March 15 is one of the three greatest Hungarian national days. On August 20, the nation celebrates the foundation of the state, while on October 23, the successful revolution of 1956 is commemorated. March 15 also marks a successful revolution, but in the Springtime of the Peoples in 1848. Thanks to tortenelmi.blog.hu, below you can find 5 interesting facts about what exactly happened on that rainy day.
Weather is a factor that has always affected history, and it has to be said that on March 15, 1848, it rained all day. Sándor Petőfi, the greatest Hungarian poet of that time, wrote in his diary that they first went to the medical students, and the rain seemed like it never intended to stop. But he also adds that their enthusiasm was like Greek fire: it could not be extinguished by water, Árpád Harmat, the author of the article on tortenelmi.blog.hu, writes.
Despite the bad weather, the crowd grew hour by hour, and by the time they arrived at the Castle of Buda, there were already more than 20 thousand people in their ranks.
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The story of the 12 points of the Hungarian Revolutionaries
Hungarians read the 12 points almost every time during March 15 celebrations, but nobody knows exactly how it started. We know that one of the revolutionaries, Dániel Irányi, was entrusted by Lajos Kossuth to sum up the demands of the opposition in 12 points 10 days before the events. These were in accordance with Kossuth’s initiative he handed in to the diet (the parliament’s name those days). However, the final draft was written by József Irinyi and became the program of the Young Hungary group (which consisted of Petőfi, Mór Jókiai, János Arany, Pál Vasvári, and others).
They modified it a bit, and
the plan was that they would read it out for the people coming to the fair of March 19.
However, the revolution in Vienna broke out on March 14, so they did not want to waste time.
How bloody the revolution was
Revolutions are bloody in general, just think about the beheaded Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France. Furthermore, during the Jacobin dictatorship, blood literally flowed on the streets of Paris.
In contrast, the Hungarian revolution was bloodless, people were only shouting, cheering and being happy because of their victory. Even the revolutionaries went home to have lunch during the day, and they continued after 3 pm.
The importance of Mihály Táncsics (the man the revolutionaries freed from prison at the end of the day)
He became iconic in many people’s mind, but he was not an important figure of March 15. Mr Táncsics assaulted the feudal system and serfdom in his writings, so authorities arrested him in 1847 and sent him to prison. Apart from a Romanian journalist, he was the only one who sat in prison on March 15, 1848, so he became the symbol of the Habsburg oppression.
When he was released, the impassioned people carried him home on their shoulders. But later, Kossuth found that his utopian socialist views were dangerous, so he banned his magazine.
The role of count Széchenyi, “the greatest Hungarian”
István Széchenyi was one of the most important figures of the reform era who built a lot of things, for example, the Chain Bridge or the Hungarian Academy of Science. He was a member of the delegation that went to the Hungarian king (and Habsburg emperor), Ferdinand V, and he was one of those
whose advice and opinion the Imperial Council counted on.
Therefore, the fact that the Council approved most of the Hungarian demands and appointed Lajos Batthyány the first prime minister of Hungary, is unquestionable.
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