On the 1st of February we are commemorating the law (1946. évi I. törvény) on the proclamation of the Hungarian Republic in 1946, which was declared a memorial day by the government in 2005. However, this wasn’t the only time the republic was proclaimed in Hungary. Let’s see a brief historic rewind!

On the 16th of November, 1918, the Hungarian National Council declared the Hungarian People’s Republic (First Hungarian Republic) which was a short-lived people’s republic that existed, apart from a 133-day interruption, from late 1918 until mid-1919. It was established in the wake of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I. The Hungarian People’s Republic replaced the Kingdom of Hungary and was in turn replaced by another short-lived state.

On the 27th of February, 1920 the National Assembly accepted the “re-establishment of the constitutionalism and the temporary settlement of the state authority” countermanding the revolutions’ arrangements and introducing the institution of a regent. On the 1st of March Miklós Horthy was chosen as the Regent of Hungary. The Hungarian state was legally a kingdom without a king as the Entente powers wouldn’t have tolerated a return of the Habsburgs.

After World War II the National Assembly abrogated the institution of a kingdom and declared the Second Hungarian Republic on the 1st of February, 1946. Zoltán Tildy was chosen as the president. The parliamentary republic existed for only a few years since it was dissolved on the 20th of August, 1949. It was succeeded by the People’s Republic of Hungary.

Lastly, on the anniversary of the 1956 Revolution, the 23rd of October in 1989 the (Third) Hungarian Republic was officially declared by the provisional President of the Republic Mátyás Szűrös as the replacement for the Hungarian People’s Republic. The revised constitution also championed the “values of bourgeois democracy and democratic socialism” and gave equal status to public and private property.

Copy editor: bm

Source: Daily News Hungary

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