The 1867 Compromise

If the Hungarians around you are crazily shouting in their strange mother tongue and accuse each other with being "brainless" or "traitor" (or so you figure), there is some chance that this compromise is on the agenda. The historic deal elaborated (from Hungary's side, at least) by Deák Ferenc has been a subject of heated debates since its birth.

Those who oppose the deal say that:

  • From an ethical point of view, Hungary changed side by this compromise and became a reactionary power itself, trying to supress other nations seeking democracy and independence.
  • From a practical point of view, the country tied itself to the declining empire of the Habsburgs and lost the chance to control its own fate any more. In fact, some even believe that the collapse of Hungary fifty years later could have been avoided had the nation not accepted the compromise in 1867.

Those who agree with the compromise argue that:

  • The deal had a very beneficial effect on the country in the short term in economical, cultural and even political aspects.
  • They also add that the country had no reasonable alternative: full independence was impossible for the time being and refusing the compromise would have resulted in continuing opression by the Austrians, further weakening the country.
  • Although they admit, that the compromise gave up the demand for full independence and directed the country towards a more opportunistic policy, they deny that the compromise can be blamed entirely for events that came fifty years later.
For more information (and more viewpoints) check what Wikipedia says about the topic:

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