Sándor Wekerle

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Sándor Wekerle
Wekerle Sándor Benczúr.jpg
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
In office
17 November 1892 – 14 January 1895
Monarch Francis Joseph I
Preceded by Gyula Szapáry
Succeeded by Dezső Bánffy
In office
8 April 1906 – 17 January 1910
Monarch Francis Joseph I
Preceded by Géza Fejérváry
Succeeded by Károly Khuen-Héderváry
In office
20 August 1917 – 30 October 1918
Monarch Charles IV
Preceded by Móric Esterházy
Succeeded by János Hadik
Personal details
Born (1848-11-14)14 November 1848
Mór, Hungary
Died 26 August 1921(1921-08-26) (aged 72)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Profession Jurist, Politician
This article is about the Prime Minister of Hungary. For his son see Sándor Wekerle Jr..
The native form of this personal name is Wekerle Sándor. This article uses the Western name order.

Sándor Wekerle (14 November 1848, Mór – 26 August 1921, Budapest) was a Hungarian politician who served three times as prime minister.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Mór, in the comitatus of Fejér. His mother was Antónia Szép. After studying law at the University of Budapest he graduated doctor juris. He then entered the government service, and after a period of probation was appointed to a post in the ministry of finance. He still, however, continued an academic career by lecturing on political economy at the university.

In 1886 Wekerle was elected to the House of Deputies, became in the same year financial secretary of state, and in 1889 succeeded Kálmán Tisza as minister of finance. He immediately addressed himself to the task of improving the financial position of the country, carried out the conversion of the state loans, and succeeded, for the first time in the history of the Hungarian budget, in avoiding a deficit.

In November 1892 Wekerle succeeded Count Gyula Szapáry as premier, though still retaining the portfolio of finance. At the head of a strong government he was enabled, in spite of a powerful opposition of Catholics and Magnates, to carry in 1894 the Civil Marriage Bill. The continued opposition of the clerical party, however, brought about his resignation on 22 December 1894, when he was succeeded by Dezső Bánffy. On 1 January 1897 he was appointed president of the newly created judicial commission at Budapest, and for the next few years held aloof from politics, even under the ex-lex government of Khuen-Héderváry. On the reconciliation of the king-emperor with the coalition he was therefore selected as the most suitable man to lead the new government, and on 8 April 1906 was appointed prime minister, taking at the same time the portfolio of finance. He resigned the premiership on 27 April 1909, but was not relieved of his office until the formation of the Khuen-Héderváry cabinet on 17 January 1910.

Wekerle returned to power in 1917, and served for the last year of the First World War. As in his 1906 to 1910 ministry, Wekerle was largely acting as a figurehead for a coalition of stronger personalities around him. Although, towards its end, the ministry began to move in the direction of an expansion of the Hungarian franchise, events, particularly the imminent military defeat of Austria-Hungary and its allies, moved too fast for it, and Wekerle resigned in October 1918.[citation needed]

During the time of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, Wekerle was held prisoner as a hostage.[1]

Legacy[edit]

In the south of Budapest, the notable Wekerle estate (Wekerletelep) neighbourhood is named after him. Built before World War II, its central square was designed by the architect Károly Kós. The neighbourhood provided affordable housing to working-class families in a green, open and familiar setting. This was an early example of a planned residential neighbourhood in Europe.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Wekerle, Alexander". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York. 

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kálmán Tisza
Minister of Finance
1889–1895
Succeeded by
László Lukács
Preceded by
Gyula Szapáry
Prime Minister of Hungary
1892–1895
Succeeded by
Dezső Bánffy
Preceded by
Géza Fejérváry
Prime Minister of Hungary
1906–1910
Succeeded by
Károly Khuen-Héderváry
Preceded by
Ferenc Hegedűs
Minister of Finance
1906–1910
Succeeded by
László Lukács
Preceded by
Ferenc Bihar
Minister of Defence
Acting

1906
Succeeded by
Lajos Jekelfalussy
Preceded by
Stjepan Kovačević
Minister of Croatian Affairs
Acting

1906
Succeeded by
Gejza Josipović
Preceded by
Antal Günther
Minister of Justice
1909–1910
Succeeded by
Ferenc Székely
Preceded by
Móric Esterházy
Prime Minister of Hungary
1917–1918
Succeeded by
János Hadik
Preceded by
Gusztáv Gratz
Minister of Finance
Acting

1917–1918
Succeeded by
Sándor Popovics
Preceded by
Béla Mezőssy
Minister of Agriculture
Acting

1918
Succeeded by
Béla Serényi
Preceded by
János Tóth
Minister of the Interior
Acting

1918
Succeeded by
Tivadar Batthyány