Jons World - Hungary Page1

Hungary

Page 1

Hungary lies in eastern central Europe, with a population of some 10 Million, around 20% of whom live in the capital Budapest. The country has a long and somewhat volatile history. Settled by the Magyar (phonetically - Mod your) tribes in around 896 AD, the first King was Stephen (canonised after his death) in 1000AD.

In the 13th Century, the Mongolan Tartars devastated the country, and in the 16th Century it was the turn of the Turks, beginning 150 years of Turkish rule. In 1686, Buda (lying on the west bank of the Danube) was recaptured from the Turks. There followed a long period of rule by the Habsburgs of Austria.

National Flag of Hungary with Coat of Arms

 

On 15th March 1848 there was an uprising against the Habsburgs, fuelled by the intelliegentsia, and a poet by the name of Sándor Petõfi. He wrote a piece known now as the National Song (Nemzeti Dál), urging the people to rise up against the rulers. Although put down, the uprising was the catalyst for an independant Hungary, and in 1867 the Hapsburg empire became a dual Austrian / Hungarian monarchy. Petõfi died during one of the final battles of the independance war, but his body was never recovered.

With the end of World War 1 came the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and in 1919, the Communist Party of Hungary came to power and declared the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The current physical shape of the country was decided in 1920 under the Trianon agreement. Much of the country was divided up and given to neighbouring countries, something that wrankles with many Hungarians to this day.

World War II created further problems for Hungary. Having been occupied by German forces in 1944, the country was taken by Russian forces as the Germans retreated, so beginning a long period of administration by them. An uprising against the Russians in 1956 was brutally supressed, and it wasn't until 1989 that the Russians decided to leave, with democracy restored. In 1990, the first free elections since 1920 were held.