April 16, 2012 | | Comments Off on Leading up to the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Original Work by Jeffrey Hoehn
The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was much like other revolutions in the fact that it was a reaction against conservative, monarchical rule. The origins of the revolution can be traced back to the reconvening of parliament in Hungary after more than a decade. Reforms were to be made in Hungary to make sure it was modernized and industrialized like many other countries. Lajos Kossuth emerged as the leader of the lower house of Parliament and wanted to enact a modern democratic, liberal state with a constitution, ensuring civil equality. With the people’s support, it looked imminent that new liberal laws were to be enacted, but were thwarted by Habsburgs Monarchs and Kossuth and other liberal leaders were imprisoned.
A mass demonstration at Pest and Buda forced the 12 points of the Hungarian Revolutionaries to be accepted, many of these points liberal in nature. Following this demonstration a number of events occured: First, other rebellions in Hungary started to arise, a new Prime Minister was decreed, and the government approved what is now called the April Laws enacted a democratic political system. Croats, Serbs, and Romanians all revolted as they wanted to establish their own independent state as nationalism struck Hungary. Hungary was now fighting on multiple fronts including the Croatian troops led by Jelacic in the south, Romanians, Austrians to the west, and Transylvania to the east. Eventually, Croatian and Bohemian forces were able to put down the revolt in Pest. Austria, too busy with its own domestic problems, recognized this government for the time being. That is until Franz Joseph I refused to accept it as he ascended the throne. Hungarians, however, had a different frame of mind as Field-Marshal, given control of Hungary and its subjects by Austria, entered Pest. He was murdered, and this sparked the Imperial Court to dissolve the parliament and government in Hungary and tried to appoint Jelacic as commander in chief. The war and revolution had begun.