Series on our Blogsite: Nation and War

Ján Francisci kapitány miavai szlovák önkéntesekkel 1848-ban. Peter Michal Bohúň festménye. Forrás: wikipedia

We have recently launched a series of blogposts on the Horizontok blogsite within In the regional overview we ask how armed conflicts impacted the development of Central European nations in the age of modern nationalisms. As Russia's war against Ukraine shows, in time of violent and armed conflict, the question of belonging gains importance and becomes inevitable even for the "everymen".  Thus, the experience of fighting catalyses nation-bulding. So far, we have two contributions.


Discussing the Slovak case, József Demmel reveals that Hungarian war for independence in the course of 1848-49 was the time when, due to the fact that Jozef Miloslav Hurban's volunteer army sided with the Habsburg Monarchy, the idea of an independent Slovak state and the stories of struggle, heroism and martyrdom emerged. The post also explains that in 1918 and 1919 the army consisting of Czechs and Slovaks that left the army of the Central powers and stationed in Siberia were major reference point for those that lobbied for the creation of Czechoslovakia.  

A Vidin közelében fekvő Smârdan (ma Inovo község része Bulgáriában) elleni 1878. januári román támadás Nicolae Grigorescu klasszikus festményén. Forrás: wikipedia

Talking of Romanian nation-building, Csaba Zahorán also shows the importance of the armed fighting between Avram Iancu's army and the Hungarian units in 1848-49. While some of the events were nothing short of ethnic cleansing, the memory of heorism of the guerilla warfare also left a deep mark on Romanian historical memory as street names attest. Romania sided with Russia against the Ottoman Empire in the war of  1877 and this venture proved to be a military victory. However, contemporaries felt that the eventual treaty sidelined Romanian interests even if it granted Constanța that, subsequently, became a gataway for Romania. Surely, the key chain of events in the historical memory of Romanian nationhood are the magnitude of human losses in World War I and the victorious months of 1918 and 1919. 

The blogposts may be accessed in Hungarian here

More posts are still to follow in this section.