The "Szántó model": the growth of the sustaining ability of the local economy and the factors that caused it at Zalaszántó
The essay is one of the writings that thematise the growth of the Hungarian economy which started in the 1830s, along with its causes. Presenting the economic and social changes that occurred in the economy of a small village, Zalaszántó (Zala County) between 1790 and 1850, the author shows that modifications successfully introduced in the technics, technology and business organization of an economic unit displaying signs of overpopulation considerably increased the population sustaining ability of the village by the end of the period under consideration. The growth of the local economy is described primarily as a phenomenon generated by the manor, i.e. laying the foundations of the processes generating growth is attributed to changes in the management of the manor of the Festetics family at Keszthely. The period under discussion is divided in two parts in terms of the transformation of the local economy, the one between the 1780 and the 1820s being that of extensive growth, the other between 1830 and 1850, of intensive growth. The last part of the paper sums up the results in a dynamic model, the so-called "Szántó model", which could be used as a basis for comparison during future investigations of local economy.
Royal commissioner's investigation in Békés County (1835)
The paper discusses one of the most debated events of the political life of the 1830s on the basis of archival sources. From the early 1830s, Békés County had become an important basis for the reform opposition. The attention of the government was probably raised by the consistent opposition behaviour of the deputies from Békés, and by their close cooperation with decisive personalities of the opposition, such as Miklós Wesselényi, Ferenc Kölcsey, and Ödön Beöthy. After the bills proposing the security of the persons and property of villeins, the abolishment of manorial courts, and voluntary manumission compensation were voted down in the lower house in December 1834, Békés County sent a circular to all the municipal authorities on February 3, 1835, to support having the important bills repeatedly put on the agenda. The government, on account of the resolution of the county meeting, ordered an investigation by a royal commissioner into the circumstances of the composition of the circular and to take its authors to task. The investigation started after the dissolution of the Transylvanian diet, and following the beginning of the trial of Miklós Wesselényi on charges of treason. In the tense political situation, the parliamentary opposition had, at the request of the county, the Békés case as well as the trial of Wesselényi put on its agenda as violations of the freedom of expression. The opposition claimed that the government had started investigating certain individuals for a resolution of the county meeting, indeed, that it intended to restrict correspondence among the counties themselves -- not for the first time since the 1790s. No one was prosecuted in Békés County as a result of the royal commissioner's investigation, but the Lord Lieutenant [főispán], regarded as a weak man, was replaced by a procurator [főispáni helytartó] in 1836. Not even this move could, however, prevent the opposition from gaining ground just as the further orders of the government were unable to restrict the correspondence among the counties, which the opposition regarded as one of the most important constitutional rights.
Cooperation or competition: an attempt at cooperation among the oppositions in Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary in 1847-1848
It has been noticed by Hungarian and Austrian historians that during 1847 political connections became lively between the opposition movements of the Estates in Hungary and Austria, especially in Lower Austria and Bohemia. Slowly organizing themselves into a party, the Hungarian liberals had been trying since the summer of 1846 to counterbalance hostile government propaganda in German speaking territories by popularizing their ideas in leaflets, newspaper articles and to win the support of the German and Austro-German public. On the other hand, their official party program adopted on June 7, 1847, called Ellenzéki Nyilatkozat [Declaration of Opposition], expresses their solidarity with the struggle by political forces in other parts of the empire against the absolutist government for the introduction of constitutionalism. This solidarity was even more distinctly pronounced at the autumn 1847 session of the Diet in the speeches of Count Lajos Batthyány, Lajos Kossuth and Dénes Pázmándy, Jr. In this process of rapprochement one of the most important figures of the Lower Austrian opposition, Baron Victor Adrian-Werburg played a very important role, establishing personal contacts with Batthyány in the autumn of 1846, and endeavouring to prepare concerted action among the estates in Lower Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. He volunteered to mediate getting access to publishing possibilities in Germany, and personally asked Hungarian politicians of the opposition to include in their programme the issue of constitutionalism in Austria. The paper discusses the various stages of this political rapprochement from the autumn of 1846 until the spring of 1848, also presenting the rather diverging political conceptions in the background of the rapprochement.
The revolution and war of independence of 1848-1849 in Hungarian historiography
The essay surveys the main characteristics of the historiography of the revolution and war of independence of 1848-1849. According to the author, in the first thirty or forty years of the historiography of the period it is difficult to separate historiography and memoir literature. Another problem was the fact that until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918, scholars had hardly been able to access contemporary archival material because the papers of the organs of the Hungarian government and military had been kept in archives in Vienna. Current political issues such as controversies within the Hungarian emigration between 1849 and 1867, and the debates between groups favouring independence or compromise after 1867 greatly influenced the historiography of the period. Before the end of the nineteenth century, historiography was mostly characterized by a political and military historical approach. The really significant achievements of the historiography of the period include works of local history that treated archival material that has in many cases been lost since.
After the collapse of the Monarchy, the archives in Vienna opened up, and the series Magyarország Újabbkori Történetének Forrásai (Sources of Modern Hungarian History) started publishing works discussing the history of 1848-49. It seemed that the history of 1848-49 had ceased to be a political issue. However, the communist regime, which came into power in 1948, again wished to use the history of 1848-49 for its own purposes, and this was harmful for historiography. The historiography discussing the period started employing economic and social historical approaches, but often coupled with extreme leftist rhetoric. The change, in a political sense, occurred in 1956, and in a professional sense at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, and became complete in the 1980s. First the activities of Lajos Batthyány and his government were revised on the basis of archival researches, then the military historiography of the period underwent a similar process. Most of the works that appeared on the 150th anniversary of the war of independence can be described by an open attitude and the respect of facts rather than ideological prescriptions.
Experiment around the State: The Reform Plans of Gyula Schvarcz for Constitutional Development in the Monarchy
In the mid-1860s, Gyula Schvarcz (1838-1900) believed Western social development could be successfully adapted in Hungary, too. Seeing that the load-bearing capacity of society was lower, he expected the state, the political sphere dominated by state institutions to have the initiative.
He meant to eliminate the legal gaps built into the political system of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy with his constitutional reform. He thought that the rights of the monarch should be clearly defined and the relationship between the two houses of the Parliament cleared up, although he questioned the necessity of a second chamber. He urged that the anomalies of the election system be removed, and the electorate broadened by making literacy the condition of the right to vote. He wanted an act to be passed on the modern responsibility of ministers, and would have had clerical offices filled with professionals. He rejected the institution of virilism, whereby the wealthiest held most of the elective offices, and wanted participation in local government to depend on the level of one's education. He deemed it necessary to precisely regulate administrative procedures, and administrative justice to be meted out by independent courts. He wanted justice to be administered by a judiciary dependent on laws only, which required the making of detailed laws and codes. His attention covering other areas of institutions under the rule of law, Schvarcz proposed the reform of the state audit office as well as the establishment of a state court (constitutional court) to direct conflicts between the branches of government into legal channels. He wanted to guarantee the rights of citizens in the constitution, and he did not wish to hinder the educational and economic efforts of the national minorities either.
Schvarcz hoped that the state would have a modernizing role, one that would help bourgeois development, but he thought this interference was necessary only because of the weakness of society. He wanted to find guarantees that the state would, with its every move, promote the material, moral, and intellectual development of society so that in time the latter would be able to take over an increasing number of functions. Unlike a growing number of his contemporaries, Schvarcz insisted that the state should serve society and not the other way round.
Woe to thee, Assyria (Nahum: a regular prophet among the exceptional)
The Book of Nahum holds up a distorting mirror to Assyria. It is impossible to identify with absolute certainty the author of the book, but the oracles can be traced back to a number of prophets. Precise dating is similarly problematic, but it would seem certain that the parts of the oracles against Assyria we are concerned with are contemporary. Thus, since our texts from the seventh century B.C. coincide chronologically with the flourishing of the Assyrian empire, they should be regarded as valuable sources.
The first group of the oracles under discussion (Nah 3,1.4.16-18) exposes some elements of Assyrian administration and techniques of using power, naturally, from the perspective of a small state. Despite the passionate and often moralizing tone of the texts it is clear that the authors of the oracles knew well this technique of using power.
The prophetic sayings of the other group (Nah 3,13.15.19) use powerful strokes to draw a picture of the destroyed Niniveh. These latter oracles relate the text under discussion to several pieces of a familiar prophetic genre (i.e. oracle against strange peoples). The purpose of such oracles was probably not to magically curse the enemy (although this view is still held far and wide in Old Testament studies), but to convince the local political elite, in this case that of Judah. Nahum - and why should we not call the author of the oracles in question by that name? - was probably a member of a political circle in Judah that had, for the time being, fallen out of power during Kings Manesseh and Amon precisely because these rulers avoided conflicts. The members of this circle, and thus the authors of the oracles in question firmly relied on the direct, fast, and unconditional help of YHWH in realizing their political goals.
Champion dynasties in ancient sports
A number of families can be identified in ancient Greek sports whose members were winners in the Olympic games or at other competitions of the Olympic cycle (periodos) through two or three generations. The author has already discussed this phenomenon in connection with short distance runners. This time he mentions cases from heavy athletics, particularly from fighting sports (wrestling, boxing, pankration) in which subsequent generations of certain families were successful in identical or similar branches of competition.
Elmélet és módszer