By Rudolf Andorka, Richard Rose, Gyorgy Vukovich
Covers the long term social, financial and political adjustments in Hungary from 1945 to 1998.
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Extra info for A Society Transformed: Hungary in Time-Space Perspective
The government supported and was supported by the Catholic Church, whose members constituted two-thirds of the post-Trianon population of Hungary. Anti-Semitic laws were enacted to appease the radical right but were little enforced. The liberal and social democratic opposition was more or less tolerated but ineffective. The world depression hit the agricultural base of the Bethlen government hard, and the prime minister resigned in August 1931, succeeded for a year by a supporter, Gyula Károlyi.
In politics, a change of regimewhether from authoritarianism to democracy or in the other directionshould make a big change in society. But for a historian, it is the longue durée that counts. Since Hungary's origin in the tenth century, change has been an inevitable feature of adapting to a millennium of transformation in Central Europe. Yet the maintenance of a distinctive Finno-Ungarn language and a distinctive national culture, notwithstanding centuries of rule by Ottoman and Austrian emperors, is formidable evidence of persistence.
Demonstrations in Budapest against Soviet domination began on 23 October; Nagy was named prime minister as a concession. Nagy sought to assert Hungary's independence by withdrawing from the Soviet-sponsored Warsaw Pact. However, Minister of the Interior János Kádár appealed to the Soviet Union to crush the insurrection, and Moscow responded by sending in tanks. The Nagy government appealed to the United Nations for aid, but it was not forth-coming. Soviet troops brutally repressed Hungarian protesters and there was substantial street-fighting in Budapest.