Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hungary (kingdom)

A crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy, called 'Royal Hungary,' exists as a secure bulwark against the Ottoman Empire, shored up by a coalition of kings and electors of the Holy Roman Empire, led by the King of Austria.

Financial, military and foreign affairs are controlled directly by the Austrian King in Vienna; imperial Habsburg troops guard the frontiers. The defense of Royal Hungary, called the 'Turkish Question," has divided the government into two factions: those who wish to maintain peace with the Ottomans and those who want the Ottomans forced out of occupied Hungary. Many in Royal Hungary view the Habsburgs as foreign occupants, preferable to the Turks but still without respect for the needs of Hungary.

The kingdom covers an area of 82.9 hexes, with an average density of 12,951 persons per hex. There are eight divisions: the principalities of Nyatria, Ruthenia and Upper Hungary; the duchies of Burgenland and Croatia; the marches of the West Border and Guns; and the County of Little Ruthenia.

The kingdom is bordered on the west by the Kingdom of the Habsburgs (Banovina, Lower Styria, Styria & Lower Austria) and the Kingdom of Bohemia (South Moravia, Vlachia, North Moravia & Upper Silesia); on the north and east by the Kingdom of Poland (Galicia, Lwow & Halicz); and along its inner south and east border by the Ottoman Empire (Slavonia, Bakony, Budapest & the Northern Hills) and Transylvania (including Hortobagy).

Royal Hungary has a population of 1,073,656. Cities with more than 5,000 persons include Pozsony (47,351), Szombathely (17,202) and Nyatria (10,447), Sopron (8,451), Komorom (6,986), Koszyce (6,389) and Trencsen (5,018).


The area of central Europe girdled by the Carpathian Mountains and drained by the Danube and Tisza rivers was known to its Roman conquerors as Pannonia. Pannonia was surrendered in 441 to Hun invaders and during the succeeding centuries it was subject to great migrations of peoples - the Germans, Huns, Avars and Slavs, whose exact movements are lost. The last of these invaders were the Magyars, who established a lasting dominion over the region.

The Magyars were a nomadic group of humans originating in Central Asia, who had been pressed forward by orcish peoples. After a period in which they sought shelter in the gnomish Vespsian Empire, the Magyar tribes, led by Prince Arpad, penetrated the Carpathians through Verecke Pass (between the Bieszczady and Skole mountain ranges) in 896, overrunning the wide plain that would become the heartland of the latter Hungarian Kingdom. Arpad's successor, Zsolt (907-947), led his tribe into Germany . . . but their defeat at Merseburg in 933 by Henry the Fowler and at Augsburg in 955 by Otto the Great forced them back into Hungary. Blocked from further nomadic forays, the Magyars found themselves on the threshold of a new existence in which they were about to substitute agriculture and Christianity for nomadism and heathenism. The needed impetus for this was provided by Prince Geza (972-997) and Istvan the Saint (997-1038).

Geza moved energetically to destroy the ancient tribal organization of the Magyars and to establish royal power on the model of the German empire. Between 972 and 996, all the Hungarian tribes were brought under Geza's sway. During this same period, the process of conversion to Christianity was hastened by missionaries imported by him.

The work of establishing a strong state, independent both of Germany and the Byzantine Empire, was carried to a brilliant conclusion by Istvan. Succeeding his father in 997, Istvan sought recognition by the papacy, which was granted by Pope Sylvester II in the year 1000. In that year, Istvan received from the pope a crown - henceforth known as the Holy Crown - which for 650 years has remained a sacred symbol of supreme authority in the Kingdom of Hungary. Christened 'Stephen' by the pope, Istvan would lay out the lines of religious and civil government by establishing two archdioceses and eight dioceses in Hungary. Crown lands were limited to forty-five counties. The royal will was carried out by the counts, who were responsible for local justice, military levies and the raising of revenues. The settlement of foreign knights was encouraged and lasting ties with the civilization of the west established.

The half century following the death of Istvan (who would become St. Stephen in death) was marked by dynastic struggles and the need to repel German attempts to conquer the kingdom. During the reigns of Laszlo the Saint (1077-1095) and Kalman I (1095-1114), however, royal authority was reestablished. Hungarian domination was extended over Croatia, which henceforth became joined to the Hungarian crown. The failure of the dynasty to accept the principle of primogeniture caused a renewal of the struggle for the throne after the death of Kalman - this encouraged the Byzantine Empire to invade the kingdom.

The powerful Bela III (1173-1196) ended this foreign threat and strengthened the internal position by extending Hungarian possessions to the natural bastion of the Carpathians, as well as the Danube and Sava river basins. Bela was allied to the court of France and promoted the spread of learning from the centers of western Europe.

The successors of Bela III weakened the royal authority by permitting extensive partition of crown lands, which entailed a considerable change in the social structure of the kingdom. Possession of land became the source of power, with every nobleman and free person (servant of the king) seeking to increase their holdings and bring into subjection a class of serfs.

In 1222, the freemen, to defend themselves against the landowners, forced Andrew (1205-1235) to grant them a bill of rights, known as the Golden Bull. This document guaranteed to the nobles a certain number of privileges, such as exemption from taxes, personal liberty, direct allegiance to the king and the right to resist any royal decree. From this period stemmed the growth of serfdom and the web of constitution acts which vested power in the nobility.

The attempt of Bela IV (1235-1270) to undo the work of his father and to reestablish the royal power was prevented by the catastrophic Mongol invasion under Batu Khan. In 1241, the Hungarian army was routed on the banks of the Sajo River. Bela fled to the Dalmatian islands in the Adriatic. The Tatars retired after the death of the Great Khan (1242) and Bela retur4end to a devastated country. He was obliged to permit the nobles to build fortresses for the defense of their regions, thus unwillingly abetting the further growth of the feudalism his father supported.

Bela IV also attempted to offset the weakening of his royal power by supporting the growth of towns. The settlement of German townspeople and Slovak peasants was encouraged. The Germans (Saxons) settled in northern Hungary and Transylvania. Wallachian shepherds crossed the Carpathians and established themselves in Transylvania. Bela was the last strong ruler of the national house of Arpad, a dynasty that in 400 years had developed a powerful state from a nomadic tribe.

The struggle for the throne of Hungary after the death, in 1301, of Andrew III, the last of the Arpads, was won by Charles Robert of French Anjou (1308-1342), the adventuring grandson of Charles of Naples. Charles Robert and his son, Louis the Great (1342-1382), aided by a thorough knowledge of the economic structure of the kingdom, led Hungary into participation in the international politics of central Europe. Charles Robert, coming from the west, where feudalism had already crystallized, was able to make the best of the situation in Hungary by rewarding his followers with the estates of those nobles who had kept the kingdom in ferment since the death of Andrew III. He obliged them to maintain armed forces which were at the disposal of the king in time of war, requiring the social classes which were exempt from military obligation to bear the burden of taxation. The gold minds of upper Hungary were exploited, the trade of the towns was encouraged and a gold coinage not subject to debasement was introduced.

Bolstered by this order and prosperity, Charles Robert and Louis followed a policy of expanding Hungary's strength. An alliance with Bohemia and Poland weakened the control of Vienna over Hungarian commerce, while in the south Charles Robert annexed Bosnia and western Serbia. Louis the Great humbled the kingdom of Naples and extended Hungarian power to the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea; in 1370 he succeeded his maternal uncle as king of Poland.

The death of Louis, in 1382, without a male heir, plunged Hungary into the same troubles that had beset the kingdom upon the death of the last of the Arpads. The hand of Maria, Louis' daughter, was sought by several aspirants to the crown, the successful claimant being Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387-1437), son of Emperor Charles IV. Hoping to buy domestic peace in order to further his ambitious plans, Sigismund further alienated crown possessions and permitted the growth of an oligarchic nobility; the towns were not sufficiently developed to form a useful ally for the crown and the nobles were exacting further concessions in return for their military support.

Sigismund turned his attention to defending Hungary against the Turks, who had be steadily advancing northward through the Balkan Peninsula. In 1396, at the battle of Nicopolis (in Silistra), he was defeated and thereafter lost interest in further exertions in the Balkans. Instead, Sigismund sought power in Bohemia and Germany. He was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1410, became involved in the Hussite struggles in Bohemia and neglected to maintain his interest in Hungary as the magnificence of his German court grew. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Albert of Habsburg, who succeeded to the Hungarian crown upon the death of Sigismund in 1437. Although Albert II died in 1439, his short reign established a precedent upon which later Habsburgs were able to capitalize.

Two contenders for the throne now appeared. Ladislas II Jagello, king of Poland, who became king of Hungary as Laszlo V (1440-1444) and Laszlo VI, postumous son of Albert II. The latter was supported by his uncle, Emperor Frederick III. The former was backed by the nobles who sought to avoid the subjection of Hungary to the foreign interests of the Habsburgs. Ladislas was killed in battle against the Turks at Varna in 1444 and the country was plunged into an interregnum, with the child king, Laszlo VI, remaining abroad in the custody of Frederick III.

Gravely in need of strong leadership to unite the country against the Turkish menace, the nobles turned to the foremost of the magnates, Janos Hunyadi, inviting him to act as governor on behalf of Laszlo VI. The Turks, emboldened by the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, renewed the war against Hungary - but Hunyadi decisively defeated them at Belgrade in 1456, thereby saving Hungary for another seventy years. The death of Hunyadi in the same year removed the single uniting force in Hungary; his eldest son (also named Laszlo) was murdered by the young king Laszlo VI, who survived only until 1457. With no legitimate contender, the crown was bestowed by the nobles upon Mattias, Janos Hunyadi's younger son.

The reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) was the most brilliant in the history of Hungary. With consummate ability, Matthias dispersed the strong malcontent landowners, abandoned the feudal military levies in favor of a national mercenary force and waged successful campaigns against Bohemia and Austria, taking Vienna in 1485. The splendor of his court in Buda attracted humanists and persons of learning, who spread the spirit of the Renaissance in Hungary. Mattias' library, the Corvina, became one of the most celebrated in Europe. The army was designed to maintain his authority, taxes were regularly collected and the nobles were made to feel their dependence upon the royal favor. It was a golden age.

Matthias Corvinus died without any direct heirs. His illegitimate son, Janos Corvinus, was not strong enough to seize power and the nobles elected Ladislas II Jagello of Bohemia (not to be confused with he of Poland fifty years before) as king. Ladislas II (1490-1516) was an incompetant ruler, unable to perpetrate the reforms of Matthias Corvinus or to resist the demands of the nobles. He was subservient to the Habsburgs and contracted marriage alliances with them to guarantee their succession, should his own line die out. The rights of the nobles were recognized in the Tripartitum, codified by Istvan Werboczi; the national army languished; and in 1514 the peasants rose in bloody revolt under the leadership of Gyorgy Dozsa. The glories of the time of Matthias Corvinus quickly faded.

Louis II (1516-1526) was no more successful than his father and faced the added difficulty of an imminent Turkish invasion. At Mohacs, on August 29, 1526, the Hungarian army, the king at its head, was destroyed by the Turks under Suleiman the Magnificent. Louis II died while fleeing. Hungary collapsed before the Turkish flood, which was soon to engulf the entire nation.

Immediately upon the death of Louis II, Ferdinand I of Habsburg, who had married Louis' sister, laid claim to the Hungarian throne. He was opposed by Janos Zapolya, a Transylvanian magnate, who was supported by some of the nobles. These elected him king in 1526. Zapolya, supported by France, allied himself with the Turks - and thus the resources of his country were wasted in bitter conflict. In 1538, by the treaty of Grosswarden, the two kings agreed that each should retain the possessions he then had - and that if one should die without an heir, the other would succeed. Janos Zapolya died in 1540, but Ferdinand was unable to dispossess his heir, Janos Zsigmond.

Sultan Suleiman, profiting by this opportunity, seized Buda in 1541, uniting it with Pest under the general name of Budapest. Hungary was effectively divided into three sections. In the west, from Vienna, Ferdinand controlled a few principalities and counties (Croatia and Burgenland later remade as duchies). In the east, Isabella, widow of Zapolya, ruled over Transylvania and rendered tribute to the Turks. In the centre, the pasha of Budapest and his begs and spahis maintained the Ottoman suzerainty in the once proud capital of Matthias Corvinus.

The Habsburgs were too engrossed in their German possessions to rescue the lands for which they had so long schemed, leaving the rulers of Transylvania in command of resources too slight to permit their turning against their Ottoman overlords. The Turkish possessions were depopulated and the remaining Magyar inhabitants were concentrated in walled towns.

During the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation advanced rapidly. In the north, many of the German and Slovak settlers were converted as Lutherans. In Transylvania, Calvinism found a receptive Magyar population. The Catholic Church, weakened by the death of many of its bishops in the Turkish war, or by their alienation from dioceses consequent upon the invasion, was unable to stem the spread of reformed teachings. The Protestant doctrines were particularly attractive to the smaller nobles, gentry and townspeople, who saw in them a passionate force opposed to the universal power of church and throne. In Transylvania, freedom of worship was granted as early as 1568.

In western Hungary, the Habsburgs encouraged the Counter Reformation; Prince-Primate Miklos Olah introduced the Jesuits into Hungary, initiating the Inquisition. By the early 17th century, Cardinal Peter Pazmany was able to rejoice over the virtual extirpation of Protestantism within Royal Hungary.

The rulers of Transylvania, which had become strongly Protestant, was less inclined to struggle for the unification of Hungary. The discontent of Transylvania and its fear of Habsburg intervention led to Istvan Bocskay's rebellion, resulting in the Treaty of Vienna and the end of the Long War. This treaty guaranteed the ancient Hungarian constitution and the free practice of Protestantism.


Cropland describes hexes of intense cultivation, where there is little hinterland. Mixed describes hexes where at least 20% of the land has been cultivated. Arable describes hexes of marginally exploited productive hinterland. Waste describes hexes where hinterland is not productive.


The following shows production in the kingdom organized by industry (color coded as other markets/production tables found on the wiki):

See sheet map D 02 ~ Carpathians.


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