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Transylvania came under voivod rule after , when the duties of the Counts of Szolnok Doboka and Alba were eliminated. The voivod controlled seven comitatus. The three most important 14th-century dignitaries were the voivod, the Bishop of Transylvania and the Abbot of Kolozsmonostor on the outskirts of present-day Cluj-Napoca. Transylvania was organized according to the estate system.

Its estates were privileged groups, or universitates the central power acknowledged some collective freedoms , with socio-economic and political power; they were also organized using ethnic criteria. As in the rest of the Hungarian kingdom, the first estate was the aristocracy lay and ecclesiastic : ethnically heterogeneous, but undergoing homogenization around its Hungarian nucleus. The other estates were the Saxons, Szeklers and Romanians, all with an ethno-linguistic basis.

The Saxons, who had settled in southern Transylvania in the 12th and 13th centuries, were granted privileges in by the Diploma Andreanum.

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The Szeklers and Romanians were not regarded as newcomers colonists in Transylvania, and were granted partial privileges. While the Szeklers consolidated their privileges, extending them to the entire ethnic group, the Romanians had difficulty retaining their privileges in certain areas terrae Vlachorum or districtus Valachicales and lost their estate rank.

Nevertheless, when the king or the voivod summoned the general assembly of Transylvania congregatio during the 13th and 14th centuries it was attended by the four estates: noblemen, Saxons, Szeklers and Romanians Universis nobilibus, Saxonibus, Syculis et Olachis in partibus Transiluanis. After , Romanians gradually lost their estate status Universitas Valachorum and were excluded from Transylvanian assemblies. The primary reason was religious; during Louis I's proselytization campaign, privileged status was deemed incompatible with schism in a state endowed with an "apostolic mission" by the Holy See.

In his Decree of Turda the king redefined nobility as membership in the Roman Catholic Church , thus excluding the Eastern Orthodox , "schismatic" Romanians. After , nobility was determined not only by ownership of land and people but also by the possession of a royal donation certificate. Since the Romanian social elite—chiefly made up of aldermen iudices or knezes kenezii , who ruled their villages according to the law of the land ius valachicum —managed only somewhat to obtain writs of donation and were expropriated.

Lacking property or an official status as owner and excluded from privileges as schismatics, the Romanian elite could no longer form an estate and participate in the country's assemblies. By , the rebellion was crushed. These estates, however, were more social and religious than ethnic divisions. Directed against the peasants, the Union limited the number of estates excluding the Orthodox from political and social life in Transylvania : "The privileges define the status of the three recognized nations - the Hungarians, the Siculi and the Saxons - and the four churches - Lutheran, Calvinist, Unitarian and Catholic.

Some reached the highest ranks of society; Nicolaus Olahus became Archbishop of Esztergom, John Hunyadi , a great military commander, governor and regent of Hungary, while the John Hunyadi's son Matthias Corvinus became king of Hungary. Nevertheless, since the majority of Romanians did not convert to Roman Catholicism there was nowhere for them to be politically represented until the 19th century. They were deprived of their rights and subject to segregation such as not being allowed to live in or purchase houses in the cities, build stone churches or receive justice. Several examples of legal decisions by the three nations a century after Unio Trium Nationum — are indicative.

The Romanian could not appeal for justice against Hungarians and Saxons, but the latter could turn in the Romanian ; the Hungarian Hungarus accused of robbery could be defended by the oath of the village judge and three honest men, while the Romanian Valachus needed the oath of the village knez , four Romanians and three Hungarians ; the Hungarian peasant could be punished after being accused by seven trustworthy people, while the Romanian was punished after accusations by only three After a diversionary manoeuvre led by Sultan Murad II it was clear that the goal of the Ottomans was not to consolidate their grip on the Balkans and intimidate the Hungarians, but to conquer Hungary.

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  6. A key figure in Transylvania at this time was John Hunyadi c. Hunyadi was awarded a number of estates becoming one of the foremost landowners in Hungarian history and a seat on the royal council for his service to Sigismund of Luxemburg. His subsequent military exploits he is considered one of the foremost generals of the Middle Ages against the Ottoman Empire brought him further status as the regent of Hungary in and papal recognition as the Prince of Transylvania in When John I was elected king of Hungary, another party recognized Ferdinand.

    According to the treaty, the Principality of Transylvania nominally remained part of the Kingdom of Hungary.

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    Habsburgs controlled Royal Hungary , which comprised counties along the Austrian border, Upper Hungary and some of northwestern Croatia. Transylvania became a semi-independent state under the Ottoman Empire the Principality of Transylvania , where Hungarian princes [40] [41] [42] who paid the Turks tribute enjoyed relative autonomy, [39] and Austrian and Turkish influences vied for supremacy for nearly two centuries. It was now beyond the reach of Catholic religious authority, allowing Lutheran and Calvinist preaching to flourish.

    In Giorgio Blandrata was appointed court physician; his radical religious ideas influenced young King John II and Calvinist bishop Francis David , eventually converting both to Unitarianism. Francis David prevailed over Calvinist Peter Melius in in a public debate, resulting in individual freedom of religious expression under the Edict of Turda the first such legal guarantee of religious freedom in Christian Europe.

    Transylvania was governed by princes and its Diet parliament. In May Michael gained control of Moldavia , thus he became the leader of the three principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania the three major regions of modern Romania. Michael installed Wallachian boyars in certain offices but did not interfere with the estates and sought support from the Hungarian nobility. Michael's rule did not last long, however; he was assassinated by Walloon mercenaries under the command of Habsburg general Basta in August When he entered Transylvania he did not grant rights to the Romanian inhabitants.

    Instead, Michael supported the Hungarian, Szekler, and Saxon nobles by reaffirming their rights and privileges. Basta subdued Transylvania in , initiating a reign of terror in which he was authorised to appropriate land belonging to noblemen, Germanize the population and reclaim the principality for Catholicism in the Counter-Reformation.

    The period between the assassination of Michael the Brave and the fall of Basta was the most difficult for Transylvania since the Mongol invasion. The two major achievements of Bocskay's brief reign he died December 29, were the Peace of Vienna June 23, and the Peace of Zsitvatorok November With the Peace of Vienna Bocskay obtained religious liberty, the restoration of all confiscated estates, repeal of all "unrighteous" judgments, full retroactive amnesty for all Hungarians in Royal Hungary and recognition as independent sovereign prince of an enlarged Transylvania.

    Gabriel Bethlen who reigned from to thwarted all efforts of the emperor to oppress or circumvent his subjects, and won a reputation abroad by championing the Protestant cause. He waged war on the emperor three times, was proclaimed King of Hungary twice and obtained a confirmation of the Treaty of Vienna for the Protestants and seven additional counties in northern Hungary for himself in the Peace of Nikolsburg signed December 31, His principal achievement was the Peace of Linz September 16, , the last political triumph of Hungarian Protestantism, in which the emperor was forced to reconfirm the articles of the Peace of Vienna.

    During their reign, Transylvania was one of the few European countries where Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans and Unitarians lived in mutual tolerance—all officially accepted religions religiones recaepte. The Orthodox, however, still had inferior status. The prince, coveting the Polish crown, allied with Sweden and invaded Poland in despite the Ottoman Porte 's prohibition of military action.

    Prince Stephen Bocskay. After the defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in , the Habsburgs began to impose their rule on Transylvania. In addition to strengthening the central government and administration, they promoted the Roman Catholic Church as a uniting force and to weaken the influence of Protestant nobility. By creating a conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the Habsburgs hoped to weaken the estates.


    They also attempted to persuade Orthodox clergymen to join the Uniate Greek Catholic Church, which accepted four key points of Catholic doctrine and acknowledged papal authority while retaining Orthodox rituals and traditions. Some priests converted, although the similarity between the two denominations was unclear to many.

    From onward, Habsburg control over Transylvania was consolidated and Transylvanian princes were replaced with Habsburg imperial governors. The insurgents' main demands were related to feudal serfdom and the lack of political equality between Romanians and other Transylvanian ethnic groups. The Transylvanian Diet rejected their demands, restoring the Romanians to their marginalised status. In early , the Hungarian Diet took the opportunity presented by revolution to enact a comprehensive program of legislative reform the April laws , which included a provision for the union of Transylvania and Hungary.

    Transylvanian Romanians initially welcomed the revolution, believing they would benefit from the reforms.

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    However, their position changed due to the opposition of Transylvanian nobles to reform such as emancipation of the serfs and the failure of Hungarian revolutionary leaders to recognise Romanian national interests. The Saxons were concerned about union with Hungary, fearing the loss of their traditional privileges. When the Transylvanian Diet met on May 29, the vote for union was pushed through despite objections from many Saxon deputies. On June 10, the Emperor sanctioned the union vote of the Diet. Military executions and the arrest of revolutionary leaders after the union hardened the Saxons' position.

    Within four months, Bem had ousted the Austrians from Transylvania. The Austrians clearly rejected the October demand that ethnic criteria become the basis for internal borders, with the goal of creating a province for Romanians Transylvania, alongside Banat and Bukovina ; they did not want to replace the threat of Hungarian nationalism with a potential one of Romanian separatism. However, they did not declare themselves hostile to the creation of Romanian administrative offices in Transylvania which prevented Hungary from including the region in all but name.

    The territory was organized into prefecturi prefectures , with Avram Iancu and Buteanu two prefects in the Apuseni Mountains.

    History of Transylvania

    Iancu's prefecture, the Auraria Gemina a name charged with Latin symbolism , became important; it took over from bordering areas which were never fully organized. He was, however, challenged by severe shortages: the Romanians had few guns and very little gunpowder. The conflict dragged on for several months, with all Hungarian attempts to seize the mountain stronghold repulsed. However, Iancu and his men retreated and encircled him. Hatvany angered the Romanians by having Buteanu captured and murdered. As his position became weaker, he was attacked by Iancu's men until his defeat on May Hatvany and most of his armed group were massacred by their adversaries; Iancu captured their cannons , switching the tactical advantage for the next several months.

    Lajos Kossuth was angered by Hatvany's gesture an inspection at the time dismissed all of Hatvany's close collaborators , since it made future negotiations unlikely. However, the conflict became less harsh: Iancu's men concentrated on seizing local resources and supplies, opting to inflict losses only through skirmishes. The Russian intervention in June precipitated an escalation, since the Poles fighting in the Hungarian revolutionary contingents wanted to resist the Tsarist armies. Golescu , and Ion Ghica wanted to defeat the Russian armies that had crushed their movement in September The contact has long been celebrated by Romanian Marxist historians and politicians.

    Karl Marx 's condemnation of everything opposing Kossuth led to any Romanian initiative being automatically considered " reactionary ". All Iancu agreed to was the neutrality of his forces in the conflict between Russia and Hungary. After quashing the revolution, Austria imposed a repressive regime on Hungary and ruled Transylvania directly through a military governor, with German as the official language.

    Austria abolished the Union of Three Nations and acknowledged the Romanians. Although the former serfs were given land by the Austrian authorities, it was often barely sufficient for subsistence living. These poor conditions caused many Romanian families to cross into Wallachia and Moldavia in search for better lives. Due to external and internal problems, reforms seemed inevitable to secure the integrity of the Habsburg Empire.

    The two realms were governed separately by two parliaments from two capitals, with a common monarch and common external and military policies. Economically, the empire was a customs union. Romanian intellectuals issued the Blaj Pronouncement in protest of the Compromise. The era saw considerable economic development, with the GNP per capita growing roughly 1. That level of growth compared favorably with that of other European nations, such as Britain 1. Technological growth accelerated industrialization and urbanization.

    Many state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period. However, as a result of the Compromise the special status of Transylvania ended; it became a province under the Hungarian diet.

    Catalog Record: The golden age in Transylvania | HathiTrust Digital Library

    While part of Austria-Hungary, Transylvania's Romanians were oppressed by the Hungarian administration through Magyarization ; [49] [50] German Saxons were also subject to this policy. Romania joined the Triple Entente after signing the treaty and declared war against the Central Powers on 27 August It crossed the Carpathian mountains into Transylvania, forcing the Central Powers to fight on another front. A German- Bulgarian counter-offensive began the following month in Dobruja and in the Carpathians, driving the Romanian army back into Romania by mid-October and eventually leading to the capture of Bucharest.

    By mid the Central Powers were losing the war on the Western Front , and the Austro-Hungarian empire had begun to disintegrate. Austria-Hungary signed a general armistice in Padua on 3 November , and the nations inside Austria-Hungary proclaimed their independence from the empire during September and October of that year. King Ferdinand's wife, Marie who had British and Russian parentage was highly influential during these years. The leaders of Transylvania's Romanian National Party met and drafted a resolution invoking the right of self-determination influenced by Woodrow Wilson's 14 points for Transylvania's Romanian people, and proclaimed the unification of Transylvania with Romania.

    In November the Romanian National Central Council, representing all Romanians in Transylvania, notified the Budapest government that it would take control of twenty-three Transylvanian counties and parts of three others and requested a Hungarian response by November 2. The Hungarian government after negotiations with the council rejected the proposal, claiming that it failed to secure the rights of the ethnic Hungarian and German populations. The Romanian Army, representing the Entente powers , entered Transylvania from the east on November 12, In February , to prevent armed clashes between Romanian and withdrawing Hungarian troops, a neutral zone was created.

    The prime minister of the newly proclaimed Republic of Hungary resigned in March , refusing the territorial concessions including Transylvania demanded by the Entente. A Romanian counter-offensive pushed forward to reach the Tisza River in May. The Romanian army withdrew from Hungary between October and March The Treaty of Versailles , formally signed in June , recognised the sovereignty of Romania over Transylvania.

    The Treaties of St. Germain and Trianon June further defined the status of Transylvania and the new border between the states of Hungary and Romania. Great Romania was an ideal of Romanian nationalism. December Romania had also acquired Southern Dobrudja from Bulgaria as a result of its victory in the Second Balkan War in On March 19, , following the occupation of Hungary by the Nazi German army through Operation Margarethe , Northern Transylvania came under German military occupation. The Allied Governments regard the decision of the Vienna award regarding Transylvania as null and void and are agreed that Transylvania or the greater part thereof should be returned to Rumania, subject to confirmation at the peace settlement, and the Soviet Government agrees that Soviet forces shall take part for this purpose in joint military operations with Rumania against Germany and Hungary.

    The Treaty of Paris reaffirmed the borders between Romania and Hungary, as originally defined in Treaty of Trianon , 27 years earlier, thus confirming the return of Northern Transylvania to Romania. According to Jean W. How can we help you? No result found for "OK". Please press enter for search. Visit Help Center. Trending Searches. Cart 0. Item s Added To cart Qty. If you are a new user Register login.

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    Fiction Books. The Golden Age in Transylvania. Compare Products. We find ourselves in the valley of the Drave, in one of those boundless tracts where even the wild beasts lose themselves. Here are primeval forests, the roots of which rest in the water of a great swamp encircled not by water lilies and reed grass, but by giant trees whose branches, dropping below the surface, form new roots in the quickening water.

    Here the swan builds its nest; this is the haunt of the heron and all those wild creatures one of which only now and then marches out into more frequented regions. On the higher ground, where in late summer the waters ebb, spring such flowers as might have been seen just after the deluge, so luxuriant and so strange is their mighty growth out of the slimy mud. The branches of ivy, stout as grape vines, reach from tree to tree winding about the trunks and decking the dark maples as if some wood nymph had garlanded her own consecrated grove