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Hungary-Table A - Chronology of Important Events

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Hungary Index

Date            Events


ca. A.D. 100-600
      Magyar tribes, a pagan Finno-Ugric people, begin            
      migration from Urals south onto Russian steppes and         
      continue west, to area between Don and lower Dnepr          
      rivers, where they fall under the sway of the Bulgar-       
      Turkish people.

ca. A.D. 600-900
      Magyars fall under the control of the Khazars but are       
      later freed from Khazar rule in the ninth century. Magyars  
      join Byzantine armies to fight the Bulgars in 895. Magyars  
      migrate farther west into the Danube-Tisza Basin, 895 or    
      896.  Árpád is chosen as chieftain; his male descendants    
      become hereditary heirs of this kingdom, which became       
      known as Hungary.


 Árpád Dynasty
ca. 900-1301
      Magyars besiege Europe and the Byzantine Empire but are     
      defeated by Czech and German armies in 955. Chieftain Géza  
      (972-97) is baptized into Roman Catholic Church. Géza's     
      son, Stephen I (997-1038), is recognized by Pope Sylvester  
      II as king of Hungary, ensuring independence from           
      Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire. Latin alphabet is      
      devised for Hungarian language. Magyars occupy of           
      Transylvania. László I (1077-95) occupies Slavonia in       
      1090, and Kálmán I (1095-1116) takes the title of king of   
      Croatia in 1103. Under Béla III (1173-96), Hungary becomes  
      one of the leading powers in southeastern Europe. Nobles    
      force Andrew II (1205-35) to sign Golden Bull (1222)        
      limiting crown's power. Mongols rout Hungarian army at      
      Mohi in (1241). Mongols withdraw in 1242. Árpád line        
      expires in 1301.

      Charles Robert (1308-42) wins prolonged succession          
      struggle. Dynastic marriages link Hungary to Naples and     
      Poland. Louis I (1343-82) reconfirms Golden Bull. First     
      university is founded in 1367. Hungary's fortunes begin to  
      decline under Sigismund (1387-1437). Social turmoil erupts  
      because of higher taxes and pressures from the magnates on  
      the lesser nobles. Wars against Ottoman Turks are waged in  
      reigns of Albrecht V (1437-39) and Ulászló I (1439-44).     
      János Hunyadi rules Hungary as regent for infant king,      
      László V. Hunyadi defeats the Turks in Transylvania in      
      1442 and in Serbia in 1443, is defeated at Varna in 1444,   
      and defeats the Turks again in 1456 near Belgrade. Nobles   
      crown Hunyadi's son Mátyás Corvinus (1458-90) king. Mátyás  
      enacts numerous reforms. After the death of Mátyás, an      
      oligarchy of magnates takes control, and the country        
      remains in a state of anarchy until 1526, when the Turks    
      defeat Hungary at Mohács. Hungary is partitioned between    
      the Turks and the Habsburgs in 1541. Habsburgs invade       
      Transylvania in 1591. Habsburgs rout a Turkish army in      
      1664 at St. Gotthard in Hungary. Hungarians rebel agsinst   
      Habsburg rule in 1681. Turks attack Habsburgs but are       
      routed near Vienna in 1683. Western campaign drives Turks   
      from Hungary, and Turks lose almost all Hungarian           
      possessions in Peace of Karlowitz (1699), which ended       

      Vienna assumes control of Hungary's foreign affairs,        
      defense, and tariffs, and it treats Transylvania as         
      separate from Hungary. Peasant rebellion in 1703 provokes   
      an eight-year uprising led by Ferenc Rákóczi against        
      Habsburg rule. Treaty of Szatmár (1711) ends rebellion.     
      Under Pragmatic Sanction (1723), Habsburg monarch agrees    
      to rule Hungary as a king subject to restraints of          
      Hungary's constitution and laws. Under Charles VI (1711-    
      40) and Maria Theresa (1740-80), the economy declines.      
      Joseph II (1780-90), an enlightened despot, attempts        
      various changes, but the nobles resist and thus inspire a   
      renaissance of Hungarian culture. Leopold I (1790-92)       
      softens Habsburg policy. Under Francis I (1792-1835),       
      Hungary stagnates. Toward the end of Francis's rule,        
      liberal reformers István Széchenyi and Lajos Kossuth        
      emerge; they increasingly press their demands under         
      Ferdinand V (1835-48). In March 1848, a revolution against  
      the absolute monarchy breaks out in Vienna and quickly      
      spreads to Budapest. The Hungarians declare independence    
      in April 1849, but with the help of Russian troops the      
      Habsburgs reimpose control. Franz Joseph (1848-1916)        
      revokes the Hungarian constitution and assumes absolute     
      power. Austria is defeated by Sardinia and France in 1859   
      and by Prussia in 1866, resulting in the Compromise of      
      1867, which creates the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary,   
      also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

      Under the Dual Monarchy, the Habsburg emperor reigns as     
      king of Hungary. A Hungarian government administers         
      domestic affairs, while Vienna manages foreign policy,      
      defense, and finance. Croatia gains autonomy from Hungary   
      over its domestic affairs in 1868. Kálmán Tisza serves as   
      prime minister 1875-90. Economic modernization begins,      
      accompanied by rise of a middle class. István Tisza serves  
      as prime minister 1903-05 and 1912-17. The June 28, 1914,   
      assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand precipitates      
      World War I (1914-18). Bourgeois-democratic revolution in   
      Budapest, October 31, 1918. Mihály Károlyi, a liberal,      
      assumes power. Hungary loses territory to Yugoslavia,       
      Romania, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. A coalition of        
      Social Democrats and communists takes power. Hungarian      
      Soviet Republic is proclaimed under Béla Kun, March 21,     
      1919. Romanian forces occupy Budapest. Anticommunist        
      government seizes control and imposes "white terror."

      Admiral Miklós Horthy is named regent of Hungary, March     
      21, 1920. Under Treaty of Trianon (June 4, 1920), Hungary   
      loses more than two-thirds of its prewar territory, 60      
      percent of its prewar population, and most of its natural- 
      resource base. Count István Bethlen serves as prime         
      minister 1921-31. Hungary joins League of Nations in 1922.  
      Bethlen promotes industrial development, but economic       
      progress is halted by Great Depression, 1929. Gyula         
      Gömbös, a right-wing dictator, is in power 1932-36. Gömbös  
      forges close ties with Germany and Italy. Right-wing        
      governments are in power under Kálmán Darányi (1936-38)     
      and Béla Imrédy (1938-39). Pál Teleki serves as prime       
      minister 1939-41. Hungary joins Hitler's invasion of the    
      Soviet Union in June 1941 and declares war against the      
      Western Allies in December 1941. László Bárdossy prime      
      minister 1941-42, followed by Miklós Kállay, 1942-43. Nazi  
      Germany occupies Hungary in April 1943. Pro-Nazi Döme       
      Sztójay serves as prime minister, April 1943-August 1944,   
      followed by Géza Lakatos August-October 1944. Leader of     
      fascist Arrow Cross Party, Ferenc Szálasi, serves as prime  
      minister October 1944-April 1945. Soviet troops drive all   
      German troops out of Hungary by April 4, 1945.

      Allied Control Commission, with Soviet, American, and       
      British representatives, holds sovereignty in Hungary,      
      with Soviet chairman in absolute control. Second, expanded  
      Provisional National Assembly chosen in which communists    
      enjoy absolute majority, April 1945. Left-leaning           
      coalition governments rule Hungary 1945-47. Treaty of       
      Paris (February 10, 1947) ended World War II for Hungary.   
      Social Democratic Party merges with Hungarian Communist     
      Party in June 1948 to form Hungarian Workers' Party.        
      Soviet-style Constitution is ratified and, Hungarian        
      People's Republic is proclaimed, August 1949. Stalinist     
      political, economic, and social system are imposed, 1949-   
      53. Imre Nagy becomes prime minister and implements New     
      Course in economy, 1953. Nagy loses power in 1955.          
      Disaffection mounts in 1955-56, culminating in Revolution   
      of 1956 in October. János Kádár is installed in power by    
      Soviet invaders; Hungarian Workers' Party is renamed        
      Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (HSWP). Harsh            
      repression is followed by pragmatic attempts at reform,     
      1956-66. New Economic Mechanism (economic reform) is put    
      in place, 1968-72. Opposition to reform mounts, and         
      economy is recentralized, 1971-78. Further economic         
      reforms take place, 1979-80. New electoral law is passed    
      in 1983. Hungary begins to establish semiindepent foreign   
      policy in 1984. Semicompetitive National Assembly and       
      local council elections are held in 1985. Thirteenth Party  
      Congress of the HSWP meets in 1985. Kádár loses party       
      leadership to Károly Grósz at Third Party Conference, May   
      1988. Laws are passed allowing multiparty system, 1988-89.

Data as of September 1989

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