In , they settled in Transylvania from where they took possession of Pannonia.
Himnusz (Hungarian National Anthem) - SATB
Much of early Hungarian history is recorded in:. Although he is not considered the founder of the Kingdom of Hungary — that was his descendant Stephen I —, he is generally thought of as the forefather of Hungarians. In , about ,—, proto-Magyars entered the Pannonian fields. A later defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld in , at the hands of Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great, signaled an end to the raids, friendlier relations with the Holy Roman Empire, and exposure to Christianity and Western culture. He intended to integrate Hungary into Christian Western Europe, rebuilding the state according to the Western model.
He established a dynasty by naming his son Vajk later called Stephen as his successor. By his marriage to Giselle of Bavaria c. Stephen was crowned in December in the capital, Esztergom, and received recognition as King of Hungary in , when Pope Sylvester II granted him the title "Apostolic Majesty," a title retained by Hungarian kings for more than years. By , Stephen had solidified his power, eliminating all rivals who either wanted to follow the old pagan traditions or wanted an alliance with the orthodox Christian Byzantine Empire.
Stephen set up 10 dioceses, ordering every ten villages to erect a church and maintain a priest. The non-Magyars in his realm were treated as subject races and were forced to work harder and pay more tax. Shortly after Stephen's death, in , healing miracles were said to have occurred at his tomb. The king's right hand, known as "The Holy Right," is kept as a relic. Stephen's immediate successors had to contend with barbarian and German invasions, as well as a pagan reaction at home.
A wealthy monarch, he owned half the land of the kingdom outright, monopolized coinage , customs, and mining , and half of his income was paid in cash.
Hungarian troops invaded Byzantine territory at some time before But the reign of Andrew II c. He declared that the generosity of a king should be limitless. He gave away everything - money, villages, domains, whole counties - emptying the treasury, thereby rendering the crown, for the first time in Hungarian history, dependent upon the great nobility eager for personal gain. While the king had a council of nobles, his authority remained absolute, and a strong king could always control a recalcitrant noble by confiscating his estate. This was an edict, issued by King Andrew II of Hungary, which established the rights of Hungary 's noblemen, including the right to disobey the king when he acted contrary to law, in the same way that King John of England was made to sign the Magna Carta in The nobles and the church were freed from all taxes and could not be forced to go to war outside of Hungary, and were not obligated financing it.
The edict was created in seven copies, one for each of the following institutions: Mongols invaded in Only strongly fortified cities and abbeys could withstand the assault. These castles proved to be very important later in the long struggle with the Ottoman Empire from the late fourteenth century onwards. But their cost indebted the king to the major feudal landlords again. Bela brought in settlers to repopulate the country. A new nobility comprising soldiers and settlers who gained land for military service appeared.
An assembly in which nobles represented their counties was created. Stephen V died, the country passed to the regency of his wife, his wild son was assassinated. The crown passed to Andrew III b. Charles restored order by absolute rule. The assembly of nobles, or Diet, was still summoned occasionally, but the real business of the state was transacted in the royal council. To impose limitations on the barons, 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 so as to draw them closer to the crown.
The court was famous throughout Europe as a school of chivalry.
Himnusz (Hungarian National Anthem) - voice & piano (vocal score)
He established the honor system, whereby faithful servants of the king were given an office and control over a number of royal castles. Charles curbed inflation , introducing new coins with a constantly high purity of gold. Louis was one of the Kingdom of Hungary 's most active and accomplished monarchs of the Late Middle Ages, extending her territory to the Adriatic and securing Dalmatia, with part of Bosnia and Bulgaria , within the Hungarian crown. He spent much of his reign in wars with the Republic of Venice and in competition for the throne of Naples, the former with some success and the latter with little lasting results.
Louis further curbed the power of the feudal lords, and promoted the development of commerce , science, and industry. By the end of Louis' reign, the population reached three million; there were 49 royal free boroughs, more than smaller towns, and 26, villages. The economy was rural, but the crafts prospered, trade expanded, and the arts flourished. Territorial losses in the south marked the reign of Sigismund , a prince from the Luxembourg line who succeeded to the throne in He faced defeat in a crusade against the Ottoman Turks at Nicopolis in , the open dissent of feudal landlords, the Hussite rebellion in the Czech kingdom which was under his rule and partly in the territory that is now Slovakia , and a major peasant rebellion in Transylvania.
Acclaimed as a national hero, Hunyadi broke the Turkish siege of Belgrade in The last strong king was the Renaissance king Matthias Corvinus , the son of the feudal landlord and warlord John Hunyadi. Building on his fathers' vision, the aim of taking on the Ottoman Empire with a strong enough background, Matthias set out to build a great empire, expanding southward and northwest, while he also implemented internal reforms, and promoted the commercial and cultural development of the nation.
As a brilliant military leader, he created a standing army, called the 'Fekete Sereg' black army , which accomplished a series of victories also capturing the city of Vienna in Other territorial acquisitions, which included Moravia, Silesia , and Lusatia, made Hungary for a time the strongest kingdom of central Europe. In , two years before Ladislaus' death, there was a peasant rebellion in the Pannonian lowlands and parts of Transylvania. As central rule degenerated, the stage was set for a defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
Suleyman went further and tried to crush Austrian forces, and laid siege to Vienna in , but failed to take that city after the onset of winter forced his retreat. After the seizure of Buda by the Turks in , the west and north recognized a Habsburg as king "Royal Hungary" , while the central and southern counties were occupied by the Sultan and the east was ruled by the son of Szapolyai under the name Eastern Hungarian Kingdom which after became the Principality of Transylvania.
During the Ottoman rule, peace was fragile. Transylvania became the centre of the Magyar movement against Turkish and Habsburg Austrian domination. The Magyars had abandoned the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation , a movement that began in initially to reform—then split from—the Catholic Church.
The Habsburgs pursued plans to liberate the land from the Muslim invaders, and to promote the Counter-reformation. Strife between the Protestant Magyars and the Catholic Habsburgs became increasingly violent. Using Ottoman Hungary as their base, the Ottomans attempted to use this religious division of their Christian opponents in , and again in when they laid siege to Vienna for the second time. Hungary began to undergo changes. Vast lands remained unpopulated and covered with woods. Flood plains became marshes. The life of the Turkish occupiers was unsafe.
Eventually, maintaining a long chain of border forts in Hungary was a drain on the Ottoman Empire. Some parts of the economy flourished. In the huge unpopulated areas, townships bred cattle that were herded to South Germany and northern Italy —up to , animals per year. Wine was traded to the Czech lands, Austria and Poland. Bratislava became the new capital , coronation town , and seat of the Diet of Hungary.
Trnava in turn, became the religious center in Between and , there was a series of anti-Habsburg i. The uprisings were usually organized from Transylvania. Meanwhile, Habsburg missionary efforts won many people back into the Roman Catholic Church, causing them to abandon the nationalist fight against Habsburg overlordship. Under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz, which ended the Great Turkish War in , the Ottomans ceded nearly all the territory they had taken from the Kingdom of Hungary. At the Diet of "Royal Hungary" in Pressburg today Bratislava , in , Leopold I promised to observe all Hungarian laws and privileges, although the Hungarian Diet was made to declare the crown of Hungary forever hereditary in the House of Habsburg , and the nobles' right of resistance was abrogated.
In , Leopold began redistributing lands freed from the Turks. Protestant nobles and all other Hungarians thought disloyal by the Habsburgs lost their estates, which were given to foreigners. Vienna controlled the foreign affairs, defense, tariffs , and other functions. The repression of Protestants and the land seizures embittered the Hungarians, and in a peasant uprising sparked an eight-year rebellion aimed at casting off the Habsburg yoke.
The joint Hungarian-Transylvanian Diet voted to annul the Habsburgs' right to the throne. Fortunes turned against the rebels, however, when the Habsburgs made peace in the West and turned their full force against them. Charles asked the Budapest Diet's approval for the Pragmatic Sanction of , which rewrote succession law to arrange for his daughter, Maria Theresa , to succeed him. Part of that agreement was that the Habsburg monarch would rule Hungary as a king subject to the restraints of Hungary's constitution and laws.
The Diet approved the Pragmatic Sanction in , and Hungary thus agreed to become a hereditary monarchy under the Habsburgs for as long as their dynasty existed. In practice, however, Charles and his successors governed almost autocratically, controlling Hungary's foreign affairs, defense, and finance but lacking the power to tax the nobles without their approval.
Charles organized the country under a centralized administration and in established a standing army under his command, which was entirely funded and manned by the non-noble population. This policy reduced the nobles' military obligation without abrogating their exemption from taxation. Charles also banned conversion to Protestantism , required civil servants to profess Catholicism , and forbade Protestant students to study abroad.
Maria Theresa faced an immediate challenge from Prussia's Frederick II when she became head of the House of Habsburg in In , she appeared before the Diet of Budapest holding her newborn son and entreated Hungary's nobles to support her. They stood behind her and helped secure her rule. Maria Theresa later took measures to reinforce links with Hungary's magnates. Under Charles and Maria Theresa, Hungary declined further. Centuries of Ottoman occupation, rebellion, and war had reduced Hungary's population drastically, and large parts of the country's southern half were almost deserted.
A labor shortage developed as landowners restored their estates. In response, the Habsburgs began to colonize Hungary with large numbers of peasants from all over Europe, especially Slovaks, Serbs, Croatians, and Germans. Many Jews also immigrated from Vienna and the empire's Polish lands near the end of the century.
Hungary's population more than tripled to eight million between and However, only 39 percent of its people were Magyars, who lived mainly in the center of the country. At that time, Hungary had a primitive agricultural economy that employed 90 percent of the population. The nobles failed to use fertilizers , roads were poor and rivers blocked, and crude storage methods caused huge losses of grain. Barter had replaced money transactions, and little trade existed between towns and the serfs.
After a labor surplus developed. The serf population grew, pressure on the land increased, and the serfs' standard of living declined. Landowners began making greater demands on new tenants and began violating existing agreements. In response, Maria Theresa issued her Urbarium of to protect the serfs by restoring their freedom of movement and limiting the corvee, which was a tax in the form of required unpaid labor. Between and , many serfs left their holdings.
Most became landless farm workers because a lack of industrial development meant few opportunities for work in the towns. Joseph II , who was strongly influenced by the Enlightenment, sought to centralize control of the empire and to rule it by decree as an enlightened despot when he inherited the throne from his mother, Maria Theresa, in He refused to take the Hungarian coronation oath to avoid being constrained by Hungary's constitution. In , Joseph granted Protestants and Orthodox Christians full civil rights and Jews freedom of worship.
He decreed that German replace Latin as the empire's official language and granted the peasants the freedom to leave their holdings, to marry, and to place their children in trades. Joseph's reforms outraged Hungary's nobles and clergy, and the country's peasants grew dissatisfied with taxes, conscription, and requisitions of supplies. Hungarians perceived Joseph's language reform as German cultural hegemony. Hungarian lesser nobles sparked a renaissance of the Magyar language and culture, and a cult of national dance and costume flourished.
The lesser nobles questioned the loyalty of the magnates, of whom less than half were ethnic Magyars, and even those had become French- and German-speaking courtiers. The Magyar national reawakening subsequently triggered national revivals among the Slovak, Romanian, Serbian, and Croatian minorities within Hungary and Transylvania, who felt threatened by both German and Magyar cultural hegemony.
These national revivals later blossomed into the nationalist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that contributed to the empire's ultimate collapse. Late in his reign, Joseph led a costly, ill-fated campaign against the Turks that weakened his empire. On January 28, , three weeks before his death, the emperor issued a decree canceling all of his reforms except the Patent of Toleration, peasant reforms, and abolition of the religious orders. Joseph's successor, Leopold II , re-introduced the bureaucratic technicality which viewed Hungary as a separate country under a Habsburg king, similar to Croatia and Transylvania.
In , the Diet passed Law X, which stressed Hungary's status as an independent kingdom ruled only by a king legally crowned according to Hungarian laws. Law X later became the basis for demands by Hungarian reformers for statehood in the period from to New laws again required approval of both the Habsburg king and the Diet, and Latin was restored as the official language. The peasant reforms remained in effect, however, and Protestants remained equal before the law.
Leopold died in March just as the French Revolution , which started in , was about to degenerate into the Reign of Terror and send shock waves through the royal houses of Europe. Enlightened absolutism ended in Hungary under Leopold's successor, Francis I , who developed an almost abnormal aversion to change after his reign began in In , the Hungarian police arrested an abbot and several of the country's leading thinkers for plotting a Jacobin kind of revolution to install a radical democratic, egalitarian political system in Hungary. Thereafter, Francis resolved to extinguish any spark of reform that might ignite revolution.
Napoleon 's final defeat at Waterloo in brought recession. Grain prices collapsed as demand dropped, and debt forced many lesser nobles to work to earn a livelihood, and their sons entered education institutions to train for civil service or professional careers. Francis rarely called the Diet into session usually only to request men and supplies for war without hearing complaints. Economic hardship brought the lesser nobles' discontent to a head by , when Francis finally convoked the Diet after a year hiatus.
Grievances were voiced, and open calls for reform were made, including demands for less royal interference in the nobles' affairs and for wider use of the Hungarian language. Szechenyi called for an economic revolution and argued that only the magnates were capable of implementing reforms.
Szechenyi favored a strong link with the Habsburg Empire and called for abolition of entail and serfdom, taxation of landowners, financing of development with foreign capital, establishment of a national bank, and introduction of wage labor. He inspired the construction of the suspension bridge linking Buda and Pest.
Hungary issues new Commemorative Coin
Szechenyi's reform initiatives ultimately failed because they were targeted at the magnates, who were not inclined to support change, and because the pace of his program was too slow to attract disgruntled lesser nobles. The most popular of Hungary's great reform leaders, Lajos Kossuth , addressed passionate calls for change to the lesser nobles.
Kossuth was the son of a landless, lesser nobleman of Protestant background. He practiced law with his father before moving to Pest. There he published commentaries on the Diet's activities, which made him popular with young, reform-minded people. Kossuth was imprisoned in for treason. After his release in , he gained quick notoriety as the editor of a liberal party newspaper. Kossuth argued that only political and economic separation from Austria would improve Hungary's plight.
He called for broader parliamentary democracy, industrialization, general taxation, economic expansion through exports, and abolition of privileges and serfdom. But Kossuth was also a Magyar chauvinist whose rhetoric provoked the strong resentment of Hungary's minority ethnic groups. Kossuth gained support among liberal lesser nobles, who constituted an opposition minority in the Diet.
They sought reforms with increasing success after Francis's death in and the succession of Ferdinand V In a law was enacted making Hungarian the country's official language over the strong objections of the Croats, Slovaks, Serbs, and Romanians. A revolutionary wave which erupted in Sicily on January 12, , and then, further triggered by the French Revolution of , which started on February 23, soon spread to the rest of Europe. On March 15, , mass demonstrations in Pest and Buda enabled Hungarian reformists to push through a list of 12 demands. Faced with revolution both at home and in Vienna , Austria first had to accept Hungarian demands.
After the Austrian revolution was suppressed, and Franz Joseph replaced his mentally retarded uncle Ferdinand I as emperor, the Austrian army tried to restore Habsburg rule in Hungary too, but was unsuccessful against the Magyars, who also had to fight against Serbs, Croats, Slovaks, Romanians and Transylvanian Germans living in Hungary, who were unwilling to accept Hungarian dominance.
Julius Freiherr von Haynau, the leader of the Austrian army, became governor of Hungary for a few months. Lajos Kossuth escaped into exile. Archduke Albrecht von Habsburg was appointed governor, while the whole country remained in a state of "passive resistance. The emperor revoked Hungary's constitution and assumed absolute control. Franz Joseph divided the country into four territories: German became the language of administration and higher education.
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The non-Magyar minorities of Hungary received little for their support of Austria during the turmoil. The first crack in Franz Joseph's neo-absolutist rule developed in , when the forces of Sardinia and France defeated Austria at Solferno, which convinced Franz Joseph that opposition to his government was too strong to be managed by decree from Vienna. Gradually, Austria and Hungary moved toward a compromise.
The empire was reorganized into two entities: The two realms were governed separately with a common ruler and common external, military, and economic policies. The autonomy of the kingdom was partly achieved. There was also a Hungarian-Croatian Compromise of , as Croatia , an already highly autonomous part of the kingdom, broadened its constitutional freedom. His government strongly favored the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of and followed a laissez-faire economic policy. Is it a good teaching tool?
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He called for competitive works to the words of the Proclamation in and to the words of the Anthem in Both events excited nation-wide interest and they were a great success. Athough neither of these two works renders itself easily to singing, both songs became widely known and popular in no time. The winning piece of the Anthem competition composed by Ferenc Erkel, conductor of the National Theatre, was deemed to success as early as the moment of its birth.
This prophecy soon came true.