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The Civil-Democratic People's Republic of Hungary

  After World War I similarly to many other losers Hungary also invoked the so called "counter-government" the Hungarian National Council opposing the official powers. It was formed on Oct 24, 1918 in Budapest with Count Mihály Károlyi as president. The next day they announced a proclamation of 12 points demanding as follows:
- change of the present governing system and parliament
- creation of an independent Hungary
- end to the war as well as to the union with Germany
- general, equal and secret voting rights
- self government of minorities
- freedom of unions, gathering and the press
- general amnesty
- quick economical reforms to avoid famine
- distribution of land
- acknowledgement of the new national states of the Ukraine, Poland, Tzech, Slavonic and Austro-German nations
- new foreign policy to reflect on the pacific aims of the Hungarian democracy
- delegating of disarmament-friendly representatives to the peace congress
  The so called "Mumms Revolution" ("Autumn Roses Revolution") with civil democratic profile broke out during the night of Oct 30 with the leading forces beeing the workers and the armed soldiers returning from the fronts. The revolution was named after the fact, that the soldiers ripped off their royal and emperial crests and replaced them with the commun autumn roses called Mumms, expressing with that their refusal of present powers. There was no blood on the streets, but unknown armed men did kill the Prime Minister Count István Tisza. (The new government has distanced himself later from this fact.) This has given over the control to Károlyi and followers who were quick in restoring peace and quiet. On Oct 31 Archduke József appointed Mihály Károlyi as Prime Minister.
  Austrian General Vitcor Weber has signed an armistice agreement for the Hungarians as well on Nov 3, 1918 and following this on Nov 13 the demarcation lines were down along the river Drava, Pécs, Baja and the rivers Maros-Szamos and Beszterce.
  Charles the IV has suspended practicing his monarchial rights on that same day trusting the nation with the choice of state form. On Nov 16 the parliament was dissolved leaving the legal basis for creating a statehood to the legitime organ of the revolution: the Hungarian Nation Council. The first "national decision" of the republican government summarised their program that included creating a law-making system while leaving open the question of the powers of the head of state:
"The Hungarian National Council as the will of the nation has brought about the following decisions:
  Art.I.Hungary is a sovereign People's Republic, independent from any other country.
  Art.II.The folkrepublican constitution will be established at an urgently held constitutonal national congress gathered based on the new voting rights.
  Art.III.Until this constitutional national congress is in place and decides otherwise, the nation's head of state count Mihály Károlyi presides over a peole's parliament supported by a committee in charge of the Hungarian National Council.
  Art.IV.The people's parliament should make urgent laws:
1.on general, secret, equal, immediate voting rights including women for the federal, legal and local elections,
2.on freedom of press
3.jury trial by people
4.on freedom of gahering and unionising
5.on farmer's right to land
These laws are urgently required to be enforced.
  Art.V.Any former laws contrary to be above shell cease immediately while other jurisdiction stays in place.
  Dated in Budapest on Nov 16, 1918."

  Thus a legal framework of democracy has been established the system, however, found it impossible to strengthen due to an adversary environment from the outside as well as an inner economical threat of collapse. The "good old Antant" namely has held our country under blocade making the change from war to peace economy even harder. The government tried to help the situation with administrative measures. Intstead of market economy we had rationing. With the production of agriculture declining we could but thinly avoid famine.
  These continuing problems of inner and foreign policies have weakened people's trust in the government. Already in the second half of November the opposition has started organizing a counter revolution. Under the leadership György Szmrecsányi 2-3 thousand supporters formed the Fraction of Awakening Hungarians as well as with disarmed lieutenants the Hungarian National Defenceforce lead by Seargent General Gyula Gömbös. The communists returned from Soviet-Russia lead by Béla Kun a socialdemocratic journalist have formed the Hungarian communist party with the purpose of creating the proletarian dictatorship. As rightwing conservative opposition of the government there was a Christian Democratic People’s Party. The National Smallfarmers’Party under István Nagyatádi Szabó has remained loyal to the government.

  On Jan. 11, 1919 the National Council has elected Mihály Károlyi as a temporary president of the republic. On the turn of the years 1918-1919 within the government the social democratic party has taken over the powers from the liberal democrate party of Károlyi. The new Prime Minister was Dénes Berinkey, his task being to keep the radicalism of both the left and the right under rein as well as to streghten the power. The HNGF was prohibited, the leaders of HCP were imprisoned. By the time of the national congress elections there were many more new parties and unions. In the meantime the neighbouring countries have almost managed to occupy our country to the so called Trianon borders.

  In the cities the workers’soviets have taken over factories to ease the devastating famine, while in the country the peasants, also without livelihood have started forming co-operatives with the landlords’properties. The government was trying to help the laters with a democratic landreform by taking land with compensation and leaving no more than 1,15-2,88 km (2) to the owners. Their plan was to create family properties of about 30-115 thousand m2 making former peasants and war veterans eligible. This program unfortunately has not been realised due to the fact that shortly after the law was ratified, Károlyi’s democracy failed.