Hungary Table of Contents
Figure 3. Hungary During the Period of Partition, 1541-1699
Source: Based on information from C.A. Macartney, Hungary: A Short History, Chicago, 1962, 64.
The partition of Hungary between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires lasted more than 150 years. Habsburg Austria controlled Royal Hungary, which consisted of counties along the Austrian border and some of northwestern Croatia (see fig. 3). The Ottomans annexed central and southern Hungary. Transylvania became an Ottoman vassal state, where native princes, who paid the Turks tribute, ruled with considerable autonomy. After the Hungarian defeat at Mohacs, the Protestant Reformation took hold in Hungary. Initially, German burghers in Transylvania and Royal Hungary adopted Lutheranism; later, John Calvin's works converted many Magyars in Transylvania and central Hungary. The Reformation spread quickly, and by the early seventeenth century hardly any noble families remained Catholic. Archbishop Peter Pazmany reorganized Royal Hungary's Roman Catholic Church and led a Counter-Reformation that reversed the Protestants' gains in Royal Hungary, using persuasion rather than intimidation. Transylvania, however, remained a Protestant stronghold. The Reformation caused rifts between Catholic Magyars, who often sided with the Habsburgs, and Protestant Magyars, who developed a strong national identity and became rebels in Austrian eyes. Chasms also developed between Royal Hungary and Transylvania and between the mostly Catholic magnates and the mainly Protestant lesser nobles.
Data as of September 1989