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Elites and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe (1848–1918)

Edited By Judit Pál and Vlad Popovici

The volume deals with the evolution and metamorphoses of the political elite in the Habsburg lands and the neighbouring countries during the long 19 th century. It comprises fourteen studies, compiled by both renowned scholars in the field and young researchers from Central and Eastern Europe. The research targets mainly parliamentary elites, with occasional glimpses on political clubs and economic elites. The main subjects of interest are changes in the social-professional composition of the representative assemblies and inner power plays and generation shifts. The collection of studies also focuses on the growing pressure brought by emerging nationalisms as well as electoral corruption and political patronage.
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Parliamentary Representation in Eastern Hungary (1861–1918). Preliminary Results of a Prosopographic Inquiry


Alexandru Onojescu, Ovidiu Iudean, Vlad Popovici

The geographical area circumscribed by our research is situated on a southwest– northeast axis along the borderlands between Transylvania and Hungary; this is the main reason for employing the term ‘Eastern Hungary’ in the title, although we are aware of its somehow vague meaning. The complex ethnic structure of this territory and its political and administrative history in the Early Modern and Modern times—being heavily disputed between Hungary and the Principality of Transylvania1—were powerful reasons for us to open a prosopographic inquiry regarding its representatives in the Hungarian Parliament.

The 1890 census (halfway through the dualist period) offers a relatively detailed image of the region’s ethnic structure (see Table 1). Of a total population of 1,672,747, around 80% was divided almost equally between Hungarians and Romanians. Romanians were the majority in the counties of Arad and Szilágy, while Hungarians were the majority in Szatmár and Csanád. In the case of Bihar, the two ethnic groups were almost equal in terms of numbers, with a slight Hungarians ← 211 | 212 → preponderance. After the Hungarians and Romanians came Ruthenian and German ethnicities; the Germans were better represented in the counties of Arad and Máramaros, while Ruthenians formed the majority population of Máramaros, the most ethnically diverse county. Notwithstanding all this, throughout the period under study the Ruthenians were very poorly represented politically.

Table 1. Population structure in the researched area2

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