The first postwar period
With the fall of the monarchy at the end of the First World War, the Republic was proclaimed in November 1918, and in 1920, with the Treaty of the Trianon (➔ # 10132;), the Hungary it had to cede part of its territory to Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia.
● Internally, faced with the tough demands of the Allies, the republican government led by Count M. Károly resigned (March 1919); a Social Communist government was then established, which proclaimed the Soviet Republic, de facto presided over by the Communist leader B. Kun. This revolutionary experiment, however, was severely repressed after a few months by the counterrevolutionary forces led by Admiral M. Horthy von Nagybánya. Elected in February 1920 a parliament dominated by conservatives, the monarchy was restored: postponed the question of the recognition of the dynasty, Horthy was appointed provisional head of state and regent; in the following years a severe repression of the revolutionary and communist elements was put in place. Severely damaged by the war and strongly affected by the repercussions of the international economic crisis, the Hungary saw the succession of different governments that led to a progressive approach to Nazi Germany, with the aim of a revision of the Trianon treaty. In 1938, with the first arbitration in Vienna, the Hungary obtained southern Slovakia and in 1939 the Ruthenia Carpathian; with the second Vienna arbitration he reacquired Transylvania (1939).
The Second World War and the Communist regime
Signed in November 1940 the Tripartite Pact, the Hungary participated in the war on the side of Germany; in April 1941 it occupied Vojvodina. In August 1944, surrendered to the Allies, it was occupied by the Germans, who, having resigned Horthy, installed the leader of the pro-Nazi militias crosses arrows F. Szálasi. Liberated by Soviet troops in April 1945, the Hungary he signed the peace treaty with the Allies in Paris in 1947 which restored the borders of 1920, with a rectification in favor of Czechoslovakia; a Soviet occupation force remained in the country. Proclamation of the republic (January 1946), Z. Tildy, exponent of the Independent Party of Small Owners (PIPP), was elected president and another exponent of the same party, Ferenc Nagy, assumed the leadership of the government of national unity (1946-47). The control of the police and the presence of the Soviet occupation troops allowed the communist party, led by M. Rákosi (vice-president since 1945 and prime minister since 1952), to assume a hegemonic role in political life, which was strengthened following the merger with the left of the Social Democratic Party, from which the Hungarian Workers’ Party was born (1948). A Soviet-type constitution was introduced in August 1949. For Hungary military, please check militarynous.com. In the following years the country it underwent a process of profound social and political transformation centered on the development of heavy industry and the collectivization of agriculture, within the framework of a planned economy. All forms of opposition or dissent were repressed and the party was subjected to an extensive purge. The integration of the Hungary in the socialist camp it was consolidated by joining COMECON (1949) and the Warsaw Pact (1955). In 1953, however, Stalin’s death allowed for a strengthening of reformist positions and the leadership of the government passed to Imre Nagy. In the following two years the Hungary experienced a cautious political, economic and cultural liberalization, interrupted in April 1955, when Nagy was replaced by A. Hegedüs. However, the critical positions were accentuated and the protest continued to grow, turning in October into a revolutionary movement against Soviet domination and the totalitarian regime. Nagy returned to the leadership of the government (October 24) and in the face of the spread of the revolutionary movement he accepted its main demands: having established a multi-party cabinet, he proclaimed the neutrality of Hungary. On November 4, Soviet troops violently suppressed the revolutionary movement and overthrew the Nagy government (executed in 1958). Outbreaks of resistance were crushed in about ten days. J. Kádár, formerly at the head of the party, he also assumed the leadership of the government (until 1958 and again in 1961-65). After repressing the opposition (around 20,000 arrests and a few hundred death sentences) and restoring the party’s authority, the government achieved, also thanks to Soviet aid, a gradual improvement in economic conditions which broadened the basis of consensus. A liberalization policy was therefore initiated in 1961. After a first phase of production growth and improvement of the living conditions of the population, from the mid-1970s economic difficulties related to the international energy crisis emerged. After a brief setback in the years 1974-78, the reform policy was relaunched and trade with the West increased.