fej

Volume 1 Issue 1-2Urban History

Table of Contents

Articles

 

Ágnes Flóra
Symbols, Virtues, Representation. The Early Modern Town Hall of Kolozsvár as a Medium of Display for Municipal Government

Abstract

Abstract

A town hall, the most important public asset of the urban community, was at the same time the house of the community, the site of gatherings, and the symbol of town autonomy and privileges in the early modern period. As part of the humanist rediscovery of the antique tradition, a new wave of town hall constructions and renovations began in the second half of the sixteenth century in Transylvania. This essay seeks to determine how the new morality accompanying the Reformation influenced municipal leadership, and how the municipal elite projected its own image in the exterior and interior spaces of the town hall. This kind of civic ostentation, or, as the Protestant preacher Gáspár Heltai put it, “exhibitionism,” may also be ascribed to the emergence and development of early modern civic awareness.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Béla Vilmos Mihalik
Sacred Urban Spaces in Seventeenth-Century Upper Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines the changes that took place in the functions of sacred spaces towards the end of the seventeenth century, at the time of the upheavals of the Counter-Reformation in Upper Hungary. After having come under the control of the Catholic Church, the Protestant churches underwent a symbolic transformation characteristic of Catholic practice and belief. This transformation included changes to the furnishings and the inner spaces of the churches. At the time of the uprising led by Imre Thököly and Protestant refugees, along with the Catholic vicarage, these buildings, which were expressions of confessional belonging, became the primary targets of ritual violence. Through similar transformations and renovations, churches which since the Reformation had performed secular functions regained their status as religious buildings. In both cases, the participation of the community in Catholic rituals, such as re-consecration, mass, and procession, played a decisive role, since these rituals strengthened and helped to institutionalize (from the perspective of Catholic rites) the sacral function of the building.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

István H. Németh
Venerable Senators or Municipal Bureaucrats? The Beginnings of the Transformation of the Estate of Burghers at the Turn of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 

Abstract

Abstract

This essay offers a socio-historical analysis of the urban elite of the city of Sopron in Western Hungary as a paradigmatic example of the changes that were implemented in municipal administration at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries to meet the demands of the centralized state. It examines the process whereby the centralized state began to assert its influence in municipal affairs in the interests of reestablishing and strengthening the cities as sources of tax revenue and furthering the reinstatement of Catholicism. Alongside the confessional shifts that took place, the distinctive social characteristics of the leading urban elite also changed: because of the small number of educated Catholics among the burgesses, an increasing number of state officials and educated servants who earlier had been in the service of owners of large estates rose to prominent positions in municipal administration. Because of the expectations of the state regarding professional qualifications and the dependence on the central offices, the roles of the municipal officials were increasingly intertwined with the affairs of public administration. They came to be the precursors to the so-called “honorácior” stratum, a social class of intellectuals and civil servants who played a prominent role in the growth of a new bureaucracy in the nineteenth century.
  Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Árpád Tóth
Social Strategies of the Lutheran Burghers of Pressburg, 1750–1850

Abstract

Abstract

This essay is intended to further an understanding of the early stage in the rise of the bourgeoisie in Hungary through a thorough examination of the Pressburg (in Hungarian Pozsony and today Bratislava) Lutheran parish, which was arguably one of the most urbanized and broad-minded communities in terms of social ambitions of the period. After an overview of the historiography of the burghers in the late phase of estate societies, the author describes the demographical and social settings in which the burghers were both able and compelled to make decisions concerning the futures of their children. In the second part the essay analyzes three families that proved especially talented in their endeavor to adapt to the changing circumstances with a diverse family strategy that included the attainment of the status of nobility, family links to the estate elite, academic schooling, emigration to more promising cities, and the creation of super-urban family networks.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Gábor Czoch
The Transformation of Urban Space in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century in Hungary and in the City of Kassa

Abstract

Abstract

The two most important changes in the urban spaces of the walled cities of Hungary in the period between the end of the eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth were the growth of the outer cities and the demolition of the city walls. This essay examines the consequences of these changes from the perspective of the social and political consequences of the shifts that took place in the concept of the city and the borders of the urban space, considering a specific case on the one hand, the city of Kassa (or Košice), and national tendencies on the other. The physical growth of the city and the gradual urbanization of the outer cities not only led to changes in the prevailing understanding of the “city” (which earlier had been identified as the area within the city walls), but made increasingly inevitable the creation, in a space that had been fragmented by the various privileges enjoyed by some of its inhabitants, of a legally unified city, as well as the incorporation of the outer cities, which had varying statuses, into the jurisdiction of the municipality. This, however, conflicted with the prevailing system of noble privileges, and the situation went unresolved until 1848, when the revolution made possible the transformation of the political structure of the entire country.
  Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Roland Perényi
Urban Places, Criminal Spaces: Police and Crime in Fin de Siècle Budapest

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines the processes by which police oversight came to emerge in Budapest at the turn of the century and expanded to cover ever larger sections of the city. It also considers aspects of public safety from the perspective of the relationship between the capital and the urban communities on its periphery. The patterns of the expansion of police authorities in the urban space suggest that, rather than exercise control over social groups (workers, the poor) perceived as potentially dangerous by representatives of power, the police were called upon to protect private property, and in particular to exercise authority in parts of the city in which members of the elite and middle class lived. In contrast, in the outlying parts of the city one has the impression at first glance that the police increased its presence first and foremost in areas in which members of the working class lived. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals that the expansion of the authority of the municipal police to the outlying parts of the city served not to further the “compelled acculturation” of workers, but rather as a means of removing “undesirable” elements (criminals, vagrants, and beggars who traveled between the inner districts and the outskirts) from the capital.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Erika Szívós
Bonds Tried by Hard Times: Jews and Christians on Klauzál tér, Budapest, 1938–1945

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines local society in Belső-Erzsébetváros, the inner 7th district of Budapest, before the Second World War, and in particular the changes in residential composition brought about by wartime events. Today, Belső-Erzsébetváros is increasingly frequently branded “the old Jewish district” of Budapest. One main goal of the article is to offer a critical reassessment of this historical image, in part by considering the complexity of the inter-ethnic, inter-confessional and interpersonal relations among local residents in the interwar period. The author analyzes the residential mix of denominationally Jewish and Christian individuals in one particular area of the inner 7th district, namely Klauzál Square, on the eve of the Second World War, and the essay offers possible explanations for the high degree of inter-confessional cohabitation. The analysis is based on the census records of 1941, as well as oral history interviews. The second half of the article concentrates on the way in which the social fabric of the neighborhood was frayed by political and historical circumstances between 1941 and 1945. By late 1945, pre-war patterns had been upset in many ways, and, as post-war sources suggest, the residential composition of local society began to undergo profound and irreversible changes.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Ágnes Nagy
In the Web of Political Language. Verbal Warfare and the 1945 Change of Regime in a Residential Building in Budapest

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines a conflict that arose between “Christian” and “Jewish” inhabitants of a tenement near the large ring street (Nagykörút, Grand Boulevard) in Budapest during the Second World War and in its immediate aftermath, when a new political system was beginning to take form. The analysis is based on documents related to a case involving housing matters and a case that came before one of the People’s Courts. I consider the cultural context in which a middle class “Christian gentleman’s” family that was suffering impoverishment and a decline in social mobility interpreted the “Jewish” milieu in which it found itself, a milieu that presented continuous affronts to its norms but from which it was unable to extricate itself because of the housing system, which was under close scrutiny given the circumstances of the war. How did the Jewish inhabitants of the tenement, most of whom had suffered persecution, respond to this family in the wake of the political changes of 1945? My intention is to shed light on the long term social process by which the official and hierarchical social image of the Horthy system and the concomitant system of norms began to lose their substance and relevance in the first half of the 1940s as a consequence of the impoverishment of the middle class and increasingly limited housing mobility. This took place before this system began, in 1945, to be exposed to radical attacks cloaked in the garb of political legitimacy.
   Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 


Book Reviews

Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Pécs 1663. Evlia Cselebi és az első részletes városleírás. (Források Pécs történetéből 4.) [Evliya Çelebi and the First Detailed Description of the City. (Pécs Historical Sources 4)].
By Balázs Sudár. Reviewed by Szabolcs Varga.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Irem kertje. Pécs története a hódoltság korában 1526–1686 [Garden of Irem. History of Pécs in the Ottoman era 1526–1686].
By Szabolcs Varga. Reviewed by Zoltán Bagi.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

“A városok szíverek.” Tanulmányok Kassáról és a reformkori városokról [Cities are Arteries. Studies on Kassa and Other Towns in the Age of Reforms].
By Gábor Czoch. Reviewed by Mónika Mátay.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Hungary’s Long Nineteenth Century. Constitutional and Democratic Traditions in a European Perspective. Collected Studies.
By László Péter. Ed. Miklós Lojkó. Reviewed by András Cieger.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

A tiszaeszlári dráma. Társadalomtörténeti látószögek [The Tiszaeszlár Drama. Social History Aspects].
By György Kövér. Reviewed by Anikó Prepuk.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Gazdasági növekedés, fogyasztás, életminőség. Magyarország nemzetközi összehasonlításban az első világháborútól napjainkig [Economic Growth, Consumption, and Quality of Life: Hungary in an International Comparative Context, from the First World War to the Present Day].
By Béla Tomka. Reviewed by Zsombor Bódy.

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free


Note on Nomenclature: City and Place Names

Full Text (HTML)   Full Text (PDF) Free

 

Notes on Contributors

Full Text (HTML)

journal

SEARCH

Login for subscribers

Partners