Fall Term 1993
Peter Hanak
Andras Gero
Istvan Deak, Columbia University
For the Department of History

Course Description

The national awakening: from the language question to political nationalism and the demand of sovereignty. The spring of the peoples: enthusiasm and brotherhood in March 1848. The first liberal constitutions in Central European history. The rise of national and class conflicts and struggles. The attempts and failures of cooperation among the peoples of the region; the lasting achievements and the frustrations of the revolutions.


1. Complexity of Modernization in Central and Eastern Europe Introduction.
The situation in 1815: Central Europe of the empires and the Holy Alliance. The main enemy of Liberty: the Metternich-system - the main enemy of the Metternich-system: the steam and Modernization. Dimensions of Modernization: economy, society, political system and nation formation - Capitalist free trade, liberalism and the "awakening of the dormant nation". Projects on abolition of serfdom, on political-legal equality and extending the traditional (pre-industrial) nation. Problems of the "feudal" and the "peasant" nations. Liberal (pro-Modernization) and conservative nationalisms. Supra-nationalism and the Austrian state-nation.

2. Language - Culture
Why did Modernization begin with the Language Reform? Political consequences of the Language Reform: territorial demands - autonomy - sovereignty. The role of national culture - (belles-lettres, history, theater, scholarship, reviews). National symbols (flag, anthem, arms of the nation) and myths (of origin, vocation), the past glory. The double face of the developed nationalism.

3. Backwardness and Modernization
The problem: capital accumulation - entrepreneurial class. The role of the state.
Solutions. (a) Modernization through the State (from above), (b) Modernization by the economic leading forces, incl. the traditional ruling elite (nobility) (c) The "pondered progress" (Old-Conservatives) (d) Social and national progress without liberalism and capitalism. (The "Populist" standpoint) (e). No Modernization - Upholding the Ancient Regime Josephinism in Austria, middle class elite in the Czech lands. Initiatives from the landowner nobility in Hungary.

4. The Hungarian Reform Age
The Hungarian cultural renewal. Kazinczy - Kolcsey - Wesselenyi. Istvan Szechenyi and his works: books, pamphlets, enterprises. Ferenc Deak and a modern interpretation of the Hungarian constitutional law. Lajos Kossuth and the "unification of interest" -the Pesti Hirlap. Jozsef Eotvos, the centralist group, modernization of the state system. The vision of a civil society. The Hungarian liberal reformers and the minority question. Magyarization and tolerance. First signs of maturing national conflicts. The Hungarian liberals and Austria - the reform and the Viennese Court. Was a peaceful compromise possible?

5. Germany and Italy (Vormarz and Risorgimento)
Social and political foundations of German Modernization. The peasant reforms in Prussia. Expanding of German national idea -the role of German Romanticism. The economic vitality - the Zollverein (Customs Union, 1833). Projects of unified Greater Germany. The origins and achievements of Italian Risorgimento. Italian national culture in the 1st half of the 19th century. The prophets. Mazzini and the Giovine Italia: vision of a democratic republic. Gioberti and the project of an Italian Confederation. Unification from above: Carlo Alberto and Piedmont. Pius IX. and the Italian national movement.

The 1848 Revolutions in Central Europe

6. The European Revolutions and the Habsburg Monarchy
The European character of the revolutions. Revolution in France. - The social question: The Right to Work and the Organization of Work. Liberals - radicals socialists. Elections in May - the victory of the bourgeoisie. Dissolution of the National Workshops - the June uprising. From Lamartine to Louis Bonaparte: turning point in the revolutionary trend. The impact of the French Revolution in Germany and Italy. Revolution in Berlin - liberal constitution - Convocation of the constituent to Frankfurt - the Frankfurt Parliament. Revolutionary uprisings in Milan, Venice, etc. The war against Austria - Italian victories in the spring, defeat and withdrawal in July.

7. The Revolution in the Habsburg Monarchy.
The Czech movement, the Hungarian Diet in Pressburg - the revolution in Vienna. The fall of Metternich (and his system) - constitutionalism. General slogan of the Spring of Nations: Brotherhood and Liberty. The Hungarian April Laws compared to the Austrian April Constitution. Concepts of Reorganization - perspectives of the future. The Austro-German State Idea - The Hungarian State Idea: Austro-Hungarism. - Austro-Slavism, the Slav Congress in Prague. Failure of the Prague uprising.

8. The Abolition of Serfdom,
In Hungary: without peasant compensation for the urbarial serfs - division of the pastures abolition of robot, tithe, urbarial court. In Austria: Initiative of Kudlich liberation of the urbarial serfs with some compensation -non liberated the domanial (manorial) serfs. Comparison between Hungarian and Austrian procedure. Comparison with the Western and the Russian solution.

9. The minority question.
The legal stand of the minorities in Austria. Why was Austria more liberal in this respect than Hungary? National assemblies of the Slovaks, Serbs, and Rumanians in May 1848. The programs. The refusal on the part of the Hungarian government. Armed conflicts in the military frontiers. Croatia. Its special status in the Monarchy. Jelacic Banus of Croatia and pro-Habsburg nationalism. Unsuccessful negotiations between the Hungarian government and Jelacic. Restaurative turn in Vienna in August -outbreak of the civil war. Revolutionary government in Hungary: National Defense. The Austrian Reichstag and the civil war. The peak of the constitutional projects: the Kremsier (Kromeriz) Constitution 1849.

10. Attempts at Reconciliation 1. .
Loyalty Conflicts. Conflicts within the Army: loyalty to the Emperor or the nation? Conflicts within the ruling elite. Dividing lines within the non-Magyar nations: pro- and anti- Hungarians. Composition of the Magyar National Army (Honved).

11. Attempts at Reconciliation 11.
In Croatia - Pacification in the Voivodina. Negotiations in Transylvania. Avram Jancu. The Dragos-mission and the tragedy of Abrudbanya. Balcescu in Hungary with Kossuth - Talks about a confederation. Reality: Projet de pacification and the Minority Law in July 1849. The Russian intervention in Hungary and the capitulation. The retaliation of Neo-absolutism. The fate of the actors of the 1848 revolutions.
Summary. Why did attempts at reconciliation fail? Nation with or versus Liberty. The lasting result of the revolution: new social order. Further economic and political development. The memory of the 1848 revolutions and freedom fights in the national consciousness.

12. Restoration and Compromise.
Central Europe after the failure of the 1848/49 revolutions. Impossibility of a new revolution - Failure of Mazzini in Italy, the fall of the Polish insurrection of 1863. Instability of Neo-absolutism. The Oriental Question - Crimean War and Austria. Internal resistance - Hungary. The road to the unification. 1. Italy. 1859-60, 1866, 1870. The road to the unification. 2. Germany. 1862, 1864, 1866, 1870-71. The crisis of the Austrian absolutistic system - constitutional experimentations. The preconditions of the Compromise. 1867.

Required Reading:
Macartney, C.A.: The Habsburg Empire 1790-1918. New York, Macmillan, 1969.
Robert A. Kann: A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526-1918. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1974. p. 282-299.
A History of Hungary. Ed. by Ervin Pamlenyi. Budapest, 1973 . p.222-254. - A History of Hungary. Ed. by Peter F. Sugar. Bloomington-Indianapolis, 1990. p.188-208.
Kann, Robert: The Multinational Empire. Vol.II. p. 21-39. (Copied)

Suggested Reading:
History of Hungary. (Ed. by Peter Hanak). Bp., 1991. 85-105. pp.)
Barany, George: Count Stephen Szechenyi and the Awakening of Hungarian Nationalism 1791-1841. Princeton Univ. Press, 1968.
Gero, Andras: Freedom and Confidence. Count Istvan Szechenyi. Bp., 1991.
Janos, Andrew C.: The politics of Backwardness in Hungary. 1825-1945. Princeton Univ. Press, 1982.
Kann, Robert A.: The Multinational Empire. Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Empire. 1848-1918. vol.I. New York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1977.
Tapie, Victor: The Rise of the Habsburg Monarchy. New York, Praeger, 1971.
Jelavich, Barbara: Modern Austria: Empire and Republic. 1815-1988. New York, Cambridge Univ. Press. 1987.
Okey, Robin: Eastern Europe 1740-1980. Feudalism to Communism. Minneapolis, 1987.
Seton-Watson, Hugh: The Sick Heart of Modern Europe. The Problem of the Danubian Lands. Seattle, Univ. of Washington Press, 1975.
Dvornik, Francis: The Slavs in European. History and Civilization. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1962.
Halecki, Oscar: Borderlands of Western Civilization. A History of East-Central Europe. New York, Roland Press, 1952.
Sugar, Peter and Lederer, Ivo eds.: Nationalism in Eastern Europe. Seattle, Univ. of Washington Press. 1970.
Berend, I.Ranki, Gy.: East-Central Europe in the l9th and 20th Century. Budapest, Akademiai Press, 1977.
Taylor, A.J.P.: The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918. Chicago, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
Robertson, Pr.: Revolution of 1848.
Hitchins, K.: The Rumanian National Movement in Transylvania 1790-1849.
Pech, S. Z.: The Czech Revolution of 1848.

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: May, 1996


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