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These considerations led the Magyars to be impatient and intolerant and to pay less consideration than they would probably otherwise have given to the natural susceptibilities of the nationalities, which they interpreted as sympathy with the enemies of the nation - thereby, of course, breeding such sympathy; although here again the shadow of the hen should not obscure the egg, for the designs both of Vienna and of Pan-Slavism were real, and both really possessed sympathisers in Hungary.

At the beginning of the 1830s all this lay rather in the future than the present. The Swabians and Ruthenes seemed so far untouched by any national feeling whatever. The Serbs were passing through a quiescent period, although the literary movement which was developing under the auspices of Vuk Karad i was instinct with Pan-Serb nationalism, which was also growing in Serbia. The Roumanian movement was still almost confined to Transylvania. Only a handful of Slovak intellectuals had so far adopted the theory of Czecho-Slovak identity, while rather more (like many of the Czechs themselves) were nebulously Pan-Slav. Others were particularist Slovaks, and quite prepared to make common cause with the Hungarians. The situation was, however, full of latent dangers, and Magyar chauvinism, by making the most of these, was already increasing them.

In the event, the course taken by the developments of these years, and, in particular, both the contents and the course of the Hungarian reform movement, were largely determined by the attitude taken up towards it by Vienna. It was hopeless to expect anything during the lifetime of Francis, whose aversion from change of any sort had become almost pathological with advancing years, and for this reason the first three years of the Diet which met in 1832 were practically barren. After Francis' death on 2 March 1835 the government of the Monarchy was taken over for the simpleton Ferdinand by the Staats- und Konferenzrat, which was not a body from which the Hungarian reformers could expect much sympathy. Of its three effective members, the Archduke Ludwig held it to be an injunction of piety to keep his brother's 'system' intact. Metternich was not anti-Hungarian, if only out of snobism, and the shallow corpus of inductive conclusions which he called his political philosophy included the beliefs that allowance must be made for Hungary's national individuality and respect accorded to the Hungarian constitution; but what he valued in that constitution was precisely its antique elements, which seemed to him a guarantee against revolution. Kolowrat, the 'overlord' of the interior and finance, was a Josephinian at heart, not against authoritarian reform; but he regarded Hungarian nationalism as a dangerous disruptive force, his intellectual convictions in this respect being reinforced by strong pro-Slav, and in particular pro-Czech, prejudices.

The policy followed by the Konferenzrat towards Hungary was in fact wavering and inconsistent, and probably depended largely on which of its members happened at a given moment to be interesting himself most in the country. Its first moves, when in 1836 the 'Long Diet' rose at last, were severely repressive. The key government posts were filled with men who were both extreme centralists and unbending reactionaries. Kossuth was arrested, as were several of the young jurati and Baron Miklós Wesselényi, a fiery and extremely popular Transylvanian magnate and friend of Széchenyi's. At the same time, Kolowrat was lavishing encouragement on the Croats.

But the resulting outcry was very formidable. Even the moderate Hungarians rallied against this new oppression. Moreover, the international situation grew threatening again. Metternich wanted money and recruits from Hungary, and dared not provoke the nation too much. In 1840, accordingly, there was a change of policy in the direction of conciliation. The most unpopular officials were replaced, the Diet convoked and placated by considerable concessions in several fields, and Kossuth and Wesselényi amnestied.

The result, however, was only to whet appetites, and to play into the hands of the extremists. For one point on which the Opposition had protested particularly strongly, and on which the government had promised to mend its ways, had been its violations of the principle of free speech. When, then, the proprietor of one of Hungary's few papers, the Pesti Hirlap, made Kossuth its editor, he was allowed to write pretty well what he would. The brilliance of his writing sent the circulation of the Pesti Hirlap soaring until it was being read over all Hungary; the aura of martyrdom with which his imprisonment had invested him helped to lend his words an almost oracular authority, and soon he was far the most popular man in Hungary, and exercised far the greatest influence on its opinion.

This had a big effect in strengthening the reform movement on social issues, for thanks to Kossuth's real enthusiasm, and to his peculiar genius for presenting political and social reforms as national desiderata, political opinion in the country was during these years largely won over to the emancipation of the peasants and to many other good causes. But his influence also helped to keep alive the eternal spirit of opposition to Vienna, and further to exacerbate the nationalities question. A wave of extreme chauvinism swept during these years over Hungary and Croatia alike, and here again Kossuth was the inspiration and leader of the extremists, while Széchenyi sacrificed almost the last remnants of his popularity by protesting against Magyarisation as both unchristian and politically unwise. He and Kossuth were now openly at loggerheads, and attacking one another in barbed pamphlets.

For the Diet of 1843 the government mobilised all its resources, and again kept the Opposition down to a small number, largely thanks to the tempestuous support which it organised for itself among the sandalled nobles, to whom the taxation of their land would have been a serious blow. It was, however, now still hoping to conciliate the Hungarians, and sanctioned a considerable number of reforms in the social field. On the question of Austro-Hungarian economic relations there was an interesting regrouping of forces. The development of the German Zollverein (customs union) under Prussia's patronage had led Metternich and certain other members of the inner ring in Vienna themselves to favour abolishing the internal tariff between Austria and Hungary and the constitution of the Monarchy as a homogeneous economic unit, all parts of which should be treated on a footing of strict economic and financial equality. Precisely in 1843, however, Kossuth had been converted by reading List's Nationale System der politischen Oekonomie to the idea of protection for Hungarian industry. His influence secured the rejection of the government's offer, as a counter to which Kossuth then launched a 'Buy Hungarian' campaign which at first enjoyed considerable popularity. It is true that this soon died away, and when the opportunity next occurred the country preferred to adopt the customs union.

Finally, the government, which already in 1840 had made further concessions on the language question, now gave way on it almost completely. A Law was enacted which made Magyar the official language of all institutions of Greater Hungary, i.e., of the Diet, the chancellery, the Consilium, etc., and of all internal administration in Inner Hungary. The king also promised to Magyarise all schools in Inner Hungary. The Croat deputies to the Diet, if unable to speak Magyar, were allowed a six years grace in which they might continue to speak Latin, and the law did not affect the language of internal administration in Croatia. Communications from Hungarian to Croat authorities were to be in Magyar and no longer in Latin. The Slavonian counties and Fiume were counted as part of Hungary, and, after six years, had to use Magyar for internal purposes; up to that date, they were allowed to use their own languages.

This final victory in the long linguistic battle was hailed with enormous rejoicings in Hungary. But the effect of the laws on the relationship between Magyars and non-Magyars was disastrous. The Slovaks, on whom a great weight of entirely unjustified pressure was also being put, especially by the leaders of the Lutheran church in north Hungary, were at last stung into protest. They petitioned Vienna for redress, and now for the first time a Slovak national opposition became a considerable factor within Hungarian political life. Similar, although less widespread, protests came from Roumanians in the Partium and from some of the Hungarian Germans. The Croats besieged Vienna with petitions for complete or virtual separation from Hungary, and sent back, unread, communications addressed to them in Magyar. The situation in respect of the Serbs grew increasingly dangerous, less as an effect of the laws, which were only very partially applied among them, than because of developments in the Principality of Serbia, where the Minister President, Gara inin, was revolving a plan of his own for uniting all Serbs and Croats under the rule of

Belgrade, and sending his agents into Hungary to make propaganda for the plan.

A very similar situation was, meanwhile, developing in Transylvania. Here, too, the excitement of the Josephinian period and the Leopoldinian Diet had been followed by a long stagnation. Francis did not convoke the Diet between 1808 and 1834, and the authorities quietly filled the elective posts in the Gubernium with their own nominees. in the early 1830s, however, agitation for reform and for union with Hungary set in. At first this was conducted almost single-handed by Széchenyi's friend, Wesselényi, whose fellow-nobles were slow to join him, partly out of particularist feeling, partly on social grounds: social conditions in Transylvania were much more backward even than in unreformed Hungary (the robot commonly ran at four days weekly), and the extension to the Principality of the reforms for which the Liberals were pressing in Hungary would have shaken their whole position. From 1840 or so onward, however, national feeling began to outweigh calculation among many of them. They adopted the programme of union with Hungary, and pending its achievement, demanded a more dominating position for the Magyar element in Transylvania. The Diet had been convoked again regularly since 1837, and in 1841-2 its members put forward a motion to make Magyar the exclusive language of the Diet, the Gubernium and the other central offices, and of higher education; the Saxons were to be allowed a period of grace before the Law was fully applied to them. The Crown refused to sanction this proposal, but a Law on these lines was enacted in 1846, when the Diet, incidentally, passed another Law making social conditions harder than ever.

The reactions of the non-Magyars were, of course, strongly unfavourable. The Saxons, who were experiencing a national renaissance of their own, protested vigorously against the identification of what they maintained to be by right and tradition a multinational state, with the Magyar element in it alone. They declared themselves opposed to union, and spun what threads they could to Vienna. The Roumanians could afford to be fairly indifferent about the language of an administration in which they did not participate and an education which they did not receive, but there was among them, naturally, much discontent with their miserable social conditions, and national feeling, after a period of quiescence, was growing stronger again with the increase in numbers and quality of their own educated class, and with the parallel movement (itself largely fostered by émigrés from Transylvania) in the Danubian Principalities. There was already considerable latent and embryonic irredentism among them, but when they revived an official programme, it was still that of 1791, for recognition of their `nation' and their religion within the framework of the Transylvanian constitution. They, too were bitterly opposed to the union with Hungary, as making this impossible and as calculated to bring them under even heavier Magyar pressure.

After the 1843 Diet, Metternich tried new tactics. A group of the younger Hungarian magnates, calling themselves the 'Progressive Conservatives', had come to the conclusion that some reform was necessary, and a certain measure of it even desirable, but it should be carried through by the government, with due safeguards against extremism, both social and national. In 1843 this group, then under the leadership of Count György Apponyi (its founder, Aurél Dessewffy, had died prematurely) reached agreement with Metternich on a programme of political authority and economic reform. The F ispáns were to undertake the direct administration of the counties, in which they were to enforce the government's will; where unable or unwilling to do so, they were to be replaced by 'administrators'. The Opposition was to be excluded, as far as possible, from the Diet, and the procedure of that body was to be thoroughly recast and made orderly. The customs union with Austria (which promised advantage to the magnates, for by this time the growth of population in Austria had gone so far that Hungary could place practically all her agricultural surplus there) was accepted, together with its consequences, the most disagreeable of which would be the introduction into Hungary of the tobacco monopoly. There was to be a big programme of public works carried through with the help of Austrian financial houses, and such internal reforms as seemed beneficial; the group was not entirely opposed to seeing noble land taxed.

Apponyi was now appointed Vice-Chancellor (in 1846 he became Chancellor), and his associate, Baron Samuel Jósika, Vice-Chancellor of Transylvania. Some items of the programme were put in hand immediately. Administrators were appointed in no less than eighteen counties, and some important public works initiated, including the regulation of the Tisza, of which Széchenyi took charge. Legislation, however would have to wait for the next Diet, which was announced for the autumn of 1847, when its first business would be to elect a successor to the old Palatine, who had just died.

In preparation for this, the supporters of the regime, including many conservatives who were far from progressive, constituted themselves into a 'government party'. The Opposition, in reply, drew together, and in June 1847 produced an 'Oppositional Declaration'. Thanks to Deák, who drafted it, this document was meticulously loyal, but it condemned the existing regime, in the roundest of terms, as 'foreign and non-national' and unconstitutional, being contrary to the provisions of the Law of 1790. For the rest, since all fractions of the signatories had insisted on having their own wishes included, the Declaration emerged as a somewhat amorphous but very comprehensive document, representing the lowest common multiple, rather than the highest common factor, of Hungarian liberal and national aspirations. It demanded a genuinely national ministry, responsible to a parliament, exercising effective control over the collection and expenditure of revenue; extension of representation to non-nobles in the counties and municipalities; general equality before the law and equality of status for all 'received' religions; complete and compulsory redemption of all peasant servitudes, against compensation for the landlords[24], taxation of noble lands, abolition of the aviticitas and the institution of an adequate credit system; freedom of the press and abolition of the censorship on books; the re-incorporation of the Partium and union with Transylvania, if voted by the Transylvanian Diet. On the tariff question it trod warily, but protested against the inequalities to which Hungary had previously been subjected in industrial and commercial respects. Hungary was prepared to negotiate amicably with the Austrian Lands, but not to have conditions imposed on her.

It was with these two programmes that the Diet met in the autumn of 1847. In spite of strong pressure by the government, the two parties were approximately equal in strength, but the Liberals, who were led by Kossuth, (elected for Pest county, and now for the first time sitting in his own right) had, on the whole, the advantage in the Lower House. It could be assumed that a considerable fraction of the social reforms, the resistance to which was crumbling even among the magnates, would go through, but the question of the central political control was different. On this the government was determined not to give way, and in fact, after the Diet had duly elected the old Palatine's son, Stephen, to his father's office, it almost at once reached deadlock on this central question. This was still unresolved, and seemed, indeed, past resolving, when events in the outer world violently snapped it and within a few weeks brought the reformers what, if they could consolidate it, would amount to total victory.

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