Hungarian Declaration of Independence

Hungarian Declaration of Independence

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hungary (1849)
Date 14 April 1849
Location Protestant Great Church of Debrecen, Hungary
Participants Kingdom of Hungary
Habsburg Monarchy

The Hungarian Declaration of Independence declared the independence of Hungary from the Habsburg Monarchy during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. It was presented to the National Assembly in closed session on 13 April 1849 by Lajos Kossuth, and in open session the following day, despite political opposition from within the Hungarian Peace Party. The declaration was passed unanimously the following day.[1][2]

Kossuth issued the declaration himself, from the Protestant Great Church of Debrecen. The declaration accused the Habsburgs of crimes, saying

The House of Lorraine-Habsburg is unexampled in the compass of its perjuries [] Its determination to extinguish the independents of Hungary has been accompanied by a succession of criminal acts, comprising robbery, destruction of property by fire, murder, maiming [] Humanity will shudder when reading this disgraceful page of history. [] "The house of Habsburg has forfeited the throne".
Kossuth, In Liszt, The Weimar Years[3]

In a banquet speech before the Corporation of New York, Kossuth urged the United States to recognize Hungarian independence, saying

The third object of my humble wishes, gentlemen, is the recognition of the independence of Hungary. [] our Declaration of Independence was not only voted unanimously in our Congress, but every county, every municipality, has solemnly declared its consent and adherence to it; so it became not the supposed, but by the whole realm positively, and sanctioned by the fundamental laws of Hungary.
Kossuth, In Headley's Life of Kossuth[4]

Further reading


  1. András Boros-Kazai (2005). "Hungary". In Richard Frucht. Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, lands, and culture. 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 354. ISBN 9781576078006.
  2. Miklós Molnár (2001). A concise history of Hungary. Cambridge concise histories. Anna Magyar. Cambridge University Press. pp. 192 – 193. ISBN 9780521667364.
  3. Alan Walker (1997). Franz Liszt: The Weimar years, 18481861. Franz Liszt. 2 (2nd ed.). Cornell University Press. pp. 63 – 64. ISBN 9780801497216.
  4. Phineas Camp Headley (1852). The life of Louis Kossuth, governor of Hungary: including notices of the men and scenes of the Hungarian revolution; to which is added an appendix containing his principal speeches, &c (10th ed.). Auburn: Derby and Miller. pp. 415,417418.

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