The Future as a Historical Issue. 1918 and 1945 in Europe
This article explores the ways of imagining and planning of possible futures that emerged in the two postwar periods of Europe, 1945 and 1918. Elites, intellectuals and large proportions of European societies found it very likely that the future was possible to anticipate, that it was possible to foresee large and decisive trends of social developments, therefore it was possible to plan even large systematic changes. However, the multiplication of ideas about the issue and attempts to plan the future also suggest that crucial components of prognosis about further development were shaken and the “future” of Europe itself became uncertain. The hopes and fears concerning the future as well as the ways to cope with them show striking similarities in the two proper postwar periods of 20th century Europe, roughly the years between 1918-1922 and 1945-1949. This paper tries to make sense of these discontinuities and seeks to link these commensurable aspects of the postwar periods together. It also asks if these interlinked discontinuities reveal a specific set of techniques for managing the future in the postwar periods; if there was a specific postwar “regime of the future”. In order to adequately address these questions, the article extends the scope of investigation beyond the sphere of politics. It investigates how social groups and even individuals were engaged in a broad cultural process of mastering the future that encompassed aspects of the human environment and the deepest layers of individual identities.
Recycled History. The Instrumentalization of the Past in Contemporary Hungarian and Romanian Nation-Building
There is usually plenty of history involved in the political discourse of Central and Eastern Europe. However, the history used frequently by politicians and national activists is a ’different kind of history’. Sometimes it can be rather far from the ’history of professional historians’, because in this discourse, the past is being instrumentalized and (de)formed on demands of different actors in the present. In my essay I try to present the current ways of using history by the example of two national movements: the ’autonomist’ movement of ethnic Hungarians in the Szekler region of Romania, and the ’unionist’ struggles for the (re)unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Beyond the obvious differences, there are many parallels between the aspirations and procedures of the two groups, in which the past serves either as a model worth following, or as a legitimizing tool. In my essay first I focus on the historical roots of the two phenomena (the national self-determination at the end of WWI), then on their current geopolitical context (the Euro-Atlantic integration of Romania at the beginning of 21st century). After that I examine two main sources used by the actors involved – the constitution of ’Szekler National Councils’ in Szeklerland and the ’Declarations of Unification’ of many localities in Moldova –, and finally I briefly explain the discoursive context of the two efforts. It is also interesting how they are linked to each other: they both use similar discourse strategies and tropes, but also by direct connections between several actors (mainly Romanian national activists).
Alliances and Political Ties in Transylvania, 1917–1918
Political actors, even on different sides of the political fence, are able to make alliances. Sometimes their relationship is indirect but have common goals they pursue together. Since the turn of the century, the debates related to nation, state and the Transylvanian region focused on property rights, voting right reforms and the unanswered question of nationbuilding. Even if the various - and at times competing - Hungarian political groups offered different answers, for example in the question of suffrage, all were organized around the identity politics of the thousand-year-old state and the Hungarian nation-state's history. This study examines how a regional anti-Tisza alliance was organised after 1910 by different political actors mainly connected to the independentist opposition, as well as the social democrats. They started a political movement, wanted to act locally and regionally, they repackaged the Transylvania-question into a self-defence strategy, and attacked the ruling party's administration and its representatives from the outside and from the bottom. The Transylvanian Committee of the Hungarian National Council was formed in October 1918 by the Independent, Radical, and Social Democratic parties to make a last attempt to save Transylvania.
One Hundred Years Ago: Hungary and Transylvania Through the Eyes of an American Officer in January-February 1919
The one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I and the subsequent peace negotiations inevitably get in the historically limelight. In this fashion, this article will deal with American involvement in Europe, but especially in Hungarian affairs, doing this in the private realm rather than on the official spectrum. American participation was always on the border of official and unofficial, which statement is even more true in the case of the successor countries in Central Europe. A few Americans visited Hungary during the Peace Conference in various capacities. Although their official work has been to a large degree uncovered by historians, their private work still remains elusive. Hence, the diary of such an American officer will shed light on various interesting angles of the American thinking of the era and the relationship between American representatives and various Hungarians of the day. The article will introduce Charles Moorfield Storey’s journal, a significant part of which was written during his stay in Hungary and Transylvania in the first few weeks of 1919. Storey was a member of the famous Coolidge Mission, whose headquarters was at Vienna. From here Americans set out to visit and gather information on the various countries in their purview, including Hungary. Based on the diary entries, one can learn about daily work of the Americans at the Paris Peace Conference, the Coolidge Mission, and Storey’s experience in Hungary shortly after the conclusion of the war.
Gilbert de Santhilier’s Military Service During the Long Trukish War
Beside the peoples of the 16th-century Habsburg Monarchy (Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Moravians, Croats, Dalmatians, Slovaks, Ruthens, Vlachs and Uskoks), Rudolf II’s army included Slavs from the Ottoman-ruled territories (Serbs, Bulgarians and Christian Bosniaks), imperial Germans, Cossacks, Scots, Englishmen, Walloons, Frenchmen, and many Lotharingians as well. This final group was referred to as “borderland nobility” by Péter Sahin- Tóth, as they had a dual identity, language, and culture. Regarding their career and advancement, they had two choices: serving either the Habsburg family or the French kings. From among the Lotharingians who arrived at the Hungarian theatre of the Long Turkish War (1591-1606), my paper intends to present Gilbert de Santhilier’s military career, including his connections, his efforts and his proficiency in ground and naval warfare.
A chivalrous rebel. Raoul Magrin-Vernerey's military career in the draw of the Mediterranean
Throughout its history, France has built very close ties with the Mediterranean region, which has been partially under its own authority. During this process, several armed conflicts took place, in which soldiers of different backgrounds fought for French interests. one of the extraordinary individuals who had a successful career was Raoul Magrin Vernerey (alias Monclar). He realised many successful military and administrative missions at various points in the French colonial empire, while he went through nearly every stage of the armed forces' ranks. Moreover, this military officer, who is unfortunately little-known in Hungary, was born in Budapest, and he probably had Hungarian ancestors too. For this reason, in the study we are attempting to present the life-long career of this soldier with a remarkable past behind him. The most important points of his career were linked to the Mediterranean, and he made a significant contribution to the realization of the French major power plans.
The comprehensive study of the Holy See about the state of the Hungarian ecclesiastical benefices (1925–1927)
The reader can get a comprehensive picture from the study about how the Holy See perceived the financial state of the Hungarian ecclesiastical benefices in the middle of the 1920s by presenting and analysing the background of the report of Cesare Orsenigo, the apostolic nuncio of Budapest, written on 17 January 1927 to the cardinal secretary of state, Pietro Gasparri. The issue of managing the ecclesiastical assets already arose during the catholic autonomy movement, but no deliberation was approved by the Holy See on the subject. As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, a part of the possessions of several dioceses and ecclesiastical entities got to the other side of the boarder and the Hungarian ecclesiastical proprietaries lost possession of them. Hence, the financial bases of several ecclesiastical institutes were shaken. The governments of the neighbouring countries came up with their demands for the collation of bishoprics and for drawing the boarders of the dioceses along the political boarders. In this situation it was the interest of the Holy See to have a proper view about the state of the Hungarian bishopric and chapter benefices. Lorenzo Schioppa, the first apostolic nuncio of Budapest (1920–1925) and his successor, Cesare Orsenigo (1925–1930) saw the administration of benefices of the Hungarian prelates differently. While the former was convinced that they were very rich but compared to the extent of their assets spend little on religious or pious purposes, the latter also detailed the extent of their burdens and obligations. Due to the differing opinions, the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs dealt with the question on 26 November 1925 and decided that the nuncio should make a comprehensive report with the help of the bishops. The results of this is the report of the nuncio are examined in the present study.