VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > C. Europe, 1919–1945 > 14. Hungary
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1913) (See 1920, June 4)
14. Hungary
Hungary, left a country of some 8 million population by the peace settlements, was predominantly agricultural, socially still organized on a semifeudal basis. Much of the political history after 1918 had to do with the successful efforts of the landholding classes to secure and retain control, and with the agitation for revision of the peace treaties and the restoration of the monarchy. Conservatives effectively cast the blame for postwar misery on Communists and Jews. The bulk of the middle class and the peasantry was favorably inclined toward conservative-nationalist rule, and there was a growing mass of disillusioned working people who isolated themselves from public life and wanted order and consolidation. Furthermore, antiquated political arrangements effectively kept the lower classes from exerting much influence.  1
Hungary was economically devastated by the war. Agricultural production dropped by two-thirds, and industrial output was down to one-fifth of its prewar level. The crown was also one-third its prewar value. Of the 3.8 million men mobilized for the war, 660,000 were killed and 745,000 were wounded seriously. Like the other successor states, Hungary compounded these economic problems by following a postwar policy of economic isolation rather than attempting to rebuild the more profitable economic union that existed under the Habsburg Empire. By the 1930s Hungary was hard-hit by permanent unemployment and a marketing crisis that made fascism appealing.  2
1918, Oct. 17
The Hungarian Parliament, in reply to Emperor Charles's declaration of reorganization of the monarchy, declared complete independence from Austria, except for the personal union.  3
Oct. 31
REVOLUTION IN HUNGARY. Count Mihaly Károlyi, grand seigneur of liberal, republican, and pacifist views, made prime minister in the hope of securing satisfactory peace terms and maintaining the unity of the monarchy.  4
Nov. 16
The national council proclaimed Hungary a republic.  5
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.