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A coffeehouse on the linguistic frontier
A coffeehouse on the linguistic frontier

Author(s): Robert Nemes
Subject(s): Political history, Social history, Nationalism Studies, Inter-Ethnic Relations
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: associations; nationalism; linguistic frontiers; borderlands; Bihar county; Transylvania; Partium;

Summary/Abstract: A century ago, Bihar/Bihor County was a rather unremarkable corner of the Hungarian Kingdom, one situated far from international boundaries. The population of Bihar/Bihor was almost equally split between ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians, a fact of little consequence until the last decades of the nineteenth century, when a number of middle-class national activists began to emphasize the region’s status as a national borderland and worked to define and defend the Hungarian–Romanian border they saw running through it. This essay explores the nationalists’ efforts through a local cultural association, A Biharvármegyei Népnevelési Egyesület (Bihar County Society for Popular Education). Its aim is to show that the sharp lines that appeared on maps of “the nationalities of Austria-Hungary” emerged in a particular historical context, and also that these lines were much more blurry than many mapmakers and historians would have us believe.

  • Issue Year: 24/2010
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 215-224
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English