Who founded Hungary?


Since the indigenous population was small in number for the development of the country, in particular the economic development and use of the huge royal estate, Stephan and even more Géza II. (R. 1141–1162) and his successors called settlers mainly from the German-speaking area into the country . In the second half of the 12th century the settlement areas of the Transylvanian and Spiš Saxons emerged, whereby the name Saxony as a collective name for the immigrants from the Rhineland, Moselle Franconia, Flanders and Luxembourg, Thuringia and Lower Saxony. These received extensive autonomy rights, i. That is, they could administer themselves according to their own law and choose their leaders, who were directly subordinate to the king and who would give him duties and military aid only in the event of a defense. They were also granted a separate church system with self-administration and election of the clergy.

After the Mongol storm in 1241, which had devastated many settlement areas, the Hungarian kings Béla IV (r. 1235–1270), Charles I. Robert (r. 1308–1342), Ludwig I (r. 1342–1382) and were concentrated Sigismund (r. 1387–1437) insisted on strengthening the country's economic development and defense by founding craft, trading and mining towns and fortifying them. For this purpose, new settlers were recruited and strategically and economically favorably located places were promoted through privileges. Along the Carpathian arch, primarily near the passes, a chain of predominantly German trading towns arose, from Pressburg / Bratislava via Tyrnau / Trnava, Trenčín / Trenčín, Sillein / Žilina, Käsmark / Kežmarok, Leutschau / Levoča, Kaschau / Košice and Bergsaß / Berehove as far as Transylvania, to Bistritz / Bistriţa, Kronstadt / Braşov and Hermannstadt / Sibiu, extended and in places also extended over the Carpathians (Lemberg / Ľviv, Moldenmarkt / Baia, Sereth / Siret, Suczawa / Suceava, Akkerman / Bilhorod-Dnistrowskyj, Langenau / Câmpulung in Wallachia). In the ore and salt-rich areas of northern Hungary, the Lower Hungarian mountain towns (Schemnitz / Banská Štiavnica, Karpfen / Krupina, Kremnica / Kremnica and Neusohl / Banská Bystrica), the Upper Hungarian mountain towns in the Lower Spiš (Göllnitz / Gelnica and Schmöllnitz) / Smolník in the east of the empire Frauenbach / Baia Mare and Rodenau / Rodna Veche at the foot of the Marmaroscher Mountains and Offenburg / Baia de Arieş and Kleinschlatt / Zlatna in the Transylvanian Ore Mountains. In the interior of the country, borne and led by the German and Latin patriciate (originating from the Romance-speaking area), trade and commerce around administrative or spiritual centers flourished: Ofen / Buda and Pest, Güns / Kőszeg, Raab / Győr, Stuhlweissenburg / Székesfehérvár, Gran / Esztergom, Waitzen / Vác, Fünfkirchen / Pécs, Oradea / Oradea, Klausenburg / Cluj-Napoca. In the south of the country, Agram / Zagreb, Warasdin / Varaždin and Esseg / Osijek in particular developed into important predominantly German cities in Croatia and Slavonia.

Two periods can be clearly distinguished in the colonization of the Hungarian kingdom. In the first period, which lasted until the Mongol storm of 1241, the settlement of Germans took place exclusively on royal estates, partly in large, more or less closed units: in the settlement area of ​​the Transylvanians and the Spiš Saxons, to a lesser extent in scattered settlements, as evidenced by the Németi-Orte (Deutsch-Orte) that were created in the 11th century. The foundation of the Vizsoly County is due to Queen Gertrud von Andechs-Meranien 1185-1213), who brought a large group of Bavarian colonists with her to Hungary for her wedding to King Andreas II (r. 1205-1235) in her entourage in 1203 and settled in the fertile Hernád valley south of Kaschau / Košice. Its ten villages received their own self-government in the county, which was first documented in 1215.

In the second period, which began with the reconstruction of the country after the Mongol invasion of 1241 and lasted until the middle of the 14th century, the secular and spiritual barons of the country increasingly rose to be the bearers of colonization based on theirs from the king lent domains condensed their rule through the creation of new villages. The peasants of this second wave of colonization were settled within the framework of private manorial rule; their villages were scattered among the villages of other population groups. As a result, the formation of closed German settlement blocs, as was characteristic of the first period, was ruled out.

The settlement movements of the first as well as the second period are characterized by new colonization procedures as well as new forms of contract in the form of previously unknown rights of freedom. These included: economic freedom (freedom from customs duties, market law), the exercise of one's own customary law by one's own judge, the cultivation of religion in one's own language, secured also through the right to choose one's own pastor. The basic obligation of the settlers, namely loyalty to the king and the crown, included contractually regulated taxes, defense services and the recognition of royal jurisdiction in the highest instance. In the course of the second immigration period, however, the loyalty of the hospites (Guests) named settlers from the king to the landlord. However, the latter could not grant more freedom than he himself possessed, i. H. he was able to partially exempt his settlers from the manorial taxes, but not from the services to the king. The scattered German settlements of the first period were donated from the royal to private property, but the settlers retained their social status as hospites and remained in the possession of the lower jurisdiction and the election of the pastor and thus in a better position than the inhabitants of native villages. Compared with the Transylvanians and the Spiš Saxons, who largely escaped such "privatization", this mainly resulted in economic disadvantages, namely the payment of taxes to both the king and the church (tithe) and the landlord. However, this did not apply to urban settlement, which was given special weight in the second period. But for all German immigrants in the cities as well as in their villages and also in their closed settlement areas of the Spiš and Transylvania it was true that they could not influence the politics of the country, whereas the Hungarian king granted generous autonomy in the internal affairs of the immigrants . The Germans were incorporated into the country's political structure as self-governing units. Between the colonists - their settlements mostly in one terra deserta and only rarely displaced residents - and largely peaceful relationships developed with the locals, ultimately a coexistence or coexistence that stimulated both sides economically and culturally and mutually enriched, especially since in the second phase locals also had the status of privileged hospites could achieve. The settlers, whether farmers or townspeople, proved to be important pillars of the state, especially of the king, whom they viewed as a guarantor of their acquired rights. By colonizing the country with settlers from Central and Western Europe, Hungary was included in the structural adjustment process of the European country development. On the one hand in the economic area, in that the "agrarian revolution" of the West with its technical innovations was transplanted to the east, on the other hand through the colonists' rights, which also benefited the locals with their autonomously designed open spaces.