The centennial of Franz Josef’s death: Hungarians and the Monarchy

It was one hundred years ago, on November 21, 1916, that Franz Josef I, Austrian emperor and Hungarian king, died. His death couldn’t have been unexpected since he was 86 years old and had been on the throne for 68 years. When he died, Austria-Hungary, his creation, was slowly edging toward military collapse and revolution. His death was interpreted by his subjects as an ominous sign of the end of an era of relative prosperity for the 12 nationalities that lived within the borders of Austria-Hungary.

Austria-Hungary was an important player on the international scene. As a large country lying between Germany and Russia, it was seen as a stabilizing force. We often forget that the Monarchy was considered to be one of the great powers of the time. After all, it had a population of 51 million, larger than France’s 35 million and Great Britain’s 46 million. Economically, however, it lagged behind Great Britain and Germany.

cimer-osztrak-magyar

The centenary of Franz Josef’s death has inspired several articles in the Hungarian media that try to give a more balanced picture of Hungary’s Habsburg past. Interestingly, in Austria there is a great deal less interest in Franz Josef, mainly because Austrians at the time as well as later accused Franz Josef of partiality to the Hungarians, the Slavs, and the Jews at the expense of the Germans of the realm. On the other hand, Hungarian nationalists accused him of pro-German bias. The truth was that Franz Josef, just like all other Habsburg rulers, had only one goal in mind: to keep the multinational, multicultural empire together, without any regard to special national interests.

Perhaps because of the centenary Norbert Hofer, the presidential hopeful of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria, made a startling announcement the other day in an interview with the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. He suggested that countries with similar historical experiences and cultures should form a bloc within the European Union. He specifically mentioned Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic since “Austria was in an alliance with these countries during the time of the Monarchy.” It’s not worth dwelling on Hofer’s inaccurate description of the relationship of Austria to the countries he mentioned or his erroneous geographical designation of the territory of the Monarchy. What Hofer most likely has in mind is that Austria would ally itself with the Visegrád 4 Group. But neither the Austrians nor the Visegrád 4 are ready to take such a step at the moment.

It is unlikely that anything will come of Hofer’s idea, especially if, as I very much hope, he doesn’t win the presidential election on December 4. But I found his reference to the Dual Monarchy interesting, especially in light of the many sympathetic articles in the Hungarian media about Franz Josef, the Habsburgs in general, and the Monarchy as created in 1867.

One of these is the pro-government Origo’s very sympathetic portrayal of the Monarchy in an article that appeared on November 24. The Monarchy is described here as “the first modern regional economic and constitutional integrational experiment,” something that could have played an important role even after 1918 if the monarchy hadn’t been destroyed by the allied powers.

The Monarchy in this same article is described as a “conservative-liberal political system in which basic human rights were more respected than during the Horthy period.” I should mention in passing something that the new constitutional judge, Attila Horváth, said as a commentator on a TV documentary series on the 1956 revolution called “Szabadság tér ’56.” Asked his opinion of the “őszirózsás forradalom” (Aster Revolution of Mihály Károlyi in October 1918), his first response was that it was neither “aster” because at this time of the year this particular flower doesn’t bloom nor was it a revolution because Austria-Hungary was already a democracy.

The Origo article also showers praise on the legal safeguards built into the Monarchy’s political system, which brought many benefits to its inhabitants. The article concedes that the dual system by the turn of the century had its problems but claims that they could have been remedied if Franz Ferdinand hadn’t been assassinated and the war hadn’t broken out. As opposed to many less sympathetic authors, he considers the Monarchy’s destruction one of the greatest mistakes the Entente committed. It created a power vacuum “in the heart of Europe” that was largely responsible for the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of World War II.

A long interview with Iván Bertényi, researcher at the Historical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, who is currently the deputy director of the Collegium Hungaricum in Vienna, also reveals that a serious reevaluation of the period has been taking place in Hungary over the last twenty to thirty years. In brief, a less Hungary-centric historical assessment has been emerging. In its place greater emphasis is put on Austria-Hungary as a single political entity. Bertényi is critical of the Hungarian view that refuses to recognize that Franz Josef was the ruler of diverse peoples and not just the king of Hungary. This is an interesting development at a time when one of the Orbán government’s most effective weapons is its nationalism, claiming that without well-defined nation-states with borders national survival is not assured. While nationalism is sweeping across Hungary, serious historians of the period are reevaluating Franz Josef’s role as a supranational ruler who “worked assiduously and altruistically for the welfare of all peoples of his empire.”

Finally, an article by Péter Techet that appeared in Magyar Nemzet is perhaps the most enthusiastic about the Monarchy and Franz Josef. “In vain did the historians of the successor states depict the Monarchy as the ‘jail of nations.’ A Slovenian in Trieste, a Ruthenian in Subcarpathia, a German in Voivodina, a Jew in Lvov has never had as many rights and opportunities in the twentieth century as in the to this day often disparaged Austro-Hungarian Monarchy,” he writes. In his opinion, the “states created after 1918 oppressed the nationalities and were too weak against the Russian and German dangers.”

As for the breakup of the Monarchy, Techet claims that “the nationalism of the nationality groups was restricted to small groups of intellectuals. Ordinary folks who were proud of their own culture, language, and religion wanted to live their lives within the borders of the Monarchy.” Naturally, a lot of historians and politicians would debate Techet’s interpretation of the reasons for the breakup of the Monarchy, but those who agree with him point to the fact that, despite incredible hardship, the multinational army of the Monarchy remained intact until the final defeat.

It is possible that Techet’s enthusiasm for the Habsburg past stems from his longing for “a period when multiculturalism … was not an abstract liberal slogan but everyday reality.” One must keep in mind, however, that this view is shared by very few Hungarians–those who think that the European Union should have a structure similar to that of the Monarchy, which would be a version of a United States of Europe.

November 27, 2016
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webber
Guest

Attila Horvath may know something about history, but he knows nothing about botany, and I guess he does not have a garden. In Hungary, asters are one of the few flowers that do bloom in October. It is a very common flower in Hungary – it grows wild in places. It was the only common flower that soldiers could put in their caps in that month in 1918.
There is a clump of them at the end of my garden which stopped blooming just a couple of weeks ago, and two streets away there is a large orange bunch of them still in bloom.

As to the Habsburg Monarchy: For the peasant majority – and for the majority of Hungarians -, it was a corrupt unpleasant oppressive place. The romanticizing of the Empire and Kingdom is a bit silly, if understandable.

webber
Guest

Őszirózsa (Aster): “A neve is mutatja, hogy ősszel nyílnak pompázatos virágzatai… A téli fagyokig pompáznak, hoznak tavaszt az őszbe, télbe, legalábbis érzetre.”

Member
Concerning Hofer’s chances, sadly enough, I’m not as optimistic as Eva. And concerning his sympathies for the old Monarchy: Serbia is erroneously mentioned in this connection because of a very concrete reason. There is a substantial number of Serbian immigrants in Austria, and the FPÖ has traditionally been courting them, giving them the opportunity to pose as “the good immigrants”, as – despite all other cultural differences – their anti-Muslim sentiments fit in with the Islamophobia of the Austrian right-wing populists. As for the idealization of the alleged multiculturalism and tolerance in the Habsburg monarchy: this reminds me of one of my favourite anecdotes. This takes place in a garrison somewhere in Austria-Hungary, right after the outbreak of World War I. New recruits from all over the country have been summoned to their first field divine service where they will also swear allegiance to the Emperor. The sergeant standing in the middle of the yard is yelling instructions to everybody: Roman Catholics, go there, Calvinists, there, Lutherans to that direction, Greek Orthodox guys over there… Finally, a young urban intellectual with thick spectacles is standing alone in the yard and stuttering: “Sir, I’m a freethinker.” The sergeant rolls his eyes… Read more »
Member
Observer
Guest

KUDOS !!!

This is worth a thousand words.

Member

The “new constitutional judge, Attila Horváth” said that “Austria-Hungary was already a democracy”

The number of eligible voters in Greater Hungary was
1,162,241 in 1910, i.e.
11.62% of the population over 20, or
6.36% of the total population.

Fidesz wants to bring back the era when 9/10 of the adult population did not have the right to vote, and will call it “democracy”.

Guest

I don’t get it:
Are these guys like Attila Horváth really that stupid?
Or is this his idea of a joke?
Without the war the monarchy might have exploded or rather imploded …) like Yugoslavia a few decades later – wouldn’t have been a nice sight.

2016-i
Guest

I think, the fate of the monarchy was undermined by the hostile activities of the Czarist Russia, and finished by the Bolshevik Russia.

Observer
Guest

Wolfi,
You wouldn’t believe if I told you what some of these “true Hungarians” (mély magyar) believe in – you surely know the “defender or Christain Europe” myth, but what about: if it was not for the Hungarians (contribution) Europe would have stilled wallowed in the mud (of the Middle Ages).
The poor Italians and French.
Really, these discussions are often right out ofMonthy Python.

Member

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Bill
Guest

Matthew Yglesias: The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble.

The situation is pretty desperate. Obama’s only legacy beyond enabling Trump to come to power will be his almost totalitarian war and surveillance powers. Those will be kept by Trump. Otherwise Obama will be soon forgotten, his 8 years was for naught. Sad.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/10/13576488/democratic-party-smoking-pile-rubble

Thereality
Guest

There were general male suffrage in the Austrian part of the Empire.
But in the beginnings of the monarchy in 1867, only the French have wider suffrage than Kingdom of Hungary. Among the preWW1 European countries, only Austria and Hungary declared and enacted the minority rights.

Guest

Since I’m not a historian I’ll look at this through the description of some people/authors that I’ve read and enjoyed which wrote about those times – not in a really positive way:

Karl Krauss, Franz Kafka, J Hasek etc – their picture of the monarchy wasn’t that optimistic!

Guest

Die Monarchie ohne Eigenschaften?

Observer
Guest

Wolfi

The DMonarchy was under centrifugal nationalistic stress already in mid 19th cen, eg. he Hungarian rebellion and Independence War. After they were accommodated by the DM creation in 1867 they clamped on the other nationalities under their administration eg. on the Slovaks, Rumanians, Serbs which explains why the Hungarians were hated in these areas.

The assassination of FF by Serb nationalists showed the tensions. After 1918 the Austrians themselves didn’t want any of the monarchy at all. The winds of nationalism were slathering the remains of the institution.
Any blaming of a particular event or individual, incl. the Emperor is just ignorance at best.

webber
Guest

nb. Not Serb nationalists. Among the conspirators who planned to murder FF was a Croat and a Muslim. Gavrilo Princip, who was a Serb, said of himself that he was a Yugoslavist, and all his co-conspirators were as well. They planned not for a Greater Serbia but for Yugoslavia. That is, they were real idealists and fanatics – and willing to kill (and die) for their ideal. The distinction may not seem important these days, but I believe it is, and it’s worthwhile to take the assassin at his word.

Thereality
Guest

Yugoslavia became a greater Serbia.

Thereality
Guest
In July 1849, the Hungarian Revolutionary Parliament proclaimed and enacted the first laws on ethnic and minority rights in the world. It gave minorities the freedom to use their mothertongue at local administration, at tribunals, in schools, in community life and even within the national guard of non-Magyar councils. However these laws were overturned after the united Russian and Austrian armies crushed the Hungarian Revolution. After the Kingdom of Hungary reached the Compromise with the Habsburg Dynasty in 1867, one of the first acts of its restored Parliament was to pass a Law on Nationalities (Act Number XLIV of 1868). The situation of minorities in Hungary were much more better than in contemporary pre WW1 Europe. Other highly multiethnic /multinational countries were: France Russia and UK. See the multi-national UK: The situation of Scottish Irish Welsh people in “Britain” during the English hegemony is well known. They utmost forgot their original language, only english language cultural educational institutions existed. The only language was English in judiciary procedures and in offices and public administrations. It was not a real “United” Kingdom, it was rather a greater England. See the multiethnic France: In 1870, France was a similar-degree multi-ethnic state as Hungary,… Read more »
Observer
Guest

So, the Hungarian state was the most, the best … egész Magyarorszàg menyország.. we’ve heard this myth.
How come there was not a single Slovak language school until the WWI, nor Rumanians in higher administrative positions?
Why these “protected” minorities didn’t like it (the Orban kind of protection of tour money).
Wasnt Count Abonyi arguing on the basis of the Hungarian cultural superiority?
Pls spare us.

Thereality
Guest

HAhahaha, it is only your fantasy. There were slovak schools utmost everywhere in Upper Hungary. Slovaks represented 48% of the population Upper Hungary (later the Slovakian part of CZ. state).

bimbi
Guest

Now we are told by the crass revisionist Fidesz/Hungarist ‘historians’ that the Entente was somehow responsible for the collapse of the rotten and incompetent Austro-Hungarian state! It is high time Hungary found some historians who do not see their job as slavishly re-writing history to suit the sick dreams of grandeur of unbalanced ideologically-driven Hungarian politicians.

Thereality
Guest

I think the incompetent countries were France and UK, it is enough to watch their extreme slow average GNP growth rate between 1870-1914 period!!!

bimbi
Guest
It had to come, eulogies for Franz Joseph the doddering incompetent head of Austria-Hungary, whose last gasp was to declare war on Serbia with the expectation it would all be over in a month or two. He was succeeded by the idiotic Karl whose great success was to have himself beatified by a slavishly fawning Catholic church! Now we are being told how stoutly the Austro-Hungarian army fought and stood together! A sick joke. Under the Brusilov Offensive in Galicia and Bukovina of mid-1916, the “Habsburg front crumpled like a pastry shell”* and in three days the Russians took 200,000 prisoners (nearly half of the army!). By the time the Germans stopped the Russian advance, “the Habsburg army had more or less ceased to exist as an independent force with a total of some 750,000 casualties, over half of them prisoners”*. In 1917, 10,000 tons of church bells were melted down for their copper, presumably to make cartridge casings. Finally, in late October 1918 came the utter defeat by the Italian army in Vittoria Veneto when a further 30,000 Empire soldiers were killed. “The Empire was a haggard, starving ruin with predators both within it and around it. It was… Read more »
Guest

One shouldn’t forget that the Hapsburg dynasty (and probably most of their aristocrats too) were weakened by constant inbreeding, you might even call it incest …
This seems to happen to many reigning dynasties – while it showed in the blood sickness of the Russians with the Austrians it was more an intellectual weakness.

One good thing about the Austrians:
They got rid of their aristocracy after WW1 – even stripped everybody of their titles (like “von”) and their large ill gotten possessions.

Rather OT:
Though somehow their legacy lives on in some way – the town that I grew up in is still predominantly Catholic, though it’s surrounded by Protestants. Why?
Because until Napoleon it was owned and ruled by the Austrians – much of Germany was a kind of hodgepodge of small possessions by Counts, Dukes and the like …
And of coure in those times “cuius regio eius religio”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuius_regio,_eius_religio

Istvan
Guest

The Battle of Cer was fought between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in August 1914 during the early stages of the Serbian Campaign of the First World War. It took place around Cer Mountain and several surrounding villages, as well as the town of Šabac. Hungarians and Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims serving in the Austro-Hungarian army committed frightful atrocities against the population in this lost and for Hungarians forgotten battle.

The fact that Austrian General Oskar Potiorek lost this battle to the Serbs whose few barefoot recruits had been gained from the newly acquired territories with an army that was dangerously short of artillery, had limited ammunition stocks is truly mind boggling. The Austro-Hungarians, on the other hand, possessed an abundance of modern rifles and had twice as many machine guns and field guns as the Serbs. Really to celebrate that legacy stretches the imagination.

Guest

Thanks, Istvan for this interesting story, you find more here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cer
A bit OT:
The German wiki mentions that the famous “frenzied reporter” Egon Erwin Kisch was part of this as a common soldier and wrote a book about it. Kisch was one of the few who fought against Hitler …

Istvan
Guest

I had never heard of Egon Kisch before wolfi. No doubt modern Hungarian nationalists would not appreciate his correct summation of the Austro Hungarian defeat at Cer, Kisch wrote: “Our army has been crushed and it is running away in utter disarray, in a wild and panic-stricken flight: a beaten army – no! an uncontrolled mob running towards the border in senseless panic.”

Guest

I’ was a pleasure for me to “turn the spear around” as we say in German – write something for you to learn from … 😉
Usually it’s the other way round.
Kisch is really a famous figure in Central Europe – he reported on so much stuff – like Remarque who wrote “All quiet on the Western front” and also described vividly the horrors of war when other journalists still were writing “dulce et decorm esse pro patria mori”.

Thereality
Guest

Despite the A-H forces had not numerical superiority, Serbia lost the ww1 within one year and three months, their defeat led to the complete occupation of Serbia. Near the end of 1915, in a massive rescue operation involving more than 1,000 trips made by Italian, French and British steamers, 260,000 Serb soldiers and the Serbian government were transported to Corfu, where they waited for the chance of the victory of Allied Powers to reclaim their country. Serbian army couldn’t return to the empty military evacuated Serbia from the Saloniki front until the end of WW1, after the A-H Monarchy dissolved.

Guest

So You won all those battles – but in the end you lost the war …

Your “reality” is kind o’ funny, little tin soldier!

PS:
And the same thing happened to the Germans and their Hungarian allies in WW2 – ain’t that strange?

webber
Guest

In 1914 A-H had a population of 52.8 m., while Serbia had a population of 4.5 m. In 1914 Serbia had just come through two wars (the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913), during which it had used up most of its munitions. Yet Serbia beat the A-H army, and briefly even broke into S. Hungary, holding A-H at bay for a full year until it was joined by German and Bulgarian troops in 1915.
In point of fact, A-H did not win on a single front without German help. Wherever A-H’s soldiers fought alone, they lost.
The most incredible loss was that to Serbia in 1914. This highlighted, more than anything else, how miserably led, trained and equipped A-H’s army was.
(For instance, A-H had the only army to enter WWI still using brass cannon)
There is no doubt that the Marshal Putnik, who beat the Austro-Hungarian Army under General Potiorek in 1914, was one of the war’s most talented generals, but his victory was an incredible feat. Even a mediocre general with an adequate army and reserves should have beaten Putnik easily in 1914.

webber
Guest

p.s. A-H. even lost to the Romanian army – and briefly lost part of Transylvania, though the Carpathian Mountain passes should have been so very easy to defend. A-H was facing complete collapse under the Romanian offensive until it was rescued by a German army under Mackensen.
Point to a place where A-H won a major engagement, and I will point to the part played by German troops in that victory. The old Monarchy was rotten, through and through.

Thereality
Guest

About Romanian front:

Don’t forget, both Romania and Serbia were completly & brutally backward agricultural and rural balkan style countries combined with traditionally backward “infrastrucutre”. They belonged culturally to the Orthodox eastern civilization. They started the 20th century without industrialization , without serious urbanization, and the majority of their adult male population couldn’t read & write before the WW1.So it was not a wonder, that Romania lost the WW1 with record speed. In WW1 history, the shortest period frontline was the Romanian, romanians were able to wage war only for a half year, even Bucharest the capital city was captured within 4 months. Then romania call for armistice in the theatry of Bucharest. Romanian army suffered the highest casualty ratio during the history of WW1.

webber
Guest

Romania lost to a German Army, not to an AH one. A-H troops were beaten badly by the Romanian army. And Romania was beaten, but was not defeated. It signed a temporary truce, only. The Romanian army never laid down its arms. I strongly suggest you read Glenn E. Torrey’s masterful The Romanian Battlefront in World War I.
You really are lost when it comes to WWI history.

Thereality
Guest

The number of German soldiers represented minority in the Romanian campaign. Romanians started their attack during the Russian Brusilov offenzive, and the great campaign Romanians lost the most battles, they lost the war within RECORD SPEED, Bucharest was Captured within 4 months. Romanian army had the highest casualty ratio during the war. In the romanian front, the Central powers had smaller army: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania_during_World_War_I

webber
Guest

And who was the commander on the Romanian front? The German General Mackensen.
And what have I been writing from the start about A-H? The leadership was awful.

Thereality
Guest

So the remained Romanian army fled, and it could return to romanian territory after the WW1

Thereality
Guest

Again, there were not real numerical superiority in the Serbian front. The citing of the population size does not matter, due to the enormous masses of Russians Russian front, or the Italian masses on the Italian front. If you count the actual fronts of the A_H Empire, the soldiers of the A_H monarchy was outnumbered 1:4 ratio on its frontlines. I believe in the opinion of academic historians, especially war historians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_Campaign_of_World_War_I

Read about the number in the books of the references.

webber
Guest

Yeah, right…
My dear fool, start reading some diaries of Hungarian and Austrian officers from the time. They were all mortified by the defeat Serbia meted out to them.
Your knowledge of history is laughable.

webber
Guest

P.S. Again, A-H did not win on a single front without German help – not against Romania, not against Italy, not against Serbia, and not against Russia.
You cannot say the same about a single other power in the war. All were able to take ground and make real gains without substantial help – Serbia beat A-H dizzy in 1914, without help, Romania smashed through A-H defenses, Russia broke into Hungary and into E. Prussia, etc., etc. On the other side Turkey stopped the attack on Gallipoli, Germany beat back Russia in a miraculous encirclement in E. Prussia WITHOUT AH’s help, Bulgaria did quite well WITHOUT German troops standing by its side.
But wherever AH stood alone, it lost.
EVERYWHERE A-H needed German troops to back it up.
A-H was rotten to the core, and every single officer in that army knew it.

Thereality
Guest

You are wrong again. Germans did not won on a single front (They can’t defeat any significant powers like Russia UK France or Italy) during the WW1. The German Kaiser still affraid of Russian power, that’s why Lenin was sent to Russia. You coudn’t show up Central Power numerical superiority in the Serbian or Romanian fronts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania_during_World_War_I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_Campaign_of_World_War_I

webber
Guest

EVERYONE knows who won the bloody war, you twit!
You couldn’t be more wrong There was a MASSIVE Central Power numerical superiority on the Serbian front when Serbia was overrun by the Bulgarian Army, and by German and A.H. armies.

Instead of reading Wikipedia, I suggest you start reading serious histories.
Start with Andrei Mitrovic’s masterpiece, Serbia’s Great War, and continue with the book on the Romanian front I suggested.

On how crappy A-H’s military and civilian leadership was, I suggest Manfried Rauchensteiner’s The First World War and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy – over a 1,000 pages, and every one of them worth reading.

Thereality
Guest

You forget a historical fact: Serbia and Romania lost the WW1. Their army culd return to their countries after the dissolution of the A_H Empire.

webber
Guest

You twit! Get reading the books I recommended!
There is not a serious serious historian in the world who would say Serbia and Romania lost WWI.

Thereality
Guest

Weber, do not spread pseudo history. Serbian army was transported to island of Corfu, the Serbian government also went to exile. They could not return to Serbian territory ujntil the dissolution of the monarchy. Both Serbia and Romania were de-facto loser of WW1, they became de-jure winner, because they were Entente countries, and the war was won on the Western front. They regained their independence only after the dissolution of A_H Empire.

webber
Guest

good you can read wikipedia, now go away and start reading serious histories

Thereality
Guest

You can’t prove your points (your fantasy), you just simply started personal attacks. Don’t forget: Personal attacks are not considered arguments.

webber
Guest

P.S. Germany actually won against Russia, you know…
Look up the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

Thereality
Guest

Germany coudn’t defeat Russia, because Germany had not manpower to win. Even the German Emperor admitted it.

webber
Guest

Brest-Litovsk, read, now!

Thereality
Guest

Brest litovsk was after the revolution. Germany needed to send Lenin to the East, because even the Kaiser admitted, that they couldn’t handle the war with Russia on the long run.

Thereality
Guest

Wrong. Romania and Serbia belonged to the Orthodox civilization, which was very different from the Catholic-Protestant Western civilization.

Thereality
Guest
Culturally, both islam and the semi-asian orthodox countries were traditionally west-hater civilizations. Hungary is a Central European country, and part of the Catholic- Protestant western civilization. While prof. S. Huntington called the Eastern European Orthodox civilization as semi-asian. MAP OF THE WESTERN WORLD: What is Western Civilization? The earliest mention of Western civilization “Occidental civilis” After the Great Schism (The East-West Schism /formally in 1054/, between Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.) It is not a secret in history, that countries civilizations are/were not in the same level of development. It is well-known that Western and Central Europe, ( the so-called Western civilization) was always more developed than Orthodox Slavic or Eastern European civilization. The cultural the societal-system and the economical civilizational (and technological) differences between Orthodox countries and Western Christian (Catholic-Protestant) countries were similar great, as the differences between Northern America (USA Canada) and Southern- (Latino) America. MEMENTO: Western things which were not existed in orthodox world: 1. POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL development: Medieval appearance of parliaments (a legislative body(!), DO NOT CONFUSE with the “councils of monarchs” which existed since the beginning of human history), the estates of the realm, the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners, 2.… Read more »
Guest

Repeating your nonsense ad nauseam (you’ve written this before here …) doesn’t help – most people in Western Europe consider Hungary a part of the Balkan.

And Orbán himself said often that he doesn’t want Hungary to be apart of the “Liberal Western Europe” but wants to be friends with Russia – so how do you explain that?

Thereality
Guest

Wolfi, the knowledge of history is not your strong points, but it does not matter, because it is not your profession. Please don’t use simple personal attacks, because it is not considered an argument. Thank you. Just a minimal geographical knowledge: Balkan is a peninsula, and Hungary is not located on that peninsula.

webber
Guest

Wolfi meant that most Western Europeans believe Hungary to be a backward “Balkan” country, not that Hungary is in the Balkan Peninsula. He can certainly speak about German attitudes.
Your boring post about civilizational divides evokes only a big “So what?” from me.

Thereality
Guest

I don’t think so , that most Wester European countries have really better general infrastructure than Hungary Slovakia or Czechia.

webber
Guest

You clearly haven’t visited any Western countries, then. You don’t have to travel far. Compare Graz with Sopron some time.

Thereality
Guest

I visited 4 continents, and most Western European countries. They haven’t better infrastructure.

webber
Guest

Like hell they don’t have better infrastructure! Go spread your lies to people who have not been to Hungary!
comment image

webber
Guest

Compare, for example, the speed of trains in Hungary with those in Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, Holland, Great Britain, etc.

Why are Hungarian ones so much slower? Because the tracks are so poor, and because in many places, on major lines, there are still only single tracks. Not true of main lines in W. European countries.

Hungary has, in a way, been stagnating or going backward in infrastructure.

Thereality
Guest

Trains in the USA and Canada are not considered as main transportation and travel tools, so their railway system as a whole is not really developed. But it does not mean that they are backward countries. In Hungary the governments did not want to develop railway lines, since it is not priority for the country and its population.

In Germany and France the railway stations are historically rare phenomenon, they haven’t extensive railway network, if you consider that every third settlement in Hungary have railway station, this number in Germany is around every 10th settlements have railway stations, in France every 8th settlements have railway stations.

But compare the telecommunication of Western European countries, slow and backward internet systems,

ferenc
Guest

Hope you had your guide-dog with you.

Observer
Guest

Wolfi, the Austrians used to say the Balkans start at Leitha, didn’t they?
And Orban called the Hungarians half Asian derivative.
I would also check thee illiteracy rates in Hungary before WWI, maybe not so much better.
With the Hun corruption and social arrogance one can assume the army was poorly equipped and trained. It’s condition and performance inWWII was not much better.

Guest

I’ve remarked already that “The reality” was here before using a different nick (and on politics.hu too in the good old times, when there was still a lively discussion going on there) and I think someone found “him” even putting this silly stuff onto wikipedia …

So, yes, this creature is a troll – but sometimes it’s funny to counter trolls’ “arguments” …

Especially that “We Hungarians belong to the West” while Serbs etc are part of the East is funny if you consider how Fidesz now tries to connect to the East and wants to leave the darned EU even …

Thereality
Guest

Hahaha, English Wikipedia links works with so called references, where you can only use books of academic historiuans. You can click on the books in references and read them on the google. WW1 war pages had a lot of readers and editors, and they have the most references from books of academic historians. So please, do not want to dispute the knowledge of academic historians (in the references), because you are not even a simple historian.

Guest

Actually many Germans are saying:

The Balkan starts in Munich …

The Austrian/Hungarian regime like the Russian or the Prussian was really decadent – the aristocracy was so disconnected from reality, unbelievable!

I’ve read many stories about the Austrian and Prussian “Junkers” in their rotting castles …

PS and rather OT (or not?):

One point I never understood about European history was this backlash after Napoleon – I think it was called the restoration. All the ideas of democracy (like liberté, egalité …) were rolled back – and I hope that we don’t get a similar development now that democracy in Europe and the USA is threatened by the populists …

webber
Guest

I think the backlash is inevitable. We are slipping back a bit, but I trust we won’t sink all the way back to the point we began from. For example Even Trump has said gay marriage is a “done deal,” that he will not challenge it. He can do a lot of damage, but many things will remain. Civil rights are enshrined for all (except Native Americans protesting against the oil pipeline, apparently).

Guest

Yes, webber, as we say in Germany:
Your words in god’s ears …
Hope dies last.

Totally OT:
We’re watching a great concert film right now:
The Last Waltz by Scorsese – oh, those were the days …
If you just look at the list of participants 🙂
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Waltz

Guest

Totally OT but rather telling:

In the USA (just like in Hungary) George Soros is considered by the alt-right as a kind of Beelzebub financing all kinds of communist subversive … (you name it …) activities.
Now the latest ridiculous nonsense – immediately debunked by my favourite site snopes.com:
Soros was accused of having been a member of the SS!
http://www.snopes.com/george-soros-ss-nazi-germany/
These right wingers are so lunatic – I’ve been saying so often:
The only thing worse than a liar is a stupid liar – who gets found out immediately …

Observer
Guest

My habit is to check thoroughly the plausible assertions of a new website. If they don’t stack up I don’t bother with it any more.

Similarly with writers, eg I just discarded Rezun/Suvorov as shameless profiteer, speculator and liar.

ferenc
Guest

Rumours go that our favourite “court hysterian” still has doubts about it ……

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