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part of the sovereigns; but there are some points of political importance which it will be convenient to detail.
From the accession of Ferdinand I., till the Hungarian throne was made hereditary in the house of Hapsburg in 1687, seven princes had ruled over the country in the following succession: Ferdinand I., 1526virtually (or by formal recognition, in 1547) to 1564; Maximilian, 1564-1572; Rodolph, 1572-1611, all in succession of primogeniture. Matthias II., his brother, 1607 to 1618, when he relinquished the crown in favor of his cousin-german, Ferdinand II., 1618-1625. Ferdinand III., his son, 16251655; Leopold, from 1655-1687, when he abdicated in favor of his son Joseph.*
Shortly after the accession of Maximilian, he was compelled to take arms against John Sigismund, Prince of Transylvania, vassal to the Sultan, who aspired to the Hungarian throne. After the capture of Tokay and some other places, a peace was concluded, and John transferred his feudality from the Turks to the emperor. That prince died shortly afterwards; and Stephen Bathori, elected as his successor by the States of Transylvania, renewed the treaty. A war with the Turks succeeded, who laid siege to the city of Sigath, on the Sclavonian frontier, bravely defended by Count Zerini, who with 300 men of Spartan valor, made a sally, and died with glory. The town fell in 1566, although Maximilian was close by with a large army. The king ingloriously abandoned the war, and concluded a truce for eight years. Amurath III., successor to Solyman, the party to the truce, following the Christian example set his ancestors in the previous century, broke the truce, and invaded Croatia in 1592. Rodolph beat one army, killing or drowning 12,000 men. Amurath, however, entered Hungary with another large force, and committed great ravages. Rodolph advanced toward Belgrade and gave battle to the infidels, signally defeated them, and killed 12,000 of their most warlike Janizaries. The Imperial forces captured many places of great strength, which had long remained in the hands of the Turks; and in the pitched battle of Hatvan, in 1594, they were again victorious. The war was conducted with great spirit by the Archduke Matthias, till 1606, when an advantageous
*The regnal years of Hungary and the Empire do not correspond; for in almost every instance, as before stated in the text, the heir-apparent was elected and crowned in the lifetime of the king.
peace was concluded. In 1604 an arrangement was concluded with Stephen Botschay, a Hungarian noble of the Calvinistic faith, by which the Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, were to have equally the free privilege of religious worship in Hungary. The reign of Matthias was tranquil and prosperous; but his policy toward the Protestants, in the end, involved Hungary in the troubles of the Thirty Years' war. While the Protestants of the empire composing the evangelical union, were supporting the Palatin Frederic against Ferdinand II., Bethlem Gabor, Prince of Transylvania, on the invocation of the Hungarian Protestants, who offered to support him for the crown, entered the country in 1620, at the head of 60,000 troops, composed of Turks, Tartars, and men of other nations; but his efforts were badly seconded, and after an army had been sent against him, he concluded a truce, in which he resigned all pretension to the crown, and received very advantageous terms. He died in 1629. After the base assassination of Wallenstein, the King of Hungary took command of the Imperial troops up to the pacification of Prague.
In 1663 Hungary was again invaded by the Grand Vizier Kupruli, at the head of 100,000 Turks, and defeated by Montecuculi, at the great battle of St. Godard on the Raab, in the following year. As Hungary was then threatened with serious internal troubles, the king was fain to conclude a peace as speedily as possible. The policy of Leopold was most despotic; his aim was to subvert the national institutions of Hungary, and bring the country completely under imperial sway. Under pretense that a conspiracy had been formed against the life of the emperor, several of the leading magnates of the kingdom were put to death. The brave and high-spirited people, unable to bear the oppression of this despot, flew to arms. The king sent General Sporth with a large force against the insurgents. That commander, aided by the Marquis of Baden and Prince Charles of Lorraine, treated the Hungarians with great rigor. After a brief but brave struggle, the patriots were compelled to succumb to the fortune of war. But, though conquered, they were not won; their affections were alienated, and the house of Austria never permanently regained the love of the Hungarian people. So intolerable was the German rule of Leopold, that the struggle was renewed in 1679. The leaders of the national party assembled secretly, drew up a plan of action, and engaged in their in
terest the Prince Abassi of Transylvania, who aided them with a large body of troops, under the command of the famous Count Emerik Tekeli. When the emperor-king heard the news, he sent a numerous army against the insurgents, who were defeated in several engagements. In their extremity they applied to and obtained aid from the Sultan Mahomet VI., stipulated in a treaty by which Tekeli was to become King of Hungary, and pay tribute to the Sultan. Tekeli, in the mean time, was elected king by his party. In the spring of 1683, the Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha entered Hungary with a magnificent army of 280,000 men, with the design of marching on and besieging the Imperial capital itself. In his terror, Leopold sought and obtained the military alliance of John Sobieski, King of Poland. The Turks advanced in their conquering progress on the right bank of the Danube, and Tekeli on the left. The Duke of Lorraine was sent, at the head of the Imperialists, to prevent a junction of the invading armies, in which he was successful. About the middle of July the Turks invested the city of Vienna, defended by a force of 65,000 men and armed citizens. Sobieski with his own troops and those of Saxony, Bavaria, and the Circles, to the number of 64,000, attacked the besiegers with great fury, who simultaneously with a defensive movement assaulted the city with 20,000 soldiers. The Ottomans, seized by one of those unaccountable panics which at times prostrate the moral and physical powers of armed hosts, fled, and Vienna was saved. Sobieski followed them to the plain of Barkan, where they were again signally defeated. But the noble Poles, when they had vanquished "the enemies of Christendom," had done enough for duty and for glory; they would not fight against men who were in arms for the defense of their national liberties. Sobieski, therefore, persuaded the Duke of Lorraine, the Imperial commander, to listen to proposals for peace; and in the tent of the Polish Lion, the following demands were made by the Vice-Chancellor of Hungary: The confirmation of the ancient liberties and institutions of the Hungarians; liberty of conscience; the restitution of confiscated property; the convocation of a free Diet; winter quarters, and a suspension of arms pending the negotiations; and, lastly, a confirmation of the lordship of Tekeli in the territorial possession which he had acquired in the preceding year. The Duke of Lorraine replied that he had not the power to grant the terms, and Sobieski quitted the
field. The Hungarian war, and successive incursions of the Turks, engaged the Imperial arms, until the peace of Carlowitz, concluded on the 26th of January, 1699, freed the emperor from the attacks of the latter.
Down to 1687, the throne, although practically confined to the house of Lorraine, was elective by the States of the kingdom, and to ensure the succession to that house, it had been the practice with the emperor to secure the Hungarian throne by the election and coronation of his heir during his lifetime. By his later victories over the Turks, and by the capture of all the principal strongholds of the kingdom, Leopold acquired great power and legislative influence in the country, which was in fact under the domination of a German army. He convoked a Diet at Presburg, composed of men nearly all devoted to his interests. A number of Hungarian magnates, who had come up to the capital to plead the cause of their country, were seized by Leopold on the pretext that they had been engaged in correspondence with the Count Tekeli, then living in the Turkish dominions. Many of them were dragged from the churches, and some even from their bed-chambers. No tittle of the charge was proved against them, and they died without one word of confession extorted from their lips. The Diet was kept under the most rigid constraint, and was compelled to assent to whatever the court dictated. Nevertheless, some of the members had the courage to refuse to exercise their suffrages; and Leopold, in the full license of despotism, with a stroke of his pen repealed the electoral formalities of seven centuries. On a pretended resolution of the Diet, he founded and issued an edict, declaring that the choice of the kingdom had fallen on the Archduke Joseph as their legitimate sovereign. The hand that dared to strike this blow against the primal privileges of the Hungarian nation, was not scrupulous in cutting down other ancient laws to suit his despotic purposes. The patriots remonstrated earnestly, and fought and died bravely; but the Imperial troops carried out the imperious will of their master, and the crown became hereditary in the house of Austria.
The popular struggle for national independence was continued, in the beginning of the next century, with the same zeal of purpose, but uncertainty of process, which had previously characterized the military efforts of the insurgents. Under the leadership of Prince Rakoczy, they baffled all the efforts of the Imperial court to subdue them. Proposals of peace were made on these, the prin
down their arms, until they had first obtained their demands. They likewise declared that the Protestant religion should be maintained in the country; that the proceedings of the Diet held at Presburg in 1687 were illegal and contrary to the written law of Hungary; that they must be annulled, and the ancient liberty to choose their king, whenever a vacancy occurred, restored to the peo
the Diet no troops should garrison the country but those of Hungary; and that all offices of trust should be filled by Hungarians, unless the Diet specially declared that signal service to the State entitled foreigners to reward. The members of the council themselves solemnly swore to observe these resolutions, and to treat as criminals and traitors to their country all who should abandon the confederation, or enter into any separate treaty with the Imperial court.
cipal terms, that notwithstanding the result of the pretended Diet of Presburg in 1687, the Hungarian nation should exercise their ancient liberty of choosing their king after the death of Joseph, and that meanwhile he should take a new oath of fealty to the constitution; that Catholics and Protestants should enjoy equal religious liberty; that a general amnesty should be granted to all who had been in arms against Austria; free-ple; that without the express permission of dom of commerce and from taxes, except those imposed by the States; that three months after the ratification of the proposed treaty, a general Diet should be held to determine the laws of the nation, and to restore those which had been arbitrarily abrogated; that a Diet should be triennially, or oftener if necessary, convened to deliberate on the affairs of the nation; and that the Diet should nominate one or two deputies to reside at Vienna in the capacity of counsellors of the King of Hungary, to assist in the administration of affairs concerning the kingdom. A mediation ensued on the part of Great Britain and the States-General of Holland, respectively represented by Mr. Stepney and the Count Rechteren. The emperor-king was desirous to draw his troops from Hungary, in order to employ them against France and Spain, and a meeting of plenipotentiaries was accordingly held at Chemnitz, in Upper Hungary. The Imperialists, however, in insisting that Tekeli should relinquish his rank as Prince of Transylvania, prevented the conclusion of the treaty.
Meantime, in 1705, the Emperor Leopold went to the great judgment-bar of kings and tyrants. His son, Joseph I. of Hungary, became Emperor of Germany. Joseph made an offer of peace to the Hungarian insurgents, in which he proposed to restore confiscated Protestant property; to convoke a general Diet, at which all grievances should be stated in writing; that the liberties, privileges, and prerogatives of the nation should be established and confirmed, in as far as they did not interfere with the hereditary succession to the crown; the convocation of Diets triennially; an examination of the claims of the Prince Rakoczy and the other patriot leaders; a general amnesty; and, lastly, that, within five months, the Hungarians should lay down their arms, on penalty of losing all benefit under the treaty. But the leaders were not so easily to be persuaded to place themselves at the mercy of a faithless court. A grand council of the patriot Hungarians was held, when it was resolved that they should on no pretense lay
The war still continued, and the insurgents increased in numbers as well as in the earnestness of their demands. Joseph convoked a Diet at Presburg in 1708, but the result only tended to show him the firm resolve the nation had made to resist the Imperial despotism. The patriots were beaten at Trentschin, but on the other hand, General Heisler was obliged to raise the seige of Neuhausel. The struggle proceeded, and by the end of 1710 the insurgents lost, with but one considerable exception, all the positions they had gained. In 1711 Joseph died, and during the interregnum of six months, when the dowager Empress Eleonora Magdalen administered power in all the hereditary States, a pacification was accomplished. By the treaty of Zaturar on the 29th of April, 1711, all the property confiscated during the troubles was restored to the lawful owners; the Protestants had accorded to them liberty of worship and conscience, and a confirmation was made of all the national liberties and privileges.
Charles III. (Charles VI. of Germany) succeeded his father. Of the events of this reign it is unnecessary here to speak, more than of the Pragmatic Šanction of 13th April, 1713, by which Charles regulated the order of Austrian succession in favor of malesfailing whom, females; and in failure of both, to the Archduchesses, daughters of the Emperor Joseph, to the Queen of Portugal, and to the other daughters of Joseph, and their descendants in perpetuity. The Diet accepted this line of succession; and on the death of Charles, his daughter, the famous Maria Theresa, married to Francis of Lor
raine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, came to the I throne, and the Hungarian States took the oaths of allegiance. This princess, by her voluntary recognition of the ancient laws and liberties of Hungary, and by her personal qualities and troubles, won the hearts of the chivalrous Magyars. How she invoked and secured their aid in the hour of her need, is one of the golden pages of history. The great European war which followed the extinction of the Austrian house as emperors of Germany, contributed to place the husband of Maria Theresa on the Imperial throne, as Francis I., after the death of the Emperor Charles VII., in 1746. Joseph II. succeeded to the Hungarian kingdom. In an earnest desire for that system of centralization, or bureaucratic rule, at Vienna, which has ever since been the policy of the Imperial Court, he made many attempts to amalgamate or incorporate Hungary with Austria; but the nation boldly and successfully resisted them; and in 1790 the Diet of Presburg exacted from him an express recognition of their rights, in Article 10 of which he solemnly declared "That Hungary is a free and independent nation in her entire system of legislation and administration, and not subject to any other State or any other people; but that she shall always have her own separate existence and constitution, and shall consequently be governed by kings crowned according to her national laws and customs." It is to defend these rights that the Hungarian nation, in this year of 1849, are now
stitution. The Pragmatic Sanction only provided that Hungary should accept the terms of succession therein stipulated; it altered not the political relations of the two countries, nor did it affect the ancient constitution of Hungary. The declaration of Joseph II., and the solemn oaths sworn at their coronation by all his successors, are all additional guaranties and proofs of Hungarian independence. Hungary, therefore, is not an Austrian province, but a free and independent nation.*
As one of the political institutions of Hungary, we must pause for a moment to describe the establishment of a military government on the Turkish frontier, which has remained in all its integrity to the present day, and has served as a powerful aid to Austrian influence in the country. We allude to the military komitats or colonies of the frontier; devised and established by Prince Eugene during the Turkish wars, and considerably improved in the system of working, at a later period, by the French Marshal, Lascey. The "Gränz comitates," as they are termed in Austrian phrase, extend from New Orsova on the Danube, opposite the southwestern boundary of Transylvania, to the Adriatic, a distance, to follow the boundary line, of not less than 500 miles. The maximum breadth is thirty miles; and the country is politically, or rather strategetically, divided into fourteen komitats. The government, in fact everything connected with this territory, is peculiar to itself. There is a governor, or commander-in-chief at Peterwardein, and subordinate to him are several generals of district. All the land belongs to the crown; and it is portioned out to the inhabitants on a military tenure. Every man is a peasantsoldier. In peace each county, must keep on foot two battalions, of 1,200 men each; in war the number is increased to four. In case of exigency, the emperor may call out every man between the ages of 18 and 36. In All above and below that age, capable of
From this sketch of the political history of Hungary, it will be seen that the throne was elective from the accession of Ferdinand I. in 1526, to the coercion of the Diet at Presburg, in 1687, by Leopold. By force of the Imperial arms, the hereditary succession of the Austrian house was maintained in the male line till the failure of the heirs of King Charles III. transferred it to a female-Maria Theresa, under the Pragmatic Sanction. Francis of Lorraine, the male line was restored, and has since continued in the house of Hapsburg Lorraine. Hungary was never conquered by Austria. Moreover, it has been a constitutional requirement as well under the hereditary as the elective system of monarchy, that the king must swear fealty to the constitution, and be crowned king with all the solemnities required by custom of the kingdom. The monarch might be king de facto, by succession or might of arms; but de jure, he was not recognized as sovereign till he had fulfilled the conditions of the con
* A monarchical event in our own history, mutatis mutandis, is a case in point. When James VI. of Scotland, by the death of Elizabeth, became James I. of England, England did not therefore become a What would the Scottish province, nor vice versa. independent citizens and stout 'prentices of London, or the brave old yeomen of the provinces have said and done, had the British Solomon led the kilted caterans and borderers (mitigated prototypes of Jellachich's murdering red mantles) to force England to hold good if we suppose a like folly in any Scotobecome a Caledonian province ? The parallel will Anglian king down to the legislative union of the two countries, when they became Great Britain.
bearing arms, must arm for local defense. | city representatives; and that, if political In peace the emperor has, therefore, always terms are to be taken according to electoral at his disposal 30,000 admirably disciplined and non-electoral proportions, was essentially infantry, which by a mere order from the oligarchical. But all discussion on this point War Department may be increased to 60,000, is precluded by the statistics of the case; for without seriously affecting the defense of the of the persons either having influence in, or border. The men cultivate the soil, and once an electoral influence on the Hungarian Diet, a week assume the garb and arms of soldiers, the aggregate hardly exceeded 200,000 souls and are splendidly drilled into companies. about the number composing the electoral Once a month they are exercised in battalion. colleges of France under Louis Philippe. Along the whole of the frontier, a regular Two hundred thousand males alone enjoyed chain of posts is established night and day, the liberties, rights, and privileges of the on a system of as rigid observation as if an Hungarian constitution; all other classes and enemy were in front. Each county is gov- conditions of men were beyond the pale of erned by colonels, majors, captains, lieuten- citizenship. Political duties they had abunants, sergeant-majors, sergeants, and corpo- dantly allotted to them in the exclusive payrals, who each has his department of office ment of the taxes of the State, and in the allotted to him; and to such perfection is military service of the Honved when an "inthe supervision carried, that the most private surrection" or general muster was required affairs of every man are known and register- for the defense of the country; but political ed. Civil and judicial functions are per- rights they had none; not even in the sense formed by the chiefs. In short, it is a mili- attached to the unmeaning phrase of a "virtary colony, governed with Spartan discipline tual representation," beyond a limited proand severity-an institution, the sole end and tection by the common law of the land. purpose of which was, and is, to train a race of soldiers for the service of the Imperial State. These men know no duty but services to the emperor; no law but obedience to the commands of their military superiors.*
Up to this point we have been detailing the successions and transactions of kings and nobles; let us now see what has been the condition, political and social, of the great mass of the people. That the legislative constitution was essentially aristocratical, must have been apparent to the reader in our brief statement of its composition. The Upper Table was entirely noble in its elements, either by birth in its laity, or position in the ecclesiastical dignitaries. In the Lower Table noble birth prevailed, for the members for the komitats were the representatives of an inferior, because an untitled nobility, and of their order or class.t The only democratic element in the legislature was the burghal or
*The curious reader is referred, for complete information as to the details of the system, to the work of Marshal Marmont, who was governor in the Southern Sclavonian district during the occupation of the country by Napoleon.
"Of these (the county constituency) very many are, in point of fact, mere peasants, whom the misfortunes or imprudence of their ancestors have reduced to poverty; but all must have noble blood in their veins, for it is an honorable descent, and not the possession of lands or houses which entitles a man to exercise the elective franchise in Hungary.
Such nobles are of course controlled and man-
When we come to look at the more social aspect of the position of the people, we are compelled to admit that the peasant class-the great bulk of the population-were socially and politically in serfdom. The Hungarian peasantry corresponded in some respects to the second class of Roman slavesthe adscripti, or adscriptii—who were bound to perpetual service in cultivating a particular field or farm, and who were rather slaves to that farm than to the owner of it; so that he could not transfer his right in them without alienating the farm to which they were astricted or bound. In some respects, also, they corresponded to the ancient naviti, or bondsmen of Scotland.* The
mittees deal with the poor voters in boroughs. There is prodigious feasting at the castle-there is no end of magnanimous declarations-no lack of brilliant and spirit-stirring speeches; under the influence of which, and of the wine and strong drinks that accompany them, the pauper eidelman becomes a hero in his own eyes. But alas! political gratitude is not more enduring in Hungary than elsewhere. The crisis has its course, and the scion of a glorious race —the representative of a family which followed Almus to the Thiess, and gave the coronet to Arpadgoes back to his hovel, and his daily toil, and his filth, and his wretchedness, there to chew the cud of bitter fancy, till the return of an electioneering season shall call him forth once more to act a part upon the stage of life."-Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary visited in 1837. By the Reverend G. R. Gleig, M. A., Chaplain to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea; vol. ii. p. 408.
*See Reg. Maj., ii. c. 12, s. 45 ; quoted in "Erskine's Inst.," ii. c. 2, s. 60.