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Conservative Ideology in the Making

Ivan Zoltan Denes

Publication Year: 2009

The fifty years or so preceding the watershed of 1848–49 witnessed the emergence of liberal nationalism in Hungary, along with a transmutation of conservatism which appeared then as a party and an ideological system in the political arena. The specific features of the conservatism, combining the protection of the status quo with some reform measures, its strategic vision, conceptual system, argumentation, assessment criteria and values require an in depth exploration and analysis. Different conservative groups were in the background or in opposition from 1848 to 1918, while in the period between the two World Wars, they constituted the overwhelming majority of ruling parties. During the one-party system, from 1949 to 1989, the liberals and conservatives—like all other political groups—were illegal, a status from which they could later emerge upon the change of the political system. The inheritance of the autocratic system frozen up and undigested by the one-party state was thawed after the peaceful regime change, the constitutional revolution and its discrete components began to be reactivated, including the enemy images of earlier discourses. “Liberal” and “conservative” had become state-party stigmas in line with fascist, reactionary, rightist, and bourgeois. In reaction to that, at first conservative then liberal, intellectual fashions and renascences unfolded in the 1980s. The attempts by liberal and conservative advocates to find predecessors did not favor an objective approach. The first step toward objectivity is establishing distance from the different kinds of enemy images and their political idioms. This is a pressing need because, although several pioneering works have appeared on different variants of the Hungarian liberalisms and conservatisms, there are no serious unbiased syntheses. This work is urgent because the political poles of the constitutional revolution and the ensuing period have up till now been described in terms of different conspiracy theories.

Published by: Central European University Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xi

The fifty years or so preceding the watershed of 1848–49 witnessed the emergence of liberal nationalism in Hungary, along with a transmutation of conservatism which appeared then as a party and an ideological system in the political arena. The specific features of the conservatism, combining the protection of the status quo with some reform measures, its strategic vision, conceptual system, argumentation, assessment criteria, and values require ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

Is there a vicious circle of binary forms of political discourses in Central and Eastern Europe—modernity vs. tradition, progress vs. nation, freedom vs. community, self-realization vs. belonging to a community, “Western cosmopolitan civilization” vs. “national identity,” adoption of the European model vs. national self-centeredness? Defining and comparing the roots, history, and variants of these oppositions in different geographical ...

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Conservatism

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pp. 11-23

In colloquial usage, the connotations of the term “conservative” and its collocate, “radical,” imply an opposition, an antithesis. The most frequent concepts associated with conservatism, suggesting social and political equilibrium and identifying it with the aristocratic social order, are authority, tradition, traditional values, order, history, social and political hierarchy, aristocracy, status quo, custom ...

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The Liberal Challenge:Nation-Building through Reforms

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pp. 25-29

At first sight Kölcsey’s program may seem conservative, paternalist, with a demand of gradual improvement. A second reading, however, makes it clear that the new role of the nobility differs from the old one in more than just paternalistic protection; it also differs in the interpretation of privileges and constitutionality. The traditional opposition recognized as its ...

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The Conservative Answer:Law, Order, and Stability

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pp. 31-177

István Széchenyi wished to put Aurél Dessewffy to eternal rest in his proposed Hungarian Pantheon. A year later a liberal publicist, László Szalay, declared he had been the Alexander the Great of the Hungarians, after whom only the diadochi (his unworthy successors) could come. In 1851 another liberal, Antal Csengery, asserted that Aurél Dessewffy would ...

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Myth in the Making

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pp. 179-188

During the period of cooperation between the sovereign and the legisla-ture in the spring and summer of 1848—a cooperation far from being devoid of tensions—the Hungarian conservatives retreated into the back-ground, but in the autumn when an explicit conflict had burst out between Vienna and Pest, the overwhelming majority of conservatives pledged ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 189-205

The below quoted letter was written by the son of Count Emil Dessewffy, Count Aurél Dessewffy, Jr. agrarian politician and the vice president of the Association of Hungarian Landowners. Count Aurél Dessewffy, Jr. was one of the leading members of the early twentieth-century Hungarian neoconservative political group whose ideology was no longer built on the traditions of loyalty to the throne and the altar, and who organized their ...

Primary Sources and Literature

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pp. 207-251

Index

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pp. 253-256

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Illustrations

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pp. 270-293

Unnumbered pages


E-ISBN-13: 9786155211782
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776579

Page Count: 294
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1st

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Hungary -- Politics and government -- 1699-1848.
  • Hungary -- Politics and government -- 1849-1867.
  • Conservatism -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Liberalism -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Nationalism -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Political culture -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Social classes -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Minorities -- Hungary -- History -- 19th century.
  • Hungary -- Social conditions -- 19th century.
  • Hungary -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 19th century.
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