Hungary; key historical events
Page last modified 4/1/2021
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16/6/1991. The Soviet Army finally left Hungary after 47 years.
15/2/1991, The Visegrad Agreement was signed; the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland agreed to move towards free-market systems.
26/2/1990. Soviet troops began withdrawing from Hungary. By July 1991, all 73,500 should have gone.
7/10/1989. The Hungarian Communist party changed its name to the Socialist Party.
27/9/1989. Hungary abolished its restrictive emigration laws.
16/9/1989. Hungary opened its border with Austria to refuges fleeing the East on 11/9/1989. At least 16,000 East German refugees cross from Hungary into Austria.
10/9/1989, Hungary began accepting many refugees from East Germany. Hungary opened its border with Austria, providing a route to the West. The East German Government condemned the move as ‘treachery’.
23/8/1989, Hungary removed all border restrictions with Austria.
15/3/1989. 15,000 Hungarians marched in Budapest, calling for democracy.
11/2/1989, Political Parties were allowed in Hungary.
14/8/1952, In Hungary, Matyas Rakosi, Secretary of the |Hungarian Workers Party, was also appointed Prime Minister.
7/9/1950. All religions were dissolved in Hungary.
26/12/1948, In Hungary, the Protestant and Jewish communities accepted compensation payments for the government nationalisation of their religious schools. However the Hungarian Catholic Church, under the authority of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, refused to accept this measure. On this day Mindszenty was arrested, and on 8/2/1949 sentenced to life imprisonment.
14/6/1948, In Hungary the Social Democrats, under force-majeure, reluctantly agreed to merge with the Communists to form the Hungarian Workers Party.
31/8/1947. The Communists won Hungarian elections.
1/2/1946. Hungary declared itself a republic.
4/11/1945. General election in Hungary. Communists won just 17% of the vote, with the Smallholders Party winning with 60% of the vote. Zoltan Tildy of the Smallholders Party formed a coalition government.
24/10/1945. In Hungary, key industries and the banking sector were nationalised, as part of the Kosice Programme.
18/6/1945, In Hungary, as part of the Kosice Programme, the expulsion of all Germans and Magyars who had not been anti-Fascists was ordered. They had mostly left by the end of 1946. Large Hungarian estates were expropriated and converted into State farms.
For events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany
8/5/1945, The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Some 400,000 Hungarians had been killed, and excesses such as rapes by Soviet troops, summary arrests, and deportations to Soviet labour camps continued after this date. Total property damage at 22 billion pre-War Pengo amounted to five times national income for 1938 and about 40% of the country’s total wealth. All bridges over the rivers Danube and Tisza had been destroyed. A quarter of Hungary’s housing stock had been damaged or destroyed, along with half its industrial buildings. Half of all agricultural livestock and a third of agricultural machinery was lost; along with radical Soviet land reform that caused the 1945 harvest to be just 30% of per-War levels. The economy collapsed amidst rampant inflation, with food obtainable only by bartering objects likely to retain some value.
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4/2/1934, Hungary established diplomatic relations with the USSR.
29/7/1932, In Hungary, two Communist leaders were court-martialled and hanged on the same day, despite international pleas for clemency due to the speed of the trial and lack of any evidence that they were plotting to overthrow the political and social order.
5/4/1927, Hungary signed a ‘Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation’ with the Italian leader, Mussolini. Hungary needed allies, and Italy strengthened its influence in the Danube Basin.
1/1/1927. Hungary reformed its currency with a new unit, the Pengo, equivalent to 12,500 paper Crowns. The country had suffered rampant inflation in the early 1920s, and the League of Nations now helped with economic reconstruction.
31/1/1923, Hungary was admitted to the League of Nations.
1/4/1922, Ex-Emperor Charles of Hungary died in Madeira (see 29/10/1921).
14/12/1921, A (somewhat dubious) plebiscite resulted in the retention by Hungary of the Sopron district, which would otherwise have gone to Austria.
29/10/1921, Ex-Emperor Charles was expelled from Hungary after he mounted a further failed coup bid; he moved to Madeira where he died on 1/4/1922.
7/3/1921, In Hungary, ex-Emperor Charles attempted a coup.
4/6/1920. At Versailles, the Treaty of Trianon cut Hungary to 25% of its former size. See maps at http://www.dvhh.org/history/1900s/Trianon-index.htm
The population of Hungary was cut from 21 million in 1914 to under 8 million after this Treaty.
1/3/1920, Nicholas Horthy was elected Regent of Hungary, pending a possible restoration of the monarchy.
14/11/1919, Romanian forces withdrew from Budapest, Hungary, which they had occupied since 4/8/1919.
For main European events of World War One see France-Germany
7/11/1919, The Allied War Council demanded the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Hungary.
1/8/1919, In Hungary, the Socialist regime of Bela Kun was overthrown.
22/3/1919. Bela Kun declared Hungary a Soviet Republic.
24/11/1918, The Communist Party of Hungary (Kommunistik Magyarorszagi Partja) was founded, and soon after, started publishing its own newspaper, Voros Ujsag (Red News)
16/11/1918, Hungary was proclaimed an independent Republic.
13/11/1918, Charles, the former Austro-Hungarian Emperor, formally renounced any participation in the Government of Hungary.
10/1/1913, Gustav Husak, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, was born.
7/6/1896, Imre Nagy, Prime Minister of Hungary 1953-55 and 1956, was born.
18/2/1890, Julius Andrassy, Hungarian statesman, died.
1/1/1873, The cities of Pest, Buda and Obuda were merged to form Budapest.
8/6/1867, The Hapsburg Emperor, Francis Joseph I, was crowned Apostolic King of Hungary at Buda.
15/3/1867. Austria and Hungary buried their differences and agreed to joint rule, sharing defence, foreign, and financial matters but with separate parliaments. However the Czechs, annoyed by the minor role they were given in this arrangement, walked out of the Parliament on 22/8/1868.
17/2/1867, Julius Andrassy was appointed first constitutional premier of Hungary.
12/10/1856, Richard Guyon, General in the Hungarian Revolutionary Army, died
5/10/1849, Count Louis Batthyany, Hungarian statesman, died (born 1806 in Pressburg).
13/8/1849, Hungarian General, Gorgey, surrendered unconditionally to the Russian Commander in Chief, Field Marshall Paskevic. The Hungarian leader, Kossuth, who had urged the continuation of the conflict right up to the end, escaped to Turkey.
28/7/1849, Hungary’s Diet passed the Nationalities Law, granting the non-Magyar peoples of Hungary substantial rights in the use of their native languages, also regional autonomy. This was a last-ditch effort by the Diet to win over the loyalty of the peasants and make them more willing to fight against Austria; a string of Hungarian defeats, and the entry of Russia on Austria’s side, had demoralised the Hungarian Army and created a shortage of recruits.
17/6/1849, Russian troops invaded Hungary.
21/5/1849, Buda Castle was stormed by Austrian forces.
13/4/1849, The Hungarian Diet proclaimed a Republic, with Lajos Kossuth as President.
5/1/1849, Franz Joef’s Austrian troops arrived in Buda, to occupy Buda and Pest, and suppress the Hungarian Revolution.
7/9/1848, The Congress in Vienna, which opened on 22/7/1848, abolished serfdom, and the feudal system of land tenure. This greatly benefited the Czechs, who since the Battle of the White Mountains, 1620, had become a peasant nation, with only the beginnings of a middle class by 1800. After serfdom was abolished, the system of peasant ownership of land allowed national wealth to be built up, and personal liberty enabled an educational system to be established.
23/3/1848, Hungary proclaimed its independence from Austria. On 5/1/1849 Budapest surrendered to the Austrians.
15/3/1848, The Hungarian revolution began in Budapest.
9/2/1842, Aurel Dessewffy, Hungarian politician, died (born 1808).
28/10/1843, Dezso Banffy, Hungarian statesman, was born in Klausenberg.
1840, Hungary attempted to impose Hungarian as the official language in Croatia; this provoked the formation of a Croatian Nationalisy (Illyrian) Party under Count Draskovic.
24/11/1833, Prince Miklos Esterhazy died (born 12/12/1765).
8/3/1823, Birth of Hungarian statesman Julius Andrassy, in Kassa, Hungary.
30/1/1818, Arthur Gorgei, Hungarian soldier, was born.
23/7/1805, Count Balint Miklos died (born 1740).
17/10/1803, Francis Deak, Hungarian statesman, was born (died 28/7/1876).
28/9/1790, Prince Miklos Josef Esterhazy (born 1714) died.
12/12/1765, Prince Miklos Esterhazy was born (died 24/11/1833).
11/9/1645, Miklos Esterhazy died (born 8/4/1582)
7/9/1635, Paul Esterhazy was born (died 26/3/1713).
23/6/1606, The Peace of Vienna guaranteed the constitutional rights and privileges of the Hungarians in Transylvania and Imperial Hungary.
8/4/1582, Miklos Esterhazy was born (died 11/9/1645)
17/3/1505, Prince Christopher, son of Janos Corvinus of Hungary, died.
12/10/1504, Janos Corvinus of Hungary died (born 1473).
18/9/1490, Vladislas II, King of Bohemia, became King of Hungary.
6/4/1490, Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, died suddenly. He was succeeded by Ladislas II of Bohemia.
20/1/1458, Mathew Corvinas, second son of Janos Hunyadi (the ruler who had successfully defended Belgrade against the Ottomans under Mehmed II in 1456) was elected King of Hungary. He took territory for Hungary from Bohemia, having obtained Papal consent for a Crusade against its Hussite ruler, George of Podebrady (ruled 1458-71). However Hungary eventually came under Ottoman rule in 1526.
9/11/1456, Ulrich Cilli, Hungarian governor, was assassinated hy Laszlo Hunyadi.
22/7/1456, John Hunyadi, King of the Hungarians, defeated an invading Ottoman Turkish army at Belgrade. This halted the ambitions of Sultan Mahomet II to occupy Vienna and then Rome, which Mahomet regarded as still the ‘capital of Europe’.
27/3/1443, Matthius Corvinus, King of Hungary, second son of John Hunyadi, was born.
27/10/1439. Death of King Albert II of Hungary at Langendorf, from dysentery, whilst fighting the Turks. Born in 1397, he reigned less than two years and spent this in the defence of Hungary against the Turks.
10/8/1397, Albert II, King of Bohemia and Hungary (died 27/10/1439) was born.
10/9/1382, Louis The Great of Hungary died suddenly at Nagyszombat after a 56-year reign, having also been King of Poland for 12 years. In Hungary he was succeeded by his daughter Maria of Anjou, whose husband Sigismund of Luxembourg now ruled Hungary for 50 years from 1387.
1361, Buda became the capital of Hungary (see 1247).
1307, On the death of 17-year-old King Wenceslas III of Poland and Bohemia (see Poland), Holy Roman Emperor (see Germany) Albrecht I gave the Bohemian Crown to his son Rudolf. However the Bohemians would not accept this, and an interregnum began, lasting until 1310.
1301, King Andras III died after a 13-year reign, ending the Arpad Dynasty. Hungary now endured a 7-year civil war whilst the succession was settled.
10/7/1290, Ladislaus IV, King of Hungary, was murdered, aged 28, by Cuman rebels. He was succeeded by his senior kinsman who ruled as Andras III until his death in 1391. Andras II was the last king of the Arpad Dynasty.
6/8/1272, Stephen V, King of Hungary, died.
1247, The city of Buda was founded by King Bela IV, to replace the city of Pest that the Mongols had destroyed in 1241. Many Germans came to live in Buda.
11/4/1241, The Mongols defeated King Bela IV of Hungary at Mohi.
1196, Hungary’s King Bela III died after a 23-year reign. He was succeeded by his son Emeric, who ruled until 1204, but was later challenged by hs brother Andras, aged 21.
1141, Hungary’s blind King Bela died after a ten-year reign. He was succeeded by King Geza, who reigned until 1161.
1116, King Coloman I of Hungary died aged 44 and was succeeded by King Stephen II, who reigned until 1131.
29/7/1095, King Ladislas I of Hungary, having conquered Dalmatia and Croatia, introduced Catholicism, and founded the Bishopric of Zagreb (Agram), died suddenly this day aged 55 just as he was about to join the upcoming Crusade. Ladislas was succeeded by his nephew Coloman, son of his late brother Geza; he ruled until 1116.
1077, Hungary’s King Geza died (reigned from 1074). Succeded by Ladislas, the 37-year old son of the late Bela I, who reigned until 1095.
4/7/907. The Bavarians suffered a disastrous defeat by the Hungarians.