This book describes and analyzes the critical period of 1711-1848 within Hungary from novel points of view, including close analyses of the proceedings of Hungarian diets. Contrary to conventional interpretations, the study, stressing the strong continuity of traditionalism in Hungarian thought, society, and politics, argues that Hungarian liberalism did not begin to flower in any substantial way until the 1830s and 1840s. Hungarian Culture and Politics in the Habsburg Monarchy also traces and evaluates the complex relationship between Austria and Hungary over this considerable span of time. Past interpretations have, with only a few exceptions, tilted heavily towards the Austrian role within the Monarchy, both because its center was in Vienna and because few non-Hungarian scholars can read Hungarian. This analysis redresses this balance through the use of both Austrian and Hungarian sources, demonstrating the deep cultural differences between the two halves of the Monarchy, which were nevertheless closely linked by economic and administrative ties and by a mutual recognition that co-existence was preferable to any major rupture.
Gabor Vermes is Professor Emeritus of History, Rutgers University
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1 A Portrait of 18th Century Hungary The Country The People The Institutions Chapter 2 The Joy and the Agony of Standing Still The Sense of Permanence Habsburg Modernization in Hungary "Extra Hungariam non est Vita" The Baroque in Hungary Service and Resistance Chapter 3 The Enlightenment and Cultural Sensibilities: A Comparative Historical Perspective The Enlightenment Cultural Sensibilities Germany Austria Hungary Chapter 4 The Slow Erosion of Traditionalism The War-time Diets The Biedermeyer The Multiplicity of Moods Cultural Nationalism Ferenc Kazinczy Chapter 5 The Ambiguous Journey Toward Reforms The Hungarian Theater, Music, and the Arts Cultural Breakthroughs: Romanticism The 1825 - 27 Diet Chapter 6 The Hungarian Age of Reform in the 1830s The Early-mid 1830s: The Triumphant Years of Count Istvan Szechenyi The Diets of the Early-mid 1830s: Wesselenyi and Szechenyi Government Aggression Against the Liberals The 1839 - 40 Diet