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A complete short history of Hungary

A complete short history of Hungary

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Published by tracey777
A brief history of Hungary from the foundation of the country
A brief history of Hungary from the foundation of the country

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Published by: tracey777 on May 06, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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complete short history of Hungary
 The history of Hungary is far from complete, in fact around 400 years aremissing from what could have been the very beginning of its foundation.Unfortunately no documents or artifacts have ever been found andneither are they likely to be.What we do know is that ”Arpád” was the first ruler of Hungary and thefounder of the ”Arpád dynasty”. It was in fact a descendant of Arpád thateventually became the first king of Hungary.Arpád came to the area east of the Carpathians with seven tribes of which he was the leader in the 9th century. They were searching for landto claim and settle as their own and they knew from previous raids thatthis area was an ideal place, the mountains gave protection, the riverswould feed them and the abundance of wild animals in the forests wouldgive them food for great feasts and most importantly only several smallgroups of nomadic people were in this area at that time.However before we carry on, let us step back in time a little more to the6th century. A time of battles and warriors and the RomanEmpire. During the 6th century there was a feared and mighty warrior whowent by the name of Attila the Hun. He was the leader of many raids coming from beyond the Carpathian mountains, attackingDacia (situated on the outskirts of Roman Empire) and laterPannonia, crossing central Europe and even venturing as far as France.Attilla was ruthless and feared by all. He liked the area whichwe now call Hungary but it seemed as though he never actually settledhere although the Huns occupied it for several years. The death of Attila the Hun is uncertain but one rumour suggests that hiswife was bribed by the Roman Empire with money and giftsto poison him. Another rumour of his death is that he was buried threetimes with all of his riches . Once in a gold coffin, once in asilver and finally in a lead coffin which was then thrown into the River Tisza by several trusted warriors. However upon their return thewarriors were shot down and killed by archers as it was feared they mayreveal his final resting place. Today the whereabouts of Atilla the Huns coffin still remains a mystery.It is difficult to say for certain if the Hungarians were related to the Huns. The English translation sounds so similar, however thepeople who live in Hungary call themselves Magyars and always havedone so. Because of the missing years between the 6th and9th century it is unlikely to ever come to light if there was ever aconnection between the two. Despite this Atilla still remains a popularname in Hungary and almost all Hungarians believe they are related to thegreat Huns!Stepping forward now to the 10th century, Geza, the great grandson of 
Arpad was the ruling prince of what is basically westernHungary today. He was keen to integrate Hungary into western Europe byadopting Christianity. He died in 997 and his son Stephen Ibecame the ruling prince. Following his fathers wishes of adoptingChristianity Stephen ordered every 10 villages to build a churchand to maintain its priests. On Christmas Day 1000 Stephen was rewardedwith a crown, sent from Pope Sylvestor II and he becamethe first King of Hungary.By the time of Stephens death in 1038 Hungary was a nascent Christiannation, multi ethnic and increasingly westward looking.Unfortunately the next 2 ½ centuries were a time full of struggles for thisyoung nation with rival pretenders to the Throne weakeningthe country’s defence.By the beginning of the 14th century the reign of the Arpád dynasty wascoming to an end.Andrew III was the king from 1270 until 1301. He was still alive and noteven ailing when Charles II of Naples sent his 12 year oldgrandson to take the throne, his only claim being that his grandmotherwas Hungarian. The new King became known as Karoly Robert and with his rule a westerndynasty had extended its rule to the Carpathian basin.Louis the Great, son of Karoly, ruled for four decades and built Hungaryinto a great country with great regional power. This alsoextended his direct power and indirect influence. Later, largely due to hismother, he was elected to be the king of Poland too. Thelands that he was ruling were large and spread across central Europe fromone sea in the north to another in the south. This led to thequestion of who was to direct central Europe and from where?Louis the Great had no son, only 2 daughters, Hedwig and Mary. Hedwigwas left the Polish Throne and Mary the Hungarian.After some significant medieval ups and downs Mary, obliged by mutualdynastic interests and by war waged by her futurebridegroom, married the Son of Charles IV the Holy Roman Emperor. Themarriage to Sigismund of Luxembourg meant that onceagain a well known dynasty from the West had again acquired a dominantpower in Hungary.Sigismund reigned over Hungary from 1387 until 1437, he was the masterof the whole of central Europe and eventually he waselected to be the Holy Roman Emperor in 1433. Much of his time becamedevoted to European Politics, or, in a sense worldpolitics. His 50 year reign brought peace and a great flowering of Gothicart and architecture.
 The house of Hapsburg and house of Jagiello came into conflict as part of the Sigismund rich legacy. The result of the strugglebetween the Hungarian aristocracy and the lesser nobility was that on thefrozen ice of the Danube a new national King was elected.His name was Matthius Corvinius and he was to be the greatest ruler of medieval Hungary.He ruled from 1458-1490 and was nick named the Raven. He maintained amercenary force of between 8,000-10,000 men throughtaxation. However he was celebrated by his people for being fair and justand many folk tales and Hungarian mythology regard himas a great king. Matthius Corvinius made Hungary into one of CentralEurope's leading powers and the country enjoyed its first evergolden age. Unfortunately during his reign a Turkish threat was growingwhich he ignored and Vladislav I, his successor, was unableto maintain royal authority. In May 1514 the power hungry archbishop of Esztergom, Tamas Bakócz, organised a crusade whicheventually led to a peasant uprising against landlords under theleadership György Dósza. The revolt was repressed but some 70,000 peasants were tortured andDósza himself was brutally fried alive on a red hot iron throne. The tripartum Law that followed codified rights of barons and nobles andreduced peasants to serfdom. When Louis II took to thethrone at the tender age of 9 in 1516 he could n’t rely on either side forsupport.Louis II reigned for only 10 years and in 1526 he had the unenviable taskof conducting the most well known losing battle in thewhole of the Hungarian history. His rag tag army were defeated by the Turks on the field of the Mohács during their 1526 campaign. The Turks were now poised to march onwards to Buda and then Viennawith a force of 100,000 men. John Szapolyai took the throne after this defeat. He was a well placedOligarch (supporter of the government), who with his privatearmy arrived too late to fight in the battle of the Mohács but whether thiswas from clever planning or by accident shall remain amystery. Szapolyai reigned from 1526-1540 and he was the last nationalking.Buda fell to the Turks in 1541 and Hungary was torn into three parts. Thenorthern and western borders were ruled by the Hapsburg'sfor nearly 4 centuries. Buda and the central regions remained inHungarian hands with the Turks surprisingly content to receive safepassage and assistance whilst passing through. The remaining parts wereunder the Turks control.Despite the trouble free passage westwards, the Turks military operationwas so cumbersome that in 1529 when they reached Vienna

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