LAJOS KOSSUTH [Louis] (1802-1894), Hungarian patriot, was born at Monok, a small town in the county of Zemplin, on the 19th of September 1802.
Kossuth continued the agitation by reporting in letter form the debates of the county assemblies, to which he thereby gave a political importance which they had not had when each was ignorant of the proceedings of the others.
Immediately after his release Kossuth married Teresa Meszleny, a Catholic, who during his prison days had shown great interest in him.
Henceforward she strongly urged him on in his political career; and it was the refusal of the Roman priests to bless their union that first prompted Kossuth to take up the defence of mixed marriages.
Kossuth, indeed, was not content with advocating those reforms - the abolition of entail, the abolition of feudal burdens, taxation of the nobles - which were demanded by all the Liberals.
He at once became the leader of the European revolution; his speech was read aloud in the streets of Vienna to the mob by which Metternich was overthrown (March 13), and when a deputation from the Diet visited Vienna to receive the assent of the emperor to their petition it was Kossuth who received the chief ovation.
Batthyany, who formed the first responsible ministry, could not refuse to admit Kossuth, but he gave him the ministry of finance, probably because that seemed to open to him fewest prospects of engrossing popularity.
With wonderful energy he began developing the internal resources of the country: he established a separate Hungarian coinage - as always, using every means to increase the national self-consciousness; and it was characteristic that on the new Hungarian notes which he issued his own name was the most prominent inscription; hence the name of Kossuth Notes, which was long celebrated.
A new paper was started, to which was given the name of Kossuth Hirlapia, so that from the first it was Kossuth rather than the Palatine or the president of the ministry whose name was in the minds of the people associated with the new government.
Twice Kossuth deposed him from the command; twice he had to restore him.
It would have been well if Kossuth had had something more of Gdrgei's calculated ruthlessness, for, as has been truly said, the revolutionary power he had seized could only be held by revolutionary means; but he was by nature soft-hearted and always merciful; though often audacious, he lacked decision in dealing with men.
Windischgrittz, however, refused all terms, and the Diet and government fled to Debrecszin, Kossuth taking with him the regalia of St Stephen, the sacred Palladium of the Hungarian nation.
Immediately after the accession of the Emperor Francis Joseph all the concessions of March had been revoked and Kossuth with his colleagues outlawed.
For the time the future form of government was left undecided, but Kossuth was appointed responsible governor.
The hopes of ultimate success were frustrated by the intervention of Russia; all appeals to the western powers were vain, and on the 11th of August Kossuth abdicated in favour of GOrgei, on the ground that in the last extremity the general alone could save the nation.
How G6rgei used his authority to surrender is well known; the capitulation was indeed inevitable, but a greater man than Kossuth would not have avoided the last duty of conducting the negotiations so as to get the best terms.
Hungary and its Revolutions, with a Memoir of Louis Kossuth (Bohn, 18 54); Horvath, 25 Jahre aus der Geschichte Ungarns,1823-1848 (Leipzig,1867);Maurice, Revolutions of 1848-1849; W.H.Stiles, Austria in 1848-1849,(New York, 1852); Szemere, Politische Charakterskizzen: III.
Kossuth (Hamburg, 1853); Louis Kossuth, Memoirs of my Exile (London, 1880); Pulszky, Meine Zeit, mein Leben (Pressburg, 1880); A.
Somogyi, Ludwig Kossuth (Berlin, 1894).
First he attempted to hold Vienna against the imperial troops, and, after the capitulation, hastened to Pressburg to offer his services to Kossuth, first defending himself, in a long memorial, from the accusations of treachery to the Polish cause and of aristocratic tendencies which the more fanatical section of the Polish emigrant Radicals repeatedly brought against him.
Joseph Cowen was at that time a strong Radical on domestic questions, an advocate of co-operation, an admirer of Garibaldi, Mazzini and Kossuth, a sympathizer with Irish Nationalism, and one who in speech, dress and manner identified himself with the North-country mining class.
Kossuth succeeded in granting them temporary emancipation, but the suppression of the War of Independence led to an era of royal autocracy which, while it advanced Jewish culture by enforcing the establishment of modern schools, retarded the obtaining of civic and political rights.
Here he became an active member of the committee of national defence, and when obliged to fly the country he joined Kossuth in England and with him made a tour in the United States of America.
Some Reminiscences of Kossuth and Pulszky were published by F.
Perhaps the most important act of his second term was obtaining the release of Kossuth and other Hungarian refugees who had fled to Turkey, and whose surrender had been demanded by the Austrian government.
(1835-1848), to attempt to crush the reform movement by arresting and imprisoning the most active agitators among them, Louis Kossuth and Miklos Wesselenyi.
The chief exponent of this temper was the Pesti Hirlap, Hungary's first political newspaper, founded in 1841 by Kossuth, whose articles, advocating armed reprisals if necessary, inflamed the extremists but alienated Szechenyi, who openly attacked Kossuth's opinions.
The polemic on both sides was violent; but, as usual, the extreme views prevailed, and on the assembling of the diet of 1843 Kossuth was more popular than ever, while the influence of Szechenyi had sensibly declined.
Kossuth demanded not merely the redress of actual grievances, but a reform which would make grievances impossible in the future.
The moderates, alarmed not so much by the motion itself as by its tone, again tried to intervene; but on the 13th of March the Vienna revolution broke out, and the king, yielding to pressure or panic, appointed Count Louis Batthyany premier of the first Hungarian responsible ministry, which included Kossuth, Szechenyi and Deak.
That the encouragement of the Slav aspirations was soon deliberately adopted as a weapon against the Hungarian government was due, partly to the speedy predominance at Pest of Kossuth and the extreme party of which he was the mouthpiece, but mainly to the calculated policy of Baron Jellachich, who on the 14th of April was appointed ban of Croatia.
In the Hungarian diet, which met on the 2nd of July, the influence of the conservative cabinet was wholly overshadowed by that of Kossuth, whose inflammatory orations - directed against the disruptive designs of the Sla y s and the treachery of the Austrian government - precipitated the crisis.
Kossuth alone was supreme.
Actually, from this time until the collapse of the rising, Louis Kossuth was the ruler of Hungary.
3), had foundered on the uncompromising attitude of the Austrian commander, who demanded unconditional submission; whereupon the moderates, including Deak and Batthyany, retired into private life, leaving Kossuth to carry on the struggle with the support of the enthusiastic extremists who constituted the rump of the diet at Debreczen.
The news of this manifesto, arriving as it did simultaneously with that of Gdrgei's successes, destroyed the last vestiges of a desire of the Hungarian revolutionists to compromise, and on the 14th of April, on the motion of Kossuth, the diet proclaimed the independence of Hungary, declared the house of Habsburg as false and perjured, for ever excluded from the throne, and elected Kossuth president of the Hungarian Republic. This was an execrable blunder in the circumstances, and the results were fatal to the national cause.
From henceforth the military and civil authorities, as represented by Kossuth and Gdrgei, were hopelessly out of sympathy with each other, and the breach widened till all effective co-operation became impossible.
The Magyars, too, were now more than ever divided among themselves, no plan of campaign had yet been drawn up, no commander-in-chief appointed to replace Gdrgei, whom Kossuth had deposed.
Kossuth again appointed as commander-inchief the brave but inefficient Dembinski, who was utterly routed at Temesvar (Aug.
Kossuth and his associates, who had quitted Arad on the 10th of August, took refuge in Turkish territory.
The Extreme Left was infected by the fanaticism of Kossuth, who condemned the compromise and refused to take the benefit of the amnesty, while the prelates and magnates who had originally opposed the compromise were now to be found by the side of Deal(and Andrassy.
The tragic death of the crown prince Rudolph hushed for a time the strife of tongues, and in the meantime Tisza brought into the ministry Ders6 Szilagyi, the most powerful debater in the House, and Sandor Wekerle, whose solid talents had hitherto been hidden beneath the bushel of an under-secretaryship. But in 1890, during the debates on the Kossuth Repatriation Bill, the attacks on the premier were renewed, and on the 13th of March he placed his resignation in the king's hands.
The king, weary of the tactics of a minority which for years had terrorized every majority and prevented the government from exercising its proper constitutional functions, had resolved to show the Magyars that he was prepared to rule unconstitu 1 The Austrian court resented especially the decree proclaiming national mourning for Louis Kossuth, though no minister was present at the funeral.
2 The cabinet consisted of Dr Wekerle (premier and finance), Ferencz Kossuth (commerce), Count Gyula Andrassy (interior), 'Count Albert Apponyi (education), Davanyi (agriculture), Polonyi ((justice) and Count Aladar Zichy (court).
The ministry was divided on the issue, Count Andrassy opposing and Mr Ferencz Kossuth supporting the proposal for a separate bank.
Constitutional, the natural course would have been for the king to have sent for Mr Kossuth, who commanded the strongest party in the parliament, and to have entrusted him with the formation of a government.
But Lukacs had no choice but to apply in the first instance to Mr Kossuth and his friends, and these, suspecting an intention of crushing their party by entrapping them into unpopular engagements, rejected his overtures.
Kossuth and Justh, on the other hand, competitors for the leadership of the Independence party, declared themselves not prepared to accept anything short of the full rights of the Magyars in those matters.
After a period of wavering Mr Kossuth had consented to shelve for the time the question of the separate bank, and on the strength of this Dr Wekerle advised the crown to entrust to him the formation of a government.
The plan, concerted by Kossuth and Apponyi, with the approval of Baron Aehrenthal, was to carry on a modified coalition government with the aid of the Andrassy Liberals, the National party, the Clerical People's party 2 and the Independence party, on a basis of suffrage reform with plural franchise, the 2 The People's party first emerged during the elections of 1896, when it contested 98 seats.