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Hung. Magyarország, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,007,000), 35,919 sq mi (93,030 sq km), central Europe. Hungary borders on Slovakia in the north, on Ukraine in the northeast, on Romania in the east, on Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia in the south, and on Austria in the west. The Danube River forms the Slovak-Hungarian border from a point near Bratislava to another near EsztergomEsztergom
, Ger. Gran, city (1991 est. pop. 29,751), N Hungary, on the Danube River and the border of Slovakia. It is a county administrative center, a river port, and a railroad terminus.
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, then turns sharply south and bisects the country. BudapestBudapest
, city (1990 pop. 2,016,100), capital of Hungary, N central Hungary, on both banks of the Danube. The largest city of Hungary and its industrial, cultural, and transportation center, Budapest has varied manufactures, notably textiles, instruments, and electronics.
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 is Hungary's capital and its largest city.

Land and People

To the east of the Danube, the Great Hungarian Plain (Hung. Alföld) extends beyond the Hungarian boundaries to the Carpathians and the Transylvanian Alps. The Dráva and Tisza rivers are also important waterways. To the west of the Danube is the Little Alföld and the Transdanubian region, which are separated by the Bakony and Vértes mts. The Mátra Mts. in the north reach a height of 3,330 ft (1,015 m) at Kékes, the highest peak in Hungary. Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Hungary and in central Europe, is a leading resort area. Hungary has cold winters and hot summers; springs and autumns are short.

Situated on a plain near the geographic center of Europe, Hungary has been the meeting place and battleground of many peoples, and its heterogeneous population was often the cause of social upheaval before 1919. However, as a result of the separation of non-Hungarian territories after World War I, the great slaughter of the Jews in World War II, and the exchange after the war of Slavic and Romanian minorities for their Magyar counterparts, Hungary is today essentially homogeneous. The Magyars constitute more than 90% of the population. There are small minorities of Romani (Gypsies), Germans, Serbs, and other groups. Hungarian is spoken by most people. Over half of the people are Roman Catholic, but there is a large Calvinist minority. Hungary still has the largest Jewish population in Central and Eastern Europe (100,000–120,000).


Hungary has long been an agricultural country, but since World War II it has become heavily industrialized. Through the 1980s, industry was largely nationally owned and two thirds of agricultural output came from collective and state farms. Hungary's economy underwent difficult readjustment in the 1990s, as it moved from producing goods chiefly for export to the USSR to developing a market-based economy and finding new trading partners. By the end of 1995, almost all retail trade had been privatized and less than half of all economic output originated from state-owned enterprises. Economic reforms also brought high unemployment and rising inflation, but today Hungary's economy is one of the most prosperous in Eastern Europe.

About half of Hungary's land is arable. With highly diversified crop and livestock production, the country is self-sufficient in food. Wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, potatoes, sugar beets, and grapes are the major crops. Pigs, cattle, sheep, and poultry are raised.

Hungary has been an important producer of bauxite, and deposits of coal, copper, natural gas, oil, and uranium have been exploited as well. Mining was curtailed in the 1990s as the country moved to a market economy and found it was not cost-effective to exploit the country's minerals at world prices. There has also been a decline in gas and oil production due to the exhaustion of reserves. However, mining and metallurgy are still important, as is food processing and the manufacture of construction materials, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel, and motor vehicles. About one third of Hungarian industry is located in or near Budapest. Other industrial centers are GyőrGyőr
, Ger. Raab (räb), city (1991 est. pop. 129,598), NW Hungary, near the Slovakian border and at the confluence of the Rába and Danube rivers.
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, MiskolcMiskolc
, city (1991 est. pop 194,000), NE Hungary, on the Sajó River. Hungary's second largest city and a major industrial center, Miskolc has large iron and steel mills, lime and cement works, and a large food processing plant.
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, PécsPécs
, Ger. Fünfkirchen, city (1991 est. pop. 170,000), SW Hungary, near the Croatian border. A county administrative seat and a railroad hub, Pécs is the industrial center of Hungary's chief coking coal–mining region.
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, DebrecenDebrecen
, city (1991 est. pop. 213,927), E Hungary, the nation's third largest city and the economic and cultural center of the Great Plain (Alföld) region E of the Tisza River.
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, SzegedSzeged
, city (1991 est. pop. 176,100), S Hungary, at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers. It is a river port, a railroad hub, and an agricultural center. Famous for its paprika and salami, its chief products are chemicals, glass, and textiles.
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, and Dunapentele. The tourism industry is also an important source of foreign capital. Machinery, equipment, and food products are the most important exports; machinery and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, and electricity are imported. Germany is the country's largest trading partner by far, followed by Austria, Italy, and France.


Hungary is governed under the constitution adopted in 2011. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by the legislature for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is nominated by the president and elected by the legislature. The unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, has 386 members who are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. Administratively the country is divided into 19 counties, 23 urban counties, and the capital district.


Growth of a State

The Roman provinces of Pannonia and Dacia, conquered under Tiberius and Trajan (1st cent. A.D.), embraced part of what was to become Hungary. The HunsHuns,
nomadic and pastoral people of unknown ethnological affinities who appeared in Europe in the 4th cent. A.D., and built up an empire there. They were organized in a predominantly military manner.
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 and later the OstrogothsOstrogoths
(East Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of the Germans. According to their own unproven tradition, the ancestors of the Goths were the Gotar of S Sweden. By the 3d cent. A.D., the Goths settled in the region N of the Black Sea.
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 and the AvarsAvars
, mounted nomad people who in the 4th and 5th cent. dominated the steppes of central Asia. Dislodged by stronger tribes, the Avars pushed west, increasing their formidable army by incorporating conquered peoples into it. Reaching their greatest power in the late 6th cent.
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 settled there for brief periods. In the late 9th cent. the MagyarsMagyars
, the dominant people of Hungary, but also living in Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Serbia. Although in the past it was thought a common origin existed among the Magyars, the Huns, the Mongols, and the Turks, modern research has disproved this claim.
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, a Finno-Ugric people from beyond the Urals, conquered all or most of Hungary and Transylvania. The semilegendary leader, ArpadArpad
, c.840–907?, chief of the Magyars. He led his people into Hungary c.895. The leaders of the Magyars and the first dynasty of Hungarian kings (St. Stephen I to Andrew III) were of the house of Arpad (see Hungary).
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, founded their first dynasty. The Magyars apparently merged with the earlier settlers, but they also continued to press westward until defeated by King (later Holy Roman Emperor) Otto I, at the LechfeldLechfeld
, plain near Augsburg, S Germany, drained by the Lech River. There in 955, King (later Emperor) Otto I defeated the Magyars and stopped their expansion into central Europe.
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Halted in its expansion, the Hungarian state began to solidify. Its first king, St. StephenStephen, Saint,
or Stephen I,
975–1038, duke (997–1001) and first king (1001–38) of Hungary, called the Apostle of Hungary. The Hungarian state may be said to date from his reign.
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 (reigned 1001–38), completed the Christianization of the Magyars and built the authority of his crown—which has remained the symbol of national existence—on the strength of the Roman Catholic Church. Under Bela III (reigned 1172–1196), Hungary came into close contact with Western European, particularly French, culture. Through the favor of succeeding kings, a few very powerful nobles—the magnates—won ever-widening privileges at the expense of the lesser nobles, the peasants, and the towns. In 1222 the lesser nobles forced the extravagant Andrew IIAndrew II,
d. 1235, king of Hungary (1205–35), son of Bela III. He continued his predecessors' policy of transferring crown lands to the magnates, and the lesser nobles forced him to issue the Golden Bull (1222), which served as a charter of feudal privilege.
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 to grant the Golden Bull (the "Magna Carta of Hungary"), which limited the king's power to alienate his authority to the magnates and established the beginnings of a parliament.

Under Andrew's son, Bela IVBela IV
, 1206–70, king of Hungary (1235–70), son and successor of Andrew II. He tried to curtail the power of the magnates and set out to recover the crownlands his father had given to supporters.
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, the kingdom barely escaped annihilation: Mongol invaders, defeating Bela at Muhi (1241), occupied the country for a year, and Ottocar IIOttocar II
or Přemysl Ottocar II,
c.1230–1278, king of Bohemia (1253–78), son and successor of Wenceslaus I. Ottocar shrewdly exploited the disorders of the great interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire to build an empire reaching from Bohemia to the
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 of Bohemia also defeated Bela, who was further threatened by his own rebellious son Stephen VStephen V,
1239–72, king of Hungary (1270–72), son and successor of Bela IV. As a child he was named duke of Transylvania, and in 1259 he was made duke of Styria.
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. Under Stephen's son, Ladislaus IVLadislaus IV,
1262–90, king of Hungary (1272–90), son and successor of Stephen V. Ladislaus became unpopular by favoring the Cumans, from whom he was descended through his mother.
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, Hungary fell into anarchy, and when the royal line of Arpad died out (1301) with Andrew III, the magnates seized the opportunity to increase their authority.

In 1308, Charles Robert of Anjou was elected king of Hungary as Charles ICharles I,
1288–1342, king of Hungary (1308–42), founder of the Angevin dynasty in Hungary; grandson of Charles II of Naples, who had married a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary.
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, the first of the AngevinAngevin
[Fr.,=of Anjou], name of two medieval dynasties originating in France. The first ruled over parts of France and over Jerusalem and England; the second ruled over parts of France and over Naples, Hungary, and Poland, with a claim to Jerusalem.
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 line. His autocratic rule checked the magnates somewhat and furthered the growth of the towns. Under his son, Louis ILouis I
or Louis the Great,
1326–82, king of Hungary (1342–82) and of Poland (1370–82). He succeeded his father, Charles I, in Hungary, and his uncle, Casimir III, in Poland.
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 (Louis the Great), Hungary reached its greatest territorial extension, with power extending into Dalmatia, the Balkans, and Poland.

Foreign Domination

After the death of Louis I, a series of foreign rulers succeeded: SigismundSigismund
, 1368–1437, Holy Roman emperor (1433–37), German king (1410–37), king of Hungary (1387–1437) and of Bohemia (1419–37), elector of Brandenburg (1376–1415), son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
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 (later Holy Roman Emperor), son-in-law of Louis; Albert IIAlbert II,
1397–1439, Holy Roman Emperor, king of Hungary and Bohemia (1438–39), duke of Austria (1404–38). He was the son-in-law of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, whom he aided against the Hussites of Bohemia.
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 of Austria, son-in-law of Sigismund; and Ladislaus IIILadislaus III,
1424–44, king of Poland (1434–44) and, as Uladislaus I, king of Hungary (1440–44), son of Ladislaus II. He led two crusades against the Ottomans; the first (1443) was highly successful, but the second ended with his defeat and death in the battle
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 of Poland (Uladislaus I of Hungary). During their reigns the Turks began to advance through the Balkans, defeating the Hungarians and their allies at Kosovo FieldKosovo Field
, Serbian Kosovo Polje [field of the black birds], WSW of Priština, Kosovo, site of a battle in which the Turks under Sultan Murad I defeated Serbia and its Bosnian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian, and other allies in 1389.
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 (1389), NikopolNikopol
, town (1993 pop. 4,897), N Bulgaria, a port on the Danube River bordering Romania. Farming, viticulture, and fishing are the chief occupations. Founded in 629 by Byzantine emperor Heraclius, Nikopol (then Nicopolis) became a flourishing trade and cultural center of the
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 (1396), and VarnaVarna
, city (1993 pop. 307,200), E Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. It is a major port and an industrial center. Manufactures include ships and boats, chemicals, electrical equipment, and textiles. Varna is also an international summer resort.
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 (1444). John HunyadiHunyadi, John
, Hung. Hunyadi János, c.1385–1456, Hungarian national hero, leader of the resistance against the Ottomans. He was chosen (1441) voivode [governor] of Transylvania under King Uladislaus I (Ladislaus III of Poland) and won numerous victories over
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, acting after 1444 as regent for Albert II's son, Ladislaus VLadislaus V
or Ladislaus Posthumus,
1440–57, king of Hungary (1444–57) and, as Ladislaus I, king of Bohemia (1453–57). Ladislaus, duke of Austria by birth as the posthumous son of Albert of Hapsburg, duke of Austria and German king (see Albert II),
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, gave Hungary a brief respite through his victory at Belgrade (1456).

The reign of Hunyadi's son, Matthias CorvinusMatthias Corvinus
, 1443?–1490, king of Hungary (1458–90) and Bohemia (1478–90), second son of John Hunyadi. He was elected king of Hungary on the death of Ladislaus V. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III sought to contest the election but recognized him in 1462.
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, elected king in 1458, was a glorious period in Hungarian history. Matthias maintained a splendid court at Buda, kept the magnates subject to royal authority, and improved the central administration. But under his successors Uladislaus IIUladislaus II
, Hung. Ulászló II, c.1456–1516, king of Hungary (1490–1516) and, as Ladislaus II, king of Bohemia (1471–1516); son of Casimir IV of Poland.
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 and Louis IILouis II,
1506–26, king of Hungary and Bohemia (1516–26), son and successor of Uladislaus II. He was the last of the Jagiello dynasty in the two kingdoms. In the face of intensified attacks by Sultan Sulayman I, Louis hastily sought (1526) to unite Hungary and
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, the nobles regained their power. Transylvania became virtually independent under the Zapolya family. The peasants, rising in revolt, were crushed (1514) by John Zapolya. Louis II was defeated and killed by the Turks under Sulayman the Magnificent in the battle of MohácsMohács
, town (1991 est. pop. 20,325), S Hungary, on the Danube. It is an important river port and railroad terminus and has metallurgical and timber industries. Mohács is best known for the crushing defeat (Aug.
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 in 1526. The date is commonly taken to mark the beginning of Ottoman domination over Hungary. Ferdinand of Austria (later Emperor Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1503–64, Holy Roman emperor (1558–64), king of Bohemia (1526–64) and of Hungary (1526–64), younger brother of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
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), as brother-in-law of Louis II, claimed the Hungarian throne and was elected king by a faction of nobles, while another faction chose Zapolya as John IJohn I
(John Zapolya) , 1487–1540, king of Hungary (1526–40), voivode [governor] of Transylvania (1511–26). He was born John Zapolya, the son of Stephen Zápolya.
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In the long wars that followed, Hungary was split into three parts: the western section, where Ferdinand and his successor, Rudolf IIRudolf II,
1552–1612, Holy Roman emperor (1576–1612), king of Bohemia (1575–1611) and of Hungary (1572–1608), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.
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, maintained a precarious rule, challenged by such Hungarian leaders as Stephen BocskayBocskay, Stephen
, 1557–1606, Hungarian noble, voivode [governor] (1604–6) and prince (1605–6) of Transylvania. Seeking to secure the independence of Transylvania, he supported his nephew, Prince Sigismund Báthory of Transylvania, first against the
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 and Gabriel BethlenBethlen, Gabriel
, 1580–1629, prince of Transylvania (1613–29). He was chief adviser of Stephen Bocskay and was elected prince after the assassination of Gabriel Báthory.
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; the central plains, which were completely under Turkish domination; and Transylvania, ruled by noble families (see BáthoryBáthory
, Pol. Batory, Hungarian noble family. Stephen Báthory, 1477–1534, a loyal adherent of John I of Hungary (John Zápolya), was made (1529) voivode [governor] of Transylvania.
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 and RákóczyRákóczy
, noble Hungarian family that played an important role in the history of Transylvania and Hungary in the 17th and 18th cent. Sigismund Rákóczy, 1544–1608, was elected (1607) prince of Transylvania to succeed Stephen Bocskay.
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The Protestant Reformation, supported by the nobles and well-established in Transylvania, nearly succeeded throughout Hungary. Cardinal PázmányPázmány, Peter
, 1570–1637, Hungarian churchman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Of a Calvinist family, he was converted to Catholicism in 1583, entered the Society of Jesus in 1587, and rose to become cardinal and prince primate of Hungary.
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 was a leader of the Counter Reformation in Hungary. In 1557 religious freedom was proclaimed by the diet of Transylvania, and the principle of toleration was generally maintained throughout the following centuries.

Hungarian opposition to Austrian domination included such extreme efforts as the assistance ThökölyThököly, Imre
, 1656–1705, Hungarian rebel, of a noble family of N Hungary. His father, Stephen Thököly, took an important part in the unsuccessful conspiracy of Francis I Rákóczy and Peter Zrinyi against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and
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 gave to the Turks during the siege of Vienna (1683). Emperor Leopold ILeopold I,
1640–1705, Holy Roman emperor (1658–1705), king of Bohemia (1656–1705) and of Hungary (1655–1705), second son and successor of Ferdinand III.
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, however, through his able generals Prince Eugene of SavoyEugene of Savoy,
1663–1736, prince of the house of Savoy, general in the service of the Holy Roman Empire. Born in Paris, he was the son of Eugène, comte de Soissons of the line of Savoy-Carignano, and Olympe Mancini, niece of Cardinal Mazarin.
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 and Duke Charles VCharles V
(Charles Leopold), 1643–90, duke of Lorraine; nephew of Duke Charles IV. Deprived of the rights of succession to the duchy, he was forced to leave France and entered the service of the Holy Roman emperor.
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 of Lorraine, soon regained his lost ground. Budapest was liberated from the Turks in 1686. In 1687, Hungarian nobles recognized the Hapsburg claim to the Hungarian throne. By the Peace of Kalowitz (1699), Turkey ceded to Austria most of Hungary proper and Transylvania. Transylvania continued to fight the Hapsburgs, but in 1711, with the defeat of Francis II Rákóczy (see under RákóczyRákóczy
, noble Hungarian family that played an important role in the history of Transylvania and Hungary in the 17th and 18th cent. Sigismund Rákóczy, 1544–1608, was elected (1607) prince of Transylvania to succeed Stephen Bocskay.
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, family), Austrian control was definitely established. In 1718 the Austrians took the BanatBanat
, region extending across W Romania, NE Serbia, and S Hungary. The term banat originally referred to any of several frontier provinces of Hungary and Croatia that were ruled by bans (governors).
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 from Turkey.

Hungary and Austria

The Austrians brought in Germans and Slavs to settle the newly freed territory, destroying Hungary's ethnic homogeneity. Hapsburg rule was uneasy. The Hungarians were loyal to Maria TheresaMaria Theresa
, 1717–80, Austrian archduchess, queen of Bohemia and Hungary (1740–80), consort of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and dowager empress after the accession (1765) of her son, Joseph II.
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 in her wars, but many of the unpopular centralizing reforms of Joseph IIJoseph II,
1741–90, Holy Roman emperor (1765–90), king of Bohemia and Hungary (1780–90), son of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, whom he succeeded. He was the first emperor of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine (see Hapsburg).
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, who had wanted to make German the sole language of administration and to abolish the Hungarian counties, had to be withdrawn.

In the second quarter of the 19th cent. a movement that combined Hungarian nationalism with constitutional liberalism gained strength. Among its leaders were Count SzechenyiSzechenyi, Count Stephen
, Hung. Széchenyi István, 1791–1860, Hungarian politician. Influenced by his studies in England, he championed the modernization of Hungarian economic, social, and intellectual life and was the leader of the moderate liberal
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, Louis KossuthKossuth, Louis
, Hung. Kossuth Lajos, 1802–94, Hungarian revolutionary hero. Born of a Protestant family and a lawyer by training, he entered politics as a member of the diet and soon won a large following.
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, Baron EötvösEötvös, József, Baron
, 1813–71, Hungarian writer and statesman. A vigorous reformer and a Christian Liberal, he was minister of public instruction and religious affairs in 1848 and again in 1867. His novel The Village Notary (1844–46, tr.
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, Sándor PetőfiPetőfi, Sándor
, 1823–49, Hungarian poet and patriot. A failure as an actor, Petőfi became the author of exquisite lyrics. He composed the national poem "Talpra Magyar" (1848), and several epics, including Janos Vitez (1845, tr. 1866).
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, and Francis DeakDeak, Francis,
Hung. Deák Ferenc , 1803–76, Hungarian politician. A landed proprietor and lawyer, he entered the Hungarian diet in 1833 and became minister of justice after the revolution of Mar., 1848.
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. Inspired by the French Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian diet passed the March Laws (1848), which established a liberal constitutional monarchy for Hungary under the Hapsburgs. But the reforms did not deal with the national minorities problem. Several minority groups revolted, and, after Francis JosephFrancis Joseph
or Franz Joseph,
1830–1916, emperor of Austria (1848–1916), king of Hungary (1867–1916), nephew of Ferdinand, who abdicated in his favor.
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 replaced Ferdinand VII as emperor, the Austrians waged war against Hungary (Dec., 1848).

In Apr., 1849, Kossuth declared Hungary an independent republic. Russian troops came to the aid of the emperor, and the republic collapsed. The Hungarian surrender at Vilagos (Aug., 1849) was followed by ruthless reprisals. But after its defeat in the Austro-Prussian War (1866), Austria was obliged to compromise with Magyar national aspirations. The Ausgleich of 1867 (largely the work of Francis Deak) set up the Austro-Hungarian MonarchyAustro-Hungarian Monarchy
or Dual Monarchy,
the Hapsburg empire from 1867 until its fall in 1918. The Nature of Austria-Hungary

The reorganization of Austria and Hungary was made possible by the Ausgleich
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, in which Austria and Hungary were nearly equal partners. Emperor Francis Joseph was crowned (1867) king of Hungary, which at that time also included Transylvania, Slovakia, Ruthenia, Croatia and Slovenia, and the Banat. The minorities problem persisted, the Serbs, Croats, and Romanians being particularly restive under Hungarian rule.

During this period industrialization began in Hungary, while the condition of the peasantry deteriorated to the profit of landowners. By a law of 1874 only about 6% of the population could vote. Until World War I, when republican and socialist agitation began to threaten the established order, Hungary was one of the most aristocratic countries in Europe. As the military position of Austria-Hungary in World War I deteriorated, the situation in Hungary grew more unstable. Hungarian nationalists wanted independence and withdrawal from the war; the political left was inspired by the 1917 revolutions in Russia; and the minorities were receptive to the Allies' promises of self-determination.

In Oct., 1918, Emperor Charles ICharles I,
1887–1922, last emperor of Austria and, as Charles IV, king of Hungary (1916–18); son of Archduke Otto and grandnephew and successor of Emperor Francis Joseph. He married Zita of Bourbon-Parma.
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 (King of Hungary as Charles IV) appointed Count Michael KárolyiKárolyi, Count Michael,
1875–1955, Hungarian politician, of an ancient noble family. A liberal, he organized (1918) a national council for Hungary after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and was made premier.
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 premier. Károlyi advocated independence and peace and was prepared to negotiate with the minorities. His cabinet included socialists and radicals. In November the emperor abdicated, and the Dual Monarchy collapsed.


Károlyi proclaimed Hungary an independent republic. However, the minorities would not deal with him, and the Allies forced upon him very unfavorable armistice terms. The government resigned, and the Communists under Béla KunKun, Béla
, 1886–1937, Hungarian Communist. A prisoner of war in Russia after 1915, he embraced Bolshevism. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917 he was sent to Hungary as a propagandist.
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 seized power (Mar., 1919). The subsequent Red terror was followed by a Romanian invasion and the defeat (July, 1919) of Kun's forces. After the Romanians withdrew, Admiral Horthy de NagybanyaHorthy de Nagybanya, Nicholas
, Hung. Nagybányai Horthy Miklós, 1868–1957, Hungarian admiral and regent. He commanded the Austro-Hungarian fleet in World War I.
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 established a government and in 1920 was made regent, since there was no king. Reactionaries, known as White terrorists, conducted a brutal campaign of terror against the Communists and anyone associated with Károlyi or Kun.

The Treaty of Trianon (see Trianon, Treaty ofTrianon, Treaty of,
1920, agreement following World War I in which the Allies disposed of Hungarian territories. The internal chaos in Hungary that followed the dissolution (1918) of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy delayed the signing of a peace treaty with the Allies of World War
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), signed in 1920, reduced the size and population of Hungary by about two thirds, depriving Hungary of valuable natural resources and removing virtually all non-Magyar areas, although Budapest retained a large German-speaking population. The next twenty-five years saw continual attempts by the Magyar government to recover the lost territories. Early endeavors were frustrated by the Little EntenteLittle Entente
, loose alliance formed in 1920–21 by Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Its specific purposes were the containment of Hungarian revisionism (of the terms of the World War I peace treaty) and the prevention of a restoration of the Hapsburgs.
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 and France, and Hungary turned to a friendship with Fascist Italy and, ultimately, to an alliance (1941) with Nazi Germany. The authoritarian domestic policies of the premiers Stephen BethlenBethlen, Count Stephen,
1874–1947?, Hungarian premier (1921–31). A Transylvanian, he entered the Hungarian parliament in 1901, and in 1919 he was a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference.
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 and Julius GombosGombos, Julius
, Hung. Gömbös Gyula, 1886–1936, Hungarian premier and officer. He was minister of war under the premiership of Stephen Bethlen (1921–31) and of Julius Károlyi (1931–32). In 1932, Gombos became premier.
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 and their successors safeguarded the power of the upper classes, ignored the demand for meaningful land reform, and encouraged anti-Semitism.

Between 1938 and 1944, Hungary regained, with the aid of Germany and Italy, territories from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania. It declared war on the USSR (June, 1941) and on the United States (Dec., 1941). When the Hungarian government took steps to withdraw from the war and protect its Jewish population, German troops occupied the country (Mar., 1944). The Germans were driven out by Soviet forces (Oct., 1944–Apr., 1945). The Soviet campaign caused much devastation.

National elections were held in 1945 (in which the Communist party received less than one fifth of the vote), and a republican constitution was adopted in 1946. The peace treaty signed at Paris in 1947 restored the bulk of the Trianon boundaries and required Hungary to pay $300 million in reparations to the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. A new coalition regime instituted long-needed land reforms.

Communist Rule

Early in 1948 the Communist party, through its control of the ministry of the interior, arrested leading politicians, forced the resignation of Premier Ferenc Nagy, and gained full control of the state. Hungary was proclaimed a People's Republic in 1949, after parliamentary elections in which there was only a single slate of candidates. Radical purges in the national Communist party made it thoroughly subservient to that of the USSR. Industry was nationalized and land was collectivized. The trial of Cardinal MindszentyMindszenty, József
, 1892–1975, Hungarian prelate, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was bishop of Veszprém during the German occupation of Hungary in World War II.
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 aroused protest throughout the Western world.

By 1953 continuous purges of Communist leaders, constant economic difficulties, and peasant resentment of collectivization had led to profound crisis in Hungary. Premier Mátyás RákosiRákosi, Mátyás
, 1892–1971, Hungarian Communist politician. An associate of Bela Kun and later a disciple of Joseph Stalin, Rákosi was one of the chief engineers of post–World War II Communist Hungary.
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, the Stalinist in control since 1948, was removed in July, 1953, and Imre NagyNagy, Imre
, 1896–1958, Hungarian Communist leader. Nagy was a symbol of the 1956 Hungarian revolt against the Soviet Union. As an agricultural expert he held several government posts in postwar Hungary before serving (1953–55) as premier.
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 became premier. He slowed down collectivization and emphasized production of consumer goods, but he was removed in 1955, and the emphasis on farm collectivization was restored. In 1955, Hungary joined the Warsaw Treaty OrganizationWarsaw Treaty Organization
or Warsaw Pact,
alliance set up under a mutual defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland, in 1955 by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.
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 and was admitted to the United Nations.

On Oct. 23, 1956, a popular anti-Communist revolution, centered in Budapest, broke out in Hungary. A new coalition government under Imre Nagy declared Hungary neutral, withdrew it from the Warsaw Treaty, and appealed to the United Nations for aid. However, János KádárKádár, János
, 1912–89, Hungarian Communist leader. In 1932 he joined the then illegal Communist party and held high government and party posts from 1942, becoming home secretary in 1948, when the Communist party took control in Hungary.
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, one of Nagy's ministers, formed a counter-government and asked the USSR for military support. Some 500,000 Soviet troops were sent to Hungary, and in severe and brutal fighting they suppressed the revolution. Nagy and some of his ministers were abducted and were later executed, and thousands of other Hungarians, many of them teenagers, were imprisoned or executed. In addition, about 190,000 refugees fled the country. Kádár became premier and sought to win popular support for Communist rule and to improve Hungary's relations with Yugoslavia and other countries. He carried out a drastic purge (1962) of former Stalinists (including Mátyás Rákosi), accusing them of the harsh policies responsible for the 1956 revolt. Collectivization, which had been stopped after 1956, was again resumed in 1958–59.

Kádár's regime gained a degree of popularity as it brought increasing liberalization to Hungarian political, cultural, and economic life. Economic reforms introduced in 1968 brought a measure of decentralization to the economy and allowed for supply and demand factors; Hungary achieved substantial improvements in its standard of living. Hungary aided the USSR in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The departure (1971) of Cardinal Mindszenty from Budapest after 15 years of asylum in the U.S. legation and his removal (1974) from the position of primate of Hungary improved relations with the Catholic church. Due to Soviet criticism, many of the economic reforms were subverted during the mid-1970s only to be reinstituted at the end of the decade.

During the 1980s, Hungary began to increasingly turn to the West for trade and assistance in the modernization of its economic system. The economy continued to decline and the high foreign debt became unpayable. Premier Károly Grósz gave up the premiership in 1988, and in 1989 the Communist party congress voted to dissolve itself. That same year Hungary opened its borders with Austria, allowing thousands of East Germans to cross to the West.

A Democratic Hungary

By 1990, a multiparty political system with free elections had been established; legislation was passed granting new political and economic reforms such as a free press, freedom of assembly, and the right to own a private business. The new prime minister, József Antall, a member of the conservative Hungarian Democratic Forum who was elected in 1990, vowed to continue the drive toward a free-market economy. The same year Árpád GönczGöncz, Árpád
, 1922–2015, Hungarian writer, translator, and political leader, first democratically elected president of Hungary (1990–2000).
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 was elected president of Hungary.

The government embarked on the privatization of Hungary's state enterprises, and the Soviet military presence in Hungary ended in the summer of 1991. Antall died in 1993 and was succeeded as prime minister by Péter Boross. Parliamentary elections in 1994 returned the Socialists (former Communists) to power. They formed a coalition government with the liberal Free Democrats, and Socialist leader Gyula HornHorn, Gyula,
1932–2013, Hungarian political leader, b. Budapest, grad. Don Rostov College, Russia. In 1956 he joined Hungary's Communist party and helped crush the anti-Soviet uprising.
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 became prime minister. President Göncz was reelected in 1995.

In 1998, Viktor OrbánOrbán, Viktor
, 1963–, Hungarian political leader. A lawyer, Orbán was (1988) one of the founders of Fidesz, a liberal democratic youth group that under his leadership (1993–2000) became a strongly conservative and nationalist anticommunist political
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 of the conservative Fidesz–Hungarian Civic Union became prime minister as head of a coalition government. Hungary became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO), established under the North Atlantic Treaty (Apr. 4, 1949) by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States.
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 in 1999. Ference Mádl succeeded Göncz as president in Aug., 2000. A 2001 law giving ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries (but not worldwide) social and economic rights in Hungary was criticized by Romania and Slovakia as an unacceptable extraterritorial exercise of power. The following year, negotiations with Romania extended the rights to all Romanian citizens, and in 2003 the benefits under the law were reduced. The 2002 elections brought the Socialists and the allies, the Free Democrats, back into power; former finance minister Péter Medgyessy became prime minister.

In August, 2004, Medgyssey fired several cabinet members, angering the Free Democrats and leading the Socialists to replace him. The following month Ferenc GyurcsányGyurcsány, Ferenc
, 1961–, Hungarian politician and investment executive, b. Pápa. Educated as a teacher and economist, he was president (1988–89) of Hungary's Communist Youth Alliance, but following the collapse of the Communist government he became
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, the sports minister, became prime minister. Hungary became a member of the European Union earlier in the year. A Dec., 2004, referendum on granting citizenship to ethnic Hungarians in other countries passed, but it was not legally binding because less than 25% of the Hungarian electorate voted for it. László Sólyom was elected president of Hungary in June, 2005. In Apr., 2006, Gyurcsány's Socialist-led coalition won a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections, marking the first time a government had won a second consecutive term in office since the establishment of free elections in 1990.

In September, however, the prime minister suffered a setback when a recording of a May, 2006, Socialist party meeting was leaked and he was heard criticizing the government's past performance and saying that the party had lied to win the 2006 election. The tape sparked opposition demonstrations and riots, which were encouraged by the opposition Fidesz, and led to calls for the government to resign. Gyurcsány apologized for not having campaigned honestly, and the coalition was trounced in local elections in early October, but he retained the support of his parliamentary coalition and the government remained in power.

In Apr., 2008, the Alliance of Free Democrats left the governing coalition, and the Socialists formed a minority government. The 2008 global financial crisis led to a sharp drop in the value of the Hungarian currency in October, forcing Hungary to seek a €20 billion rescue package. Economic woes forced the increasingly unpopular prime minister to resign, and Gordon Bajnai, the economy minister, succeeded Gyurcsány in Apr., 2009.

In parliamentary elections a year later, Orbán and Fidesz defeated the Socialists in a landslide, winning more than two thirds of the seats, but the voting also produced a surge for the far right Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik), which appealed to anti-Semitic and anti-Romani sentiments and won nearly 17% of the vote in the first round. Fidesz subsequently passed a law enabling ethnic Hungarians in Central Europe to more easily acquire Hungarian citizenship; the legislation provoked Slovakia, which passed a bill that would generally strip Slovakian citizenship from Hungarians who did so. The government also reduced the powers of the constitutional court, ending its right to rule on budget matters; forced the nationalization of pension plans to cut the budget deficit; and enacted a media law that was denounced as stifling free expression and drew criticism from the European Union. Other measures adopted to avoid the austerities used elsewhere in the EU to combat recession-induced government deficits included higher taxes on economic sectors dominated by foreign firms.

In June, 2010, Pál Schmitt, the speaker of the National Assembly and a member of Fidesz, was elected to succeed Sólyom as Hungarian president. The failure of an alumina plant sludge pond in Oct., 2010, resulted in an ecological disaster in W Hungary that covered 6 villages and 16 sq mi (40 sq km) with toxic mud and also poisoned local rivers. A new constitution, enacted by Fidesz in Apr., 2011, and effective in 2012, was criticized in a number of quarters for attempting to bind future Hungarian governments to Fidesz's conservative political program. By late 2011, legal changes that reduced the independence of the central bank had led to conflict with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Schmitt resigned as president in Apr., 2012, after it was discovered that he had plagiarized parts of his doctoral thesis. János Áder, a member of Fidesz and former National Assembly speaker, was elected to succeed Schmitt in May. In Jan., 2013, the constitutional court struck down a new election law that had been passed in late 2012; the court ruled that the law unjustifiably restricted voter rights. The opposition had criticized the law as intentionally designed to favor Fidesz. The appointment in Mar., 2013, of a new governor for the central bank gave Orbán greater influence over the bank, and the bank subsequently adopted economic stimulus measures. In September the parliament approved a number of constitutional amendments that partially reversed provisions that had been criticized by the European Union.

The Apr., 2014, parliamentary elections gave Orbán and Fidesz a new term in power; the party won 45% of the vote and two thirds of the seats (Fidesz lost its two thirds majority in 2015 after a by-election loss). Jobbik won 21% of the vote which, though less than the share of the Socialist-led coalition (25%), placed it second among all the parties. In the second half of 2015 a flood of mainly Middle Eastern and African refugees and migrants seeking to reach N and W Europe crossed into Hungary from the Balkans, leading Hungary, which denounced the refugees as a threat to its security, to close its southern borders and use riot control measures to deter them. The foreign migrant issue continued to be politically divisive in subsequent months. An Oct., 2016, referendum opposing mandatory national migrant resettlement quotas by the EU passed decisively, but it failed to get the 50% turnout required for it to be valid. In 2015 and 2016 wealthy supporters of Orban acquired control of a number of formerly independent private media companies; Orban publicly encouraged Fidesz supporters to invest in media outlets. President Áder was reelected in Mar., 2017. Legislation that was designed to force the closure of the independent Central European Univ., enacted in 2017, was widely denounced.


See P. Teleki, The Evolution of Hungary (1923); D. G. Kosary, A History of Hungary (1941, repr. 1971); C. A. McCartney, A History of Hungary, 1929–1945 (1957, repr. 1962); F. A. Vali, Rift and Revolt in Hungary (1961); N. M. Nagy-Talavera, The Green Shirts and Others (1970); H. G. Heinrich, Hungary (1986); C. M. Hann, ed., Market Economy and Civil Society in Hungary (1990); P. F. Sugar, A History of Hungary (1991); C. Gati, Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (2006); V. Sebestyen, Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution (2006). See also bibliography under Austro-Hungarian MonarchyAustro-Hungarian Monarchy
or Dual Monarchy,
the Hapsburg empire from 1867 until its fall in 1918. The Nature of Austria-Hungary

The reorganization of Austria and Hungary was made possible by the Ausgleich
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(Magyarország), Hungarian People’s Republic, HPR (Magyar Népköztársaság).

Hungary is a state in Central Europe, in the central part of the Danubian basin. It borders on the north with Czechoslovakia, on the west with Austria, on the south with Yugoslavia, on the east with Rumania, and on the northeast with the USSR. Its distinctive geographical situation (it is basically a flat country whose borders lie along hilly or low-mountain regions of branches of the Alps and the Carpathians and along the Danube and its tributary, the Drava) has made it important in terms of transportation. The lines of communication of a number of European countries, both among themselves and with the countries of the Near East, cross Hungary. Hungary’s area is 93,000 sq km, and its population is 10.3 million (1970). Its capital is Budapest. Administratively, it is divided into 19 megyék (counties); Budapest and the cities of Debrecen, Miskolc, Pécs, and Szeged constitute separate administrative units. (See Table 1; here and henceforth the data of the Central Statistical Administration of Hungary are used.)

Table 1. Administrative division of Hungary
Megyék (counties) and citiesArea (sq km)Population (1970)Administrative center
Bács-Kiskun ...............8,362573,000Kecskemét
Baranya ...............4,388280,000Pécs
Békés ...............5,669447,000Békéscsaba
Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén ...............7,024608,000Miskolc
Csongrád ...............4,150323,000Szeged
Fejér ...............4,374389,000Székesfehérvár
Győr-Sopron ...............4,012404,000Győr
Hajdú Bihar ...............5,765375,000Debrecen
Heves ...............3,638348,000Eger
Komárom ...............2,249302,000Tatabánya
Nógrád ...............2,544241,000Salgótarján
Pest ...............6,393870,000Budapest
Somody ...............6,082363,000Kaposvár
Szabolcs-Szatmar ...............5,935592,000Nyíregyháza
Szolnok ...............5,571450,000Szolnok
Tolna ...............3,609259,000Szekszárd
Vas ...............3,340281,000Szombathely
Veszprém ...............5,187409,000Veszprém
Zala ...............3,285267,000Zalaegerszeg
Budapest ...............525.21,940,000 
Debrecen ...............446.4155,000 
Miskolc ...............223.6173,000 
Pécs ...............145.0145,000 
Szeged ...............112.6119,000 

Hungary is a socialist state—a people’s republic. The present constitution became effective on Aug. 20, 1949. All power in Hungary belongs to the working people. The economic basis of the social structure is formed by socialist ownership of the means of production and by the socialist economic system.

The supreme body of state power and the only legislative body is the National Assembly, which is elected by the population for four-year terms on the basis of universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage based on the norm of one deputy for every 30,000 of population. The National Assembly exercises all the rights granted to it by the popular regime: it defines the structure of administrative bodies, as well as their orientation and the conditions of their activity; it adopts laws, establishes the state budget and national economic planning, decides questions of war and peace, and so on. In the period between sessions of the National Assembly, its powers (except the right to make changes in the constitution) are exercised by the Presidium of the People’s Republic, which is elected by the National Assembly and includes a chairman, two vice-chairmen, a secretary, and 17 members. The National Assembly elects the supreme body of state administration, the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Government (the Council of Ministers).

The local bodies of state power are the county, city, district (in Budapest), and rural councils, which are elected for four years. The deputies of the rural councils, city councils (in cities without district divisions), and district councils of Budapest are chosen directly by the population. Under the law adopted at the September 1970 session of the National Assembly, the deputies of the county councils are elected by the deputies of the rural councils, and the deputies of the city council of Budapest by the deputies of the district councils of Budapest (generally from among the deputies of the appropriate council). The executive and administrative bodies of the local councils are the executive committees, which the councils elect from among their deputies. All citizens who have attained the age of 18—with exceptions established by the law—have the right to vote.

The judicial system of Hungary consists of the Supreme Court, county and district courts, and military courts. All judges are elected. The organs of the procurator’s office, headed by the attorney general, are charged with supervision of observance of the law.


Kádár, J. Socialist Construction in Hungary. Budapest, 1962.
Informacija ob usztrojsztve gosjudarsztva i sziszteme prava Vengerszkoj Narodnoj Reszpubliki. Budapest, 1964.
A Magyar Népköztársaság legfelsöbb állami szerveï. Budapest, 1967.
Information Hungary. Budapest, 1968. (The Hungarian People’s Republic.)

Terrain. Hungary occupies the greater part (the north) of the Central Danubian Plain, enclosed by the Alps on the west and the Carpathians on the north and east; the outskirts of both ranges extend into the country. A meridional section of the Danube divides the country into two distinct areas. East of the Danube is the Great Central Danubian Plain (Al-föld). Its flat surface in the interfluvial area between the Tisza and the Danube and in the northeast has an elevation of 150-200 m, and in other regions the elevation is about 100 m. To the north, the lowland is bounded by a mountain chain (elevation, 800-1,000 m) that is related to the interior volcanic zone of the Carpathians; in Hungary it is called the Northern Upland. Broad river valleys dissect it into individual massifs: Börzsöny, Cserhát, Mátra (Mount Kékes, 1,015 m—the highest mountain in Hungary), Bükk, and Zemplén. Karsted limestone plateaus are encountered among the massifs. North of the Sajó River is the large stalactite cave Aggtelek. Much of the right bank of the Danube is occupied by Dunántúl (Transdanubia), an intensively dissected plain (with elevations generally of 150-200 m; the highest is about 300 m). Dunántúl is traversed by a band of the Central Hungarian Mountains, or Transdanubian hill region, with plateaulike massifs: Bakony, Vértes, Gerecse, Pilis, and Visegrád (elevations generally between 400 and 700 m). The Mecsek massif (elevations to 682 m) rises up in isolation in the southeast of Dunántúl. The Little Central Danubian Alluvial Plain (Kisalföld), with elevations of 120-180 m, is located in the northwest of the country; only its southern part belongs to Hungary. In the west it is bounded by the foothills of the Alps (elevation, 500-800 m). In all, plains account for 68 percent of the territory of Hungary, hilly regions 30 percent, and upland regions 2 percent.

Geological structure and mineral resources. The Central Danubian Plain lies on the site of large intermontane troughs whose folded foundation is made up of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, as well as of more ancient crystalline rocks. Above these lie limestones, sandstones, sands, and clays of the Paleocene, Miocene, and Pliocene periods. Anthropogenic deposits are represented by lacustrine and alluvial sand and clay formations, loesses, and aeolian sands. The northern upland region is made up of layers of sandstones, argillites, and limestones of the Permian and Triassic periods, crushed into folds and covered by sand-clay Oligocene deposits. Miocene effusions are prevalent. Dunántúl is composed primarily of sand-clay rocks covered by loesses. The structure of the Central Hungarian Mountains includes sandstones and conglomerates of the Permian period and marls, dolomites, and limestones of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. Sand-clay Paleocene strata, as well as Neocene marine and continental deposits, lie disconformably on Mesozoic deposits. Outpourings of basalts took place in the Pliocene period along fracture lines. The notable minerals are lignite, fuel gases, and petroleum associated with the salt-water Pliocene deposits of the Central Danubian Plain. Deposits of iron ores, brown coal, lignite, and petroleum are attributed to the northern upland region. In Dunántúl there are deposits of coal, bauxites, and manganic ores. Outlets of thermal and mineralized waters along the shores of Lake Balaton are associated with fractures.

Climate. The climate is temperate continental. The average July temperature is 20°-22.5° C; the average January temperature is between -2° and -4° C. The average annual temperature is 9°-ll° C. The annual precipitation decreases from 900 mm in the southwest of the country to 450 mm in the central and eastern Great Plain, where intense droughts occur. A precipitation maximum occurs in early summer, and a second maximum occurs in the fall.

Rivers and lakes. The entire river system of Hungary belongs to the basin of the Danube, which runs for 140 km along the border with Czechoslovakia and then crosses the country from north to south for a distance of 270 km. The eastern half of Hungary lies in the basin of the Tisza, the Danube’s main left tributary. The largest right tributaries of the Danube inside Hungary are the Rába, the Sió, and the Drava. The density of the river network is comparatively low; some regions (for example, the interfluve of the Danube and the Tisza) are almost devoid of surface water currents. Rivers are characterized by great fluctuations in their water discharges and levels: about 4,000 km of levees have been built to protect against flooding. Extreme fluctuations are recorded in the time of onset and in the duration of the ice cover. The arid climate has necessitated the construction of large-scale irrigation systems. There are irrigation canals on the Tisza River south of the city of Tiszalök. There are few lakes in Hungary, and these are, for the most part, small. The only large lakes are Balaton and Fertö (Neusiedler See); the extreme southern part of the latter belongs to Hungary.

Soils. Chernozem soils on loess loams predominate. In mountainous and hilly regions there are brown forest and soddy-calcareous soils. Broad bands of alluvial soils stretch along the valleys of the Tisza and the Danube. Barren saline soils are encountered on the Alföld.

Flora. In the past a considerable portion of Hungary’s territory was covered by forests. There was a solid cover of mixed broadleaf and beech forests to the west of the Danube. The Little Plain and sections of Eastern Hungary had flora of the forest-steppe variety. The sections of the Great Plain were covered by steppe flora; they are known as the puszta or pusta (Hortobágy, Bugac, and others). The contemporary vegetation of Hungary has been greatly affected by man. Considerable territory has been plowed up. Forests cover 13.5 percent of the area, primarily mountain slopes above 300-400 m. Artificial plantings of trees have been established in certain mountainous regions and on sandy hills to the east of the Danube.

Fauna. Hares, field mice, susliks, foxes, hedgehogs, and various steppe and forest birds (larks, thrushes, woodpeckers, and owls) are prevalent. Waterfowl and swamp birds, including the white heron, nest along the shores of lakes that are overgrown with reeds. There are diverse species of fish in ponds—pike perch, bream, pike, and so on.

Natural regions. The Great Central Danubian Plain (Alföld) is a lowland that occupies a considerable portion of the area of Hungary. The northern mountain region has a number of mountain massifs (300-1,000 m) whose upper slopes are covered with broadleaved forests; the lower slopes have primarily orchards and vineyards. Karst is developed. The Little Plain (Kisalföld) is a lowland that dips gently from the Transdanubian upland and the foothills of the Alps toward the Danube. Fields predominate; there are many meadows and pastures. The Transdanubian upland is made up of a number of isolated massifs in the right-bank portion of Hungary. On the upper part of the slopes there are oak, beech, and linden forests. The Mezőföld is a plateau on the right bank of the Danube. Southwestern Hungary is a greatly dissected hilly plateau with individual, isolated massifs.


Vlasova, T. V. Vengriia. Moscow, 1948.
Etudes sur les sciences géographiques hongroises. Budapest, 1950.
Pécsi, M., and B. Sártalvi. Die Geographie Ungarns. Budapest, 1962.


Hungarians make up the bulk of the population (9.8 million people; 98.2 percent according to the 1960 census). There are also Slovaks, Rumanians, Germans, Croats, Serbs, gypsies, and others living in the country. Catholics make up a sizable part of the believers; there are also Protestants, Orthodox, and others.

The size of the population has doubled over a 100-year period (5 million in 1869 and 10.3 million in early 1970). In 1969 the natural population growth was 3.7 per 1,000 inhabitants. The age composition (in percent) is as follows: up to 15 years old, 23.5; from 16 to 54, 53.3; from 55 to 64, 11.9; and over 65, 11.3. The proportion of children in the population pattern is low and that of elderly people somewhat high because of the consequences of World War II and the comparatively low level of natural growth. Industrial and office workers make up 72 percent of the total economically active population, which was 5 million in 1970; members of cooperatives make up 25 percent, and private entrepreneurs, craftsmen and small tradesmen, and members of the free professions, 3 percent.

Hungary is tenth in Europe in population density (111 per sq km); rural regions are comparatively densely settled (about 70 per sq km). The urban population is 44.5 percent (1970), and 42 percent of the urban population lives in Budapest. Some city dwellers are employed in agriculture. About 858,000 rural inhabitants live in separate settlements, on khutors (privately owned farmsteads), primarily in the Alföld. In the process of the industrialization of agrarian regions—particularly of the Alföld—some of the rural settlements are becoming industrial and cultural centers. Khutors are gradually disappearing.

The Julian calendar was used until Oct. 21, 1587, and the Gregorian calendar has been used since Nov. 1, 1587.

The primitive communal system and the origin of feudal relations. Hungary has been inhabited since Paleolithic times (the Vértesszölös Middle Paleolithic camp; the Istállóskő Upper Paleolithic camp). The earliest population of Hungary were Scythian (on the basis of recent research), Illyrian, and Celtic tribes; between the late first century B.C. and the early second century A.D. they were subjugated by ancient Rome, which included the territory of present-day Hungary in the province of Pannonia. During the so-called Great Migration of Peoples, the territory of Hungary was settled by Germanic and Turkic tribes, including the Huns, Avars, Goths, and Gepids. The Slavs appeared in the sixth century. A portion of Hungary entered the Great Moravian state and the Blatno principality, and under these states early feudal relations came to replace primitive communal relations. Tribes of nomadic Hungarian cattle raisers appeared on the territory of present-day Hungary in the late ninth century. They carried out plundering campaigns into the countries of central, southern, and southeastern Europe; this was closely connected to the origin of class society among the Hungarians.

The period of feudalism. EARLY FEUDALISM (TENTH TO THE FIRST HALF OF THE 13TH CENTURY). The Hungarians’ defeat in their battle with German troops near Augsburg in 955 (the Battle of the Lech) put an end to their campaigns of conquest. Farming increased in importance, and the process of the formation of feudal property in land developed further. Under Prince Géza (ruled c. 970-997) of the Árpád dynasty and his son István I (ruled 997-1038, king from 1000), a state organization developed.

DEVELOPED FEUDALISM (SECOND HALF OF THE 13TH CENTURY TO 1526). The beginning of the heyday of feudalism in Hungary was marked by feudal fragmentation (mid-13th century to the 1320’s). The Mongol-Tatar invasion (1240-41) and internecine warfare among feudal lords retarded the country’s development; nonetheless, the level of productive forces had risen significantly by the 14th century. Commodity production and commodity-money relations were developing.

After the end of the Árpád dynasty’s rule (1301), an interregnum set in, accompanied by fierce struggle among the claimants to the Hungarian throne. Charles Robert, of the Neapolitan Anjou dynasty, was victorious. Feudal civil war ended under Charles Robert (reigned 1308-42), and there was noticeable growth and development of cities and mining. As the centralized state power was strengthened, the feudal lords were successful in legislatively limiting the rights of peasants to move freely. The predatory dynastic wars of Charles Robert’s son, Lajos (Louis) I, who ruled from 1342 to 1382, aggravated the contradictions among various strata of the ruling class. Hostility among the various groups of magnates (leagues of barons) sharpened under Sigismund of Luxembourg (ruled 1387-1437), while the threat of Ottoman conquest hung over Hungary. (The first incursions of Turkish troops into southern Hungary took place in 1416 and 1418.) The dissension among the feudal lords hampered a successful struggle against the Turkish invaders. The power of the large feudal lords grew considerably in this period, as Sigismund became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1411) and king of the Czech Lands (1436). In 1437 a peasant uprising erupted in northeastern Hungary and Transylvania, which had become part of the Hungarian kingdom. Hungarian and Rumanian peasants acted together against their common enemy, the feudal lords. The uprising was suppressed. Meanwhile, the Turks managed to approach the borders of Hungary. General János Hunyadi was prominent in the battles against the Turks: heading detachments of Hungarian peasants and relying on the support of the peoples of southeastern Europe (the Battle of Belgrade of 1456), he was able to organize the struggle against the Turkish invaders. In 1458 the middle gentry elected János Hunyadi’s son Matthias (Mátyás) king despite the pressure of the great feudal lords. Under his regime (1458-90), along with the consolidation of the estate-representative forms of the feudal state that had taken shape, there was a temporary centralization of state power, which facilitated the defense of the country against the threat of foreign conquest. However, feudal reaction intensified after the death of Matthias Hunyadi, destroying the achievements of centralization. The increase in obligations, particularly in monetary rent; the deterioration in the legal situation of the peasants; and the arbitrariness of landlord courts all brought about the peasant war led by György Dózsa (1514). Despite the major initial successes it achieved, the main force of the peasantry was defeated near Temesvár (Timisoara) by the united armies of the feudal lords. György Dózsa and many thousands of the participants in the uprising were executed, and the law promulgated after the suppression of the uprising formalized the attachment of the entire peasantry to the land. In 1526, when the army of Sultan Suleiman I moved against Hungary, the feudal lords did not dare to give the peasants arms, and the small army of nobles was defeated at Mohács (1526).

LATE FEUDALISM (TO THE END OF THE 18TH CENTURY). After the defeat at Mohács, internecine struggle flared up anew among the feudal lords. The aristocracy elected Ferdinand I Hapsburg king, and the gentry party elected János Zápolya—the leader of the feudal army in the struggle against the insurgent peasants. The Hapsburgs consolidated themselves in western Hungary and in the northern areas; in the east, after the death of János Zápolya (1540) the Transylvanian principality, which was dependent on the Ottoman Empire, although internally autonomous, was formed. The unified Kingdom of Hungary ceased to exist. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Hungarian people continued the struggle against the Turks, who seized Buda, the Alföld, and a considerable portion of the Transdanubian and Transtisza regions during 1541-44. Later, the struggle against the Hapsburgs also intensified. In the areas of the Hungarian kingdom that had been conquered by the Turks, the development of productive forces was retarded by the numerous requisitions, regularly repeated military campaigns, and total lack of security of life and property. In the area subject to the Hapsburgs, domainal (landlord) farming grew in the 16th and 17th centuries. The production of agricultural goods for sale on the domestic market (troop supply) and especially on the foreign market was based on the corvée labor of en-serfed peasants. This led to the “Second Promulgation of Serfdom.” The class struggle, which had intensified with growing exploitation, found its expression in peasant actions, the dissemination of the doctrines of the popular reformation, and also in peasant flight. Escaped peasants made up bands of the haiduks, who participated in many anti-Hapsburg movements. These movements, which were led by István Bocskay, Gábor Bethlen, and György I Rákóczy, resulted only in the observation by the Hapsburgs of the estate constitution, the preservation of the religious freedom of the Protestants, and the acknowledgment of Transylvania’s independence from the Hapsburgs. After the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) the poet, military leader, and political figure M. Zrinyi proposed a plan to achieve independence: by their own resources, without assistance from the Hapsburg Empire, the peoples of Hungary were to drive out the Turks, so that the country would not fall entirely under Hapsburg oppression. In 1670 a group of Hungarian and Croatian magnates attempted to take action against the Hapsburgs, but their conspiracy—which was not associated with the popular masses—failed, and the organizers were executed. The outright absolutism and terrorist regime that were introduced after the conspiracy was crushed brought about an uprising led by Imre Thököly. In 1686 the army of the Austrian emperor and Hungarian troops drove the Turks from the fortress of Buda and later from all of Hungary. In 1697 the northern part of the Hungarian kingdom was engulfed by a peasant uprising.

In 1703 an antifeudal uprising of en-serfed peasants initiated the national liberation anti-Hapsburg movement. It was headed by the major Hungarian feudal lord Ferenc II Rákóczy. However, the liberation struggle headed by Rákóczy ended in failure because of the unfavorable international situation and Hungary’s economic backwardness. In the 18th century Hungary’s productive forces achieved considerable development, and elements of capitalist relations began to appear; at the same time, the economic prerequisites for the formation of a bourgeois nation were created, although the process was retarded by the country’s dependence on the Hapsburgs. The en-serfed peasantry suffered under the weight of its obligations (particularly the corvée). There were peasant actions in a number of regions in the mid-18th century (the Alföld and Transdanubian Hungary). In the attempt to prevent their further spread, the Empress Maria Theresa tried to lay a portion of the state taxes on the nobility. After this effort failed, she implemented a peasant reform with the aim of ensuring the peasants’ ability to pay taxes (the so-called urbarium reform of 1767, which curtailed the corvée slightly). Her son Joseph II—an exponent of so-called enlightened absolutism—carried out a number of reforms in Hungary, as in other parts of the Hapsburg monarchy (the edict of religious tolerance, 1781; the abolition of personal bondage of the peasants, 1785). At the same time, Joseph II carried out a policy of Germanization aimed at eliminating the vestiges of Hungary’s independence. This produced intense discontent in the country. The Hungarian nobility, hostile to all of Joseph’s reforms, opposed him, and this brought the abolition of most of the innovations.

TRANSITION FROM FEUDALISM TO CAPITALISM (LATE 18TH CENTURY TO THE 1840’s). The Great French Revolution, peasant disturbances, and the appearance of national-liberation movements among the oppressed peoples of the Hapsburg Empire forced the Austrian and Hungarian ruling classes to renew their class alliance, which had been disrupted by the reforms and absolutist policy of Joseph II.

The governments of Leopold II and, subsequently, of Francis I confirmed the feudal privileges of the Hungarian nobility and Hungary’s estate constitution during 1791-93. For its part, the Hungarian nobility agreed to increased taxes and recruitment levies in order to prepare the intervention against revolutionary France. A republican movement (the movement of the so-called Hungarian Jacobins) arose among democratic circles of the Hungarian intelligentsia in 1794. Inspired by the ideas of the Great French Revolution, the Hungarian Jacobins established conspiratorial organizations in order to overthrow the Hapsburgs and proclaim a republic, abolish serfdom, and carry out other bourgeois reforms. Their program provided for the establishment of provinces in Hungary on the basis of national attributes; these provinces were to have the right to use their national languages in their local administrations. The conspiratorial organizations were uncovered by the secret police in the summer of 1794. I. Martinovics and other leaders were convicted and executed. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars—during which the Hungarian magnates and nobility had supported the Hapsburgs—the noble opposition was revived.

In 1812 the Hungarian National Assembly refused to confirm the new taxes proposed by the Austrian government. In response, the king dissolved the assembly and did not reconvene it until 1825. During this interval the country was governed by Austrian officials. A movement for reforms among the Hungarian liberal nobility developed in the 1820’s as a result of the worsening crisis in the feudal mode of production. The movement’s initiator and ideologist was I. Széchenyi.

The July Revolution of 1830 in France and the peasant uprising of 1831 in Slovakia (which belonged to the Hungarian crown) and the northern part of Hungary intensified the Hungarian liberal nobility’s struggle for reforms. The main role in the movement of the 1830’s was played by such public figures as M. Wesselényi and the poet F. Kölcsey. The slow development of capitalism in Hungary continued. Commodity farming, livestock raising (especially sheep raising), and viticulture spread considerably. The application of agricultural machines, hired labor, and new agricultural techniques grew on large landlord farms. In industry, the number of capitalist manufactories increased (beginning in the 1830’s). In the 1840’s, railroad construction began, Danubian steam navigation arose (1846), and the first machine-building plants, textile factories, and steampowered mills were built. The urban population grew. Industrial centers formed (the largest was Pest). The development of commodity-money relations deepened the crisis of the feudal serf system: the intensive expropriation of the Hungarian peasantry and the increasing exploitation of the serfs were manifestations of this crisis. In the 1840’s the left wing of the noble opposition was headed by L. Kossuth, who tied the struggle to implement bourgeois transformations to the notion of achieving national independence. During these same years, representatives of the popular masses also entered the political arena (the political agitation of M. Táncsics, who demanded that the peasants be freed without redemption and that the land be given to them in property; the Young Hungary organization, headed by the poet S. Petőfi). The decay of feudalism and the development of capitalist relations created the preconditions for the bourgeois revolution in Hungary.

The bourgeois revolution of 1848-49. On Mar. 15, 1848, workers, artisans, and bourgeois elements of Pest, headed by S. Petőfi and P. Vasvári, rose up. Power passed to the Committee for Public Salvation, which had been formed from the representatives of various democratic circles and clubs. It abolished censorship and proclaimed the creation of a national guard. On March 17 an edict of Emperor Ferdinand I (he was also the Hungarian king Ferdinand V) was published, appointing L. Batthyány—the head of the liberal noble opposition—prime minister of Hungary. Batthyány’s government adopted a law (March 18; confirmed by the emperor on Apr. 11, 1848) abolishing the corvée and tithes and transferring the corvée allotments to the peasants. However, these reforms were not extended to all peasants: landless peasants (hired hands and contract peasants—about 3-4 million people) could only buy themselves out of corvée by individual agreements with the landlords.

In addition to the nobility, industrialists, merchants, and craftsmen who employed hired labor, the vote was granted to peasants with more than one-quarter of an allotment. At the same time, the national rights of the non-Hungarian peoples of the Kingdom of Hungary were not recognized in the course of the revolution. This made it possible for the reactionary aristocracy and Viennese cabal to use the forces of the incipient national movement of the oppressed peoples against the Hungarian revolution.

In September 1848 a revolutionary national army was formed in response to the summons of the Committee for the Defense of the Homeland, which was headed by L. Kossuth. (The committee was established on September 16 as the directing body for the organization of defense.) The army inflicted a number of serious defeats on Austria’s troops, as well as the army of the Croatian ban J. Jelacic, thus putting the empire on the verge of catastrophe. In early October, the Hungarian Army had the opportunity of achieving a decisive success by joining with the insurgent people of Vienna, but it let it slip by. On Sept. 30, 1848, the Hungarian forces lost a battle at Schwechat (near Vienna), and in early January 1849, they left Buda and Pest. In early 1849 the Hungarian revolutionary government moved to Debrecen. Only in the spring of 1849 did the revolutionary army, under the leadership of H. Dembiński, A. Görgey, and J. Bern, liberate much of Hungary and all of Transylvania. On Apr. 14, 1849, the Hungarian parliament in Debrecen proclaimed Hungary’s complete independence from the Hapsburgs and declared them deposed from the Hungarian throne. L. Kossuth was elected supreme ruler of Hungary. However, conservative elements of the middle landowning strata of the nobility, grouping together in the Peace Party (formed in 1848) and around the commander in chief, Görgey, sought an agreement with the Hapsburgs; not wanting to deepen the revolution, they sabotaged the efforts of Kossuth and the radical wing to strengthen the country’s defensive capability. Görgey rejected any further offensive against Vienna and embarked on a protracted siege of the fortress of Buda. This allowed the Austrian reaction a breathing space to save its forces from final destruction and to appeal to tsarist Russia for aid. Aid was given; on Aug. 13, 1849, the Hungarian Army surrendered at the fortress of Világos in the face of the interventionist troops of tsarist Russia as a result of Görgey’s betrayal.

The period of premonopolistic capitalism (1849 to the end of the 19th century). After the defeat of the revolution in Hungary, a regime of absolutist terror was established. The Hapsburgs did not dare, however, to restore serfdom. The law of 1853, which confirmed the personal freedom of the peasants and their right to property, consolidated their state-redeemed corvée allotments. At the same time, the plots of certain categories of peasants were proclaimed landlord property and were to be redeemed by the peasants themselves. The reforms aided the further development of capitalism. The capitalist transformation of agriculture in Hungary proceeded along the so-called Prussian path, which was agonizing for millions of peasants. The burden of redemption, which the state had paid to the landlords for the abolished obligations, was largely shifted to the shoulders of the peasants. Vestiges of feudalism were preserved (landlord latifundia, various forms of labor service, the grape tithe, and so on). In the area of industry, guild restrictions were weakened, and branches connected with the processing of agricultural produce were developed. The construction of railroads developed (200 km in 1849, 2,000 km in 1867), and the coal-mining and metallurgical industries began to expand. In the 1850’s and 1860’s, a number of plants producing agricultural implements and equipment for mills were founded.

The Austro-Italian-French War of 1859, in which the Austrian troops were defeated, demonstrated the weakness of Hapsburg absolutism. The struggle of the oppressed peoples of the empire, including the Hungarian people (demonstrations in Pest in 1859 and 1860), gathered strength. Forced to make concessions, the Austrian emperor replaced the minister of internal affairs, A. von Bach, who had established an absolutist regime in Hungary, and signed the federal constitution—the October Diploma of 1860, which permitted the convocation of a Hungarian parliament and comitat assemblies and allowed the use of the Hungarian language in the administration. The diploma, however, did not satisfy even the nobility, and the publication of the February Patent of 1861 that followed it, which subordinated the Hungarian National Assembly to the Austrian Reichsrat, provoked universal indignation. The Hungarian National Assembly convened in 1861 consisted primarily of representatives of the middle landowning nobility; it unanimously supported the reestablishment (albeit partial) of the bourgeois reforms of 1848 and the formation of a national government. The deteriorating international situation of the Austrian empire (after its defeat near Sadowa in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866) and its internal crisis (which was associated with the unresolved national question) forced the Hapsburgs to compromise with the ruling classes of Hungary. By the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the empire was turned into the dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy—Austria-Hungary. Hungary, just as Austria, was recognized as a sovereign part of the state. All internal affairs were left within the competence of the Hungarian government (formed on Feb. 17, 1867, with Gyula Andrássy as its head) and the parliament; empire-wide ministries (war, foreign affairs, finance), as well as delegations elected by the Austrian and Hungarian parliaments (to fix the budgets of the common ministries and exercise control over their activity), were created for the resolution of empire-wide affairs. Questions of commercial and tariff policy, taxation, money circulation, and so on were regulated on the basis of special economic agreements concluded for ten years. The Austrian emperor Francis Joseph (also the Hungarian king; crowned on June 8, 1867) had the right to issue extraordinary laws, confirm the membership of the Hungarian government, convene and dissolve the Hungarian parliament, and direct the armed forces and foreign policy. Croatia, Slavonia, and Transylvania—separated from Hungary in 1849 by the Olomouc (Olmütz) Manifesto—were once again made part of Hungary. Thus, the Hungarian landlords and leading elements of the bourgeoisie obtained the right of unlimited domination of the millions of non-Hungarian people at the price of renouncing national independence and state sovereignty. The discontent of the Hungarian popular masses with the dualist regime established by the agreement of 1867 took the form of a movement for the restoration of national independence (the Alföld Movement of 1868). The ruling classes of Hungary concluded the Croatian-Hungarian Agreement of 1868 with the Croatian landlords; its aim was the suppression of the national movement of the oppressed non-Hungarian peoples, and it granted Croatia internal autonomy within the limits of the Hungarian kingdom. The Nationality Act, which strengthened the hegemony of the Hungarians in the lands of the Hungarian crown, had a similar aim.

The political consolidation of the regime facilitated the further development of capitalism in Hungary. The shift to large-scale industry, which began in the 1850’s, accelerated markedly in the 1870’s. The influx of Austrian and foreign capital into Hungary increased. A general credit bank and certain other banks arose. The formation of an industrial proletariat proceeded. The first workers’ socialist organizations came into being in the late 1860’s and 1870’s (the General Workers’ Union, the Hungarian section of the First International, the Non-Voters’ Party, and the General Workers’ Party). During this period K. Farkas and L. Frankel played large roles in the development of the socialist workers’ movement in Hungary.

The process of transition to the monopoly stage of capitalism—the stage of imperialism—began in the last decades of the 19th century. It proceeded in Hungary in the context of increased penetration of the economy by foreign capital and preservation of considerable vestiges of feudalism. The first signs of the crisis of dualism were evident in the country’s political life at the end of the 19th century (the fall in 1890 of the government of K. Tisza, which for 15 years had implemented a policy aimed at maintaining dualism; the growth of demands for Hungary’s political and economic independence). The workers’ movement acquired a mass character (the 60,000-person May 1 demonstration of the workers of Budapest in 1890), and the international ties of the Hungarian working class were strengthened (the participation of Hungarian workers in the establishment of the Second International). The Social Democratic Party of Hungary (SDPH) was formed in December 1890; in the 1890’s the first trade-union organizations developed. During 1891-94 and 1897-99 there were revolutionary actions by the agricultural proletariat—influenced by the workers’ movement—in a number of sections of eastern and southeastern Hungary (the Agrarian Socialist movement.

The period of monopolistic capitalism (to the end of World War I). The economic crisis of 1900-03 in Europe, which had serious repercussions in the Hungarian economy, played an important role in the shift of Hungarian capitalism to the monopolistic stage. As early as 1906, 26 Hungarian and 56 mixed Austro-Hungarian cartels were operating in the major branches of industry and many of these had been founded during the crisis years. The metallurgical industry was virtually 100 percent cartelized; coal mining was 70 percent. In 1910, 38 percent of all industrial workers worked in enterprises employing over 500 people; 51 percent worked in enterprises of the plant or factory type. The economic backwardness of Hungary and the vestiges of feudalism in its economic structure and sociopolitical life engendered the peculiarity of Hungarian imperialism: the intimate interlocking of the upper elements of the financial oligarchy with the aristocracy, the absence of parties representing only the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie, and so on. Politically and economically, Hungarian imperialism depended on Austrian and German imperialism, and it played the role of their junior partner in the Balkans.

With the onset of imperialism, national and class contradictions sharpened. Contradictions also increased within the ruling classes: the parliamentary opposition (the Party of Independence and 1848, founded in 1884 after the merger of the Party of Independence and the Party of 1848) demanded that the Hungarian language be introduced into the army and that an independent Hungarian customs service and national bank be established. Early in 1905, after Francis Joseph refused to encharge the coalition of opposition parties that had been victorious in the 1905 elections with forming a government, the bourgeois opposition began a campaign of “passive resistance” (refusal to approve the budget, to carry out the instructions of the government, to pay taxes, to provide recruits, and so on). The desires of its leaders notwithstanding, the campaign sometimes assumed the form of active struggle against Hapsburg domination. The political crisis was aggravated by the upsurge in the workers’ movement, which had begun under the direct influence of the Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia (strikes of the industrial proletariat and agricultural laborers, the general political strike and 100,000-person demonstration in Budapest on Sept. 15, 1905, and so on). The bourgeoisie renounced its demands and ended the struggle. A coalition government was created in 1906 out of representatives of the opposition parties headed by S. Wekerle. In 1907 it signed a trade and customs treaty with Austria, extending mutual economic cooperation to 1917. It unleashed an offensive against the conquests of the workers (the 1907 law preventing farm laborers from participating in strikes, the dissolution of about 200 trade unions in 1908-09). In 1909, G. Justh’s group left the Party of Independence and 1848 after demanding the introduction of universal suffrage in Hungary and Hungary’s economic independence from Austria. In 1910 the so-called National Labor Party came to power (founded in 1910; its leader was I. Tisza); it expressed the interests of the imperialist bourgeoisie and some landed magnates. The party expanded preparations for war and opposed universal suffrage. The policy of forced Magyarization within Hungary and the expansionist aspirations of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, so clearly displayed during the Bosnian Crisis of 1908-09 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, provoked the intensification of the struggle of the oppressed peoples against Hungarian rule. In the fall of 1911 and in November 1912 there were antiwar demonstrations among the Hungarian proletariat; on May 23, 1912, there was a strike and political demonstration in Budapest, which, despite the desires of the opportunist leadership of the Social Democrats, took the form of an armed clash with troops (“Bloody Thursday”).

World War I (1914-18) was supported by all the political parties of Hungary, including the SDPH, which had slid into a position of social patriotism. However, the chauvinism that had been strenuously propagated by the ruling circles affected only a small part of the working class of Hungary. The incipient strike movement (from 1915) gained force after the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia (the strike in the railroad shops of Budapest during May and June 1917). In addition to the leftist elements of Social Democracy and the trade unions, the group of revolutionary socialists (formed in the fall of 1917) was very active; its ideological leader was E. Szabó, a prominent exponent of Marxist thought in Hungary. The activity of the parliamentary opposition, led by M. Károlyi, the leader of the Party of Independence and 1848, picked up.

The bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1918. The news of the victory of the proletarian revolution in Russia evoked an upsurge among the workers of Hungary. Mass antiwar demonstrations were initiated by a rally of 100,000 people in Budapest on Nov. 25, 1917. The first workers’ soviets were created in the course of the strikes of the first half of 1918. Austria-Hungary’s defeat in the war and the upsurge in the national-liberation and workers’ movement in Hungary in the fall of 1918 aggravated to the extreme all the socioeconomic contradictions in the country.

On October 25, representatives of the Party of Independence and 1848, the Bourgeois Radical Party (founded in 1917), and the SDPH formed the National Council. The Council of Soldiers was formed in Budapest. A general strike began on October 31, and it grew into a bourgeois-democratic revolution. The working class was its guiding force, but leadership in the proletariat’s organizations belonged to the reformists. The bourgeoisie came to power. M. Károlyi’s government was formed from among the representatives of the parties of the National Council. The government did not grant equal rights to all the nationalities, nor did it distribute land to the peasants, but under the influence of a new revolutionary upsurge, it proclaimed Hungary a republic on Nov. 16, 1918. Thus, nearly 400 years of Hapsburg rule was ended. On Nov. 24, 1918, Hungarian internationalists (former prisoners of war)—participants in the Great October Socialist Revolution and Civil War in Russia, revolutionary socialists, a group of leftist Social Democrats, and members of the Hungarian group of the RCP (Bolshevik), which was established in Moscow in March 1918 and was led by B. Kún—established the Communist Party of Hungary (CPH). It rapidly gained authority among the workers and toiling peasantry. A governmental crisis broke out at the end of 1918. On Jan. 11, 1919, Károlyi was elected president of the republic. The government intensified repression of Communists. In February, members of the Central Committee of the CPH were arrested, but by mid-March 1919, more than half of the comitats had already slipped from government control, the peasants were seizing landlord lands, and leadership in the workers’, peasants’, and soldiers’ councils that had been established passed to the Communists.

The Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919. The successful activity of the CPH and the shift to its side of the majority of the workers and soldiers—at a time when the Entente had presented the government of Hungary with the demand to withdraw troops from part of Hungarian territory—led to the victory of the proletarian revolution and the proclamation on March 21 of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 (HSR). Meanwhile, both parties of the Hungarian working class—the CPH and the SDPH—were merging into the Socialist Party of Hungary (SPH), which disintegrated in August 1919. The SPH formed the Revolutionary Government Council. During the 133 days of the HSR, there was nationalization of industrial enterprises, banks, savings banks, transportation and commercial enterprises, and land holdings over 100 holds (1 hold = 0.57 ha). The demands of the Hungarian working class—the eight-hour day, equal pay for male and female labor, paid leaves, universal suffrage, and others—were realized. The HSR entered into a military and political alliance with Soviet Russia.

The international bourgeoisie made preparations to destroy the HSR. Various foreign missions and Entente agents within the country, as well as emigrants in Vienna, rallied the forces of counterrevolution in order to overthrow the Soviet regime. The Entente sent the troops of bourgeois Rumania (Apr. 16, 1919) and Czechoslovakia (April 27) against Hungary. The Rumanian forces occupied Debrecen and, by May 1, the area east of the Tisza. Czech troops occupied Miskolc on May 2. The Hungarian Red Army was created (the decree of March 25) for the defense of the republic. Breaking through the ring of interventionists, the Hungarian Red Army headed toward the Carpathians at Barde-jov in June 1919. This facilitated the formation (on June 16) of the Slovak Soviet Republic of 1919. However, the Entente countries exerted intense pressure on the Hungarian government and forced it to withdraw the Hungarian Red Army from the Carpathians. A section of the right-wing Social Democrats established contact with representatives of the Entente countries. The position of the Hungarian Soviet Republic was complicated by the weakening of the alliance between the workers and peasants as a result of the HSR’s errors on the agrarian question. On July 20 fighting resumed on the Rumanian front. Negotiations soon began in Vienna between a Hungarian delegation (right-wing socialists and trade-union leaders) and representatives of the Entente. On August 1 the Hungarian Soviet government was forced to submit its resignation. Supported by internal counterrevolutionary forces, the military forces of the Entente suppressed the Hungarian regime in Hungary.

The fascist Horthy regime (to the end of 1944). After the Soviet regime was overthrown, a transitional “trade-union government” was established, a regime of White terror was introduced in the country, and the conquests of the working people were liquidated. A regency was established in Hungary—that is, the country became a kingdom without a king. The office of regent was held (1920) by former rear admiral of the Hapsburg fleet M. Horthy. With the aid of I. Bethlen (prime minister, 1921-31), Horthy was able to stabilize the counterrevolutionary regime.

Horthyism was a fascist dictatorship of the alliance of the large landowners and financial oligarchy. A distinctive feature of the fascist system in Hungary was the preservation of parliamentarism and a number of opposition parties in addition to the ruling party. The Horthy regime recognized the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, which fixed Hungary’s postwar borders, and immediately thereafter began to call for its revision, inflaming chauvinism and striving in the process to distract the popular masses from domestic contradictions. During the Horthy period Hungary was an agrarian-industrial country with an intermediate level of capitalist development and an agricultural system burdened with vestiges of feudalism. Industry was marked by a high level of concentration: monopolies dominated in heavy industry, a sizable section of light industry and the food industry, and also in foreign and domestic trade. Foreign capital held powerful positions. More than 50 percent of banking capital, 30 percent of the capital of the mining industry, and 20 percent of the capital of industrial joint-stock companies belonged to foreign capitalists (primarily German). About 45 percent of the agricultural land was concentrated in the hands of the large landlords; a considerable portion of the land was held by the Catholic Church, which had become a supporter of the Horthy regime. The owners of large estates not only played a crucial role in the economic structure of agricultural production but also exerted great influence on the political structure and on the policies of the ruling United Party (founded by I. Bethlen in 1922). The right-wing leadership of the SDPH concluded a pact on cooperation with the bourgeois government (the Bethlen-Peyer Pact of 1921) and supported the reactionary domestic and expansionist foreign policies of the government. The only revolutionary party was the CPH, which operated underground. The CPH, and the legal Socialist Workers’ Party of Hungary (1925-28), which it directed, led the struggle of the working class against the Horthy regime. The struggle intensified particularly in 1929-33 during the economic crisis, when there were about 1 million unemployed in the country (the mass demonstration of Sept. 1, 1930, in Budapest, which was fired upon by troops; the miners’ strikes in a number of sections of the country during 1930-31). In 1932, I. Sallai and S. Fürst, members of the Central Committee of the CPH, were executed. The Gömbös government that came to power in 1932 attempted to introduce a totalitarian fascist regime. Under conditions of persecution and terror, the CPH organized the unification of the working class and all antifascist forces in Hungary, working (beginning in 1935) for the creation of a popular front.

In cooperation with Italy (a treaty was concluded in 1927) and later Nazi Germany as well, the Horthy government implemented an aggressive anti-Soviet foreign policy. On orders of Nazi Germany, at the end of the 1930’s Hungary began to prepare actively for war (the Győr program of 1938, which allocated 1 billion pengő for military purposes). In 1939, Hungary joined the Anti-Comintern Pact, and in 1940 it joined the Pact of the Three Powers (the Berlin Pact of 1940)—Germany, Italy, and Japan. Horthy’s Hungary participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia (1938-39): as a sop from Hitler, it received part of Slovakia (1938), part of the Transcarpathian Ukraine (1938), and, in 1940, northern Transylvania (the Vienna Arbitrations of 1938 and 1940). In March 1939, Hungary occupied the remainder of the Trans-carpathian Ukraine. As a satellite of Nazi Germany, Hungary took part in the attack on Yugoslavia in April 1941 and on the USSR in June 1941. In December 1941, Great Britain declared war on Hungary, and Hungary declared war on the USA. The bloc of landlords and financial oligarchs that had turned Hungary into a vassal of German Nazism and drawn it into a war against the USSR brought disaster and ruin to the nation. The CPH expanded the struggle for the termination of the war and the establishment of a democratic front for the unity of patriotic forces (the demonstrations of Oct. 6 and Nov. 1, 1941; the publication of the Christmas issue of the newspaper Népszava in December 1941). In early 1942 the Committee for Memorable Historical Dates was established on the basis of a broad united front. It prepared and on Mar. 15, 1942, carried out a demonstration in Budapest against the war and the Horthy regime that involved many thousands of people. After the utter defeat of the Nazi German troops near Moscow and as a result of the strengthening of the resistance movement in Hungary, the government of L. Bárdossy was replaced in March 1942 by the government of M. Kállay. The meaning of this change consisted in this: by means of the so-called policy of balancing, the war would continue to be waged along with Nazi Germany against the USSR; and in the event that the Hitlerite forces lost the war, the conditions would be created to maintain the capitalist system in Hungary with the support of Anglo-American armed forces. The Kállay government intensified terror against the patriotic forces. Many Communists fell victim (including F. Rózsa, the editor of the newspaper Szabad Nép;, and Z. Schönherz, the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPH). However, the policy of balancing failed. On Mar. 19, 1944, Hungary was occupied by Nazi German troops. Kállay resigned. Horthy kept the post of regent and named D. Sztójay—the former Hungarian envoy to Berlin—premier of a coalition government. The Social Democratic Party (from 1939 the name of the SDPH) and the Smallholders’ Party (founded in 1909) were driven underground. New contingents of the Hungarian Army were sent to the Soviet front. In May 1944, on the initiative of the Communists, the Hungarian Front was created, with the participation of the Social Democratic Party, the Smallholders’ Party, the Party of the “dual cross” (the legitimists), and (from November 1944) the National Peasant Party (founded in 1939). The front united progressive forces for the struggle for national independence. In the fall of 1944 the Communist Party concluded an agreement with the SDP for unity of action. At this time, more than ten partisan detachments and units were operating on Hungarian territory. The participants in the resistance movement prevented the dismantling of many enterprises and the export of equipment to Germany. Hungarian soldiers increasingly shifted to the side of the Soviet Army. A revolutionary situation was ripening in Hungary. In September 1944 the Soviet Army began the liberation of Hungary. Having become convinced that in these circumstances it was impossible to save the regime through the aid of the Anglo-American imperialists, and unable to bring himself to carry out the USSR’s armistice terms, Horthy yielded power on October 15, 1944, to Hitler’s protege F. Szálasi, the leader of the Arrow Cross Party (the party of the Nylasists, formed in 1937). During the period of Nylasist rule (Oct. 16, 1944-Mar. 27, 1945) terror raged in the unliberated part of the country. By the end of the war, the armed forces of Horthy’s Hungary had lost 180,000 killed at the fronts and in fighting with partisans. But considerably larger than the losses of the Hungarian Army was the number of victims of the terror. The war inflicted enormous material damage on the Hungarian nation—damage five times greater than the national income of the last prewar year.

The people’s democratic revolution and the establishment of a people’s democratic system; the proletarian revolution and the construction of socialism. The liberation of Hungary from fascism began the moment Soviet troops entered Hungarian territory. The rout of the Nazi Germans and Hungarian fascists by Soviet troops made it easier for the revolutionary situation, which had been taking shape since the fall of 1944, to develop into a general democratic revolution. The proletariat, led by the Communist Party, emerged as the leading force of the revolution. On Nov. 30, 1944, the Communist Party published the “Program for the Democratic Rehabilitation and Development of Hungary.” The main tasks of the revolution—the establishment of a people’s democratic regime, the complete emancipation of the country from the fascists, and the implementation of agrarian reform—were carried out in the course of the liberation of Hungary. On Dec. 2, 1944, in the city of Szeged, the Hungarian National Independence Front (HNIF) was established on territory liberated by the Soviet Army and on the initiative of the Communists. The front included the Hungarian Communist Party (HCP; the name of the Communist Party from September 1944), the SDP, the National Peasant Party (NPP), the Smallholders’ Party, the Bourgeois Democratic Party (founded during October-November 1944), and the trade unions. Local bodies of the front—national committees, which initially fulfilled the functions of local bodies of state power—were created. In December 1944 the Provisional National Assembly gathered in Debrecen. On December 22 it formed the coalition Provisional National Government. A revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, with the working class having the leading role, was established. The middle and petite bourgeoisie, whose interests were expressed by the right wing of the Smallholders’ Party and the Bourgeois Democratic Party, also took part in the governing of the country. The bourgeoisie sought to keep the revolution within the limits of antifeudal bourgeois transformations and to keep it from growing into a socialist revolution. The Provisional National Government declared war on Hitler’s Germany (Dec. 28, 1944) and on Jan. 20, 1945, signed a truce in Moscow with the USSR and its allies. By the decree of Feb. 26, 1945, the government disbanded and prohibited fascist political and military organizations. Workers’ control was established in many enterprises. In the course of agrarian reform (the decree of Mar. 17, 1945) pomeshchik landholding was abolished, and 642,000 landless and land-starved peasants received 58.2 percent of all the confiscated land. The distribution of land to the peasants considerably strengthened the alliance between the workers and the toiling peasants. By Apr. 4, 1945, the Soviet Army had completely driven the Nazi German forces and Nylasists from Hungarian soil. In the course of the liberation of Hungary, 140,000 Soviet fighting men perished. By the summer of 1945, the basic tasks of the general democratic revolution had been achieved, and its development into a socialist revolution began. On Sept. 25, 1945, diplomatic relations were established between the USSR and Hungary.

Around this time, the right-wing forces of the Smallholders’ Party, supported by the Catholic Church, became the main stronghold of reaction in Hungary. The elections to the National Assembly of November 1945 gave the Smallholders’ Party 57 percent of the votes; the HCP and SDP received 17 percent, and the National Peasant Party (NPP), 7 percent. Although Horthy supporters did not enter the new government after the elections, former landlords, inspired by the success of the Smallholders’ Party, called for the return of lands that had previously belonged to them; reactionary-minded officials sabotaged the rehabilitation of the devastated economy and the purge of the state apparatus; and right-wing reactionary elements came to life. However, the democratic forces, led by the Communists, repulsed the onslaught of reaction and moved to the counteroffensive.

Hungary was proclaimed a republic on Feb. 1, 1946. In March 1946 a leftist bloc was created within the HNIF: it included the HCP, the SDP, the NPP, and trade unions. On March 4, a 400,000-person demonstration by the forces united in the leftist bloc demanded that the government suppress the activities of reactionary forces in the country, carry out a purge of the state apparatus, and establish state control over the banks. The reaction was forced to retreat. The right-wing leaders of the Smallholders’ Party accepted most of the demands of the leftist bloc.

An important role in the rehabilitation of the economy was played by aid from the Soviet Union. Inflation was halted in August 1946, and a new currency (the forint) was introduced. On the recommendation of the Third Congress of the Hungarian Communist Party (Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 1946), the National Assembly worked out and adopted a three-year plan (1947-50) for the rehabilitation and further development of Hungary’s economy.

Between December 1946 and May 1947, a conspiracy by F. Nagy and other reactionary leaders of the Smallholders’ Party was exposed and thwarted; its purpose had been to overthrow the democratic republican system. After the exposure of the conspiracy, the Smallholders’ Party’s influence declined sharply. The left wing, led by I. Dobi, assumed party leadership.

In the parliamentary elections of August 1947, the HCP received 22 percent of the vote and became the country’s leading party. The Smallholders’ Party received 68 seats, as against 245 in 1945. A considerable number of representatives of the bourgeoisie and kulaks (prosperous peasants) were displaced from the government and parliament as a result of the elections. On Nov. 21, 1947, the parliament adopted a law nationalizing the major banks and the enterprises belonging to them. In March 1948 enterprises with more than 100 workers were nationalized. On Feb. 18, 1948, a treaty on friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance was signed with the USSR. Similar treaties were later concluded with other socialist countries. In June 1948 the HCP united with the SDP on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism. The establishment of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (HWP) put an end to the split in the workers’ movement in Hungary.

By the summer of 1948 the process of the development of the general democratic revolution into a socialist revolution by peaceful means had been completed. Power in Hungary passed undividedly to the working class and toiling peasantry. The people’s democratic government began to fulfill the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The HWP proclaimed a course of socialist construction. In order to achieve this goal, the coalition parties and some parties that were not part of the coalition united to form the HNIF in 1949. On Aug. 20, 1949, a constitution that legally consolidated the socioeconomic achievements of the Hungarian working people and the proclamation of the Hungarian People’s Republic came into force. By the end of 1949 the three-year plan had been fulfilled, two years and five months ahead of schedule. As a result, the standard of living of the working people of prewar Hungary was surpassed. After the nationalization in December 1949 of enterprises with more than ten workers, virtually all industry was socialist. As the first five-year plan was being fulfilled (1950-54), industrial backwardness was abolished, new industrial cities and areas appeared, and new branches of industry were established. People’s Hungary became an industrial-agrarian state. A system of educational and cultural-instructive institutions was established during the years of the people’s power. The Hungarian people successfully carried out socialist construction, relying on the fraternal support and unselfish aid of the peoples of the Soviet Union.

In the course of socialist construction, the leadership of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (M. Rákosi and others) committed serious errors (overstatement of targets, violation of socialist law, and so on). The leadership slid ever more into positions of sectarianism, bureaucratism, loss of touch with the masses, administration by mere injunction, and propagation of the personality cult of Rákosi. Rákosi and other HWP leaders were slow in correcting the errors, at a time when revisionists and nationalists (the so-called Nagy group; I. Nagy was prime minister during 1953-55), taking advantage of the errors of the party leadership, impaired the dictatorship of the proletariat, undermined the party’s authority, and disorganized the masses. The remnants of the reactionary forces, incited by international imperialism and leaning on Nagy’s revisionist group, exploited the errors of the HWP’s leadership and stirred up a counterrevolutionary revolt (Oct. 23-Nov. 4, 1956) aimed at liquidating the socialist achievements of the working people, wresting Hungary from the concord of socialist nations, and turning it into a bridgehead for the imperialist states. The Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, formed in early November 1956 and headed by J. Kádár, actively opposed the counterrevolution. The Communists reorganized the HWP, maintaining fidelity to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. As a result of the joint actions of Hungarian revolutionary forces and units of the Soviet Army, which were on Hungarian territory in accordance with the Warsaw Pact of 1955, the forces of counterrevolution were suppressed in November 1956. The counterrevolution inflicted 22 billion forints’ damage (more than one-quarter of the yearly national income) on Hungary’s national economy, but the selfless work of the working people and the aid of socialist countries helped avert inflation, avoid hunger and unemployment, and set production right in industry and agriculture. The government carried out a number of measures to improve the standard of living of the working people and eliminate bureaucratic distortion in the work of the state apparatus. By the end of 1957, the Hungarian people had overcome the main difficulties produced by the consequences of the counterrevolutionary revolt.

The successful fulfillment of a three-year national economic plan (1958-60) began in 1958. Between 1958 and 1960 industrial production grew by 40 percent instead of the 22 percent outlined in the plan. By the end of the three-year plan, the real wages of industrial and office workers had increased by 12 percent in comparison with 1957. The Seventh Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP [Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 1959]) demonstrated the party’s growing influence among the masses. The directives worked out by the congress for the second five-year plan (1961-65) posed the task of completing the construction of the foundations of socialist society and the construction of socialism in Hungary. By the spring of 1961, the socialist reconstruction of agriculture—begun at the end of the 1940’s and having taken on a popular nature in December 1958—was virtually completed; the economy and culture were further developed. The Eighth Congress of the HSWP (Nov. 20-24, 1962) stated in its resolutions that the establishment of the bases of socialist society had been completed, that common socialist relations of production had taken shape in the city and countryside, that the social and economic prerequisites for the restoration of capitalism had been eradicated, and that the Hungarian people was entering a period of full construction of socialism. The Ninth Congress of the HSWP (Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 1966) resolved to continue the construction of a socialist society on the basis of socialist national unity, which was realized in the People’s Patriotic Front.

As the second five-year plan was fulfilled, industrial production rose by 47 percent and agricultural production by 10 percent in comparison with the average level of the preceding five years. The national income grew by 25 percent, which made it possible to increase the fixed capital stock of the national economy by 31 percent and the consumption fund by 22 percent.

The Tenth Congress of the HSWP (Nov. 23-28, 1970) noted in its resolutions that the third five-year plan (1966-70) had been fulfilled for the main indexes. A new system of managing the national economy had been introduced (it was first put into practice in January 1968) and has been operating successfully; its aims are to strengthen and perfect the socialist system of planning, increase the efficiency of production, and achieve better exploitation of productive forces, while simultaneously increasing the independence of enterprises and raising the material incentive. Under the leadership of the HSWP, the working people of Hungary made great strides in the development of all branches of the national economy.

In September 1970 the National Assembly adopted a law on the fourth five-year plan (1971-75), worked out on the basis of the directives of the central committee of the HSWP. For the period 1971-75 an increase of 30-32 percent in the national income was outlined—the proportion of accumulation to be 23-25 percent and that of consumption, 75-77 percent; industrial production for the five years was to grow by 32-34 percent and agricultural production, by 15-16 percent.

The structure of foreign trade changed. In comparison with the period before World War II, the share of finished industrial goods in Hungary’s exports increased sharply. The exports of present-day Hungary are made up of manufactured goods, machines, and equipment for production. Receiving great economic assistance from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries (deliveries of industrial equipment and raw materials, transmission of technical documents, assistance in the training of specialists, and so on), Hungary in turn aids these countries in the development of their economies—primarily in the production of numerous types of electrical-engineering products and various kinds of trucks, combines, and diesel trains.

The foreign policy of People’s Hungary is one of peaceful coexistence with states of other social systems, a policy of peace and friendship among peoples. Hungary supported the USSR’s proposals on general and complete disarmament (1959 and 1962) and the proposal by the Polish People’s Republic (1957) for the establishment of a zone free of atomic weapons in Central Europe (the Rapacki Plan); it signed the Moscow treaty of 1963 preventing the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater, and the 1968 treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Hungary supports the struggle of the peoples of the Arab countries against Israeli aggression and the struggle of the peoples of Indochina against the aggressive war waged by American imperialism. Hungary has been a member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) since January 1949, a participant in the Warsaw Pact since May 1955, and a member of the United Nations since December 1955. Hungary maintains diplomatic relations with 89 countries and trade relations with more than 140 (1970). Hungarian-Soviet friendship is an unfailing guarantee of the successes of popular Hungary. Hungary is successfully building socialist society in close alliance with the peoples of all the socialist countries. Along with four other socialist states, the Hungarian People’s Republic took part in measures aimed at defending socialist achievements in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in August 1968. During 1967-69 new agreements on friendship, cooperation, and mutual aid were signed with the German Democratic Republic, the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria.


Scriptores rerum Hungaricarum tempora ducum regumque stirpis Arpadianae gestarum, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1937-38.
Monumenta Hungariae historica: 1. Diplomataria, vols. 1-41. Budapest, 1857-1948; 2. Scriptores, vols. 1-38. Budapest, 1857-1906; 3/a. Monumenta comitialia regni Hungariae, 1526-1606, vols. 1-12. Budapest, 1874-1917; 3/b. Monumenta comitialia regni Transylvaniae, 1540-1699, vols. 1-21. Budapest, 1875-98; 4. Acta extera, vols. 1-6. Budapest, 1874-77.
A magyar jakobinusok iratai, vols. 1-3. Budapest, 1952-57.
Gróf Széchenyi István naplói, vols. 1-6. Budapest, 1925-39.
Kossuth Lajos összes munkái, vols. 1-6, 11-15. Budapest, 1948-66.
A nagybirtokos arisztokrácia ellenforradalmi szerepe 1848-49-ben, vols. 2-3. Budapest, 1952-65.
Iratok a nemzetiségi kérdés történetéhez Magyarországon a dualizmus korában, vols. 1-4. Budapest, 1952-66.
A magyar munkásmozgalom történetének válogatott dokumen-tumai, vols. 1-3, 4A-4B, 5, 6A-6B. Budapest, 1951-69.
Iratok az ellenforradalom töténetéhez 1919-1945, 2nd ed., vols. 1-4. Budapest, 1956-67.
Dokumentumok a magyar forradalmi munkásmozgalom történetéböl: 1919—45, vols. 1-3. Bydapest, 1964.
Diplomáciai iratok Magyarország külpolitikájához 1936-1945, vols. 1-2, 4. Budapest, 1962-65.
Horthy, Miklós. The Confidential Papers of Admiral Horthy. Budapest, 1965.
A Magyar Kommunista Párt és a szociál-demokrata Párt határozatai 1944-1948. Budapest, 1967.
A Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt határozstai és dokumentumai 1956-1966, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1964-68.


General works

Acsády, I. Istoriia vengerskogo krepostnogo krest’ianstva. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Szalay, L. Magyarország története, vols. 1-6. Leipzig-Pest, 1852-59.
Horváth, M. Magyarország történelme, vols. 1-8. Pest, 1871-73.
A magyar nemzet története, vols. 1-10. Budapest, 1895-98.
Hóman, B., and G. Szekfü. Magyar történet, 7th ed., vols. 1-5. Budapest, 1941-43.
Magyarország története (Egyetemi tankönyv), vols. 1-3. Budapest, 1961-62.
Magyarország története, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1967.
Etudes historiques, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1960.
Etudes historiques 1970, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1970.
A magyar forradalmi munkásmozgalom története, vols. 1-3. Budapest, 1966-70.

Hungary to the end of the 18th century

Molnár, E. Problemy etnogeneza i drevnei istorii vengerskogo naroda. Budapest, 1955. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Szabó, I. A falurendszer kialakulása Magyarországon (X-XV század). Budapest, 1966.
Molnár, E. A magyar társzadalom története az Arpádkortól Mohácsig. Budapest, 1949.
Pach, Z. P. Nyugateuropai és magyarországi agrarfejlődés a XV-XVII században. Budapest, 1963.
Elekes, L., E. Lederer, and G. Székely. Magyarország története az őskortól 1526-ig. Budapest, 1961.
Elekes, L. A középkori magyar állam története megalapitásától mohácsi bukásáig. Budapest, 1964.
Magyarország története 1526-1790. Budapest, 1962.

Modern and recent history

Marx, K. “Gospodin Fogt.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed, vol. 14, pp. 335-691.
Engels, F. “Bor’ba v Vengrii.” Ibid., vol. 6, pp. 175-86.
Lenin, V. I. “Privet vengerskim rabochim: 27 maia 1919 g.” Poln. sobr. soch, 5th ed., vol. 38, pp. 384-88.
Kádár, J. Izbrannye stat’i i rechi (1957-1960). Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Liptai, E. Vengerskaia sovetskaia respublika. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Nemes, D. Vengriia v gody kontrrevoliutsii 1919-1921. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Kállay, D. Dvizhenie za nezavisimost’ Vengrii: 1920-1945. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Averbukh, R. A. Revoliutsiia i natsional’ no-osvoboditel’ naia bor’ba v Vengrii 1848-1849. Moscow, 1965.
Islamov, T. M. Politicheskaia bor’ba v Vengrii v nachale XX v. Moscow, 1959.
Trainin, I. P. Natsional’nye protivorechiia v Avstro-Vengrii i ee raspad. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Lebov, M. Vengerskaia sovetskaia respublika 1919 goda. Moscow, 1959.
Puskás, A. I. Vengriia v gody vtoroi mirovoi voiny. Moscow, 1966.
Puskás, A. I. Bor’ba za agrarnye preobrazovaniia v Vengrii (1944-1948). Moscow, 1959.
Nezhinskii, L. N., and A. I. Puskás. Bor’ba vengerskogo naroda za ustanovlenie i uprochenie narodno-demokraticheskogo stroia 1944-1948. Moscow, 1961.
15 let svobodnoi Vengrii: [Sb. st.]. Moscow, 1960.
Ocherki novoi i noveishei istorii Vengrii. Moscow, 1963.
Nezhinskii, L. N. Ocherk istorii narodnoi Vengrii. Moscow, 1969.
Arató, E. A nemzetiségi, kérdés története: Magyarországon, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1960.
Spira, G. A magyar forradalom 1848-49-ben. Budapest, 1959.
Berzeviczy, A. Az absolutizmus kora Magyarországon 1849-65, vols. 1-4. Budapest, 1922-37.
Nemes, D. Az Általános munkásegylet története, 1868-1873. Budapest, 1952.
Földmunkás-es szegényparaszimozgálmak Magyarországon 1848-1948, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1962.
Berend, T. I., and G. Ránki. Magyarország gyáripara az imperializmus első világháború előtti időszakában 1900-1914. Budapest, 1955.
Berend, T. I., and G. Ránki. Magyarország gazdasága az első világháború után 1919-1929. Budapest, 1966.
Berend, T. I., and G. Ránki. Magyarország gyáripara a második világháború előt és a háboru időszakában 1933-1944. Budapest, 1958.
Hajdu, T. Az 1918-as Magyarországi polgári demokratikus forrodalom. Budapest, 1968.
Hajdu, T. A. Magyarországi Tanácsköztársaság. Budapest, 1969.
Nemes, D. A Bethlen-Kormany külpolitikaja 1927-1931-ben. Budapest, 1964.
Ránki, G. Magyarország gazdasága az első 3 éves terv idószakában 1947-1949. Budapest, 1963.
Molnár, J. Ellenforradalom Magyarországon 1956-ban. Budapest, 1967.


“Bibliografiia izbrannykh sochinenii vengerskoi istoricheskoi nauki 1945-1953 gg.” In Etudes historiques, vol. 2. Budapest, 1960.
“Bibliografiia izbrannykh proizvedenii vengerskoi istoricheskoi nauki 1959-1963 gg.” In Nouvelles études historiques, vol. 2. Budapest, 1965.
“Bibliografiia izbrannykh proizvedenii vengerskoi istoricheskoi nauki 1964-1968 gg.” In Etudes historiques 1970, vol. 2. Budapest, 1970.
Kandel’, B. L. Istoriia zarubezhnykh stran: Bibliografiia russkikh bibliografii. Moscow, 1966. Pages 96-97.
Pochenko, G. P., and I. I. Frolova. Istoriia zarubezhnykh stran: Bibliografiia inostrannykh bibliografii. Moscow, 1967. Pages 129-45.
Kosáry, D. Bevezetés a magyar történelem forrásaiba és irodalmába, vols. 1-3. Budapest, 1951-58.
Magyar történeti bibliográfia, 1825-1867, vols. 1-4. Budapest, 1950-59.

T. M. ISLAMOV (to 1918) and A. I. PUSKÁS (since 1918)

Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP; Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt). The HSWP was initiated in November 1918 with the founding of the Communist Party of Hungary, which was renamed the Hungarian Communist Party (HCP) in September 1944. In June 1948, after the merger of the HCP and the Social Democratic Party, it acquired the name of the Hungarian Workers’ Party; in November 1956 it was reorganized into the HSWP. It numbers 662,000 members (November 1970).

People’s Patriotic Front (PPF; Hazafias Népfront). The PPF was founded in 1954; its origins go back to the Hungarian Front and the Hungarian National Independence Front (established in 1944 on the initiative of the Communists) and to the Hungarian Popular Independence Front (established in 1949 from the Hungarian National Independence Front). It is a political mass movement. Its leading organ is the All-Hungarian Council. The program of PPF is based on the politics of the HSWP. Its goal is to draw all creative forces into the construction of socialism and the continual strengthening of the nation’s socialist unity.

Trade unions and other social organizations. The Hungarian trade unions were established in the 1890’s; they include 19 branch trade unions. In the intervals between congresses, the leading organ is the All-Hungarian Council of Trade Unions. The trade unions include over 3.4 million members (November 1970; 92 percent of all industrial and office workers); they belong to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

The Hungarian Communist Youth League was founded in March 1957; it has over 800,000 members (November 1970). It is part of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. The All-Hungarian Council of Women was founded in 1945; it belongs to the World Federation of Democratic Women. The All-Hungarian Peace Council was founded in 1949. The Society for Hungarian-Soviet Friendship was founded on June 9, 1945.


General characteristics. Under the popular regime, socialist productive relations (see Table 2) have come to dominate the economic structure as a result of radical socioeconomic transformations.

Table 2. Share of the socialist sector in the national economy (percent)
Fixed capital stock ...............79.586.191.999.6
National income ...............65.770.890.898.0
Gross industrial output ...............91.895.897.298.8
Gross agricultural output ...............11.522.576.896.9
Retail commodity circulation ...............61.098.898.899.2

The material and technical base of socialism is being established at a rapid rate: half of the national assets (taking into account state and cooperative fixed capital stock and valuables) was formed during the period from 1950 to 1970. During these years, the national income increased by an average of 6 percent annually. In 1969 the volume of capital investment in the national economy was ten times the 1938 level; in industry, 18 times. In accordance with the resolutions of the Ninth and Tenth Congresses of the HSWP, profound measures were carried out in the country to perfect the management of the economy.

Thanks to the radical reconstruction of existing enterprises and the construction of new enterprises, industrial production in 1970 had increased to nearly eight times the level of prewar production (1938). Despite a reduction of one-third in the number of people employed in agriculture, socialist agriculture was producing one-third more than agriculture in 1938. The gross industrial output is 2.3 times that of agriculture. Of the total number of people employed in material production (early 1970), industry accounts for 40 percent (23 percent in 1949) and agriculture 35.2 percent (62.1 percent in 1949). Industry’s share in the composition of the national income—including construction—reached 54 percent in 1969, and agriculture’s share was 21 percent (taking into account the change in prices in 1968, 55.5 percent and 20.5 percent respectively). Industry has become the leading branch of the national economy, and Hungary has become an industrial-agrarian country. The solution of the basic tasks of socialist industrialization has been facilitated by the fact that Hungary had a more or less substantial industry, concentrated primarily in Budapest, which had developed comparatively early into a major industrial and economic center.

Economic cooperation with other socialist countries—first and foremost, the USSR—has acquired particular importance for Hungary. Hungary participates actively in COMECON; it carries out a policy of coordination of national economic plans and economic integration with the socialist countries. The signing (in September 1970) of a Soviet-Hungarian protocol for the coordination of the two countries’ plans for the development of their national economies for 1971-75 was important. Hungary exports over one-fifth of its industrial output (primarily finished articles); at the same time, it is greatly expanding its imports of raw materials and power.

Industry. By the beginning of World War II, the share of machine building in the industrial output reached 15-17 percent. However, the manufacturing industry as a whole had about half the number of workers of small industry (including handicrafts). The branches producing essential materials—metals, chemical raw materials, fuel, electric power, and so on—were extremely weakly represented.

In the process of socialist industrialization, the existing manufacturing industry has been supported by a power and raw-materials base. The alumina-aluminum industry is being established completely on the basis of domestic raw materials; the oil-refining industry, only partially. Particular attention is given to the machine-building and chemical industries, one-third to one-quarter of which works for the foreign market. In comparison with 1938, the output of the machine-building industry in 1970 had grown by a factor of 16 and the output of the chemical industry by a factor of 27. Heavy industry accounts for about two-thirds of the industrial output (in 1939, less than two-fifths). The textile, clothing, and food branches, which aim at the domestic and foreign market, are notable in the production of consumer goods. Industrial production is diversified in its macrostructure and microstructure, but only a few branches (alumina-aluminum production, most branches of the food industry, and the building-materials industry) are based on domestic raw materials. Manufacturing industry is marked by an orientation to the production of delicate, complex articles that require little raw material but much skilled labor (for example, electrical engineering, radio electronics, instrument-making, and pharmaceuticals).

Changes in the geography of industry have been linked to the industrialization processes of the purely agrarian regions—the Alföld and southeastern Dunántúl (prior to the war, 13 percent of all the country’s industrial workers; by 1970, approximately 32 percent)—and the formation of the new industrial regions in the Northern Upland and northern Dunántúl. In particular, these processes have resulted in the relative decrease of Budapest’s share in Hungary’s industry (in terms of the number of workers, approximately from 56 percent during the prewar years to 40 percent in 1970). (See Table 3 for information on the structure of industry.)

EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY AND POWER ENGINEERING. The mineral-raw-material and power resources of Hungary are limited. Under the popular regime, mineral raw materials and low-calorie fuel have begun to see more extensive and many-sided use. The mineral ores that are mined include bauxites (a prominent place in Europe exclusive of the Soviet Union)—primarily by the open-pit method—in the

Table 3. Branch structure of state and cooperative industry (1969)
 Value of gross product (percent)Number of workers (percent)
Mining ...............5.78.6
Metallurgy ...............10.45.8
Machine building and metalworking ...............26.431.5
Chemicals and rubber ...............10.76.2
Textiles ...............6.48.6
Clothing ...............2.24.1
Food ...............20.710.0
Others ...............17.525.2

regions of Gánt, Iszkaszentgyörgy, Nyirád, and Harkány; low-grade iron ore, primarily in the region of Rudabánya; and manganese and polymetals. Kaolin is also mined.

Coal-mining is the most important branch of the mining industry; coal is the foundation of Hungary’s power engineering. Brown coal is primary; it is extracted by the shaft method, since shallow layers lie at depths of up to 200-300 m. Better brown coal is provided by the Tatabánya and Dorog basins, but these account for only one-third of the total output; the rest is low-grade coal from the Carpathian and central Dunántúl basins. The first lignite open pit in the country—at Mount Gyöngyös (the settlement of Visonta)—is being put into operation (by units; since 1969). The coal of the Mecsek basin (4.2 million tons in 1970) is suitable, to some extent, for mixing with imported coal for coking. By far most of the oil obtained is poor in light fractions and is therefore difficult to transport; consequently, the initial refining takes place at the drilling site, in Nagylengyel (Zala Megye). Since the 1960’s, an oil-producing region has been taking shape in the Alföld. A major new oil-refining center is being established in the vicinity of Budapest (Százhalombatta); it is fed by the Friendship oil pipeline, through which Hungary receives twice as much oil as it produces itself. The establishment of a great oil-refining center (Leninváros) on the Tisza is planned in connection with the construction of the Friendship-2 oil pipeline. The extraction of natural gas is increasing (400 million cu m in 1950; up to 3.5 billion cu m in 1970), primarily in Hajdúszoboszló and other regions of the Alföld. Along with the expansion of domestic extraction of fuel resources, the country’s fuel imports are growing (mainly from the USSR): imported fuel accounts for up to 25 percent of the consumption of primary sources of power. The import and expanded extraction of gaseous and liquid fuel have made possible a considerable change in the structure of power consumption; the share of oil and gas has increased (from 22.7 percent in 1960 to 45 percent in 1969). Hungary’s largest steam power plants are under construction in Gyöngyös (since 1966; based on coal), Százhalombatta (mazut; partially in operation), and Leninváros. Installation of a line between Mukachevo and Göd (near Budapest) for the transmission of electric power from the SR (up to 3 billion kW-hr) has been completed.

MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. The most important branches of manufacturing industry are metalworking and machine building and the chemical and food industries. Ferrous metallurgy, which uses some domestic ore and red slime (a by-product of aluminum production), is four-fifths based on imported ore and approximately two-thirds based on imported coke. The old Borsoda combines (in Diosgyőr—a part of Miskolc—and in Ózd) form a major metallurgical base; they are located in the Northern Mountains. The new metallurgical combine that has been built in Dunaújváros (construction was completed in 1965-66) is increasingly important.

The aluminum industry absorbs about two-thirds of the domestic bauxites and more than 8 percent of the electric power produced in Hungary. The centers for the production of alumina and aluminum (Almásfüzitő, Ajka, Várpalota, and others) are situated near the bauxite deposits and brown-coal mines of Dunántúl; the area also has a rolling mill (in Székesfehérvár). An agreement between the USSR and Hungary provides for the processing of Hungarian alumina in Soviet plants (120,000 tons in 1970, 370,000 tons in 1980), with the aluminum obtained to be returned to Hungary (60,000 tons in 1970; 185,000 tons in 1980). Thus, the production of rolled aluminum in the country is expanding greatly.

The international specialization and structure of Hungarian machine building are determined primarily by the nonmetal-consuming branches: electrical engineering—particularly communications technology, electronics, and instrument-making (about one-third of the machine-building output); and production of means of transportation (about one-fourth of the output)—the production of internal-combustion engines and, on this basis, diesel passenger coaches (for trains), motorcycles, trucks, ships, and small-scale diesel engines for diesel locomotives and particularly for buses (the Ikarus enterprise in Budapest, with a branch in Székesfehérvár, which cooperates with Soviet plants and Austrian and Swedish firms and which is becoming the largest bus plant in Europe). The machine-tool industry and enterprises producing complete equipment for poultry processing, canning, pharmaceutical, and other plants have been established. About three-fifths of the country’s machine building is concentrated in the capital. In addition, Gyōr, Miskolc, Debrecen, and Székesfehérvár (in particular, the Videoton plant for television and radio sets) are also machine-building centers.

The chemical industry is increasingly based on natural gas and semifinished petrochemical products. The main branches are the production of mineral fertilizers (above all, nitrogen fertilizers, the output of which increased sharply when nitrogen fertilizer combines in Kazincbarcika and Leninváros were put into operation; the large Pét mineral-fertilizer plant is in Várpalota, the old enterprises of central Dunántúl have been reconstructed, and a plant for phosphate fertilizers has been built in Szolnok) and the production of polymers (in Kazincbarcika and Leninváros), primarily plastics (10,000 tons in 1960, 40,000 tons in 1969; further expansion in the output of polymers is planned in connection with the construction of the ethylene plant in Leninváros provided for by a Soviet-Hungarian agreement). The pharmaceutical industry is well developed (Budapest, Debrecen, and elsewhere); two-thirds of its output is exported.

In the food industry, the relative importance of the previously developed milling branches halved between the 1940’s and the 1960’s. During this period, the canning industry nearly tripled in importance and thus became one of the leading industrial branches. The shares of the poultry- and egg-processing, meat, and confectionery branches grew considerably.

The cotton industry provides about one-half of the textile output (the disproportion between spinning and weaving has been eliminated by the construction of spinning mills in Szeged, Kaposvár, and Miskolc); the wool industry, about one-fifth. Cotton and, to some extent, wool are imported, and approximately one-quarter of the textile output—particularly cotton fabrics—is exported. There is processing of fibrous crops, mainly hemp. Three-fifths of the textile industry is concentrated in the capital; northwestern Dunántúl (cotton and wool production) and sourtheastern Alföld (bast, knitted goods, and carpet production) are notable regions. (See Table 4 for the output of various industrial products.)

Agriculture. With the establishment of agricultural-production cooperatives, the Hungarian peasantry embarked on the path of large-scale socialist farming. Over 90 percent of the agricultural land belongs to cooperatives and state farms. The latter hold 13 percent of the plowed land,

Table 4. Production of major Industrial products
Coal (million tons) ...............9.413.326.531.426.5
Petroleum (tons) ...............43,000512,0001,217,0001,803,0001,754,000
Natural gas (million cu m) ...............83813421,1083,235
Electric power (billion kW-hr) ...............
Steel (tons) ...............647,0001,048,0001,887,0002,520,0003,032,000
Bauxites (tons) ...............540,000578,0001,190,0001,477,0001,935,000
Alumina (tons) ...............7,00034,000218,000267,000408,000
Aluminum (tons) ...............1,30016,70049,50058,10064,500
Metal-cutting machines (units) ...............2003,6009,80013,90014,000
Buses (units) ...............4161,8772,6884,789
Television sets (units) ...............139,000267,000345,000
Sulfuric acid (tons) ...............40,00062,000164,000378,000454,000
Mineral fertilizers (tons) ...............79,000209,000544,0001,337,0002,381,000
Plastics and synthetic resins (tons) ...............9,90027,20039,500
Cotton fabrics (million sq m) ...............146181247323317
Sugar (tons) ...............101,000179,000380,000428,000416,600

but they account for 19 percent of the state purchases of grain, 30 percent of swine, and 21 percent of milk. The socialist reconstruction of agriculture is being accompanied by technical equipment, a severalscore increase in the use of mineral fertilizers (125 kg of fertilizer per ha in 1969), and an expansion of the area irrigated (about 365,000 ha in 1969—26 times the prewar level of 1938). Within COMECON, Hungary’s agricultural specialization is primarily in the production and export of fruits, grapes, vegetables, and meat.

Livestock raising accounts for two-fifths of the gross agricultural product and as much as 40 percent of the total agricultural exports.

The traditions of farming in Hungary are ancient. The country is characterized by a high degree of plowing. Arable land (60 percent), natural fodder lands (10 percent), and vineyards and gardens (6.6 percent) make up about three-quarters of the country’s area. (See Tables 5 and 6 for data on the sown area and yields of the main agricultural crops.)

Table 5. Structure of sown area (percent)
Cereals and leguminous plants ...............67.867.1
Industrial crops ...............5.55.6
Potatoes ...............4.92.8
Vegetables ...............1.92.6
Fodder crops ...............19.120.0

Cereal crops predominate to a considerable degree in terms of sown area because of the vast planting of corn, which is used for fodder. Along with other fodder crops, forage cereals (corn, oats, and barley) occupy over one-half of the entire sown area—a reflection of the line of intensifying agriculture.

Planting of wheat—the main food crop—has declined, but its yield is 1.5 times that of the prewar years. Wheat, like corn, is planted everywhere. Planting of sugar beets is concentrated primarily in the Kisalföld (northwestern Hungary) and the southeastern Alföld, which have become beet-growing

Table 6. Sown area and yiels of cereal crops
 Sown area
(centners per ha)
1 Yearly average
Wheat ...............1,606,0001,371,0001,078,0001,321,00013.714.618.627.1
Rye ...............634,000487,000240,000183,00011.212.010.812.8
Corn ...............1,167,0001,174,0001,269,0001,268,00018.720.626.137.9
Barley ...............464,000422,000516,000381,00013.516.218.723.8
Oats ...............231,000130,00082,00048,00012.412.511.616.7

regions. Sunflowers and hemp occupy extensive areas. The main concentrations of vineyards and gardens are in the sandy Danube-Tisza interfluve. The vineyards that produce widely known chateau wines are located on the southern slopes of the Northern and Dunántúl uplands (Tokay, Eger, and Badacsony). The fruit harvest has tripled from prewar years, and the export of fruits has increased approximately equally; the export of vegetables has increased by a factor of 7-8. In some years fruit and vegetable growing provide one-third of agricultural exports.

The main branch of livestock raising is cattle breeding, which is prevalent throughout Hungary. Beef cattle predominate; the proportion of cows in the herds is 39 percent, and the milk yield per forage cow is 2,500 liters. Swine breeding is developed everywhere (more than one-half of the domestic meat consumption—55 kg per capita per year—is pork), but it is particularly extensive in typical corn regions (the Transtisza and the Mezőföld). Sheep raising has developed somewhat in the postwar period. Horse breeding has an ancient tradition in Hungary; it is concentrated in the south of the country. (Information on the livestock population is given in Table 7.) Hungary is first in Europe in terms of consumption of poultry (per capita poultry consumption in Hungary exceeds that of beef), and poultry produce makes up 10 percent of the country’s agricultural exports.

Table 7. Livestock population (head; end of year)
Cattle ...............2,022,0002,022,0001,965,0001,920,0001,915,000
Swine ...............5,317,0004,782,0006,388,0006,590,0005,700,000
Horses ...............840,000690,000490,000307,000236,000
Sheep ...............1,685,000990,0002,250,0002,460,0002,250,000

There are territorial differences in agricultural specialization, although field-crop cultivation, with sowing of corn and wheat, forms the essential context. In highly plowed steppe chernozem regions, cereal farming predominates for the most part; meat-lard and lard swine breeding, poultry farming,

Table 8. Dynamics and structure of freight transfers and freight turnover of general-utility transportation
Total freight transported (million tons) ...............51.0120.4194.5251.7264.4
including railroad transportation ...............40.967.992.9112.3111.2
Total freight turnover (billion tons-km) ...............
including (proportions in percent):
Railroads ...............
Automotive transportation ...............
River transportation ...............
Maritime transportation ...............
Oil pipelines ...............

and also beet farming form commodity specializations. The Kisalföld, which is rich in meadows, stands out for its dairy livestock raising and bacon swine breeding; fodder grasses and sugar beets are important among sown crops. The Danube-Tisza interfluvial area is one of the main centers of horticulture, viticulture, and, to some extent, vegetable growing. Nyirség (northeastern Alföld) is an important region for horticulture, potato growing, tobacco raising, and, to some extent, seed-oil crops (sunflowers). Horticulture and viticulture are very characteristic of the southern slopes of the Northern Upland and the Dunántúl massifs of Bakony, Mecsek, and others.

Transportation. The freight turnover of all forms of general utility transportation more than quadrupled between 1950 and 1970 through carting of bulk freights (coal accounts for 20 percent of the freight on the railroads) and the development of interregional and interstate division of labor (see Table 8). Imported goods account for over one-fifth of the railroad freight turnover; all foreign cargoes (including transit goods), as much as two-fifths. There are 1,700 km (1969) of domestic water routes. For the most part, river transportation services foreign trade. The Danube ports include Budapest, Komárom, Győr, Almásfüzitő, Dunaúj-város, and Mohács. Navigation along the Tisza is negligible; the ports are Szolnok and Szeged.

Hungary has a dense network of railroads—about 9,300 km (over 10 km per 100 sq km), they are radial in nature and are centered on Budapest. The trunk lines from Budapest to Hegyeshalom, Budapest to Miskolc, and Budapest to the border with the USSR via Nyíregyháza have been converted to electric traction—in all, 8.4 percent (1969) of the operating length of the general-utility railroads.

Automotive passenger turnover is 40 percent of that of the railroads; intercity bus traffic is well developed. The total length of automobile roads is 29,400 km (1969), over half of which is highway.

Foreign trade. External commodity circulation is growing much more rapidly than the national income. (Between 1949 and 1969, they grew by factors of 7.1 and 3.5 respectively.) This reflects Hungary’s sharply increasing level of participation in the international, particularly socialist, division of labor.

Foodstuffs and food raw material make up one-fifth (in the 1930’s, almost three-fifths) of the country’s exports. The basic items of Hungary’s exports are finished manufacturing articles (their share is twice the 1938 level)—above all machines, over 90 percent of which are exported to socialist countries. Hungary exports ships, cranes, diesel trains, diesel locomotives, railroad cars, turbines, generators, buses, trucks, radio equipment, television sets, and other products to the world market. There is ever-increasing export of medicines (5 percent of the total export), clothing, knitwear, and shoes; bauxites and alumina are particularly prominent in the export of mineral raw materials and semifinished goods. Over one-half of the country’s imports are made up of raw materials, semifinished goods, and fuel (see Table 9). The socialist countries’ share (1969) in Hungary’s exports is 68 percent; in its imports, 67.7 percent. The Soviet Union plays an important role in supplying Hungary with iron ore, apatite concentrates, lumber, cotton, petroleum, metallurgical coke, and electric power; over two-thirds of Soviet exports to Hungary (73 percent according to the agreement for 1966-70) is made up of fuel and electric power, raw materials, and semifinished goods. More than four-fifths of Hungary’s deliveries to the USSR is made up of finished articles, of which machines account for over 50 percent.

The USSR and Hungary signed a five-year trade agreement in 1970. The USSR’s share of the total volume of Hungary’s foreign trade is about 34 percent (1970). Hungary’s trade with the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia (which account for about one-fifth of Hungary’s commodity circulation), Poland, and the other socialist countries is substantial and many-sided. The importance of foreign tourism is growing: in 1969, 6 million foreign tourists visited Hungary, of which 3 million were in transit.

Table 9. Structure of foreign trade (1969; in percent)
Machines and equipment ...............31.429.6
Fuel, raw materials, finished materials ...............14.125.8
Agricultural raw materials and food products ...............27.424.5
Industrial consumer goods ...............22.56.6
Others ...............4.613.5

Economic regions. Hungary is divided into the following regions: the central, or Budapest, region; the northern (Carpathian) region; the Alföld (the left-bank Danube); and Dunántúl (the right-bank Danube).

The central, or Budapest, region (one-tenth of Hungary’s territory and about one-third of its population) includes Budapest, its neighboring natural zone (a radius of 25-30 km), and more distant localities (from Dunaújváros in the south to the border with Czechoslovakia in the north). This region accounts for 49.5 percent of the country’s industrial production. Here branches of the industry of Budapest (primarily machine building and the textile industry) are combined with primary works, which supply the capital with brown coal, iron, steel ingots, and rolled steel. Agriculture (10 percent of all the workers in this branch in Hungary) is partly suburban in nature; vegetable growing, berry bushes, and orchards are prominent. Cereals are sown, mainly wheat; there is swine breeding.

The northern region (one-seventh of the territory and population of Hungary, about one-eighth of its industrial workers) includes the greater part of the Northern Mountains (Börzsöny, Matra, Bükk, the Zemplén massif, and others) and the northern outskirts of the Alföld. It has a clearly expressed industrial character. The main economic center is Miskolc. The region provides over two-fifths of the country’s brown coal and almost the same proportion of its electric power. (The region’s importance is growing as a result of the initiation of operations of the Visonta open-cut lignite mine and the Gagarin Electric Power Plant.) Hungary’s largest factories for nitrogen fertilizers and plastics (the combines in Leninváros and Kazincbarcika) have been established here; they are based on the use of natural gas. Ferrous metallurgy accounts for about two-fifths of the industrial output (combines in Ózd and Miskolc, and also reduction plants in Borsodnádasd and Salgótarján); heavy machine building is associated with it. Commodity plant-growing in the strip of low southern foothills (sugar beets, brewing barley, tobacco, and vegetables) is prominent in the region’s agriculture; there is also horticulture, wine-making (including the well-known Tokay and Eger vineyards), sugar refining, and fruit canning.

The Alföld (about two-fifths of the area and less than 30 percent of the population of Hungary) is the country’s main agricultural region. It provides almost one-half of the commercial wheat and pork and still more of the poultry and eggs; it provides most of the harvest of grapes, apricots, apples, onions, pepper, and tomatoes, and also sunflowers and tobacco. The main area of irrigated farming has been established along the Tisza. The Alföld is the country’s main rice-planting area. Convenient transportation and economic links with the USSR are furthering the economic development of the northern part of the Alföld. The region’s main centers are Debrecen and Szeged. The Alföld is turning into an agrarian-industrial region (45 percent of the agricultural workers and about 15 percent of the industrial workers of Hungary in 1967). Natural gas is becoming the power-engineering base. The industrialization of the Alföld is proceeding along the line of establishing or expanding branches that process agricultural raw materials and service the needs of agriculture—fruit canning, the meat industry (particularly the production of pork products and poultry processing), and the textile industry. Mineral fertilizers are produced (the phosphorus-fertilizer plant in Szolnok), and there is agricultural machine-building. A new orientation in the industrialization of the region is the establishment of plants for the production of pharmaceutical articles, the processing of plastics, and the production of ball bearings, instruments, scales, refrigerators, machine tools, and so on.

Dunántúl (38 percent of Hungary’s area, 29 percent of its population) includes plains, the hilly land and blocky massifs of the Dunántúl hills, and spurs of the Alps. It is turning into an industrial-agrarian region (one-third of Hungary’s agricultural workers and almost one-fourth of its industrial workers). The main centers are Pees, Győr, Veszprém, and Szombathely. The main orientation in its industrialization is proceeding along the line of development of the raw-material and power-engineering base, with a simultaneous buildup of the capacities of manufacturing industry. The bauxite-aluminum industry, most of the oil industry, all mining of bituminous coal and the better grades of brown coal, and a substantial part of the chemical industry are concentrated here. Of the old branches of industry in Dunántúl, which are not connected with the local raw materials base, machine building and the textile industry—which are of countrywide importance—have expanded considerably: they form a dense group of enterprises in the Kisalföld (above all in Gyor) and are encountered in the oldest cities, which are now, as a rule, industrial in nature. Food and condiment enterprises, meanwhile, are scattered over the entire right bank. The right bank is the main region for dairy farming and bacon swine breeding. Livestock raising is based on comparatively extensive natural fodder lands; furthermore, it is more closely linked with field-crop cultivation than is livestock raising on the left bank. There are many vineyards and orchards on the southern slopes of the Dunántúl hills (particularly in the area of Lake Balaton, with its remarkable small health-resort towns), the Mecsek massif (near the city of Pécs), and also the Székszárd area.


Standard of living. The growing national income (the 1969 level was 2.93 times that of 1950) has contributed to a considerable increase in the consumer base of the population (the 1969 level was 2.5 times that of 1950). Per capita consumption more than doubled between 1950 and 1969. During this same period the turnover of retail trade increased by 346 percent. The monthly wage level of workers in the state sector has tripled. The real per capita wages of the population in 1969 were 2.5 times those of 1950 (including a rise in industrial and office workers’ real wages by a factor of 2.5 and in peasants’ real wages by 2.25). Between 1968 and 1970, working time in industry was reduced from 48 to 44 hours a week; about 2 million industrial and office workers shifted to a shortened work schedule. In 1968 twice as many apartments were built for the population as in 1950.

The compulsory state social insurance system is being extended to every worker. In 1968 it included 97 percent of the population; 10.4 percent of the national income was allocated to expenditures for social insurance (1969). Working women are entitled to 20 weeks’ pregnancy leave, during which time they are paid their full average monthly wages. Beyond maternity leave (since 1967), a mother is entitled, at her discretion, to take a leave for three years; during this period she receives a monthly maternity allowance.

Men 60 years of age and women 55 years of age with ten-year work records are entitled to pensions. With more than 25 years of service, a worker receives not only the pension due him based on his length of service (which corresponds to 50 percent of his average wages) but also a supplementary pension: after each year of service, 1 percent of the basic sum of the pension. In addition to the old-age pension, every worker is entitled to receive a pension for disability, as well as an allowance in the event of an accident. The government guarantees various monetary allowances to the members of the family of a deceased worker.

At the beginning of 1969, pensions and state grants were being paid to 1.3 million people. In 1955, 2 billion forints were paid for pensions and other grants; by 1969, the sum was 11.2 billion forints.


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The armed forces of the Hungarian People’s Republic consist of the Hungarian People’s Army (HPA), which includes land and antiaircraft defense troops, border troops, and a workers’ militia. The HPA is headed by the minister of defense. Leadership of the armed forces is built on the principle of one-man management. The Central Political Administration exercises leadership over political work. There are political sections among the troops, in institutions, and in military schools. The party organizations of the HPA perform their work under the direction of the All-Army Party Committee.

The buildup of the armed forces of people’s Hungary began in February 1945 in the course of the country’s liberation from fascism. At the call of the Provisional National Government, antifascist fighting men, partisans, soldiers of the Buda Volunteer Regiment (which had participated in the liberation of Budapest), former prisoners of war, workers and poor peasants, and patriotic-minded soldiers and officers of the Horthy army joined the democratic army. Two infantry divisions—under the command of the Third Soviet Ukrainian Front—participated in the liquidation of the remnants of the fascist German forces in the Alps. Special Hungarian civil engineering detachments operated as part of the Second Soviet Ukrainian Front and the First Bulgarian Army. After the conclusion of the war and the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the HPA became the class army of the proletariat. The continuity of the army’s development was disrupted by the errors committed in the first half of the 1950’s and the counterrevolutionary rebellion of 1956. The armed forces were created anew after the suppression of the counterrevolution. Their arms include modern tanks, rockets of various classes, artillery, jet aircraft, and other war matériel.

The armed forces are staffed in accordance with the Law on the Defense of the Homeland, adopted in 1960. The age for military service is 18, and the term of active service is two years. Officer cadres are trained in military schools and the Zrínyi Military Academy.

Since the establishment of the Warsaw Pact organization in 1955, the armed forces of the HPR have participated actively in the joint measures to strengthen the might of the United Armed Forces for guaranteeing peace and security in Europe. September 29—the day of Kossuth’s popular revolutionary army’s victory over the army of the Croatian ban J. Jelačić near Pákozd in 1848—has been celebrated as HPR Armed Forces Day since 1961. (Until 1961 it was celebrated as HPA Day.)

Medicine and public health. In 1969 the birth rate per 1,000 population was 15.0 and the mortality rate 11.3; infant mortality was 35.5 per 1,000 live births. (The figures in 1950 were 20.9, 11.4, and 85.7, respectively.) The average lifespan (1969) is 67 years for men and 72 years for women.

Noninfectious pathology (cardiovascular diseases, malignant tumors, and nontubercular diseases of the respiratory organs) predominates. Great progress has been made in the control of tuberculosis. Morbidity from syphilis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, malaria, poliomyelitis, and other diseases has decreased. In 1969 the most prevalent infectious diseases were dysentery and viral hepatitis. Isolated cases of goiter are recorded on the Hungarian lowland.

The supreme body of public health is the Ministry of Public Health. Higher medical educational institutions and medical scientific institutions that are part of the system of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences also operate under the direction of the ministry. Local supervision of public health is exercised by the public health sections of the executive committees of the local councils. In districts and cities, public health groups operate under the direction of the chief physician.

By 1970 there were 184 hospital institutions with 83,600 beds operating in Hungary (8.1 beds per 1,000 population, as against 52,300 beds—that is, 5.6 beds per 1,000 population—in 1950), 4,300 district dispensaries, 151 polyclinics, 190 tuberculosis clinics, 123 skin and venereological clinics, 63 oncological clinics, and 47 psychiatric clinics. By 1970 there were 1,032 permanent day nurseries with 39,800 places and 44 infants’ homes with 4,400 places. The population is served by 154 first-aid stations. By 1970 there were 22,700 doctors working—that is, one doctor for every 454 people (as against 10,200 doctors or one for every 909 people, in 1950)—and 58,500 paramedical personnel.

Doctors are trained in Hungary at four higher medical institutions (in Budapest, Szeged, Debrecen, and Pécs). In 1969, 1,016 persons received doctor’s diplomas, 193 received dentist’s diplomas, and 193 received pharmacist’s diplomas. Paramedical personnel are trained in 37 medical colleges. Doctors’ skills are improved at the Advanced Training Institute for Doctors, as well as in medical higher educational institutions, leading special state institutions, and regional hospitals. Advanced training for paramedical personnel is conducted in central monthly courses and at places of work. In 1969 allocations for public health amounted to74.7 percent of the state budget.

Hungary has balneological (Budapest, Balatonfüred, Siófok, Bükkszek, Harkány, Hajdúszoboszló, Parád, and Héviz), balneoclimatic, and climatic (Sikonda, Kekéstető, Lillafüred, and Tihany) health resorts.


Geographia medica hungarica. Budapest, 1966-68.


Veterinary services. The Hungarian land is basically safe with regard to diseases of agricultural animals. Dangerous mass diseases are not recorded among cattle, swine, and agricultural fowl. Tuberculosis and brucellosis of cattle, lep-tospirosis of swine and horses, listerellosis, and certain helminthiases continue to be recorded. Leucosis of cattle and fowl and diseases resulting from insufficient trace elements in the soil and in feeds are recorded. Among the wild animals—primarily in the Bükk Mountains—swine plague, trichinosis, and certain parasitic diseases are established.

There are about 2,500 veterinarians in Hungary (1970). Specialists with advanced skills are trained at the Budapest Zooveterinary Institute. Veterinary service is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture; the veterinary system covers the whole country.

The beginnings of education in Hungary were associated with the origin of the Latin church schools and later, of the city schools (12th and 13th centuries). There was a university in Pecs from 1367 to the mid-15th century. For many centuries, education was completely under the influence of the church. During the 16th to 19th centuries, Protestant colleges in Debrecen, Sárospatak, Pap, Kolozsvár (Cluj), and Nadvened played significant roles: instruction in these schools was also carried on in Hungarian. Such outstanding pedagogues as J. A. Comenius (Komenský), J. Apáczai Csere, and G. Maróthy taught in the schools. A university was founded in 1635. During the period of the upsurge in the national liberation movement of the Hungarian people, a law was adopted (1844) under which instruction in the primary and secondary schools began to be conducted in Hungarian. In practice, the 1868 law introducing compulsory universal education was not implemented extensively. At the beginning of the 20th century, the school system included six-year people’s elementary schools, four-year intermediate civil schools, and eight-year Gymnasiums and Realschule. The church continued to play the leading role in the area of school instruction. (It maintained 80 percent of the schools.) In 1919, during the brief life of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, all schools were nationalized and a project for a single eight-year people’s elementary school was developed. Under the Horthy regime, the previous school system was reestablished and its antipopular character was strengthened. During the 1937-38 academic year there were 1.1 million students in people’s elementary schools, 30,600 in Gymnasiums, 21,700 in secondary vocational schools, and 11,700 in institutions of higher learning. Workers’ children made up 3.4 percent of the total in secondary schools, and peasants’ children 0.6 percent; the figures for institutions of higher learning were 2.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

After the establishment of the people’s democratic system, the goals and tasks of education and training were altered radically; a unified, genuinely popular system of education was established. All schools became state schools in 1948.

The contemporary system of public education—built on the basis of Law No. 3 of 1961—has the following outline: for children three to six years old there is a system of kindergartens, which had 213,000 children enrolled in 1969 (more than half of the total number of children of these ages); at the age of six, all children enter free compulsory eight-year elementary schools, in which there is expanded instruction in mathematics, foreign languages, music, and singing in the four upper grades; and the general secondary school is the Gymnasium, which has a four-year program of study and awards a school-leaving certificate that makes the student eligible to enter any institution of higher learning. The Gymnasiums have specialized instruction in foreign languages, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

Secondary vocational schools with four-year programs (which teach the student a trade and simultaneously prepare him for the school-leaving certificate) and three-year industrial schools (graduates receive diplomas as skilled workers and can enter the third course of vocational schools) are based on the elementary schools. The completion of vocational school entitles a student to enter an institution of higher learning. Eighty percent of the graduates of primary school continue their studies in the Gymnasiums or vocational or industrial schools; the rest study in two-year supplementary schools where, in addition to the general education subjects, they study the basics of a craft or of certain agricultural professions. Thus, the age of compulsory education in Hungary is six to 16. During the 1969-70 academic year there were 1.2 million students in elementary schools, 124,200 in Gymnasiums, 106,600 in secondary vocational schools, 223,700 in industrial schools, and 12,400 in supplementary schools.

The system of higher education includes universities, institutes equal in status to universities, and semihigher and incomplete institutions of higher learning. The term of study is four to five years in universities, six years in higher medical institutions, three to four years in semihigher institutions of higher learning, and two to three years in incomplete institutions of higher learning (higher vocational and special schools, pedagogical schools, and schools for the training of kindergarten teachers). Pedagogical cadres for the upper grades of elementary schools are trained in teachers colleges (four years of study); teachers for the secondary schools are trained in institutes. Institutions of higher learning have evening and correspondence divisions with programs of study one year longer than those of the day divisions. During the 1969-70 academic year, there were 87 higher and semihigher educational institutions, with 52,200 students in the day divisions and 25,700 students in the evening and correspondence divisions. The largest institutions of higher learning are L. Eötvös University, Semmelweis Medical Institute, a polytechnical institute, and the Marx Institute of Economics in Budapest; L. Kossuth University and a medical institute in Debrecen; A. József University and a medical institute in Szeged: a polytechnical institute of heavy industry in Miskolc; an institute of agricultural science in Gödöllő; and a medical institute in Pécs.

The largest libraries are the Széchenyi State Library (founded in 1802; over 5 million items), the L. Eötvös University Library (over 1.2 million items), the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1826; over 1 million items), the State Technical Library and Documentation Center (founded 1883; 663,000 volumes and several million patents), and the Ervin Szabó Municipal Library (672,000 items) in Budapest; the Library of the University of Debrecen (over 2 million items); and the library of A. József University in Szeged (563,000 items).

The largest museums are located in Budapest: the National Museum (founded in 1802), the Art Gallery (1957), the National Museum of Natural History (1802), the Museum of Fine Arts (1896), and the National Museum of Applied Arts (1872). The museum of King István in Székesfehérvár (1873) and the Franz Liszt Museum in Sopron (1867) are important.


Simon, G., and J. Szarka. A magyar népi democrácia nevelésü-gyének története: Rövid áttekintés. Budapest, 1965.
Buti, E. Das Bildungswesen der Volksrepublik Ungarn. [Budapest, 1968.]
A Népmüvelés 10 éves fejlödése (1958-1967). Budapest, 1969.

Natural and technical sciences. Three periods can be distinguished in the history of science in Hungary. (1) From the founding of the Hungarian state (tenth and 11th centuries) to the middle of the 19th century. Even toward the end of this period, the natural sciences as a whole retained a natural-philosophical character as a result of the presence of a semifeudal system in Hungary and the lag in the development of the country’s industry and agriculture. Only outstanding individual scholars contributed to the natural sciences. (2) From the mid-19th century until the country’s liberation from the fascist regime. Broad development in the natural sciences began in connection with the upsurge in capitalist production. However, Hapsburg rule, World War I (1914-18), and the fascist Horthy regime (1920-44) retarded the growth of Hungarian science. Despite difficult conditions, individual scientists made important strides. (3) The contemporary period. The establishment of the people’s democratic system in Hungary in 1945 brought about a turning point in all areas of science. The change was reflected in the organization of the sciences in the country (the reorganization of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the establishment of a system of new research institutes, universities, and other institutions of higher learning) and in the individual activity of scientists.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE TO THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY. The first outstanding scientific work, which contained a general picture of the state of science and a popularization of the ideas of Copernicus, was the Hungarian Encyclopedia, which was compiled in the mid-17th century by J. Apáczai Csere, a follower of Descartes. During the 18th century, instruction in the natural sciences expanded in the higher schools and the collegia. Several professors achieved fame: P. Makő (a handbook on differential and integral calculus), M. Hell (astronomical observations), I. Hatvani (statistical analysis), I. Weszprémi (history of medicine), and J. A. Segner (moved to Germany: he created the instrument that carries his name [Segner’s wheel] and was also the author of research on algebra). S. Tessedik was a pioneer in agricultural technology and agricultural education in Hungary; the Georgikon higher agricultural school was founded in Keszthely in 1797 on his initiative.

The 18th century was marked by achievements in the area of technology. In 1738, J. Hell and S. Mikoviny built one of the first machines for pumping water out of mines, and in the 1740’s, a water-powered system for the needs of the mining industry was created under Mikoviny’s direction. Some progress was achieved in chemistry: in 1782, F. Müller discovered tellurium.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1825. In the first half of the 19th century, progress was recorded in the area of botany—partly the result of the development of agriculture. P. Kitaibel was the first major Hungarian researcher of native flora; he was also the author of works on geography and meteorology. The works of P. Vásárhelyi on the control of rivers became well known. F. Bolyai was a resourceful mathematician. His son, J. Bolyai, worked on non-Euclidean geometry simultaneously with and independent of N. I. Lobachevskii. The first half of the 19th century was marked by achievements in the area of medicine. I. Semmelweis discovered the infectious origin of puerperal fever and developed a method to prevent it; he established the first aseptic obstetrics clinic in the world in Pest.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM. Large-scale industry came into being in Hungary in the second half of the 19th century (particularly in the last third of the century); this stimulated the development of the natural and technical sciences connected with industry. The work in physics of Á. Jedlik dates to this period: in 1861 (six years before W. Siemens in Germany) he constructed an electrical generator. His student, the great 19th-century Hungarian physicist L. Eötvös, studied surface tension, devised a geophysical pendulum (which bears his name), and established a system of geophysical stations in Hungary. Eötvös’ highly precise measurements proved the equality of gravitational and rest mass—the subsequent point of departure for the general theory of relativity. Among the physicists of the first half of the 20th century, the name of I. Bródy must be mentioned first of all. He carried out investigations of solid state quantum theory and physical statistics, and it was he who created the krypton tube and developed the technology for producing it. P. Selényi was the author of studies of light interference that were very important from the standpoint of quantum electrodynamics; he explained the properties of selenium rectifiers.

Substantial achievements in the area of mathematics were made at the turn of the 20th century: G. Kőnig’s works on algebra and set theory; L. Fejér’s research on the summation of Fourier series; F. Riesz’ fundamental works on the theory of functional spaces and topology; and the work of M. Fekete, G. Pólya, G. Szegő, J. von Neumann, and others. A. Haar carried out important research on the theory of orthogonal systems of functions, variation calculus, and above all, the theory of measurement. (The so-called Haar measure was named after him.) The works of K. Jordan on the theory of probability and mathematical statistics must also be mentioned. Astronomy was developed, primarily through the work of M. Konkoly-Thege.

In the field of geology, J. Szabó (research on petrography and tectonics) and H. Böckh (works on oil and underground gas) stood out. A geological institute was organized in 1869, and it was there that M. Hantken, a specialist on stratigraphy and paleontology, worked. The works of the geographer L. Lóczy and the geomorphologist J. Cholnoky are well known. The first geological map of Hungary was published in 1896.

The end of the 19th century was marked by a number of technological discoveries. D. Bánki and J. Csonka invented the carburetor, and O. Balti, K. Zipernovsky, and M. Déri invented the transformer. K. Kandó demonstrated the possibility of using electric power in railroad transportation, making an AC electric locomotive. I. Schenek developed the technology for the production of lead storage-battery grids. A. Mechwart’s application of solid cast cylinders in the milling industry yielded important practical results.

In the field of chemistry, K. Than is well known as the organizer of the first Hungarian research institute of chemistry; he studied physical chemistry. V. Wartha was an outstanding specialist in the area of chemical engineering. L. Winkler was the creator of a school of analytical chemistry; he is known for the new method of volumetric analysis that he introduced. I. Bugarszky is the author of works on electrochemistry. G. Zemplén has achieved important results in the chemistry of carbohydrates.

Few researchers worked in the area of biology. O. Germán is known for his works on ornithology; G. Entz, Sr., achieved significant results in protistology (he discovered plant-animal symbiosis). V. Borbás laid the foundation of Hungarian plant geography, and S. Cserháti made an important contribution to botany.

Medical science was developed in the second half of the 19th century by S. Korányi and J. Bókai—outstanding scientists and the initiators of scientific trends. J. Fodor organized the second department of social hygiene in the world in Budapest. Ö. Krompecher discovered carcinoma of the basal cell. The surgeon J. Balassa and the therapist F. Korányi became well known at the turn of the 20th century.

Major medical schools were active in the first half of the 20th century (the therapists S. Korányi and I. Rusznyák, the neuropathologist K. Schaffer, the ophthalmologists E. Grősz and J. Imre, and others). M. Lenhossék was one of the people to establish the theory of neurons. The engineer and physicist G. von Bekesy received the Nobel Prize (1961) for his research on the mechanism of hearing. E. Hőgyes conducted bacteriological and immunological research.

F. Hutyra played a significant role in organizing teaching and scientific research work in the area of veterinary science. J. Marek was a very prominent veterinary therapist. A. Aujeszky made the discovery of the viral pathogene in animals that bears his name. E. Zsigmond introduced contemporary agrochemistry in the improvement of solonchak soils. D. Fehér is known for his works on the biology of soils.

However, the appearance of a number of outstanding scientists did not lead to rapid development of the fundamental sciences; it was hindered by the difficult conditions under which scientists were forced to work until the 1940’s. There were only two subdepartments of mathematics in Hungary, and the possibilities for experimental research in physics were extremely limited. Some prominent scientists perished during the period of the fascist dictatorship.

Many natural scientists left the country: G. von Hevesy, who received the Nobel Prize (1943) for his work on the application of isotopes, emigrated to Denmark; and the physiologist F. Verzár, D. Gábor (the creator of holography), the Nobel laureates in physics L. Szilárd and J. Wigner, the mathematician J. von Neumann, and other scientists were forced to go abroad.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE IN THE CONTEMPORARY PERIOD (SINCE 1945). Rapid development in science began after the liberation of Hungary. Substantial success was achieved in the area of mathematics. The Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was organized in 1950; it was transformed into a mathematical research institute in 1955. The problems dealt with by the institute cover all the theoretical and applied areas of contemporary mathematics. A computer center was established in 1956; it deals with problems of programming, mathematical logic and simulation, and operations research.

B. Szőkefalvi-Nagy and his school successfully continued the research begun earlier on functional analysis. Significant results were obtained by G. Alexics, K. Tandori, and G. Freud. The work of J. Egerváry in the theory of differential equations, O. Varga and A. Rapcsák in differential geometry, and A. Császár in topology is well known. L. Kalmár and J. Surányi carried out important research in mathematical logic, as did R. Péter in recursive functions. P. Erdős, P. Turán, A. Rényi, and P. Révész achieved recognition for their work in number theory. The work of P. Erdős, A. Rényi, and T. Gallai on the theory of graphs is well known. L. Rédei’s works embrace numerous problems of contemporary algebra; G. Hajós has played a significant role in the development of group theory, as have T. Szele in the theory of rings and the theory of Abelian groups and L. Fuchs in the theory of groups and set theory. A. Adám’s works on mathematical logic and cybernetics have achieved recognition. A. Rényi achieved major results in the theory of probability and its numerous applications. L. Fejes-Tóth developed so-called discrete geometry.

A well-known trend in theoretical physics is linked to P. Gombás, who published fundamental works on quantum many-body theory and the statistical theory of the atom. A. Kónya achieved important results in the area of quantum statistics. The works of R. Gáspár are devoted to quantum chemistry. I. Fényes proposed a new statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics. There have been a number of works relating to the theory of elementary particles, the thermodynamics of irreversible processes, and such. Another trend in theoretical physics is associated with K. Novobátzky and his students G. Marx and K. Nagy. This orientation is primarily concerned with problems of classical and quantum field theory, in particular superconductivity and the theory of weak interactions. L. Jánossy has done important research on cosmic rays and delicate problems of physical optics.

The main center for experimental physics is the Budapest Central Research Institute of Physics, headed by L. Pál. The main trends in the institute’s research are problems of nuclear physics, the nature of light and spectroscopy, cosmic rays, solid-state physics, nuclear chemistry, and electronics. The Debrecen Nuclear Research Institute is directed by S. Szálai.

Research in solid-state physics also developed during the 1960’s: the physics of crystals—the growing of monocrystals and the study of the spectra and structure of crystals (Z. Gyulai and I. Tarján); semiconductors (P. Sélenyi, G. Szigeti, and Z. Bodó); and the magnetic structure of bodies (P. Lenard). Significant work in the field of thermodynamics of irreversible processes was carried out by I. Fényes and I. Gyarmati. Hungarian scientists are participating in the work of the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna (USSR), and in this process of collaboration they have discovered new isotopes. Nuclear reactors have been built in Hungary and research on nuclear reactions has begun with the aid of the USSR. Important research has been carried out in the area of atomic and molecular physics, primarily molecular luminescence (Á. Budó and I. Kovács).

The development of astronomy was furthered by the expansion of the Institute of Stellar Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1948, where research has been carried out on variable stars and stellar atmospheres (L. Detre); a research institute was also founded at the Piszkestetoly Observatory during the period 1959-62. There has been successful study of supernovas, stellar statistics, and polarimetry. The Debrecen Solar Physics Observatory carries out research on solar activity. There are stations that observe artificial satellites.

Since 1945 much attention has been devoted to the development of chemistry. A number of new university sub-departments and nine special research institutes have been established. The most significant results in physical chemistry have been achieved in the area of kinetics of radical chain reactions and catalysis (G. Schay, Z. Szabó, F. Nagy, F. Tüdős, and P. Tétényi). In the field of electrochemistry, valuable theoretical and practical results have been obtained in research on the kinetics of electrode processes (T. Erdey-Grúz). The works of A. Buzágh in the field of colloidal chemistry are well known. Analytical chemistry is a traditional branch of science in Hungary. There have been achievements in the area of the use of halogens in analysis (E. Schulek), Polarographie analysis (J. Proszt), research on indicators and thermal analysis (L. Erdey), and electroanalysis (E. Pungor). In inorganic chemistry, significant results have been achieved in the study of the properties of glass (B. Lengyel). A. Kiss is a pioneer of complex chemical research. G. Zemplén was an outstanding scientist in the field of organic chemistry. His followers in the chemistry of carbohydrates were R. Bognár and S. Müller; in the field of amino acids, G. Bruckner; and in medical chemistry, L. Varga, Á. Gerecs, Z. Földi, K. Lempert, and C. Szántay. The achievements of J. Varga, M. Korách, M. Freund, A. Rovalter, and K. Polinszky in chemical engineering, Z. Csűrös in organic chemistry, and J. Holló, K. Vas, and L. Telegdy Kováts in the area of agricultural chemistry and chemistry of the food industry are well known.

The study of mineral resources has begun on a large scale. New deposits of underground gas have been discovered (D. Kertai). Deposits of ores and the genesis of ores are studied on the basis of pétrographie research; the exploitation of nonferrous metals has expanded considerably (G. Pantó). Numerous Hungarian expeditions are studying deposits of ores, water, and other substances in various countries. New geological and geophysical maps of Hungary are being compiled. Research on regional and historical geology is being conducted (E. V. J. Fülöp and A. Vendel). The study of the pressure and temperature of metamor-phized rock has been undertaken by E. Szadeczky-Kardoss; L. Egyed proposed a new theory of the development of the earth. Significant results have been obtained in research on gravitation and terrestrial magnetism. Research on ground water and the movement of river detritus and estimates of water resources (J. Bogárdi) are important. New methods of geodesic measurement have been developed (A. Tárczy-Hornoch).

Research on problems of evolutionary theory, ecology, and so on has expanded since the late 1940’s. Research is being conducted in the areas .of botany (S. Jávorka, R. Soó, R. Rapaics, B. Zólyomi, and I. Mate), zoology (E. Dudich, J. Balog, and E. Kaszab), protistology (J. Gelei), and neurohistology (A. Ábrahám). In the field of hydrobiology, significant results have been attained by R. Maucha. In experimental and functional morphology, important results have been obtained in research on the defense mechanisms of organisms (I. Törő), the structure of connective tissues (I. Krompecher), and the nervous system (J. Szentágothai). D. Ádám has carried out research in the physiology of the nervous system. An important school of biochemists (the structure and function of proteins—I. Szörényi and L. Szabolcsi; the regulation of enzymes—B. Straub) and biophysicists (problems of muscular contraction, stimulation, and the action of electrons—J. Ernst and J. Tigyi) has been created. Modern research centers and schools in the fields of physiology of plant metabolism (G. Farkas) and genetics are taking shape.

In the field of medicine, the traditions of the Hungarian school have been developing successfully since 1945, and new problems have also been dealt with. I. Környey and K. Lissák carried out research work on the nervous system. S. Korányi established a school of followers who have studied the circulatory system (P. Bálint, A. Babies, P. Gegesi Kiss, P. Gömöri, Ö. Kerpel-Fronius, and F. Rényi-Vémos). Considerable attention is devoted to the study of tumors (J. Bailó, L. Haranghy, and B. Kellner). A new trend has arisen in research on physiology and pathology, as well as in the clinical study of lymph circulation. Research is being conducted on metabolism and modern endocrinology (M. Julesz, M. Radnót, and J. Sós). The development of contemporary thoracic surgery (P. Rubányi and G. Sebestyén) and heart surgery (J. Kudász and I. Littmann) dates to this period. Research in the field of pharmacology has developed extensively in Hungary, corresponding to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry (B. Issekuts, M. Jancsó, and J. Knoll).

In agriculture, a map of the genetics and erosion of the soils of Hungary has been compiled. Successful work has been done on the improvement of sandy and solonchak soils (S. Egerszegi, K. Páter, S. Herke, I. Prettenhoffer, I. Szabolcs, and others). The application of crop rotation and fertilizers to sandy soils has been expanded (S. Förgeteg, B. Győrfy, E. Kemenesy, G. Láng, V. Westsik, and others). Significant results have been obtained in the creation of high-yield hybrid strains of corn, wheat strains with increased resistance, sunflowers with increased oil content, soybeans, improved strains of tomatoes, and so on (E. Kurnik, G. Mésöly, E. Obermayer, E. Pap, A. Porpáczy, A. Somos, S. Rajki, A. Jánossy, and others). New strains of disease-resistant plants have been created (G. Ubrizsy and others). The acclimatization of fast-growing species of trees has yielded important results (B. Keresztesy, J. Magyar, and others). Agricultural-economic research (F. Erdei and others) has been of great importance in the context of the reorganization of agriculture on a socialist basis. New vaccines have been obtained (S. Kotlán, R. Manninger, J. Mócsy, and others).

In the mining industry, prospecting for ore deposits has been expanded, the technology of the dressing of ores has been perfected, and rates of drilling have been increased (G. Taryán and J. Zámbó). In metallurgy, successful work has been carried out in the areas of plasticity of metals, crystallization of metal alloys, and the establishment of new methods for the production of nonferrous metals (S. Geleji, L. Gillemot, J. Verő, and others). In the field of power engineering, much attention has been devoted to electric power, steam power, and in particular, the use of air heating (A. Fonó, L. Forgó, O. Geszti, L. Heller, K. P. Kovács, A. Lévai, F. Ratkovszky, M. Scheidner, L. Verebélÿ, and others). In machine building, work has continued on the perfection of agricultural machines (Á. G. Pattantyús, I. Rázsó, and others). Interesting work has been done on the automation of production processes of various branches of industry (O. Benedikt, F. Csáki, T. Vamós, and others). In communications technology, significant achievements have been recorded in the production of electron devices, color television, modern transmission techniques, and so on (I. Barta, G. Bognár, T. Miliner, G. Szigeti, E. Winter, and others). In the area of construction, there has been expanded research on new building materials, the application of local materials, and the construction of bridges, tunnels, and tall buildings (J. Szabó, K. Szécsi, E. Bölcskei, M. Major, and others). In light industry, important results have been obtained in the development of technological processes: obtaining pulp from straw, new products in the textile and tanning industry, and so on.

Social sciences. PHILOSOPHY. One of the first representatives of free-thinking in Hungary was the humanist poet Janus Pannonius (15th century). The 16th and 17th centuries were marked by the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism; Cartesianism developed to a certain extent within the latter. The most important exponent of Cartesianism was J. Apáczai Csere—a pedagogue and philosopher and author of the first encyclopedia and tract on logic in Hungarian. The establishment of Hapsburg rule over the Hungarian lands was accompanied by the consolidation of Catholic scholasticism. Jansenism and Pietism were disseminated to a certain degree.

The materialist philosopher G. Bessenyei and the poet M. Csokonai Vitéz were prominent Hungarian enlighteners in the late 18th century. I. Martinovics—one of the ideologists of the Hungarian Jacobins—developed the ideas of mechanistic materialism in his works. After the suppression of the republican movement, the influence of German romanticism came to the fore.

I. Széchenyi was a major figure and ideologist of the first half of the 19th century. He believed in the possibility of carrying out bourgeois progress without a revolution and achieving national independence for the country. J. Hetényi was an exponent of the so-called philosophy of harmony or consent. He developed the idea of establishing social harmony by means of extending education and gradual reforms. During this period, the influence of classical German philosophy grew in Hungary. The most prominent exponent of Kantianism was S. Köteles; of Left Hegelianism, the literary critic and aestheticist J. Erdélyi, who was the first historian of Hungarian philosophy. The work of the poet and philosopher F. Kölcsey was a kind of link between the Enlightenment and revolutionary democratic thought. The poet S. Petőfi, the historian and philosopher P. Vasvári, and M. Táncsics (the author of numerous publicistic, political, and historical works) were representatives of revolutionary democratism in Hungary. Their Weltanschauung combined revolutionary democratism with Utopian socialism. The philosopher F. Horárik produced anticlerical works during the revolution.

The defeat of the Revolution of 1848-49 led to the dominance of clerical ideology. During the years of the reaction, revolutionary-democratic tendencies were displaced by idealism. Hegelianism—popular in the 1850’s—was replaced in the 1860’s by positivism, which played a certain useful role in the struggle against clerical ideology (A. Pulszky and G. Pikier). At this time, distorted and oversimplified materialist ideas were being developed by F. Mentovich, who offered a critique of speculative philosophy. S. Brassai criticized positivism from a subjective-idealist standpoint.

The spread of Marxist ideas began in Hungary in the 1870’s. L. Frankel, a figure in the workers’ movement and a participant in the Paris Commune of 1871, was its first propagandist. Certain bourgeois radicals utilized the ideas of Marxism in the early 20th century in their struggle against the reaction—for example, O. Jászi, who attempted to combine materialism and idealism in an eclectic manner. B. Alexander and B. Somló propagated neo-Kantian ideas. E. Szabó was a prominent representative of Marxist philosophy; however, he held syndicalist convictions on a number of issues. The formation of the Communist Party of Hungary (November 1918) and of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 contributed to the spread of the ideas of Marxism-Leninsim.

Idealist and nationalist tendencies played the leading role in the official ideology of the Horthy regime—the Christian Platonism of Á. Pauler, the eclectic idealism of D. Kornis, and the “history of the spirit” orientation of D. Szekfü and B. Hóman. The ideology of populism—the Utopian views of so-called peasant socialism—enjoyed considerable influence among the intelligentsia of the 1930’s and 1940’s. The theoretical activity of Hungarian Marxist philosophers continued under the difficult conditions of the underground.

With the establishment of the people’s democratic regime, the conditions for the broad dissemination and development of the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism were created. Instruction in dialectical and historical materialism was introduced into higher educational institutions. The works of G. Lukács, who took an important, complex, and sometimes contradictory path of development, achieved world renown. The best-known Hungarian Marxist philosophers also include L. Rudas, B. Fogarasi, J. Révai, and E. Molnár. Lukács’ philosophical works concentrated on issues of aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the critique of bourgeois philosophy; Rudas’, on fundamental principles of the materialist Weltanschauung; Fogarasi’s, on problems of logic; Révai’s, on the critique of anti-Marxist currents; Molnár’s, on issues of historical materialism; and L. Mátrai’s, on the history of Hungarian philosophy.

Sociology—above all, concrete sociological research—was developed in the 1960’s.

The Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was organized in 1957. Its first director was B. Fogarasi (until 1959); he was followed by J. Szigeti and, since 1968, F. Tőkei. University departments are also centers for the study of philosophy. The journals Tarsadalmi szemle (since 1946), Magyar filozofiai szemle (since 1957), and others publish articles on questions of philosophy.


HISTORY. The first historical compositions, which were also major works of medieval literature, were the chronicles Deeds of the Hungarians (second half of the 11th century; its existence has been proved on the basis of indirect sources); Deeds of the Hungarians (c. 1200), by an unknown author who adopted the pen name Anonymus and who, through the methods of the chivalrous novels, described the settlement of the territory of present-day Hungary by Hungarian nomads; Deeds of the Huns and Hungarians (c. 1283), by S. Kézai; and the Illustrated Chronicle (14th century), which is attributed to M. Kálti.

The transition to humanist historiography, which developed in Hungary under the auspices of the royal court, was reflected in the Chronicle of the Hungarians by János Turóczi (15th century), which was later revised and supplemented by Antonio Bonfini. After the disintegration of the Hungarian kingdom (mid-16th century), Hungarian historiography retained only the outward signs of humanism.

In the Hapsburg section of Hungary, many historians (for the most part, diplomats and bishops) served the interests of the royal court (M. Oláh, A. Verancsics, J. Zsámboki, and others). The most important representatives of historiography during the mid-16th and early 17th centuries were F. Forgách, M. Istvánffy, and I. Szamosközi. A substantial memoir literature arose in Transylvania (J. Kemény, J. Szalárdi, and M. Bethlen); it interpreted history from the viewpoint of the Transylvanian princes. Hungarian historiography did not develop in the part of the Hungarian kingdom that had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

The work of collecting and publishing historical documents began in the 18th century (G. Hevenesi, I. Kaprinai, M. Bél, and J. Svandtner). The era of the Enlightenment had no important influence on Hungarian historiography. With the exception of A. Kollár, J. Benczur, and a few others, the majority of historians continued to work in the traditional direction of gathering materials and providing a critical analysis of sources. The most important of them were G. Pray and I. Katona. To a certain degree, the ideas of the Enlightenment, along with the ideas of reactionary German romanticism, found expression in the generalizing works written in German by J. K. Engel and I. A. Fessler. The Revolution of 1848—49 was a watershed in the formation of Hungarian national historical science. The first and greatest representatives of bourgeois historiography in Hungary were M. Horváth and L. Szalai. In 1867 the Historical Society was organized, its main task consisting in the study and popularization of native history and the discovery and publication of sources on the history of Hungary. The Historical Society began publication of the journal Századok. The State Archive was established in 1874.

The collection and classification of materials in the field of archaeology began in the 1860’s (F. Pulszki, F. Römer, and J. Hampel).

A number of general features characterized Hungarian historical science during the dualist period (1867-1918): its representatives approved the compromise policy of 1867 with the Hapsburgs, which maintained Hungary’s subordinate position in the dual monarchy; considered the existence of latifundia a factor of national development and defended the dominant political role of the landed aristocracy; preached nationalism; and restricted research almost exclusively to national themes. Hungarian historiography (V. Fraknói, F. Salamon, S. Szilagyi, A. Károlyi, H. Marczali, L. Fejérpataky, and G. Pauler) was under the methodological influence of the German historical school of W. Roscher, G. Schmoller, L. von Ranke, and others. I. Acsády and S. Márki, the authors of works on the history of the en-serfed Hungarian peasantry, were on the left wing of bourgeois Hungarian historiography. In 1899 the Hungarian Ethnographic Society and the journal Ethnographia were founded. Systematic work in the field of ethnography began (the researchers O. Herman, J. Jankó, L. Katona, and B. Vikár). Oversimplified and distorted versions of historical materialism were disseminated at the start of the 20th century. They were used by opposition bourgeois radical historians and Social Democrats (P. Ágoston) to oppose official conservative historical science. The Society for the Social Sciences, established by bourgeois radicals in 1901, and its journal (Huszadik század) played an important role in the propagation of these vulgarizations. As a counterpoise to the Society for the Social Sciences, conservative historians organized the Hungarian Association for the Social Sciences in 1907.

The first representative of Marxist historiography in Hungary was E. Szabó, the translator and publisher of a number of K. Marx’ and F. Engel’s works in Hungarian. Although his work The Social and Party Struggle in the Revolution of 1848-1849 contained certain syndicalist and bourgeois-radical deviations, it was one on which a generation of Hungarian Marxist historians were brought up.

During the period of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, the Marx-Engels Workers’ University and the Research Institute on Historical Materialism were established. During the Horthy period, chauvinism and nationalism were strengthened in historical science, and the struggle against socialist and social-democratic ideas expanded. An idealist orientation became dominant in historical science—the “history of the spirit” (D. Szekfü and others). B. Hóman, S. Domanovszky, I. Szentpétery, F. Eckhart, and I. Hajnal achieved significant results in the areas of economic history, diplomatic history, and the history of law.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s, archaeologists uncovered monuments of mainly the Roman era on Hungarian soil (B. Kuzsinszky). Ethnography made notable strides in the study of rural culture (S. Sólymosi, L. Kiss, and I. Győrffy).

After the establishment of the people’s democratic regime, the Marxist historical conception triumphed in Hungarian historical science. In 1949 the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Institute for the History of the Hungarian Workers’ Movement (since 1956, the Institute of Party History under the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party) were established, and in 1954 the Institute of Military History was established. The works of J. Révai and E. Molnár made a significant contribution to the development of history in Hungary. At the center of the research works of Marxist historians were problems of the economic development of Hungary (Z. P. Pach, V. Sándor, G. Ránki, I. T. Berend, and others), the history of the working class and the Hungarian peasantry (D. Nemes, T. Erényi, T. Hajdu, I. Szabó, and others), and the history of the liberation struggle in Hungary (L. Elekes, E. Andics, G. Spira, G. Ember, E. Kovács, and others). The Marxist conception of Hungarian history has been established. The generalizing works History of Hungary (1964) and History of the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers’ Movement (1962) have been published.

Archaeology has received substantial material assistance. Important research on the primitive communal system and the Roman era has appeared. The most important work on the archaeology of medieval Hungary has been the excavation of royal palaces in Buda and Visegrád (L. Gerevich and others). A number of ethnographic studies have shed light on the connections between historically formed relationships of production and the forms of social consciousness reflected in folklore and popular religious beliefs (G. Ortutay, B. Gunda, and I. Tálasi).

Historical materials are published in the journals Magyar Történelmi Tár (1855-1934), Történeti Szemle (1912-30), Magyar Gazdaságtörténelmi Szemle (1894-1906), A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Társadalmi—Történeti Tudományok Osztályának Közleményei (since 1951), Történelmi Szemle (since 1958), Magyar Történeti Bibliográfia vols. 1-4 (1950-59), Párttörténeti Közlemények (since 1955), Hadtörténelmi Közlemények (since 1954), Magyar Történeti Eletrajzok (1855—); Századok (since 1867), Annales Universitatis Scientiarum Budapestiensis de Rolando Eötvös Nominatae Sectio Historica (since 1957), Acta UniversitatisDebreceniensis de Ludovico Kossuth Nominatae (since 1954), and Acta Universitatis Szegedniensis: Sectio Historica (since 1957).


ECONOMICS. Economic thought in Hungary evolved as an integral system of views at the end of the 18th century, in the context of developing commodity production and under the influence of the national liberation movement. The influence of mercantilism (M. Skerlecz) was strong up to the mid-19th century. Various theses of mercantilism were opposed by G. Berzeviczy, who asserted that a state’s prosperity depended not on the development of its foreign trade but rather on the well-being of agriculture. The deepening crisis of feudalism in the mid-19th century brought to life antifeudal tendencies in economic thought—tendencies directed toward bourgeois transformations (I. Széchenyi, L. Kossuth).

The relative backwardness of Hungary’s economic development at the end of the 19th century determined the low level of bourgeois economic science and its simplified, distorted, and eclectic character. Bourgeois statistics was the most developed. Hungarian scientist-statisticians (including K. Keleti) were among the leading specialists of worldwide significance. In 1860 the Statistical Committee was founded under the auspices of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (later it was known as the Committee on Statistics and National Economics); it published statistical journals, including Statisztikai Közlemények (1860-65) and Statisztikai és Nemzetgazdasági Közlemények (1865-72). D. Kaue was a prominent Hungarian economist, whose work (written in German) on the history of political economy was held in high regard by K. Marx.

Marxism was disseminated in Hungary at the beginning of the 20th century under conditions of an upsurge in the workers’, peasants’, and national liberation movements. E. Varga was the first important Marxist economist in Hungary. He dealt with problems of the economics of capitalist Hungary and principles of the economic policy of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, during whose existence he was people’s commissar of finances and chairman of the Council of the National Economy.

In the period between the two world wars, under conditions of the fascist Horthy regime, the development of Marxist economic thought was hampered. Bourgeois economic science also experienced relatively little development during these years; the influence of the new trends in Western European bourgeois political economics was manifested to an insignificant degree. Bourgeois economists dealt with certain problems of theoretical political economy and the history of economic doctrines (F. Heller) and studied the economic situation and problems of statistics (L. Budai and D. Laki).

The liberation of Hungary from the fascist German occupiers and the establishment of people’s democratic power created the conditions for the comprehensive development of Marxist economic science. The Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1954) and the K. Marx Institute of Economics (1948) were formed.

Economic research—especially in the 1960’s—has been oriented above all to laying the scientific foundations of planning, forming the structure of the national economy, perfecting the system of economic management, and studying problems of the political economies of socialism and capitalism, of the world socialist system, and the international division of labor (I. Friss, P. Erdes, K. Szabó, L. Háj, J. Bognár, I. Vajda, and I. Varga). A great deal of work on the application of mathematical methods to economics has been done by Hungarian economists (J. Kornai, A. Bródy, D. Simon, and others). Work has been done on the statistical balance of branch relations, methods of correlation, problems of computing indexes, and methods of calculating the national income and computing the efficiency of foreign trade and capital investments. The optimal structure for the Hungarian national economy has been studied, as have supply and demand, the formation of the national income, and the economics of agriculture (F. Erdély, F. Fekete, B. Csendes, and others). During the 1960’s, research expanded to the study of the economics of developing countries (J. Bognár, D. Cukor, and others).

Economic research in Hungary is conducted in academic institutes and in research institutes of ministries and departments. The major economic periodicals are Közgazdasági Szemle (since 1954), Statisztikai Szemle (since 1949), Gazdaság (since 1967), and Acta Oeconomica (since 1967). Figyelö (since 1957) is the weekly economic newspaper.


JURISPRUDENCE. Jurisprudence in Hungary came into being as early as the era of feudalism, when jurists played an important role in the development of the law.

István Werböczi’s trilogy (Tripartium) was composed in the 16th century. The work presented an account of the legal system of Hungarian feudal society; because of the prolonged retention of feudal vestiges and the lack of codification, it was the basic source of Hungarian private law even as late as 1945. The Great French Revolution exerted an important influence on the development of Hungarian legal science (the works of the Hungarian jurist J. Hajnóczy and others). The works of the jurists and political publicists of the first half of the 19th century were of great significance for the development of Hungarian legal science (I. Széchenyi, L. Kossuth, L. Szalai, J. Eötvös, and others); they played an important role in the ideological preparation of the liberation struggle of 1848-49 in Hungary.

After 1848-49, a tendency toward Germanization gained force in Hungarian jurisprudence, and the so-called Law of Reason orientation, which was associated with German philosophy, developed. At the end of the 19th century, various positivist orientations in legal thought (A. Pulszky and others) were disseminated as a result of the bourgeois transformations in Hungary. Jurists of the positivist orientation performed important work in generalizing existing law, particularly in the field of civil law (G. Szászy-Schwarz, B. Grosschmid, and K. Szladits).

During the existence of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, the first attempts were made to disseminate and instill the ideas of socialism in the sphere of law and jurisprudence.

In the period between World Wars I and II, fascist ideas were disseminated in jurisprudence.

After Hungary was liberated from the fascist German occupiers and people’s democratic power was established, Marxist-Leninist jurisprudence began to take shape. Exponents of the new socialist science of law and the state achieved significant successes, providing a critical analysis of the experience of the state-legal development of Hungary. Many of their works—critiques of the Hungarian bourgeois philosophy of the state and law, socialist lawmaking and the system of sources of the law, the interpretation of legal norms, the critique of the main contemporary bourgeois trends in the theory of law and the state, the socialist conception of the rights of citizens, the fundamental questions of socialist constitutional development, the socialist conception of comparative law, and so on—were well known in Hungary and abroad. Significant works were created in the areas of socialist theory of law and the state (I. Szabó and others), state law (J. Beér, O. Bihari, I. Kovács, and L. Szamel), civil law (D. Csanádi, D. Örsi, M. Világhy, and others), criminal law (M. Kádár and others), procedural law (L. Névai), labor law (A. Weltner), and international public law (G. Hajdu and others).

Centers for research work in the area of the study of law and the state include the Institute of Law and the State of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the law departments of the universities of Budapest, Szeged, and Pécs, and also the All-Hungarian Institute of Criminology. Publications include the journals Acta juridica (since 1959), Allames Jogtudomány (since 1962), Jogtudományi Közlöny (since 1946), Allam és Igazgatas (since 1949), Magyar Jog (since 1958), and Obzor vengerskogo prava (since 1959).

LINGUISTICS. The beginning of the development of Hungarian linguistics dates to the 16th century and is associated with the name of J. Sylvester, author of the first grammar of the Hungarian language. The first bilingual Hungarian dictionaries were published early in the 17th century (compiled by A. Szenczi Molnár). M. Révai’s studies on the history and structure of the Hungarian language were published in the early 19th century. In the 18th century J. Sajnovics and S. Gyarmati elaborated several very important principles of the comparative and historical method and principles for the study of the Finno-Ugric languages. In the late 19th century research in this direction was continued by J. Budenz, author of a comparative and historical grammar and a dictionary of the Finno-Ugric languages (Comparative Morphology of the Ugric Languages, 1884-94; Hungarian-Ugric Comparative Dictionary, 1873-81). In the mid-19th century A. Reguly collected valuable linguistic material among the Siberian and Volga representatives of the Uralic languages. At the same time, the Hungarian vocabulary was examined in depth, resulting in the publication of the Hungarian Dialectological Dictionary (1838), the Complete Dictionary of the Hungarian Language (vols. 1-6, 1862-74), and the Historical Dictionary of the Hungarian Language (vols. 1-3, 1890-93). In the first half of the 19th century the Hungarian scholar S. Kőrösi Csoma wrote a grammar and dictionary of Tibetan. The Hungarian Linguistic Society was founded in 1904. The successful developments of Hungarian and Finno-Ugric linguistics in the 20th century are associated with the scholars J. Szinnyei, Z. Simonyi, Z. Gombocz, J. Melich, I. Kniezsa, G. Mészöly, A. Klemm, M. Zsirai, G. Laziczius, Ö. Beke, D. Pais, G. Bárczi, D. Fokos Fuchs, G. Lakó, L. Lőrincze, P. Hajdú, L. Ben-kő, and S. Imre.

After the formation of the Hungarian People’s Republic, the Institute of Linguistics (since 1951) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences carried out fundamental collective research: Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language (vols. 1-7, 1959-62) and Structure of Modern Hungarian (vols. 1-2, 1961-62); the first issues of the following extensive works appeared: Historical-Etymological Dictionary of the Hungarian Language (vol. 1, 1967—), the dictionary Finno-Ugric Elements of the Hungarian Vocabulary (vol. 1, 1967—), and Atlas of Hungarian Dialects (vol. 1, 1968—).

In addition to Hungarian and Finno-Ugric linguistics, which is the main area of study and the principal interest of D. Fokos Fuchs, G. Lakó, and others, linguists are working in the areas of Slavic studies (P. Király de Dada, L. Hadrovich, and others), Romance studies (L. Tamás and others), Turkic linguistics (G. Németh and others), Altaic studies (L. Ligeti and others), and Sinology (B. Csongor and F. Tőkei); linguists are also studying other language groups and are concerned with problems of general linguistics.

The principal linguistic periodicals published in the Hungarian People’s Republic include Nyelvtudományi Közlemények (since 1862), Acta Lingüistica (since 1951), and Magyar Nyelv (since 1905).



Hevesy, M. A. Mirovozzrenie vengerskikh revoliutsionnykh demokratov. Moscow, 1962.
Marksistsko-leninskaia filosofiia i sotsiologiia v SSSR i evropeiskikh sotsialisticheskikh stranakh. Moscow, 1965.
Problemy marksistsko-leninskoi filosofii: St. vengerskikh avtorov. Moscow, 1965.
Lederer, E. “Vengerskaia istoriografiia epokhi dualizma (1867-1918).” In Istoriografiia novogo vremeni stran Evropy i Ameriki. Moscow, 1967.
Merei, D. “Razvitie istoricheskoi nauki v Vengrii (1945-1964).” In Istoriografiia novoi i nove is hei istorii stran Evropy i Ameriki. Moscow, 1968.
Mályusz, E. A Thurószy—krónika és forrási. Budapest, 1967.
Várkonyi, A. Thaly Kálmán és történetirása. Budapest, 1961.
Gunst, P. Acsády Ignác, történetirása. Budapest, 1961.
Pamlényi, E. “A magyar történetirás fejlődése a felszabadulás óta.” Századok, 1967 [no.] 6.
Ocherki istorii ekonomicheskoi mysli Vengrii. Moscow, 1962.
Földi, T. “Magyar közgazdasági szakirodalom két évtizede.” Közgazdasági szemle, 1965, no. 4.
Szabó, K. “Twenty-five Years of Economic Science in Hungary.” Acta Oeconomica, 1970, no. 4.
Szabó, I. A Burzsoá állam—és jogbölcselet Magyarországon. Budapest, 1955.
Bibliography of Hungarian Legal Literature: 1945-1965. Published by the Institute for Legal and Administrative Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Edited by Lajos Nagy. Budapest, 1966.
Scientific institutions. The highest scientific institution is the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, with the following scientific research institutes: central physics, central chemistry, mathematics, applied physics, biology, biochemistry, botany, genetics, experimental medicine, automation, history, law and the state, linguistics, geography, economics, and philosophy. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has 90 academicians and 98 corresponding members (1970).
Scientific research work in various areas of science and technology is conducted at institutes of geology, zootechny, pharmaceutical chemistry, communications technology industry, and at many other special medical, agricultural, and technical institutes. By the end of 1969, scientific research was being conducted in 1,046 research institutions, including 131 research institutes, 723 subdepartments of institutions of higher learning, and 192 laboratories, museums, and so on; scientific institutions employed 61,000 persons. As of July 1, 1970, there were about 500 doctors of science and 3,500 candidates of science in the HPR.
In 1969, 6.4 billion forints, or 2.7 percent of the national income, were spent on scientific work, as against 2.26 billion forints, or 1.4 percent of the national income, in 1960. General direction of science policy is exercised by the Committee on Science of the government of the HPR. Direct management of scientific institutions is carried out by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which coordinates the development of the natural, technical, and social sciences; the Hungarian Committee for Technological Development, and the appropriate ministries.

The Hungarian periodical press came into existence in the early 18th century. Its development was intimately connected with the unfolding of the national liberation and revolutionary movement in Hungary. The first newspaper was Mercurius Hungaricus, which was published from 1705 to 1710 in Kassa (present-day Košice, Czechoslovakia), Lőese (present-day Levoča, Czechoslovakia) and Bártfa (present-day Bardejov, Czechoslovakia) and was the information organ of the liberation struggle of 1703-11 led by Ferenc II Rákóczi. The first issue of the newspaper Vörös Ujsag—the organ of the CPH—came out on Dec. 7, 1918, and this day is officially observed in Hungary as Hungarian Press Day.

In 1970 there were about 840 newspapers and journals, with a total annual circulation of over 1 billion copies, being published. The most important daily newspapers (circulation at the beginning of 1970) are Népszabadság , since 1942; called Szabad Nép until 1956 (755,000), organ of the central committee of the HSWP; Népszava, since 1872; called Népakarat from November 1956 to February 1958 (260,000), organ of the All-Hungarian Council of Trade Unions; Magyar Nemzet, since 1945 (110,000), organ of the People’s Patriotic Front; and Magyar Hírlap, since 1968 (100,000), newspaper of the government of the HPR. Weekly newspapers include Nök Lapja , since 1949 (460,000), organ of the All-Hungarian Council of Women; Élet és Irodalom, since 1957 (27,000), organ of the Union of Hungarian Writers; Szabad Fóld, since 1945 (430,000), organ of the People’s Patriotic Front; and Magyar Ifjúság, since 1957 (220,000), organ of the central committee of the Hungarian Communist Youth League. Monthly journals include Pártélet, since 1956 (95,000), and Társadalmi Szemle, since 1946 (36,000), organs of the central committee of the HSWP; and Kortárs, since 1957 (13,500), organ of the Union of Hungarian Writers. The Hungarian Telegraph Agency (Magyar Távirati Iroda, founded in 1880) is entrusted with the dissemination of information within the country and abroad.

Radio broadcasting has been conducted officially in Hungary since 1925. The broadcasting output of the three central radio stations is over 40 hours a day. There are five local (regional) broadcasting programs. Foreign transmission is conducted in eight languages (English, Esperanto, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, and also Hungarian—the broadcast “Our Homeland” for Hungarians living abroad) for 118 hours per week. Regular Hungarian television broadcasting began in 1958. Hungarian television broadcasting is on one channel; total program time is 47 hours a week.


The first written monuments (in Latin) go back to the 11th and 12th centuries (lives of saints, sermons, interpretations of the Bible, and liturgical hymns). The most important works of medieval literature were the chronicles. The religious literature in Hungarian that came into being in the 13th and 14th centuries experienced an upsurge as a result of the activity of the mendicant monastic orders and the Hussite movement. The Hussite preachers Thomas and Valentine completed a translation of the Bible in the 1430’s. J. Vitéz (1408-72) and J. Pannonius (1434-72), who studied in Italy and worked at the court of King Matthias, were the first heralds of a humanist literature free from theological fetters and steeped in earthly experiences. The literature of the Reformation, which developed in Hungary in the context of the Turkish invasion and the growth of cities and the burgher class, was linked to humanist culture and antifeudal, patriotic frames of mind: the singer of fables and pamphleteer G. Heltai (died 1574), the preacher and poet P. Bornemisza (1535-84), and the wandering singer S. Tinódi (died 1556). Renaissance prose made its appearance in the second half of the 16th century in the form of the so-called entertaining stories—treatments of ancient Hungarian legends (about Toldi) and some classical, Italian, and South Slavic themes (History of Argirus). The military life, replete with vicissitudes, of the very eminent Hungarian Renaissance poet B. Balassi (1554-94) left its distinctive mark on his lyrics.

In the 17th century the baroque style became established in Hungary’s literature. It expressed heterogeneous aspirations—Counter-Reformation—feudal and liberation, anti-Turkish, and anti-Hapsburg. Pioneers of the Hungarian baroque included the Jesuit theologian-polemicist P. Páz-mány (1570-1637), who was archbishop of Esztergom, and the great poet M. Zrínyi (1620-64), a politician and military leader who sang of the popular patriotic heroic spirit facing the tragic collisions of life. More idyllic was the poetry of I. Gyöngyösi (1629-1704), which suited conservative aristocratic tastes. The late humanist traditions continued to survive—in combination with interest in Puritanism and the rationalist philosophy of Descartes—only in Transylvania (J. Apáczai Csere, 1625-59). The anti-Hapsburg liberation uprising of the late 17th and early 18th centuries was conducive to the flowering of the oral poetry of the rebels; memoirs also were disseminated (M. Bethlen, K. Mikes, and F. Rákóczy).

The literature of the Hungarian Enlightenment (last third of the 18th to the early 19th centuries) had certain features in common with the literatures of other countries of Eastern Europe: the nobility as the bearer of progressive ideas, the instructive form of classicism, prominent national-historical and democratic themes, and the struggle for improvement or the so-called renewal of the national literary language. The initial stage of the Enlightenment was politically radical: the tragedies directed against despotism and the proclamations fighting for access to education by G. Bessenyei (1746-1811) and the poems of J. Batsányi (1763-1845), a supporter of the French Revolution. After the republican conspiracy of I. Martinovics (1755-95) was smashed, the literary and social movement of the “renewers of the language” (headed by F. Kazinczy, 1759-1831) became the main channel of the Hungarian Enlightenment. But freedom-loving and antiserfdom ideas were already expressed more directly in the poetry of M. Fazekas (1766-1828) and M. Csokonai Vitéz (1773-1805) and the dramas of J. Katona (1791-1830); the shoots of a realism based on folklore appeared.

In folk poetry and the national past (the dramas of K. Kisfaludy, 1788-1830; the lyrics of F. Kölcsey, 1790-1838; the novels of M. Jósika, 1794-1865; and the verses and narrative poems of M. Vörösmarty, 1800-55), romanticism sought a soil on which to nourish itself. Its flowering was accompanied by the development of realism, which already shows through in the “Shakespearean” breadth of the historical dramas by Vörösmarty, the historical color of the novels of Jósika, and the social-critical prose of J. Eötvös (1813-71). Romantic and realistic tendencies reached their summit in the work of S. Petőfii (1823-49), the tribune of the Revolution of 1848-49, acquiring revolutionary-democratic content. The period of social stagnation after 1849, when the nobility was reaching agreement with the Hapsburgs and new revolutionary forces had not yet taken shape, imparted a tragic coloration both to the poetry of the realist J. Arany (1817-82) and the philosophical romance of I. Madáh (1823-64). Historical narrow-mindedness or utopianism of ideals and obsolete romantic methods at times diminished the artistic value of the popular patriotic novels of M. Jókai (1825-1904) and weakened the realistic satire of the talented exposer of bourgeois-gentry society K. Mikszáth (1849-1910).

Realism, becoming the conservative program of the so-called national-popular school, which leaned toward idylli-cism and pseudopopulism, lost its social profundity. It was for this reason that progressive writers of the last third of the 19th and early 20th centuries sought other artistic paths. Dissatisfaction and protest sounded ever more strongly in the lyrics of J. Vajda (1827-97), J. Kiss (1843-1921), G. Reviczky (1855-89), and A. Komjáthy (1858-95). The achievements of French and German naturalism and French and Russian critical realism were reinterpreted artistically by S. Bródy (1863-1924), Z. Móricz (1879-1942) and others, as they enriched prose with themes of the social “depths” and social-psychological dramatic effects. Many writers for the journal Nyugat (1908-41)—the outstanding poet E. Ady (1877-1919), M. Kaffka (1880-1918), F. Juhász (1883-1937), and Á. Tóth (1886-1928)—gave expression to their anticapitalist rebellion and their social-humanist, and at times revolutionary (Ady), hopes through impressionist and symbolist means, which were fused in an original manner with folklore and realism. The aesthetics and style of L. Kassák (1887-1967) were close to German left expressionism. G. Gárdonyi (1863-1922) and I. Tömörkény (1866-1917) continued national-realist traditions in a democratic spirit.

Some Hungarian writers were forced to emigrate during the Horthy reaction after the defeat of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919. Emigré writers in Western Europe and the USSR—A. Gábor (1884-1953), B. Balázs (1884-1949), F. Karikás (1892-1938), A. Komjáth (1893-1937), B. Illés (born 1895), A. Hidas (born 1899), and M. Zalka (1896-1937), who was in Russia as a prisoner as early as 1916—moved along with the revolutionary literatures of these countries from expressionism, symbolism, and critical realism to a realism that was now based on socialist humanism and Communist moral intelligence. In Hungary itself, avant-gardism was represented by Kassák. Critical realism was strengthened in socially acute forms (Móricz; F. Móra, 1879-1934), more factual forms (the so-called people’s—peasant—writers: P. Szabó, 1893-1970; P. Veres, 1897-1970; Á. Tamási, 1897-1966; L. Németh, born 1901; D. Illyés, born 1902; and J. Darvas, born 1912), as well as in intellectual-psychological forms (the so-called urbanists: G. Krudy, 1878-1933; F. Karinthy, 1888-1938; M. Füst, 1888-1967; D. Kosztolányi, 1885-1936; and L. Szabó, 1900-57). Certain peasant writers were not free from the influence of reactionary nationalist ideas (J. Erdélyi, born 1896); some “urbanists” did not escape extreme individualism (L. Szabó). Other writers of the 1930’s and 1940’s maintained more or less consistent antifascist (M. Babits, 1883-1941; L. Nagy, 1883-1954; J. Tersánszky, 1888-1969; M. Radnóti, 1909-44; and Illyés), socialist (Darvas; S. Rideg, 1903-66), or even Communist positions (the great poet A. József, 1905-37, who passed through left avantgardist quests toward socialist realism).

The main stages in the literature of People’s Hungary have been 1945-49—the period of struggle for realist aesthetics against decadent and modernist vestiges and influences; 1949-56—the period of the first successes of socialist realism (although these were impeded by schematizing-simplifying and, during 1954-56, nihilist tendencies); and since 1957—the contemporary period, in which Hungarian socialist literature has been continuing to mature and enrich itself in the creative competition of schools and the complex process of reworking the best national traditions and the world artistic experience. The conflicts of contemporary reality and the various facets of the formation of man, his consciousness, and his character in the new Hungary are reflected with artistic diversity in the poetry of I. Fodor (born 1898), Hidas, Illyés, I. Vas (born 1910), S. Weöres (born 1913), L. Benjámin (born 1915), M. Váczi (1924-70), L. Nagy (born 1925), I. Simon (born 1926), F. Juhász (born 1928), Margit Széchy (born 1928), G. Garai (born 1929), S. Csoóri (born 1930), and M. Ladányi (born 1934); and in the prose of T. Déry (born 1894), J. Lengyel (born 1896), L. Németh, E. Illés (born 1902), I. Örkényi (born 1912), Darvas, T. Cseres (born 1915), L. Mesterházi (born 1916), I. Sarkadi (1921-61), D. Fekete (born 1922), S. Somodi Tóth (born 1923), F. Sánta (born 1927), L. Galambos (born 1929), E. Galgóczy (born 1930), K. Szakony (born 1931), and others. Among the works of the 1960’s known in translation to the Soviet reader, notable for their acuity of social analysis, wealth of form, and psychological and philosophical profundity, are the lyrics of Illyés, Simon, Vaczi, and Garai, Darvas’ novel Drunken Rain (1963), and the novellas of Fekete (Death of a Doctor, 1963), Sánta (Twenty Hours,1964), and Örkényi (The Tóth Family, 1966).

Literary criticism arose in the 18th century (works on the history of Hungarian literature). It experienced an upsurge in the first half of the 19th century (enlightened and progressive romantic literary criticism: J. Bajza and F. Toldi). After the Revolution of 1848-49, the liberal orientation was dominant in literary science (the historian of literature P. Gyulai, the critic J. Péterfi, and the aesthetician J. Erdélyi); gradually, toward the end of the century, it acquired a conservative nationalist character (Z. Beöthy). The positivist school developed in the second half of the 19th and in the early 20th century (L. Katona and F. Riedl). In the early 20th century, critiques of bourgeois-liberal and bourgeois-radical views also used intuitionalist, impressionist methods (H. Ignotus, L. Hatvany, and A. Schöpflin). During this same period, socialist ideas entered Hungarian literary criticism (E. Bresztovszky, Z. Kunfi, and J. Pogány). During the 1920’s and 1930’s the spiritual-historical school—in addition to positivism (J. Pintér)—became influential (J. Horváth, A. Szerb, and T. Thienemann). Among “popular” writers, L. Németh was active as a literary critic. Communist literary criticism and study of literature gained strength in polemics against the bourgeois-nationalist, aesthetic views and currents of the 1930’s and 1940’s. G. Lukács, J. Rêvai, G. Bölöni, and G. Balinth acquired fame in this struggle. Literary theory and history in the HPR is being developed by M. Almási, I. Germán, A. Diószegi, L. Kardos, T. Kardos, B. Köpeczi, I. Király, T. Klaniczai, A. Komlós, P. Nagy, P. Pándi, M. Szabolcsi, J. Szauder, G. Tolnay, D. Tóth, M. Cine, I. Sötér, and others.


Artamonov, S. D., and R. M. Samarin. Istoriia zarubezhnoi literatury XVII veka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1963.
Rossiianov, O. K. Vengerskaia literatura posle 1917 goda. Moscow, 1961.
Rossiianov, O. K. “Vengerskaia literatura.” In Istoriia zarubezhnoi literatury kontsa XIX-nachala XX v. (1871-1917). [Moscow] 1968.
Klaniczai, T., J. Sauder, and M. Szabolcsi. Kratkaia istoriia vengerskoi literatury. Budapest, 1962.
A magyar irodalom története: 1849-ig. Budapest, 1957.
A magyar irodalom története: 1849-1905. Budapest, 1963.
Magyar irodalmi lexikon, vols. 1-3. Budapest, 1963-65.
A magyar irodalom története, vols. 1-6. Budapest, 1964-66.
Katona, L., and F. Szinnyei. Geschichte der ungarischen Literatur. Berlin, 1911.


Neolithic clay sculpture and monuments of the art of the Scythians and Celts have survived on Hungarian soil. Statues, vases, glass articles, and the remains of villas and amphitheaters, frescoes, and mosaics have been uncovered in Roman settlements (Aquincum, Scarbantia, and others). Articles of jewelry of the Huns and Avars and traces of Slavic settlements date to the era of the migration of peoples. The Hungarians, who appeared on Hungarian territory in the ninth century, brought with them the tradition of metalworking.

Of the tenth- and 11th-century structures in Hungary, the “lower temples” in Feldebrő and Tihany, with their low vaults on massive columns made of crude stone blocks, have survived. Churches in the Romanesque style (basilicas with large western towers and recessed portals whose jambs are formed in a series of receding molded planes called orders, often decorated with sculptured carving—in Pécs, Zsámbék, and Lébény) appeared in the 11th to early 13th centuries. The church in Ják is distinguished by its wealth of sculptural decor. The palace chapel in Esztergom (semicircular in layout, with the ribs of its vault resting on fragile twin columns) is distinguished by refinement and elegance—new, early Gothic ideas coming from France.

Byzantine influence is expressed in a number of the monuments of fine art of the 11th century (the carved stone sarcophagus of King István I, the fragments of fresco in the lower temple in Feldebrő). The sculptors’ workshops of the city of Pees flourished in the 12th century. The relief with scenes from the life of Samson that decorates the church in Pees is notable for its vivid observation, gentle generalization, and richness of form. The decorative art of the 11th and 12th centuries is represented by jewelry articles, enamels, and fabrics. From the late 13th to the 15th centuries, Gothic churches were built (in Sopron and Pest) and numerous fortresses with high walls and towers, both regular (Diósgyőr) and irregular (Visegrád) in layout, were constructed.

Hungarian easel painting of the late 14th and early 15th century was typical of middle European circles. In the area of sculpture, the brothers Márton and György Kolozsvári (second half of the 14th century) created a number of bronze statues, unique for their times, of Hungarian kings and saints. Wood sculpture also developed.

There was a great flowering of art in the second half of the 15th century under King Mátyás Hunyadi (Corvinus). Italian architects and artists were attracted to Hungary, and this helped spread Renaissance culture. Construction was lively in Buda and Visegrád: royal residences with galleries and loggias, interior courtyards, and terraces decorated with statues and fountains were built there. The secular spirit also characterized church buildings (the Bakócz chapel, with its ordered decor, in the cathedral in Esztergom, late 15th and early 16th centuries; the single-aisled churches with latticed vaults in Nyírbátor and Szeged). Renaissance realist tendencies were manifested most fully in sculpture (the so-called Báthory Madonna and other works). In the altar painting of the master M. S., the poetic spirituality of landscapes is combined with an agitated linear rhythm. The art of book decoration experienced a flowering (the manuscripts with magnificent Renaissance designs from the former library of Mátyás (Corvinus).

The decorative art of the Renaissance is represented by jewelry articles, glass, and majolica.

The Turkish invasion retarded and complicated the development of Hungarian culture for a long period. Many cities and monuments were destroyed. The Austrian influence became established in the art of Hungary beginning in the late 17th century; it was expressed in the spread of the baroque style. Construction was primarily of churches and magnate palaces (the palace in Ráckeve, 1700-02, architect J. L. Hildebrandt; the churches in Pest, Eger, and Esztergom). During the period of the upsurge of the national liberation movement in the early 18th century, the painter Á. Mányoki, who worked at the court of Ferenc II Rákóczy, initiated the development of Hungarian portrait art. Baroque architecture flowered in Hungary in the mid-18th century, finding more restrained forms (the palaces by the architect A. May erhoff er in Gödöllő and Pest; the Esterházy palace in Fertőd, 1760-62). The transition to classicism is evident in the work of the architect J. Fellner (the lycée in Eger, 1765-85). Late baroque features characterized the residential buildings of Hungarian cities (two- and three-story buildings with plastically projecting portals and balconies in the center—in Buda, Esztergom, Győr, and other cities). In baroque mural painting, abundant in illusionary effects, the works of the Austrian F. A. Maulbertsch, executed with affected elegance, stand out.

Extensive construction began in the growing cities in the early 19th century. The Commission for the Beautification and Improvement of the City was established in Pest in 1808. Classicism predominated in the architecture and sculpture of Hungary during the first half of the 19th century (the National Museum in Pest, 1837-47, architect M. Pollack; the portraits and statues executed by I. Ferenczy). In the painting of the 1830’s and 1840’s, classical features are combined with romantic tendencies and, too, the Biedermeier influence (the landscapes of K. Markó the Elder; the portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes of M. Barabás; and the portraits of J. Borsos). Historical painting, permeated with national liberation ideas and heroic-romantic inspiration (the canvases of V. Madarász and B. Székely), came to the fore in the 1850’s and 1860’s. M. Zichy’s place in the development of Hungarian graphic arts of the 19th century is an important one. In statuettes of peasants, M. Izsó’s work shows the striving to reflect the features of the national character. The work of F. Feszl, who combined forms from Byzantine and Eastern architecture in his buildings, reflects the romantic movement in architecture.

Realistic genre painting, which responded to the social conflicts of the era, began to play a leading role at the end of the 1860’s. Psychologism and dramatism of the images and emotional tension of the color range are characteristic of the work of the great Hungarian artist and democrat M. Munkácsy. Tendencies toward social criticism are also evident in the pictures of S. Bihari and I. Révész. Realistic strivings are also characteristic of landscapes (the works of L. Paál and G. Mészöly, who were close to the painting of the Barbizon school; the works of L. Mednyánszky; and the plein air genre-landscape compositions of P. Szinyei Merse).

The construction of Budapest expanded at the end of the 19th century, and the characteristic features of its design and architectural makeup took shape: broad main thoroughfares and imposing buildings in neo-Gothic, neobaroque, and neo-Renaissance style (the parliament, 1884-1904, architect I. Steindl; and the Opera Theater, 1876-84, architect M. Ybl). Tendencies of the “modern” style appeared at the turn of the 20th century (the Museum of Applied Art in Budapest, 1893-96, architect Ö. Lechner). Showy monuments were constructed on squares and in public gardens (the architectural and sculptural ensemble of the monument to Hungary’s millennium, sculptor G. Zala [1894-1929]; the monuments in the academic spirit by A. Strobl, J. Rónai, J. Fadrusz, and others).

The democratic traditions of the national culture were continued by Hungarian art in the years between 1900 and 1910: the artists of the Nagybánya group (S. Hollósy, K. Ferenczy, J. Thorma, I. Réti, and others) used methods of plein air painting, and the masters of the Alföld school (J. Tornyai, J. Koszta, I. Nagy, and G. Rudnay) based themselves on the legacy of Munkácsy while at the same time characteristically striving for heightened pictorial expression. The genre compositions of A. Fényes and L. Mednyánszky are marked by profound attention to the inner world of the man of the people. Social acuity of vision is also inherent in the work of the portrait and genre painter J. Rippl-Rónai, who was close to the French Nabis group. The work of the painter T. Kosztki Csontváry, whose highly colored, primitivist landscape compositions are permeated by a mysterious fairy-tale atmosphere, stands by itself.

In search of emotional acuity and effectiveness in their art, the artists of the avant-gardist Group of Eight turned to the methods of expressionism and Cézannism (K. Kernstok, B. Pór, and R. Bereny). The Hungarian Activists group of antimilitarist artists (B. Witz, S. Bortnyik, J. Nemes Lam-pérth, J. Kmetty, and others) began its activity in 1915-16. During the period of the Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919), masters of both groups took part in the staging of people’s festivals and created revolutionary placards. The Soviet Republic played an important role in the artistic life of Hungary, strengthening the connection between progressive artists and the democratic masses.

After the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in Hungary, many Hungarian artists worked as émigrés (B. Witz, S. Bortnyik, S. Ék, L. Moholy-Nagy, and others). The painter and graphie artist G. Derkovits, who remained in Hungary, expressed the dramatic contradictions of the era in his mercilessly truthful, expressive, and grotesquely acute works; he was subjected to persecution and died destitute. The traditions of social acuteness in art were also developed during this period by the painter I. Dési-Huber, the sculptors G. Goldmann and L. Mészáros, and also the Group of Socialist Artists (A. E. Fenyő, A. Sugár, and others), which was established in 1934. Naturalism, academism, and the neobaroque were the officially dominant orientations in Hungarian art. In architecture, the progressive orientation was represented by the functionalist structures of B. Lajta. In sculpture, the works of F. Medgyessy, B. Ferenczy, and D. Bokros-Birman, which were distinguished by realistic expressiveness of generalized forms and pictorial freedom of modeling, stood out; in painting, the compositions of V. Aba-Novák, with highly colored and sometimes grotesque depictions of eating houses, fairs, and shows, as well as the landscapes and genre scenes of A. Bernath, J. Egri, and I. Szőnyi, filled with internal expression, were notable.

After the establishment of the popular-democratic system in Hungary, art entered the everyday life of the people. In connection with the expansion of construction, monumental art was developed. Utility of design and the combination of simple, clear spaces, varied rhythmic organization of window openings and loggias, and decorative trimming of high quality are characteristic of contemporary architecture in Hungary. The use of frescoes, mosaics, paintings, sgraffito, and sculptures of small forms heightens the artistic expressiveness of buildings. Among the best buildings are the People’s Stadium (1948-53, architects K. Dávid and others), the polyclinic on Fehérvári Street (1949, architects E. Szendrői and A. Lévai), the House of the Construction Workers’ Trade Union (1948-49, architects L. Gádoros and others), and the Erzsébet Bridge (1965, architect P. Sávoly), all in Budapest; industrial buildings in Nyíregyháza, Berettyóújfalu, and elsewhere; and hotels in Debrecen, Salgótarján, Kecskemet, Hajdúszoboszló, and other cities. There is considerable construction in old (Miskolc, Győr) and new cities (Dunaújváros, Komló, Tiszapalkonya, and others) and in the health resorts of Lake Balaton. Standard designing is developing on an industrial basis. New cities have rational, free plans; residential building is marked by the expressive, rhythmic combination of multistory tower homes with buildings of horizontal range. In old cities, contemporary structures are being combined successfully with historic ensembles. Reconstruction is being carried out in Budapest, as well as modern improvement of old districts and the construction of new districts of the city (the Attila József section and so on).

An important role in the development of fine art in the HPR has been played by masters of the old generation, the guardians of the national realist tradition (the group of Alföld artists; the painters I. Szőnyi and A. Bernath; and the sculptors F. Medgyessy, Z. Kisfaludi-Stróbl, P. Pátzay, S. Mikus, B. Ferenczy, and others). Painting based on revolutionary-historical subjects and the themes of socialist industrialization became widespread in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Notable successes were recorded in monumental art (the Liberation Monument on Geliert Hill in Budapest, 1947, by Z. Kisfaludi-Stróbl; the frescoes by E. Doma-novszky in the metallurgical combine in Dunaújváros, 1955). The diversity of artistic seeking in the general context of ideological strivings directed toward the creation of works close to the people was characteristic of the art of the 1960’s. The striving to generalize real impressions is a characteristic feature of the painters of the Hódme-zóvásárhely group and the masters close to it (I. D. Kuruc, J. Németh, M. Somos, and J. Szurcsik). Their pictures on themes from the life of the contemporary countryside are marked by laconism of language, clarity of composition, and restrained range of color. In the area of graphic art, G. Feledy and Z. Makrisz are close to this orientation. At the same time, interest in emotional-expressive resolutions in art has increased in recent years (the painting of T. Duray, F. Szalai, and I. Kokas; the sculpture of J. Somogyi, A. Makrisz, and T. Vilt; the graphics of B. Kondor and A. Würtz); it is frequently complicated by features of symbolism and surrealism (the painting of T. Csernus, the sculpture of I. Varga, and the graphics of A. Gross and G. Hincz). Decorative-abstract and constructivist themes are characteristic of the painting of F. Martin and the monumental mosaics of J. Barcsay. Sculpture is developing successfully (the youthfully awkward images, executed dynamically and with buoyant romanticism by J. Kerényi; the generalized, plastically expressive portraits of M. Borsos; and the monumental statues, filled with courageous, heroic spirit, of I. Kiss). Great success has been achieved in decorative art (the ceramics of M. Kovács and I. Gádor, the tapestries of N. Ferenczy, G. Hincz, and others).


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The sources of the musical culture of Hungary lie in its rich musical folklore. The development of Hungarian musical art was determined by the contradictory intercommunication of the ancient Eastern basis and the latest Western influences. The first information about the so-called igrici —Hungarian folk musicians and storytellers—dates to the tenth century. The igrici performed epic songs and ballads to the accompaniment of the koboz (a folk pizzicato string instrument) and the lute. In the tenth century, when Christianity became the official religion, the development of Hungarian music was influenced to some extent by Gregorian chant and the poetry of Latin hymns.

Professional musical art began to develop in the 13th century; its bearers were court musicians. In the 15th century there were choirs in Buda and at the major episcopal courts that attracted musicians from other countries. The Ottoman conquest hindered the development of the national musical culture in Hungary; nonetheless, the first secular musical works—collections with Hungarian texts (legends and historical songs) published by A. Farkas in 1536-38, by the lutenist and singer S. Tinódi in 1554, and by the composer and lutenist B. Bakfark in 1553 and 1565—appeared during this period. Songs in Hungarian were also disseminated in church services during the Reformation, which had sanctioned singing in the vernacular, when Hungarian sacred folk songs took shape under the influence of Western religious song culture.

The lyrical love song—the so-called flower song, which was distinguished by a more refined melody and more flexible rhythms than the epic song—appeared in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The performance of flower songs required more advanced accompaniment; the spread of this genre contributed to the development of instrumental music, which was also connected with the entry of the virginal (an English harpsichord of small size) into Hungary. Orchestras and ensembles of varying composition were established in the homes of the Hungarian nobility. During the 17th and 18th centuries, many Hungarian aristocrats maintained instrumental and choral house groups. The choir of Prince P. Esterházy was famous: for about 30 years (1761-90) it was directed by the great Austrian composer J. Haydn. At the end of the 18th century, as German influence gained strength in the aristocratic milieu, the passion for Viennese and German music became fashionable. For the most part, the operas of W. A. Mozart and L. van Beethoven, and later CM. von Weber, were staged—with performances by German artists—in the opera theaters of Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia) and Kismarton (now Eisenstadt, Austria). Although Western European influences had an adverse effect on the spread of Hungarian folk music, these same influences were the ones that furthered the development of urban musical life. The creator of the first Hungarian work for the musical stage was G. Matrai (György Cserni, 1812).

The so-called verbunkos style of instrumental dance music came into being at the end of the 18th century. Its flowering was associated with the creativity of the virtuoso violinists and composers who led gypsy groups—J. Bihari, J. Lavotta, and A. Csermák. Having become established as a national Hungarian musical style, the verbunkos became the basic style of Hungarian romanticism in the mid-19th century. J. Ruzitska created the first Hungarian opera, The Flight of Béla (1822), on the basis of a development of the characteristic elements of the verbunkos. The verbunkos played an important role in Western European music: it was used in the works of the great Western European composers Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Weber; and later in those of Berlioz, Brahms, and also Liszt.

National tendencies began to appear in the music of Hungary in the 18th and early 19th centuries, with the strengthening of the reform movement of the liberal nobility. The petty gentry, who had studied music in the Protestant collegiums, strove to develop these tendencies. The protest of the collegium students against the passion for Western music and the imitativeness of the works of Western-oriented composers (L. Amade, F. Verseghy) who rejected national sources was expressed in the collecting of Hungarian folk songs, the creation of professional songs in the folk spirit, and the use of peasant musical folklore and elements of the Kuruc songs in music. However, national tendencies attained more significant expression in the national romantic opera, the founder of which was F. Erkel, who wrote nine operas on heroic-patriotic subjects from the history of the national liberation struggle of the Hungarian people (Bánk Bán, György Dózsa, and others). The development of the professional musical art of Hungary was facilitated by the organization of a number of musical institutions. The first so-called National Musical School was founded in 1834; on its basis, F. Liszt created the Musical Academy in 1875. (Its president was Liszt, its director F. Erkel; from 1918 it was called the Liszt Higher School of Musical Art.) An opera theater was founded in Pest in 1837, the National Conservatory in 1840, and the Philharmonic Society in 1853. The creative and social activity of the great 19th-century composer and pianist F. Liszt played a major role in the development of Hungarian national musical culture. In his works he constantly returned to the embodiment of Hungarian national material, utilizing Hungarian musical folklore (Heroic March, 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, the symphonic poem Hungaria, the Hungarian Coronation Mass, the Hungarian Historical Portraits for piano, and other works). M. Mosonyi, the author of two operas and vocal-symphonic works, was an eminent master who developed national musical traditions.

The late 19th century saw the appearance of great performers, who brought particular fame to the Hungarian violin school—E. Reményi, J. Hubay, and others. The illustrious violinists J. Joachim, T. Nase, M. Hauser, and L. Auer, the pianists A. Székely and Á. Szendy, and the conductors J. Richter and A. Nikisch were born in Hungary and began their performing careers there. The operettas of the Hungarian composers F. LehárandI. Kalman gained worldwide popularity in the first half of the 20th century.

The new Hungarian music that came into existence at the start of the 20th century was associated with the composing and musical-ethnographic activity of B. Bartók and Z. Kodály. The innovative activity of Bartók—a most important composer, pianist, and investigator of the folk music of the countries of southeastern Europe—had an enormous influence on the formation of music in Hungary and on the development of the composing schools of southeastern Europe in the mid-20th century. The works of Kodály were of great importance in enriching Hungarian national art, as was his musical-pedagogical and research activity as a folklorist of international reputation.

The musical life of Hungary since 1945 has been characterized by a general upsurge in national democratic culture and by the development of amateur art (choirs, brass bands and symphony orchestras, and dance groups) and musical education. In their work, the new generation of composers turn, to a greater or lesser degree, to old folk melodies. Contemporary Hungarian composers include P. Kadosa, R. Maros, A. Mihály, G. Ránki, E. Szervánsky, F. Farkas, P. Járdányi, S. Szokolai, E. Petrovics, G. Kurtág, Z. Durkó, and F. Szabó. The center of musical culture in Hungary is Budapest; it is the site of the Liszt National Hungarian Music Academy and the Bartók Conservatory (reorganized from the National Conservatory in 1942), as well as the Hungarian Opera Theater and the Metropolitan Operetta Theater. Among the symphony orchestras of Budapest, the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the Hungarian Philharmonic Society, and the symphony orchestra of the NAO (railroad workers) stand out. The State Folk Dance Ensemble, the Budapest dance ensemble, and other professional and amateur groups are popular. Choirs in factories, schools, and so on have developed. The following have been established in Budapest: in 1949, the Association of Hungarian Musicians (since 1969, the general secretary has been Tibor Sarai); in 1953, the folk music division of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (the collection and publication of folklore are under its jurisdiction); in 1961, the Bartók Archive Society; and in 1969, the Institute of Music. Scientific publications include the Treasury of Hungarian Folk Music, Documenta Bartokiana, and Studio Musicología. Music journals include Muzsika and A Magyar Zene. In addition to Budapest, Pecs, Szeged, Debrecen, and Miskolc (with a permanent opera troupe) are important centers of musical culture. There are symphony orchestras in Gyór, Szombathely, Veszprém, Szeged, Debrecen, and Miskolc. Folk-dance and music ensembles are active in regional centers.

Outstanding contemporary Hungarian performers include the conductor J. Ferencsik, the woman pianist A. Fischer, and the violinists D. Kovács and V. Tátrai. Also prominent are the opera singers A. Faragó, R. Ilosfalvy, G. Melis, J. Réti, E. Házy, M. Lászlo, J. Orosz, and O. Szőnyi; the operetta singers R. Rátonyi, A. Baksai, P. Kertész, H. Honthy, and E. Galambos; and the musicologists and music critics B. Szabolcsi, A. Molnár, and J. Újfalussy.


Kodály, Z. Vengerskaia narodnaia muzyka. Budapest, 1961.
Muzyka Vengrii.1968. (Collection of articles translated from Hungarian.)
Rajeczky, B. “Musikforschung in Ungarn: 1936-1960.” Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungariaca, 1961, nos. 3-4.
Sándor, F. Musical Education in Hungary. Budapest, 1966.

Ballet performances were first staged in 1839 by foreigners. The first Hungarian ballet artist was E. Aranywari. Ballets on national subjects were performed beginning in the 1890’s. At the start of the 20th century, significant productions were staged by the choreographer N. Guerra, who trained many Hungarian dancers. The 1920’s and 1930’s were an important watershed for the development of ballet, as the composers B. Bartok and Z. Kodály began to create ballet music. The first productions of G. Harangozó—the leading contemporary Hungarian choreographer—also appeared at this time. After 1945, choreography in Hungary was characterized by the assimilation of the classical and contemporary repertoire and the search for new means of expression. Significant national ballets were created, among them the first multiact ballet, The Bride’s Shawl by J. Kenessey (1951). The ballets of Bartók enjoyed popularity. Much attention is devoted to the development of folk dance. The largest ballet troupe works in the Hungarian Opera Theater in Budapest. Since 1960 a troupe under the direction of I. Ék has been functioning in Pecs; it performs ballets of contemporary composers. The leading Hungarian ballet artists of the 1930’s to the 1960’s are B. Bordi, I. Ottrubai, K. Szalay, F. Kőszegy, Z. Kun, G. Lakatos, A. Orosz, K. Ugrai, V. Róna, and V. Fülöp.

The Institute of Ballet Art opened in Budapest in 1950.


A magyar balett történetéből. Budapest, 1956.
Dallos, A. A pécsi balett története. Budapest, 1969.
Chelombit’ko, G. “Vstrecha s vengerskim baletom.” Teatral’naiazhizn’, 1968, no. 23, pp. 17-18.


The roots of Hungarian theater culture are connected to the pagan rites of the Hungarian nomads who conquered the territory of contemporary Hungary at the end of the ninth century. The bearers of the initial forms of theatrical folk culture in Hungary were the tellers of folk tales (regösök) and joculators. After Christianity was adopted in the tenth century, the elements of the ancient culture were strenuously eradicated by the Catholic Church, which tried without success to propagate liturgical drama in the country. The origin of new drama in Hungarian and Latin dates to the era of the Reformation. P. Bornemisza was a great representative of Protestant drama. During the 17th and especially the 18th centuries, many Catholic orders brought the staging of shows in Hungarian—not only religious, but secular as well (free translations of Molière, the interlude The Marriage of Mihály Kocsonya by an unknown author, and others)—into church schools.

During the period of the movement among the Hungarian nobility and progressive intelligentsia for the liberation of the country from feudalism and the Hapsburg dominance (early 1790’s), the first professional theater in Hungary was organized in 1790. The actor and theatrical figure L. Kelemen created a theatrical troupe from amateur enthusiasts in Pest. In addition to the works of German petit-bourgeois drama (A. Kotzebue, F. Schröder, and others), the theater showed classics (G. E. Lessing, Shakespeare, Molière) and plays by Hungarian playwrights (The Philosopher by G. Bessenyei, and others), and it lasted until 1796. The theater under the leadership of the Fejér brothers began its activity in Cluj (Transylvania) in 1792. The art of the first generation of Hungarian professional actors, who founded the national theater school—J. Kótsi Patkó, P. Jancsó, A. Moor, L. Kelemen, and others—was marked by naturalness and simplicity of performance and passion in the expression of feelings. The creative work of one of the early comedy writers of Hungary, the poet M. Csokonai Vitéz, was associated with the activity of the first Hungarian theaters. At the end of the 18th century, after Kelemen’s troupe was disbanded on orders from the authorities, and particularly at the start of the 19th century, the institution known as the wandering theater became prevalent. Small troupes performed in villages and in the cities of the steppes; they set themselves the goal of enlightenment, and they struggled for the recognition of the Hungarian language, the development of Hungarian national cutlure, and a revival of the patriotic traditions of the past. The progressive political strivings of the Hungarian people found expression in the historical drama Bank Ban (1820) by the great playwright J. Katona; in it the author adhered to the idea of the necessity of combining the social and national liberation struggles. The outstanding actors of those times were R. Déryné Széppataky, Z. Szentpétery, and K. Megyery, who appeared in both dramatic and musical shows.

In the first half of the 19th century romantic dramaturgy with a national liberation orientation was disseminated. The main directions in the development of the national drama were characterized by the drama of K. Kisfaludy, the works of the great Hungarian romantic M. Vörösmarty, and the social historical plays of E. Szigligeti, who created a special form of so-called folk play (The Fugitive Soldier and others). The historical drama The Tiger and the Hyena (1846) by the poet and revolutionary S. Petfi holds a special place in the dramaturgy of Hungarian romanticism.

The opening of a permanent theater bearing the name of the Pest Hungarian Theater (Pesti Magyar Színház; from 1840, the Hungarian National Theater) in Pest in 1837 accelerated the development of national theater culture. Dramatic and operatic shows were staged in this theater until 1884. The art of the Hungarian actors of this period was marked by a diversity of ideological and artistic strivings. The major progressive actors of the National Theater—G. Egressy, M. Lendvay, the actress R. Laborfalvy, and others—expressed in their creative work the ideas of the national liberation struggle of the period of the preparation of the bourgeois Revolution of 1848-49. After the defeat of the revolution, the ideas of the struggle for freedom found expression in the philosophical drama The Tragedy of Man by I. Madách (1861). The rapid development of capitalism in Hungary after the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867 strengthened the influence of bourgeois culture in the Hungarian theater. The National Theater remained the guardian of the national democratic traditions in this period. There was a particular upsurge in theatrical life from 1878 to 1894, when the director and producer E. Paulay, the playwright G. Csíky, and the tragic actress M. Jászai were working in the National Theater.

New theaters were opened in the capital and the provinces during the 1860’s and 1870’s: the people’s theater in Buda (1861-64, 1867-70); the Népszínház in Pest (1875), later the Vígszínház (1896) and the Magyar Színház (1897) in Budapest; and others. At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of progressive intelligentsia headed by the director S. Hevesy organized an innovative popular theater, the Thalia (1904-08), which opposed theatrical inflexibility and which acquainted broad sections of the democratic audience with the best works of social dramaturgy. After the proclamation of the Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919), the theaters were nationalized.

The theater was in a profound crisis during the 1920’s and 1930’s, having endured the defeat of the proletarian revolution; the pursuit of box-office success characterized the activity of private theatrical enterprises. Prominent actors (G. Bajor, I. Varsányi, G. Csortos, D. Hegedüs, Á. Ódry, I. Pethes, M. Rátkai, A. Somlay, and J. Törzs) tried unsuccessfully to overcome the crisis of theatrical art. Many talented actors and directors (F. Hont, H. Gobbi, T. Major, and A. Horváth) took part in the work of the Independent Stage (Szeged) and in workers’ amateur groups. Progressive traditions in playwriting were continued in the works of democratic-minded writers (Z. Móricz, J. Heltai, L. Németh, and others).

Hungary’s liberation from fascism and the establishment of the people’s democratic system created new conditions for the development of national theater culture. In 1949 the theaters were nationalized. New theaters were opened in the capital and in the provinces, among them the Youth Theater, the Puppet Theater, the Déryné Traveling Theater, and the József Theater. Theaters began to stage the plays of contemporary Hungarian playwrights—D. Illyés, L. Neméth, I. Sarkadi, E. Urbán, L. Mesterházi, J. Darvas, and others. Productions based on the works of Soviet playwrights enjoyed popularity—Restless Old Age by L. N. Rakhmanov, Tania by A. N. Arbuzov, An Optimistic Tragedy by V. V. Vishnevskii, Good Luck! by V. S. Rozov, and others. The production of plays by A. P. Chekhov and M. Gorky by the leading Hungarian director E. Geliért helped to strengthen realistic traditions in the Hungarian theater. Theatrical expressiveness and ideological profundity characterize the productions by directors of the old generation (T. Major, Z. Várkonyi, and E. Marton), as well as of the younger (O. Ádám, L. Vámos, and K. Kazimír). Kazimir established the new Thalia theater in 1961; plays by I. E. Babel, R. Hochhuth, and S. Beckett, as well as national classics (works of S. Petőfi, S. Bródy, and others) are staged there. In addition to the National Theater, the Vigszínház and I. Madách theaters (both in Budapest) and numerous satirical variety theaters are well known. The leading Hungarian actors of the 1950’s and 1960’s included M. Gábor, F. Bessenyei, S. Pécsi, H. Gobbi, M. Sujok, T. Major, K. Tolnay, M. Töröcsik, Z. Latinovics, É. Ruttkai, I. Darvas, K. Latabár, I. Sinkovics, and Á. Mészáros.

There are 33 drama theaters (1970) operating in Hungary (19 in Budapest). The Scientific Research Institute of the Theater (1958) and the Institute of Theater and Motion Pictures have been established in Budapest.


Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. Editor in chief, S. S. Mokul’skii. Moscow, 1957; vol. 4, Moscow, 1964.
Gershkovich, A. A. Sovremennyi vengerskii teatr. Moscow, 1963.
Gershkovich, A. A. Poeticheskii teatr Petefi. Moscow, 1970.
Khamori, O. “Ogromnyi zariad pravdy.” Teatral’naia zhizn’, 1970, no. 22.
Bayer, I. A nemzeti jatékszin története, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1887.
Nagy magyar Szinészek. Budapest, 1957.
Magyar szinháztörténet. Budapest, 1962.


Circus. Itinerant German, French, and other circus troupes appeared in Hungary in the 19th century. In the first decade of the 20th century, a circus under the direction of the Russian clown and trainer M. I. Beketov (the Beketov Russian Circus) operated in Budapest; during the 1920’s he headed the resident Hungarian circus in Budapest—the Great Budapest Circus (later the Metropolitan Circus). In 1949 this circus, along with other, mobile circuses, was nationalized. The work of the circuses has been directed since 1954 by the Hungarian Circus Enterprise. In 1950 a secondary school for circus art was organized in the HPR.


[I. S.] “Tsirk v Vengerskoi respublike.” Sovetskii tsirk, 1961, no. 11.
Baroshsh, I. “Shkola tsirkovogo iskusstva.” Ibid.


The first newsreels were released at the end of the 19th century. The acted film Dance was made in 1901 (director, B. Zsitkovszky). Regular film production began in 1912. The film industry was nationalized during the Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919). In the newsreel series Red Film Reportage an attempt was made to link film with life. However, the production of feature films was not successfully completed. After the suppression of the revolution and the establishment of the fascist Horthy regime, some prominent film figures emigrated (the directors A. Korda and M. Curtis; the poet and film critic B. Balázs).

In the period between the two world wars, Hungarian cinematographic art was greatly influenced by American commercial filmmaking. However, in the 1930’s several comedies that were significant works of art by virtue of their social-critical tendencies and their outstanding acting (G. Kabos and others) were released. During World War II, films propagandizing for nationalist and fascist views were released.

Only the country’s liberation opened the path of artistic development for Hungarian film. The outstanding film Somewhere in Europe (director, G. Radványi), which was distinguished by its antiwar orientation, was made in 1947. The first major achievement of nationalized (in 1948) Hungarian cinematography was the film The Soil Under Your Feet (1948; director, F. Bán). Despite the striving of directors to present an accurate depiction of reality, most Hungarian film works of the 1950’s were characterized by schematicism. The films of the 1960’s were marked by the acuteness of the problems with which they dealt and by the force of truth. The film 20 Hours raises important problems (1964; director, Z. Fábri); the complexity of human interrelations is analyzed in the films In the Rapids (1963; director, I. Gaal) and Father (1966; director, I. Szabó). The films Without Hope (1965; director, M. Jancso) and Cold Days (1966; director, A. Kovács) are devoted to the fate of Hungarian society at the end of the 19th century and in the period of fascist domination. Films about young people and the development of a person have been made: A Time of Dreams (1964; director, I. Szabó) and others. I. Homoki Nagy, A. Kollányi, and others are working in the fields of documentary and popular-science films.

Well-known film actors include S. Pécsi, K. Tolnay, M. Gábor, L. Basti, É. Ruttkai, M. Töröcsik, I. Sinkovicz, I. Darvas, Z. Latinovics, I. Béres, and T. Tordai.

Specialists in the field of films are trained at the Institute of Theater and Motion Pictures in Budapest. The Scientific Research Institute of Cinematography (Budapest) was established in 1956. Problems of cinematographic art are treated in the journals Filmvilág, Film, Színház, Muzsika, and Filmkultura. There is a festival of national films in Pécs. Twenty to 25 feature films and about 500 shorts, television films, and film journals are released annually. In 1969 there were 3,980 motion-picture theaters in operation, of which 2,900 were for 16-mm or narrower film.


Nemeskürty, J. A magyar film története (1912-1963). Budapest, 1965.
Magyar, B. A magyar némofilm története, [1-2]. Budapest [1966-67].
Nemes, K. Miért jók a magyar filmek? Budapest, 1968.


Official name: Republic of Hungary

Capital city: Budapest

 Internet country code: .hu

Flag description: Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and green

National anthem: “Himnusz” (first line in English transla­tion: O, my God, the Magyar bless), lyrics by Ferenc Kölc­sey, music by Ferenc Erkel

Geographical description: Central Europe, northwest of Romania

Total area: 35,910 sq. mi. (93,030 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers

Nationality: noun: Hungarian(s); adjective: Hungarian

Population: 9,956,108 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Magyar 89.9%, Roma 4% (est.), German 2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%

Languages spoken: Magyar 98.2%, other 1.8%

Religions: Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, other Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1%, unaffiliated 14.5%

Legal Holidays:

Christmas DayDec 25
Day of the DeadNov 1
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Labor DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Republic DayOct 23
Revolution and Independence DayMar 15
Second Day of ChristmasDec 26
St. Stephen's DayAug 20
Whit MondayJun 13, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 20, 2013; Jun 9, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 16, 2016; Jun 5, 2017; May 21, 2018; Jun 10, 2019; Jun 1, 2020; May 24, 2021; Jun 6, 2022; May 29, 2023


a republic in central Europe: Magyars first unified under Saint Stephen, the first Hungarian king (1001--38); taken by the Hapsburgs from the Turks at the end of the 17th century; gained autonomy with the establishment of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary (1867) and became a republic in 1918; passed under Communist control in 1949; a popular rising in 1956 was suppressed by Soviet troops; a multi-party democracy replaced Communism in 1989 after mass protests; joined the EU in 2004. It consists chiefly of the Middle Danube basin and plains. Official language: Hungarian. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: forint. Capital: Budapest. Pop.: 9 831 000 (2004 est.). Area: 93 030 sq. km (35 919 sq. miles)
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