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This book describes and analyzes the critical period of 1711-1848 within Hungary from novel points of view, including close analyses of the proceedings of Hungarian diets. Contrary to conventional interpretations, the study, stressing the strong continuity of traditionalism in Hungarian thought, society, and politics, argues that Hungarian liberalism did not begin to flower in any substantial way until the 1830s and 1840s. Hungarian Culture and Politics in the Habsburg Monarchy also traces and evaluates the complex relationship between Austria and Hungary over this considerable span of time. Past interpretations have, with only a few exceptions, tilted heavily towards the Austrian role within the Monarchy, both because its center was in Vienna and because few non-Hungarian scholars can read Hungarian. This analysis redresses this balance through the use of both Austrian and Hungarian sources, demonstrating the deep cultural differences between the two halves of the Monarchy, which were nevertheless closely linked by economic and administrative ties and by a mutual recognition that co-existence was preferable to any major rupture.
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Gabor Vermes is Professor Emeritus of History, Rutgers University
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