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Kingdom of Hungary

The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central

Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the twentieth century (1000-1946 with the exception of 19181920). The Principality of Hungary emerged as a
Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the rst king
Stephen I at Esztergom in about the year 1000;[10] his
family (the rpd dynasty) led the monarchy for 300
years. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a
European middle power within the Western world.[10]

The German name Knigreich Ungarn was used ocially

between from 1784 to 1790[14] and again between 1849
and the 1860s.
The Hungarian name (Magyar Kirlysg) was used in the
1840s, and then again from the 1860s to 1946. The
non-ocial Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarorszg,[15] which is still the colloquial, and also the
ocial name of Hungary.[16]
The names in the other native languages of the kingdom
were: Polish: Krlestwo Wgier, Romanian: Regatul Ungariei, Serbian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Croatian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Slovene: Kraljevina Ogrska, Slovak: Uhorsk krovstvo, and Italian (for the city of Fiume), Regno

Due to the Ottoman occupation of the central and southern territories in the 16th century, the monarchy split
into three parts: the Habsburg Royal Hungary, Ottoman
Hungary and the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania.[10] The House of Habsburg held the Hungarian
throne after the Battle of Mohcs until 1918 and also
played a key role in the liberation wars against the Ottoman Empire.

In Austria-Hungary (18671918), the unocial name

Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions
covered by the Kingdom of Hungary. Ocially, the term
From 1867, territories connected to the Hungarian crown
Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen was
were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name included for the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian
of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen. The monarEmpire, although this term was also in use prior to that
chy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV time.
in 1918, after which Hungary became a republic. The
kingdom was nominally restored during the "Regency"
of 19201946, ending with the Soviet occupation in
2 Origins
The Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic[11] state from
its inception[12] until the Treaty of Trianon and it covered what is today Hungary, Slovakia, Transylvania and
other parts of what is now Romania, Carpathian Ruthenia
(now part of Ukraine), Vojvodina (now part of Serbia),
Burgenland (now part of Austria), and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungarys borders. From
1102 it also included Croatia (except Istria), being in
personal union with it, united under the King of Hungary.

Main articles: Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian

Basin and Principality of Hungary
The Hungarians led by rpd settled the Carpathian
Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary
(8961000).[17] The Hungarians led several successful
incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in Battle of Lechfeld.

Today the feast day of the rst king Stephen I (20 August) is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating
the foundation of the state (Foundation Day).[13]

3 Capital cities
Main article: List of historical capitals of Hungary


Main article: Name of Hungary

4 Middle Ages

The Latin forms Regnum Hungariae or Ungarie (Regnum meaning kingdom); Regnum Marianum (Kingdom 4.1 High Middle Ages
of Mary); or simply Hungaria, were the names used in ofcial documents in Latin from the beginning of the king- Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (10001301)
dom to the 1840s.


The principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at
Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The rst kings of
the kingdom were from the rpd dynasty. He fought
against Koppny and in 998, with Bavarian help, defeated
him near Veszprm. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians and German knights wanted a Christian kingdom
established in Central Europe. Stephen I of Hungary was
canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox
saint in 2000.

currency, such as the silver denarius, and for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon.
The second greatest Hungarian king, also from the rpd dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary, who stabilized
and strengthened the kingdom. He was also canonized
as a saint. Under his rule Hungarians successfully fought
against the Cumans and conquered Croatia in 1091, due
to a dynastic crisis in Croatia, he managed to swiftly seize
power in the kingdom, he also was a claimant to the
throne due to the fact that his sister was married to the
late Croatian king Zvonimir who died childless.

After his death, a period of revolts and conict for

supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles. In
1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer
Hungary, but they were defeated at Vrtes Mountain. The
armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suer
defeats; the second greatest battle was at the town now
called Bratislava, in 1052. Before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a
supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by
king Samuel Aba of Hungary.[18][19]

However, kingship over all of Croatia would not be

achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman. With
the coronation of King Coloman as King of Croatia and
Dalmatia in Biograd in 1102, the two kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary were united under one crown.[20][21] Although the precise terms of this relationship became a
matter of dispute in the 19th century, it is believed that
Coloman created a kind of personal union between the
two kingdoms. The nature of the relationship varied
through time, Croatia retained a large degree of internal autonomy overall, while the real power rested in the
hands of the local nobility.[22] Modern Croatian and Hungarian historiographies mostly view the relations between
Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary from 1102
as a form of a personal union, i.e. that they were connected by a common king.[23] Also, one of the greatest Hungarian jurists and statesmen of the 16th century,
Istvn Werbczy in his work Tripartitum treats Croatia as
a kingdom separate to Hungary.
In 1222 Andrew II of Hungary issued the Golden Bull
which laid down the principles of law.

The Holy Crown of Hungary along with other regalia

4.1.1 Mongol invasion

Main article: Mongol invasion of Europe
In 1241, Hungary was invaded by the Mongols and while

The Meeting of Ladislaus IV and Rudolf I during the Battle on

the Marchfeld, painting by Mr Than (1873)

the rst minor battles with Subutais vanguard probes

ended in seeming Hungarian victories, the Mongols nally destroyed the combined Hungarian and Cuman
This period of revolts ended during the reign of Bla I. armies at the Battle of Mohi. In 1242, after the end of the
Hungarian chroniclers praised Bla I for introducing new Mongol invasion, numerous fortresses to defend against
Hungary (including Croatia) in 1190, during the rule of Bla III


Late Middle Ages

future invasion were erected by Bla IV of Hungary. In

gratitude, the Hungarians acclaimed him as the Second
Founder of the Homeland, and the Hungarian Kingdom
again became a considerable force in Europe. In 1260
Bla IV lost the War of Babenberg Succession, his army
was defeated at the Battle of Kressenbrunn by the united
Czech forces. However, in 1278 Ladislaus IV of Hungary and Austrian troops fully destroyed the Czech army
at the Battle on the Marchfeld.


Late Middle Ages

The administrative divisions of medieval Hungary

Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (13011526)

4.2.1 The Anjou Age
The rpd dynasty died out in 1301 with the death of
Andrew III. Subsequently, Hungary was ruled by the
Angevins until the end of the 14th century, and then by
several non-dynastic rulers - notably Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor and Matthias Corvinus - until the early 16th

When Andrew IIIs predecessor, Ladislaus IV, was assassinated in 1290, another nobleman was set up as titular King of Hungary: Charles Martel of Anjou. Charles
Martel was the son of King Charles II of Naples and Mary
of Hungary, the sister of Ladislaus IV. However, Andrew
III took the crown for himself, and ruled without inconvenience after Charles Martels death in 1295.
Upon Andrews death in 1301, the throne was claimed by
Charles Martels son, Charles Robert. After a period of
instability, he was nally crowned King Charles I in 1310.
He implemented considerable economic reforms, and defeated the remaining nobility who were in opposition to
royal rule, led by Mt Csk III. The kingdom of Hungary
reached an age of prosperity and stability under Charles I.
The gold mines of the Kingdom were extensively worked
and soon Hungary reached a prominent standing in European gold production. The forint was introduced as a
currency, replacing the denars, and soon after Charless
reforms were implemented, the economy of the Kingdom
started to prosper again, having fallen into a parlous state
following the Mongol invasion.
Charles exalted the cult to Saint Ladislaus I, using him as a
symbol of bravery, justice and purity. He also venerated
his uncle, Saint Louis of Toulouse. On the other hand,
he gave importance to the cults of the princesses Saint
Elizabeth and Saint Margaret, which added relevance to
the lineage inheritance through the feminine branches.[24]
Charles restored the royal power which had fallen into
feudal lords hands, and then made the lords swear loyalty
to him. For this, he founded in 1326 the Order of Saint
George, which was the rst secular chivalric order in the
world, and included the most important noblemen of the

King Charles I of Hungary

Charles married four times. His fourth wife was

Elizabeth, the daughter of Wadysaw I of Poland. When
Charles died in 1342, his eldest son by Elizabeth succeeded him as Louis I. In the rst years of his reign, Louis
was advised closely by his mother, making her one of the


Louis I of Hungary on Heroes Square, Budapest

King Sigismund of Hungary

most inuential personalities in the Kingdom.

Charles had arranged the marriage of his second son,
Andrew, with his cousin Joanna, the granddaughter of
King Robert of Naples, in 1332. Robert died in 1343, bequeathing his kingdom to Joanna but excluding the claim
of Andrew. In 1345, a group of noble Neapolitan conspirators murdered Andrew at Aversa. Almost immediately, Louis declared war on Naples, conducting a rst
campaign in 13471348 and a second in 1350. He eventually signed a peace with Joanna in 1352. Louis also
waged wars against the Serbian Empire and the Golden
Horde, restoring the Hungarian monarchs authority over
territories along the frontiers which had been lost during
the previous decades.
In 1370 Louiss uncle, Casimir III of Poland, died without male issue. Louis succeeded him, thus establishing
the rst union of Hungary and Poland. This lasted until 1382, when Louis himself died without male issue;
his two daughters, Mary and Jadwiga, then ascended the
thrones of Hungary and Poland respectively.

The Age of Sigismund

Louis I of Hungary always kept good and close relationships with the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg and nally proclaimed Charless son Sigismund
of Luxembourg to succeed him as King of Hungary.
Sigismund became a renowned king who created many
improvements in the Hungarian law system and who rebuilt the palaces of Buda and Visegrd. He brought mate-

rials from Austria and Bohemia and ordered the creation

of the most luxurious building in all central Europe. In
his laws can be seen the traces of the early mercantilism.
He worked hard to keep the nobility under his control.
A great part of his reign was dedicated to the ght with
the Ottoman Empire, which started to extend its frontiers
and inuence to Europe. In 1396 was fought the Battle
of Nicopolis against the Ottomans, which resulted in a
defeat for the Hungarian-French forces led by Sigismund
and Philip of Artois, Count of Eu. However, Sigismund
continued to successfully contain the Ottoman forces outside of the Kingdom for the rest of his life.
Losing popularity among the Hungarian nobility, Sigismund soon became victim of an attempt against his rule,
and Ladislaus of Anjou-Durazzo (the son of the murdered
King of Naples Charles II of Hungary) was called in and
crowned. Since the ceremony was not performed with the
Hungarian Holy Crown, and in the city of Szkesfehrvr,
it was considered illegitimate. Ladislaus stayed only few
days in Hungarian territory and soon left it, no longer an
inconvenience for Sigismund. In 1408 he founded the
Order of the Dragon, which included the most of the relevant monarchs and noblemen of that region of Europe
in that time. This was just a rst step for what was coming. In 1410 he was elected King of the Romans, making him the supreme monarch over the German territories. He had to deal with the Hussite movement, a religious reformist group that was born in Bohemia, and he
presided at the Council of Constance, where the theol-

ogist founder Jan Hus, was judged. In 1419 Sigismund
inherited the Crown of Bohemia after the death of his
brother Wenceslaus of Luxembourg, obtaining the formal control of three medieval states, but he struggled
for control of Bohemia until the peace agreement with
the Hussites and his coronation in 1436. In 1433 was
crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope and ruled
until his death in 1437, leaving as his only heir his daughter Elizabeth of Luxembourg and her husband. The marriage of Elizabeth was arranged with the Duke Albert V
of Austria, who was later crowned as King Albert of Hungary in 1437.

Matthias Corvinus as depicted in Johannes de Thurocz's

Chronica Hungarorum

Western conquests of Matthias Corvinus


Hunyadi family

The Hungarian kingdoms golden age was during the

reign of Matthias Corvinus (145890), the son of John
Hunyadi. His nickname was Matthias the Just. He further improved the Hungarian economy and practised astute diplomacy in place of military action whenever possible. Matthias did undertake campaigning when necessary. From 1485 until his death, he occupied Vienna,
aiming to limit the inuence and meddling of the Holy
Roman Empire in Hungarys aairs.

tury, the Black Army of Hungary was a modern mercenary army, with the Hussars the most skilled troops of the
Hungarian cavalry. In 1479, under the leadership of Pl
Kinizsi, the Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and
Wallachian troops at the Battle of Breadeld. The Army
of Hungary destroyed its enemies almost every time when
Matthias was king.
In 1526, at the Battle of Mohcs, the forces of the
Ottoman Empire led by Suleiman I annihilated the Hungarian army. In trying to escape, Louis II drowned in the
Csele Creek. The leader of the Hungarian army, Pl Tomori, also died in the battle.

5 Early modern history

Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (15261867)

Matthias died without heir, and was thus succeeded by
Vladislaus II Jagiellon (14901516), the son of Casimir
IV of Poland. In turn, Vladislaus was succeeded by his
son Louis II (151626).
5.1 The divided kingdom
At the time of the initial Ottoman encroachment, the
Hungarians successfully resisted conquest. John Hunyadi See also: OttomanHungarian Wars, Ottoman Hunwas leader of the Crusade of Varna, in which the Hungar- gary, Royal Hungary, Eastern Hungarian Kingdom and
ians tried to expel the Turks from the Balkans. Initially, Principality of Transylvania (15701711)
it was successful, but nally they had to withdraw.
In 1456, John Hunyadi delivered a crushing defeat on the Due to a serious defeat by the Ottomans (Battle of MoOttomans at the Siege of Belgrade. The Noon Bell com- hcs) the central authority collapsed. The majority of
memorates the fallen Christian warriors. In the 15th cen- Hungarys ruling elite elected John Zpolya (10 Novem-

ber 1526). A small minority of aristocrats sided with

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, who was Archduke
of Austria, and was related to Louis by marriage. Due to
previous agreements that the Habsburgs would take the
Hungarian throne if Louis died without heirs, Ferdinand
was elected king by a rump diet in December 1526.


the Winter Campaign by Mikls Zrnyi burnt the crucial Suleiman Bridge of Osijek in eastern Slavonia, interrupting a Turkish supply line in Hungary. At the Battle
of Saint Gotthard (1664), Austrians and Hungarians defeated the Turkish army.

After the Ottoman siege of Austria failed in 1683, the

Although the borders shifted frequently during this pe- Habsburgs went on the oensive against the Turks. By
riod, the three parts can be identied, more or less, as the end of the 17th century, they managed to invade the
remainder of the historical Kingdom of Hungary and the
principality of Transylvania. For a while in 1686, the cap Royal Hungary, which consisted of northern and ital Buda was again free from Ottoman Empire, with the
western territories where Ferdinand I was recog- aid of other Europeans.
nized as king of Hungary. This part is viewed as
dening the continuity of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The territory along with Ottoman Hungary suered 5.2 The Kuruc age
greatly from the nearly constant wars taking place.
Main article: Rkczis War for Independence
Ottoman Hungary The Great Alfld (i.e. most Rkczis War for Independence (17031711) was the
of present-day Hungary, including south-eastern
Transdanubia and the Banat), partly without northeastern present-day Hungary.
Eastern Hungarian Kingdom under the Szapolyai.
Note that this territory, often under Ottoman inuence, was dierent from Transylvania proper
and included various other territories sometimes referred to as Partium. Later the entity was called
Principality of Transylvania.

Kuruc-Labanc battle

























Na esz
sz ter
d ce






















te zrg




In the following centuries there were numerous attempts

to push back the Ottoman forces, such as the Long War
or Thirteen Years War (29 July 1593 1604/11 November 1606) led by a coalition of Christian forces. In 1644



On 29 February 1528, King John I of Hungary received

the support of the Ottoman Sultan. A three-sided conict ensued as Ferdinand moved to assert his rule over as
much of the Hungarian kingdom as he could. By 1529
the kingdom had been split into two parts: Habsburg
Hungary and the eastern-Kingdom of Hungary. At this
time there were no Ottomans on Hungarian territories,
except Srems important castles. In 1532, Nikola Jurii
defended Kszeg and stopped a powerful Ottoman army.
By 1541, the fall of Buda marked a further division of
Hungary into three areas. The country remained divided
until the end of the 17th century.






The Battle of Buda (1686): Hungarians and the Holy League

(1684) reconquer Buda.
































Counties of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen around 1880

rst signicant freedom ght in Hungary against absolutist Habsburg rule. It was fought by a group of noblemen, wealthy and high-ranking progressives who wanted
to put an end to the inequality of power relations, led by
Francis II Rkczi (II. Rkczi Ferenc in Hungarian). Its
main aims were to protect the rights of the dierent social orders, and to ensure the economic and social development of the country. Due to the adverse balance of
forces, the political situation in Europe and internal conicts the freedom ght was eventually suppressed, but it


Hungarian Revolution of 1848

succeeded in keeping Hungary from becoming an integral part of the Habsburg Empire, and its constitution was
kept, even though it was only a formality.
After the departure of the Ottomans, the Habsburgs dominated the Hungarian Kingdom. The Hungarians renewed desire for freedom led to Rkczis War for Independence. The most important reasons of the war were
the new and higher taxes and a renewed Protestant movement. Rkczi was a Hungarian nobleman, son of the
legendary heroine Ilona Zrnyi. He spent a part of his
youth in Austrian captivity. The Kurucs were troops of
Rkczi. Initially, the Kuruc army attained several important victories due to their superior light cavalry. Their
weapons were mostly pistols, light sabre and fokos. At
the Battle of Saint Gotthard (1705), Jnos Bottyn decisively defeated the Austrian army. The Hungarian colonel
dm Balogh nearly captured Joseph I, the King of Hungary and Emperor of Austria.
In 1708, the Habsburgs nally defeated the main Hungarian army at Battle of Trencsn, and this diminished
the further eectiveness of the Kuruc army. While the
Hungarians were exhausted by the ghts, the Austrians
defeated the French army in the War of the Spanish Succession. They could send more troops to Hungary against
the rebels. Transylvania became part of Hungary again
starting at the end of the 17th century, and was led by

Ethnographic map of Hungary without Croatia and Slavonia

(1910). The population of areas under 20 persons/km2 is represented in the nearest area above that level, and the area is left

nated to the Court Chamber in Vienna. The Hungarian

Language reform started under reign of Joseph II. The
reform age of Hungary was started by Istvn Szchenyi a
Hungarian noble, who built one of the greatest bridges of
Hungary, the Szchenyi Chain Bridge. The ocial language remained Latin until 1844. Then, between 1844
and 1849, and from 1867, Hungarian became the ocial

5.4 Hungarian Revolution of 1848

Main article: Hungarian Revolution of 1848
The European revolutions of 1848 swept Hungary, as
well. The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 sought to redress the long suppressed desire for political change,
namely independence. The Hungarian National Guard
was created by young Hungarian patriots in 1848. In literature, this was best expressed by the greatest poet of
the revolution, Sndor Pet.

Distribution of Hungarians in the Kingdom of Hungary and the

Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1890)


Age of Enlightenment

Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (15261867)

As war broke out with Austria, Hungarian military successes, which included the campaigns of the Hungarian
general, Artr Grgey, forced the Austrians on the defensive. One of the most famous battles of the revolution, the Battle of Pkozd, was fought on the 29 September 1848, when the Hungarian revolutionary army led by
Lieutenant-General Jnos Mga defeated the troops of
the Croatian Ban Josip Jelai. Fearing defeat, the Austrians pleaded for Russian help. The combined forces of
the two empires quelled the revolution. The desired political changes of 1848 were again suppressed until AustroHungarian Compromise of 1867.

In 1711, Austrian Emperor Charles VI became the next

ruler of Hungary. Throughout the 18th century, the Kingdom of Hungary had its own Diet (parliament) and constitution, but the members of the Governors Council (Hely- 6 Austria-Hungary (18671918)
tarttancs, the oce of the palatine) were appointed by
the Habsburg monarch, and the superior economic in- Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (18671918)
stitution, the Hungarian Chamber, was directly subordi-

BETWEEN 1920 AND 1946

Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867,

the Habsburg Empire became the dual monarchy
of Austria-Hungary. The Austro-Hungarian economy
changed dramatically during the existence of the Dual
Monarchy. Technological change accelerated industrialization and urbanization. The capitalist way of production spread throughout the Empire during its fty-year
existence and obsolete medieval institutions continued to
disappear. By the early 20th century, most of the Empire began to experience rapid economic growth. The
GNP per capita grew roughly 1.45% per year from 1870
to 1913. That level of growth compared very favorably to
that of other European nations such as Britain (1.00%),
The Treaty of Trianon: Hungary lost 72% of its territory, its sea
France (1.06%), and Germany (1.51%).
The lands of the Hungarian Crown (comprising the Kingdom of Hungary proper, into which Transylvania was
fully incorporated, and the Kingdom of CroatiaSlavonia,
which maintained a distinct identity and a certain internal
autonomy) were granted equal status with the rest of the
Habsburg monarchy. Each of the two states comprising
Austria-Hungary exercised considerable independence,
with certain institutions, notably the reigning house, defence, foreign aairs, and nances for common expenditures, remaining under joint management. This arrangement lasted until 1918, when the Central Powers went
down in defeat in World War I.

access, half of its 10 biggest cities and all of its precious metal
mines. 3,425,000 ethnic Hungarians found themselves separated
from their motherland.[27][28][29]

8 Between 1920 and 1946

Main article: Kingdom of Hungary (19201946)

8.1 Interwar period

Main articles: Hungary between the World Wars and
Hungarian interwar economy
After the pullout of occupation forces of Romania in


Transitions (1918 to 1920)

Two short-lived republics

Main articles: Hungarian Democratic Republic and

Hungarian Soviet Republic
Romanian forces entered Budapest on 6 August, putting
an end to the Hungarian Soviet Republic.


Treaty of Trianon (1920)

The new borders set in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon

ceded 72% of the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary to the neighbouring states. The beneciaries were
Romania, the newly formed states of Czechoslovakia, and
the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The areas that were allocated to neighbouring countries in total (and each of them separately) possessed a majority
of non-Hungarian population, but more than 3.3 million
ethnic Hungarians were left outside the new borders of
Hungary. Many view this as contrary to the terms laid
out by US President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points,
which were intended to honour the ethnic makeup of the
Mikls Horthy was regent of Hungary.


Interwar period

1920 the country went into civil conict, with Hungarian

anti-communists and monarchists purging the nation of
communists, leftists and others by whom they felt threatened. Later in 1920, a coalition of right-wing political
forces united, and reinstated Hungarys status as a constitutional monarchy. Selection of the new King was delayed due to civil inghting, and a regent was appointed to
represent the monarchy. Former Austro-Hungarian navy
admiral Mikls Horthy became that regent. New international borders separated Hungarys industrial base from
its sources of raw materials and its former markets for
agricultural and industrial products. Hungary lost 84%
of its timber resources, 43% of its arable land, and 83%
of its iron ore. Furthermore, post-Trianon Hungary possessed 90% of the engineering and printing industry of
the Kingdom, while only 11% of timber and 16% iron
was retained. In addition, 61% of arable land, 74% of
public road, 65% of canals, 62% of railroads, 64% of
hard surface roads, 83% of pig iron output, 55% of industrial plants, 100% of gold, silver, copper, mercury and
salt mines, and 67% of credit and banking institutions of
the prewar Kingdom of Hungary lay within the territory
of Hungarys neighbors.[30][31][32]
Because most of the countrys pre-war industry was concentrated near Budapest, Hungary retained about 51% of
its industrial population, 56% of its industry. Horthy appointed Count Pl Teleki as Prime Minister in July 1920.
His government issued a numerus clausus law, limiting
admission of political insecure elements (these were often Jews) to universities and, in order to quiet rural discontent, took initial steps towards fullling a promise of
major land reform by dividing about 3,850 km2 from the
largest estates into smallholdings. Telekis government
resigned, however, after Charles IV unsuccessfully attempted to retake Hungarys throne in March 1921. King
Charless return produced split parties between conservatives who favored a Habsburg restoration and nationalist right-wing radicals who supported election of a Hungarian king. Count Istvn Bethlen, a non-aliated rightwing member of the parliament, took advantage of this
rift forming a new Party of Unity under his leadership.
Horthy then appointed Bethlen prime minister. Charles
IV died soon after he failed a second time to reclaim the
throne in October 1921. (For more detail on Charless attempts to retake the throne, see Charles IV of Hungarys
conict with Mikls Horthy.)
As prime minister, Bethlen dominated Hungarian politics between 1921 and 1931. He fashioned a political
machine by amending the electoral law, providing jobs
in the expanding bureaucracy to his supporters, and manipulating elections in rural areas. Bethlen restored order to the country by giving the radical counterrevolutionaries payos and government jobs in exchange for
ceasing their campaign of terror against Jews and leftists. In 1921, he made a deal with the Social Democrats
and trade unions (called Bethlen-Peyer Pact), agreeing,
among other things, to legalize their activities and free po-

litical prisoners in return for their pledge to refrain from
spreading anti-Hungarian propaganda, calling political
strikes, and organizing the peasantry. Bethlen brought
Hungary into the League of Nations in 1922 and out of
international isolation by signing a treaty of friendship
with Italy in 1927. The revision of the Treaty of Trianon rose to the top of Hungarys political agenda and
the strategy employed by Bethlen consisted by strengthening the economy and building relations with stronger
nations. Revision of the treaty had such a broad backing
in Hungary that Bethlen used it, at least in part, to deect
criticism of his economic, social, and political policies.

Istvn Bethlen, the Prime Minister of Hungary

The Great Depression induced a drop in the standard of

living and the political mood of the country shifted further toward the right. In 1932 Horthy appointed a new
prime-minister, Gyula Gmbs, who changed the course
of Hungarian policy towards closer cooperation with Germany. Gmbs signed a trade agreement with Germany
that drew Hungarys economy out of depression but made
Hungary dependent on the German economy for both raw
materials and markets. On 2 November 1938, the First
Vienna Award transferred parts of Southern Slovakia and
Carpathian Ruthenia to Hungary, an area amounting to
11,927 km and a population of 869,299 (86.5% of which
were Hungarians according to the 1941 census). Between
5 November and 10 November, Hungarian armed forces
peacefully occupied the newly transferred territories.[33]
Hitler later promised to transfer all of Slovakia to Hungary in exchange for a military alliance, but his oer was
rejected. Instead, Horthy chose to pursue a territorial re-


vision to be decided along ethnic lines. In March 1939,

the Czecho-Slovak Republic was dissolved, Germany invaded it, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
was established. On 14 March, Slovakia declared itself
to be an independent state.
On 15 March, Carpatho-Ukraine declared itself to be
an independent state. Hungary rejected the independence of Carpatho-Ukraine and, between 14 March and
18 March, Hungarian armed forces occupied the rest
of Carpathian Ruthenia and ousted the government of
Avgustyn Voloshyn. By contrast, Hungary recognized the
Nazi puppet state of Slovakia led by the Clerical Fascist
Jozef Tiso.[34] In September 1940, with troops massing
on both sides of the Hungarian-Romanian border, war
was averted by the Second Vienna Award. This award
transferred the northern half of Transylvania to Hungary,
with a total area of 43,492 km and a total population of
2,578,100 with a 53.5% Hungarian majority according to
the 1941 census. By dividing Transylvania between Romania and Hungary, Hitler was able to ease tensions in
Hungary. In October 1940, the Germans initiated a reciprocity policy between Romania and Hungary which was
continued until the end of World War II. The region of
Sub-Carpathia was given special autonomous status with
the intention that (eventually) it would be self-governed
by the Ruthenian minority.

BETWEEN 1920 AND 1946

powers in 1941. Thus, the Hungarian army was part of

the invasion of Yugoslavia, gaining some more territory
and joining the Axis powers in the process. On 22 June
1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation
Barbarossa. Hungary joined the German eort and declared war on the Soviet Union on 26 June, and entered
World War II on the side of the Axis. In late 1941, the
Hungarian troops on the Eastern Front experienced success at the Battle of Uman. By 1943, after the Hungarian
Second Army suered extremely heavy losses at the river
Don, the Hungarian government sought to negotiate a surrender with the Allies. On 19 March 1944, as a result of
this duplicity, German troops occupied Hungary in what
was known as Operation Margarethe. By then it was clear
that Hungarian politics would be suppressed according to
Hitlers intention to hold the country in the war on the
side of the Nazi Third Reich because of its strategic location. On 15 October 1944, Horthy made a token effort to disengage Hungary from the war. The Germans
launched Operation Panzerfaust and Horthys regime was
replaced by a fascist puppet government under the proGerman Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szlasi, thus eectively ending the possibility for independent actions in
the war. However, the form of Government was only
changed to a republic two years later.

8.3 Transitioning into a republic

The Kingdom of Hungary in 1942, during World War II.


During World War II 19411945

Main article: Hungary during World War II

After being granted part of southern Czechoslovakia and
Subcarpathia by the Germans and Italians in the First Vienna Award of 1938, and then northern Transylvania in
the Second Vienna Award of 1940, Hungary participated
in their rst military maneuvers on the side of the Axis

Following its occupation of Hungary in 1944, the Soviet

Union imposed harsh conditions allowing it to seize important material assets and control internal aairs.[35] After the Red Army set up police organs to persecute class
enemies, the Soviets assumed that the impoverished Hungarian populace would support the communists in the
coming elections.[36] The communists fared poorly, receiving only 17% of the vote, resulting in a coalition
government under Prime Minister Zoltn Tildy.[37] Soviet intervention, however, resulted in a government that
disregarded Tildy, placed communists in important ministries, and imposed restrictive and repressive measures,
including banning the victorious Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party.[36] In 1945, Soviet Marshal Kliment Voroshilov forced the freely elected
Hungarian government to yield the Interior Ministry to
a nominee of the Hungarian Communist Party. Communist Interior Minister Lszl Rajk established the
VH secret police, which suppressed political opposition through intimidation, false accusations, imprisonment and torture.[38] In 1946 the form of government
was changed to a republic. Soon after the monarchy
was nally abolished, the Soviet Union pressed Hungarian
leader Mtys Rkosi to take a line of more pronounced
class struggle.[39] What emerged was a communist state
lasting until October 1989 when the Communists agreed
to give up their monopoly on power, paving the way for
free elections in March 1990. In todays free republic,
the Kingdom is regarded as one long stage in the devel-

opment of the state. This sense of continuity is reected [8] Kollega Tarsoly, Istvn, ed. (1996). Magyarorszg. Rvai nagy lexikona (in Hungarian). Volume 21. Budapest:
in the republics national symbols such as the Holy Crown
Hasonms Kiad. p. 572. ISBN 963-9015-02-4.
of Hungary and the Coat of arms of Hungary, which are
the same as when the monarchy was still in place. Several
[9] leszts Lszl et al., eds. (2004). Magyarorszg. Rholidays, the ocial language (Hungarian), and the capvai j lexikona (in Hungarian). Volume 13. Budapest:
ital city Budapest have also been retained. The ocial
Hasonms Kiad. pp. 882, 895. ISBN 963-9556-13-0.
Hungarian name of the country is Magyarorszg (simply
Hungary) since 2012,[16] it was also the common name [10] Krist Gyula - Barta Jnos - Gergely Jen: Magyarorszg
trtnete elidktl 2000-ig (History of Hungary from the
of the monarchy.[15] The millennium of the Hungarian
prehistory to 2000), Pannonica Kiad, Budapest, 2002,
statehood was commemorated in 2000 and codied by
ISBN 963-9252-56-5, p. 687, pp. 37, pp. 113 (Mag[40]
the Millennium Act of 2000.

yarorszg a 12. szzad msodik felre jelents eurpai

tnyezv, kzphatalomm vlt."/"By the 12th century
Hungary became an important European constituent, became a middle power., A Nyugat rszv vlt Magyarorszg.../Hungary became part of the West), pp. 616

See also
Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen
List of Hungarian rulers
Nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary
Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Hungary

[11] Gerhard Stickel: National, Regional and Minority Languages in Europe


Demographics of the Kingdom of Hungary

[13] St. Stephens Day, National Holidays in Hungary ( (English)

Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary)


Holy Crown of Hungary

[15] Elek Fnyes: Magyarorszg gographiai sztra, Pest,


Coat of arms of Hungary



[1] Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). World Dictionary of Foreign

Expressions. Ed. Thomas J. Sienkewicz and James T. McDonough, Jr. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-86516-422-3.
[2] The majority of Hungarian people became Christian in
the 10th century. Hungarys rst king, Saint Stephen I,
took up Western Christianity. Hungary remained solely
Catholic until the Reformation took place during the 16th
century and, as a result, Lutheranism and then, soon afterwards, Calvinism started to spread.
[3] Emil Valkovics:Demography of contemporary Hungarian
society, 1996, p. 15
[4] Kollega Tarsoly, Istvn, ed. (1996). Magyarorszg. Rvai nagy lexikona (in Hungarian). Volume 21. Budapest:
Hasonms Kiad. p. 572. ISBN 963-9015-02-4.
[5] leszts Lszl et al., eds. (2004). Magyarorszg. Rvai j lexikona (in Hungarian). Volume 13. Budapest:
Hasonms Kiad. pp. 882, 895. ISBN 963-9556-13-0.
[6] Historical World Atlas. With the commendation of the
Royal Geographical Society. Carthographia, Budapest,
Hungary, 2005. ISBN 963-352-002-9
[7] Emil Valkovics:Demography of contemporary Hungarian
society, 1996, p. 15

[16] Fundamental Law of Hungary (2012), Wikisource

[17] Acta orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Volume 36 Magyar Tudomnyos Akadmia (Hungarian
Academy of Sciences), 1982, p. 419
[18] Aba Smuel
[20] Larousse online encyclopedia, Histoire de la Croatie:
[21] Croatia (History)". Britannica.
[22] John Van Antwerp Fine: The Early Medieval Balkans: A
Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, 1991, p. 288
[23] Barna Mezey:
1995, p. 66

Magyar alkotmnytrtnet, Budapest,

[24] A szentek lete I. (szerk. Dr. Dis Istvn), Szent Istvn

Trsulat, 1984.
[25] Transylvania (region, Romania) - Encyclopedia Britannica
[26] Grand Principality of Transylvania denition of Grand
Principality of Transylvania in the Free Online Encyclopedia
[27] Francis Tapon: The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us, Thomson Press India, 2012
[28] Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, p. 262



[29] Richard C. Frucht, Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the

People, Lands, and Culture p. 359-360M1
[30] Flood-light on Europe: a guide to the next war by Felix Wittmer, published by C. Scribners sons, 1937 Item
notes: pt. 443 Original from Indiana University Digitized
13 November 2008 p. 114
[31] History of the Hungarian Nation by Domokos G. Kosry,
Steven Bla Vrdy, Danubian Research Center Published
by Danubian Press, 1969 Original from the University of
California Digitized 19 June 2008 p. 222
[32] The European powers in the First World War: an encyclopedia by Spencer Tucker, Laura Matysek Wood, Justin D.
Murphy Edition: illustrated Published by Taylor & Francis, 1996 ISBN 0-8153-0399-8, ISBN 978-0-8153-03992 p.697
[33] Thomas, The Royal Hungarian Army in World War II, pg.
[34] Slovakia US State Department
[35] Wettig 2008, p. 51
[36] Wettig 2008, p. 85
[37] Norton, Donald H. (2002). Essentials of European History: 1935 to the Present, p. 47. REA: Piscataway, New
Jersey. ISBN 0-87891-711-X.
[38] UN General Assembly Special Committee on the Problem
of Hungary (1957) Chapter II.N, para 89(xi) (p. 31) PDF
(1.47 MB)
[39] Wettig 2008, p. 110
[40] Text of the Millennium Act (Hungarian)


Further reading

Frucht, Richard. Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe:

From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism (2000) online edition
Hoensch, Jrg K., and Kim Traynor. A History of
Modern Hungary, 18671994 (1996) online edition
Hanak, Peter et al. A History of Hungary (1994)
Kontler, Laszlo. A History of Hungary (2006)
excerpt and text search
Molnr, Mikls, and Anna Magyar. A Concise History of Hungary (2001) excerpt and text search
Paly, Geza. The Kingdom of Hungary and the
Habsburg Monarchy in the Sixteenth Century (East
European Monographs, distributed by Columbia
University Press, 2010) 406 pages; Covers the period after the battle of Mohacs in 1526 when the
Kingdom of Hungary was partitioned in three, with
one segment going to the Habsburgs.


12 External links
Hungary in the 1911 Encyclopdia Britannica
Coordinates: 4728N 1903E / 47.467N 19.050E



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