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"Hungary’s War of Independence" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2018 3:12 p.m. PST

"The dreadful multitude of rebellious hordes that I found at Kápolna have been scattered and mostly annihilated, and the remnants are fleeing across the Tisza. In a few days, I am hoping to be in Debrecen and to succeed in seizing that center of revolt. Such was the message sent to Emperor Franz Josef I by Field Marshal Alfred Fürst (Prince) zu Windisch-Grätz, commander in chief of the Austrian Imperial army in Hungary after the Battle of Kápolna on February 27, 1849. Windisch-Grätz saw every reason to regard his victory as the turning point in the war Hungary had been fighting since September 1848 to achieve independence from Austria. When Franz Josef, theoretically both emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, received news of the victory, he drew up a new constitution in Olmütz that essentially reasserted the absolutist powers of the Hapsburg monarchy. Nominally, he accepted parliamentary monarchy, but he nevertheless abrogated any autonomy for the separate nations within his empire.

The previous year, 1848, had been a year of revolutions throughout Europe. The Hapsburg empire, a conglomerate of various central European nations, was among the regions ravaged by insurrections. The so-called Holy Alliance, created by Russia, Austria, Prussia and Britain to guard the old system of monarchies in Europe following the defeat of French Emperor Napoleon in 1815, collapsed amid a wave of bourgeois and liberal insurrections in Paris, Venice, Berlin and Prague. In the Austrian capital of Vienna, Chancellor Prince Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von Metternich, the most devoted defender of the old order, was overthrown by a popular rebellion on March 13. Emperor Ferdinand V, feeling himself threatened, promised constitutional reforms and the relaxation of suppressive efforts throughout the empire. On March 18, Italian revolutionary nationalists in Milan revolted against Austrian rule, and on the 22nd the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont declared war on behalf of the nationalists in Austria's Italian provinces. Meanwhile, the Slavic population of the empire was voicing discontent, and Hungary, the largest territory within the empire, also showed signs of revolt…."
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