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Hungary: the Uncompromising Compromise1

  • George Barany (a1)

Extract

A little more than one thousand and ten years ago, the annus mirabilis of Otto I taught the unruly Magyars that “nomadism in one country” was not a workable proposition2 and that they had to make adjustments if they wished to belong to the nascent European community. A little less than ten years ago, the Hungarians received another object lesson suggesting that too much emphasis on western civilization might become another source of danger. Since they were separated by a whole millennium, the meaning of the two events is certainly very different. But both were results of a mis judgment of domestic forces and international relations—a phenomenon which was far from uncommon in the history of Hungary.

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2 Leyser, Karl, “The Battle at the Lech, 955. A Study in Tenth-Century Warfare,” History, Vol. L, No. 168 (1965), p. 4.

3 Koyács, Endre, A lengyel kérdés a reformkori Magyarországon [The Polish Question in Hungary during the Age of Reforms] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959), pp. 67200.

4 Arató, Endre, A nemzetiségi kérdes története Magyarországon 1790–1840 [History of the Nationality Question in Hungary] (2 vols., Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1960), Vol. I, pp. 135170.

5 Wesselényi, Miklós, Szózat a magyar és szláv nemzetiség ügyében [Admonition regarding the Magyar and Slav Nationalities], edited by Gál, István (2 vols., Kolozsvár: Minerva, [1944]), Vol. I, p. 132.

6 Iványi, B. G., “From Feudalism to Capitalism: The Economic Background to Széchenyi's Reform in Hungary,” Journal of Central European Affairs, Vol. XX (1960), pp. 270288.

7 Barany, George, “The Hungarian Diet of 1839–40 and the Pate of Széchenyi's Middle Course,” Slavic Review, Vol. XXII (1963), pp. 286290 and 295–298.

8 Acsády, Ignácz, A magyar jobbágyság története [History of Hungarian Serfdom] (Budapest: Grill K., 1908), pp. 494495; Hóman, Bálint and Szekfü, Gyula, Magyar történet [Hungarian History] (2nd ed., 5 vols., Budapest: Királyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, 1936), Vol. V, pp. 209213 and 227–229.

9 Fényes, Elek, Magyarország statistikaja [Hungary's Statistics] (2 vols., Pest: Trattner-Károlyi, 18421943), Vol. I, pp. 9899; Pápai, Béla, “Magyarország népe a feudalizmus megerŐsödése és bomlása idején (1711–1867)” [Hungary's Population during the Rise and Dissolution of Feudalism], in Kovacsics, József (ed.), Magyarország történeti demográfiája [Hungary's Historical Demography] (Budapest: Közgazdaságiés Jogi Kiadó, 1963), pp. 170172 and 212–215.

10 Lukácsy, Sandor, “Petöfi area elŐtt” [In the Presence of Petöfi's Portrait], Irodalomtörteneti Közlemények, Vol. LXVII (1963), pp. 281282.

11 Eötvös, Joseph, Die Reform in Ungarn (Leipzig: K. F. Köhler, 1846), pp. 222233. For a survey of the struggle for the extension of the suffrage, see Csizmadia, Andor, A magyar választási rendszer 1848–1849-ben [The Hungarian Electoral System in 1848–1849] (Budapest: Közgazdasági és Jogi Kiadó, 1963), pp. 2271.

12 Eötvös, Die Reform in Ungarn, p. 228. According to Mályusz, Elemér, “A reformkor nemzedéke” [The Generation of the Age of Reform], Századok, Vol. LVI (1923), p. 44, the number of “sandal” nobility was around 125,000.

13 Horváth, Zoltán, Teleki László 1810–1861 [László Teleki, 1810–1861] (2 vols., Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1964), Vol. I, pp. 118119, 142–147, and 155–157.

14 Hóman, and Szekü, , Magyar történet, Vol. V, p. 297; FenyŐ, Istv´n, “A polgárosodás eszmevilága útirajzainkban 1848 elŐtt” [Ideas of Embourgeoisement in Our Travelogues before 18481, Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények, Vol. LXVIII (1964), pp. 603612.

15 It should be noted, however, that this contention can neither be definitively proved or refuted until unbiased monographic studies will be made of the Armenian, Austrian, Greek, Hungarian, Jewish, Macedonian, and Serbian commercial and banking houses that paved the way for capitalism and the middle classes in Hungary.

16 Barta, István, “A magyar polgári reformmozgalom kezdeti szakaszának problém´i” [Problems of the Initial Phase of Bourgeois Reform in Hungary], Történelmi Szemle, Vol. VI (1963), p. 332; Barta, István, “Kossuth ismeretlen politikai munkája 1833 elejérŐl” [Kossuth's Unknown Political Work from Early 1833], Századok, Vol. XCIX (1965), pp. 399422.

17 Wesselényi, , Szózat, Vol. II, pp. 3845 and 128; Eötvös, Die Reform in Ungarn, pp. 196–211; Barta, István (ed.), Kossuth Lajos az utolsó rendi országgyúlésen [Louis Kossuth at the Last Feudal Diet] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1951), pp. 170172.

18 Barany, George, “The Interest of the United States in Central Europe: Appointment of the First American Consul to Hungary,” Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Vol. XLVII (1962), pp. 275298.

19 Kovács, A lengyel kérdés, p. 243.

20 For further references, see Barany, George, “The Awakening of Magyar Nationalism before 1848,” Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. II (1966), pp. 1950 and 52–54.

21 Csizmadia, Magyar választási rendszer, pp. 57–106. Gertain elements of the population were discriminated against in this suffrage law. In addition to women, all followers of the Eastern Orthodox and Jewish faiths, or about one-fifth of the people, were excluded from voting, and three-fifths of the peasants were disqualified because their property was below the minimum required. Ibid., p. 65; Fényes, , Magyarország Statistikája, Vol. I, p. 52b.

22 Teleki, László, Válogatott munkái [Selected Works], edited by Kemény, Gábor G. (2 vols., Budapest: Szépirodalmi, 1961), Vol. I, pp. 6061; Waldapfel, Eszter, A független magyar külpolitika 1848–1849 [Independent Hungarian Foreign Policy, 1848–1849] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1962), pp. 242248.

23 Kukiel, M., Czartoryski and European Unity, 1770–1861 (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1955), pp. 272273; Teleki, , Válogatott munkái, Vol. I, pp. 6882; Vol. II, pp. 21–30.

24 Szabad, Gy., “Kossuth and the British ‘Balance of Power’ Policy (1859–1861),” Etudes historiques, publiées par la Commission Nationale des Historiens Hongrois (2 vols., Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1960), Vol. II, pp. 87135; Droz, Jacques, L'Europe Centrale (Paris: Payot, 1960), pp. 137, n. 1, and 138; Kann, Robert A., The Multinational Empire (2 vols., New York: Columbia University Press, 1950), Vol. II, pp. 108114.

25 Trefort, Ágoston, Emlékbeszédek és tanulmányok [Memorial Speeches and Studies] (Budapest: Magyar Tudoményos Akadémia, 1881), pp. 248252.

26 Niederhauser, Emil, A jobbágyfelszabadités Kelet-Európéban [The Emancipation of the Serfs in Eastern Europe] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1962), pp. 141150.

27 Orosz, István, “Egy borsodi falu birtokviszonyai a jobbágyfelszabaditás utén” [The Distribution of Land in a Village in Borsod after the Emancipation], Annales Institute Historici Universitatis Scientiarum Debreceniensis de Ludovico Kossuth Nominatae, Vol. I (1962), pp. 120 and 125.

28 Kann, , The Multinational Empire, Vol. II, pp. 167168.

29 Jászi, Oszkár, A nemzeti államok kialakulása és a nemzetiségi kérdés [The Formation of Nation States and the Nationality Question] (Budapest: Grill K., 1912), pp. 509520.

30 Berzeviczy, Albert, Az absolutismus kora Magyarországon [The Era of Absolutism in Hungary] (4 vols., Budapest: Franklin, 19221937), Vol. IV, pp. 1420.

31 Eisenmann, Louis, Le compromis austro-hongrois de 1867 (Paris: Société nouvelle de librairie et d'édition, 1904), pp. 178185.

32 Szekfü, Gyula, “Az öreg Kossuth 1867–1894” [Old Kossuth, 1867–1894], in Emlékkönyv Kossuth Lajos születésének 150. évfordulojára [Memorial Volume on the 150th Anniversary of Louis Kossuth's Birth], edited by Tóth, Zoltán I. (2 vols., Budapest: Akadámiai Kiadó, 1952), Vol. II, pp. 353356.

33 Cited by Gál, I. in Wesselényi, Szózat, Vol. II, pp. 134135.

34 Gonda, Imre, Bismarck ás az 1867-es osztrák-magyar kiegyezés [Bismarck and the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1960), pp. 2327.

35 Kemény, Zsigmond, “Meg egy szó a forradalom után,” in Báró Kemény Zsigmond Összes Müvei [Complete Works of Baron Zs. Kemény], edited by Gyulai, Pál, Vol. XII (Budapest: Franklin, 1908), pp. 206398.

36 Kosáry, Domokos, “Kemény és Széchenyi 1849 után” [Kemény and Széchenyi after 1849], Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények, Vol. LXVII (1963), pp. 160168.

37 Gonda, Bismarck és az 1867-es osztrék-magyar kiegyezés, pp. 49–56, 64, 85–93, 115–124, and 146–149; Pflanze, Otto, Bismarck and the Development of Germany (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 302308, 420–424, and 429; Kann, , The Multinational Empire, Vol. I, pp. 187191 and 403, notes 83 and 84.

38 Diószegi, István, Atisztria-Magyarorszég és a francia-porosz héború 1870–1871 [Austria-Hungary and the Franco-Prussian War, 1870–1871] (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1965).

39 Kemény, Gábor G., A magyar nemzetiségi kérdés története [History of the Nationality Question in Hungary], Pt. I (Budapest: Gergely, 1946), pp. 124128.

40 Kemény, Gábor G., Iratok a nemzetiségi kérdés történetéhez Magyarorszdgon a dualizmus korában [Documents on the History of the Nationality Question in the Dualistic Era] (4 vols., Budapest: Tankönyvkiadó, 19521966), Vol. I, p. 624.

41 Ibid., pp. 638–639.

42 Ibid., pp. 210–211.

43 Ibid., pp. 457–458.

44 Ibid., pp. 598–602. For the Magyar attitude toward this cultured and articulate Serb, see Seton-Watson, R. W., Corruption and Reform in Hungary (London: Constable & Co., 1911), p. 183.

45 Gratz, Gusztáv, A dualizmus kora [The Era of Dualism] (2 vols., Budapest: Magyar Szemle Társaség, 1934), Vol. II, pp. 156157.

46 Kemény, , Iratok, Vol. I, p. 669.

47 Gratz, , A dualizmus kora, Vol. II, p. 154.

48 Jászi, A nemzeti államok kialakulása, p. 463. For a discussion of Jászi's value system, see Halasi, Béla, “Erkölcs és politika” [Ethics and Politics], Látóhatár, Vol. VI (1955), pp. 7882. This number is devoted to Jászi.

49 Jászi, A nemzeti államok kialakulása, p. 222. The italics are in the original.

50 Ibid., p. 497.

51 Sinor, Denis, History of Hungary (New York: Praeger, n. d.), p. 275.

52 Hóman, and Szekfü, , Magyar történet, Vol. V, pp. 446 and 500; Szekfü, Gyula, A magyar állam életrajza [Biography of the Hungarian State] (Budapest: Dick Manó, 1917), p. 218.

53 Jászi, Oscar, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1929), p. 352; Beksics, Gusztáv, A dualismus [Dualism] (Budapest: Athenaeum, 1892), p. 280.

54 Taylor, A. J. P., The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809–1918 (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1965), p. 147.

55 See Dimitrije Djordjeviá, “The Serbs as an Integrating and Disintegrating Force,” in the second part of this volume of the Yearbook.

56 See especially Buszko's, J. remarks in Sándor, V. and Hanak, P. (eds.), Studien zur Geschichte der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1961), p. 384.

57 Eisenmann, Le compromis austro-hongrois, pp. 659–664.

58 Gratz, , A dualizmus kora, Vol. II, p. 95.

59 Deák, István, “Hungary,” in Rogger, Hans and Weber, Eugen (eds.), The European Right (Los Angeles, Calif.: University of California Press, 1965), p. 367. See also Berend, I. T. and Ránki, Gy., “The Hungarian Manufacturing Industry, its Place in Europe, 1900–1938,” Études historiques, Vol. II, pp. 423436.

60 Péter Hanák, “Probleme der Krise des Dualismus am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts,” inStudien zur Geschichte der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, p. 369.

61 Hanák, Péter, “Skizzen über die ungarische Gesellschaft am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts,” Acta Historica, Vol. X (1963), p. 1; Thirring, Lajos, “Magyarország nepesságe 1869–1910 között” [Hungary's Population in 1869–1910], in Kovacsics, (ed.), Magyarország történeti demográfiája, pp. 258260.

62 Fellner, Frigyes, Ausztria és Magyarország nemzeti vagyona [The National Wealth of Austria and Hungary] (Budapest: Pallas, 1913), pp. 60, 63, and 68.

63 Hanák, “Skizzen,” p. 7. In a meeting devoted to Austria-Hungary held in Budapest in May, 1964, Hungarian historians disagreed with the Rumanian view that Hungarian capital invested in Transylvania prior to World War I ought to be regarded as a “foreign” investment. Mutatis mutandis, similar arguments may be used in any fair approach to Austro-Hungarian economic relations. See especially “Az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia történeti problémái. 1900–1918” [Historical Problems of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy], Századok, Vol. XCIX (1965), p. 218 (Iván T. Berend's remarks).

64 Up to now no scholarly analysis has been made of the role played by capital imported from Austria. Without such an evaluation it is difficult to assess the actual extent of economic development which took place in Hungary prior to 1914.

65 See especially Szekfü, Gyula, Három nemzedék [Three Generations] (2nd ed., Budapest: Élet, 1922), pp. 122127 and 436–479. See also the attack on Szekfü because of his alleged defense (!) of the bourgeoisie in Mérei, Gyula, “Szekfü Gyula történetszemláletének birálatához” [On the Critique of Gyula Szekfü's Philosophy of History], Századok, Vol. XCIV (1960), pp. 219 and 238–241.

66 Szekfü, Három nemzedik, pp. 126–127 and 446–450; Jászi, A nemzeti államok kialakulása, pp. 383–406.

67 See Hanék's, Péter report and the discussion in “A történettudoményi Bizottság vitája a dualizmus kora történetének egyes kérdéseiröl” [The Historical Commission's Debate on Certain Questions of the History of the Dualistic Era], Pt. I, Századok, Vol. XCVI (1962), 217239.

68 Szekfü, Jules, Etat et nation (Paris: Les Presses Universitaires, 1945), pp. 6869; Beksics, A dualismus, pp. 296–302.

69 Kann, Robert A., “Hungarian Jewry during Austria-Hungary's Constitutional Period (1867–1918),” Jewish Social Studies, Vol. VII (1945), pp. 357386.

70 J. Puskás, “Gestaltung der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion in Ungarn und der Markt der Monarchie (1870–1914)” (a paper presented at the meeting devoted to problems of Austria-Hungary -which was held in Budapest in May, 1964), pp. 29–32 and 35. For the material on this conference, I am indebted to Professor Charles Jelavich, of Indiana University. See also the essays by L. Katus, P. Sándor, Gy. Szabad, and T. Kolossa, in Studien zur Geschichte der Österreicnisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, pp. 113–265.

71 See such different authors as Jászi, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, pp. 233 and 238; Szekfü, Három nemzedék, pp. 456–457: and Hanák, “Skizzen,” p. 2.

72 Thirring, “Magyarország népessege,” pp. 238–239.

73 Doc. No. 748, 61st Cong., 3rd Sess., Sen. Docs., Reports of the Immigration Commission. Emigration Conditions in Europe (Washington, D. C: Government Printing Office, 1911), p. 374.

74 Approximately one-third of all European immigrants to the United States before World War I eventually returned to Europe. The rate of Magyar and Slovak repatriation was almost twice the average one. Emigration Conditions in Europe, p. 41.

75 Rácz, István, “A kivándorlás es a magyar uralkodo osztaly (1849–1914)” [Emigration and the Hungarian Ruling Class], Annales Instituti Historici Universitatis Scientiarum Debreceniensis de Ludovico Kossuth Nominatae, Vol. I (1962), p. 92.

76 Cited by Lengyel, Emil, Americans from Hungary (Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott, 1948), p. 128.

77 Neményi, Bertalan, A magyar nep állapota éss az amerikai kivándorlás [The Condition of the Hungarian People and Emigration to America] (Budapest: Athenaeum, 1911), p. 49.

78 About 500,000,000 kronen. Testimony given by Steiner, Doc. No. 62, 66th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Docs., Brewing and Liquor Interests and German and Bolshevik Propaganda (3 vols., Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1919), Vol. II, pp. 2814, 2818–2819, and 2838.

79 See especially Fellner, Ausztria és Magyarország nemzeti vagyona, p. 66.

80 Ibid., pp. 21–22.

81 Brewing and Liquor Interests, Vol. II, pp. 2866–2899.

1 Parts of this study are based on research done with a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies in 1964. I am also indebted to my colleague Professor Theodore R. Crane for his friendly criticism which helped me eliminate some of the stylistic shortcomings of the paper. For the remaining ones, as well as for the views expressed in the paper, I am, of course, to be held solely responsible.

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