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Royal Hungary was the name of medieval Kingdom of Hungary where the Habsburgs were recognized as Kings of Hungary in the wake of the Ottoman victory at the Battle of Mohácsmarker (1526) and subsequent partition of the country.

Other parts of the partitioned country were central territory, which was occupied by the Ottoman Empire (see Ottoman Hungary) and the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom in the east which later became the Principality of Transylvania. The latter was an Ottoman vassal for large parts of its history.

Habsburg Kings

Hungary around 1550 with Royal Hungary in the north and the west.
The Habsburgs, an influential dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire were elected Kings of Hungary and took an oath on the constitution of the Kingdom of Hungary at the coronation. . After the Habsburgs conquered Ottoman Hungary, the term Royal Hungary fell into disuse. , and the Emperors addressed their possession with the name of "Kingdom of Hungary". .

The Habsburg King directly controlled Royal Hungary's financial, military, and foreign affairs, and imperial troops guarded its borders. The Habsburgs avoided filling the office of palatine to prevent the holder's amassing too much power. In addition, the so-called Turkish question divided the Habsburgs and the Hungarians: Vienna wanted to maintain peace with the Ottomans; the Hungarians wanted the Ottomans ousted. As the Hungarians recognized the weakness of their position, many became anti-Habsburg. They complained about foreign rule, the behaviour of foreign garrisons, and the Habsburgs' recognition of Turkish sovereignty in Transylvania. Protestants, who were persecuted in Royal Hungary., considered the Counter-Reformation a greater menace than the Turks, however.

The Reformation spread quickly, and by the early seventeenth century hardly any noble families remained Catholic. Archbishop Péter Pázmány reorganized Royal Hungary's Roman Catholic Church and led a Counter-Reformation that reversed the Protestants' gains in Royal Hungary, using persuasion rather than intimidation . The Reformation caused rifts between Catholics, who often sided with the Habsburgs , and Protestants, who developed a strong national identity and became rebels in Austrian eyes. Chasms also developed between the mostly Catholic magnates and the mainly Protestant lesser nobles.

See also


  1. "(...) the Estates of the realm have submitted themselves not only to His Majesty's, but also his heirs' power and rule for ever (...)" (Section 5 of Article V of 1547).

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