Lajos Kossuth


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Kossuth, Lajos

 

Born Sept. 19, 1802, in Monok, Zemplen County; died Mar. 20, 1894, in Turin. Hungarian political leader and statesman. Born into a noble family of modest means.

Kossuth was a lawyer by profession. From 1841 to 1844 he published the newspaper Pesti Hirlap, which opposed the absolutist oppression of the Hapsburgs. He headed an oppositionist wing of the state assembly that opened Nov. 12, 1847, in the city of Pozsony (Bratislava). On Mar. 3, 1848, delivering a programmatic speech at a meeting of the assembly, he proposed that a petition be sent to the Austrian emperor Ferdinand I (who was simultaneously the Hungarian king Ferdinand V) demanding the introduction of a constitution, the creation of an independent Hungarian government responsible to a parliament, and the establishment of civil liberties. After the revolt in Pest on Mar. 15, 1848, which was the beginning of the Revolution of 1848-49 in Hungary, Kossuth headed a delegation sent by the assembly to hand the emperor the petition on reforms.

From March to September 1848 he was minister of finance in the first Hungarian government of L. Batthyány. In July 1848 he was elected a deputy to the assembly convened in Pest. He created a Hungarian national army. In August-September 1848 he visited several regions of Hungary, urging peasants to take part in the defense of the homeland. In September he became head of the Committee of National Defense, to which the parliament turned over the functions of government on Oct. 8, 1848. He advocated a struggle against the Hapsburgs in alliance with Austrian democrats. Kossuth initiated the publication of a declaration of independence (Apr. 14, 1849) and fought the Peace Party, which was calling for an agreement with the Hapsburgs. On May 2, 1849, he was elected supreme ruler of Hungary.

Despite his uncompromising attitude toward the Hapsburgs on the question of Hungary’s national independence, Kossuth expressed the interests of the middle-level landed gentry, was inconsistent and vacillating on the peasant, nationality, and other cardinal questions, backed the Hungarian revolutionary government’s policy of repression of peasant movements, and was a supporter of the Magyarization of Hungary’s national regions. On Aug. 11, 1849, he turned over power to Görgey, commander in chief of the Hungarian national army, and emi-grated. The Austrian government sentenced Kossuth to death in absentia.

While living in Great Britain from 1852 to 1859, Kossuth met and became a friend of A. I. Herzen. In 1859 he formed a Hungarian legion to fight under G. Garibaldi. He refused to return to Hungary in 1867 under an amnesty.

Kossuth was a prominent spokesman for the antifeudal cur-rent in Hungarian economic thought. The State Prize of the Hungarian People’s Republic is named after him.

WORKS

Összes munkái, vols. 1-6, 11-15. Budapest, 1948-66.

REFERENCES

Marx, K. “Koshut i Lui-Napoleon.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch. , 2nd ed., vol. 13.
Engels, F. “Bor’ba v Vengrii.” Ibid. , vol. 6.

R. A. AVERBUKH

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
The most remarkable of such comparisons were those that attempted to construct continuity between Lajos Kossuth, governor of the War of Independence in 1848-1849 and Matyas Rakosi, first secretary of the communist party.
Beyond the shadow of doubt, Lajos Kossuth was the perfect figure with whom to establish continuity.
On 6 May 1849, Artur Kovrik, a Catholic priest from Szentandras, gave thanks to God in the following way: "Thou gave and sent us Moses in the character of your servant, Lajos Kossuth, and through him you lead us from the land of serfdom to Canaan, the promised land.
Opposite Rakoczi, on the north side, is a statue of Lajos Kossuth, who led Hungary to independence for six months before he was forced into exile in 1849.
The latter omission is strange, for Vardy is generally reliable on the nineteenth-century (he is the author of a monograph on Jozsef Eotvos), in spite of the fact that his entry on Lajos Kossuth (pp.
It was founded in 1841 by Lajos Kossuth, the leader of Hungary's battle for independence that ended in defeat in 1848.
It is famous for the fact that the three children of Lajos Kossuth were hidden in this castle in 1849.
Memorial plaques in two different streets of Skopje commemorating both Sandor Petofi and Lajos Kossuth have been unveiled in the past two years in KiselaVoda and Gazi Baba municipalities.
As a result, he became friends with European figures like Giuseppe Garibaldi, Felice Orsini and Lajos Kossuth.
The proclamation's author was a radical journalist and agitator of forty-six named Lajos Kossuth, an ardent Magyar chauvinist although himself, ironically, of mixed Slovak and German stock.
It could easily be argued that Lajos Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot who deposed the Habsburgs in Hungary in 1849, and Camillo Cavour, who engineered the departure of the Habsburgs from Italian soil during the risorgimento of 1859-60, were also the fathers of their respective nations.