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Making Magyars, creating Hungary: András Fáy, István Bezerédj and Ödön Beöthy’s reform-era contributions to the development of Hungarian civil society Open Access


Other title
reform era
civil society
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Bodnar, Eva Margaret
Supervisor and department
Sweeney, Dennis (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Marples, David (History and Classics)
Zivkovic, Marko (Anthropology)
Nemes, Robert (History)
Himka, John-Paul (History and Classics)
Department of History and Classics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The relationship between magyarization and Hungarian civil society during the reform era of Hungarian history (1790-1848) is the subject of this dissertation. This thesis examines the cultural and political activities of three liberal oppositional nobles: András Fáy (1786-1864), István Bezerédj (1796-1856) and Ödön Beöthy (1796-1854). These three men were chosen as the basis of this study because of their commitment to a two-pronged approach to politics: they advocated greater cultural magyarization in the multiethnic Hungarian Kingdom and campaigned to extend the protection of the Hungarian constitution to segments of the non-aristocratic portion of the Hungarian population. I argue that magyarization and civil society were closely connected: magyarization unfolded within the confines of civil society, and civil society was meant to guarantee that magyarization would leave room for cultural homogeneity. I locate the success and ambivalence of Fáy, Bezerédj and Beöthy’s efforts to shape Hungarian civil society not in the peculiar mixture of liberal and national elements that characterized their political campaigns, including their magyarization impulses, but in their social position as Magyar nobles transforming a multiethnic and socially-stratified Hungarian population. On a more subtle level, the fact that these three men based their reform efforts on grass-roots transformation and on the interconnectedness between the capital centres and the counties is also a central concern of this thesis.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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