Dózsa Rebellion of 1514

Dózsa Rebellion of 1514


an antifeudal uprising of the Hungarian peasantry.

The Dózsa rebellion was caused by the intensification of feudal reaction and an increasingly oppressive serfdom. Pope Leo X’s bull (dated April 16) calling for a crusade against the Turks provided the occasion for the organization and rallying of the peasant masses. The petty nobleman Gyorgy Dózsa was appointed the leader of the crusaders, who were drawn mainly from among the peasants and the urban poor. Thousands of militiamen armed with scythes, flails, and cudgels gathered at the Rakos field near Pest. The crusaders’ militia gradually began turning into a revolutionary army, and crusaders’ detachments gathered in different provinces of the Kingdom of Hungary. Under the pressure of the nobles, who wanted to avert a peasant war, the recruitment of crusaders was discontinued on May 23. King Ulászló II ordered the crusaders to move against the Turks. But Dózsa appealed to the peasants and to all oppressed people for a ruthless struggle against the Hungarian nobles. In June the peasant army crossed the Tisza and approached Temesvár (present-day Timisoara), where it fought a battle against the armies of the feudal lords, led by I. Bathory and J. Zapolya. Dózsa’s main forces, about 33,000 strong, were defeated on July 15. Dózsa was wounded, taken prisoner, and executed on July 20, 1514. By the fall of 1514 the feudal lords had suppressed the uprising in centers throughout the country. The nobles exterminated about 50,000 people who fought in the rebellion. The state assembly, meeting in Pest in October and November 1514, decided to tie the peasants forever to the land.


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Márki, S.Dosa György és forradalma, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1883-86.