Irredentism in Everyday Life in Hungary during the Inter-war Period Cover Image

Irredentism in Everyday Life in Hungary during the Inter-war Period
Irredentism in Everyday Life in Hungary during the Inter-war Period

Author(s): Miklós Zeidler
Subject(s): History
Published by: MTA Társadalomtudományi Kutatóközpont Kisebbsegkutató Intézet
Keywords: irredentism; Hungary; Inter-war; everyday life

Summary/Abstract: The Trianon Peace Treaty was a central issue in public life in Hungary in the inter-war period. Pain over the loss and a desire for revenge permeated political, economic and social discourse. The most important institutions, which defined and controlled public speech, were government bodies and social organizations of the right and extreme right. The population’s spontaneous reactions should not be underestimated, but in an age witnessing the formation of modern mass society, the broad public was considered as a recipient rather than a directing medium. The public’s typical attitude and reaction was seen in its degree of acceptance or refusal of political declarations – taking the initiative did not characterize it. The inter-war irredentist public atmosphere was a factor, which the official politics had the opportunity to utilize, neglect or stifle. The controllers of public life grasped the first, instinctively and consciously at the same time and thus the content and tone of the dominant anti-Trianon emotions were defined by domestic propaganda with the government’s approval or even exactly to its liking. In this way, general public opinion actually became a projection of the propaganda, and voices pointing to moderation seemed to be dissonant. Under these circumstances public thinking was basically defined by simplifying voices, which, on the one hand, provided an understandable, comforting and self-absolving explanation for the break-up of historical Hungary and, on the other, they offered a tempting programme for a triumphant and deserved territorial revision.

  • Issue Year: V/2002
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 71-88
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English