö, Szeben, Szolnok-Doboka, Torda-Aranyos and Udvarhely.
Fiume town and district forms a separate division.
Croatia-Slavonia is divided into eight counties: Belovar-Körös, Lika-Krbava, Modrus-Fiume, Pozsega, Szerém, Varasd, Veröcze and Zágráb.
Besides these sixty-three rural counties for Hungary, and eight for Croatia-Slavonia, Hungary has twenty-six urban counties or towns with municipal rights. These are: Arad, Baja, Debreczen, Györ, Hódmezö-Vásárhely, Kassa, Kecskemét, Kolozsvár, Komaróm, Maros-Vásárhely, Nagyvárad, Pancsova, Pécs, Pozsony, Selmecz-és Bélabánya, Sopron, Szabadka, Szatmár-Németi, Szeged, Székesfehérvár, Temesvár, Újvidék, Versecz, Zombor, the town of Fiume, and Budapest, the capital of the county.
In Croatia-Slavonia there are four urban counties or towns with municipal rights namely: Eszék, Varasd, Zágráb and Zimony.
Justice.—The judicial power is independent of the administrative power. The judicial authorities in Hungary are: (1) the district courts with single judges (458 in 1905); (2) the county courts with collegiate judgeships (76 in number); to these are attached 15 jury courts for press offences. These are courts of first instance. (3) Royal Tables (12 in number), which are courts of second instance, established at Budapest, Debreczen, Györ, Kassa, Kolozsvár, Maros-Vásárhely, Nagyvárad, Pécs, Pressburg, Szeged, Temesvár and Zágráb. (4) The Royal Supreme Court at Budapest, and the Supreme Court of Justice, or Table of Septemvirs, at Zágráb, which are the highest judicial authorities. There are also a special commercial court at Budapest, a naval court at Fiume, and special army courts.
Finance.—After the revolution of 1848–1849 the Hungarian budget was amalgamated with the Austrian, and it was only after the Compromise of 1867 that Hungary received a separate budget. The development of the Hungarian kingdom can be better appreciated by a comparison of the estimates for the year 1849 prepared by the Hungarian minister of finance, which shows a revenue of £1,335,000 and an expenditure of £5,166,000 (including £3,500,000 for warlike purposes), with the budget of 1905, which shows a revenue of £51,583,000, and an expenditure of about the same sum. Owing to the amount spent on railways, the Fiume harbour works and other causes, the Hungarian budgets after 1867 showed big annual deficits, until in 1888 great reforms were introduced and the finances of the country were established on a more solid basis. During the years 1891–1895 the annual revenue was £42,100,000 and the expenditure £39,000,000; in 1900 the revenue and expenditure balanced themselves at £45,400,000. The following figures in later years are typical:—
The ordinary revenue of the state is derived from direct and indirect taxation, monopolies, stamp dues, &c. In 1904 direct taxes amounted to £9,048,000, and the chief heads of direct taxes yielded as follows: ground tax, £2,317,000; trade tax, £1,879,000; income tax, £1,400,000; house tax, £1,000,000. Indirect taxes amounted in 1904 to £7,363,000, and the chief heads of indirect taxation yielded as follows: taxes on alcoholic drinks, £4,375,000; sugar tax, £1,292,000; petroleum tax, £418,000; meat tax, £375,000. The principal monopolies yielded as follows: salt monopoly, £1,210,000; tobacco monopoly, £2,850,000; lottery monopoly, £105,000. Other revenues yielded as follows: stamp taxes and dues, £3,632,000; state railways, £3,545,000; post and telegraphs, £710,000; state landed property and forests, £250,000.
The national debt of Hungary alone, excluding the debt incurred jointly by both members of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, was £192,175,000 at the end of 1903. The following table shows the growth of the total debt, due chiefly to expenditure on public works, in millions sterling:—
Religion.—There is in Hungary just as great a variety of religious confessions as there is of nationalities and of languages. None of them possesses an overwhelming majority, but perfect equality is granted to all religious creeds legally recognized. According to the census returns of 1900 in Hungary proper there were:—
|Per Cent. of Population.|
|Augsburg confession, or Lutherans||1,258,860||or||7.48|
|Helvetian confession, or Calvinists||2,427,232||or||14.41|
In many instances nationality and religious faith are conterminous. Thus the Servians are mostly Greek Orthodox; the Ruthenians are Uniat Greeks; the Rumanians are either Greek Orthodox or Greek Uniats; the Slovaks are Lutherans; the only other Lutherans are the Germans in Transylvania and in the Zsepes county. The Calvinists are composed mostly of Magyars, so that in the country the Lutherans are designated as the “German Church,” and the Calvinists as the “Hungarian Church.” The Unitarians are all Magyars. Only to the Roman Catholic Church belong several nationalities. The Roman Catholic Church has 4 archbishops; Esztergom (Gran), Kalocsa, Eger (Erlau) and Zágráb (Agram), and 17 diocesan bishops; to the latter must be added the chief abbot of Pannonhalma, who likewise enjoys episcopal rights. The primate is the archbishop of Esztergom, who also bears the title of prince, and whose special privilege it is to crown the sovereigns of Hungary. The Greek Uniat Church owns besides the archbishop of Esztergom the archbishop of Gyulafehérvár (Carlsburg), or rather Balásfalva (i.e. “the city of Blasius”), and 6 bishops. The Armenian Uniat Church is partly under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic bishop of Transylvania, and partly under that of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Kalocsa. The Orthodox Eastern Church in Hungary is subject to the authority of the metropolitan of Carlowitz and the archbishop of Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt); under the former are the bishops of Bács, Buda, Temesvár, Versecz and Pakrácz, and under the latter the bishops of Arad and Karánsebes. The two great Protestant communities are divided into ecclesiastical districts, five for each; the heads of these districts bear the title of superintendents. The Unitarians, chiefly resident in Transylvania, are under the authority of a bishop, whose see is Kolozsvár (Klausenburg). The Jewish communities are comprised in ecclesiastical districts, the head direction being at Budapest.
Education.—Although great improvements have been effected in the educational system of the country since 1867, Hungary is still backward in the matter of general education, as in 1900 only a little over 50% of the population could read and write. Before 1867 public instruction was entirely in the hands of the clergy of the various confessions, as is still the case with the majority of the primary and secondary schools. One of the first measures of newly established Hungarian government was to provide supplementary schools of a non-denominational character. By a law passed in 1868 attendance at school is obligatory on all children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. The communes or parishes are bound to maintain elementary schools, and they are entitled to levy an additional tax of 5% on the state taxes for their maintenance. But the number of state-aided elementary schools is continually increasing, as the spread of the Magyar language to the other races through the medium of the elementary schools is one of the principal concerns of the Hungarian government, and is vigorously pursued. In 1902 there were in Hungary 18,729 elementary schools with 32,020 teachers, attended by 2,573,377 pupils, figures which compare favourably with those of 1877, when there were 15,486 schools with 20,717 teachers, attended by 1,559,636 pupils. In about 61% of these schools the language used was exclusively Magyar, in about 20% it was mixed, and in the remainder some non-Magyar language was used. In 1902, 80.56% of the children of school age actually attended school. Since 1891 infant schools, for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years, have been maintained either by the communes or by the state.
The public instruction of Hungary contains three other groups of educational institutions: middle or secondary schools, “high schools” and technical schools. The middle schools comprise classical schools (gymnasia) which are preparatory for the universities and other “high schools,” and modern schools (Realschulen) preparatory for the technical schools. Their course of study is generally eight years, and they are maintained mostly by the state. The state-maintained gymnasia are mostly of recent foundation, but some schools maintained by the various churches have been in existence for three, or sometimes four, centuries. The number of middle schools in 1902 was 243 with 4705 teachers, attended by 71,788 pupils; in 1880 their number was 185, attended by 40,747 pupils.
The high schools include the universities, of which Hungary possesses three, all maintained by the state: at Budapest (founded in 1635), at Kolozsvár (founded in 1872), and at Zágráb (founded in 1874). They have four faculties: of theology, law, philosophy and medicine. (The university at Zágráb is without a faculty of medicine.) There are besides ten high schools of law, called academies, which in 1900 were attended by 1569 pupils. The Polytechnicum in Budapest, founded in 1844, which contains four faculties and was attended in 1900 by 1772 pupils, is also considered a high school. There were in Hungary in 1900 forty-nine high theological colleges, twenty-nine Roman Catholic; five Greek Uniat, four Greek Orthodox, ten Protestant and one Jewish. Among special schools the principal mining schools are at Selmeczbánya, Nagyág and Felsöbánya; the principal agricultural colleges at Debreczen and Kolozsvár; and there are a school of forestry at Selmeczbánya, military colleges at Budapest, Kassa, Déva and Zágráb, and a naval school at Fiume. There are besides an adequate number of training institutes for teachers, a great number of schools of commerce, several art schools—for design, painting, sculpture, music, &c. Most of these special schools are of recent origin, and are almost entirely maintained by the state or the communes.
The richest libraries in Hungary are the National Library at Budapest; the University Library, also at Budapest, and the library of the abbey of Pannonhálma. Besides the museums mentioned in the article Budapest, several provincial towns contain interesting museums, namely, Pressburg, Temesvár, Déva, Kolozsvár, Nagyszeben: further, the national museum at Zagrám, the national (Székler) museum at Maros-Vásarhely, and the Carpathian museum at Poprád should be mentioned.
At the head of the learned and scientific societies stands the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1830; the Kisfaludy Society, the Petöfi Society, and numerous societies of specialists, as the historical, geographical, &c., with their centre at Budapest. There are besides a number of learned societies in the various provinces for the fostering of special provincial or national aims. There are also a number of societies for the propagation of culture, both amongst the Hungarian and the non-Hungarian nationalities. Worth mentioning are also the two Carpathian societies: the Hungarian and the Transylvanian.
Bibliography.—F. Umlauft, Die Länder Österreich-Ungarns in Wort und Bild (Vienna, 1879–1889, 15 vols., 12th volume, 1886, deals with Hungary), Die österreichische Monarchie in Wort und Bild (Vienna 1888–1902, 24 vols., 7 vols. are devoted to Hungary), Die Völker Österreich-Ungarns (Teschen, 1881–1885, 12 vols.); A. Supan, “Österreich-Ungarn” (Vienna, 1889, in Kirchhoff’s Länderkunde von Europa, vol. ii.); Auerbach, Les Races et les nationalités en Autriche-Hongrie (Paris, 1897); Mayerhofer, Österreich-ungarisches Ortslexikon (Vienna, 1896); Hungary, Its People, Places and Politics. The Journey of the Eighty Club to Hungary in 1906 (London, 1907); R. W. Seton-Watson (“Scotus Viator”), Racial Problems in Hungary (London, 1908), a strong indictment of the racial policy of the Magyars, supported by exact references and many documents, mainly concerned with the Slovaks; René Gonnard, La Hongrie au XXe siècle (Paris, 1908), an admirable description of the country and its people, mainly from the point of view of economic development and social conditions; Geoffrey Drage, Austria-Hungary (London, 1909), a very useful book of reference; P. Alden (editor), Hungary of To-day, by members of the Hungarian Government (London, 1909); see also “The Problem of Hungary” in the Edinburgh Review (No. 429) for July 1909. The various reports of the Central Statistical Office at Budapest contain all the necessary statistical data. A summary of them is annually published under the title Magyar statisztikai Évkönyo (Statistical Year-Book of Hungary). (O. Br.)
When Árpád, the semi-mythical founder of the Magyar monarchy, at the end of A.D. 895 led his savage hordes through the Vereczka pass into the regions of the Upper Theiss, the land, now called Hungary, was, for the most part, in the possession of Slavs or semi-Slavs. From Magyar conquest. the Riesengebirge to the Vistula, and from the Moldau to the Drave, extended the shadowy empire of Moravia, founded by Moimir and Svatopluk (c. 850–890), which collapsed so completely at the first impact of the Magyars that, ten years after their arrival, not a trace of it remained. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats and Avars in the southern provinces were subdued with equal ease. Details are wanting, but the traditional decisive battle was fought at Alpar on the Theiss, whereupon the victors pressed on to Orsova, and the conquest was completed by Árpád about the year 906. This forcible intrusion of a non-Aryan race altered the whole history of Europe; but its peculiar significance lay in the fact that it permanently divided the northern from the southern and the eastern from the western Slavs. The inevitable consequence of this rupture was the Teutonizing of the western branch of the great Slav family, which, no longer able to stand alone, and cut off from both Rome and Constantinople, was forced, in self-defence, to take Christianity, and civilization along with it, from Germany.
During the following seventy years we know next to nothing of the internal history of the Magyars. Árpád died in 907, and his immediate successors, Zsolt (907–947) and Taksony (947–972), are little more than chronological landmarks. This was the period of those devastating raids which made the savage Magyar horsemen the scourge and the terror of Europe. We have an interesting description of their tactics from the pen of the emperor Leo VI., whose account of them is confirmed by the contemporary Russian annals. Trained riders, archers and javelin-throwers from infancy, they advanced to the attack in numerous companies following hard upon each other, avoiding close quarters, but wearing out their antagonists by the persistency of their onslaughts. Scarce a corner of Europe was safe from them. First (908–910) they ravaged Thuringia, Swabia and Bavaria, and defeated the Germans on the Lechfeld, whereupon the German king Henry I. bought them off for nine years, employing the respite in reorganizing his army and training cavalry, which henceforth became the principal military arm of the Empire. In 933 the war was resumed, and Henry, at the head of what was really the first national German army, defeated the Magyars at Gotha and at Ried (933). The only effect of these reverses was to divert them elsewhere. Already, in 926, they had crossed the Rhine and ravaged Lotharingia. In 934 and 942 they raided the Eastern Empire, and were bought off under the very walls of Constantinople. In 943 Taksony led them into Italy, when they penetrated as far as Otranto. In 955 they ravaged Burgundy. The same year the emperor Otto I. proclaimed them the enemies of God and humanity, refused to receive their ambassadors, and finally, at the famous battle of the Lechfeld, overwhelmed them on the very scene of their first victory, near Augsburg, which they were besieging (Aug. 10, 955). Only seven of the Magyars escaped, and these were sold as slaves on their return home.
The catastrophe of the Lechfeld convinced the leading Magyars of the necessity of accommodating themselves as far as possible to the Empire, especially in the matter of religion. Christianity had already begun to percolate Hungary. A large proportion of the captives of the Magyars had been settled all over the country to teach their conquerors the arts of peace, and close Acceptance of Christianity. contact with this civilizing element was of itself an enlightenment. The moral superiority of Christianity to paganism was speedily obvious. The only question was which form of Christianity were the Magyars to adopt, the Eastern or the Western? Constantinople was the first in the field. The splendour of the imperial city profoundly impressed all the northern barbarians, and the Magyars, during the 10th century, saw a great deal of the Greeks. One Transylvanian raider, Gyula, brought back with him from Constantinople a Greek monk, Hierothus (c. 950), who was consecrated “first bishop of Turkia.” Simultaneously a brisk border trade was springing up between the Greeks and the Magyars, and the Greek chapmen brought with them their religion as well as their wares. Everything at first tended to favour the propaganda of the Greek Church. But ultimately political prevailed over religious considerations. Alarmed at the sudden revival of the Eastern Empire, which under the Macedonian dynasty extended once more to the Danube, and thus became the immediate neighbour of Hungary, Duke Geza, who succeeded Taksony in 972, shrewdly resolved to accept Christianity from the more distant and therefore less dangerous emperor of the West. Accordingly an embassy was sent to Otto II. at Quedlinburg in 973, and in 975 Geza and his whole family were baptized. During his reign, however, Hungarian Christianity did not extend much beyond the limits of his court. The nation at large was resolutely pagan, and Geza, for his own sake, was obliged to act warily. Moreover, by accepting Christianity from Germany, he ran the risk of imperilling the independence of Hungary. Hence his cautious, dilatory tactics: the encouragement of Italian propagandists, who were few, the discouragement of German propagandists, who were many. Geza, in short, regarded the whole matter from a statesman’s point of view, and was content to leave the solution to time and his successor.
That successor, Stephen I. (q.v.), was one of the great constructive statesmen of history. His long and strenuous reign (997–1038) resulted in the firm establishment of the Hungarian church and the Hungarian state. The great work may be said to have begun in 1001, when Pope Silvester II. Stephen I. recognized Magyar nationality by endowing the young Magyar prince with a kingly crown. Less fortunate than his great exemplar, Charlemagne, Stephen had to depend entirely upon foreigners—men like the Saxon Asztrik (c. 976–1010), the first Hungarian primate; the Lombard St Gellert (c. 977–1046); the Bosomanns, a German family, better known under the Magyarized form of their name Pázmány, and many others who came to Hungary in the suite of his enlightened consort Gisela of Bavaria. By these men Hungary was divided into dioceses, with a metropolitan see at Esztergom (Gran), a city originally founded by Geza, but richly embellished by Stephen, whose Italian architects built for him there the first Hungarian cathedral dedicated to St Adalbert. Towns, most of them also the sees of bishops, now sprang up everywhere, including Székesfehérvár (Stuhlweissenburg), Veszprém, Pécs (Fünfkirchen) and Györ (Raab). Esztergom, Stephen’s favourite residence, was the capital, and continued to be so for the next two centuries. But the Benedictines, whose settlement in Hungary dates from the establishment of their monastery at Pannonhalma (c. 1001), were the chief pioneers. Every monastery erected in the Magyar wildernesses was not only a centre of religion, but a focus of civilization. The monks cleared the forests, cultivated the recovered land, and built villages for the colonists who flocked to them, teaching the people western methods of agriculture and western arts and handicrafts. But conversion, after all, was the chief aim of these devoted missionaries, and when some Venetian priests had invented a Latin alphabet for the Magyar language a great step had been taken towards its accomplishment.
The monks were soon followed by foreign husbandmen, artificers and handicraftsmen, who were encouraged to come to Hungary by reports of the abundance of good land there and the promise of privileges. This immigration was also stimulated by the terrible condition of western Europe between 987 and 1060, when it was visited by an endless succession of bad harvests and epidemics. Hungary, now better known to Europe, came to be regarded as a Promised Land, and, by the end of Stephen’s reign, Catholics of all nationalities, Greeks, Pagans, Jews and Mahommedans were living securely together within her borders. For, inexorable as Stephen ever was towards fanatical pagans, renegades and rebels, he was too good a statesman to inquire too closely into the private religious opinions of useful and quiet citizens.
In endeavouring, with the aid of the church, to establish his kingship on the Western model Stephen had the immense advantage of building on unencumbered ground, the greater part of the soil of the country being at his absolute disposal. His authority, too, was absolute, The county system. being tempered only by the shadowy right of the Magyar nation to meet in general assembly; and this authority he was careful not to compromise by any slavish imitation of that feudal polity by which in the West the royal power was becoming obscured. Although he broke off the Magyar tribal system, encouraged the private ownership of land, and even made grants of land on condition of military service—in order to secure an armed force independent of the national levy—he based his new principle of government, not on feudalism, but on the organization of the Frankish empire, which he adapted to suit the peculiar exigencies of his realm. Of the institutions thus borrowed and adapted the most notable was the famous county system which still plays so conspicuous a part in Hungarian national life. Central and western Hungary (the south and north-east still being desolate) were divided into forty-six counties (vármegyek, Lat. comitatus). At the head of each county was placed a count, or lord-lieutenant (Föispán, Lat. comes), who nominated his subordinate officials: the castellan (várnagy), chief captain (hadnagy) and “hundredor” (százados, Lat. centurio). The lord-lieutenant was nominated by the king, whom he was bound to follow to battle at the first summons. Two-thirds of the revenue of the county went into the royal treasury, the remaining third the lord-lieutenant retained for administrative purposes. In the county system were included all the inhabitants of the country save two classes: the still numerous pagan clans, and those nobles who were attached to the king’s person, from whom he selected his chief officers of state and the members of his council, of which we now hear for the first time.
It is significant for the whole future of Hungary that no effort was or could be made by Stephen to weld the heterogeneous races under his crown into a united nation. The body politic consisted, after as before, of the king and the whole mass of Magyar freemen or nobles, descendants of Árpád’s warriors, theoretically all equal in spite of growing inequalities of wealth and power, who constituted the populus; privileges were granted by the king to foreign immigrants in the cities, and the rights of nobility were granted to non-Magyars for special services; but, in general, the non-Magyars were ruled by the royal governors as subject races, forming—in contradistinction to the “nobles”—the mass of the peasants, the misera contribuens plebs upon whom until 1848 nearly the whole burden of taxation fell. The right, not often exercised, of the Magyar nobles to meet in general assembly and the elective character of the crown Stephen also did not venture to touch. On the other hand, his example in manumitting most of his slaves, together with the precepts of the church, practically put an end to slavery in the course of the 13th century, the slaves becoming for the most part serfs, who differed from the free peasants only in the fact that they were attached to the soil (adscripti glebae).
At this time all the conditions of life in Hungary were simple and primitive. The court itself was perambulatory. In summer the king dispensed justice in the open air, under a large tree. Only in the short winter months did he dwell in the house built for him at Esztergom by his Italian architects. The most valuable part of his property still consisted of flocks and herds, or the products of the labours of his serfs, a large proportion of whom were bee-keepers, hunters and fishers employed in and around the interminable virgin-forests of the rough-hewn young monarchy.
A troubled forty years (1038–1077) divides the age of St Stephen from the age of St Ladislaus. Of the six kings who reigned in Hungary during that period three died violent deaths, and the other three were fighting incessantly against foreign and domestic foes. In 1046, and again in 1061, two dangerous pagan risings shook the very foundations of the infant church and state; the western provinces were in constant danger from the attacks of the acquisitive emperors, and from the south and south-east two separate hordes of fierce barbarians (the Petchenegs in 1067–1068, and the Kumanians in 1071–1072) burst over the land. It was the general opinion abroad that the Magyars would either relapse into heathendom, or become the vassals of the Holy Roman Empire, and this opinion was reflected in the increasingly hostile attitude of the popes towards the Árpád kings. The political independence of Hungary was ultimately secured by the outbreak of the quarrel about investiture (1076), when Geza I. Geza I. (1074–1077) shrewdly applied to Pope Gregory VII. for assistance, and submitted to accept his kingdom from him as a fief of the Holy See. The immediate result of the papal alliance was to enable Hungary, under both Ladislaus and his capable successor Coloman [Kálmán] (1095–1116), to hold her own against all her enemies, and extend her dominion abroad by conquering Croatia and a portion of the Dalmatian coast. As an incipient great power, she was beginning to feel the need of a seaboard.
In the internal administration both Ladislaus I. and Coloman approved themselves worthy followers of St Stephen. Ladislaus planted large Petcheneg colonies in Transylvania and the trans-Dravian provinces, and established military cordons along the constantly threatened south-eastern Ladislaus I. and Coloman. boundary, the germs of the future banates (bánságok) which were to play such an important part in the national defence in the following century. Law and order were enforced with the utmost rigour. In that rough age crimes of violence predominated, and the king’s justiciars regularly perambulated the land in search of offenders, and decimated every village which refused to surrender fugitive criminals. On the other hand, both the Jews and the “Ishmaelites” (Mahommedans) enjoyed complete civil and religious liberty in Hungary, where, indeed, they were too valuable to be persecuted. The Ishmaelites, the financial experts of the day, were the official mint-masters, treasurers and bankers. The clergy, the only other educated class, supplied the king with his lawyers, secretaries and ambassadors. The Magyar clergy was still a married clergy, and their connubial privileges were solemnly confirmed by the synod of Szabolcs, presided over by the king, in 1092. So firmly rooted in the land was this practice, that Coloman, much as he needed the assistance of the Holy See in his foreign policy, was only with the utmost difficulty induced, in 1106, to bring the Hungarian church into line with the rest of the Catholic world by enforcing clerical celibacy. Coloman was especially remarkable as an administrative reformer, and Hungary, during his reign, is said to have been the best-governed state in Europe. He regulated and simplified the whole system of taxation, encouraged agriculture by differential duties in favour of the farmers, and promoted trade by a systematic improvement of the ways of communication. The Magna via Colomanni Regis was in use for centuries after his death. Another important reform was the law permitting the free disposal of landed estate, which gave the holders an increased interest in their property, and an inducement to improve it. During the reign of Coloman, moreover, the number of freemen was increased by the frequent manumission of serfs. The lot of the slaves was also somewhat ameliorated by the law forbidding their exportation.
Throughout the greater part of the 12th century the chief impediment in the way of the external development of the Hungarian monarchy was the Eastern Empire, which, under the first three princes of the Comnenian dynasty, dominated south-eastern Europe. During the earlier Rivalry with the Eastern Empire. part of that period the Magyars competed on fairly equal terms with their imperial rivals for the possession of Dalmatia, Rascia (the original home of the Servians, situated between Bosnia, Dalmatia and Albania) and Ráma or northern Bosnia (acquired by Hungary in 1135); but on the accession of Manuel Comnenus in 1143 the struggle became acute. As the grandson of St Ladislaus, Manuel had Hungarian blood in his veins; his court was the ready and constant refuge of the numerous Magyar malcontents, and he aimed not so much at the conquest as at the suzerainty of Hungary, by placing one of his Magyar kinsmen on the throne of St Stephen. He successfully supported the claims of no fewer than three pretenders to the Magyar throne, and finally made Béla III. (1173–1196) king of Hungary, on condition that he left him, Manuel, a free hand in Dalmatia. The intervention of the Greek emperors had important consequences for Hungary. Politically it increased the power of the nobility at the expense of the crown, every competing pretender naturally endeavouring to win adherents by distributing largesse in the shape of crown-lands. Ecclesiastically it weakened the influence of the Catholic Church in Hungary, the Greek Orthodox Church, which permitted a married clergy and did not impose the detested tithe (the principal cause of nearly every pagan revolt) attracting thousands of adherents even among the higher clergy. At one time, indeed, a Magyar archbishop and four or five bishops openly joined the Orthodox communion and willingly crowned Manuel’s nominees despite the anathemas of their Catholic brethren.
The Eastern Empire ceased to be formidable on the death of Manuel (1080), and Hungary was free once more to pursue a policy of aggrandizement. In Dalmatia the Venetians were too strong for her; but she helped materially to break up the Byzantine rule in the Balkan peninsula by assisting Béla III. Stephen Nemanya to establish an independent Servian kingdom, originally under nominal Hungarian suzerainty. Béla endeavoured to strengthen his own monarchy by introducing the hereditary principle, crowning his infant son Emerich, as his successor during his own lifetime, a practice followed by most of the later Árpáds; he also held a brilliant court on the Byzantine model, and replenished the treasury by his wise economies.
Unfortunately the fruits of his diligence and foresight were dissipated by the follies of his two immediate successors, Emerich (1196–1204) and Andrew II. (q.v.), who weakened the royal power in attempting to win support by lavish grants of the crown domains on the already over-influential Andrew II. magnates, a policy from which dates the supremacy of the semi-savage Magyar oligarchs, that insolent and self-seeking class which would obey no superior and trampled ruthlessly on every inferior. The most conspicuous event of Andrew’s reign was the promulgation in 1222 of the so-called Golden Bull, which has aptly been called the Magna Carta of Hungary, and is in some of its provisions strikingly reminiscent of that signed seven years previously by the English king John.
The Golden Bull has been described as consecrating the humiliation of the crown by the great barons, whose usurpations it legalized; the more usually accepted view, however, is that it was directed not so much to weakening as to strengthening the crown by uniting its interests with those of the mass of the Magyar nobility, equally threatened by the encroachments of the great barons. The preamble, indeed, speaks of the curtailment of the liberties of the nobles by the power of certain of the kings, and at the end the right of armed resistance to any attempt to infringe the charter is conceded to “the bishops and the higher and lower nobles” of the realm; but, for the rest, its contents clearly show that it was intended to strengthen the monarchy by ensuring “that the momentary folly or weakness of the king should not endanger the institution itself.” This is especially clear from clause xvi., which decrees that the title and estates of the lords-lieutenant of counties should not be hereditary, thus attacking feudalism at its very roots, while clause xiv. provides for the degradation of any lord-lieutenant who should abuse his office. On the other hand, the principle of the exemption of all the nobles from taxation is confirmed, as well as their right to refuse military service abroad, the defence of the realm being their sole obligation. All nobles were also to have the right to appear at the court which was to be held once a year at Székesfehérvár, by the king, or in his absence by the palatine, for the purpose of hearing causes. A clause also guarantees all nobles against arbitrary arrest and punishment at the instance of any powerful person.
This famous charter, which was amplified, under the influence of the clergy, in 1231, when its articles were placed under the guardianship of the archbishop of Esztergom (who was authorized to punish their violation by the king with excommunication), is generally regarded as the foundation of Hungarian constitutional liberty, though like Magna Carta it purported only to confirm immemorial rights; and as such it was expressly ratified as a whole in the coronation oaths of all the Habsburg kings from Ferdinand to Leopold I. Its actual effect in the period succeeding its issue was, however, practically nugatory; if indeed it did not actually give a new handle to the subversive claims of the powerful barons.
Béla IV. (1235–1270), the last man of genius whom the Árpáds produced, did something to curb the aristocratic misrule which was to be one of the determining causes of the collapse of his dynasty. But he is best known as the regenerator of the realm after the cataclysm of 1241–1242 (see Béla IV.). Béla IV. On his return from exile, after the subsidence of the Tatar deluge, he found his kingdom in ashes; and his two great remedies, wholesale immigration and castle-building, only sowed the seeds of fresh disasters. Thus the Kumanian colonists, mostly pagans, whom he settled in vast numbers on the waste lands, threatened to overwhelm the Christian population; while the numerous strongholds, which he encouraged his nobles to build as a protection against future Tatar invasions, subsequently became so many centres of disloyalty. To bind the Kumanian still more Stephen V. and Ladislaus IV. closely to his dynasty, Béla married his son Stephen V. (1270–1272) to a Kumanian girl, and during the reign of her son Ladislaus IV. (1272–1290) the court was certainly more pagan than Christian. Valiant and enterprising as both these princes were (Stephen successfully resisted the aggressions of the brilliant “golden King,” Ottakar II. of Bohemia, and Ladislaus materially contributed to his utter overthrow at Durnkrüt in 1278), neither of them was strong enough to make head against the disintegrating influences all around them. Stephen contrived to hold his own by adroitly contracting an alliance with the powerful Neapolitan Angevins who had the ear of the pope; but Ladislaus (q.v.) End of the Árpád Dynasty. was so completely caught in the toils of the Kumanians, that the Holy See, the suzerain of Hungary, was forced to intervene to prevent the relapse of the kingdom into barbarism, and the unfortunate Ladislaus perished in the crusade that was preached against him. An attempt of a patriotic party to keep the last Árpád, Andrew III. (1290–1301), on the throne was only temporarily successful, and after a horrible eight years’ civil war (1301–1308) the crown of St Stephen finally passed into the capable hands of Charles Robert of Naples.
During the four hundred years of the Árpád dominion the nomadic Magyar race had established itself permanently in central Europe, adopted western Christianity and founded a national monarchy on the western model. Hastily and violently converted, driven like a wedge between the Eastern and the Western Empires, the young kingdom was exposed from the first to extraordinary perils. But, under the guidance of a series of eminent rulers, it successfully asserted itself alike against pagan reaction from within, and aggressive pressure from without, and, as it grew in strength and skill, expanded territorially at the expense of all its neighbours. These triumphs were achieved while the monarchy was absolute, and thus able to concentrate in its hands all the resources of the state, but towards the end of the period a political revolution began. The weakness and prodigality of the later Árpáds, the depopulation of the realm during the Tatar invasion, the infiltration of western feudalism and, finally, the endless civil discords of the 13th century, brought to the front a powerful and predacious class of barons who ultimately overshadowed the throne. The ancient county system was gradually absorbed by this new governing element. The ancient royal tenants became the feudatories of the great nobles, and fell naturally into two classes, the nobiles bene possessionati, and the nobiles unius sessionis, in other words the richer and the poorer gentry. We cannot trace the gradations of this political revolution, but we know that it met with determined opposition from the crown, which resulted in the utter destruction of the Árpáds, who, while retaining to the last their splendid physical qualities, now exhibited unmistakeable signs of moral deterioration, partly due perhaps to their too frequent marriages with semi-Oriental Greeks and semi-savage Kumanians. On the other hand the great nobles were the only class who won for themselves a recognized political position. The tendency towards a representative system of government had begun, but the almost uninterrupted anarchy which marked the last thirty years of the Árpád rule was no favourable time for constitutional development. The kings were fighting for their lives, the great nobles were indistinguishable from brigands and the whole nation seemed to be relapsing into savagery.
It was reserved for the two great princes of the house of Anjou,
Charles I. (1310–1342) and Louis I. (1342–1382), to rebuild the
Hungarian state, and lead the Magyars back to
civilization. Both by character and education they
were eminently fitted for the task, and all the circumstances
House of Anjou.
were in their favour. They brought from their native
Italy a thorough knowledge of the science of government as the
middle ages understood it, and the decimation of the Hungarian
magnates during the civil wars enabled them to re-create the
noble hierarchy on a feudal basis, in which full allowance was
made for Magyar idiosyncracies. Both these monarchs were
absolute. The national assembly (Országgyülés) was still
summoned occasionally, but at very irregular intervals, the
real business of the state being transacted in the
of Louis I. royal council, where able men of the middle class, principally Italians, held confidential positions. The lesser gentry were protected against the tyranny of the magnates, encouraged to appear at court and taxed for military service by the royal treasury direct—so as to draw them closer to the crown. Scores of towns, too, owe their origin and enlargement to the care of the Angevin princes, who were lavish of privileges and charters, and saw to it that the high-roads were clear of robbers. Charles, moreover, was a born financier, and his reform of the currency and of the whole fiscal system greatly contributed to enrich both the merchant class and the treasury. Louis encouraged the cities to surround themselves with strong walls. He himself erected a whole cordon of forts round the flourishing mining towns of northern Hungary. He also appointed Hungarian consuls in foreign trade centres, and established a system of protective tariffs. More important in its ulterior consequences to Hungary was the law of 1351 which, while confirming the Golden Bull in general, abrogated the clause (iv.) by which the nobles had the right to alienate their lands. Henceforward their possessions were to descend directly and as of right to their brothers and their issue, whose claim was to be absolute. This “principle of aviticity” (ösiség, aviticum), which survived till 1848, was intended to preserve the large feudal estates as part of the new military system, but its ultimate effect was to hamper the development of the country by preventing the alienation, and therefore the mortgaging of lands, so long as any, however distant, scion of the original owning family survived. Louis’s efforts to increase the national wealth were also largely frustrated by the Black Death, which ravaged Hungary from 1347 to 1360, and again during 1380–1381, carrying off at least one-fourth of the population.
Externally Hungary, under the Angevin kings, occupied a commanding position. Both Charles and Louis were diplomatists as well as soldiers, and their foreign policy, largely based on family alliances, was almost invariably successful. Charles married Elizabeth, the sister of Casimir the Great of Poland, with whom he was connected by ties of close friendship, and Louis, by virtue of a compact made by his father thirty-one years previously, added the Polish crown to that of Hungary in 1370. Thus, during the last twelve years of his reign, the dominions of Louis the Great included the greater part of central Europe, from Pomerania to the Danube, and from the Adriatic to the steppes of the Dnieper.
The Angevins were less successful towards the south, where the first signs were appearing of that storm which ultimately swept away the Hungarian monarchy. In 1353 the Ottoman Turks crossed the Hellespont from Asia Minor and began that career of conquest which made them the Turkish invasions. terror of Europe for the next three centuries. In 1360 they conquered southern Bulgaria. In 1365 they transferred their capital from Brusa to Adrianople. In 1371 they overwhelmed the Servian tsar Vukashin at the battle of Taenarus and penetrated to the heart of old Servia. In 1380 they threatened Croatia and Dalmatia. Hungary herself was now directly menaced, and the very circumstances which had facilitated the advance of the Turks, enfeebled the potential resistance of the Magyars. The Árpád kings had succeeded in encircling their whole southern frontier with half a dozen military colonies or banates, comprising, roughly speaking, Little Walachia, and the northern parts of Bulgaria, Servia and Bosnia. But during this period a redistribution of territory had occurred in these parts, which converted most of the old banates into semi-independent and violently anti-Magyar principalities. This was due partly to the excessive proselytizing energy of the Angevins, which provoked rebellion on the part of their Greek-Orthodox subjects, partly to the natural dynastic competition of the Servian and Bulgarian The Vlachs. tsars, and partly to the emergence of a new nationality, the Walachian. Previously to 1320, what is now called Walachia was regarded by the Magyars as part of the banate of Szörény. The base of the very mixed and ever-shifting population in these parts were the Vlachs (Rumanians), perhaps the descendants of Trajan’s colonists, who, under their voivode, Bazarad, led King Charles into an ambuscade from which he barely escaped with his life (Nov. 9-12, 1330). From this disaster are to be dated the beginnings of Walachia as an independent state. Moldavia, again, ever since the 11th century, had been claimed by the Magyars as forming, along with Bessarabia and the Bukowina, a portion of the semi-mythical Etélköz, the original seat of the Magyars before they occupied modern Hungary. This desolate region was subsequently peopled by Vlachs, whom the religious persecutions of Louis the Great had driven thither from other parts of his domains, and, between 1350 and 1360, their voivode Bogdan threw off the Hungarian yoke altogether. In Bosnia the persistent attempts of the Magyar princes to root out the stubborn, crazy and poisonous sect of the Bogomils had alienated the originally amicable Bosnians, and in 1353 Louis was compelled to buy the friendship of their Bar Tvrtko by acknowledging him as king of Bosnia. Both Servia and Bulgaria were by this time split up into half a dozen principalities which, as much for religious as for political reasons, preferred paying tribute to the Turks to acknowledging the hegemony of Hungary. Thus, towards the end of his reign, Louis found himself cut off from the Greek emperor, his sole ally in the Balkans, by a chain of bitterly hostile Greek-Orthodox states, extending from the Black Sea to the Adriatic. The commercial greed of the Venetians, who refused to aid him with a fleet to cut off the Turks in Europe from the Turks in Asia Minor, nullified Louis’ last practical endeavour to cope with a danger which from the first he had estimated at its true value.
Louis the Great left two infant daughters: Maria, who was to share the throne of Poland with her betrothed, Sigismund of Pomerania, and Hedwig, better known by her Polish name of Jadwiga, who was to reign over Hungary with her young bridegroom, William of Austria. This plan was upset by the queen-dowager Elizabeth, who determined to rule both kingdoms during the minority of her children. Maria, her favourite, with whom she refused to part, was crowned queen of Hungary a week after her father’s death (Sept. 17, 1382). Two years later Jadwiga, reluctantly transferred to the Poles instead of her sister, was crowned queen of Poland at Cracow (Oct. 15, 1384) and subsequently compelled to marry Jagiello, grand-duke of Lithuania. In Hungary, meanwhile, impatience at the rule of women induced the great family of the Horváthys to offer the crown of St Stephen to Charles III. of Naples, who, despite the oath of loyalty he had sworn to his benefactor, Louis the Great, accepted the offer, landed in Dalmatia with a small Italian army, and, after occupying Buda, was crowned king of Hungary on the 31st of December, 1385, as Charles II. His reign lasted thirty-eight days. On the 7th of February, 1386, he was treacherously attacked in the queen-dowager’s own apartments, at her instigation, and died of his injuries a few days later. But Elizabeth did not profit long by this atrocity. In July the same year, while on a pleasure trip with her daughter, she was captured by the Horváthys, and tortured to death in her daughter’s presence. Maria herself would doubtless have shared the same fate, but for the speedy intervention of her fiancé, whom a diet, by the advice of the Venetians, had elected to rule the headless realm on the 31st of March 1387. He married Maria in June the same year, and she shared the sceptre with him till her sudden death by accident on the 17th of May 1395.
During the long reign of Sigismund (1387–1437) Hungary was brought face to face with the Turkish peril in its most threatening shape, and all the efforts of the king were directed towards combating or averting it. However sorry a figure Sigismund may have cut as emperor in Germany, Sigismund. as king of Hungary he claims our respect, and as king of Hungary he should be judged, for he ruled her, not unsuccessfully, for fifty years during one of the most difficult crises of her history, whereas his connexion with Germany was at best but casual and transient. From the first he recognized that his chief duty was to drive the Turks from Europe, or, at least, keep them out of Hungary, and this noble ambition was the pivot of his whole policy. A domestic rebellion (1387–1395) prevented him at the outset from executing his design till 1396, and if the hopes of Christendom were shattered at Nicopolis, the failure was due to no fault of his, but to the haughty insubordination of the feudal levies. Again, his inaction during those memorable twelve years (1401–1413) when the Turkish empire, after the collapse at Angora (1402), seemed about to be swallowed up by “the great wolf” Tamerlane, was due entirely to the malice of the Holy See, which, enraged at his endeavours to maintain the independence of the Magyar church against papal aggression (the diet of 1404, on Sigismund’s initiative, had declared bulls bestowing Magyar benefices on foreigners, without the royal consent, pernicious and illegal), saddled him with a fresh rebellion and two wars with Venice, resulting ultimately in the total loss of Dalmatia (c. 1430). Not till 1409 could Sigismund be said to be king in his own realm, yet in 1413 we find him traversing Europe in his endeavour to terminate the Great Schism, as the first step towards uniting Christendom once more against the Turk. Hence the council of Constance to depose three rival popes; hence the council of Basel to pacify the Hussites, and promote another anti-Moslem league. But by this time the Turkish empire had been raised again from its ruins by Mahommed I. (1402–1421), and resumed its triumphal progress under Murad II. (1421–1451). Yet even now Sigismund, at the head of his Magyars, thrice (1422–1424, 1426–1427, and 1430–1431) encountered the Turks, not ingloriously, in the open field, till, recognizing that Hungary must thenceforth rely entirely on her own resources in any future struggle with Islam, he elaborately fortified the whole southern frontier, and converted the little fort of Nándorfehérvár, later Belgrade, at the junction of the Danube and Save, into an enormous first-class fortress, which proved strong enough to repel all the attacks of the Turks for more than a century. It argued no ordinary foresight thus to recognize that Hungary’s strategy in her contest with the Turks must be strictly defensive, and the wisdom of Sigismund was justified by the disasters which almost invariably overcame the later Magyar kings whenever they ventured upon aggressive warfare with the sultans.
A monarch so overburdened with cares was naturally always in need of money, and thus obliged to lean heavily upon the support of the estates of the realm. The importance and influence of the diet increased proportionately. It met every year, sometimes twice a year, during Sigismund’s reign, and was no longer, as in the days of Louis the Great, merely a consultative council, but a legislative body in partnership with the king. It was still, however, essentially an assembly of notables, lay and clerical, at which the gentry, though technically eligible, do not seem to have been directly represented. At Sigismund’s first diet (1397) it was declared that the king might choose his counsellors where he listed, and at the diet of 1397 he invited the free and royal towns to send their deputies to the parliament. Subsequently this privilege was apparently erected into a statute, but how far it was acted upon we know not. Sigismund, more fortunate than the Polish kings, seems to have had little trouble with his diets. This was largely due to his friendly intimacy with the majority of the Magyar notables, from among whom he chose his chief counsellors. The estates loyally supported him against the attempted exactions of the popes, and do not seem to have objected to any of his reforms, chief among which was the army-reform project of 1435, to provide for the better defence of the land against the Turks. This measure obliged all the great dignitaries, and the principal towns also, according to their means, to maintain a banderium of five hundred horsemen, or a proportional part thereof, and hold it ready, at the first summons, thus supplying the crown with a standing army 76,875 strong. In addition to this, a reserve force called the telekkatonaság was recruited from among the lesser gentry according to their teleks or holdings, every thirty-three teleks being held responsible for a mounted and fully equipped archer. Moreover, river fleets, built by Genoese masters and manned by Servians, were constructed to patrol and defend the great rivers of Hungary, especially on the Turkish frontier. Much as he owed to them, however, Sigismund was no mere nobles’ king. His care for the common people was sincere and constant, but his beneficial efforts in this direction were thwarted by the Feudal system. curious interaction of two totally dissimilar social factors, feudalism and Hussitism. In Sigismund’s reign the feudal system, for the first time, became deeply rooted in Magyar soil, and it is a lamentable fact that in 15th-century Hungary it is to be seen at its very worst, especially in those wild tracts, and they were many, in which the king’s writ could hardly be said to run. Simultaneously from the west came the Hussite propagandists teaching Hussites. that all men were equal, and that all property should be held in common. The suffering Magyar multitudes eagerly responded to these seductive teachings, and the result was a series of dangerous popular risings (the worst in 1433 and 1436) in which heresy and communism were inextricably intermingled. With the aid of inquisitors from Rome, the evil was literally burnt out, but not before provinces, especially in the south and south-east, had been utterly depopulated. They were repeopled by Vlachs.
Yet despite the interminable wars and rebellions which darken the history of Hungary in the reign of Sigismund, the country, on the whole, was progressing. Its ready response to the king’s heavy demands for the purpose of the national defence points to the existence of a healthy and self-sacrificing public spirit, and the eagerness with which the youth of all classes now began to flock to the foreign universities is another satisfactory feature of the age. Between 1362 and 1450 no fewer than 4151 Magyar students frequented the university of Vienna, nearly as many went by preference to Prague, and this, too, despite the fact that there were now two universities in Hungary itself, the old foundation of Louis the Great at Pécs, and a new one established at Buda by Sigismund.
Like Louis the Great before him, Sigismund had failed to found a dynasty, but, fifteen years before his death, he had succeeded in providing his only daughter Elizabeth with a consort apparently well able to protect both her and her inheritance in the person of Albert V., duke of Austria. Albert, a sturdy soldier, who had given brilliant proofs of valour and generalship in the Hussite wars, was crowned king of Hungary at Székesfehérvar (Stuhlweissenburg) on the 1st of January 1438, elected king of the Romans at Frankfort on the 18th of March 1438, and crowned king of Bohemia at Prague on the 29th of June 1438. On returning to Buda in 1439, he at once plunged into a war with the Turks, who had, in the meantime, captured the important Servian fortress of Semendria and subjugated the greater part of Bosnia. But the king got no farther than Servia, and was carried off by dysentery (Oct. 27, 1439), in the forty-second year of his age, in the course of the campaign.
Albert left behind him two infant daughters only, but his consort was big with child, and, in the event of that child proving to be an heir male, his father’s will bequeathed to him the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia, under the regency of his mother. Thus, with the succession uncertain, with the Turk at the very door, with the prospect, dismal at the best, of a long minority, the political outlook was both embarrassing and perilous. Obviously a warrior-king was preferable to a regimen of women and children, and the eyes of the wiser Magyars turned involuntarily towards Wladislaus III. of Poland, who, though only in his nineteenth year, was already renowned for his martial disposition. Wladislaus accepted the proffered throne from the Magyar delegates at Cracow on the 8th of March 1440; but in the meantime (Feb. 22) the queen-widow gave birth to a son who, six weeks later, as Ladislaus V. (q.v.) was crowned king of Hungary (May 15) at Székesfehérvár. On the 22nd of May the Polish monarch appeared at Buda, was unanimously elected king of Hungary under the title of Wladislaus I. (June 24) and crowned on the 17th of July. This duoregnum proved even more injurious to Hungary than the dreaded interregnum. Queen Elizabeth, aided by her kinsmen, the emperor Frederick III. and the counts of Cilli, flooded northern and western Hungary with Hussite mercenaries, one of whom, Jan Giszkra, she made her captain-general, while Wladislaus held the central and south-eastern parts of the realm. The resulting civil war was terminated only by the death of Elizabeth on the 13th of December 1443.
All this time the pressure of the Turks upon the southern provinces of Hungary had been continuous, but fortunately all their efforts had so far been frustrated by the valour and generalship of the ban of Szörény, John Hunyadi, the fame of whose victories, notably in 1442 John Hunyadi. and 1443, encouraged the Holy See to place Hungary for the third time at the head of a general crusade against the infidel. The experienced diplomatist Cardinal Cesarini was accordingly sent to Hungary to reconcile Wladislaus with the emperor. The king, who had just returned from the famous “long campaign” of 1443, willingly accepted the leadership of the Christian League. At the diet of Buda, early in 1444, supplies were voted for the enterprise, and Wladislaus was on the point of quitting his camp at Szeged for the seat of war, when envoys from Sultan Murad arrived with the offer of a ten years’ truce on such favourable conditions (they included the relinquishment of Servia, Walachia and Moldavia, and the payment of an indemnity) that Hunyadi persuaded the king to conclude (in July) a peace which gave him more than could reasonably be anticipated from the most successful campaign. Unfortunately, two days later, Cardinal Cesarini absolved the king from the oath whereby he had sworn to observe the peace of Szeged, and was thus mainly responsible for the catastrophe of Varna, when four months later (Nov. 10) the young monarch and the flower of the Magyar chivalry were overwhelmed by fourfold odds on Turkish soil. (See Hunyadi, János; and Wladislaus III.)
The next fourteen years form one of the most interesting and pregnant periods of Hungarian history. It marks the dawn of a public spirit as represented by the gentry, who, alarmed at the national peril and justly suspicious of the ruling magnates, unhesitatingly placed their destinies in the hands of Hunyadi, the one honest man who by sheer merit had risen within the last ten years from the humble position of a country squire to a leading position in the state. This feeling of confidence found due expression at the diet of 1446, which deliberately passing over the palatine László Garai elected Hunyadi governor of Hungary, and passed a whole series of popular measures intended to be remedial, e.g. the decree ordering the demolition of the new castles, most of them little better than robber-strongholds; the decree compelling the great officers of state to suspend their functions during the session of the diet; the decree declaring illegal the new fashion of forming confederations on the Polish model, all of which measures were obviously directed against the tyranny and the lawlessness of the oligarchy. Unfortunately this salutary legislation remained a dead letter. It was as much as the governor could do to save the state from destruction, let alone reform it. At this very time northern Hungary, including the wealthy mining towns, was in the possession of the Hussite mercenary Jan Giszkra, who held them nominally for the infant king Ladislaus V., still detained at Vienna by his kinsman the emperor. The western provinces were held by Frederick himself. Invaluable time was wasted in negotiating with these intruders before the governor could safely devote himself to the task of expelling the Turk from the southern provinces. He had to be content with armistices, reconciliations and matrimonial contracts, because the great dignitaries of the state, men like the palatine László Garai, Count Ulrich of Cilli, and the voivode of Transylvania, Mihály Ujlaky, thwarted in every way the novus homo whom they hated and envied. From them, the official guardians of Hungary’s safety, he received no help, either during his governorship (1446–1453), or when, in 1454, on the eve of his departure for his last and most glorious campaign, the diet commanded a levée en masse of the whole population in his support. At that critical hour it was at his own expense that Hunyadi fortified Belgrade, now the sole obstacle between Hungary and destruction, with the sole assistance of the Franciscan friar Giovanni da Capistrano, equipped the fleet and the army which relieved the beleaguered fortress and overthrew Mahommed II. But the nation at least was grateful, and after his death (Aug. 11, 1456) it freely transferred its allegiance to his family as represented by his two sons, László, now in his 23rd, and Matthias, now in his 16th year. The judicial murder of László Hunyadi (q.v.) by the enemies of his house (March 16, 1457) was therefore a stupid blunder as well as the foulest of crimes, and on the death of his chief assassin, Ladislaus V., six months later (Nov. 23, 1457), the diet which assembled on the banks of the Rákos, in defiance of the magnates and all foreign competitors, unanimously and enthusiastically elected Matthias Hunyadi king of Hungary (Jan. 24, 1458).
In less than three years the young king had justified their confidence, and delivered his country from its worst embarrassments. (See Matthias I., king of Hungary.) This prodigy was accomplished in the face of every conceivable obstacle. His first diet grudgingly granted him Matthias I. supplies and soldiers for the Turkish war, on condition that under no circumstances whatever should they henceforth be called upon to contribute towards the national defence, and he was practically deprived of the control of the banderia or mounted militia. It was with a small force of mercenaries, raised at his own expense, that the young king won his first Turkish victories, and expelled the Czechs from his northern and the Habsburgs from his western provinces. But his limited resources, and, above all, the proved incapacity of the militia in the field, compelled him instantly to take in hand the vital question of army reform. In the second year of his reign he undertook personally the gigantic task of providing Hungary with an army adequate to her various needs on the model of the best military science of the day. The landless younger sons of the gentry and the Servian and Vlach immigrants provided him with excellent and practically inexhaustible military material. The old feudal levies he put aside. Brave enough personally, as soldiers they were distinctly inferior both to the Janissaries and the Hussites, with both of whom Matthias had constantly to contend. It was a trained regular army in his pay and consequently at his disposal that he wanted. The nucleus of the new army he found in the Czech mercenaries, seasoned veterans who readily transferred their services to the best payer. This force, formed in 1459, was generally known as the Fekete Sereg, or “Black Brigade,” from the colour of its armour. From 1465 the pick of the Magyars and Croatians were enlisted in the same way every year, till, towards the end of his reign, Matthias could count upon 20,000 horse and 8000 foot, besides 6000 black brigaders. The cavalry consisted of the famous Hussars, or light horse, of which he may be said to have been the creator, and the heavily armed mounted musketeers on the Czech-German model. The infantry, in like manner, was divided into light and heavy. This army was provided with a regular commissariat, cannon and ballistic machines, and, being constantly on active service, was always in a high state of efficiency. The land forces were supported by a river fleet consisting (in 1479) of 360 vessels, mostly sloops and corvettes, manned by 2600 sailors, generally Croats, and carrying 10,000 soldiers. Eight large military stations were also built at the chief strategic points on the Danube, Save and Theiss. These armaments, which cost Matthias 1,000,000 florins per annum, equivalent to £200,000, did not include the auxiliary troops of the hospodars of Walachia and Moldavia, or the feudal levies of the barons and prelates.
The army of Matthias was not only a military machine of first-rate efficiency, but an indispensable civilizing medium. It enabled the king to curb the lawlessness of the Magyar nobility, and explains why none of the numerous rebellions against him ever succeeded. Again and again, during his absence on the public service, the barons and prelates would assemble to compass his ruin or dispose of his crown, when, suddenly, “like a tempest,” from the depths of Silesia or of Bosnia, he would himself appear among them, confounding and scattering them, often without resistance, always without bloodshed. He also frequently employed his soldiers in collecting the taxes from the estates of those magnates who refused to contribute to the public burdens, in protecting the towns from the depredations of the robber barons, or in convoying the caravans of the merchants. In fact, they were a police force as well as an army.
Despite the enormous expense of maintaining the army, Matthias, after the first ten years of his reign, was never in want of money. This miracle was achieved by tact and management. No Hungarian king had so little trouble with the turbulent diet as Matthias. By this time the gentry, as well as the barons and prelates, took part in the legislature. But attendance at the diet was regarded by the bulk of the poorer deputies as an intolerable burden, and they frequently agreed to grant the taxes for two or three years in advance, so as to be saved the expense of attending every year. Moreover, to promote their own convenience, they readily allowed the king to assess as well as to collect the taxes, which consequently tended to become regular and permanent, while Matthias’ reform of the treasury, which was now administered by specialists with separate functions, was economically of great benefit to the state. Yet Matthias never dispensed with the diet. During the thirty-two years of his reign he held at least fifteen diets, at which no fewer than 450 statutes were passed. He re-codified the Hungarian common law; strictly defined the jurisdiction of the whole official hierarchy from the palatine to the humblest village judge; cheapened and accelerated legal procedure, and in an age when might was right did his utmost to protect the weak from the strong. There is not a single branch of the law which he did not simplify and amend, and the iron firmness with which he caused justice to be administered, irrespective of persons, if it exposed him to the charge of tyranny from the nobles, also won for him from the common people the epithet of “the Just.” To Matthias is also due the credit of creating an efficient official class. Merit was with him the sole qualification for advancement. One of his best generals, Pál Kinizsy, was a miller’s son, and his capable chancellor, Péter Várady, whom he made archbishop of Kálocsa, came of a family of small squires. For education so scholarly a monarch as Matthias naturally did what he could. He founded the university of Pressburg (Academia Istropolitana, 1467), revived the declining university of Pécs, and, at the time of his death, was meditating the establishment of a third university at Buda.
Unfortunately the civilizing efforts of Matthias made but little impression on society at large. The bulk of the Magyar nobility was still semi-barbaric. Immensely wealthy (it is estimated that most of the land, at this time, was in the hands of 25 great families, the Zapolyas alone holding an eighth of it), it was a point of honour with them to appear in public in costly raiment ablaze with silver, gold and precious stones, followed at every step by armies of retainers scarcely less gorgeous. At the same time their ignorance was profound. Many of the highest dignitaries of state did not know their alphabet. Signatures to documents of the period are rare; seals served instead of signatures, because most of the nobles were unable to sign their names. Learning, indeed, was often ridiculed as pedantry in a gentleman of good family.
The clergy, the chief official class, were naturally less ignorant than the gentry. Some of the prelates—notably János Csezmeczey, better known as Janus Pannonius (1433–1472)—had a European reputation for learning. The primate Cardinal, János Vitez (1408–1472), at the beginning, and the primate, Cardinal Tamas Bakócz (q.v.), at the end of the reign were men of eminent ability and the highest culture. But the moral tone of the Magyar church at this period was very low. The bishops prided themselves on being great statesmen, great scholars, great financiers, great diplomatists—anything, in fact, but good Christians. Most of them, except when actually celebrating mass, were indistinguishable alike in costume and conduct from the temporal magnates. Of twelve of them it is said that foreigners took them at first for independent temporal princes, so vast were their estates, so splendid their courts, so numerous their armed retainers. Under such guides as these the lower clergy erred deplorably, and drunkenness, gross immorality, brawling and manslaughter were common occurrences in the lives of the parish priests. The regular clergy were if possible worse than the secular, with the exception of the Paulicians, the sole religious order which steadily resisted the general corruption, of whose abbot, the saintly Gregory, was the personal friend of Matthias.
What little culture there was outside the court, the capital and the palaces of a few prelates, was to be found in the towns, most of them of German origin. Matthias laboured strenuously to develop and protect the towns, multiplied municipal charters, and materially improved the means of communication, especially in Transylvania. His Silesian and Austrian acquisitions were also very beneficial to trade, throwing open as they did the western markets to Hungarian produce. Wine and meat were the chief exports. The wines of Hungary were already renowned throughout Europe, and cattle breeding was conducted on a great scale. Of agricultural produce there was barely sufficient for home consumption, but the mining industries had reached a very high level of excellence, and iron, tin and copper were very largely exported from the northern counties to Danzig and other Baltic ports. So highly developed indeed were the Magyar methods of smelting, that Louis XI. of France took the Hungarian mining system as the model for his metallurgical reforms, and Hungarian master-miners were also in great demand at the court of Ivan the Terrible. Moreover, the keen artistic instincts of Matthias led him to embellish his cities as well as fortify them. Debreczen was practically rebuilt by him, and dates its prosperity from his reign. Breslau, his favourite town, he endowed with many fine public buildings. Buda he endeavoured to make the worthy capital of a great realm, and the palace which he built there was pronounced by the papal legates to be superior to any in Italy.
Politically Matthias raised Hungary to the rank of the greatest power in central Europe, her influence extending into Asia and Africa. Poland was restrained by his alliances with the Teutonic Knights and the tsardom of Muscovy, and his envoys appeared in Persia and in Egypt to Power in Europe. combat the diplomacy of the Porte. He never, indeed, jeopardized the position of the Moslems in Europe as his father had done, and thus the peace of Szeged (1444), which regained the line of the Danube and drove the Turk behind the Balkans, must always be reckoned as the high-water mark of Hungary’s Turkish triumphs. But Matthias at least taught the sultan to respect the territorial integrity of Hungary, and throughout his reign the Eastern Question, though often vexatious, was never acute. Only after his death did the Ottoman empire become a menace to Christendom. Besides, his hands were tied by the unappeasable enmity of the emperor and the emperor’s allies, and he could never count upon any material help from the West against the East. The age of the crusades had gone. Throughout his reign the Czechs and the Germans were every whit as dangerous to Hungary as the Turks, and the political necessity which finally compelled Matthias to partition Austria and Bohemia, in order to secure Hungary, committed him to a policy of extreme circumspection. He has sometimes been blamed for not crushing his incurably disloyal and rebellious nobles, instead of cajoling them, after the example of his contemporary, Louis XI., who laid the foundations of the greatness of France on the ruin of the vassals. But Louis XI. had a relatively civilized and politically developed middle class behind him, whereas Matthias had not. It was as much as Matthias could do to keep the civic life of Hungary from expiring altogether, and nine-tenths of his burgesses were foreigners with no political interest in the country of their adoption. Never was any dominion so purely personal, and therefore so artificial as his. His astounding energy and resource curbed all his enemies during his lifetime, but they were content to wait patiently for his death, well aware that the collapse of his empire would immediately follow.
All that human foresight could devise for the consolidation and perpetuation of the newly established Hungarian empire had been done by Matthias in the last years of his reign. He had designated as his successor his natural son, the highly gifted János (John) Corvinus, a youth of Period of decline. seventeen. He had raised him to princely rank, endowed him with property which made him the greatest territorial magnate in the kingdom, placed in his hands the sacred crown and half-a-dozen of the strongest fortresses, and won over to his cause the majority of the royal council. How János was cajoled out of an almost impregnable position, and gradually reduced to insignificance, is told elsewhere (see Corvinus, János). The nobles Wladislaus II. and prelates, who detested the severe and strenuous Matthian system, desired, as they expressed it, “a king whose beard they could hold in their fists,” and they found a monarch after their own heart in Wladislaus Jagiello, since 1471 king of Bohemia, who as Wladislaus II. was elected unanimously king of Hungary on the 15th of July 1490. Wladislaus was the personification of helpless inertia. His Bohemian subjects had long since dubbed him “King All Right” because he said yes to everything. As king of Hungary he was, from first to last, the puppet of the Magyar oligarchs, who proceeded to abolish all the royal prerogatives and safeguards which had galled them under Matthias. By the compact of Farkashida (1490) Wladislaus not only confirmed all the Matthian privileges, but also repealed all the Matthian novelties, including the system of taxation which had enabled his predecessor to keep on foot an adequate national army. The virtual suppression of Wladislaus was completed at the diet of 1492, when “King All Right” consented to live on the receipts of the treasury, which were barely sufficient to maintain his court, and engaged never to impose any new taxes on his Magyar subjects. The dissolution of the standing army, including the Black Brigade, was the immediate result of these decrees. Thus, at the very time when the modernization of the means of national defence had become the first principle, in every other part of Europe, of the strongly centralized monarchies which were rising on the ruins of feudalism, the Hungarian magnates deliberately plunged their country back into the chaos of medievalism. The same diet which destroyed the national armaments and depleted the exchequer confirmed the disgraceful peace of Pressburg, concluded between Wladislaus and the emperor Maximilian on the 7th of November 1491, whereby Hungary retroceded all the Austrian conquests of Matthias, together with a long strip of Magyar territory, and paid a war indemnity equivalent to £200,000.
The thirty-six years which elapsed between the accession of Wladislaus II. and the battle of Mohács is the most melancholy and discreditable period of Hungarian history. Like Poland two centuries later, Hungary had ceased to be a civilized autonomous state because her prelates and her magnates, uncontrolled by any higher authority, and too ignorant or corrupt to look beyond their own immediate interests, abandoned themselves to the exclusive enjoyment of their inordinate privileges, while openly repudiating their primal obligation of defending the state against extraneous enemies. During these miserable years everything like patriotism or public spirit seems to have died out of the hearts of the Hungarian aristocracy. The great officers of state acted habitually on the principle that might is right. Stephen Bathóry, voivode of Transylvania and count of the Szeklers, for instance, ruled Transylvania like a Turkish pasha, and threatened to behead all who dared to complain of his exactions; “Stinking carrion,” he said, was better than living Szeklers. Thousands of Transylvanian gentlemen emigrated to Turkey to get out of his reach. Other great nobles were at perpetual feud with the towns whose wealth they coveted. Thus the Zapolyas, in 1500 and again in 1507, burnt a large part of Breznóbánya and Beszterczebánya, two of the chief industrial towns of north Hungary. Kronstadt, now the sole flourishing trade centre in the kingdom, defended itself with hired mercenaries against the robber barons. Everywhere the civic communities were declining; even Buda and Pressburg were half in ruins. In their misery the cities frequently appealed for protection to the emperor and other foreign potentates, as no redress was attainable at home. Compared even with the contemporary Polish diet the Hungarian national assembly was a tumultuous mob. The diet of 1497 passed most of its time in constructing, and then battering to pieces with axes and hammers, a huge wooden image representing the ministers of the crown, who were corrupt enough, but immovable, since they regularly appeared at the diet with thousands of retainers armed to the teeth, and openly derided the reforming endeavours of the lower gentry, who perceived that something was seriously wrong, yet were powerless to remedy it. All that the gentry could do was to depress the lower orders, and this they did at every opportunity. Thus, many of the towns, notably Visegrád, were deprived of the charters granted to them by Matthias, and a whole series of anti-civic ordinances were passed. Noblemen dwelling within the walls of the towns were especially exempted from all civic burdens, while every burgess who bought an extra-mural estate was made to pay double for the privilege. Every nobleman had the right to engage in trade toll-free, to the great detriment of their competitors the burgesses. The peasant class suffered most of all. In 1496 Varady, archbishop of Kalocsa, one of the few good prelates, declared that their lot was worse than that of brute beasts. The whole burden of taxation rested on their shoulders, and so ground down were they by ingeniously multiplied exactions, that thousands of them were reduced to literal beggary.
Yet, despite this inward rottenness, Hungary, for nearly twenty years after the death of Matthias, enjoyed an undeserved prestige abroad, due entirely to the reputation which that great monarch had won for her. Circumstances, indeed, were especially favourable. The emperor Maximilian was so absorbed by German affairs, that he could do her little harm, and under Bayezid II. and Selim I. the Turkish menace gave little anxiety to the court of Buda, Bayezid being no warrior, while Selim’s energies were claimed exclusively by the East, so that he was glad to renew the triennial truce with Hungary as often as it expired. Hungary, therefore, for almost the first time in her history, was free to choose a foreign policy of her own, and had she been guided by a patriot, she might now have easily regained Dalmatia, and acquired besides a considerable seaboard. Unfortunately Tamás Bakócz, her leading diplomatist from 1499 to 1521, was as much an egotist as the other magnates, and he sacrificed the political interests of Hungary entirely to personal considerations. Primate of Hungary since 1497, he coveted the popedom—and the red hat as the first step thereto above all things,—and looked mainly to Venetian influence for both. He therefore supported Venice against her enemies, refused to enter the League of Cambray in 1508, and concluded a ten years’ alliance with the Signoria, which obliged Hungary to defend Venetian territory without any equivalent gain. Less reprehensible, though equally self-seeking, were his dealings with the emperor, which aimed at a family alliance between the Jagiellos and the Habsburgs on the basis of a double marriage between the son and daughter of Wladislaus, Louis and Anne, and an Austrian archduke and archduchess; this was concluded by the family congress at Vienna, July 22, 1515, to which Sigismund I. of Poland, the brother of Wladislaus, acceded. The Hungarian diet frantically opposed every Austrian alliance as endangering the national independence, but to any unprejudiced observer a union with the house of Habsburg, even with the contingent probability of a Habsburg king, was infinitely preferable to the condition into which Hungary, under native aristocratic misrule, was swiftly drifting. The diet itself had become as much a nullity as the king, and its decrees were systematically disregarded. Still more pitiable was the condition of the court. The penury of Wladislaus II. was by this time so extreme, that he owed his very meals to the charity of his servants. The diet, indeed, voted him aids and subsidies, but the great nobles either forbade their collection within their estates, or confiscated the amount collected. Under the circumstances, we cannot wonder if the frontier fortresses fell to pieces, and the border troops, unpaid for years, took to brigandage.
The last reserves of the national wealth and strength were dissipated by the terrible peasant rising of György Dozsa (q.v.) in 1514, of which the enslavement of the Hungarian peasantry was the immediate consequence. The “Savage Diet” which assembled on the 18th of Peasant Rising, 1514. October the same year, to punish the rebels and restore order, well deserved its name. Sixty-two of its seventy-one enactments were directed against the peasants, who were henceforth bound to the soil and committed absolutely into the hands of “their natural lords.” To this vindictive legislation, which converted the labouring population into a sullenly hostile force within the state, it is mainly due that a healthy political life in Hungary became henceforth impossible. The same The Tripartitum. spirit of hostility to the peasantry breathed through the famous condification of the Hungarian customary law known as the Tripartitum, which, though never actually formally passed into law, continued until 1845 to be the only document defining the relations of king and people, of nobles and their peasants, and of Hungary and her dependent states.
Wladislaus II. died on the 13th of March 1516, two years after the “Savage Diet,” the ferocity of whose decrees he had feebly endeavoured to mitigate, leaving his two kingdoms to his son Louis, a child of ten, who was Subjection by the Turks. pronounced of age in order that his foreign guardians, the emperor Maximilian and Sigismund of Poland, might be dispensed with. The government remained in the hands of Cardinal Bakócz till his death in 1521, when the supreme authority at court was disputed between the lame palatine István Báthory, and his rival, the eminent jurist and orator István Verböczy (q.v.),—both of them incompetent, unprincipled place-hunters,—while, in the background lurked János Zapolya (see John (Zapolya), King of Hungary), voivode of Transylvania, patiently waiting till the death of the feeble and childless king (who, in 1522, married Maria of Austria) should open for him a way to the throne. Every one felt that a catastrophe was approaching. “Things cannot go on like this much longer,” wrote the Venetian ambassador to his government. The war of each against all continued; no taxes could be collected; the holders of the royal domains refused to surrender them at the command of the diet; and the boy king had very often neither clothes to wear nor food to eat. The whole atmosphere of society was one of rapine and corruption, and only on the frontier a few self-sacrificing patriots like the ban-bishop, Peter Biriszlo, the last of Matthias’s veterans, and his successor the saintly Pál Tomori, archbishop of Kalocsa, showed, in their ceaseless war against the predatory Turkish bands, that the ancient Magyar valour was not yet wholly extinct. But the number of the righteous men was too few to save the state. The first blow fell in 1521, when Sultan Suleiman appeared before the southern fortresses of Sabác and Belgrade, both of which fell into his hands during the course of the year. After this Venice openly declared that Hungary was no longer worth the saving. Yet the coup de grâce was postponed for another five years, during which time Suleiman was occupied with the conquest of Egypt and the siege of Rhodes. The Magyars fancied they were safe from attack, because the final assault was suspended; and everything went on in the old haphazard way. Every obstacle was opposed to the collection of the taxes which had been voted to put the kingdom in a state of defence. “If this realm could be saved at the expense of three florins,” exclaimed the papal envoy, Antonio Burgio, “there is not a man here willing to make the sacrifice.” Only on the southern frontier did Archbishop Tomori painfully assemble a fresh army and fleet, and succeed, by incredible efforts, in constructing at Péterwardein, on the right bank of the Danube, a new fortress which served him as a refuge and sally post in his interminable guerilla war with the Turks.
In the spring of 1526 came the tidings that Sultan Suleiman had quitted Constantinople, at the head of a countless host, to conquer Hungary. On the 28th of July Péterwardein, after a valiant resistance, was blown into the air. The diet, which met at Buda in hot haste, proclaimed the young king dictator, granted him unlimited subsidies which there was no time to collect, and ordered a levée en masse of the entire male population, which could not possibly assemble within the given time. Louis at once formed a camp at Tolna, whence he issued despairing summonses to the lieges, and, by the middle of August, some 25,000 ill-equipped gentlemen had gathered around him. With these he marched southwards to the plain of Mohács, where, on the 29th of August, the Hungarians, after a two hours’ fight, were annihilated, the king, both the archbishops, five bishops and 24,000 men perishing on the field. The sultan refused to believe that the pitiful array he had so easily overcome could be the national army of Hungary. Advancing with extreme caution, he occupied Buda on the 12th of September, but speedily returned to his own dominions, carrying off with him 105,000 captives, and an amount of spoil which filled the bazaars of the East for months to come. By the end of October the last Turkish regular had quitted Magyar soil, and, to use the words of a contemporary observer, one quarter of Hungary was as utterly destroyed as if a flood had passed over it.
The Turks had no sooner quitted the land than John Zapolya,
voivode of Transylvania, assembled a diet at Tokaj (Oct. 14,
1526) at which the towns were represented as well as
John Zapolya elected King.
the counties. The tone of the assembly being violently
anti-German, and John being the only conceivable
national candidate, his election was a matter of course;
but his misgivings were so great that it was not till the beginning
of November that he very reluctantly allowed himself to be
crowned at a second diet, held at Székesfehérvár. By this
time a competitor had entered the field. This was the archduke
Ferdinand, who claimed the Hungarian crown by right of
of Austria elected. inheritance in the name of his wife, Anne, sister of the late king. Ferdinand was elected (Dec. 16) by a scratch assembly consisting of deputies from Croatia and the towns of Pressburg and Sopron; but he speedily improved his position in the course of 1527, by driving King John first from Buda and then from Hungary. In November the same year he was elected and crowned by a properly constituted diet at Székesfehérvár (Stuhlweissenburg). In 1529 Zapolya was reinstated in Buda by Suleiman the Magnificent in person, who, at this period, preferred setting up a Rival kings. rival to “the king of Vienna” to conquering Hungary outright. Thus the Magyars were saddled with two rival kings with equally valid titles, which proved an even worse disaster than the Mohács catastrophe; for in most of the counties of the unhappy kingdom desperadoes of every description plundered the estates of the gentry, and oppressed the common people, under the pretext that they were fighting the battles of the contending monarchs. The determination of Ferdinand to partition Hungary rather than drive the Turks out, which he might easily have done after Suleiman’s unsuccessful attempts on Vienna in 1529–1530, led to a prolongation of the struggle till the 24th of February 1538, when, by the secret peace of Nagyvárad, Hungary was divided between the two competitors. By this treaty Ferdinand retained Croatia-Slavonia and the five western counties with Pressburg and Esztergom (Gran), while Zapolya kept the remaining two-thirds with the royal title. He was indeed the last national king of Hungary till modern times. His court at Buda was maintained according to the ancient traditions, and his gyüles, at which 67 of the 73 counties were generally represented, was the true national diet, the phantom assembly occasionally convened at Pressburg by Ferdinand scarcely deserving the title. Indeed, Ferdinand regarded his narrow strip of Hungarian territory as simply a barrier behind which he could better defend the hereditary states. During the last six years (1534–1540) of John’s reign, his kingdom, beneath the guidance of the Paulician monk, Frater György, or George Martinuzzi (q.v.), the last great statesman of old Hungary, enjoyed a stability and prosperity marvellous in the difficult circumstances of the period, Martinuzzi holding the balance exactly between the emperor and the Porte with astounding diplomatic dexterity, and at the same time introducing several important domestic reforms. Zapolya died on the 18th of July 1540, whereupon the estates of Hungary elected his baby son John Sigismund king, in direct violation of the peace of Grosswardein which had formally acknowledged Ferdinand as John’s successor, whether he left male issue or not. Ferdinand at once asserted his rights by force of arms, and attacked Buda in May 1541, despite the urgent remonstrances of Martinuzzi, who knew that the Turk would never suffer the emperor to reign at Buda. His fears were instantly justified. In August 1541, Suleiman, at the head of a vast army, invaded Hungary, and on the 30th of August, Buda was in his hands. During the six following years the sultan still further improved his position, capturing, amongst many other places, Pécs, and the primatial city of Esztergom; but, in 1547, the exigencies Partition of Hungary. of the Persian war induced him to sell a truce of five years to Ferdinand for £100,000, on a uti possidetis basis, Ferdinand holding thirty-five counties (including Croatia and Slavonia) for which he was to pay an annual tribute of £60,000; John Sigismund retaining Transylvania and sixteen adjacent counties with the title of prince, while the rest of the land, comprising most of the central counties, was annexed to the Turkish empire. Thus the ancient kingdom was divided into three separate states with divergent aims and interests, a condition of things which, with frequent rearrangements, continued for more than 150 years.
A period of infinite confusion and extreme misery now ensued, of which only the salient points can here be noted. The attempts of the Habsburgs to conquer Transylvania drew down upon them two fresh Turkish invasions, the first in 1552, when the sultan’s generals captured Temesvár Siege of Szigetvár. and fifty-four lesser forts or fortresses, and the second in 1566, memorable as Suleiman’s last descent upon Hungary, and also for the heroic defence of Szigetvár by Miklós Zrinyi (q.v.), one of the classical sieges of history. The truce of Adrianople in 1568, nominally for eight years, but prolonged from time to time till 1593, finally suspended regular hostilities, and introduced the epoch known as “The Long Peace,” though, throughout these twenty-five years, the guerilla warfare on the frontier never ceased for more than a few months at a time, and the relations between the Habsburgs and Transylvania were persistently hostile.
Probably no other country ever suffered so much from its rulers as Hungary suffered during the second half of the 16th century. This was due partly to political and partly to religious causes. To begin with, there can be no doubt that from 1558, when the German imperial crown was transferred from the Spanish to the Austrian branch of the Habsburg family, royal Hungary was regarded by the emperors as an insignificant barrier province yielding far more trouble than profit. The visible signs of this contemptuous point of view were (1) the suspension of the august dignity of palatine, which, after the death of Tamás Nádasdy, “the great palatine,” in 1562, was left vacant for many years; (2) the abolition or attenuation of all the ancient Hungarian court dignitaries; (3) the degradation of the capital, Pressburg, into a mere provincial town; and (4) the more and more openly expressed determination to govern Hungary from Vienna by means of foreigners, principally German or Czech. During the reign of Ferdinand, whose consort, Anne, was a Hungarian princess, things were at least tolerable; but under Maximilian (1564–1576) and Rudolph (1576–1612) the antagonism of the Habsburgs towards their Magyar subjects was only too apparent. The diet, which had the power of the purse, could not be absolutely dispensed with; but it was summoned as seldom as possible, the king often preferring to forego his subsidies rather than listen to the unanswerable remonstrances of the estates against the illegalities of his government. In the days of the semi-insane recluse Rudolph things went from bad to worse. The Magyar nobles were now systematically spoliated on trumped-up charges of treason; hundreds of them were ruined. At last they either durst not attend the diet, or “sat like dumb dogs” during its session, allowing the king to alter and interpret the statutes at his good pleasure. Presently religious was superadded to political persecution.
The Reformation had at first produced little effect on Hungary. Except in the towns, mostly of German origin, it was generally detested, just because it came from Germany. The battle of Mohács, however, severely shook the faith of the Hungarians. “Where are the old Magyar Effect of Reformation. saints? Why do they not defend the realm against the Turks?” was the general cry. Moreover, the corrupt church had lost its hold on the affections of the people. Zapolya, a devout Catholic, is lauded by Archbishop Frangipan in 1533 for arresting the spread of the new doctrines, though he would not allow Martinuzzi to take the extreme step of burning perverts at the stake. These perverts were mostly to be found among nobles desirous of amassing church property, or among those of the clergy who clamoured for communion in both kinds. So long, however, as the old national kingdom survived, the majority of the people still clung to the old faith. Under Ferdinand the parochial clergy were tempted to become Lutherans by the prospect of matrimony, and, in reply to the remonstrances of their bishops, declared that they would rather give up their cures than their wives. In Transylvania matters were at first ordered more peaceably. In 1552 the new doctrines obtained complete recognition there, the diet of Torda (1557) going so far as to permit every one to worship in his own way so long as he did not molest his neighbour. Yet, in the following year, the whole of the property of the Catholic Church there was diverted to secular uses, and the Calvinists were simultaneously banished, though they regained complete tolerance in 1564, a privilege at the same time extended to the Unitarians, who were now very influential at court and converted Prince John Sigismund to their views. In Turkish Hungary all the confessions enjoyed liberty of worship, though the Catholics, as possible partisans of the “king of Vienna,” were liked the least. It was only when the Jesuits obtained a footing both at Prague< and Klausenburg that persecution began, but then it was very violent. In Transylvania the princes of the Báthory family (1571–1604) were ardent disciples of the Jesuit fathers, and Sigismund Báthory in particular persecuted fiercely, his fury being especially directed against the queer judaizing sect known as the Sabbatarians, whose tenets were adopted by the Szeklers, the most savage of “the three nations” of Transylvania, many thousands of whom were, after a bloody struggle, forced to emigrate. In royal Hungary also the Jesuits were the chief persecutors. The extirpation of Protestantism was a deliberate prearranged programme, and as Protestantism was by this time identical with Magyarism< the extirpation of the one was tantamount to the extirpation of the other. The method generally adopted was to deprive the preachers in the towns of their churches by force, Italian mercenaries being preferably employed for the purpose. It was assumed that the Protestant nobles’ jealousy of the burgesses would prevent them from interfering; but religious sympathy proved stronger than caste prejudice, and the diets protested against the persecution of their fellow citizens so vehemently that religious matters were withdrawn from their jurisdiction.
This persecution raged most fiercely towards the end of what is generally called “The Long War,” which began in 1593, and lasted till 1606. It was a confused four-cornered struggle between the emperor and the Turks, the Turks and Transylvania, Michael of Moldavia and The “Long War.” Transylvania, and Transylvania and the emperor, desultory and languishing as regards the Turks (the one notable battle being Sigismund Báthory’s brilliant victory over the grand vizier in Walachia in 1595, when the Magyar army penetrated as far as Giurgevo), but very bitter as between the emperor and Transylvania, the principality being finally subdued by the imperial general, George Basta, in August 1604. A reign of terror ensued, during which the unfortunate principality was well-nigh ruined. Basta was authorized to Germanize and Catholicize without delay, and he began by dividing the property of most of the nobles among his officers, appropriating the lion’s share himself. In royal Hungary the same object was aimed at by innumerable indictments against the richer landowners, indictments supported by false title-deeds and carried through by forged or purchased judgments of the courts. At last the estates of even the most devoted adherents of the Habsburgs were not safe, and some of them, like the wealthy István Illesházy (1540–1609), had to fly abroad to save their heads. Fortunately a peculiarly shameless attempt to blackmail Stephen Bocskay, a rich and Stephen Bocskay. powerful Transylvanian nobleman, converted a long-suffering friend of the emperor into a national deliverer. Bocskay (q.v.), a quiet but resolute man, having once made up his mind to rebel, never paused till he had established satisfactory relations between the Austrian court and the Hungarians. The two great achievements of his brief reign (he was elected prince of Transylvania on the 5th of April 1605, and died on the 29th of December 1606) were the peace of Vienna (June 23, 1606) and the truce of Zsitvatörök (November 1606). By the peace of Vienna, Bocskay obtained religious liberty and political autonomy, the restoration of all confiscated estates, the repeal of all unrighteous judgments and a complete retrospective amnesty for all the Magyars in royal Hungary, besides his own recognition as independent sovereign prince of an enlarged Transylvania. This treaty is remarkable as being the first constitutional compact between the ruling dynasty and the Hungarian nation. Almost equally important was the twenty years’ truce of Zsitvatörök, negotiated by Bocskay between the emperor and the sultan, which established for the first time a working equilibrium between the three parts of Hungary, with a distinct political preponderance in favour of Transylvania. Of the 5163 sq. m. of Hungarian territory, Transylvania now possessed 2082, Turkish Hungary 1859, and royal Hungary only 1222. The emperor, on the other hand, was freed from the humiliating annual tribute to the Porte on payment of a war indemnity of £400,000. The position of royal Hungary was still further improved when the popular and patriotic Archduke Matthias was elected king of Hungary on the 16th of November 1608. He had previously confirmed the treaty of Vienna, and the day after his election he appointed Illesházy, now reinstated in all his possessions and dignities, palatine of Hungary. In Transylvania, meantime, Gabriel Bathóry had been elected (Nov. 11, 1608) in place of the decrepit Sigismund Rákoczy, Bocskay’s immediate successor.
For more than fifty years after the peace of Vienna the principality of Transylvania continued to be the bulwark of the liberties of the Magyars. It owed its ascendancy in the first place to the abilities of the two princes who ruled it from 1613 to 1648. The first and most Transylvanian Hegemony. famous of these rulers was Gabriel Bethlen (q.v.), who reigned from 1613 to 1629, perpetually thwarted all the efforts of the emperor to oppress or circumvent his Hungarian subjects, and won some reputation abroad by adroitly pretending to champion the Protestant cause. Three times he waged war on the emperor, twice he was proclaimed king of Hungary, and by the peace of Nikolsburg (Dec. 31, 1621) he obtained for the Protestants a confirmation of the treaty of Vienna, and for himself seven additional counties in northern Hungary besides other substantial advantages. Bethlen’s successor, George I. Rákoczy, was equally successful. His principal achievement was the peace of Linz (Sept. 16, 1645), the last political triumph of Hungarian Protestantism, whereby the emperor was forced to confirm once more the oft-broken articles of the peace of Vienna, to restore nearly a hundred churches to the sects and to acknowledge the sway of Rákoczy over the north Hungarian counties. Gabriel Bethlen and George I. Rákoczy also did much for education and civilization generally, and their era has justly been called the golden era of Transylvania. They lavished money on the embellishment of their capital, Gyulafehérvár, which became a sort of Protestant Mecca, whither scholars and divines of every anti-Roman denomination flocked to bask in the favour of princes who were as liberal as they were pious. Yet both Bethlen and Rákoczy owed far more to favourable circumstances than to their own cunning. Their reigns synchronized with the Thirty Years’ War, during which the emperors were never in a position seriously to withstand the attacks of the malcontent Magyars, the vast majority of whom were still Protestants, who naturally looked upon the Transylvanian princes as their protectors and joined them in thousands whenever they raided Moravia or Lower Austria, or threatened to advance upon Vienna. In all these risings no battle of importance was fought. Generally speaking, the Transylvanians had only to appear, to have their demands promptly complied with; for these marauders had to be bought off because the emperor had more pressing business elsewhere. Yet their military efficiency must have been small, for their allies the Swedes invariably allude to them as wild and ragged semi-barbarians.
Another fortunate accident which favoured the hegemony of Transylvania was the temporary collapse of Hungary’s most formidable adversary, the Turk. From the peace of Zsitvatörök (1606) to the ninth year of the reign of George Rákoczy II., who succeeded his father in 1648, Turkish conflict. the Turkish empire, misruled by a series of incompetent sultans and distracted by internal dissensions, was unable to intervene in Hungarian politics. But in the autumn of 1656 a great statesman, Mahommed Kuprili (q.v.), obtained the supreme control of affairs at Constantinople, and all Europe instantly felt the pressure of the Turk once more. It was George Rákoczy II. (q.v.) who gave the new grand vizier a pretext for interference. Against the advice of all his counsellors, and without the knowledge of the estates, Rákoczy, in 1657, plunged into the troubled sea of Polish politics, in the hope of winning the Polish throne, and not only failed miserably but overwhelmed Transylvania in his own ruin. Kuprili, who had forbidden the Polish enterprise, at once occupied Transylvania, and, in the course of the next five years, no fewer than four princes, three of whom died violent deaths, were forced to accept the kaftan and kalpag of investiture in the camp of the grand vizier. When, at the end of 1661, a more stable administration was set up with Michael Apaffy (1661–1690) as prince, Transylvania had descended to the rank of a feudatory of the Turkish empire. On the death of Mahommed Kuprili (Oct. 11, 1661) his son Fazil Ahmed succeeded him as grand vizier, and pursued his father’s policy with equal genius and determination. In 1663 he invaded royal Hungary, with the intention of uniting all the Magyars against the emperor, but, the Magyars steadily refusing to attend any diet summoned under Turkish influence, his plan fell through, and his only notable military success was the capture of the fortress of Érsekujvár (Neuhäusel). In the following year, thanks to the generalship and heroism of Miklós Zrinyi the younger (q.v.), Peace of Vasvár, 1664. Kuprili was still less successful. Zrinyi captured fortress after fortress, and interrupted the Turkish communications by destroying the famous bridge of Esseg, while Montecuculi defeated the grand vizier at the battle of St Gothard (Aug. 1, 1664). Yet, despite these reverses, Kuprili’s superior diplomacy enabled him, at the peace of Vasvár (Aug. 10, 1664) to obtain terms which should only have been conceded to a conqueror. The fortress of Érsekujvár and surrounding territory were now ceded to the Turks, with the result that royal Hungary was not only still further diminished, but its northern practically separated from its southern portion. On the other hand the treaty of Vasvár gave Hungary a respite from regular Turkish invasions for twenty years, though the border raiding continued uninterruptedly.
Of far more political importance than these fluctuating wars of invasion and conquest was the simultaneous Catholic reaction in Hungary. The movement may be said to have begun about 1601, when the great Jesuit preacher and controversialist, Péter Pázmány (q.v.), first devoted Catholic reaction. himself to the task of reconverting his countrymen. Progress was necessarily retarded by the influence of the independent Protestant princes of Transylvania in the northern counties of Hungary. Even as late as 1622 the Protestants at the diet of Pressburg were strong enough to elect their candidate, Szaniszló Thurzó, palatine. But Thurzó was the last Protestant palatine, and, on his death, the Catholics, at the diet of Sopron (1625), where they dominated the Upper Chamber, and had a large minority in the Lower, were able to elect Count Miklós Esterházy in Thurzó’s stead. The Jesuit programme in Hungary was the same as it had been in Poland a generation earlier, and may be summed up thus: convert the great families and all the rest will follow. Their success, due partly to their whole-hearted zeal, and partly to their superior educational Pázmány’s work. system, was extraordinary; and they possessed the additional advantage of having in Pázmány a leader of commanding genius. During his primacy (1616–1637), when he had the whole influence of the court, and the sympathy and the assistance of the Catholic world behind him, he put the finishing touches to his life’s labour by founding a great Catholic university at Nagyszombát (1635), and publishing a Hungarian translation of the Bible to counteract the influence of Gaspar Károli’s widely spread Protestant version. Pázmány was certainly the great civilizing factor of Hungary in the seventeenth century, and indirectly he did as much for the native language as for the native church. His successors had only to build on his foundations. One most striking instance of how completely he changed the current of the national mind may here be given. From 1526 to 1625 the usual jubilee pilgrimages from Hungary to Rome had entirely ceased. During his primacy they were revived, and in 1650, only seventeen years after his death, they were as numerous as ever they had been. Five years later there remained but four noble Protestant families in royal Hungary. The Catholicization of the land was complete.
Unfortunately the court of Vienna was not content with winning back the Magyars to the Church. The Habsburg kings were as jealous of the political as of the religious liberties of their Hungarian subjects. This was partly owing to the fact that national aspirations of any sort Habsburg repression. were contrary to the imperial system, which claimed to rule by right divine, and partly to an inveterate distrust of the Magyars, who were regarded at court as rebels by nature, and therefore as enemies far more troublesome than the Turks. The conduct of the Hungarian nobles in the past, indeed, somewhat justified this estimate, for the fall of the ancient monarchy was entirely due to their persistent disregard of authority, to their refusal to bear their share of the public burdens. They were now to suffer severely for their past misdoings, but unfortunately the innocent nation was forced to suffer with them. Throughout the latter part of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, the Hungarian gentry underwent a cruel discipline at the hands of their Habsburg kings. Their privileges were overridden, their petitions were disregarded, their diets were degraded into mere registries of the royal decrees. They were never fairly represented in the royal council, they were excluded as far as possible from commands in Hungarian regiments, and were treated, generally, as the members of an inferior and guilty race. This era of repression corresponds roughly with the reign of Leopold I. (1657–1705), who left the government of the country to two bigoted Magyar prelates, György Szelepesényi (1595–1685) and Lipót (Leopold) Kollonich (1631–1707), whose domination represents the high-water mark of the anti-national regimen. The stupid and abortive conspiracy of Peter Zrinyi and three other magnates, who were publicly executed (April 30, 1671), was followed by wholesale arrests and confiscations, and for a time the legal government of Hungary was superseded (Patent of March 3, 1673) by a committee of eight persons, four Magyars and four Germans, presided over by a German governor; but the most influential person in this committee was Bishop Kollonich, of whom it was said that, while Pázmány hated the heretic in the Magyar, Kollonich hated the Magyar in the heretic. A gigantic process against leading Protestant ministers for alleged conspiracy was the first act of this committee. It began at Pressburg in March 1674, when 236 of the ministers were “converted” or confessed to acts of rebellion. But the remaining 93 stood firm and were condemned to death, a punishment commuted to slavery in the Neapolitan galleys. Sweden, as one of the guarantors of the peace of Westphalia, and several north German states, protested against the injury thus done to their coreligionists. It was replied that Hungary was outside the operation of the treaty of Westphalia, and that the Protestants had been condemned not ex odio religionis but crimine rebellionis.
But a high-spirited nation cannot be extinguished by any number of patents and persecutions. So long as the Magyar people had any life left, it was bound to fight in self-defence, it was bound to produce “malcontents” who looked abroad for help to the enemies of the Hungarian resistance. house of Habsburg. The first and most famous of the malcontent leaders was Count Imre Tököli (q.v.). Between 1678 and 1682 Tököli waged three wars with Leopold, and, in September 1682, was acknowledged both by the emperor and the sultan as prince of North Hungary as far as the river Garam, to the great relief of the Magyar Protestants. The success of Tököli rekindled the martial ardour of the Turks, and a war party, under the grand vizier Kara Mustafa, determined to wrest from Leopold his twelve remaining Hungarian counties, gained the ascendancy at Constantinople in the course of 1682. Leopold, intent on the doings of his perennial rival Louis XIV., was loth to engage in an eastern war even for the liberation of Hungary, which he regarded as of far less importance than a strip or two of German territory on the Rhine. But, stimulated by the representations of Pope Innocent XI., who, well aware of the internal weakness of the Turk, was bent upon forming a Holy League to drive them out of Europe, and alarmed, besides, by the danger of Vienna and the hereditary states, Leopold reluctantly contracted an alliance with John III. of Poland, and gave the command of the army which, mainly through the efforts of the pope he had been able to assemble, to Prince Charles of Lorraine. The war, which lasted for 16 years and put an end to the Turkish dominion in Hungary, began with the world-renowned siege of Vienna (July 14–Sept. 12, 1683). There is no need to recount the oft-told victories of Sobieski (see John III. Sobieski, King of Poland). What is not quite so generally known is the fact that Leopold slackened at once and would have been quite content with the results of these earlier victories had not the pope stiffened his resistance by forming a Holy League between the Emperor, Poland, Venice, Muscovy and the papacy, with the avowed object of dealing the Turk the coup de grâce (March 5, 1684). This statesmanlike persistence was rewarded by an uninterrupted series of triumphs, culminating in the recapture of Buda (1686) and Belgrade (1688), and the recovery of Bosnia (1689). But, in 1690, the third of the famous Kuprilis, Mustafa, brother of Fazil Ahmed, became grand vizier, and the Turk, still further encouraged by the death of Innocent XI., rallied once more. In the course of that year Kuprili regained Servia and Bulgaria, placed Tököli on the throne of Transylvania, and on the 6th of October took Belgrade Liberation from the Turks. by assault. Once more the road to Vienna lay open, but the grand vizier wasted the remainder of the year in fortifying Belgrade, and on August 18th, 1691, he was defeated and slain at Slankamen by the margrave of Baden. For the next six years the war languished owing to the timidity of the emperor, the incompetence of his generals and the exhaustion of the Porte; but on the 11th of September 1697 Prince Eugene of Savoy routed the Turks at Zenta and on the 13th of November 1698 a peace-congress was opened at Karlowitz which resulted in the peace of that name (Jan. 26, 1699). Nominally a truce for 25 years on the uti possidetis basis, Peace of Karlowitz. the peace of Karlowitz left in the emperor’s hands the whole of Hungary except Syrmia and the territory lying between the rivers Maros, Theiss, Danube and the mountains of Transylvania, the so-called Temesköz, or about one-eleventh of the modern kingdom. The peace of Karlowitz marks the term of the Magyar’s secular struggle with Mahommedanism and finally reunited her long-separated provinces beneath a common sceptre.
But the liberation of Hungary from the Turks brought no relief to the Hungarians. The ruthless suppression of the Magyar malcontents, in which there was little discrimination between the innocent and the guilty, had so crushed the spirit of the country that Leopold considered the time ripe for realizing a long-cherished ideal of the Habsburgs and changing Hungary from an elective into an hereditary monarchy. For this purpose a diet was assembled at Pressburg in the autumn of 1687. It was a mere rump, for wholesale executions had thinned its numbers and the reconquered countries were not represented in it. To this weakened and terrorized assembly the emperor-king explained that he had the right to treat Hungary as a conquered country, but that he was prepared to confirm its constitutional liberties under three conditions: the inaugural diploma was to be in the form signed by Ferdinand I., the crown was to be declared hereditary in the house of Habsburg, and the 31st clause of the Golden Bull, authorizing armed resistance to unconstitutional acts of the sovereign, was to be abrogated. These conditions the diet had no choice but to accept, and, in October 1687, the elective monarchy of Hungary, which had been in existence for nearly seven hundred years, ceased to exist. The immediate effect of the peace of Karlowitz was thus only to strengthen despotism in Hungary. Kollonich, who had been created a cardinal in 1685, archbishop of Kalocsa in 1691 and archbishop of Esztergom (Gran) and primate of Hungary in 1695, was now at the head of affairs, and his plan was to germanize Hungary as speedily as possible by promoting a wholesale immigration into the recovered provinces, all of which were in a terrible state of dilapidation.
The border counties, now formed into a military zone, were planted exclusively with Croatian colonists as being more trustworthy defenders of the Hungarian frontier than the Hungarians themselves. Moreover, a neo-acquisita commissio was constituted to inquire into the title-deeds of the Magyar landowners in the old Turkish provinces, and hundreds of estates were transferred, on the flimsiest of pretexts, to naturalized foreigners. Transylvania since 1690 had been administered from Vienna, and though the farce of assembling a diet there was still kept up, even the promise of religious liberty, conceded to it on its surrender in 1687, was not kept. No wonder then if the whole country was now seething with discontent and only Francis Rakóczy. awaiting an opportunity to burst forth in open rebellion. This opportunity came when the emperor, involved in the War of the Spanish Succession, withdrew all his troops from Hungary except some 1600 men. In 1703 the malcontents found a leader in Francis Rakóczy II. (q.v.), who was elected prince by the Hungarian estates on the 6th of July 1704, and during the next six years gave the emperor Joseph I., who had succeeded Leopold in May 1705, considerable anxiety. Rakóczy had often as many as 100,000 men under him, and his bands penetrated as far as Moravia and even approached within a few miles of Vienna. But they were guerillas, not regulars; they had no good officers, no serviceable artillery, and very little money; and all the foreign powers to whom Rakóczy turned for assistance (excepting France, who fed them occasionally with paltry subsidies) would not commit themselves to a formal alliance with rebels who were defeated in every pitched battle they fought. On the other hand, if the Rakóczians were easily dispersed, they as quickly reassembled, and at one time they held all Transylvania and the greater part of Hungary. In the course of 1707 two Rakóczian diets even went so far as formally to depose the Habsburgs and form an interim government with Rakóczy at its head, till a national king could be legally elected. The Maritime Powers, too, fearful lest Louis XIV. should materially assist the Rakóczians and thus divert Peace of Szátmár, 1711. part of the emperor’s forces at the very crisis of the War of the Spanish Succession, intervened, repeatedly and energetically, to bring about a compromise between the court and the insurgents, whose claims they considered to be just and fair. But the obstinate refusal of Joseph to admit that the Rakóczians were anything but rebels was always the insurmountable object in all such negotiations. But when, on the 7th of April 1711, Joseph died without issue, leaving the crown to his brother the Archduke Charles, then fighting the battles of the Allies in Spain, a peace-congress met at Szátmár on the 27th of April, and, two days later, an understanding was arrived at on the basis of a general amnesty, full religious liberty and the recognition of the inviolability of the ancient rights and privileges of the Magyars.
Thus the peace of Szátmár assured to the Hungarian nation all that it had won by former compacts with the Habsburgs; but whereas hitherto the Transylvanian principality had been the permanent guardian of all such compacts, and the authority of the reigning house had been counterpoised by the Turk, the effect and validity of the peace of Szátmár depended entirely upon the support it might derive from the nation itself. It was a fortunate thing for Hungary that the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession introduced a new period, in which, at last, the interests of the dynasty and the nation were identical, thus rendering a reconciliation between them desirable. Moreover, the next century and a half was a period of domestic tranquillity, during which Hungary was able to repair the ruin of the long Turkish wars, nurse her material resources, and take Charles III. the first steps in the direction of social and political reform. The first reforms, however, were dynastic rather than national. Thus, in 1715, King Charles III. persuaded the diet to consent to the establishment of a standing army, which—though the diet reserved the right to fix the number of recruits and vote the necessary subsidies from time to time—was placed under the control of the Austrian council of war. The same centralizing tendency was shown in the administrative and judicial reforms taken in hand by the diet of 1722. A Hungarian court chancery was now established at Vienna, while the government of Hungary proper was committed to a royal stadholdership at Pressburg. Both the chancery and the stadholdership were independent of the diet and responsible to the king alone, being, in fact, his executive Pragmatic Sanction, 1723. instruments. It was this diet also which accepted the Pragmatic Sanction, first issued in 1713, by which the emperor Charles VI., in default of his leaving male heirs, settled the succession to his hereditary dominions on his daughter Maria Theresa and her heirs. By the laws of 1723, which gave effect to the resolution of the diet in favour of accepting the principle of female succession, the Habsburg king entered into a fresh contract with his Hungarian subjects, a contract which remained the basis of the relations of the crown and nation until 1848. On the one hand it was declared that the kingdom of Hungary was an integral part of the Habsburg dominions and inseparable from these so long as a male or female heir of the kings Charles, Joseph and Leopold should be found to succeed to them. On the other hand, Charles swore, on behalf of himself and his heirs, to preserve the Hungarian constitution intact, with all the rights, privileges, customs, laws, &c., of the kingdom and its dependencies. Moreover, in the event of the failure of a Habsburg heir, the diet reserved the right to revive the “ancient, approved and accepted custom and prerogative of the estates and orders in the matter of the election and coronation of their king.”
The reign of Charles III. is also memorable for two Turkish wars, the first of which, beginning in 1716, and made glorious by the victories of Prince Eugene and János Pállfy, was terminated by the peace of Passarowitz (July 21, 1718), by which the Temesköz was also freed from the Turks, and Servia, Northern Bosnia and Little Walachia, all of them ancient conquests of Hungary, were once more incorporated with the territories of the crown of St Stephen. The second war, though undertaken in league with Russia, proved unlucky, and, at the peace of Belgrade (Sept. 1, 1739), all the conquests of the peace of Passarowitz, including Belgrade itself, were lost, except the banat of Temesvár. With Maria Theresa (1740–1780) began the age of enlightened despotism. Deeply grateful to the Magyars for their sacrifices and services during the War of the Austrian Succession, she dedicated her whole authority to the good of the nation, but she was very unwilling to share that Maria Theresa. authority with the people. Only in the first stormy years of her reign did she summon the diet; after 1764 she dispensed with it altogether. She did not fill up the dignity of palatine, vacant since the 26th of October 1765, and governed Hungary through her son-in-law, Albert of Saxe-Teschen. She did not attack the Hungarian constitution; she simply put it on one side. Her reforms were made not by statute, but by royal decree. Yet the nation patiently endured the mild yoke of the great queen, because it felt and knew that its welfare was safe in her motherly hands. Her greatest achievement lay in the direction of educational reform. She employed the proceeds of the vast sums coming to her from the confiscation of the property of the suppressed Jesuit order in founding schools and colleges all over Hungary. The kingdom was divided into ten educational districts for the purpose, with a university at Buda. Towards all her Magyars, especially the Catholics, she was ever most gracious; but the magnates, the Bátthyanis, the Nadásdys, the Pállfys, the Andrássys, who had chased her enemies from Bohemia and routed them in Bavaria, enjoyed the lion’s share of her benefactions. In fact, most of them became professional courtiers, and lived habitually at Vienna. She also attracted the gentry to her capital by forming a Magyar body-guard from the cadets of noble families. But she was good to all, not even forgetting the serfs. The úrbéri szabályzat (feudal prescription) of 1767 restored to the peasants the right of transmigration and, in some respects, protected them against the exactions of their landlords.
Joseph II. (1780–1790) was as true to the principles of enlightened despotism and family politics as his mother; but he had none of the common sense which had led her to realize the limits of her power. Joseph was an idealist and a doctrinaire, whose dream was to build up Joseph II. his ideal body politic; the first step toward which was to be the amalgamation of all his dominions into a common state under an absolute sovereign (see Austria-Hungary; and Joseph II., Emperor). Unfortunately, the Hungarian constitution stood in the way of this political paradise, so Joseph resolved that the Hungarian constitution must be sacrificed. Refusing to be crowned, or even to take the usual oaths of observance, he simply announced his accession to the Hungarian counties, and then deliberately proceeded to break down all the ancient Magyar institutions. In 1784 the Language Edict made German the official language of the common state. The same year he ordered a census and a land-survey to be taken, to enable him to tax every one irrespective of birth or wealth. Protests came in from every quarter and a dangerous rebellion broke out in Transylvania; but opposition only made Joseph more obstinate, and he endeavoured to anticipate any further resistance by abolishing the ancient county assemblies and dividing the kingdom into two districts administered by German officials.
In taking this course Joseph made the capital mistake of neglecting the Machiavellian maxim that in changing the substance of cherished institutions the prince should be careful to preserve the semblance. In substance the county assemblies were worse than ineffective: mere turbulent gatherings of country squires and peasants, corrupt and prejudiced, representing nothing but their own pride of race and class; and to try and govern without them, or to administer in spite of them, may have been the only expedient possible to statesmen. But to the Magyars they were the immemorial strongholds of their liberties, the last defences of their constitution; and the attempt to suppress them, which made every county a centre of disaffection and resistance, was the action not of a statesman, but of a visionary. The failure of Joseph’s “enlightened” policy in Hungary was inevitable in any case; it was hastened by the disastrous Turkish war of 1787–92, which withdrew Joseph altogether from domestic affairs; and on his death-bed (Feb. 22, 1790) he felt it to be his duty to annul all his principal reforms, so as to lighten the difficulties of his successor.
Leopold II. found the country on the verge of revolution; but the wisdom of the new monarch saved the situation and won back the Magyars. At the diet of 1790–1791 laws were passed not only confirming the royal prerogatives and the national liberties, but leaving the way open for Leopold II., 1790–1792. future developments. Hungary was declared to be a free, independent and unsubjected kingdom governed by its own laws and customs. The legislative functions were to be exercised by the king and the diet conjointly and by them alone. The diets were henceforth to be triennial, and every new king was to pledge himself to be crowned and issue his credentials within six months of the death of his predecessor. Latin was still to be the official language, but Magyar was now introduced into the university and all the schools. Leopold’s successor Francis I. (1792–1835) received a declaration of war from the Francis I., 1792–1835. French Legislative Assembly immediately on ascending the throne. For the next quarter of a century he, as the champion of legitimacy, was fighting the Revolution on countless battle-fields, and the fearful struggle only bound the Magyar nation closer to the Habsburg dynasty. Ignaz Jozsef Martinovics (1755–1795) and his associates, the Hungarian Jacobins, vainly attempted a revolutionary propaganda (1795), and Napoleon’s mutilations of the ancient kingdom of St Stephen did not predispose the Hungarian gentry in his favour. Politically, indeed, the whole period was one of retrogression and stagnation. The frequent diets held in the earlier part of the reign occupied themselves with little else but war subsidies; after 1811 they ceased to be summoned. In the latter years of Francis I. the dark shadow of Metternich’s policy of “stability” fell across the kingdom, and the forces of reactionary absolutism were everywhere supreme. But beneath the surface a strong popular current was beginning to run in a contrary direction. Hungarian society, not unaffected by western Liberalism, but without any direct help from abroad, was preparing for the future emancipation. Writers, savants, poets, artists, noble and plebeian, layman and cleric, without any previous concert, or obvious connexion, were working towards that ideal of political liberty which was to unite all the Magyars. Mihály Vörösmartyo, Ferencz Kölcsey, Ferencz Kazinczy and his associates, to mention but a few of many great names, were, consciously or unconsciously, as the representatives of the renascent national literature, accomplishing a political mission, and their pens proved no less efficacious than the swords of their ancestors.
It was a direct attack upon the constitution which, to use the words of István Széchenyi, first “startled the nation out of its sickly drowsiness.” In 1823, when the reactionary powers were meditating joint action to suppress the revolution in Spain, the government, without consulting Hungarian revival. the diet, imposed a war-tax and called out the recruits. The county assemblies instantly protested against this illegal act, and Francis I. was obliged, at the diet of 1823, to repudiate, the action of his ministers. But the estates felt that the maintenance of their liberties demanded more substantial guarantees than the dead letter of ancient laws. Széchenyi, who had resided abroad and studied Western institutions, was the recognized leader of all those who wished to create a new Hungary out of the old. For years he and his friends educated public opinion by issuing innumerable pamphlets in which the new Liberalism was eloquently expounded. In particular Széchenyi insisted that the people must not look exclusively to the government, or even to the diet, for the necessary reforms. Society itself must take the initiative by breaking down the barriers of class exclusiveness and reviving a healthy public spirit. The effect of this teaching was manifest at the diet of 1832, when the Liberals in the Lower Chamber had a large majority, prominent among whom were Francis Deák and Ödön Beöthy. In the Upper House, however, the magnates united with the government to form a conservative party obstinately opposed to any project of reform, which frustrated all the efforts of the Liberals.
The alarm of the government at the power and popularity of the Liberal party induced it, soon after the accession of the new king, the emperor Ferdinand I. (1835–1848), to attempt to crush the reform movement by arresting and imprisoning the most active agitators among them, Louis Kossuth and Miklós Wesselényi. But the nation was no longer to be cowed. The diet of 1839 refused to proceed to business till the political prisoners had been released, and, while in the Lower Chamber the reforming majority was larger than ever, a Liberal party was now also formed in the Upper House under the brilliant leadership of Count Louis Batthyány and Baron Joseph Eötvös. Two progressive measures of the highest importance were passed by this diet, one making Magyar the official language of Hungary, the other freeing the peasants’ holdings from all feudal obligations.
The results of the diet of 1839 did not satisfy the advanced Liberals, while the opposition of the government and of the Upper House still further embittered the general discontent. The chief exponent of this temper was the Pesti Hirlap, Hungary’s first political newspaper, founded in Kossuth. 1841 by Kossuth, whose articles, advocating armed reprisals if necessary, inflamed the extremists but alienated Széchenyi, who openly attacked Kossuth’s opinions. The polemic on both sides was violent; but, as usual, the extreme views prevailed, and on the assembling of the diet of 1843 Kossuth was more popular than ever, while the influence of Széchenyi had sensibly declined. The tone of this diet was passionate, and the government was fiercely attacked for interfering with the elections. Fresh triumphs were won by the Liberals. Magyar was now declared to be the language of the schools and the law-courts as well as of the legislature; mixed marriages were legalized; and official positions were thrown open to non-nobles.
The interval between the diet of 1843 and that of 1847 saw
a complete disintegration and transformation of the various
political parties. Széchenyi openly joined the government,
while the moderate Liberals separated from the extremists and
formed a new party, the Centralists. Immediately before the
elections, however, Deák succeeded in reuniting all the Liberals
on the common platform of “The Ten Points”: (1) Responsible
ministries, (2) Popular representation, (3) The incorporation of
Transylvania, (4) Right of public meeting, (6) Absolute religious
liberty, (7) Universal equality before the law, (8) Universal
taxation, (9) The abolition of the Aviticum, an obsolete and
anomalous land-tenure, (10) The abolition of serfdom, with
compensation to the landlords. The ensuing elections resulted
in a complete victory of the Progressives. All efforts to bring
about an understanding between the government and the opposition
were fruitless. Kossuth demanded not merely the redress of
actual grievances, but a reform which would make grievances
impossible in the future. In the highest circles a dissolution of
the diet now seemed to be the sole remedy; but, before it
Revolution of 1848.
The March Laws. could be carried out, tidings of the February revolution in Paris reached Pressburg (March 1), and on the 3rd of March Kossuth’s motion for the appointment of an independent, responsible ministry was accepted by the Lower House. The moderates, alarmed not so much by the motion itself as by its tone, again tried to intervene; but on the 13th of March the Vienna revolution broke out, and the king, yielding to pressure or panic, appointed Count Louis Batthyány premier of the first Hungarian responsible ministry, which included Kossuth, Széchenyi and Deák. The Ten Points, or the March Laws as they were now called, were then adopted by the legislature and received the royal assent (April 10). Hungary had, to all intents and purposes, become an independent state bound to Austria only by the fact that the palatine chanced to be an Austrian archduke.
In the assertion of their national aspirations, confused as these were with the new democratic ideals, the Magyars had had the support of the German democrats who temporarily held the reins of power in Vienna. On the other hand, they were threatened by an ominous stirring of the The non-Magyar races. subject races in Hungary itself. Croats, Vlachs, Serbs and Slovaks resented Magyar domination—a domination which had been carefully secured under the revolutionary constitution by a very narrow franchise, and out of the general chaos each race hoped to create for itself a separate national existence. The separatist movement was strongest in the south, where the Rumans were in touch with their kinsmen in Walachia and Moldavia, the Serbs with their brethren in Servia, and the Croats intent on reasserting the independence of the “Tri-une Kingdom.”
The attitude of the distracted imperial government towards these movements was at first openly suspicious and hostile. The emperor and his ministers hoped that, having conceded the demands of the Magyars, they would receive the help of the Hungarian government in Jellachich. crushing the revolution elsewhere, a hope that seemed to be justified by the readiness with which Batthyány consented to send a contingent to the assistance of the imperialists in Italy. That the encouragement of the Slav aspirations was soon deliberately adopted as a weapon against the Hungarian government was due, partly to the speedy predominance at Pest of Kossuth and the extreme party of which he was the mouthpiece, but mainly to the calculated policy of Baron Jellachich, who on the 14th of April was appointed ban of Croatia. Jellachich, who as a soldier was devoted to the interests of the imperial house, realized that the best way to break the revolutionary power of the Magyars and Germans would be to encourage the Slav national ideas, which were equally hostile to both; to set up against the Dualism in favour at Pest and Vienna the federal system advocated by the Slavs, and so to restore the traditional Habsburg principle of Divide et impera. This policy he pursued with masterly skill. His first acts on taking up his office were to repudiate the authority of the Hungarian diet, to replace the officials with ardent “Illyrians,” and to proclaim martial law. Under pressure from the palatine of Batthyány an imperial edict was issued, on the 7th day of May, ordering the ban to desist from his separatist plans and take his orders from Pest. He not only refused to obey, but on the 5th of June convoked to Agram the Croatian national diet, of which the first act was to declare the independence of the Tri-une Kingdom. Once more, at the instance of Batthyány, the emperor intervened; and on the 10th an imperial edict stripped Jellachich of all his offices.
Meanwhile, however, Jellachich had himself started for Innsbruck, where he succeeded in persuading the emperor of the loyalty of his intentions, and whence, though not as yet formally reinstated, he was allowed to return to Croatia with practically unfettered discretion. The Hungarian government, in fact, had played into his hands. At a time when everything depended on the army, they had destroyed the main tie which bound the Austrian court to their interests by tampering with the relation of the Hungarian army to the crown. In May a national guard had been created, the disaffected troops being bribed by increased pay to desert their colours and join this; and on the 1st of June the garrison of Pest had taken an oath to the constitution. All hope of crushing revolutionary Vienna with Magyar aid was thus at an end, and Jellachich, who on the 20th issued a proclamation to the Croat regiments in Italy to remain with their colours and fight for the common fatherland, was free to carry out his policy of identifying the cause of the southern Slavs with that of the imperial army. The alliance was cemented in July by a military demonstration, of which Jellachich was the hero, at Vienna; as the result of which the government mustered up courage to declare publicly that the basis of the Austrian state was “the recognition of the equal rights of all nationalities.” This was the challenge which the Magyars were not slow to accept.
In the Hungarian diet, which met on the 2nd of July, the influence of the conservative cabinet was wholly overshadowed by that of Kossuth, whose inflammatory orations—directed against the disruptive designs of the Slavs and the treachery of the Austrian government—precipitated Jellachich invades Hungary. the crisis. At his instance the diet not only refused to vote supplies for the troops of the ban of Croatia, but only consented to pass a motion for sending reinforcements to the army in Italy on condition that the anti-Magyar races in Hungary should be first disarmed. On the 11th, on his motion, a decree was passed by acclamation for a levy of 200,000 men and the raising of £4,500,000 for the defence of the independence of the country. Desultory fighting, in which Austrian officers with the tacit consent of the minister of war took part against the Magyars, had already broken out in the south. It was not, however, until the victory of Custozza (July 25) set free the army in Italy, that the Austrian government ventured on bolder measures. On the 4th of September, after weeks of fruitless negotiation, the king-emperor threw down the gauntlet by reinstating Jellachich in all his honours. Seven days later the ban declared open war on Hungary by crossing the Drave at the head of 36,000 Croatian troops (see Austria-Hungary: History). The immediate result was to place the extreme revolutionaries in power at Pest. Széchenyi had lost his reason some days before; Eötvös and Deák retired into private life; of the conservative ministers only Batthyány, to his undoing, consented to remain in office, though hardly in power. Kossuth alone was supreme.
The advance of Jellachich as far as Lake Balaton had not been checked, the Magyar troops, though—contrary to his expectation—none joined him, offering no opposition. The palatine, the Austrian Archduke Stephen, after fruitless attempts at negotiation, laid down his office on the 24th of September and left for Vienna. One more attempt at compromise was made, General Count Lamberg being sent to take command of all the troops, Slav or Magyar, in Hungary, with a view to arranging an armistice. His mission, which was a slight to Jellachich, was conceived as a concession to the Magyars, and had the general approval of Batthyány. Unhappily, however, when Lamberg arrived in Pest, Batthyány had not yet returned; the diet, on Kossuth’s motion, called on the army not to obey the new commander-in-chief, on the ground that his commission had not been countersigned by a minister at Pest. Next day, as he was crossing the bridge of Buda, Lamberg was dragged from his carriage by a frantic mob and torn to pieces. This made war inevitable; though Batthyány hurried to Vienna to try and arrange a settlement. Failing in this, he retired, and on the 2nd of October a royal proclamation, countersigned by his successor, Recsséy, placed Hungary under martial law and appointed Jellachich viceroy and commander of all the forces. This proclamation, together with the order given to certain Viennese regiments to march to the assistance of Jellachich, who had been defeated at Pákozd on the 29th of September, led to the émeute (Oct. 3) which ended in the murder of the minister of war, Latour, and the second flight of the emperor to Innsbruck. The fortunes of the German revolutionaries in Vienna and the Magyar revolutionists in Pest were now closely Fall of Vienna. bound up together; and when, on the 11th, Prince Windischgrätz laid siege to Vienna, it was to Hungary that the democrats of the capital looked for relief. The despatch of a large force of militia to the assistance of the Viennese was, in fact, the first act of open rebellion of the Hungarians. They suffered a defeat at Schwechat on the 30th of October, which sealed the fate of the revolutionists in Vienna and thus precipitated a conflict à outrance in Hungary itself.
In Austria the army was now supreme, and the appointment of Prince Felix Schwarzenberg as head of the government was a guarantee that its power would be used in a reactionary sense without weakness or scruple. The Austrian diet was transferred on the 15th of November to Francis Joseph. Kremsier, remote from revolutionary influences; and, though the government still thought it prudent to proclaim its constitutional principles, it also proclaimed its intention to preserve the unity of the monarchy. A still further step was taken when, on the 2nd of December, the emperor Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his nephew Francis Joseph. The new sovereign was a lad of eighteen, who for the present was likely to be the mere mouthpiece of Schwarzenberg’s policy. Moreover, he was not bound by the constitutional obligations unwillingly accepted by his uncle. The Magyars at once took up the challenge. On the 7th the Hungarian diet formally refused to acknowledge the title of the new king, “as without the knowledge and consent of the diet no one could sit on the Hungarian throne,” and called the nation to arms. Constitutionally, in the Magyar opinion, Ferdinand was still king of Hungary, and this gave to the revolt an excuse of legality. Actually, from this time until the collapse of the rising, Louis Kossuth was the ruler of Hungary.
The struggle opened with a series of Austrian successes. Prince Windischgrätz, who had received orders to reduce Hungary by fire and sword, began his advance on the 15th of December; opened up the way to the capital by the victory of Mór (Oct. 30), and on the 5th of War of Indepen-dence. January 1849 occupied Pest, while the Hungarian government and diet retired behind the Theiss and established themselves at Debreczen. A last attempt at reconciliation, made by the more moderate members of the diet in Windischgrätz’s camp at Bieské (Jan. 3), had foundered on the uncompromising attitude of the Austrian commander, who demanded unconditional submission; whereupon the moderates, including Deák and Batthyány, retired into private life, leaving Kossuth to carry on the struggle with the support of the enthusiastic extremists who constituted the rump of the diet at Debreczen. The question now was: how far the military would subordinate itself to the civil element of the national government. The first symptom of dissonance was a proclamation by the commander of the Upper Danube division, Arthur Görgei, from his camp at Vácz (Jan. 5) emphasizing the fact that the national defence was purely constitutional, and menacing all who might be led astray from this standpoint by republican aspirations. Immediately after this proclamation Görgei disappeared with his army among the hills of Upper Hungary, and, despite the difficulties of a phenomenally severe winter and the constant pursuit of vastly superior forces, fought his way down to the valley of Hernád—and safety. This masterly winter-campaign first revealed Görgei’s military genius, and the discipline of that terrible month of marching and counter-marching had hardened his recruits into veterans whom his country regarded with pride and his country’s enemies with respect. Unfortunately his success caused some jealousy in official quarters, and when, in the middle of February 1849, a commander-in-chief was appointed to carry out Kossuth’s plan of campaign, that vital appointment was given, not to the man who had made the army what it was, but to a foreigner, a Polish refugee, Battle of Kápolna. Count Henrik Dembinski, who, after fighting the bloody and indecisive battle of Kápolna (Feb. 26-27), was forced to retreat. Görgei was immediately appointed his successor, and the new generalissimo led the Honvéds from victory to victory. Ably supported by Klapka and Damjanich he pressed forward irresistibly. Szólnok (March 5), Isaszeg (April 6), Vácz (April 10), and Nagysarló (April 19) were so many milestones in his triumphal progress. On the 25th of May the Hungarian capital was once more in the hands of the Hungarians.
Meanwhile, the earlier events of the war had so altered the political situation that any idea which the diet at Debreczen had cherished of a compromise with Austria was destroyed. The capture of Pest had confirmed the Austrian court in its policy of unification, which after the victory of Kápolna they thought it safe to proclaim. On the 7th of March the diet of Kremsier Proclamation of a united empire. was dissolved, and immediately afterwards a proclamation was issued in the name of the emperor Francis Joseph establishing a united constitution for the whole empire, of which Hungary, cut up into half a dozen administrative districts, was henceforth to be little more than the largest of several subject provinces. The news of this manifesto, arriving as it did simultaneously with that of Görgei’s successes, destroyed the last vestiges of a desire of the Hungarian revolutionists to compromise, and on the 14th of April, on the motion of Kossuth, the diet proclaimed the independence of Hungary, declared the house of Habsburg as false and perjured, for ever excluded from the throne, and elected Kossuth president of the Hungarian Republic. This was an execrable blunder in the circumstances, and the results were fatal to the national cause. Neither the government nor the army could accommodate itself to the new situation. From henceforth the military and civil authorities, as represented by Kossuth and Görgei, were hopelessly out of sympathy with each other, and the breach widened till all effective co-operation became impossible.
Meanwhile the humiliating defeats of the imperial army and the course of events in Hungary had compelled the court of Vienna to accept the assistance which the emperor Nicholas I. of Russia had proffered in the loftiest spirit of the Holy Alliance. The Austro-Russian Intervention of Russia. alliance was announced at the beginning of May, and before the end of the month the common plan of campaign had been arranged. The Austrian commander-in-chief, Count Haynau, was to attack Hungary from the west, the Russian, Prince Paskevich, from the north, gradually environing the kingdom, and then advancing to end the business by one decisive blow in the mid-Theissian counties. They had at their disposal 375,000 men, to which the Magyars could only oppose 160,000. The Magyars, too, were now more than ever divided among themselves, no plan of campaign had yet been drawn up, no commander-in-chief appointed to replace Görgei, whom Kossuth had deposed. Haynau’s first victories (June 20-28) put an end to their indecisions. On the 2nd of July the Hungarian government abandoned Pest and transferred its capital first to Szeged and finally to Arad. The Russians were by this time well on their way to the Theiss, and the terrible girdle which was to throttle the liberties of Hungary was all but completed. Kossuth again appointed as commander-in-chief the brave but inefficient Dembinski, who was utterly routed at Temesvár (Aug. 9) by Haynau. This was the last great battle of the War of Independence. The final catastrophe was now unavoidable. On the 13th of August Görgei, who had been appointed dictator by the panic-stricken government two days before, surrendered the remnant of his hardly pressed army to the Russian General Rüdiger at Világos. The other army corps and all the fortresses followed his example, Komárom, heroically defended by Klapka, being the last to capitulate (Sept. 27). Kossuth and his associates, who had quitted Arad on the 10th of August, took refuge in Turkish territory. By the end of the month Paskevich could write to the Emperor Nicholas: “Hungary lies at the feet of your Imperial Majesty.”
From October 1849 to July 1850 Hungary was governed by martial law administered by “the butcher” Haynau. This was a period of military tribunals, dragooning, wholesale confiscation and all manner of brutalities. From The “Bach System.” 1851 to 1860 pure terrorism was succeeded by the “Bach System,” which derives its name from the imperial minister of the interior, Baron Alexander von Bach. The Bach System did not recognize historical Hungary. It postulated the existence of one common indivisible state of which mutilated Hungary formed an important section. The supreme government was entrusted to an imperial council responsible to the emperor alone. The counties were administered by imperial officials, Germans, Czechs and Galicians, who did not understand the Magyar tongue. German was the official language. But though reaction was the motive power of this new machinery of government, it could not do away with many of the practical and obvious improvements of 1848, and it was not blind to some of the indispensable requirements of a modern state. The material welfare of the nation was certainly promoted by it. Modern roads were made, the first railways were laid down, the regulation of the river Theiss was taken in hand, a new and better scheme of finance was inaugurated. But the whole system, so to speak, hung in the air. It took no root in the soil. The Magyar nation stood aloof from it. It was plain that at the first revolutionary blast from without, or the first insurrectionary outburst from within, the “Bach System” would vanish like a mirage.
Meanwhile the new Austrian empire had failed to stand the test of international complications. The Crimean War had isolated it in Europe. The Italian war of 1859 had revealed its essential instability. It was felt at court that some concessions were now due to the subject The October Diploma, 1860. nationalities. Hence the October Diploma (Oct. 20, 1860) which proposed to prop up the crazy common state with the shadow of a constitution and to grant some measure of local autonomy to Hungary, subject always to the supervision of the imperial council (Reichsrath). This project was favoured by the Magyar conservative magnates who had never broken with the court, but was steadily opposed by the Liberal leader Ferencz Deák whose upright and tenacious character made him at this crisis the oracle and the buttress of the national cause. Deák’s standpoint was as simple as it was unchangeable. He demanded the re-establishment of the constitution of 1848 in its entirety, the whole constitution and nothing but the constitution.
The October Diploma was followed by the February Patent (Feb. 26, 1861), which proposed to convert the Reichsrath into a constitutional representative assembly, with two chambers, to which all the provinces of the empire were to send deputies. The project, elaborated by The February Patent, 1861. Anton von Schmerling, was submitted to a Hungarian diet which assembled at Pest on the 2nd of April 1861. After long and violent debates, the diet, on the 8th of August, unanimously adopted an address to the crown, drawn up by Deák, praying for the restoration of the political and territorial integrity of Hungary, for the public coronation of the king with all its accompaniments, and the full restitution of the fundamental laws. The executive retorted by dissolving the diet on the 21st of August and levying the taxes by military execution. The so-called Provisorium had begun.
But the politicians of Vienna had neither the power nor the time to realize their intentions. The question of Italian unity had no sooner been settled than the question of German unity arose, and fresh international difficulties once more inclined the Austrian government towards The Austro-Prussian War of 1866. moderation and concession. In the beginning of June 1865, Francis Joseph came to Buda; on the 26th a provisional Hungarian government was formed, on the 20th of September the February constitution was suspended, and on the 14th of December a diet was summoned to Buda-Pest. The great majority of the nation naturally desired a composition with its ruler and with Austria, and this general desire was unerringly interpreted and directed by Deák, who carried two-thirds of the deputies along with him. The session was interrupted by the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War, but not before a committee had been formed to draft the new constitution. The peace of Prague (Aug. 20, 1866), excluding Austria from Italy and Germany, made the fate of the Habsburg monarchy absolutely dependent upon a compromise with the Magyars. (For the Compromise or Ausgleich, see Austria-Hungary: History.) On the 7th of November 1866, the diet reassembled. The Compromise of 1867. On the 17th of February 1867 a responsible independent ministry was formed under Count Gyula Andrássy. On the 29th of May the new constitution was adopted by 209 votes to 89. Practically it was an amplification of the March Laws of 1848. The coronation took place on the 8th of June, on which occasion the king solemnly declared that he wished “a veil to be drawn over the past.” The usual coronation gifts he devoted to the benefit of the Honvéd invalids who had fought in the War of Independence. The reconciliation between monarch and people was assured.
Hungary was now a free and independent modern state; but the very completeness and suddenness of her constitutional victory made it impossible for the strongly flowing current of political life to keep within due bounds. The circumstance that the formation of political Parties in Independent Hungary. parties had not come about naturally, was an additional difficulty. Broadly speaking, there have been in Hungary since 1867 two parties: those who accept the compromise with Austria, and affirm that under it Hungary, so far from having surrendered any of her rights, has acquired an influence which she previously did not actually possess, and secondly, those who see in the compromise an abandonment of the essentials of independence and aim at the restoration of the conditions established in 1848. Within this broad division, however, have appeared from time to time political groups in bewildering variety, each adopting a party designation according to the exigencies of the moment, but each basing its programme on one or other of the theoretical foundations above mentioned. Thus, at the outset, the most heterogeneous elements were to be found both on the Left and Right. The Extreme Left was infected by the fanaticism of Kossuth, who condemned the compromise and refused to take the benefit of the amnesty, while the prelates and magnates who had originally opposed the compromise were now to be found by the side of Deák and Andrássy. The Deák party preserved its majority at the elections of 1869, but the Left Centre and Extreme Left returned to the diet considerably reinforced. The outbreak of the Franco-German War of 1870 turned the attention of the Magyars to Andrássy. foreign affairs. Andrássy never rendered a greater service to his country than when he prevented the imperial chancellor and joint foreign minister, Count Beust, from intervening in favour of France. On the retirement of Beust in 1871, Andrássy was appointed his successor, the first instance, since Hungary came beneath the dominion of the Habsburgs, of an Hungarian statesman being entrusted with the conduct of foreign affairs. But, however gratifying such an elevation might be, it was distinctly prejudicial, at first, to Hungary’s domestic affairs, for no one else at this time, in Hungary, possessed either the prestige or the popularity of Andrássy. Within the next five years ministry followed ministry in rapid succession. A hopeless political confusion ensued. Few measures could be passed. The finances fell into disorder. The national credit was so seriously impaired abroad that foreign loans could only be obtained at ruinous rates of interest. During this period Deák had almost entirely withdrawn from public life. His last great speech was delivered on the 28th of June 1873, and he died on the 29th of January 1876. Fortunately, Kálmán Tisza. in Kálmán Tisza, the leader of the Liberal (Szabadelmü, i.e. “Free Principle”) party, he left behind him a statesman of the first rank, who for the next eighteen years was to rule Hungary uninterruptedly. From the first, Tisza was exposed to the violent attacks of the opposition, which embraced, not only the party of Independence, champions of the principles of 1848, but the so-called National party, led by the brilliant orator Count Albert Apponyi, which aimed at much the same ends but looked upon the Compromise of 1867 as a convenient substructure on which to build up the Magyar state. Neither could forgive Tisza for repudiating his earlier Radical policy, the so-called Bihar Programme (March 6, 1868), which went far beyond the Compromise in the direction of independence, and both attacked him with a violence which his unyielding temper, and the ruthless methods by which he always knew how to secure victory, tended ever to fan into fury. Yet Tisza’s aim also was to convert the old polyglot Hungarian kingdom into a homogeneous Magyar state, and the methods which he employed—notably the enforced magyarization of the subject races, which formed part of the reformed educational system introduced by him—certainly did not err on the side of moderation. Whatever view may be held of Tisza’s policy in this respect, or of the corrupt methods by which he maintained his party in power, there can be no doubt that during his long tenure of office—which practically amounted to a dictatorship—he did much to promote the astonishing progress of his country, which ran a risk of being stifled in the strife of factions. Himself a Calvinist, he succeeded in putting an end to the old quarrel of Catholic and Protestant and uniting them in a common enthusiasm for a race ideal; nominally a Liberal, he trampled on every Liberal principle in order to secure the means for governing with a firm hand; and if the political corruption of modern Hungary is largely his work, to him also belongs the credit for the measures which have placed the country on a sound economic basis and the statesmanlike temper which made Hungary a power in the affairs of Europe. In this latter respect Tisza rendered substantial aid to the joint minister for foreign affairs by repressing the anti-Russian ardour of the Magyars on the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–78, and by supporting Andrássy’s execution of the mandate from the Berlin Congress to Austria-Hungary for the occupation of Bosnia, against which the Hungarian opposition agitated for reasons ostensibly financial. Tisza’s policy on both these occasions increased his unpopularity in Hungary, but in the highest circles at Vienna he was now regarded as indispensable.
The following nine years mark the financial and commercial rehabilitation of Hungary, the establishment of a vast and original railway system which won the admiration of Europe, the liberation and expansion of her over-sea trade, the conversion of her national debt under Material progress. the most favourable conditions and the consequent equilibrium of her finances. These benefits the nation owed for the most part to Gábor Baross, Hungary’s greatest finance minister, who entered the cabinet in 1886 and greatly strengthened it. But the opposition, while unable to deny the recuperation of Hungary, shut their eyes to everything but Tisza’s “tyranny,” and their attacks were never so savage and unscrupulous as during the session of 1889, when threats of a revolution were uttered by the opposition leaders and the premier could only enter or leave the House under police protection. The tragic death of the crown prince Rudolph hushed for a time the strife of tongues, and in the meantime Tisza brought into the ministry Dezsö Szilágyi, the most powerful debater in the House, and Sándor Wekerle, whose solid talents had hitherto been hidden beneath the bushel of an under-secretaryship. But in 1890, during the debates on the Kossuth Repatriation Bill, the attacks on the premier were renewed, and on the 13th of March he placed his resignation in the king’s hands.
The withdrawal of Tisza scarcely changed the situation, but the period of brief ministries now began. Tisza’s successor, Count Gyula Szápáry, formerly minister of agriculture, held office for eighteen months, and was succeeded (Nov. 21, 1892) by Wekerle. Wekerle, essentially a business man, had First Wekerle Ministry, 1892. The religious question. taken office for the express purpose of equilibrating the finances, but the religious question aroused by the encroachments of the Catholic clergy, and notably their insistence on the baptism of the children of mixed marriages, had by this time (1893–1894) excluded all others, and the government were forced to postpone their financial programme to its consideration. The Obligatory Civil Marriage Bill, the State Registries Bill and the Religion of Children of Mixed Marriages Bill, were finally adopted on the 21st of June 1894, after fierce debates and a ministerial interregnum of ten days (June 10–20); but on the 25th of December, Wekerle, who no longer possessed the king’s confidence, resigned a second time, and was succeeded by Baron Dezsö (Desiderius) Bánffy. The various parties meanwhile had split up into some half a Bánffy Ministry, 1894. dozen sub-sections; but the expected fusion of the party of independence and the government fell through, and the barren struggle continued till the celebration of the millennium of the foundation of the monarchy produced for some months a lull in politics. Subsequently, Bánffy still further exasperated the opposition by exercising undue influence during the elections of 1896. The majority he obtained on this occasion enabled him, however, to carry through the Army Education Bill, which tended to magyarize the Hungarian portion of the joint army; and another period of comparative calm ensued, during which Bánffy attempted to adjust various outstanding financial and economical differences with Austria. But in November 1898, on the occasion of the renewal of the commercial convention with Austria, the attack on the ministry was renewed with unprecedented virulence, obstruction being systematically practised with the object of goading the government into committing illegalities, till Bánffy, finding the situation impossible, resigned on the 17th of February 1899. His successor, Széll Ministry, 1899. Kálmán Széll, obtained an immense but artificial majority by a fresh fusion of parties, and the minority pledged itself to grant an indemnity for the extra-parliamentary financial decrees rendered necessary by Hungary’s understanding with Austria, as well as to cease from obstruction. As a result of this compromise the budget of 1899 was passed in little more than a month, and the commercial and tariff treaty with Austria were renewed till 1903. But the government had to pay for this complacency with a so-called “pactum,” which bound its hands in several directions, much to the profit of the opposition during the “pure” elections of 1901.The army language question. On the reassembling of the diet, Count Albert Apponyi was elected speaker, and the minority seemed disposed to let the government try to govern. But the proposed raising of the contingent of recruits by 15,000 men (Oct. 1902) once more brought up the question of the common army, the parliament refusing to pass the bill, except in return for the introduction of the Hungarian national flag into the Hungarian regiments and the substitution of Magyar for German in the words of command. The king refusing to yield an inch of his rights under clause ii. of Law XII. of the Compromise of 1867, the opposition once more took to obstruction, and on the 1st of May 1903 Széll was forced to resign.
Every one now looked to the crown to extract the nation from an ex-lex, or extra-constitutional situation, but when the king, passing over the ordinary party-leaders, appointed as premier Count Károly Khuen-Hedérváry, who had made himself impossible as ban of Croatia, there was First Khuen-Hedérváry Ministry, 1903. general amazement and indignation. The fact was that the king, weary of the tactics of a minority which for years had terrorized every majority and prevented the government from exercising its proper constitutional functions, had resolved to show the Magyars that he was prepared to rule unconstitutionally rather than imperil the stability of the Dual Monarchy by allowing any tampering with the joint army. In an ordinance on the army word of command, promulgated on the 16th of September, he reaffirmed the inalienable character of the powers of the crown over the joint army and the necessity for maintaining German as the common military language. This was followed by the fall of Khuen-Hedérváry (September 29), and a quarrel à outrance between crown and parliament seemed unavoidable. The Liberal party, however, realized the abyss towards which they were hurrying the country, and united their efforts to come to a constitutional understanding with the king. The problem was to keep the army an Hungarian army without infringing on the prerogative of the king as commander-in-chief, for, unconstitutional as the new ordinance might be, it could not constitutionally be set aside without the royal assent. The king met them half way by inviting the majority to appoint a committee to settle the army question provisionally, and a committee was formed, which included Széll, Apponyi, Count István Tisza and other experienced statesmen.
A programme approved of by all the members of the committee was drawn up, and on the 3rd of November 1903, Count István Tisza was appointed minister president to carry it out. Thus, out of respect for the wishes of the nation, the king had voluntarily thrown open to István Tisza Ministry, 1903. public discussion the hitherto strictly closed and jealously guarded domain of the army. Tisza, a statesman of singular probity and tenacity, seemed to be the one person capable of carrying out the programme of the king and the majority. The irreconcilable minority, recognizing this, exhausted all the resources of “technical obstruction” in order to reduce the government to impotence, a task made easy by the absurd standing-rules of the House which enabled any single member to block a measure. These tactics soon rendered legislation impossible, and a modification of the rule of procedure became absolutely necessary if any business at all was to be done. Crisis of 1904–1906. The Modification of the Standing-orders Bill was accordingly introduced by the deputy Gábor Daniel (Nov. 18, 1904); but the opposition, to which the National party had attached itself, denounced it as “a gagging order” inspired at Vienna, and shouted it down so vehemently that no debate could be held; whereupon the president declared the bill carried and adjourned the House till the 13th of December 1904. This was at once followed by an anti-ministerial fusion of the extremists of all parties, The “Coalition.” including seceders from the government (known as the Constitutional party); and when the diet reassembled, the opposition broke into the House by force and wrecked all the furniture, so that a session was physically impossible (Jan. 5, 1905). Tisza now appealed to the country, but was utterly defeated. The opposition thereupon proceeded to annul the Lex Daniel (April 7) and stubbornly to clamour for the adoption of the Magyar word of command in the Hungarian part of the common army. To this demand the king as stubbornly refused to accede; and as the result of the consequent dead-lock, Tisza, who had courageously continued in office at the king’s request, after every other leading politician had refused to form a ministry, was finally dismissed on the 17th of June. (R. N. B.)
Long negotiations between the crown and the leaders of the Coalition having failed to give any promise of a modus vivendi, the king-emperor at last determined to appoint an extra-parliamentary ministry, and on the 21st of June Baron Fejérváry, an officer in the royal bodyguard, was nominated Fejérváry Government. minister president with a cabinet consisting of little-known permanent officials. Instead of presenting the usual programme, the new premier read to the parliament a royal autograph letter stating the reasons which had actuated the king in taking this course, and giving as the task of the new ministry the continuance of negotiations with the Coalition on the basis of the exclusion of the language question. The parliament was at the same time prorogued. A period followed of arbitrary government on the one hand and of stubborn passive resistance on the other. Three times the parliament was again prorogued—from the 15th of September to the 10th of October, from this date to the 19th of December, and from this yet again to the 1st of March 1906—in spite of the protests of both Houses. To the repressive measures of the government—press censorship, curtailment of the right of public meeting, dismissal of recalcitrant officials, and dragooning of disaffected county assemblies and municipalities—the Magyar nation opposed a sturdy refusal to pay taxes, to supply recruits or to carry on the machinery of administration.
Had this attitude represented the temper of the whole Hungarian people, it would have been impossible for the crown to have coped with it. But the Coalition represented, in fact, not the mass of the people, but only a small dominant minority, and for years past this minority had neglected the social and economic needs of the mass of the people in the eager pursuit of party advantage and the effort to impose, by coercion and corruption failing other means, the Magyar language and Magyar culture on the non-Magyar races. In this supreme crisis, then, it is not surprising that the masses listened with sullen indifference to the fiery eloquence of the Coalition leaders. Moreover, by refusing the royal terms, the Coalition had forced the crown into an alliance with the extreme democratic elements in the state. Universal suffrage had already been adopted in the Cis-leithan half of the monarchy; it was an obvious policy to propose it for Hungary also, and thus, by an appeal to the non-Magyar Kristóffy’s Universal Suffrage proposal. majority, to reduce the irreconcilable Magyar minority to reason. Universal suffrage, then, was the first and most important of the proposals put forward by Mr Joszef Kristóffy, the minister of the interior, in the programme issued by him on the 26th of November 1905. Other proposals were: the maintenance of the system of the joint army as established in 1867, but with the concession that all Hungarian recruits were to receive their education in Magyar; the maintenance till 1917 of the actual customs convention with Austria; a reform of the land laws, with a view to assisting the poorer proprietors; complete religious equality; universal and compulsory primary education.
The issue of a programme so liberal, and notably the inclusion in it of the idea of universal suffrage, entirely checkmated the opposition parties. Their official organs, indeed, continued to fulminate against the “unconstitutional” government, but the enthusiasm with which the programme had been received in the country showed the Coalition leaders the danger of their position, and henceforth, though they continued their denunciations of Austria, they entered into secret negotiations with the king-emperor, in order, by coming to terms with him, to ward off the fatal consequences of Kristóffy’s proposals.
On the 19th of February 1906 the parliament was dissolved, without writs being issued for a new election, a fact accepted by the country with an equanimity highly disconcerting to patriots. Meanwhile the negotiations continued, so secretly that when, on the 9th of April, the appointment Coalition Ministry, 1906. of a Coalition cabinet under Dr Sandór Wekerle was announced, the world was taken completely by surprise.
The agreement with the crown which had made this course possible included the postponement of the military questions that had evoked the crisis, and the acceptance of the principle of Universal Suffrage by the Coalition leaders, who announced that their main tasks would be to repair the mischief wrought by the “unconstitutional” Fejérváry cabinet, and then to introduce a measure of franchise reform so wide that it would be possible to ascertain the will of the whole people on the questions at issue between themselves and the crown. In the general elections that followed the Liberal party was practically wiped out, its leader, Count István Tisza, retiring into private life.
For two years and a half the Coalition ministry continued in office without showing any signs that they intended to carry out the most important item of their programme. The old abuses continued: the muzzling of the press in the interests of Magyar nationalism, the imprisonment Andrássy’s Universal Suffrage Bill. of non-Magyar deputies for “incitement against Magyar nationality,” the persecution of Socialists and of the subordinate races. That this condition of things could not be allowed to continue was, indeed, recognized by all parties; the fundamental difference of opinion was as to the method by which it was to be ended. The dominant Magyar parties were committed to the principle of franchise reform; but they were determined that this reform should be of such a nature as not to imperil their own hegemony. What this would mean was pointed out by Mr Kristóffy in an address delivered at Budapest on the 14th of March 1907. “If the work of social reform,” he said, “is scamped by a measure calculated to falsify the essence of reform, the struggle will be continued in the Chamber until full electoral liberty is attained. Till then there can be no social peace in Hungary.” The postponement of the question was, indeed, already producing ugly symptoms of popular indignation. On the 10th of October 1907 there was a great and orderly demonstration at Budapest, organized by the socialists, in favour of reform. About 100,000 people assembled, and a deputation handed to Mr Justh, the president of the Chamber, a monster petition in favour of universal suffrage. The reception it met with was not calculated to encourage constitutional methods. The Socialist deputy, Mr Mezöffy, who wished to move an interpellation on the question, was howled down by the Independents with shouts of “Away with him! Down with him!” Four days later, in answer to a question by the same deputy, Count Andrássy said that the Franchise Bill would be introduced shortly, but that it would be of such a nature that “the Magyar State idea would remain intact and suffer no diminution.” Yet more than a year was to pass before the promised bill was introduced, and meanwhile the feeling in the country had grown more intense, culminating in serious riots at Budapest on the 13th of March 1908.
At last (November 11, 1908) Count Andrássy introduced the long-promised bill. How far it was from satisfying the demands of the Hungarian peoples was at once apparent. It granted manhood suffrage, it is true, but hedged with so many qualifying conditions and complicated with so elaborate a system of plural voting as to make its effect nugatory. Every male Hungarian citizen, able to read and write, was to receive the vote at the beginning of his twenty-fifth year, subject to a residential qualification of twelve months. Illiterate citizens were to choose one elector for every ten of their number. All electors not having the qualifications for the plural franchise were to have one vote. Electors who, e.g., had passed four standards of a secondary school, or paid 16s. 8d. in direct taxation, were to have two votes. Electors who had passed five standards, or who paid £4, 3s. 4d. in direct taxes, were to have three votes. Voting was to be public, as before, on the ground, according to the Preamble, that “the secret ballot protects electors in dependent positions only in so far as they break their promises under the veil of secrecy.”
It was at once seen that this elaborate scheme was intended to preserve “the Magyar State idea intact.” Its result, had it passed, would have been to strengthen the representation of the Magyar and German elements, to reduce that of the Slovaks, and almost to destroy that of the Rumans and other non-Magyar races whose educational status was low. On the other hand, according to the Neue Freie Presse, it would have increased the number of electors from some million odd to 2,600,000, and the number of votes to 4,000,000; incidentally it would have largely increased the working-class representation.
This proposal was at once recognized by public opinion—to use the language of the Journal des Débats (May 21, 1909)—as “an instrument of domination” rather than as an attempt to carry out the spirit of the compact under which the Coalition government had been summoned to power. It was not, indeed, simply a reactionary or undemocratic measure; it was, as The Times correspondent pointed out, “a measure sui generis, designed to defeat the objects of the universal suffrage movement that compelled the Coalition to take office in April 1906, and framed in accordance with Magyar needs as understood by one of the foremost Magyar noblemen.” Under this bill culture was to be the gate to a share in political power, and in Hungary culture must necessarily be Magyar.
Plainly, this bill was not destined to settle the Hungarian problem, and other questions soon arose which showed that the crisis, so far from being near a settlement, was destined to become more acute than ever. In December 1908 it was clear that the Coalition Ministry was falling to pieces. Those ministers who belonged to the constitutional The crisis, 1909–1910. and popular parties, i.e. the Liberals and Clericals, desired to maintain the compact with the crown; their colleagues of the Independence party were eager to advance the cause they have at heart by pressing on the question of a separate Hungarian bank. So early as March 1908 Mr Hallo had laid a formal proposal before the House that the charter of the Austro-Hungarian bank, which was to expire on the 31st of December 1910, should not be renewed; that negotiations should Demand for separate Hungarian Bank. be opened with the Austrian government with a view to a convention between the banks of Austria and Hungary; and that, in the event of these negotiations failing, an entirely separate Hungarian bank should be established. The Balkan crisis threw this question into the background during the winter; but, with the settlement of the international questions raised by the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it once more came to the front. The ministry was divided on the issue, Count Andrássy opposing and Mr Ferencz Kossuth supporting the proposal for a separate bank. Finally, the prime minister, Dr Wekerle, mainly owing to the pressure put upon him by Mr Justh, the president of the Chamber, yielded to the importunity of the Independence party, and, in the name of the Hungarian government, laid the proposals for a separate bank before the king-emperor and the Austrian government.
The result was a foregone conclusion. The conference at Vienna revealed the irreconcilable difference within the ministry; but it revealed also something more—the determination of the emperor Francis Joseph, if pressed beyond the limits of his patience, to appeal again to the non-Magyar Hungarians against the Magyar chauvinists. He admitted that under the Compromise of 1867 Hungary might have a separate bank, while urging the expediency of such an arrangement from the point of view of the international position of the Dual Monarchy. But he pointed out also that the question of a separate bank did not actually figure in the act of 1867, and that it could not be introduced into it, more especially since the capital article of the ministerial programme, i.e. electoral reform, was not realized, nor near being realized. On the 27th of April, in consequence of this rebuff, Dr Wekerle tendered his resignation, but consented to hold office pending the completion of the difficult task of forming another government.
This task was destined to prove one of almost insuperable difficulty. Had the issues involved been purely Hungarian and constitutional, the natural course would have been for the king to have sent for Mr Kossuth, who commanded the strongest party in the parliament, and to have entrusted him with the formation of a government. But the issues involved affected the stability of the Dual Monarchy and its position in Europe; and neither the king-emperor nor his Austrian advisers, their position strengthened by the success of Baron Aehrenthal’s diplomatic victory in the Balkans, were prepared to make any substantial concessions to the party of Independence. In these circumstances the king sent for Dr László Lukacs, once finance minister in the Fejérváry cabinet, whose task was, acting as a homo regius apart from parties, to construct a government out of any elements that might be persuaded to co-operate with him. But Lukacs had no choice but to apply in the first instance to Mr Kossuth and his friends, and these, suspecting an intention of crushing their party by entrapping them into unpopular engagements, rejected his overtures. Nothing now remained but for the king to request Dr Wekerle to remain “for the present” in office with his colleagues, thus postponing the settlement of the crisis (July 4).
This procrastinating policy played into the hands of the extremists; for supplies had not been voted, and the question of the credits for the expenditure incurred in connexion with the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, increasingly urgent, placed a powerful weapon in the hands of the Magyars, and made it certain that in the autumn the crisis would assume an even more acute form. By the middle of September affairs had again reached an impasse. On the 14th Dr Wekerle, at the ministerial conference assembled at Vienna for the purpose of discussing the estimates to be laid before the delegations, announced that the dissensions among his colleagues made the continuance of the Coalition government impossible. The burning points of controversy were the magyarization of the Hungarian regiments and the question of the separate state bank. On the first of these Wekerle, Andrássy and Apponyi were prepared to accept moderate concessions; as to the second, they were opposed to the question being raised at all. Kossuth and Justh, on the other hand, competitors for the leadership of the Independence party, declared themselves not prepared to accept anything short of the full rights of the Magyars in those matters. The matter was urgent; for parliament was to meet on the 28th, and it was important that a new cabinet, acceptable to it, should be appointed before that date, or that the Houses should be prorogued pending such appointment; otherwise the delegations would be postponed and no credits would be voted for the cost of the new Austro-Hungarian “Dreadnoughts” and of the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the event, neither of these courses proved possible, and on the 28th Dr Wekerle once more announced his resignation to the parliament.
The prime minister was not, however, as yet to be relieved of an impossible responsibility. After a period of wavering Mr Kossuth had consented to shelve for the time the question of the separate bank, and on the strength of this Dr Wekerle advised the crown to entrust to him the formation of a government. The position thus created raised a twofold question: Would the crown accept? In that event, would he be able to carry his party with him in support of his modified programme? The answer to the first question, in effect, depended on that given by events to the second; and this was not long in declaring itself. The plan, concerted by Kossuth and Apponyi, with the approval of Baron Aehrenthal, was to carry on a modified coalition government with the aid of the Andrássy Liberals, the National party, the Clerical People’s party and the Independence party, on a basis of suffrage reform with plural franchise, the prolongation of the charter of the joint bank, and certain concessions to Magyar demands in the matter of the army. It was soon clear, however, that in this Kossuth would not carry his party with him. A trial of strength took place between him and Mr de Justh, the champion of the extreme demands in the matter of Hungarian financial and economic autonomy; on the 7th of November rival banquets were held, one at Mako, Justh’s constituency, over which he presided, one at Budapest with Kossuth in the chair; the attendance at each foreshadowed the outcome of the general meeting of the party held at Budapest on the 11th, when Kossuth found himself in a minority of 46. The Independence party was now split into two groups: the “Independence and 1848 party,” and the “Independence, 1848 and Kossuth party.”
On the 12th Mr de Justh resigned the presidency of the Lower House and sought re-election, so as to test the relative strength of parties. He was defeated by a combination of the Kossuthists, Andrássy Liberals and Clerical People’s party, the 30 Croatian deputies, whose vote might have turned the election, abstaining on Dr Wekerle promising them to deliver Croatia from the oppressive rule of the ban, Baron Rauch. A majority was thus secured for the Kossuthist programme of compromise, but a majority so obviously precarious that the king-emperor, influenced also—it was rumoured—by the views of the heir-apparent, in an interview with Count Andrássy and Mr Kossuth on the 15th, refused to make any concessions to the Magyar national demands. Hereupon Kossuth publicly declared (Nov. 22) to a deputation of his constituents from Czegled that he himself was in favour of an independent bank, but that the king opposed it, and that in the event of no concessions being made he would join the opposition.
How desperate the situation had now become was shown by the fact that on the 27th the king sent for Count Tisza, on the recommendation of the very Coalition ministry which had been formed to overthrow him. This also proved abortive, and affairs rapidly tended to revert to the ex-lex situation. On the 23rd of December Dr Lukacs was again sent for. On the previous day the Hungarian parliament had adopted a proposal in favour of an address to the crown asking for a separate state bank. Against this Dr Wekerle had protested, as opposed to general Hungarian opinion and ruinous to the national credit, pointing out that whenever it was a question of raising a loan, the maintenance of the financial community between Hungary and Austria was always postulated as a preliminary condition. Point was given to this argument by the fact that the premier had just concluded the preliminaries for the negotiation of a loan of £20,000,000 in France, and that the money—which could not be raised in the Austrian market, already glutted with Hungarian securities—was urgently needed to pay for the Hungarian share in the expenses of the annexation policy, for public works (notably the new railway scheme), and for the redemption in 1910 of treasury bonds. It was hoped that, in the circumstances, Dr Lukacs, a financier of experience, might be able to come to terms with Mr de Justh, on the basis of dropping the bank question for the time, or, failing that, to patch together out of the rival parties some sort of a working majority.
On the 28th the Hungarian parliament adjourned sine die, pending the settlement of the crisis, without having voted the estimates for 1910, and without there being any prospect of a meeting of the delegations. On the two following days Dr Lukacs and Mr de Justh had audiences of the king, but without result; and on the 31st Hungary once more entered on a period of extra-constitutional government. After much negotiation a new cabinet was finally constituted on the 17th of January 1910. At its head was Count Khuen Hedérváry, who in addition to the premiership, was minister of the interior, minister for Croatia, and Khuen Hedérváry Government. minister in waiting on the crown. Other ministers were Mr Károly de Hieronymi (commerce), Dr Lukacs (finance), Ferencz de Szekely (justice, education, public worship), Béla Serenyi (agriculture) and General Hazay (national defence). The two main items in the published programme of the new government were the introduction of universal suffrage and—even more revolutionary from the Magyar point of view—the substitution of state-appointed for elected officials in the counties. The real programme was to secure, by hook or by crook, a majority at the polls. Meanwhile, the immediate necessities of the government were provided for by the issue through Messrs Rothschild of £2,000,000 fresh treasury bills. These were to be redeemed in December 1910, together with the £9,000,000 worth issued in 1909, out of the £20,000,000 loan agreed on in principle with the French government; but in view of the opposition in Paris to the idea of advancing money to a member of the Triple Alliance, it was doubtful whether the loan would ever be floated.
The overwhelming victory of the government in June at the polls produced a lull in a crisis which at the beginning of the year had threatened the stability of the Dual Monarchy and the peace of Europe; but, in view of the methods by which the victory had been won, not the most sanguine could assert that the crisis was overpassed. Its deep underlying causes can only be understood in the light of the whole of Hungarian history. It is easy to denounce the dominant Magyar classes as a selfish oligarchy, and to criticize the methods by which they have sought to maintain their power. But a nation that for a thousand years had maintained its individuality in the midst of hostile and rival races could not be expected to allow itself without a struggle to be sacrificed to the force of mere numbers, and the less so if it were justified in its claim that it stood for a higher ideal of culture and civilization. The Magyars had certainly done much to justify their claim to a special measure of enlightenment. In their efforts to establish Hungarian independence on the firm basis of national efficiency they had succeeded in changing their country from one of very backward economic conditions into one which promised to be in a position to hold its own on equal terms with any in the world. (W. A. P.)
Bibliography.—(a) Sources. The earliest important collection of sources of Hungarian history was Johann Georg Schrandtner’s Scriptores rerum Hungaricarum (4th ed., Vienna, 1766–1768). The Codex diplomaticus of György Fejér (40 vols., Buda, 1829–1844), though full of errors, remains an inexhaustible storehouse of materials. In 1849 Stephen Ladislaus Endlicher (1804–1849), better known as a botanist than as a historian, published a collection of documents, Rerum hungaricarum monumenta Arpadiana. This was followed by Gustav Wenzel’s Codex diplomaticus arpadianus continuens (12 vols., Pest, 1857) and A. Theiner’s Vet. monumenta hist. Hungariam sacram illustrantia (2 vols., Rome, 1859, &c.). Later collections are Documents of the Angevin Period, ed. by G. Wenzel and Imre Nagy (8 vols., ib. 1874–1876); Diplomatic Records of the Time of King Matthias (Mag. and Lat.), ed. by Ivan Nagy (ib. 1875–1878); National Documents (Mag. and Lat.), ed. by Fárkas Deák and others (Pest, 1878–1891); Monumenta Vaticana historiam regni Hungariae illustrantia (8 vols., Budapest, 1885–1891), a valuable collection of materials from the Vatican archives, edited under the auspices of the Hungarian bishops; Principal Sources for the Magyar Conquest (Mag.), by Gyula Pauler and Sándor Szilágyì (ib. 1900). Numerous documents have also been issued in the various publications of the Hungarian Academy and the Hungarian Historical Society. Of these the most important is the Monumenta Hungariae Historica, published by the Academy. This falls into three main groups: Diplomata (30 vols.); Scriptores (40 vols.); Monumenta Comitialia (records of the Hungarian and Transylvanian diets, 12 vols. and 21 vols.). With these are associated the Turkish-Hungarian Records (9 vols.), Turkish Historians (2 vols. pubd.), and the Archives of the Hungarian subordinate countries (2 vols. pubd.).
On the sources see Hendrik Marczali, Ungarns Geschichtsquellen im Zeitalter des Arpáden (Berlin, 1882); Kaindl, Studien zu den ungarischen Geschichtsquellen (Vienna, 1894–1902); and, for a general appreciation, Mangold, Pragmatic History of the Hungarians (in Mag., 5th ed., Budapest, 1907).
(b) Works: The modern literature of Hungary is very rich in historical monographs, of which a long list will be found in the Subject Index of the London Library. Here it is only possible to give some of the more important general histories, together with such special works as are most readily accessible to English readers. Of the earlier Hungarian historians two are still of some value: Katona, Hist. critica regum Hungariae (42 vols., Pest, 1779–1810), and Pray, Annales regum Hungariae (5 vols., Vienna, 1764–1770). Of modern histories written in Magyar the most imposing is the History of the Hungarian Nation (10 vols., Budapest, 1898), issued to commemorate the celebration of the millennium of the foundation of the monarchy, by Sándor Szilágyì and numerous collaborators. Of importance, too, is Ignacz Acsády’s History of the Magyar Empire (2 vols., Budapest, 1904), though its author is too often ultra-chauvinistic in tone.
To those who do not read Magyar the following books on the general history of Hungary may be recommended: Armín Vambéry, Hungary in Ancient and Modern Times (London, 1897); R. Chélard, La Hongrie millénaire (Paris, 1896); Mór Gelléri, Aus der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart des tausendjährigen Ungarn (Budapest, 1896); József Jekelfalussy, The Millennium of Hungary (Budapest, 1897); E. Sayous, Histoire générale des Hongrois (2 vols., Budapest, 1st ed., 1876, 2nd ed., ib. 1900); János Majláth, Geschichte der Magyaren (5 vols., 3rd ed., Regensburg, 1852–1853)—somewhat out of date (it first appeared in 1828), but useful for those who like a little more detail; Count Julius Andrássy, The Development of Hungarian Constitutional Liberty, translated by C. Arthur and Ilona Ginever (London, 1908), containing an interesting comparison with English constitutional development; C. M. Knatchbull-Hugessen, The Political Evolution of the Hungarian Nation (2 vols., London, 1908), strongly Magyar in sympathy; R. W. Seton-Watson (Scotus Viator), Racial Problems in Hungary (London, 1908), a strong criticism of the Magyar attitude towards the Slav subject races, especially the Slovaks, with documents and a full bibliography.
(c) Constitutional: Anton von Virozsil, Das Staatsrecht des Königreichs Ungarn (3 vols., Pest, 1865); S. Radó-Rothfeld, Die ungarische Verfassung (Berlin, 1898) and, based on this, A. de Bertha, La Constitution Hongroise (Paris, 1898), both supporting the policy of Magyarization; Ákos von Timon, Ungarische Verfassungs- und Rechisgeschichte (Berlin, 1904); Knatchbull-Hugessen, op. cit.
(d) Biographical: In Magyar, the great serial entitled Hungarian Historical Biographies (Budapest, 1884, &c.), edited by Sándor Szilágyi, is a collection of lives of famous Hungarian men and women from the earliest times by many scholars of note, finely illustrated.
For works on special periods see the separate articles on the sovereigns and other notabilities of Hungary. For works on the Compromise of 1867 and the relations of Austria and Hungary generally, see the bibliography to the article Austria-Hungary.
The Magyar or Hungarian language belongs to the northern or Finno-Ugric (q.v.) division of the Ural-Altaic family, and forms, along with Ostiak and Vogul, the Ugric branch of that division. The affinity existing between the Magyar and the Finnic languages, first noticed by John Amos Comenius (Komensky) in the middle of the 17th century, and later by Olav Rudbeck, Leibnitz, Strahlenberg, Eccard, Sajnovics, and others, was proved “grammatically” by Samuel Gyarmathi in his work entitled Affinitas linguae Hungaricae cum linguis Finnicae originis grammatice demonstrata (Göttingen, 1799). The Uralian travels of Anthony Reguly (1843–1845), and the philological labours of Paul Hunfalvy and Joseph Budenz, may be said to have established it, and no doubt has been thrown on it by recent research, though most authorities regard the Magyars as of mixed origin physically and combining Turkish with Finno-Ugric elements.
Although for nearly a thousand years established in Europe and subjected to Aryan influences, the Magyar has yet retained its essential Ural-Altaic or Turanian features. The grammatical forms are expressed, as in Turkish, by means of affixes modulated according to the high or low vowel power of the root or chief syllables of the word to which they are appended—the former being represented by e, ö, ő, ü, ű, the latter by a, á, o, ó, u, ú; the sounds é, i, í are regarded as neutral. In some respects the value of the consonants varies from that usual in the Latin alphabet. S is pronounced as sh in English, the sound of simple s being represented by sz. C or cz is pronounced as English ts; cs as English ch; ds as English j; zs as French j; gy as dy. Among the striking peculiarities of the language are the definite and indefinite forms of the active verb, e.g. látom, “I see” (definite, viz. “him,” “her,” “the man,” &c.), látok, “I see” (indefinite); the insertion of the causative, frequentative, diminutive and potential syllables after the root of the verb, e.g. ver, “he beats”; veret, “he causes to beat”; vereget, “he beats repeatedly”; verint, “he beats a little”; verhet, “he can beat”; the mode of expressing possession by the tenses of the irregular verb lenni, “to be” (viz. van, “is”; vannak, “are”; volt, “was”; lesz, “will be,” &c.), with the object and its possessive affixes, e.g. nekem vannak könyveim, literally, “to me are books—my” = “I have books”; neki volt könyve, “to him was book—his” = “he had a book.” Other characteristic features are the use of the singular substantive after numerals, and adjectives of quantity, e.g. két ember, literally, “two man”; sok szó, “many word,” &c.; the position of the Christian name and title after the family name, e.g. Ólmosy Károly tanár ur, “Mr Professor Charles Ólmosy”; and the possessive forms of the nouns, which are varied according to the number and person of the possessor and the number of the object in the following way: tollam, “my pen”; tollaim, “my pens”; tollad, “thy pen”; tollaid, “thy pens”; tollunk, “our pen”; tollaink, “our pens,” &c. There is no gender, not even a distinction between “he,” “she,” and “it,” in the personal pronouns, and the declension is less developed than in Finnish. But there is a wealth of verbal derivatives, the vocabulary is copious, and the intonation harmonious. Logical in its derivatives and in its grammatical structure, the Magyar language is, moreover, copious in idiomatic expressions, rich in its store of words, and almost musical in its harmonious intonation. It is, therefore, admirably adapted for both literary and rhetorical purposes.
The first Hungarian grammar known is the Grammatica Hungaro-Latina of John Erdösi alias Sylvester Pannonius, printed at Sárvár-Ujsziget in 1539. Others are the posthumous treatises of Nicholas Révai (Pest, 1809); the Magyar nyelvmester of Samuel Gyarmathi, published at Klausenburg in 1794; and grammars by J. Farkas (9th ed., Vienna, 1816), Mailáth (2nd ed., Pest, 1832), Kis (Vienna, 1834), Márton (8th ed., Vienna, 1836), Maurice Ballagi or (in German) Bloch (5th ed., Pest, 1869), Töpler (Pest, 1854), Riedl (Vienna, 1858), Schuster (Pest, 1866), Charles Ballagi (Pest, 1868), Reméle (Pest and Vienna, 1869), Roder (Budapest, 1875), Führer (Budapest, 1878), Ney (20th ed., Budapest, 1879), C. E. de Ujfalvy (Paris, 1876), S. Wékey (London, 1852), J. Csink (London, 1853), Ballantik (Budapest, 1881); Singer (London, 1882).
The earliest lexicon is that of Gabriel (Mizsér) Pesti alias Pestinus Pannonius, Nomenclatura sex linguarum, Latinae, Italicae, Gallicae, Bohemicae, Ungaricae et Germanicae (Vienna, 1538), which was several times reprinted. The Vocabula Hungarica of Bernardino Baldi (1583), the original MS. of which is in the Biblioteca Nazionale at Naples, contains 2899 Hungarian words with renderings in Latin or Italian. In the Dictionarium undecim linguarum of Calepinus (Basel, 1590) are found also Polish, Hungarian and English words and phrases. This work continued to be reissued until 1682. The Lexicon Latina-Hungaricum of Albert Molnár first appeared at Nuremberg in 1604, and with the addition of Greek was reprinted till 1708. Of modern Hungarian dictionaries the best is that of the Academy of Sciences, containing 110,784 articles in 6 vols., by Czuczor and Fogarasi (Pest, 1862–1874). The next best native dictionary is that of Maurice Ballagi, A Magyar nyelv teljes szótára, (Pest, 1868–1873). In addition to the above may be mentioned the work of Kresznerics, where the words are arranged according to the roots (Buda, 1831–1832); the Etymologisches Wörterbuch ... aus chinesischen Wurzeln, of Podhorszky (Paris, 1877); Lexicon linguae Hungaricae aevi antiquioris, by Szarvas Gábor and Simonyi Zsigmond (1889); and “Magyar-Ugor összehasonlito szótar” Hungarian Ugrian Comparative Dictionary, by Bydenz (Budapest, 1872–1879). Other and more general dictionaries for German scholars are those of Márton, Lexicon trilingue Latino-Hungarico-Germanicum (Vienna, 1818–1823), A. F. Richter (Vienna, 1836), E. Farkas (Pest, 1848–1851), Fogarasi (4th ed., Pest, 1860), Loos (Pest, 1869) and M. Ballagi (Budapest, 3rd ed., 1872–1874). There are, moreover, Hungarian-French dictionaries by Kiss and Karády (Pest and Leipzig, 1844–1848) and Babos and Molé (Pest, 1865), and English-Hungarian dictionaries by Dallos (Pest, 1860) and Bizonfy (Budapest, 1886). (C. El.)
The Catholic ecclesiastics who settled in Hungary during the 11th century, and who found their way into the chief offices of the state, were mainly instrumental in establishing Latin as the predominant language of the court, the higher schools and public worship, and of eventually introducing it into the administration. Having thus become the tongue of the educated and privileged classes, Latin continued to monopolize the chief fields of literature until the revival of the native language at the close of the 18th century.
Amongst the earliest Latin works that claim attention are the “Chronicle” (Gesta Hungarorum), by the “anonymous notary” of King Béla, probably Béla II. (see Podhradczky, Béla király névtelen jegyzöje, Buda, 1861, p. 48), which describes the early ages of Hungarian history, and may be assigned to the middle of the 12th Early Latin chronicles. century; the Carmen Miserabile of Rogerius; the Liber Cronicorum of Simon Kézai, belonging to the end of the 13th century, the so-called “Chronicon Budense,” Cronica Hungarorum, printed at Buda in 1473 (Eichhorn, Geschichte der Litteratur, ii. 319); and the Chronicon Rerum Hungaricarum of John Thuróczi. An extraordinary stimulus was given to literary enterprise by King Matthias Corvinus, who attracted both foreign and native scholars to his court. Foremost amongst the Italians was Antonio Bonfini, whose work, Rerum Hungaricarum Decades IV., comprising Hungarian history from the earliest times to the death of King Matthias, was published with a continuation by Sambucus (Basel, 1568). Marzio Galeotti, the king’s chief librarian, wrote an historical account of his reign. The most distinguished of the native scholars was John Cesinge, alias Janus Pannonius, who composed Latin epigrams, panegyrics and epic poems. The best edition of his works was published by Count S. Teleki at Utrecht in 1784.
As there are no traces of literary productions in the native or
Magyar dialect before the 12th century, the early condition
of the language is concealed from the philologist. It is,
however, known that the Hungarians had their own
martial songs, and that their princes kept lyre and lute
Magyar literature. Earliest relics.
Arpadian period, 1000–1301.
1301–1437. players who sang festal odes in praise of the national heroes. In the 11th century Christian teachers introduced the use of the Roman letters, but the employment of the Latin language was not formally decreed until 1114 (see Bowring, Poetry of the Magyars, Introd. xix.). It appears, moreover, that up to that date public business was transacted in Hungarian, for the decrees of King Coloman the Learned (1095–1114) were translated from that language into Latin. Among the literary relics of the 12th century are the “Latiatuc” or Halotti Beszéd funeral discourse and prayer in Hungarian, to which Döbrentei in his Régi Magyar Nyelvemlékek assigns as a probable date the year 1171 (others, however, 1182 or 1183). From the Margit-Legenda, or “Legend of St Margaret,” composed in the early part of the 14th century, it is evident that from time to time the native language continued to be employed as a means of religious edification. Under the kings of the house of Anjou, the Magyar became the language of the court. That it was used also in official documents and ordinances is shown by copies of formularies of oaths, the import of which proves beyond a doubt that the originals belonged to the reigns of Louis I. and Sigismond; by a statute of the town of Sajó-St-Peter (1403) relating to the wine trade; by the testament of Kazzai-Karácson (1413); and by other relics of this period published by Döbrentei in vol. ii. of the R. M. Nyelvemlékek. To the early part of the 15th century may be assigned also the legends of “St Francis” and of “St Ursula,” and possibly the original of the Ének Pannónia megvételéröl, an historical “Song about the Conquest of Pannonia.” But not until the dawn of the Reformation did Magyar begin in any sense to replace Latin for literary purposes. The period placed by Hungarian authors between 1437 and 1530 marks the first development of Magyar literature.
About the year 1437 two Hussite monks named Tamás and
Bálint (i.e. Thomas and Valentine) adapted from older sources a
large portion of the Bible for the use of the Hungarian
refugees in Moldavia. To these monks the first extant
Magyar version of part of the Scriptures (the Vienna or
Jagelló-Matthias or pre-Reformation period
(1437–1530). Révai Codex) is directly assigned by Döbrentei, but the exact date either of this copy or of the original translation cannot be ascertained. With approximate certainty may be ascribed also to Tamás and Bálint the original of the still extant transcript, by George Németi, of the Four Gospels, the Jászay or Munich Codex (finished at Tátros in Moldavia in 1466), Amongst other important codices are the Jordánszky Codex (1516–1519), an incomplete copy of the translation of the Bible made by Ladislaus Bátori, who died about 1456; and the Döbrentei or Gyulafehérvár Codex (1508), containing a version of the Psalter, Song of Solomon, and the liturgical epistles and gospels, copied by Bartholomew Halabori from an earlier translation (Környei, A Magyar nemzeti irodalomtörténet vázlata, 1861, p. 30). Other relics belonging to this period are the oath which John Hunyady took when elected governor of Hungary (1446); a few verses sung by the children of Pest at the coronation of his son Matthias (1458); the Siralomének Both János veszedelmén (Elegy upon John Both), written by a certain “Gregori,” as the initial letters of the verses show, and during the reign of the above-mentioned monarch; and the Emlékdal Mátyás király halálára (Memorial Song on the Death of King Matthias, 1490). To these may be added the rhapsody on the taking of “Szabács” (1476); the Katalin-Legenda, a metrical “Legend of St Catherine of Alexandria,” extending to over 4000 lines: and the Feddöének (Upbraiding Song), by Francis Apáthi.
In the next literary period (1530–1606) several translations of the
Scriptures are recorded. Among these there are—versions of
the Epistles of St Paul, by Benedict Komjáti (Cracow,
1533); of the Four Gospels, by Gabriel (Mizsér) Pesti
(Vienna, 1536); of the New Testament, by John Erdösi
(1530–1606). (Ujsziget, 1541; 2nd ed., Vienna, 1574), and by Thomas Félegyházi (1586); and the translations of the Bible, by Caspar Heltai (Klausenburg, 1551–1565), and by Caspar Károli (Vizsoly, near Göncz, 1589–1590). The last, considered the best, was corrected and re-edited by Albert Molnár at Hanau in 1608. Heltai published also (1571) a translation, improved from that by Blasius Veres (1565), of the Tripartitum of Verböczy, and Chronika (1575) adapted from the Decades of Bonfini. Karádi in 1569 brought to light the earliest national drama, Balassi Menyhért. Among the native poets, mostly mere rhyming chroniclers of the 16th century, were Csanádi, Tinódi, Nagy-Báczai, Bogáti, Ilósvay, Istvánfi, Görgei, Temesvári and Valkai. Of these the best and most prolific writer was Tinódi. Székely wrote in prose, with verse introduction, a “Chronicle of the World” under the title of Cronica ez világnac yeles dolgairól (Cracow, 1559). Csáktornya and Kákony imitated the ancient classical poets, and Erdösi introduced the hexameter. Andrew Farkas and the homilist Peter Melius (Juhász) attempted didactic verse; and Batizi busied himself with sacred song and Biblical history. During the latter part of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th two poets of a higher order appeared in Valentine Balassa, the earliest Magyar lyrical writer, and his contemporary John Rimay, whose poems are of a contemplative and pleasing character.
The melancholy state of the country consequent upon the persecutions
of Rudolph I., Ferdinand II. and Leopold I., as also the
continual encroachment of Germanizing influences under
the Habsburgs, were unfavourable to the development of
the national literature during the next literary period,
17th century period
(1606–1711). dating from the Peace of Vienna (1606) to that of Szatmár (1711). A few names were, however, distinguished in theology, philology and poetry. In 1626 a Hungarian version of the Vulgate was published at Vienna by the Jesuit George Káldi, and another complete translation of the Scriptures, the so-called Komáromi Biblia (Komorn Bible) was made in 1685 by the Protestant George Csipkés, though it was not published till 1717 at Leiden, twenty-nine years after his death. On behalf of the Catholics the Jesuit Peter Pázmán, eventually primate, Nicholas Eszterházy, Sámbár, Balásfi and others were the authors of various works of a polemical nature. Especially famous was the Hodaegus, kalauz of Pázmán, which first appeared at Pozsony (Pressburg) in 1613. Among the Protestants who exerted themselves in theological and controversial writings were Németi, Alvinczy, Alexander Felvinczy, Mártonfalvi and Melotai, who was attached to the court of Bethlen Gábor. Telkibányai wrote on “English Puritanism” (1654). The Calvinist Albert Molnár, already mentioned, was more remarkable for his philological than for his theological labours. Párispápai compiled an Hungarian-Latin Dictionary, Dictionarium magyar és deák nyelven (Löcse, 1708), and Apáczai-Csere, a Magyar Encyclopaedia (Utrecht, 1653). John Szalárdi, Paul Lisznyai, Gregory Pethö, John Kemény and Benjamin Szilágyi, which last, however, wrote in Latin, were the authors of various historical works. In polite literature the heroic poem Zrinyiász (1651), descriptive of the fall of Sziget, by Nicholas Zrinyi, grandson of the defender of that fortress, marks a new era in Hungarian poetry. Of a far inferior character was the monotonous Mohácsi veszedelem (Disaster of Mohács), in 13 cantos, produced two years afterwards at Vienna by Baron Liszti. The lyric and epic poems of Stephen Gyöngyösi, who sang the deeds of Maria Széchy, the heroine of Murány, Murányi Venus (Kassa, 1664), are samples rather of a general improvement in the style than of the purity of the language. As a didactic and elegiac poet Stephen Kohári is much esteemed. More fluent but not less gloomy are the sacred lyrics of Nyéki-Veres first published in 1636 under the Latin title of Tintinnabulum Tripudiantium. The songs and proverbs of Peter Beniczky, who lived in the early part of the 17th century, are not without merit, and have been several times reprinted. From the appearance of the first extant printed Magyar work at Cracow in 1531 to the end of the period just treated, more than 1800 publications in the native language are known.
The period comprised between the peace of Szatmár (1711) and
the year 1772 is far more barren in literary results than even that
which preceded it. The exhaustion of the nation from its
protracted civil and foreign wars, the extinction of the
court of the Transylvanian princes where the native
Period of decline
(1711–1772). language had been cherished, and the prevalent use of Latin in the schools, public transactions and county courts, all combined to bring about a complete neglect of the Magyar language and literature. Among the few prose writers of distinction were Andrew Spangár, whose “Hungarian Bookstore,” Magyar Könyvtár (Kassa, 1738), is said to be the earliest work of the kind in the Magyar dialect; George Bárányi, who translated the New Testament (Lauba, 1754); the historians Michael Cserei and Matthew Bél, which last, however, wrote chiefly in Latin; and Peter Bod, who besides his theological treatises compiled a history of Hungarian literature under the title Magyar Athénás (Szeben, 1766). But the most celebrated writer of this period was the Jesuit Francis Faludi, the translator, through the Italian, of William Darrell’s works. On account of the classic purity of his style in prose, Faludi was known as the “Magyar Cicero.” Not only as a philosophic and didactic writer, but also as a lyric and dramatic poet he surpassed all his contemporaries. Another pleasing lyric poet of this period was Ladislaus Amade, the naturalness and genuine sentiment of whose lightly running verses are suggestive of the love songs of Italian authors. Of considerable merit are also the sacred lyrical melodies of Paul Rádai in his Lelki hódolás (Spiritual Homage), published at Debreczen in 1715. Among the didactic poets may be mentioned Lewis Nagy, George Kálmár, John Illey and Paul Bertalanfi, especially noted for his rhymed “Life of St Stephen, first Hungarian king,” Dicsöséges Sz. István elsö magyar királynak élete (Vienna, 1751).
The next three literary periods stand in special relationship to one another, and are sometimes regarded as the same. The first two, marking respectively the progress of the “Regeneration of the Native Literature” (1772–1807) and the “Revival of the Language” (1807–1830), were introductory to and preparatory for the third or “Academy,” period, which began about 1830.
In consequence of the general neglect of the Magyar language during the reigns of Maria Theresa and her successor Joseph II., the more important prose productions of the latter part of the 18th century, as for instance the historical works of George Pray, Stephen Katona, John Engel and Ignatius Regeneration of the literature (1772–1807). Fessier, were written either in Latin or in German. The reaction in favour of the native literature manifested itself at first chiefly in the creation of various schools of poetry. Foremost among these stood the so-called “French” school, founded by George Bessenyei, the author of several dramatic pieces, and of an imitation of Pope’s “Essay on Man,” under the title of Az embernek próbája (Vienna, 1772). Bessenyei introduced the use of rhymed alexandrines in place of the monotonous Zrinian measure. Other writers of the same school were Laurence Orczy and Abraham Barcsay, whose works have a striking resemblance to each other, and were published together by Révai (1789). The songs and elegies of the short-lived Paul Ányos, edited by Bacsányi in 1798, show great depth of feeling. Versifiers and adapters from the French appeared also in Counts Adam and Joseph Teleki, Alexander Báróczi and Joseph Péczeli, known also as the translator of Young’s “Night Thoughts.” The chief representatives of the strictly “classical” school, which adopted the ancient Greek and Latin authors as its models, were David Baróti Szabó, Nicholas Révai, Joseph Rájnis and Benedict Virág. Among the most noteworthy works of Baróti are the Uj mértékre vett külömb versek (Kassa, 1777), comprising hexameter verses, Horatian odes, distichs, epistles and epigrams; the Paraszti Majorság (Kassa, 1779–1780), an hexameter version of Vanière’s Praedium rusticum; and an abridged version of “Paradise Lost,” contained in the Költeményes munkaji (Komárom, 1802). Baróti, moreover, published (1810–1813) a translation of Virgil’s Aeneid and Eclogues. Of Baróti’s purely linguistic works the best known are his Ortographia és Prosodia (Komárom, 1800); and the Kisded Szótár (Kassa, 1784 and 1792) or “Small Lexicon” of rare Hungarian words. As a philologist Baróti was far surpassed by Nicholas Révai, but as a poet he may be considered superior to Rájnis, translator of Virgil’s Bucolics and Georgics, and author of the Magyar Helikonra vezetö kalauz (Guide to the Magyar Helicon, 1781). The “classical” school reached its highest state of culture under Virág, whose poetical works, consisting chiefly of Horatian odes and epistles, on account of the perfection of their style, obtained for him the name of the “Magyar Horace.” The Poetai Munkai (Poetical Works) of Virág were published at Pest in 1799, and again in 1822. Of his prose works the most important is the Magyar Századok or “Pragmatic History of Hungary” (Buda, 1808 and 1816). Vályi-Nagy, the first Magyar translator of Homer, belongs rather to the “popular” than the “classical” school. His translation of the Iliad appeared at Sárospatak in 1821. The establishment of the “national” or “popular” school is attributable chiefly to Andrew Dugonics, though his earliest works, Troja veszedelme (1774) and Ulysses (1780), indicate a classical bias. His national romances, however, and especially Etelka (Pozsony, 1787) and Az arany pereczek (Pest and Pozsony, 1790), attracted public attention, and were soon adapted for the stage. The most valuable of his productions is his collection of “Hungarian Proverbs and Famous Sayings,” which appeared in 1820 at Szeged, under the title of Magyar példabeszédek és jeles mondások. The most noteworthy follower of Dugonics was Adam Horváth, author of the epic poems Hunniász (Györ, 1787) and Rudolphiász (Vienna, 1817), Joseph Gvadányi’s tripartite work Falusi notárius (Village Notary), published between 1790 and 1796, as also his Rontó Pál és gr. Benyowsky történeteik (Adventures of Paul Rontó and Count Benyowski), are humorous and readable, but careless in style. As writers of didactic poetry may be mentioned John Endrödy, Caspar Göböl, Joseph Takács and Barbara Molnár, the earliest distinguished Magyar poetess.
Of a more general character, and combining the merits of the above schools, are the works of the authors who constituted the so-called “Debreczen Class,” which boasts the names of the naturalist and philologist John Földi, compiler of a considerable part of the Debreczeni magyar grammatica; Michael Fazekas, author of Ludas Matyi (Vienna, 1817), an epic poem, in 4 cantos; and Joseph Kovács. Other precursors of the modern school were the poet and philologist Francis Verseghy, whose works extend to nearly forty volumes; the gifted didactic prose writer, Joseph Kármán; the metrical rhymster, Gideon Ráday; the lyric poets, Ssentjóbi Szabó, Janos Bacsányi (q.v.), and the short-lived Gabriel Dayka, whose posthumous “Verses” were published in 1813 by Kazinczy. Still more celebrated were Mihaly Csokonai (q.v.) and Alexander Kisfaludy (q.v.). The first volume of Alexander Kisfaludy’s Himfy, a series of short lyrics of a descriptive and reflective nature, appeared at Buda in 1801, under the title of Kesergö szerelem (Unhappy Love), and was received with great enthusiasm; nor was the success of the second volume Boldog szerelem (Happy Love), which appeared in 1807, inferior. The Regék, or “Tales of the Past,” were published at Buda from 1807 to 1808, and still further increased Kisfaludy’s fame; but in his dramatic works he was not equally successful. Journalistic literature in the native language begins with the Magyar Hírmondó (Harbinger) started by Matthias Ráth at Pozsony in 1780. Among the magazines the most important was the Magyar Muzeum, established at Kassa (Kaschau) in 1788 by Baróti, Kazinczy and Bacsányi. The Orpheus (1790) was the special work of Kazinczy, and the Urania (1794) of Kármán and of Pajor.
Closely connected with the preceding period is that of the “Revival of the Language” (1807–1830), with which the name of Francis Kazinczy (q.v.) is especially associated. To him it was left to perfect that work of restoration begun by Baróti and amplified by Révai. Poetry and belles lettres still Revival of the language (1807–1830). continued to occupy the chief place in the native literature, but under Kazinczy and his immediate followers Berzsenyi, Kölcsey, Fáy and others, a correctness of style and excellence of taste hitherto unknown soon became apparent. Kazinczy, in his efforts to accommodate the national language to the demands of an improved civilization, availed himself of the treasures of European literature, but thereby incurred the opposition of those who were prejudiced by a too biased feeling of nationality. The opinions of his enemies were ventilated in a lampoon styled Mondolat. Daniel Berzsenyi, whose odes are among the finest in the Hungarian language, was the correspondent of Kazinczy, and like him a victim of the attacks of the Mondolat. But the fervent patriotism, elevated style, and glowing diction of Berzsenyi soon caused him to be recognized as a truly national bard. A too frequent allusion to Greek mythological names is a defect sometimes observable in his writings. His collective works were published at Buda by Döbrentei in 1842. Those of John Kis, the friend of Berzsenyi, cover a wide range of subjects, and comprise, besides original poetry, many translations from the Greek, Latin, French, German and English, among which last may be mentioned renderings from Blair, Pope and Thomson, and notably his translation, published at Vienna in 1791, of Lowth’s “Choice of Hercules.” The style of Kis is unaffected and easy. As a sonnet writer none stands higher than Paul Szemere, known also for his rendering of Körner’s drama Zrinyi (1818), and his contributions to the Elet és Literatura (Life and Literature). The articles of Francis Kölcsey in the same periodical are among the finest specimens of Hungarian aesthetical criticism. The lyric poems of Kölcsey can hardly be surpassed, whilst his orations, and markedly the Emlék beszéd Kazinczy felett (Commemorative Speech on Kazinczy), exhibit not only his own powers, but the singular excellence of the Magyar language as an oratorical medium. Andrew Fáy, sometimes styled the “Hungarian Aesop,” is chiefly remembered for his Eredeti Mesék (Original Fables). The dramatic works of Charles Kisfaludy, brother of Alexander, won him enthusiastic recognition as a regenerator of the drama. His plays bear a distinctive national character, the subjects of most of them referring to the golden era of the country. His genuine simplicity as a lyrical writer is shown by the fact that several of his shorter pieces have passed into popular song. As the earliest Magyarizer of Servian folk-song, Michael Vitkovics did valuable service. Not without interest to Englishmen is the name of Gabriel Döbrentei (q.v.), the translator of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, represented at Pozsony in 1825. An historical poem of a somewhat philosophical nature was produced in 1814 by Andreas Horváth under the title of Zircz emlékezete (Reminiscence of Zircz); but his Árpád, in 12 books, finished in 1830, and published at Pest in the following year, is a great national epic. Among other poets of this period were Alois Szentmiklóssy, George Gaal, Emil Buczy, Joseph Szász, Ladislaus Tóth and Joseph Katona, author of the much-extolled historical drama Bánk Bán. Izidore Guzmics, the translator of Theocritus into Magyar hexameters, is chiefly noted for his prose writings on ecclesiastical and philosophical subjects. As authors of special works on philosophy, we find Samuel Köteles, John Imre, Joseph Ruszék, Daniel Ercsei and Paul Sárvári; as a theologian and Hebraist John Somossy; as an historian and philologist Stephen Horváth, who endeavoured to trace the Magyar descent from the earliest historic times; as writers on jurisprudence Alexander Kövy and Paul Szlemenics. For an account of the historian George Fejér, the laborious compiler of the Codex Diplomaticus, see Fejér.
The establishment of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (17th
November 1830) marks the commencement of a new period, in
the first eighteen years of which gigantic exertions were
made as regards the literary and intellectual life of the
nation. The language, nursed by the academy, developed
1830-1880. rapidly, and showed its capacity for giving expression to almost every form of scientific knowledge. By offering rewards for the best original dramatic productions, the academy provided that the national theatre should not suffer from a lack of classical dramas. During the earlier part of its existence the Hungarian academy devoted itself mainly to the scientific development of the language and philological research. Since its reorganization in 1869 the academy has, however, paid equal attention to the various departments of history, archaeology, national economy and the physical sciences. The encouragement of polite literature was more especially the object of the Kisfaludy Society, founded in 1836.
Polite literature had received a great impulse in the preceding period (1807–1830), but after the formation of the academy and the Kisfaludy society it advanced with accelerated speed towards the point attained by other nations. Foremost among epic poets, though not equally successful as a dramatist, was Mihaly Vörösmarty (q.v.), who, belonging also to the close of the last period, combines great power of imagination with elegance of language. Generally less varied and romantic, though easier in style, are the heroic poems Augsburgi ütközet (Battle of Augsburg) and Aradi gyülés (Diet of Arad) of Gregory Czuczor, who was, moreover, very felicitous as an epigrammatist. Martin Debreczeni was chiefly famed for his Kióvi csata (Battle of Kieff), published at Pest in 1854 after his death by Count Emeríc Mikó. The laborious John Garay in his Szent László shows considerable ability as an epic poet, but his greatest merit was rather as a romancist and ballad writer, as shown by the “Pen Sketches” or Tollrajzok (1845), and his legendary series Árpádok (1847). Joseph Bajza was a lyricist of a somewhat melancholy cast, but his Borének (Wine Song), Sohajtás (Sigh), Ébresztö (Awakening) and Apotheosis are much admired. He is known further as the translator of F. C. Dahlmann’s Geschichte der englischen Revolution. As generally able writers of lyrical poetry during the earlier part of this period may be mentioned among others Francis Császár, Joseph Székács and Andrew Kunoss—also Lewis Szakál and Alexander Vachott, whose songs and romances are of an artless and simple character, and the sacred lyricist Béla Tárkányi. As an original but rather heavy lyric and didactic poet we may mention Peter Vajda, who was, moreover, the translator of Bulwer’s “Night and Morning.” Of a more distinctly national tendency are the lyrics of John Kriza and John Erdélyi, but the reputation of the latter was more especially due to his collections of folk-lore made on behalf of the Kisfaludy society. More popular than any of the preceding, and well known in England through Sir John Bowring’s translation, are the charming lyrics of Alexander Petöfi (q.v.), the “Burns” of Hungary. His poems, which embody the national genius, have passed into the very life of the people; particularly is he happy in the pieces descriptive of rural life. Among lyricists were: Coloman Tóth, who is also the author of several epic and dramatic pieces; John Vajda, whose Kisebb Költemények (Minor Poems), published by the Kisfaludy society in 1872, are partly written in the mode of Heine, and are of a pleasing but melancholy character; Joseph Lévay, known also as the translator of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew and Henry IV.; and Paul Gyulai, who, not only as a faultless lyric and epic poet, but as an impartial critical writer, is highly esteemed, and whose Romhányi is justly prized as one of the best Magyar poems that has appeared in modern times. To these may be added the names of Charles Berecz, Joseph Zalár, Samuel Nyilas, Joseph Vida, Lewis Tolnai, the sentimental Ladislaus Szelestey, and the talented painter Zoltán Balogh, whose romantic poem Alpári was published in 1871 by the Kisfaludy society. The lyrics of Anthony Várady (1875, 1877) are somewhat dull and unequal in tone; both he and Baron Ivor Kaas, author of Az itélet napja (Day of Judgment, 1876), have shown skill rather in the art of dramatic verse. The poems of Count Géza Zichy and Victor Dalmady, those of the latter published at Budapest in 1876, are mostly written on subjects of a domestic nature, but are conceived in a patriotic spirit. Emil Ábrányi adopts a rather romantic style, but his Nagypéntek (Good Friday) is an excellent descriptive sketch. Alexander Endrödy, author of Tücsök dalok (Cricket Songs, 1876), is a glowing writer, with great power of conception, but his metaphors, following rapidly one upon the other, become often confused. Joseph Kiss in 1876 brought out a few lyric and epic poems of considerable merit. The Mesék of Augustus Greguss (1878), a collection of verse “Fables,” belonging to the school of Gay, partake more of a didactic than lyrical nature. This feature is noticeable also in the Költemények (1873) of Ladislaus Torkos and the Modern Mesék (1874) of Ladislaus Névy. The Salamon (1878) of Charles Szász (b. 1829) was rewarded with the prize of the academy. The subject, taken from the age of Hungarian chivalry, is artistically worked out from medieval legends, and gives an excellent description of the times of St Ladislaus of Hungary. Charles Szász is generally better known as a metrical translator than as an original poet. He is the Magyarizer of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, Othello, Macbeth, Henry VIII., Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet and Tempest, as also of some of the best pieces of Burns, Moore, Byron, Shelley, Milton, Béranger, Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Goethe and others. A translator from Byron and Pope appeared also in Maurice Lukács.
Meanwhile dramatic literature found many champions, of whom the most energetic was Edward Szigligeti, proprie Joseph Szathmáry, who enriched the Hungarian stage with more than a hundred pieces. Of these the most popular are comedies and serio-comic national dramas. A less prolific but more classical writer appeared in Charles Obernyik, whose George Brankovics is, next to Katona’s Bánk Bán, one of the best historical tragedies in the language. Several of the already mentioned lyric and epic poets were occasional writers also for the drama. To these we may add the gifted but unfortunate Sigismund Czakó, Lewis Dobsa, Joseph Szigeti, Ignatius Nagy, Joseph Szenvey (a translator from Schiller), Joseph Gaal, Charles Hugo, Lawrence Tóth (the Magyarizer of the School for Scandal), Emeric Vahot, Alois Degré (equally famous as a novelist), Stephen Toldy and Lewis Dóczi, author of the popular prize drama Csók (The Kiss). Az ember tragoediája (The Tragedy of Man), by Emeric Madách (1861), is a dramatic poem of a philosophical and contemplative character, and is not intended for the stage. Among successful dramatic pieces may be mentioned the Falu rossza (Village Scamp) of Edward Tóth (1875), which represents the life of the Hungarian peasantry, and shows both poetic sentiment and dramatic skill; A szerelem harcza (Combat of Love), by Count Géza Zichy; Iskáriot (1876) and the prize tragedy Tamora (1879), by Anthony Várady; Jánus (1877), by Gregory Csiky; and the dramatized romance Szép Mikhal (Handsome Michal), by Maurus Jókai (1877). The principal merit of this author’s drama Milton (1876) consists in its brilliance of language. The Szerelem iskolája (School of Love), by Eugene Rákosy, although in some parts exquisitely worded, did not meet with the applause accorded to his Ripacsos Pista Dolmánya (1874). The Gróf Dormándi Kálmán (Count Coloman Dormándi) of Béla Bercsényi (1877) is a social tragedy of the French school. Among the most recent writers of comedy we single out Árpád Berczik for his A házasitók (The Matchmakers); Ignatius Súlyovsky for his Nöi diplomatia (Female Diplomacy); and the above-mentioned Gregory Csiky for his Ellenállhatatlan (The Irresistible), produced on the stage in 1878. As popular plays the Sárga csikó (Bay Foal) and A piros bugyelláris (The Red Purse), by Francis Csepreghy, have their own special merit, and were often represented in 1878 and 1879 at Budapest and elsewhere.
Original romance writing, which may be said to have commenced with Dugonics and Kármán at the close of the 18th, and to have found a representative in Francis Verseghy at the beginning of the 19th century, was afterwards revived by Fáy in his Bélteky ház (1832), and by the contributors to certain literary magazines, especially the Aurora, an almanack conducted by Charles Kisfaludy, 1821–1830, and continued by Joseph Bajza to 1837. Almost simultaneously with the rise of the Kisfaludy society, works of fiction assumed a more vigorous tone, and began to present just claims for literary recognition. Far from adopting the levity of style too often observable in French romances, the Magyar novels, although enlivened by touches of humour, have generally rather a serious historical or political bearing. Especially is this the case with Nicholas Jósika’s Abafi (1835), A csehek Magyarországon (The Bohemians in Hungary), and Az utolsó Bátori (The Last of the Báthoris), published in 1847. In these, as in many other of the romances of Jósika, a high moral standard is aimed at. The same may be said of Baron Joseph Eötvös’s Karthausi (1839) and Falu Jegyzöje (Village Notary), published in 1845, and translated into English (1850) by O. Wenckstern (see Eötvös). The Árvizönyv or “Inundation Book,” edited by Eötvös (1839–1841), is a collection of narratives and poems by the most celebrated authors of the time. Of the novels produced by Baron Sigismund Kemény the Gyulai Pál (1847), in 5 vols., is, from its historical character, the most important. His Férj és nö (Husband and Wife) appeared in 1853 (latest ed., 1878), the Rajongók (Fanatics), in 4 vols., in 1858–1859. The graphic descriptions of Hungarian life in the middle and lower classes by Lewis Kuthy won for him temporary renown; but his style, though flowery, is careless. Another popular writer of great originality was Joseph Radákovics alias Vas-Gereben. The romances of Baron Frederick Podmaniczky are simpler, and rather of a narrative than colloquial character. The fertile writer Paul Kovács excels more particularly in humorous narration. Fay’s singular powers in this direction were well shown by his Jávor orvos és Bakator Ambrus szolgája (Doctor Jávor and his servant Ambrose Bakator), brought out at Pest in 1855. The Beszélyek (Tales) of Ladislaus Beöthy were produced in the same year, his Puszták fia (Son of the Pusztas) in 1857. Pleasing humorous sketches are contained also in Ignatius Nagy’s Beszélyek (1843) and “Caricatures” or Torzképek (1844); in Caspar Bernát’s Fresko képek (1847–1850); in Gustavus Lauka’s Vidék, and his A jó régi világ (The Good Old World), published respectively in 1857 and 1863; and in Alexander Balázs’s Beszélyei (1855) and Tükördarabok (1865). Among authors of other historical or humorous romances and tales which have appeared from time to time are Francis Márton alias Lewis Abonyi, Joseph Gaal, Paul Gyulai, William Györi, Lazarus Horváth, the short-lived Joseph Irinyi, translator of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Francis Ney, Albert Pálffy, Alexander Vachott and his brother Emeric (Vahot), Charles Szathmáry, Desider Margittay, Victor Vajda, Joseph Bodon, Atala Kisfaludy and John Krátky. But by far the most prolific and talented novelist that Hungary can boast of is Maurus Jókai (q.v.), whose power of imagination and brilliancy of style, no less than his true representations of Hungarian life and character, have earned for him a European reputation. Of the novels produced by other authors between 1870 and 1880, we may mention A hol az ember kezdödik (Where the Man Begins), by Edward Kavassy (1871), in which he severely lashes the idling Magyar nobility; Az én ismeröseim (My Acquaintances), by Lewis Tolnai (1871); and Anatol, by Stephen Toldy (1872); the versified romances Déli bábok höse (Hero of the Fata Morgana), generally ascribed to Ladislaus Arany, but anonymously published, A szerelem höse (Hero of Love), by John Vajda (1873), and Találkozások (Rencounters) by the same (1877), and A Tündéröv (The Fairy Zone), by John Sulla (1876), all four interesting as specimens of narrative poetry; Kálozdy Béla (1875), a tale of Hungarian provincial life, by Zoltán Beöthy, a pleasing writer who possesses a fund of humour, and appears to follow the best English models; Edith története (History of Edith), by Joseph Prém (1876); Nyomorúság iskolája (School of Misery), by the prolific author Arnold Vértesi (1878); Titkolt szerelem (Secret Love), by Cornelius Ábrányi (1879), a social-political romance of some merit; and Uj idök, avult emberek (Modern Times, Men of the Past), by L. Véka (1879). In the Itthon (At Home), by Alois Degré (1877), the tale is made the medium for a satirical attack upon official corruption and Hungarian national vanity; and in the Álmok álmódoja (Dreamer of Dreams), by John Ásbóth (1878), other national defects are aimed at. A rosz szomszéd (The Bad Neighbour), by Charles Vadnay (1878), is a felicitous representation of the power of love. The Az utolsó Bebek (The Last of the Bebeks), by the late Charles Pétery, is a work rich in poetic invention, but meagre in historical matter. The reverse is the case with the Lajos pap (Priest Lewis), by Charles Vajkay (1879), the scene of which is placed at Pest, in the beginning of the 14th century. In this romance the interest of the narrative is weakened by a superabundance of historical and archaeological detail.
As regards works of a scientific character, the Magyars until recently were confessedly behindhand as compared with many other European nations. Indeed, before the foundation of the Hungarian academy in 1830, but few such works claiming general recognition had been published in the native language. Even in 1847 astronomy, physics, logic and other subjects of the kind had to be taught in several of the lyceums through the medium of Latin. The violent political commotions of the next few years allowed but little opportunity for the prosecution of serious studies; the subsequent quieter state of the country, and gradual re-establishment of the language as a means of education, were, however, more favourable to the development of scientific knowledge.
In the department of philosophy, besides several writers of dissertations bearing an imitative, didactic or polemical character, Hungary could boast a few authors of independent and original thought. Of these one of the most notable is Cyril Horváth, whose treatises published in the organs of the academy display a rare freedom and comprehensiveness of imagination. John Hetényi and Gustavus Szontagh must be rather regarded as adopters and developers of the ethical teaching of Samuel Köteles in the previous period. Hyacinth Rónay in his Mutatvány (Representation) and Jellemisme (Characteristics) endeavoured to popularize psychological studies. The philosophical labours of the already mentioned John Erdélyi and of Augustus Greguss won for them well-deserved recognition, the latter especially being famous for his aesthetical productions, in which he appears to follow out the principles of Vischer. The Tanulmányok (Studies) of Greguss were brought out at Pest in 1872. The reputation of John Szilasy, John Varga, Fidelius Beély and Francis Ney arose rather from their works bearing on the subject of education than from their contributions to philosophy.
The labours of Stephen Horváth in the preceding period had prepared the way for future workers in the field of historical literature. Specially meritorious among these are Michael Horváth, Ladislaus Szalay, Paul Jászay and Count Joseph Teleki. The Magyarok története (History of the Magyars), in 4 vols., first published at Pápa (1842–1846), and afterwards in 6 vols. at Pest (1860–1863), and in 8 vols. (1871–1873), is the most famous of Michael Horváth’s numerous historical productions. Ladislaus Szalay’s Magyarország története (History of Hungary), vols. i.-iv. (Leipzig, 1852–1854), vols. v.-vi. (Pest, 1856–1861), 2nd ed., i.-v. (1861–1866), is a most comprehensive work, showing more particularly the progress of Hungarian legislative development in past times. His style is elevated and concise, but somewhat difficult. Magyar history is indebted to Paul Jászay for his careful working out of certain special periods, as, for instance, in his A Magyar nemzet napjai a legrégibb idötöl az arany bulláig (Days of the Hungarian nation from the earliest times to the date of the Golden Bull). Count Joseph Teleki is famed chiefly for his Hunyadiak kora Magyarországon (The Times of the Hunyadys in Hungary), vols. i.-vi. (Pest, 1852–1863), x.-xii. (1853–1857), the result of thirty years’ labour and research. In particular departments of historical literature we find George Bartal, author of Commentariorum . . . libri XV., tom. i.-iii. (Pozsony, 1847), John Czech, Gustavus Wenczel, Frederick Pesty and Paul Szlemenics as writers on legal history; Joseph Bajza, who in 1845 commenced a History of the World; Alexander Szilágyi, some of whose works, like those of Ladislaus Köváry, bear on the past of Transylvania, others on the Hungarian revolution of 1848–1849; Charles Lányi and John Pauer, authors of treatises on Roman Catholic ecclesiastical history; John Szombathi, Emeric Révész and Balogh, writers on Protestant church history; William Fraknói, biographer of Cardinal Pázmán, and historian of the Hungarian diets; and Anthony Gévay, Aaron Sziládi, Joseph Podhradczky, Charles Szabó, John Jerney and Francis Salamon, who have investigated and elucidated many special historical subjects. For the medieval history of Hungary the Mátyáskori diplomatikai emlékek (Diplomatic Memorials of the Time of Matthias Corvinus), issued by the academy under the joint editorship of Ivan Nagy and Baron Albert Nyáry, affords interesting material. As a masterly production based on extensive investigation, we note the Wesselényi Ferencz ... összeesküvése (The Secret Plot of Francis Wesselényi, 1664–1671), by Julius Pauler (1876). Among the many historians of Magyar literature Francis Toldy alias Schedel holds the foremost place. As compilers of useful manuals may be mentioned also Joseph Szvorényi, Zoltán Beöthy, Alexander Imre, Paul Jámbor, Ladislaus Névy, John Környei and Joseph Szinnyei, junior. For philological and ethnographical research into the origin and growth of the language none excels Paul Hunfalvy. He is, moreover, the warm advocate of the theory of its Ugrio-Finnic origin, as established by the Uralian traveller Anthony Reguly, the result of whose labours Hunfalvy published in 1864, under the title A Vogul föld és nép (The Vogul Land and People). Between 1862 and 1866 valuable philological studies bearing on the same subject were published by Joseph Budenz in the Nyelvtudományi közlemények (Philological Transactions). This periodical, issued by the academy, has during the last decade (1870–1880) contained also comparative studies, by Arminius Vámbéry and Gabriel Bálint, of the Magyar, Turkish-Tatar and Mongolian dialects.
As compilers and authors of works in various scientific branches allied to history, may be particularly mentioned—in statistics and geography, Alexius Fényes, Emeric Palugyay, Alexander Konek, John Hunfalvy, Charles Galgóczy, Charles Keleti, Leo Beöthy, Joseph Körösi, Charles Ballagi and Paul Király, and, as regards Transylvania, Ladislaus Köváry; in travel, Arminius Vámbéry, Ignatius Goldziher, Ladislaus Magyar, John Xantus, John Jerney, Count Andrássy, Ladislaus Podmaniczky, Paul Hunfalvy; in astronomy, Nicholas Konkoly; in archaeology, Bishop Arnold Ipolyi, Florian Rómer, Emeric Henszlmann, John Érdy, Baron Albert Nyáry, Francis Pulszky and Francis Kiss; in Hungarian mythology, Bishop Ipolyi, Anthony Csengery, and Árpád Kerékgyártó; in numismatics, John Érdy and Jacob Rupp; and in jurisprudence, Augustus Karvassy, Theodore Pauler, Gustavus Wenczel, Emeric Csacskó, John Fogarasi and Ignatius Frank. After 1867 great activity was displayed in history and its allied branches, owing to the direct encouragement given by the Hungarian Historical Society, and by the historical, archaeological, and statistical committees of the academy.
Notwithstanding the exertions of Paul Bugát to arouse an interest in the natural sciences by the establishment in 1841 of the “Hungarian Royal Natural Science Association,” no general activity was manifested in this department of knowledge, so far as the native literature was concerned, until 1860, when the academy organized a special committee for the advancement of mathematical and natural science. The principal contributors to the “Transactions” of this section of the academy were—for anatomy and physiology, Coloman Balogh, Eugene Jendrassik, Joseph Lenhossék and Lewis Thanhoffer; for zoology, John Frivaldszky, John Kriesch and Theodore Margó; for botany, Frederick Hazslinszky, Lewis Jurányi and Julius Klein; for mineralogy and geology, Joseph Szabó, Max Hantken, Joseph Krenner, Anthony Koch and Charles Hoffman; for physics, Baron Lorando Eötvös, Coloman Szily and Joseph Sztoczek; for chemistry, Charles Than and Vincent Wartha; for meteorology, Guido Schenzl. As good text-books, for which the so-called “Ladies’ Prize” was awarded by the academy, we may mention the Természettan (Physics) and Természettani földrajz (Physical Geography) of Julius Greguss.
Almost simultaneously with the formation of the above-mentioned committee of the academy, the “Natural Science Association” showed signs of renewed animation, and soon advanced with rapid strides in the same direction, but with a more popular aim than the academy. Between 1868 and 1878 the number of its members increased from some 600 to about 5000. After 1872, in addition to its regular organs, it issued Hungarian translations of several popular scientific English works, as, for instance, Darwin’s Origin of Species; Huxley’s Lessons in Physiology; Lubbock’s Prehistoric Times; Proctor’s Other Worlds than Ours; Tyndall’s Heat as a Mode of Motion, &c. Versions were also made of Cotta’s Geologie der Gegenwart and Helmholtz’s Populäre Vorlesungen. As important original monographs we note—Az árapály a Fiumei öbölben (Ebb and Flow in the Gulf of Fiume), by Emil Stahlberger (1874); Magyarország pókfaunája (The Arachnida of Hungary), by Otto Hermann (1876–1878); Magyarország vaskövei és vasterményei (The Iron Ores and Iron Products of Hungary), by Anthony Kerpely (1877); Magyarország nevezetesebb dohányfajainak chemiai ... megvizsgálása (Chemical Examination of the most famous Tobaccos of Hungary), by Dr Thomas Kosutány (1877). (E. D. Bu.)
The number of Magyar writers has since 1880 increased to an extent hardly expected by the reading public in Hungary itself. In 1830 there were only 10 Magyar periodical publications; in 1880 we find 368; in 1885 their number rose to 494; in 1890 to 636; and at the Literature since 1880. beginning of 1895 no fewer than 806 periodical publications, written in the Hungarian language, appeared in Hungary. Since that time (1895) the number of periodical as well as of non-periodical literary works has been constantly rising, although, as in all countries with a literature of rather recent origin, the periodical publications are, in proportion to the whole of the output, far more numerous than the non-periodical. This remarkable increase in the quantity of literary work was, on the whole, accompanied by a fair advance in literary quality.
In lyrical poetry, among the poets who first came to the fore in the ’sixties several were active after 1880, such as Joseph Komócsy (d. 1894), whose Szerelem Könyve (“Book of Love”) has become a popular classic; Victor Dalmady, who published in the ’nineties his Hazafias Költemények (Patriotic Poems); and Ladislas Arany, son of the great John. Among the prominent lyrists whose works, although partly published before 1880, belong largely to the later period, the following deserve special mention: The poetry of Emil Ábrányi (born 1850) is filled with the ideas and ideals of Victor Hugo. Ábrányi excels also as a translator, more particularly of Byron. Julius Reviczky (1855–1899) also inclined to the Occidental rather than to the specifically Magyar type of poets; his lyrics are highly finished, aristocratic and pessimistic (Pán halála, “The Death of Pan”). Count Géza Zichy (b. 1849) published his lyrical poems in 1892. Joseph Kiss (b. 1843) is especially felicitous in ballads taken from village and Jewish life, and in love-songs; Alexander Endrödi (b. 1850), one of the most gifted modern lyrical poets of Hungary, has the charm of tenderness and delicacy together with that of a peculiar and original style, his Kurucz nóták being so far his most successful attempt at romantic lyrics. Louis Bartók (b. 1851) is a remarkable satirist and epigrammatist (Kárpáti emlékek). Ödön Jakab (b. 1850) leans towards the poetic manner of Tompa, with perhaps a greater power of expression than the author of the Virágregék (“Flower-fables”); Jakab wrote Hangok az ifjuságból (“Sounds of Youth”), Nyár (“Summer”), both collections of lyrical poems. Louis Pósa (b. 1850) has made a sphere of his own in his charming poems for and about children, Édes anyám (“My dear Mother”). In Andor Kozma (b. 1860), author of A tegnap és a ma (“Yesterday and To-day,” 1889), Versek (Poems, 1893), &c., there is undoubted power of genuine satire and deep humour. Michael Szabolcska (b. 1864), author of Hangulatok (“Moods,” 1894), showed great promise; Julius Vargha (b. 1853) cultivates the népies or folk-poetry as represented by Hungary’s two greatest poets, Petőfi and Arany; Vargha has also published excellent translations of Schiller and Goethe. Perhaps scarcely less remarkable are the modern Magyar lyrists, such as, of the older set, John Bulla (b. 1843), J. D. Temérdek, Gustavus Csengey (b. 1842), Paul Koroda (b. 1854), E. Julius Kovács (b. 1839, Poems, 1892), Ladislas Inczédi, Julius Nógrádi Pap, Julius Szávay (b. 1860), John Dengi (b. 1853); among the juniors, Anton Radó (also an excellent translator), Louis Palágyi (Magányos úton, “On Lonely Way,” &c.), Géza Gárdonyi (b. 1863, Aprilis, 1894), Zoltán Pap, Eugen Heltai (Ignotus), Julius Rudnyánszky (b. 1860, Szerelem, “Love”; Nyár, “Summer”), Árpád Zemplényi, Julius Szentessy, Emil Makai (b. 1870), Cornelius Gáspár, Julius Varsányi (b. 1863, Mulandóság, “The Unstableness of Things”), Alexander Luby (Vergödés, “Striving”), Eugen V. Szászvárosi, Endre Szabó (b. 1849), political satirist. In the most recent lyrics of Hungary there is a growing tendency to socialistic poetry, to the “poetry of misery” (A nyomor költészete). In epic poetry Josef Kiss’s Jehova is the most popular work. Amongst rhymed novels—novels in verse form—the best is the Délibábok hőse (“The Hero of Mirages”), in which Ladislas Arany tells, in brilliantly humorous and captivating fashion, the story of a young Magyar nobleman who, at first full of great ideals and aspirations, finally ends as a commonplace country squire.
Among Hungarian novels we may distinguish four dominant genres or tendencies. The first is represented almost exclusively by Maurus Jókai (q.v.). To the school so perfectly represented by Jókai belong Árpád Kupa (A napszámosok, “The Labourers”; Képselt királyok, “Imaginary Kings”); Robert Tábori (Nagy játék, “Great Game”; A negyvenéves férfiu, “The Man at Forty”); and Julius Werner (Kendi Imre házassága, “The Wedding of Emericus Kendi”; Olga; Megvirrad még valaha, “Dawn will come in the End”). The second class of Hungarian modern novelists is led by the well-known Koloman Mikszáth, a poet endowed with originality, a charming naïveté, and a freshness of observation from life. A close observer of the multifarious low life of Hungary, Mikszáth has, in his short stories, given a delightful yet instructive picture of all the minor varied phases of the peasant life of the Slavs, the Palócok, the Saxons, the town artisan. Amongst his numerous works may be mentioned A jó palóczok (“The Good Palóczok,” Slav peasants); Egy választás Magyarországon (“An Election in Hungary”); Pipacsok a búzában (“Wild Poppies in the Wheatfield”); A tekintetes vármegye (“The Worshipful County”); Ne okoskodj Pista (“Don’t reason, Pista”); Szent Peter esernyője (“St Peter’s Umbrella,” translated from the original into English by Miss B. W. Worswick), &c. Mikszáth has had considerable influence upon other writers. Such are Victor Rákosi (Sipulus tárcái, “The Essays of Sipulus”; Rejtett fészkek, “Hidden Nests”); Stephen Móra (Atyánkfiai, “Our Compatriots”); Alexius Benedek, the author of numerous distinctly sympathetic and truly Magyar tales, fables and novels, one of the most gifted and deserving literary workers of modern Hungary (Huszár Anna, “Anna Huszar”; Egy szalmaözvegy levelei, “Letters of a grass widow”; A sziv könyve, “The Book of the Heart”; Katalin, “Catherine”; Csendes órák, “Quiet Hours”; Testamentum és hat levél, “Last Will and Six Letters,” translated into German by Dr W. Schönwald, &c.); Géza Gárdonyi (several novels containing the adventures, observations, &c., of Mr Gabriel Gőre; A kékszemü Davidkáné, “Blue-eyed Mrs Dávidka”; A Kátsa, scenes from gipsy life); Charles Murai (Vig történetek, “Jolly Stories”; Bandi, a collection of short tales); Stephen Bársony (Csend, “Silence”; A Kaméleon-leány, “The Chamaeleon Girl, and other Stories”; Erdőn–mezőn, “In Wood and Field”). The third class of Magyar novelists comprises those cosmopolitan writers who take their method of work, their inspiration and even many of their subjects from foreign authors, chiefly French, German, Russian and also Norwegian. A people with an intense national sentiment, such as the Hungarians, do not as a rule incline towards permanent admiration of foreign-born or imported literary styles; and accordingly the work of this class of novelists has frequently met with very severe criticism on the part of various Magyar critics. Yet it can scarcely be denied that several of the “foreign” novelists have contributed a wholesome, if not quite Magyar, element of form or thought to literary narrative style in Hungary. Probably the foremost among them is Sigismund Justh, who died prematurely in the midst of his painful attempt at reconciling French “realistic” modes of thought with what he conceived to be Magyar simplicity (A puszta könyve, “The Book of the Puszta,” prairie of Hungary; A Pénz legendája, “The Legend of Money”; Gányo Julcsa, “Juliet Gányó”; Fuimus). Other novelists belonging to this school are: Desiderius Malonyai (Az utolsó, “The Last”; Judith könyve, “The Book of Judith”; Tanulmányfejek, “Typical Heads”); Julius Pekár (Dodo főhadnagy problémái, “Lieutenant Dodo’s Problems”; Az aranykesztyűs kisasszony, “The Maid with the Golden Gloves”; A szoborszép asszony, “The Lady as Beautiful as a Statue”; Az esztendo legendája, “The Legend of the Year”); Thomas Kobor (Aszfalt, “Asphalt”; O akarta, “He Wanted It”; A csillagok felé, “Towards the Stars”); Stephen Szomaházy (Huszonnégy óra, “Twenty-four Hours”; A Clairette Keringő, “The Clairette Valse”; Páratlan szerdák, “Incomparable Wednesdays”; Nyári felhők, “Clouds of Summer”); Zoltán Thury (Ullrich főhadnagy és egyéb történetek, “Lieutenant Ullrich and other Tales”; Urak és parasztok, “Gentlemen and Peasants”); also Desiderius Szomory, Ödon Gerő, Árpád Abonyi, Koloman Szántó, Edward Sas, Julius Vértesi, Tibor Dénes, Ákos Pintér, the Misses Janka and Stéphanie Wohl, Mrs Sigismund Gyarmathy and others. In the fourth class may be grouped such of the latest Hungarian novelists as have tried, and on the whole succeeded, in clothing their ideas and characters in a style peculiar to themselves. Besides Stephen Petelei (Jetti, a name—“Henrietta”—Felhők, “Clouds”) and Zoltán Ambrus (Pókháló Kisasszony, “Miss Cobweb”; Gyanu, “Suspicion”) must be mentioned especially Francis Herczeg, who has published a number of very interesting studies of Hungarian social life (Simon Zsuzsa, “Susanna Simon”; Fenn és lenn, “Above and Below”; Egy leány története, “The History of a Girl”; Idegenek között, “Amongst Strangers”); Alexander Bródy, who brings a delicate yet resolute analysis to unfold the mysterious and fascinating inner life of persons suffering from overwrought nerves or overstrung mind (A kétlelkü asszony, “The Double-Souled Lady”; Don Quixote kisasszony, “Miss Don Quixote”; Faust orvos, “Faust the Physician”; Tündér Ilona, Rejtelmek, “Mysteries”; Az ezüst kecske, “The Silver Goat”); and Edward Kabos, whose sombre and powerful genius has already produced works, not popular by any means, but full of great promise. In him we may trace the influence of Nietzsche’s philosophy (Koldusok, “Beggars”; Vándorok, “Wanderers”). To this list we must add the short but incomparable feuilletons (tárczalevelek) of Dr Adolf Ágai (writing under the nom de plume of Porzó), whose influence on the formation of modern Hungarian literary prose is hardly less important than the unique esprit and charm of his writings.
Dramatic literature, liberally supported by the king and the government, and aided by magnificent theatres in the capital and also in the provinces (the finest provincial theatre is in Kolozsvár, in Transylvania), has developed remarkably. The Hungarians have the genuine dramatic gift in abundance; they have, moreover, actors and actresses of the first rank. In the modern drama three great and clearly differentiated groups may be distinguished. First the neo-romantic group, whose chief representatives are Eugen Rákosi, Louis Dóczi (b. 1845), who, in addition to Csók (“The Kiss”), has written Utolsó szerelem (“Last Love”), Széchy Mária (“Maria Széchy”), Vegyes Párok (“Mixed Couples”). In these and other dramatic writings, more remarkable perhaps for poetic than for stage effects, Dóczi still maintains his brilliancy of diction and the delicacy of his poetic touch. To the same school belong Louis Bartók, Anton Váradi and Alexander Somló. The next group of Hungarian dramatists is dominated by the master spirit of Gregor Csiky (q.v.). Among Csiky’s most promising disciples is Francis Herczeg (already mentioned as a novelist), author of the successful society comedy, A Gyurkovics leányok (“The Misses Gyurkovics”), Három testőr (“Three Guardsmen”), Honty háza (“The House of Honty”). Árpád Berczik’s Nézd meg az anyját (“Look at her Mother”), A protekczió (“Patronizing”), also followed on the lines of Csiky. The third group of dramatic writers take their subjects, surroundings and diction from the folk-life of the villages (népszínmü, “folk-drama”). The greatest of these dramatists has so far been Edward Tóth (Toloncz, “The Ousted Pauper”). Amongst his numerous followers, who have, however, sometimes vulgarized their figures and plots, may be mentioned Tihamér Almási (Milimári, A Miniszterelnök bálja, “The Ball of the Premier”) and Alexander Somló.
In philosophy there has been a remarkable increase of activity, partly assimilative or eclectic and partly original. Peter Bihari and Maurice Kármán have in various writings spread the ideas of Herbart. After the school of Comte, yet to a large extent original, is the Az ember és világa (“Man and his World”) of Charles Böhm, who in 1881 started a philosophical review (Magyar Filozofiaí Szemle), subsequently edited by Joseph Bokor, a vigorous thinker. Realism, more particularly of the Wundt type, is represented by Emericus Pauer, Az ethikai determinismus (“Ethical Determinism”), and Eugen Posch (Az időről, “On Time”). On a Thomistic basis John Kiss edits a philosophical review (Bölcseleti Folyóirat); on similar lines have been working Ákos Mihályfi, Répássy, Augustin Lubrich and others. Neo-Hegelianism is cultivated by Eugen Schmitt, efficiently assisted by Joseph Alexander Simon (Az egységes és reális természet filozofia alapvonalai, “Outlines of a Uniform and Realistic Philosophy of Nature”). F. Medveczky (formerly a German author under the name of Fr. von Bärenbach) espouses Neo-Kantism (Társadalmi elméletek és eszmények, 1887, “Social Theories and Ideals”). The Hungarian scholar Samuel Brassai published, in 1896, Az igazi pozitiv filozofia (“The True Positive Philosophy”). Amongst the ablest and most zealous students of the history of philosophy are Bernhard Alexander, under whose editorship, aided by Joseph Bánoczi, a series of the works of the world’s great thinkers has appeared; Andrew Domanovszky, author of an elaborate History of Philosophy; Julius Gyomlai, translator of Plato; Eugen Péterfy, likewise translator of philosophical works, &c.
Juristic literature has been stimulated by the activity in positive legislation. On 1st January 1900 a new criminal code, thoroughly modern in spirit, was put in force; and in 1901 a Civil Code Bill, to replace the old Hungarian customary system, was introduced. Among the newer writers on common and commercial law may be mentioned Wenczal, Zlinsky, Zögöd, Gustave Schwarz, Alexander Plósz, Francis Nagy and Neumann; on constitutional law, Korbuly, Boncz, Stephen Kiss, Ernest Nagy, Kmety, Arthur Balogh, Ferdinandy, Béla Grünwald, Julius Andrássy and Emeric Hajnik; on administration, George Fésüs, Kmety and Csiky; on finance, Mariska, Exner and László. Among the later writers on statistics, moreover, have been Konek, Keleti, Láng, Földes, Jekelfalussy, Vorgha, Körösy, Ráth and Vízaknai.
On subjects of politics, amongst the more important works are the various monographs of Gustavus Beksics on the Dualism of Austria-Hungary, on the “New Foundations of Magyar Politics” (A magyar politika uj alapjai, 1899), on the Rumanian question, &c.; the writings of Emericus Bálint, Ákos Beöthy, Victor Concha (systematic politics), L. Ecsery, Géza Ferdinandy (historical and systematic politics), Árpád Zigány, Béla Földes (political economy), Julius Mandello (political economy), Alexander Matlekovics (Hungary’s administrative service; Államháztartás, 3 vols.), J. Pólya (agrarian politics), M. Somogyi (sociology), and the late Augustus Pulszky.
In history there has been great activity. The millennial festivities in 1896 gave rise to the publication of what was then the most extensive history of the Hungarian nation (A magyar nemzet története, 1895–1901), ten large and splendidly illustrated volumes, edited by Alexander Szilágyi, with the collaboration of the best specialists of modern Hungary, Robert Fröhlich, B. Kuzsinszky, Géza Nagy, H. Marczali, Anton Pór, Schönherr, V. Fraknói, Árpád Károlyi, David Angyal, Coloman Thaly, Géza Ballagi.
Literary criticism is actively pursued. Among the more authoritative writers Paul Gyulai and Zsolt Beöthy represent the conservative school; younger critics, like Béla Lázár, Alexander Hevesi, H. Lenkei, Zoltán Ferenczy, Aladár Ballagi, Ladislas Négyessy, have shown themselves somewhat too ready to follow the latest Norwegian or Parisian sensation.
Authorities.—The best authorities on Magyar literature are: F. Toldy, A Magyar nemzeti irodalom története a legrégibb idöktöl a jelenkorig (Pest, 1864–1865; 3rd ed., 1872); S. Imre, A Magyar irodalom és nyelv rövid története (Debreczen, 1865; 4th ed., 1878); J. Szvorényi, Magyar irodalmi szemelvények (Pest, 1867), and A Magyar irodalmi tanulmányok kézikönyve (Pest, 1868); P. Jámbor, A Magyar irodalom története (Pest, 1864); J. Környei, A Magyar nemzeti irodalomtörténet vázlata (Pest, 1861; 3rd ed., 1874); A. Lonkay, A Magyar irodalom ismertetése (Budán, 1855; 3rd ed., Pest, 1864); J. Ferencz, Magyar irodalom és tudományosság története (Pest, 1854); J. Ferencz és J. Danielik, Magyar Irók. Életrajz-Gyütemény (2 vols., Pest, 1856–1858); and the literary histories of L. Névy, Z. Beöthy and B. Erödi. One of the most useful monographs on “Magyar Literary History Writing” is that of J. Szinnyei, junior, A Magyar Irodalomtörténet-Irás ismertetése (Budapest, 1878). For information as to the most recent literature see A. Dux, Aus. Ungarn. (Leipzig, 1880); Zsolt Beöthy, A Magy. nemz. irod. tört.; S. Bodnár, A magy. irod. tört.; Béla Lázár, A tegnap, a ma, és a holnap (Budapest, 1896–1900); Joseph Szinnyel, Magy. irók élete és munkái (an extensive biographical dictionary of Hungarian authors); Irodalom történeti Közlemények (a periodical edited by Aron Szilády, for the history of literature); Emil Reich, Hungarian Literature (London, 1898). (E. Re.*)
- See the table in Seton-Watson’s Racial Problems in Hungary, Appendix xiii. p. 470, and Drage, Austria-Hungary, p. 289. Of the emigrants in 1906, 52,121 were Magyars, 32,904 Slovaks, 30,551 Germans, 20,859 Rumanians and 16,016 Croats.
- Racial Problems, p. 202.
- The colouring of ordinary ethnographical maps is necessarily somewhat misleading. When an attempt is made to represent in colour the actual distribution of the races (as in Dr Chavanne’s Geographischer und statistischer Handatlas) the effect is that of occasional blotches of solid colour on a piece of shot silk.
- The distribution of the races is analysed in greater detail in Mr Seton-Watson’s Racial Problems, p. 3 seq.
- Seton-Watson, op. cit. pp. 173, 188, 252; Drage, Austria-Hungary, pp. 280, 588; Gonnard, La Hongrie, p. 72.
- An admirable account of this “little world, which produces almost everything and is almost self-sufficient” is given by M. Gonnard in his Hongrie au XXme siècle, p. 159 seq.
- Ib. p. 349 seq.
- Merchandise passing the boundaries is subject to declaration; the respective values are stated by a special commission of experts residing in Budapest.
- The acquisition of the Austrian Staatsbahn in 1891 practically gave to the state the control of the whole railway net of Hungary. By 1900 all the main lines, except the Südbahn and the Kaschan-Oberbergar Bahn, were in its hands.
- The franchise is “probably the most illiberal in Europe.” Servants, in the widest sense of the word, apprenticed workmen and agricultural labourers are carefully excluded. The result is that the working classes are wholly unrepresented in the parliament, only 6% of them, and 13% of the small trading class, possessing the franchise, which is only enjoyed by 6% of the entire population (see Seton-Watson, Racial Problems, 250, 251). For the question of franchise reform which played so great a part in the Austro-Hungarian crisis of 1909–1910 see History, below.—[Ed.]
- i.e. Catholics of the Oriental rite in communion with Rome.
- The methods pursued to this end are exposed in pitiless detail by Mr Seton-Watson in his chapter on the Education Laws of Hungary, in Racial Problems, 205.
- Ger. Ottrik, in religion Anastasius.
- At its worst, c. 1030–1033, cannibalism was common.
- The English title of lord-lieutenant is generally used as the best translation of Föispán or comes (in this connexion). The title of count (gróf) was assumed later (15th century) by those nobles who had succeeded, in spite of the Golden Bull, in making their authority over whole counties independent and hereditary.—[Ed.]
- The bán is equivalent to the margrave, or count of the marches.
- Andrássy, Development of Hung. Const. Liberty (Eng. trans., p. 93); Knatchbull-Hugessen, i. 26 seq., where its provisions are given in some detail.
- The full title of the palatine (Mag. nádor or nádor-ispán, Lat. palatinus) was comes palatii regni, the first palatine being Abu Samuel (c. 1041). By the Golden Bull the palatine acquired something of the quality of a responsible minister, as “intermediary between the crown and people, guardian of the nation’s rights, and keeper of the king’s conscience” (Knatchbull-Hugessen, i. 30).
- Knatchbull-Hugessen, i. 41.
- That is to say the western portion of Walachia, which lies between the Aluta and the Danube.
- Though elected king of the Romans in 1411, he cannot be regarded as the legal emperor till his coronation at Rome in 1423, and if he was titular king of Bohemia as early as 1419, he was not acknowledged as king by the Czechs themselves till 1436.
- In 1412 he pawned the twenty-four Zips towns to Poland, and, in 1411 he pledged his margraviate of Brandenburg to the Hohenzollerns.
- Some of these were of gigantic size, e.g. the Varga Mozsar, or great mortar, which sixty horses could scarce move from its place, and a ballistic machine invented by Matthias which could hurl stones of 3 cwt.
- We know actually of fifteen, but there may have been many more.
- It should be remembered that at this time one-third of the land belonged to the church, and the remainder was in the hands of less than a dozen great families who had also appropriated the royal domains.
- The Opus tripartitum juris consuetudinarii regni Hungariae was drawn up by Verböczy at the instance of the diet in 1507. It was approved by a committee of the diet and received the royal imprimatur in 1514, but was never published. In the constitutional history of Hungary the Tripartitum is of great importance as reasserting the fundamental equality of all the members of the populus (i.e. the whole body of the nobles) and, more especially, as defining the co-ordinate power of the king and “people” in legislation: i.e. the king may propose laws, but they had no force without the consent of the people, and vice versa. See Knatchbull-Hugessen, i. 64.
- He was just twenty.
- It was kept secret for some years for fear of Turkish intervention.
- In contradistinction to Turkish Hungary and Transylvanian Hungary.
- At first the Habsburgs held their court at Prague instead of at Vienna.
- According to contemporary records the number of prelates and priests in the three parts of Hungary at the beginning of the 17th century was but 103, all told, and of the great families not above half a dozen still clung to Catholicism.
- The counties of Szatmar, Ugocsa and Bereg and the fortress of Tokaj were formally ceded to him.
- He was the first Protestant palatine.
- The jobbagyok, or under-tenants, had to follow the example of their lords; they were, by this time, mere serfs with no privileges either political or religious.
- E.g. in Esztergom, the primatial city, there were only two buildings still standing.
- Charles VI. as emperor.
- Litterae credentiales, nearly equivalent to a coronation oath.
- Up to 1848 the Hungarian diet was usually held at Pressburg.
- Franz Phillip, Count von Lamberg (1791–1848), a field-marshal in the Austrian army, who had seen service in the campaigns of 1814–1815 in France, belonged to the Stockerau branch of the ancient countly family of Orteneck-Ottenstein. He was chosen for this particular mission as being himself a Hungarian magnate conversant with Hungarian affairs, but at the same time of the party devoted to the court.
- The crowning atrocities, which the Magyars have never wholly forgiven, were the shooting and hanging of the “Arad Martyrs” and the execution of Batthyány. On October 6, 1849, thirteen generals who had taken part in the war, including Damjanics and Counts Vécsey and Leiningen, were hanged or shot at Arad. On the same day Count Louis Batthyány, who had taken no part in the war and had done his utmost to restrain his countrymen within the bounds of legality, was shot at Pest.
- Transylvania, Croatio-Slavonia with Fiume and the Temes Banat were separated from the kingdom and provided with local governments.
- This Reichsrath was a purely consultative body, the ultimate control of all important affairs being reserved to the emperor. Its representative element consisted of 100 members elected by the provinces.
- Beust was the only “imperial chancellor” in Austro-Hungarian history: even Metternich bore only the title of “chancellor”; and Andrássy, who succeeded Beust, styled himself “minister of the imperial and royal household and for foreign affairs.”
- See for this Mr Seton-Watson’s Racial Problems of Hungary, passim.
- Ibid. p. 168.
- Especially the Electoral Law of 1874, which established a very unequal distribution of electoral areas, a highly complicated franchise, and voting by public declaration, thus making it easy for the government to intimidate the electors and generally to gerrymander the elections.
- The Austrian court resented especially the decree proclaiming national mourning for Louis Kossuth, though no minister was present at the funeral.
- Subsequently extended till 1907.
- The question involves rather complex issues. Apart from the question of constitutional right, the Magyars objected to German as the medium of military education as increasing the difficulty of magyarizing the subordinate races of Hungary (see Knatchbull-Hugessen, ii. 296). On the other hand the Austrians pointed out that not only would failure to understand each other’s language cause fatal confusion on a battlefield, but also tend to disintegrate the forces even in peace time. They also laid stress on the fact that Magyar was not, any more than German, the language of many Hungarian regiments, consisting as these did mainly of Slovaks, Vlachs, Serbs and Croats. In resisting the Magyar word of command, then, the king-emperor was able to appeal to the anti-Magyar feeling of the other Hungarian races. (W. A. P.)
- Of the 16,000,000 inhabitants of Hungary barely a half were Magyar; and the franchise was possessed by only 800,000, of whom the Magyars formed the overwhelming majority.
- The cabinet consisted of Dr Wekerle (premier and finance), Ferencz Kossuth (commerce), Count Gyula Andrássy (interior), Count Albert Apponyi (education), Daványi (agriculture), Polónyi (justice) and Count Aladár Zichy (court).
- Seton-Watson, Racial Problems, p. 194.
- The Times, March 14, 1907.
- Ibid. October 11, 1907.
- Ibid. October 15, 1907.
- The Times, September 27, 1908.
- The People’s party first emerged during the elections of 1896, when it contested 98 seats. Its object was to resist the anti-clerical tendencies of the Liberals, and for this purpose it appealed to the “nationalities” against the dominant Magyar parties, the due enforcement of the Law of Equal Rights of Nationalities (1868) forming a main item of its programme. Its leader, Count Zichy, in a speech of Jan. 1, 1897, declared it to be neither national, nor Liberal, nor Christian to oppress the nationalities. See Seton-Watson, p. 185.
- See Hunfalvy’s “Die ungarische Sprachwissenschaft,” Literarische Berichte aus Ungarn, pp. 80-87 (Budapest, 1877).
- Specimen usus linguae Gothicae in eruendis atque illustrandis obscurissimis quibusdam Sacrae Scripturae locis; addita analogia linguae Gothicae cum Sinica, necnon Finnicae cum Ungarica (Upsala, 1717).
- Hunfalvy, p. 81.
- Id. pp. 82-86.
- Demonstratio Idioma Ungarorum et Lapponum idem esse (Copenhagen und Tyrnau, 1770).
- See Count Géza Kuun’s “Lettere Ungheresi,” La Rivista Europea, anno vi., vol. ii. fasc. 3, pp. 561-562 (Florence, 1875).
- So also Jámbor (A Magyar Irod. Tört., Pest, 1864, p. 104). Környei, Imre and others incline to the belief that it was Béla I. and that consequently the “anonymous notary” belongs rather to the 11th than to the 12th century.
- An example of this work, printed on vellum in Gothic letter (Augsburg, 1488), and formerly belonging to the library of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, may be seen in the British Museum. Of the three first-mentioned chronicles Hungarian translations by Charles Szabó appeared at Budapest in 1860, 1861 and 1862.
- Both this and the later editions of Frankfort (1581), Cologne (1690) and Pressburg (1744) are represented in the British Museum.
- The only copy existing at the present time appears to have been transcribed at the beginning of the 16th century. Both this and the Halotti Beszéd (Pray Codex) are preserved in the National Museum at Budapest.
- This codex contains Ruth, the lesser prophets, and part of the Apocrypha. According to Toldy, it is copied from an earlier one of the 14th century.
- First made known by Coloman Thaly (1871) from a discovery by MM. E. Nagy and D. Véghelyi in the archives of the Csicsery family, in the county of Ung.
- One of the only seven perfect copies extant of the Vienna (1574) edition is in the British Museum library.
- A copy, with the autograph of the editor, is in the British Museum.
- A copy is in the British Museum library.
- There are two copies of this edition in the British Museum library.
- The earliest, styled “Song on the Discovery of the right hand of the Holy King Stephen,” and printed at Nuremberg by Anton Koburger in 1484, is lost.
- See Chas. Szabó’s Régi Magyar Kònyvtár (Budapest, 1879). Cf. also Lit. Ber. aus Ungarn for 1879, Bd. iii. Heft 2, pp. 433-434.
- The subject is similar to that of Grillparzer’s tragedy, Ein treuer Diener seines Herrn.
- It was founded in 1825 through the generosity of Count Széchenyi, who devoted his whole income for one year (60,000 florins) to the purpose. It was soon supported by contributions from all quarters except from the government.
- Among the earlier publications of the academy were the Tudománytár (Treasury of Sciences, 1834–1844), with its supplement Literatura; the Külföldi játékszin (Foreign Theatres); the Magyar nyelv rendszere (System of the Hungarian language, 1846; 2nd ed., 1847); various dictionaries of scientific, mathematical, philosophical and legal terms; a Hungarian-German dictionary (1835–1838), and a Glossary of Provincialisms (1838). The Nagy-Szótár (Great Dictionary), begun by Czuczor and Fogarasi in 1845, was not issued till 1862–1874. Among the regular organs of the academy are the Transactions (from 1840), in some 60 vols., and the Annuals.
- Among its earlier productions were the Nemzeti könyvtár (National Library), published 1843–1847, and continued in 1852 under the title Ujabb Nemzeti könyvtár, a repository of works by celebrated authors; the Külföldi Regénytár (Treasury of Foreign Romances), consisting of translations; and some valuable collections of proverbs, folk-songs, traditions and fables. Of the many later publications of the Kisfaludy society the most important as regards English literature is the Shakspere Minden Munkái (Complete Works of Shakespeare), in 19 vols. (1864–1878), to which a supplementary vol., Shakspere Pályája (1880), containing a critical account of the life and writings of Shakespeare, has been added by Professor A. Greguss. Translations from Molière, Racine, Corneille, Calderon and Moreto have also been issued by the Kisfaludy society. The Évlapok új folyama, or “New Series of Annuals,” from 1860 (Budapest, 1868, &c.), is a chrestomathy of prize orations, and translations and original pieces, both in poetry and prose.
- Unitarian bishop of Transylvania, author of Vadrózsák, or “Wild Roses” (1863), a collection of Szekler folk-songs, ballads and sayings.
- Besides the various translators from the English, as for instance William Györi, Augustus Greguss, Ladislaus Arany, Sigismond Ács, Stephen Fejes and Eugene Rákosy, who, like those already incidentally mentioned, assisted in the Kisfaludy society’s version of Shakespeare’s complete works, metrical translations from foreign languages were successfully made by Emil Ábrányi, Dr Ignatius Barna, Anthony Várady, Andrew Szabó, Charles Bérczy, Julius Greguss, Lewis Dóczi, Béla Erödi, Emeric Gáspár and many others. A Magyar version, by Ferdinand Barna, of the Kalewala was published at Pest in 1871. Faithful renderings by Lewis Szeberényi, Theodore Lehoczky and Michael Fincicky of the popular poetry of the Slavic nationalities appeared in vols. i. and ii. of the Hazai nép költészet tára (Treasury of the Country’s Popular Song), commenced in 1866, under the auspices of the Kisfaludy society. In vol. iii. Rumanian folk-songs were Magyarized by George Ember, Julian Grozescu and Joseph Vulcanu, under the title Román népdalok (Budapest, 1877). The Rózsák (Zombor, 1875) is a translation by Eugene Pavlovits from the Servian of Jovan Jovanovits. Both the last-mentioned works are interesting from an ethnographical point of view. We may here note that for foreigners unacquainted with Hungarian there are, besides several special versions of Petöfi and of Arany, numerous anthologies of Magyar poetry in German, by Count Majláth (1825), J. Fenyéry and F. Toldy (1828), G. Steinacker (1840, 1875), G. Stier (1850), K. M. Kertbeny (1854, 1860), A. Dux (1854), Count Pongrácz (1859–1861), A. M. Riedl (1860), J. Nordheim (1872), G. M. Henning (1874), A. von der Heide (1879) and others. Selections have also been published in English by Sir John Bowring (1830), S. Wékey in his grammar (1852) and E. D. Butler (1877), and in French by H. Desbordes-Valmore and C. E. de Ujfalvy (1873).
- The translator of Macaulay.
- See, however, J. Szinnyei & Son’s Bibliotheca Hungarica historiae naturalis et matheseos, 1472–1875 (Budapest, 1878), where the number of Magyar works bearing on the natural sciences and mathematics printed from the earliest date to the end of 1875 is stated to be 3811, of which 106 are referred to periodicals.
- This will appear even more striking by a consideration of the number of periodical publications published in Hungary in languages other than Magyar. Thus, while of German periodicals appearing in Hungary there were in 1871 only 85, they increased in 1880 to 114, in 1885 to 141; and they were, at the beginning of 1895, still 128, in spite of the constant spread of that process of Magyarization which has, since 1880, considerably changed the linguistic habits of the people of Hungary.