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Magyarization or Magyarisation (or "Hungarianization" or "Hungarianisation" etc.) is a common designator applied to a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by various Hungarian authorities at various times. These policies aimed at imposing or maintaining the dominance of Hungarian language and culture in Hungarian-ruled regions by encouraging or compelling (often by forcible means) people of other ethnic groups to adopt the Hungarian language and culture, and to develop a Hungarian identity.


[edit] Origin of the term

The term generally applies to the policies that were enforced[citation needed] in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary in the 19th century and early 20th century, especially after the Ausgleich.[citation needed] The idea owes its existence[citation needed] to the Enlightenment due to which the 19th century saw the emergence of nation-states in many places in Europe (France, Italy, Germany). In its course large areas were culturally and linguistically homogenized[citation needed] (or at least attempted to be). The term is also used for similar yet more far-reaching policies, which were applied by the Hungarian authorities in Northern Transylvania and Bačka during the course of World War II, which in some cases led to egregious atrocities.[citation needed]

When referring to personal and geographic names, Magyarization stands for the replacement of an originally non-Hungarian name with a Hungarian one. For instance, the Romanian name "Ion Negru" would become "Janos Fekete", or the Slavic name "Novo Selo" would become "Ujfalu".

[edit] Magyarization in broader sense

The term is also sometimes used to refer to broader ethnic discrimination, which was used as a rationale for Magyarization[citation needed]. As is often the case with policies intended to forge or bolster national identity in a state, Magyarization was perceived by other ethnic groups such as the Romanians, Slovaks, etc., as aggression or active discrimination, especially where they formed the majority of the population over large areas (for instance, Romanians were a majority in Transylvania).

Magyarization can also refer to an identity shift, which would compel someone to identify with the Hungarian ethnicity, while having no Hungarian ancestors. For instance, Sándor Petőfi was a Hungarian of mixed Serb-Slovak descent.[citation needed] Matthias Corvinus of Hungary is seen as a Hungarian of Romanian descent. From the Hungarian point of view, both of these historically notable personalities came from Magyarized[citation needed] families and were therefore Hungarian.

[edit] Magyarization in the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary

The term Magyarization is usually used in regards to the national policies implemented by the government of the Kingdom of Hungary, which was part of the Habsburg Empire. The onset of this process dates to the late 18th century[citation needed] and was intensified after the Ausgleich in 1867[citation needed], which increased the autonomy of the Hungarian government within Austria-Hungary.

The Kingdom of Hungary (also called Transleithania) was a multi-ethnic country inhabited by Magyars, Germans, Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs, Slovenians, Rusyns, Jews, Roma and other ethnicities. According to the 1910 census, Hungarians represented the largest ethnic group with 48% of the total population. If Croatia-Slavonia is excluded, the percentage grows to 54%, but even this figure is contested by some historians[citation needed], for the census did not count "ethnicity", but native language (as well as "the most often spoken language", which led to manipulations with census results<ref>A. J. P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918, 1948. (Serbian translation: A. Dž. P. Tejlor, Habzburška Monarhija 1809-1918, Belgrade, 2001.)</ref>) and the religion. For instance, large numbers of Jews (who sought integration) declared Hungarian as their native language and were, accordingly, counted as Hungarians (The percent of Jews in 1910 census was 5%, thus without Jews, the percent of Hungarians would drop from 54% to 49%.) Large minorities were concentrated in various regions of the kingdom, where they formed significant majorities. In Transylvania, the 1910 census finds 54% Romanian-speakers, 32% Hungarian-speakers, and 14% other (mostly German-speakers). In the north of the Kingdom, Slovaks and Ruthenians formed an ethnic majority also.

The process of Magyarization did not succeed in imposing the Hungarian language as the most used language in all territories in the Kingdom of Hungary. The policies of Magyarization aimed to make the fluency in Hungarian language a requirement for access to basic government services such as local administration, education, and justice.

[edit] State policy and ethnic relations

After 1867, the Hungarian government took a standing that all inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hungary are part of one single political nation[citation needed], that is, that all of them are Hungarians[citation needed]. This view became a official policy of the Hungarian politicians and state[citation needed]. The view about "Hungarian political nation" was however rejected by the non-Hungarian ethnic groups (Romanians, Slovaks, Serbs, etc.) who lived in the Kingdom of Hungary[citation needed]. The political leaders of non-Hungarian ethnic groups claimed that the Kingdom of Hungary is a country of several nations, not only of Hungarians, and asked for recognition of their collective rights[citation needed].

For a long time, number of non-Hungarians that lived in the Kingdom of Hungary was much larger than a number of ethnic Hungarians. According to the 1787 data, the population of the Kingdom of Hungary numbered 2,322,000 Hungarians and 5,681,000 non-Hungarians. In 1809, the population numbered 3,000,000 Hungarians and 7,000,000 non-Hungarians. Since the intense Magyarization policy was implemented[citation needed] after 1867[citation needed], the ethnic relations changed in favour of Hungarians: according to the 1900 census, number of Hungarian language speakers in the Kingdom was 8,500,000, while number of speakers of other languages was 8,100,000. In 1910 census, number of Hungarian speakers was 9,944,628, while number of speakers of other languages was 8,319,905.[citation needed]

[edit] Violent oppression

Although the policy of Magyarisation was mainly pursued in the form of discrimination (see the sections below), the measures were backed by the state police and secret police[citation needed] and the government sometimes resorted to open violence. For example, many Slovak intellectuals and activists (such as Janko Kráľ) were imprisoned or even sentenced to death during the revolution in 1848.<ref>Encyklopédia spisovateľov Slovenska. Bratislava: Obzor, 1984.</ref> One of the incidents that shocked the European public opinion was the Černová massacre in 1907.

[edit] Education

Schools funded by churches and communes had the right to provide education in minority languages. These church-funded schools, however, were mostly founded before 1867, that is, in different socio-political circumstances. Clause 38 of the 1868 law[citation needed] about nationalities of the Kingdom of Hungary, determined that church-funded schools teaching in minority languages could be closed and replaced with commune-funded schools sponsored by the government. In practice, the majority of students in commune-funded schools who were native speakers of minority languages were instructed exclusively in Hungarian. Moreover, the number of minority-language schools was steadily decreasing: in the period between 1880 and 1913, when the number of Hungarian-only schools almost doubled, the number of minority language-schools almost halved.<ref name="Romsics">Romsics, Ignác. Magyarország története a huszadik században ("A History of Hungary in the 20th Century"), p. 85-86.</ref> Countless personal names were Magyarized[citation needed] in a short period of time, often forcibly or unwillingly[citation needed]. Nonetheless, Transylvanian Romanians had more Romanian-language schools under Hungarian rule than there were in the Romanian Kingdom itself. Thus, for example, in 1880, in Hungary there were 2,756 schools teaching exclusively in the Romanian language, while in the Kingdom of Romania there were only 2,505.<ref name="Raffay">Raffay Ernő: A vajdaságoktól a birodalomig-Az újkori Románia története = From voivodates to the empire-History of modern Romania, JATE Kiadó, Szeged, 1989)</ref>

[edit] Colonization

The central part of the Kingdom of Hungary was colonized with settlers belonging to different nationalities in the 18th century. Colonization was implemented in the Dunántúl[citation needed] and Alföld regions of present-day Hungary as well as in the Vojvodina region of present-day Serbia. That is considered an example of Magyarization by some Serb sources[citation needed] in spite of the multhiethnic nature of colonization efforts at the same time.

In the beginning of the 18th century after the Turkish wars the devastated southern regions were mostly populated by South Slavic Serbs, Bunjevci and Šokci, although the population density in the area was low. During the next two centuries, the region was colonized by numerous Germans, as well as members of various other ethnic groups (Slovaks, Rusyns, etc) and in the same time Hungarians were also settling in. The Habsburg government especially favoured the settlements of Germans as part of the Germanization policy.[citation needed]

In the 18th century, Count Antal Grassalkovich (who had Croatian ethnic background) introduced a colonization plan which intended to bring serfs to the sparsely populated Bačka.<ref>Borislav Jankulov, Pregled kolonizacije Vojvodine u XVIII i XIX veku, Novi Sad - Pančevo, 2003</ref> The plan predicted that Slovak, and Rusyn colonists along with Hungarians should be settled along the rivers Danube and Tisza. Serb historians[citation needed] consider this plan to be an early Magyarization policy assuming that its goal was to provide that ethnic Serb population remain in majority only in central part of Bačka as well as that this Serb population found itself physically separated from other Serbs in Syrmia and Banat. This plan was rejected by the Austrian authorities,<ref>Dr. Dušan J. Popović, Srbi u Vojvodini, knjiga 2, Novi Sad, 1990</ref> but was partially implemented by Grassalkovich who settled Hungarians in parts of Bačka, including Kula (in 1749), Topola (in 1740), Miletić (in 1752), etc.<ref>Dr. D. J. Popović</ref> This plan is also mentioned in other non-Serb sources, such is Šviker Johan.<ref>Šviker Johan - Politička istorija Srba u Ugarskoj, Budimpešta, 1880, translated and published in Novi Sad in 1999</ref> Count Grassalkovich also settled many Slovak and German colonists on his other estates in present-day Hungary.

Serbian historians[citation needed] consider that Count Grassalkovich settled Slovaks and Rusyns among Hungarians with the goal to increase number of Hungarians. Separated from their main ethnic territory in Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia, these two groups would be easily assimilated by the Hungarians. It is evident that most of the Slovaks of Roman Catholic faith that were settled in Vojvodina were later assimilated into the Hungarians, while those that were Protestants retained their Slovak ethnicity.

The settling in of Hungarians into the region continued until the end of the First World War. The statistics for 1880-1900 period show that the ordinary population growth in the Kingdom of Hungary for this period was +10.3%. However, the comparison between population growth of Serbs and Hungarians in the cities of Vojvodina show that Serb population growth was -19.5%, while Hungarian population growth was +105.2%. The last number, however, indicate both, colonization and Magyarization of non-Hungarians from the area.

[edit] Election system

The census system of the post-1867 Kingdom of Hungary was unfavourable to nationalities. According to the 1874 election law, which remained unchanged until 1918, only the upper 5,9% of whole population had voting rights. That high census effectively excluded almost the whole peasantry and the working class from the political life. The percentage of low-income people was somewhat higher among the nationalities than among the Magyars, except the Germans who were generally richer.

In 1913 the Magyars who gave the 54.5% of the whole population (in Hungary proper) had 60.2% majority in the electorate. Ethnic Germans participated with 10.4% in population and 13.0% in the electorate. The participation of other ethnic groups was as follows: Slovaks (10.7% in population, 10.4% in the electorate), Romanians (16.1% in population, 9.9% in the electorate), Rusyns (2.5% in population, 1.7% in the electorate), Croats (1.1% in population, 1.0% in the electorate), Serbs (2.2% in population, 1.4% in the electorate), and others (2.2% in population, 1.4% in the electorate).

Hungarian electoral laws haven't contained any legal discrimination based on nationality or language. The high census wasn't uncommon in other European countries in the 1860s but later the countries of Western-Europe gradually lowered and at last abolished their censi. That never happened in the Kingdom of Hungary, although electoral reform was one of the main topic of political debates in the last decades before WW1.

[edit] Names

See also: List of Magyarized geographical names

The Magyarization policy under the governing of Dezső Bánffy between 1895 and 1899 also included forced Magyarization of personal and geographical names. The law about registry books prescribed that all names in these books should be in Hungarian. The native names of non-Hungarians were, thus, replaced with Hungarian ones, for example Serbian name Stevan was replaced with Istvan or Jelena with Ilona. The policy included not only Magyarization of personal names, but of surnames as well.

In 1881 the "Society for Name Magyarization" (Központi Névmagyarositó Társaság) was founded in 1881 in Budapest. The aim of this private society was to provide advice and guidelines for those who wanted to Magyarize their surnames. Telkes Simon became the chairman of the society, who professed that “one can achieve being accepted as a true son of the nation by adopting a national name”. The society began an advertising campaign in the newspapers and sent out circular letters. They also made a proposal to lower the fees of the name changing. The proposal was accepted by the Parliament and the fee was lowered from 5 Forints to 50 Krajcárs. After this the name changings peaked in 1881 and 1882 (with 1261 and 1065 registered name changes), and continued in the following years on the average of 750-850 per year.<ref></ref> During the Bánffy-administration there was another boost with the highest 6700 application forms in 1897, mostly due to the pressure from authorities and employers of the government sector. Voluntary Magyarization of German or Slavic-sounding surnames remained a typical phenomenon in Hungary during the course of the whole 20th century.

Together with Magyarization of personal names and surnames, the exclusive use of the Hungarian names of geographical places, instead of multilingual usage, was also common. For the places that were not known under Hungarian names in the past, new Hungarian names were invented and used in administration instead of the former original non-Hungarian names. Examples of places where original non-Hungarian names were replaced with newly invented Hungarian names: Szvidnik - Felsővízköz (in Slovak Svidník, now Slovakia), Najdás - Néranádas (in Romanian Naidǎş, now Romania), Sztarcsova - Tárcsó (in Serbian Starčevo, now Serbia), Lyutta - Havasköz (in Ruthenian Lyuta, now Ukraine), Bruck - Királyhida (now Bruck an der Leitha, Austria).

According to Hungarian statistics<ref>(Hungarian) Kozma, István, A névmagyarosítások története. A családnév-változtatások, História (2000/05-06)</ref> and considering the huge number of assimilated persons between 1700-1944 (~3 million) only 340,000-350,000 names were magyarised between 1815-1944; this happened mainly inside the Hungarian-speaking area. (One Jewish name out of 17 was Magyarised, in comparation with other nationalities: one out of 139(Catholic)-427(Evangelical) for Germans and 170(Catholic)-330(Evangelical) for Slovaks.

[edit] Emigration

As a result of the Magyarization policy[citation needed] many non-Hungarians emigrated from the country. In 1899-1913 period, about 1.4 million people emigrated from the Kingdom of Hungary. Of those, about one million were non-Hungarians and 400,000 were ethnic Hungarians. The Hungarians that were largest ethnic group in the Kingdom (48.1% by the 1910 census), participated in emigration with only 28%, while non-Hungarians that numbered 51.9% of population participated in emigration with 72%. Every year, about 26,000 Hungarians and about 66,000 non-Hungarians emigrated from the Kingdom. Main centres of emigration were northern Slovak-inhabited counties of Abaúj-Torna, Šariš, Spiš, Uzh, and Zemplín, as well as southern counties of Bács-Bodrog, Torontál, Temes, and Krassó-Szörény, largely inhabited by Serbs, Romanians and Germans.

The state-sponsored shipowner society "Kunard"[citation needed] was founded with a purpose to "help" to as many non-Hungarians as possible to emigrate from the Kingdom. The society provided emigrants with emigrant passports and helped them to emigrate from the country. The "Kunard" society, however, did not gave these passports to the ethnic Hungarians.<ref>Dr. Dimitrije Kirilović, Pomađarivanje u bivšoj Ugarskoj, Novi Sad - Srbinje, 2006</ref>

People moved chiefly for economic reasons (labour migration) and, until 1914, 25% of the emigrants returned (this process was stoped by World War I). The majority of the emigrants came from the most indigent social groups, especially from the agrarian sector. Almost 530,000 people left the country between 1905 and 1907, which shows a direct connection between the U.S.'s trade fluctuation and Hungary's developing stages (the living standard of the peasantry, decline of agrarian movements, and even the Phylloxera plague).

[edit] Jews

The Jewish population of the Kingdom of Hungary may have been the only minority to actively embrace Magyarization, because it saw it as an opportunity for assimilation without conceding their religion. Stephen Roth writes, "Hungarian Jews were opposed to Zionism because they hoped that somehow they could achieve equality with other Hungarian citizens, not just in law but in fact, and that they could be integrated into the country as Hungarian Israelites. The word 'Israelite' (Hungarian: Izraelita) denoted only religious affiliation and was free from the ethnic or national connotations usually attached to the term 'Jew', which could therefore be regarded as a derogatory. Hungarian Jews attained remarkable achievements in business, culture and less frequently even in politics. But even the most successful Jews were not fully accepted by the majority of the Magyars as one of their kind — as the events following the Nazi invasion of the country in WW II so tragically demonstrated." <ref>Roth, Stephen. "Memories of Hungary", p.125–141 in Riff, Michael, The Face of Survival: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Past and Present. Valentine Mitchell, London, 1992, ISBN 0-85303-220-3. p. 132.</ref>

[edit] Magyarization in Upper Hungary

As a result of the forced Magyarization policy in the Kingdom of Hungary, the Slovaks were a culturally, politically, etc. decimated nation. They had almost none representation in the parliament (0 or 1 deputy out of 420 MPs), all schools in Slovak-speaking regions were Hungarian schools before WWI (although there had been thousands of Slovak schools earlier in Slovakia, but they were officially turned into Hungarian ones), they had no institutions, offices, judges, they were often prevented from voting[citation needed] on ethnic grounds[citation needed], students were expelled from schools just for speaking Slovak in the street[citation needed] or for owning Slovak books[citation needed], it was impossible to buy a train ticket in Slovak in Slovak speaking regions.<ref>Viator, Scotus: Racial problems in Hungary. 1906</ref><ref>Marko, Martinický: Slovensko-maďarské vzťahy.1995</ref><ref>Dejiny Bratislavy.Archív hlavného mesta SSR Bratislavy. 1978</ref><ref>Hanák, Jozef: Obsadenie Bratislavy.2004</ref>

[edit] Notable dates

  • 1844 - Hungarian is gradually introduced for all civil records (kept at local parishes until 1895). German became an official language again after the 1848 revolution, but the laws reverted in 1881 yet again. From 1836 to 1881, 14,000 families had their name Magyarized in the area of Banat alone.
  • 1898 - Simon Telkes publishes the book "How to Magyarize family names".
  • 1897 - The Banffy law of the villages is ratified. According to this law, all officially used village names in the Hungarian Kingdom had to be in Hungarian language.
  • 1907 - The Apponyi educational law made Hungarian a compulsory subject in all schools. This also extended to confessional and communal schools, which had the right to provide instruction in a minority language as well. "All pupils regardless of their native language must be able to express their thoughts in Hungarian both in spoken and in written form at the end of fourth grade [~ at the age of 10 or 11]"<ref name="Romsics" />

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

<references />

[edit] References

  1. Dr. Dimitrije Kirilović, Pomađarivanje u bivšoj Ugarskoj, Novi Sad - Srbinje, 2006 (reprint). Originally printed in Novi Sad in 1935.
  2. Dr. Dimitrije Kirilović, Asimilacioni uspesi Mađara u Bačkoj, Banatu i Baranji, Novi Sad - Srbinje, 2006 (reprint). Originally printed in Novi Sad in 1937 as Asimilacioni uspesi Mađara u Bačkoj, Banatu i Baranji - Prilog pitanju demađarizacije Vojvodine.
  3. Lazar Stipić, Istina o Mađarima, Novi Sad - Srbinje, 2004 (reprint). Originally printed in Subotica in 1929 as Istina o Madžarima.
  4. Dr. Fedor Nikić, Mađarski imperijalizam, Novi Sad - Srbinje, 2004 (reprint). Originally printed in Novi Sad in 1929.
  5. Borislav Jankulov, Pregled kolonizacije Vojvodine u XVIII i XIX veku, Novi Sad - Pančevo, 2003.
  6. Dimitrije Boarov, Politička istorija Vojvodine, Novi Sad, 2001.

[edit] External links

ro:Maghiarizare sk:Maďarizácia


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