Parliamentary Elections in Eastern Hungary and Transylvania (1865–1918)

by Vlad Popovici (Volume editor) Judit Pal (Volume editor)
©2018 Others 390 Pages


The book focuses on the parliamentary elections from Eastern Hungary and Transylvania between 1865 and 1918, and provides a rich collection of data, together with a general overview of the franchise, the electoral process and the party system in Hungary, at the time. It includes information on the winning and opposing candidates, their party affiliation, voter turnout, electoral geography and distribution of voting-eligible population by constituencies.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • A. Introduction
  • Foreword (J. Pál)
  • Parliament and the Political System in Hungary During the Dualist Period (J. Pál)
  • Overview
  • The political parties
  • The Parliament
  • The electoral system
  • a) Electoral laws and the right to vote
  • b) Elections
  • c) Constituencies
  • d) Deputies
  • Research Sources (V. Popovici)
  • 1. Electoral results
  • 1.a. The press
  • 1.b. Sources published by Parliament or with Parliament’s approval
  • 1.c. Election maps
  • 2. Methodology of data collection and processing
  • The Structure of the Book (J. Pál, V. Popovici)
  • 1. Tables explained
  • 1.a. Parliamentary election results in Eastern Hungary and Transylvania (1865−1918)
  • 1.b. Party structure
  • 2. The Composition of constituencies for parliamentary elections at 1900
  • 3. Evolution of the number of voters
  • Table of parliamentary parties’ acronyms and evolution
  • Scheme of parliamentary parties’ acronyms and evolution
  • Map of the parliamentary constituencies in Transylvania and Eastern Hungary (1876–1918)
  • List of toponymic abbreviations
  • B. Parliamentary election results in Eastern Hungary and Transylvania (1865–1918)
  • I. Transylvania (1866–1878)
  • 1. Counties and districts
  • 2. Székely seats
  • 3. Saxon seats and districts
  • 4. Urban constituencies
  • II. Transylvania (1878–1918)
  • 1. Counties
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • III. The Banat
  • 1. Counties
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • IV. Eastern Hungary
  • 1. Counties and districts
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • C. The Composition of constituencies for parliamentary elections at 1900
  • I. Transylvania
  • 1. Counties
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • II. The Banat
  • 1. Counties
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • III. Eastern Hungary
  • 1. Counties
  • 2. Urban constituencies
  • D. Evolution of the number of voters
  • I. Transylvania (1869)
  • 1. Counties and districts
  • 2. Székely seats
  • 3. Saxon seats and districts
  • 4. Urban constituencies
  • II. Transylvania (1878–1914)
  • 1. Alsó-Fehér county
  • 2. Beszterce-Naszód county
  • 3. Brassó county
  • 4. Csík county
  • 5. Fogaras county
  • 6. Hunyad county
  • 7. Háromszék county
  • 8. Kis-Küküllő county
  • 9. Kolozs county
  • 10. Maros-Torda county
  • 11. Nagy-Küküllő county
  • 12. Szeben county
  • 13. Szolnok-Doboka county
  • 14. Torda-Aranyos county
  • 15. Udvarhely county
  • 16. Urban constituencies in Transylvania
  • III. The Banat (1869, 1878–1914)
  • 1. Krassó-Szörény county
  • 2. Temes county
  • 3. Torontál county
  • 4. Urban constituencies in Banat
  • IV. Eastern Hungary (1869, 1878–1914)
  • 1. Arad county
  • 2. Bihar county
  • 3. Csanád county
  • 4. Máramaros county
  • 5. Szatmár county
  • 6. Szilágy county
  • 7. Urban constituencies in Eastern Hungary
  • Sources and referenced literature
  • Name index of the MPs and the opposing candidates

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A. Introduction

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This book draws on a research project that kick-started in autumn 2011, its main objective being the study of the political elite in Transylvania between 1867 and 1918.1 The project was financed by the Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Education (UEFISCDI) Romania and was thought out as a three-year project but eventually it was extended to five years, while keeping the initial budget.

In the beginning, the geography and chronology of the research referred to “Transylvania” during the Dualist period. Without wanting to delve into further details, we do, however, wish to mention the fact that in the initial title of the project, the toponym “Transylvania” was used in its larger sense, referring both to the area of the former Principality, an autonomous province within the Habsburg Empire until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, and the Eastern territories of the Kingdom of Hungary, which came under the administration of the Kingdom of Romania after 1918. In order to maintain the coherence of our research, we also included those parts of the counties East of the river Tisza which remained part of Hungary after 1918. Out of similar reasons we extended our research to Banat and the county of Torontál, the latter having largely come under the administration of the Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom after 1918. That is why the title of the book refers to Eastern Hungary and Transylvania, thus reflecting the state of affairs in the beginning of the studied era. The chronological extension from 1867 to 1865 is based on the fact that at the time of the Compromise there already was an ongoing electoral cycle in Hungary that had started two years earlier: thus, some of the constituencies included in our research had already elected their deputies in 1865, and those in the Principality of Transylvania did so the following year. We believe that the end of the period needs no further justification, for it coincides with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the self-dissolution of the Parliament in Budapest on 16th November 1918 following the Aster Revolution.

Moving on to the players, the definition we give to the term “political elite” within this project is a functionalist one, with its members being categorised and becoming subjects of our research according to the public position they held throughout the studied time span, namely: the elected members of the Hungarian Parliament (more precisely, of the Chamber of Deputies), plus the opposing candidates who lost in the parliamentary elections. We have decided to give heed to the latter category, too, whilst knowing all too well that their political status as a group and partially as individuals is considerably lower, although some of them made it to Parliament, before or after the failed candidature. The lack of interest that has been shown in their respect so far in the specialised literature, as well as their prosopographical potential have convinced us to include them in our research. For the time being, we only do it by way ← 11 | 12 → of nomination, but with a view to putting together an analysis in the future, hoping that thus we can contribute to a better understanding of the selection of deputies, to a more accurate description of the political elite/s of the Dualist period and their evolution in time.

Initially, the main objectives of the project were: to draw up a catalogue of the political elite in Transylvania between 1867 and 1918 (a catalogue comprising the results of parliamentary elections, as well as a set of prosopographical data) and to analyse the prosopographical data. The study of election dynamics, which benefits from better coverage in the specialised literature, was not a purpose in itself and was only going to be carried out just to support the accurate interpretation of the results.

From a historiographic point of view, the project continues and complements the works about the studied area by Adalbert Toth2 and the team led by Gabriella Ilonszki.3 These are the two large sets of data about the deputies of Hungary in the Dualist era that have been published as a prosopography. They are, of course, doubled by other research that focused on a certain geographic area, a short time period or that just provided an analysis, without publishing the prosopographical data – in some cases because the research is still ongoing.4 The work of A. Toth offers information about the elections between 1848 and 1849, 1861 and 1892, as well as a relatively sketchy prosopographical catalogue of the deputies of the time in Hungary. The more recent book written by G. Ilonszki covers the period 1884−2006 and offers an extended set of prosopographical data based largely on information from parliaments’ almanacs (this being what helped her choose the starting year for the study). As for the quality of information, the set of data provided by G. Ilonszki, in spite of its impressive size, has many gaps and inaccuracies for the period 1884−1918, largely caused by an uncritical collection of information from the sources and a lack of complementary sources. As a matter of fact, a quick analysis of the quality of parliaments’ almanacs of the era as prosopographical sources was carried out by József Pap,5 and this experience has taught us that they should be approached with utmost caution and constantly corroborated with other types of sources. Taking into account all these premises and the general state of this topic’s historiography, we hope that our project has managed to give more depth to the research of the history of parliamentarism in Transylvania and Eastern Hungary during the Dualist period, and that its results – the set of data focused on elections, included in this volume, and the prosopography and analytical conclusions to be published separately – justify the time and effort invested.

Alongside the data gathered about election results, the biographies and careers of MPs, the geography of elections and the state of the body of voters, several studies covering various more particular aspects of the topic have been published throughout the project. We mention them hereinafter because, until we finish the next book that will comprise the prosopography and the related analysis, they remain the most important analytical contributions of our research so far. The most numerous were ← 12 | 13 → prosopographical studies, made according to certain territorial and administrative,6 (a distinctive category consisting in those dedicated to urban constituencies),7 ethnic,8 or generational delimitations.9 The election process studies have touched upon topics such as: corruption,10 election speeches and publications,11 and the behaviour and attitude of the players involved.12 Less well-represented, but still present are biographical studies13 and studies concerning the activities of the deputies during WWI.14

Another line of inquiry, opened by Ovidiu Emil Iudean, followed the Romanian deputies elected on the lists of Hungarian parties, the so-called “outcasts”. The biographical recoveries and the prosopographical analyses led by the author have yielded a great deal of information regarding this category of MPs, previously virtually ignored, into the historiographic circuit.15

Overall, the project has attained its main objective to put together a catalogue and a set of analyses of the political elite in Transylvania during the Dualist period. Thus, it has contributed to a better understanding of the topic, a more in-depth analysis of older research topics, a revision of commonplace information perpetuated throughout the centuries and, last but not least, it has opened new possible lines of inquiry (such as opposing candidates who lost in the elections).

Judit Pál

1 Project PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0040: The Political Elite from Transylvania (1867−1918), project director: Prof. Dr. Judit Pál. Project members: Prof. Dr. Nicolae Bocșan († 2016), dr. Andrea Fehér, dr. Sandra Hirsch, dr. Ovidiu Iudean, dr. Alexandru Onojescu, dr. Vlad Popovici. Collaborators: Szilárd Ferenczi, Edina Gál. All public information on the project, members, financing and results can be accessed at: http://elite-research.eu/transylvanian_political_elite.html, last accessed 13.03.2018.

2 Toth 1973.

3 Ilonszki 2009.

4 There is a similar ongoing project in Hungary, led by József Pap from the University of Eger (OTKA K 112429), which pulls together information about all the deputies and members of the House of Magnates; the information will be published in a series of biographic lexicons of the Dualist era MPs. See Pap 2017.

5 Pap 2017, 11−14.

6 Iudean−Onojescu−Popovici 2014; Popovici 2014; Popovici 2014a; Pál 2015.

7 Pál 2011; Pál 2013; Pál 2014; Pál 2014a.

8 Popovici−Iudean 2011; Iudean−Onojescu 2013.

9 Pál−Popovici 2017.

10 Pál 2014b.

11 Fehér 2013; Popovici−Iudean 2014.

12 Iudean 2010; Pál 2016; Iudean 2016.

13 Păcățian 2012; Bocșan 2013; Iudean 2014.

14 Iudean 2015; Iudean 2016a; Popovici 2016.

15 Iudean 2016b.

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Parliament and the Political System in Hungary During the Dualist Period

Judit Pál


The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, created after the 1867 Compromise, was an interesting construction made up of two parts – composite themselves16 − which, despite facing the same challenges, acted as two quasi-independent states (for example, there was no common citizenship). There were obvious differences between the Austrian view and the Hungarian view, there were disputes about whether there was a “real union” between them or just a personal kind, but that is beyond the scope of this paper.17 Foreign policy, external trade, the customs and monetary systems and the army were common territory, but internal policy was each state’s own matter. There were three joint ministries (Foreign Affairs, War and Finance), supervised by the delegations made up of members from the two parliaments. The joint affairs of the two sides of the Monarchy remained to a great extent under the remit of the Monarch not least because the delegations could not actually control the joint ministers; that is how part of the Sovereign’s absolute power before the Compromise was perpetuated. Thus, the monarch’s person,18 who also represented the Monarchy, had a special significance. The monarch’s prerogatives were more marked in Cisleithania, but they were still quite encompassing in Hungary, as well.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (November)
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 390 pp., 1 fig. b/w, 43 tables, 1 map

Biographical notes

Vlad Popovici (Volume editor) Judit Pal (Volume editor)

Judit Pál is Professor at Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of History and Philosophy. Her area of interest is social history and parliamentary history of 19th century Hungary. Vlad Popovici is Lecturer at Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca Faculty of History and Philosophy. His areas of interest are social history and history and computing. Andrea Fehér is Researcher at the Transylvanian Museum Society, Cluj-Napoca. Her area of interest is the social history of modern-age Transylvania. Ovidiu Emil Iudean is Researcher at Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of History and Philosophy. His areas of interest are political history and parliamentary history of 19th century Hungary.


Title: Parliamentary Elections in Eastern Hungary and Transylvania (1865–1918)
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392 pages