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The Most Important events in the History of Hungary by Simon Márton 6. a

A kezdetektől a XIX. század derekáig

From the beginning to the middle of the XIX. century

A legfontosabb történelmi események Magyarországon Simon Márton gyűjtése 6. a


Early history

After the Western Roman Empire collapsed under the stress of the migration of Germanic tribes and Carpian pressure, the Migration Period continued bringing many invaders to Europe. Among the first to arrive were the Huns, who built up a powerful empire under Attila in 435 CE. Attila the Hun in the past centuries was regarded as an ancestral ruler of the Hungarians, but this is considered to be erroneous today. It is believed that the origin of the name "Hungary" does not come from the Central Asian nomadic invaders called the Huns, but rather originated from 7th century, when Magyar tribes were part of a Bulgar alliance called OnOgour, which in Bulgar Turkic meant "(the) Ten Arrows". Hungarians led by Ă rpĂĄd settled in the Carpathian Basin starting in 896. Much of early Hungarian history is recorded in the following Hungarian chronicles, retelling the early legends and history of the Huns, Magyars and the Kingdom of Hungary.


Stephen I of Hungary Saint Stephen I (Hungarian: I. (Szent) István) (Latin: Sanctus Stephanus) (Esztergom, 967/969/975 – 15 August 1038, Esztergom-Szentkirály or Székesfehérvár, Hungary) was Grand Prince of the Hungarians (997–1000) and the first King of Hungary (1000–1038). He greatly expanded Hungarian control over the Carpathian Basin during his lifetime, broadly established Christianity in the region, and he is generally considered to be the founder of the Kingdom of Hungary. Pope Gregory VII canonized Stephen I, together with his son, Saint Emeric of Hungary and Bishop Gerard of Csanád, on 20 August 1083, becoming one of the most popular saints in Hungary, and his birthday is celebrated as a state holiday commemorating the foundation of the nation.

Statue of King Stephen I of Hungary and Queen Giselle in Veszprém (Hungary)


Mongol attacks

John Hunyadi

One of the greatest In 1241–1242, Hungary received a major generals and a later blow in the form of the Mongol invasion: regent of Hungary after the defeat of the Hungarian army in the Battle of Mohi, Béla IV of Hungary fled, and a large part (historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's two million population at that time were victims of the Mongol invasion.) of the population died (leading later to the invitation of settlers largely from Germany) in the ensuing destruction (Tatárjárás).

From a small noble family in Transylvania, János Hunyadi grew to become one of the country's most powerful lords thanks to his outstanding capabilities as a commander. In 1446, the parliament elected the great general János Hunyadi governor (1446–1453), then regent (1453–1456). He was a successful crusader against the Ottoman Turks, one of his greatest victories being the Siege of Belgrade in 1456. Hunyadi defended the city against the onslaught of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. During the siege, Pope Callixtus III ordered the bells of every European church to be rung every day at noon, as a call for believers to pray for the defenders of the city.


The last strong king was the Renaissance king Matthias Corvinus (king 1458–1490). Matthias was the son of John Hunyadi.

In the following slides two stories of Matthias can be read.

A true Renaissance prince, a successful military leader and administrator, an outstanding linguist, a learned astrologer, and an enlightened patron of the arts and learning. Although Matthias regularly convened the Diet and expanded the lesser nobles' powers in the counties, he exercised absolute rule over Hungary by means of a huge secular bureaucracy. He set out to build a great empire, expanding southward and northwest, while he also implemented internal reforms. The serfs and common people considered him a just ruler because he protected them from excessive demands from and other abuses by the magnates. Like his father, Matthias desired to strengthen the Kingdom of Hungary to the point where it became the foremost regional power and overlord, strong enough to push back the Ottomans; to that end he deemed it necessary to conquer much of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1479, under the leadership of Pål Kinizsi, the Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and Wallachian troops at the Battle of Breadfield. Abroad he defeated the Polish and German imperial armies of Frederick at Breslau (Wrocław). Hungarian power was confirmed by the Treaty of Olomouc (1479). His mercenary standing army, the Black Army of Hungary was an unusually large army for its time, and it conquered parts of Austria, Vienna (1485) and parts of Bohemia. The king died without a legal successor. His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the Vatican Library which mainly contained Bibles and religious material.


Ottoman wars 1526–1699 By the early 16th century, the Ottoman Empire had become the second most populous state in the world; this enabled the creation of the largest armies of the era. After some 150 years of wars with the Hungarians and other states, the Ottomans conquered parts of Hungary, and continued their expansion until 1556. The Ottomans gained a decisive victory over the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohács in 1526. The next decades were characterised by political chaos; the divided Hungarian nobility elected two kings simultaneously, 'Szapolyai János' (1526–1540) and Ferdinand Habsburg (1527–1540), whose fight for the throne further weakened the kingdom. With the conquest of Buda in 1541 by the Turks, Hungary was divided into three parts. Even with a decisive 1552 victory over the Ottomans at the Siege of Eger, which raised the hopes of the Hungarians, the country remained divided until the end of the 17th century.

“Women of Eger"


The events leading to the revolution

István Széchenyi

Lajos Kossuth

Count István Széchenyi, one of the most prominent statesmen of the country recognized the urgent need of modernization and his message got through. The Hungarian Parliament was reconvened in 1825 to handle financial needs. A liberal party emerged in the Diet. The party focused on providing for the peasantry. Lajos Kossuth- famous journalist at the time emerged as leader of the lower gentry in the Parliament. Habsburg monarchs tried to preclude the industrialisation of the country. A remarkable upswing started as the nation concentrated its forces on modernisation even though the Habsburg monarchs obstructed all important liberal laws about the human civil and political rights and economic reforms. Many reformers (like Lajos Kossuth, Mihály Táncsics) were imprisoned by the authorities.


The Revolution The Hungarian cockade used in 1848 The Revolution started on March 15, 1848, with bloodless events in Pest and Buda (mass demonstrations forcing the imperial governor to accept all demands), followed by various insurrections throughout the kingdom, which enabled Hungarian reformists to declare Hungary's new government and the first Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány of Hungary.

Artist Mihály Zichy’s painting of Sándor Petőfi reciting the Nemzeti dal to a crowd on March 15, 1848


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