Each of the cornerstones of that myth --the conquest of the Carpathian basin by Magyar tribes, the conversion to Christianity, the Golden Buli of 1222, the era of medieval "greatness," Istvan Werboczy's Tripartitum, the Ottoman conquest and impact, Habsburg rule, but above all the Rakoczi rebellion, 1848, the Compromise of 1867
, Trianon and the 1956 uprising--are subjected to a balanced critical analysis that does not seek to gloss over the ambivalences and complexities of each development.
In the aftermath of that defeat, the Hungarians (actually the minority that was composed of the traditional landed gentry and the emerging urban middle class) assembled enough political power to force the Compromise of 1867
, which awarded Hungary (technically, the Kingdom of Hungary) co-equality with Austria (technically, a complex of diverse lands ruled by the Emperor of Austria and by the German population within it).
Stretching back to the time when Hungary negotiated with the victorious Turks over Transylvania (after the battle of Mohacs, 1526), to the Pragmatic Sanction of 1722, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
, and finally to the concessions made by the elite in their co-operative pact with the Kadar regime after 1968, a tradition of compromise has characterised Hungary's political culture.