Prince Pál Esterházy in the Batthyány Government
Prince Pál Esterházy was the oldest and wealthiest member of the first Hungarian responsible government formed in April, 1848. When Lajos Batthyány announced the members of his cabinet on March 23, he introduced the prince as the minister of "relations with Austria". Yet, in the minutes of the first meeting of the council of ministers held on April 12 Esterházy is referred to as the minister of foreign affairs. It was as such that he was commissioned to call the attention of Viscount Ponsonby, the British ambassador in Vienna to the dangerous movements in the Lower Danube provinces (Moldavia, Wallachia), which favored the Russian interests and posed a threat to both Hungary and the monarchy as a whole. In mid-April, the Prince declared in a memorandum his responsibilities as a minister of foreign affairs and proposed that the Austrian and Hungarian ministers clarify their common issues through keeping regular contacts with each other. This, however, was rejected by the council of ministers, which declared that such matters were to be dealt with "exclusively by the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs". At the same time, Ferenc Pulszky (originally in like capacity under Lajos Kossuth) was appointed Esterházy's undersecretary.
So Esterházy was regarded as a minister of foreign affairs by the Hungarian government (with the Austrian side accepting this title as well) but he did little more than getting in touch with the British and Russian ambassadors in Vienna. When the government decided to send delegates to the German constituent assembly meeting in Frankfurt he did not participate in writing and signing their letters of commission. The delegates reported to Batthyány, who had countersigned the letter of commission signed by the palatine. That is: beside getting in touch with the mentioned ambassadors, the task of the minister of foreign affairs delegated to Vienna was to maintain correspondence between the Hungarian government and the court as well as with the ministers. When the court fled to Innsbruck after the novel revolution in Vienna in May, the Hungarian government told Esterházy to follow the ruler. This further reduced the scope of his duties as the routine work was carried out by Pulszky, who remained in Vienna (and who was the authorized signatory in the minister's absence). At the temporary residence of the court, Esterházy participated in the negotiations between Batthyány and Archduke Franz Karl held between June 8 and 10, where decision was made about the ratification of Hungary's union with Transylvania as well as about the removal of Jelacic Ban of Croatia from all of his civil and military offices. The manifestos about the latter were published by Batthyány in the Tyroler Bothe as well as in the Wiener Zeitung. In his absence, the council of ministers presided by the palatine asked the ruler to commission Archduke John to settle the Croatian-Hungarian conflicts. Apparently, the publication of the manifestos was not in accordance with this, which prompted Esterházy to reproach Batthyány and claim that there remained nothing he could adhere to. When the palatine went to Innsbruck and was furnished by the ruler with full powers as well as with the authority to summon a representative parliament, Esterházy declared that his mission in Innsbruck had become unnecessary. Referring to his poor health, on June 26 he announced his retirement, leaving his ministry to Ferenc Pulszky. At the same time he said that he would decide whether to keep his ministry after the ruler would have returned to Vienna. The emperor returned on August 14, but the statement Esterházy made then was not clear-cut. He offered his resignation on September 3 and 5, respectively, which was accepted by the court at the end of September only. The Austrian council of ministers approved Esterházy's resignation on October 6.
The Prime Minister and the Honvéd Major – Batthyány and Görgei
Using the literature, published sources and the archival findings of the author, the paper surveys the relationship of prime minister Lajos Batthyány and Artúr Görgei the future commander-in-chief of the Hungarian army. Even though they both came from ancient noble families, Batthyány's family was one of the wealthiest and most influential aristocratic families, while that of Görgei had, by this time, descended into the lower ranks of the gentry. In their youth, both joined the army: Batthyány did so to flee from his mother's jurisdiction, while Görgei planned to lay the foundation of his future existence. Their fates met in the summer of 1848, when Görgei joined the home defense army. They first met each other in July 1848. The agile Honvéd captain soon attracted Batthyány's attention, who entrusted him with many tasks that required self-dependence. In August 1848, Görgei became one of those officers who devised the plans for the volunteer mobile national guards, and was appointed by Batthyány the commander of the volunteer mobile national guards in the Szolnok district. During September, they were in contact with each other, in writing, practically on a daily basis, and also met in person during Görgei's frequent visits to Pest. At the end of September, Batthyány ordered Görgei to the capital to appoint him on September 24 the commander of the Csepel island. Görgei did an excellent job in his new position. On October 2, prime minister Batthyány resigned while Görgei was promoted colonel. The next time they met, which was to be their last meeting, was in the middle of October 1848 in the Lajta camp, where Batthyány, as a private individual, protested against the crossing of the Austrian border. On his way to the camp of Windischgrätz as a member of the parliamentary delegation, he passed through Görgei's headquarters on January 1, 1849. The parliamentary peace delegation was one of the reasons that explain the crisis among the staff of officers in Görgei's Upper Danube army, and led to Görgei's Vác Proclamation. After the arrest of the former prime minister, Görgei was believed to be considering some sort of rescue operation in May and June 1849, and even discussed his plans with Batthyány's wife. After the victory of the intervention forces, the Austrian government was unable to take revenge on either Kossuth, who had taken over Batthyány's responsibilities, or Görgei, who had gained a victory with his army in the spring of 1849. As a result, Batthyány was made the number one target even though his conviction was illegal even according to the inner logic of the Austrian retaliation.
„Expecting company tonight. Conversed at length with Batthyány." The Common-Public Life of Széchenyi and Batthyány on Social and Private Scenes
In the paper the author makes an attempt to grab the relationship on its manifold scenes of two well-known public figures in the era of reforms in Hungary. The lives and the political careers of Count István Széchenyi and Lajos Batthyány have been discussed extensively in the literature, their careers, reform ideas and their relationship are well researched. The current analysis focuses on how their relationship was influenced by the the close social bond between them. Our primary source, Széchenyi's diary and Lajos Batthyány's very intensive, register-like appearance in it ("me in Batthyány's home", "Louis B. with us", together with Batthyány "at C[aroline] Károlyi") suggest that the main scene for their relationship was the triangle of the Batthyány-Széchenyi-Károlyi residences. That is, these three magnate salons, influential both in Pozsony and in Pest, provided the framework for their meetings. This circle of magnates was open and politically committed, while retaining as a characteristic feature its social identity, typical of contemporary aristocracy. The members spoke mostly in German and French, spent the time at balls, soirés, dinners and other social events, and paid visits to each other. This social space made the relationship of Széchenyi and Batthyány complex. On the hand, they both felt attracted to Karolina Zichy, a lady in the company, who was Lajos Batthyány's sister-in-law. In their most private life, this made them rivals and confidants at the same time. On the other hand, Lajos Batthyány's role as the leader of the reform opposition in the country weighed on their relationship, especially as the Zichy ladies in his company (his wife and his sister-in-law) took up a role in the opposition, which was reflected in their social life. Their salon became the main channel of communication for the reform opposition. István Széchenyi, on the other hand, were dragged into a pro-government role after 1842, and accepted an office in 1845. And even though he did not really feel confident in this role this led to dissonance between them. The banters and sarcastic ripostes led to growing tension, quarrels and occasionally serious conflicts almost ending in duels. But the fact that, despite their disagreements, they belonged to the same society became a bridge between them: they could more deeply understand each other's political dilemmas. The analysis of the interactions shows that while it was politics that most fundamentally influenced their relationship, the world of societies as well as their social and private circles also had an effect on it.
The Apostolic Military Ordinariate in 1848–1849
The army bishopric was created in 1773 to provide pastoral care for the soldiers of the imperial and royal army and their families. In 1848, army chaplains were to be found on the battlefield primarily in Italy, Hungary and Transylvania. In the spring of 1848, keeping contact with the senior officers became difficult in Italy because the insurgents were making headway, and many chaplains were taken captive or cut off from their units. To make matters worse, they also had to face financial difficulties as, given the circumstances, almost nothing came in from the surplice fees. By July 1848, especially the shortage of hospital chaplains had become acute due to the military operations. The regiment ministers were needed on the battlefield, while many army chaplains fell ill because of the physical strain and the extraordinarily hot weather.
In the more peaceful provinces of the Empire, they rather dealt with scheduling the masses and other administrative tasks. On 15 March, 1849, celebrations commemorating the events that had taken place one year before were held not only in Hungary. With the exception of Lower Austria, the provincials in all Austrian provinces were ordered to have masses celebrated in every church on the anniversary of the imperial statement promising a constitution
The Austrian authorities were surprised when, in the spring of 1848, Lázár Mészáros, the Hungarian minister of war proposed the appointment of an independent Hungarian military bishop. But on November 28, 1848, the army bishop Johann Michael Leonhard ordered the army chapelries in Upper and Lower Austria to commission, in accordance with the the orders from the Supreme Commander, four army chaplains for the army to be recruited against Hungary. During the campaigns, many army chaplains were taken captive by the Hungarian forces. The military hospitals in Pest and Buda were packed with patients, and in the spring of 1849 funerals were carried out rather irregularly. It is surprising that quite a few army chaplains who had went over to the Hungarian Home Defense Forces could continue their service in the Imperial Army after the suppression of the Revolution. Like in other provinces, the staff of the Transylvanian chief chapelry did not have an unanimous view of the revolution and the civil transition.
The ministers belonging to the army bishopric made great efforts in 1848 and 1849 to promote unity within the joint army of the multinational Empire. In their sermons, allegiance to the ruler and the house of the emperor as well as to the military superiors, comradeship and heroism were the most common concepts. At the same time, they had the important role of representing humanity during the campaigns. They defended their flock from civil harassments, they comforted the ill and the wounded in the hospitals and ambulance stations, while they were also there in the battles. They administered the sacraments (the Holy Communion) and kept the registers, the original copies of which almost never survived.
The History of the Austro-Hungarian Lloyd
The Austrian Lloyd of Trieste was the first sea transport steamship company in the so called Danubian Monarchy of the Habsburgs. The enterprise was founded in 1832 by seven local insurance companies, primarily to collect and assess information and news from the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. The Lloyd was inspired by the examples of the British and French societies. Ahead of many other shipping companies, the Lloyd of Trieste created a steam navigation department in 1836. The Austrian Lloyd became a dominant shipping enterprise primarily in the Mediterranean basin, but after the opening of the Suez Canal it reached out to the Far Eastern markets as well. In 1871, barely four years after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, the Hungarian government started investing in the company. However, the Hungarian navigation industry, still in the early stages of development, did not benefit much from the new venture that operated under the name Austro-Hungarian Lloyd from 1871 onwards. Because, despite the Hungarian financial support, the company did not care much about the commercial and market needs of the Hungarians. The primary markets for Hungarian agriculture were in Western Europe, while the Lloyd was interested in trade with the Middle East and the Far East.
From the 1870s, Hungary invested heavily in the modernization of the port of Fiume, which had been attached to Hungary again in 1868. The expensive port development project together with other infrastructural investments were seen unnecessary by many in the Hungarian intelligentsia as, despite of all these, the independent Hungarian sea navigation industry showed no signs of progress. Many argued against supporting an Austrian company that did not take into account the needs of the Hungarians. (For example, it happened that the Lloyd's steamers shipped cheap Russian grain to the markets of the Monarchy, creating competition for the Hungarian Agriculture.) Moreover, the Austro-Hungarian Lloyd was facing growing competition, mainly from the neighboring and young Kingdom of Italy and its fleet. It was in 1891 when the Hungarian government finally decided to cancel the contract and not to support the Lloyd any further. The company changed its name back to Austrian Lloyd, while the Hungarian government started financing independent Hungarian sea navigation. So 1891 was not only a watershed for the Lloyd, but it also marks a new era in the history of Hungarian sea trade, which was soon transformed from an institution existing only on paper into a truly functioning entity with the financial support of the government. The Lloyd continued to expand towards the Orient, while the new Hungarian Adria Company built a network of agencies in and launched its lines to Western European ports.
The Liability of the Illiterate on Bills of Exchange during the Dual Monarchy
In the era of the Dual Monarchy, almost half of the Hungarian population was unable to write and/or read, and the public showed great concern about the question: could the illiterate take liability on bills of exchange? First, the paper discusses the role of illiteracy in the exchange law. Bills of exchange were widely used all over the Monarchy, so it was obvious that on the pages of the Journal of Jurisprudence legal professionals published their view of the problems with liability on bills. The debate started with a Supreme Court decision in 1883. The arguments and counter-arguments of some famous jurists sent to the paper are described: as the limitation of liability on bills of exchange - as it was seen in the age - would mostly affect smallholders and people having unproductive professions (with qualification), the significant proportion of society would lose the chance of getting credit on bills of exchange. We prove that the proposals were intended to influence not only public opinion but also the 9th Hungarian Jurist Assembly, having a session just then. Thanks to the decision of the Assembly, the illiterate could get credit on bills of exchange: they could take liability on bills of exchange by delegation of authority or they could draw their names outlined on the paper by somebody else, or somebody could lead their hand when "singing" their names.