Local Nobility Self-Government and Central Authority in Hungary in the 16th — Early 17th Centuries
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Local Nobility Self-Government and Central Authority in Hungary in the 16th — Early 17th Centuries
Annotation
PII
S207987840011238-0-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Tatyana Gusarova 
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract

In the second quarter of the 16th century, after Hungary had become a part of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, the royal power found itself in a difficult situation. The Hungarian kingdom was one of the parts of the state entity created by the Habsburgs in Central Europe, but its monarchs neither lived there, nor knew it well; moreover, they constantly fought for it with the Ottomans, and for a long time without evident success. The Habsburgs’ policy sought to unite the countries subject to them, to centralize and unify their governance. However, the above mentioned difficulties significantly slowed down the process of Hungary's transformation into an absolute monarchy. Thus, they could not create new local government institutions, completely obedient to the central authority, and were forced to use the existing system of Hungarian noble comitates (committees) — noble estate institutions with considerable autonomous rights. This, along with many other things, reflects the dualism in power characteristic of European estate monarchies. The article studies the organization, prerogatives and the functioning of the local nobility self-government in the Hungarian kingdom in the 16th — 17th centuries. Special attention is given to the interaction with the central government, focusing on the areas of regular activity — taxes, defence, jurisdiction, law enforcement. The author analyses the negotiation of compromise between the central and local authorities, as well as the limits of autonomous rights of the local nobility. The article touches on the problem of communication between the central authorities and local comitates, studying the existing means to carry out political dialogue. The State Assembly remained the main place for such a dialogue, where the noble deputies from the comitates conveyed their proposals and claims to the authorities, and upon returning broadcasted the common will of the estates and central authority — accumulated in the adopted laws — to the local nobility. The analysis of these issues allows to draw conclusions regarding the extent of effective participation of the estates in power of the Kingdom of Hungary under the early Habsburgs, striving for absolutism. Besides, the study of the relationship between the central authorities and local nobility self-government can give an answer to the question about the nature of power dualism: whether it was insoluble antagonism or it is preferable to describe it as cooperation.

Keywords
Kingdom of Hungary, the Habsburgs, power dualism, noble comitates (commitees), self-government
Received
26.01.2020
Publication date
31.10.2020
Number of characters
40589
Number of purchasers
17
Views
1583
Readers community rating
5.0 (1 votes)
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