A Short History
A golden age...Why? How? The century in which the entire Carpathian Basin had suffered immense losses in both men and goods had just come to an end. It is a well-known fact that demographic losses caused by warfare are rapidly made up by the surviving population. The dead and the captives are replaced by hastily conceived children. If, however, the losses caused by war are aggravated by losses caused by epidemics and natural disasters, the combined demographic losses may affect generations. The bill was further increased by the unrelated fact that in this era -- the era of discoveries -- the principal commercial routes had been redrawn. Also, bloody but cheap, the trans-oceanic gold and silver devalued the precious metal production and export in all of Europe and particularly in Transylvania and northern Hungary.
The literature of Gábor Bethlen's rule and personality fills libraries, and the interested reader can easily get lost in details. The early days of his reign -- including the way in which he gained the throne -- were overshadowed by the fact that he had to yield the fortress of Lippa to the Turks. Knowing how many fortresses have changed hands how many times, and how much the Turkish Empire has grown during these years, this one fortress does not seem to be of much importance. And yet, it was. The reason being that at this time there was a strong reaction against Bethlen's unpopular choice of leaning toward the Turks. And when on the Sultan's request, the prince, willy-nilly had to give up this important southern fortress, he had to besiege and evict his own troops who refused to give up the fortress. It was a terribly bitter lesson...
This took place in 1616. Two years later, Gábor Bethlen became involved in the first stage of the struggle between the rebellious Prague and the obscure Vienna, which spread throughout Europe and became the ebbing and flooding religious struggle known as the Thirty Years' War. The Counter Reformation affected Transylvania only tangentially and its excesses were consistently rejected. Thus, Transylvania, strongly Protestant and with a strong Calvinist orientation participated in this war -- one of the principal issues being man's freedom of choice -- not as a minor, peripheral participant, but as a major player. At times, Transylvania became the most important player in this tragedy. Even though "the world" was expanding very rapidly in this age, and far beyond Europe, the role Transylvania had assumed in this struggle, made it for the first and last time in its history a factor in world politics. After modest beginnings, this was no mean accomplishment for such a tiny country. Furthermore, at this very time, Transylvania enjoyed peace at home for the first time in a very long while.
"It was a peculiar characteristic of his armies that other than the regular tax, their existence did not weigh economically on the Transylvanians, who were pleased to hear about the successes of their prince in the far west without ever having to experience the fury of war on their own bodies. The life in Transylvania was like the mirrored surface of a lake, barely rippled by a gentle breeze, while the armies of the prince were engaged in bloody battles. Every barbershop in Pozsony was filled with the wounded and the dying and many regions of North and Northwest Hungary became devastated battlefields year after year. In recent years these regions were also fighting a loosing battle with starvation. The sparse news reaching Transylvania caused very little excitement. All right, so the prince had again defeated the Germans or that this or that brave knight had fallen. This was nothing compared to the destruction of Transylvania in the decade following Zsigmond Báthory when the flower of the high nobility perished and the country was beset by five-six enemies at the same time (...) When the far distant prince requested additional men or increased taxes, the nobility gathered in National and County Assemblies, with the Saxons sitting in their own "short meeting", regularly answered 'we will not give'. When a second request came, they promised to pay. Everybody knew that all this was incidental, that the prince waged war with his own resources and on his own responsibility and that he would abandon it when appropriate, having enough sense to judge the proper moment." (Gyula Szekfü)
Gábor Bethlen was a good soldier, a statesman looking far into the future, a good master and a generous and wise patron. What Transylvania accomplished under his leadership is a witness, however, to the enormous potential strength of this land and of this people as well. "Just" a little calm, "just" a little order in its mercantile and administrative affairs, "just" a little enlightenment and toleration -- with just enough Calvinist obligations in religious and lay matters -- and, lo and behold, there emerged from behind the Habsburgs and from the shadow of the Turks a historically young, not very richly endowed, geographically limited, numerically small and so far -- and soon again -- fragile state. It will shine for a few decades with such a brilliant light, that it really would have deserved a more permanent favor of the fates.
It was Bethlen's intention to once again unite all Hungarians in one country. For this reason, he had himself elected king at the 1620 Diet in Pozsony. Unfortunately, he then lacked the strength to actually assume that position. His abdication from the kingly title gained him some territory. Then he tried to stabilize his position by marriage. Lastly, he attempted to gain the throne of Poland, like his predecessor István Báthori. All in vain. He helped others, nobody helped him. Or, if they eventually did, he did not live to see it. Thus, it was entirely in vain, both for him as an individual and also for Transylvania that during the first ten years of the Thirty Years' War, his armies were the only victorious ones and that during his life time his victories were instrumental in giving a breathing space to his German, English, Dutch and Danish allies.
At the time of Gábor Bethlen, Hungarian students ranged very widely and in large numbers to gain graduate and postgraduate education. In this laudable endeavor the sons of free peasants and even serfs, assisted with scholarships, accompanied the offspring of the highest nobility. Thus, the sons of the lower classes could rise in the social structure, thanks to Bethlens generosity and to their own abilities. Previously, Hungarian names were found mostly in the student rosters of Italian, Cracowian and Gdansk universities, but now they appeared in German, Dutch and English universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. Gábor Bethlen established his own university. Surprisingly, his first such endeavor took place in the area of his military triumphs, in northern Hungary, in Nagyszombat, now in Slovakia. After lengthy wandering, this foundation became the Nagyenyed University.
After the death of Gábor Bethlen and after the interregnum and planned departure of the flighty and indecisive Catherine of Brandenburg, a new chapter of the story begins. Of the two hopeful young men, István Bethlen and Gyõrgy Rákóczi I -- both of them having the Sultan's approval -- the latter became the new prince (1630-1648). With him a well-known family of the highest nobility came to the top again. It is a family whose fate was intertwined more with Hungary than with Transylvania alone. Fate linked them to Hungary for several generations, and until the decline of the family. Otherwise conditions remained generally stable. There was some estrangement from Stambul, made possible by internal problems and dissensions within the Ottoman Empire. There was hope that the Thirty Years' War, dragging on and involving new participants, would take a favorable turn. There was another attempt to capture the Polish throne (this time with the help of the Cossacks rebelling against the Polish government, and for the favorite younger son of the ruling prince, Sigismund.). There were some lucky victories in battle, great diplomatic skill, and considerable internal violence.
It was Gyõrgy Rákóczi's particular good fortune that he gained the hand of Zsuzsanna Lorántffy in marriage. She is the most outstanding example of Hungarian womanhood of that period. She was a helpmate in managing the estates, she was a patron of the schools and a benefactor of education, and she was the mother of four sons. At last we have a prince in Transylvania who had no dynastic worries. Let us not be too happy about this yet. Bad times were coming again to Transylvania.
Before discussing these, let us take a look at some of the characteristics of Transylvanian society in the middle of the 1600s. The increase in the estates of the prince did not affect the numerical relationships between the ruling classes and the others, but only within the ruling class itself. These latter were changed to the point where in the 13th century the prince was both the ruler and the landlord of "the majority of the Transylvanian serfs". For this reason, and contrary to other areas, "the peasantry fleeing from the shackles of serfdom could not look for protection to the State. The princes opposed the movement of serfs in all forms. They did not encourage the serfs if they wanted to enlist in the army or if they were looking for work in the mines. Even a move to crown lands was forbidden. The greatest severity, however, found it difficult to re-establish the bondage of the serfs, loosened by the destructive effects of fifteen years of war." (Katalin Péter).
It is a paradox that at this same time the economic burden of the war became so heavy that the free Székelys who had fought so vigorously for the privileges granted to them by military service, sought the relative security of serfdom. The greatest guarantee of the Saxons' autonomy was their economic strength. This was supported for a long time by the fact that the Romanian voivodates, adjacent to Transylvania, were totally dependent on Saxon manufactured goods. When industrial productivity began in these voivodates, sufficient to meet their own needs, this destroyed the hitherto so lucrative eastern monopoly of the Transylvanian Saxons. The results were not purely economic, as far as the Saxons were concerned.
As far as the Romanians were concerned, their free peasants, lesser nobles and nobles and the sizable group of serfs were totally equivalent in position with their non-Romanian counterparts. If there was assimilation and Hungarization among the noble families of Romanian extraction -- that was spontaneous and quite natural. The other segment of the Romanians, the mountain pastoralists were separate because of their way of life, their area of settlement and, most importantly, their mobility. Being short of serfs, the landowners attempted to move them down from their mountain grazing lands. When successful, their assimilation into the older Romanian serf groups was not harmonious. Their mentality differed too much and this meant more then the ties of consanguinity.
It is interesting that in the spiritual life of the Romanians there was little evolution of their native language, mainly because the majority of their clergy clung to the ancient Slavic liturgy. Thus, the refinements of the Romanian language were the triumph of a the small number of Romanian Protestants. This deserves more extensive discussion.
"The first important Romanian printed material was published in Transylvania under the influence of the Reformation. Princes, magnates and bourgeois, partly because of their enthusiasm for converting the Romanians, partly because of a sense of obligation to enlighten and educate, made a valiant effort to modify the thinking of the Romanians 'living in ignorance'. This effort was not motivated by Hungarian or Saxon nationalism. Starting with the 1540s, the Nagyszeben magistrate, the Brassó city judge, etc., show budgetary items dealing with the printing of Romanian religious books which were clear evidence of the attempts to create a Romanian literary language and a more modern religious life. (...) The Transylvanian, Romanian Reformed bishopric was established by the Nagyszeben Diet in 1566. It could not draw the Romanians away from Orthodoxy but made great strides in changing the language of the liturgy from the ancient Slavic to the native tongue (...). Conversion of the Romanians to the Protestant religion was again promoted by the great Transylvanian princes, Gábor Bethlen and Gyõrgy Rákóczi I, with just as poor results as those of their predecessors. It is a fact that the orthodox counter moves tried to use the same tools and in the 17th century promoted the use of the mother tongue in the liturgy" (Zoltán Szász).
Even today, Protestantism has been unable to put down roots anywhere from the northern Slavs to the southern Greeks. This very large area seems to foster a fundamental mentality among its various peoples, which does not favor trends which placed individuality in the fore front and encouraged the sovereignty of man.
Gyõrgy Rákóczi II (1648-1660) was picked already in 1642 by his very strong-willed father to succeed him on the throne. He took over his inheritance, free of any problems; a rare state of affairs in Transylvania. His reign started out well. He was helped by the realization that Protestantism had lost some of the "appeal" that it had at the time of his predecessors and thus he needed no longer be a champion of his religion. This made it easier for the majority of the western Hungarian, Catholic nobles, disappointed by the lack of resistance of the Habsburg against the Turks, to direct their hopes toward him personally, and toward Transylvania. This group included the outstanding soldier, organizer and poet Miklós Zrinyi, a scion of an eminent noble, Croatian family.
Time out! In 1643 Gyõrgy Rákóczi II married Sophia Báthory, who had no male survivors in her own family. For his sake, she embraced Protestantism, but immediately following the death of her husband, she returned to Catholicism and also converted the successor Ferenc Rákóczi I, leading to major changes in the Rákóczi family...
In the first years of his rule, Gyõrgy Rákóczy II was fortunate to extend the influence of Transylvania to the Romanian voivodates. Matters may have progressed further in a favorable fashion, if his helpful and serious-minded younger brother Zsigmond had not died. This had fatal consequences. Taking advantage of the troubles in Poland, initiated and fomented by the Cossacks and relying on the promise of Swedish assistance, he pursued the plans of his father and started out with an army to conquer the Polish throne. He did this also, because the Turkish controlled areas of Hungary had increased to the point and were so firmly held that the road from Transylvania to the west necessarily led through Poland (this did not mean, however, that merchants and their goods could not cross all these areas in almost every direction). He should have known that he would not have Turkish support.
He also suddenly lost the Swedish support. The Poles did not view him as the reviver of the glorious Báthory era, but as a foreign aggressor. Indeed, why should they acquiesce in having a foreigner take the Polish throne with the assistance of Cossack and Swedish arms. In fact Polish armies operated far in his rear and plundered Hungarian territories. This induced the Cossacks to switch sides and, lastly -- based on several historic precedents -- Stambul sicked the Tatars on him as a disciplinary measure. He was forced to accept a demeaning peace agreement and had to pay enormous damages.
If, at this point, Gyõrgy Rákóczi quickly had turned around and took his intact army home, the losses would have been great but tolerable and recoverable. He did not realize, however, that good fortune had abandoned him, and he now committed the unpardonable sin. He and a few hundred of his soldiers "got out" and returned to Transylvania. His main forces, about 20,000 men strong were lured by the Poles into a Tartar trap. All of them were captured and were taken to the slave markets in the Crimea, where there was a real demand for human merchandise of such quality. He swore that he would use his entire fortune to redeem them and bring them home, but he did not do it. Transylvanian -- and Moldavian and Havasalfõld -- families were economically and emotionally destroyed by trying to get their relatives back from slavery. This endeavor created a brand new commercial and financial enterprise. To no avail. The majority of the slaves never returned home. The golden age of Transylvania was over.
The loss of the prince's reputation reflected unfavorably on the entire principality. During the next two years, George Rákóczi II was forced to abdicate twice and the succession, during his life, was chaotic and only temporary. In the meantime, Transylvania again became the battleground for both internal and external warfare. An extensive Turkish punitive campaign is estimated to have cost the life of 100,000 people. It can not serve as a belated excuse for his wasted life and for his very poor policies, that Gyõrgy Rákóczi II was wounded in the battle of Szászfenes against the Turks and died from his wounds two weeks later.
Hungarian historiography, legitimately lists the son of Gyõrgy Rákóczy II, Ferenc Rákóczy I, among the princes of Transylvania, but without dates for his reign. Even though his father had him elected when he was six years old -- just as he himself had been, by his father -- the boy who is fifteen at the time of his father's death, could not in effect become the prince. His life and his fate were tied to his estates in Hungary and to his Hungarian political ambitions. It was there that he became a party to the Wesselényi conspiracy, it was there that his mother redeemed his life from Vienna, thanks to her strong influence among the Austrian Catholic clergy -- and for an enormous ransom.
Four years after the fiasco of the Polish campaign and of the dissolution of the Transylvanian army in the Crimea, the Estates elected Mihály Apafi I (1661-1690) as the prince, on direct Turkish demands. He was of a meditative nature and, according to his contemporaries, more suitable for the priesthood than for the throne. His hobby -- which he shared with other rulers at his time -- was repairing clocks. He himself had been a prisoner in the Crimea and learned from this experience how the cogwheels of history meshed and ground. Reluctantly but inevitably, he bowed to the demands from Stambul. He did this for the time being only, since there was once again the hope and the possibility that Vienna, at long last, would exert its full strength against the Turk. It was a paradox of the situation, that his Turkish patron would be pleased to see Apafi on the Hungarian throne. It was not the first time that a Prince of Transylvania was threatened with such a dubious distinction. The Hungarian kingdom was a shrinking remnant and once again, as so many times in the past, the question was whether the hated pagans could best be expelled by a Habsburg Vienna or by the re-establishment of a national sovereign. If the latter, a king must be found.
During these years, it is -- again -- difficult to follow in the Carpathian Basin, as to who was fighting with whom, against whom and who was allied to whom. It all changed all the time. In 1664, thanks largely to the preparatory battles fought by that superb southern Hungarian nabob and Croatian governor, Miklós Zrinyi, Duke Raimondo Montecuccoli, a commander perhaps more celebrated than good, gained a great victory over the main Turkish forces at St. Gotthard. Yet Leopold I (1657-1705), Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, made a hasty and almost demeaning peace with the Turks at Vasvár.
It is characteristic of the confused state of affairs that in Montecuccoli's victorious Christian army there were numerous French contingents, yet Leopold I made his disadvantageous peace with the Sultan, because he feared a sneak attack by the French. This peace enraged the Hungarian magnates and they, acting through the commander of the French expeditionary forces, offered military cooperation to Louis XIV against the Habsburg. Is it a wonder, therefore, if Mihály Apafi I also made inquiries from the Sun King from whom he got many promises and some money? His hopes were dashed, however, and Leopold made peace with the French. It was small solace, that in this peace treaty Transylvania was mentioned as an ally to the French. Transylvania thus, once again, albeit peripherally, appeared in world politics.
The East-Central European affairs, after a 150 years of spinning in place like a squirrel cage "between two pagans, for one country", finally gathered speed. In 1683, and for the last time, a Turkish army advanced against Vienna -- not without troops from Apafi. In 1684, Apafi was invited by Leopold into an alliance against the Turk. In 1686, the allied forces of Europe evicted the Turks from Buda in spite of the fanatical fighting of the defending forces. Even though there would be Turkish remnants in various parts of Hungary for a while and some fortresses remained in Turkish hands for years rather than for months, the century and a half long, humiliating period in Hungary's history was at an end. It was near its end in Transylvania as well.
The most incomparable, famous and notorious figure of this age was Imre Thõkõly, twice prince without ever really being one. This great title was first bestowed upon him by northern Hungary in the first half of the 1680s. Later, in 1690, he was transiently Prince of Transylvania. In addition to his military prowess, that made him, deservedly, commander in chief of Transylvania at an early age, much of his fame was derived from his romantic marriage. He marries the widow of Ferenc Rákóczi I, Ilona Zrinyi, who was ten years his senior, and thus he became the stepfather of the minor Ferenc Rákóczi II. The Turks offered the Hungarian crown to Thõkõly. He pretended to accept it, but never really claimed the title. We can view him as the last in a series of Hungarians who viewed the Turk as the lesser evil. Yet he wanted to remain "Turkophile" much longer than he could do so in good faith. Can this assessment be maintained after the events yet to come?
At the end of the century, the border between Christian Europe and the Islamic Sultanate was back again, generally in the same area where it was under the Hunyadis. How about Transylvania? Its situation changed, but it was a difference without a distinction. While it was a principality, it was the western border of an eastern empire (similarly to Hungary, after 1945 when, as a so-called "People's Democracy", it became the satellite of the Soviet Union). Now Transylvania became the eastern border of the Habsburg Empire which, although western, was loosing ground in the west and looked for compensation to the East, through the grace of God and for the greater glory of the Dynasty.
Even though the principality was maintained for only a while, Mihály Apafi II (1690-1701) was still not the last prince. Leopold I, fully cognizant of his military superiority, reduces Transylvania to a status similar to that which the Turks had imposed on it in the past. He demanded an annual tribute. Every local decision was subject to the approval of Vienna. The Diploma Leopoldinum was issued on October 16, 1690, on demand by the Estates siding with the Emperor and was the "basic contract" integrating Transylvania into the Habsburg Empire. Its text has much to recommend it, it brought a bad period to its end, it did more good than bad, but it stayed in effect too long. In the meantime, Leopold I had the prince interned in Vienna, and finally reduced his status as a ruler to a simple territorial bargain. The weak Apafi heir was "compensated" with the title of Duke of the Holy Roman Empire, a meaningless sham.
This consistent curtailment of rights was not limited to Transylvania, so much so that instead of "Hungary", it would be more appropriate to speak of a "territory inhabited by Hungarians". According to Vienna, the expulsion of the Turks did not constitute a re-conquest. It was not the re-establishment of an earlier administrative status quo, interrupted by the Turkish occupation. It was a new military conquest , which was modestly referred to as a new acquisition and which thus was open to any kind of administrative arrangement (Nota bene: a very significant percentage of the occupying army was Hungarian).
The legal ruse was a clever one, but one thing led to another. Wherever despotism becomes the master -- even if called military law -- a strong hand and a strong saber are needed. Military governors are not generally known for their understanding, flexibility and spirit of cooperation. The generals appointed by Vienna proved to be particularly brutal. Looting and the imposition of tributes may be ancient military prerogatives but they did little to pacify the "liberated" who hoped that the liberation would result in freedom after the expulsion of the Turks.
The activities of General Antonio Caraffa in northern Hungary and Transylvania were successful for Leopold I only in the short range. He "pacified" the occupied territories and incorporated them into the Empire, but he sowed seed that would soon grow into bloody shoots. We could begin the story of the last Prince of Transylvania at this point.
On the other hand, this period is noted for people in hiding. We may even call them "internal emigrants". Since 1514 there were many fallen rebels, military deserters, escaped serfs, displaced peasants, returning prisoners of war who had lost their homes, people banished from a party, movement or religion, unemployed cattle drovers and journeymen, miners dismissed for striking, escaping felons and others, who were banding together in the swamps and forests in increasingly large numbers and more and more openly. Some of those who had formed regular groups have already been mentioned under the designation of Heyducks.
This is another point in our history where we can begin the story of the last Prince of Transylvania. Even though Ferenc Rákóczi II (1704-1711) was the fifth member of his family elevated to this dignity, his childhood star was pointing in a different direction. As a stripling he was in a military camp with his step-father, Imre Thõkõly, and he was there when his mother fought for three years with the imperials to defend Munkács. After the loss of Munkács, the youngster was educated by the Jesuits, who functioned almost like prison guards -- his patrimony of one million hectares would have been a nice acquisition for the Order. He was deeply religious, but as soon as he reached majority he left this forcibly imposed guardianship. Marrying soon thereafter, he moved back to northern Hungary in 1694 and immediately became the great hope of the national resistance. At this time, however, he avoided all political obligations. The successfully initiated Hegyalja Peasant Rebellion of 1697 invited him to become its leader. He was so scared that he ran all the way to Vienna. Yet the miserable conditions in the country, recently liberated from the Turks, and the brutal reprisals against several popular movements shook him severely and initiated a slow transformation.
Let us remember: some of his ancestors were Princes of Transylvania when it was the glorious bastion of Protestantism. He himself was the child of the Counter-Reformation. His maternal great grandfather was the hero of Szigetvár, his uncle was the poet and military theoretician Miklós Zrinyi, his grandfather, Péter Zrinyi, was lured to Vienna with false promises and was there subjected to the executioner's blade. These are just a few items of the many that shaped his fate. In 1701, the recently begun War of the Spanish Succession created a favorable atmosphere and he began to send out feelers toward Paris. He was now ready for a leadership role.
The always suspicious Vienna swept down on him. He was carted off, threatened with the death penalty and escaped only with a romantic trick and at the price of his liberator's life. He hired mercenaries in Poland and got ready to return to his country, but the leaders of the newly exploding popular rebellion had already sent for him. Very soon the country was in flames from east to west. The light cavalry troops of the Kuruc captains now fought under Rákóczi's flag and swept down on the fragmented imperials, all the way to the gates of Vienna.
The Prince-Commander, who was elected to this dignity after the initial successes of the Kuruc movement, first by the Transylvanian and then by the Hungarian Estates, depicted the contemporary Hungarian society with astonishing maturity. His writings are filled with Christian meditations, but they also contain an almost sociologic analysis of the class structures and of the impediments to his struggle created by the societal immaturity and by the general backwardness of the country. Yet, combining the revenues of the state and of his own estates he created an effective war economy and a monetary system which could function with minimal backing -- as long as he had the "golden touch" of victory in battles.
He had two problems, however, which were insoluble. He builds good contacts at the two opposite poles of Europe with Louis XIV and with Tsar Peter the Great, but as soon as the international situation changed it was no longer in the interest of either France or Russia, that this little Hungarian princeling "annoy" Vienna. The other issue was that the real strength of his army rested on the rebellious poor, the barefoot axe and scythe bearers, the talpas -- they included numerous nationalities and the particularly faithful Carpathian Ruthenians -- the Heyducks and the serf-soldiers fighting for their freedom. Rákóczi recognized this and tried to draw the appropriate legal conclusions. Yet, he was dependent upon the magnates and nobles whose interests were the opposite. He was their Prince. From 1703 to 1711, the war was like a kaleidoscope with a shifting base and alternating losses and gains. Once again Hungarian confronted Hungarian: the Labanc included a number of Hungarians who preferred Vienna.
The last few years were a series of pursuits and hairbreadth escapes for the Kuruc forces. Their ranks were thinned by desertion and weakened by epidemics. The noble estates were short of serfs and the economy was destroyed by the now worthless coinage.Rákóczi was forced into exile. He refused the offered amnesty and the German estate offered in exchange for his own. He fled to Poland. He met Peter the Great. Then he went to France where he was first the popular, romantic hero in the colorful entourage of the Sun King, and later lived in monastic solitude like a friar.
It gave him satisfaction that the Peace of Szatmár which he did not oppose, granted many of the things that he could not gain on the battlefield. The re-establishment of the legal status of Hungary and Transylvania, which had been wiped out after 1688 on the basis of military law, became the subject of complicated bargains and later unkept promises. Religious freedom was re-established, and the Heyducks maintained their privileges. It was less satisfactory that the nobility, taking advantage of the amnesty kept its privileges by taking a step backward historically. It was a paradox that now -- and also at other times -- Vienna having gained a free hand, promoted modernization in the Carpathian basis in opposition to the conservatism of the nobility.
In 1717 Ferenc Rákóczi moved to Turkey, like his late mother and stepfather before him, hoping for support from the Sultan. Unfortunately, the international situation was unfavorable. He was assigned a small town, Rodosto (now Tekirdag), on the shores of the Marmara as his domicile. He lived there with his few remaining faithful, on a small stipend from the Sultan, until his death in 1735.
This is the end of the chapter that we dared to call Transylvania in World Politics. What we meant by this was that in this era, the distant and exotic land "beyond the forests", previously unknown in Europe, became useful in transient power blocks, was considered a useful potential ally and actually served as a useful ally in some situations. At no time thereafter did it participate in similar "glory". Not even when, like in the 20th century, it repeatedly became a bargaining chip in world politics. At this time it was only a minor appendix of Hungary or Romania, and was not a (relatively) independent factor.
A Short History