Károly Khuen-Héderváry

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Károly Khuen-Héderváry
Khuen-Héderváry Károly.jpg
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
In office
27 June – 3 November 1903
Monarch Francis Joseph I
Preceded by Kálmán Széll
Succeeded by István Tisza
In office
17 January 1910 – 22 April 1912
Monarch Francis Joseph I
Preceded by Sándor Wekerle
Succeeded by László Lukács
Ban of Croatia-Slavonia
In office
4 December 1883 – 27 June 1903
Preceded by Hermann Ramberg
Succeeded by Teodor Pejačević
Personal details
Born (1849-05-23)23 May 1849
Gräfenberg, Austrian Silesia, Austrian Empire (today Lázně Jeseník, Czech Republic)
Died 16 February 1918(1918-02-16) (aged 68)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Spouse(s) Countess Margit Teleki
The native form of this personal name is hédervári gróf dr. Khuen-Héderváry Károly. This article uses the Western name order.

Count Károly Khuen-Héderváry de Hédervár, born as Károly Khuen de Belás (Croatian: Dragutin Khuen-Héderváry, 23 May 1849, Bad Gräfenberg (Czech: Jeseník), Austrian Silesia – 16 February 1918, Budapest), was a Hungarian politician; Ban of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia in the late nineteenth century. He succeeded the temporary reign of Ban Hermann Ramberg in 1883. Khuen's reign was marked by a strong magyarization. After a series of riots broke out against him in 1903, Khuen was relieved of his duty and appointed prime minister of Hungary.

Background[edit]

Károly Khuen was born as an oldest son of the 7 children between Hungarian magnate Antal Khuen de Belás (1817–1886) and his wife Baroness Angelika Izdenczi de Monostor et Komlós (1823–1894).

  • Alice (1850–1879), wife of Zsigmond Zichy, an Imperial and Royal Chamberlain, Lieutenant, they married 8 January 1877
  • Antal (1852–1890), Imperial and Royal Chamberlain, member of the Sabor, prominent architect
  • Angelika (1855–1918), wife of Albert Lodron-Laterano since 1887
  • Margit (1856–1920), wife of Baron Tibor Vay
  • Henrik (1860–1928), Imperial and Royal Chamberlain, Lieutenant at the Cavalry Guard
  • Szabina (1863–1942), wife of János Woracziczky since 1883.

His three siblings died when they were children.

According to the last Count Viczay de Loós et Hédervár, Héder Viczay's will, and the Court's supreme decision (dated Vienna, on 5 December 1874), Károly was granted the bearing Khuen-Héderváry name and title of Count. He changed his title from belási to hédervári and his new coat of arms was compiled by the to families' coat of arms. His maternal grandmother was Karolina Viczay, Héder's aunt. In addition Héder's brother, Károly Viczay (1802–1867) married to Mária Khuen (1811–1848), Károly Khuen-Héderváry's aunt.

Khuen-Héderváry married Countess Margit Teleki de Szék on 6 September 1880. They had two children: Sándor (1881–1946)[1] and Károly the Younger (1888–1960).[2]

Political career[edit]

Ban of Croatia-Slavonia[edit]

During his time as ban, the Hungarian language came into official use and Hungarian symbols were brought alongside the national symbols of the Croats. Khuen was forced to deal with many protests, including one during the 1895 visit of King Franz Joseph. At the opening of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb which the King was attending, a group of students burned the Hungarian flag beneath the statue of Ban Jelačić.

Prime Minister (1903)[edit]

At the elections of 1901 the Liberal Party had obtained a considerable majority, and Prime Minister Kálmán Széll formed a government. He faced the greatest difficulty on 16 October 1902, when the Minister of Defence, Géza Fejérváry tabled a bill in the House of Representatives about the conscription of 20 thousands reservists. Against this proposal of the defence minister, the opposition, led by the Independence Party, launched an endless obstruction under the slogan of "no more soldiers without the introduction of Hungarian as the language service and command".

Khuen-Héderváry in 1894

In the face of opposition, which paralysed the work of the parliament, the Széll government proved impotent and, so on 23 May 1903 King Francis Joseph authorised Károly Khuen-Héderváry, ban of Croatia, to initiate negotiations among the Hungarian politicians about the prospects of forming a new government. The ban, who had no immediate knowledge of the political conditions at Budapest, briefly acquainted himself with the situation and resigned his commission as he saw his situation utterly hopeless. Consequently, the ruler asked István Tisza on 16 June to agree as future prime minister with the politicians of the Liberal Party about the composition of the government. But the members of the governing party, fearing that Tisza would eventually break down the obstruction with violent means, refused to assume the ministerial posts offered to them one after the another.

In aftermath of Tisza's failured efforts to form a government, king withdrew Széll's commission and asked Khuen-Héderváry to start new initiative to form government in Budapest but this time it should be accompanied by negotiations between broader political fractions. To successfully fulfill kings expectations Khuen-Héderváry made favorable political deal with Independence Party by promising their leaders that he would drop Fejérváry's new conscripting proposition and support bill for enlisting only regular number of yearly recruits, if they become supportive to his government and end obstruction to form new government. Soon after new Khuen-Héderváry cabinet was appointed on 27 June 1903, they realized at the time of its introduction at parliament that a great part of the opposition representatives would continue their obstruction and make parliamentary work impossible.

The situation of the prime minister further deteriorated after the session of parliament on 29 July, when representatives of the Independence Party announced that László Szapáry, Governor of Fiume, who belonged to the friends of Khuen-Héderváry, had tried to bribe oppositional representatives into suspending their obstruction. Although no direct evidence was found against the prime minister in the case of bribery, the ensuing scandal made even those oppositional representatives return to the camp of obstruction who had so far respected their agreement with Khuen-Héderváry. The latter, who saw no way out of the crisis, handed in his resignation, which was accepted by the ruler on 7 August. Three days later the parliament took cognizance of the government's leave.

Prime Minister (1910–1912)[edit]

He also served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1910 to 1912, before World War I: following the downfall of the Coalition (Wekerle II) government, Francis Joseph appointed the first minority government of Hungary in 1910, once again under the leadership of Count Khuen-Héderváry. (The government of Fejérváry cannot be considered a minority government because at its inception it declared itself a government of civil servants and not legitimised by the House of Representatives.) The minority government was tolerated by all the parties as a temporary solution. To their own surprise, the new governing party (Party of National Work), mostly formed of former Liberal Party members, won the elections a few months later with a vas majority, receiving 62 percent of the mandates.

A serious clash between the parties in the House of Representatives was brought about again by the defense proposal. Khuen-Héderváry could handle the opposition's filibuster for almost a year from May 1911, but he did not manage to find an intermediary position between the opposition and the monarch. The fight of the parties was aggravated by the fact that one of the '48er parties, led by Gyula Justh, decided to give their absolute support to the Hungarian Social Democratic Party (MSZDP) on the issue of a universal suffrage. It was, however, unacceptable for the majority of the government party. The King appointed László Lukács Prime Minister in April 1912 in order to ensure a stronger government activity (and a stronger governing party) in the lower house, while István Tisza, the real leader of the party, became Speaker of the House.

Late life[edit]

In 1913 he was appointed chairman of the Party of National Work. He became an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1915. He served as leader of the Hungarian delegation to the common legislation from 1917. He also president of the Hungarian Mortgage Credit Bank (Magyar Jelzálog Hitelbank).

He died on 16 February 1918 in Budapest at the age of 68.

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ Magyar életrajzi lexikon I. (A–K). ed. Ágnes Kenyeres. Budapest, Akadémiai Kiadó. 1967. p. 914.

Sources[edit]

  • Hungary: Governments and Politics 1848–2000 (ed. Mária ORMOS – Béla K. KIRÁLY). Columbia University Press, New York, 2001. p. 132.
Political offices
Preceded by
Hermann Ramberg
Ban of Croatia-Slavonia
1883–1903
Succeeded by
Teodor Pejačević
Preceded by
Kálmán Széll
Prime Minister of Hungary
1903
Succeeded by
István Tisza
Minister of the Interior
1903
Preceded by
Gyula Széchényi
Minister besides the King
1903
Preceded by
István Tisza
Minister besides the King
1904–1905
Succeeded by
Géza Fejérváry
Preceded by
Sándor Wekerle
Prime Minister of Hungary
1910–1912
Succeeded by
László Lukács
Preceded by
Gyula Andrássy the Younger
Minister of the Interior
1910–1912
Preceded by
Aladár Zichy
Minister besides the King
1910–1912
Preceded by
Gejza Josipović
Minister of Croatian Affairs
Acting

1910
Succeeded by
Gejza Josipović