Hungary – More than “just” Budapest
Our image of Hungary is strongly influenced by clichés like in the famous film “I often think of Piroschka” with Lilo Pulver, or the operettas by Emerich Kalman, such as the “Czardas König”. Szegediner goulash and palinka, the excellent apricot schnapps, complete this picture of a country and a population that, according to the cliché, mainly indulge in their leisure time and otherwise “let God be a good man”. The influence of Hungary on Central European culture is much greater than is commonly assumed.
The unbroken will for freedom, which was clearly shown in the uprising of 1956 against the communist regime, underlines the country’s affiliation to the Central European cultural landscape. On June 27, 1989 the Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Horn – together with his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock – severed the barbed wire on the border between Austria and Hungary in a symbolic act. This was one of the building blocks in the collapse of the communist regime.
Not only the leisure industry and tourism but also the qualities of its business locations shape the status of this new nation within the European Union. There was great concern in the EU about the performance of the far-right Jobbik (The Better) party. This anti-European and anti-Roma party won around 16.7% of the vote in the parliamentary elections on April 11, 2010.
In Hungary there is a law that
goes something like this: Anyone who publicly denies, doubts, approves or seeks to justify the Nazi or communist genocide or other crimes of the Nazis or communists will face imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years punished.
|Name of the country||Magyar Köztársaság/Republic of Hungary|
|Form of government||republic|
|Geographical location||Country in Eastern Europe|
|National anthem||Himnusz: Isten áldd meg a magyart (God save Hungarians)|
|President||since August 6, 2010 Pál Schmitt (born 1942) from the FIDESZ party|
|Head of government||since May 29, 2010 Viktor Orbán (born 1963) of the FIDESZ party|
|Population||9.97 million (Credit: Countryaah: Hungary Population)|
|Ethnicities||Hungary 92%; Sinti and Roma 3%;Germans 1%; Slovaks 1%; Jews 1%; South Slavs 1%; other 1%|
|Religions||Catholics 63% and Protestants 25.5%, others 11.5%|
|Highest mountain||Kekes (1,014 m)|
|Longest river||Danube (national share 420 km) 2850 km, Theis (570 km)|
|Largest lake||Balaton (Lake Balaton), approx. 530 km²|
|International license plate||HU|
|National currency||1 Forint (Ft) = 100 fillers|
|Time difference to CET||= CET|
|International phone code||0036|
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)||.hu|
Until the founding of the Empire in 1000
The area of today’s Hungary, which lies in the area of the Pannonian Basin in the Karpartenbogen, was an important settlement area for various peoples already in early history, which is also proven by numerous archaeological finds, especially from the Hallstatt period.
In the period 10 AD. – 433 AD the region becomes the Roman province of Pannonia. The Danube (Donaulimes) serves as an important border against the continuous settlement pressure of invading peoples of the beginning migration. Christianity has been introduced since 303, but it disappears again in the following times of the Great Migration.
According to Abbreviationfinder website, during 166-180 AD, various peoples such as Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians invade the region. In the course of the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Pannonia had to be ceded to the Huns in 433 AD., from there largely dominated Central Europe. As a result, Germanic peoples under the leadership of the Gepid King Ardarich defeated the Huns, whose remnants retreated to Central Asia. This vacuum was filled by the settlement of various Germanic tribes (e.g. the Ostrogoths) in the course of the migration of peoples, until AD 568 the Avars, a people from Inner Asia, conquered the Carpathian Basin. During the 6th – 8th centuries, Slavic peoples and Volga-Bulgarians of Turkic origin immigrated. In 791-796 AD, the Avars were conquered by Charles the Elder. Great subject.
With the Hungarians (Magyars), the last chapter of the great migration in Europe began at the beginning of the 9th century. After their expulsion from the steppes north of the Black Sea, Magyar tribes conquered the Carpathian Basin in 895 under their prince ? Rpád (840 – 907), the founder of the ? Rpád dynasty. Under his son Zoltan (869-949), raids across Europe took place, which only came to an end with the victory of Emperor Otto I over the Hungarian army under your leader Taksony (931-972) in the battle of the Lechfeld (955) Find.
Taksony then relies on the consolidation of his country by using the help of German missionaries and knights to set up an administration with his son Geza (949-997). After eliminating internal rivals, Taksoni’s grandson Vajk (975-1038) is crowned king as Stefan I. 1000/01. With the award of the still existing royal crown by Pope Sylvester II, the final Christianization of the Hungarians goes hand in hand. Stefan I was canonized in 1083.
From the establishment of an empire to the Danube monarchy
With the defense against the attack of the German Salier emperor Konrad II in 1030 the kingdom was able to consolidate. 1102 the Kingdom of Croatia joins Hungary in personal union. As everywhere in Europe, domestic politics in the following period was marked by strong battles between the nobility and the king. Hungary pursues a pronounced hegemonic policy in the Balkans.
The incursion of the Mongols with the defeat of Bela’s IV. Of Hungary (Kg. 1235-1270) in 1241 by a severe destruction of the country is decisive. Internal disputes in Central Asia put an end to the Mongol invasion, so that Bela has to rebuild his country with German settlers. The country’s prosperity at the end of the Middle Ages was interrupted by the conquest of Hungary by the Ottomans under “Suleyman the Magnificent” in the Battle of Mohacs (1526).
With the death of King Ludwig II, due to previous agreements, the land fell to the Habsburgs, which Prince Johann Zapolya (1487-1540) opposed, and in the civil war (1527-1538), which led to the division of the country into three parts, the Principality of Transylvania took up claims the Stefanskrone split off. This happened under the tolerance of the Turks, who brought Central Hungary under their rule. In 1541 this area was declared a province of the Ottoman Empire.
After Zapolya’s death, the part not occupied by the Ottomans became the province of “royal Hungary” of the Habsburgs. The capital was Pressburg (Bratislava).
The decision of the Turkish Wars, which took place largely on Hungarian territory, was made in 1683 in the Battle of the Kahlenberg near Vienna. The Habsburgs achieved their final victory over the Turks with the fall of Budas in 1686. 145 years of Turkish rule in Hungary came to an end and the “Turkish danger” for Central Europe was averted.
However, the reign of terror of the Habsburgs in Hungary led to the Kuruc uprising (1703-1711) under Prince Franz II. Rákóczi (1676-1735). However, the defeat of the Hungarians meant that the rights of the nobles were renewed and in return the Habsburgs were accepted as kings of Hungary (Peace of Sathmar 1711).
Hungary under the Danube Monarchy
During the largely tension-free time under the rule of Maria Thresia (1717-1780) and the Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), the relationship between the states was able to consolidate. German settlers (including Danube Swabians) settled in Hungary.
Nationalist and liberalist movements gripped many European countries at the beginning of the 19th century. So also Hungary, where the revolution of 1848/49 came under Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) one of the leading freedom fighters. The struggle for freedom was bloodily suppressed with Russian support. After a phase of suppression (including the execution of Prime Minister Batthyány and other freedom fighters in 1849), an understanding between Hungary and Austria came about in 1867 under Joseph I.
Joseph I was interested in strengthening the multi-ethnic state internally and found a congenial collaborator in Ferenc Deák (1803 – 1876), the “wise man of the homeland”.
Until the end of the war in 1918, Hungary was the second main component of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. However, the increasing Magyarization of the country led to tensions with the other ethnic groups.
The period from 1918 to 1945
After the war in 1918 and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Hungary was re-established as an independent state, but after the fourth month of the Soviet Republic in 1919 under Béla Kun (1886-1939) it mutated into a national-conservative state. The reparation payments and cedings of territory (Burgenland, Slovakia, Transylvania, Croatia, Slavonia) led to strong internal (also economic) crises, which allowed the country to drift under Miklós Horthy (1868-1957) close to the National Socialists. Hungary therefore also took part in World War II on the Axis side, but made the Allies an offer of peace in August 1943, which led to the German occupation of the country. In October 1944parts of Hungary were occupied by the Soviet army, on April 4th, 1945 the fighting was over.
From 1945 through the turning point (communism) to integration with the West
The Allies planned that Hungary should get a democratic system. When, however, the communists received a severe defeat in the election on November 15, 1945, a phase of systematic preparation for the takeover of power began with unclean methods. This ended with the dissolution of the other parties and the election of the unified party “Party of the Hungarian Working People” and the introduction of a constitution based on the Soviet model on August 20, 1949. Under Mátyás Rákosi (1892-1971) Hungary pursued a strictly Stalinist course.
This was followed by a period of cautious liberalization from 1953 under Imre Nagy (1896-1958). In 1955 he was deposed until the tense political situation led to a popular uprising on October 23, 1956, in the course of which he was reappointed Prime Minister.
The Soviet Army put down the resistance with blood at great expense. Nagy is tried in secret and executed in June 1958. As a result, many citizens of the country lost their lives to executions. An increased emigration train to Western Europe and the USA then began. János Kádár, party leader from 1956 – 1988, began in 1968 with cautious economic reforms which became famous under the heading of “goulash communism”. From 1987 onwards the political system began to change peacefully with the establishment of the first opposition groups. The party is increasingly determined by economic reformers.
Since autumn 1988the opposition groups in Hungary formed new parties. In round table discussions since March 1989 between the newly grouping parties (with the support of the foundations of the German political parties), the foundations for the Republic of Hungary and a new liberal constitution were laid, which finally became the first free on March 25, 1990 Held elections since communist rule. A bourgeois coalition led by the MDF emerged victorious from this election and Joszef Antall was elected Prime Minister on May 23, 1990.
In 1989 the third Hungarian republic is proclaimed and Imre Nagy is rehabilitated. In addition, the German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher announced from the balcony of the German embassy in Budapest that the hundreds of people who had fled there from the GDR were granted permission to leave the country.
In 1991 the Soviet army withdraws and Hungary withdraws from the Warsaw Pact.
In 1999 the country became a member of NATO and on
May 1, 2004 a member of the European Union.
In the parliamentary elections on April 11, 2010, the eight-year government under the Socialists (MSZP) was ended. The right-wing conservative party Fidesz (League of Young Democrats won almost 53% of the vote under their leader Vilster Orban. On the other hand, the performance of the right-wing extremist party Jobbik (The Better), which came in well over 16%, with 7.4% of the vote is of great concern the left-ecological party (LMP9 came to parliament for the first time.