Chapter One - Preface
Lajos Kossuth sent word
That his regiment is no more
Should he tell that once more
We all have to go.
Long live Hungarian liberty!
Long live the Fatherland!
This AAR is about a somehow less AAR-exploited country: Hungary. No wonder, since the country is not playable from the start of the scenario, being part of Austria at the time being. However, recently-released VIP 0.4 puts this into a new perspective, properly modelling the independence fight of this nation! I'd like to hereby say thanks for the makers of the VIP project, now I can fulfill my old plan too, writing an AAR about my country
Sit back, forget about the present! Gap the athmosphere of a long ago passed era, the age of the Spring of Nations! Click on the yellow text at the beginning of the page to listen to a popular Hungarian revolutionary folk song - it's a link! Back, time, back we go to 1848, when the modern Hungarian nation was born..
How did it evolve to this ?
The national revival, known as Reform Age, began when Franz I opened the Parliament of 1825, with the contribution of the young aristocrat Széchenyi, or, as later he was named, The Greatest Hungarian. He offered the one year revenues of all his lands to the founding of an institue promoting the development of the Hungarian language. By then Latin was the official language of the country. The back then founded Hungarian Scientific Academy by now evolved the supreme authority of all kind of sciences.
His motto was "Hungary must become rich first to be independent, free and enourmous". He wrote a number of studies to publish his reform thoughts. Being an aristocrat, he would liked to preserve the leading role to his own class, but along with the emerging of the whole nation. He had built the world famous Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge between Buda and Pest. He promoted the use of steamers on the Danube, and a good number of other inventions. He even introduced new cultural-social habits like horse racing, casinos and regular bathing . He was the true Civilisator , celebrated through the whole country in the 1830s.
The other person of very great influence was Lajos Kossuth.
He credited Széchenyi as his leader, he was the one who named him the greatest Hungarian. Because of his pamphlets about the Parlamential seasons, he was sentenced to three years of prison. In prison, he used the time to learn economics and the English language on his own from the translation of the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. What a genius he was, can be perceived by the fact that later, after the failure of the freedom fight, he travelled to the United States and held several hundreds of speeches there on his 6-month tour all along the country based on this knowledge to great public acclaim:
When he was freed, he started his newspaper, the Pesti Hírlap, in which he addressed every single issue of national revival and modernisation, giving him unmatched popularity. He was more radical than Széchenyi, and eventually the people turned to him, making him the charismatic leader of the independence movement. Today there are many reminders of Kossuth’s impact, of course mainly here, but even in the USA. There are towns with his name in Indiana, Ohio and Mississippi, and a settlement with a Post office in Pennsylvania. There are two other full figure Kossuth statues in New York City and Cleveland, Ohio. Know what ? The largest county of Iowa state is named after him too. See http://www.kossuth-edc.com/community/Kossuth.htm
In the Parliament of 1847-48 the reform-nobility already got into majority and issued a number of very important reform acts. The nobles voluntarily gave up their tax-free privilege, and enacted the instant, mandatory abolition of serfdom with compensation (they already instituted voluntarily emantipation in the previous years).
Why was all this so important ? The wisdom of the reform-nobility prevented the situation that of many other countries, where the serfs risen up against their own landlords in rage. Instead, in Hungary this fantastic era of voluntary reforms created an alliance between the politically educated nobility and the people, whom trusted the nobles as their leaders, happily rallying to their flag on their call. This explains why could the Hungarian revolution last over a year, set up mass-armies and lead victorious offensives even when all the other revolutions were broken down in Italy, Germany and everywhere else in Europe.
During the end of the 1847-48 Parliament arrived the news, that in Paris the revolution has broken out. Hearing this, Kossuth urged in his speech of 3 March to put an end to absolutism and a constitution to be given for the country. The response to this demand could not even arrive, when news arrived that revolution broke out in Vienna too on 13 March, and destroyed the whole political system of Metternich. Hearing this, the Parliament approved the whole liberal reform programme plan and ambassadors were dispatched to Vienna to get the king sign the demands. Meanwhile, the radical youth of Budapest made the revolution on 15 March without bloodshed. The rule of the Habsburgs were shaken in all of Europe, in their fear, they promised everything and approved to Hungarian autonomy. The people lit the windows, raised national flags in the capital, thus celebrated the first day of Hungarian freedom...
So we are set. In the first pic, you can see in orange the territories currently under the rule of the Kingdom of Hungary. The second pic shows which territories the Hungarians consider Hungary. The Croats, however seems to think otherwise with their leader Ban Jellasic. There are rumors about them being reluctant to accept Hungarian souvereignity and turning to the Emperor for help...
Nevertheless, Hungarians are full of best hopes. Will everything continue to progress so smoothly, is this a dawn of a new era of liberty, freedom and brotherhood ? Stay tuned and find out in the following updates