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The Magyarisation of the educational system, of which so much has been written, was at first justified by its authors, as it had been in the 1830s, as the necessary means of producing a Magyar administrative class, but the target was soon enlarged as, by a natural transition, it came to be assumed that all members of society above the peasant-worker level should at least speak and understand Magyar, and before long chauvinists were again dreaming of a day when the whole population should be Magyar. When the era opened, the hands of the state were tied by the fact that nearly all primary and secondary education was then in the hands of the churches, whose autonomy the Nationalities Law expressly recognised. In fact, the only measures of Magyarisation imposed by law on the churches, for many years, were that in 1879 the teaching of the Magyar language, as a subject, during a number of hours to be prescribed by the minister of cults and education, was made compulsory in primary schools, whose teachers had to be qualified to give this instruction, and that in 1883 Magyar language and literature were made compulsory subjects in the two top forms of secondary schools. These provisions did not greatly alter the nature of the instruction given in the schools maintained by the two Orthodox churches (Serbian and Roumanian) or by the Transylvanian Saxons; the less so, as they remained largely on paper. The Serbs and Roumanians, however, possessed few establishments above the primary level, and permission to add to their number was regularly refused. The higher direction of the Roman Catholic and Greek catholic churches; and the Lutheran outside Transylvania, not to mention the Calvinist (which was purely Magyar in any case) was Magyar even where the congregations belonged to another people, and their own authorities saw to it that all secondary education in their schools, with trivial exceptions, should be in Magyar, and Magyar was also represented far above its due even in their primary schools. The schools which the state began to found itself in the 1705 - originally, and ostensibly, where the local church or commune was too poor to look after its own needs - were from the first deliberately used as instruments of Magyarisation, and although most of them were founded in non-Magyar districts, the language of instruction in them was almost always exclusively Magyar. The Hungarian Statistical Annual for 1906-7 listed 16,618 elementary schools in Inner Hungary, of which 2,153 were state, 1,460 communal, 12,705 confessional and 300 private. The language of instruction in 12,223 of these, including all the state schools, was Magyar; in 492 it was German, in 737 Slovak, in 2,760 Roumanian, in 107 Ruthene, in 276 Serb or Croat, in 10 Italian, and in 19 another. In the 400 burgher schools, the languages were: Magyar 386, German 5, Roumanian 4, Serb 3, Italian 2; in the 205 secondary schools, Magyar 189, German 8, Roumanian 6, Italian 1; one was mixed Magyar-Roumanian. The Slovaks had none at all: one of Tisza's first acts had been to close the three secondary schools which they had founded in the 1860's, under the pretext that they had been teaching Pan-Slavism, and they had been refused permission to open another. Their cultural association, the Slovenská Matica, suffered the same fate.

Among other measures of Magyarisation may be mentioned the Kindergarten Act of 1891 - instruction here, again, was almost exclusively in Magyar - and two other Laws which perhaps served to give more of the appearance than the reality of Magyarisation. One bestowed on every place in Hungary an official Magyar name; the other made it cheap and easy for the bearers of non-Magyar names to exchange them for Magyar ones. Officials were strongly urged to avail themselves of the facility.

It cannot be said that all this was waste labour. By the end of the century the state apparatus throughout the whole of Hungary was exclusively Magyar in feeling, and practically so in speech. Professional and business life on the higher levels had followed suit. Figures of the joint-stock companies in 1915, based on the language used by the boards or 'the names of the leading men' showed that 97.4% of them, with 99.5% of their total assets, were in the hands of Magyar-speaking persons. The Magyarisation of the towns had proceeded at an astounding rate. Budapest, three quarters German-speaking in 1848, was 79.8% Magyar in 1900 (when its population was three times the size). Pécs had changed from three quarters German to almost purely Magyar, and the same process had taken place in nearly all the formerly German towns of central Hungary, in the mixed towns along the ethnic frontiers, and in some of those lying deep in the 'nationalities' districts. During this process, moreover, the greater part of the German intelligentsia (outside the Saxons) and of the Slovak and Ruthene, had joined the ranks of Magyardom, simultaneously enriching it and leaving their own nationalities the poorer. The rural districts had not kept pace with the towns; nevertheless, the proportion of the population of Inner Hungary giving Magyar as its mother-tongue had risen from 46.6% in 1880 to 51.4% in 1900, the rise in absolute figures being about 2,200,000. The proportions of all the non-Magyar languages (except those grouped under the rubric 'others') had sunk, and their increase in absolute figures had been relatively small.

But these figures, impressive as they were, did not mean that the danger to Hungary from her multinational composition had been banished, or even seriously diminished. The increase in Magyardom had taken place chiefly in central Hungary, above all, in Budapest and its surroundings, the contributors to it coming from three main sources: the old German burgher population of the towns, plus a considerable contingent from the well-to-do German peasantry, who usually contrived to save enough to 'make a gentleman' of at least one of their sons: the Jews, who were arriving in the capital in increasing numbers -in 1900 they already formed nearly a quarter of its whole population - and finally, the overspill from the congested districts of the periphery, especially the north, who came to central Hungary in search of work in the factories. But central Hungary was Magyar by majority already.

The effect of all the efforts on the ethnic map of Hungary, regarded in broad terms, was practically nil. It is doubtful whether the Magyarisation of the schools changed the ethnic character of a single village. The little Slovak or Ruthene who spent his schooldays painfully acquiring a few scraps of Magyar (and often acquiring precious little else) forgot them happily and completely as soon as the school doors closed behind him. Where changes did occur, it was as the result of some special cause: large-scale emigration, or the establishment of a factory; and those changes were by no means always favourable to the Magyar element. A writer who investigated the question in 1902 reported that during the Liberal period the Magyars had actually lost 465 communes to the nationalities while gaining only 261 from them. Their chief gains had been from the Slovaks (chiefly in central Hungary), their chief losses to the Roumanians and Germans. Of all the nationalities of Hungary, the Ruthenes had been the biggest losers (chiefly to the Slovaks), then the Magyars, then the Serbs (chiefly by emigration to Serbia). The biggest gainers on balance had been the Roumanians, then the Slovaks, then the Germans.

Broadly, the ethnic frontiers in the west, north and east remained stationary on almost the exact lines on which they had been stabilised at the end of the impopulatio. Only in a few, exceptional cases, of which Kassa is the best example, did the growth of a Magyar- speaking town in a non-Magyar environment alter the local balance. Behind the main lines, the losses suffered by the Magyar element at least balanced its gains.

The Hungarians had thus been unable to obliterate the multinational character of the ethnic map of their country. They had failed, partly by their own intolerant insistence on complete Magyarisation, to create what alone should have been able. To save the integrity of their state in 1918 (although as things turned out, it would not have done so), a substantial body of non-Magyar, but activist, feeling among any of the nationalities. Neither had they eliminated discontent and irredentist feeling. The degree of acuteness of the nationality question varied with conditions inside the Monarchy, and around it. A certain lull had set in after 1870, when it became obvious that the Compromise was there to stay for a long time. The secret treaties concluded by the Monarchy with Serbia and Roumania, in 1881 and 1883 respectively, had a considerable effect in damping down irredentist agitation by those countries. For a while, the Slovak national movement dwindled into insignificance, and the Serbian was seriously weakened. But neither quite disappeared; if the Slovaks' enthusiasm for Pan-Slavism had grown dim, the idea of Czecho-Slovak unity gained strength. The Roumanian national movement was always active. Here a large proportion of the people, particularly among those belonging to the Orthodox church, were more or less openly disaffected and their leaders, even at this date, were dreaming of union with their brothers across the Carpathians.

The development of the Croat situation was very similar. Croat nationalist opinion remained bitterly resentful, not only of several of the specific provisions in the Nagodba, but above all, of the fact that it relegated Croatia to a mediate position. This, of course, was irremediable, and it is hard to see what would have happened if a Sabor had repudiated the Nagodba, as its extreme nationalists were always urging it to do; as it was, the position was kept from reversal chiefly by the narrowness of the franchise, which gave an artificial weight to the officials, many of whom were Magyars.

It was the intemperate folly of the Croat national extremists themselves which proved Hungary's best ally. Their most prominent figure, Ante Starcvevi , leader of the so-called Party of Right', behaved towards the Serbs of Slavonia, who, after the incorporation of the Military Frontier, formed a full quarter of the total population, with such gross intolerance that when a new Ban, Count Khuen-Héderváry, was appointed in 1883, they sought his protection, and their support enabled him to maintain what was essentially a dictatorship, and even a measure of order, until the end of the century. But it goes without saying that his rule did not satisfy the Croats - a people which has, indeed, developed the habit of opposition for opposition's sake further than any in Europe. After Starcvevi died in 1897, most articulate Croat opinion still followed one or the other of two parties, whose differences of principle were little larger than the difference in their titles (one kept the old name, Party of Right; the other, led by J. Frank, called itself the Party of Pure Right), both being extreme nationalist. The genuine supporters of the Union had dwindled to a handful.

An aspect of the Magyarisation campaign which was little considered at the time - or if questions concerning it were raised, they were brushed aside impatiently - was what effect this great addition to their ranks was having on the Magyar people itself. Had the new recruits become Magyars at all, in any real sense, when they entered their names in the rubric as Magyar by mother-tongue? Could the earlier stock assimilate so large an influx, and if it did achieve the feat without manifest symptoms of indigestion, had it thereby altered, for better or worse, its own nature?

The poor upland peasant turned factory worker in a suburb of Pest melted into his environment imperceptibly enough; his habits, his religion, probably even his family tree, if traced far enough back, differed little from those of his 'Magyar' mates; when his children grew up speaking Magyar, that mere fact made them Magyars, just like any others. The Magyarisation of the Germans had more important sociological consequences, for nearly all these recruits went into the expanding middle classes, in which they soon came to constitute a component of the first importance. They flocked into the new ministries, in some of which, especially the technical and financial services, they came to outnumber the Magyars themselves. They were strongly represented in the church, and even more strongly in the army, a service which the true Magyars tended to shun, on both sentimental and linguistic grounds. They did not venture much into big business, for which they were perhaps too cautious, or had absorbed too much of the national psychology, but they comprised a large proportion of the small shopkeeper, artisan and skilled labour classes. At one period they almost dominated some of the professions: nearly all the architects who built the new Budapest were of local German origin, and so were many of the period's leading figures in literature, painting and academic life.

The Magyarisation of these elements, too, seemed both to themselves and to others complete and sincere, and the Magyar people of the day neither regretted this accession, nor had cause to do so. The recruits filled gaps in the nation's social and economic structure which must otherwise have remained unfilled for at least two more generations, and if the dilution impoverished the original product by a little of its slap-dash charm, perhaps by a touch of its brilliancy, this was more than compensated by the diligence, sobriety and common sense which it brought with it.

The Jews presented a more difficult problem. Their numbers had been increasing rapidly ever since the annexation to Austria of Galicia, and the removal by Joseph II of the restrictions which had previously hampered their movements. From a mere 12,000 (0.1 % of the total population) in 1720, they had already increased to 83,000 (1.0%) in 1787, 247,000 (2.2%) in 1840, 366,000 (3.2 %) in 1850, and 542,000 (4.0%) in 1869. In 1880 they numbered 625,000 (4.6%), and in 1900, 830,000 (4.9%). Their numerical increase was now slowing down, but the importance of their role in the national life had become enormous. They had become an almost exclusively urban and middle-class element. In the towns of north-eastern Hungary, which lay on their main immigration route, they formed a proportion which was often as high as 35 or 40 percent, and in Budapest itself there were in 1900 nearly 170,000 Jews, a little under a quarter of its total population.

The capitalist development of the new Hungary, in so far as it had been carried out by 'native' resources at all, had been almost entirely of their making, and the results of it were to an overwhelming extent in their hands. The occupational statistics for 1910 show that 12.5% of the 'self-employed industrialists' and 21.8% of the salaried employees in industry, 54% of the self-employed traders and 62.1% of their employees, 85% of the self-employed persons in finance and banking (283 out of 333) and 42% of their employees, were Jewish; and these figures, which do not distinguish between enterprises by their size and importance, ranking the head of a great business equally with a village cobbler or shopkeeper as a self-employed man, give but a faint idea of the real position. This was that practically all banking and finance, and the great majority of trade and industry above the humblest level, was run and staffed by Jews, into whose pockets also went most of the money so earned, whether in the form of direct profits, of dividends or of salaries. Even among the larger categories of landowners the Jews were now strongly represented: they owned 1.9% of the properties of 1,000 hold+ and 19% of those between 1,000 and 200 hold and constituted 73% of the lessees in the former bracket and 62% of those in the latter.

Their position in the intellectual life of the country was almost as strong. They were rare in the ministries and even rarer in the army, and were naturally confined to their proportionate numbers in the churches and the church schools, but 11.5% of the teachers in the burgher schools were Jewish, and a substantial number of the university professors. 26.2% of the persons entered under the rubric 'literature and the arts', including 42.4% of the journalists, were Jewish, 45.2% of the advocates and 48.9% of the doctors. Hungary owed to her Jews a considerable proportion of her most boasted achievements in the fields of science and the humanities.

The Jews were not yet entering parliament on a large scale, although all the later Liberal parliaments contained some Jewish members, but their predominance in the Press gave them an important influence over public opinion, and the leadership of both the Social Democrat Party and the various radical groups which were emerging at the turn of the century was largely in their hands.

The Jewish recruits to the new Hungarian society had thus achieved a position far stronger than the German, and even one which in many fields was stronger than that of the Magyars themselves. It was, however, undeniable that their integration into the nation had remained incomplete. Many of them were still newcomers of the first or second generation, for if their increase had slowed down, this was not because the immigration had slackened, but because it was now being partly balanced by emigration westward. The emigrants, of whom 110,000 left Hungary between 1870 and 1910, were precisely those who had acquired European characteristics - and, usually, some wealth -while the new-comers entered with their national characteristics undiminished.

Not all the Jews themselves wanted to Magyarise; of the two great bodies into which most of Hungarian Jewry divided, the Orthodox and the Neologs, the former opposed assimilation on principle and the latter discouraged changes of religion, which were, in fact, rare: between 1896 and 1907 only 5,000 conversions took place. The 'Magyarisation' of those whose spiritual allegiance belonged to their ancestral faith could clearly never be complete, however enthusiastically it was expressed in some directions, and it was not easy for the Magyars themselves to feel that their new brothers in statistics were brothers indeed. An anti-Semitic party, founded by a certain Istóczy, which returned seventeen members to the 1884 Parliament, was crushed out of existence, but even after this, and despite all official disapproval, many Magyars felt uneasily that the situation was dangerous which placed so many of the country's power-positions in the hands of an element which still appeared to them alien.

The social and economic picture, too, was far from healthy. The contrast drawn by so many writers between the wealth and luxury prevailing at one end of the social scale, and the destitution at the other, is fallacious in this sense, that it gives far too favourable a picture of the conditions of the rich. Some big fortunes were made in Hungary during the period, but many of them were made by foreign entrepreneurs - much of the new industry was in the hands of holding banks, which were themselves subsidiaries of Viennese or other non-Hungarian concerns; most of the others by the new industrialists. The great landed magnates formed an apparent exception; indeed, the quick and relatively generous compensation received by them after 1848 for such of their acres as they had lost, had enabled them to take advantage of the difficulties of their weaker brethren, so that the share of the mammoth and big estates in Hungary's soil hardly diminished. In 1895 over 12 million hold, nearly one third of the entire area of the country, was owned by under 4,000 proprietors (not all of them, it is true, private individuals)[27]. The 128 largest estates covered between them more than half of this. In the first decades of the Compromise their estates brought the great agrarian interests real wealth, but when the competition of overseas wheat made itself felt, they got into great difficulties, and by the end of the century, many of them were mortgaged up to the ears. The 'gentry' class, as a whole, never recovered from the disastrous years after the reform, and the agricultural depression was another blow. Many of them were then saved only by the action of the state in taking them over into its new services. Here they carried on in new forms their traditional role of governing the country, and enjoyed sufficient social prestige, but their lives, although decent, were far from luxurious.

A few medium landowners, of course, weathered the storm, and there was a reasonably large class of smaller farms which afforded their cultivators a comfortable existence. But below these again, an alarming situation had developed. Population increased, very fast after the cholera decade of the sixties, and industrialisation was proceeding far too slowly to take up the surplus; nor did the Magyar peasant take kindly to the idea of leaving the land. The current usage among the Magyars was that when the head of a family died, his holding was divided equally between all his children, and this process was repeated until in 1895, when the last pre-war agricultural survey was taken, over two million of the 2,800,000 holdings in the country were of 10 holds or less, three quarters of these being under 5 hold and 600,000 of them under one. Many of these last were, indeed, vineyards or market gardens, or belonged to persons whose main occupation was not agriculture; but against these must be set the smaller holdings in the 5-10 hold group. The minimum on which a family could exist was generally put at 8 hold, so that it appears that nearly half the landowning population of the country was existing on plots insufficient to meet their necessities.

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