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By Alexander Maxwell

At the flip of the 19th century, Hungary was once the positioning of a countrywide awakening. whereas Hungarian-speaking Hungarians sought to assimilate Hungary’s ethnic minorities right into a new suggestion of nationhood, the country’s Slavs as an alternative imagined a proud multi-ethnic and multi-lingual kingdom whose voters might freely use their local languages. The Slavs observed themselves as Hungarian voters talking Pan-Slav and Czech dialects -- and but have been the origins of what could develop into within the 20th century a brand new Slovak state. How then did Slovak nationalism emerge from multi-ethnic Hungarian loyalism, Czechoslovakism and Pan-Slavism? the following Alexander Maxwell offers the tale of ways and why Slovakia got here to be.

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Extra resources for Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Language and Accidental Nationalism (International Library of Political Studies)

Sample text

Parliamentary politics, however, proved an ineffective means for promoting Slovak aims: the electoral law specified a property threshold so high that most Slovaks were disenfranchised. Slovaks attempted to compensate by seeking alliance with Rusyns in Subcarpathia, with whom they shared a Slavic language and social exclusion. Two Slovaks won seats in the 1861 elections, but in 1865, all Slovak candidates were defeated. The injustice of this complete disenfranchisement from Hungarian political life led Hurban to exclaim that Slovaks would defend their interests outside of parliament if denied representation inside it; this outburst cost him a fine and six months imprisonment.

Kann’s description of the Slovaks as “inconspicuous”129 captures their relative lack of impact, at least when compared to Jelačić’s Croatian army, or even Romanian peasant jaqueries. ”130 Perhaps the most important fact about Rapant’s history, however, is that it was published in the 1950s, immediately after the Hungarian occupation of southern Slovakia during the Second World War. Viewing the Slovak volunteers as independence fighters enabled Slovaks to refute an important claim of Hungarian revisionists, namely that “the Slovaks never wished to be detached from Hungary,”131 as Győrgy Lukács put it.

74 Slovak politicians also ran for parliament. Parliamentary politics, however, proved an ineffective means for promoting Slovak aims: the electoral law specified a property threshold so high that most Slovaks were disenfranchised. Slovaks attempted to compensate by seeking alliance with Rusyns in Subcarpathia, with whom they shared a Slavic language and social exclusion. Two Slovaks won seats in the 1861 elections, but in 1865, all Slovak candidates were defeated. The injustice of this complete disenfranchisement from Hungarian political life led Hurban to exclaim that Slovaks would defend their interests outside of parliament if denied representation inside it; this outburst cost him a fine and six months imprisonment.

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