Kingdom of Hungary facts for kids

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Kingdom of Hungary

Magyar Királyság
1000—1918

1919—1944

1944—1946
Flag of Hungary
Flag (1867-1918)
{{{coat_alt}}}
Coat of arms (1915-1918)
Territory of the Kingdom of Hungary
Territory of the Kingdom of Hungary
Capital Esztergom;
Fehérvár;
Buda;
Pozsony;
Debrecen;
Budapest
Government Monarchy
Monarch  
• 1000-1038
Stephen I of Hungary
• 1916-1918
Charles I of Austria
History  
• Coronation of Stephen I of Hungary
1000
• Act I/1946
1946
ISO 3166 code HU
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Hungarian prehistory
Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian State
Hungarian Democratic Republic
Hungarian State
Second Hungarian Republic

The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century (1000–1946 with the exception of 1918–1920). The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom around the year 1000; his family (the Árpád dynasty) led the monarchy for 300 years. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world.

Due to the Ottoman occupation of the central and southern territories of Hungary in the 16th century, the country was partitioned into three parts: the Habsburg Royal Hungary, Ottoman Hungary, and the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania. The House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918 and also played a key role in the liberation wars against the Ottoman Empire.

From 1867, territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen. The monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, after which Hungary became a republic. The kingdom was nominally restored during the "Regency" of 1920–46, ending under the Soviet occupation in 1946.

The Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic state from its inception until the Treaty of Trianon and it covered what is today Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Transylvania and other parts of what is now Romania, Carpathian Ruthenia (now part of Ukraine), Vojvodina (now part of Serbia), Burgenland (now part of Austria), and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders. From 1102 it also included Croatia, being in personal union with it, united under the King of Hungary.

Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I (20 August) is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the foundation of the state (Foundation Day).

Transitioning into a republic

Rajk László Sr. 1947
László Rajk was a Hungarian Communist politician, who served as Minister of Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Following its occupation of Hungary in 1944, the Soviet Union imposed harsh conditions allowing it to seize important material assets and control internal affairs. After the Red Army set up police organs to persecute class enemies, the Soviets assumed that the impoverished Hungarian populace would support the communists in the coming elections. The communists fared poorly resulting in a coalition government under Prime Minister Zoltán Tildy.

Soviet intervention, however, resulted in a government that disregarded Tildy, placed communists in important ministries, and imposed restrictive and repressive measures. In 1945, Soviet Marshal Kliment Voroshilov forced the freely elected Hungarian government to yield the Interior Ministry to a nominee of the Hungarian Communist Party. Communist Interior Minister László Rajk established the ÁVH secret police, which suppressed political opposition through intimidation, false accusations, imprisonment and torture.

Szent Korona Decsy
Engraving of the Hungarian Holy Crown

In 1946 the form of government was changed to a republic. Soon after the monarchy was abolished, the Soviet Union pressed Hungarian leader Mátyás Rákosi to take a "line of more pronounced class struggle." What emerged was a communist state lasting until October 23 1956 when the Soviet Russian occupation was swept away by the Hungarian uprising, victorious until November 10 1956. Soviet occupation was restored lasting until 1989 when the Communists agreed to give up their monopoly on power, paving the way for free elections in March 1990.

In today's free republic, the Kingdom is regarded as one long stage in the development of the state. This sense of continuity is reflected in the republic's national symbols such as the Holy Crown of Hungary and the Coat of arms of Hungary, which are the same as when the monarchy was still in place. Several holidays, the official language (Hungarian), and the capital city Budapest have also been retained. The millennium of the Hungarian statehood was commemorated in 2000 and codified by the Millennium Act of 2000.

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