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The history of Hungary in two pages - Part Two

Continued from previous page
The attack of the Turkish army came to this internally disarranged country at the wrong time. In the battle of Mohács in 1526 the king and almost all of the aristocracy died and the Turks occupied Buda for three years. In 1530 the Habsburgs reconquered the city but ten years later the country suffered an other attack and this time it was torn into three parts. The western part was under the authority of Habsburg Ferdinand, the middle part - including Buda - was under complete Turkish occupation, the easrtern part, Erdély, remained under Hungarian control. The Turkish occupation brought destruction and regression, but on the other hand, the unique Turkish monuments of Hungary, like the baths of Buda and the several mosques were built during this period.

Buy the book and learn more about our historyThe Habsburgs made several unsuccessful attempts at reconquering the country, but in 1686 they succeeded in liberating Buda and the 150-year-long Turkish occupation came to an end. The devastation is illustrated by the fact that after the attack Buda had a population of 600 left out of the 25000 in 1541, in Pest 300 of the former 5000. In the next decades the Habsburgs settled many Germans in the city and it slowly began to develop and was rebuilt. The townscape had a unified baroque and classicist style. But the population of the country was not satisfied by the Habsburg ruling and this led to several uprisings. The Thököly uprising set the grounds for the war of independence led by Rákóczi between 1703-11 that was unsuccessful in the end.

The reform era brought technical and cultural developments, but also the strengthening of the national conciousness that finally led to a new war of independence in 1848-49. The war was put down by the Habsburgs with the help of the Russian army. This once again brought the beginning industrial and capitalist economical development. The compromise between the nation and the Habsburgs took place in 1867 and was followed by a political and economical stabilization. In 1873 Buda, Pest and Óbuda was unified under the name of Budapest and got a lot of presents from the reform era, like the cog wheel railway, the funicular, the public utilities and the city planning.

The first world war brought the developments to a halt. After the war as the result of the Trianon treaty that declared the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy, Hungary lost 2/3 of its territories. With the hope of winning back these areas, the country joined Germany in the second world war. During the war Hungary suffered great losses again, and in 1945 Soviet army occupied the capital. Most of the city was destroyed.

After the world war the one-party system and totalitarian dictatorship of the proletariat evolved. Political reprisals, the hindering of the church and the leader's, Rákosi's personality cult followed. This led to a revolution in 1956 that broke out on 23rd October and was supressed by the Soviet army on the 4th November. The country didn't get any help from the international community because of the tight situation in international politics. The revolution was followed by the restoring of the one-party system and the renewed reprisals led by János Kádár. The planned economy came into effect. The crisis of the system emerged in the middle of the 80's and the strengthening opposition movement forged ahead.

On 23rd October 1989, the anniversary of the 1956 revolution the Hungarian Republic was declared. On the first free elections of 1990 the Hungarian Democratic Forum's success meant the start of a new era.
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