' Dates & events

Dates & events

The following selection -- some 72 in all -- of dates, events and their main associations might help you navigate conversations that touch upon the history of Hungary (in the style of 1066 and all that). You are, of course, unlikely to memorise all the dates -- the four you must remember are 1000, 1526, 1848 and 1956 -- but some recollection of periods, names and main associations will give you a flying start in understanding references to events and personalities in Hungary's past.

Date Event Associations
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895 Hungarians enter the
Carpathian Basin
Led through Pass of Verecke (pron. Ve-rets-ke) by
Árpád, son of Álmos, elected chief by the 7 tribes.
955 Defeated by Emperor Otto
the Great
near Augsburg
Ends raiding campaigns; commander Lehel cracks skulls of captors with battle-horn before execution.
1000 Stephen (later: Saint)
crowned first king
Crown from Pope, coronation at Esztergom; granted title Apostolic on converting country to Christianity.
1031 King's only son Prince Imre
dies in hunting accident
Tutored by (later martyred) Bishop Gellért; paternal instructions for royal conduct: Admonitiones (extant)
1077-95 King László I (later: Saint) restores order Preux chevalier sans peur et reproche; joins
Crown of Croatia-Slavonia to that of Hungary.
King Coloman the Bookish
adds much to legislation
Forbids prosecution of witches quia strigiis non sunt; acquires Dalmatia for Hungary; entertains Crusaders.
1172-96 Béla III makes written documents compulsory Educated at Court of kinsman Manuel Commnenos; his revenues equal/exceed those of King of England's.
1213 Gertrude, meddling Queen
of Andrew II, assassinated
Inspiration for great 19th c. play Bánk Bán, also made into opera by Erkel (composer of national anthem).
1222 Andrew II forced to issue Golden Bull Charter of rights of freemen (later: nobiles) against Crown & barons, pivot of their subsequent advance.
1241-41 Mongols under Batu Khan devastate Hungary 25%-33% of population killed/enslaved; Béla IV
builds new hilltop capital at Buda (1245-47).
1254 Princess Margaret defies
her father and becomes nun
To nurse sick at nunnery on today's Margaret Island (between Buda & Pest); declared Saint 1943.
1260-90 Dissension under Béla IV, Stephen V & László IV Stephen fights father Béla; László leads dissipated life with Cumans; a few barons carve up the country.
1267-89 Parliament emerges, begins
to influence legislation and
actions of Crown
Elected representatives from all counties meet, 1267;
hold joint sessions with barons & bishops from 1275;
are designated Parlamentum Publicum from 1289.
1278 Emperor Rudolph acquires Austria for Habsburgs. Hungarian military support decisive against Ottokar of Bohemia -- its ultimate consequences unforeseen.
1301 Andrew III, last of House
of Árpád,
dies aged 36
Throne claimed by Venceslas of Bohemia, Otto of Bavaria & Charles Robert Anjou of Naples-Sicily.
1310 Parliament accepts claim of Charles Robert, crowned Followed by 10 years' struggle to subdue overmighty barons; from 1330s issues reliable gold florins.
1347-50 Louis I the Great twice
occupies Naples
To avenge brother Andrew murdered by wife Queen Joanna; inspired 19th c. Toldi Trilogy by Arany.
1370 Louis I the Great inherits the Crown of Poland from uncle The two realms are kept separate: his mother, sister of Casimir III, governs Poland on his behalf.
1382 Louis's elder daughter Mary crowned Queen Regnant Poland accepts her sister Hedwig, on condition of marriage to Wladislaw II Jagiello of Lithuania.
1385 Sigismund of Luxembourg marries Mary Younger son of Emperor Charles IV, educated at Buda; first only consort, crowned co-ruler in 1387.
After Mary's death Sigismund becomes sole ruler Works with Parliament, adds members for Royal Free Cities; University at Óbuda. Emperor: 1411.
1440 Ulászló I Jagiello acquires
throne after civil war
Not son of Hedvig, but has support against widowed Queen Elizabeth (daughter of Sigismund).
1444 Ulászló I falls in battle
against Turks at Varna
At Papal Legate's behest breaks solemn oath to keep peace just made with Murad II (Legate killed too).
1440-53 John Hunyadi dominates Hungary, sees off Turks Perhaps Sigismund's bastard; supporter of Ulászló; many victories in the Balkans; Regent 1446-53.
1456 John Hunyadi relieves
Belgrade & dies.
Three years after taking Constantinople Sultan Mehmet II thwarted; church-bells rung at noon since.
1458 Matthias Corvinus (John Hunyadi's son) elected King His elder brother László was put to death at order of László V in 1457 (inspiring 19th c. opera by Erkel).
1458-90 Outstanding reign of
Matthias the Just
Effective administration; Turks kept at bay; brilliant Rennaisance Court at Buda; Vienna taken 1485.
1490 Feeble Ulászló II Jagiello
elected to throne
John Corvinus, legitimised bastard of Matthias, out-intrigued by barren Dowager Queen Beatrice.
Decline under Ulászló II &
Louis II (10 when crowned)
No royal authority, revenues or defence-measures; factional dissension; peasants' revolt (Dózsa) in 1514.
1526 Turks annihilate Hungarian
army at Mohács (29 August)
Lays Hungary open to Suleiman II the Magnificent; Louis II (still childless) dead & throne vacant.
1526-40 Two kings: John I Zápolya
& Ferdinand I Habsburg
John ex-Governor of Transylvania elected October; Ferdinand brother of Charles V 6 weeks later.
1541 Suleiman occupies Buda; separate Transylvania. To 'protect' John's baby son John Sigismund Turks keep Buda, leave him Transylvania.
1552 Stephen Dobó holds Eger against Turks (5 weeks) Turks hold most of central plains and Transdanubia to Lake Balaton; religious disputes paralyse Empire.
1566 Turks take Szigetvár
defended by Nicholas Zrinyi
Garrison dies rather than surrender, unaware that Suleiman just died in camp; relief army idle at Gyôr.
1550-75 Split of country into three parts becomes established Royal Hungary (West & North); Principality of Transylvania; Turkish Conquest (centre).
The fifteen-years war against the Turks The first and last (until 1686) major effort to dislodge the Turks; skirmishing border warfare continuous.
1605 Transylvania elects Stephen Bocskai its Prince Royal supremacy almost accepted, but bloodbaths by General Basta lead to war & concessions in Hungary.
1608 Matthias II's royal assent to important Acts of Parliament Include: freedom of religion; Protestants for some offices; separate Chamber for titled magnates.
Gábor Bethlen Prince of Transylvania in 30 years war Supports Protestant side; briefly occupies most of Hungary, invests Vienna; offered but refuses Crown.
1635 Peter Pázmány founds University at Nagyszombat Calvinist to Jesuit to Archbishop, brilliant preacher & writer; University later moved to Pest, still going.
1664 Craven Peace of Vasvár -- against Hungary's interests Although attacking Turks routed in battle, Leopold I concedes all their demands & recent conquests.
Leopold I institutes reign of terror, executions, exactions Senior dignitaries put to death; special courts to deal with Protestants; unlawful taxes & confiscations.
Imre Thököly leads kuruc revolt against Leopold I Unites anti-Habsburg forces; supported by Turks; proclaimed Pince of the Highlands; dies in exile.
Ilona Zrinyi holds Munkács against Imperial forces Sister of executed Peter Zriny, wife of Thököly and mother, from first marriage, of Francis II Rákóczi.
1686 Buda retaken from the Turks (2 September) By international army assembled at inititive of Pope Innocent XI & led by Charles of Lorraine.
1687-88 Leopold I institutes renewed reign of terror & arbitrary rule (latter till his death: 1705) General Caraffa's blood-tribunals at Eperjes; Transylvania made hereditary Habsburg Duchy; Neoacquistica Commissio; no Parliaments.
1701 Francis II Rákóczi sides with resistance to arbitrary rule Educated in Vienna from teens; now charged with high treason but escapes from jail in clothes of wife.
1703-11 War for Liberty led by Francis II Rákóczi Covert support from Louis XIV; to 1708 holds most of country; eventually runs out of men & money.
1711 Peace of Szatmár terminates civil war Charles III approves terms agreed by Pálffy & Károlyi, incl. general amnesty, constitutional rule.
1723 Parliament ennacts Acts I - III: Pragmatica Sanctio Recognises right of Charles III's daughter Maria Theresia to succession; formalises personal union.
1740 Maria Theresia crowned & sustained against Prussia With cry Vitam & sanguinem pro regem nostram! Parliament votes men and money to defend her throne.
1780-90 Joseph II attempts enlightened absolutism Wants to impose his ideas from above: will not swear to rule by Constitution, hence refuses to be crowned.
1795 Jacobin conspiracy of the Abbé Martinovich Inspired by French Revolution, sucks in numerous idealists; leaders executed, rest imprisoned.
1800-30 Movement to renew language & general cultural upsurge Circle of Kazinczy; Francis Széchényi: National Library; his son Stephen: Academy of Sciences.
1830-48 Age of reform - economic & some political advances Széchenyi: rivers regulated, first railways; Wesselényi; Kölcsey; Parliamentary Reports of Kossuth.
1848 April Laws: constitutional monarchy, old privileges end Ministers answer to Parliament; special status & rights of nobiles abolished; relation to Austria left vague.
1848 Attacks by ancien régime Court (summer/autumn) First Jelashich & Croatian then Windisch-Graetz & Austrian army; Serb & Rumanian insurrections.
1849 Francis Joseph 'abolishes' Hungary - is dethroned in turn General Görgey frustrates rapid Austrian victory; Tsar agrees to send Russian army to help against 'rebels'.
1849 Görgey lays down arms at Világos (August) Surrenders to Russians not Haynau; 13 Hungarian generals & ex-Prime Minister Batthány executed.
1849-67 Oppresive direct rule from Austria: the Bach Period Kossuth & thousands in emmigration; many thousands imprisoned; strict censorship; memories & stagnation.
1867 The Compromise is agreed between nation and Crown Due to Francis Deák 'sage of the nation', it sets up the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy; coronation.
1914 Hungary dragged into war against Serbia Despite objections of Prime Minister Tisza, to avenge killing of disliked heir to throne Francis Ferdinand.
1918-19 Revolutionary chaos in wake of defeat Shortlived republic of Michael Károlyi; Czechs & Rumanians invade; brief Bolshevik rule of Béla Kún.
1920 Horthy Regent; bitter dictated Treaty of Trianon Parliament makes Horthy Regent; Treaty of Trianon removes 70% of territory & 50%+ of population.
1941 Under German pressure war declared on Soviet Union End of neutrality, but remains haven for Poles & for PoWs escaped from Germany; Jews not persecuted.
1944 Attempt to switch sides, German occupation, Arrow Cross terror Ill-prepared attempt to join Allies leads to military occupation; Holocaust extended to Hungary; crypto-Nazi Arrow Cross leader Szállasi takes over.
1945 'Liberation' by Red Army: foundation for Communist future Red Army loots and rapes its way across country; Budapest besieged for 2 months; Russians remove whatever Germans have not destroyed.
1949 Hungary declared Soviet-style Peoples Republic Rule of Communist Party & Stalinist leader Rákosi; their KGB-trained Secrity Forces arrest, torture, kill.
1956 Hungary rises in popular revolt against Soviet-Communist rule Demands: democracy, neutrality, departure of Soviet troops; old-Communist Imre Nagy accepts aims & Premiership; crushed by Soviets who install Kádár.
1989 The Communist Party relinquishes overt power Pozsgay declares 1956 a popular uprising; Premier Németh opens Austrian border to East Germans; Round Table meetings with opposition discuss transition.
1990 Free multi-party elections eliminate Communists Right-of-centre coallition government of election victor Joseph Antall embarks on turning Hungary back into free market democracy.
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