A Hungarian Rhapsody: The Evolution and Current State of Hungarian Public Relations

Authored by: Gyorgy Szondi

The Global Public Relations Handbook

Print publication date:  January  2009
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415995139
eBook ISBN: 9780203889374
Adobe ISBN: 9781135845551


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Hungary is located in the heart of Europe with a population of slightly over ten million people, out of which two million live in Budapest, the capital. Four million Hungarians live in neighboring countries, including Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Hungarians are of Finno-Ugric origin and as a people have been living in the Danube Basin for more than 1,000 years. The Hungarian state was established by King Stephen I, who took up Christianity in the year 1000. In the centuries that followed, Hungary became the leading power in Central Europe until Hungarian lands were subjected to Mongol invasion and later to Turkish occupation in 1526 which lasted 150 years. In the mid-nineteenth century, Hungary established a liberal constitutional monarchy under the Austrian Hapsburgs, which lasted until the Austro-Hungarian monarchy collapsed after the First World War. The Trianon Treaty of 1920 redrew Hungary’s borders and took away a third of its territory and 40 percent of the population, resulting in Hungarian minorities in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. After the Second World War, a communist dictatorship prevented true independence. In 1956, Soviet forces crushed an uprising by Hungarians seeking to liberalize the political and economic system and to break away from Soviet influence. The revolution remains prominent in the country’s consciousness.

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